[Editor’s note: The following post contains spoilers for “Game of Thrones” Season 8.]
The final season of “Game of Thrones” proved to be the most polarizing run of episodes the show has ever seen. Each week a different plot twist or story development provoked outrage from “Thrones” fans, whether it was Arya losing her virginity to Gendry, Missandei being executed by Cersei, or Daenerys burning King’s Landing to the ground. The backlash resulted in an online petition requesting a Season 8 remake. The petition, which blasted “Thrones” creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff as “incompetent writers,” went viral with over 1.2 million signatures and counting. In a post-finale interview with The New York Times, Sophie Turner put the petition on blast.
“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,” Turner said. “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.”
Turner said she was “not surprised” there was backlash. “People always have an idea in their heads of how they want a show to finish,” the actress said. “So when it doesn’t go to their liking, they start to speak up about it and rebel.”
Turner added, “The thing about ‘Game of Thrones’ that’s always been amazing is the fact that there’s always been crazy twists and turns, right from Season 1 with Ned’s beheading. So Daenerys becoming something of the Mad Queen — it shouldn’t be such a negative thing for fans. It’s a shock for sure, but I think it’s just because it hasn’t gone their way.”
Isaac Hempstead-Wright, who played Turner’s sibling on the series, shared a similar sentiment with The Wrap, saying, “I think the petition is just kind of a weird, juvenile gesture. It’s so irrelevant to start petitioning to remake a series. But I’m trying to put that stuff out of my mind. It’s just nonsense, really.”
Turner also weighed in on a controversial scene from earlier this season in which her character, Sansa, said her history of emotional and sexual abuse helped her become the powerful woman she is today. The moment occurred in the final season’s fourth episode, “The Last of the Starks,” during a conversation between Sansa and the Hound (Rory McCann), who told Sansa she could’ve avoided all the physical and emotional pain she experienced had she left King’s Landing with him back in Season 2. Sansa responded, “Without Littlefinger and Ramsay and the rest, I would’ve stayed a little bird all my life.”
The dialogue in that scene was widely panned by television critics and even drew fury from Turner’s “Dark Phoenix” co-star Jessica Chastain. The Oscar nominee reacted on Twiter by writing, “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 little bird was always a Phoenix. Her prevailing strength is solely because of her. And her alone.”
“I obviously think that’s not a message to spread,” Turner told The Times about the scene. “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.”
Head over to The Times website to read Turner’s interview in its entirety.