On the trivialization of rape in Game of Thrones

On the trivialization of rape in Game of Thrones

The fifth season of Game of Thrones has been one of the most controversial, not only because of how much he has moved away from the story told in the book that inspired it, but for female sexual abuse reflected in the plot. To what extent violations are made ‘necessary’ in Game of Thrones? Are they a resource to impact the viewer and you? WARNING:. This article contains massive spoilers

I recently finished the fifth season of Game of Thrones , and the series whose popularity has grown like wildfire, is now facing controversy for scenes of sexual abuse many consider exaggerated. For those who have read the books and know the story, we have seen the distortion of the narrative of the subframes, violations and made only seem free to make an impact on the viewer.

The books vs the series

In the first season looked forward to the meeting between Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo , as in “Game of Thrones” the scene where Dany and Drogo consummate their marriage is quite particular. While we read the story in the voice of Daenerys, afraid and confused by the barbaric customs of the Dothraki, but curious to know the customs of their new people. Drogo slowly seduces Dany, takes time for her to relax, almost speechless, indeed it is she who initiated the sexual contact. After that, no wonder that Dany falls in love with her husband.

“(…) Khal Drogo sat cross-legged and turned to look at her, as if he drank his body with eyes. After a while he began to touch her. First gently, then more energetically. Dany sensed the brutal strength of their hands, but never felt pain. (…) It seemed an eternity before man’s hands finally came to her breasts (…) Only then stopped, and sat her on his lap. Dany was flushed and breathless, felt her heart pounding in her chest. Drogo held her face with both hands and looked into her eyes. No? He said. Dany knew it was a question. He took her hand and led her down, moisture between her thighs. Yes he whispered as he led the man’s finger inward “

In the series this scene is completely different . Drogo takes Daenerys, removes clothes and viola, while watching Daenerys’s face covered with tears all the time. This is repeated in future sexual encounters. A woman who makes decisions, becomes a victim with a sort of Stockholm syndrome, in love with the man who abused her. The birth of the relationship between Daenerys and Khal Drogo: This simple change the script a major stories of the series affected. It is difficult to understand the motivation of the writers of the series to alter this detail and much more difficult to start thinking that was made just to hit, so that the viewer felt sorry for Daenerys, she became a martyr before make it a khaleesi; perhaps perpetuating the stereotype that a good woman is equivalent to a suffering woman.


In another spectrum is Cersei Lannister , one of the characters most detested by fans. However, Cersei is a complex and deep character. In “A Storm of Swords” in the wake of his son Joffrey in the septum, Cersei receives his brother Jaime. She is relieved to see whom he considers his only support in the family, able to understand your grief at the loss of the child, but also wanted revenge and no doubt trying to manipulate Jaime to kill Tyrion, whom she considers the murderer Joffrey. Jaime Cersei kisses, seduces, is carried away by passion but makes the threat of protest for fear that someone else comes, but have sex on the altar of the septum

“. – ‘I whispered her fast, fast, fast, still, do not stop, fast. Jaime, Jaime, Jaime. He’s led with his hands. Yes Cersei wailed at his embestida-, my brother, my dear brother, yes, well, well, have you, you’re home, you’re home, you’re home … I kissed her ear and stroked her short, wiry. Hair Jaime was lost in his flesh. He could feel the heart beat of Cersei kept pace with his, and felt the humidity of blood and seed where they joined. “

The scene in the series has another aspect. While producers completely denied that it had violated Jaime Cersei, many viewers perceived otherwise. The body language of the actors, the camera angles … it all seems too much like a rape. While it is true that Cersei is a victim of patriarchal culture of Westeros, who suffers machismo, but also has internalized this culture, then it despises women, weak and manipulative thought. It is one of the few who avenges the violation: her husband Robert Baratheon killer (yes, it is possible to rape within marriage); but it is hated and rejected by those who follow the series. A complex, deep character, it has gone through a reductionist view in which there is no room for nuance. Cersei is bad, period.


Another of the few his rape women who come is Mirri Maz Duur . Daenerys saves when he sees men in his khalasar abused her but Mirri consume his revenge, for their safety, for their temple and their city, killing the son of Daenerys and Drogo leaving catatonic. She takes revenge on those who hurt, but a villain

“-. What saved me? Ihazareena The woman spat on the floor. Three riders had taken me, not as a man takes a woman, but from behind as the dog riding the dog. The fourth was in me when you went riding. What saved me? I saw burned the house of my God, where he had cured countless good men. My house also burned, and in the streets saw piles of heads. I saw the head baker bake my bread. I saw the head of a boy whom he had saved from a fever for less than three moons. I heard the cries of children as jockeys did advance to the lashes. Tell me, what did you save me? You’re life. ‘Look at your Khal said Mirri Maz Duur and let out a cruel laugh, and look what it’s life when you have lost everything. “


” A Storm of Swords “Ramsay Bolton requires marry Arya Stark Winterfell to have control over, but Arya Stark still missing, so they send Jeyne Poole (a friend of Sansa Stark) to supplant. In “Dance with Dragons” marriage is consummated. No further details, leaving only escape Theon, haunted by the cries of Jeyne every night.

“What do you think went through their heads when they hear the cries of the new bride? the beautiful girl of the brave Ned? “No,” she thought. “She’s not Lord Eddard blood, his name is Jeyne, it is only the daughter of a steward” There is no doubt that Lady Dustin suspected, but still … ‘The lady crying Arya do us more harm than all the swords and spears of Lord Stannis. If the Bastard means staying as Lord of Winterfell, you better teach your wife to laugh. “

Moreover, Sansa Stark stay with Peter Baelish as his illegitimate daughter, Alayne. It has information from it to “Feast for Crows” which assumes a maternal role with her cousin Robert Arryn and becomes the Lady Eagles Nest. Sansa longer the innocent girl to become a wise woman who begins to understand how Littlefinger play the game of thrones.

 Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 6 Photographer: Helen Sloan / HBO

Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 6 Photographer: Helen Sloan / HBO

In the series, things change a lot. Poole Jeyne disappears after the first season, so the role of wife Ramsay Bolton is assumed by Sansa Stark. The scene of the rape of Sansa in her wedding night is hellish, horrible. It is precisely this the highlight among fans, because not only marks the change of the course of the series, which increasingly separates most of the books, but puts into question the importance of female violence for history.

Are Free rape scenes in Game of Thrones?

If anything characterizes the fans is the willingness to do the hard work required do any analysis. One example is the user Tumblr Tafkar , who is in charge of counting the number of violations that have occurred in the series and books. The results are quite enlightening: while in the HBO series have occurred until the date some 50 violations, listed 214 books; almost four in the series. However, it is noteworthy that many of the subplots and stories of the books do not accurately reflected in the series. And in fact the problem lies not in the quantity but in intent and purpose.

As a historian is that historical research to start, it is imperative aside values ​​and judgments that may have, that is, we need to analyze a society with full consciousness that everything that “we” and we are social constructions; we are children of our time and we have a cluster of values ​​and customs appropriate to the time in which we live. The facts remain, but the opinion that they can have on them depend on the dynamic and changing nature of the human condition. As a woman of the century, I can aghast at the idea of ​​marriage arranged by the parents (custom that remained intact until the early twentieth century and continues in many cultures), but I’m able to understand from the perspective of the individual of the time or culture.


George RR Martin , in an interview with the New York Times mentions the motivations that underlie female violence in his novels:

“An artist has an obligation to tell the truth . My novels are epic fantasy, but are inspired and grounded in history. Rape and sexual violence have been part of every war fought since ancient Sumerians until today. Omit from a narrative centered on war and power would have been fundamentally false and dishonest, and have been to the detriment of one of the themes of the books: that the true horrors of human history are not derived from orcs and dark lords, but ourselves. We are the monsters (and heroes as well). Each of us has within himself the ability to do the greatest good and the greatest evil. [Westeros] it is darker and more depraved than our own world. History is written in blood. The atrocities of Song of Ice and Fire, sexual and other, pale in comparison to what can be found in any good history book “

It is not my intention to make a comprehensive analysis of disparities “Song of Ice and Fire” series. I do not intend to defend the author’s opinion on whether or not female violence is necessary, but I’m able to understand its intention to mention the violence in the world he has created. Those who have read the books will recognize that one of the richest aspects of Martin’s prose lies precisely in building their characters, with whom we feel identified to the extent permitted by the ‘gray’; no completely good or completely bad (with a few exceptions, such as the case of Ramsay is just a despicable sociopath) people. Westeros is an exaggerated reflection and cartoonish human condition , which seeks to put the reader in an awkward position in which he is able to question their own morality without falling into the easy route of judge something as good or bad.

The problem is when they try out such a complex universe to a TV show, you can not afford so many artistic liberties, to the extent that time and production costs not supported the detailed construction of a world. Are the writers and directors who decide what aspects of a book have sufficient weight and importance to be mentioned in every season. On the occurrence of Sansa Stark in the fifth season, the producers have said:

“We really wanted to have a greater participation Sansa this season. If we had remained completely faithful to the book, it would have been very difficult. There is a subplot that love of books, but he used a character that was not in the show. “

In the books, violations have a goal, either set a sequel in the construction of character or motivations of a character or to establish the brutality of the environment or culture. Such violence is terrible, but the purpose is understood. But when a violation has no function, or simply undermines a character becomes a free act. That’s precisely what happened to the TV series. has been trivialized a fact so strong and decisive for any woman.

Thus, Daenerys falls in love with her rapist, he ergo it is a good and admirable woman (away from the role I emponderado it has on the books), Cersei is bad and narcissistic; but the circumstances that led to assume that position are obviated; Mirri Duur Maaz is a terrible monster, Sansa is now is a victim, and is not assuming their own power. It has come to create situations that do not appear in the books, but they seem built to foist positive features other characters. One example is the attempt to rape the daughter of the innkeeper in the third season, in which Polliver and Lannister men are interrupted by the arrival of Sandor and Arya. Sandor kills men, the girl escapes. He is the hero. It is an easy, simple way to create empathy with a complex character, but for the wrong reasons.

The violation of Sansa Stark is a gratuitous act of violence that seem search surprise and horrify the viewer

The violation of Sansa Stark has been the epitome of a slow season, marked by failures; It is a gratuitous act of violence that seems to surprise and horrify find the viewer, rather than catch, distort the aim of the author of the series . They are slowly destroying the magic of the characters created by Martin href=”http://hipertextual.com/tag/george-rr-martin” , reducing them to stereotypes dichotomous to which we are accustomed industry: good people, bad people. Women martyrs, heroic men. Perpetuate values ​​of a patriarchal society, Game of Thrones is becoming more of the same.

It has been shown that it is possible to make quality television. The time and budget limitations are no longer an excuse to avoid building deep characters and elaborate, as demonstrated Breaking Bad ; only need a production team, writers, directors and writers committed, willing to do a good job, concerned about the product they offer to the public. Time will tell if this diametrical clearance between the television series and books has been the right decision, or if all this paraphernalia that focuses on the cliché of sex, violence and superficial heroes achieved away to discerning viewers.


On the trivialization of rape in Game of Thrones
Source: english  
June 18, 2015

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