Image Credit: HBO.
Content Warning: This article contains content discussing sexual assault.
Game of Thrones season seven is almost upon us and everyone is wondering what controversy it will stir this year.
Looking back over past seasons, there have been many points at which the show was criticised for the content it depicted, in particular the graphic and disturbing portrayals of sex in the show, as well as violence.
Sophie Turner’s character Sansa Stark was at the centre of this controversy, when her character suffered sexual assault at the hands of Ramsey Bolton, when he forced himself upon her.
Despite having conflicted feelings about the scene and content at the time, Sophie has now come out in defence of the portrayals of such content in the show.
Sophie spoke to The Times Magazine, revealing that she was initially ‘naive’ about the scenes impact.
"Sexual assault wasn't something that had affected me or anybody I knew, so I was pretty blasé about the whole thing.
"Naively so. And then I shot the scene, and in the aftermath there was this huge uproar that we would depict something like that on television. My first response was like, maybe we shouldn't have put that on screen at all.”
Sophie’s perception then changed in regards to the content, as she explained, "The more we talk about sexual assault the better, and screw the people who are saying we shouldn't be putting this on TV and screw the people who are saying they're going to boycott the show because of it.
"This sort of thing used to happen and it continues to happen now, and if we treat it as such a taboo and precious subject, then how are people going to have the strength to come out and feel comfortable saying that this has happened to them?"
In regards to the controversial scene with Ramsay that received massive backlash, Sophie revealed, "This was the trending topic on Twitter, and it makes you wonder, when it happens in real life, why isn't it a trending topic every time?
"This was a fictional character, and I got to walk away from it unscathed … Let's take that discussion and that dialogue and use it to help people who are going through that in their everyday lives. Stop making it such a taboo, and make it a discussion.”
Game of Thrones returns July 2017.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or sexual assault, you can ring the National Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Helpline on 1800 RESPECT.
Alternatively you can ring the Domestic Violence Line for help on 1800 656 463. The Domestic Violence Line is a statewide free-call number and is available 24 hours, seven days a week.