Game of Thrones is, without a doubt, one of the most talked about television shows of recent times. You can barely scroll through Instagram without spotting a GOT meme or a prediction about the much-anticipated final season premiere this week. And as the cast has been busy making their last round of public appearances before the show airs on Sunday, they’ve been reflecting on its successful run.
Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, recently spoke to Harper’s Bazaar UK about her career and the hit show as it approaches its final season. “I’m just coming to terms with it right now, it’s like a death in the family,” she said. “I’m losing the character I’ve played so long.”
Turner is part of a huge ensemble cast that has been with the show since its beginning, including Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, and Lena Headey, among many others. When asked to address the fact that she makes less money than her onscreen brother, Harington, the 23-year-old admitted that she didn’t really mind the pay gap. Unlike other cases we’ve heard of, including that blood-boiling pay gap between Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams, the reason here is a “little tricky,” she said.
“Kit got more money than me, but he had a bigger storyline,” she explained. “And for the last series, he had something crazy like 70 night shoots, and I didn’t have that many. I was like, ‘You know what… you keep that money.'”
While Turner’s response might shock some fans, with such a large cast, pay discrepancies are understandable. The show has also stated in the past that it compensates cast members based on a “tier system,” in which actors in the largest roles (including Harrington’s) are considered “tier A” and secondary characters (like Turner’s) are considered “tier B”. All things considered, this seems like a pretty fair way to compensate the cast, who are among the highest-paid actors on cable TV.
Regardless of your opinion on the GOT pay system, it seems Turner will be finishing her role as Sansa Stark on a high note, telling Harper‘s that she’s looking forward to focusing on herself. “I’ve been trying to figure out what I like to do for myself,” she says. “It’s been 10 years of playing someone else, and doing what I’m told, and now I’m like ‘Hmmm. Maybe I should find some hobbies.’ I’m passionate about lots of things. I’ll sit in my house in New York and paint. And I’m doing ballet again.” Not to mention, she’s got a wedding to plan!
Whatever she chooses to do next, we’ll be watching.