Sansa Stark finally comes into her own in Game of Thrones season six. After year upon year of Sansa being victimized, she is finally the victor. After escaping Winterfell at the beginning of the season and rallying Jon Snow, much of the North, and then Littlefinger to take back her home, Sansa finally gets her revenge against Ramsay Bolton. Watching hungry hounds devour her sadistic husband would be satisfying enough, but there's a greater win here: Jon and Sansa are back at their rightful home in Winterfell. It feels right in so many ways, but there's another wrinkle you can't help but realize, if you've been watching this show from the beginning: Sansa is turning into her mother, Catelyn. It may be a thing that all women fear, but for Sansa, there are few female role models she'd be better off emulating. It's almost like Catelyn has been reborn (sorry, Lady Stoneheart fans), so let's go over all the ways Sansa Stark has actually been turning into Catelyn.
Her General Strength
Strength has never been Sansa's, well, strength — not until now. But it's a defining characteristic of Stark matriarch Catelyn when we meet her in season one. She's Ned's equal, and when Ned has to go off and fulfill his role as the Hand of the King, she secretly travels to King's Landing, then takes Tyrion prisoner, then leads her son's army as his adviser. She's not just someone's wife, content to stay behind and run the homestead. When we meet a young Sansa in season one, that probably would have been her main goal in life: be married off to the prince, and make a lovely home. But fate had other plans for Sansa, and thankfully, she starts following her mother's example.
Her Battle Smarts
Remember how Catelyn was Robb's most trusted adviser when the then-living King of the North was plotting his attacks? Catelyn patiently listened to Robb's ideas, then would basically step in to correct and advise his plans. Her specialty was giving the more pragmatic advice — the kind that was never sexy to Robb, but made the most sense in the long run.
Sansa has assumed that same role for Jon, though more gradually. While she incites Jon to attack Ramsay at Winterfell, she's on the sidelines while the men plot their attack the night before. That is, until she gets Jon alone and tells him his plan is flawed, and he should be getting advice from her. I mean, she doesn't really have specific advice at this time, other than telling him that Ramsay is way worse than anything Jon is expecting. But she's trying — and asserting herself as someone whose brain needs to be taken seriously.
That Catelyn pragmatism shows up in Sansa when she reaches out to Littlefinger as a last resort. She doesn't share her backup plan with Jon, but she is wise enough to know they need one, when Jon arrogantly thinks that his little army can defeat Ramsay's. If it wasn't for Sansa, there would have been no victory.
Notably, the men both ignore the biggest piece of advice they're given from the Stark women (Robb still marries Talisa and pisses off Walder Frey, Jon falls right into Ramsay's trap of Rickon-bait), who end up being tragically right. But at least Jon lives to tell the tale.
Her Alliance With Littlefinger
It's clear that Littlefinger's devotion to Sansa is because she resembles her mother, and it's creepy and uncomfortable. However, Sansa at least has figured out how to take advantage of it, at least for now. (Next week, it looks like he'll be trying to make the partnership romantic. Ew.) Though we can thank Sansa and Littlefinger's alliance for saving Jon's army at Winterfell, though, trusting Littlefinger is exactly where Cat had gone wrong in season one. Is Sansa making the same mistake, or will she ultimately be smarter than Cat?