That horrifying ‘Game of Thrones’ scene? Author George RR Martin responds

19 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A Closer Look at Game of Thrones Season Five Episode Six.

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.

On last night’s episode of “Game of Thrones”, Sansa Stark was raped by her new husband Ramsay Bolton, as Sansa’s childhood companion Theon (a.k.a. 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. The scene of course sparked all kinds of outcry for the disastrous way the show has treated Sansa (who in the books, is rape-free and nowhere near Winterfell or Ramsay at this point). Martin with commentary about the final scene involving Ramsay Bolton, Sansa Stark, and Theon Greyjoy – so much so, he took time to explain the show’s deviation from the books this morning on his blog.

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? As we’ve done with every episode far this season, we’ve put together a list of scenes, references, and characters that deserve a special comment or mention. There’s no way we got all the good stuff (and we might be wrong on some of the things we’ve left below)—so please help expand our appendix. “I’m from Westeros, just like you.

This was a choice and the choice was to marry off a teenage girl, rape her, and not even have the dignity to care primarily about her feelings about her fate.” “When I read that scene, I kinda loved it. 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. Much like when Jaime raped Cersei last season, people were frustrated not just by the content of the scene, but at the fact that these scenes weren’t part of George R.

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. 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… After Joffrey, she’s escaped him and you think she’s going to lose her virginity to a guy who’s really sweet and takes care of her and she’s thrown in with a guy who’s a whole lot worse.

Small changes lead to larger changes lead to huge changes.” Martin then went on to defend producers David Benioff, Dan Weiss and Bryan Cogman’s overall faithfulness to his novels. “There has seldom been any TV series as faithful to its source material, by and large (if you doubt that, talk to the Harry Dresden fans, or readers of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, or the fans of the original Walking Dead comic books),” he wrote. “But the longer the show goes on, the bigger the butterflies become. 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. My father remarried, and his new wife gave birth to a girl.” It’s a bad idea to trust anything the Waif tells Arya, but given that some portion of this story is likely true, let’s ask: Who is the Waif? (Besides “The Westerosi Lena Dunham.”) Westeros succession practice operates under male-preference cognatic primogeniture—i.e., woman inherit after all of their brothers but before their male uncles or cousins—so she could be from anywhere, though that she specifies her status as an only child may imply that she is not from Dorne, which practices absolute primogeniture. (That she is pale and fair similarly makes Dornish heritage unlikely, unless she is a so-called “stony Dornishman” from the Andal-influenced north.) Assuming the Waif is, like her book counterpart, in her 30s (and young-looking because of the poisons she deals with), and that the Waif was at least 12 when she contacted the Faceless Men to off her stepmother, we’re looking for a rich, non-Dornish, Westerosi noble house with a disappeared or disinherited female heir born 20 years before Robert’s Rebellion, and another female heir, no older than 30, with a dead mother. 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.

From a quick glance at a map and listening to the dialogue, their confusing journey, which started two episodes ago in Volantis, seems to have involved them traveling east from Volantis (on a river, even though the only direction the Rhoyne goes from Volantis is north), then to the ruins of Valyria (nearly a thousand miles, as the crow flies, though Jorah and Tyrion appear to have hugged the coast), and through a suspiciously narrower smoking sea. 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. The best I can figure is that they’ve wound up near the Black Cliffs on the western edge of Slaver’s Bay, near the city of Tolos—from where Meereen, Yunkai, and Astapor might be visible, and where villages are likely to be found.

All I’m going to say is I don’t think he’s a particularly generous or gentle lover.” He also spoke about how his relationship with Myranda — which seems to involve some sensual BDSM play — differs from his relationship with Sansa: “The interesting thing is, when you put Sansa into it, she carries a lot of status with her just because of her name. The only other candidate for their location is the Isle of Cedars, which would be a quicker trip from the Smoking Sea, but which has by most accounts been abandoned and would therefore be free of settlements. For many viewers though, it wasn’t about loyalty to the books so much as loyalty to the character and integrity of Sansa Stark, who seems like she was handed a rape storyline to make her more sympathetic or give Theon the push he needs to lash out against Ramsay.

One final possibility for Tyrion and Jorah’s journey: They traveled northeast up the Rhoynish tributary Volaena, which connects somewhere unmapped to the Sea of Sighs, where they encountered the Stone Men. While the Targaryens themselves loved to play up the myth of Targaryen madness—connecting it implicitly to their greatness, and sometimes wielding it as a kind of threat—it’s not necessarily the case that the family has a genetic predisposition to insanity. Prince Aemond, Prince Aerion, and King Maegor, for example, were cruel and violent but not properly “mad”; while King Baelor and Prince Rhaegel were, while maybe not entirely sane, not deranged. Because Westeros is a horrible place, essentially. “This is ‘Game of Thrones’… This isn’t a timid little girl walking into a wedding night with Joffrey.

Or will she take the Jeyne Poole route and just stand by for help, again? …this rape scene undercuts all the agency that’s been growing in Sansa since the end of last season. Jorah, who had distinguished himself in battle during the rebellion, and who was at this point the Lord of Bear Island, defeated eight knights, the final being Jaime. (In the books, he never unseats Jaime, just breaks nine lances.) Jorah declared Lynesse Hightower his queen of love and beauty and married her soon after; eventually, her demand for luxury led Jorah into the slave trade, and, ultimately, exile. (At least: That’s how Jorah tells the story.) Qotho was one of Khal Drogo’s three bloodriders—the Dothraki warriors bound to Drogo and serving as his immediate protection. She was at the height of her power earlier in the episode when, stripped back down to her red-headed Tully roots, she told Myranda in no uncertain terms that Winterfell was her home and she would not be intimidated. When Drogo fell ill and Daenerys attempted to have the witch woman Mirri Maz Duur heal him, Qotho attempted to stop her, shoving Daenerys to the ground and sending her into labor.

It’s right in line with the Game of Thrones approach to storytelling that Sansa would have the rug pulled out from under her. (Have we forgotten Oberyn so soon?) But did it really have to be rape that brought her low? It’s too soon to judge the effects of her marriage to Ramsay on her overall arc, and it’s possible that Sansa will find a way to exact revenge when Stannis show up.

Originally from Norvos, he took up the city’s traditional weapon as a boy, when he was sold to the city’s ruling bearded priests (a sect so powerful and secretive only initiates know the name of its god) and branded with an axe symbol across his chest, taking the vow “Serve, obey, protect.” Hotah came to Dorne with Prince Doran’s wife, Mellario of Norvos, and when an unhappy Mellario left Doran to return to Norvos, the deeply loyal Hotah stayed behind. “The Dornishman’s Wife” is an old Westerosi ballad that tells the story of a man killed by a Dornishman for sleeping with the Dornishman’s wife. “But what does it matter”—the man asks as he dies—”for all men must die,/And I’ve tasted the Dornishman’s wife!” The Reach, ruled by House Tyrell, is the wide area south of the Crownlands and north of Dorne. There’s a world of difference between Dany’s rape at the start of the series, a rock bottom one can and should compare to her next husband literally cowering at her feet, and the casual abuse experienced by Cersei in the fourth season and now Sansa in the fifth. It’s the breadbasket of Westeros, a populous area with a mild climate and fertile land, and without its people or food, the Lannisters—near-bankrupted by war—would find themselves in danger of the Iron Bank calling in its loans. Unlike the encounter between Cersei and Jaime last year, we’re at least meant to perceive Sansa’s experience as rape—but that’s about all that’s improved. It’s not entirely clear how the many different systems of justice in Westeros operate, but it seems as though the trials of Loras and Margaery will be overseen by judges of the faith and not by the king, a ceding of specific temporal power that Cersei will come to regret.

I won’t be one of them just yet, but I’m extremely bothered by their choice — their need, it seems, to continually alter Martin’s story to include more rape. Regardless, Margaery and Loras will both be given the opportunity to demand trial by combat over trial by judge—or, if they prefer, the even more intense Trial by Seven, a trial by combat in which each side marshals seven combatants. As discussed previously, Sansa has not reached Winterfell (nor is even traveling there) by the fifth book; rather, Ramsay has been married to Sansa’s old best friend and handmaiden, Jeyne Poole, who is being presented publicly as “Arya Stark.” As in the show, Jeyne is horrifically assaulted and Theon humiliated. That instead of giving the audience the sight of what we’ve long wanted and expected — Reek reclaiming his essentially not-terrible Theon-ness by stabbing Ramsay in the throat — we were given something not needed at all?

But it was almost worse the way Jeremy Podeswa’s camera lingered on Alfie Allen’s tear-filled eyes, as if his violation was somehow equal to Sansa’s; as if this disgusting act was somehow part of Theon’s long and ugly path to redemption, not a brutal and unwarranted violation. Forcing her back into the role of victim and sexually humiliating her at the hands of yet another sadistic fiance adds nothing that we haven’t seen before, and indeed, feels regressive. It’s cruel to strip Sansa of the agency she’s been accruing so painstakingly, but to do so by literally stripping her is so cheap, such an obvious choice, I felt offended as a fan.

But if it’s going to be used as a plot point, I want it wielded more intelligently, with more care, and especially from a show that has proved it can do graphic violence so hauntingly.

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