A Word On Last Night’s ‘Game of Thrones’

April 21st, 2014 // 71 Comments
Jaime Lannister Game of Thrones

SPOILERS. Get out while you still can.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

So after watching last night’s episode of Game of Thrones, I thought I left with the pretty concrete knowledge that Jaime Lannister clearly raped his sister Cersei next to the corpse of their dead son who was an epic little shithead, so that last part didn’t bother me. And almost all of the Internet agreed that’s how the scene played out in stark contrast to the books where things were way more consensual. Except apparently not because Alex Graves, the director of the episode, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau literally believe that’s how they filmed it. So let me just toss my voice into the pop culture discussion of the moment now that I’ve made with the requisite cow flesh:

THAT WAS FUCKING RAPE.

 
You filmed a man physically forcing himself onto a woman who audibly protests while he repeatedly says “I don’t care” until the camera cuts away. If there was some artistic flourish that suddenly made that a consensual brother/sister wiener party, you forgot to put it in there or HBO cut it out because that shit was rape. Rape rape rape rape rape.

But before you start feeling bad about potentially tarnishing a beloved fantasy franchise by turning yet another love scene into sexual assault, at least you didn’t lie about having a miscarriage because you bailed on work for two weeks. It’s not the end of the world.

[Ed. Note: Before I get slapped with accusations of outrage porn and buried in, for lack of a better term, "mansplaining," I don't sit around clutching my pearls at the actions of fictional characters especially with GoT. In fact, I basically just thought I watched an awful character unravel into new depths of awfulness - and make a depraved relationship even more depraved - which would've been an understandable explanation unless you read the books and knew the original context. Almost every character is a violent, selfish, power-mad shithole, so it definitely fits the show. My entire beef here is Alex Graves going, "Oh, yeah, that wasn't rape," when what he filmed looked and sounded exactly like goddamn rape. Because it was rape. - SW]

UPDATE: Here’s George R.R. Martin weighing in, but mostly to say leave him the fuck out of it.

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  1. Yeah I read the book, and this scene was different – I tried to look at it a couple of different ways, but each way just led to rape. Sure, she says “no, not here” (which I tried to see was her wanting to have sex but just not next to King Fuckwit on the slab there), but she keeps protesting the entire time and he even says “I don’t care” – that changed it from the consensual sex in the book to the full on rape in the show. I’m not sure how that scene could be interpreted any other way than as a rape.

  2. Sam

    I think what’s getting lost on a lot of folks that seem to be caught up in this heated debate about the directors intentions, the book (which I guess – haven’t read – has that whole scene in Jamie’s POV) and whether or not it was rape or whatever – um, it wasn’t. It wasn’t a real life rape. It was two actors portraying what we perceive as rape in a fantasy land in which dragons exist. Yeah, it was rape to us, but in GOT the definition of rape is a little more like, ‘I burned down your village and raped your women’ type of rape – so yeah, maybe it was rape to us real people, but I don’t think the director is some sort of idiot asshole for not thinking of it as a rape because he’s approaching it from the world of Game Of Thrones. Does the character of Cersei think she was raped? I don’t know. maybe we’ll figure that out later – but as far as indicting this director for not seeing it as such just doesn’t seem right to me. Especially when there’s so many other things to be outraged about.

    • In an interview the director said it was initially forced sex, but then said this…”Well, it becomes consensual by the end, because anything for them ultimately results in a turn-on, especially a power struggle.”

      Really?

      We know this is a portrayal. But he is putting out the falsehood that even if a woman says no, she might secretly be turned on by the fight and really want it.

      Seriously? His own words make him an idiot. No means no…even in fantasyland.

  3. Seth

    … because noone has ever been raped on Game of Thrones before this moment.

  4. Cersei has never felt that way in the books – not as far as we know anyways.

    The show, on the other hand, didn’t do much to make it not rapey. I think the only real clue is that she was kissing him back. You know, that makes it ok, right?

  5. ~Z~

    When she was grabbing the cloth from the table, I was hoping Joffrey would fall on top of them!

  6. kenny

    her mouth said no but her eyes said yes!

  7. anonymous

    The TV show Cersei and the book Cersei are very different.

    In the book she’s a manipulative bitch who basically blueballed her brother every chance she got after he returned. She was banging one of her cousins as a Jaime replacement and flaunting it in front of Jaime. Jaime gets even in the book by finally dominating her to his will which was what Cersei wanted– a dominant Jaime not the broken one.

    The show screwed up that major plotpoint so instead you see is a rape.

    Considering Jaime is supposed to be a decent guy but is misunderstood and goes along with playing the bad guy because it’s what everyone thinks anyway, it’s going to be interesting how the writers of the show will get that dynamic back after making him look like a sister-rapist.

    • Amanda

      Its entirely possible that in a future episode (especially if they feel the need to shout it) she will announce that that was her plan all along. I havent seen the episode yet, but its pretty disappointing that my fave man is a)still banging his asshole sister and b)being rapey about it. im just gonna watch “the bear and the maiden fair” again, cuz naked Jamie Lannister is whats up.

  8. zzz

    I don’t get what the big deal is. Luke raped Laura – she fell in love with him and married him. Isn’t that how rape works? Just kidding. I watched the episode last night and did not see it as a rape (and yes, I am a woman). I think there are 2 reasons for this 1) I find the whole incest aspect of Jaime and Cersei’s relationship is so offensive, I don’t think I could be anymore offended than I already am and 2) Cersei is such a powerful woman that I have a hard time accepting the idea that she can be raped. If she did not want to engage in sex with Jaime, she would have stopped it. She’s not some helpless damsel in distress. She’s Cersei, the mother of madness.

    • Powerful women can be raped.

    • Ralph

      Also, Jaime has only one hand. I think she could have put up a much bigger fight if she wanted to. Also, it looked like to me she was kissing him back and holding his head.

      • that’s because she was!! it wasn’t rape. These two have such a fucked up dynamic that this so called “rape” probably made cersei respect him as a man again. I think thats how it played out in the books.

      • zzz

        That’s how I saw it, too. And considering what the TV writers/director are saying about the scene, I believe that’s what was intended.

    • BobTheBob

      Read the article again. He said the issue was not that it was rape, but that the director said, no that is not rape when it clearly was.

  9. Deacon Jones

    So if we’re technically calling this rape, am I allowed to say
    “She had it coming.”?

  10. Real Deal

    All I got from this article is that:
    murder = OK
    slavery = OK
    child marriages = OK
    mocking little people = OK
    Lies, cheating, stealing = OK
    Throwing a child out of a window = OK
    giving new born babies to the White Walkers = OK
    Paralyzed child using Hodor as his personal taxi = OK

    Rape = bad.

    • Re-read the piece then, because you’ve completely missed the point. Superficial was upset because the director said it wasn’t a rape, when it clearly appeared to be, and in so doing reinforced rape culture, which is not a good thing. The other stuff you mentioned is irrelevant, and also not mentioned by Superficial as being “OK” as opposed to rape.

    • Hugh G. Rection

      No one said any of the things you listed were ok. They were merely depicted on the show, as was the rape. Lots of horrible things happen in Westeros, including horrible people raping other horrible people.

    • Guest

      Good point. When Bran rides the consciousness of his direwolf or of Hodor, that’s brain rape, a violation of the very worst kind. Even if he’s not directing, merely watching, Being John Malkovich so to speak, it’s still the most violating kind of voyeurism. Just using Hodor as his physical taxi is bad enough, one special needs person taking advantage of another special needs person.

      Everybody in GoT is a stinker, even the little handi kid,

  11. I can only take it as a veer back towards Assholehood for Jaime, after being shown in a surprisingly sympathetic light for weeks, and this of course after first being caught diddling his sister and subsequently paralyzing a child. With Young King Whorestabber out of the picture, the show needs an ultimate evil (short of snow zombies), and this may have been meant to serve as a means to that end.

    But the confusion evinced by so many is perfectly valid, because of the ambiguity of the scene. As such things go, it could have been portrayed as infinitely worse — “not here” is not the strongest of arguments, given the circumstances. I’m not entirely sure what the scene was intended to accomplish, and given the power of the context of the scene, that is not a good thing. Was it rape? Yes, she was clearly against the idea, if apparently mainly for reasons of decorum. But if it was used as a tool to re-establish Jaime’s manhood, well…He’s certainly a bad guy again. Maybe it is as simple as the idea of a (somehow) relatively sympathetic character committing the act. If The Mountain had raped someone, it would be considerably less controversial, I’m betting. So maybe it wasn’t so much the rape, as the rapist.

  12. Real Deal

    also, she was really just asking to get golden finger blasted.
    you can tell by the way she dressed.

  13. Linda

    I am totally confused by how that was NOT rape. Not to be sarcastic or trolley–I literally don’t understand. 1] They chose to have her repeatedly protest, 2] they had him physically completely cover her much smaller body with his much larger body [there are 100 ways they could have had filmed the sex, him suffocating her did not have to be one of them], 3] they have him explicitly say he doesn’t care about her protests; and 4] they show her hand clutching the cloth her dead son is lying on. They follow that up with a scene in which her brother says that all she cares about is her children [i.e., it's not all about the brother-fucking for her]. That was RAPE. And it was meant to LOOK like rape.

    • chuckles

      It was meant to be ambiguous. She keeps saying “not here” but clearly she is responding to his advances. I am not saying “she was asking for it” I am just saying it’s pretty consistent with how these two characters get down. And THAT is what keeps it from being rape in my eyes. What’s a lot more interesting to me is that with all the repulsive things that happen on this show, this is what upsets people? Not long ago a pregnant woman was stabbed to death…in the belly. A lot of this outrage feels misplaced.

      • Linda

        I didn’t see her responding to his advances–to me it looked like a moment of solace-seeking and then shaking her head clear and saying no, this is our dead child here, this is not what I want. and i think having his character say, “i don’t care” means he really didn’t care what she wanted at that point. thus, rape.
        in any case, i don’t think anyone is disturbed by the rape itself–that’s par for the course with this show. i think you’re missing the point, which has nothing to do with other gross stuff that has happened on the show. in this case, it’s that the real life director does not think this scene looks like rape. his real life opinion is that that scene looks like consensual sex, and that’s fucked up.

      • “his real life opinion is that that scene looks like consensual sex, and that’s fucked up.”

        Nailed it.

  14. TinaTuna

    This scene totally reminded me of the rapey scene on “Rescue Me” several years ago. Dennis Leary and that crew said you need to understand the characters and their fucked up relationship to understand that the scene was not supposed to be 100% rapey. I felt the same thing on GOT – not 100% rapey knowing the characters, but enough to give me a major “uh-oh feeling.”

    • NutSlut

      Same as the whole “Blurred Lines” hysteria. The idea that consent can only ever be given verbally, and all vocalizations are gospel. The unwillingness to acknowledge the power-play dynamics of sexual activity. The fact that rape is a legal definition which generally requires a complaint be made – for this exact reason.

  15. Real Deal

    can someone explain to me why this is an issue?

  16. D-chi

    Reading the comments, I’m a little concerned that people don’t know how rape works.

    Person 1 does not give consent.
    Person 2 does it anyway.
    Person 2 is now a rapist.

    It’s not quite as complicated as people want you to believe.

  17. hipster

    good lord. i hate “the superficial” writer-guy. fucking twat. i dont think the creators were hiding the fact that it was rape. you jump on the trayvon martin-case, because you are sooo hip and IN with black people. then rally against bryan singer. now you got your panties in a twist because of a fucking tv series. no shit sherlock, it was rape. why the fuck are you even reviewing tv-movies?? you’re a gossip site. you dont write for “iwatchstuff”. douchbag

    • hipster

      and alex graves doesnt solely count as the “creators”. he didn’t WRITE the episode

    • Let’s take apart your bullshit piece-by-piece:

      “i dont think the creators were hiding the fact that it was rape.”

      You’re right, the creators weren’t hiding the fact that it was rape because their official statement is, “Rape? What rape? We didn’t film a rape.”

      “you jump on the trayvon martin-case, because you are sooo hip and IN with black people. then rally against bryan singer. now you got your panties in a twist because of a fucking tv series.”

      WHY YOU CRITICAL THINK SO MUCH? HURT BRAIN. (Did I translate that right, or did it need a “libtard” thrown in? BENGHAZI!)

      “and alex graves doesnt solely count as the “creators”. he didn’t WRITE the episode”

      So which is it? The creators knew what they were doing in not hiding the rape because GoT is fuck yeah awesome TITS? Or the guy who’s in charge of the visual depiction of events doesn’t count now? Because, yes, you’re right. Alex Graves did not write the episode. However, he was responsible for filming it so that the writing is accurately displayed on television which makes him pretty fucking important and you a gaping fuckhole of dumb. Or “douchbag” in your vernacular.

      How’s that even pronounced? Like couch-bag? Deutsche-bag? Don’t leave me hanging here. I’ll be up all night.

  18. Cock Dr

    Valar Morghulis

  19. Mellllzy

    It was very different from in the books. For starters, it is at a different funeral that they get freaky which changes the entire dynamic. It’s kinda gross to have sex in front of your dead child and it wasn’t like that in the books (I don’t want to do spoilers, but I am remembering it right, right?). Secondly, Cersei was very clearly not raped in the book. I don’t know why they chose to do this on the show. I think it was a misstep in the character development of both Cersei and Jamie. I like the raging cunt book version that is Cersei. She’s one of the best worst characters written in a long time. In the books it is very clear how Joffrey could end up as such a monster with her as a mother.

  20. Haha

    She gets murdered soon anyways. Don’t fucking worry.

  21. Rape, consensual sex… Let’s get down to brass tacks here. Do we see her titties or not?

  22. Bringbackbabalu

    Give Jaime a fucking break, he has never even touched another girl. He is faithful to the damn dirty succubi whore!

  23. AJ

    In case you haven’t noticed, this blog jumped the shark ages ago. The loser who writes this blog is more bent out of shape over a fictionalized TV show than actual rapes going on in Hollywood by the directors and producers. Here’s a clue for you mr superficial.

    THAT WAS FUCKING RAPE.

    • D-chi

      Fish is mad that they’re calling a rape scene consensual (which it was not). And if memory serves, he gets just as mad about rapes in Hollywood. (Are you perhaps new here?)

  24. I’m not saying it wasn’t rape..but can any of you honestly say the sight of Joffrey’s cold corpse didn’t make you just a little aroused?

  25. D-chi

    b-b-but she didn’t say no! well, not loudly anyway. and she didn’t even punch him, so it’s kind of her fault, too. there are two sides to every story!!1!

    • I know posts like these are sarcastic (I hope) and trying to show how absurd it is that someone could watch that scene and -not- go “Well, he’s raping her.” But there are an alarming amount of people here that would agree with that statement. That “she had it coming” or, “there are more terrible things that happen” or even “It’s not real so who cares.”

  26. Wow

    I just watched it half hour ago. The reason why he says “I don’t care” is as response to Cercei saying “Not here… it’s not right.” That (to me) indicates she’s down with getting it on, just not in front of their dead son. Its gets grey and muddy by the fact that she at no point beat on him, screamed NO or knees him in the sac. I get why there is no clear answer. If my girl says “not here” I say, “OK then back in the tub?” to which she either agrees or does not, and I honor her response. I’m not Jaime however. One thing we DO know is that they are fucked up – what we _don’t_ know is if this is a routine.

    This is all pretty funny though – real first world problems, as was pointed out above. This is fiction. Anger would be better served at doing something to stop the real-life literal rape of underaged bride girls traded to help pay to feed third world families or perhaps trying to raise awareness of female circumcision. Do a Google search with safe search off – that’ll give you something to really get angry about.

  27. It’s not rape if it’s your sister, your student (only if you’re a female teacher though) or an alter-boy. That’s the deal, right?

  28. I didn’t see it as rape. The entire time she was kissing him back and seemed to be giving in to him. Also, when he did get on top of her she didn’t tell him to stop it. Her exact words were “this isn’t right”, but she was, to me, referring to the circumstances what with her son’s corpse being right there. I came away with the impression that she wanted Jaime to take charge. I think Louis C.K. did a bit about this once about a waitress that got off when dudes got all aggressive and basically pinned her down to fuck her. The catch was that the guy couldn’t know that was her fetish beforehand because then it wouldn’t seem real. Anyway, I say it wasn’t rape, more of a wanting to feel dominated thing

  29. The Real JC_12345

    What Confuses me the most about the show are the Outfits. From which exact era are they? Cause they look like modern designs with a touch of medieval. I just don’t understand the clothes lol.

  30. Michele

    As it was shown, it was rape. If you watched that scene without any knowledge of the characters, any question of that would leave your mind. Now, obviously context does matter, but that’s kind of the thing about rape – even if you have reasons to think it’s consensual, if they say no, it’s not. So, while they may be fucked up people, the fact that he didn’t stop and confirm consent before proceeding makes it rape. The scene showed rape.

    Whether or not Cersei secretly wanted it or he thought she did or any other argument is not relevant in this instance because it is now shown in that scene, and the scene is what is being questioned.

    The fact that someone who is payed very well to understand how to portray things correctly on camera doesn’t see this just blows my mind. That stupidity is what has enraged The Superficial – not the fictional possible rape.

  31. Charmed

    Yeah, it was rape. The scene didn’t bother me but I was annoyed that:

    A) the director said it was rape

    and

    B) that people bought the bullshit.

    Maybe he intended to film a forcefully-initiated-but-ultimately-consensual scene but what was in the can at the end of the shoot does not match that intention. Cersei is pushing Jamie away and calling out ‘no’ while he rips her dress open and forces himself between her legs

    However. It’s worth pointing out that the PC tards were also out in force trying to make a big song and dance about Cersei ‘not deserving to be raped’ and how that scene encourages ‘rape culture’.

  32. Slash

    I have seen one full episode of this show (it was the one where King Dickhead dies, and that WAS enjoyable). Before he dies, he’s being a giant dick to almost everyone, while Cersei smiles, I guess in order to demonstrate what an appalling cooz she is.

    Haven’t seen this latest episode, but from everything I’ve read about the show in general (haven’t read the books, either), the overall message seems to be that everybody is a bastard-coated bastard with bastard filling. I guess they didn’t want the one-handed hottie to become too likable, thus the rape of his sister (sounds like it was rape rape, despite people’s protest to the contrary).

  33. MarketingMike

    I watched the episode 3 times, it was RAPE all 3 times.
    I don’t care what year you slap on that pig, it’s still a pig.
    Full on, gritty grab and go, pump and run RAPE. Period.

  34. Matt___D

    It doesn’t seem to me that Graves and Coster-Waldau are even denying that it was rape.

    They believe that at some point Cersei relented and became a willing participant.

    That DOESN’T mean they believe Jaime’s actions were morally acceptable or that he shouldn’t have been prosecuted for rape if this had happened in the real world.

  35. Jesus

    It wasn’t rape. She wanted it. Jamie would never hurt his sister…other than stretching out her vag with his giant cock.

    HODOR!!!

  36. The point that people seem to want to argue is “was it rape or not”…completely giving a pass on the fact that they are brother and sister fucking on an altar next to their sons dead body. The fact that all that gets a total pass in the face of “maybe rape” tells me the Game Of Thrones viewers are getting to be a pretty fucking jaded bunch.

    By this time next season, rape won’t even rate a mention…it’ll all be “I can’t believe they actually made me look at Sam’s gaping anus! GROSS!!”

  37. smarter than you

    the only thing dumber than saying this scene isn’t rape is saying it isn’t rape because cersei “didn’t try hard enough” to resist. RIGHT. Because rape is only rape if the girl fights back hard enough. . Plus, Cersei was totally tease this whole time, so it wasn’t REALLY rape. She totally wanted it. And she was kind of a bitch…. God, you people are morons. I hope every woman on here that says anything like that gets raped. Then maybe they’ll realize that there is no blurry line between rape and consexual sex. Rape is rape. Sex is sex. Sex isn’t ripping off a woman’s clothes while she says no. THAT’S RAPE. Not so confusing.

    • Smarter than smarter than you

      But she was into it. She really didn’t fight back that hard. She kissed him with passion. There was even candles in the room to set a romantic mood.
      She wasn’t saying “no”, she was saying “know” as in “I know I love you”.

  38. Davy

    I read the scene as rape, and it was fucked up and creepy of course, but these are shitty people who do terrible things it didn’t seem out of character. Jamie was away for a long time as a prisoner of war, suffered tremendously and when he returned to the love of his life, she rejected him along with everyone else in his family rather than even being pleased by his safe return. I am in no way providing excuses for his rape of Cersei – just that I read the scene as him finally snapping, returning to his own evil tendencies under the influence of his horrible family. Not to mention Cersei had just asked him to murder their brother.

    It was rape, no question, but I thought it seemed a likely reaction for Jamie and somehow not far off from their perverted incestuous power play of a relationship. Also keep in mind these two have a lifelong relationship, and something tells me that the rape of a wife/partner within the context of Westeros may not be considered rape to the characters. I’m not sure it will be addressed on the show to the satisfaction of viewers who seem to be projecting modern standards, interpretations and reactions onto this scene. Who knows, this might ultimately make Cersei feel like the “powerful” Jamie is back, whatever the response I can see how they presented it based on what we know of these characters and their world.

    Furthermore, the audience was becoming too fond of attempted child murderer Jamie, we probably just needed to be reminded of who he really is. We don’t know where the story will progress, allow this thing to play out.

    As for Drogo & Dany, you think GRRM’s version of events (that a scared shitless 14 year old girl would be really into fucking this scary large rape/pillage/murdery Dothraki king) is better? I think his rape of Dany in the TV version makes more sense for who those characters are, and I find that less problematic than the assumption that this young girl would be into it.

    The only problem I see is the wording of the director – he filmed a rape even if it was presented in a way that didn’t convey the meaning he was trying to get across. He and the actors are viewing the scene through the lens of their intended message, so perhaps to them it does seem like it came across the way they wanted. It was murky. Cersei saying “not here” implies yes but somewhere else, Jamie’s response of “I dont care” read to me as that he didn’t care where they were or about getting caught. Other commenters are accurate in pointing out a failure of some to acknowledge power dynamics in some sexual relationships and the muddiness of the interpretation of this scene. Still rapey….but I think in alignment with the characters.

    Something tells me if he had violently murdered Cersei people would be pleased that her evil character is gone, or at the very least accepting that she deserves to die, but I guess not to be raped. Strange logic people.

    I was most disturbed by the cannibals attacking that village and telling a small boy that they were gonna eat his parents who were just savagely murdered in front of him.

  39. GRRM

    http://www.themarysue.com/game-of-thrones-rape-controversy-grrm/

    HERE’S WHAT THE WRITER AND DIRECTOR OF GAME OF THRONES‘ CONTROVERSIAL RAPE SCENE (PLUS GRRM) HAVE TO SAY ABOUT IT
    He elaborated in an interview with Vulture, clarifying where the hell we were supposed to get Cersei’s consent from:

    The consensual part of it was that she wraps her legs around him, and she’s holding on to the table, clearly not to escape but to get some grounding in what’s going on. And also, the other thing that I think is clear before they hit the ground is she starts to make out with him. The big things to us that were so important, and that hopefully were not missed, is that before he rips her undergarment, she’s way into kissing him back. She’s kissing him aplenty.

    (MORE)

  40. The Real JC_12345

    IT WAS NOT RAPE!! IT WAS RAPEY BUT NOT RAPE RAPE… AFTER WATCHING THE SCENE, IT REMINDED ME WHEN I WAS HUMPING MY WIFE @ HER PARENT’S HOUSE. SHE SAID NO A FEW TIMES & I SAID I DONT CARE. AFTER A FEW MINUTES SHE GOT INTO THE MOOD, FORGOT WE WERE @ HER PARENTS HOUSE, AND WE HUMPED LIKE WILDER BEASTS!! WE KEPT HUMPING MORE FREQUENTLY FOR THE ENTIRE 2 WEEKS WE WERE THERE. – THAT SAID, WE WILL ONLY KNOW IF THIS WAS RAPE RAPE OR RAPEY, WHEN THE NEW EPISODE COMES OUT.

  41. KobeTheRapist

    How much do they talk about rape when they raid and pillage villages.

    This was pretty much reality in medieval times so I don’t see what the big deal is.

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