It turns out the fine folks over at the Mary Sue aren’t the only ones permanently ending their viewership of Game of Thrones over last Sunday’s controversial rape scene.
Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) tweeted Tuesday that she was done with the HBO show thanks the “disgusting” and “gratuitous” scene:
Ok, I'm done Game of Thrones.Water Garden, stupid.Gratuitous rape scene disgusting and unacceptable.It was a rocky ride that just ended.
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) May 19, 2015
This humble scribe has neither read nor seen GoT, and so will rely upon the Mary Sue’s summary of the show’s troubled relationship with its portrayal of sexual assault:
Just over a year ago, the TMS staff and I felt the need to have a serious discussion after the Season 4 episode “Breaker of Chains.” As you may recall, a scene between two characters which was seen by many as consensual in the books was seen as quite the opposite by many when it was adapted to screen. The consensus from us at that time was that, though we wished the scene hadn’t happened, we were going to continue to watch — but we were not going to let the creators off the hook. Many felt differently, and that scene was the last straw for them. Others had already given up on the show because of its depictions of sexual violence toward women, and saw this as confirmation that they’d made the correct decision.
Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss had discussed further, conscious changes they were going to make to the book storylines for the sake of streamlining the television series. One was the removal of the Lady Stoneheart plot, and another was the serious alteration of Sansa Stark’s journey. To give actor Sophie Turner a larger role and prevent the introduction of yet another character, they merged Sansa’s role with that of Jeyne Poole, a Winterfell resident made to pretend she’s Arya Stark and married off to Ramsey Snow. Book readers hoped against hope it would not mean what we thought it did.
Those hopes crumbled into a million pieces last night, when Sansa was raped by Ramsey as Theon/Reek was forced to watch.
GoT autor George R.R. Martin generally defended the episode as a departure from his novels, but did not address the scene specifically.
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