Poor, poor Sansa Stark, the much put-upon elder Stark daughter who has essentially been held captive in King’s Landing since arriving with her now-deceased father all the way back in season one. But are things finally starting to look up for the fair-haired lady that dread King Joffrey threw over for Margaery Tyrell and who is now locked into an (as-yet-unconsummated) marriage to Tyrion Lannister? The events that occurred in tonight’s episode seemed to indicate that things might indeed be looking rosier for Sansa — but then again, things in Westeros aren’t often what they seem, are they? [Be advised: If you haven’t caught up on your Game of Thrones viewing and don’t want the actions of the second episode of season four spoiled for you, read no further. In other words, SPOILERS AHEAD!]
Yes, the unthinkable has happened for Sansa Stark — something seemingly good. Joffrey, her former fiancé and sadistic tormentor, was splayed on the ground, purple-faced and dead from being poisoned at his own wedding. Did Sansa stop to examine the body? Check for a pulse? Root through his pockets for royal trinkets? Hell, no — she was on her way out of King’s Landing, after several seasons of being a “guest” of the royal family. Finally, a new chapter is beginning for the long-suffering Stark girl, who is eager to be free of the Lannisters at last and finally come into her own. Will it happen? Vulture chatted recently with Sophie Turner about the repercussions of Joffrey’s death, Sansa haters (boo!) and fanboys (Aaron Paul!), and the cutoff age that someone in Westeros should stop breastfeeding.
What’s a Westeros wedding without a little murder? I’m sure you have mixed feelings about that.
Very mixed feelings! I just don’t want Jack Gleeson to leave! He’s my favorite person, one of my favorite people in the whole cast. I can’t even believe he’s leaving. It upsets me too much. Maybe I’ll never see him again! No, I will see him again, of course. Jack Attack. I’ll see him. I’ll invite him to a concert. How can he refuse? His onscreen girlfriend? He has to! [Laughs.]
Well, while you might miss Jack, Sansa will certainly not miss Joffrey.
It’s a big relief for Sansa. He was just horrible to his core. But I kind of like that he was so straight-up about it. Everyone knew he was horrible, he knew he was horrible, and he just embraced it. Like showing a 13-year-old girl the head of her father that he ordered to be chopped off? What a dick! But that was Joffrey, through and through. He was a total douche, even to his fricking father. There was not one good bone in his body. He hated everyone. He was vile to everyone. Even Margaery didn’t like him; she was just a better actor than Sansa. But I think he was so hated because he was a young boy undermining all these powerful adults, and the theme of Game of Thrones is just a whole power play. But this [doesn’t] make Sansa any less of a prisoner than she was before. And if she’s not prisoner, then they want to kill her. So … not great. There’s no one that she can trust in this world. At the end of episode two, you see her running off with Dontos, but she has no idea where she’s going — he’s just sprung something on her, and he seems to know what’s going on, and it’s just a whole other situation where someone’s manipulated her, or someone’s lied to her, and she’s fed up with it, to be honest.
It’s almost a Terminator moment — come with me if you want to live.
I know! “If you want to survive, come with me.” I do want to survive … so she basically had no choice. She had to go.
And by fleeing, she becomes a suspect, and implicates her husband Tyrion …
Everyone thinks I did it. I guess you’ll just have to wait and see. Sansa, the great thing about this, they start to suspect that Sansa is the dark horse, and that’s exactly what they should be thinking, because she is a dark horse. Maybe not because she’d kill someone, but she’s definitely plotting something.
Despite her ordeals, Sansa still clings to her fairy-tale princess fantasies, more or less — Dontos played into that. And it’s because of these fantasies that some fans don’t like her, even hate her. Is that because they don’t know where she’s headed, the whole Sansa arc?
Yeah! People don’t like her because it’s the making of her, right now. When she, sometime soon in the future, becomes this person that she’s been kind of building up to, for the past three seasons, now four, then people will really begin to root for her. I think even the audience doesn’t realize she’s such a dark horse. If she acted badass and tried to kill everyone there, she would be dead by now! She’s so intelligent, and I can’t stress that enough. Courtesy is a lady’s armor. She’s using her courtesy to deceive people, and she’s using her former self as a facade, and it works so much to her advantage, because people still think she’s this naive, vulnerable, little girl, and she’s really not. She knows exactly what she’s doing. She knows what game she’s playing! And no one else does. And she’s learned from the best — Cersei, Margaery, Tyrion, Littlefinger, even Joffrey. She’s learned so much from these people, and they don’t even realize it. They’re unwittingly feeding her to become this great kind of manipulator. King’s Landing can either make or break a person, and in Sansa’s case, it’s making her.
Seeing how her story progresses in the books must be great fun for you.
Yes! If she hadn’t gone through what she’s gone through, she wouldn’t be half as a great a character as she’s about to be. Sansa has seen so many people fall from grace, and so many people who use power to their advantage, and I’m sure she’s thought about what it would be like to have power, in the years she spent in King’s Landing as a prisoner. Queen Sansa! Do you think there’s enough Sansa fans to start that campaign?
Who’s the most unlikely Sansa fan you’ve met?
Aaron Paul. I met him the other day, and we were geeking out about each other’s shows. I was like, “Oh my God, Jesse!” and he was like, “Oh my God, Sansa!” It was so weird and amazing. But maybe he was just like, “Oh my God, you’re here!” and maybe he’s not a Sansa fan. Let’s just think it in our minds that he is, and make it so. If you believe, you can achieve — that’s my motto! But after this season, there should be a lot more Sansa fans. It’ll be really nice when people start to accept Sansa as not a stupid girl! The fans will see that soon. [Evil cackle.] But it’s not about the power for her — it’s about getting home.
Which, for now, means connecting with her living relatives. Her aunt in the Vale, for instance.
And her weird son.
He’s not still breastfeeding, is he?
I believe so! I don’t even know when you’re supposed to stop, but I know it’s before, like, 2. You shouldn’t be talking and breastfeeding at the same time. Maybe before you start even teething? Maybe that’s when it stops. It should stop pretty much straight away, because it’s weird in the first place. It has to stop. Six years old? Weird.
Kids age at different rates in Westeros, though.
Yeah, in the first season, Sansa is 13. In the last season, she was 14. So over two years, she’s aged a year. So maybe it’s at half-speed. This is like a whole other dimension of medieval times, so maybe breastfeeding isn’t that weird at that age? Get married at 12, and that’s when you stop breastfeeding! [Laughs.] When it’s time for your marriage, that’s when you have to stop breastfeeding.