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Sophie Turner & George Martin talk up the recent Game of Thrones controversy

05.19.2015

The following article will be diving into spoilers for the 6th episode of Game of Thrones, 'Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken', which aired this past Sunday. If you're not up to date on the show, you'll definitely want to steer clear of the following as there are SPOILERS ahead! Also, in case you need a bit of a recap, you can check out our review of the episode here. Are we all on the same page? Great!

As you've undoubtedly noticed by now, there's been a deviation from the book that has people up in arms. So much so, that even entertainment site The Mary Sue has decided to stop promoting Game of Thrones altogether. The scene in question would be that of Ramsay Bolton raping Sansa Stark in front of Theon Greyjoy. A lot of people question whether this was just a shock tactic used by writers David Benioff or D.B. Weiss to end an episode of the show. Before we jump into that further, let's see what the author himself had to say about the matter.

George R.R. Martin on the recent deviation:

I am getting a flood of emails and off-topic comments on this blog about tonight’s episode of GAME OF THRONES. It’s not unanticipated. There have been differences between the novels and the television show since the first episode of season one. And for just as long, I have been talking about the butterfly effect. Small changes lead to larger changes lead to huge changes. David (Benioff) and Dan (Weiss) 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.

Okay, so Martin didn't exactly tackle the issue head-on, but more that he's well aware of the changes and that he trusts the folks over at HBO in the direction they're headed and that the endgame will be the same. Fair enough! Now, let's take a look at what the actress who plays Sansa Stark, Sophie Turner (who will be playing Jean Grey in the upcoming X-MEN: APOCALYPSE), had to say about the scene.

Sophie Turner regarding her wedding night scene:

When I read that scene, I kinda loved it. 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. 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. 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*cked up.

One of the running themes of Game of Thrones has always been about those with power and their abuse of it. Thrones is not always an easy show to watch but it reflects a world that doesn't bury the atrocities that happen within it. I don't think anyone watched that scene on Sunday and was "entertained" per se, but I have little doubt this plays an important role in Sansa's character and her future. She's not an idiot and is learning the hard truth of some of the politics of Westeros.

My question is why condemn this and not the torture or murder that has taken place on the show before? It seems strange to me that people would turn coat on a show that's never shied away from tackling some of the harder issues. Great fantasy shows and films have always woven in allegories that can be applied to our times and/or society. If this scene pushes people to think, respect and raise awareness, is that a bad thing? That's just my two cents, though. It should be interesting to see what affect this act will have on Sansa Stark and the rest of the season.

Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights at 9pm (EST) on HBO.

Do you think the scene in question is deserving of the controversy?

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