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Thursday, April 24, 2014

In Which I Wade Unnecessarily Into the Fray (GoT SPOILER ALERT)

WARNING: this post is all about a spoiler re the April 20th episode of Game of Thrones.

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I really should stay out of it, instead of offering my face to be (metaphorically, I hope) punched. But I'm startled and disturbed by how many viewers seem to find Jaime's rape of Cersei substantially more offensive, despite its context, than the innumerable slaughters of innocents in preceding episodes.

The week before, for example, not for the first time, we had people burned alive. All the various burnings and throat-slicings and torturings apparently pale by comparison to Jaime raping Cersei beside her son's body.

Don't (PLEASE) get me wrong. I am not saying that in a court of law, or in any moral judgment, Jaime isn't guilty of rape. That's so in spite of Cersei having, moments before, kissed Jaime as part of her attempt to get Jaime to kill their brother Tyrion. It's rape despite the fact that we all know Cersei is capable of a much more emphatic and angry resistance than what she offers. It's rape, and it occurs when Cersei is at her most emotionally vulnerable. But is it really more shocking and culpable than murder by fire, or murder of children, or murder of a pregnant woman?

Not by me.


3 comments:

Michelle Hartz, Ph.Z. said...

I think the big shocker wasn't that there's rape on GoT. For me, I was really beginning to like Jaime. I was thinking that maybe he's not so bad of a guy after all. The rape didn't fit into the New Jaime that I, and I think a lot of other people, had in my mind.

Livali Wyle said...

I think the thing that most people are getting upset about is that it was much less rapey in the book, and so people are questioning why the folks adapting the books felt it necessary to add that.

They did the same thing in season 1 with Daenerys and Drogo's wedding night. In the book, Drogo went out of his way to obtain consent (though, granted, she's like 13), but in the show it was fairly clearly rape. The way that they changed that scene made it mesh weirdly with the later relationship between the characters, so one thing that others (and myself) have been wondering is whether the scene in the most recent episode will ever be addressed again, or whether it was just thrown in for shock value and will, like the scene in season 1, have no effect on the future relationship of the characters.

Karen A Wyle said...

Some of the reaction has been due to the interruption of the more-sympathetic-Jaime arc. On that score, it may be appropriate to remind the audience that this is the guy who shoved Bran out a window, among other crimes. I agree that shock value for the sake of shock value probably played a role in the director's decision -- which is annoying. Still, much of the commentary I've been reading seems to (albeit implicitly) treat rape, qua rape, any rape, as more despicable than the various very despicable murders the show has featured.