There’s been an ugly rumor dogging this season of Game of Thrones since the very first episode. I’ve been hoping that as the season went on, people would see the error of their ways, but since we just passed episode 9 and people are still trying to argue the point, I guess it’s finally time to put this to bed once and for all:
Sansa Stark is not pregnant.
I’m going to repeat that, slowly and deliberately, with more specific wording for all of you who are currently getting ready to fling your “buts” at me:
Sansa Stark is not carrying a fetus fathered by Ramsay Bolton.
People seem to think that this is impossible, so let’s head back to reproductive biology 101 and avoid any mention of the plot convenience known as Moon Tea:
- There’s only a 20% chance that a woman who has sex during her fertile period will become pregnant. Estimating Sansa’s time with Ramsay at somewhere between three and six months (and six months is a stretch, Pod and Brienne were probably not hanging around that long) she really didn’t have many chances to become pregnant.
- It is likely that not all of the sexual assaults took place in a way that would result in pregnancy. I will not elaborate on this, I expect you understand my meaning.
- Even if she was fertilized, it’s known that fertilized eggs can be expelled through a normal menstrual cycle for various reasons. It’s impossible to know how frequently this does happen, as it would appear as a normal period. And up to 1/3 of early pregnancies end in miscarriage before 12 weeks for no obvious reasons.
- Approximately 7% of men are naturally infertile. Given that none of Ramsay’s other female companions seem to have become pregnant, it is entirely possible that he was incapable of producing children.
- Assuming she was fertilized and an egg had implanted prior to her escape from Winterfell, her escape involved leaping from a height of at least 40 feet and being dragged through a frozen creek. Trauma can cause spontaneous abortion.
- Between her arrival at Castle Black, her tour of the North with Jon to raise support, and her returning to Winterfell, we can assume a significant amount of time has passed. At this point, she would be showing obvious physical symptoms of pregnancy. She is not.
It’s virtually impossible that there is a fetus in Sansa’s uterus. Her oblique references to the damage Ramsay has done to her and his insistence that he will always be “a part” of her likely refer to the mental and physical effects of his abuse on her body and mind. She has been very covered up since her escape. We do not know the extent of the physical wounds she was left with. We do know that her mental wounds were sufficient enough that she was ready to kill herself before going back to him.
Besides which, we only have 14 episodes of this show left. This secret baby plot fails for the same reason ALL the secret baby plots do: There is not enough time for them to come to full fruition. An infant Lord is a Lord who will never hold power. There’s a reason Jon’s story starts when he’s on the verge of manhood and not when Ned brought him home from Robert’s Rebellion. It was not until he was a man that he could have a significant effect on the political world of Westeros. With less than 20 hours of story to tell, it’s doubtful that any of those hours will be dedicated to the raising of an infant. Let’s all breathe a big sigh of relief and get back to more reasonable speculation. Like whether Varys really IS a merman.