The controversial sexual assault scene involving Sansa Stark in Game Of Thrones season five invited tremendous flak from fans and critics and led to numerous discussions on whether the show - which is infamous for its depiction of sex and violence – had gone too far.
The episode's director Jeremy Podeswa explained that the crucial scene was handled "as sensitively as it could possibly be," but, during a recent event, he also revealed that the reactions to that scene resulted in the showrunners and writers making a few changes to the Sansa-Ramsay storyline, in season six.
During a Fox Studios event in Sydney, Australia in December, Podeswa stated that [showrunners] DB Weiss and David Benioff "were responsive to the discussion and there were a couple of things that changed as a result".
He explained: "It was a difficult and brutal scene and we knew it was going to be challenging for the audience. But it was very important to us in the execution that it would not be exploited in any way. To be fair, the criticism was the notion of it, not the execution. It was handled as sensitively as it could possibly be; you hardly see anything."
Well, it remains to be seen what these changes will mean. So far, with season five ending on another defeatist note – the stabbing of Jon Snow, and Sansa and Theon jumping off a cliff –there's not much in terms of hope for the good guys on the show. Moreover, a leaked page from next season's script has some fans worried that a different female protagonist is in for a traumatic sexual assault scene in a future episode.
Game Of Thrones season six will premiere in April 2016.