Though many of us spent last night watching the "Mad Men" finale, "Game of Thrones" quietly aired one of its more controversial episodes. You can read our recap, but the short version (and we apologize for putting this so bluntly) is that Sansa Stark is married to the monstrous Ramsay Bolton, then raped by him while her foster brother Theon watches. The uproar has been because the scene both goes against what happened in the books (a different character suffers this fate) and makes Theon's feelings in the scene seem more important than hers. Salon has a great roundup of the critical response to the episode. The show provoked similar conversations last year when a consensual sex scene between Jaime and Cersei Lannister from the books was rewritten as something far less consensual, but this season's controversy is causing a stronger reaction. The biggest response may be from pop culture site The Mary Sue, which has indicated it will no longer be writing about the show because of the episode:
"The show has creators. They make the choices. They chose to use rape as a plot device. Again.
In this particular instance, rape is not necessary to Sansa’s character development (she’s already overcome abusive violence at the hands of men); it is not necessary to establish Ramsay as a bad guy (we already know he is); it is not necessary to prove “how bad things were for women” ("Game of Thrones" exists in a fictional universe, and we already know it’s exceptionally patriarchal). Rape here, like in all instances, is not a necessary story-driving device."
After discussing the scene itself, and why they thought it was a disservice to the character and the show, editor Jill Pantozzi went on to explain that because of it, they're done covering the show:
"There’s only so many times you can be disgusted with something you love before you literally can’t bring yourself to look at it anymore. That is where I currently find myself in relation to "Game of Thrones." The staff of The Mary Sue feels the same. You may feel differently.
So, from this point forth there will no longer be recaps, photo galleries, trailers, or otherwise promotional items about "Game of Thrones" on The Mary Sue. The newsworthiness of other items will be discussed by the editorial team on a case by case basis."
Decider also questioned the move, asking "Is the sexual violence on 'Game of Thrones' really necessary?" and pointing out the numerous times the show has departed from the books' depiction of sex for something far darker. What did you think? Was this plot twist enough to make you question your devotion to the show?