Warning: the following contains spoilers for last night's episode of "Game of Thrones." Read at your own risk.
For many fans, Sansa Stark's brutal rape at the hands of Ramsay Bolton was just too much -- too nihilistic, too irresponsible, too upsetting -- even for "Game of Thrones." Sophie Turner, however, reveled in the challenge of filming such a dark and twisted, stomach-churning scene.
"When I read that scene, I kinda loved it," Turner told Entertainment Weekly. "I love the way Ramsay had Theon watching. It was all so messed up. It's also so daunting for me to do it. I've been making [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."
It's important to note that Turner's interview was conducted on set, prior to filming the polarizing scene. That being said, the 19-year-old actress did comment on how, in its fifth season, the show is going out of its way to make Sansa's life miserable.
"After Joffrey, she's escaped him and you think she's going to lose her virginity to a guy who's really sweet and takes care of her and she's thrown in with a guy who’s a whole lot worse," Turner said. "But I kind of like the fact she doesn’t really know what a psycho he is until that night. She has a sense, but she’s more scared of his father. And then that night everything gets so f--ked up."
F--ked up is way one to explain it. This isn't the first time showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss have come under fire for the show's lurid presentation of sexual violence against its female characters.
While some fans of the series could argue that Benioff and Weiss were simply adapting a terrible scene from their source material -- Ramsay's unfortunate bride whose place Sansa has taken does get sexually assaulted in the books by both Ramsay and Theon -- it's clear that there are other avenues they could have taken to demonstrate Sansa's newfound agency.
If that savage scene had to happen, could they have done it without undoing Sansa's growth as a character? It's heartbreaking to watch Sansa assert her dominance just hours before to the kennelmaster's daughter Myranda and then be subjected to such a terrible act.
Author George R. R. Martin took to his blog today (May 18) to address the major changes the show has made to Sansa's character and the controversy surrounding her wedding night.
"There have been differences between the novels and the television show since the first episode of season one," Martin wrote on his blog. "And for just as long, I have been talking about the butterfly effect. Small changes lead to larger changes lead to huge changes. HBO is more than forty hours into the impossible and demanding task of adapting my lengthy (extremely) and complex (exceedingly) novels, with their layers of plots and subplots, their twists and contradictions and unreliable narrators, viewpoint shifts and ambiguities, and a cast of characters in the hundreds."
"Prose and television have different strengths, different weaknesses, different requirements," he added. "David and Dan and Bryan [Cogman] and HBO are trying to make the best television series that they can. And over here I am trying to write the best novels that I can. And yes, more and more, they differ. Two roads diverging in the dark of the woods, I suppose... but all of us are still intending that at the end we will arrive at the same place."
Interestingly enough, Martin, who serves as a producer and consultant on the series, released a Sansa-centered chapter from his upcoming (read: long-overdue) book "The Winds of Winter" last month. Seeing as book Sansa and show Sansa are now completely two different characters, it will be interesting to see how everyone involved will "arrive at the same place."