Game of Thrones Left One Of Its Main Stars With Long-Term Trauma

Game of Thrones Left One Of Its Main Stars With Long-Term Trauma
Image credit: HBO, The Weinstein Company

Acting is not all fun and games. Especially, when you're in Game of Thrones.


  • Game of Thrones is known for its violent scenes, which shocked not only those watching, but also the actors involved.
  • Sophie Turner, who played Sansa, developed a kind of defense mechanism so that she would not be too traumatized by the things that were happening on the set.

Game of Thrones is a cultural phenomenon that has captivated millions of people around the world. Bold, innovative, edgy, and utterly ruthless – all of these words have become part of Game of Thrones, giving it one of the largest fan bases in cinematic history.

The first season of Game of Thrones came as a shock to unprepared viewers. Scenes of executions, brutal murders, nudity and sexual acts were (maybe, too) frequent.

Viserys Targaryen's crown of red-hot gold, the treacherous murder of Eddard Stark and the Red Wedding cause shock and disgust, but at the same time they only fuel interest in the show. After the aforementioned Red Wedding, fans began to feel that they could no longer be surprised by any murder scene. That is, until Gregor Clegane popped Oberyn Martell's head like a balloon.

Game of Thrones Was Traumatizing For Sophie Turner

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Yes, we all know that Game of Thrones is full of violence. But one of the most shocking scenes that stood out among all the Game of Thrones gore was the brutal sexual assault of Sansa Stark by Ramsay Bolton.

Those who read the book and knew how the wedding ceremony ended could mentally prepare for the episode. But for viewers unfamiliar with the original source, Sansa's first wedding night became a real nightmare.

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As it turned out, it was a nightmare not only for the audience, but also for the actress herself. Sophie Turner, who played Sansa, admitted in an interview that filming Game of Thrones was a difficult experience for her, which is not surprising – her character was subjected to psychological and sexual violence for several seasons.

In an interview with The Cut alongside Jessica Chastain, Sophie admitted that she developed a special defense mechanism to not be so traumatized by what happened on set – the actress sang and danced and tried to have as much fun as possible to erase difficult emotions and experiences of her character:

“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 traumatized. […] I’m sure I’ll exhibit some symptoms of trauma down the road.”

Even Experienced Actors Suffer From Their Roles

It's not uncommon for heavy roles to take a toll on actors, and even much more experienced actors than Sophie Turner suffer from that. And for Turner, the Game of Thrones gig was the debut one.

It took Kate Winslet several months to recover from her role as an illiterate concentration camp guard in the film The Reader. Kate, who won an Oscar for her performance, admitted that getting out of character is as much work as rehearsing a role, and she spent many days and efforts to finally say goodbye to Hanna Schmitz.

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Natalie Portman went practically without food for several weeks before filming Black Swan, losing 30 pounds. Director Darren Aronofsky isolated Portman from the rest of the cast so that she could feel her character's psychological disorder.

Due to the forced isolation and intense training in ballet class, Natalie almost suffered psychological trauma and spent a lot of time trying to get out of character after the shoot.

Source: The Cut