Actress Jessica Chastain ripped HBO’s Game of Thrones‘ storyline for using rape as a crucible of adversity through which Sansa Stark — a central character played by Sophie Turner — forges her growing strength.
Jessica Chastain framed Sansa Stark as a “Phoenix” — a reference to fictional character Jean Grey’s manifestation of a burning phoenix in the X-Men universe, also portrayed by Sophie Turner — prior to her perseverance through the hardship of sexual abuse.
In Game of Thrones‘ most recent episode, Sansa Stark credits villains — who abused her sexually and otherwise — with being catalysts for her strengthening. All villains she listed — Littlefinger, Ramsay, and Joffrey — have since been vanquished.
Left-wing news media outlets echoed Chastain’s rejection of forging strength through adversity, denying Sansa Stark’s own self-evaluation.
In an article entitled, “What ‘Game of Thrones’ Gets Wrong About Sansa Stark and Abuse,” a Daily Beast writer — who describes herself as a “survivor” of rape — claimed, “Sansa Stark has been able to thrive, to govern, to strategize, and to make decisions independent of men’s counsel in spite of her history of abuse, not because of it.”
Refinery29 characterized Sansa Stark’s self-assessment of her maturation as a “celebration” of villainous characters:
Chastain describes herself as a “feminist.” Her Twitter feed regularly features celebrations of Game of Thrones heroines — including a message like “Girls Kick Ass” and “Fight Like A Girl” — but not of its heroes.
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.
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