Actor Sophie Turner chats Stark family reunions, standing up to Littlefinger and how Sansa has returned in Season 6 stronger than ever.
HBO: How has Sansa evolved?
Sophie Turner: Sansa’s position is at once much more vulnerable and ultimately more powerful this season. She’s taking charge and becoming something of a leader alongside Jon, but she’s also very much putting herself in danger by doing so. Emotionally, I don't think she feels vulnerable at all. She's bitter and determined. She spent the first five seasons running away from people or plotting how to evade her captors. This time she's going head-to-head, very publicly, against the people who have done her wrong. What draws me most to Sansa is probably just how resilient and determined she is, and how – as cliché as it sounds – what doesn't kill her only makes her stronger.
HBO: What did you think of the Jon and Sansa reunion?
Sophie Turner: I found out about it when I got the scripts a few weeks before shooting began. I was so excited and emotional when I read the reunion. I think it's been a long time coming. Kit is like my big brother, so shooting it was so fun. And it's interesting to step into a whole other set with a new group of people and see what they've been up to for the past six years.
HBO: Is it fair to say that Sansa has learned how to “play the game” after her experiences in King’s Landing and Winterfell?
Sophie Turner: It's definitely fair to say that Sansa is learning how to “play the game.” She's had a front seat in watching master manipulators and big players in the game and she's been learning silently from them. But she's certainly not done learning how to play just yet. It's been a slow process. She never had the “Dany emerging from the flames” moment. It's been more gradual.
HBO: What’s your read on Sansa’s confrontation with Littlefinger in “The Door”?
Sophie Turner: The scene basically means that Littlefinger owes Sansa, big time. It's also a big moment emotionally for her. It's the first time she's ever really stood up to Littlefinger. It's her showing him she's smarter and stronger and not one to be manipulated.
HBO: What is Sansa up against as she tries to unite the North against Ramsay?
Sophie Turner: For her to hear that “House Stark is dead” from Robett Glover is a blow – that other houses see House Stark as irrelevant now. But it also makes her all the more determined. It's a frustrating process, because she and Jon are doing damage control and they know it's a lot to ask of these Houses. The odds are against them – Jon is a bastard and Sansa is technically a Bolton.
HBO: How would you describe Jon and Sansa’s relationship this season?
Sophie Turner: There's always been tension between Jon and Sansa, since they were young. They were never particularly close, and I don't think those sibling frustrations and quarrels will ever go away. Also, in Jon's eyes, Sansa is still the 13-year-old naive girl whose greatest passions were very much the material, seemingly unimportant things in life. It's going to be a big adjustment for him to listen to her and view her as an equal, especially when it comes to war tactics, simply because she's a woman.
Sansa’s been alone for so long and she's been longing to be reunited with her family. Once she is, it's wonderful because she has an ally, however, it also means that she now has to convince Jon and all of his advisors of what she wants to do and why. None of them know what she's been through or what she's learnt. But at the end of the day, Sansa and Jon have each other’s backs.
HBO: If you were queen, which character would you choose for your Hand? (Isaac Hempstead Wright, who plays Bran, picked you!)
Sophie Turner: Oh, that's very sweet of Isaac. I may choose Littlefinger or Arya.
HBO: Sansa’s sewing is impressive. How are your own skills?
Sophie Turner: My sewing skills are dreadful. I tried to take up the hem on a dress of mine the other day and absolutely butchered it. Unwearable.
HBO: Are you rooting for a romance between Brienne and Tormund?
Sophie Turner: It's a little creepy from Tormund's side, however, being on set and experiencing the hilarity and discomfort of it all is such a joy that I am rooting for it.