Game Of Thrones Writer Defends Sansa Rape Scene

Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
We're sorry to remind you of one of TV's most shameful moments last year, but this you have to hear. Even if you don't watch Game of Thrones, you're probably aware of the awful rape scene involving Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) last season. It was gratuitous, demeaning, and upsetting to a lot of people. Now, we're hearing from the guy who actually wrote that particular episode. The soon-to-be released DVD of the fifth season includes commentary from the actors and makers of the HBO show. Entertainment Weekly reports that writer-producer Bryan Cogman speaks out on the controversial plot point. "I think it’s important to talk about because of the response this story line got," Cogman says on the commentary track. His defense? It was realistic storytelling.
"[W]hen we decided we were going to do that, we were faced with the question: If she’s marrying Ramsay, what would happen on her wedding night? And we made the decision to not shy away from what would realistically would happen on that wedding night with these two characters, and the reality of the situation, and the reality of this particular world." Well, that's the kind of generic defense we'd expect, honestly. At least Cogman does concede that the scene is not easy to watch."It’s an upsetting scene, it’s a horrifying scene, it’s meant to be… [But] the accusation that our motives were [that we] just threw in a rape for shock value, I personally don’t think the scene as shot, or as written, or as acted by our wonderful actors, supports that argument."
The writer also touches on another aspect of the scene that viewers took particular issue with: The fact that Sansa doesn't fight back at all. Cogman insists, "We can’t all be Arya." He added that the decision to cut away from Sansa's face at the last moment was out of concern for the actress. "[T]his was Sophie’s first scene of this nature, and we didn’t want to show the attack... To me it was about being respectful to Sophie." Okay, we'll take that. He also admits that the scene wasn't easy to write, either. "It was a very difficult scene for me to write," he said. "I’ve known Sophie since she was a kid… I think it was the attack on our motives behind it that upset me. Because I love these characters...and I love these’s not an easy thing to put a character that I love through a scene like this."
The silver lining? Sansa's story is far from over. "Sansa has a journey ahead of her, and what happens to her in that room is a huge part of that journey." Please, writers, let Sansa get the revenge she deserves in season 6.

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