Actor Sophie Turner reveals her thoughts on Sansa’s determination against the odds, revenge and the struggle against the patriarchy.
HBO: Did Sansa go into battle with Ramsay expecting to win?
Sophie Turner: Sansa wasn’t expecting to win this battle – but she was hoping. She has faith in her army of Houses, but it was still a huge risk. It's less of a pessimistic view and more of a determination. She refuses to go back to Ramsay; she would rather die. At the same time, she knows Ramsay's tactics and how his mind works. I think she believes she has the upper hand.
HBO: What prevents Jon from seeing Sansa as a strong leader and valid voice in the battle planning?
Sophie Turner: Jon, especially in the beginning, underestimates Sansa, but as time goes by he sees her proving her competency. I think the social boundaries of the time period that Thrones is loosely based on means that these men still view women as less capable of battle planning or anything to do with typical seemingly “male” activities. Patriarchy, even in this fictional world, is very real.
HBO: What does it mean to Sansa when she finally gets the chance to command and watch Ramsay’s death?
Sophie Turner: It means so much because it's finally her chance to directly get revenge for what he's done to her. Emotionally, it is so gratifying to watch this man suffer for what he's done but also to be given the opportunity by Jon to solely take charge of something that typically would be his job. The fact that she doesn't have to persuade him to give her this opportunity is also very important in her eyes, because it's really the first time this season that Jon has acknowledged her as capable of taking charge.
HBO: What was it like filming Ramsay’s final moments with Iwan Rheon?
Sophie Turner: It was very, very intense. It was something we had to get completely right. We spent a few days on it because we needed Sansa's reaction to be not only one of satisfaction but also something of a hunger to watch more, longer and harder. Iwan was amazing. It's such an intense scene for him – watching him was incredible. He really gave this character the death that he deserves. He goes out with a bang.