If there is anything HBO’s hit fantasy series is known for more than its shocking deaths, it’s the sex scenes. And Game Of Thrones helped make Sophie Turner a social activist, thanks in part to the show’s portrayal of sexual politics. The revelation came courtesy of a recent interview the actor conducted with The Hollywood Reporter about growing up on the HBO series — which she joined at the tender young age of 13. “I got my sex education from this show, and a historical education,” Turner told the publication. “I definitely got educated on [sexual assault] as well, and that spurred me to be an activist.”
GoT helped coin the term “sexposition” back in its first season, when characters would delivery lengthy expository monologues while engaging in (or observing) sexual acts. While that tedious practice gradually waned in later seasons, the show’s sexual politics only got thornier — reaching an intense point in Season 5 with a sequence involving Turner’s character Sansa Stark. The scene in question involved Sansa’s assault at the hands of her new husband, the sadistic Ramsay Bolton, on the couple’s wedding night, while Sansa’s traitorous surrogate brother Theon Greyjoy was forced to watch.
While many fans defended the turn of events as a logical extension of Ramsay’s character and Westeros’ medieval gender dynamics, just as many protested the show’s victimization of Sansa, and its repeated utilization of assault as a plot point. (This wasn’t helped by previous controversies in which GoT turned consensual — if problematic — sex scenes from the books into sequences of assault on the show: most notably Dany and Drogo in Season 1, and Cersei and Jaime in Season 4.)
However, while some fans and celebrities were busy swearing off GoT after Sansa’s traumatic wedding night in the fictional Westeros, Turner was taking the opportunity to start conversations about assault and its ramifications in the real world. In an interview with Time earlier this…