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The Pivotal Game Of Thrones Scene That Sophie Turner Never Saw Coming

Even though it ended in 2019 and has since largely disappeared from mainstream pop culture, those who watched "Game of Thrones" back in its heyday likely remember it for a few reasons. For one, it boasted a massive ensemble cast full of upright heroes, scheming villains, and those who just wanted to watch Westeros fall into chaos. Speaking of locations, "GoT" also hosted numerous breathtaking settings, from King's Landing to the Wall. Still, for as notable as these elements are, neither defined the show quite like its penchant for stunning audiences with unexpected moments.

Throughout its eight seasons on HBO, the small screen adaptation of George R.R. Martin's beloved fantasy novels took more than a few shocking turns. Bran's (Isaac Hempstead Wright) brutal fall from the tower in Season 1, the infamous "Red Wedding" from Season 3, and the Season 6 revelation that Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is of Targaryen descent, to name a few, all sent fans into a frenzy. Few saw these moments coming, although it didn't take the actors themselves too long to figure out the show's modus operandi. At the same time, that's not to say that they weren't sent into a tailspin now and again by what "Game of Thrones" had in store.

For example, the actress behind Sansa Stark, Sophie Turner, couldn't hide her surprise when she first learned of this now-famous scene.

Ned Stark's death caused Turner to distrust Game of Thrones

Despite initially presenting him as the main character, "Game of Thrones" took Eddard "Ned" Stark's (Sean Bean) story in a surprising direction. Upon falsely confessing to treason against the royal family of King's Landing, the new king, Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson), demands Ned's execution. Thus, Ser Ilyn Payne (Wilko Johnson) hoists his blade high above the Lord of Winterfell before swinging downward, decapitating him with a single movement. As Sophie Turner recalled (via YouTube), she didn't see the scene coming, and from that point on, she couldn't trust the show when it came to its treatment of her favorite characters.

While Turner found herself caught off guard by the events of Season 1's "Baelor," Ned Stark himself, Sean Bean, didn't let the twist overtake him. Instead, he did his best to break the moment down to deliver the most appropriate performance possible. "It was horror and disbelief — that Joffrey changed his mind [about exiling Ned] — and then resignation and [realizing that he was] seeing his daughter for the last time, Arya," Bean told Entertainment Weekly in January of 2021, explaining that he had to hold onto this complex range of emotions for the entire day it took to film the scene.

The death of Ned Stark set the tone for the future of "Game of Thrones" — one that would see numerous fan favorites killed off before their time. Sophie Turner was definitely right to keep her guard up as the years went on.