Is Sansa Pregnant? GoT‘s Iwan Rheon Explains That Final Scene

Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO
It must be weird to die and have absolutely no one grieve for you. In fact, fans have been pretty vocal in their glee at Ramsay Bolton's ultimate demise at the hand of his own bloodhounds during Sunday night's "Battle of the Bastards." The penultimate installment of Game of Thrones' sixth season saw Ramsay face off against Jon Snow and Sansa Stark for control of Winterfell. (Spoiler: he lost.) Along the way, he managed to fit in some twisted mind-games, emotional torture, and the murder of a child. All in a day's work for this villain whom we've seen physically hunt humans, castrate a captive, violently rape his wife, murder his father, and feed a newborn baby — his half-brother — to the dogs. But as they say, all publicity is good publicity. Villain or not, Ramsay left no one indifferent, and that's a tribute to Iwan Rheon's acting prowess. We spoke to Rheon about Ramsay's demise, saying goodbye to Game of Thrones, and how he dealt with playing a terrifying psychopath.
What was it like to film that final scene with Sansa?
"It was cool. I thought it was a really well-written scene. And it was quite uncomfortable because I was covered in blood and mud and bits and prosthetics with being tied to the chair. But yeah it was actually the last scene that I shot as well, so it was quite exciting." I have to ask: what did Ramsay mean when he told Sansa that he’s a part of her now?
"Well I think what he means is that, what he’s done to her, she won’t be able to shake off and he has kind of broken her. In the same way that Theon will never be able to shake Reek off because of the psychological torture and physical torture. By doing all these horrible things to her, he has left his mark on her and therefore he is part of her." So, it’s not that she’s pregnant? (As many fans have speculated.)
"(Laughs) "Well unless Ramsay has got an incredible talent of being able to spot pregnant women, then I don’t know. I don’t know if he has examined her or anything. I have absolutely no idea, so you’ll have to just wait until next season to find out. Like me." As an actor, how does it feel to do all of these violent scenes, especially involving women?
"It’s pretty horrible, really. Like the rape scene in season 5, that was an immensely difficult scene to shoot just because of the nature of it and the horror of the situation. But that’s probably the worst one, I think. All of the other things, like in season 4 when the girl was being chased by the dogs; when you’re filming it, it’s more technical, so you’re imagining these things but you aren’t really seeing them. So you don’t actually believe that it’s a real thing going on in front of you. The dogs aren’t anywhere near the girl and it’s all compartmentalized in the way that it’s filmed. You know, it’s horrible. When you think about it, it’s horrible. But you just have to get on with it. I mean I didn’t like it, it’s just what the character that I play does." Did you and Sophie Turner talk at all before filming the rape scene?
"Yeah. Well yeah, I mean it was a really awkward day on set and everyone was very somber because Sophie has been on this since the beginning. And a lot of the crew has also been on it since the beginning and they have kind of seen her grow up. I think that the realization of what was really going on really hit everyone quite hard. It was a really difficult day. But Sophie was fantastic, and we had to be very professional about it and just shoot the scene. Luckily Sophie was very mature and professional about the whole thing. But we just got on with it and did it." Was there part of Ramsay that you were able to connect to? Did you invent an emotional backstory for him at all?
"I guess his backstory has a lot to do with wanting his father’s affection and love. In a way, that’s what he’s been after his whole life. He’s been left to his own devices on the cusp of the society being a bastard in the North. So he’s particularly been messed up, and he is the kind of person that you don’t leave to their own devices because he’s kind of gone off and lost his sense of morality. Especially having a father like his that isn’t the nicest in the world and coming from that family. So it’s been very difficult to sort of relate to him in any way because he is a complete and utter lunatic." Did this role change anything about you personally?
"Nah. If you’re asking me if I’m a psychopath, no." Did you ever feel weird after shooting a particularly sadistic scene? Or do you just really compartmentalize it?
"I’m quite good at detaching from my characters, basically. There might be, sort of, a shadow of them for a while, but you just have to go about your normal stuff. Like after we finish shooting, we always go out and have dinner, maybe shoot some pool and have a couple of beers and that’s kind of it. Because that’s the only way to do it, I think. I can’t, sort of, carry him around with me all the time." Did you do anything special to say goodbye to your character?
"It was only me and Sophie. It was quite late when we finished. We were both really tired and we just had a drink and pretty much went to bed. It was definitely unceremonious." Are you worried about only being cast as a villain now?
"Yeah." Who is the ideal villain that you would want to play?
"I don’t really want to play any villains for a while. But I’d like to have a pop at Iago in Othello — if he's a villain at all. Who do you think would win in a battle between Ramsay Bolton and Donald Trump?
"What, man to man?" Yes.
"Ramsay would kick his ass! Donald Trump, an old chap, against Ramsay? No chance! He’s an old, mad man."

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