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Recap: 'Game Of Thrones' Season 4 Episode 4, 'Oathkeeper' Needs A Trigger Warning

Television
by Katie Walsh
April 28, 2014 9:04 AM
137 Comments
  • |
Macall B. Polay/HBO

Just when you thought “Game of Thrones” couldn’t get rapier … it goes and gets more rapey. It’s really unfortunate how shortsighted Team Throne Games was about the avalanche of outrage that would meet the amazingly poorly executed rape of Cersei (Lena Headey) last week (sorry, nope, Alex Graves, you can’t just switch from nonconsensual to consensual sex in the middle of the act, and if that’s what you were going for, it’s not what you pulled off). This week’s episode featured a gruesome scene in Craster’s Keep with a ridiculously gratuitous portrayal of the rape and abuse of women. To make matters worse, my book-reading 'GOT' watch party pals informed me that this entire section wasn’t even in the book at all (much like the notable difference between the icky, but consensual sex scene between Jaime and Cersei in the books and what we saw on screen last week). Therefore the only ones we have to thank for this are HBO, the showrunners, and unfortunately, director Michelle McLaren. And yeah, bad guys, characterization, what’s coming to them, and all that, but it seemed as though that could have been attained without all that fleshy thrusting in the background. I want to like this show (and I do) and they make it very hard sometimes.

As I mentioned, my book-reading pals mentioned that much of this episode diverted from the text, most notably, what’s happening in the North. I don’t know what it is in the book, but this ain’t it. Of course, it doesn’t have to be entirely faithful to the book, as per the vision of Benioff and Weiss, but it’s interesting to note when and where it does divert and why that might be. I just take the slightest bit of umbrage with that being even more onscreen rape, but you know HBO’s got a boob quota and they sure as hell aren’t filling it with “Silicon Valley.”

Meereen
Grey Worm (Jacob Alexander) is learning English with Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel), and the easiest topic of conversation is their horrible oppression and enslavement. Poor kids. Their chat has to end because Grey Worm and pals have a date for sneaking into the Meereen underground slave debate to persuade them to kill their masters and join the army of Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). Oh, and look at all these swords they brought! Blood is going to flow in Meereen tonight!

Flow it does, onto the walls of Meereen, where the slaves have graffiti’d “Kill The Masters,” INEXPLICABLY in English. Come on, 'GOT,' both the slaves and slave-owners in Meereen speak Valyrian, why the heck is this in English? Putting that aside … the slaves quickly descend upon the unfortunate discoverer of said graffiti and then pierce him to death with their very sharp swords.

Daenerys has her own tricks up her sleeve, after being greeted as Mhysa by her new people. She's got 163 masters rounded up, and in the name of “justice,” she orders them crucified in the style of the little girls who marked her passage to Meereen. To the sound of their wretched screams, she surveys her newly conquered land from the top of the highest temple, underneath her nifty new dragon sigil. The girl’s got style, that’s for damn sure.

Macall B. Polay/HBO

King’s Landing
Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is almost back in fighting shape thanks to his workouts with Bronn (Jerome Flynn), but that doesn’t mean that Bronn won’t keep him on his toes fighting dirty—in this case by taking off that gold hand and back handing Jaime with it. That’s cold, man. During a water break, Bronn prods him to visit Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), and reminds Jaime of the brotherly bond they share.

Of course, Jaime’s visit turns into brotherly competition, as he makes note of the fact that his conditions were MUCH worse as a prisoner of the Starks. The two are surprisingly honest with each other, and both know that Tyrion didn’t do it and Jaime won’t kill him (despite Cersei’s request). Jaime wants to go through with the trial, and mentions that there’s also a bounty on the head of Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner).

Here's hoping those bounty hunters have boats, cause Sansa’s trapped aboard the rickety ghost ship of Littlefinger (Aiden Gillen) en route to Eyrie, so he can marry creepy, creepy aunt Lysa Arryn (Kate Dickie). And guess what, that necklace was NOT a red herring, it was filled with the poison that killed Joffrey, and Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) was the one who did it. She basically admits it to Margaery (Natalie Dormer), while also telling her to seduce the small child that is Tommen (Dean Charles-Chapman), heir to the throne. Why did Olenna do it? Because Joffrey’s a monster. Why Did Littlefinger do it? Because he wants EVERYTHING—cue the mustache twirl, evil laugh, etc.

Margaery does as she’s told and creeps into Tommen’s room late at night (side note: what on EARTH did Olenna do to Luther that she hinted at? I mean, I know what she did, but the described effect sounded … extreme, no?). The two talk about secrets and play with kittens because that’s what children do, and Margaery leaves knowing she’s made a friend because she’s literally the only person who has ever been nice to Tommen.

Speaking of Tommen’s mom, Cersei is getting sloshed on wine, which could maybe explain why she casually summons Jaime to yell at him about the amount of guards at Tommen’s door (not enough, apparently…) like that horrid rape never happened. Sure, she’s cold and mean, but it's an average amount of cold and mean, though they call each other "your grace" and "Lord Commander." She quizzes Jaime on why Catelyn Stark let him go, accuses him of pitying killer Tyrion, and commands him to find Sansa.

So what does Jaime do? He passes off this task to Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie). Sure, he gives her his neat-o Valyrian steel sword and a new suit of armor, and he even finds a good use for PODRICK (Daniel Portman) (!!!) as her squire, but this seems like a verryyy convenient workaround for him. It even seems like a semi dig at Jaime when Brienne names her sword “Oathkeeper,” cause that is definitely not a word to describe what he does. But really, I’m just totally stoked for the Brienne n’ Pod show.

Castle Black
Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is training his Night’s Watch budz about fighting Wildlings, cause he’s sooo cool now that he’s been hanging with the Wildlings. And what’s this? Locke (Noah Taylor), the sadistic helper of Roose Bolton and noted hand severer, has joined their ranks as a volunteer. What a wily fucker. He pals up to Jon Snow after his mean old bossman Alliser Thorne (Owen Teale) tells him to go empty a chamber pot. But mean old bossman has trouble of his own because he’s mean and everyone hates him and he has terrible hair, and Jon Snow is great and everyone loves him and he has fantastic hair, for which reasons he might be named Lord Commander. Mean old bossman’s friend tells him to send Jon Snow to Craster’s Keep, where the rogue Night’s Watch, aka The Mutineers, are partaking in some light cannibalism and torture of women. Maybe they’ll eat Jon Snow!

Jon Snow’s actually eager to get to the hellhole that is Craster’s because it’s the only inhabited Wildling outpost that his little bro Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) might have stumbled upon in woodsy adventures. He soon gets his marching orders, and manages to collect quite a few volunteers with his speech about Wildlings and justice for Jeor Mormont, including Locke, whom we all know has ulterior motives with regard to Bran Stark.

What’s left of Jeor Mormont is half a skull, currently used as a wine goblet by Karl (Burn Gorman), the steward who led the cannibal rebellion at Craster’s, and comes across like a cross between a particularly unhinged Cillian Murphy and Crispin Glover. And yes, this is the scene to which I referred in my introduction, with at least two graphic rapes, one ongoing in the background throughout, and various other sexual and other assaults. Not to mention the state the girls are in, battered and bruised and catatonic. Yes, we’re supposed to understand that Karl is is a psychopathic sadist, but you know what, I got it and then some. I got it enough to not only be repulsed by Karl, but repulsed by the way the “Game of Thrones” writers and directors decided to portray this scene in all of its graphic and gratuitous gore. Not only does Craster’s Keep feel unsafe for women, but watching this damn scene feels unsafe for women. Not. Cool. #triggerwarning

Anyway, Karl is terrible and we hate him. The one moment of agency the women have is when they start to recite “gift for the gods” when Craster’s last newborn boy makes his appearance. In Craster’s tradition, he has Rast (Luke Barnes) drop off the babe for the White Walkers outside while he goes to feed Jon Snow’s captive dire wolf, Ghost. Rast actually seems torn about abandoning the baby in the snow, but has no problem tormenting poor, caged Ghost. We hate him too.

As the babe cries, we cut to Bran, Hodor (Kristian Nairn), Meera (Ellie Kendrick) and Jojen Reed (Thomas Brody-Sangster) who are within earshot. Bran wargs into Summer and discovers the caged Ghost at Craster’s before Summer is caught in a trap. In the morning, the tween trio (and Hodor) creep up on Craster’s to do some recon and find Summer, and are promptly captured by the Mutineers, and brought before Karl’s judgment. He knows they are highborn, and starts to torment them. Of course, Bran cracks instantly, as Jojen thrashes in seizure and Meera is threatened with a throat slitting, giving up his name right away.

Back to that baby left in the woods: a White Walker cradles him on horseback, bringing him to some far off crystal Stonehenge, where he leaves the baby for another, more senior White Walker. This one cradles the baby and presses his long pointy nail into his cheek, turning his eyes a very distinctive shade of White Walker blue! That's how they make White Walkers! 

Well, thoughts, everyone? This season is darker in a way that’s uneasy—from Daenerys to Jaime to every one of those Mutineers. It’s ambitious of the show creators to delve this deeply into the complicated nature of humanity wrestling with power and greed, but I can’t help but think that they’re whiffing the execution at times. Discussion is always welcome, and let’s keep it respectful and spoiler free, though it’d be interesting to hear how this differs specifically from the books. Do we hate Jaime? Is there more mystery to Joffrey's death? What do you think those White Walker babies are like? Are they just little cold blue-eyed zombies crawling around?

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137 Comments

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  • CrazyGuyinThailand.com | June 6, 2014 1:29 PMReply

    I follow this TV-serie and Vikings(History-channel) I'm more into Vikings.

  • Matt | May 8, 2014 9:21 PMReply

    @ KatieWalsh
    I would suggest that you pick up the book and do your reading for next weeks blog post.
    Or, just stop mentioning that you don't know what you are talking about and only want to complain that the TV show isn't exactly like the book via your bookworm buddies.
    Other than that, I completely agree with how HBO is overwhelmingly shoving rape in our faces as a normal behavior.

  • Not As Desensitized As You | May 8, 2014 6:14 PMReply

    I am concerned by many of the comments I have read. I must first begin by admitting that I have never watched an episode of Game of Thrones. I survived a violent rape and so I must be very careful about what I watch to avoid night terrors. As such, I cannot watch this show though its concept intrigues me. As a victim of sexual assault, I am concerned by the eagerness of so many to witness a fictional rape as if seeing the horror explicitly depicted on screen will make the show more satisfying for viewers. Though I can appreciate the desire for realism in this fictional, fantasy-land, I can't help but wonder if this speaks to a greater depravity in our society. The show runners could treat rape with more sensitivity, heavily alluding to a rape without depicting it graphically. As many have mentioned, this is a show for "adults." Adults can grasp nuance. Just as a writer aims to "show, not tell," explicit scenes are many times a film maker's way of "telling." It seems like an easy out to me - garnering viewers through shock value. It's sad that rape is one of these shocking devices. Even sadder, it seems they are giving the viewers what they want. It's more than a little frightening to someone like me.

  • Tim Drake | May 6, 2014 8:24 PMReply

    This is why I am against warnings on fanfic because I knew everyone would start demanding them on everything.

  • jey4567 | May 8, 2014 7:23 PM

    ok, thanks, but i think the best way to watch it is ACCESSTV INFO website

  • neil | May 6, 2014 8:21 PMReply

    "Avalanche of outrage"? I guess I wasn't paying attention.

  • Doc H | May 6, 2014 3:39 PMReply

    Now if only we could get people to give the same amount of shits about the rape of girls in certain wartorn african countries.

    Funny how many column inches this generated compared to real world events.

  • jurgo haggins | May 5, 2014 3:50 PMReply

    GOT is set in a fictional world that roughly coincides with the technology, mores and values of the late middle ages.
    Rape was common. Spousal rape was not even a concept. If a nobleman raped a commoner it was not a crime, and even validated by laws in certain areas (such as "droight de senignor" where a nobleman would rape your virgin peasant wife the night before your marriage, if he wished, just because you as a peasant husband do not deserve the pleasure of having a virgin bride. ) GoT is realistic in its depiction of sex and violence in its particular culture, and it is adult fare on a Cable channel. If you want nickelodeon or the Disney Channel its just a few clicks away.

  • Van Nyx | May 5, 2014 2:22 PMReply

    (No spoilers, I promise)

    Last week I cringed watching the rape scene in Crafster's Keep, but I recognised that it does lend to the authenticity of the time, as well as the fact that nothing done on the show is coincidental so there must have be an important reason for the total debasement of the women. This week it has been justified. Had that rape scene not been as revolting and graphic as it was, this week's unraveling would not have been as powerful. I see parrallels between Daenerys and Crafster's daughters, the difference between them is the privilege of status. Daenerys acknowledges her privilege of birth and uses it to crusade for people just like Crafster's daughters.

    Understand that there are few television shows as provocative, and by provocative I also mean that GOT examines socio/cultural issues and topics that are rarely tackled on international television. Rape, issues surrounding masculinity and femininity, various forms of prejudice, slavery... etc.

  • Glowyrm | May 2, 2014 8:52 PMReply

    The scene from the book is below, along with a quote from this article I do NOT agree with.

    "To make matters worse, my book-reading 'GOT' watch party pals informed me that this entire section wasn’t even in the book at all (much like the notable difference between the icky, but consensual sex scene between Jaime and Cersei in the books and what we saw on screen last week)"

    The show runners did NOT just pull this scene out of their ass. Jamie most certainly took Cersei when he wanted, how he wanted, without waiting for consent, and even ignoring a few "no, stop it"s, which is what happened in the show too. She eventually gave in, which she does in the book too.

    The roughness and the "this can't wait" vibe of this sexual encounter makes sense in the book because it happens immediately after Jamie gets back to King's Landing. He didn't think he would ever see her again, he thought he was going to die and never have sex ever again. So when he finally saw her again after all he had been through, he just went for it, disregarding the fact that she wasn't really into it at the start. It's not quite as "rapey" as the TV version I guess, but it is very similar.

    Now for the book's version...

    "She touched his face. “I was lost without you, Jaime. I was afraid the Starks would send me your head. I could not have borne that.” She kissed him. A light kiss, the merest brush of her lips on his, but he could feel her tremble as he slid his arms around her. “I am not whole without you.” There was no tenderness in the kiss he returned to her, only hunger. Her mouth opened for his tongue. “No,” she said weakly when his lips moved down her neck, “not here. The septons …” “The Others can take the septons.” He kissed her again, kissed her silent, kissed her until she moaned. Then he knocked the candles aside and lifted her up onto the Mother’s altar, pushing up her skirts and the silken shift beneath. She pounded on his chest with feeble fists, murmuring about the risk, the danger, about their father, about the septons, about the wrath of gods. He never heard her. He undid his breeches and climbed up and pushed her bare white legs apart. One hand slid up her thigh and underneath her smallclothes. When he tore them away, he saw that her moon’s blood was on her, but it made no difference. “Hurry,” she was whispering now, “quickly, quickly, now, do it now, do me now. Jaime Jaime Jaime.” Her hands helped guide him. “Yes,” Cersei said as he thrust, “my brother, sweet brother, yes, like that, yes, I have you, you’re home now, you’re home now, you’re home.” She kissed his ear and stroked his short bristly hair. Jaime lost himself in her flesh. He could feel Cersei’s heart beating in time with his own, and the wetness of blood and seed where they were joined. But no sooner were they done than the queen said, “Let me up. If we are discovered like this …”"

  • Glowyrm | May 2, 2014 8:56 PM

    Just wanted to expand on a point I started to make but didn't really finish. I said that the scene makes sense in the book because of the timing, but I never said how I felt about it in the TV version.

    The "rapey-ness" of the scene isn't the problem for me, it's where they placed this scene in the chronology of the story. Like I said, it made more sense for him to act like that when seeing her for the first time in the book.

    After thinking about it a bit though, in the show, Cersei was acting very cold towards Jamie and he was kind of confused by it and he seemed a little hurt too. But when this scene happened, something in him snapped and he pretty much decided that he wasn't going to let whatever has happened to each of them change anything so he just went for it. It's different than the book but if you think about it like that it can make sense in the show's timing as well.

  • B.R. Soule | May 2, 2014 8:12 PMReply

    You complain about the writing not being in Valyrian but also complain about the rape scenes that are also in the book? Do you want consistency or not? Damn.

  • julia | May 2, 2014 6:54 AMReply

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  • J. Marx | May 2, 2014 2:52 AMReply

    One: television does not come with trigger warnings. Two: Game of Thrones has featured and will continue to feature rape. Three: I'm late to the game, but Jaime and Cersei's sex in the sept is also rape in the book--less disturbingly portrayed, but no less rape. Four: the novels are so much rapier. Background rape is distressingly common and helps to establish the crapsack world the story inhabits.
    Did I have trouble watching those scenes? Absolutely. Will we have to put up with it for much longer? Not at Craster's.

  • meh | May 1, 2014 6:20 PMReply

    dat jurnalist is pathetic

  • FromTheBooks | May 1, 2014 5:40 PMReply

    Actually, over in Crastor's Keep, the first time Sam and Gilly escape, there is a mention that some of the rogue Night Watch members were beginning to rape his wives/daughters.
    Keep in mind that they aren't all Jon Snows and Sams. A lot (A LOT) of the Watch is made up of criminals, many of them thieves and rapists. Rape is a terrible thing, but so is murder.

  • Brilliant show, but come on | May 1, 2014 5:33 PMReply

    Why do they insist on calling others white walkers? I know they are the same thing and it is just a different name, however I at least recall Sam and the maesters calling them others in the books. I'm also not liking this whole thing with the others at the end of the episode, or how bran, ghost and friends are captured; the lack of coldhands and strong belwas still annoys me too. Ah well I'm still enjoying the show overall, we'll just have to see which direction the devs went: book or creation.

  • J. Marx | May 2, 2014 2:49 AM

    there used to be this show. it was called Lost. it had a totally different set of mysterious persons called Others. that is why everyone uses the wildling term in the show.

  • wow | May 1, 2014 4:36 PMReply

    it's rated TV-MA. I don't know what more of a warning you could want. Don't watch it if you know you can't handle it.

  • Jordan Nash | May 1, 2014 4:02 PMReply

    A social justice warrior pretending she's a real journalist/critic. How cute.

  • Nunya Biz Ness | May 1, 2014 2:42 PMReply

    I'm so sorry I clicked this link, thinking, "Yay, something Game of Thrones related". That was terrible to read and I'm glad the majority of people commenting agree.

  • ARYA ROCKS | May 1, 2014 12:43 PMReply

    Finally through all 110 comments and I'll have to say, much as I disagree with this review it it did get people talking.

  • Mateo Samora | May 1, 2014 10:44 AMReply

    Most of the commenters are making really valid, intelligent and on-the-nose ones. I love that your regurgitation of words has ignited them with a common flame. We all dislike you and burn with a desire to take time from our busy schedules to tell you to shut up.

  • Michamus | May 1, 2014 2:53 AMReply

    So let me get this straight:
    Infanticide: No big deal
    Gruesome torturous deaths: Rock on!
    Rape scenes: ZOMG STOP THE PRESS TRIGGER WARNING!

    Typical.

  • Oh Pleasee | May 2, 2014 2:59 PM

    Infanticide: not a threat present in viewers' lives.
    Gruesome torturous death: ditto
    Rape: a life-long threat to every single woman watching GOT.
    So let me get this straight, you are truly unaware of that?

  • jakob dylan | April 30, 2014 9:57 PMReply

    is there another writer who can cover this show? this writer is poor in craft, adolescent, and annoying.

  • TC | April 30, 2014 7:28 PMReply

    If you don't like it, don't watch it. Lots of things on GOT are evil. Incest, cannibalism, torture, castration, forced marriage, decapitation, not to mention lots of gore. The list could go on. The point is, it's not a show about pleasantries. It's a dark show. Now that you know GOT shows rape scenes, don't watch it if you wish to avoid it. Or wait till your friend watches it and ask them if it shows rape. There's no need for a trigger warning.
    I haven't read the books and I have no intention to read them. I like the show and whether they stick with the book or deviate from it, I will continue to watch it. It's not a show for everyone though.
    "A show about bad things happening to people shows bad things happening. It should have a warning about bad things happening."

  • Chris | April 30, 2014 6:33 PMReply

    Seems the stuff that doesn't follow the books is kind of missing the point in many ways. Martin might have written a brutal story but it was brutal in a way I can take seriously. That keep scene I cannot take seriously. They aren't bad guys, they are a 12 year old's idea of bad guys.

    I mean, these guys are so evil, they rape people, and drink from skulls, and mistreat dogs, and mistreat hodor and they're evil and I hope they die and they mistreat dogs and drink from skulls and rape...

  • LS | April 30, 2014 3:58 PMReply

    My god these reviews are insufferable to read to the point where they are almost indistinguishable from parody. And this is coming from someone who fight rape culture, victim blaming and slut shaming daily. You sound like the puritans that want True Blood off the air, if the violence and sex is too much for you in shows like true blood and GOT then's that's your que to stop watching, not to try and make a show that is stylistic graphic in to a pg rated over sensitised piece of trash. The icing on the cake is I could understand your criticism if these acts weren't always portrayed as wrong and vile.

    If you can't comprehend the show is graphic beyond being on the FOURTH season, I really don't know what I can tell you. You act as if you've been watching children's fairy tale up until now.

    " I got it enough to not only be repulsed by Karl, but repulsed by the way the “Game of Thrones” writers and directors decided to portray this scene in all of its graphic and gratuitous gore."
    Okay, and why should they hold back?


    "Not only does Craster’s Keep feel unsafe for women, but watching this damn scene feels unsafe for women. Not. Cool. #triggerwarning"
    This has got to be a joke, you couldn't sound any more like a parody of a tumblr social justice warrior if you tried. Of course it's unsafe for women, that's the whole point of the scene.
    Watching the scene feels unsafe for women? Because we're so fragile we couldn't possibly handle fictional violence, please keep your stereotypes to yourself, if you're gonna try and paint your puritanism as progressivism. Yes, many women are affected by rape, that doesn't mean it can'r be depicted in storyline, many lives are also effected by death, violence and disease, these are all present in storylines. You can't arbitrarily say frying children alive is fine but rape isn't, it's completely nonsensical. It's okay that you don't like it and find it disturbing, this is why you have the freedom to stop watching, if I find SAW 1 to be too graphic, I wouldn't go and see the other 6 movies, I'd but my principles where my mouth is, but you're unable to do that.

    Be consistent if sexual violence isn't okay then why is violence? Why are you not outraged at the excessive amounts of violence and mentioning it at the beginning of your reviews? For instance Joffrey was a bad person, is killing bad people okay? Is this promoting the death penalty? Either overanalyse it all by modern standards or don't bother.

    "like that horrid rape never happened. Sure, she’s cold and mean, but it's an average amount of cold and mean,"
    She was obviously influenced by his attack in her contempt for him, this is the scene having meaning and you have no idea what her contempt could lead to something.

  • Mealer | May 15, 2014 7:41 AM

    As a big fan of the books and a nearly as big a fan of the TV show - I completely agree with LS here. This is what the show is about - deal with it. It is a story that is marketed for mature adults and a tv show marketed towards mature adults.
    I lost a parent to suicide via gunshot a couple of years back - and yes - whenever I see that kind of death in a movie or a tv show - it triggers flashbacks for me - HOWEVER - I am a big girl and I choose to watch this kind of viewing that puts me at risk of seeing that kind of imagery - it is not the writers, actors, directors, producers etc fault if I happen to freak out because I view someone shooting themselves and thus - as a result of my personal experiences, I can't cope and therefore THE SHOW MUST BE STOPPED! - Its unreasonable of me and silly overall. Because that kind of imagery just simply won't evoke the same kind of emotions in others as it does in me. The same way that a violent rape scene has the potential to greatly upset a person who has been violently raped.

    You can't wrap people in cotton wool based on poorly confected, self-righteous outrage. No-one is forcing GoT down anyone's throats and its up to each discerning adult as to whether they choose to view this kind of subject matter. Banning things or putting in 'trigger warnings' won't do anything good - its just censorship.

  • Mia | April 30, 2014 2:28 PMReply

    why the hell are you even watching the damned show.... then......
    is all that supposed to make people not want to watch.... or something.. if you want to complain go into your bathroom and do it where one you have to hear it..

  • SmrterthanU | April 30, 2014 1:52 PMReply

    Seriously --- SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO sick of people complaining about what they see. If you don't like it, don't watch it! Use your 'power' as a viewer to stop watching and show how you feel through ratings.

    I wish more people posted complaints on blogs..... said NO ONE EVER!

  • Emily | April 30, 2014 1:00 PMReply

    Per Craster's Keep and the "titillating" rape scene:

    Titillating means: arousing mild sexual excitement or interest; salacious.
    Woman crawling and scratching at the floor, trying to get away, crying, screaming, or just collapsed in a used up, broken pile of wasted humanity--not titillating. Woman up on all fours, gratuitous breasts swinging, ridiculously buff six pack man heaving away in the background--that sounds a little different doesn't it? At best, this was a scene executed by individuals with a very poor ability to portray a realistic scenario. At worst? You all know what the worst is, and I'm pretty sure it's the unfortunate truth. This was appalling. Defending it is appalling. For God's sake, there is a commenter in this thread that didn't even realize it was rape! I'm not offended, I'm not a prude, I'm not a shrew or any other classic misogynist insult you would like to throw at me for being horrified at the implications of this awful scene. I love the book, and I was enjoying the show. A little soft core porn never hurt anyone, but this was something else entirely. I hope to God no one found it arousing and I'm not accusing anyone of that, but it certainly wasn't done in a fashion keeping with the stark, harsh but realistic manner uniquely appealing to this series. HBO and GOT deserve to be called out on that.

  • Sam | April 29, 2014 7:04 PMReply

    The portrayal of rape is Craster's Keep was offensive to me. I believe the producers are being more provocative and graphic for shock value, but they do not realize that this repeat exposure to graphic rape can de-sensitize viewers to the face that rape is a HORRIFIC CRIME and not something that "just happens". I the attempt to meet their "boob quota" the producers have glamorized such an unforgivable act.

  • Marie | May 1, 2014 3:14 AM

    Touché Monty you got me on that one. Typically I don't spend days defending this show or others, but I keep coming back out of morbid curiosity which will end once the nest episode starts and I won't put myself through this again. I wouldn't say other reviewers are ignoring these issues, I would say they are more balanced and not harpy on the negative.

    I'm looking for entertainment. I ask myself am I entertained? If so I continue. It's entertainment. I have much more important issues in my life between work and my children if I have the need to stress and worry. Am I a simpleton because I don't play the elitist snobby route when it comes to critical thinking over a freaking tv show? Maybe but I'll take it. I'll bow out now because neither of us are getting anywhere and neither of our minds will be changed. And thankfully for me, I will go on enjoying what I like and not forcing myself to watch what I don't. :)

  • Monty | May 1, 2014 2:53 AM

    Also@Marie your anti-intellectual accusation of 'over-thinking'. Your arguments all amount to: "If you don't like it, don't watch", "obviously you are not mature enough to handle HBO" (LOLOL) "you must be a wide-eyed, naive, childish or grandmother" (my Dana DeArmond and Asian Horror collections suggest otherwise) or "why waste your time", "make your own show" (classic derailing/shutdown maneuvers) etc. Why do you have a problem with critical analysis?

  • Monty | May 1, 2014 2:20 AM

    @Marie. Why do you spend days defending a TV show? Plus I refuse to respond to the mindless derailing argument: "if you don't like it, don't watch." Game of Thrones is easily the best show on TV. I have been watching it from day one and I criticize because I do like it and I do watch it and will continue to. Your argument sounds like my conservative uncle, "well if you don't like it, stop complaining about America, move to France then." Really, this particular conversation is not on every site, most reviews and conversations ignored the whole thing. Why do you feel the desire to shut down any criticism? For example by labelling me as "distressed" i.e. emotional, irrational, overreacting etc as a way to minimize the legitimacy of my perspective, then saying "make your own show"...Here is what the stakes are for me - I like the show 99 percent of the time and 2)The culture that is produced and the society that demands it are symbiotic and reifying. To criticize culture is to criticize society, especially if the piece of culture is widely accepted and loved. This is my "skin in the game" what's yours?

  • Marie | May 1, 2014 12:53 AM

    Monty, it's not that I don't get what you're saying, it's that I don't agree. If you are this distressed over this program or any other, why continue to watch it? Spending days trying to get people to see where the show has gone wrong… Is this how you want to spend life over a a tv show that you can choose not to watch? Seriously who is holding a guy to your head to watch it? Surely these won't be the only scenes that bother you there will be more. I personally love the show and have minor grievances here and there but not enough to bother me as much as these issues do so many here. If so, I would move on! So many quality programs out there and really, so little time on earth to waste your time watching a tv show you're disappointed in. This reminds me of a discussion I ran into over Breaking Bad where people were whining about what they called the glamorization of cooking meth. WTF? lol Some people over think things too much and always always always look for the bad - while giving the excuse that they want to make the show they love better. Then produce your own damn show and do it better.

  • Monty | April 30, 2014 9:01 PM

    @Marie you just don't get it--it should not be ambiguous or debatable whether or not it turns you on. It should absolutely not turn anyone on. The similarity to a sex scene is not ethical filmmaking. Cersei's scene last week or any other character rape scene so far was shot very differently than this scene, and allowed the viewer to step into the shoes of the victim, not only the perpetrators. They were just on display in this scene. It is naive to suggest this is a normal rape scene. Even John Carpenter or Dario Argento shoot rape scenes with more sensitivity and intelligence than this. C'mon now...

  • Marie | April 30, 2014 8:10 PM

    Lori - lol After reading your post lower down the page, I would think twice before you are including yourself in with any "sophisticated" viewers (not saying I am either, but by hell you certainly are not). You sound like a mix between a naive little 10 year old wide eyed girl and my 86 year old grandmother. Neither of whom should be watching GoT.

  • Lori | April 30, 2014 9:54 AM

    It's true Marie, you don't understand. You've had it explained to you many times, you've voiced your opinion many times, let it go, you're right, you don't get it. But don't for a minute think we're not sophisticated viewers.

  • Marie | April 30, 2014 1:25 AM

    I don't understand this mentality that these rapes were a "titillating" or glamourous scene. I think some posters who can't see dangling boobs or sex going on in any capacity without being turned on are not meant to be watching this show or anything on HBO. I'm not trying to be snarky but if you can't understand when and where this is supposed to be taking place and that life was a lot different in their world than it is for us in our 21 century comfort zone, then this program really is not for you.

  • j | April 29, 2014 6:57 PMReply

    It was shocking to see the rape scene at craster's keep. It's like there's two casts: real actors and porn actors. When you read the books, you're never convinced that the bad guys have good motives (I.e. Jamie). The nice thing about the tv show is that things are moving along, some big mysteries are being answered, and the crossing of paths that you hope for but don't see might actually happen!

  • Jared | April 30, 2014 5:17 PM

    "When you read the books, you're never convinced that the bad guys have good motives (I.e. Jamie)." This is simply false. I wont go into it because I'm not going to be a dick to those who haven't read the books, but it's in your face obvious in the book that Jamie sends Brianne after Sansa Stark out of pure guilt and a changing viewpoint. Maybe your lack of ability to perceive the obvious is the problem. The rape scene at Craster's keep was in NO way an act of throwing nudity and sex into the episode to serve men's sexual appetite. It was a rape, it happens in real life all the time. So does murder. I've never once felt murder became less wrong or, more acceptable because I'd seen it a thousand times on TV or in Film. To not show rape in all its disgusting immorality protects those who would minimize it far more than showing it. Give me a damn break.

  • D G | April 29, 2014 6:08 PMReply

    Meh article. It starts out with you griping endlessly about things that have been going on in the show for some time now. Then you end up mentioning your "book buddies", that's where I stopped reading. Comparison or not, I don't want anything even hinting to spoiler material.

    I'll look elsewhere for a proper recap article.

  • Lori | April 29, 2014 5:45 PMReply

    Thank you so much Katie! It's hard to call GoT out for rape because so many defend it so your voice is appreciated and necessary. I agree Jaime's story-arc is messy because of the rape scene. I might as well ignore it as the show seems to have done. Good job GoT tossing rape in for the hell of it. Because of Slothful writing and direction the Crastor's scene was god awful porny. In general the show treats female nudity in a cheap and often humiliating way.

    There is a lot I like about the show but it is so often hateful toward women and male gaze-y that it is hard to watch. Almost Embarrassing to watch, and I wouldn't except some chars and storylines are done so very well and I don't want to miss those aspects so I put up with the garbage to get the gold.

  • Monty | May 1, 2014 1:23 PM

    @Arya and everyone else with the canned, one liner, non-responses...

    reading list:

    laura mulvey "visual pleasure and narrative cinema"
    sharon marcus "fighting bodies, fighting words"
    "Cine-Ethics: Ethical Dimensions of Film Theory, Practice, and Spectatorship"
    Fredric Jameson "Reification and Utopia in Mass Culture"
    "The Cinematic Apparatus"

    Peace,
    Monty

  • ARYA ROCKS | May 1, 2014 12:20 PM

    @Monty, are you for real? Droning on and on and on, repeating yourself in every one of your many posts, getting all puffed up and proud of yourself thinking you own the room while taking on the big responsibility of setting everybody straight.

  • Monty | May 1, 2014 3:00 AM

    the last comment was also @"Accept Reality"

  • Monty | May 1, 2014 12:25 AM

    @Jared. Once again someone responding cluelessly to the criticism of the show. People on here making criticisms are not saying there should not ever be rape scenes, nor that there should not be graphic sex or graphic violence. The criticism is in that the Craster's scene portrayed a rape scene as if it were a sex scene. Sexually violent scenes which have had the cast actors- Cersei, Danerys, Theon, etc have portrayed it with attention to their subjectivity and not a lot of thrusting, grunting, jiggling body parts, etc. Like I said elsewhere, even John Carpenter or Dario Argento shoot rape scenes with more sensitivity than this, and those are horror directors. Also, you ask if anyone would be complaining if it were men being raped instead? I don't know because I have never seen a male rape scene shot in such a sexually objectifying manner outside of gay porn- not even the movie 29palms has a male rape scene as dehumanizing as this. Can you even name one film with a male rape scene shot in this manner? Really could you imagine HBO shooting the same exact scene only replacing them with male porn stars instead? They would never do that. If it was men being abused sexually the focus of the scene would be on their experience, like with Theon, not their asses their torsos, their jiggly bits as they're getting jackhammered by sweaty half naked guys. Women are being filmed with less respect and this is why I am saying it isn't ethical filmmaking. And when Lori mentioned male gaze she was not talking about whether there are cool women in the show. The show has the best female characters on TV. "Male gaze" is a fraught term but the theory behind it is sound. In the context of film theory, male gaze means an assumption that the viewer is male and will relate to a male perspective. Imagine, for example, the same exact scene filmed from a POV angle of one of the people being raped. Something like this was done in that recent remake of "the last house on the left" for example and it was interesting. Like I said the other rape scenes on GOT up till now have been handled better too. Also there is a thing where they are casting either regular actors or porn actors. Casting porn actors means the scene will be more about being naked and simulating sex than portraying deep or complex emotional states. Makes sense for brothel scenes, but for a rape scene? There are a lot of ways to shoot a scene...

  • ACCEPT REALITY | April 30, 2014 6:10 PM

    Lori,

    While I fully understand that the act of rape in whatever circumstances is a vile and wicked thing, I, after having read this discussion, cannot help but conclude that your argument is quite naive, and your fury quite selective.

    You seem to make a major point out of the Crasters Keep scene, with the abuse and all. The woman are raped, beaten and abused and yes, it was hard to watch. At the same time, on no occasion can I see you saying the same thing about the Mereen crucifixion scene, the baby being left scene, or denouncing any other acts of savagery in the series, with the sole target of your scorn being the rape thing.

    If you think that in medieval times, rape was not commited, think again. It was commited just as much as the murders, the torturing and what not. You apply 21st century, politically correct ethics to judge rape in a chaotic, medieval, savage and cold fantasy world, while at the same time boasting no critisisms about men being nailed to a pole alive and babies left in the cold woods. Conciously limiting your scope of critisism to the savagery of rape in aforementioned world strikes me as hypocritical, naive, and having no clue about what this story is about, as well as having a handicap on accepting the truth of hard reality with a lack of capability to emerce oneself in another world and time.

    While I applaude moderate Feminism (As I applaude all moderation in all forms of -ism), I am quite sure you wouldnt have been this upset if it were men being taken up the *** at Crasters´.

  • Jared | April 30, 2014 5:21 PM

    "There is a lot I like about the show but it is so often hateful toward women and male gaze-y that it is hard to watch. "

    Really?

    Most hated character on GoT: Geoffrey.

    Most loved character on GoT: Daenyres or Aria Stark.

    The biggest badass in the entire show is a female. Aria might be the second biggest badass. This quote from your post, literally could not be more untrue.

  • Tula | April 29, 2014 3:55 PMReply

    I didn't like the fourth episode either, but I do like the Jaime –rape scene apart– he went through a lot and grew to be a man deciding by his own ethics for the first time in his life –'Kingslayer' is way too badass for a man who couldn't disobey his daddy.
    I was confused with Locke's appearance in Castle Black because the actor was indeed who cut Jaime's hand but I recall that character as 'Vargo Hoat' (from Storm of Swords). Also hated the Craster's scene because is nonsense gore: I knew that those poor girls where raped on a daily basis by Craster and now by the Mutinees, but everyday life is so full of genre violence that I don't need that on my face in my Sundaynight TV show.
    I think that part was a detour to present a character because in A Dance with Dragons, we know of what comes to the Mutinees after that character informs Bran on the matter.
    Ser Barristan Selmy once said that greatness and madness are two sides of the same coin and whenever a Targaryen was born, the Gods flip the coin and wait for it to see which side It landed. That's the Daenerys' storyline: she is fighting against slavers in order to make herself grow while we all wait for her dragons to grow enough to be useful in a battle.
    People of Meereen speak Ghiscari, they use High Valyrian as a 'lingua franca'. It was a literary faux pas to write the graffiti in The Common Tongue of Westeros (English), but not even the most hard core book's fan would have been able to read it... But let's imagine that the message was encrypted so the Masters might feel threatened but remain clueless.

  • Chris | April 29, 2014 2:41 PMReply

    The whole of Episode 4 was about 70% different from the book and I don't like the way that's heading. The Crasters Keep scenes and Bran's capture were entirely fictitious wrt the book and with Jon riding out to Crasters (again, not in Storm of Swords) there is a potential for a massive deviation. The rapey bits were just showing the breakdown of the boys from the stoic Night's Watchmen to unlawful animals with free flesh on tap - nothing out of the ordinary or shocking IMO.
    I'm more concerned with the story.
    I wondered about the KILL THE MASTERS bit but then thought that might have been Greyworm showing off with his new found tongue.

  • Begoneh | April 29, 2014 1:06 PMReply

    Hi, Begoneh, writing in from the US... I'm sorry but I'm baffled by your PC, almost school marmish, disapproval of the sexual violence on GOT. It's a bloody, violent world and the writers managed to convey that in Craster's house by depicting the casual, offhanded way the rapes were occurring in the background. 21st Century political correctness just doesn't apply.

    On the "Kill the Masters" graffiti -- I couldn't agree with you more. It was ridiculous and jarring. For the life of me I can't figure out why they didn't write it in Valyrian and then subtitle it like they do the dialog.

  • Monty | May 1, 2014 1:57 AM

    While it occurred to me that they were trying to show the casual brutality of it, there is was a commenter on here that didn't even see it as rape but as sex and I have seen comments elsewhere like "damn, loved those tits swingin". It went too far into salaciousness and was too casual to be ethically sound filmmaking. Could have been done with less eye candy. Part of the disgustingness of rape is the idea that the rapist takes pleasure while dehumanizing the victim. Why should the scene allow viewers to enjoy it sexually by shooting it in such a sexualized style? It looks almost like a softcore version of a John Leslie group scene, only it's rape instead of intense consensual sex. There are other ways to shoot a rape scene, and to suggest the cavalier attitude of these mutineers.

    It's not about "21st century political correctness". It is about ethical filmmaking. There is an interplay between culture and society, a constant feedback loop between the two and our relationship to media affects our place in the world and our relationships with each other and vice versa. Besides, it is a 21st century story - it was written recently and filmed recently. If it weren't appealing to modern tastes, it would not be the most popular show on TV. This isn't Tristan & Isolde or the Iliad we are discussing here.

  • Double Standards | April 29, 2014 12:30 PMReply

    So what, rape is bad but crucifixion is alright? I guess it's because they weren't women right?

  • Concerned Citizen's Arrest | April 29, 2014 10:16 AMReply

    "Hello 911? I'd like to report a deviation from the Game Of Thrones books."

  • SweetBrown | April 29, 2014 8:05 AMReply

    It's Jacob Anderson who potrays Grey Worm, not Jacob Alexander.

  • Chad Brick | April 29, 2014 7:47 AMReply

    "I don’t know what it is in the book, but this ain’t it."

    Mostly spoiler free....First, remember that time in GoT has no meaning, both in the books and on TV. Some plot lines seem to be working on the scale of weeks, and others years. Due to differences on TV and on paper, the Bran and Arya plots are too far along and hitting some filler. Jon will get a couple episode's worth in order to deal with the Bran / Craster's keep issue and get his timing in alignment for the season finale. Dany's plot-line is also far too far along and is going to have to stall for a while. She's already in book five. The Lannister plot-lines are the laggards, and Episode 10 will end as book three ended for them. Ditto Stannis.

  • MARK | April 29, 2014 12:00 PM

    And eventually the TV series will have to start making things up when the reach the "Wall" known as "Martin hasn't finished the last two books yet and it took him six years to write the most recent release"

  • Blizzard : I troll! | April 29, 2014 6:33 AMReply

    You watch game of thrones which is porn for your mind, then you should be prepared. The world can't suit to your tastes... you should to its. Just because you want vanila sex, doesn't mean they should produce it (if you had insisted that as consumers and had been in large numbers, that would have happened. Them, we call prudes; they don't watch GoT). Now, your friends who cheered for softporn, cheer for rape, for orgies and anything more. You see, this is how it works... the more gruesome, the more chilling action under capitalistic mindset. Finding yourself on the other side of the discussion, eh?
    GoT and series like that rely on a dose of shock (that's smut for you). You are supposed to find it repulsive, then get addicted to it! And we shouldn't berate them; if not them, others would have done it. Now, that we know that God did 't create this world, we definitely are shaping it. [Before someone starts barking, I am not talking of God in this post... I am talking of culture and the choices we make as a society]. Don't you tell me that you have been seeing this to understand life in the medieval times.

  • Bosco P Kitty | April 29, 2014 5:43 AMReply

    Hey girls, might I suggest not watching the show if you hate it so much? Weird concept, I know, as it will leave you nothing to complain about. Just a thought.

  • Michael | April 29, 2014 5:30 AMReply

    Ms. Walsh,
    Due respect, but I think you're misreading (or possibly misrepresenting, but I'd prefer to believe the former) an aspect of the Cersei/Jaime interaction and, by extension, the later interaction between Jaime and Brienne. Cersei does not "command" Jaime to "find" Sansa Stark. Rather, she asks him a hypothetical, the paraphrased essence of which is this: "If I asked you to hunt down Sansa and KILL her, would you do it?"

    Knowing his sister has already offered a knighthood to anyone who does kill Sansa, and mindful of his oath to Catelyn Stark, Jaime tasks Brienne with finding the girl and PROTECTING her. He isn't telling Brienne to carrying out his sister's orders; he's trying to prevent them from being carried out. Brienne recognizes this, and respects it.

    While some might say this is still Jaime passing the buck to some extent, I'd find it a weak argument. For one thing, riding forth in person to find Sansa, even for the purpose of protecting her, would be breaking his oath as a member of the Kingsguard-- a minor point to us, maybe, but worth mentioning because it's an important point to Jaime. Moreover, if he did find Sansa, his presence would only serve to draw attention to her, putting her in more peril. Beyond that, Brienne is far better-suited to protect Sansa right now than he is. Jaime is taking Tyrion's advice from a few episodes ago: if you are less capable of doing the job yourself, delegate.

  • jawsnnn | April 29, 2014 12:13 AMReply

    I felt as if i was reading a review for How I Met Your Mother. Totally juvenile, and missed it by a mile. Let's find these guys a dictionary and educate them on the meaning of the word gratuitous first.

  • jawsnnn | May 2, 2014 5:51 PM

    And why would I waste my time on you? Go find another bridge to piss under, troll.

  • Monty | April 29, 2014 1:00 AM

    Gratuitous...unnecessary, excessive, inappropriate, etc. As in the nudity and thrusting and jiggly boobs during the rape scene were: unnecessary, excessive, inappropriate...etc...

    Insisting on a literal dictionary definition of whatever word when we are all using it colloquially is classic derailing, along with the accusation earlier you made suggesting that whoever says a rape scene is titillating is sick, but I am saying nudity, thrusting and jiggly boobs are titillating and that is part of the reason the scene was more sexualized than it needed to be. There are a million ways to shoot a scene, a million choices to make in exactly how to portray it.

    But yeah keep just saying people are sick or juvenile who disagree with you...don't actually engage the core of any of the arguments or anything..
    .

  • Daryl Hannah | April 28, 2014 11:56 PMReply

    Fredric Jameson has been invoked in a Game of Thrones talkback. http://goo.gl/QepRlz

    But seriously, the complete misinterpretation of Jaime/Brienne's farewell - one of the more touching scenes in the show's history - as a dig?

  • Monty | April 29, 2014 12:22 AM

    I'm with you on the Brienne/Jamie thing though. It's overly jaded of her to say its a dig.

  • Monty | April 29, 2014 12:13 AM

    Jameson is relevant to just about any TV or film. Yes, seriously.

  • Tekoflaps | April 28, 2014 11:42 PMReply

    I saw people having sex at Crasters but never saw Rape-I think your mind is a bit sick.
    Worst "jokey" review I've ever read. Go back to church.

  • Sticklander | April 29, 2014 2:19 PM

    You didn't see rape? Are you blind and deaf?

  • Marie | April 29, 2014 12:26 AM

    No, you saw rape. Beaten down women accustomed to being raped and mistreated their entire lives. They knew there was no chance in hell to fight back and get out of the situation in that place full of animals so they had no choice but to take it. You were not watching consensual sex no matter what you may have thought it looked like.

  • Emma | April 28, 2014 11:41 PMReply

    Yeah because age ratings and the warning screen (this show has violence, nudity etc) before shows isn't enough of a trigger warning..
    Also it's not like in the show rape is being depicted as a GOOD THING! It's bad, awful, and terrifying and it's set in a medieval era where this stuff is common, no one is watching this show thinking 'wow okay there was rape in g of t rape is okay now'
    It's television and will not always be politically correct-especially considered they aren't living in the 21st century....

  • kobomac | April 28, 2014 11:03 PMReply

    I can't believe people are still beating on that dead horse.

    1) It is not possible for non-consensual sex to change into consensual? In what universe do you live in? That does not excuse the non-consensual part, because how does the person know how it was going to develop. If I rob you, and you decide half-way you want to give me money, it does not make the robbery right.

    2) How does anyone know how Jaime and Cersei like to have their sex regularly? May be often they like it rough? May be they have a secret code of when they want it to stop, and Cersei did not use it during that scene?

    3) Why would you want to watch a fantasy based in some mythical medieval times when you insist of using 21st century USA attitudes to judge it. Jaime and Cersei are spouses in all practical sense of the word. Prior to the 20th century, do you think the concept of spousal rape even existed? That does not make it right. A lot of things were wrong in the past, but to insist on historical/mythical characters to behave like they should today is just stupid.

  • Freddie | April 28, 2014 9:03 PMReply

    I would suggest that the depiction of rape is totally in keeping with what we have learned from this show. Rape in our society is an abominable thing (and rightly so), however in the world of Game of Thrones it happens all too regularly. Therefore by showing rape in this fashion (albeit such an unpleasant one) it is the best way to get across the realm in which some of these detestable characters inhabit. It's makes it difficult for me to comprehend why so many people are complaining about the show to such an extent (at least in this scene in this episode). There have been more graphic and gratuitous scenes throughout and I see no point in shying away from the darkest corners of this world, otherwise this show would not be as good as it is. Furthermore, if the director labels the infamous scene from the last episode as 'consensual by the end' we sadly have to accept that fact. As far as the storyline of the show goes that is how the characters view the scene (although the director monumentally screwed it up by not understanding the difference between the two, thus leading to it being depicted has rape). Also, one could argue that the number of children that have been killed on this show right in front of our eyes have been as offensive as this scene.

  • Freddie | April 28, 2014 9:03 PMReply

    I would suggest that the depiction of rape is totally in keeping with what we have learned from this show. Rape in our society is an abominable thing (and rightly so), however in the world of Game of Thrones it happens all too regularly. Therefore by showing rape in this fashion (albeit such an unpleasant one) it is the best way to get across the realm in which some of these detestable characters inhabit. It's makes it difficult for me to comprehend why so many people are complaining about the show to such an extent (at least in this scene in this episode). There have been more graphic and gratuitous scenes throughout and I see no point in shying away from the darkest corners of this world, otherwise this show would not be as good as it is. Furthermore, if the director labels the infamous scene from the last episode as 'consensual by the end' we sadly have to accept that fact. As far as the storyline of the show goes that is how the characters view the scene (although the director monumentally screwed it up by not understanding the difference between the two, thus leading to it being depicted has rape). Also, one could argue that the number of children that have been killed on this show right in front of our eyes have been as offensive as this scene.

  • Monty | April 28, 2014 8:55 PMReply

    defense of the scene boils down to 2 arguments:
    1-rape of women was common in the "middle ages", it's realistic
    2-it's a fictional work, don't take it so seriously

    can't have it both ways, can you?

    Also it's a strawman argument, most of the commenters who object are responding to how it is depicted not the fact that it is depicted, although some are arguing the scene is not even necessary. None actually said there should be no rape in the storyline, only that it shouldn't be shown in a titillating way, to get everyone's rocks off.

  • Monty | April 29, 2014 12:06 AM

    @Marie
    Fair enough, I did enjoy the rest of the ep and yeah I love GOT overall, I just find fault with this particular scene. It's annoying as hell for me to hear people defending a show as being from either some fiction genius's unique mind or from actual history/ reality when it is really an echo chamber for our present society, where there is a feedback loop going on between the culture produced and society that demands it. It comes from us because grrm and the creators are members of society too. I guess I just prefer a scene of such incendiary nature to be more complex since GOT is often making people question other sorts of power relations and upsetting people's expectations when it is at its best.

  • Marie | April 28, 2014 11:49 PM

    Sure I get the feeling I'm being manipulated at times with many of my favorite tv shows and movies. If it's bad enough it ruins the movie/tv show for me and I stop watching. Otherwise I don't nitpick and search as hard as I can to be offended. I enjoy what I enjoy and I enjoy not being overly PC to the point that I'm sure to find something to be upset about. I can't imagine whining through my entire review/recap, misunderstanding much of what I watched (really, the Brienne/Jaime interactions flew right over the reviewers head she was so intent on being negative and finding fault). Just enjoy or move on to a show more suited to your tastes.

    I'm not saying we have to love it all and can't find things that annoy us, but read the review again and see what you can find that's positive? I'd prefer to read reviews from someone who actually likes and appreciates what the show has to offer overall. Not someone who obviously isn't a fan of the show and is trying to like it? Really…

    Analyzing the story is one thing, tearing it apart and searching for fault is another.

  • Monty | April 28, 2014 11:35 PM

    Also Fredric Jameson's work is pertinent here. What I am asking in general is why does it have to be so obvious all the time? To give us what we expect, then follow through with what we desire ( who isn't looking forward to the slaughter of the mutineers? Who here didn't enjoy Joffrey's death, delivered after how many minutes of his verbal douchebagerry in that overlong wedding scene)? We also desire what we expect, so playing to easy tropes satisfies viewers. Don't you ever get the feeling that you are being manipulated, and that it ought to be harder to manipulate you, seeing as we have all seen this kind of material 1000 times before? Like I said, the Cersei scene was more nuanced. The scene with the baby and the we was also interesting. Crasters keep scene was a cartoonish caricature playing to the lowest common denominator.

  • Monty | April 28, 2014 11:16 PM

    @Daryl
    Yes exactly. The gender of the director or writers has nothing to do with it. It is so ubiquitous that it is default, and is what seems natural to everyone...The term "male gaze" is fraught. I am saying it is too damn easy and takes the exploitive, most salacious route with no critical examination or reflection. People love to cry realism and also fiction to defend this scene but I feel cheated as it felt too stereotypical, too lazy, a comfortable and unquestioned shared fantasy of how things must be. However to preserve this idea a lot of other information must be omitted such as the perspective and viewpoint of the women in the scene and also the (if realism is the aim) frequent vulnerability of men as objects or targets of rape as well. Also the uneven use of male vs female nudity on the show has already been pointed out by many people for years...and so on. And it is also falling into the old "rape-revenge" trope which is old hat. Too obvious a plot device for me to suspend reality and not think of the ep as a constructed thing.

  • Daryl Hannah | April 28, 2014 10:42 PM

    The male gaze executed in bad faith, as directed by Michelle MacLaren, a woman?

  • Monty | April 28, 2014 10:29 PM

    @Marie @Daryl.
    Ever read any Mulvey? Or how about any book on film theory, cinematography or screenwriting. I am saying it's intentional and done in bad faith.

  • Marie | April 28, 2014 9:18 PM

    Good grief, so it's coming down to your discomfort that you were turned on by the rape scenes and rather question yourself, you blame the show. I'd say that's your (and "everyone" else who's rocks were got off), problem, not the way the scenes were shot or that they were included at all. Nothing about those scenes looked to me to be anything hot.

  • Daryl Hannah | April 28, 2014 9:14 PM

    I disagree that the scene was filmed in a "titillating" way. Nudity doesn't automatically make something sexy. No rocks off here.

  • DF | April 28, 2014 8:28 PMReply

    Rape of Women during the Middle and early Ages was common get use to seeing it you Policitally correct lot.

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