May 5th episode of Game of Thrones, Sansa Stark reunited with The Hound for the first time in several seasons. The characters discussed the many challenges Sansa has faced over the years, specifically the ways they changed her as a person. But many viewers are decidedly unhappy with the show’s portrayal of trauma and sexual assault during their conversation.
The conversations states, Sansa implies that she wouldn’t have grown as a person or become strong without living through horrible events, including rape.
Now, actress Jessica Chastain is calling the scene out. In a tweet, Chastain argued that sexual assault should not be used to justify character growth. She posted a gif of Sophie Turner with whom she worked in the upcoming Dark Phoenix movie on the Iron Throne, writing:
“Rape is not a tool to make a character stronger. A woman doesn’t need to be victimized in order to become a butterfly. The little bird was always a Phoenix. Her prevailing strength is solely because of her. And her alone.”
People on twitter agreed to her’s statement:
Using rape and/or abuse to demonstrate a woman’s strength or whatever is like the laziest writing there is. Also it doesn’t work that way.
— Lauren Pleska 🏳️🌈 (@RadFemme74) May 7, 2019
she gained more strength without getting repeatedly assaulted in the books. she was never even supposed to be sold to ramsay and that’s why it’s even more disgusting they’re trying to justify it now through her lines.
— missandei rights activist (@sansasrark) May 7, 2019
that exchange between The Hound and Sansa was definitely written by a man. For the millionth time, rape and abuse of women isn’t just character development or a way to show a female character has matured
— Amy Collier (@Amy_Corp) May 6, 2019