Sansa Stark has long been criticized by Game of Thrones viewers for being “whiny” and “annoying.” Not that Sansa didn’t have a good reason for that constant, tear-stained sulk. She was betrothed to Joffrey Baratheon, the most despicable person on the planet. Since that time, she has been kidnapped, raped, and, among other things, forced to watch as her father’s head was hacked off.
Sansa wants to be queen, but constantly finds herself being just a pawn on the Thrones chessboard.
But the beleaguered Stark ginger is about to rise like a proverbial phoenix, according to actress Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa in the mega-hit series. Turner told Entertainment Weekly at its SAG Award party on Friday in Los Angeles, that things are about to change in Season 6.
“I mean this season is a really, really big one for Sansa. It’s probably her best season yet. It’s her really coming into her own. She, this season, really commands the respect that she deserves and she grabs hold of it and she runs with it and it’s really good.”
Turner, who started out as Sansa at the tender age of 14 and is now 20-years-old, teased a little more with the plot line.
“It was amazing because the past five seasons, it feels like it’s been building up and up to that. You can only suffer so much before she finally gets her, the respect that she deserves.”
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) April 11, 2016
When we left Sansa, she had been forced into marriage to the maybe-even-worse-than-Joffrey character, Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon). But she has stumbled across a debatable ally in Theon (Alfie Allen), another victim of Ramsey’s demented abuse.
“I mean this season there’s like so many shocks, it’s massive. It’s the biggest season yet. And just like in terms of character development, so many people’s storylines, I’m so excited for. I’m so excited to see Alfie’s one this season. It’s going to be good.”
Theon may be experiencing a character arch soon, but according to Turner, Maisie Williams (who plays her sister, Arya) and Gwendoline Christie (who plays Sansa’s protector, Brienne of Tarth), the women will dominate the sixth season.
Game of Thrones began with a lot of female nudity and emphasis on strong male characters. Even the Mother of Dragons was exploited in the beginning.
Maisie, 18, when asked about the “sexist” roles on GOT, had plenty to say.
“I got asked in one of my first interviews: ‘Is Arya a feminist?’ I didn’t even know what a feminist was. And then someone explained it to me. And I remember thinking, ‘Isn’t that just like everyone?’
“And then I realized everyone is not a feminist, unfortunately. But I also feel like we should stop calling feminists ‘feminists’ and just start calling people who aren’t feminist ‘sexist’ – and then everyone else is just a human. You are either a normal person or a sexist.”
“It’s always been a constant debate because women are treated badly on the show, and they’re treated well on the show. But it’s the same as the boys and the girls and the men and the animals. The themes are very dark.
“I get it that people don’t want to watch scenes like that [the rape of Sansa in Season 5]. I understand, and you shouldn’t have to. But that’s the show that we’ve made, and I have no control over what’s written.”
Gwendoline Christie said she was happy to see the changes.
“Women talk to me about how Brienne is important to them and they’re really happy it illustrates an unconventional side of femininity and womanhood compared to what we’re used to seeing. There’s a shift in the kind of things people want to see in entertainment, and I hope this breeds in people’s minds and we see more different incarnations of women.”
Despite Sansa’s rise to power, Sophie has made no bones about having her wind up dead.
According to an article in Stuff, Turner thinks Sansa should be killed.
“I don’t want to survive. I want Littlefinger [Machiavellian Lord Petyr Baelish] to end up on the throne … If you’re on Game of Thrones and you don’t have a cool death scene, then what’s the point? I think it would be really disappointing if I got to the end and I was just OK.”
Game of Thrones Season 6 will premiere April 24.
[Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP]