Sophie Turner
photo: Getty Images

Sophie Turner stood up for the divisive final season of Game of Thrones. 

Sansa Stark has had her fair share of controversial moments throughout the series, but overall Turner revealed she found her character's arc to be one of resilience and bravery. In an interview with The New York Times, she also shared that she was disappointed with fans' negative reactions to the final season and the pushback the series has received. 

Now that her time on the fantasy saga has come to a close, Turner has a new life ahead of her. She recently married Joe Jonas and will appear in a superheroes movie this summer. 

In an interview with The New York Times, Turner clarified her intention with one controversial scene. 

Sansa Stark has had a rough eight seasons to get to her satisfying end, with moments of controversy scattered throughout. One scene in the final season appeared to credit Sansa's abusers with what made her strong, and people were debating the victimization of the powerful future Queen of the North. 

Turner shared in her interview that it wasn't her intention to spread that message, and that she thought the dialogue insinuated that Sansa was strong in spite of all of the suffering she faced throughout the series. 

"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," Turner said. 

The scene in question involves the Hound and Sansa's reunion at Winterfell. 

"You've changed, Little Bird," The Hound starts. "None of it would have happened if you'd have left King's Landing with me. No Little Finger, no Ramsay, none of it."  

"Without Little Finger and Ramsay and the rest, I would have stayed a little bird all my life," Sansa replies. 

Hearing that dialogue, it does sound suspicious. But after listening to the actor's clarification of the scene, it's obvious that Turner attempted to showcase Sansa's strength and bravery above everything else.

Turner's Dark Phoenix costar Jessica Chastain is an avid Game of Thrones fan and Sansa stan, but even she was disappointed by the dialogue. 

The actor took to Twitter to air her grievance following the fourth episode of the final season. She also took the opportunity to give props to Turner in her upcoming role as Jean Grey in Dark Phoenix. 

"Rape is not a tool to make a character stronger. A woman doesn’t need to be victimized in order to become a butterfly. The #littlebird was always a Phoenix. Her prevailing strength is solely because of her. And her alone. #GameOfThrones," Chastain wrote. 

All of the negative fan reactions peeved the Sansa actor, although it did not surprise her. 

Turner found all of the fan reactions and specifically, a petition signed by over a million people calling for an entire redo of the final season "disrespectful." However, it didn't come as a surprise to the actor as the series has always been divisive and has thrown curveballs.

In her New York Times interview, she said, "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.

"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," she said. 

Chastain has remained one of Turner's ultimate Game of Thrones fans and posted her theories to Twitter. 

Walking with her co-star before the season finale, Chastain revealed that she'd be enraged if Sansa didn't end up on the Iron Throne with Arya as her hand. In a fiery conversation about the season finale with Turner, Chastain said, "Everyone's already said you're the smartest person... clearly we have the best fighter and the best brain. And that's you and Arya."

In an interview during their press tour for Dark Phoenix, Turner and Chastain revealed they were satisfied with Sansa's conclusion. 

Turner revealed that the one thing Sansa wanted throughout the whole series was to be home, and that it couldn't have ended more beautifully for her. 

"I think watching the way this character finished Game of Thrones was the most satisfying," Turner said in the interview. "I agree with that," Chastain chimed in. 


After the final episode aired, Turner posted a message of gratitude for her character. 

"Sansa, Thank you for teaching me resilience, bravery, and what true strength really is. Thank you for teaching me to be kind and patient and to lead with love," the actor wrote to her Instagram. It's clear that Turner sees her character as a truly strong symbol of resilience. She shared this behind-the-scenes shot of most of the cast posing together. And then, in a second shot, she posed with her on-screen siblings, the eldest of the Starks. 

"To the show and the incredible people who make it, thank you for giving me the best life and drama lessons I could have ever asked for. Without you I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Thank you for giving me this chance all those years ago."

After the series finale, even more amazing backstage content has been shared. 

This iconic image of the last remaining Stark actors is truly gold. Despite the struggles the three characters endure throughout the series, they survived. These three actors grew up on screen, and the conclusion of the series served them well, with Bran leading Westeros as King of the Seven Kingdoms, Arya fulfilling her destiny and exploring the world beyond, and Sansa ruling over her home, Winterfell, as Queen in the North. 

"The pack survived," Turner wrote on the image of she, Maisie Williams, and Isaac Hempstead Wright. 

Sophie Turner shared her plans for the future in another interview with The New York Times.

In an interview, she revealed how Game of Thrones shaped her and the experiences she went through on the behemoth of a show. She shared in the article that she feared that after the conclusion of the iconic saga she wouldn't have an understanding of the type of actor she wanted to be afterward. Those fears were short-lived, however, as the 23-year-old now lives in New York and has a few upcoming projects, including the Marvel movie Dark Phoenix.

Now that Thrones is over, Turner will certainly focus on her upcoming superhero film, Dark Phoenix. 

In the trailer for the upcoming movie, centered on Turner's Jean Grey, the origin story of Phoenix's powers are revealed. The movie will hit theaters on June 7. Even though Game of Thrones is over, it would seem like Turner's career is just beginning.