In the Tv show Sansa is married to the Bolton bastard son (Ramsay) who gets legitimised by a decree of the King. Ramsay then kills his father and "becomes" lord of Dreadfort. That same "bastard" (Ramsay) then gets killed. He has no heirs so is Sansa now the Lady of Dreadfort?

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    Simply unknown. Usually, it is left upto the Overlord to decide succession in case of no clear heir (Or a Grand council, if its Royal succession). Sansa is not Master of Dreadfort, that decision shall reside with Jon. However, that's books only perspective. In the Show, if Olenna Tyrell could become lady of High Garden de-facto or Cersei could claim the throne using marriage ties, I don't see why Sansa can't use the same marital right – Aegon Apr 3 '17 at 7:53
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    I am lord of the Dreadfort! – Paul D. Waite Apr 3 '17 at 8:40
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    @PaulD.Waite Well I didn't vote for you. – Aegon Apr 3 '17 at 8:50
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    The new Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North needs to be sorted out first. – TheMathemagician Apr 3 '17 at 8:57
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    @Aegon Robb was proclaimed 'King of the North' too but that didn't work out so well. – TheMathemagician Apr 3 '17 at 9:17

This is simply unknown as of now.

Lord Ramsay Bolton left no living children or siblings. His Father Roose Bolton is not known to have any immediate kins either. Therefore it is unclear whether a Bolton claimant exists. Even if a Bolton claimant exists, why should they be granted Dreadfort? House Bolton is guilty of treason against the North and House Stark. Starks have every right to revoke their titles as their liege lords. But then again, only the senior line of House Bolton is guilty of treason and no longer exists in any case. It is possible for the Starks to be merciful and diminish their role from powerful vassals to small Lords or Northern equivalent of Landed Knights just like Robert did with House Connington where he demoted them to Landed knights but granted the family seat to younger line of the House. But it must be noted here that while the Senior line of House Connington fought for Targaryens, the younger line redeemed themselves by fighting for the Rebels in Robert's Rebellion. That is not the case with the younger Bolton lines, if any exist.

If we take example of the books, that Shall be decided by the Overlord of Dreadfort, that who becomes the new Lord or Lady based on different claims. That Person is Jon. Precedent here would be the Succession Crisis of House Hornwood (Never happened in the show), it was to be decided by Robb Stark.

But since this is about Show heresy, anything is possible.

If we look at Show-precedent:

1. Olenna Tyrell becomes de-facto Lady of High Garden due to her marriage to Lord Luthor Tyrell and death of all her Children and Grand Children, therefore wiping out senior line of House Tyrell. Olenna Tyrell (nee Redwyne) then became de-facto Lady of the Reach.

2. Cersei Lannister claimed the throne once her Baratheon Children had died even though her only relation to Royals was based on her marriage to Robert.

So if they can use marital ties to claim a title, So can Sansa.

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    i do kind of agree with your assessment there. there is even a quote from both the books and the tv show. something in the lines of "power is where others perceive it to be" or some such. cant remember the exact quote.( both Littlefinger and the High Sparrow use a similar thing if I remember correct ) – Cherubel Apr 3 '17 at 8:31
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    @Cherubel Tyrion and Varys were discussing it. ACOK Tyrion II. Varys smiled. "Here, then. Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less." – Aegon Apr 3 '17 at 8:40
  • once again I bow to your superior knowledge on the subject! :-) – Cherubel Apr 3 '17 at 8:43
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    Superior Googling skills rather :D – Aegon Apr 3 '17 at 10:53
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    Just a minor nitpick, Cersei Lannister was actually the next in line to the throne after Tommen without using martial ties. You have to go back like 7 generations or so but the line that eventually produced Tywin and his children actually come from a Baretheon/Lannister marriage that is closest living line to the one that produced Robert and his children. See web.archive.org/web/20150603163250/http://awoiaf.westeros.org/… and reddit.com/r/gameofthrones/comments/3omljf/… – DenisS Apr 3 '17 at 19:04

Yes Sansa will become the Lady of Dreadfort because she is a widow of Ramsay Bolton and neither Ramsay Bolton nor Roose Bolton had any heirs. Since this event has not happen in the books, I cant find quotes to substantiate the arguments.

There are at least couple of instances of a widow taking over from their dead husbands. One such instance if of Lady Donella Hornwood.

Lady Donella Hornwood:

Lady Donella Hornwood brought no tail of knights and retainers; only herself, and six tired men-at-arms with a moosehead badge on their dusty orange livery. “We are very sorry for all you have suffered, my lady,” Bran said when she came before him to speak her words of greetings. Lord Hornwood had been killed in the battle on the Green Fork, their only son cut down in the Whispering Wood. “Winterfell will remember.”

A Clash of Kings, Bran

But who will take over Dreadfort, after Sansa will be complicated. In the case of Lady Donella Hornwood there were complications:

“Maester Luwin answered. “With no direct heir, there are sure to be many claimants contending for the Hornwood lands. The Tallharts, Flints, and Karstarks all have ties to House Hornwood through the female line, and the Glovers are fostering Lord Harys’s bastard at Deepwood Motte. The Dreadfort has no claim that I know, but the lands adjoin, and Roose Bolton is not one to overlook such a chance.”

A Clash of Kings, Bran

Roose Bolton forcefully marries Lady Hornwood and claims her land.

“The old knight was off east, trying to set to rights the trouble there. Roose Bolton’s bastard had started it by seizing Lady Hornwood as she returned from the harvest feast, marrying her that very night even though he was young enough to be her son. Then Lord Manderly had taken her castle. To protect the Hornwood holdings from the Boltons, he had written, but Ser Rodrik had been almost as angry with him as with the bastard.”

A Clash of Kings, Bran

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    That's sadly books only. Nothing to do with Show. – Aegon Apr 3 '17 at 8:10
  • As for Case of Lady Donella, I believe that was a temporary arrangement. She had lost a husband and her only child in service of Robb Stark. It would be very ill-done to take away their inheritance from her. While she was allowed to be Lady of the Hornwood lands, that did not mean that Northmen stopped looking for her heir which was going to be a bastard Hornwood or a half-Hornwood. The Lands were not going to pass to Lady Hornwood's own house, which is House Manderly. – Aegon Apr 3 '17 at 8:45
  • There's also Baelish becoming Lord Protector of the Vale on account of being the widower of the widow of the last Lord of the Vale (two marriages away from any hereditary claim), which is a little similar. – user56reinstatemonica8 Apr 3 '17 at 9:26
  • @user568458 Lord Protector is simply a fancy name for a regent. Anyone can become a regent regardless to any claim to the title they might be chosen for regency of. Regency is a matter of much intrigue, even in our real world, regents kept getting planted and supplanted by patrons or rivals. – Aegon Apr 3 '17 at 9:59
  • Lord Protector of Vale != Lord of the Eyrie or Warden of the East – Aegon Apr 3 '17 at 9:59

Taking this from a bit more of a practical perspective than the other answers; hereditary claims are usually taken by those that claim them (depending on circumstance to a degree). For example, Cersi's claim to the throne in a patriarchy is tenuous but in the face of unclear alternative leadership, she takes the lead and benefits from it.

On the other hand Sansa is off toddling about Winterfell playing Jon Snow's cheerleader. I imagine that no one at the Dreadfort would give a hoot about Sansa's technical claim and are probably (after holding a recovery morning after the massive piss-up from breaking open the Dreadfort's cellar now Ramsay is gone) squabbling over who in the currently assembled court will take the seat. Once that's done then it becomes another de facto taking of the seat, similar to Cersi's.

  • Most of the Dreadforts standing men-at-arms died when Ramsay got captured. Those in place of leadership ( castellan, captain of the guard etc are mostly also killed or captured. Nobody will let them loose as they were loyal to Ramsay ). so that leaves the question open. either lords of minor Bolton lines or other North lords claiming the title by way of the female line. so it is not the same as in the case of the idiotic and megalomaniac Cersei. – Cherubel Apr 3 '17 at 11:09
  • @Cherubel Yes a lot might be captured or dead. Though, in this world of travel-by-horse and the Dreadfort a relative back-water, thit would simply go to one with the wherewithal and geographical closeness to hear of the vacant seat and arrive in time, with enough resources, to enforce a claim however tenuous. The realities of the situation would become similar in that regard to Cersi's (not the idiocy etc), that the strongest claim would literally be the one present with the physically strongest claim with none willing to oppose them (to do so would jepardise their current position) – Toby Apr 3 '17 at 11:25
  • it would have to be a really, really wealthy lord then. As taking claim of the Dreadfort would also meaning being able to protect it from Jon Snow or whomever ends up being the King of the North after it is revealed that Jon is a Targaryen in the next seasons. – Cherubel Apr 3 '17 at 11:45
  • @Cherubel True dat, but the characters don't know that - most don't even know that Jon's alive (or in a lot of cases, that he ever existed - it's not like they hear about the minor lordly goings-on of other provinces in a newsletter) – Toby Apr 3 '17 at 11:58
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    @Aegon, I mean for the most part, a hereditary claim is not enough to go on in cases where no one is about to do the claiming or bequeathing. If you turn up with a few soldiers and proclaim "Right, your all my peasants now because my grannys cousin got handsy with someone else's" no ones going to argue with you, at least in the immediate future. – Toby Apr 3 '17 at 12:10

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