Book spoilers and spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 4

George R.R. Martin has caused a stir in the media by allegedly defending scenes of sexual violence in Game of Thrones. On closer inspection, the quotes taken from the interview with the New York Times are not actually discussing the television series, but the sexual violence depicted in his A Song of Ice and Fire novels. George wrote:

“An artist has an obligation to tell the truth. My novels are epic fantasy, but they are inspired by and grounded in history. Rape and sexual violence have been a part of every war ever fought, from the ancient Sumerians to our present day. To omit them from a narrative centered on war and power would have been fundamentally false and dishonest, and would have undermined one of the themes of the books: that the true horrors of human history derive not from orcs and Dark Lords, but from ourselves. We are the monsters. (And the heroes too). Each of us has within himself the capacity for great good, and great evil.”

When asked about whether scenes of sexual violence are meant to “illustrate that the world of Westeros is often a dark and depraved place” and that “there is an over-reliance on these moments over the course of the novels, and at a certain point they are no longer shocking and become titillating”, George replied,

“I have to take issue with the notion that Westeros is a “dark and depraved place.” It’s not the Disneyland Middle Ages, no, and that was quite deliberate … but it is no darker nor more depraved than our own world. History is written in blood. The atrocities in “A Song of Ice and Fire,” sexual and otherwise, pale in comparison to what can be found in any good history book. As for the criticism that some of the scenes of sexual violence are titillating, to me that says more about these critics than about my books. Maybe they found certain scenes titillating. Most of my readers, I suspect, read them as intended.”

Well he is correct there. A Song of Ice and Fire readers don’t rub their hands together with glee when a fresh scene of violence is depicted, and I feel safe speaking for all of us there. But there is really another layer to this criticism.

The fact is that the critics did not want Game of Thrones to do well. There is a decades-old snobbery surrounding fantasy and science-fiction, and many were hoping this would fizzle out into the B-grade classic late-night slot on free-to-air TV. Most commercial entertainment critics understand fantasy as far as constantly referencing 1970s fantasy art depicting the scantily-clad warrior woman and having seen the Lord of the Rings movies. If I throw in the obligatory Eowyn reference they’ll think I am one of them. There is also the widespread surprise that George writes wonderful female characters, a dead giveaway they have never actually picked up another fantasy book, even if they have managed to maybe read the first book of A Song of Ice and Fire.

Were George writing in the literary fiction genre and the BBC were adapting his books then they would be lauded for showing the reality and horrors of war and the role of women in a medieval society dominated by men.

So the critics are now latching onto George as the ‘perpetrator’ of some of the recent horrible scenes we have seen in Game of Thrones. And what George actually told the New York Times about the criticism regarding Game of Thrones was “The graphic novels and television programs are in the hands of others, who make their own artistic choices as to what sort of approach will work best in their respective mediums.”

If you think the last answer is a bit terse, well, George has been receiving a lot of emails from angry fans lately. He is not responsible for what the producers write, nor does it serve any purpose for George to publicly criticise the show. The Game of Thrones television series has come under fire from fans for the depictions of sexual violence in the last few episodes. This includes us pesky book readers and television show fans alike. Firstly we had the scene between Cersei and Jaime Lannister, which enraged fans not only for the scene being “made for television” but that the act was out of character for Jaime. Then there the unnecessary on-screen rape of one of Craster’s daughters. And in the most recent episode we saw more brutality towards Craster’s daughters and Meera Reed, in a frightening scene where Karl and his men were intending to rape her. The showrunners have depicted the rape of women more often than the books. George doesn’t write actual rape scenes , what he explores is the aftermath. It is how George follows through with the effects of rape on the characters that shows us the serious difference between the two mediums.

Cersei is determined not to be taken alive if the city is sacked

Cersei is determined not to be taken alive if the city is sacked

War Rape

Dan and Dave don’t always get it wrong. There have been some scenes alluding to war rape, a theme examined in A Song of Ice and Fire. War rape is sexual assault used as a weapon, psychological warfare designed to humiliate the defeated and the imprisoned, and in reality it not only happens to women, but to men.

In The rape of men: the darkest secret of war 1 Will Storr discusses the taboo subject of male war rape. “Of all the secrets of war, there is one that is so well kept that it exists mostly as a rumour. It is usually denied by the perpetrator and his victim. Governments, aid agencies and human rights defenders at the UN barely acknowledge its possibility.” he writes. “Yet every now and then someone gathers the courage to tell of it.”

The producers wrote a scene where Theon is forced to the ground by Ramsay Snow’s men, who are intent on raping him, or so Theon is led to believe. This gives Ramsay the opportunity to gain his trust as he ‘saves’ a terrified Theon from being raped by a gang of men. This is a departure from the books, but an honest acknowledgement of male rape in an historical context.

In Season 4 of Game of Thrones we are introduced to Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne, who has come to King’s Landing to seek revenge for the rape and murder of his sister and the brutal murder of her children. Elia Martell was Rhaegar Targaryen’s wife, and was murdered along with her infant children in the sack of King’s Landing. Ser Amory murdered Elia’s infant daughter Rhaenys, while Elia was raped and killed by Ser Gregor Clegane after Gregor murdered her son, Aegon, in front of her. Elia’s and the children’s bodies were wrapped in crimson Lannister cloaks and presented to Robert Baratheon as a token of fealty. It is this horrific incident, gone unpunished by Tywin Lannister or Robert, that drives Ned Stark away from Robert, and that is probably on Cersei Lannister’s mind as she tells Sansa during the Battle of Blackwater:

“Do you have any notion of what happens when a city is sacked? No you wouldn’t, would you? If the city falls these fine women… should be in for a bit of a rape. Half of them will have bastards in their bellies come the morning…when a man’s blood is up anything with tits looks good. A precious thing like you would look very, very good.”

This is another slight departure from the books in terms of dialogue, but alludes to the sack of King’s Landing in the original canon. Cersei does have the wrong of it here. Stannis Baratheon does not tolerate rape amongst his men. “Stannis keeps his men well in hand, that’s plain. He lets them plunder some, but I’ve only heard of three…women being raped, and the men who did it have all been gelded.” Jon tells Sam in A Storm of Swords. There is a notion that rape in medieval times was tolerated, in fact rape was illegal and punishable by death in some areas. The line is blurred as there was no real concept of marital rape. And in George R.R. Martin’s Westeros rape is also illegal. Rapists are given the choice of either being gelded (castrated) or sent to the Wall, and of course most choose the Wall.

War rape is a serious topic that we who are far removed from the horrors of war don’t often discuss. In these two instances in Game of Thrones, rape is discussed, or threatened, but not depicted. It is these two scenes they got right. Unfortunately when it comes to women, sex and rape for the most part they depict it in an exploitative manner.

A loving moment between Khal Drogo and Daenerys Targaryen

A loving moment between Khal Drogo and Daenerys Targaryen

Daenerys and Drogo

Daeny and Drogo’s sexual relations in Game of Thrones are quite different than what we read in the books. On Daeny’s wedding night in the series, Drogo rips the dress off an unwilling Daeny and pushes her to the ground, forcing himself inside her from behind. We see later scenes of Daeny sobbing while he has brutal sex with her night after night. However in the books, Drogo is considerate to Daeny on their wedding night. He takes the time to make sure she is aroused before he takes her virginity. The later scenes? Daeny is crying because she is in pain as she is unused to riding all day.

“Saddle sores opened on her bottom, hideous and bloody. Her thighs were chafed raw, her hands blistered from the reins, the muscles of her legs and back so wracked with pain that she could scarcely sit. By the time dusk fell, her handmaids would need to help her down from her mount…he always took her from behind, Dothraki fashion, for which Dany was grateful; that way her lord husband could not see the tears that wet her face, and she could use her pillow to muffle her cries of pain.” Daenerys A Game Of Thrones p298

There are murmurs that it is unrealistic for a fourteen year-old girl to be able to become aroused by a hulking stranger who she is half afraid of. There seems to be no question as to why the same fourteen year-old (actually twelve in the books) would not resent her husband for treating her so brutally, but seek a way to have more pleasurable sex. Daeny is certainly somewhat young to be sexually aware, but it is not impossible, and her sexuality is something George explores on her journey in the books. There really is no good reason to present Drogo as a barbarian who rapes and disrespects his wife, especially when the continuity is questionable.

Game of Thrones' Esme Bianco as Ros

Game of Thrones’ Esme Bianco as Ros

Ros

There is no more blatant example of sexual exploitation in Game of Thrones than the created-for-television character Ros. Dan and Dave may giggle boyishly at the mention of gratuitous sex scenes but the level of unnecessary female nudity in Season one and two attracted a great deal of criticism and began to alienate female viewers. For the record Petyr Baelish’s brothels rarely appear in A Song of Ice and Fire. They are seldom mentioned after the first book. Considering the amount of activity that takes place inside the brothels in Game of Thrones and the fact we rarely saw Esme Bianco clothed in the first two seasons it is easy to conclude that taking the character “red-headed whore” from A Song of Ice and Fire and giving her a fairly detailed story arc was an opportunity for the producers to throw in plenty of sex and nudity. A shining example of this is the graphic and rather stupid scene where Petyr Baelish discusses his life and ambitions with Ros as she pleasures a female co-worker, who comes to a screaming climax after several very loud minutes. Stupid not only because Baelish would hardly be discussing this sort of thing with Ros, but the fact that graphic lesbian sex scenes are rarely seen on commercial television and tend to be distracting to the viewerardly a backdrop for a meaningful conversation. Esme Bianco commented on her lack of clothing :

“I was so jealous because everyone else has these amazing costumes and they’re learning archery and they’re learning horse riding and I’m like butt naked. So I’m like, ‘Okay, how about Season 2 either give me a costume or I’ll ride naked if I can have a horse. They’re like, ‘We’ll see what we can do.’ I got a costume.”

This has led to some speculation that Esme was the mysterious actress who refused to do any more nude scenes and was killed off as a result. Season three was rather lacking in graphic sex scenes, presumably a result of the complaints about the first two seasons. Esme is mostly clothed in her brutal death scene. A concession to the viewers, or to Esme herself? Interestingly historian Helen Castor finds the death of Ros fitting.

“Ros has brains and beauty, and she’s come a long way from a whorehouse in Winterfell, but she misses her footing when she tries to double-cross her powerful employer. As Baelish’s curling voice describes the fate of those who fall, we see Ros, limp and empty-eyed, hanging by her hands from the royal bed, her body pierced with bolts shot from the crossbow of the psychopathic Joffrey. Lashings of sex and violence, and a shockingly unpredictable narrative rush: not just a way to pull in the viewers, but a chilling experience of the precariousness of life in a brutal historical world.”

The Hound rescues Sansa from rape during a riot at King's Landing

The Hound rescues Sansa from rape during a riot at King’s Landing

Lollys and Pia

The scene where the Hound rescues Sansa from being raped by a gang of men is another slight departure from the books, but a nod to a minor character who has been omitted from the series. Sadly Lollys Stokeworth has no-one to come to her rescue during the riot where “she surrendered her maidenhood to half a hundred shouting men behind a tanner’s shop.” The effect on Lollys mental health is devastating, but the stain on her reputation is just as serious. Lollys falls pregnant after her rape and is forced to marry whoever will have her.

“The Seven Kingdoms were full of highborn maidens, but even the oldest, poorest, and ugliest spinster in the realm would balk at wedding such lowborn scum as Bronn. Unless she was soft of body and soft of head, with a fatherless child in her belly from having been raped half a hundred times.” Tyrion A Storm of Swords p954

What George is illustrating here is the position women were placed in after being ‘spoiled’ as a result of rape. Bronn may have been made a knight, and as Tyrion thinks, a suitable match for a daughter of a minor house, but not before he considers the prospect of gently-born Lollys marrying a scumbag sell-sword like Bronn (no matter how much we enjoy his character).

Another minor character who has yet to (and will likely not) appear in the television series is Pia. Pia, also known as Pretty Pia, is a servant at Harrenhal, known for her promiscuity. Jaime Lannister meets her earlier in the books, where she tries to seduce him. When Jaime returns to Harrenhal, he remembers her, even though her face has been ruined; for speaking when Gregor Clegane wanted silence, the Mountain smashed her face in with a mailed fist, breaking her nose and knocking most of her teeth out.

“The girl fell at Jaime’s feet when she saw him, sobbing and clinging to his leg with hysterical strength till Strongboar pulled her off. “No one will hurt you now,” he told her, but that only made her sob the louder.” Jaime A Feast for Crows p801

Gregor Clegane is "no true knight"

Gregor Clegane is “no true knight”

Pia has been raped repeatedly after Harrenhal was taken over by Tywin Lannister’s men. We know Gregor Clegane is a rapist and would hardly try to stop his men from raping one of the servants. George shows the lasting effect of the sexual abuse Pia has suffered throughout the rest of her appearances in the book, and he also shows us Jaime Lannister’s own views on rape.

“One of the Mountain’s men had tried to rape the girl at Harrenhal, and had seemed honestly perplexed when Jaime commanded Ilyn Payne to take his head off. “I had her before, a hunnerd times,” he kept saying as they forced him to his knees. “A hunnerd times, m’lord. We all had her.” When Ser Ilyn presented Pia with his head, she had smiled through her ruined teeth.” Jaime A Feast for Crows p883

Traditionally a knight adheres to a strict code of chivalry. As Sansa tells Sandor in the first book, Gregor Clegane was “no true knight”. The producers seem to enjoy pushing characters beyond their usual moral boundaries for the sake of exploitation.

While we have already discussed the rape of Cersei Lannister by Jaime in Breaker of Chains at length I was disappointed, but not surprised, to see no continuity, no consequences or reaction from the characters in reference to those events. Cersei has been much the same, albeit slightly more pensive, in the last few episodes, but this can be attributed to her son Joffrey’s death. The scene itself, in the end, was completely unnecessary. The crew seemed rather confused about whether it was even a rape or not, with director Alex Graves calling the scene “consensual” before blustering in another interview that “I’m never that excited about going to film forced sex.” It was one of the most badly-directed and marketed scenes in Game of Thrones and has done some serious damage to the credibility of the show. George R.R. Martin conceded that he was not sure the original, consensual scene “would have worked with the new timeline.” So why bother with it at all? The producers tried to use this scene to show the severing of the bond between Jaime and Cersei yet they had already done that in the first episode and there is actually a chance to do this next season, in its proper context.

The next episode, Oathkeeper, followed with one of Craster’s daughters being raped in the background of a scene, like an afterthought. They had already shown one of Craster’s other daughters sitting near Karl, bruised and beaten, so this scene was completely unnecessary and purely exploitative. First of His Name spared us any more actual rape scenes, but the scene with Meera Reed was horrible, in a brief storyline that was largely filler.

There was a poignant moment at the end of First of His Name. We remember that Craster’s daughters spent their entire lives imprisoned by their father, the victims of incest and repeated sexual abuse. The eldest of Craster’s daughters refuses Jon Snow’s offer of help, telling him “Craster beat us, and worse. Your brother crows beat us, and worse. We’ll find our own way.” She then tells Jon to “burn it. And all the dead with it.” And in a wonderful moment of solidarity men and women stand together and watch the keep burn to the ground.

When you are tackling the subject of rape you have a responsibility to show the effects sexual assault has on the character. As George said “an obligation to tell the truth”. George R.R. Martin does not take the subject of rape lightly. Rape is not an afterthought, it is not an everyday occurrence to use as a scenic background. It should not be used as a constant plot device. Game of Thrones continues to let itself down is the boorish exploitation of women and the pedestrian train of thought that it is sex – and not storytelling- that sells.

The burning of Craster's Keep

The burning of Craster’s Keep

  1. The rape of men: the darkest secret of war by Will Storr, The Observer,Sunday 17 July 2011 Warning: this article depicts graphic sexual violence and may cause distress

About The Author

Olga Hughes is currently pre-occupied with fairy tales, fantasy, misanthropy, medieval history and the long eighteenth century. She has a Bachelor of Fine Art from the Victorian College of the Arts and is currently majoring in Literature and History at Deakin. She has contributed to websites such as History behind Game of Thrones, The Anne Boleyn Files and The Tudor Society.

14 Responses

  1. Underdogge

    Thoughtful article, Olga. Somehow I’ve never noticed it on previous visits to your site. I can remember twenty years or so ago when war was still going on in the former Yugoslavia something was mentioned on the radio about women from one (ethnic?) group having been raped possibly not solely from lust but also with a view to possibly getting them pregnant because they were from a culture where women were supposed to stay virgins until they married. It’s somewhat depressing that rape as a weapon was still used late into the 20th century (and probably still is in the 21st century).

    *SPOILERS*

    I’m still trying to get my head round the recently aired (at the time of typing this) GoT Ramsay marital rape of Sansa (substituted for Jeyne Poole). As I said on another thread I’m grateful the camera panned away to Theon’s (Reek’s) face rather than actually show a TV version of full-on rape. I have come across some people saying “well it wasn’t rape because they were married”; it surpised me that anybody would think that in this day and age. Mind you in England it wasn’t recognised that there could be rape within marriage until 1991.

    Reply
    • Olga Hughes

      I was a bit surprised to see this pop up in the most-read the other day as it is a year old. I think this episode has caused more outrage than last years. And yes war rape is still a problem now.

      I think people are probably trying to say there was no concept of marital rape in medieval times but I think people tend to misunderstand that. It means that both husband and wife were supposed to sleep together regularly as their marital duty, not that a man should rape his wife on a constant basis. It’s not helped by the constant wedding night rapes we see on television.

      Reply
  2. Mic

    This is by far the best article I’ve read on the subject and one of the best articles I’ve read in awhile, in general. The time you put into it– clearly a lot– was worth it. Well done.

    Reply
  3. Underdogge

    Oh thanks for inserting the “spoilers” warning, Olga – only sorry I did not do so myself. I had not realised that the most recent episode of GoT might not have aired in some parts of the world. I wouldn’t want to spoil things for anybody.

    Reply
  4. commenter

    Not sure about the books, but the show very, very obviously depicts a lot of those sex scenes as erotic entertainment (at least partially) – vanilla and violent alike.
    As it does a lot of other things (such as humor or other types of violence) in that manner.

    GRRM himself proudly talks about writing “gratuitous” sex or eating or whatever, to create a vivid experience (positive or negative).
    So what’s the point of “commending” him on “only showing necessary rape”?

    And especially a show which so obviously doesn’t just do things out of some conservative mindset to show “necessary things” and not one bit more?

    This notion, combined with your idea that “gratuitous female nudity turns away female viewers”, betrays a degree of sex-negative and kink-negative feminism, and this is the first time I’ve encountered this website.

    Seems like whenever you ask women who aren’t “uptight feminists”, they don’t share such values, and often even enjoy gratuitous nudity, lebians, or erotic depiction of rape.
    All the actresses on GoT are moderate feminists themselves, and don’t share your values:
    -Natalia Tena has repeatedly “fantasized” about a gratuitously violent death for her character – at least partially in a humorous fashion, but not one critical of the show
    -Sophie Turner has cited both, especially the 2nd actual rape scene, as her favorite to film, and gleefully/ironically expressed disappointment at the camera panning away from her “fantastic performance”
    -Natalie Dormer approves of the nudity and states that it’s equal and the “boys have to take of their clothes, too”
    -Emilia Clarke wants more male nudity as opposed to less female nudity
    -Esme Bianco has MOCKED those “speculations”, claimed that those “feminists” made stuff up, and that she was simply killed off because “there were too many characters”.

    In conclusion:
    I’m not accusing you of being a crazy radfem, but your article is clearly ideologically biased in that general direction – you don’t understand the concept of sexual violence as kink fantasy / erotic entertainment, and falsely project these attitudes (a degree of uptight prudishness / moral disapproval) on women in general.

    Had you demonstrated understanding of these areas, your criticism of the show could’ve been informed and valid.
    So far, though, the only really valid point of contention was the contradictory nonsense that surrounded the Jaime/Cersei bit on the side of the creators – being confused about what consent is, is kind of a deal.

    Reply
    • Olga Hughes

      Oh, the ‘uptight feminist’ card. I use the word ‘exploitative because those scenes are for entertainment value, so I am not sure what you were expecting I should discuss further in that regard.

      The discussion on women turning away from the show because of the depiction of women is based on facts, not my values.

      The showrunners promised they would pull back on rape scenes this season, and they did, based on audience and critical opinion of the show. Clearly people who enjoy watching women getting raped are in a minority.

      Emilia Clarke had a no nudity clause in her contract the last few seasons. Are you suggesting she is a hypocrite?

      I commended George on exploring the aftermath of rape. If you want to make a comparative analysis between George’s writing and the show I suggest you read the books. George could be out-eroticised by most Mills and Boon writers.

      I am very sorry you think that violent rape should be eroticised on commercial television and that I should shed a tear for those who enjoy it.

      Reply
  5. commenter

    “Oh, the ‘uptight feminist’ card.”
    It’s not a “card” – that’s where you views are found on the spectrum.

    “I use the word ‘exploitative because those scenes are for entertainment value, so I am not sure what you were expecting I should discuss further in that regard.”
    “I am very sorry you think that violent rape should be eroticised on commercial television and that I should shed a tear for those who enjoy it.”
    It *can* be, and is so openly and on a constant basis in various genre movies.
    Also, BDSM appeal is only one way in which this can be done “as entertainment” – the aim to induce shock, terror, anger, or other negative emotions (that the viewer “enjoys”, but not sadomasochistically), also qualifies as such.

    “The discussion on women turning away from the show because of the depiction of women is based on facts, not my values.”
    Well, I’m not aware of those statistics, but statistics are really only valuable if specifics are known – such as what types of women are turning away or aren’t turning away, what their general views are, and for what reasons (such as active disdain vs. mere lack of interest, or moral objections vs. taste).

    “Clearly people who enjoy watching women getting raped are in a minority.”
    Well I didn’t count – but they say splatter horror is enjoyed by a “minority” as it’s “the most disreputable genres”, yet it’s one of the most popular genres.

    And critics not unlike yourself say GoT included those elements to pander to viewers, while you’re now saying it turned them away?

    “The showrunners promised they would pull back on rape scenes this season, and they did, based on audience and critical opinion of the show.”
    1) That’s interesting, because they clearly said that they hadn’t changed one bit as a reaction to criticism (particularly in this regard), and the director who claimed otherwise had been mistaken or misquoted.

    So either they contradicted themselves, or you got something wrong – however, it’s also possible that they reacted to the controversies while claiming they didn’t.

    2) Ratings went up? I don’t mean compared to S5 (Dorne) or specifically the “black wedding episode” that got those unusually low ratings, but compared to earlier seasons?

    I do know that “book readers” think the new ones are a lot weaker, but they may be in a “minority” and hence not affect the general ratings?

    “Emilia Clarke had a no nudity clause in her contract the last few seasons. Are you suggesting she is a hypocrite?”
    No, because that was personal choice, not some “nudity is bad” – also, she either revoked that clause, or it had been specified that “only plot-serving nudity”, because she did it again recently, and that’s where she made those claims about “not less female nudity but more male nudity”.

    The general point, to the extent that they’re shifting to “entertainment” from “serious”, it at worst cheapens the source material, but that’s kind of where the evil ends.

    Reply
    • Olga Hughes

      Right so you haven’t read the books or any of the *dozens upon dozens* of articles that were circulating about this subject when this was written *two years ago*, I am not going to keep wasting my time discussing it with you.

      You claim that that showrunners include rape scenes for erotic entertainment. The showrunners write in rape scenes because they think they are being gritty and realistic, not to pander to a tiny minority and if you actually think otherwise you’re deluded.

      Reply
  6. commenter

    1) “You claim that that showrunners include rape scenes for erotic entertainment.”
    There’s probably some cognitive dissonance going on there, or a combination – some degree of “grit” and “realism” (showing it happening, or its frequency, or even banality is also part of that – not JUST the “long term consequences), as well as “horror entertainment”.

    If kink is also their intent, they’re obviously not admitting it like, I don’t know, a Daario Argento might have no qualms about doing – it might also NOT be their intent, but still often comes off that way.

    Now, as I said – if only a “tiny minority” is into that kind of stuff, why are genres like slasher movies so mainstream and popular? It almost appears as if “lots of sex&violence” could attract viewers or something.

    Anyway, my objections can be summed up as:
    1. Showing a violent explosion in the middle of a city say, in a movie about war or terrorism, still counts as “gritty realism” even if it DOESN’T proceed to show the year-long aftermath of it all.
    2. People like seeing evil things happen in fiction, and there are no moral or artistic problems with a movie just showing a city destroyed for the spectacle or visceral terror – i.e. “entertainment”.

    And this is not one bit different – a considerable degree of “gritty realism” is STILL achieved, and to the extent it’s just there to entertain there ought not be any moral qualms about it.

    2) As I said, the part of your article that points at the director’s/writers’ confusion and contradictions about whether C/J was rape or consnensual, WAS VALID.

    Attempts to be “aware and realistic” are heavily undermined by that, plus it’s a problem in itself.

    3) Different articles said different things and cited different reasons – from dumb ones such as “this show degrades women and pushes back progress”, to intelligent ones revolving around the execution of the Sansa/Bolton departure.

    Interestingly, some of the same people bashing the Ramsay Rape, are now also bashing Sansa’s revenge and “girl power” – that’s because they keep finding faults in the way the storyline is executed, whether the woman is a victim or a victor at a given moment.

    3a) I myself would say I’m familiar enough with various materials in question in order to make the objections to this article that I’m making at the present moment 😉

    Reply
    • Wensleydale

      Plain and simple D&D are exploitative with their portrayal of rape and don’t have anywhere near the same amount of nuance and depth that Martin provides. I’d argue it’s gratuitous in both mediums, but at least with Martin there is something to be learnt, it makes a social commentary.

      It really, really, really doesn’t matter if the actresses defend the scenes. They are under contract and they are all professional actors. Badmouthing their writers and directors is a complete no-no. They have to defend the content that is portrayed, as it extends to their own credibility as an artist.

      Reply
      • Olga Hughes

        George doesn’t criticise the show either, there’s not much point.

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