In leafy Dulwich, south London, four stars from Game of Thrones convene in a Georgian house for Vogue. With the sky outside a washed-out grey, the jewel-like colours of their Balenciaga and Givenchy gowns are almost obscenely bright. In the fictional world of Westeros, a mighty gathering such as this would be a prelude to war. After all, these women play four of the strongest characters on the blockbuster HBO series that helped revitalise the TV landscape, launched a thousand water-cooler conversations, won 47 Emmys and turned a generation of British talent, including this foursome, into bankable global stars.
If Game of Thrones proves anything, it’s that it requires full commitment – to gore, intricate plotting and gargantuan world-building – to craft a cultural phenomenon. Same-day viewers quadrupled since the first season, in 2011; cross-platform numbers for the seventh season averaged 30.6 million viewers per episode – more than the populations of Greece and Belgium combined; and for seven consecutive years it was the world’s most pirated TV show. Fans breathlessly pore over every last detail that emerges from the notoriously tight-lipped set, right down to the size of the green screens being used or the choice of crown deployed for each character. The series has dispelled the idea that fantasy is solely for male dweebs. It’s no understatement to say that the forthcoming eighth season – the show’s final six instalments – is the most exciting TV comeback of the year.
Lena Headey, 45, who plays merciless Queen Cersei, arrives first on set in a shaggy faux fur-trimmed Acne coat – a post-Christmas gift to herself, she tells me. Gwendoline Christie, whose 6ft 3in frame led to her casting as noble warrior Brienne, appears in a necklace and dressing gown. “There she is! The lady of the day!” Headey cries. Christie, 40, puts on her best fashion-assistant voice: “When you’re ready,” she demurs, as if about to usher Headey on set. They burst into laughter.
Sophie Turner, 23, now fronting the X-Men franchise with a lead role in Dark Phoenix, shrieks when she sees Headey and zeroes in for a hug: “I haven’t seen you in ages!” Maisie Williams, 21, who turned up earlier in leopard-print Dr Martens, is already on the lookout for Turner. Both young actresses have fan armies of devoted teens who have jointly crowned them #Mophie, but it appears no one is more devoted to the pair than the girls are to each other. “Is she here yet?” asks Williams, letting out an elated cry when she is informed that her best friend from the show is, indeed, present.
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Now it’s their turn: On HBO’s Game of Thrones, the show’s powerful female characters are about to take center stage more than ever before. So for this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, we go behind the scenes of the Emmy-dominating drama’s ultra-mysterious new season, plus profile six of the show’s leading ladies whose storylines are about to change Westeros forever.
“The women are rocking this season — and I’m not just saying that because they’re on your cover,” says HBO programming president Michael Lombardo. “Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) always does, but also Brienne (Gwendoline Christie), Arya (Maisie Williams), Sansa (Sophie Turner), Cersei (Lena Headey), Margaery (Natalie Dormer), and other characters too, like Yara (Gemma Whelan). They power this season. It’s organic to the storytelling, yet a radical shift. It’s the women that are the hope that we’re watching as the chess pieces move this season, and it’s very exciting.”
The ascension of Thrones’ female characters isn’t a new strategy. Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss, working from the narrative template established by author George R.R. Martin, introduced Westeros five years ago as a male-dominated world ruled by figures like Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) and Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance). One by one, these strong and commanding men have suffered tragic turns of fate that have cleared the way for a fleet of heroines who have learned new strategies to survive and conquer in a brutal world. Off screen, too, the female actors have become breakouts — landing coveted roles in films ranging from Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Christie) and X-Men: Apocalypse (Turner).
In EW’s new double-issue, we profile the women of Thrones, tease what to expect in season 6, provide catch-up and binging guides, plus take you behind the scenes in Northern Ireland and Belfast to reveal how Thrones team pulled off its biggest season yet (and the best, according to the showrunners) while trying to keep more secrets from its fans than ever before.
EW has plenty of online Thrones coverage planned, too – exclusive news, cast interviews, recaps, and more (without spoiling any of the significant twists to come). [Source]
I added some scans for SFX Magazine (April 2016) to the gallery. Sadly, the magazine isn’t featured to Sophie but the article talks about Game of Thrones’ new season so, you can go to the gallery and take a look.
I just found this article and thought I’d share!
[Last]Sunday’s “Game of Thrones” brought new responsibilities for some characters and new perils for others. But for Sansa Stark, who found herself betrothed to the sadistic Ramsay Bolton, there was just a sickening sense of déjà vu.
“It is a big throwback,” said Sophie Turner, the actress who plays Sansa. “She’s at the hands of another monster.”
Sansa began the series as a callow girl set to marry a prince and become queen of the realm someday. That prince, Joffrey, turned out to be a horror, and Sansa’s happy plans soon gave way to the execution of her father, a humiliating marriage to Tyrion and a flight for her life into the arms of a creepy uncle, Littlefinger, who then killed her aunt in front of her.
By the end of Season 4, she’d turned a corner, showing a cunning side that seemed destined to change her fortunes. Then, this week, she learned that Littlefinger had promised her to arguably the worst person in the show’s known world. “She does approach it very differently” than she did with Joffrey, Ms. Turner said. “She kind of knows how to get what she wants now.”
That said, she added with a bit of understatement, “it’s difficult with Ramsay, because he is a psychopath.”
Ms. Turner recently discussed Sansa’s latest misadventure. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
Q. Congratulations are in order.
A. Lucky me.
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HBO’s Game of Thrones has been gradually edging away from its source material. Yet Sunday’s episode introduced what is perhaps the boldest departure yet from George R.R. Martin’s novels: Sansa Stark is now engaged to marry… the psychotic Ramsay Snow Bolton!
In what could be another cruel twist for Sansa (Sophie Turner), her guardian, Littlefinger, arranged for the long-suffering teen to wed the ex-bastard of Bolton, whose family controls her former home of Winterfell. (Littlefinger, it seems, is not aware of Ramsay’s cruelty.) Sansa agrees because she’s trying to take charge of her own fate, and potentially wants to get within striking distance of the family who killed her mother and brother during season 3’s infamous Red Wedding.
But in Martin’s books, Sansa is still at the Eyrie when her storyline ends in A Feast for Crows, while Ramsay marries a minor character who hasn’t appeared in the TV version.
“Sansa is a character we care about almost more than any other, and the Stark sisters have from the very beginning been two characters who have fascinated us the most,” said showrunner David Benioff. “We got very lucky in casting because it’s so hard to cast good kids. Even if they come in and do a great audition, it’s so hard to know if they’re going to quite literally grow into the parts. With Sansa and Arya in particular, their storylines have become quite dark. It was such a gamble and the fact that they’ve both become such great wonderful actresses is a bit of a miracle.”
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Sophie Turner weighs in on what the young Stark’s alliance means for her character: “Sansa disguises her true feelings very well.”
Is Sansa (Sophie Turner) headed down a dark path?
Game of Thrones fans have fretted about Sansa allying herself more closely with the devious Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen), whose list of despicable acts is quite lengthy. (Remember poor Ros, or the less likable Lysa?)
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There’s a reason why Sophie Turner is so obsessed with Twitter – it’s like her own personal headhunter!
The Game of Thrones actress, who plays Sansa Stark on the addictive HBO drama, credits her 527,000 Twitter followers for tipping her off about the role of a young Jean Grey in the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse.
“I actually just started getting a ton of Tweets saying, ‘Oh, Sophie, they’re recasting Jean Grey as a young 18-year-old,’ and people just telling me to audition, so I emailed my agent and was like, ‘What’s going on with this?’ ” Turner tells PEOPLE exclusively.
“She was like, ‘Actually, they’re interested in you, so go for an audition.’ So I put myself on tape, got a callback, flew out to LA for the screen test and then I got it!”
Turner says she’s grateful for her social media buddies for keeping her abreast of all the breaking Hollywood news.
“That’s why I think it’s so important to have Twitter and to know what’s going on in the world,” Turner says. “Maybe my agent would have come to me and said, ‘You should do this,’ but that’s how I first found out about it.”
For more about Turner and how she was only 13 when she booked the pivotal role on Game of Thrones, pick up the next issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Thursday.
Playing Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones – growing up on set and facing peril on screen – has been quite an education for Sophie Turner, as she tells Jessica Salter
It feels appropriate that when I meet Sophie Turner, the 19-year-old actor who plays Sansa Stark in the phenomenally successful television series Game of Thrones, a solar eclipse is plunging part of the earth into darkness. It almost sounds like a plot line. Sadly, neither of us sees anything – where we are in east London it is cloudy and cold. Turner has arrived bang on time, dressed in high-waisted skinny jeans and a parka, yawning. “Excuse me,” she says immediately. “I’m not used to getting up at 9am.”
Perhaps not this week – she has had a week of premieres and evening events promoting the show – but when she is on set, as she has been from July to December for the past five years, she works a 12-hour day. “I sleep whenever I have a spare moment,” she says, laughing. “If I arrive on set and they tell me I have five minutes before hair and make-up, then I head straight to my trailer for a nap.” Filming for the show takes place in Northern Ireland, Malta, Croatia, Iceland and Morocco – “I’ve mainly been in Ireland lately,” Turner says. “I wish I was back in the sun.”
For the uninitiated, Game of Thrones is a medieval fantasy epic, adapted for HBO from the sprawling novels by George RR Martin, that features a cast of thousands. It is set largely on the battle-scarred continent of Westeros, where clans scheme and slay each other in attempts to seize the throne and rule the seven kingdoms while facing imminent threat of attacks from the queen of the dragons and her army across the sea, the former king’s youngest brother, who has a creepy priestess on his side, and an even darker force – the terrifying “Others” – bearing down from the north. Everyone fears the changing seasons – winter, which is coming, can last for decades.
The series, which starts its fifth season tomorrow night, drew 19 million viewers in the US alone for the season four finale broadcast last June. Turner has been playing Sansa Stark, one of the show’s leading characters, since she was 14. “I’ve grown up with her,” she says. “I really feel what she feels; I probably know her better than I know myself.”
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