It’s no secret that viewers had plenty of overall plot narrative gripes with the eighth and final season of Game Of Thrones, but there was also one brief scene in the fourth episode, “The Last of the Starks,” that drummed up its fair share of criticism. In the episode, while the survivors of the Battle of Winterfell are drunkenly celebrating the defeat of the Night King, Sansa approaches the Hound, who is sitting at a table by himself — having spurned the advances of a few prostitutes.
The two have a history together dating back to the very first season, when the Hound assisted in the capture of Sansa during a Lannister raid of King’s Landing — although he later came to her defense at the hands of Joffrey and rescued her from being gang-raped during the King’s Landing riots. Yet, while deserting King’s Landing following the Battle of the Blackwater, the Hound offered to take Sansa back to Winterfell and she ultimately refused.
“None of it would have happened if you’d left King’s Landing with me,” the Hound later told Sansa back in Winterfell. “No Littlefinger. No Ramsay. None of it.”
“Without Littlefinger and Ramsay and the rest, I would have stayed a little bird all my life,” Sansa responded, referring to the Hound’s longtime nickname for her.
Given the backlash to the graphic, violent sexual assault portrayed by Ramsay Bolton in Season 5, people were understandably not too thrilled with Sansa’s choice of words in the scene. The New York Times later spoke with actress Sophie Turner about it, noting that “it almost seemed to be crediting abusers with making [her] who [she was],” however Turner doesn’t see it that way.
I obviously think that’s not a message to spread. But I don’t think that was the intention. It was that she was strong in spite of all of the horrific things that she’s gone through, not because of them. She’s had resilience since the very beginning, and despite all of these awful things that happened to her, she’s kept that resilience. Sansa to the core is resilient and brave and strong, and that had nothing to do with her abusers.
Be that as it may, it’s hard to make the argument that pre-Ramsay Sansa would have had the wherewithal to horrifically feed a dude to his own dogs — so maybe also credit where credit is due?
(Via New York Times)