There are spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen the fifth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones. But there no real spoilers for the sixth season, so if you watched the entire fifth season of Game of Thrones then you should be up to date. Consider this your final spoiler warning!
One of the most divisive sequences in Game of Thrones season 5 was the wedding night rape scene in which Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) forced himself on Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner). Although most of the scene was depicted off-camera, the executive producers of Game of Thrones were taken aback by the reaction to it.
“It is important that (the producers) not self-censor,” explained Jeremy Podeswa, the director who helmed the scene in question, during a breakfast briefing at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney. “The show depicts a brutal world where horrible things happen. They did not want to be too overly influenced by that [criticism] but they did absorb and take it in and it did influence them in a way.”
He added that Dan Weiss and David Benioff “were responsive to the discussion and there were a couple of things that changed as a result.”
“It was a difficult and brutal scene and we knew it was going to be challenging for the audience,” recounted Podeswa of filming the scene. “But it was very important to us in the execution that it would not be exploited in any way. To be fair, the criticism was the notion of it, not the execution. It was handled as sensitively as it could possibly be; you hardly see anything.
“I welcomed the discussion about the depiction of violence on television and how it could be used as a narrative tool sometimes and the questionable nature of that,” continued Podeswa. “We were aware ahead of time that it was going to be disturbing but we did not expect there would be people in Congress talking about it.”
At the end of season 5, Sansa and Theon (Alfie Allen) escaped from the Boltons, but their fate on the series remains to be seen. Podeswa directed the first episode of Game of Thrones season 6, which will premiere in April 2016 on HBO.
How do you feel about Game of Thrones’ previous approach to sexual violence? Let us know in the comment section below!
Image Credit: HBO
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