If you didn't watch Sunday night's episode of Game of Thrones, titled "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken", there will be massive SPOILERS below, and spoilers for the George R.R. Martin books as well, so be sure to read on at your own risk. For those who have watched the episode (CLICK HERE for our recap), "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" ended in quite the controversial fashion, when, shortly after her marriage to Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon), Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) was horrifically raped by her husband, who even forced his new slave Theon Greyjoy, a.k.a. Reek (Alfie Allen) to watch. Much like the Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) rape scene last season, several fans were outraged by last night's episode, which Sophie Turner responded to in a new interview, where she said she agrees with fans who watched that scene and thought, 'How could they do this to Sansa?'
"I completely agree with them! After Joffrey, she's escaped him and you think she's going to lose her virginity to a guy who's really sweet and takes care of her and she's thrown in with a guy who's a whole lot worse. But I kind of like the fact she doesn't really know what a psycho he is until that night. She has a sense, but she's more scared of his father. And then that night everything gets so f-ked up."
You may recall that, when the first season of Game of Thrones aired, many fans hated Sansa Stark, with Sophie Turner adding her theory that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss must have decided to make her so abused and manipulated so the fans would side with her.
"I swear, this show, after the first season when people were hating on Sansa. Showrunners [David Benioff and Dan Weiss] must have been like, 'Okay, let's do everything we can to make her the most abused, manipulated character!'"
The actress added that when she first read the controversial scene in the script, she "secretly loved it."
"When I read that scene, I kinda loved it. I love the way Ramsay had Theon watching. It was all so messed up. It's also so daunting for me to do it. I've been making [producer Bryan Cogman] feel so bad for writing that scene: 'I can't believe you're doing this to me!' But I secretly loved it."
It's worth noting that, in the George R.R. Martin books, the scene in question is just as horrific, but it plays out with one key difference: Sansa isn't even there. In the books, Sansa is still in the Eyrie, promised to marry young Lord Robert, while Ramsay is set to marry a "Sansa impostor," who is really Jeyne Poole, a family friend of the Stark's who also knew Theon/Reek when they were growing up. After the wedding, Ramsay tells Reek to "warm up" his bride by performing oral sex on her, which naturally horrifies both Reek and Jenye. George R.R. Martin also took to his LiveJournal page to issue a response to fans upset about Sansa's rape scene.
"How many children did Scarlett O'Hara have? Three, in the novel. One, in the movie. None, in real life: she was a fictional character, she never existed. The show is the show, the books are the books; two different tellings of the same story. There have been differences between the novels and the television show since the first episode of season one. And for just as long, I have been talking about the butterfly effect. Small changes lead to larger changes lead to huge changes. HBO is more than forty hours into the impossible and demanding task of adapting my lengthy (extremely) and complex (exceedingly) novels, with their layers of plots and subplots, their twists and contradictions and unreliable narrators, viewpoint shifts and ambiguities, and a cast of characters in the hundreds. There has seldom been any TV series as faithful to its source material, by and large (if you doubt that, talk to the Harry Dresden fans, or readers of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, or the fans of the original WALKING DEAD comic books)... but the longer the show goes on, the bigger the butterflies become. And now we have reached the point where the beat of butterfly wings is stirring up storms, like the one presently engulfing my email. Prose and television have different strengths, different weaknesses, different requirements. David and Dan and Bryan and HBO are trying to make the best television series that they can. And over here I am trying to write the best novels that I can. And yes, more and more, they differ. Two roads diverging in the dark of the woods, I suppose... but all of us are still intending that at the end we will arrive at the same place. In the meantime, we hope that the readers and viewers both enjoy the journey. Or journeys, as the case may be. Sometimes butterflies grow into dragons."
What were your thoughts on Sansa's controversial scene in last night's Game of Thrones? Did the show go too far this time, or is the controversy overblown? Chime in with your thoughts below, and stay tuned for more on Game of Thrones Season 5.