ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

There aren't too many actors around who've had a bigger year than Sophie Turner or that are more deserving of a spot among Moviepilot's Stars to Watch - the first edition of the Moviepilot Magazine.

Between her continuing starring role in the ever-more-popular Game of Thrones, and the confirmation of her casting in the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse, Turner's career is going from strength to strength - all while she's still not yet 20 years old.

What's more notable than the bare-bones of those parts, though, is just what they involve in a more practical sense. X-Men: Apocalypse, for instance, is set to see Turner take on one of the most iconic roles in comic-dom - Jean Grey - while Game of Thrones has pushed the young star into arguably the best acting work of her career.

At the same time, though, her character's plot arc in the latter has also provoked arguably the most intensely negative fan feedback that Game of Thrones has yet seen, while generating more media interest than a boatload of Kardashians.

And yet, as fans of the book know all too well, Sansa's Season 5 - and Sophie Turner's potentially career-defining year - could well have looked very different.


Sansa's Role in Game of Thrones Has Been Completely Changed from the Books

So much so, in fact, that we've broken it down into eight giant changes, just below...

(Note, this is where GIANT SPOILERS come in if you haven't yet seen Season 5 of Game of Thrones...)

For one thing:

1. Nothing from Sansa's Season 5 Plot Arc Happened in the Novels

Or, at least, none of it happens to her.

Instead, in the series:

2. Sansa Was Given a Different Character's Plot Thread

Specifically, that of her childhood best friend, Jeyne Poole...

In the books, Jeyne is the one who's sent to Winterfell, where she's forced to not only marry Ramsay Bolton, but to impersonate Arya Stark while doing so.

Or, in other words:

3. None of the Torture Happened to Sansa in the Books

Jeyne Poole instead being the one who received the full force of Ramsay's cruelty, and who was eventually rescued by Reek/Theon.

Though, that being said:

4. The Sexual Assault Was Actually Toned Down from the Books

That's right - despite the unremitting awfulness of everything that happened to Sansa in Season 5, it still wasn't quite as bad as what the books revealed happened to Jeyne. After all, in the novels, not only does Ramsay force Reek to sexually assault her on their wedding night, but he later seems to force her to have sex with his dogs.

Meanwhile, while some of the worst things that it's possible to imagine happening are being done to Jeyne:

5. Sansa Hasn't Actually Left the Vale

Yup, that's right - in another reality, Season 5 could easily have seen Sophie Turner hanging around in a giant tower for 10 episodes, learning all about the petty politics of the Vale.

After all, in the books:

6. Sansa Spends a Lot More Time with Her Cousin

Had the show stayed closer to the books Sansa would have spent much of the season looking after her young cousin Robin (Robert in the books) Arryn, and dealing with his constant seizures. Which, from a viewer's perspective, might not have been exactly what you'd call 'must see TV.'

During all of which:

7. Sansa Was Set to Be Married to the Heir to the Vale

Specifically, a young knight named Harrold Hardyng, who - should something happen to young Robyn/Robert - would become Lord of the Vale...and then presumably help Sansa (and, crucially, Petyr Baelish) to take control of the North.

(Y'know, until Baelish inevitably does something Littlefinger-like, and betrays someone/everyone.)

All of which means that:

8. Sansa Has Ended Up in a Very Different Place in the Show, When You Compare It to the Books

Both emotionally - Sansa has had to suffer far, far less in the novels than the series - and geographically - she's currently still in the Vale - the novels' Sansa is far removed from the rising star of the TV series.

What's interesting to wonder, though, is whether - were her path to have stayed as it was in the books - we would all be so absolutely fascinated by Sansa's journey.

After all, terrible though everything that happened to her was, it was arguably that horrifying trauma that has enabled Sophie Turner's performances to shine so brightly. In many ways, it's precisely that season of misery and pain, and the skill with which it was handled by Turner, that has so unsurprisingly earned her a spot among Moviepilot's Stars to Watch. Go check it out where you can find guest contributions from Hollywood A-listers such as Ridley Scott and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

What do you think, though?


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