Sophie Turner feels “a little defensive” about Game of Thrones season 8


Sophie Turner is up for first-ever Emmy award, in honor of her performance as Sansa Stark in the final season of Game of Thrones. Naturally, she’s out there talking about it, telling The Wrap that it’s “unbelievable” to be nominated in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama alongside three of her Game of Thrones costars: Maisie Williams, Gwendoline Christie and Lena Headey. They take up over half the category!

“I had just kind of figured, ‘This is how it goes: Lena will be nominated in supporting and Emilia [Clarke] in lead,'” Turner remembers thinking. “I looked at the list and was blown away by the fact that there were so many of us nominated.”

Game of Thrones season 8 is nominated for a record 32 Emmys. Honestly, I’m going to have no idea who to root for on September 22.

Speaking of the final season, it’s no secret that it inspired no small amount of backlash among fans. Turner defended it pretty much from the start, calling the infamous petition to have the series remade “disrespectful.”

"The fans are incredible and so loyal, and we love them because of the fact that they’re so, so passionate. I cannot fault them there. But when people were saying that there was no effort, that the writers were terrible … The most effort was put into this final season. We were shooting for an incredibly long time, nearly 11 months. We did the most night shoots anyone has done ever, I think. I felt a little defensive, and I think I’m entitled to feel like that"

That makes perfect sense to me. Look, I completely understand if fans didn’t like season 8 — lord knows I had big problems with it. But I also covered the production extensively and know how hard the cast and crew worked, if only secondhand. To say anybody involved was lazy or didn’t exert effort just doesn’t make any sense, and must seem doubly so to someone like Turner who was actually in the trenches.

So I understand not liking the final product. But going after the process just seems out of step with reality. I completely get why she would feel “a little defensive” about it.

But of course I get where many of the critics are coming from. For example, people are still scratching their heads over the reasoning for why Bran was made king of the Seven Kingdoms. Turner has a read on Tyrion’s persuasive speech that I like:

"I think it’s true what Tyrion was saying: Bran holds all of our stories, and we can’t move on unless we remember our history. Daeneyrs had to die. Cersei was a mad queen. Arya is too much of a free spirit. Sansa probably wouldn’t want to rule the seven kingdoms anyway — she wanted to stay in the North and defend the North. I really think Bran might be the perfect person for the job."

I know a lot of fans reduced to Tyrion’s speech to, “Bran should be king because he literally has the most interesting story.” I think that’s a bit of a disingenuous reading — as Turner points out, there’s more to what Tyrion is saying — but on the other hand, if the subtleties of Tyrion’s message didn’t come across in his speech, maybe it needed some tweaking.

In any case, the show didn’t end how many fans thought it was. Turner is among the many whose predictions did not play out. “I thought Arya would kill Cersei,” she said. “And I would like to have seen Sansa and Cersei reunited, or Arya and Cersei. But there were so many ways the story could have turned out. I felt very passionately about the ending for Sansa, and I was very happy with the ending that turned out for her.”

Finally, Turner predicted an emotional outburst at the Emmys, which she thinks will be when it really hits her that the show is over. “[T]he Emmys are going to be the last time that we’ll ever see each other, at least as a cast. Or maybe I’ll never really say goodbye. It’s really my family, and because we love each other so much, it’ll be goodbye to the characters but not to each other.”


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As Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) remembered at Con of Thrones, Turner regularly welled up on the season 8 set. “She would be like, ‘Oh, this is the last time I’m gonna see that washroom.’…Anything would make her burst into tears.” If she wins an Emmy, that stage is going to be awash in happy tears, mark my words.

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