We’re once again talking about rape in “Game of Thrones.” I hesitate to even write this story, which disturbs me more than what I’m writing about. I hesitate, because I know that, when I post this online, it’s going to start yet another series of hateful comments from people on both sides. I’m doing this because it’s important to talk about things like this.
Rape figures into a lot of storylines. Unfortunately, it’s a reality in this world and that is something that is not going to change. Personally, I have left movie theaters and shut off shows because of it. I hate seeing it more than I can say. I don’t think it’s entertaining. I think it’s a lazy way to advance plot. I think it’s overused and often used for shock value instead of as a way to advance a storyline.
I also think it makes sense in some stories. In this week’s episode, it was hardly unexpected. I think an awful wedding night was exactly where this story was going. Ramsey is a terrible person. He’s cruel. He’s evil. He’s a nightmare. My issue with the scene was more that they decided (outside of the books, because Sansa’s book story ended with where she was at the end of last season) to continue the “torture porn” of Sansa’s story. We were given a brief moment of hope when Sansa took some small amount of control over her life at the end of Season 4. Now she’s back with a madman after yet another forced marriage. This, after her father was beheaded in front of her, she was abused by a mad king, forced to marry Tyrion (we love him, but it was not her choice), manipulated by Little Finger, and suffered an attempted gang rape in an alley. Enough.
So, you see, what I’m saying is that the rape made sense in terms of where the plot was going, but the issue is with how they’re choosing to tell her story. The other reason this is a big deal is the way the show has handled this sort of thing in the past. For instance, in the book Daenerys’ wedding night was not rape. Still a forced marriage, but the show made it worse than it was, clearly for shock value. It was a stupid change, especially in light of the fact that she then falls in love with her rapist. Then there was the Cersei/Jamie scene that was a rape in the show and not in the book. I think the issue here is about choices the “Game of Thrones” writers are making in terms of in storytelling, and less with a terrible thing that is sadly, the logical next step in the story they chose to tell.
Look, the discussion is important. So, my two cents? You followed the story path in the most logical way. Maybe, “Game of Thrones” showrunners, we need to question why you decided to write this story in the first place.