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In the Game of Thrones finale, Sansa's Uncle Edmure Tully began making a speech and I understand that he was likely making a speech as to why he should be elected to be the King. However, Sansa interrupts him and says:

Uncle, please sit.

After which he embarrassingly and dejectedly sits down.

What I don't quite get, is - Did Sansa have some "authority" to speak to him like that? Does Winterfell rank higher than Riverrun in some way so she could say that?

I thought the houses were basically of equal stature, so her speaking to him like that is rather out of place, rude, and odd to me.

Of course, Winterfell was where the Night King was defeated, and Sansa was the Lady of Winterfell. She also was Jon Snow's sister, and clearly had been held in high regard by Northeners as a strong leader. Is it on that ground she has the hubris to speak to a fellow Lord? Or, was it indeed pretty rude but it's just that everyone else on the council likely agreed with her, so they just didn't say anything?

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    I think she made the call because she noticed that the other lords were not interested in Edmure's claim, they were looking bored and restive and she wanted Bran to make his claim before someone else could. She even looked at her uncle and tried to convey via her eyes that Bran is our candidate, sit down. – Aegon May 20 at 21:18
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    The fact that Edmure sat just because Sansa told him to sit proves that he doesn't have what it takes to be King. – BenM May 20 at 23:05
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    he was embarrassing himself, and they all realised it – Black May 21 at 1:23
  • was it sansa or bran call his uncle to sit down? I thought it was bran – KDeogharkar May 31 at 5:56
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First, she doesn't have any formal authority over him, and so couldn't exactly command him to do anything. He is the lord of a great house, and she (at that particular moment) was the lady of another great house. They're on equal footing, rank-wise, and so could speak familiarly to one another.

Second, his arguments for being elevated to the throne were not especially compelling. His actual role in the wars was really limited to ruining Robb's strategy, being imprisoned by the Freys and Lannisters, and then orchestrating Riverrun's concession to the Lannisters. He has the right pedigree, but is something of an oaf and (given how many lives the wars claimed) is perhaps only alive because his role was so marginal.

Third, they're family (Sansa is his niece), which may allow some additional familiarity in her tone.

Fourth, Sansa (in the last few seasons) specifically rejects formal customs in order to chart her own course to power. This may well have been another such play, and a safe one given that Edmure was a go-nowhere candidate.

Finally, one of the biggest themes of the show is that authority is only the willingness of others to do what you say. Telling Edmure to stop, and having him quickly do so, demonstrates that, whatever other factors may exist, she has authority.

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Or, was it indeed pretty rude but it's just that everyone else on the council likely agreed with her, so they just didn't say anything?

Yes, this, apart from "they just didn't say anything". Their eyes and facial expressions spoke volumes.

We saw from his reaction that Edmure was surprised and confused to be interrupted like that, unsure how to respond, and looked around the group like he was expecting them to back him up. The camera panned across their reactions, and we saw that he saw people glaring at him, rolling their eyes, looking away or in other ways making it clear they were unimpressed.

He realised he had massively misjudged the mood and was making a fool of himself, and awkwardly sat down. Sansa's blunt interjection spared him from embarrassing himself further (or, would have, if he hadn't clanked his sword while trying to find his seat).

If it was anything to do with rank, there wouldn't have been the confusion and uncertainty. It would have been more of a "Sorry, yes ma'am".

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Actually, she does have a little authority over him, unlike other answers claim. He is indeed lord of Riverlands, but Riverlands are considered smaller than other High Lords, which were kingdoms before Aegon's conquest. Riverlands were actually elevated to High Lord level by Targariens, but still they don't really feel at the same level. You remember "making of eight"? This is just to start with.

Furthermore, North has recently tried to proclaim Kings which Eyrie and Riverlands accepted and supported. Jon did kneel to Dany, but most of the lords are not happy with this. This means Starks are still seen higher than other High Lords. In the current setup just like in history, any of Stark, Martell, Arryn and Greyjoy could talk down to Tully.

Finally, look at Sansa eyes and her current personality. She is no longer a girl to take anything against her will, she speaks back even to Queen with dragons and armies, let alone her own uncle who was disappointment in previous war. Other High Lords would wait for him to finish out of courtesy, but not her. I don't think she was impolite to her uncle because she saw faces of other lords and wanted to save him, I think she was extra polite to a fool because it was her uncle. She would be more strict or threatening with anyone else, and in her looks I saw more authority coming if he failed to comply. She doesn't have to be polite with him, she has more authority and more soldiers, but they are family so she used "please".

Small point at the end: rudeness is not seen same as nowadays in medieval times - being too polite to someone you perceive as lower is weakness, and that is not something Sansa is exercising after escaping her last marriage.

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