Sophie Turner Says Sansa's Rape Was "Absolutely Not" A Plot Device

Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Sansa Stark's (Sophie Turner) storyline on Game Of Thrones is one of the most satisfying in the series. She goes from a young, mostly-powerless woman to the Warden of the North, but endured a ton of hardship in between. Her story arc included a controversial rape scene back in season 5, that the character referenced in episode 4 of season 8.
“Without Littlefinger, and Ramsay, and the rest, I would have stayed a little bird all my life," she tells The Hound (Rory McCann), prompting backlash as many interpreted the line as Sansa being thankful for her rape, or crediting the violation for giving her maturity. However, in an interview with The Wrap, Turner emphatically clarified that was not the case.
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"What made her the person she is today, the politician and the manipulator, was the mentality, not the things that she went through," she explained to the outlet. "She made a conscious decision to stay quiet, to keep learning, to keep absorbing information from all of these people who are manipulating her or keeping her captive."
Turner went on to say it's a "wonderful thing" to see a sexual assault survivor recover and thrive, but that "the rape is absolutely not a plot device to make the character seem stronger."
"The sexual assault made her resilient, but by no means has it made her this wonderful character that we see today," she continued. "It absolutely broke her, and we saw that on screen. But seeing her thriving is so wonderful to see."
Emilia Clarke's character Daenerys was also raped in the series, and the scene ended up shaping the actress's whole career. She turned down the lead role in 50 Shades Of Grey because of her past experience with nude scenes.
"The last time that I was naked on camera on [Game of Thrones] was a long time ago, and yet it is the only question that I ever get asked because I am a woman," she told The Hollywood Reporter. "And it's annoying as hell, and I'm sick and tired of it because I did it for the character — I didn't do it so some guy could check out my tits, for God's sake."
If we squint, we can imagine Sansa is getting even more revenge in Turner's upcoming movie, Dark Phoenix.
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