Game of Thrones season 5 episode 6: Fans outraged by Sansa Stark rape scene as Sophie Turner reveals she 'secretly loved it'

Showrunners decided to veer away from George RR Martin's original storyline

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The Independent Culture

Game of Thrones fans were left reeling after Sunday night’s episode, when one of the show’s most-loved characters was brutally raped.

*This article contains major spoilers*

Sansa Stark married the sadistic son of her mother’s killer, Ramsay Bolton, with childhood friend Theon giving her away, before things in Winterfell turned seriously nasty.

Ramsay forced Theon to look on helplessly as he raped his new bride, taking her virginity, and social media immediately erupted in outrage as viewers aired their shocked reactions.

Many fans are angry that showrunners chose to humiliate Sansa and subject her to extreme violence as a female victim, rather than allowing her to continue growing as a more complex character.

Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa in the hit fantasy TV series, admitted last year that actually, she “loved” the hard-hitting scene.

“I love the way Ramsay had Theon watching, it was all so messed up,” the 19-year-old actress told Entertainment Weekly before filming the controversial segment.

“It’s so daunting for me to do it. I’ve been making [writer-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. I think it’s going to be the most challenging season for me so far just because it’s so emotional for her.”

Sansa Stark and Ramsay Bolton in the terrible wedding scene

The season five storyline departed from George RR Martin’s original novels for the rape. Sansa does not go to Winterfell at all in the books but Ramsay’s bride Jeyne Pool does get sexually assaulted in A Dance With Dragons, so it’s sort of accurate, only with poor Sansa taking her place and Theon thankfully not getting involved.


Cogman also spoke about the scene back in October, when asked how he would respond to fans asking why this had to happen.

“This is Game of Thrones. This isn’t a timid little girl walking into a wedding night with Joffrey,” he said. “This is a hardened woman making a choice and she sees this as the way to get back to her homeland.

“Sansa has a wedding night in the sense she never thought she would with one of the monsters of the show. It’s pretty intense and awful and the character will have to deal with it.”

Theon actor Alfie Allen hinted before the season began that “something happens halfway through that is really going to make huge waves […] and be tough to watch for some people, without a doubt”.