Jeremy Podeswa, who directed Season 5's controversial episode "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" and the first two episodes of the upcoming sixth season, said at a press conference that the show's creators have adapted their approach after the widespread negative response to Sansa Stark's (Sophie Turner) rape scene in the aforementioned episode.
According to Podeswa, Thrones creators Dan Weiss and David Benioff "were responsive to the discussion and there were a couple of things that changed as a result," Forbes reports. "It is important that (the producers) not self-censor. The show depicts a brutal world where horrible things happen. They did not want to be too overly influenced by that (criticism) but they did absorb and take it in and it did influence them in a way."
He was not specific about what those changes entail.
About the scene itself, Podeswa said, "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.
"I welcomed the discussion about the depiction of violence on television and how it could be used as a narrative tool sometimes and the questionable nature of that," Podeswa added, addressing the criticism that the scene was unnecessary for the narrative.