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
like men are mostly ugly let us not front
This is so precious.
75 years ago, on this date, Billie Holiday recorded a song that Time Magazine would call song of the century: Strange Fruit, a song written about a lynching in the South.
Holiday first performed the song at Cafe Society in 1939. She said that singing it made her fearful of retaliation but, because its imagery reminded her of her father, she continued to sing the piece making it a regular part of her live performances. Because of the poignancy of the song, Josephson drew up some rules: Holiday would close with it; the waiters would stop all service in advance; the room would be in darkness except for a spotlight on Holiday’s face; and there would be no encore. During the musical introduction, Holiday would stand with her eyes closed, as if she were evoking a prayer.
Thank god for the A.V. Club, the only media outlet that has outright called bullshit on this so far.
And another really important quote:
F I N A L L Y
It’s really fucking disappointing seeing people INVOLVED in the show write off these issues
And honestly, GOT’s juvenile fascination with sexual violence is not only revolting but really holds it back. How mNy times can you pause on the most complicated plot ever to zoom in on ass cheeks
In the books, the scene is as follows:
“She touched his face. “I was lost without you, Jaime. I was afraid the Starks would send me your head. I could not have borne that.” She kissed him. A light kiss, the merest brush of her lips on his, but he could feel her tremble as he slid his arms around her. “I am not whole without you.”
There was no tenderness in the kiss he returned to her, only hunger. Her mouth opened for his tongue. “No,” she said weakly when his lips moved down her neck, “not here. The septons…”
“The Others can take the septons.” He kissed her again, kissed her silent, kissed her until she moaned. Then he knocked the candles aside and lifted her up onto the Mother’s altar, pushing up her skirts and the silken shift beneath. She pounded on his chest with feeble fists, murmuring about the risk, the danger, about their father, about the septons, about the wrath of gods. He never heard her. He undid his breeches and climbed up and pushed her bare white legs apart. One hand slid up her thigh and underneath her smallclothes. When he tore them away, he saw that her moon’s blood was on her, but it made no difference.
“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.
In the show, Cersei breaks down; she and Jaime share a tender moment, a kiss, until Cersei pushes him away. Instead of heeding her discomfort, Jaime returns her shove with, “you’re a hateful woman, why have the gods made me love a hateful woman?” and forces her to kiss him. Cersei hits him, pushes him away, says, “please no” “stop it” “no” repeatedly and struggles with Jaime as he’s roughly lifting her skirts and dropping his trousers. Jaime tells her “no” and continues to force himself on her as she struggles. “Stop it, it’s not right, it’s not right,” says Cersei. “I don’t care. I don’t care,” says Jaime. She struggles until the end and there’s zero acknowledgement or utterance of “yes.” There’s no explicit consent nor anything that implies explicit consent in this scene, therefore it is rape and one has to wonder why sex that was explicitly consensual in the books (as Cersei says “yes” and tells Jaime what to do) was turned into rape on the show.
It appears someone might have to have a talk with Graves (as well as Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) about what consent means.(via fatpinkcast)
What the fuuuuuuuck