Why Jessica Chastain and Ava DuVernay Are Speaking Out About 'Game of Thrones' Latest Episode

'Game of Thrones'
Helen Sloan - HBO

The actress and director have some notes!

Jessica Chastain and Ava DuVernay have some notes! 

Both the actress and the director found themselves speaking out following Sunday's episode of Game of Thrones episode, "The Last of the Starks." In Chastain's case, she -- and many fans -- took umbrage with Sansa Stark's (Sophie Turner) line that implied the years of torture and abuse she suffered made her stronger. 


During a quiet moment amid the boisterous celebration at Winterfell, the Hound (Rory McCann) reflected on his past with Sansa. The character, who protected her at the beginning of the series at King's Landing, told her that if she had stayed with him, she would have been safe -- and not been "broken in rough" by Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) and Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon). 

"You've changed, Little Bird," he noted. 

Sansa, who was raped multiple times by Ramsay during their marriage, which Littlefinger brokered in season five, replied: "Without Littlefinger and Ramsay and the rest, I would've stayed a little bird all my life."

"Rape is not a tool to make a character stronger," Chastain -- who stars alongside Turner in the upcoming film, X-Men: Dark Phoenix -- tweeted. "A woman doesn't need to be victimized in order to become a butterfly. The #littlebird was always a Phoenix. Her prevailing strength is solely because of her. And her alone.#GameOfThrones."

Others, meanwhile, called out Game of Thrones for its lack of women behind the camera, asserting that that was the issue that led to Sansa's controversial line. Only one woman, Michelle MacLaren, has ever directed an episode of GoT; MacLaren, who helmed four episodes, last directed the series in 2014. The show has also only had three female writers -- Jane Espenson, Vanessa Taylor and Gursimran Sandhu -- who have contributed to nine episodes total. 

DuVernay, meanwhile, was upset by the killing of the show's only woman of color, Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel). Missandei died at the end of the episode, executed on Cersei's (Lena Headey) orders to punish Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) for not surrendering to her.

"So... the one and only sister on the whole epic, years-long series? That’s what you wanna do? Okay. #GOT," Duvernay tweeted following the episode. The director also called out Variety for its reporting on her tweet, as the outlet reported she was calling out Game of Thrones for "treatment of women." 

"@Variety Slow news day? Total click-bait," she wrote. 

Find out everything you need to know about Sunday's episode of Game of Thrones -- and what to expect for the series' last two episodes -- in the video below. 

The series airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.