Sansa Stark has been through a lot these past 10 years. She’s come face to face with nearly every “villain” in HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones—Geoffry, Cersei, Ramsay Bolton, you name it. But Jessica Chastain slammed Game of Thrones for using rape as a way to make a character stronger. In last week’s episode of Game of Thrones, Sansa credited her strength to all the horrible experiences she went through. In a reflective moment between the red-haired raven and the Hound—she delighted in telling him she took care of Ramsay with hounds. However, Chastain didn’t like that Sansa said the rape at the hands of Ramsay made her stronger. Chastain doesn’t want sexual assault and sexual violence to be validated in this light.
The 42-year-old actress took to Twitter to make her opinions known. She wrote, “Rape is not a tool to make a character stronger. A woman doesn’t need to be victimized in order to become a butterfly.” She continued, “The #littlebird was always a Phoenix. Her prevailing strength is solely because of her. And her alone.”
Hell yeah it is! Chastain has played a big role in the #MeToo movement and we’re happy to see her commitment to seeking equal treatment of women crosses over even into the fictional world. We get what Game of Thrones was trying to do—Sansa could’ve been broken by those horrible experiences at the hands of Ramsay and Litttlefinger. Instead, she prevailed. But Chastain is right: it wasn’t her sexual assult that made Sansa strong, it was her all along. She always had that strength.
Chastain wasn’t the only one to take issue with the way the show decided to paint the rape culture that exists in Westeros. Other fans took to Twitter to express their feelings. Fans supported Chastain’s sentiments, and also added their own.