The last few weeks have been full of shocks and surprises for Game of Thrones fans. While the eighth and final season got off to a bit of a slow start – with tons of character development, a bit of dragon riding, and some accidental incest thrown in for good measure – the last two episodes have left their mark on the cultural landscape.
“The Long Night,” which originally aired on April 28th, treated longtime viewers to 80-plus minutes of blood-soaked fighting, not to mention a few intense standoffs and tragic deaths. Sunday’s episode meanwhile, “The Last of the Starks,” was a more subdued affair, though it’s been front and center on social media for the past couple of days.
Aside from a hilarious slip up involving a Starbucks cup making its way into one scene (said coffee cup has since been digitally removed from the episode), a monologue delivered by Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) has come under fire for its insensitive insinuation that sexual assault made a character into a stronger, more powerful woman. As reported by Heroic Hollywood, fans and critics alike have blasted Game of Thrones writers and showrunners for “characterizing Sansa’s rape as a character building experience.”
For those who need a bit of a refresher, here’s a quick recap of Sansa’s history on the show. Before she made it back to Winterfell, the eldest Stark daughter was (for all intents and purposes) handed off from one husband to the next. In particular, she was psychologically and sexually abused by the psychotic Ramsay Bolton, who took pleasure in harming and mutilating others. In a conversation with Sandor Clegane/The Hound, Sansa told him that “without Littlfinger, Ramsay, and the rest I would have stayed a little bird all my life.”
One noteworthy celeb who took issue with Sansa’s monologue is Jessica Chastain. Earlier this week, she hopped on Twitter to criticize the shoddy writing from last week’s episode.
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”
Oddly enough, Chastain and Turner have worked together in the past, as both actresses are set to appear in Dark Phoenix, which will release in theaters on June 7th.
But what do you think about the latest episode of Game of Thrones? Did you feel Sansa’s dialogue was out of line? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!