Wedding rape scene: Is Game of Thrones using violence against women to drive …

19 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Game of Thrones’ recap: Why Sansa Stark’s rape was doubly troubling.

In case you were wondering, Ramsay Bolton’s jam is “To All the Girls I’ve Mauled Before.” The most despicable character on “Game of Thrones” — and (Joffrey) that (Cersei) is (Littlefinger) saying (Walder Frey) a (Viserys) lot (Tywin) — gave up any pretense of humanity around Sansa Stark in the one of the disturbing scenes in the series so far by forcing Theon to watch as he takes Sansa on their wedding night.Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken was one of Game of Thrones’ least action-filled episodes, focussing on the web of deceit, half-truths and political intrigue surrounding the Lannister and Stark families.Even the most devoted fan of all things Westeros will have had their fealty tested during the sadistic rape of Sansa Stark, the grim conclusion to episode six of the latest season. After a run-in with Lancel and the Faith Militant, he informs her of Sansa’s survival but convinces her to let Stannis and the Boltons battle each other for the North before he moves in with the Knights Of The Vale to set himself up as the new Warden Of The North.

Just after Sansa Stark marries the show’s current reigning sadist, Ramsay Bolton, he takes her into his bed chamber and rapes her while Reek, formerly Theon Greyjoy, is ordered to watch. But the brutality Sansa Stark suffers at the hands of Ramsay Bolton is a horse of a different color. [Spoilers] Sansa Stark has tumbled helplessly from one torturer to the next for four seasons now, from Joffrey and Cersei’s abuse and humiliation, to her Aunt Lysa’s unhinged jealousy, to Ramsay Bolton’s gleeful sadism. In the books, Sansa is still at the Vale but one of her childhood friends, Jeyne Poole, is sent to Winterfell pretending to be Arya to be married off to Ramsay to consolidate the Boltons’ hold on the North. This week, we’ll be hearing from deputy culture editor Jen Trolio, executive editor Matthew Yglesias, foreign policy writer Zack Beauchamp, and culture editor Todd VanDerWerff. Tyrion’s quick thinking keeps them both alive and Jorah’s revelation that he has killed a Dothraki bloodrider persuades Malko to take him to the reopened fighting pits in Meereen, putting them back on track for their rendezvous with Daenerys.

Long a naive innocent, Sansa had proved herself all grown up and in possession of an impressively iron will when assenting to an arranged marriage with House Bolton (on the unspoken understanding that she could manipulate the situation and reclaim the family seat at Winterfell). Things are moving faster in Dorne, where Jaime and Bronn gain entry to the Water Gardens – with surprising ease – and confront Myrcella and Trystane Martell, who has just promised to ask his father Prince Doran to allow them to marry. Sansa’s rape – and Reek/Theon’s role in it – is as much psychologically as physically brutal, as Ramsay quickly dispenses with any pretence of civility. In Sunday night’s episode, “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken,” Sansa and Ramsay were finally wed, in keeping with Littlefinger and Roose Bolton’s political maneuverings. However, it does tee up the tantalising possibility that Brienne, herself a near-victim of rape, might well be the one to deliver Ramsay’s inevitable comeuppance.

Still, there was a crucial distinction – in the novels the new bride upon whom Ramsay inflicts unspeakable deprivations was not Sansa but a handmaid posing as the Stark heiress. 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,” Sophie said. “But I kind of like the fact she doesn’t really know what a psycho he is until that night. The major high-points this season are less frequent and more muted than last year, and while it’s clear that we are steadily progressing towards clear points of convergence in the North and Meereen, we’re taking a long time in getting there. This does not diminish the heinousness of Ramsay’s deeds – however, in Martin’s original telling the assault is not presented as the culmination of an arc in which a woman learns to stand tall and exercise control over her destiny.

As the last episode before the one-week Memorial Day hiatus, this lacked the punch of last year’s equivalent, which saw Littlefinger push Lysa Arryn out of the Moon Door to her death. 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. And then that night everything gets so f*****d up.” Sophie thought that her new love interest would be Jaime Lannister when she realised that the scripts would be departing from the George R.R.

Similarly, Martin makes clear that the post-Purple Wedding rough congress between Cersei and Jaime was consensual – confused, desperate, ill-advised yes… but assented to on both sides. 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.

Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire novels, so I didn’t know what Ramsay had in store for his new bride, regardless of the major change in victim between the books and the show (and the fact that what happened in print was apparently much worse). On the small screen last season, the scene played out in a far more ambivalent fashion and if you didn’t have the time or inclination to sit back and reflect upon it, you might have straightforwardly concluded that Jaime forced himself upon his twin. We’ll return to Winterfell once we touch down in other parts of world: One key to being a Faceless Man is learning how to lie, and to know when you’re being lied to, and it’s a skill that that Arya needs to develop, and fast, if she ever wants to be off washing corpse duty. “I’m not playing this stupid game anymore,” she says when her unconvincing lies land her several lashes from Jaqen. “We never stop playing,” he tells her. But as of this moment — we don’t yet know what repercussions might lie ahead — Sansa’s rape feels like little more than a controversial plot device, and to what end?

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. Arya is scrubbing the floor of the great hall when a man comes in with his sick young daughter and lays her down next to the poisoned well. “She suffers every day of her life,” the man tells Arya. “I just want it to end.” Arya walks over the girl and tells her that she used to be like her, that she was very sick and her father brought her here and she was healed. “You don’t want to hurt anymore? We were already quite familiar with Ramsay’s sadistic tendencies, because of his season-long torture of Theon and, as Myranda the kennel master’s daughter reminded us while trying to intimidate — or perhaps warn?

They go down another set of winding stone steps and arrive in an even more enormous hall, with impossibly thick columns lined with coves containing faces, probably thousands of them. “Is a girl ready to give up her ears, her nose, her tongue, her hopes and dreams, her loves and hates?,” Jaqen asks. “No,” he answers himself. “A girl is not ready to become no one. In Season 2, Sansa became a glorified hostage in King’s Landing, where she was denied her own identity: She was forced to wear Lannister clothing, denounce her family as traitors, and profess undying love for her psychopathic King Joffrey. A scene that felt excruciating at the time looks tame compared to what Sansa endured last night: “Leave her face; I like her pretty,” Joffrey had said, as he ordered Meryn Trant to strip Sansa naked and beat her in front of his entire court, supposed retribution for her brother Robb’s recent military win.

He warns Littlefinger that the city now has no more tolerance for flesh peddlers. “We both peddle fantasies,” he tells Lancel. “Mine just happen to be entertaining.” Littlefinger warns Cersei that having Loras Tyrell arrested was not a smart move. Urged on by Littlefinger (which, ugh — more on him in a second), Sansa willingly agreed to marry Ramsay to avenge her family, only to revert to a more passive stance and ultimately pay a terrible price. She unwittingly wore a necklace containing poison that Lady Olenna Tyrell slipped into Joffrey’s wine, making her, yet again, just a passive observer in her own affairs.

It was awesome to see Sansa stand her ground against Myranda, but what a step backward for her to then be raped offscreen as we “watched” through Theon’s eyes. Not that I wanted to see it, of course, but I think the scene could’ve had more of an impact if it’d ended with a close-up on Sansa’s face, not Theon’s. We can piece together more of Littlefinger’s plan thanks to what he tells Cersei: He reveals Sansa is back home in Winterfell (thanks to him, but he doesn’t say that) and that Roose is planning on marrying Ramsay to her to solidify his claim on Winterell. But femininity has never precluded agency in Westeros. (See: Margaery Tyrell and Daenerys Targaryen.) When will she shed her “bystander to tragedy” designation and rip the Boltons a new one? He knows [the Boltons are] scary and creepy and not to be fully trusted and it’s part of a larger plan.” Okay, sure, whatever; Littlefinger is a guy who’s known for keeping tabs on just about everyone on the continent.

Cersei: “I know you’re a man of your word when I see Sansa Stark’s head on a spike.” Olenna Tyrell has arrived from Highgarden to deal with Loras’ arrest. Happily, after watching her administer her first in-temple death sentence, Jaqen H’ghar deems Arya ready to take on her first disguise—probably the old woman Arya seemed taken by in the sanctum.

There’s a juicy scene between her and Cersei in which Cersei claims she had nothing to do with the arrest, and Olenna threatens to withhold money, soldiers and wheat if she doesn’t have Loras released. The raging Sand Snakes, dead-set on starting a war with the Lannisters to exact revenge for their dead father, Oberyn, clash with the sneaks in a battle that, ultimately, feels a little disappointing. And then, in a surprise to anyone who has never seen an episode of “Law & Order,” the High Sparrow calls in Olyvar, Littlefinger’s second-in-command who was also Loras’s lover. Tyrion and Jorah encounter Agbaje as Malko, a cutthroat slaver who almost chops off Tyrion’s “dwarf cock” to sell it to someone whose job description is literally “cock merchant.” (“A dwarf’s cock has magic powers”; the more you know!) Tyrion manages to talk his way out of his dismemberment by pointing out that a merchant would have no way of knowing whether the penis actually came from a dwarf. “It will be a dwarf-sized cock,” one of Malko’s lackeys tries. “Guess again,” Tyrion snarls. Not at all coincidentally, Bronn and Jaime (in Dornish military garb) as well as the three Sand Snakes are closing in the couple — Jaime to bring back Myrcella to Kings Landing, the Sand Snakes to kidnap/kill Myrcella to get back at the Lannisters.

He gets closure (of sorts) regarding his father’s death in this episode when Tyrion relays the news of the former Lord Commander’s demise at Craster’s Keep. One of them (Tyene?) grabs Myrcella, who has been tending to Trystane, but Doran’s soldiers surround all of them. “I fight for Dorne,” Obara tells the soldiers. “Who do you fight for?” Doran Martell, apparently.

But for now, we’ll have to settle for watching the Queen Mother’s ever-cool facade start to slip. (The tiny, frustrated sighs she emits during a conversation with Olenna—in which she calls Cersei a tart!—are satisfying beyond measure.) But in the end, we’re left with Sansa’s sobs. Earlier in the episode, she spoke to the jealous Myranda in a lower, more menacing tone than we’ve ever heard from her. “I’m Sansa Stark of Winterfell. This might mean he’ll play a part in freeing the girl from her newest captors (a teaser for next week’s episode shows Sansa telling him, “My family still has friends in the North”). Myranda, Ramsay’s lover, draws a bath for Sansa before her wedding, washing out the black hair dye and dropping extremely unsubtle hints about the nasty fates that befell the girls who came before her.

In a lantern-lit ceremony that will no doubt inspire a flurry of Pinterest boards, Roose marries off Sansa to Ramsay, despite the very looooong pause after he asks Sansa if she will take Ramsay as her husband.

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