Game of Thrones Producers on Why Sansa’s Storyline Is Deviating From the Books

Ughhhhhhh nooooooooooo.
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If you’re a fan of the A Song of Ice and Fire books and you’re watching the latest season of Game of Thrones, you may have noticed that Sansa’s storyline is deviating ever so slightly from the source material. Executive Producer David Benioff has some reasons for that—but if you haven’t read the books, there are spoilers beyond this Sansa GIF, so beware.


So now we all know Sansa is being left with Ramsay Bolton, continuing her absolutely horrible track record when it comes to dudes. Instead of being stuck in the Vale like she is in the books, Sansa is taking Jeyne Poole’s place—Jeyne who, in the books, is disguised as Arya and married to the Bolton to cement their claim to Winterfell. Apparently Benioff and co. had been considering this change for the past four years because they wanted to give Sansa a bigger role in the proceedings of the show:

We really wanted Sansa to play a major part this season. If we were going to stay absolutely faithful to the book, it was going to be very hard to do that. There was as subplot we loved from the books, but it used a character that’s not in the show.

Of course, the bummer thing about this for all of us Sansa lovers is that, in A Dance with Dragons, Greyjoy-flayer Bolton ends up torturing the crap out of Jeyne to get her to be subservient, including sexual assault and forced bestiality. According to producer Bryan Cogman,

You have this storyline with Ramsay. Do you have one of your leading ladies—who is an incredibly talented actor who we’ve followed for five years and viewers love and adore—do it? Or do you bring in a new character to do it? To me, the question answers itself: You use the character the audience is invested in.

As someone who became progressively confused by the books the longer they went on due to the massive influx of characters, this pleases me. But as someone who hates to see the amount of unnecessary and graphic violence inflicted on female characters in Game of Thrones (all those rape scenes, I’m looking at you), this makes me very, very sad. It might be nice to think that Sansa might just kick Bolton in the balls and escape, but according to Winter is Coming,

we know that Sophie Turner, Iwan Rheon and Alfie Allen have all been unanimous in insisting that there will be a terrible scene this season, one Turner rated “a six on the GoT Scale,” one Rheon said he didn’t want to go through with, and one Allen said would make Theon and Ramsay the most hated men in Westeros.

Cool. Cool cool cool. Why must you do this, Game of Thrones?

(via Winter is Coming)

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Sam Maggs
Sam Maggs is a writer and televisioner, currently hailing from the Kingdom of the North (Toronto). Her first book, THE FANGIRL'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY will be out soon from Quirk Books. Sam’s parents saw Star Wars: A New Hope 24 times when it first came out, so none of this is really her fault.