Jessica Chastain Criticizes ‘Game of Thrones’: ‘Rape Is Not a Tool to Make a Character Stronger'

The Oscar-nominated actress wasn't pleased with this controversial plot point.

Jessica Chastain

Image via Getty/Bertrand Rindoff Petroff

Jessica Chastain

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8, episode 4.

Jessica Chastain isn't pleased with Game of Thrones.

A day after episode 4 premiered, Chastain went to Twitter to condemn the show's framing of sexual assault. The criticism stemmed from a scene in which Sansa Stark–played by Chastain's Dark Phoenix costar Sophie Turner—speaks to The Hound about the torment she endured at the hands of Ramsay Bolton. The Hound tells Sansa she could've avoided sexual and emotional abuse had she left with him in season 2; however, Sansa suggests the abuse is what made her stronger.

"Without Littlefinger and Ramsay and the rest, I would’ve stayed a little bird all my life," Sansa explained, referencing the controversial season 5 rape scene. 

Like many viewers, Chastain blasted GoT for its efforts to find the "silver lining" of a horrific situation. The Oscar-nominated actress tweeted a photo of Turner sitting on a throne with the following caption:

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 #littlebird was always a Phoenix. Her prevailing strength is solely because of her. And her alone.#GameOfThrones

— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) May 7, 2019

Some viewers echoed Chastain's sentiment.

I still love #GameofThrones but this show proves over and over again they have no idea how to write about rape. Sansa just shrugging off what happened to her by saying she's stronger for it?? do any women write for this show, or...?

— Alex Bruce-Smith (@alexbrucesmith) May 6, 2019

As bad as GOT as been. Remember when they had Sansa justify her rape as "character growth"?

F*cking cringe.

— Eric 「キスト」 (@thewillofb) May 7, 2019

So... the one and only sister on the whole epic, years-long series? That’s what you wanna do? Okay. #GOT

— Ava DuVernay (@ava) May 6, 2019

Ava DuVernay also expressed her disappointment in the show's treatment of women. Like many fans, the filmmaker was disappointed when the show killed off Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel), its only black female character.

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