[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.
Q. Ramsay has been the most reprehensible guy on this show. When you heard that you were marrying him, what was your reaction?
A. Well it’s like from one monster to another. She had Joffrey and then Joffrey died off, so they were like, “We’ll give her the second best. We’ll give her Ramsay.” I don’t know. If anyone can deal with these kinds of people, it’s Sansa.
Q. Just because she has the experience of dealing with monsters?
A. Yeah, she knows how to tiptoe around psychopaths.
Q. She’s the monster whisperer.
A. It’s like Buffy the Vampire Slayer — Sansa the Monster Whisperer. But obviously it was heartbreaking. When I got the script, I was shocked to my core. Because I was just like, is this really going to happen for her again? It’s really quite devastating. It is “Game of Thrones,” but when you had the moment at the end of Season 4 you think, “Oh her life is going to get better. She’s going to take matters into her own hands and she’s gonna be this powerful woman and liberate people and manipulate people.” And then it was just kind of like, “Oh.”
Q. Does returning to her home mitigate the other part at all?
A. Getting married to Ramsay Bolton can never be salvaged.
Q. So it’s not like, at least I get to sleep in my old room.
A. Yeah it’s more devastating than anything. And she’s kind of wanted to forget about her roots. Even through her clothing you can see it. She’s got the black dress, the black hair. She’s getting away from her Tully and Stark roots completely. I think she wants to forget about that rather than go back and become the Lady of Winterfell or whatever.
Q. Why do you think she wants to get rid of those roots?
A. When people think of the Starks, they think of them as very easily manipulatable. She really wanted to create a house of her own.
Q. Her relationship with Littlefinger is complicated, but there did seem to be a sort of bond there. Do you think she accepts that this is part of a larger plot or does it just seem like pure betrayal?
A. I think she would’ve put up more of a fight if she thought it wasn’t part of a big plot by Littlefinger, because he is the master of manipulation and he knows what everyone is doing at every moment of every day. So I think she does kind of go with the flow.
Q. So is she going to be joining Ramsay on any of his hunts?
A. Yeah she’s the new hunting partner, for sure. [Laughs.] We hope not. She’s not going to turn into a psychopath, too.