On Sunday night’s episode of Game Of Thrones, there was a sex scene. A shocking sex scene. A completely disgusting, offensive, fan-angering sex scene.
Jaime Lannister, the knight, who, from the first episode, was instantly hated for shoving a kid out of a window and being an incestual king-slaying jerk who stabbed everyone’s beloved Ned Stark in the leg, has gone on quite a journey since the first season. His character has slowly been shown to be the complete opposite of your first opinion – he might be sleeping with his sister, but he’s one of the only men in Westeros to be faithful. He was sickened by the Mad King’s actions, and killed him simply to save the lives of the population of Kings Landing. He lost a hand while defending Brienne of Tarth from rapists, and later went back to save her from the bear pit. And then on Sunday night, he raped his twin sister, Cersei Lannister, over the body of their dead son Joffrey.
If you read the books, you will know that this is not what happens. The sex scene between the twins does exist, but it’s completely consensual.
“Hurry,” she was whispering now, “quickly, quickly, now, do it now, do me now. Jaime Jaime Jaime.” Her hands helped guide him. “Yes,” Cersei said as he thrust, “my brother, sweet brother, yes, like that, yes, I have you, you’re home now, you’re home now, you’re home.” She kissed his ear and stroked his short bristly hair. Jaime lost himself in her flesh. He could feel Cersei’s heart beating in time with his own, and the wetness of blood and seed where they were joined.’’
So why did the writers feel that they needed to change this scene into a non-consensual one? It goes completely against Jaime Lannister’s character – he would, under no circumstance, rape anyone. Was it changed to be more ‘shocking’? Well, we already had incest in a church over the body of their dead son. What’s worrying is, apart from a complete disregard for their character’s personality, the writers of Game of Thrones seem to think that sexual violence is perfect for shock value, and care little about the exploitation of women’s bodies.
This isn’t the first time this has happened in the show. In the pilot episode, Daenerys Targaryen was raped by her new husband, Khal Drogo. Once again, this was a consensual sex scene in the books. Why push it into a full on rape scene? Do the writers not see the difference between consent and rape? George R.R. Martin’s books often deal with the theme of rape, but in these two instances, the sex was completely consensual. Bear in mind, this is the show that invented the term ‘sexposition’ as characters monologue while females get intimate in the background. If you haven’t read the books, you might be surprised to hear there isn’t nearly as much sex as the show features. But on Game Of Thrones, women are running around naked left, right and centre. Mostly women. Rarely the men.
One of the only original characters in the television show adaptation, the prostitute Ros, was killed off after a lacklustre storyline. She was shot by arrows. In her genitalia. The last shot we see of her is her shapely body strung up against a bedpost, covered in arrows. Once again, a characters story is sacrificed for shock-value sexual violence against women. What’s more, actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister’s reaction to the scene is also quite worrying.
“To understand the psychology behind it, and why he goes as far as he does, was really difficult,” says Coster-Waldau. “To me it became, When does physical desire take over? It’s one of those things where he’s been holding it back for so long, and then out of anger he grabs her, and instinct takes over, and he lets loose. He says, I don’t care. He wants to not care. He has to connect to her, and he knows this is the most fucked up way for it to happen, but in that moment, he knows it’s all he can do. It’s an act of powerlessness.”
When asked if the scene is rape he answers “Yes, and no” even though it is made clear in the scene Cersei doesn’t want Jaime advances, pushing him away, telling him to stop, and even sobbing. Watching a great character get butchered to death is bad enough, but what’s worse is the fact that it is, once again, all about sexual violence towards women. Get it together, Game Of Thrones.