So I've been a long-time lurker on the GoT boards, and a week having passed since the finale, I really, really have to just vent a little, because my frustration still hasn't gone away.
First of all, I was always a Sansa fan - even back in season one. My absolute favourite character arc is "spoiled brat gets exposed to the real world and because a wiser, more compassionate person because of it" (for example, Cordelia Chase in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Prince Arthur in Merlin). Sansa's arc was clearly a little harsher than most, but the idea of a young woman going through hell but realizing "if I am queen, I will make them love me" was totally my jam.
But looking back, this trajectory in Sansa's story got botched from the moment D&D decided to give her Jeyne Poole's storyline, turning her into a rape/trauma victim instead of whatever Martin has planned for her (which I'm certain involves her becoming more of a negotiator/diplomat/spy). She was always going to come out of this a colder, more closed-off person (and don't get me started on her crediting her strength to the abuse she suffered. Gross).
Still, they had time to course-correct...and didn't. I thought Dany's story-arc this season was ghastly, but it was somehow Sansa's that really made me angry. I waited nine years to see fully-formed Sansa as a master politician, having learned manipulation from Littlefinger, flattery/courtesy from Margaery, cunning from Tyrion and (most importantly) what NOT to do from Cersei, and yet almost every power-play she made this season was a rookie move that works out in her favour due to authorial fiat.
For instance, I don't have a problem with her worrying about food supplies, but why would she announce these concerns to the room, which only a) undermines the King, b) alienates an important ally, and c) brings more stress and worry to a situation that is already on the brink of the literal apocalypse? (She was supposed to LEARN from Littlefinger, not BECOME him, and this just felt like his brand of pointless chaos-sowing nonsense).
Then she decides to break her vow to Jon and spill the beans on his parentage, which only puts him in extreme danger from a woman she admits she's frightened of (and makes those red leaves on her coronation dress rather hypocritical considering she broke the vow she made under the weirwood tree).
Again, only authorial fiat protects Jon from dying immediately at Grey Worm's hands once the fallout of the secret's exposure runs its course, and in the end he's exiled - costing her one of her most loyal allies. (Cos seriously, that boy is outta there. He ain't coming back).
And finally, she gets independence for the North, not through intrigue or force or clever politicking, but because she ... hoo boy ... just ASKS her brother the king for it. In front of all the other delegates of the Seven Kingdoms. Who are ... totally cool with that? (And again, the direwolf crown she wears is a pretty big indicator that this isn't Northern Independence, it's the North under Stark rule).
As others have pointed out, they needed Arya to shill her as "the smartest person I've ever met" to guide the audience into accepting she was right about everything, because D&D also required her to make some of the worst political/leadership moves EVER in order to push their story in the direction they wanted it to go. And it would one thing if I believed (for example) that she deliberately pushed Jon into harm's way in order to claim queenship for herself, but that obviously wasn't what D&D were going for.
The culmination of her story certainly should have been her as ruler of the North/Winterfell in some capacity (I've foreseen that for YEARS, and would have bet money on it), but D&D clearly had no idea how to get her to that point in a way that made sense, and are obviously oblivious to how vulnerable a position they've left her in.
First of all, she's lost all her most important allies - Arya, Brienne and Jon (that last one due to her own machinations). There was not a single familiar face at her coronation, and of the remaining Northern Houses we DO know of, the Mormonts are dead, the Umbers are dead, the Glovers are either dead or disloyal, and Alys Karstark surely isn't a fan considering Sansa wanted to have her disinherited a few seasons back.
Likewise, (as I mentioned above) the fact she's "won" Northern independence through the obvious favouritism of her brother only paints a giant target on her back (especially when she antagonized Yara Greyjoy at the council meeting. Um, maybe don't piss off the pirate-queen who knows Northern forces are severely depleted and no longer has any reason to stop raiding and pillaging as per her agreement with the now-dead Daenerys?)
Does anyone doubt that Dornish and Ironborn uprisings aren't imminent as a direct result of watching Sansa just get handed independence by a family member?
Finally (and this is especially strange since she herself pointed out Bran's inability to have children is a problem), it seemed pretty clear to me in her body language and clothing choices throughout this season that Sansa has no intention of getting married or (subsequently) bearing children. And I don't blame her for one second given what she's been through, but it's also a big problem when you live in a patriarchal system where power flows through primogeniture.
Best case scenario, she's going to be badgered incessantly by a bunch of old men that she has to get married and produce children ASAP, ESPECIALLY after a devastating war that's just ravaged the population. They'll want stability and they'll want an heir, and that means Sansa will either eventually be pressured into another political match, or be forced to name a male heir (like Queen Elizabeth I did with King James) and resign herself to the end of the Stark line. Sounds like fun.
Because of course, we just spent eight seasons being told that anyone who reaches for power and crowns themselves king/queen is doomed to either death or misery. That has been the fate of every single other ruling monarch featured on this show, so I'm still struggling to see how this is a "happy" ending for Sansa: a queen with no strong allies, a bunch of pissed-off neighbours, and no desire to marry/have children despite this being a job requirement.
TL;DR I am not a Sansa hater, but a disappointed lover. So much more care and thought should have gone into all of this, and I've spent the last week feeling cognitive dissonance at the fact so many other fans seem to be totally delighted with this ending for her.
The coronation scene was gorgeous - so gorgeous in fact that I'm pretty sure D&D hoped to wave it around like a flag to distract us from the fact Sansa is sitting on a powder-keg and has more or less lit the fuse herself. The wheel turns on, I suppose.