The first problem is that the writers do not perceive this as a rape scene, but rather as a power play between them which according to them ultimately ended with Cersei consenting (this is if I understood the directors words correctly).
I don’t know if they were watching the same scene, but this scene definitely lacked the consent part. If one has to watch the scene at least 2 or 3 times to see some of Cersei’s alleged consent in the form of a kiss or a certain position of a hand while she was saying no at the same time; I would say they failed in depicting that. If you mean something and you don’t translate it to the screen, that does not make the intended picture real. It’s always the way the viewer perceives it that is true.
HBO has been criticized in the past for relying on sex and violence to sell their shows. Given the subject matter of A Song of Ice and Fire, a gritty power struggle in a medieval realm with dragons and multiple ongoing wars, “Game of Thrones” was never going to break this mold.
As the show has progressed, though, showrunners/writers Benioff and Weiss have chosen to inject additional violence, especially sexual violence, into a series already rife with brutality. While the widely-condemned rape scene in “Breaker of Chains” has brought a lot of recent attention to this issue, it’s hardly the first example of added violence in the show, and not even the first instance of added violence for the character of Jaime Lannister.
first of all: dont get me wrong i love dany
we all now that dany isnt emotionally stable. after everything that has happened to her: for once, viserys, the only family she had in her life was an abusive piece of shit and (clearly) mad (but thats a completely other issue and even this is argued about), then her marriage to khal drogo and him raping her, when she was only 13, causing her to romanticize their marriage and thinking that she loved him, when in fact it could never be healthy, oh and yeah, viserys being killed by her husband, who was, in fact, not better than viserys.
those issues are of course main points why she isn’t the sanest person. but, as a 16 year old girl she has handled it very well so far. she is still trying to be strong for everyone, her folk and she herself knows that she isnt smart and experienced enough.
lets look away from all the scenes the show gives us, because they only show us how **badass** she is and just throw in some dragons. i, on my place, dont care about them, tbh those scenes are getting on my nerves.
thats a fifteen year old girl burning down people theres nothing cool about that (same with arya killing people).
we all know about the “madness and greatness” quote.
(…) once told me that madness and greatness are two sides of the same coin. Every time a Targaryen is born, the gods toss a coin in the air and the world holds its breath to see how it will land.
it is very common for the targaryen to be mad, (i guess its because of all the incest). but you have to keep in mind, the world isnt black or white, or mad and great, its not divided. in my opnion dany has both- madness and greatness. she still has a good heart and struggles with her morals and emotions to do things which lead to chaos, but she does it anyways.
here’s the difference: while other mad targaryens probably dont even care what their actions lead in, dany does. but she does it anyway, and thats where the difference ends. even IF she feels bad about that, she still did it, didnt she.
and now we come to the real part of everything: dany’s storyline in meeren. i think its the most important for her and shows her struggle. there are so many quests and porblems coming in her way that tests her again and again.
i couldnt have said it better
With that in mind, a closer look reveals that Dany’s plotline in Meereen has been very cleverly designed as a series of tests of her values, and one value in particular. Each test is designed to ask — how far will Dany go to make peace and protect innocent life? With nearly every new chapter, Dany is asked to give up something else she wants or desires, for the good of the Meereenese people. The use of her dragons. A share of power in Meereen. Some of her anti-slavery reforms. Her desire for vengeance. Her desire to right every wrong she sees. Her distaste for cultural practices she finds abhorrent. Her sexual autonomy. Her happiness. Her pride. Her chance at Westeros. (x)
dont get me wrong, dany has the best intentions. ending slavery. but that just doesnt work out, as we know from the books. and when she enters meeren she’s violent. she stays in meeren because she knows she cant go away like before, since that would cause even more chaos.
after drogon killed a girl, and we all know dany and her dragons (especially drogon) are connected. she thinks about what they’re capable of, how dangerous they are and that all goes back to her. she realizes that yes, she is capable of violence. she uses it when she’s angry and becomes cruel. her fears of becoming mad like all the other targaryens and she questions herself whether or not she is mad or on the path of madness are taking over her thoughts.
she responds violence with violence.
- we all know that if dany would ever conquer westeros and take it over she will probably burn most people who did her/her family wrong. or at least she states so
- slave traders made a decision as a group to crucify 163 children. And she made a decision to punish them as a group by crucifying 163 slave traders….
i am not saying that the slave traders “didnt deserve it” or that they werent bad people. but lets be real, she is really kind of going down the path of madness here.
on the other hand: why does dany think she is the rightful queen of westeros? she think westeros is “hers by right”, a land she never even saw and hasnt lived in. thats the same with all the colonies she’s doing right now (meeren). she isn’t one of them, why should she be their queen? i think, personally, that she’s trying to make a home for herself but to be honest doesn’t really want to go anywhere. here a quick reminder: i like dany. dany has no home, and if she thinks of home she thinks of the red door, because she grew up there. but westeros? something in her head, just like with the post-drogosdeath-thing makes her think that she will find home in westeros.
which i really doubt she ever will. she might not be content with westeros, because, yeah, after she conquers westeros: what will follow? i cant say i know it, but lets be real people, what do you think will people do? will they love dany for conquering them with her dragons and burning down cities?
the thing with dany is still: she’s a young girl and everything is still before her. she can still change and find piece; i am not saying that she’ll be 100% mad (which i never said since i stated that she has madness AND greatness). i think its also very hard for her since jorah, one of the first persons she trusted after she was married to drogo, “betrayed” her. it’s hard for her to trust anybody after that, which is, of course, understandable.
either she’s enshrined as a badass conqueror or she’s derided for making horrible choices. it’s a problem within fandom that these two traits aren’t often acknowledged to be able to coexist; she is both fierce conqueror and misguided, arrogant teenage girl (also frightened, lonely girl, but that’s a different topic). she is greatness and madness. there’s no point in dividing a coin down the side; it’ll always have another one. acknowledge both. (x)
Yeah, I’m just not seeing it. Exactly which of her actions are in any way indicative of madness? “Responding to violence with violence” isn’t madness at all—it’s a moral problem of justice vs revenge, of consolidating power, of the value of a human life. I mean, responding to violence with violence is a fundamentally human action in the world of ASOAIF—see Tywin Lannister, see Oberyn Martell, see Wyman Manderly, etc etc etc. Would you call all of the adult Westerosi men who respond to violence with violence mad? Disagreeing with her actions doesn’t mean your argument holds water—it means you think her actions are immoral. (Also are you simply forgetting that when the Sons of the Harpy continue to kill her freed slaves, she continues not to enact vengeance on her child hostages?)
Furthermore, you’ve made quite a number of assertions that her attempt to end slavery in the East “just isn’t working out.” Yet we have plenty of evidence to the contrary. Not only has she fundamentally broken Slaver’s Bay, but she poses such an enormous threat to slavery that Volantis has begun amassing an army against her. Additionally, I think there’s a very good argument to be made that all of Dany’s sacrifices, both personal and political, to make Mereen a more stable state were actually working (see: the Mereneese Blot). The reason that region has been tipped into chaos is that her attempts to free the slaves are working, and the disruption of an economic resource like human slaves will always create chaos before coming to a new order (see: the American Civil War for God’s sakes).
Honestly, I get so sick of this argument that Dany is mad—we’re given literally every indication from the text that she is absolutely sane, but is also in a situation with very few good choices. I mean, what do you think madness is? Every decision she makes is thoughtfully considered—even if it’s the wrong decision. Her interpersonal relationships are strong and thoughtful—she trusts Barristan, Missandei, Grey Worm, the few people who actually care for her, and she sets good and necessary boundaries for herself. She’s constantly attempting to untangle the threads of justice and vengeance and order—see especially her mass pardon for any crimes committed during the Sack of Mereen. These are difficult choices. And her decisions are in no way indicative of madness. And I find this fandom’s continued assertion of Dany’s madness to be so ignorant of the text that it’s appalling, especially when we would never consider men like Tywin, Walder Frey, Roose Bolton, Oberyn and Doran Martell, Robert Baratheon, Wyman Manderly, (ETC ETC ETC) to be mad, which isn’t even speaking to how you’ve conflated traits like arrogance and misguidedness with actual clinical paranoia. Listen: we can criticize her as a moral individual every day of the week, but ascribing madness to a character who’s informed, thoughtful decisions we disagree with is the worst sort of ideated interpretation, especially when it only applies to the teenage girl, and never the adult men in power.
Disclaimer: I’ve been wanting to write this for a while, and you can take from it what you will. This is just my opinion, offering a different perspective to a commonly held belief about Sansa.
This post contains spoilers for A Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows
these are good points wrt Sansa currently enjoying the game (idk if it’s considered rude to reply with a disagreement like this on tumblr still, so sorry if it is—i follow you and this popped up on my dash) but I do think you’re wrong on this part and I don’t know why Sansa fans don’t tend to see it:
"*A “father” in Petyr Baelish - I feel like it also needs to be said that Sansa is aware, from the outset, that he is not all who he says he is. She’s seen him kill people (Dontos and Lysa) before her eyes, she knows that “Petyr is only a mask he had to wear” and she even thinks that Sweetrobin has a “good, healthy fear” of Petyr. I’m not trying to imply that Sansa and Petyr’s relationship is one of equals or anything (or that she doesn’t trust him to an extent, she has to), but she’s definitely not as naive towards him as people realise."
I really think the generally held belief on tumblr is that Sansa isn’t naive wrt Petyr, because you constantly see posts lauding her as outplaying everyone, including him, while you almost never see posts saying otherwise. not to mention those sophie quotes that get thousands of notes. people say that she’s his victim, yeah, but that’s really it.
in reality sansa’s views regarding LF have actually regressed since AGOT. this is the first time she sees him:
He had grey-green eyes that did not smile when his mouth did. “You have the Tully look.”
"I’m Sansa Stark," she said, ill at ease. AGOT
later on she notices how it seems as if his eyes can see underneath her clothes. iirc she never thinks positively of him before he takes her from KL. she instinctively knows there’s something weird about the guy in general. but as of affc she’s certainly changed her views.
this quote— "Petyr is only a mask he had to wear" — is wrong, it’s actually the opposite:
Littlefinger never lifted so much as his little finger for her. Except to get me out. He did that for me… it was Petyr all the while. Littlefinger was only a mask he had to wear.
the passage shows she’s conflicted but she def thinks that he’s “Petyr” underneath, not “Littlefinger.” the reader knows the opposite is true— baelish is a villain and we’re aware of everything he’s done. but sansa is telling herself that he’s actually her friend, and by the end of affc she seems really close to believing it.
yeah, she’s seen him kill dontos and lysa— but her reaction to these things is generally not good news. her lack of reflection wrt LF is actually kind of odd; you’d think the dontos thing would freak her out more but she doesn’t think back on it much at all and it doesn’t permanently affect her opinion of LF, she knows that he trafficks young boys to corbray but this doesn’t seem to phase her in the least, and then most prominently, this is how she ends up feeling about the lysa/moon door situation:
"It’s singing he can’t abide, since Marillion killed his mother." Alayne had told the lie so many times that she remembered it that way more oft than not; the other seemed no more than a bad dream that sometimes troubled her sleep. AFFC
so she’s essentially managed to convince herself that he didn’t murder her aunt when she even saw it happen; she’s erasing the bad things he’s done from her memory.
as for the “good, healthy fear”— i’m not sure where you’re from, but where i live this phrase isn’t usually used to imply that someone is a dangerous person. it’s usually used wrt children and stern parents who aren’t afraid to reprimand them when they act out. it was used here as “a good, healthy fear of his stepfather” when sweetrobin was being a brat, right?
i think sansa is almost certainly going to reject him and in particular his “clean hands” philosophy; the sansa/persephone and the petyr/hades parallels make a good case for that imo, besides the fact that the stark kids are the heroes and he’s a villain, etc. but she most definitely is naive where he’s concerned, or at the very least has successfully managed to quell her instinctive mistrust of him to a substantial degree. how she currently feels wrt LF is not great news; he’s manipulating her pretty successfully. iirc, in her most recent chapter she doesn’t even have a single thought about him that conveys wariness or true awareness. whereas in the beginning, even when she knew nothing about LF, she mistrusted him.
(i also disagree with alayne being wholly positive, but this is already too long. in any case it’s not any more positive than arya’s multiple identities imo, but arya in comparison is frequently treated as if she’s totally losing herself, which i don’t really get. between the FM and LF, it’s the latter who is probably more dangerous to their respective Stark kid in that way— just because LF has an avid personal interest in sansa whereas the FM treat arya like a business venture.)
I’m also going to come right out and say that I HATE how they’ve made Cersei so openly disgusted by Jaime’s lack of hand.
In their initial reunion, she says:
"You look so thin. and your hair, your golden hair…"
"The hair will grow back." Jaime lifted his stump. She needs to see. “This won’t.”
Her eyes went wide. “The Starks…”
[snip for irrelevant dialogue/exposition]
She kissed Jaime’s fingers. “You’ll kill him for me, won’t you? You’ll avenge our son.”
Jaime pulled away. “He is still my brother.” He shoved his stump at her face, in case she failed to see it. “And I am in no fit state to be killing anyone.”
"You have another hand, don’t you?"
Cersei is not disgusted by Jaime’s injury. As she later says, “I was afraid the Starks would send me your head.”
She does recoil from his stump later on, after their encounter on the altar. But it should be noted that she recoils after he’s said they should run away together and get married. Jaime infers that she’s recoiling from his stump, but it could be that she was recoiling from what she viewed as something dangerous. Jaime wanted to “stand up before the realm” and admit that they were lovers.
“Don’t…don’t talk like this. You’re scaring me, Jaime. Don’t be stupid. One wrong word and you’ll cost us everything. What did they do to you?”
"They cut off my hand."
"No, it’s more, you’re changed."
Later, Cersei comes to Jaime because Tywin is going to send her to Casterly Rock, force her to marry again, and she says,
"I will not have another husband. You are the only man I want in my bed, ever again."
"Then tell him [Tywin] that!"
She pulled her hands away. “You are talking madness again….I want to be your wife, we belong to each other, but it can never be, Jaime. We are brother and sister.”
"We are not Targaryens!"
"Jaime," she sobbed, "don’t you think I want it as much as you do? It makes no matter who they wed me to, I want you at my side, I want you in my bed, I want you inside me. Nothing has changed between us. Let me prove it to you." She pushed up his tunic and began to fumble with the laces of his breeches.
And then he stops her, says no, not here, not in the White Tower. She says they did it in the sept, why not here? And he stops her again.
For an instant he could see confusion in her bright green eyes, and fear as well. Then rage replaced it.
And THEN she mocks his hand. THEN she lashes out at him for no longer having a sword hand. Only when he’s rejected her, when she feels she has to hurt him like she’s been hurt. When she feels utterly abandoned.
Is there manipulation in all of this? Of course. But to have Cersei so openly reject Jaime on the show, when all he wants is to be with her….does not sit right with me.
We posted the transcribed scene here.
“Hurry,” she was whispering now, “quickly, quickly, now, do it now, do me now. Jaime Jaime Jaime.” Her hands helped guide him. “Yes,” Cersei said as he thrust, “my brother, sweet brother, yes, like that, yes, I have you, you’re home now, you’re home now, you’re home.” She kissed his ear and stroked his short bristly hair. Jaime lost himself in her flesh. He could feel Cersei’s heart beating in time with his own, and the wetness of blood and seed where they were joined.Cersei initiates the kissing. She says “no, not here, the septons” when Jaime starts kissing her neck, then mentions the wrath of the gods and her father as he’s making space for them to have sex, which is important to note. She protests at first because of the location and because she doesn’t want them to be caught, not because she doesn’t want to have sex with him. If the scene was written as Cersei struggled to push him away, wanted to make him stop kissing her, but couldn’t etc. and hadn’t included her literally telling Jaime to have sex with her, it would have been rape, but that isn’t what happened.Cersei forgets the septons and the location, tells him to hurry, tells him to have sex with her, and even grabs him and guides him to her. She also says "yes" three times and other terms of endearment while they’re having sex. She gives him explicit consent, and it is then and only then that the sex happens. If she’d said no, Jaime—who has clear moral issues with rape due to past trauma—would not have forced Cersei. His thoughts during that scene are also about how much he wants to protect her, not about how hateful she is.In the show, she pulls completely away from the kiss/stops the kiss, which is when Jaime’s personality completely switches and he calls her hateful, then forces her to kiss him. The gods and the septons and our father be damned turns into “how could the gods make me love such a hateful woman.” She says “no” “stop it” continuously while struggling with him to stop. I think there’s a clear difference here.-J
please don’t misconstrue this as me defending the horribly graphic rape scene in the tv show. i find that disgusting and unnecessary.
but when people are trying to paint the scene in the book as perfect consent, they’re completely ignoring the paragraph right before the one quoted where cersei lightly kisses jaime and then he starts kissing her harder and she’s like ‘stop not here not right now no’ and then he picks her up and sets her on the table and she’s pushing on his chest and hitting his chest trying to get him to stop and then when he gets her clothes off is when she finally gives in and accepts that it’s gonna happen so she might as well go along. the scene in the book, if not a rape scene isn’t the glorious consensual sex that everyone is making it out to be.
another thing people are doing which is incredibly disturbing to me is saying that jaime would never rape because jaime was against the violent rapes of brienne and the targaryens. but i don’t really read it as out of character, because in patriarchal societies it can’t be rape if it’s not violent and it can’t be rape if she’s previously consented. jaime can love and want to protect cersei and still completely violate her consent and never think twice about it. the scene in book made me very uncomfortable, and the scene in the show was much more gratuitously violent but they didn’t pull the rape out of nowhere.
I’ve already explained why the show and the books aren’t the same situation. I never said that it was perfect because I don’t for a second feel that any of GRRM’s sex scenes or writing is perfect. Please do not misconstrue me pointing out the consent in the scene in contrast to the show as “gloriously perfect” because that isn’t what I said.
Jaime wouldn’t rape Cersei because he witnessed Robert rape her multiple times, not just because he was opposed to the violence against Rhaella Targaryen and Brienne. Jaime was traumatised by what happened to these women, and what happened to Cersei during her marriage to Robert, especially because he couldn’t do anything to help and none of the kingsguard stepped in to stop these men. Jaime knows about Cersei’s trauma. Jaime punishes rapists in the books. Jaime expresses that if he were a woman, he’d rather die than be raped. There are plenty of instances why doing this to Cersei is out of character for a character like Jaime.
Jaime understands that Aerys Targaryen raped Rhaella Targaryen, no matter if “in patriarchal societies it can’t be rape if it’s not violent and it can’t be rape if she’s previously consented.” Jaime understands that Robert Baratheon raped Cersei Lannister, no matter if “in patriarchal societies it can’t be rape if it’s not violent and it can’t be rape if she’s previously consented.” We also live in a “patriarchal society” and just because some people in our society believe the same, ”it can’t be rape if it’s not violent and it can’t be rape if she’s previously consented” doesn’t mean that other people can’t recognise that it’s bullshit. Jaime recognises that that’s bullshit, just like people in our society recognise that that’s bullshit.
Cersei engages in this relationship with Jaime because it is the only consensual one that she’s had with anyone.
No matter how poorly this scene’s written in the books, the important thing is that Cersei gives Jaime consent. You’re free to argue that it made you uncomfortable, but she gives him consent. In the show she does not.
Jaime is one the most anti-rape male characters in the books, one of the ones most aware of the violence women go through, to whom raping would be anathema, and D&D turned him into a rapist and are using bullshit rape culture thinking to justify it.
Truth be told I have problems with the sept scene in the books and I find the whole “he never heard her” quite worrisome. But I honestly think this is a problem of the author and how he writes sex scenes and Jaime/Cersei’s sexual dynamics in particular (Cersei seems to be into feigning reluctance at first, which I personally find a problematic way to write a woman who enjoys sex, and a potentially dangerous territory). I think the sept scene is rather poorly written, but genuinely intended to be 100% consensual and at no point a way to imply that Jaime is a closet rapist or that (even worse) Cersei triggers the rapist in him. Nothing in Cersei’s PoV ever implies, not even on a subconscious level, that Jaime ever forced himself on her. And this is a woman who has known spousal rape first hand, who has nothing but utter disgust for men who make her feel powerless, who has killed the man who abused her for years. Note that GrrM has no problem implying things implicitly in a PoV chapter. For example, Cersei systematically blocks out any memory of how she murdered Melara Hetherspoon when she was a child because the thought makes her deeply uncomfortable, yet a clever reader is able to reconstruct what really happened by some clues in Cersei’s pov. So I think that if GrrM wanted to imply that that sexual encounter was not 100% consensual, he would have left traces of it in Cersei’s internal monologue, even if her conscious self somewhat erased it. As far as I recall, he didn’t.
All in all, I think the point of the sept scene as intended by GRRM was to illustrate how the twins are still perfectly in sync on a sexual level, but emotionally and mentally couldn’t be more distant, and after that encounter Jaime becomes painfully aware of that distance so he decides to truncate any physical contact with his sister at all; and this triggers the actual conflict between them.
The problem with the scene in the show is that the writers thought that by removing Cersei’s explicit consent (which Martin made sure to write) the scene would have been essentially the same, just a little edgier perhaps. Which is a gigantic mistake.
Disclaimer: I’ve been wanting to write this for a while, and you can take from it what you will. This is just my opinion, offering a different perspective to a commonly held belief about Sansa.
This post contains spoilers for A Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows
I agree! I think as it applies to Arya, it is good that her abusers die, that trash deserved to die, but … it’s less than ideal that Arya be the one to do it IMO. She’s not “losing her humanity” but the killing is its own form of trauma for her.
Agreed so hard. I wish it were someone else, though part of that is Arya’s remembrance of Ned’s lessons:
The Starks were at war with the Lannisters and she was a Stark, so she should kill as many Lannisters as she could, that was what you did in wars. But she didn’t think she should trust Jaqen. I should kill them myself. Whenever her father had condemned a man to death, he did the deed himself with Ice, his greatsword. “If you would take a man’s life, you owe it to him to look him in the face and hear his last words,” she’d heard him tell Robb and Jon once. ACoK
Just look at how she sees it “that’s what you do in wars”, child soldier aspects in play here definitely. Shows exactly how Arya developed such a mentality that she has now (killing enemies helps loved ones, killing personally is the right thing to do, if you’re going to kill someone, do it yourself, ect.)
But really one of the main reasons Arya kills people personally (if not the only reason) is because of her father’s influence. She always refers back to his lessons over her journey and tries to abide by what he taught her (and Jon/Robb.)
Oh, and 100% agree with the trauma. The nightmares she has of everyone she’s killed, and the shame she feels when she recalls her killings attest to that. I mean the fact that the nightmare of her killings has such details such as how it felt to plunge a knife into the Tickler really indicates that. The fact that she worries over whether or not the victims from the Weasel Soup incident and Chiswyck/Weese “count” also says it all.
I always worry about the fact that people might think I’m trying to advocate for Arya killing, or glorifying it, but really I find it very sad. And I always view the Tickler’s death as depressing.
But on the other side, I really think it’s important for people to acknowledge that the life Arya has lived, the world of ASoIaF, really dictates that Arya can be an incredibly compassionate, friendly person who wants to help innocents and support people “kind to her” and miss home and her family and be all these nice, normal things while being able to kill someone. These aren’t exclusive ideas for the type of world Arya lives in.
People tend to view this in such a modern way- if you kill and want to then you’re a killer and don’t have respect for human life. But in Arya’s world, respecting human life (like Lommy and all those poor villagers who were tortured to death) coincides with killing. Arya has such a respect for human life that she is horrified over the long dead slaves of Old Valyria not being granted justice and instead dying themselves instead of their abusers.
I guess my point is that the world GRRM has created makes instances like Arya killing Raff the Sweetling everything from sad to gratifying, heroic to disturbing, badass and tragic, illustrative of a taking control and being forced out of control. People oversimplify these things, they are so complex.
Acknowledging Arya’s considerable competency and- dare I say it- badassery shouldn’t equate to people viewing Arya’s trauma as being overlooked. She’s kickass and traumatized, this isn’t an either or thing that some people try to see it as. Shades of grey make up the ASoIaF world.