Aside from a short-lived power-grab, I'm trying to see Cercei's endgame with the moves she's making. Can't imagine she's not going to get bit by all of this. and not in a rapey way.
I think she is basically losing her mind and trying to be her father, and she isn't her father. He could think 10 moves ahead of everyone. She thinks she can but can only go 2 and set off too many things in motion that she has no control of anymore.
I listen to a couple GoT podcasts and one of them basically opened with an hour discussion about the episode and the scene, and I thought brought up great points on why people are upset with what they have been doing (their thoughts on the podcast):
- the main point was that it was a complete 180 from the character of Sansa that they have built up for the last season +. This is a girl who has been through a marriage to a psycho, been getting pointers from Littlefinger, just got info that episode as to what might be going on, and had been showing signs of playing the game. Then the wedding and bedding scene happens and she is reverted back to the shaking, crying old Sansa who has no agency in her situation. She becomes a prop and they don't even have the balls to linger on her to show her pain/emotions during it.
- her trauma is turned into Reek's trauma. The scene is shot in a way that has barely anything to do with her, and all about how poor Reek is reacting to this playing out in front of him.
- for a show that supposedly has great writers, this is a weak and overdone plot device. Just about any show or movie you see where a woman "gets strong" and takes revenge for something, guess what is the catalyst for that. It is as though the murder of her family and all the horrors she has endured just isn't enough. This is the thing that is needed to motivate her to do something. Also undercuts the emotion of it by using it as the catalyst in that way.
- Martin himself has stated that he wanted this to be viewed through the lens of modern times. Sure there is the threat of rape throughout his world and books, just like women feel there is that threat for them now. Only one maybe two women are raped in the books - it is the showrunners and HBO that are choosing to add this scene, Cersei last year, Roz getting the bolt through the vajay, Joffrey making the hookers beat each other, etc., etc..
I thought there was some interesting points being made (I bet some have been made here in the shuffle too). Nothing to do with banning scenes like this, etc.. that people jump to conclusions about the other way. Just that it is tired, lazy, and undercuts the character they were building up.
Again, not really feeling the work aspect of my day... and this turned out to be a little longer than it should be because I really don't want to work today so I just spoilered it so people can skip over it if they want.
1. This is an assumption based on the fact that this was the end scene of the show. Had this been the first scene of the show and by the end of the hour she was splitting his skull with an ax, no one would be making this argument I think. And I don't agree that it is a change to her character or a 180 from where she was heading. First off, Sansa is not innocent. In as much as she has been one of if not the most sympathetic character on the show, the fact remains that at a moment where could have kept any innocence she had left, she lied in a quasi-trial and covered up a murder of her aunt, protecting the murderer. Had she told the truth in that moment, she would still be in a safe place and Littlefinger would have been executed himself. So, going back to the string that lies and the consequences for lies are the main theme of this episode and in many ways the whole season, her lie at that moment cost her this scene. In that, this is not a 180 for her character. And even after that lie, she had the opportunity to turn around when Littlefinger told her what was going to happen and she didn't. She has people of north saying they are there to prtect her and she did nothing. Maybe the correct argument here isn't that she was playing the game and now this was her going back to the beginning - it was her playing the game poorly and not understanding the very real consequences for every action and decision.
2. Why is this a problem? Think this argument through - we hate this scene because it is the rape of an innocent character that has been through so much and the writers just keep beating us down like this and they didn't have to do this - and at the same time - why didn't they focus on her pain more? How dare they take her pain and turn the focus of the scene to Reek. If they are going to put her through that, then we should be able to see more pain and anguish for her. This is the very argument that makes all the others fail. People aren't mad at the scene, they are mad because it didn't fit what they want to happen.
3. The overdone argument. I find this to be the weakest argument of them all. The problem here isn't the rape - that is clear. The problem is the rape of this character. If this was the Bolton kid doing it to a town wench no one would really bat an eye. If this was Joffrey or Lord Bolton and insert woman here no one would care. There was almost no comments from any of the outraged blogs about the sacking of all the women by the rebels Knights of the Watch and we've been over Drogo and Dany. This argument also assumes that the rape is being used as a plot device that the people don't like - as I said above. And what's more we are again seeing people argue out of both sides - Sansa was playing the game, she was learning from Littlefinger she was taking control, and then they do this to her. But if she was playing the game she was doing something that was not a total good in this universe. The game is lying cheating stealing killing and raping all for the continuation of glory and power. Name one character in this entire universe that has gotten out of that free and clear? She suffered enough? By whose standards?
4. The overall tone of the sex and violence of the show is in many respects over done. But let's also understand that. How many people in this thread have been complaining about the lack of action these season? That lack of action is a lack of all the blood sex and gore that has defined the series. Now, this season, that is very much psychological and less about battles and more about the torment that comes along with the nature of this game, people are bored. Why are they bored? Several people have died this season. There have been fights and blood. There was a story told by a lead character how he murdered a husband and raped his wife under the body. People have had their throat cut. A lord was burned alive by a dragon on screen. The show hasn't lacked blood violence gore sex and death - is has lacked the in your face every moment of that stuff that previous seasons gave you. So we have people complaining that nothing is happening this year and at the same time complaining that this particular piece of violence is overdone. In the midst of talking about a show on HBO. Unless it's a comedy, you are going to have a lot of sex and blood. Oz had it almost all the time and the episodes people hated were the ones where it didn't happen all that much. Rome had it in almost every single scene, let alone episode and people. Sopranos? Anyone remember Richie? I really think that the complaints about this particular point are missing the fact that this isn't ABC or CBS.
5. tired lazy undercuts.
I really don't get any of them. I don't think this was tired. Sansa has now been brutally and personally cast forth into the game she was pretending to play. Reek now has the potential for a moment of clarity. Sansa can now see the trauma that Theon has suffered and might be able to accept him again. Ramsey has now lied to Littlefinger. And all the psychological currents that we could add now as well. I don't think the scene was tired at all. First off, everyone is talking about it, which disproves that point. Second, all of us have basically said we were left wanting more, something more in that scene. Tired writing doesn't do that in this way. And if we get the release of Ramsey's death that experience will be more powerful. I guarantee you that there will be posts, tweets, blogs and stories that basically start with the line - AND THAT WAS FOR SANSA YOU PIECE OF ****.
Lazy? Why? Because other women have been raped and they could have done something different? We've been over that. The different is just another form of violence - Theon killing Ramsey, Sansa fighting him. Something like that. Maybe they could have just let us assume it happened the next morning at breakfast. Why? Would that make the rape of Sansa less emotional? If it would ,why? Because we then didn't see her cry on the bed? So somehow it's now not so much the rape, it's the rape of Sansa, and it's the rape of Sansa that we saw because she was crying? But if we didn't see it then the whole rap culture aspect of the attacks here wouldn't exist? What does that say about the people making that argument?
Undercuts? How? We don't know what is going to happen after yet. If this was the final episode of the show. maybe this is a good point. But now? We've got 4 more shows this year and a few more years ahead of us. All this did was set her back, if anything. And setbacks aren't exactly uncommon in this world.
I get the visceral reaction to rape in any format and it is well deserved. It really shouldn't be joked about, used in any way that shows a good or frankly used in entertainment at all. People that are entertained by a story that includes as one of its components the rape of women are all on some level sick (and that includes all of us for watching the show and/or reading the books). It should always be considered one of the most truly awful things ever to be done by a man to a woman. And in that, doing it to a character that we like and who we empathize with just makes it that much worse. But the overraction and vitriol because of this one scene in a show that isn't exactly rated G and hasn't pulled a single punch? I just find that a bit much. And I've said it here - I'd be fine with no more sex in the show at all. I get the point now, thanks. I'd even be ok with no more blood or seeing a head getting chopped off. Again, I get the point. Violence can be non-bloody and still be effective. But this is HBO and people watch that stuff because that is what they want. IF we didn't, there would be 75 billion cop/murder/crime shows on TV. HBO gets to take it to another level.
If this turns into nothing more than a snuff film of a show 10 times a year - then yeah, yell at the writers and condemn the show. But now? At this point? I'm nowhere near that yet.
Again, I know I'm not a main poster in this one so take it for what it's worth.
I love baseball. It's still my sports religion. And the Yankees are my blood. And I'm a Giants fan through and through as well. The two latest Super Bowls were rollercoaster rides that were amazing to be a part of as a fan and I still enjoy watching the games on repeat, highlights and sticking it to Patriots fans every chance I get.
And all of that simply to say that there is no singluar game in sports that I have watched as a fan in any sport, at any time, for any reason, that is more emotionally controlling and pulls you from the edge of your seat and beyond then Stanley Cup playoff hockey. I react more to these games than any other, including the Yankees, and I feel my heart pounding in my throat more in these games then when David Tyree caught that ball or Mariano Rivera came in to close out a series. Just an amazing treat this sport is at playoff time. I screamed and woke up the whole house last night when the Rangers tied the game. Wife hates me. Kids didn't get any sleep. Only to lose on such a perfect wrist shot from the 'ning.
Great stuff so far. And not just the Rangers series. Every second of every game I've caught has been thrilling for the most part. I don't know how to make hockey more popular but I don't know how it's possible to not be a fan - at least - of the cup playoffs. And Henrik best get his head out of whatever #### it's stuck in because they can't lose the next game.