The breakout performance of last season’s “Game of Thrones” was definitely Sophie Turner, whose Sansa Stark got to turn the tables after enduring four years of torment by the Lannisters. Far from being a puppet at the hands of Littlefinger, she proved that she could hold her own when it came to manipulation.
But what will she do with the chance to finally avenge her family? We asked Turner to tell us as much as she could without losing her head about Season 5, which premieres this Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.
People are so excited to see what’s next for Sansa.
At the end of Season 4, she was going off on a tour of the Vale with Littlefinger. In Season 5, we’re seeing the plan that he has in store for Sansa, which is interesting. She’s very powerful — her and Littlefinger, it’s more that they’re a duo rather than her taking control over him. He has the brains, and so does she but she can really manipulate him to get what she wants. But she needs him as much as he needs her.
One of the most powerful scenes last season was Sansa testifying about Littlefinger before the Eyrie council.
That was my favorite scene to film, I think. It was so well-written and so sneaky and subtle, I loved it. It was also amazing watching Aiden doing his close-up, and the camera being on him the whole time and watching him just slowly figure out what this girl is doing. It’s probably the scene I’m most proud of, I loved it.
It was an excellent bit of manipulation. Did her time in King’s Landing change Sansa?
Definitely — watching Cersei, Margaery and Tyrion, how they work and how they get what they want and how they achieve their ends: They’re not up front, and to do the right thing they have to do the wrong thing first.
The show has its risque moments. Will that be part of Sansa’s story?
With Sansa, I never thought that she would need to manipulate people through [sex]. She has a lot better aspects than just that — all of these characters do — but I’ve always found Sansa to be one who’s so manipulative and sneaky, that I never really thought she would need to. But who knows what the future holds?
The women of the show really became the focal point of last season. Is this going to be their season?
I’ve only read my part of the script ‘cause I want to be surprised when it comes out. But people have been waiting and waiting for these women to gain a lot of power and overthrow the people that have done them wrong, but at the end of the day it’s “Game of Thrones” and it’s not going to be that easy for them. But definitely, these women are starting to gain control.
Why only read your part of the script?
I’ve always known what’s coming, the whole time, and as great as that is and as exciting and tempting as it is when you get the script to read the whole thing, I really want to sit down as a fan and see how this show works and if it’s as good as everyone’s saying it is. I want to form my own opinion on the show.
Is that how you’ve been watching it since the beginning?
No, I’ve read the scripts every time up to this time. I have absolutely no idea what’s coming. I’m very excited — the books are going in one direction and the show is going in another, so it’s very exciting to see what’s going to happen. And also I’m a huge blabbermouth, it’s difficult for me to hold everything in, so it’s probably for the best.
Would you be a fan of the show if you weren’t on it?
I don’t know, I think I would. Fantasy and sci-fi, I was never really interested in that before “Game of Thrones.” But the thing is “Game of Thrones” is very special, it’s not just science fiction or fantasy. It’s drama, and it has so much real emotion and real characters in it, it’s somewhere in the middle of drama and fantasy, they found the perfect balance. So I don’t know if I would’ve originally sat down and watched it, but if I had, I think I would be a fan.
The Internet can be unkind about Sansa.
What’s been the most rewarding is being able to prove Sansa haters wrong. Slowly but surely, watching the look on people’s faces when they realize, “Oh, I think I got Sansa wrong.” But I don’t want to spoil anything — I want them to gradually realize how stupid they’ve been.
As soon as she got to King’s Landing, I could see her absorbing all the information like a sponge from watching everyone. If anyone else had been in her position, they would be dead by now, because she’s been so submissive and pleasing Joffrey and Cersei and Tywin. She’s been so manipulatable and yet manipulative at the same time that she’s somehow managed to get by and survive without getting her head chopped off. And that’s a credit to her in itself, the fact that she’s still alive.
Who will win the Game of Thrones?
I want to see Littlefinger on the throne. As much as I want justice for characters like Daenerys or Jon Snow, Littlefinger would be amazing, or Varys, someone who really knows how the game works and is very sneaky and knows everything about everyone, I think they’d probably do the best on the throne.
Have you been introduced to anything fun by the other cast members?
It sounds really bad, but the more I’ve grown up, the more I go out to pubs with the men. I’ve definitely developed a love of pool — snooker, is that what you call it? — because of the local bar we go to every time.
Who’s the best?
Kit [Harington, Jon Snow] or Alfie [Allen, Theon Greyjoy], they’re very competitive. You can challenge me and you’ll win — we don’t do money bets, thank god, otherwise I’d be poor.