If you’re not a devoted Game of Thrones watcher, please move away.
Sean T. Collins has a post about the recent rape problems on the show that kind of echoes what I’d been thinking. Basically, that the Jamie/Cersei rape scene wasn’t necessarily a fatal misstep, given that we don’t know where these characters are going…but the problem is that it probably wasn’t meant to be a rape scene by the producers, a view supported by the confused interviews they’ve given about the scene in question.
Collins also brings up the real problem in the matter: HBO’s titty mandate. This was on display in True Detective, where the completely gratuitous and jarring T&A sex scenes gave the impression that this was a story complicit in the demeaning attitudes about women it was actually exploring. Creator Nic Pizzolatto said as much when he was quizzed on the lack of female characters. There is no problem with a wonderful piece of storytelling that follows two great characters who happen to be men; but when unnecessary bare breasts are thrown in, the entire enterprise gets an unseemly tacky element. (Also, the all male police department of the 90s amused me — it’s the 90s not the 30s fer gawd’s sake, even if it is Louisiana.)
I haven’t read the Game of Thrones books (yes yes, I know…….) but it’s often mentioned that one of George R. R. Martin’s themes is is the suffering caused by brutality against women and brutality in general. The TV version retains that, but, once again, the endless sexposition undermines the message. As someone I was watching it exclaimed the other night, “Oh, a glass of wine! We’ll be seeing titties soon!” And indeed, whenever someone is relaxing with a glass of wine, a good shag is about to follow 80% of the time.
Martin’s books are actually coming from a more evolved place than HBO, which operates under the assumption that to be adult you’ve got to show naked ladies. Serves them right that so many times, it turns out to be Lena Dunham.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.