Sophie Turner was just 12-years-old when she initially auditioned for HBO’s Game of Thrones. She was just 15 when her role as Sansa Stark finally hit the small screen. That’s young. Really, if you think about, her and some of the other younger actors on the show have grown up right before our eyes. That’s an interesting experience, going through adolescence on one of the most violent and sexually provocative TV series of all time.
According to Turner, this experience forced her to mature quicker and learn about some very adult-oriented life lessons early on.
Speaking with The Sunday Times, Turner said that Game of Thrones became her “sex education.”
“I’d be doing a read-through and we’d be talking about very graphic stuff. The first time I ever found out about oral sex was from reading the script. I was 13. I I was like … ‘Wow! People do that? That’s fascinating!’ I guess that was my sex education. Being on ‘Game of Thrones.’”
The now 21-year-old actress also took time in the interview to address the criticisms the show has received for its treatment of female characters and the controversial sexual assault scene from season 5.
“Sexual assault wasn’t something that had affected me or anybody I knew, so I was pretty blasé about the whole thing. Naively so. And then I shot the scene, and in the aftermath there was this huge uproar that we would depict something like that on television. My first response was like, ‘maybe we shouldn’t have put that on screen at all.’ The more we talk about sexual assault the better, and screw the people who are saying we shouldn’t be putting this on TV and screw the people who are saying they’re going to boycott the show because of it. This sort of thing used to happen and it continues to happen now, and if we treat it as such a taboo and precious subject, then how are people going to have the strength to come out and feel comfortable saying that this has happened to them?”
Say what you want about the show’s depiction of female characters, but there’s no denying that Sansa and many others (Daenerys, Cersei, Arya, etc.) represent some of the strongest characters on TV regardless of gender.
Game of Thrones season seven will debut on July 17.