‘Game Of Thrones’ To Tone Down Sexual Violence In Season 6 After Sansa Stark Rape Controversy

Although there is still a lot of mystery surrounding the upcoming season of HBO’s Game of Thrones, there is one aspect of the new season fans can expect to change. While Game of Thrones is known for its violence and somewhat disturbing storylines, some are saying Sansa Stark’s rape scene last season reached new heights of depravity. Based on the negative reaction from fans following the controversial scene, producers have promised they will tone down the sexual violence in Season 6.

In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Jeremy Podeswa, the man who directed the controversial episode, discussed the fallout from fans and how they were surprised by how many people were talking about the sexual assault.

“We were aware ahead of time that it was going to be disturbing but we did not expect there would be people in Congress talking about it,” he stated in the interview. “It was a difficult and brutal scene and we knew it was going to be challenging for the audience, but it was very important to us in the execution that it would not be exploited in any way.”

Sansa Stark [Image via HBO]

At the same time, Podeswa went on to discuss how producers were careful in how they approached the difficult scene. According to Independent, the director believed he handled the rape in the most sensitive way possible considering the graphic nature of the storyline.

“To be fair, the criticism was the notion of it, not the execution. It was handled as sensitively as it could possibly be; you hardly see anything,” Podeswa explained. “It is important that (the producers) not self-censor. The show depicts a brutal world where horrible things happen.”

Meanwhile, GQ is reporting that Podeswa later revealed how producers were influenced by the blowback from fans, and hinted that things would change for the show in the new season.

“[Dan Weiss and David Benioff] were responsive to the discussion and there were a couple of things that changed as a result,” he shared. “They did not want to be too overly influenced by that (criticism) but they did absorb and take it in and it did influence them in a way.”

With that in mind, it still isn’t clear just how much Game of Thrones will tone down the violence in Season 6. Given the history of the show, it is not likely that the new season will include less violence. Instead, producers are likely just going to tone down the violence against women, especially in terms of future rape scenes.

At the same time, it should be noted that Sansa Stark’s rape was not featured in the book series, which is why the scene took fans by surprise. Furthermore, because it wasn’t included in the books, many thought it was needless violence and that the show was just trying to push the limits of what it could include.

Sansa Stark and Ramsey Bolton [Image via HBO]

With the new season not being adapted directly from the books by George R. R. Martin, it will be interesting to see how many more liberties the television series takes. Given the recent comments by Podeswa, and the fact that the producers have learned from their mistakes, it is a safe bet that there won’t be any more scenes of sexual assault moving forward.

That being said, fans can expect to see plenty of other types of violence when the show returns to television. After all, Westeros is a violent world, and with the series approaching its climax there’s no telling where it is headed.

The sixth season of Game of Thrones, which recently finished production in Northern Ireland, is scheduled to begin airing in April of 2016.

Tell us! Do you think that Game of Thrones needs to turn down the sexual violence in Season 6? Let us know in the comments below.

[Image via HBO]