Sophie Turner and the Game of Thrones showrunners discuss Sansa and Arya’s frayed relationship


Basically, Arya and Sansa are checking the “It’s complicated” box for the moment. There’s been friction between the sisters ever since Arya returned to Winterfell, this week’s episode — “Beyond the Wall” — took things to a new level.

Showrunner Dan Weiss spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the strife currently infesting this relationship. “They’ve all become very different people,” he said, including Bran in that description.

"It’s a question when they come back together how they find the commonality that they once shared as siblings — if at all. People move apart they grow apart. This is a fantasy exaggeration of that. Bran has grown farther apart from his siblings than any normal person could ever grow, but is there anything left of him in there? How much of Arya is Arya Stark of Winterfell and how much is the Faceless Men? Sansa has undergone her training, for good or for ill, under Littlefinger’s supervision. So how much of that Machiavellian quality has rubbed off on her?"

People grow apart — fair enough. My little sister didn’t come home from college and threaten to wear my face as a hat, though.

Helen Sloan – HBO

Staff writer Bryan Cogman noted that Sansa and Arya were “never close and never particularly liked each other,” but says that they now have “more in common than either are probably willing to recognize.” He praised the abilities of the principals in bringing this story to life. “The tone is difficult one to strike but the [Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams] are fantastic.” We can at least all agree on that.

In trying to sort through this tension, Turner drew on her knowledge of the Song of Ice and Fire novels:

"In the books, it says something about how Arya and Sansa are different sides of the same coin. They love each other but they’re so different. They never really got along. And now that they’re back together that’s heightened because they’ve gone down totally different paths and have had to adapt to totally different situations to the point where they don’t see on each other’s level. They don’t really talk about what they’ve gone through. They never really had that communication before, and now when it’s vital to do they don’t have that and can’t understand each other. Arya still sees Sansa as a snooty prissy child that she was before she left for King’s Landing."

And they probably won’t be communicating any time soon, now that Sansa has found a bag full of faces under Arya’s bed and Arya maybe threatened to kill her sister. Why couldn’t they have hashed this out over drinks like in other families?

Of course, most families don’t have a weird pseudo uncle pitting both sides against each other. Actor Aidan Gillen weighed in on Littlefinger’s role in this family drama:

"Watching my plan come to fruition is quite something. There’s all kinds of mixed things going on with Littlefinger and that relationship with Sansa. So watching her grow in stature is quite enjoyable. With carefully laid plans there’s always a bit of risk involved. He puts himself in a situation that could backfire on him. I think he likes it. His plans are never fail safe. But he puts himself on the line like a good gambler."

For both of their sakes, we hope that Arya and Sansa hash out their differences post-haste. We’re ready for a united front from Winterfell. We can bring the wine if necessary.

Next: That Game of Thrones actor discusses his death in “Beyond the Wall”

The season 7 finale airs this Sunday at 9:00 p.m. EST. We’ll see how and whether this resolves then.

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