Alife Allen: Game of Thrones rape scene was "delicately handled... but it was a horrible to shoot'
Game of Thrones star Alfie Allen believes the show dealt with the controversial rape scene "beautifully".
The makers of the hit fantasy series faced an avalanche of criticism last year (15) after a scene showed Sansa Stark, played by British actress Sophie Turner, being sexually attacked by her new husband Ramsay Bolton on their wedding night as Alfie's character Theon Greyjoy looked on in horror.
As well as slamming the show's producers for including the rape scene for shock value, critics took exception to the episode's director Jeremy Podeswa's handling of the harrowing moment.
However Alfie believes that although any rape scene will be controversial, the one which saw Iwan Rheon's character attack his new wife dealt with the subject of rape delicately.
"I mean it's obviously something that I don't really like to get into or talk about," he tells Australia's Junkee news website.
"And in any real life situation if that were to happen, it must be awful to deal with. But I think it was very delicately handled and if it can be beautifully done, then it was beautifully done."
The actor was full of praise for his co-star Sophie Turner, whom he said brought a grim storyline focused on brutality to life.
"Sophie's just amazing," he says. "First of all, she's an incredible actress. I mean she brings life onto set, especially for my and Iwan's storyline...
"She can just switch it on, it's incredible. She literally is one minute singing One Direction and the next, is broken."
Speaking about shooting the controversial scene, Alfie says the show's stars struggled with its subject matter, but that Game of Thrones' critics failed to see the horrifying moment within the context of a show which regularly shows savage violence.
"It was a horrible day to shoot, you know," he says. "It wasn't enjoyable. Iwan was definitely losing sleep over it. It was tough. But there was such a furore about that, then two episodes later you've got an eight-year-old being burnt at the stake and no one really seemed to care too much about that. It's mental, isn't it?"
Director Podeswa has revealed that in the wake of the row over his scene, the show's producers had taken on board their critics points about depicting sexual violence on screen, saying they, "were responsive to the discussion and there were a couple of things that changed as a result.
The sixth season of Game of Thrones begins airing in Ireland next month