Game of Thrones 4.3 – Breaker of Chains

WOW. So…we’re gonna have a serious talk amongst the laughing and the joy and the joyness and the shock, m’kay?

MALE WRITERS WHO DO THE THING: THIS IS HOW I FEEL ABOUT YOU.

MALE WRITERS WHO DO THE THING: THIS IS HOW I FEEL ABOUT YOU.

[Previously] And holy smokes, so much happened in this episode. This is the problem with writing 800+ page books and turning those 800 page books into one season of TV. You have to cram loads into each episode. (I mean, I love it because I want to absorb every detail of this world, but it’s a lot.)

Hey new folks! Welcome! I love each and every one of you. And please note that I am NOT a book reader. I have sworn a sacred oath at the Wall (my bookshelf) to stay pristine and Unsullied. DO NOT RUIN THIS FOR ME. *forehead smooch*

 

Hey guys remember last week? Joffrey is DEAD. Dead dead dead, A HA HA HA!  I mean, oh my god, this is terrible, everything is terrible, and everything is being blamed on Tyrion because Cersei hates him with everything in her. Wait, not everything, because there’s a big chunk of hate reserved for Sansa.

Who is fleeing the capital, thanks to Ser Drinksalot. After racing through back alleys, avoiding Gold Cloaks, boarding a small boat that I thought might be Gendry’s, and sailing through fog to a Ghost Ship (it just looks that way), she climbs aboard to find herself face to face with LORD BAELISH LITTLEFINGER, WHAT!?!!  Oooh, he paid Ser Drinksalot to a) give her the necklace and gain her trust (it’s a fake), and b) bring her here for money. Speaking of…

BOLT TO THE FACE BETRAYAL! Sansa screams because she’s still not on board the whole “Hey, you REALLY shouldn’t trust anyone. Ever. At all.” Sansa, you in danger, gorl! Like Baelish was going to let that drunky go, come on. So…Petyr knew about the plot to kill Joffrey?  ZE PLOT THICKENS! That makes me think Varys was in on it, too!!

Margaery and Lady Olenna take a pleasant tea to wonder if Margaery’s even Queen (and she’s still untouched by her husbands? REALLY?). Olenna talks about having to look at her dead husband, whom she hated, and how she didn’t really have a reaction. So Margaery, better Joffrey’s dead than give him head, hey-o! Best moment: “The world is overflowing with horrible things. We’re all a tray of cakes next to death.” If you don’t love Lady Olenna, I think you need a nap and a reevaluation of your life.

I highly recommend the Hot Stone massage. Takes YEARS off your face.

I highly recommend the Hot Stone massage coupled with the Face Brightening mask. Takes YEARS off your face. Why, you’ll insist you look Forever Young!

Cersei and Tommen (her next oldest – now oldest! – son) stare at Joffrey’s body lying in state. Tywin saunters over, “Hey, sport, so you ready to be a big boy King? Hmm?”

Tommen: [rubbing his eyes] I guess, GranPopPop.

Tywin: Know what makes a good King?

Tommen: Holiness? Wait, no, justice? No, um strength? WAIT I GOT IT: WISDOM.

Tywin: Aww. [ruffles grandson’s hair] You’re a fool, but a moldable fool. You’ll do everything I tell you for as long as you’re king, right?

Tommen: Mm hmm. Can I have a cookie, now? Joffrey smells.

The World: AND HOW.

WAIT. NO. WHAT SMELLS IS THE CHARACTER ASSASSINATION COMING UP. Jaime makes everyone leave so he and sister-lover Cersei can hiss and spit at each other. She’s crying softly because she hates Tyrion so much, so much! Jaime’s all, “I know, but he’s our brother.”

Cersei: Have him killed!

Jaime: That gets me hot. Let’s make out and bone.

Cersei: Okay. Wait, no. Stop it.

AND HERE IS WHERE WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A TALK, FOLKS. This is mostly for you guys, in particular the guys who don’t understand that no means no. ALWAYS. Always. You know what’s awesome? Enthusiastic consent. Know what that sounds like? “Yes! I’m in. Let’s bone. My body is ready, so get up on this. Who’s got two thumbs and wants to ride your jock? THIS GAL!” Things like that, all with a variant of YES involved. Know what enthusiastic consent doesn’t sound like? No. Or stop it.

So, show writers, are you actually telling me that Jaime Lannister, who faced down a bear – among other things – to keep Brienne from being raped, is now going to be a rapist? ARE YOU TELLING ME THIS? My husband – who y’all know NEVER spoils me – turned to me after this scene and said, “This isn’t how it is in the books at all. You need to know that about Jaime.”

So what the hell, writers/director? What the FUCK are you thinking about putting in a rape scene to indicate romance? Using this scene to get them together finally in a way that you’ve shot to indicate passion, like they just can’t help themselves? That is fucking irresponsible. You put in a rape scene and shot it in a way that makes it look like Jaime, who you’ve built up to be a good person, a person of morals, just can’t help himself. Like Cersei just deserved it, or worse, needed it

Guys reading: you better fucking back off if a woman says no. Or “stop.” You just better. Because to do anything other is RAPE. And it should get your ass in jail. Women don’t “deserve” that, they don’t secretly “want” it, and you’re not “entitled” to sex. Ever. Putting this on screen normalizes this sort of mindset for dudes, and it’s called RAPE CULTURE and it infuriates me.

I mean, okay, Joffrey’s dead, and we’re all excited about that, BUT WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. *deep breath*

ME, TOO, SANDOR. Me, too. Also, ahahaha, Coach blow!

ME, TOO, SANDOR. Me, too. Also, ahahaha, Coach blow!

Let’s talk about sex, Jaime. Let’s talk about sis Cersei. Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that should be. *pumps leg, Roger Rabbits* I just feel strongly about this topic, because IT IS IMPORTANT.

Arya and the Hound! Let’s see what these scamps are up to. They’re constantly getting lost, that’s what they’re up to. They come across a house with a nice man and his young daughter, and after they say they fought on the side of House Tully, the man takes them in in exchange for some work. Aww! He’ll even pay the Hound with a bit of silver he kept back.

Everything is great, and it looks like they’ll be living with this family for a while. Good things DO happen in Westeros! Arya goes to bed, happy and secure. She wakes up to the little girl screaming. Uh oh. The Hound has conked the guy over the noodle and taken the silver.

Hound: Yeah, anyone dumb enough to take in someone who looks like me and tell me about their silver deserves to have it stolen. I mean, he’s going to die this Winter by someone or his own stupidity, let’s get real.

Arya: You’re the worst shit in the Seven Kingdoms!

Hound: Me? Seriously? I’m an average shit, at best. Joffrey and his kind? Now, that’a man worthy of being “the worst shit.” Can we talk about Craster?Freaking Lord Bolton?? How many Starks need to die before you get your head out of your ass?

From the widower to the Wall (till Wildlings break in the Hall!). We’re given a nice inventory of just how many rapists are up at the Wall. Fun! Super awesome. I really love all this rape talk, can you tell? So Samwise Gamgee Red Leader Porkins is all, “Hey, I’m totes in love with Gilly and want her safe for always. Maybe holed up with rapists isn’t a good place for a young lady? Out of the Craster pan and into the Black Watch Fire, and all. Maybe I should relocate her to Mole’s Town, which sounds like a place where you’ll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy, but that has to be better than here? Where I’m sworn to live and never know the touch of a good woman?”

Hey, turns out? Yeah, Mole’s Town is gross and filled with Bad Things and Vices. Oh, and they’re super racist against Wildlings, so Gilly and her baby Little Morsel should be safe. *swallows nervously* Hilarious moment: close up of a condom being washed out. They’re resourceful here, at least! Sam wants her to trust him, but it’s gonna be hard, bro. Thanks for deciding my fate without asking me what I want! *resigned sigh*

So, I know you book readers love Stannis Baratheon. I do not. I mean, I don’t hate him, I’m just very meh about him and think that he should be a footnote in a history book. There’s nothing here for me to love, except that bad ass gaming table of his.  He and Ser Davos talk about Joffrey’s death and how now is the time to strike. Well, you don’t have any men. I mean, Davos could buy you some? But Stannis is all stompy with fists and a sharp NO because he wants people to just love him and his righteous claim to the throne enough to fight for him, but bud, no one cares.

Me watching Stannis bitch about what the world owes him.

Me watching Stannis bitch about what the world owes him.

Davos deals with all of this by going to his Hooked on Phonics lesson with Princess Newt. He gives her a hilarious lesson in the difference between pirates and smugglers.

Davos: You ever hear of a famous pirate?

Newt: Oh, yes! I’ve read loads of stories about them, they’re grand!

Davos: How about famous smugglers?

Newt: No?

Davos: [grinning] Precisely. Let me tell you about the Iron Bank of Braavos… HANG ON A MINUTE. I THINK THAT…wait… Yep, that’s me having an idea!  WRITE ME A LETTER. Imma get yo daddy some fundage.

Did you need a reminder that Oberyn is bisexual, Into It, and completely awesome? Because this five-way he’s having with a handful of whores, that dude from earlier, and his lady-love Ellaria Sand should do it. No? Okay, then how about him dismissing all of them and offering Tywin Lannister a seat where some coitus was just interruptus’d? Or how about how he blandly responds to Tywin, assuming that Oberyn’s background in poisons means Tywin’s here to arrest him for the death of Joffrey?

But Tywin isn’t here to arrest him for that, nor does he dislike him, which is so great. Tywin totally respects him here, offers for Oberyn to be able to “interrogate” the Mountain, thereby avenging his sister’s death, to stand on the judge’s council in Tyrion’s trial, and to serve long term on the Small Council at King’s Landing, because he knows that they’ll never be the Seven Kingdoms without Dorne. Also, Dorne is apparently the only place that withstood the dragon attacks of old. Huh! I’d like to know more about that, please.

Nope, we’re moving on to Tyrion in the dungeon, visited by Podrick, the sweetest boy ever. He’s sneaked in food, paper and a quill for Tyrion, assures Tyrion that he doesn’t think his Master killed the King, and wants a list of witnesses for the trial in two weeks – and I think that anyone on that list will be murdered, given the nature of the show. Right? I mean, this is Tywin’s world, and we’re all just living in it.

Tyrion wants Sansa as a character witness, but lo! She’s flown the coop! Shoot. He doesn’t believe Cersei killed Joffrey, nor does he think that about Sansa. (Sansa is the kid who scoops up spiders and puts them outside, come on.) Since Podrick is now in danger by virtue of being loyal, Tyrion wants him to make like Sansa and flee. Get Jaime to Tyrion and then make a like a tree and get the fuck out of there, Pod. Aww, Pod was the best squire ever. :(

We fly to a peaceful little village with a sweet faced boy happily living his life when suddenly: WILDLINGS! Specifically, YGRITTE! Scarface, Gjördkr the Chîcken Eåter, and all the rest fall on these folks like a ton of blood-lusty Wildlings. The little boy is the only one spared (he focuses on Ygritte’s face) and Scarface tells the boy to run to Castle Black as warning. But first, he needs to eat. Those parents look nummy! (Be sure to finish them with a drizzle of lemon juice – the acidity cuts through the terror-laced meat, I hear.)

I would like an entire hour devoted to Ygritte being a super badass archer, please and thank you.

I would like an entire hour devoted to Ygritte being a super badass archer, please and thank you.

Once Castle Black hears of this, they’re all riled up and ready to fight. “YOU KNOW NOTHING,” JON SNOW…says. “These Wildlings will kick our butts.” The horn for Gondor approaching Rangers sounds (just the one! Remember, if you hear three, YOU GONNA DIE.) and it’s Jon’s buddies from Craster’s, where they’ve been imprisoned. The mutineers are still there, and they’re not likely to come back and help their brothers. Great. They also know that Jon bragged about 1000 men residing at Castle Black, and they’ll blab about it being a MASSIVE LIE. So they need to die.

Let’s warm up in the desert where Dany approaches the huge city of Meereen, with kick ass pyramids in the distance. Her army is impressive, yet the people of Meereen aren’t impressed. They stand on the main wall watching as a lone rider comes out to meet her. Jorah says sexily, “They want you to send a champion to fight him.” Three women on the wall clutch their abdomens as their wombs quicken with his seed. (He’s just that potent, fellas.)

Grey Worm offers to fight, but he’s too valuable. Ser Barrister says he can do it, but he’s too old and important. Jorah flexes his mighty vocal cords (nine birds fall from the sky laying eggs) and slowly hisses in a throaty, sexy way, “Let me, Klaleesi,” and I have to stop and fan myself, but she won’t let him go either. Because he’s so very important. (She needs his voice to speak to her at night to give her sweet dreams I CAN ONLY ASSUME.)

Dany: "You talk a big talk." Daario: I got the stones to back it up. No offense, Grey Worm.

Dany: “You talk a big talk.” Daario: “I got the stones to back it up. No offense, Grey Worm.”

 

That leaves Daario, who gives his lineage (it’s short) and says, “Let me kill this man for you.” HOW ABOUT YOU KILL THIS LADY BONER I HAVE, DAARIO? It’s making it difficult to think. Ahem. He heads out with a wink and no horse. And then is TOTALLY FREAKING BOSS by throwing a short sword into the approaching horse’s freaking HEAD, then promptly beheads the “champion.” THEN CHECKS HIS NAILS AND HIS PHONE AND SENDS A TEXT AND STRETCHES BECAUSE THAT WAS STRAIGHT UP BAD ASS, DAARIO, DAMN.

Oh, did you think he was done being awesome? Because he’s not. Arrows come flying at him, he doesn’t even flinch, then he pulls out his dick and takes a whizz on the arrows, smiling, and it’s official. I’m a fan. Damn, it’s always the cocky ones… (See what I did there?)

Dany then addresses the city in Valyrian. Wait, she addresses the SLAVES, making sure they know that their masters are liars, she’s awesome, and she is the Way and the Light, and everywhere she steps, the people become free. Then those people choose to follow her because she’s the Gee Dee Mother of Dragons. She’s not the enemy, the assholes holding the end of the chains around your neck are. And they’re standing right next to you. Wanna stand next to me? (Oh, she’s good.)

OOOOOOOOOOH. The wealthy people look nervous and the slaves look riled. AND THEN COMES THE CATAPULTS. What are they bombing the city with? OH SNAP, cannisters filled with collars, chains, shackles. Daaaaamn. This girl knows how to run a campaign, okay?

Awesome final shot: a slave picking up a broken collar (he’s wearing a similar one) as his owner stands behind him, gulping. It is about to be on like Donkey Kong, folks. Game pieces are set and ready to strike. And I am ready to bear witness.

Next week: was that a White Walker I spied at the end of the promo? I want Winter to come, okay? (Someone hook Winter up with Jorah, that should do it. YES I AM A 12 YEAR OLD BOY MAKING SEX JOKES.) CLICK HERE FOR OATHKEEPER, the next episode!

Additional note: In comments is the Jaime/Cersei scene directly from the book. If you want to avoid ANYTHING from the books, skip that. But it’s worth reading, IMO.

Additional Note #2: The Notening! (This ain’t yo daddy’s note!): According to the director himselfand then Jaime comes in and he rapes her. So. Pretty clear what this was.

Please like & share:
  • Katy

    SEE? I told you SirDrinksALot was important. Just not for very long. Now the fun really begins for Sansa. *is cryptic*

    Yeah, that scene with Jaime? NOT ON. I felt like the writers were reaching, cause in the books, he’s not even there yet (in King’s Landing). NOT ON.

    Ser Jorah continues to be the sexiest voice ever.

    Until next week!

    • HE WASN’T IMPORTANT!! He was a PATSY. A tool! A disposable napkin! *cries a lot* Hahahahaha.

      I’m very unhappy about that moment with Jaime. I mean, clearly, but they spent the past two seasons building him up to prove he wasn’t just the man who shoved a kid out of a window – hmm. Okay, he shoved a kid out of a window. But he did it for his own neck and his sister’s as well. He would do ANYTHING for Cersei, and has. He’s patiently waited for her to return his love (wow, this conversation is insane out of context), and the writers took it somewhere I can’t believe. I can’t believe Cersei in that moment, either. PAH.

      AT LEAST I HAD SER JORAH’S DULCET TONES TO SOOTHE MY HEART.

  • Lyanna Mormont

    Hi! I’m a bookreader, and as such, I haven’t commented here before so I won’t accidentally say something that ends up spoiling you. This time, though… With all due respect to your husband, since he brought up That Scene in the books, I thought I should clarify a point.

    The show actually made That Scene more clear cut, more obviously a rape. In the book, it’s essentially the same except that after Cersei says no and Jaime pushes the issue, she then starts saying yes in the middle of it. So they didn’t invent the scene, and they actually made it less like rapemance. (So far, anyway. Who knows what’ll happen next week.)

    • Well, bless your cows and your people for being so good about not wanting to spoil me! <3

      And...huh. So here is where we can underscore the difference between the printed text and a screenplay. Since I obviously know nothing about the books (and that phrase is literally all the Mr. said to me), I can only go by the show, and what the show has told/shown me about each character. And up until this point, I wouldn't be able to buy Jaime forcing himself on Cersei, or anyone, really. He went above and beyond to protect Brienne, someone whom he had no reason to care about.

      So it angers me that a) they did that to Jaime, and b) that it was filmed in a way to be passionate and "romantic." It's not. It adds to the mindset that many men (and unfortunately, some women) have that she was asking for it, she didn't REALLY mean no, no means yes, etc.

      And THAT has me upset. (And I have been told that the books are SUPER rapey, which is one of the reasons why I'm okay with holding off on them until the show is done.) THANK YOU for chiming in!!

      • Ingrid

        I disagree with the book scene being a rape. I don’t want to spoil too much either, but she’s not saying no to having sex, she’s saying no to having sex THERE, where people might see them. Then, lust and love and sadness and anger and longing takes over as Jaime continues kissing her and spreads her legs apart, and then SHE is the one to guide him inside her, she says “YES” many times over, and pants for him to “Do me, do me now, Jaime Jaime Jaime. You’re home now”. That’s vocal consent and physical consent both. According to GRRM, if the scene had been written from Cersei’s perspective, the consent would have been even more direct. Is the scene in the books still disturbing? Hell yeah. But I disagree with it being rape.

        • I think you’ll find that most people commenting here are saying what you’re saying about the book. Someone has copied the actual scene into a comment, and again, people are saying that in the book it ISN’T, but that Cersei’s only qualm is that they’re right by Joffrey’s body.

          So welcome to like-minded company! :) (And I’m not a book reader – these are spoiler-free posts, and with the exception of that scene in our comments here, no book talk happens to keep us spoiler-free.)

        • Lyanna Mormont

          The thing is that the scene in the book does feed into the line of thought that a no can be turned into a yes if you just keep going. Regardless of why she was saying no, Cersei WAS saying no, and Jaime ignored that. Which is exactly what we today are telling men never to do. So yeah, modern standards, fantasy medieval-ish setting, and so on, but there are big issues with that scene when you take rape culture into consideration. It’s the whole “She was saying no but I knew she really wanted it” thing.

        • cowsharky

          I disagree with your disagree . In the book, she only gets “into it” when it’s clear that he’s not going to stop. So that can easily be her trying to get it over with sooner. TMI alert: I went through a similar rape 11 years ago. I froze and became compliant, and to outside eyes it would have looked like I was consenting, but I wasn’t. GRRM might have intended for the book scene to be consent, but that doesn’t mean it necessarily was. Creators can accidentally produce something that is the opposite of their intentions.

          • While I think we’ve all hashed out the “was it rape or not” from the show (which is what we’re focused on here – I get nervous when people start bringing up the books as much as they have, sorry!), you bring up an important point: there is a responsibility to the viewer. If they want us to be invested in the show, they have to consider what they’re doing to us, as well.

            (And I’m terribly sorry to hear that you’ve been through that.)

  • Sue

    So what the hell, writers? What the FUCK are you thinking about putting in a rape scene to indicate romance? Using this scene to get them together finally in a way that you’ve shot to indicate passion, like they just can’t help themselves? That is fucking irresponsible. You put in a rape scene and shot it in a way that makes it look like Jaime, who you’ve built up to be an actual good person, a person of morals, just can’t help himself. Like Cersei just deserved it, or worse, needed it. Took the words right of my keyboard.

    Daario 2.0 was on several eps of “Nashville” and he was my favorite thing about it. I was super excited when I saw he had replaced Fabio 2.0.

    The barrels of chains! Ahhhh! Daenerys is the best.

    • Daario 2.0 is growing on me. Then again, we haven’t had any moments up until now to really get to know him, and boy, was this a great way. HORSE HEAD. I mean, that was BALLSY. I always get excited when I see trebuchets rolling out, and this was no exception. (Wait, they didn’t have a counterweight, they were just regular catapults.) <-- avoiding potential engineer wank. :D

  • Gail

    Hoooo my god. There are a few things that the show has done that’s gotten my dander up, and I’ve ultimately let them slide, but this. This is the first time I’ve actually gotten really angry about the show. This complete character assassination of Jaime is just. I can’t. I’ve been making vaguely comprehensible angernoises since I finished the episode. It isn’t even just (hah, “just”) a book/tv difference. They’ve completely gone against like all of the characterization they’ve built up for him since day one! This is the Jaime Lannister who told Brienne that if he was a woman, he’d rather die than be raped! And he lost a hand after preventing it happening to her! And faced down a goddamn bear for her! JAIME LANNISTER HATES RAPE.

    He loves Cersei. As fucked up as everything is about those two, Jaime does actually love her. I can’t reconcile what happened in that scene with that, and with everything else we have learned about him.

    I got linked to an article where the director of the episode basically says that it’s not rape by the end and I just want to do violent things. Anyone with eyes can see that there was NO POINT where that was AT ALL consensual.

    AGUISAJFWELKFJDKLFJDS. *kicks things*

    • I suspect that all the women I usually talk to about the show here are going to be on the same page as us. I’ve been saying the same as you re: “But you’ve been building him up to be this, and now he’s THAT? My brain can’t take this in!!” I 100% agree with your rant. 100%!!!

      I saw that article about the director saying that (and that it was his favorite scene to shoot) and I almost split in two, a la Rumplestilskin, stomping in my anger.

      IT FUCKING MATTERS. We have a culture of Geek Boys who threaten women with rape like they’re saying “How do you do” and it FUCKING MATTERS.

      • Gail

        That article pisses me off so much. Especially the directer going, “It’s a power struggle” — yeah, no shit, dillweed, rape is about power! And there is NO EVIDENCE of Cersei being turned on by it. AT ALL. It’s just Jaime taking what he wants.

        I have to disagree with a previous commenter re: consent in the book version of the scene. It *does* start off with Cersei objecting, but not in the “I don’t want this” way. It’s “uh, maybe somewhere else, because we are totally going to hell if we do this HERE” to which Jaime goes “don’t care” and her reaction is basically “okay fine, but do it fast” and then they both enjoy themselves. It is a STARK contrast to what happens on-screen, where Cersei obviously isn’t in the mood and doesn’t want it at all, and Jaime is ANGRY about that and forces sex on her and she’s whimpering and half-sobbing the entire time.

        God, I’m not even that much of a Lannister fan, but I am so upset on behalf of these characters.

        • Ugh, I made the mistake of reading comments on WiC.net where they have that article and an interview with Nicolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime) and saw all the dudes saying, “Well, but” etc. The fault is with the director, period. He may be wonderful (and his other scenes are!) but this was a gross misstep, in every sense of the word.

          I feel badly for the actors, having to deal with potential backlash. I mostly just want people to understand that normalizing what was on their screen by making excuses for why it was okay isn’t okay.

          And I can buy Cersei saying no because of where they were, but totally wanting it. TOO BAD THAT WASN’T ON MY SCREEN.

      • Raja Tiwary

        The wonderful folk at Winter is coming directed me to your reviews so I’m a fairly new reader; I’ve only caught this and the previous review. Unsurprisingly, I wanted to comment specifically on claims of character assassination of Jamie. To me, it’s really not one, this is a man who killed his own cousin in a cell to try and escape. He also pushed a boy out of a window, and whilst that might have been for cersei it was also self preservation, and I’m sorry I can’t let that slide because he did it for her. It’s true that he’s been on a specific arc so far in the show, and for me the rape really comes out of nowhere. Additionally, I think it’s rape in the books, I might be in the minority, but to me that’s what the book reads like. She gets into it towards the end of the page, but initially, it’s a no. Can I buy that Jamie would do that after his previous actions early on? Yes, I can, and why? Because people can be like that, they can be heroes and do good deeds but still end up doing vile things which you don’t expect of them. And frankly, that’s what Martin’s books are about. I hope none of that sounded condescending book reader guff, as I’m trying to stay spoiler free ( and I think I mostly have)

        As an aside, Myles Mcnutt over at cultural learnings says this, which I agree with on most levels.

        “When Jaime is swordfighting with Bronn at the water’s edge earlier this season, that scene reads for the show as the start of a rehabilitative arc, and we at least generally root for Jaime to regain the parts of himself that define him. In the meantime, however, Cersei is the other thing that stabilizes him, a connection to his past life that could provide him comfort, and yet Cersei denies him. Through this lens, the rape becomes Jaime’s crisis of identity boiling over: here, in this moment of grief where their son is dead, she nonetheless denies his passion, leading him to lose control and sexually assault Cersei in an effort to take back his former identity by force.

        This is how I read the scene, a reading that does not excuse Jaime’s behavior but frames it within a complicated characterization. Jaime rapes Cersei, and the fact that he has reasons for doing it that stem from an identity crisis does not change that fact. It firmly frames Jaime as one of a long list of television anti-heroes, albeit through an act that is much tougher to accept than those committed by characters like Don Draper or Walter White. It is as though the writers, searching for a similar character action in the specific set of politics operating in Westeros, landed on rape as an offense that is horrifying for audiences today but comparatively acceptable by the standards of the culture established in the series.

        I can understand fans being upset about this choice, at the same time as I accepted it as a conscious effort to complicate the character. It definitively resists narratives that frame Jaime as a hero in this story, but I for one saw it as a reinforcement of how deep his insecurities—bred into him by his daddy issues—have corrupted his system in the wake of recent events. It is an act committed in grief but born out of a set of values that he has been asked to uphold, and which he has identified on some intrinsic level as being hand-in-hand with the identity he’s holding onto as hard as he can in a moment of instability”

        Apologies for the fairly long post, but I thought it was worth it to have that out there, it’s not me blog spamming at all as I’m not the writer but I think he makes some very valid points there.

        • Raja Tiwary

          I know I’m replying to my own post, but I was reading a very recent Rolling Stone interview with GRRM, here’s something which I think is applicable.

          “One of the things I wanted to explore with Jaime, and with so many of the characters, is the whole issue of redemption. When can we be redeemed? Is redemption even possible? I don’t have an answer. But when do we forgive people? You see it all around in our society, in constant debates. Should we forgive Michael Vick? I have friends who are dog-lovers who will never forgive Michael Vick. Michael Vick has served years in prison; he’s apologized. Has he apologized sufficiently? Woody Allen: Is Woody Allen someone that we should laud, or someone that we should despise? Or Roman Polanski, Paula Deen. Our society is full of people who have fallen in one way or another, and what do we do with these people? How many good acts make up for a bad act? If you’re a Nazi war criminal and then spend the next 40 years doing good deeds and feeding the hungry, does that make up for being a concentration-camp guard? I don’t know the answer, but these are questions worth thinking about. I want there to be a possibility of redemption for us, because we all do terrible things. We should be able to be forgiven. Because if there is no possibility of redemption, what’s the answer then?”

          Also, people who haven’t read the books, don’t read past that. There are a few spoilers.

          • Thank you for this! And I totally love the squirmy topic of redemption, who’s worthy and who isn’t and WHY. Absolutely on board with that as a wonderful device for story-telling.

            For me (and I think for most of the women in particular commenting here), I just think making him a rapist in that moment feels cheap and tawdry for the sake of shock, not for the sake of character exploration. Why not have him betray Brienne? That would definitely upset the viewer. Hell, he could pick up with another woman and make it so Cersei caught them, upsetting their balance almost surely. Just my two cents.

        • Hello! And I welcome considerate and thoughtful discussion, so never apologize for wanting to talk about something you’re passionate about here!

          I absolutely believe that the show writers and directors set out to remind us that everyone here has the capacity to be good or evil – everyone. (Something I’ve mentioned in previous posts, but you most likely hadn’t read that! :D) The issue I have with this act of his – by him specifically, as I think we all agree that Rape Is Bad – is that Cersei is the one person whom he cares for. She’s the one he does everything FOR – pushing Bran out the window, becoming a Kingsguard to be near her, swearing off sex with other women to keep himself for HER, killing his cousin so he could get back to her. Until that one moment, he was still trying to please her, trying to do what he could to make her happy. He didn’t want the gold hand, but he wore it because SHE made it for him. What she says, he does.

          So for me, this was out of character. This was his character doing something that wasn’t a natural action, and the actor himself really struggled with why Jaime would do this. Now, I can see why some people would think “he lost himself in his passion/grief” but he’s very controlled. It just doesn’t sit right with me, not one bit.

          I just think having him rape Cersei as a way to complicate him is cheap and insulting, personally. It’s poor writing. And as a woman constantly inundated with sexual violence, I’m just tired of it. It normalizes an act – and indeed. a lot of the comments I’ve seen about this have been guys talking about whether or not it was rape, when that shouldn’t even be what we’re discussing, as it was stated by the director to be so.

          BUT WE ALL HAVE OUR OWN EXPERIENCE WATCHING THE SHOW, and I can respect that you took away from this episode something different than I did. Thank you for adding your voice to the discussion! (And know that you always can – we encourage it here!)

          • Raja Tiwary

            Just to be clear, I’m not trying to defend his actions or trying to justify him raping her ( which I think is clear in the show, less so perhaps in the books) but the last thing I want to do is to come across as defending his actions. My contention is more towards how in line something like that is with Jamie’s actions.

            With regards to your above comments, my push back to that is two fold, firstly, I understand that he’s done all of this for her, he’s only been with one women and it’s quite obvious how much he loves her from the previous two seasons. But perhaps it’s those people that we can end up hurting, I know that’s quite the cliche, but I do think that’s it’s possible. To me, I don’t buy the idea that Jamie is a controlled person, firstly, he confronts Ned and stabs him in the knee before fleeing to his father, the controlling and calculating one in that trio of children is Tyrion. Jamie to me is more of a rushing into things sort of person. There are a couple of more instances of him rushing into things in the first book, which I suppose aren’t really spoilers as we’re past those events but I don’t think I’ll mention them in any case. I will agree that it’s poor writing, it’s something they’ve used to try and bring more complexity to the character, and it seems like rape is something which more than one set of writers fall back on to try and make things more layered and complex, which as you rightly say is cheap and insulting.

            Re: Your second comment: I don’t agree that it’s for shock, as Myles said in his comment which I’ve pasted above, it might speak to the duality of the character, that he morphs into the sort of person who rapes his sister when he’s around his toxic family and reminded that he should be his former self. But around brienne, he gets to be something that perhaps he thinks he is, trying to be that white knight and the more stereotypical ‘hero’. That juxtaposition might have been something the writers had considered, but then again, that’s my reading of the scene.

            • Oh, I completely understood the points you were making, no worries! We’re past this “is this ___ and is that acceptable” and moving on to character development, etc. Yes!

              I really can only speak about his character based on the show, and the text that’s given me. I do wonder if book readers are able to make a more…hmm, informed decision? For me, someone who only knows this character from the x number of minutes he’s had of screen time, I feel like he’s been on this redemption arc. External to him, mostly, because of being captured, tortured, etc., but then here comes Brienne, so noble and good (which he laughs at, and I don’t think he wants to be that EVER, but he can respect her choices to be who she is and admires it from afar) and we see him making choices based on other people, and not himself or just for the sake of Cersei. THAT is why it feels so OOC to me. (I want to stress the “to me” because I know that MANY people don’t agree.)

              But you bring up a good point with earlier Jaime being a bit of a hothead/act now worry about paying it off later sort of man. Yes, you’re absolutely right there. I just think he’s been slowly and surely changing – maturing in a sense – into someone more thoughtful. So that’s why the Sept scene threw me.

              I do like the idea of his family as toxic (which, yeah!) and he’s been poisoned just as much as Joffrey was, but with a different outcome. Hmmm, I like that on paper A LOT. I don’t know how I feel about that on my screen, but when I rewatch the episode, I’ll keep that in mind. That’s very poetic — in a moment that felt like rough, cheap prose. I literally just rubbed my chin, thinking about that. :)

  • Helena

    Ack. Yeah… hearing about this was a shock to the system. I keep going back and forth- it seems like a nasty bit of character derailment and a shock too far, or worse. On the other hand… he’d by no means be the first charming anti rape campaigner who turned into a rapist himself :(
    But on the other OTHER hand- what’s true in real life and what’s a convincing narrative in drama are two different things.

    Blech…

    • One thing I love to point out to people is that this is a fantasy series. So…we can’t have a non-rape society in a world with DRAGONS? Pfft.

      You definitely have a point about Jaime, charm, etc., but I feel like it’s a bit of dirty pool on the writers’ part (and the DIRECTOR’S PART because of how it was SHOT, omg) to derail where we’ve been led. It feels cheap and out of place, not a good, “OOOH! How shocking, I am here shocked for not thinking we could go this shocking route!” way like we’ve had with Baelish showing up this episode, Joffrey being killed, etc. I’m not pleased.

      Everything else about this episode was entertaining and got the plot moving in a way I liked, I have to say.

      • Helena

        Yeah, like either it’s set out as a SHOCKING TWIST re Jaime’s character that actually undoes a lot of storybuilding, or it’s portrayed Not Really Rape By The End (except that it absolutely is). Neither of those are great options :(

        Maybe they are trying to tackle the issue that some rapists seem like great people until they’re not, and aren’t necessarily knife wielding psychos grabbing strangers off the street. Well… I think I’d still prefer a fantasy series without QUITE so much sexual violence :(

        • I think the show believes it to be the second option (the director said as much in several interviews) and it’s upsetting.

          I mean, I get it. This show has had rape and awfulness from Day One, that’s how it is. But it’s always in the context of “This is CLEARLY wrong.” (We could go on and on about why the need at all, but I digress.)

          My biggest upset is that this is being shown as love. As inevitable between two lovers. That it’s okay because they’re in love. NOPE.

          And I’m with you: the sexual violence in a fantasy series is neither imaginative or interesting, not to mention enjoyable to read. *hugs you*

  • Karen

    I’m with you on the pokey-pokey for the script writers and director for “that scene”. If a woman says “no”, she means no. And anything that happens after that “no” is rape, straight up. All I can think of is that they’re trying to show that Jaime isn’t perfect? That he’s as screwed up as the rest of his family? Kind of like how you think The Hound is going to be all nice to the farmer and his daughter, then he goes and knocks out/kills the father and steals all their money? I don’t even know anymore….

    Anyway, can’t wait to see what Littlefinger is planning to do with Sansa (I’m a book reader, but seeing how they changed the Jaime/Cersei scene, I’m opening myself up to the fact that they might well change other scenes as well).

    I, too, love Davos and the little princess – they are boss together. And Daario 2.0 has won me over. Love him. Maybe even more that Jorah, if that’s possible.

    Olenna should sit on the Iron Throne, really. She’s more Alpha Male than any of the rest of those twits.

    • You’re probably right about them wanting to remind us that Jaime is flawed, but HEY. HE PUSHED A CHILD OUT OF A WINDOW, we got it. I love how many women are coming out of lurking to point out how ANGRY this makes us, and how wrong the director was for shooting it this way/framing it in the context he chose. GROSS.

      Ooh, I’m excited to see Littlefinger, too! I have NO IDEA what he’s up to, I can’t even guess! Are they going to the Vale? To Harrenhal? Some other place that I am unaware of?! I can’t wait to find out!!

      Daario 2 trumping Jorah!? …I think for me, too. GAH, I AM SORRY, SER JORAH, sexy voice of sexiness notwithstanding. Hahaha.

      Lady Olenna continues to be a bright spot of bad assness and humor, two of my favorite things in a lady.

      • Karen

        If anything good can be said to come out of this scene, at least now I know you understand my pain of the character assassination they did on poor Carol on TWD, just like they did here with Jaime. They built him up so you see him in a certain light, and then… BAM! All of a sudden you feel like you don’t know him. Jaime… rape? Carol… cold blooded murder? Too much head shaking.

        I’m going to pretend like that scene never happened. It makes for a happier me.

        • I think I’m going to join you for the time being re: pretending it didn’t happen. I need more show to explain things for me, honestly.

  • I’m breaking my lurky ways to rant about this. I claim no responsibility for my actions, because you know the writers aren’t going to.

    You know, this is the second time they’ve done this. You aren’t a book reader, but way back in season 1, Danaerys and Drogo did the do, and on the show it was non consensual and there were actual scenes of continued rape. Except in the books, Dany totally consented? And instigated sex several times for herself? And I’m just baffled, can you tell by all the question marks, as to why the show writers felt a need to turn what is actually a really great romance into something that begins with rape where it originally did not. Drogo made sure Dany knew he knew the word ‘no’ so that he’d stop if she said it. But the show makes it out that he’s this beastly savage that can only be turned away from his rapely ways by her magical white vagina. It’s weird, and it’s gross.

    So now, they’ve done it yet again, and I’m thoroughly disgusted. Again, in the books, Cersei did consent. It was still gross and in front of her dead son and stuff, but it was consensual. And now they…turn it into rape again. Oh, how lovely, Jamie the hero is so traumatized by Cersei turning him down all of two times that he decides to take his Brotherly Given Right or something? It’s awful, and I’m absolutely flabbergasted as to why it’s happening. Why does this make good television? Because guys are in charge? I’m not accepting that excuse anymore. Men are perfectly capable of not upholding rape culture. They’re not excused from it ’cause URRR DUMB BOYS WE NO KNOW BETTER. Because George R.R. Martin knew better in the books, gave these women their agency, but apparently it’s all gone to hell now and I am furious about it.

    Not okay, DB Weiss and David Benioff. Not okay at all.

    • I am VERY HAPPY you poked your head out.

      And no, I didn’t know about Dany and Drogo!! THAT CHANGES A LOT OF THINGS. I mean, it was clear that she quickly became fond of him, but they had dubious beginnings, to be sure. (And growing up on a diet of bodice rippers where forced marriage is a trope, I assumed they were going that route. Not that it’s OKAY, just that it’s a thing that Always Happens.)

      Okay, the way you described this moment in the book is how my husband said it went down. I mean, they’re boning in front of their dead child, which… LAYERS UPON LAYERS OF SKEEVE. But it’s them, and I could buy them being overwhelmed and having The Sex. People do when faced with death, etc. But this was infuriating.

      STOP NORMALIZING RAPE, TV WRITERS. I feel like this was a pre “Accused” world I was plopped in. And I don’t like it. =/

      Meanwhile, other things were great about this episode, but we’re all so hopping mad about THIS SCENE that it’s not getting its due. And with good reason!

      • Yes, I need you to read the Dany/Drogo consummation scene, because it’s actually really beautiful. He’s a considerate lover, and ensures her pleasure, and it’s just like–yes, the show could’ve gone that way, and shown that woman can have pleasure and it can be the most amazing thing, but NOOOOOOOOOO they had to make it…ugh, don’t even get me going, I will go FOREVER.

        And I would love to talk about Baelish and Sansa and Tywin’s pure evil mastery and how I pledge my eternal love to Jorah (Daario, you’re awesome and all, but you don’t have a blue beard here. You can’t beat Iain Glenn’s voice, and you don’t stand a chance without a blue beard, which is a book thing that I desperately wanted–ooooh, the snarky gaudy loverboy, come to meeeeee) and etc etc. But really, the showrunners are sacrificing any quality they do muster when they pull something like this. They wanted to generate talk, and get us riled up? Well, they did. But probably not in any way that’s beneficial to them, especially if they have plans to continue being “edgy” and “exciting.”

        Bad news, boys, the books are edgier and more exciting, and they did it better than you. I feel like I’m watching two LARPers try to fight in a military battle, here. (No offense to LARPers in general, but don’t bring a foam-and-duct-tape sword to a gunfight)

        • I LOVED DROGO IN THE END AND THIS MAKES ME SAD. When I’m able to read the books, I’m sure I’ll be dropping my jaw A LOT of how different the two are.

          “They wanted to generate talk, and get us riled up? Well, they did. But probably not in any way that’s beneficial to them.” This. And it’s a damn shame, because LITTLEFINGER!! Oh my god, Tywin being smirky and knowing! <-- maybe my favorite part of the entire episode, honestly.

  • Colleen

    Laura!! First, let me intensely apologize for not commenting last week. I had to hide in the bathroom at the office and read your recap on my phone. I was so excited to see your reaction to Joffrey biting it!

    This week. Wow. Funny show, mostly. Arya’s facial expressions, Daario 2.0, The Hound, all made of awesome… Tywin trying to explain the Birds and Bees to Tommen? Ick.

    Jamie, poor, maligned, misrepresented on tv Jamie. NOT COOL. He is not like that in book land. I shall say no more because book land is a spoiler.

    GREAT recap!

    • Hahaha, omg, Colleen, you are too much. YOU ARE JUST FINE, and I’m cracking up at you reading this on your phone in secret. :D

      With the exception of That Scene, this episode was outstanding! Arya’s bitch face, The Hound giving it back to her, Tywin, Oberyn, Tyrion… So much goodness!!

      As always, may your land and people prosper, and a blessing on your house for keeping me spoiler-free. <3

  • Kit

    Hi Laura! I love your reviews, though I’ve never commented before.

    I’m a book reader so I’m going to do my very best not to spoil anything. I’d just like to comment on Cersei and Jaime and that scene and how it goes down in the books. (And nothing else about the course of their relationship.) In the book, this is the first moment Jaime and Cersei have met since their separation–Jaime doesn’t return to the capital until after Joff’s death in the books. And the sex scene starts out essentially the same–Jaime comforting Cersei, Cersei saying how much she’s missed him and needs him, Jaime tries to take it to the next level, she backs down a bit, saying, “No, not here.” He keeps pushing, Cersei talks about “oh, not here, what about Father, what about the septons, etc,” Jaime still keeps pushing. Then:

    “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. (from the book)

    So it essentially starts out the same but then veers in a really rather vicious direction and does not give us the explicit “yes, okay, yes, I need you” that Cersei gives in the book. The book does sort of fall into that trope of “no actually means yes,” which can be a problem, but the nature of rejection seemed different to me–in the book, at least in my opinion, Cersei’s rejection seems more about the place where they are (over their dead son’s corpse, in a holy place) and less about the act (like if they left and went elsewhere she’d be up for it), with her eventually throwing caution to the wind and getting into it. In the show it’s a lot more nasty, and Jaime’s line of “Why have the gods made me love a hateful woman?” has no analogue at all in the book at this moment.

    Again, I’m so sorry if you see this as spoiler-y at all–just wanted to confirm/give more context as to what your husband had said. Keep up the great reviewing!

    • *hugs you all up* You know, in this case I think the original text is needed, so thank you for that!

      1) DAMN, CERSEI.
      2) it’s clear that she wants it, just not there. It’s the very definition of Enthusiastic Consent for sex here, just not, you know, next to their dead child.
      3) There is CLEARLY a difference between the book and what was on screen. What was on screen was far too subtle (if this is what they were attempting) because she says no and stop it without any mention of “not here,” nor does she stop, you know, CRYING.

      Huge misstep on part of the director. Maybe there’s a scene next week where Cersei says, “Hey, I was into it, but I was sad about boning ten inches away from my dead son.” But I doubt it.

      (Thank you for this! I really appreciate it.)

      • Kit

        No problem! And I feel bad for dumping even a bit of a potential books vs. show argument into your space (and one so fraught, as well, for so many viewers/readers).

        On a happy note, therefore–Pod <3 And I'm one of those book readers who has a soft spot for Stannis Baratheon, although I do understand why show readers have a tough time with him as he comes off pretty flat at times in the show. (Not that he's a walk in the park full of sunshine in the books, but I digress.) I DO enjoy the scenes they're giving Davos with Shireen, which aren't from the books at all but which are both adorable and entertaining. (Davos learning to read makes me feel a lot of emotions as someone who loves reading herself and thinks it's a very important skill.)

        • Aww, you’re terrific. Thank you! I think this is a particular point that should be addressed. At least I feel that way. :D

          The thing about Stannis is that I can smell the potential for interesting character. It’s there, we’re just not getting any of it in the final cut. (Or maybe they’ve just not written enough scenes.) He’s – so far – been very one note, and I can sense on the periphery that there’s more to him. I eagerly await that happening (and hope it happens!).

          There really hasn’t been a character yet who I’ve not been interested in, good or bad (but no one is ALL good or ALL evil- well, except for Roose).

          OMG, I love the Davos/Shireen scenes, too! She’s so saucy with him and he just eats it up. LOVELY. (And yes! Reading is SUCH an important thing. Every book is a Tardis!)

    • Lyanna Mormont

      And that’s actually exactly why I’m saying that the show is clearer about what is happening, and that the book is more towards the “she’s saying no but she really wants it” end of the spectrum.

      [They kiss. He wants more. She says no. He kisses her harder and pushes her down. She pounds on his chest with her fists and keeps saying no. He opens his pants and shoves his hand between her legs. Now she’s saying yes.]

      Whether she’s saying no because she’s afraid of being discovered or because her dead son is lying next to them or because she’s not in the mood, she IS still saying no. In the book, Jaime turns a no into a yes – which is the whole rape culture thing I was talking about – but in the show, no remains no throughout. I’m honestly not sure which is worse, but the book is hardly painting Jaime as caring very much what Cersei says. And this is in a chapter in the book that’s written from Jaime’s POV. We never see what’s going on inside Cersei’s head, so we really just have Jaime’s take on the whole thing.

      • “No remains no throughout.” Yep, I am totally on board with you here. Whatever they were trying to achieve from a directorial stand point…wasn’t. And while I know this show is rape-tastic, the context has always been clear.

        Oooh, I forgot that the book is always in a different character’s POV, too! Ugh, it just sounds bad all the way around.

      • Kit

        This is very true! It’s kind of a mess either way, really, in terms of depicting sex/consent/etc, and I do wish we had Cersei’s explicit POV of it. The best argument I can give toward it not being as rapey in the books (and Cersei objecting to place and not the act of sex itself) is Cersei’s line after they’re done, which is:

        “This was folly.” Cersei pulled her gown straight. “With Father in the castle…Jaime, we must be careful.”

        But you are right, we don’t know what’s in Cersei’s head, and she could be putting on a braver face (or come later to regret it after all and consider it rape for herself). It is a gray situation in the books, and that’s not necessarily accurate to women’s lived experiences of sex and consent and does often contribute to rape culture in that it does rather perpetuate the idea that sex and consent are gray areas and that it’s okay to not be so careful with consent.

        I personally would rather the book version than the TV version, at least as it now stands, although perhaps part of that is that it’s easier to read a sex scene where things are confused and frenzied and fucked-up than it is to watch same, particularly when Cersei is crying basically all the way through the scene in the show. (I may be misremembering that, however–I have not rewatched the episode or that scene yet.) And maybe there will be some bit later where they attempt to clear up things as Laura suggests (not that that makes the direction of this scene any better). I don’t think it helps that, in different interviews, the director and cast members have variously called it either “something that eventually turns to consent” (….after the scene ends? Why cut away when they did?) or “Jaime rapes Cersei,” flat out.

        But yeah, I’m not trying to deflect attention from the issue of it being rather gray in the books, and I’m sorry if in bringing it up I’ve derailed the conversation too much into a “books perfect/show awful” vein, since, no, the books aren’t perfect.

  • Drew

    There is a really good essay on this whole subject at the AV Club, in For Your Consideration. It’s really well written.

    • Thank you, I’ll check it out!

    • GeekaGriffis

      I read the avclub article this morning. Glad you brought it up here. They talked about how it was different Daenerys and Khal Drogo. I am not a book reader either and these help me with the differences between the books and show. I have no Mr. to tell me it isn’t so. :)

  • Bex

    Hilarious as usual! My favorite breakdown of the sept scene. Seriously.

    • *salutes* I am so glad! Wow, WE NEEDED A LAUGH SOMEWHERE.

      • Bex

        I was laughing when Daario straight-up knifed that dude after all that buildup. I don’t care, I like him and want to see some sexytimes, I ask nothing more

        • He totally Indiana Jones’d that horse/rider! IT WAS GLORIOUS. And now I would like to see his bare ass, please and thank you.

  • other people explained THAT scene already, so I’ll just focus on things that were done well instead.

    Glad to see Shireen’s literacy quest and Davos getting a bright idea! Also a good detail on him sounding out the words.

    “The world is overflowing with horrible things. We’re all a tray of cakes next to death.”
    It was really good to see this scene between Olenna and Margaery.

    Also I’m happy to see that you’re interested in Dorne being the only one of the seven kingdoms to not fall to the Targaryens.

    • Oh my goodness, how awesome are the Shireen/Davos scenes? She’s like the little girl he always wanted (says I), and he the attentive daddy/playmate she never had. I LOVE THEIR SCENES.

      I am FASCINATED by Dorne not succumbing to dragon fire. HOW?! WHAT? HOW?! I mean, we’ve seen the destruction dragons can cause, and by BABY dragons! Oooh, I am so happy there are confirmed seasons 5 & 6 so we can keep telling this story!!

  • Aaron L

    Laura Laura Laura….

    First let me say I tried writing back in the first half of TWD but they never went thru, so wasnt sure if i got banned ;) or something was up with my laptop, so ill tey my phone. I have been reading and laughing at all your wonderful recaps from all season of TWD to GOT.

    After this Jamie scene I had to try and write again. Not Good not good at all !! I was so pissed when I saw that total slap in the face to this show, and to Jamie. Sitting there watching it my jaw dropped and litterly said WTF did they just do WTF !! There was no need what so ever to film it like that. Right away I thought, this is going to stir up a hornets nest.

    On to the rest of the show loved Littlefinger getting back in the game (as if he ever stopped playing it ) ;) Glad to see all the pieces on the board in action besides Stannis, but as a pro Stannis man myself all i can say is he gets better *crossing fingers* and the queen of thorns and Margery way more interesting on the show IMO love them.

    Ok hope this goes through. Missed our chats :)

    • WHY WOULD I BAN YOU AARON?! Oh my gosh, I have missed you, bro!

      It really feels like a disservice to the actor (and to us, the viewer), right? UGH. I can see they’re starting to back peddle some, GRRM coming out to explain his scene and blah blah.

      I gasped like a stodgy old lady when Baelish pulled Sansa into the boat. LITTLEFINGER!! Oooh, he’s a crafty one, and I had almost forgotten just how sneaky that little ferret is, ahahaha.

      I TOTALLY HAD YOU IN MIND when I wrote about Stannis. I trust you, you’ve not led me wrong yet, so I’m holding out for him to dazzle him. GIMMIE THE OL’ RAZZLE DAZZLE, STANNIS!

      THIS WENT THROUGH! Fire your laptop!! :D

  • Beth

    DOOD. I had to mentally pause after the rape scene because I just could not. Like, the next scene with Arya started and I didn’t even know what the hell they were saying except I saw a snot rocket and that snapped me back to reality because I DO NOT UNDERSTAND.

    “No”
    “I don’t care. I don’t care.” = I AM RAPING YOU AND WHAT YOU WANT MEANS NOTHING.

    It really broke my heart because I was starting to gain respect for Jaime, even root for him as maybe a good guy misunderstood blahblahblah but then I keep forgetting that this is THE SAME MAN WHO PUSHED A CHILD OUT OF A TOWER WITHOUT FLINCHING. And also fucks his sister. So? Um… maybe not so out of character? Maybe he’s fucking fantastically IN character, scamming all of the viewers with his charms like he does everyone else when he’s actually a gigantic piece of shit? I don’t know. Only time will tell.

    Also, I don’t know why, but every time Dany opens her mouth to speak to the slaves at whatever city she’s in, I friggin’ cry. WHY. It’s like I’m saying, “YES I WANT TO BE IN YOUR GROUP. I WILL PUT YOUR PHOTO IN MY TRAPPER KEEPER. I HOPE YOU LIKE LISA FRANK TIGERS.”

    Ugh, this show and the things it does to my brain.

    • You are not alone with those feels, Beth, for I felt them, too. I think everyone commenting here felt that way, which is actually nice? Since other boards I’ve been on have been filled with dudes telling the ladies to shut up because wimmin don’t know what rape was? GROSS.

      And while Jaime isn’t a saint – not by any stretch of the imagination – the show had him on a redemption arc. And they fucked it in the ass, and we all cried NO STOP IT. <-- How you like them apples, folks? Dany is awesome. You're probably crying from Jorah's sexy voice. No, you're crying because Danaerys Targaryen is THE BEST OF ALL OF US.

  • Josie Morin

    When the Jamie scene happened I was all”…this is a little more rapey then I remember from the book…” Glad to know I wasn’t the only one confused that they changed it.

    • Yeah, you’re not alone. WE ARE ALL SCRATCHING OUR HEADS, JOSIE.

  • Aaron L

    Ahhhhh !!!!! Laptop fired.. And there was much rejoicing..

    I can not Wait til you read this series. You ll have to put a recap every couple 100 pages or so, so we all can discuss your thoughts and opinions, but til then to the show.

    I too remember, as one of your commentors brought up, the Khal/Dany wedding-bedding. How mad it made me that they ruined an actual tender moment between them, how it had built their relationship from the very begining.

    I am not going to bash the show too much, because for the most part they do do a great job. Just sometimes Grrrowl.. why why why.

    And Stanis, they make him so one dimmensional . Of all the Baratheon brothers hes probably the most complex. Robert was always just eat, fuck, and play(not that theres anything wrong with that) speaking of not theres anything wrong with that ;) then you have Renly who was still just a youngin everything was just a game and fun for him. Now Stanis has lots of layers. I cant discuss all of them tho *putting hands over mouth* cant say anything…

    What a difference a week makes. Last week was all Wow this is the best show out there. They cant do anything wrong. Now u have jaimegate.

    Ok my sista from another mista glad to be back :)

    • (Argh, I typed out a long response to you and it was eaten. CLEARLY WE ARE CURSED.)

      I think the show is outstanding, but nothing is perfect. I’m too invested in this show to let this incident spoil the whole experience. (And I think they’ve gotten enough of a backlash to rethink what’s what. I mean, if HBO had put in the opening credits a warning for Rape, people would have been braced, you know? They have in the past.)

      I am hanging on for Stannis, just for you. JUST FOR YOU, AARON. :D

  • Lee No

    Hey there Laura, as always, thanks for the great recap.
    To start off, I have to say that, as a man, I was as shocked and disgusted about that scene as you were. Rape is about the worst thing you can do and makes a character totally irredeemable imo (I mean, I can get on board with murder but this…). And I was asking myself “character assassination?” the whole time as well. The whole Jaime story was a redemption arc, so to backpedal and make him do something worse than he originally did and had to redeem himself for three seasons… big mistake.

    Anyway, let’s talk about the rest of this episode:
    I forgot how much I loved Littlefinger (yes he is creepy as hell, especially the way he hunches his shoulders when he talks to Sansa, but such an interesting player in the whole power struggle) and am looking forward to more scheming and maybe also plotting.
    Interesting point there: Did you notice – since Arya and Sansa are sisters – how they reacted to the murder of Drinksalot/the Hound stealing from Villager #4? Arya was screaming bloody murder, but Sansa just screamed in surprise/shock and then quickly regained her calm. She has seen too much, poor Sansa.

    And of course I loved the Tywin/Oberyn scene. Tywin is pretty clever here (whoa that’s totally out of character): He basically appeases the most dangerous man of Dorne, assuming if he can successfully do that, he has silenced the most antagonistic voice against a possible alliance à la Tyrell.

    And on a side note, since you have Ser Jorah with his voice, I can say that I would watch an entire episode that’s just about Margaery and her smoldering looks when she’s told she’s going to have to wait a little longer until the next episode until she can become queen.

    • Aww, you’re good people, Lee! I was really prepared not to have a lot of my regular guys comment on this one, either because they wouldn’t know what to say or because they disagreed wholly with me (such as was the case on another board where I was mocked for thinking this could be rape). So I’m VERY RELIEVED my regular guys continue to be awesome, thoughtful people. <3

      I. LOVE. LITTLEFINGER. TOO!! He's SUCH a creep, so nasty and conniving, always thinking several steps ahead. I think he and Varys are SO. DAMN. INTERESTING. There's so much under the surface, such clever little players of the game. Ugh, it's a real delight to have him back on my screen! ANd you bring up a great point with Sansa not freaking too much! Although, I will contend that she's still a bit in shock over watching Joffrey die. Then again, you see Joffrey die the way he did and you're going to see a bolt to the face of a veritable stranger as just a Tuesday. :D

      Tywin!!! Oh, he is the other massively interesting (and frightening for that intelligence!) character. I could watch him every single week, and get the chills each time he's on screen. Oberyn is also proving to be utterly delightful to watch swagger and play with the different people he interacts with. AND YEAH, MARGAERY IS A TOTAL BABE. Smart, cunning, unbelievably beautiful in both an innocent and seductive way. ME, TOO, LEE. :D

  • Richard

    I completely agree that rape is rape. I find it disgusting that so many critics (often male) are calling that incident “a little bit rapey” as if there’s some measurement of good rapes and bad rapes… I cannot fathom why they fundamentally changed the characters this way. Being a book purist, this type of changes is what makes me foam at the mouth. Characters being cut/merged, battles being scaled down etc.. due to budget constraints is all acceptable. Actors who refuse to read the source and portraying jarringly different characters based on the script is annoying but still acceptable.

    Changing specific plot points based on the whims of the show runners is what baffles and makes me see red.

    Dany in the books is a 14 year old girl sold to a viscious mongol like warlord. Her initial impression of him was of a big hulking man about to break her in half. Yet, during their consummation after some heavy foreplay he made it clear he was asking for consent. Up until that point she never had a choice on anything, since her creeper brother never gave her the chance. So seeing Drogo give her that respect/equality is what prompted her to give her consent and how their “love” blossomed afterwards. Now one could debate the merits of how a 14 year old child could never really give “consent” in that sense. We have to understand medieval societies just had different social values back then. Heck even in asian countries brides were sent as kids (since life expectancy rarely exceeded 40’s back then).

    In the show however, Drogo just casually flips her over and “rapes” her while she’s crying pitifully…. One has to wonder at this change. Did it affect any future plot lines? I mean what does that really say about show Dany’s character that she’d fall hard for a man who essentially raped her.

    Now contrast this with what we saw in the last episode. This one is a bit more complicated bear with me. D&D allowed actors the artistic license to not read the source and put their own spin to these characters through their scripts. Lena Headey is one such actress. She’s terrific in her portrayal of an anguished Cercei, that however is definitely not book Cercei.

    I had my beef with her interpretations mainly because it “could” affect future plotlines. See, book Cercei is suppose to represent those women who know how to control men via their sexual hubris. A light touch on their arms, a slight brush of her breast etc.. this was a women who knew how to control lesser man through temptations. She was so confident of her charms she even made a trashy pass at Ned Stark when he confronted her about his knowledge of her “secret”.

    Now show Cercei is portrayed as a frigid, tired women beaten down from a marriage of hate. The same conniving intelligence is here, the same rage at the cruelty of the fact she wasn’t born a man. The key difference here is that her sexual appetite or her use of it is gone. Completely gone. This is why when she had Lancel in her bed (to emulate a cheaper version of Jaime), it seemed so out of character for show Cercei.

    Why is this important? Well in the books she also got raped. Just because she consented halfway through doesn’t make it any less of a rape even in the books. The key difference here is that she resisted not because she didn’t want Jaime but because she thought they would get caught and it was far too reckless to do it in the sept. After 2 seasons of character building on Jaime.. this just feels like they took a dump on his face. Showrunners can try to justify this, actors and directors may try as well but the simple fact remains that it was the wrong choice.

    I didn’t want to believe conspiracy theories, but there’s a reason why SNL ran that spoof about the 14 year old boy wanting more boobs on the show. Apparently there were some real HBO suits that somehow had focus group data on adding excessive nudity. So if we take this argument to the meta level, one could argue that D&D changed this scene not from a plot point advancement but at the request of some HBO suit to make GoT trend the next day. Which admittedly is a weak argument as GoT is a complete cultural phenomenon and wouldn’t have needed this “stunt” to make it relevant.

    Consider however that if you Google search game of thrones, the buzz generated from this “rape” is astounding… Anyways sorry for the rambling just wanted to get that out of my chest. What’s even more sad is that whenever D&D resorted to go off the reservation they had some mild success in the park. That scene right before the rape where Tywin educates Tommen was fantastical writing and worked on multiple levels. Alas people will forget that scene as a footnote in the history of the rapegate of season 4.

    • Pretty much a thumbs up from me on this comment. Since I’m not a book reader (and won’t be until the show is complete, woe!) I can’t speak to the things that happen in them, but as a SHOW-ONLY watcher, it’s still strange and odd. It’s interesting how you describe Cersei in the books – knowing how to “control” her men (they’re anger, etc.) with a touch and so one – that reads to me like Maragery Tyrell in the show. Her own grandmother said she’d been masterful with Joffrey. It was AMAZING to watch her work him, keeping him from being a complete monster. (He maintained a solid 94% monster-ness.) :D

      Shows make wrong choices, I get it. But as a woman, I am SO TIRED of the dick as the boogeyman. It’s everywhere, both in media and in my real life. Fucking tired of it. Tired of the casual “little rapey” shit, tired of songs like “Blurred Lines,” tired, tired, tired. And that’s a big part why I was upset – it was a major scene, it was shot to be something passionate (the music, the camera, the lighting, the angles), not to mention that as someone who only knows these characters from the show, it seemed TOTALLY OUT OF CHARACTER for Jaime. He’d told Brienne he’d rather die than be raped. He did everything he could for HER to prevent HER rape, and she’s not really anyone to him.

      But Cersei? His one true love? He’s forsworn ALL women (Cersei never made a similar promise) because of the depth of his love for her? And this is what he does? Nope, I can buy his casual shoving of some urchin (in his eyes) out of a window because CERSEI ASKED HIM TO DO SOMETHING. He does what she says. And she said “stop it.” This is the fault of the director and writer misinterpreting their characters/translating from screen/getting their jollies/any combination of these things. I could totally buy your HBO wants you to push things angle, too, which is gross.

      And let me just say that Tywin working Tommen right before IS A THING OF BEAUTY. There were so many great moments in this episode! I’m fully prepared to talk about them, too! As long as the argument most people seem to be having is “it was/wasn’t rape” it’s pointless to talk about it anymore. It was. The director called it that. More interesting is WHY ARE WE OKAY WITH THAT CASUALLY BEING ON OUR SCREEN? It wasn’t okay with Dany, it wasn’t okay with Theon (even though he wasn’t raped, just threatened), it’s not okay to constantly use dicks as boogeymen. It’s a gee dee fantasy world: LET’S INVENT A NEW BOOGEYMAN. Melisandre can birth it for us! :D

      (And thank you for your comment!)

      • Richard

        That Tywin scene which wasn’t in the books was insanely good! Not only did he “secure his trust” from his grandson but honestly gave him sound advice while Tywin “evaluated” his 2nd grandson’s intelligence.. While making a point of quickly getting him out Cercei’s (bad influence in his eyes) grasp.

        I cannot lie, every time the writers decide to toss the book readers a morsel we immediately develop a raging hard on. Part of what really makes Martin’s series so engrossing is the gargantuan depth of the mythos of Westeros. I mean, the world building/history here is on par with Tolkien. There is INCREDIBLE history behind Westeros. The saying about how history repeats itself is incredibly relevant in all the happenings of Westeros.

        There’s a reason why Tywin is the Tywin you see today, as well as why his children are so messed up. So when he gave that brief history lesson it was an acknowledgement to the source about the deep history behind its material.

        The same goes to a shout out to the Golden Company a little bit later in the show. The adaptations often excellent, just like there’s no wasted minutes on screen, these advance introductions will all serve a purpose later on.

        I just wish D&D weren’t so cavalier about changing plot points. Even GRRM commented on the dangers of the “butterfly effect”, and we (book readers) can already see how it already affects things this and future seasons (Your husband will know what I’m talking about in regards to Dany for this point).

        On a side note, while I disagree with some actor’s portrayal of a character, there are some actors who transcended the source. Charles Dance is one such actor. Seriously, I cannot read Tywin without thinking of Charles Dance or hearing his voice. Just like how Peter Dinklage knocked Tyrion out the park, it’s just AMAZING to see the amount of talented actors not based in Hollywood.

        That flinty eyed smirk he gave Oberyn with that poker face was so TYWIN I was floored. If only GoT could get its own spinoff like how Breaking Bad / Walking dead will be getting. Seriously, I could watch :

        1. The adventures of Arya and the Hound
        2. Anything with Bronn
        3. Tywin hosting a talk show where he verbally skewers contestant behind a desk..

        If only… :D

        • What’s so marvelous about Tywin is that…he knows what the hell he’s talking about. He’s just utterly ruthless and will stop at nothing to get what he wants, but he’s RIGHT about the things he says. He’s right about what makes a good king. He just wants to be the pne pulling the strings.

          One thing that is a sure-fire way to my heart: a fully realized world. Oh, give me space opera and LoTR and any world where everything to the nth degree is sorted! It’s a MIRACLE I’ve not read these books, because they’re totally my thing. The details down to the plant life, rituals, food, kingdoms past, RELIGIONS past… I can only imagine how rich the books are, and how both frustrating and satisfying the show has to be for y’all.

          And let me high five you re: Charles Dance. The man is a wunderkind, a true Master Class on my screen every week. (I think the same of Peter Dinklage, too.) And isn’t it wonderful when true talent is cast instead of “they look good/they have an important name?” It’s seriously wonderful every Sunday to see these people on my screen. ALL of them, truly. Haha, those show ideas are perfect!! WHERE DO I SIGN?

      • Lyanna Mormont

        I’m sure if Jaime were to defend himself (which I’m not sure he’ll feel the need to do) he wouldn’t think the two situations were comparable at all. He was raised in a culture where marital rape does not exist. Stranger rape is awful, of course, but how could anyone accuse him of doing that to his sister/lover, he’d wonder. They’re a couple, he loves her and she loves him, of course it’s not the same… Gah. I feel dirty now from diving into the mind of a rapist.

        And yeah, the Tywin scene with Tommen and silent!Cersei was amazing. Also Davos and Shireen (kaniggit!) and the Sam/Gilly bird plucking scene. There was even a bisexual fiveway with both male and female nudity. But the only thing people are talking about is Jaime and Cersei.

        • DAVOS AND SHIREEN!! Oh my gosh, I’ve gone on and on about how delightful they are, how she’s the little girl that softens his smuggler’s heart and he’s the attentive daddy she never really had, and they’re both just WONDERFUL.

          I WILL TALK ALL DAY LONG ABOUT OBERYN AND THAT FIVE-WAY, SO COME AT ME, BRO! :D He is such a fucking delight to watch and I want to give him my heart already, but this is GoT and I can’t because THEY WILL TAKE HIM FROM ME and we’re just getting started with his story!!

          • Lyanna Mormont

            Oberyn and Ellaria had a fiveway! With one man and two women naked in bed with them!

            Oberyn is awesome. And one of the awesomest things about him is that he’s openly bisexual but the straight fanboys don’t go “ewww, gross!” at that, they just don’t care, because he’s that badass. Sometimes I think it actually gives him extra cool points in their eyes, for the “he doesn’t give a shot what anyone else thinks” factor. He’s pretty much everyone’s favorite (secondary) character.

            And Ellaria. My love for her knows no bounds. A bisexual woman of color who is in a long term, loving, respectful, open relationship with a man like Oberyn, who is not afraid to speak her mind (even to Tywin and Cersei!) and who sees no point in pretending to be anything other than who she is. In Westeros. Long live Ellaria Sand!

            • OH MY GOSH. I was whooping and cackling when that scene started. GETCHA SOME, PRINCE! Omg, the actress who plays Ellaria (her name escapes me, but I mentioned her real name the first time we meet her) is from Rome and Kama Sutra and she’s surreally beautiful and I like looking at her a LOT, not to mention how empathetic she is on screen. UNG, the casting has been amazing.

              BRING MORE WOMEN OF COLOR ON MY SCREEN, PLEASE. Especially when they’re tender and strong, gentle and sexy and forthright and YES, SHE IS AWESOME, YES YES YES.

              • Lyanna Mormont

                Indira Varma. :D She was on a couple of episodes of Torchwood, as well, which was the first time I saw her in anything. She rocks.

  • Rob

    Just discovered your reviews last week and they are by far the most entertaining ones I have read. These reviews are the exception that proves the rule about caps and exclamation points on the internet. Usually I hate them but here you use them to such great effect.

    I really hated that Jaime scene like everyone else. I think the writers intended to push the scene from the book a little further and instead pushed way too far. Too out of character for Jaime.

    I’d like to defend the Dany/Drogo change though. It always made more sense to me than the book version. Remember the Lamb people being butchered and raped by the Dothraki in season 1? Not sure why Drogo tends to get a free pass for that and the many other cities and villages that likely got the same treatment. Didn’t he mention going to the seven kingdoms to rape their women?

    I do wonder though if the strong reaction to the Jaime scene is partly because we like Jaime and we don’t like Cersei. We aren’t supposed to like rapists.

    • Hahaha, I’m pleased to hear my fannish flailings are entertaining! :D (This is the space where I can just be a fangirl and not worry about Strunk & White.)

      I think the directors weren’t really thinking with a 2014 Audience mindset, that we’re a bit more savvy to certain things that we would have been ten, twenty years ago. When you know better, you do better, is my hope.

      Oh, the Lamb people being murdered was HORRIBLE. I know you’re new to me, but I didn’t gloss over that when that episode aired. I love the character of Khal Drogo, but I love that he’s a mix of bad and good. Hell, EVERYONE is on this show, there isn’t anyone yet without a capacity for evil OR for goodness. I get very weary of how rape-heavy this series is and haven’t been quiet about it, but that’s my job – talk about the things I love and when topics need to be addressed (like this episode) I do. But I can still see all of the amazing aspects of this show and delight in talking about it with fellow fen.

      As for me, I personally love Cersei. I see why she’s the way she is, and without having read the books, Lena Headly has given me depth of character that I find FASCINATING. I’m sure there are people who think “she deserved it” because of whatever, but you’ll never hear that from me. True, we aren’t supposed to like rapists. Maybe that’s a set up for something coming up? We’ll have to wait and see.

      (And thank you for joining in! I hope you stick around. I have a great and respectful group of commenters here, and I encourage healthy, fannish discussion.)

  • I have read the first 3 books and in addition to the perpetuation of rape culture by idiot writers, to me the worst thing about this is what it’s done to Jaime’s character. He’s gone from a cruel d-bag who casually pushes a child out of a window to someone who has been fundamentally changed by all that he’s been through which has made him more empathetic and thoughtful overall. And now it’s all wiped away based on this one scene. Ugh, I just can’t keep thinking about this . . .

    And this is not book-spoilerly, but Stannis is exactly the same in the books as he is on the show: boring, boring, boring. And his story is told from the perspective of Davos who is mildly more interesting himself, but not much. I am sort of curious to see what happens to him in the end because I have no idea how he can get anything going on the king front, but then again if he disappeared tomorrow I probably wouldn’t think twice about it.

    Love your Star Wars & LOTR references especially in regards to Sam & Gilly. I think Gilly was actually safer at Castle Black than she will be in Mole’s Town, aka that “wretched hive of scum & villainy.” :) I really hope they don’t end up making her have to take on some of that “other work” but the idiot writers will probably go there.

    • Yes, your view of the character arc is similar to mine. =/ Come on, writers, I know you can do better. This series is STELLAR, so I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and continue on the path of making an amazing TV show that I just can’t get out of my system.

      I think Gilly was safer at Castle Black, too! I think amongst the Knights – while most of them are from horrible backgrounds – there is a sense of honor to their code when at the Castle. Maybe they’re shits when they’re away, but the Castle stands for something, etc. etc. They might eye her and say gross things (I would expect that, given their displayed behavior) but I still think there’s some level of honor to be upheld there. Maybe I’m dumb, IDK, but that was my initial thought. MOS EISLEY, I mean, Mole’s Town (:D) does NOT strike me as safe in any way, shape, or form. GAH.

  • Marilyn

    omg. i am so glad i found your reviews in time for this episode. because i need to talk, okay? my little heart is sad! and there’s only so much whinging my plus-one can stand.

    okay, so 1) i just want to hug cersei! her firstborn murdered, and her other son neatly plucked from her side by her overbearing father. not that tywin was wrong to take tommen in hand–because obvs cersei did SO GOOD TIMES raising joffrey–but how heartbreaking that sequence was for her! and cersei and jaime talk and she cries and i’m all *blubber*.

    but then 2) she wants to KILL HER OWN BROTHER without any actual PROOF that he’s guilty! she begs her brother…to kill her brother. and this ties directly, in my mind, to the unholy glee she evidenced when joffrey was abusing tyrion before The Great Poisoning. REALLY?!

    and then 3) she rejects jaime because of his hand AGAIN! she’s been pushing him away all season, but oh, sure, she’ll come to him when she WANTS something from him. something that makes him profoundly uncomfortable. but push him away when he thinks that this means a restoration of the relationship you had with him in the past? and you can see the gears clicking in his head–“she doesn’t love me; she just wants to use me!” i would’ve been mad, too!

    but so 4) you RAPE HER?! what?! and i’m back to feeling all the feels on cersei’s behalf. as everybody and their brother has already pointed out, in the book, i mean–they’re separated lovers and a bit keyed up to see each other again, she’s a little squeamish about the locale but in the end decides to throw caution to the wind and is very active when it comes to making the actual SEX happen. it’s weird, but it’s not rape–or at least i don’t think so. THIS MESS, now.

    now we have jaime, who has been increasingly coming out of his lannister comfort zone and rediscovering his own moral compass as he does, just reducing his entire character arc to ashes? really? this does not make sense from a storytelling point of view. honestly, the only way they can salvage this disaster as far as continuity is concerned is to take the trajectory of jaime’s storyline into a dark, dark place that no one (book-reader or show-watcher alike) would expect and make the narrative be about just how toxic their relationship is. OR keep selling this bs no-to-yes consensual sex narrative that no one is buying. NO BUYS!

    in either case, i really just want to forget that it happened. and i feel like i shouldn’t do that, that i should do whatever is in my power to not support this merry little contribution to rape culture (which basically amounts to not watching the show anymore).

    but most of the show is GOOD. we have the tyrell women and the stark women and dany being BAMFs and standing up to rape culture and the patriarchy and what-have-you as they encounter it in their own varied ways–and i am curious to see how they handle sansa being with uncle creepy and dany flirting with daario 2.0 (whom i agree is a vast improvement to fabio 2.0, blue beard or no blue beard–at least this guy HAS a beard) in this vein. at what point should their missteps (and this one’s a doozy) outweigh their successes?

    • I AM HAPPY YOU FOUND A SAFE PLACE TO FAN-GIRL/ETC! That’s the whole point of this site. <3

      I was just saying in another comment how much I like Cersei. I mean, I don't want to be her BFF or anything, but she's utterly fascinating to watch. Lena Headly is amazing and has given Cersei all manner of layers that - to me - explain her coldness, her anger, her complete bitterness at the situation she's been trapped in her whole life. And for me, it's just another moment in her life where she has no control over her body, no say in what happens to her. Just one more, but THIS TIME it's from her most trusted friend, her lover, her brother (gah - but that's not the point) and now she has NO ONE. Nada. Her beloved daughter is gone, Joffrey dead, Tommen under her father's wing, and she's just completely bereft, left with nothing but her hate.

      I want to watch her rise up and crush the men who have positioned her this way, you know? I think that would make for an amazing story. I just can't deal with anymore "Precious, A Novel By Sapphire, A Mad-Libs Of Atrocities Against Women." I just can't deal with this becoming nothing but that.

      FORTUNATELY this show has been so rich, there are so many stories left to be told, that I don't think it will be that? But then, ha, I thought the Starks would survive, so what the hell do I know? :D For me, at this point, the amazing bits of writing, directing, and acting far outweigh the missteps. But that's for me, everyone is going in with their own rate of scale, and I can respect that.

      • Marilyn

        the really frustrating thing, to me, is that they set this up to SEEM unavoidable. cersei IS cold, and angry, and bitter, and–as jaime says–hateful. and who can blame her?

        she was undereducated and undervalued by her father–she’s a clever woman without any proper TRAINING for her mind. when tywin says that she’s not as smart as she thinks she is, he’s allowing himself to be oblivious to the fact that it’s HIS FAULT. her lack of education and her lady-training made her petty and unable to see the broader picture; she focuses solely on people who have personally offended her and can’t distinguish true enemies from, say, tyrion. she doesn’t understand people’s motives and how they think because she is so DISDAINFUL of everyone who is not…her. where sansa, by virtue of being naturally tenderhearted, was made naively romantic by lady-training, i feel like cersei was made vicious because she is by nature more ambitious.

        but because she hates everyone, she makes others hate her by behaving so cruelly. jaime, who gave her complete and unquestioning love and loyalty–to the point that he would harm a child for her sake–finally experiences the cersei treatment everyone else has been getting. because he expects something different and better, OF COURSE he’s going to have a strong reaction. it’s totally natural!

        what’s not natural is where they took his response. so i feel like they tried to slip the whole thing under our radar, so to speak, and create a “she asked for it” narrative that we can . yay, rape culture, amirite? UGH.

        but i agree–i don’t think i’m ready to walk away from everything else the show has done RIGHT. i’m going to write it off as not-canon. i can’t ignore it entirely, and i can’t just pretend D&D/the director’s choices didn’t assault my eyeballs, but…i can put it in the “bad vidfic” room of my mental palace. (which is, btw, a very long hallway of tv screens with theatre drapes obscuring them.)

      • Arcadia

        The whole reason Cersei loves Jaime so is because he is the only man in Westeros that she can trust to not use her or her children. She can’t even get that guarantee out of her own father, as seen by Tywin hooking his claws into Tommen almost immediately after Joffery’s death. You can see the resigned bitterness as she knows her father will essentially be taking her last child away from her and there’s nothing she can do about it. And Cersei’s children are everything to her.

        That’s why she falls so quickly into Jaime’s arms when he returns: because Jaime is comfort, Jaime is security, Jaime is SAFE. Or he was, until he vanished and she was left alone.

        Its such a terrible irony, honestly. Cersei is everything Tywin wanted his sons to be: ambitious, proud, cunning, political, willing to do anything for the Lannister name. But being born a girl made Tywin treat her like a brood mare and nothing else. Which is so jarring when you compare it to Olenna and Margaery’s relationship. I honestly love the ongoing foil between the Lannisters and the Tyrells since season 2. Comparing how Tywin treats his children versus how Olenna handles her family. How Olenna groomed and taught Margaery to Play the Game, to use what little political capital women are allowed to its most effective ends; to cultivate allies and connections and loyalty in her subjects. Whereas Cersei was left to grapple with what little power she was allowed and used it like a hammer, in comparison to Margaery’s scalpel. A hammer that she used to smash on many, many toes.

        (Urgh, sorry, I could rhapsodize for days on how Martin and the show set up the Lannisters and Tyrells as foils of each other)

        • I loved the scene last season when Cersei is having dinner with her father and tells him “I’VE BEEN LISTENING. I KNOW YOUR SONS ARE A DISAPPOINTMENT TO YOU, BUT I COULD BE YOUR ‘SON’.” Ugh, it’s such an injustice, how she is truly the child Tywin wants, and yet.

          I do love the Tyrells, oh how I love them! But then, I think they’re fine being tangential to power instead of wielding ultimate power. Like Varys, Littlefinger, etc., they know that to be powerful and in the COMPANY of the REAL holder of power is far safer than being the steady target for who’s to be toppled/overthrown.

          (And don’t be sorry! DISCOURSE IS ALWAYS WELCOMED HERE.) <3

        • Marilyn

          yes, all if those things exactly, Arcadia. i love to watch tywin, but i am going to enjoy whatever take-down they have planned for him even more than joff’s.

  • Miss H.

    Jaime was perhaps the character I grew to like the most last season and more importantly, grew to forgive even. Key word: GREW. With all the NICE things Jaime had done so far; you know – how he had come so far as a person etc etc. …the show had systematically teased, cajoled and persuaded (at least it did for me) me into beginning to be able to forget that this person, this Jaime is ALSO someone who pushed a child out of that window and essentially ‘hoped’ that the fall would kill the poor kid. Then in one heartbreaking scene, trashed all that goodness (perceived or otherwise).

    This rape [[no other word to describe it]] is unacceptable. I had read the corresponding books before TV’s S1-3 started airing but for S4, I am only reading the book after all episodes finished airing. However, I thank Kit and Mr. Laura for the much needed clarification. That said, the TV writers better have a damn good reason or TEN GOOD reasons for potraying the scene this way, for making Jaime do what he did. I believe this topic has been discussed to death already, I have nothing new to contribute. Just my frownly face with pursed lips and judgemental eyes, balefully glaring at the ones who made this happen on our TVs =/ It left a sour taste and definitely detracted me from the remainder of what should have been a whole hour of excitement and enjoyment.

    That said, I do have to thank everyone here. Thanks for the great recap! Thanks for the fun reading insights from fellow commentors. This time round, yall not only provided a joyful company to watching the episode but yall also served a dual purpose of … palate cleanser :P

    :)

    • I am so in love with the people who comment here every week – everyone is thoughtful, intelligent, passionate, and can openly discuss things that are really tricky, things that will get you piled on by trolls elsewhere. It’s such a relief, let me tell you.

      Honestly, the back and forth in comments is my favorite part about recapping. :D (And I’m glad you knew you could put a voice to your thoughts and concerns here! <3)

  • Sorry I’m so late to the party here. [Waves chalice of mead in your general direction.] And I can’t read all of the truly awesome comments right now… but I just want to say that I believe you were the very first on the internet to call that scene a character assassination.

    “(nine birds fall from the sky laying eggs)”
    Your Jorah voice imagery gets me every single time.

    Thank you for making my GoT experience immeasurably more satisfying!

    smooches,
    Donna

    • There’s no such thing as late to a fandom, Donna! <3

      There is something about Iain Glenn's voice that just makes my spine tingle. SURELY I CAN'T BE THE ONLY ONE. I mean, I watch the show with Plan B on hand, you feel me? Hahahaha.

      <3 <3 <3 to my fave booster!

  • valerio

    Damn, i just found out about this review, now i have to go back and read the others !

    Greetings from Italy, keep up the good work

    • Piacere di conoscerti! Hope you enjoy them, and thank you for reading! (Ciao, from Texas) :D

  • Greetings Laura –
    Sorry to just be straggling in. Very annoying when real life infringes on my GOT time, but whaddya gonna do?

    BTW, props on the ode from last week. Great work. I envision a minstrel in a tavern far north of KL, enthralling the war-weary crowd with this poetic news of very poetic justice. You must have been up the whole night working on this, because you still managed to get the column out on Monday. Excellent!
    This week, as always, very insightful, especially regarding “the Incident in the Sept.” Everyone was weighing in on that one; it brought up some important and very interesting issues that do need to be discussed and reinforced from time to time. I was very glad to see all that dirty drama offset by a bit of humor and lightness in the exchange between Davos and Shireen. How elated was Davos when the idea about the Iron Bank struck him? Read and you can rule the world, indeed. Those two are about the only sane ones left in Westeros. Please don’t call Shireen a newt. She can’t help what her physical ailments are, but this amazing little lady has the spirit and intelligence to hang on despite the crazy people around her, particularly her bat-shit crazy mother. (I could write all day about the craziness of that bitch. Stillborn babies preserved like pickles? Giving Mel her place at the table, literally, then protesting to Stannis that Shireen is difficult?)

    Which small complaint leads to another tiny protest – Sam. You usually call him Porkins, but this week you added a couple more negative adjectives. I don’t know why you hate the poor muffin so, he does the best with what he has; his discovery about dragon glass might just save the kingdom. He is also one of the few sane ones. IMHO. Many pardons, but please go easier on him. Although, I can’t figure how he could believe Gilly was safer in Molestown. I could just see the madam in the tavern licking her lips at the sight of fresh meat. At least at Castle Black, Sam could keep his eye on her.
    That’s all for now. Can’t wait til Sunday.

    • Hello!! Oh, re: my ode to Joffrey, that was actually written over my morning coffee, so I’m DELIGHTED to hear that you enjoyed it! <3

      "Read and you can rule the world,indeed." YES YES!! Oh, I just love the Davos/Shireen moments. So sweet and enjoyable.

      Well, it looks like you're not as deranged as I am, in that you've not seen and absorbed all of the cultural references that I have. (And while I understand fundamentally that explaining jokes makes them less funny, it seems it can't be helped.)

      Newt: the little girl in Aliens, left behind at the colony, who is a dead ringer for Shireen.

      Samwell Gamgee Red Leader Porkins: Samwell Gamgee is from the Hobbit, the best friend who may not look like much but is the real hero in Frodo’s story. Red Leader Porkins: one of the Rebellion fighter pilots/commanding officers in Star Wars, who the actor bears a passing resemblance to, not to mention that Red Shirts are the universal Nerd Code for an actor put there to die. When we first meet Sam, it seemed obvious to all of us non-book readers that he wouldn’t last long. How could we think he would? AND YET! I routinely state that Sam says “Stay on target,” which was what Red Leader Porkins said in the movie.

      Also, he is a DEAD RINGER for my brother, who I’m rather fond of. Please don’t assume I’m being hateful to any of the characters, because I truly care about each of them, even the ones I love to hate. (Which neither of these two you mentioned fall into that particular category. Also, I wouldn’t call, say, Cersei a cunt. That’s…pretty harsh.)

      Pop culture references/geek references are the way I write, so if it’s going to be upsetting to you (which is fair! which is your right!) then you might want to skip these reviews/recaps. It’s either fun for you to read or it isn’t, no harm, no foul.

  • Yeah, OK, the rape. I wasn’t going to go too much into it, because you and the other partiers here did an admirable job of dissection and righteous protest. But … oh HELL no. They didn’t do that? Yeah, they did, they had Jaime do that then had the nerve to say it was consensual at the end. Not on my TV screen it wasn’t, not one second. The only thing I can say that might exonerate Jaime is that he wasn’t moved to primal passion until after Queen Cunt demanded that he kill Tyrion. Hateful woman, indeed. Tyrion is the only one of the three that consistently is fair and good; Jaime knows this. He’s their brother, and she could stoop so low as to demand his life. Hateful. And she wants Jaime to go even lower then they’ve already gone. Well then, bitch, fuck one sibling, fuck them both. That’s all I’ve got on that.
    Have a good weekend.

  • Yikes, no offense meant, absolutely none. That was the reason for the many pardons comment, me trying to soften up anything you might take as criticism. As I stated in a variety of ways in every other post, even this one, I am delighted to have found thise site. I find your brand of humor insightful yet refreshing, and am happy to participate.

    Yes, I saw Aliens, but Newt wasn’t uppermost in my mind. Samwell Gamgee was one of my favorite characters, as well, for the very reasons you stated, and I’m quite fond of the Hobbit prequels, too. We, me and all your other fans, were on a thread about defending rights of others. I guess in my own awkward way, I was doing that for characters I happen to really like. That’s all. You’ve cleared up the references. Thank you for taking that time.

    • None taken! *high fives* I genuinely don’t want to waste people’s time. I know I have a very specific sense of humor and it’s not going to hit everyone, so I always want to remind people that they can scroll past and I won’t be offended. :)

      And I LOVE that you passionately care about characters! That’s the best sort of fan, imo, when you just want things to always be positive about them and stick up for them. (That’s just how I feel about Sansa! I LOVE HER.) <3