Game of Thrones Rape

About that Sunday night Sansa Stark wedding rape scene:

My first question to Cogman was what would he say to fans who ask: “How could you do this to Sansa?”

Cogman seemed to take this question very seriously and took a moment to consider his response.

“This is Game of Thrones,” he said soberly. “This isn’t a timid little girl walking into a wedding night with Joffrey. This is a hardened woman making a choice, and she sees this as the way to get back her homeland. Sansa has a wedding night in the sense she never thought she would with one of the monsters of the show. It’s pretty intense and awful and the character will have to deal with it.”

Then Sansa (Sophie Turner) had her say:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was your reaction when you got the scripts and realized what was going to happen this season?

SOPHIE TURNER: Last season [Thrones director] Alex Graves decided to give me hints. He was saying, “You get a love interest next season.” And I was all, “I actually get a love interest!” So I get the scripts and I was so excited and I was flicking through and then I was like, “Aw, are you kidding me!?” I thought the love interest was going to be like Jaime Lannister or somebody who would take care of me. But then I found out it was Ramsay and I’m back at Winterfell. I love the fact she’s back home reclaiming what’s hers. But at the same time she’s being held prisoner in her own home. When I got the scripts, it was bit like, dude, I felt so bad for her. But I also felt excited because it was so sick, and being reunited with Theon too, and seeing how their relationship plays out. Theon’s a member of the Stark clan but she thinks he totally betrayed and killed her brothers. It’s a messed-up relationship between them.

EW: And then there is the scene described in the production breakdown as “romance dies.” Sansa’s wedding night in episode 6.

Turner: When I read that scene, I kinda loved it. I love the way Ramsay had Theon watching. It was all so messed up. It’s also so daunting for me to do it. I’ve been making [producer Bryan Cogman] feel so bad for writing that scene: “I can’t believe you’re doing this to me!” But I secretly loved it. 1

Which really should have been the end of it. Instead the innernetz went crazy, the NYT and others weighed in, you smelly uncle Bob probably had an opinion. 2

For ourselves…a couple of things.

First, thankfully, Sansa’s trial was nowhere near as graphic as the brother-sister imbroglio a couple of seasons back. [3 And even that one was ginned up a bit – it was a consensual tryst in the novel.]

Second, really? WTF? Rape has been existent in the written narrative as long as there has been written narrative. The crux of the action concerns motive and aftermath; here motive was manifestly present. As for the aftermath? Well, we’ll see soon enough, but one suspects Ramsay’s indulgence will be the turning point in Sansa’s life. She well be Caenis writ small, in the future invulnerable to all attacks.

For those of you who found the scene licentious, shame on you for enjoying Theon’s discomfort.

oh, and go back to The View – that’s just about your speed.

Game of Thrones Rape

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Turner is just 19, so she’s probably not as heavily invested in this whole ‘rape’ question as a more mature actress…
  2. Not that you wanted to hear it.

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