Game of Thrones may be arguably the most critically-acclaimed show of all time, but season five of the HBO drama also served viewers one of the most controversial scenes on TV in recent years.
The show experienced a huge backlash after portraying the rape of Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) by Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) on their Wedding night. Of its critics, many considered the scene to be gratuitous, while others thought it was wrong that the camera focused on the pain of Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen), who was forced to watch the assault, rather than Sansa.
However, Turner herself disagrees with the criticism. “I think the backlash was wrong because those things did happen,” she told Rolling Stone, referring to Thrones’ medieval inspiration.
“We can’t dismiss that and not put it in a TV show where it’s all about power — and that is a very impactful way to show that you have power over somebody.”
Turner added that she was happy her character was “empowered” by the end of season six. Speaking about her revenge killing of Ramsay Bolton, she said: “[it] made it a really great storyline.
“Killing him with the dogs, that was the most satisfying scene. It made me so emotional because I’ve been waiting so long for her to stand up to the people who have done her wrong.”
Whether her wedding night scene was necessary or not, Sansa’s character arc from princess to “warrior of Winterfell” looks set to continue in the upcoming eighth season of the show. Not only is her character directly in the warpath of the Night King, but we’ll even witness the eldest Stark in armour in coming episodes.
Whether it’ll do any good against the army of the dead is another question…