George RR Martin weighs in on that controversial Game of Thrones scene

19 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Everything you need to know about Sansa Stark.

The sixth episode of the fifth season, “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken,” concluded with one of the darkest moments in the show’s history: Young Sansa Stark being brutalized on her wedding night by the sadistic Ramsay Bolton. This week’s episode of Game of Thrones, “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken,” made a major change from the books involving a central character — and has caused quite the controversy among fans of the series.

Just after Sansa Stark marries the show’s current reining sadist, Ramsay Bolton, he takes her into his bed chamber and rapes her while Reek, formerly Theon Greyjoy, is ordered to watch. Martin took to his blog late last night to address the “flood of emails and off-topic comments” he received following last night’s shocking “Game of Thrones” episode.

But this time, the wedding night took a stomach-turningly grim turn as Sansa was raped by her new husband, Ramsay, while the brainwashed Theon was forced to watch, unable to intervene. Thrones producers shifted this minor character’s ordeal to Sansa to get the Stark heroine back to her home of Winterfell and to give actress Sophie Turner a challenging and compelling storyline this season. “Let me reiterate what I have said before,” Martin told his readers. “How many children did Scarlett O’Hara have?

While there have always been deviations between HBO’s television adaptation of Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire,” season 5 has so far showcased significant differences, including the death of Barristan Selmy and Sansa Stark’s marriage to Ramsay Bolton. The show is the show, the books are the books; two different tellings of the same story … There have been differences between the novels and the television show since the first episode of season one. HBO is more than forty hours into the impossible and demanding task of adapting my lengthy (extremely) and complex (exceedingly) novels, with their layers of plots and subplots, their twists and contradictions and unreliable narrators, viewpoint shifts and ambiguities, and a cast of characters in the hundreds.

And so, those desperate fans did the only thing they could think to do: Flood Martin’s blog (which is, in fact, called “Not a Blog”) and demand some answers. The fantasy writer went on to highlight other TV show adaptations that also deviate from the source material, including “True Blood” and “The Walking Dead.” And yes, more and more, they differ.

He responded (after closing comments on his latest post) with a missive titled, “The Show, The Books.” Without once mentioning the scene that troubled viewers the most, he voiced his support for the creative license that HBO and showrunners D.B. Not counting the dozens (and dozens) of characters sent to an early grave, she has been uniquely brutalized – and that was long before clapping eyes on Ramsay. Sansa witnessed the sadistic execution of her father on the orders of cackling fiancé Joffrey, then had to live among her enemies, concealing her hatred behind a smile that seemed to turn sharper at the edges with each fresh humiliation. David and Dan and Bryan and HBO are trying to make the best television series that they can … but all of us are still intending that at the end we will arrive at the same place.” GRRM’s full post can be read here.

And now we have reached the point where the beat of butterfly wings is stirring up storms, like the one presently engulfing my email.” Martin doesn’t seem too keen on talking about the show, especially not on his blog. ” I have been saying since season one that this is not the place to debate or discuss the TV series. Erstwhile protector Littlefinger has planted more than one predatory smacker on her lips and – did he forget to mention? – arranged for her to walk down the aisle with Ser Ramsay Nutjob.

Through torture and scheming, Cersei “persuades” several men to swear they had been Margaery’s lovers, accusations that seem to be completely dubious (especially because the Margaery of the books is younger and more innocent). So the Sparrows detain Margaery, not Loras, whom Cersei has tricked into leaving the city. (As I mentioned two weeks ago, Loras’s sexuality never becomes a matter of major controversy in the books.) Also, Margaery’s grandmother, Lady Olenna, returns this episode.

The character hasn’t been seen on the page since her initial departure from King’s Landing, but the show understandably couldn’t wait to showcase Diana Rigg again. The Dorne plotline is perhaps the most divergent this year; though its roots are in the books, the characters featured are almost completely different. The core similarities are that certain characters want to take Cersei’s daughter Myrcella away from Prince Doran, but their plot is foiled by Doran’s captain of guards, Areo Hotah, and the plotters are imprisoned by the prince. Jaime Lannister and Bronn come to try to take her back to King’s Landing at Cersei’s request, while the Sand Snakes and the late Oberyn Martell’s paramour Ellaria plot to harm her. In A Dance With Dragons, Tyrion Lannister and Jorah Mormont are captured by slavers during their journey to Meereen, just as they were in this episode.

But probably the biggest change is the show’s omission of a character named Penny, a female dwarf Tyrion encounters during his visit to Volantis midway through the book. She received a valuable lesson in the random cruelty of life when Queen Cersei insisted Sansa’s direwolf Lady be slaughtered as punishment for Joffrey’s injuries, in place of Arya’s missing pet Nymeria. After initially being furious at Tyrion, she joins up with him and Jorah because she has nowhere else to go, and the two dwarves start to become close. However, this demonstration of Joffrey’s wickedness, did little to cool Sansa’s ardour for marriage and the escape it promised from provincial drudgery. At King’s Landing, her head was turned by the glamour – as underlined by her cruel put-down of Septa Mordane, who had looked after her since she was a baby.

Still infatuated with Joffrey, she inadvertently helped her father unmask the princeling’s true identity as incestuous son of Jaime and Cersei when she declared he would make for a great king and ‘Golden Lion’. Sansa feared the worst as Tyrion drank himself into a stupor at their wedding and Joffrey, crueller than ever, hinted at the humiliations the dwarf would inflict on his bride in the bed-chamber. With the wedding celebrations providing a noisy distraction, Olenna slipped the lethal trinket into the king’s cup and condemned him to an excruciating death.

This led to a confrontation between Sansa and a jealous Lysa, resulting in Littlefinger pushing the Lady of the Eyrie to her death through the Moon Door. She dyed her distinctive red hair black and swapped her courtly finery for a functional dark ensemble. ‘Goth Sansa’ was born, the naive young girl who had swooned so helplessly over Joffrey gone, never to return.

As they negotiated a rutted back-road in a rickety carriage, Sansa inquired as to their ultimate destination. “A land so far from here even Cersei Lannister can’t get her hands on you,” replied her protector, never one to speak plainly when twinkling obfuscation was an option. In an underplayed irony, they passed a pouting Brienne of Tarth, plunged into an ongoing existential crisis since another Stark sister, Arya, refused her oath of protection last year. Having come teasingly close to meeting, Brienne finally crossed paths with Sansa – before crossing swords with the Stark heiress’s heavily armed retinue. A servant informed Sansa that, should she ever be in danger, she had only to light a candle in the tallest tower in the keep – coincidentally the same tower from which Bran was pushed all those years earlier.

Sansa was to marry Ramsay Bolton, a political alliance arranged by Littlefinger which she had agreed to on the understanding it would help the Starks reclaim Winterfell. As she soaped down her romantic rival, Myranda reeled off the names of the paramours Ramsay had broken and cast aside after they had started to ‘bore’ him.

It was his idea that Sansa marry Ramsay; now that the younger Bolton’s crazy side is coming to the surface Baelish is, characteristically, nowhere to be seen. We got a sense of the young Sansa’s tremendous naivety when she conspicuously failed to do the right thing and tell the truth about Joffrey attacking Arya and the butcher’s son.

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