The Lady of Winterfell’s ordeal at the hands of her sadistic new husband Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) sparked controversy when it aired in the fifth season of the show and while the producer-and-writer still stands by the scene, he admitted it was difficult to script but his biggest priority was ensuring actress Sophie Turner felt comfortable while shooting her torment.
Bryan said: “Sansa’s wedding night was the hardest scene I’ve had to write.
“Hard for me emotionally, because, believe it or not, we actually love the characters we write about, that we spend our entire lives with; and it was very hard on the day because I was the producer on set. It was about making sure Sophie felt comfortable and getting the right tone.
“The reaction? I’m proud of it and wouldn’t change a thing. I’ll defend that scene until the day I die. And her story’s not over …”
The HBO fantasy drama has also attracted criticism for its extensive nudity but Bryan insisted it is never gratuitous and producers simply go with what feels “organic to the scene”.
He told the Sunday Times magazine: “The spectacle is one thing but it always comes down to the characters: these families and these relationships and what they want. That’s what keeps people invested in the show
“It’s not like we sit and think, ‘Oh, we haven’t had any breasts for two episodes.’ The story is just told as it’s told. Whether it’s the graphic violence, whether you have a scene where a head comes off on screen or it’s a cutaway, it’s what feels organic to the scene.”
Meanwhile, Sophie also recently defended the inclusion of the rape scene.
She said: “I think the backlash was wrong because those things did happen. We can’t dismiss that and not put it in a TV show where it’s all about power — and that is a very impactful way to show that you have power over somebody.”
And the British star felt “emotional” when her “empowered” alter ego orchestrated for Ramsay to be eaten alive by his own dogs.
She said: “It made it a really great storyline. Killing him with the dogs, that was the most satisfying scene. It made me so emotional because I’ve been waiting so long for her to stand up to the people who have done her wrong.”