Game of Thrones and the rape culture
Why the rape of Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones bothered and angered the whole world?
For years I followed the HBO series based on the books of George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones, I do research on the series, I search for pictures and I produce gifs of the episodes for my others sites. But things are changing in the universe adapted to the screen by producers and screenwriters David Benioff, D.B. Weiss and Bryan Cogman. Since the beginning of this current season we are finding that there is little story to tell – an attempt to give time to George R.R. Martin to prepare the next books that will be used in the following season? Perhaps. One tactic to keep the show on the air longer since Game of Thrones became the goose that lays the golden eggs to HBO? Probably.
But none of this justifies the folly of producers and writers of the series. We all know that adapting a book for the film language will always be a challenge and a problem. Characters are deleted and have changed their personalities and situations are removed or added to better adapt the story. But what we are seeing in this current season of Game of Thrones is the total alienation of the writers and producers of the series with the Martin’s original work. The universe created by Martin goes far beyond the mutilations, violences, murders, rapes and nudity that we see in every new episode. The world of Game of Thrones in the books is violent and cruel as it is on television, but the actions and reactions of his characters are justified in the text written by Martin.
What the writers, I say, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are doing is throwing Martin’s text on the mass grave of the adaptations for television. The increasingly graphic violence, nudity free, and the notorious misogyny of the writers are trivializing violence against women and practicing the well known rape culture for the sole purpose of shocking the public and increase the discussion around the show. The rape – yes, that was a rape, Mr. Weiss and Mr. Benioff – of Cersei Lannister in the previous season, and the rape of Sansa Stark in the last episode of Game of Thrones, only reaffirm the inability of the writers to follow the original story created by George R.R. Martin.
It is not just the rape of two main female characters in the series. Possibly, if the rape was of secondary characters, the controversy created by the last scene of the episode Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken may not exist. Rape is always rape when the sex is not consensual, no matter the victim, whether Sansa Stark, Cersei Lannister, or any commoner of Westeros. Daenerys Targaryen was raped by Khal Drogo in the first season, but the scene was part of the book. The writers created an entire story arc merged Sansa’s role in TV with that of Jeyne Poole in the books, specially created a rape scene for Sansa that does not exist in the books totally unnecessary. It seems to be the ultimate proof that Game of Thrones is becoming a medicre, fetishistic, misogynist adaptation, objectifying women and using shallow scripts and clichés to keep the audience.
I will continue to publish posts of Game of Thrones on my other blogs, but if the mind of the writers and producers of the series continue following this depressing and revolting path and denigrating the image of women – to unlike the books that should be based, and Mr. Martin has proven to be an author who respects and exalts the woman in his books – I’ll stop following the series.
Game of Clichés
For better illustrate my opinion that Game of Thrones is becoming nothing more than a tangle of stories scattered, confused and full of script flaws, I did these gifs of the last scene of the last episode of Game of Thrones Unbowed, Unbent , Unbroken to prove the empty minds of writers and producers of the series who believe that the public of the series is stupid or naive to not recognize the multitude of clichés and nonsense that we are being forced to watch this season.
Everyone likes to see other people having sex. The presence of Theon in the scene symbolizes the idea of millions of people watching the scene, and the creators of the series know that many of them just watch the show because of these scenes. So let’s give to the public what they want, no matter if the rape scene is not in the book.
Ramsay asks Sansa to undress, but can not expect her to do it and rips her wedding dress. Oh, a woman having her clothes torn is a violence by itself and gives more brutality to the scene.
Sansa is forced to lie face down, sexual position that symbolizes submission and domination of women by their partner.
Director Jeremy Podeswa closes the camera in the face of the actress Sophie Turner and asks the actress to look directly to the camera, right in the eyes of the spectators, like a hardcore version of The Office. She looks at the camera and closes his eyes. Looks back at the camera and closes his eyes as the sound of her dress being ripped is heard in off.
Cut to Theon. See how he is suffering. Tears stream down his face. He can barely open his eyes to such horror. A male character who was good and who became wicked but that seems to finally achieve redemption and rescue his humanity lost thanks to the suffering of an innocent young girl.
Close in Theon’s face. See how he continues to suffer. It’s a hardcore and poor version of the Eisenstein’s “extended time” theory. The writers also want the public who sympathize with Sansa also sympathize with Theon even after all the evils he practiced. The Sansa cries of being raped are heard in off.
I don’t know if I will continue to watch Game of Thrones next year. But one thing is pretty sure: something is rotten in the state of Westeros. And we all know the names on the list of guilts: David Benioff, D.B. Weiss and Bryan Cogman.