Before we start, there will be spoilers.
If you have not watched this week’s episode of Game of Thrones, stop now.
This will be a spoiler full entry.
Ok, you were warned.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have heard and seen a lot of people these past few days who rage quit Game of Thrones. They did it because in the very last scene of the show, Sansa Stark was raped by her new husband Ramsay. Many can say that Sansa has probably suffered through so much during the course of the story. She watched her father getting beheaded, she had to deal with Joffrey’s cruelty and nearly executed for his death, she watched her aunt getting tossed through a moon door, not to mention she was nearly gang raped. Now mind you, I will be the first and loudest to say that rape is wrong. RAPE IS WRONG. RAPE IS NEVER EVER RIGHT. But in my opinion if you are waiting until just now to quit Game of Thrones over this, I have several side eyes for you. Keep reading to see why.
This is what’s mind boggling about some people’s reaction to the scene. Firstly, (and mercifully) we don’t get to bear witness to the actual rape. It’s unfortunate that Theon Greyjoy, who is so broken by now, is forced to watch helplessly. Everything that happens does so off-screen and that doesn’t lessen the impact. Secondly, and this is where it’s interesting to watch GoT fans rage quit is, if you made it this far, and now you’re mad over something that happened as the show faded to black, how about all the other stuff that we have watched in the course of the five seasons?
In many ways, this is social commentary over how we react to certain things that pop up even on our shows. Certain acts of atrocity have certain effects on everyone and no one is immune. Let’s be real, people, Game of Thrones through all of its medieval fictional veneer, is a political and physical war story. Really bad things happen in these types of war and this is fiction. I mean honestly if you made it past the first episode, let alone the entire first season what did you expect to happen? You want something factual to turn your stomachs, look up what Ghengis Khan and the Mongols did to the Chinese. At one point during a battle, 60,000 women committed suicide rather than let themselves be raped. Think on that. To reiterate, while the last episode may have been the straw that broke the backs of many, I think it may be time to give a little reminder of some of the atrocities that have actually played out on-screen.
In no particular order:
One really needs to start off with Jamie and Cercei Lannister because without them, there probably wouldn’t be this much chaos going on right now. We have incest and attempted murder…and murder of a child. But, we kept on watching right?
What about Lyssa Tully breastfeeding Robin Arryn? Yes, I know there are some proponents out there for breastfeeding. But when the child is way past the weaning age, it’s a bit unnatural and in many cases mentally unhealthy. But…we kept on watching, right?
Ok did anyone feel any empathy when Theon was being forced to watch Sansa being raped? Better question is, what about the weeks on GoT when we were treated to watching him being broken down by Ramsay? Do you remember what the highlight of Theon’s breaking was? Let me remind you…and many of us kept watching because some of us thought it was just desserts for Theon.
What about Tyrion killing his father on the can? Well, yeah, murder has been a staple on the show but there is something special about someone killing their own father on the toilet that’s just heinous. I mean patricide is heinous within itself but hey, we kept on watching.
Then there is the Red Wedding…no words, but we kept on watching.
Then there was a time when Sansa ALMOST was raped, yet there was no outrage….maybe because she was saved. So, it was ok for us to keep on watching.
But lastly I leave this for all those who rage quit this past Sunday. Let us not forget, in front of the body of a child of incest who was murdered by poisoning, Jamie raped Cercei and…well, people kept on watching.
Basically, if people are mad now, then there were many things prior to this that people should have been mad about that happened on screen. Game of Thrones,as a television show, has been unflinching in all phases of its execution and quite frankly, if Sansa’s rape was enough to push you over the top, you should have gotten out a long time ago. And yes, a lot of people are upset over the writing direction and what GRRM has allowed but dare i ask, for everything that has been added, for all who are calling the rape scene ‘a lazy trope’, what about what GRRM has in his book as canon? Does it count to criticize the creator of his material and the tropes he has used to push his stories forward? Some seriously bad stuff happens and we know that NO ONE IS SAFE AT ALL. I will say one last time. RAPE IS WRONG. BUT, THIS IS NOT ABOUT MAKING ONE ATROCITY TAKE PRECEDENCE OVER ANOTHER. However, it’s hard to see people getting angry about one thing and not get mad at everything else.