Since it first aired in 2011, HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones has both acquired an obsessive cult following and messed with society’s views on sexuality on the screen. The show has also birthed several breakout stars, including Sophie Turner, whose next endeavor is lighting up the big screen with Fox’s X-Men.
There has been intense speculation about when the hit show will come back for its eighth and final season (producers were aiming for 2018 but some were saying it would look more like 2019), and Turner confirmed in an interview with Variety that it will be the latter. Even though goals were set for 2018, the cast and crew apparently still has a long road ahead of them. “We started in October, so we’re maybe like a tenth of the way through,” she jokes. “No, no, we’ve got six or seven months left.”
If you can’t remember what happened the last time we were with Sansa (Turner’s character) in Winterfell, she was in the middle of a family reunion of sorts. She had just gotten her family back together and had eliminated Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen). Turner noted how hard this was for her both as Sansa and as Sophie. While Littlefinger was her character’s mentor, Gillen was also a mentor to Turner IRL. “It was really hard, because out of all the people I’ve worked with on the show, he has been the one who was consistent throughout, from season one to season seven,” she said. “He has been my Game of Thrones experience. He’s been the backbone of it for me. So to say goodbye to him was pretty hard, especially because life imitated art in a way, because he was also my mentor. I learned so many lessons just by watching him act. It was this weird parallel, and an emotional thing for everyone.”
What’s in store for us for the show’s final season? Turner is dropping bits and pieces: “This season, there’s a new threat, and all of a sudden she finds herself somewhat back in the deep end. And without Littlefinger, it’s a test for her of whether she can get through it. It’s a big challenge for her, without this master manipulator having her back. This season is more a passionate fight for her than a political, manipulative kind of fight.”
While we may all be secretly hoping that the show will pull a fast one on us and come back for season nine, Turner says there is a pretty clear consensus that this is it. “When we all had the read-through for the final season, it was very, very emotional,” she said. “For the first time in Thrones history, we had everyone there. All of the Americans wanted to come over. Every single cast member was pretty much there. We’re all kind of feeling the end of it coming. We’re all staying in town a little longer, going out for more meals, trying to get together more. We’re all trying not to take it for granted anymore.” We’re still keeping a close eye out for those Thrones prequels we were promised.