Note: Spoilers ahead.
With the molten steel of the Iron Throne still cooling, fans are still burning over the final season of Game of Thrones. But even those so dissatisfied that they’re asking for HBO to try again probably wouldn’t want much changed to the story of Sansa Stark. The character went from beset-upon brat to Queen of the now independent North, a victory in character arc and in storytelling (save for the lack of reaction from Lady Yara, who long sought the Iron Islands’ independence, and then there’s Dorne… but I digress.)
So perhaps disgruntled viewers will take heed to Lady Stark herself, Sophie Turner, when she calls their vehemently negative response to the end of GoT “disrespectful.”
Though she told The New York Times she was “not surprised” by the backlash, she clearly took it as a slight against the cast and crew that worked so hard for so long to bring the show to its conclusion. “People always have an idea in their heads of how they want a show to finish, and so when it doesn’t go to their liking, they start to speak up about it and rebel,” Turner remarked. She went on, adding,
“All of these petitions and things like that — I think it’s disrespectful to the crew, and the writers, and the filmmakers who have worked tirelessly over 10 years, and for 11 months shooting the last season. Like 50-something night shoots. So many people worked so, so hard on it, and for people to just rubbish it because it’s not what they want to see is just disrespectful.”
Speaking of those long shoots, Turner revealed that the Trial of Tyrion-cum-the Crowning of King Bran the Broken was the last thing they filmed. The shoot apparently took five days, and those involved initially “didn’t know if it was going to be three days or 10 days or however long.” “So every time they cut, I would just start crying because I thought it was the end,” Turner revealed, “and then I’d have to bottle it up again and shoot another take, and another take and another take.”
Considering all that time and emotional cost, perhaps we can forgive a stray water bottle or two?
Elsewhere, Turner defended Sansa’s development, including the controversial scene in which her character insinuated that the abuse she suffered throughout her life made her who she was. Actress Jessica Chastain took issue with the scene, arguing that “rape is not a tool to make a character stronger,” but Turner thinks she’s missed the point:
“I obviously think that’s not a message to spread. But I don’t think that was the intention. It was that she was strong in spite of all of the horrific things that she’s gone through, not because of them. She’s had resilience since the very beginning, and despite all of these awful things that happened to her, she’s kept that resilience. Sansa to the core is resilient and brave and strong, and that had nothing to do with her abusers.”
Whatever the case, at least Sansa got an ending that felt deserved, which is more than you can say for most of the characters on the show. Long live the Queen of the North.