Well, they’ve done it again. For the second time, the writers of Game of Thrones have taken a consensual sex scene from the books and turned it into a rape scene for the show. And it’s even worse this time.
[This post discusses plot points from season 4, episode 3 of Game of Thrones.]
The first instance, as book readers/viewers remember, took place in the show’s pilot episode, with Khal Drogo raping Daenerys Targaryen on their wedding night. In the book, this scene was as consensual as sex between an adult man and a teenage bride could get – meaning, while the terms of their marriage are unequal and inherently problematic, Drogo took the time to be tender with Dany before having sex with her, and even waited for her to say “yes.”
The second instance took place in last night’s episode, where Jaime rapes Cersei in the sept after they view Joffrey’s body, forcing himself on her after repeated cries of “no” and trying to shove him off of her. In the book, Cersei is the first to kiss Jaime, and while she makes one sentence of protest that they shouldn’t do it the sept, she then continues to kiss Jaime and begs him to fuck her.
And I cannot fathom why the writers thought that this change from the book would be a good idea.
I didn’t agree with their decision to turn the Drogo/Daenerys scene into a rape scene, either. It made Dany falling in love with him ickier, and the scene where she “tames” him by insisting they have sex with her on top is problematic and gross. But at least in that instance, I could understand why the writers made that change. They thought that portraying a consensual sex scene between a grown man and his teenage girl bride would be inappropriate.
In this case, I’m at a loss. I don’t know what the writers are doing.
For a whole season, we were treated to the beginning of the redemptive arc of Jaime Lannister, one of the most successful arcs the show has done. We saw that the Kingslayer and attempted child-killer was a much more complicated man than we originally thought. We saw that killing the king, a “sin” that the realm reviles him for, was actually one of the noblest things he ever did. We saw him act selflessly in regards to Brienne, his fellow captive and eventual partner, even friend.
And that all went to hell last night when he raped his sister.
I suppose the writers wanted to emphasize the fact that the Jaime/Cersei relationship is inherently wrong and destructive, but I’m pretty sure everyone on the planet already knew that.
You know, because of how that one time when Jaime’s love for Cersei prompted him to push a ten-year-old out of a high window to the child’s almost certain death?
Of course, the writers and directors of the show, and the actor who plays Jaime, don’t see the scene as rape, because it “becomes consensual” by the end.
I think I need to take a bullhorn to the mountaintops to announce to the world that rape “becoming consensual” is not actually a thing, no matter how many times the victim and the rapist have had consensual sex in the past, no matter if the victim is at all physically turned on by the rape.
And the only reason people think rape “becoming consensual” is a thing is because of TV shows and movies like this that portray it that way.
Putting the disgusting implications of the scene aside, I also don’t even see how this action is in character for Jaime. The first good thing we saw Jaime do in the series was convince his captors not to rape Brienne – an action that wound up having a huge personal cost to himself. And he didn’t even like Brienne at that point.
Now, the man who saved a woman he didn’t like from rape is raping the woman he ostensibly loves?
He called her a “hateful woman” – and not because she wanted him to murder their little brother, but because she flinched from his new hand and didn’t want to fuck him next to their dead son’s body.
Cersei Lannister is vile, but not wanting to have sex right after her son died is not an example of vileness. Not wanting to have sex with Jaime because of his prosthetic hand is, at most, superficial. And she doesn’t deserve to be raped, no matter how horrible of a person she is.
When I first watched the scene, I had a disturbing feeling that this rape wasn’t going to “count” in the eyes of many viewers in terms of how they saw Jaime. I was afraid that Jaime’s rape of Cersei would be canceled out in viewers’ minds by his saving Brienne from rape a season before. I was afraid that it wouldn’t be considered a bad thing because everyone loves Brienne and everyone hates Cersei.
Instead, the conclusion I’m drawing from the writers’ and actors’ interviews is even worse – that they don’t consider it a rape scene at all.
Due to my frustration with the constant wheel-spinning in the non-plot advancement of the last two books, I was ready to throw in the towel with the books and just see how the TV show played out. Now, I’m considering giving up on the show as well.
Please, George, just email me and tell me if Rhaegar + Lyanna = Jon. I don’t know how longer I can watch a show that uses rape for shock value and doesn’t take it seriously.