A Collection of Metas (critical essays or analysis) about A Song of Ice and Fire (ASOIAF), gathered from across tumblr.


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Anonymous asked:
I think you're looking at dany's achievements the wrong way. I think the directors are trying to show that her as a white woman who's led a sheltered life, can in fact adapt and live in harmony with people who are so far from her cultural comfort zone. Also, you're not taking into the fact that she's been traveling through the desert. Now a days, who live in the desert? Brown people. So it's actually accurate that most of the people around dany are brown.
fatpinkcast answered:

Also, how did you get that there was racial insensitivity in the last scene? The mob of people who were coming to either greet or destroy dany had the choice, and they saw her as a woman great enough to call her “Mother”. She liberated them, and not only is she a woman who did that, but she’s also a white woman. I think they’re trying to show how Dany treats people based on human rights, and not how they look or what rank they are.

I’m going to be very frank.

Yes, dear anon, you’re the only one who is right and the fans of colour who often have to deal with insensitive racist portrayals of themselves in media are wrong. The critics who are doing their jobs that they’re trained to do, and are taking a critical look at Dany’s story outside the context of her benevolence are absolutely wrong. None of us have taken any of these plot points into context at all, anon.

Real life is not a rousing song of kumbaya. Real life is complex and the issues in Dany’s storyline are complex. There are situations analogous to in Dany’s storyline that have happened in real life and continue to happen. There are real life people and governments who went into countries as liberators because they thought it was their duty, and ended up destroying those countries even more. European colonisation of the Americas is a great example as is European colonisation of Africa. The US’ foreign policy in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan is another good example; you ask these people if they’re happy about the US coming into their countries without cultural context and “liberating them” and they will walk away from you. The US has backed actual regimes that promised change, and ended up committing heinous crimes on its people. Liberators can also be oppressors. You might lack the context for issues like this, but you have google at your disposal. You can look stuff up and learn.

There are already thousands of examples of white saviour trope and hundreds of articles examining the pervasive view of white saviourism in western media. You can google all this, or read through the intelligent responses that people have painstakingly written to help others understand what’s wrong with that scene beyond how you personally feel about Dany. That scene reads as oppression for a lot of people and just because you feel that it’s an uplifting story, doesn’t mean everyone else has to feel that way. I absolutely love Dany as a character. But I’m also from a country that was colonised. I’m from a country where missionaries have gone to (and still go to) thinking that they were bringing the word of their god to people, but ended up bringing their imperialism and colonisation and bigotry with them.

I should go and ask all the POC around me why they live in the Northeast instead of out in the Nevada desert. Brown people live everywhere. Cold climates, hot climates, temperate climates. Essos is a diverse continent with varying climates as cited in the wiki entry: http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Essos People who live in the desert do not spend 90% of their time in the sun because you know, houses exist. And lest you forget, Dany also lives in desert climates and has lived there for a good deal of her life.



Why do people think Jaime doesn’t know what constitutes as rape when he’s one of the only men in the books who acknowledges that men can and do rape their wives…and that that’s wrong? It also bothers him that some of the most renowned and praised Kingsguard men stood by while Aerys raped Rhaella multiple times over the course of their marriage.

His interaction with Pia’s also quite telling:

One of the Mountain’s men had tried to rape Pia, so Jaime commands Ser Ilyn Payne to take his head off. As they forced him to his knees the man seems honestly perplexed, saying he had her hundreds of times, they all did. When Ser Ilyn presented Pia with his head she had smiled through her ruined teeth.

Later to his squire Peck:

He advises him to be kind to her if he beds her, to treat her as he would his bride.

Pretty Pia’s slept with many men, yet Jaime still considers what happens to her attempted rape. He doesn’t excuse it because she’s promiscuous and ~you can’t rape someone who has sex to survive.~ He commands Ser Illyn Payne to take the head of the man who attempted to rape her even though this man has “had her hundreds of times.” He also advises his squire to treat her well.

How can anyone can argue that Jaime would violate Cersei and not think anything of it…that he wouldn’t understand that it’s rape because of the patriarchal society he grew up in where people think it’s okay for men to rape women who have previously consented?

Jaime sees rape as morally wrong in a way that most men in these books don’t and despite society excusing spousal rape.



i think what enrages me the most about the scene that shall not be named is the fact that in the books, jaime knew that aerys was raping his wife. seventeen-year-old jaime, talking to jon darry, wanted to step in and prevent the batshit crazy king of westeros from raping his wife. aka the first time jaime thought about defying aerys openly until the day he murdered him and broke his vow to save the entire city of king’s landing from being burned to ashes. remembers hearing that rhaella looked like some great beast had savaged her.

so for him to do that to cersei now would essentially equate jaime to aerys. the one act he is truly proud of and the one act that demonized him in the eyes of westeros (even though they all knew aerys had to die by the end) was to kill the mad king, the mad king who did that to his wife, the mad king who was torturing the starks to death and thus causing robert’s rebellion and the downfall of the entire dynasty and the act for which jaime has been reviled but which he has never told anyone but brienne the truth of.

this is the jaime who saved brienne from being raped at considerable risk to himself. jaime who is NOT a !good guy when that happened and was only a few days removed from trying to kill her himself. the jaime who always adored cersei and followed her lead and wanted to protect her and keep her safe and who knew robert raped her and couldn’t protect her from that because robert was the king and he promised him he wouldn’t make kingslaying a habit. he killed aerys (a rapist) and got robert (a rapist/whoremonger) instead and he hated them both and has never slept with anyone but cersei because she’s his whole world

tell me again how he would have just raped her while she’s crying on the floor of the sept because hurr durr we no do complex emotions and the inevitable and tragic decay of this incredibly complicated and passionate relationship between two people who loved each other so much that they would have burned the entire world down because of it. nah let’s just throw in some more grossly exploitative shock-value violence against women and punish cersei for daring to mess with audience favorite!tyrion because jaime hasn’t gotten laid yet.

jaime. baby. cersei. baby. you two deserved so much better.

i’m disgusted.


Many of the characters in ASoIaF have some sort prophecy attatched to them, it just so happens that one of these people is Cersei Lannister, one of the series most prominent and persistent antagonists.

Now until Winds of Winter comes out in 2076 or whenever George gets done with it, we can’t be precisely sure how Cersei’s stroll down naked lane has effected her psychologically. Maybe she’ll be a changed person? Maybe it’ll make her even more paranoid and prone to poor decision making? Who knows.

What we do “know” is that when she was a kid a fortune teller from Essos told her this:

Aye. Queen you shall be… until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear.

Cersei being Cersei assumes that “younger Queen” is good ole Margery Tyrell, and you can’t really blame her for that. Except, as many a fan has pointed out, Dany is a younger and more beautiful queen, and she’s also considerably more dangerous than the Tyrell queen.

What does Cersei hold dear? Her power and (her one redeeming quality) her children. Cersei loves her kids, as most mothers do, no matter how wretched and megalomanical the mother may be. 

So let’s assume Dany is the younger Queen, It’s pretty easy to see how she could take Cersei’s power (perhaps some form of fire, and some form of giant flying lizard may be involved) but if Dany is going to take ALL that Cersei hold’s dear…then Myrcella and Tommen may be in trouble. 

We also know that Cersei will outlive her kids, and she’s already buried one of them. So if the younger Queen is going to take what Cersei holds dear, and her kids are one of those things, and her kids are going to die before her…is Dany going to bring about the deaths of Tommen and Myrcella?

Disclaimer: I’m not one of those people who says Dany is mad, not at this point. But I will say that like all the Targs she has a higher chance than the average Westerosi of one say drinking a bottle of wild-fire to turn into a dragon, or just burning people to get her rocks off. 

The big problem, at this point, is that it’s really really hard to see Dany slaughtering two, pretty nice, kids in order to get the throne. She holds a severe grudge against King Robert for doing just that (even though it was Gregor and Tywin, but whatever). 

If Dany is going to be the one who brings down Cersei then, if the prophecy is accurate (and we’ve already seen that Maggy was pretty on the money) it will require her to do the exact same thing Robert had to do to win the throne. Eliminate any other claimant. 

It’d be an interesting development and a good piece of dramatic irony. What would it mean for Dany’s character? Could it be a catalyst for her going mad? Would she need to be mad already? Again these are questions I can’t answer and there is also the fact that there have been other characters suggested other than Dany and Margery who could be the “younger more beautiful” queen. Sansa for instance, but I can’t see her killing children either.


*warning, spoilers for 4.03 and A Storm of Swords*

Dear Mr Benioff and Mr Weiss,

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I think what happened is that the director failed to convey a dark and extremely complicated moment for Jaime and Cersei. Jaime coerces her and she appears to assent at some moments and resist him at others. In the books this is due to a combination of fear grief, lust and familiarity. It is one of the most powerful moments in the series. 

Onscreen, it came across as clumsy and exploitive.

 Cersei shows some signs of being receptive to her brother’s touch but when it quickly turns from kindness to fury she resists him, at first forcefully, and then in a more muted way. She pulls at his chest but also wraps her legs around him, she kisses him but struggles away from being pulled to the ground. The scene cuts off with the words “its not right” 

The words “it’s not right”  COULD HAVE spoken to everything that is going on in that moment-their son’s body lying in state, being in public, being in a sept AS WELL AS having her life-long lover and confidante, now disabled and humbled, demand access to her body. He’s not her protector anymore, he’s not her golden twin, he’s an angry and lost man. However, he’s still her only friend in the world, a world that keeps getting smaller, thanks to Tywin and the Tyrells. NOTHING is right in Cersei’s world. Instead Graves reduced those words into a cheap onscreen shorthand for “dramatic and complicated inscestous relationship is complicated and dramatic” and siphoned of all subtext. It’s sort of lazy. He’s  asking a lot from the viewers to just “see it as consensual” . You don’t get coy with a consent issue unless you are willing to do the hard work of spelling out EXACTLY what is going on in their heads.  ”It’s not right” sets the scene up as a rape, bookended with some weird justifications about “Jaime’s character arch” or “Cersei’s relationship with power”

I’d like to compare this scene to another rape on television a few weeks ago.  On the Americans, Peter raped Elizabeth. He did it while “in character” as Clark while they were about to have consensual sex. Throughout the episode Elizabeth insists that Peter treat her as aggressively as his fictional wife, Martha, had hinted at. It should be noted, that He does not rape Martha, but Elizabeth became convinced he brought a different level of passion to their lovemaking rather than Elizabeth’s. After teasing him into it, Peter snaps, flips Elizabeth over and thrusts into her violently over and over again in one of the most difficult to watch sex scenes on television. He then turns her back over and screams “is this you get what you wanted?” Elizabeth cries and Peter can barely look himself in the mirror afterwards. In this show, the directors were pretty frank about the stakes of Peter and Elizabeth’s roleplaying. The directors walked right up to the bright line in the grey area of consent and showed the consequences, unflinchingly. This was complicated, done well. Yes she consented to sex , and possibly rough sex, but she did NOT ask for that. 


Critics’ Reactions to the Jaime/Cersei Rape Scene in Episode 4.3 of Game of Thrones

"I wonder, then, if the rape was on some level a misguided attempt to give Cersei even more pathos, a la the convenient backstory rapes that have become depressingly common on prestige TV (and Scandal)…I wonder if TV Thrones‘s writers just have a tendency to change problematic book sex scenes into clear scenes of unconsensual sex.” - Hillary Busis, Entertainment Weekly

Game of Thrones has a rape problem.” Kevin Spak, Newser

"In the original depiction, Jaime never says “Why have the Gods made me love a hateful woman?” — a line that the TV show added in, which in context makes Jaime look like an abusive rapist (the gods made me do it!)”- Darren Franich, Entertainment Weekly

Jaime forced himself upon Cersei despite her demands to stop. “It’s not right,” she cried, to which Jaime snarled, “I don’t care.”…we can never unsee that godawful scene. Leanne Aguilera, E! Online

"If this scene really just is a miscalculation in direction (and potentially the writing of Benioff and Weiss, neither of whom have yet commented on it) and doesn’t get any payoff later in the season, then it truly deserves all the criticism it has been receiving.” - Terri Schwartz, Zap2It

The director who shot the scene and the man who acted in it both believe it wasn’t necessarily nonconsensual sex— an attitude that isn’t totally surprising in a society that’s deeply confused about what constitutes consent, and that doesn’t always recognize sexual violence for what it is. -Tara Culp-Ressler, ThinkProgress

So then Jaime … well … no other way to put this, really. He rapes his sister beside their corpse of their murdered son. This is the same guy who protected Brienne from a similar fate last year.  - James Hibberd, Entertainment Weekly

"…the show’s overall treatment of women as disposable objects onto whom physical and emotional violence are relentlessly enacted. Sexual violence is so pervasive on the show that nearly every woman on the show has been raped or threatened with rape. The show, and the books, reveal the disturbing and cavalier facility with which rape becomes a narrative device.Rape is used to punish. Rape is used to make a woman more sympathetic or to explicate their anger or other unlikable qualities. Rape is used to put women in their place.” -Roxane Gay, Salon

"The entire scene in the sept was an exercise in Cersei’s belittlement. She watched her father degrade and dishonor (albeit truthfully) her firstborn’s legacy and then manipulate her youngest into serving as his marionette. Then, on the floor next to the body of her dead son, the only man she’s ever taken into her confidence abused that trust in the most vile way imaginable.” - Hillary Kelly, The New Republic

"A giggling dead body would have at least taken our attention away from, you know, the raping." - Johnny Brayson, wetpaint

"Whether the show meant it to come across that way or not, what we saw was a rape.” - Erik Kain, Forbes

"The scene, which has Cersei pleading “stop it” repeatedly and struggling against Jaime, appears far from consensual." - Margaret Wappler, Los Angeles Times

In the show there’s no other way to interpret it as unambiguous rape. Jaimie isn’t loving when he tries to have sex with her in the show, he’s shown as being angry and hateful, cursing her for being a wicked woman. There’s no point in the scene on the show that we can see Cersei consent, which makes the whole scene significantly different from the book. Some readers have pointed out that the rape in the show is damaging for Cersei’s character arc since she had to endure the marriage to Robert Baratheon in which he essentially engaged in marital rape,  Her consensual sex was always with Jaimie who made her feel safe. Jaimie raping her in the show completely destroys their relationship and destroys the trust she has in Jaimie leaving her without anyone. - AJ, the Digital Times

The rewritten scene also takes away all of Cersei’s agency. In the original text, Cersei chooses to have sex with Jaime, grotesque as it and the setting may be — because she wants to, or because she uses sex to manipulate, it doesn’t matter. Cersei has power and control. The scene in the show deprives her of all of that. - Amelia McDonell-Parry, The Frisky

His response is not to stop loving her, not to stop believing that he is victim to the gods. Instead, Jaime rapes his sister, passing that sense of unendurable pain on to her. He must know that this is the worst possible way that he could hurt her. Jaime knew that Robert raped Cersei, and in the novels, he wanted to kill Robert for it. Not only does raping Cersei remind his sister of her repeated, humiliating violation, Jaime is poisoning their own relationship, the thing that had been Cersei’s antidote to the miseries of her marriage. It is an exceptionally cruel thing for Jaime to do.  - Alyssa Rosenberg, Washington Post.

It’s hard to shake the idea that Game Of Thrones, the show, doesn’t see a problem with pushing a scene from complicated, consensual sex to outright rape. It would be easier to accept that idea if it were clear what the show was trying to do with those changes. - Sonia Saraiya, AV Club

If Graves intended to depict consensual sex in the end, he completely failed. This wasn’t even one of those terribly clichéd scenes where a man starts raping a woman only to find that she comes around to thinking it’s hot. Cersei is still kicking and protesting when the camera cuts away. It’s as straightforward a rape scene as you’ll get on TV, unless you buy the ridiculous myth that a woman can’t be raped if she’s consented to sex with a man before. - Amanda Marcotte, Slate

This isn’t the first rape scene in Game of Thrones—far from it. And there’s been controversy over the show’s use of rape before. But what makes this scene the most upsetting one yet is that the director didn’t realize he was filming a rape scene…Whether or not the creators intended this to be a rape scene is irrelevant; they made one anyway. And worse, they made one that encourages the most dangerous thinking about rape imaginable. - Laura Hudson, Wired

"How will victims of sexual assault be affected when a director and actor in one of television’s most popular shows questions whether no really means no?" - Eliana Dockterman, Time Magazine

I’ll go ahead and say it: Jaime Lannister has become a rape cliché. He’s the boss, like every other on-screen rapist we’ve ever seen. - Hayley Krischer, Salon

"I’m not opposed to shows depicting sexual violence, but rape-as-prop is always distressing…Rape and abuse have consequences for the victims who carry those traumas with them. While I don’t know exactly how the show will depict the aftermath of Jamie raping Cersei, GoT does not have a strong track record of acknowledging or exploring the lingering effects of surviving sexual assault." - Margarey Lyons, Vulture/New York Magazine

"I can’t think of any comparable defense for the rape scene in "Breaker of Chains," which feels like a naked and ill-conceived attempt to push Game of Thrones into even darker territory. …I’m concerned that Game of Thrones has made a mistake it can’t take back — and one that sets a troubling precedent for the show’s future.” - Scott Meslow, The Week

The Game of Thrones Rape Scene Was Unnecessary and Despicable….The fact that showrunners might be asking us to overlook this for the sake of character development is downright insulting and says a lot about how we treat victims, especially the ones who come off as unlikable. - Madeleine Davies, Jezebel.com

Is “Game of Thrones” Obsessed With Sexual Assault?…Frankly, there are some weeks when “Game of Thrones” doesn’t seem worth the effort.  - Sam Adams, IndieWire

(via eclectictsunami)


I find myself really bothered by the treatment of the Stark children (Bran, Arya, and Sansa) in the show. D&D don’t seem to appreciate their value as characters. They give the focus to their abusers/kidnappers, they emphasize the “players” in the system and not these children who are affected by the war, and they just don’t care enough.

At this point in the show, it’s very clear that there just isn’t enough appreciation for them. By that I mean:

  • Arya has become completely unrecognizable from her book self and is played for comic relief/isn’t allowed to have any emotions/grieve 
  • Sansa isn’t even allowed to do anything at all, D&D have done the impossible and somehow given her less agency than she has in the books
  • And we can hardly make judgements about Bran’s characterization considering he’s never even given any screentime

The kids are so important in the books though. They illustrate the complexities of southern politics and the treacherous world of the “game of thrones” (Sansa.) They teach us the affects of war, the life of the smallfolk, and the ravaging of the countryside (Arya.) They show the depths of magic and history as well as the tragedy of ruling and losing one’s home (Bran.) They serve as three of the main POVs and are integral to the feelings ASoIaF gives the reader.

Their arcs are long, emotional and essentially read as a bildungsroman for each Stark kid.  

They are important. They shouldn’t be ignored. And yet they are? In the season so far (and previous seasons as well,) they are constantly being sidelined for other characters. Is there any reason that Tywin Lannister had more screentime last episode than House Stark has all season? Or how about how Margaery and Olenna, Cersei and Varys, and so on (all the “players”, the people in power) are given the focus over the kids? Some episodes Ygritte and the wildlings have more screentime than all the Starks combined. And when Robb was still alive (who had no POV in the books,) he upstaged all three as well.

I’ve spoken before about the importance of the Stark kids, how they are the true focus of the house and its future revitalization, it makes me so sad that D&D have missed this. Watching the show, it feels like D&D don’t even deem Bran worth showing at all- because there are no game players around to instead focus on maybe, who knows- and that Arya and Sansa are forced into playing supporting roles in their own arcs.   

Anonymous asked:
Hi! I know everyone is talking about how they screwed up Arya's character on last night's GOT episode. I just wanted to hear your opinion on that?

Hi! <3

Well, truth be told, had you asked me pre-season 4 about Arya’s adaption in the show, I would have said that it was clear she wasn’t a favorite of D&D’s (though not the worst, looking at you Stannis,) and her character arc/characterization was messy (but not the worst, yet again.) After the major cuts and lightening in Harrenhal, some changes were bound to happen but still.

Now, after this season, I think it’s very obvious that D&D don’t give a crap about Arya and are content to absolutely wreck her character. She’s so messed up at this point, I don’t even want to know what they have planned.

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A couple things leap out from this interview:

1. Doesn’t seem like anyone at all was clear on what was going on in the scene, and we’re still getting a lot of ambiguity as to what was supposed to have happened. How does - "There wasn’t a lot of talk about it, to be honest. Everybody knew and then confirmed with each other this is a sort of animalistic, desperate escape moment in the middle of a tragedy that is twisted enough that only Jaime and Cersei could pull it off…they have sex. It’s the last place you think anyone’s going to have sex.” - at all track with what we saw and what’s now being said by Benioff and Weiss?

2. More of the same, but with added lack of understanding of consent. What was talked about was that it was not consensual as it began, but Jaime and Cersei, their entire sexual relationship has been based on and interwoven with risk. And Jaime is very much ready to have sex with her because he hasn’t made love to her since he got back, and she’s sort of cajoled into it, and it is consensual. Ultimately, it was meant to be consensual.” There is an ENORMOUS difference between being cajoled into sex and being pinned down on the ground. If that was the director’s intent, and at this point it’s very hard to know what was given the flip-flopping going on, it was botched. Either way, it shows a disturbing lack of understanding of what consent in a “twisted” scenario sounds like, looks like, or is shot like.

3. It’s now more clear that a big part of the screwup here was definitely Graves’ direction, not interference from Benioff and Weiss (who still bear responsibility as the writers and showrunners): "It’s my cut of the scene. The consensual part of it was that she wraps her legs around him, and she’s holding on to the table, clearly not to escape but to get some grounding in what’s going on. And also, the other thing that I think is clear before they hit the ground is she starts to make out with him. The big things to us that were so important, and that hopefully were not missed, is that before he rips her undergarment, she’s way into kissing him back. She’s kissing him aplenty." If Graves wanted to show Cersei getting into it despite initial reluctance, don’t have Cersei say no over and over again - the dialogue is there in the text and he should have said something to the writers that the dialogue isn’t showing the shift the way it should. Barring a script change - have Cersei undo her own garments, or his. Have her get on top. There’s a lot of ways physical acting and blocking changes could have undone a lot of the damage to this scene and they weren’t done, and that’s on Graves. 

4. There’s a huge gap between how the scene comes off as shot and the characters’ arcs. For example: She needs Jaime to deal with Tyrion. That’s really what that scene is about…That’s probably the main reason she consents, is to pull him in, because she’s results-oriented, period.” That could have been done without harm to the audience’s understanding of the character; Cersei’s certainly someone who approaches a lot of her sexuality from a utilitarian perspective. It would have been quite simple: have her repeat her plea to Jaime in the same way that she did in flashback in AFFC in regards to Arya. Likewise: "Jaime, we’ve come to find out, wanted to be and would like to be a good knight but was raised in a family where he was not allowed to be that. In fact, quite the opposite. That’s made him extremely smart and dangerous but not fulfilled, and he found in Brienne a soul mate that he’ll never recover from…His only way to his true self is possibly through his brother, but the door is opened by his exposure to Brienne who if nothing else is a powerful, noble knight. A lot of what we were doing in season three is watching him not only break down but be unable to deny how much he respected her — and respecting a woman, respecting a woman who is good and not trying to control him, respecting a woman who’s the best knight he’s ever seen, it was too much for him to handle." GAAAH! You do not need to set up another hoary, cliched, and sexist Madonna/Whore contrast to make Jaime’s development work. And even this bullshit doesn’t fly - the Jaime who respects Brienne, who’s adopted her as his outsourced conscience, wouldn’t do this because he knows what she’d think about this. 

Honestly, as someone who admired Graves’ work a lot in the last episode, I’m glad he’s not coming back for next season.  

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