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Why the 'Game of Thrones' cast laughed through the rape scene

The "Game of Thrones" cast and crew got through that scene by focusing on the black comedy of the setting.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 18:  Nikolaj Coster-Waldau at the 'Game Of Thrones' Press Conference at the Four Seasons Hotel on March 18, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Vera Anderson/WireImage) BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 18: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau at the 'Game Of Thrones' Press Conference at the Four Seasons Hotel on March 18, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Vera Anderson/WireImage)

Those of you who saw "Game of Thrones" this week - and I know who you are, because you look faintly traumatized, like the world just isn't quite the place you thought - are aware of the controversy swirling around a certain scene. Spoilers for those of you who haven't yet seen it: Jaime had sex with his sister Cersei next to their son's dead body. All that was gross enough in the books, where the sex was at least consensual; on the show, Jaime raped her.

"Game of Thrones" has come under fire for making that shocking plot change. Even George R.R. Martin,author of the books, seems a little dismayed. Director Alex Graves, however, says that he and cast members Lena Headey and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau got through the uncomfortable scene by focusing on the black (black, black) comedy of the setting.

"I'm never that excited about going to film forced sex. But the whole thing for me was about dead Joffrey lying there, watching the whole thing," Graves told the Hollywood Reporter.

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"(Showrunners)David(Benioff)andDan(Weiss) loved that, and I was like, I wanted to make sure I had Jack in there as much as I could. Of course Lena and Nickola laughed every time I would say, 'You grab her by the hair, and Jack is right there,' or 'You come around this way and Jack is right there.'"

He is right that watching two siblings doin' it in front of their dead son was hilariously gross and bad - but that just makes it even more puzzling that Benioff and Weiss felt the need to make the scene non-consensual, too. That completely drained any potential chuckles from the scene for me.

 
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