7:22am PT by Josh Wigler
'Game of Thrones' Finale: Sophie Turner on Sansa Stark's Killer Instinct, Trust Issues and Power Plays
When Jon Snow (Kit Harington) was named King in the North, everybody in the great hall of Winterfell cheered — everybody, that is, save for two people.
In the back of the room: Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish (Aidan Gillen), his trademark smirk nowhere near his face. Instead, his eyes were fixed on the woman sitting beside the newly anointed king: Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), her own smile fading upon catching Littlefinger's gaze.
The knowing exchange followed a rendezvous between the two in the godswood outside of Winterfell. There, Littlefinger made his ambitions clear: He wishes to sit upon the Iron Throne with Sansa at his side. At the time, Sansa downplayed her interest in his goals, casting aside Littlefinger's insistence that she deserved the title of Queen in the North. After all, he points out, Sansa is Eddard Stark's true-born daughter, and Jon Snow is just some "bastard born in the south." Except Jon Snow isn't just anything: He's the son of Lyanna Stark and, very likely, Rhaegar Targaryen, making him one of the most politically complicated characters in the Seven Kingdoms.
But that's a matter for the future. For now, Jon rules Winterfell, and Sansa is not particularly pleased, judging by looks, and judging by Sophie Turner's comments to The Hollywood Reporter. Here's her take on Sansa's season six story, the ramifications of killing Ramsay Bolton, trust issues with both Jon Snow and Littlefinger, and an eye toward the future.
Sansa fed Ramsay Bolton to the dogs in episode nine. She walked away from the carnage, smiling to herself. Should we be rooting for Sansa in this moment, or should we be afraid of her?
Maybe a bit of both. There's a feeling of rooting for her. This is something everyone wanted out of Sansa. She had certainly been building up to this over the past five seasons, her first kill. But I think what people should be maybe a bit wary of is how much she seemed to enjoy it. I have to give a lot of credit to Miguel [Sapochnik], the director of the episode. That was kind of his idea, the look back in, where it lasts a little bit too long. I think Sansa could maybe develop a taste for killing. Who knows. It could be a little worrying, for sure.
Does that speak at all to Ramsay's final words? He tells her: "I'm part of you now." Is he right?
Do you mean literally or figuratively? (Laughs.) I think some people have taken it very literally, thinking that she might be pregnant. Personally, I think it's more figurative, especially because months and months have gone on and Sansa really hasn't developed a baby belly. So I think he means he's going to forever be imprinted on her in a way that he's done such a terrible thing to her. He's taken something of hers that's so precious. I think he believes that will always be a part of her, but I think he underestimates just how strong she is, and just how easily she can forget him. Now that she's killed him she can forget him, and she can move on with her life.
How is that act sitting with Sansa in the finale? Has she forgotten Ramsay and her role in killing him, or is it still weighing on her?
It's difficult to tell at this point whether she's completely forgotten him or not. But as she said, "All memory of you will disappear." Maybe she'll stick by her word. I think she's moving on. She's onto bigger and better things. Ramsay was just a tiny blockade in the way of something much bigger.
The Starks are back in Winterfell, and in the finale, Jon and Sansa have a conversation about trust: "We need to trust each other, because we have so many enemies now." Does Sansa trust Jon, ultimately?
I think Sansa trusts Jon to make morally right decisions, but I'm not sure if she trusts him with the kind of political things. I don't know if she trusts Davos completely, and he's kind of his advisor. I think it's more about being open with each other, like with Sansa writing to Littlefinger for the Knights of the Vale. I think Jon means they need to be more open with each other and tell each other what's going on — and it's very frustrating for Sansa to hear him say that. She knows he means it more about her than it is him talking about himself. And he really needs to trust her.
In the scene, Sansa tells Jon that only a fool would trust Littlefinger. Later, she meets with Littlefinger and he paints this picture of himself on the Iron Throne, with Sansa at his side. She rejects him in the moment, but when Jon is crowned King in the North, Sansa and Littlefinger exchange a look. What is Sansa thinking about Littlefinger's pitch by the end of the episode?
As you say, she rejects him in the beginning, but there's definitely something in her that's … it's kind of a jealousy toward Jon. He's getting all of the credit for basically Sansa saving his ass. Obviously he played a huge part in the Battle of the Bastards, but Sansa really saved him. There's a bit of jealousy there. She looks at Littlefinger knowing that he would have put her as Queen in the North, and given her the credit she deserves. I don't think she's gunning for the Iron Throne anytime soon, but she realizes that Littlefinger might be a better ally than she thought, a more trustworthy ally than she thought.
Can Sansa actually trust Littlefinger, or would their working relationship be skeptical at best?
Yes, I think she'll forever be wary of Littlefinger. But I think she realizes now that he's more loyal to her than she initially thought. He's tried to prove that. If he truly is loyal to her, then he's a wonderful, wonderful ally to have. But she'll forever be skeptical and wary of his motives. She's not stupid enough to follow him blindly.
Sansa doesn't know this yet and Jon doesn't even know this yet, but the finale revealed to us that Jon is not Ned Stark's son. He's Lyanna Stark's son. How do you imagine this news sitting with Sansa whenever she finds out?
God, I don't know! I've never really thought about that. I think it may even heal the relationship between Jon and Sansa somewhat, because she's always taken her mother's view of how Jon entered the family. I think finding out that her father did not cheat on Catelyn and had an illegitimate child would probably build a few bridges rather than burn them. I think it could do good for the relationship.
We never really saw Sansa's reaction to finding out that Jon died and came back to life …
I bet she reacted to that the same way everybody else reacted to that: complete shock. "Uh, what?" (Laughs.) She was probably just astounded. I think they caught up with each other in front of the fire over that beer, or whatever it was they were drinking. Of course I think it was a completely crazy moment for her, but she never got to see him die, so he's exactly the same as he was before to her!
Jon and Sansa reunited this season. Bran is hopefully heading south from beyond the Wall. Arya is back in Westeros. As the story builds toward the end, the stage is set for a Stark reunion. But what would that even look like at this point, given everything they've gone through since the start of the story?
I think the Stark reunion would definitely be different. A lot of dynamics will have changed. They all split up and were basically trying to get back together for so long, but they've all changed so much in the meantime. They're all carrying different motives now. It would be very interesting to see them back together now, but it wouldn't be the family dynamic that they're used to … maybe for better or for worse. I think Arya and Sansa's spats would be gone, and they would realize that they totally love each other, and there was no point in fighting. I think Jon and Arya's reunion would be wonderful, as well as Bran and Jon's. It would be wonderful, but we would see how long it would last, and how frustrated they would get with each other, having been isolated for so long, all of them.
Looking forward, Cersei is on the Iron Throne now. She's one of Sansa's biggest enemies still out there. Is this a nightmare situation for Sansa?
It could potentially be an opportunity for her. I think it's difficult, because Sansa's ally in Margaery is no longer there. She could have really helped out in this situation. Cersei is probably the only antagonist of Sansa's that she really has left, so there's perhaps an opportunity there to go to war — but who knows. I think Daenerys might get there first.
Follow THR's Game of Thrones coverage for more interviews, news and analysis.