Something happened on last night's Game of Thrones that was not in the books. And now, the show's got some 'splaining to do.
So...alright. Let's not be coy. There is a scene wherein Jaime comes to see Cersei in the sept where she is grieving over Joffrey's dead body. He kisses her, she starts to resist and then, out of practically nowhere, he rapes her.
And whether or not you read up in advance, this would have come as quite a shock to you, because that did not happen in the original text. Here's what did (Warning: Some adult-ish content follows. Hide the kids):
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.
Now, alright, that's an uncomfortable scene -- but it's a description of consensual sex. So, many fans were confounded that the TV adaptation was changed to unquestionable rape. A lot of women are fans of this show, and, judging by the color commentary from the Internet, most of them have had enough of rape turning up in a narrative for no discernable purpose other than to shock. There can be no question -- fans are mad.
So, the director for the episode, Alex Graves, was asked, essentially, "What gives, dude?" And this was his response:
I’m never that excited about going to film forced sex. But the whole thing for me was about dead Joffrey lying there, watching the whole thing. (Showrunners) David (Benioff) and Dan (Weiss) loved that, and I was like, I wanted to make sure I had Jack in there as much as I could. Of course Lena and Nickola laughed every time I would say, “You grab her by the hair, and Jack is right there,” or “You come around this way and Jack is right there.”
He is their first born. He is their sin. He is their lust, and their love — their everything. If he’s gone, what’s going to happen?
Well, apparently, what's going to happen is...rape? I dunno. I am oft a defender of adaptation. The written word and visual mediums like film and television are very different, and sometimes a book is adapted decades after it was originally released and needs some tweaking to best serve a modern audience. There are many perfectly acceptable times when you can, and even should, divert from the original text. But, social issues aside, I'm just not sure how this helped the story along.
But what do you think?