Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones, discusses filming some of the series’ most harrowing scenes. The first book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice trilogy, A Game of Thrones, was made into a TV show 15 years after the author released it.
When the first season of HBO’s Game of Thrones premiered, it swiftly gained a following, with seven more seasons following. Despite the fact that Game of Thrones season 8 was widely panned, the franchise is still a successful endeavour for HBO.
Sansa Stark, daughter of Ned Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Hand of the King to Robert and Joffery Baratheon, was played by Turner. Sansa, like most of the characters on Game of Thrones, has been through a lot in the eight seasons. Sansa’s troubles began in season one, when her dire wolf Lady was killed. In the same season, after vowing to grant Ned clemency, Joffrey forced Sansa to see her father be decapitated.
When the Lannisters captured Arya Stark, Joffrey physically and verbally mistreated her, even compelling her to marry Tyrion. Sansa’s situation deteriorated as the series went, with her being raped and abused by Ramsay Bolton, prompting her to consider suicide.
Turner spoke with Jessica Chastain about her experiences filming Game of Thrones in an interview for The Cut. When asked if she had a protocol for returning to her regular life after playing a specific character, Turner said she didn’t, but that having co-stars who are prepared to step out of their roles alongside her helped.
She went on to say that, similar to her experience between takes on Dark Phoenix, she’d try to have fun between takes on Game of Thrones to avoid being frightened. Turner admitted that she’ll definitely “display some symptoms of trauma down the future” when Chastain questioned if the experience still affects her. Read the rest of Turner’s interview response below:
Sansa had no certainly been through a lot as she grew up, but she made it to the end of the series and became the Queen of the North. Many others were not so fortunate, as Game of Thrones has become known for abruptly taking off major characters in dramatic ways.
The Red Wedding, in which Lord Walder Frey betrays the Starks, culminating in the murders of Robb, Catelyn, and Talisa Stark, as well as Robb’s unborn child, is one of the show’s most iconic scenes. Game of Thrones’ popularity stems in part from how brutally the show’s writers treated its characters, but there’s no denying Sansa has been through a lot.
Turner was only 15 years old when the first episode of Game of Thrones premiered on HBO, so it’s not unexpected that her time on the show left her traumatised. Turner and Maisie Williams, who was also 15 at the time, were most likely made to feel at ease and safe during filming Game of Thrones’ brutal scenes. However, there was only so much they could do, especially as Sansa’s moments became increasingly horrific in subsequent seasons. Despite the fact that some aspects of Game of Thrones were unpleasant for Turner, she still seems to enjoy her experience on the show and has a great acting career to this day.