BEDA 2014: 21 – Game of Thrones “Breaker of Chains” Part 2 THAT scene

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Part one of this review is in today’s VEDA vlog. This second part concerns a scene that has resulted in a fair amount of debate. It’s also a very serious subject which I don’t feel comfortable talking about in video form nor do I want it to be in the same review where I talk about how interesting other parts of the episode are. If you don’t want spoilers for the episode or find discussion of consent and rape triggering I’d suggest stopping reading here.

So I think it’s important to note that I haven’t read A Storm of Swords. I have seen people post the book counterpart of this scene both in arguments for and against it and I’m going to say that the people arguing that the scene was changed have the stronger argument. I say this because of the writers who worked on this scene seem to be under the impression that the scene does have consent. So if the writers think they were making a scene with concentual sex then it becoming a rape scene was not the plan.

Anyway if you’re someone who doesn’t care about Game of Thrones and doesn’t know what scene I’m talking about here is what you need to know. Jamie and Cersei are left alone with Joffrey’s dead body, she pleads to him to avenge him reminding him that he is their son. They start kissing and suddenly Jamie gets violent and forces himself on Cersei, she continues to say “not here” but Jamie proceeds to have sex with her finally replying “I don’t care” shortly before the scene ends. In other words he raped her in front of the corpse of their incestuous son, and from what I’ve heard this sickening scene… not in the book. This scene was very uncomfortable to watch and when I found out it wasn’t in the book that feeling got worse.

Now Game of Thrones has had rape before, even rape that wasn’t in the books fairly early on. But considering the character development Jaime is still going through, the amount of people I know who have read ahead in the books that like Jaime as a character and most importantly the fact that he lost his hand after stopping another woman he cares about from being raped that this scene is a problem. And again the writers claim Cersei did consent, read that last paragraph again and if that doesn’t sound like rape to you I advise watching the following videos.

This is a very important and sensitive topic and not something I feel comfortable talking about, it being linked to a show I like doesn’t help. The fact is that the writers accidentally wrote a rape scene and rather than apologize for it they just pointed out what they intended. Personally I think the writers should apologize for how the scene turned out and if possible reshoot or remove the scene in the DVD release. I’m going to keep watching but if whoever wrote this scene doesn’t acknowledge their mistake then I really hope they don’t return for season 5. The fact that someone can accidentally make a rape scene is extremely unsettling and such a person should either learn from this or suffer for it.

That’s as much as I can say on the matter. However here is an important quote from George R.R. Martin on the matter.

I think the “butterfly effect” that I have spoken of so often was at work here. In the novels, Jaime is not present at Joffrey’s death, and indeed, Cersei has been fearful that he is dead himself, that she has lost both the son and the father/ lover/ brother. And then suddenly Jaime is there before her. Maimed and changed, but Jaime nonetheless. Though the time and place is wildly inappropriate and Cersei is fearful of discovery, she is as hungry for him as he is for her.
The whole dynamic is different in the show, where Jaime has been back for weeks at the least, maybe longer, and he and Cersei have been in each other’s company on numerous occasions, often quarreling. The setting is the same, but neither character is in the same place as in the books, which may be why Dan & David played the sept out differently. But that’s just my surmise; we never discussed this scene, to the best of my recollection.
Also, I was writing the scene from Jaime’s POV, so the reader is inside his head, hearing his thoughts. On the TV show, the camera is necessarily external. You don’t know what anyone is thinking or feeling, just what they are saying and doing.
If the show had retained some of Cersei’s dialogue from the books, it might have left a somewhat different impression — but that dialogue was very much shaped by the circumstances of the books, delivered by a woman who is seeing her lover again for the first time after a long while apart during which she feared he was dead. I am not sure it would have worked with the new timeline.
That’s really all I can say on this issue. The scene was always intended to be disturbing… but I do regret if it has disturbed people for the wrong reasons.”

I wasn’t expecting to be writing about such a dark subject for today’s BEDA. But as a fan of the show I felt it was important to talk about even if I’m not very good at it.

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One thought on “BEDA 2014: 21 – Game of Thrones “Breaker of Chains” Part 2 THAT scene

  1. The scene is in the book and it is fairly shocking, it is a little more consensual in the book but the point in both the show and the book is to show what the death of Joffery drives Jamie and Cersei to do. What grief drives some people to do and say is often truly disturbing, that’s why the scene is there. Both Cersei and Jamie love each other but in their grief they are turning to anything they can that offers relief. For Jamie it’s Cersei. For Cersei it’s Jamie exacting her revenge, but in this scene we see what has been bubbling to the surface for some time now, lust, desire, repression have all taken their toll and this is the first time they’ve been alone since before the wedding. In a twisted kind of why this is as honest as they have been able to be with each other since Joffery’s death. The knock on effect of this scene and any changes made to it from the book to the show will only be played out in the fullness of time. This is the last time this episode we see Jamie and Cersei, the full ramifications of it will only be explored when we see them both again. If they are going down the root of it being rape then it will have a distinct effect on what follows. If not, then they will have to explicitly explore why Cersei doesn’t consider it rape. Given the level of graphic violence, disturbing imagery, strong language and how they are all usually weaved seamlessly into the plot I find it hard to believe the writers simply “didn’t know they were writing a rape scene”

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