Featured Interview Sansa Stark Season 7 Sophie Turner

Sophie Turner on what’s next for Sansa in Season 7, the end of Game of Thrones

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The wait between Game of Thrones Seasons 6 and 7 may be longer than usual, but fans still have plenty to speculate about until the summer premiere. For example, what’s next for Sansa Stark, the would-be Queen in the North? Sophie Turner, who’s played the eldest Stark daughter these past six years, has had much to say on this subject of late. She recently sat down with Vulture to further discuss Sansa’s rise to power.

At the end of the season, Sansa gets a taste of power—and it’s the first time that she’s had that ever, really. She feels like it’s deserved because she did so much for Jon and the North, so when she saves the day and doesn’t get any recognition for it, it was like she had that first taste of power and then was immediately stripped of it. She was stripped of the respect that she really feels she deserves. She was trying to give her input to Jon and trying to be a collaborative leader, but it’s difficult when it’s a patriarchy and when there’s sexism. It would be a real adjustment for Jon to listen to her and do what she says.

Game of Thrones is indeed set in a patriarchal world. The likes of Sansa, Brienne, Cersei and Daenerys have all struggled with it, fighting for power, recognition and freedom and overcoming obstacles that their male counterparts don’t have. It sounds like that won’t be something Sansa takes lying down. “She’s playing the game now, and very ruthlessly,” Turner said of Sansa’s transition. “When she wants something, she’s going to go out and get it.”


 

We see a bit of that ruthless side in “Battle of the Bastards” when she leaves Ramsay to his dogs. What was that triumphant smirk about, after all? Turner offered some insights.

You wonder if it’s just a smile because it’s her first kill, because this man is out of her life, or whether she’s going to get a taste for it. Whether she enjoyed it. Whether it’s a power trip. But she definitely is a lot more powerful, and it’ll be very interesting to see how she handles that coming up this season.

Personally, I’ve always felt that Sansa smiled at that moment because she had gained justice for herself and her family. She never got revenge against Joffrey for taking her father’s head, or for the abuse he subjected her to afterwards. But with Ramsay’s death, Sansa not only avenged herself, but avenged Rickon and Theon and even, by extension, the people Ramsay’s father killed at the Red Wedding.

Now, who’s left to kill? The Boltons have kicked it, and Arya ensured that Walder Frey paid for his part in the Stark massacre. If Sansa had a kill list, I’d bet Petyr Baelish’s name would be the last one on it. He’s caused her a lot of grief, not to mention betraying her father back in Season 1. But that’s conjecture. In any case, Turner agrees with Sansa that when it comes to Littlefinger, “you can’t really trust him.”

She holds a power over [Littlefinger]. And after she confronted him about selling her to the Boltons, he owes her big time. He knows he has to be loyal to her now, and he has to serve her well, because she holds so much over him. It would destroy his reputation if she revealed any of the stuff that she knows about him. It’s tricky. She has power, but it’s a question of whether people listen to her or not. You’ll see more of that in this upcoming season.

Sansa and Littlefinger official

What does Sansa hold over Littlefinger? She knows he conspired to kill Joffrey, and she witnessed Lysa’s death by his hands. Young Robyn Arryn might worship the ground Baelish walks on now, but what would the Lord of the Vale say if he knew how, precisely, his beloved mother died? Curiouser and curiouser…

However Sansa exercises her power, she may do it quietly. As Turner points out, silence is something she’s learned to work with over the course of the series.

That’s how she survives, you know? Sansa has had to do everything nonverbally. She’s never been allowed to speak up or say anything. She’s learned to never say what she means. She’s always had a bit of a façade, so that’s just the way she plays the game, I suppose. That’s how she’s had to adapt to this cruel, cruel world.

Sansa’s self-control has saved her a lot of further pain—recall her pledging love for Joffrey even after he had her humiliated in front of his court back in Season 2’s “Garden of Bones.” She knew one word against him would cause her further torment, and didn’t give him the excuse. We’ll see how it benefits her now that she’s free of her abusers.

Turner does continually hint at a possible “power trip” for Sansa, but who among the Thrones characters has been exempt from that? When it comes to power trips, Daenerys has collected a lot of frequent flyer miles, for example.

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Turner also discussed the show’s imminent end. She and her costars have felt the effects of closing time during Season 7 production.

It’s definitely emotional. We can really feel everything slowly coming to an end. We’d have these discussions like, What are we going to do on the last day on set? What are you going to get the producers? It’s all becoming quite real now that we’re coming to a close. It’s quite somber on set, but everyone’s just trying to enjoy it as much as possible. Trying to get the most out of it. Trying not to take anything for granted.

It appears that the Game of Thrones cast members are bound for life. Being part of a cultural phenomenon can have that effect on people. For the Thrones cast, it looks like matching tattoos will seal the deal. Turner and onscreen sister Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) have their own identical ink, but according to the former, “I think the plan is for everyone to get matching tattoos if we survive to season eight. That’s the plan. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m in there!”

Hmmm… The lady doth protest too much, methinks (mehopes). Whatever Sansa’s endgame is, it sounds like she still has quite a ways to go before she reaches her point of no return. We’ll see how it unfolds this summer. Until then, winter is here, and I wish for my fellow Sansa Stark soldiers to find some solace in this long night.

25 Comments

  • I am worried for Sansa. She is definitely playing the Game of Thrones. The question is how good will she be at it? She has learned from the best so she should be fantastic but remember its GOT and nothing ever turns out like it should. “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.”

  • I don’t think it’s sexism at all. She has no battle experience and she’s not very strategic. She’s a liar to be honest. She lied about her only true input when it came to the Battle. She let all those men and woman die so she could “save the day” in the end.
    I’m a Stark supporter and I would have been furious with her for holding out. She had a chance to provide her input and be a real team player. But she didn’t. Can you imagine if Jon did that? He sacrificed himself in that battle to get their home back while Sansa stayed away from the battle.
    Jon pleaded with her to let him know who else they could count on and she lied instead of being honest. Sansa had her chance and to call it sexism is just wrong.

    • I agree, Im pretty sure that Jon would have listened to Sansa and waited to go against Ramsay if she had mentioned the Nights of the Vale to him! Jon has always been one of the few characters that will listen to others and adapt his plans if there is a better way.

    • Regarding the Vale/Battle: I think us viewers are far more upset by Sansa’s actions then anyone in the story. No one in the story accused her of any wrong doing. It was portrayed as some kind of slight to Jon, and she apologized. It probably won’t be addressed again.

    • Yeah Sophie knows the character, so her description of Sansa’s perspective is probably accurate. But it’s delusional. If she’d mentioned she could get an army from the Vale to the battlefield in time, she would’ve been listened to. It’s interesting though. Her perspective is based on failing to recognize her own behavior as untrustworthy. She’s skeptical of Jon, and so she hid crucial information from him, and then portrays it as though he doesn’t trust or value her. Feels like things are set up for her to betray her own, while justifying herself on her own flaws. Then again, maybe it’s all much ado about nothing, and just a bit of ambiguity to keep Littlefinger in play.

    • “Only a fool would trust Littelfinger” Sansa’s own words. You have to realize that Sansa knows exactly how dangerous and untrustworthy that Littlefinger is. She didn’t tell Jon and Davos about the Knights of the Vale, because unitl they showed up on the battlefield and did her bidding, there was no way she was going to set her half brother up to rely on Bealish. And don’t forget she told Jon not to do what Ramsay wanted, that Ramsay would set the trap. And what did Jon do…..? He walked right into the trap, acting all heroic and stuff, yet very foolish. Had Jon not run off in a fools errand to try and save Rickon, the Knights of the Vale would have rolled up when the Bolton forces were marching towards the Stark position, or everyone would have still been at a stand still when they got there.

      • battle-of-the-bastards was critically acclaimed!

        i submit to you, for anyone who was ever involved in a hand-to-hand melee contest with large numbers of people… it is an absolute positionless quagmire of undefined battle-lines. enemies or friendlies at your back, it is pure chaos. one of the great movies of all times depicted this occurrence perfectly, “The Gladiator” in its first scene. great, worthwhile movie, if you have not seen it.

        that said, had Ramsey seen the cavalry, he would never of abandoned the protection of Winterfell’s walls. Sansa’s judgment was correct, but she procrastinated in her request of the banner-man, and she was very fortunate in their timely arrival. i am sure the line-of-sight for Winterfell ranged in miles. the seiging force just got lucky.

        definition of lucky; when preparation meets opportunity.

        the horses should have been in sight of a signal fire, possibly a flaming arrow.

        glad it all worked-out though. glad for Ramsey ;)

      • You can’t blame the man for acting on a bit of hope in trying to save his brother. Secondly he didnt run into Boltons trap with the mind frame of “oh, let me try to be a hero now” . it was impulsive and done by raw emotions of grief and rage and fury. He had an immediate need to avenge the death of his brother because he does love his family no matter how much he had felt of an outcast. John Snow is a very skilled warior but he is also a very sensitive and tormented character. But he’s always had more heart then ego.

    • Regarding the Vale Battle. She herself was unclear tho if LF and the Vale would be there in time. While she had hope and yeah I too think she should have mentioned it as a possibility, she knew who she was dealing with, LF. He will only do what helps him move forward in the Game. I don’t think she knew to trust him then either. Its not like he made a complete commitment to her verbally. Anyway my 2 cents.

  • Sansa can only become Queen if all her siblings are dead. Besides, no one would listen to her after she threw her father and Robb under the bus for Joffrey. She was humiliated in court, and now she wants to be Queen. GMAFB, she was lounging around court while all her family members were being slaughtered to death, and not once did she make an effort to save them. She married Ramsey, who pretty much destroys her creditability, and deep down she wanted Jon to die in battle. Only a fool would believe that Sansa should be Queen.

  • On another website, I said:

    About Sansa, I think that ultimately, she wouldn’t want power for herself or for power’s sake, like Daenerys (“I will take what is mine, etc.”). After her stay in King’s landing, especially, where she was able to observe how power got people mad (Cersei, Joffrey, for example), she would have been wary of being put in such a position, because she would have seen just how vulnerable that leaves you to manipulation and ill counsel. As she herself said, she once only thought of what she wanted, not what she had, a lesson she learned the harsh way as she did all she could to go back home, even if she had to pay a terrible price for it, with her dubious alliances first with Littlefinger, and then with Ramsey.

    That is the kind of realisation that makes me believe she would be quite happy being the Lady of Winterfell over being Queen of the North, provided that the so-named King would be a reasonable authority figure who would listen to her advice, as Jon is progressively shaping up to become, learning from his own mistakes in the Siege of Winterfell. And being used to observe the players of the game of thrones, I think there lies her disquiet at the end of Jon’s proclamation, because she knows how powerful Littlefinger is, she knows that Jon’s ascent to King in the North is not his preferred outcome, and she knows he will try to spread dissent among the Northerners.

    I also think that Littlefinger handed Sansa the keys to his downfall, revealing his endgame to her. Because the little pawn has suddenly become a queen, but not his queen, a fact that the chess grandmaster had not anticipated, which endangers his whole plan. And even if Jon is headed elsewhere on matters of State, there are other wolves coming back to Winterfell to bolster Sansa, as Arya seems to be headed that way, and we left Bran at the foot of the Wall. The lone wolf dies, but the pack survives, they say. I do believe this pack has not yet fought its last battle, and beware what happens when they get together again.

    And as far as a Jon/Sansa pairing is concerned, it would not shock me terribly, especially if their relationship is revealed by either Bran or Sam, as they had not been particularly close in their childhood, unlike, say, Jon and Arya. The European royal history is full of cousins marrying cousins (admittedly with varied results), so it’s not as though the practice should be so strange. It’s certainly less preoccupying than the Targaryen custom of brother/sister incest.

    • Agreed. Sansa has expressed her regrets about her mind frame when she first left Winterfell to travel to Kings Landing. She had bad judgement, was very nieve, and took her family and home for granted. She has come a long way and gone through hell, but it had opened her eyes to what is really going on and her priorities. Home is very important to her. Winterfell is where she wants to be not back at Kingslanding surrounded by more people she can never trust. If her survival is important then she would need to stay where there is the greatest support for her family. With her family. The hell that both Jon and Sansa had gone through individually brought them closer then they ever were and the hell that they have gone through together by trying to win back Winterfell and loosing Rickon will only bring them closer. Not to mention the crap they will be going through in the future. If Arya and Bran join them in Winterfell then it will only make them stronger. Sansa though in my disbelief may betray Jon by plotting with Little Finger but would she betray all of her siblings for someone she really distrust because he betrayed her?

      • Another possibilty that could debunk this Sansa betraying Jon by plotting with LF is that Bran is the One eyed Raven now and possibly saw into the past that LF was the root and Cause of all this mayhem that befell her family. If Bran is able to see and relay this information then if you think what Sansa did to Ramsey was bad then get ready for what she would do to LF. I would love to see that revenge so bad my mouth is watering. She can’t just kill him now cause they need the backing of the Vale. But given good reasons I’m sure she’ll figure something out.

  • i dont understend all the hate sansa gets for not saying about the night of the vale but no one says anithing about how jon destroyed all the batle plan doing exactly the one thing sansa tell him not to do “dont do what ramsay wants you to do” sorry for my english

    • Agree. The whole show is basically built on the deceptions of Littlefinger. Yet Sansa was supposed to ask her brother to rely on Littlefinger in battle? Sansa knows better than anyone in Westeros exactly how dangerous and untrustworthy he really is. She could have mentioned there was a chance the Knights of the Vale would show up, but it would not have mattered. Jon has to be the first in line to die, that is his moral code. Even if he had known that Bealish may or may not bring the Knights, he would have done the same thing when he saw Rickon running from Ramsey. Whether or not she told everyone doesn’t change that fact that the Knights of the Vale were there because of Sansa’s political maneuvering. If Sansa is smart, she will start season 7 by pushing Bealish through he moon door, marrying Robin Aaron and then shoving him through the door as well.

    • Sansa,is wanted by Cersi for allegedly killing her son, witnessed Peter killing her aunt, married Ramsay Bolton (so that he could have a legal claim on her ancestral home), and wrote a letter to Rob to lay down his title for her love Joffrey. Sansa no Queen, she got too many liabilities on her shoulders.
      The only thing I give credit for Sansa is smacking her cousin Robyn.

  • Sansa if the most difficult character for me to relate with in the GoT show.

    i think it can be said that season 7 will be a defining moment for almost every character in Westeros, simply because the show is nearly over :(

    particular to Sansa, i try to find recognizable features, & that we viewers have had the chance to watch an adolesence, mature. from Sansa’s sarcasm in admitting she was stupid to King Joffery, to her admission of being a prostiute for Ramsey. Sansa should have been a bit more of a mental case in the writting of the story. Sansa thinks she can sheild her presence, not fully understanding who she is as a genuine princess. if this continues for her, it will be the contributing factor to her death. she has a trimendous responsibility to her blood-linage in this critical time of Westeros, and it is not a yeilding time by any means, for anyone.

    i believe the triangle of death will consist of Arya, little-finger, & unbeloved Sansa, sadly. my guess is that Arya will be the (El ultimbo hombre), last man standing, if Sansa calculates little-finger correctly, she will survive. otherwise, i think little-finger will be Sansa’s premature angel-of-death.

    if Jon “Targaryen” is quick-witted enough, he’ll save Sansa by killing little-finger. but honestly, i think other matters will occupy Jon at the critical moment, and Jon’s physical presence will be elsewhere. and Brienne will have fucked-up yet again, what a resume this girl has, lol.

    oddly enough, i think the only character who truly understood the importance of Sansa’a presence, was the hound. Sansa will not receive that blessing again.

    curtain-call Sophie, sorry they gave you such a poorly written character. but you did a great job with her.

  • O gawd, another one. Yada yada yada same ole same ole. Sansa’s the hero/savior/star/sexism victim/queen of the north/spotlite deserver/smarter than John and wilyier than Littlefinger. Round and round we go. Sophie must be bored to tears or eating up the attention shes grabbed while nobody else seems to be around. Probably eating up the attention. Is her Joe Jonnas thing part of it?

  • I am really sick of the writers saying what a good player she is. If she were a good player she would have gotten out the marriage before the wedding, she would have known about the Karstarks, she wouldn’t been flattened by a 10 year old. If she knew what she was doing, she would have brought Baelish and the Vale in when he showed up in Mole’s Town. Some people think that she didn’t believe him when he said he had the army, but I highly doubt that. She knows exactly how that man feels about her. He made it perfectly clear. She knew the army was at her disposal, but she lied to herself and others thinking the North will be on her side. She said she didn’t believe or trust in Baelish. yet she sends Brienne off on info that Baelish provided. And she is also lying to herself if she thinks nothing is going on between herself and him. I think her main problem is that she is dishonest. Her word can’t be trusted, and with the Bolton stain on her, it isn’t any wonder that she is outshined by Jon. Jon may not be a politician, but he is a far better player than Sansa.

    “That’s how she survives, you know? Sansa has had to do everything nonverbally. She’s never been allowed to speak up or say anything. She’s learned to never say what she means. She’s always had a bit of a façade, so that’s just the way she plays the game, I suppose. That’s how she’s had to adapt to this cruel, cruel world.”

    This is why she is not wanted by anyone other that Littlefinger. It is all a facade with her and nothing she says can be trusted. I think she is also fooled my her own facade as well. She says out loud that she trust in Jon, but yet she lies and keeps secrets from him. She doesn’t know what she wants. This is not a how a good leader acts.

    In the leaks, it says she will kill Baelish. I hope for her sake she doesn’t. She is next to nothing without Baelish in her corner.

    • Everyone relax with this slamming of Sansas character. When your playing the game it cant always be obvious what your plotting and we dont know her endgame til it happens so i think she has and will continue to be a grand contributer in the future. So relax and let’s see where she’s going with this. Hopefully she will impact her families situation for the better which is my desperate hope or she may become the ultimate doom of Jon Snow and the North 😱. Either way either direction causes a great impact for the future of Westeros so her character is not at all useless. Just a bit dicey. But I’m gonna stay on the more positive side and root for the hard core, Ride to die, Starks for life, family first, every body else can eat shit type of ditection for her. Cause any other path would be like yeah girl i need your death to be 10 times worse then Ramseys’ death was and my grin as she dies would be 10 times wider then hers were after she watched him die. Still that pleasure could never over shadow my grief and pain from her betrayal. I’m still not over Neds death so you can imagine my need for justice all the way through. We’ve lost too much i just can’t no more man. I just can’t.

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