Game of Thrones Rape Scene Provokes Mixed Messages From Feminists

The latest episode of Game of Thrones has touched off a raging debate that reveals cracks in feminist dogma about "rape culture."



Game of Thrones—the hit HBO series now in its fourth season and based on George R.R. Martin's pseudo-medieval fantasy epic A Song of Ice and Fire—is big news. Every episode generates not only a tsunami of fan reaction but intense discussions by bloggers and journalists; the death of sadistic boy-king Joffrey may have made more headlines than Russia's attempted takeover of Eastern Ukraine. And now, the latest episode has touched off a raging debate that goes beyond the show itself to a very current real–life issue: defining rape and consent. (The New Republic alone had two online articles on the subject.) But this controversy has revealed a fascinating fact: A lot of feminists who rail against "rape culture" don't actually practice the black-and-white, yes-or-no dogma that they preach—not even with regard to fiction.

Sexual violence on Game of Thrones is hardly new. But the problem with this particular episode, according to numerous—and especially feministcritics, was that a consensual sex scene from the saga's third novel, A Storm of Swords, was changed to a violent rape scene. In both versions, the act involves incestuous twins and takes place in a holy temple next to the dead body of their recently murdered son, so this is definitely a case of "don't try this at home, kids" (you may also want to stop reading at this point if you find this too disturbing).

Both the full text of the book scene and the clip of the TV scene can be found here. Apparently, the book scene is what many feminists—including Slate.com's Amanda Marcotte, who not long ago argued that any man who cannot prove his partner's clear, explicit consent can be considered a rapist—regard as consensual rough sex. 

In the scene the woman, Cersei, kisses her brother/lover Jaime. When he begins to take things further, she "weakly" protests ("no, not here") and starts to say that they could be discovered by septons, the priests of their world. Jaime dismisses this and silences her with more kisses, then lifts Cersei up on the altar and pushes up her skirts and shift.

"She pounded on his chest with feeble fists, murmuring about the risk, the danger, about their father, about the septons, about the wrath of gods. He never heard her. He undid his breeches and climbed up and pushed her bare white legs apart."

By the time Jaime has ripped off Cersei's underclothes, she starts to encourage him with both words ("hurry, quickly, do it now") and actions, and once the sex actually gets going she says "yes" several times. But if "no always means no," hasn't Jaime already committed sexual assault and attempted rape?

If this was a real-life case involving, say, two college students—hopefully in less freakish circumstances—Marcotte and plenty of others would be certain to argue that the woman's expressed consent was meaningless: The man had clearly refused to respect her "no," and she may have been going along and faking eagerness out of self-preservation.

In the TV version, Cersei's protests are somewhat more vehement, and she never switches from "no" to "yes" but keeps saying "this isn't right." The episode's director, Alex Graves, has nonetheless said that he sees the scene as one in which the sex "becomes consensual by the end," which has people up in arms about rape-enabling attitudes. (By the way, Cersei's body language in the TV scene is still somewhat ambiguous: after saying "no" and "stop," she kisses Jaime twice, presses her hands to his face, and at least once seems to pull him closer instead of pushing him away.) Time reporter Eliana Dockterman expresses dismay at the notion that a sexual encounter can become consensual if it's forced at the start—but she, too, thinks it was consensual in the book.

So what exactly is going on? Partly, I suspect the books get the benefit of the doubt because the Game of Thrones phenomenon has a certain cachet of coolness in "progressive" circles: Maureen Dowd praises it as far more riveting than real-life politics, and Marcotte has called it "a complex, nuanced critique of patriarchy."

But there is another factor: a crucial difference between the context and tone of the book scene and the TV version.

In the novel,  the sex, while creepy on more levels than you can count, takes place during an emotional reunion between the siblings/secret lovers. Jaime has just returned from captivity during which Cersei had feared he was dead. With their son dead and Jaime crippled (he has lost his right hand), the tone of the scene is one of heartbreak and longing—Cersei is as eager as Jaime though more aware of the risks and the social transgressions. In this situation, her protests come across as half-hearted token resistance (admittedly from Jaime's point of view, but this is supported by other material in the books) and Jaime's physical forcefulness as passionate rather than coercive. There is also little doubt that Jaime, deeply devoted to Cersei in his own twisted way, would have stopped at a clear sign that she was unwilling.

On the show, Jaime returned earlier, and Cersei has already rebuffed his attempts to renew their relationship; she is repelled by his mutilation and feels that he failed her by taking so long to come back. Jaime, meanwhile, has started to realize that his sister/lady love is a rather awful person, something that doesn't happen until much later in the books. In the TV scene in the temple, she kisses him but then backs away in disgust at his prosthetic hand. Hurt and angry, Jaime grabs her and forcibly kisses her, saying, "You are a hateful woman. Why have the gods made me love a hateful woman?" In that context, the sex is intended not to renew their bond but to humiliate and punish Cersei, and it seems probable that Jaime would not balk at physically hurting her.

Clearly, a lot of feminists instinctively recognize the difference between these two scenarios. So much for their claims that there is no such thing as token resistance, no gray areas or "blurred lines" (as it were), and that the slightest expression of ambivalence or reluctance should immediately halt all sexual advances.

"Rape culture" dogma allows for no context or nuance: nonviolent physical advances after an uncertain "we shouldn't be doing this" are no different from overpowering someone who shouts "stop!" But context matters; nuance matters; whether a person is in physical danger matters. In a different context, Jaime's actions in the book would also cross the line into assault—not just from a radical feminist but from any non-Neanderthal point of view.

Why the show changed the scene and whether Martin's books have their own disturbing attitudes toward sex and violence are questions for another time. Perhaps the show's critics downplay the potential coerciveness of the book scene and exaggerate that of the TV version. But they also reveal more than they realize about their own tacit understanding that when it comes to something as complex as human sexual behavior, gray areas are very real—in fiction and in fact.

A version of this article originally appeared at Real Clear Politics.

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  1. ” This controversy has revealed a fascinating fact:”

    = People are idiots and will invent ‘controversy’ out of their own imaginations.

    1. Or the people who do the GoT show are masters of public relations, if they can generate this many articles.

    2. Journalists do it all the time by placing the words “controversial statement” in front of any quote no matter how innocuous.

    3. Well, you have the book purists who are outraged by the change from the books. And then you have the fangirls of Jaime who felt this ruined his redemption arc. So it’s not just the feminist critics.

      Personally, I like the “bad” version of Jaime who throws little boys out of the window and rapes his sister by the corpse of his dead son.

      1. GRRM has far too long tried to walk the tightrope. Nothing is off the table, but put this fig leaf on all the rape that would be happening when men are looting and pillaging across the land. Then when HBO goes and says, “let’s strip off the fig leaf”, everybody gets pissy.

        1. Martin puts no fig leaf on any raping that occurs during the war. He’s pretty explicit about it, actually. HBO didn’t strip anything off, they just changed a scene from the books, which they do all the time. The show and the books are different entities at this point. The question is, what will Tyrion do with Shae (if she isn’t actually gone) in the show as opposed to what he does in the book?

          1. Hey, faggot. Why don’t you just spoil it for everyone that hasn’t read the books.

            1. Like you would ever read the books. Also, I have already thoroughly spoiled the series for you.

            2. People who don’t read the books deserve whatever they get. And I didn’t actually spoil anything. You want spoilers? Because I can fuck up this entire season for you royally.

              1. You don’t have the guts.

              2. Because I can fuck up this entire season for you royally.

                Don’t even think about it, asshole.

                1. I’m trying to guess who the next death will be, since they’re not following the books exactly. Will it be Ygritte?

                  1. They also need to bring someone back to life.

                    1. Lady Stoneheart. Also, I really want to know who Coldhands is, but I have a feeling they’re going to completely leave him (it?) out.

                    2. really want to know who Coldhands is

                      Varys. Everyone is Varys.

                    3. Everyone already knows who Coldhands is.

                    4. Also, I really want to know who Coldhands is, but I have a feeling they’re going to completely leave him (it?) out.

                      Nope Bran already had a vision of him when he touched the tree in the second episode….

                      Well his Horse anyway which sadly is not an elk.

                      He also has a vision of seeing through a dragon’s eyes flying over kings landing and the Night’s King and Bran the Builder….

                      That vision pretty much spoiled the unpublished books not just the show.

                    5. They also need to bring someone back to life.

                      You mean besides Beric Dondarrion?

                  2. Keep it up and it’ll be you.

                    1. I haven’t read the books either. But I see no point in depriving myself of reference points for the plot and characters so I went and read the summaries.

                      Suspense is overrated on a show like that, IMO.

                    2. I really pity those who don’t read the books. The show is a pale imitation of them. There is so much more going on in the books that you’re depriving yourself of truly stellar entertainment by not reading them.

                      Of course, I read Game of Thrones in 1997, which makes me better than all of you!

                    3. The show is a pale imitation of them.

                      This. This this this. The show is usually fun and occasionally really good, but it’s not even close to as good as the books. If Fatboy chokes on a hotdog before he finishes the series, I’m going to personally dig up his corpse and fuck his eye sockets.

                    4. I was banging chicks in Puerto Rico in 1997 and sailing around the Caribbean. Hope you enjoyed your book.

                    5. I was banging models in NYC and doing cocaine in 1997. I also found the time to read an excellent book. And yes, I really enjoyed it.

                    6. Of course, I read Game of Thrones in 1997, which makes me better than all of you!

                      You’re the hipster of fantasy nerds.

                    7. The show is a pale imitation of them.

                      Yet another reason why I’m glad I don’t watch the show.

                      The books were so trite, that show must be complete drek.

                    8. I stopped reading while in the beginning of Book 3. The writing got tedious – like worse than LOTR tedious.

                      *runs from room*

                    9. I got halfway through the first book after watching the show, and quit. The show followed the book closely enough that I couldn’t enjoy basically reading a rerun.

                      Also didn’t see the scene as a rape the first time through, since I hate that bitch so much that I felt anything bad that happened to her wasn’t nearly enough.

                      Second time through, it was, “yeah, OK, that’s rape. But fuck her anyway. She’s trying to kill the dwarf, who is one of the few halfway decent Lannisters, in his own way.”

                    10. Just because someone hasn’t read the books yet doesn’t mean they never will. I liked the first book well enough, but I’d experience the big moments from the show, and then go back and read the books.

              3. Well, I am reading the books and not watching the show, so don’t spoil it for me.

                Actually I don’t care that much about spoilers. I’m sure there will still be plenty of surprises. Describing one scene doesn’t spoil too much.

        2. GRRM doesn’t walk the tightrope at all in the books. The most consistent part of the book is that lives and chastity are not respected when order breaks down.

          1. GRRM doesn’t walk the tightrope at all in the books.

            The tightrope walked is that he wants you to feel sympathetic with a guy who throws little boys out of windows. The entire “Redemption Arc” was a terribly written way for the Author to try and find anyone interesting for the last books. At some point, you can tell that the author decided he was more interested in Jamie than most of the other characters, and so enmeshed him in a hero quest to redeem his soul. The only reason it even marginally worked was that it has taken a decade in books for the author to get from Jamie the Baby Slayer to Jamie the Misunderstood Angst Squire.

      2. That’s just a rip-off of the incestuous rape scene in Lord of the Rings.

        1. (extended edition only)

        2. Poor, poor Arwwen. No wonder Elrond didn’t want her getting with Aragon.

          1. There’s some genuinely kinky stuff in the Tale of the Children of Hurin:


          2. No, it was this scene:

            Randall Graves: That look was so gay. I thought Sam was gonna tell the little hobbits to take a walk so he could saunter over to Frodo and suck his fucking cock. Now *that* would have been an Academy Award worthy ending.

            Hobbit Lover: Hey faggot, they’re not gay! They’re hobbits!

            Randal Graves: And then, right after the Sam/Frodo suckfest, right before the credits roll, Sam fucking flat out bricks in Frodo’s mouth

          3. *jacks furiously*

        3. You think the ents were just carting around Merry and Pippin out of the goodness of their hearts?

          1. Pipeweed is really a date-rape drug.

        4. “Dildo Baggins: In and Out Again.”

          1. Pretty sure I saw that one.

            1. Watching movies with Jessie? Thought you dudes were on different coasts.

      3. How does this ruin his redemption? I really really hate Cirsei, and in raping her Jamie did his part to make the world a more just place. Also, it’s fiction. People are weird.

      4. In the name of full disclosure, I was so disgusted by the end of season 2 that I swore off the show (yeah, I’m a book snob).

        That said, there’s plenty of rape in the books. Pretty Pia sleeps with most of Tywin Lannister’s army, then gets raped by a good portion of Roose Bolton’s army, then by the Bloody Mummers, and then by Gregor Clegane’s happy band of murder-rapists (Clegane smashes her teeth for speaking out of turn). Lollys Stokeworth gets served with surprise sex by the better part of Flea Bottom.

        After that, I guess the point I’m getting to is, that there is sufficient rape in the story that the writers/producers don’t really need to go inventing new scenes.

        1. Heck, given the nearly all the marriages in the series are arranged, you could argue that most of the women in the show were, on some level, raped. It’s pretty clear that, for example, Catelyn Stark didn’t think much of Eddard to begin with and was just closing her eyes and thinking of Winterfell during the early part of their marriage.

          1. It’s pretty clear that, for example, Catelyn Stark didn’t think much of Eddard to begin with

            It’s funny that Marcotte argues how GoT is a criticism of patriarchy. Nearly every time Catelyn or Cersei are put in a position to make an important decision, they nearly always fuck it up and make things worse. Even Daenerys is shown to be a better warlord than ruler, at least for the time being.

            1. Lady Brienne is a good feminist.

              1. Lady Brienne is a good feminist.

                Because she happens to be good with a sword? I doubt your typical Jezebellian would pledge to devote themselves to protecting a king.

                If Brienne displays any feminist qualities, they’re purely incidental to her actual character.

      5. I hate people who insist that, by doing this, Jaime’s redemption has been thrown out the window. Because Jaime was nice to Brienne, he can’t do anything loathsome any more.

        Fuck that. I haven’t read this far in the books, but I thought this choice was great in context and makes Jaime’s redemption story – if it is that – a lot more complex than what was set up over the previous 12 episodes.

        1. People expect fairy tale morality from their fiction–i.e., there are “good people” who do good things instinctually and there are “bad people” who do bad things instinctually, and while people can usually move from one to the other the change is supposed to be permanent and final.

          A good example of this in an otherwise laudable work would be the movie American History X–Edward Norton is a total asshole racist who turns around 180 degrees because one black dude in prison is nice to him, after which he’s instantly reformed completely.

          So it bothers people that that isn’t what happens with Jaime–he’s a man with the privilege to do basically whatever he wants, and for the most part he does, because he can get away with it, even after Brienne helps him begin him rediscover his lost morals. His redemption is a slow process, because he has to overcome the fatalism that basically the entire world (but mostly his father) has been instilling in him all his life–he has to learn that he can be a better man, but only if he chooses to be

          1. Exactly. And relapsing not long after returning to the cesspool that is King’s Landing seems logical enough. And it’s dramatic, which apparently is a lower priority for some people.

        2. When is he ever nice to Brienne?

          He calls her ugly in nearly every conversation he has with her and won’t even admit she kicked his ass.

          His “redemption” so far has been mostly internal and it is only at the end of the 5th book that he actually takes redeemable action. I won’t spoil it but even that (so far) is pretty thin gruel.

  2. There’s no fucking controversy except in the heads of idiots. These are characters in a fantasy fiction tv show. Why must braindead stupid fucks ruin everything enjoyable with their endless politicizing of everything?

    1. Why must braindead stupid fucks ruin everything enjoyable with their endless politicizing of everything?

      Because it’s the only way they can get attention from normal people?

  3. People (mostly women) are pissed because Jamie is the good-looking bad-boy that could be saved by the love of the right women. Raping your sister kills that fantasy.

    1. And fucking your sister for years and murdering a young by doesn’t? People are weird.

      1. Or trying to murder a boy, anyway.

        1. Yeah, that’s my opinion too.
          As much as the books try to “redeem” Jaime, he still threw Bran out of a window. Fuck him.

          1. As much as the books try to “redeem” Jaime, he still threw Bran out of a window.

            This is the entire problem with the series. The author starts with the basic premise that this is a world where anyone decent must die. Because being good obviously means you are stupid and will always get yourself killed with absurdly bad lapses in judgement (Hey lady who is the enemy of my entire family, I’m going to tell you my plans to take you down, kay?).

            So now that everyone of any decency is killed off, what is a poor author milking a go-nowhere series supposed to do? Well, he needs to find a compelling evil-doer to follow, but needs to get him not-evil-enough that the reader will identify with him. Sadly, the author fails to do that for me. Shrug.

            1. Your interpretation of the books is hilariously idiotic. Tell us more, it’s fascinating.

            2. “The author starts with the basic premise that this is a world where anyone decent must die”

              Wrong. Some good people live and some bad people die. In fact, you might even say that being good or bad is not the relevant factor in who lives or dies – no shit, right?

              1. Also note that Eddard didn’t die because he was good, but because his wasn’t. He had a huge character defect in that it wasn’t good enough for him to just do the right thing, no, he’s “The Honorable Lord Stark”, so he must be see to be doing good in public so that people may properly recognize his honorableness.

                It was his Narciscism that got him and most of his family killed.

              2. yeah even the smart evil people die randomly. Tywin being the best example.

                I think “all men must die” is closer to the story’s theme then anything else.

          2. Most of the “good guys” have cold bloodedly murdered numerous people too. How come Eddard gets a pass for cutting off a guy’s head just for not wanting to be in the Night’s Watch?

            1. That’s not comparable at all. In the execution of the deserter the established penalty was death. The man committed a crime, was judged and executed.

              There’s nothing in that event that would make Eddard a cold blooded murderer.

      2. Yes. That is what makes the moral outrage bullshit.

        1. Too true. Killing children makes the feminists mildly queasy, but raping your sister is just going too far.

    2. Except the right woman (Brienne) happens to be large, ugly (except for her eyes), and a crossdresser.

      1. You take that back! Brienne is beautiful like a unicorn!

        1. A unicorn with large, manly hands.

    3. People (mostly women) are pissed because Jamie is the good-looking bad-boy that could be saved by the love of the right women.

      Bingo. In their (tiny) minds, they’re Brienne, the fierce but socially awkward butch knight who should make Jaimie realize that he doesn’t want to bang the head cheerleader Cersei anymore and settle down with a nice, plain-looking girl like themselves who will TRULY LOVE HIM FOR THE GOOD MAN HE CAN BE.

      It’s total projection of their stupid little rom-com/high school fantasies.

  4. If anyone needed raping. Plus it wasn’t a garden variety rape, it was incest rape, one-handed incest rape. It’s pinnacle of fictional rape.

    1. Well, until the Warty Hugeman series gets picked up.

      1. Good news. Adult Swim picked up our pilot. We’re currently auditioning voice actors.

        1. Is your mom still the lead candidate for Marissa?

          1. No. Too much sexual tension.

            1. But that’s what you said about my mom!

              1. No, I said too much sexual friction.

                1. God damn it, NO SPOILERS!

    2. one-handed incest funeral rape (in a church)

      1. Right I forgot about the necro-religious angle. It really couldn’t have been a merrier rape.

    3. Please. Tentacle rape is the Maserati of fictional rape. One-handed incest rape is the Ford Yukon of fictional rape.

    4. is it possible to rape with one hand?

  5. This is what the wealth of markets and generations of backbreaking toil by our forebears has bought us: a literate class of fool with sufficient time to bitch about fictional narcissists who rape their sisters, but insufficient time to make a stink out of the attempted murder of a child in S1 or the successful murder of cousins in S2.

    Rhetorical question: how is it that raping Cersei when you’re both grief-stricken by the death of your firstborn turns out to be worse than murdering your own cousin in cold blood?

    1. I was more thinking that “they bitch about a goddamn TV show” when in actual reality, you have police in the US *shooting unarmed people* all the time, and it hardly even makes the news.

      No, “rape culture” – an imagined fictional thing that is providing subliminal support to some other statistically-vague thing of ‘campus sexual assault’ – is something we need to spew outrage about. Meanwhile, there are still people in prison for Weed Possession in states that have legalized the shit.

      And these people call themselves *Liberals*

      1. Here’s a good summary of what is bothering liberal women in America. Compare and contrast with the ROW:


      2. My general point being that we’ve achieved such wealth that literacy and free time are nigh universal, and it’s only from that capitalist wealth that the world has produced a class of hyper-political idiot that squanders its time selectively complaining about fictional crime.

        Much like the attempted Zimmerman lynching, I’m more curious than anything as to why anyone would be talking about this as opposed to every other damn thing that could be consuming one’s attention.

        1. Tribal consensus.

    2. In the book, Jaime was not only not grief-stricken, he didn’t particularly care about Joffrey’s death. He muses on this afterwards.

      “If the gods offered him back his son, or his hand, he knew which one he would choose.”

      He also contemplates how Loras Tyrell had a stronger reaction to the death of Renly than Jaime had for his own son.

      1. Yeah, I believe his comment was that Joffrey was nothing more than a “spurt of seed into Cersei’s cunt” to him. He didn’t have any more love for the little shit than anyone else did.

      2. Cersei never let Jaime have an emotional connection with their children. She never let him be much of an uncle, much less a father for fear someone would realize the children looked too much like him.

    3. So right brotha! And what’s even worse it creates a class of douchebag that cries about that literate class of fool with no sense of irony or hypocrisy at all.

      And that leads to assholes who comment about that comment, etc etc etc and before you know it winter is here and wights are raping your sister…

      1. Shhh.

  6. “You lived your life for the king, and now you’re going to die for some chickens?”

    “Someone is.”

    Arya and the Hound are the best part of that show. Fuck the king.

    1. One of my favorite aspects of the show is the tension it’s created between the Hound as anti-hero and sociopath. He’s not nearly as sympathetic or funny in the books, where he’s much more of a chaotic evil kind of guy.

      1. He’s not nearly as sympathetic or funny in the books


        Sure he isn’t funny but he saves Sansa twice and saves Arya multiple times and even offers himself up for Arya to kill in order for her to get her vengeance over him.

        He also holds a slow burn against his Brother the Mountain who is very much an unsympathetic villain.

        Hell is one of very few characters who rebels against Tywin and Joffery and their villainy and does so out of pure moral outrage rather then from being crossed.

        1. Being less bad than a bunch of child murderers or resenting your big brother for burning half your face off doesn’t make for a sympathetic character; IIRC the show has given him several moments that weren’t in the books, like when he stops Sansa from shoving Joffrey off the rampart and wipes the blood from her mouth after one of the KG beats her. The show Hound doesn’t have the long, sneering soliloquys about the nature of violence, though the writers have done well to toss in the occasional bit (him telling Sansa that her father, brother, and future sons were all killers stands out in memory).

          Like Jaime, he’s gray in both mediums. But the show version tends toward more humanizing humor or anti-hero badass-ery–the chicken scene from the season premiere, all his shocked expressions when Arya does something impulsive, etc. From day one the show runners have tried to make him more a case of ambivalent damaged goods (his shy reaction when Loras praised him for saving his life being the first hint I remember) rather than a chaotic force of nature, which is how he feels in the books.

          The GRRM version is much more a mad dog who wouldn’t be given to looking befuddled when Arya whacks some innocent pork vendor over the head with a log.

  7. I’m just wondering when they’ll finally introduce Tom Bombadill.

    1. Jaime and Brianne rape Tom. Sorry for the spoiler. He’s left shattered and crying piteously in his home in the woods.

      1. No way Tom Bombadil was a completely powerful Maia that would like really sing a powerful song at Jaime and Brienne, and he might even throw waterlillies at them…

  8. I’m mostly disappointed that the show left out the fact that Cersei was on her period when Jamie banged her at Joffrey’s wake. Is HBO suddenly afraid to show a little blood?

  9. I still haven’t watched the show yet. But I read the first 3 books a long long time ago, still have them in hard back somewhere, though I’ve forgotten most things already. I’ve read about some of the changes the show made, and I find all the bitching about sex and rape in the show ironic, since as I understand, the show toned that aspect down quite a bit, as well as increasing the age of the characters from the book.

  10. I can’t believe we made it this far into the thread without anyone posting this.

    1. If one more word dribbles out of that cunt mouth of yours I am going to have to eat every fucking chicken in this room.

  11. Im just pissed the TV show dropped fucking Belwas from the Siege scene. Guess the producers thought pretty boy mercenary needed more screen time. LAME

  12. A TV show is the perfect place for the “reasoned” class of writers here to critique the opposite sex…..and, yes, it certainly seems like Koch-heads trend heavily male…unless females here have mouths like sailors and you can’t tell the diff.

    I wish these famed writers could give me an opinion on Spider Man.

    1. …”and, yes, it certainly seems like Koch-heads trend heavily male”…

      And lefties trend heavily brain-dead.
      Fuck off.

  13. Folks, it’s a TV show. Gripe about Jerry Springer or Oprah.

  14. Given that about ten things worse than rape happen in that episode alone, and given that Jaime has done about five things worse than rape that we know of, the only solid criticism can be that it alters his character’s redemption arc. But I think people are silly to expect silly old-fashioned plot devices like character redemption arcs out of this series. If Jaime isn’t forever tainted by the attempted murder and permanent crippling of a child, then I don’t see how quasi-raping his sister-lover becomes the last straw.

    1. Who on the show hasn’t murdered someone? Why is Jamie the only person who’s murder “counts”?

      1. That’s what I’m saying. People bitching about this scene have found ways to justify all of his other actions. Suddenly we’ve interrupted his supposed redemption because his sister-lover, nominee for most evil bitch in Westeros, didn’t offer 21st-century American standards of sexual consent. All I’m saying is even if he did full-on rape her, which I dispute (their relationship is fucked up! hello!) we still have to contend with a lot of Jaime’s actions if we want to consider him a hero. Which is an title only arguably reserved for a quickly dwindling number of characters. There are a few totally evil shits but not a single totally good character, I’d say.

        1. No, I’m saying that almost all the characters would be horrible people if judged by the standards of modern society. Some characters (e.g. Eddard Stark) are still considered good guys because they’re better than average by Westeros standards. If we stick to that convention, Jamie’s crimes are actually relatively minimal.

          1. Yes, and by Westerosi standards (as I think Oberyn in the show directly points out) rape isn’t really all that big a crime. Certainly no breaking of the Guest Rite.

          2. Eddard Stark is a villain.

            Jamie saves Kings Landing from fiery death and avenges the crimes of the mad king against the starks.

            Ned jealous that Jamie took away his vengeance hides behind duty to condemn Jamie as the King Slayer rather then as a hero.

            Also some shit went down when he took back the Tower of Joy…shit that I am sure will not shed a very good light on good Ned Stark.

        2. There are a few totally evil shits but not a single totally good character, I’d say.

          Perhaps I missed it — what evil thing did Arya or Bran do?

          1. Arya’s a killer, but except for her and Joffrey the kids are all right.

          2. Arya kills the stable boy.

            Also I am pretty sure the three eyed crow is not a good guy.

            In the show you see when Bran touches the tree and has his vision he sees from the air over King’s Landing with a shadow of dragon below him….pretty sure his body count is going to be one of the highest in the story.

      2. The older Stark girl hasn’t killed anyone, unless I’m forgetting something.


        1. True, although she does bear some responsibility for Micah’s death since she lied about Arya and him attacking Joffrey.

        2. She rats her father out to Cersei, resulting in his capture and subsequent beheading.

          If she had kept her mouth shut about Ned’s plans to support Stannis for king and sail back to Winterfell, things might have gone differently.

          1. If she had kept her mouth shut about Ned’s plans to support Stannis for king and sail back to Winterfell, things might have gone differently.

            To be fair, Sansa is not exactly the most personally or politically astute character. She’s quite willing to take others at face value right up until Ned has his head cut off, after which she goes into complete survival mode.

            1. Or to put it more directly, up until given she loses something she pretends to herself that this is a magical fairy tale world. That might be somewhat acceptable if her previous deception had not gotten someone innocent killed.

              When someone is prepared to lie so that the powerful are excused and the powerless victimized, that’s not innocent, that’s cowardice. Yes she’s 12, but even at 12 you can tell a lie from the truth, if you want to.

              1. When someone is prepared to lie so that the powerful are excused and the powerless victimized, that’s not innocent, that’s cowardice. Yes she’s 12, but even at 12 you can tell a lie from the truth, if you want to.

                The books aren’t some sort of morality play. This kind of shit happened in medieval Europe all the time. The whole point of the series is that there aren’t any “good guys” or “bad guys” like in some Forgotten Realms fantasy novel, just people trying to survive in a brutal world with only the faintest hints of the rule of law. Oddly enough, the Hound seems to be the only character that really understands this.

        3. She treats Tyrion (maybe the most noble of the characters in the entire book) like absolute shit despite him saving her from Joffrey and many other dangers and indignities. She is shallow and vapid and I’m sure her arc will be becoming more down to earth like Arya.

  15. slightly OT Social justice warrior’s heads will explode from this one. Love me some skinny broads.

    1. You screwed up the link. After a teaser like that, fix it or I hope your head explodes.

    2. ^ This

    3. Your link isn’t working.

  16. Seems to me that the reason for the change is that having sex in that situation is way creepy, and by rewriting it to make it a rape, it becomes entirely the man’s fault.


  17. Most liberal women don’t listen to feminists. Yes, they have a mind of their own. Why should I be concerned?

  18. Sooo…

    Anyone else think Jamie’s story would have made a far better Darth Vader origin story then the real Darth Vader origin story?

    1. A doctor Suess book would have been better than the origin story from the films.

      1. Yeah but doctor Suess has no believable story about the fall from grace of a Hero to a Villain.

        Jamie does fall from grace because of his heroism of killing the the mad king.

        He choses morality (saving everyone from fiery death in kings landing) over duty and it condemns him and twists him into a villain.

        I have wondered how a story teller would do that since the prequels were announced. Obviously star wars was a failure at it but it made me wonder if it was even possible to do it. Jamie’s story proves that it can be done and done well.

  19. Rape culture is whatever the person invoking it wants it to mean to feel morally superior during an argument.

  20. Jamie Lanister is a stone cold pyschopath who has less problems with child murder than most people have with not leaving a note when the ding a parked car. Why the surprise he would be a rapist? Cersei Lanister is an even greater monster manipulates men around her even in the middle of her own rape. Again why is that surprising?

    A monster acted as a monster does. Another monster showed how cut off she was from real emotion by acting as though sexual abuse, even her own, was no big deal. Par for the course in a family of pyschopaths.

    1. He’s a malignant narcissist, but I don’t think he’s a psychopath. It would never occur to a psychopath to save Brienne from the bear, whereas Jaime does that. He’s more a Bill Clinton than a Stalin.

      One of the best things about the show is that it goes a step further every now and then to twist the knife or defy viewer expectations. Building up Robb’s character as well as the wife/child angle was a huge departure from the books, where Robb isn’t even a POV character and his wife is barely mentioned. Now GRRM’s “redemption” of Jaime is thrown into doubt on the show, though Cersei saying “it’s not right” while acquiescing to him isn’t the same thing as a violent rape. For all we know, this is how they begin most of their trysts.

  21. the show toned that aspect down quite a bit, as well as increasing the age of the characters from the book.

  22. What the Holy fuck?!?! Is this a legitimate attempt to analyze feminism through the lens of a medieval fantasy TV show?!?!

    Is there a cordoned off or tagged section where content like this normally resides? Did I stumble into the ‘Culture and Style’ section of Reason by mistake?

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