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Film

Sophie Turner on her ‘coping mechanism’ for filming traumatic 'Game of Thrones' scenes

Sophie Turner has revealed that she “developed a coping mechanism” so she wouldn’t get “traumatised” while filming some of the more gruesome and disturbing Game of Thrones scenes.

The 26-year-old reflected on filming the show’s most traumatic scenes when she was still in her teen years in a recent interview with Jessica Chastain for The Cut magazine.

Just over ten years ago, Turner was cast for the part of Sansa Stark, aged just 15. She was contracted to star in the first series of Game of Thrones which was based on George RR Martin’s book series called A Song of Ice and Fire, which became an international sensation within weeks of the first airing in 2011. 

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One of the series’ most controversial and distressing scenes involved Turner’s character Sansa. In the sixth series, Sansa marries Ramsay Bolton (played by Iwan Rheon), who rapes her on their wedding night while forcing Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) to watch. The added trauma came because Theon had grown up with the Stark family and was like a brother to Sansa.

Turner, who was 19 when the episode was released, told The Cut that she “developed a coping mechanism” while filming the most harrowing scenes to avoid getting “traumatised”.

Referencing the prime actors’ ability to seamlessly go in and out of character while filming, Turner was asked if she had a ritual. She responded: “I don’t, but I kind of find it quite easy to go in and out [of character],” Turner revealed, adding, “You saw on X-Men, in between takes, singing and dancing together. It does help having people around that are also willing to step out of it as well.”

Turner continued: “And it’s just something that growing up on a show like Game of Thrones, the subject matter was so heavy that I just developed a coping mechanism of just having the most fun in between takes, so I wouldn’t get traumatised.”

Turner was later asked whether some of the show’s darker themes had left any lasting trauma, and she replied half-jokingly: “I’m sure I’ll exhibit some symptoms of trauma down the road. At that age, I don’t think I could comprehend a lot of the scene matter.”

Watch one of the many harrowing scenes Sophie Turner acted in during her time working on Game of Thrones below.