A Murder of Crows: Should “Game of Thrones” be boycotted forever more?

We had fun doing a joint roundtable with the Tower of the Hand crew a few months back, but we decided to hold off on doing a follow-up until we came across a suitably irresistible topic that would justify the colossal task of synchronizing schedules and herding two litters of cats. As it turns out, however, a topic actually found us.

Sansa and Ramsay

The huge and seemingly inexhaustible controversy surrounding “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken,” Game of Thrones’s latest episode, also infected the Tower, causing one of its writers to question whether he was going to boycott the remainder of the series. The resulting conversation between him and the rest of the staff was so white-knuckled, the only polite thing they could do was invite other individuals to join in on the bar fight. Hey – these roundtables aren’t called murders for nothing.

The second half of the sometimes-tense, always-obsessive debate follows below; to catch the first half, be sure to stop by Tower of the Hand first.


Axe

Axechucker (Watchers on the Wall):

There is absolutely no point I could see me going, “Well, I’ve had enough of this show – I’m done.” They would virtually have to do an alternate reality locale warp to a 1980s-era shopping mall and have Jon Cryer guest star as Duckie for me to say, “Welp, nope.” (And even then, I’d still probably watch, because – I mean, who wouldn’t?)

Because, for me, it’s not about sensitive topic A, or sensitive topic B, or whether the book is being treated with X amount of respect – it’s simply about good storytelling. And if I had never heard of A Song of Ice and Fire prior to this show, I would still be a devoted viewer, simply because it’s a fantasy television series that comes nowhere close to sucking as badly as the Dungeons & Dragons movie did. I’m an old, oldschool nerd, and, back in my day, this shit just didn’t happen.

Whether Game of Thrones pisses off 90 or 90,000 people, it is still a gripping, well-told, epic tragedy – the Macbeth of its time, minus the chronic bad luck in modern production. Perhaps this is insensitive of me, but I take a dim view of people who wave their hands frantically before their faces and squeal their disgust for the world to hear, then go back the very next week and repeat the process of watching that thing that offended them so. The Mary Sue can Mary Sue itself into actual relevance by riding the coattails of a show it pretends to hate, driven by a topic it gleefully despises. I don’t care – it makes for amusing behind-the-scenes snark.

R'hllor

But if you get off, kindly stay off. Else have a partial lobotomy and/or a complete change in faiths, but for the love of R’hllor, in all other cases – stick to your guns.

The show has problems. Of course it does. No show is perfect. Dorne has been abominable. But the “Hot Button” topic crap doesn’t stir my juices.

Nothing is ending this show. They’ll finish their seven seasons, hell or high water, and no matter the criticism leveled, be it story-related and justifiable or… anything else.

Bex

Bex (Watchers on the Wall):

I have a lot of thoughts swimming around about this episode, mostly the final scene, but I’ve distilled a few that are hopefully coherent:

I would agree that the outrage is fueled by the victim being Sansa, but should that fundamentally alter our opinion about the scene (i.e., how would we react if he had found a new victim from the commonfolk that he and Myranda would later hunt)? On some level, however, the “book wanker” in me can’t help but feel a bit ticked off that the Jeyne Poole arc was shoehorned in when plenty of great material has been left out.

As soon as they revealed the nuptials between Sansa and Ramsay, I knew a nonconsensual wedding night was a distinct possibility, but I wanted to believe that Sansa would react to it differently than she did. The Sansa fan in me who had been so heartened by her character development up until this episode really believed that she was far enough along that this would not be “just another” rape on Game of Thrones. I thought we could get a dubcon scene, or even seduction, at worst.

I was wrong about the scene itself, though I certainly believe in the possibilities for the future. Nobody puts Sansa in the corner.

Nobody puts Baby in a corner

I can certainly see how someone would be able to draw the line at that scene, and people who were planning on walking away for some time now may have found their justification this week. If you don’t like how Game of Thrones handles sexual assault, that is reasonable, but for myself, at least, I find my distaste at some of their plot choices to be eclipsed overall by other aspects of the show that I find interesting or well done. We all choose and prioritize why we buy into GoT, and as paying (hopefully… maybe…) consumers, we have the right to buy out at our own discretion.

SomethingLikeALawyer

SomethingLikeALawyer (Tower of the Hand):

Well, the other problems I have are the plot holes and flimsy writing. The Craster’s Keep redux storyline, Grand Theft Draco, now Loras’s arrest and the Sand Snakes this time around – each of these original conceptions have been debacles, and the plot holes draw me out of the immersion.

Sort of like Mass Effect 3. What was groundbreaking and immersive is becoming formulaic and unengaging.

Duncan

Valkyrist101 (Tower of the Hand):

I guess my main concern with this decision is that it takes Sansa’s character evolution – of someone who has been horribly abused, but has managed to escape her tormentors with her innocence and humanity intact, while also developing a sense of agency and determination over her own destiny – and cuts it off at the knees. Suddenly, Sansa is no longer the increasingly canny manipulator and strategist we’ve observed under Littlefinger’s tutelage in season four. Suddenly, she’s back to square one, the cat’s paw of a new cast of sadists.

Sansa beaten

We see the same tense dinner conversations, where she sits there, miserable, resigned to her fate. Except, now, the showrunners have decided to tip the bucket over, and just straight up carry out the threat that had been dangling over her head all throughout her stay at King’s Landing. The question is why?

Why have they departed so dramatically from her book plot in the Vale, where she is actively playing the game of thrones to gain support and influence politics? Why did the showrunners feel the need to regress her storyline to book two material? Perhaps if she were actually working to manipulate Roose and Ramsay, or undermine their power by befriending the residents of Winterfell, or reaching out to the vassals of the north who are still loyal to her family, I might see the change in a more positive light. But, no, it’s just comatose Sansa all over again – a character who is exclusively acted upon, but never allowed to determine her own destiny; a prop to motivate the story around her, whether it’s empowering Theon to redeem his past sins, or motivating Brienne to rescue her, or making the audience root all the more for Stannis to triumph (and the Boltons to fall).

Obviously, it’ll depend on the final few episodes to see how this scene will be contextualized, but based on the show’s previous clumsy attempts at depicting sexual assault (see: Jaime and Cersei) and objectifying victims (see: Craster’s Keep), I’m not all that confident.

Sue

Sue the Fury (Watchers on the Wall):

I share some of your concerns, but I think we should be very careful about presuming that Sansa being raped somehow means that she’s weak or not able to determine her own fate.

Duncan

Valkyrist101 (Tower of the Hand):

Oh, of course not, but I was speaking more to the way the showrunners are using her character in a potentially objectifying fashion – e.g., we want to really establish Ramsay as the villain of this season, so let’s have him rape Sansa; we need something for Brienne to do this season, so let’s marry Sansa off to Ramsay, so she has someone to rescue. However, they very well may have something planned that actually respects Sansa as a character in her own right, and acknowledges the rape with the gravity it deserves, so I guess we’ll see.

Stefan

Stefan (Tower of the Hand):

There is no way of knowing yet where Sansa’s plotline is going. Currently, it seems like we’ve rewound back to Joffrey’s old days, and everything will depend on where we are going from here.

Miles

ghostlovesinger (Tower of the Hand):

I’m quitting this show because I don’t enjoy watching rape scenes, and Game of Thrones seems to love the hell out of them. If you want to pull out a rape scene once in a while for an important moment of storytelling, fine. As I’ve said many times, it can be done well, it can be meaningful, and this could have been done well, too. But it wasn’t. It was just another example of the lazy storytelling that has come to define this show since the very beginning of season four. I don’t care where Sansa’s plotline is going. I don’t care about what happened, or didn’t happen, in the books. I’m done making excuses, I’m done giving these people the benefit of the doubt, and I’m done with Game of Thrones.

The dead

I’ve been hearing a lot about how GoT is in the business of doing horrible things to our heroes and heroines. People cite Ned’s execution and Oberyn’s smashed skull. They say this is a groundbreaking adult tragedy that deliberately indulges in the most terrible possible things as a statement against all the other non-realistic works of genre fiction that don’t do that. They actually praise the show for being willing to “go there” as opposed to having Sansa be rescued or any of the other alternatives (and there are many) to her being raped. They say this is what makes the show different from everything else.

Ned Stark’s beheading was groundbreaking because the narrative disposed of the presumed central protagonist, which almost never happens. Oberyn’s death worked the same way: in most stories, the good guy wins that particular duel. In contrast, do you know what happens to an unbelievably large portion of female protagonists in genre fiction?

They get raped.

This wasn’t Game of Thrones being unique or creative; it was Game of Thrones being lazy, typical, and offensive. You want to tell the story of Sansa allowing herself to be assaulted for a higher purpose or a greater political gain? Fine. Then tell that goddamn story. The story told here was “Evil man rapes girl because evil man is so evil, why must evil man make helpless puppet watch?” If the writers and showrunners wanted to tell a meaningful, character-driven story, they failed. Spectacularly. If they succeeded in telling the story they wanted to tell, that story sucks. I don’t know why this insistence on rape exists in this show, but if you are going to do that, at least have some respect for the gravity of what you are portraying. Have some self-awareness of the fact that you are presenting this story to a 2015 audience. And, for fuck’s sake, hire some women for your creative team.

I think this show is going downhill even aside from the rape stuff, and given the fact that we’re living in the Golden Age of Geek Culture, I’m pretty confident I’ll find other stuff to watch that doesn’t insult my intelligence or betray my trust. As I said, I am going to finish out the season, but even if the last four episodes are the best the show as ever been, I will not be back for season six.

Remy

Slynt (Tower of the Hand):

I can’t help but wonder how this scene is any worse to watch than, say, a young man being shot to pieces by crossbows while his mother watches, and while he sees his wife get stabbed in the belly where his baby is. And then the mother gets her throat slit, no fade-to-black. Or seeing someone’s head get crushed between the hands of Ser Gregor. Is it because this violence is so over the top?

Please don’t take this as me saying rape is okay. I hate it, and I felt very uncomfortable watching the scene with Sansa and Ramsay. I also felt uncomfortable during the Jaime/Cersei scene (but not to the same extent), and Khal Drogo/Daenerys.

Doggy style

I take more offense at the “reality” of the show being that most guys seem to know nothing else but doggy-style. And, yes, they might even be “going there” for the shock factor – but, come on, the Red Wedding. Different kinds of violence? Yes. But still violence.

And the pervert himself, George R.R. Martin, had far more hideous things happen to Ramsay’s victims than what the show does.

Which seems to lead to a conclusion that this is bad because it’s Sansa. And it is, but until next episode or whenever we see her again, we can’t really know whether they have something going here, or if it is, indeed, a scene meant to shock.

I do agree that the show is going downhill, by the way – the Jaime/Bronn scenes in this episode were hilariously bad.

Stefan

Stefan (Tower of the Hand):

I think we should agree that while the Bronn/Jaime/Sand Snakes love triangle really is a steaming pile of shit, it’s not like this would be a new development for the show. The Night’s Watch plot in seasons two and four wasn’t exactly proving itself of much worth, either. Eighty-five percent of this show is one of the best television shows out there, period. That makes its failing in the other 15% all the more obnoxious.

Bex

Bex (Watchers on the Wall):

Basically, you know you’re going to upset people if you put rape into something. A creative person has to decide if a strong reaction is worth it and if the content can be defended as not just a creative choice, but as a necessary event in the plot. In the case here with Sansa, they decided to weather the storm because this apparently is a necessary event, and we can’t say for sure if they are wrong on that second count.

Miles

ghostlovesinger (Tower of the Hand):

The Red Wedding is probably the single most important moment in the story so far. You can’t argue that the violence there is gratuitous. The violence in that scene serves a distinct purpose. I don’t know how many times I have to say that the simple fact of the story including rape is not what bothers me. What bothers me is the way it was portrayed. What bothers me is that the scene should have been Sansa’s, but wasn’t. What bothers me is that her character is disrespected and treated as a prop. What bothers me is that all of this could have been easily avoided; good luck avoiding the Red Wedding, even in this joke of an “adaptation.”

Stabbed!

You cannot equate the way this show has depicted rape with the way it has depicted, say, murder. They are two completely different things, particularly in the context of the modern lens through which all of us, like it or not, view this series. When someone is murdered in real life, you don’t often see judges and juries letting the murderer off the hook because the victim had it coming. Rape and rape culture aren’t just serious problems in our society, they are serious problems that we have yet to properly address. Look at Steubenville. Look at GamerGate. Look at the military. Look at the ten million other instances of rape not being treated as a serious crime. For Game of Thrones to then use it as a plot device that could absolutely have been avoided is an unmitigated insult, and to argue that other forms of violence also appear in the show is to completely, totally miss the point.

And, finally, Stefan, regarding the 85%… yeah, not anymore. Sorry, dude. If this show was still one of the best things on television, I feel like I would want to watch it on Sunday. It’s not, and I don’t. That time has passed.

Also, the books are completely irrelevant to this discussion. They don’t matter. Period. And I’ll say this much: if and when Martin writes a scene like this one into his books, I’ll stop reading them, too.

Sue

Sue the Fury (Watchers on the Wall):

Martin already did. I’m sorry – how is Theon being forced to go down on Jeyne Poole before she’s raped by Ramsay not the same thing as this? It was the same idea – and similar in that we didn’t explicitly see it occur. It was made plain it was about to happen, Ramsay talked about it, and we certainly observed Jeyne suffer other indignities beforehand. Frankly, this feels like selective memory on your part. [Editor’s note: for an in-depth discussion of what Martin’s original scene was – and why it was adapted to the finished product – see our Anatomy of a Throne article here.]

Ramsay and Myranda

I think it’s fair to be critical of this wedding night scene, and I am critical of it myself, but I’ve tried to use this opportunity to examine my own past reactions so I can try to avoid hypocrisy or putting GRRM on a pedestal. This is an incredibly hard topic to dissect, and I don’t think we’ll make much progress by pretending that Martin didn’t depict quite a bit of sexual assault in the novels.

Miles

ghostlovesinger (Tower of the Hand):

I would never argue that Martin has never depicted sexual assault, and, yes, what happened to Jeyne Poole was horrible. There are totally legitimate conversations to be had about Martin’s own proclivities toward using the threat of rape to advance his female characters. I’m not holding him up on a pedestal here.

But let’s be real about this. Except for Cersei, none of the primary women in Martin’s series actually get raped, unless you really want to argue the Dany-Drogo thing, which is fair, but debatable. Martin himself never actually “goes there” very often. Jeyne is really one of the most notable examples, and, as you say, we cut away immediately before anything explicit took place. Not arguing that it’s fun or good or not worthy of criticism, or that Martin himself is immune from criticism, because it isn’t, and he’s not. But the show isn’t content with Martin’s level of rape depiction. The show wants more.

Theon

And, for the record, when I said “a scene like this one,” I didn’t mean “a rape scene.” I meant a rape scene that does a complete disservice to an established character and which could have been avoided without major changes to the narrative. As I said in my review of the episode, it makes sense for the Jeyne Poole scene to be mostly about Theon, because Theon is the primary character involved in the story. As horrible as the situation is for Jeyne, she is a side character. That scene didn’t immediately follow a series of chapters in which the reader was told that Jeyne had learned about strength, agency, independence, and manipulation. From what we know, she had been broken by Littlefinger long before this. I don’t see it as the same thing in any way.

…Although, that said, I will admit that I have been reconsidering my thoughts about the Theon story arc in A Dance with Dragons over the course of the week.

Nate

Nate (Watchers on the Wall):

I hated the scene first time I saw it. I was livid and, quite frankly, pissed as fuck. I was outraged that D&D used rape again to progress the story, but after thinking on it and reading an article at RawStory, I understand that “it was going to happen” (I guess is the easiest way to put it). I wouldn’t say it was entirely unavoidable, but Game of Thrones is a show that is dark, dangerous, and graphic, which is why it has the audience it has. It was tastefully done after re-watching – it’s effective and extremely horrific (it literally has been on some layer of my mind since Sunday) as an ending, and it leaves the biggest question: what’s next for Sansa? On that, I think, lies my ultimate judgement of the scene.

Axe

Axechucker (Watchers on the Wall):

I will say this also: the discussions have been very fascinating, and not just here. And while opinions do seem to differ to the extremes, few have (compared to past topics we’ve seen splattered across the interwebs) devolved into outright hostility or name-calling.

This thread is actually an exemplary example of how these kinds of discussions should be comported. So kudos to everyone involved.

Previous Murders

“The Wars to Come,” season five, and you

What if season five sucks?

The year in review

Casting the recastings in a new light

Westerosi immersion

The best – and worst – season of Game of Thrones

261 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. I am glad some people are starting to realize that the show has begun to jump the shark. It begun in S4 for me.

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    2. I boycott new episodes for 6 days and 23 hours each week in the spring….

      Just like I am a vegetarian for 23 hours each day.

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    3. If people reacted so passionately towards real world problems the way they do to things they see on the bloody TV, shit would be sorted in a snap….

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    4. Al Swearengen:
      I am glad some people are starting to realize that the show has begun to jump the shark. It begun in S4 for me.

      Or some people could say that the show has become too popular…. and as soon as that happens, haters gonna hate.

      Just like how the Star Wars prequels. A vocal minority complain very loudly about them. They say all 3 movies aren’t even close to as good as the original 3. And yet if you go onto SW website right now, you can see a poll in which Revenge of the Sith is the 2nd most popular movie in the entire saga.

      Haters gonna hate. The show is amazing.

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    5. Interesting debate, thanks. I think Sue is being the voice of reason. A couple of the Tower of the Hand people… well…

      These choice quotes…

      “I’m pretty confident I’ll find other stuff to watch that doesn’t insult my intelligence or betray my trust. As I said, I am going to finish out the season, but even if the last four episodes are the best the show as ever been, I will not be back for season six.”

      “And I’ll say this much: if and when Martin writes a scene like this one into his books, I’ll stop reading them, too”

      Are just bizarre. As you allude to Sue, Martin has written much, much worse.

      And I call BS on this individual not being back for season 6.

      Fundamentally I don’t really understand how someone can have such an extreme reaction to a scene that it makes them stop watching the programme (with the exception of people who can unfortunately relate to it due to previous experience).

      The only valid argument against it which I can unpick from all the words written on this subject so far, is that Sansa is being used as a tool to advance Theon’s story. In which case yes, rape is being used as a slightly throwaway manner which is ill-judged. But we don’t know that yet. We have to wait and see.

      I certainly don’t agree in this line of argument (again well countered by Sue) that Sansa was weak and passive, suddenly became an arch-manipulator, and is now weak and passive again. It’s perfectly believable that she has “progressed” as a person, is starting to play the game a lot more actively, but is still a novice. The wedding night doesn’t undo all that, it doesn’t turn her into the Sansa who was with Joffrey. She is certainly a different person (in some ways) to then, and it will be interesting to see where she goes from here. Life doesn’t work in perfect character arcs.

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    6. Tori Targaryen:
      If people reacted so passionately towards real world problems the way they do to things they see on the bloody TV, shit would be sorted in a snap….

      I think the reaction of Americans says more about our own pitfalls then it does anything about the show. We can see men have their heads chopped off on screen and we don’t flinch. But a rape and people go crazy.

      Same with real vs. fake. This is a story of fiction and people are getting upset. Yet Sony made a comedy about North Korea and people laughed. There is some true horror going on in that country and nobody seems to care.

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    7. Al Swearengen:
      I am glad some people are starting to realize that the show has begun to jump the shark. It begun in S4 for me.

      The only thing that has jumped the shark is people using the term “jumped the shark”

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    8. Does anyone else think that “The Gift” could dip below 6 million viewers, what with all of the table-flipping over last episode, the fact that it’s Memorial Day weekend, and the general downward trend of this season’s ratings?

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    9. The Bastard: Or some people could say that the show has become too popular…. and as soon as that happens, haters gonna hate.

      Just like how the Star Wars prequels.A vocal minority complain very loudly about them.They say all 3 movies aren’t even close to as good as the original 3.And yet if you go onto SW website right now, you can see a poll in which Revenge of the Sith is the 2nd most popular movie in the entire saga.

      Haters gonna hate.The show is amazing.

      So just because the show is popular we should all excuse the poor writing and shoddy decisions from D & D? GTFO

      And LOL at bringing the Star Wars Prequels into this. Those three movies are giant piles of steaming shit, the majority of Star Wars fans and movie fans in general know that.

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    10. One thing that pointed to the inevitability of the scene that no one (that I have seen) has mentioned was that in the previous episode, Roose told Ramsey about his conception, which was by a horrific rape. If there had been any doubt about what was going to happen on Sansa’s wedding night with Ramsey, that should have killed it right there!

      I still believe this is the best show on television right now. They do have their big fails depicting sexual violence, i.e., Jaime/Cersei rape and the Crasters Keep multiple rapes used as background. They also have some eyeroll-worthy plot fails, i.e., the Sand Snakes arrive at the same time as Jaime/Bronn.

      It is fantastic that there is so much discussion, and I fervently hope that the discussion leads to a lessening of gratuitous/titillating depictions of rape in popular culture, but I won’t be giving up on the show.

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    11. ghostlovesinger

      If the writers and showrunners wanted to tell a meaningful, character-driven story, they failed. Spectacularly. If they succeeded in telling the story they wanted to tell, that story sucks. I don’t know why this insistence on rape exists in this show, but if you are going to do that, at least have some respect for the gravity of what you are portraying. Have some self-awareness of the fact that you are presenting this story to a 2015 audience. And, for fuck’s sake, hire some women for your creative team.

      All that needs to be said. Thank you.

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    12. I find myself siding with Sue here. Just because someone is raped doesn’t automatically make them a weak character who has no control of their destiny. To some, strength is unyielding and just perhaps this includes Sansa. Lets wait and see how they handle the aftermath before we make judgements.

      I also appreciate the points brought up about how GRRM has been much more brutal with his rape scene depictions.

      And lastly, to those who said they were done, that’s totally fine. Just stick to your word and move on to greener pastures. Avoid the embarrassment of getting caught returning and making your declarations null and void (ghostlovesinger etc).

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    13. “As horrible as the situation is for Jeyne, she is a side character. That scene didn’t immediately follow a series of chapters in which the reader was told that Jeyne had learned about strength, agency, independence, and manipulation. From what we know, she had been broken by Littlefinger long before this. I don’t see it as the same thing in any way.”

      so it is ok to rape already broken poor girl bcz she didn’t have enough presence in the story…

      this debate isn’t about rape. it would be if the rape was depicted graphically or any way that it felt seductive. it was terribly uncomfortable and in no ways justifies the rape.

      why not admitting you didn’t like what happened in the story? someone who likes stories where only good things happen to good people should have known to stay the hell away from got.

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    14. Nope. Still watching. I’m going down with the ship.

      Westeros is a fictional place. It actually doesn’t exist. And it’s not based on 2015 society and culture.

      And last time I checked, women did work on the show’s creative team.

      When it comes to GoT, I think of a line from James Clavell’s Noble House: “Take it all, or take nothing”.

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    15. WalkerWhite:
      I find myself siding with Sue here. Just because someone is raped doesn’t automatically make them a weak character who has no control of their destiny.

      See, to me, it isn’t just the rape, though that’s emblematic of this season.

      Sansa’s character regression from episode 408 happened completely in episode 501, where the only remnant of her previous season’s supposed character development (which was also shoddily done, but that’s a separate argument) was her kewl black dress. It’s just that people have only gradually been catching up with this fact as the progress of the plot makes it more explicitly apparent. She has been every bit as manipulated and passive this season as she was in season 2, and has done nothing this season that she did not do in season 2 (which is why I find the way that people desperate to read character development into this arc exalt, say, the dinner scene or the bath scene, rather odd, unless their memories of what Sansa was like in King’s Landing are so totally dominated by the atrociously-written season 3).

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    16. WalkerWhite: And lastly, to those who said they were done, that’s totally fine. Just stick to your word and move on to greener pastures. Avoid the embarrassment of getting caught returning and making your declarations null and void (ghostlovesinger etc).

      Yes. And I don’t understand how ghostlovesinger can say they are done with the show, but at the same time will watch the rest of the season.

      Either this scene has killed the show for you (in which case stop watching now) OR you are giving the show the benefit of the doubt and will see how season 5 plays out before making this decision (in which case you can’t make the dramatic proclamations of never watching again etc.). Can’t have it both ways surely.

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    17. Al Swearengen,

      I am often amused by people who claim they have no interest in watching the show, frequent fan forums and websites. I don’t waste my time watching programs or movies I don’t like. I watched the first Hunger Games after reading the novels. I thought it was awful, so guess what? I haven’t watched the next two.

      I don’t care if the audience does fall. If people don’t enjoy watching the show, I encourage them to stop watching. I admit that might be problematic because some book readers don’t want to be spoiled if they don’t watch, but tough. Lots of unsullied have had to put up with you proudly saying that you have the read these great books.

      Books 4 and 5 (4 in particular) were considerably worse than the first 3 (according to fan ratings). Too many characters were introduced, and D&D have done a fair job trying to create a good season out of them that doesn’t drag so much. Has it been brilliant? Probably not, but I would still rate it above Season 2 at the moment (with potential to rise), and bearing in mind the books it is based on, that is a remarkable achievement.

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    18. Sean C.: She has been every bit as manipulated and passive this season as she was in season 2, and has done nothing this season that she did not do in season 2

      People don’t change overnight. It would be unrealistic if she was suddenly a different person. The black dress was an outward sign that something had clicked and she was ready to start playing the game. But it doesn’t mean she’s suddenly a master player. And she HAS done things she wouldn’t have done previously. She has talked back to Baelish, she has started to try and see how the game is played. She put Myranda in her place. And who knows what she will do from here.

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    19. I don’t get these people saying that this “rape” drastically alters Sansa’s story line when they nave ZERO clue as to how Sansa’s arc plays out in the books. People just like to bitch. I say goodbye to bandwagon fans. The show was way better before you people came out of the woodwork.

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    20. Al Swearengen:
      I am glad some people are starting to realize that the show has begun to jump the shark. It begun in S4 for me.

      Well now it’s a good time to stop watching it then. 🙂

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    21. 21st century political correctness and fear of offending some subgroup seems to be slowly but surely spinning out of control. I see one of the contributors to TotH has already stopped watching the show because Loras got arrested. Let me be upfront and say that I’m not a fan of GoT’s portrayal of Loras as ‘that gay guy’ when he could be a much more nuanced character. That said, I don’t mind in the least that the show had him arrested by the Faith because of his homosexuality. I don’t see anything unreasonable, illogical, or immersion-breaking in that. It is a deviation from the books, but a perfectly believable one, especially considering our own history (and presence in many countries around the world). So yeah, to stop watching because depicting persecution of gays as a plot point is, I dunno, off-limits somehow… what’s next in this renewed zeal for social justice?

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    22. I have been following WotW since the first week of its creation and only posted once I believe but I guess I really wanted to bring up this point that I feel has been discussed superficially.

      I will discuss only this single aspect of the controversy behind the scene as the rest have been discussed thoroughly and some people have made extremely intelligent observations (I agree with most of the things that Sue said in this Murder of Crows).

      What I think that people are giving for granted is the argument that since Sansa was raped then her growth has been interrupted and brought back to square one. But that’s not how things work, not in real life.

      In storytelling we see all the time that it’s secondary characters that get abused in the worst ways, subtly implying that to the ‘strong’ main characters this kind of stuff doesn’t happen. But the thing is that in real life people don’t prove their strength because things don’t happen to them, they prove it when things happen to them.
      The thought that this could happen to younger Sansa because she was weak and couldn’t possibly happen to older Sansa because she has grown is the kind of persuasion that we get (willingly or not) from the structures of storytelling we’re used to.
      And what concerns me is that films and other media may be reinforcing this idea and unwillingly implying that the worst things won’t happen to strong people, and that in a way the reason they happened to other people is because they are ‘weak’.

      This scene is typical Game of Thrones in the sense that it follows the pattern of Ned’s beheading and the Red Wedding, which show how bad things will happen to you regardless of who you are and how you are inside.
      Does this scene erase all of Sansa’s growth? It would if we adhered to the tropes of storytelling, but it wouldn’t in real life. Of course, there has to be some falling out, and the show will have to be good at exploring the trauma that will ensue.

      My point is that in the real world even characters like Stannis could get raped. Does this bring back their growth? No. Does it traumatize them? Yes, and that’s what we all hope the show will explore properly.

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    23. Jeb,

      I never proclaimed I had no interest in the show though. I’ve just grown more frustrated with the series over the past couple years because of the decline in quality with the writing and bizarre decision making from D & D. I adore ASOIF, so if I feel like D & D are doing a poor job then I will voice my displeasure, I am not going to bury my head in the sand and act like everything is all sunshine and rainbows.

      This show use to be special. Season 1 & 3 were some of the best television I have ever watched. And I honestly didn’t mind season 2, but season 4 & 5 have been extremely disappointing. It saddens me to see the show decline like this. I take no pleasure in the fact my views seem to rile up others. My complaints of the show are out of love.

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    24. Al Swearengen:
      I am glad some people are starting to realize that the show has begun to jump the shark. It begun in S4 for me.

      I don’t dislike the show the way you seemingly do, but then we are all different. Many people rave about how wonderful beetroot is but I absolutely hate it (and unlike Book Tommen I don’t have the option of outlawing it). I shan’t stop watching the show – not at this juncture in time anyway (I can’t foretell the future and if the showrunners do at some time make me loathe the show maybe I will stop bothering with it). If folk want to stop watching the show then obviously that is their right.

      Roberta Baratheon: They also have some eyeroll-worthy plot fails, i.e., the Sand Snakes arrive at the same time as Jaime/Bronn.

      Well, co-incidences do happen in real life sometimes, Robbie B. Thinking of plot-holes, I am “late to the party” with this, so apologies if somebody pointed this out five or six weeks ago, but did anybody notice that Tyrion was wearing different togs when he got out of the box in Essos than he was wearing when he got into it in Kings Landing harbour at the end of season 4?

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    25. Ross:
      And she HAS done things she wouldn’t have done previously.She has talked back to Baelish, she has started to try and see how the game is played.She put Myranda in her place.

      Sansa talked back to people and put servants in their place in King’s Landing too (again, see season 2). Likewise, she was trying to see how the game is played in King’s Landing too (though the show never really showed that, and just insisted on it after the fact).

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    26. JoJoSoPhat,

      Also Sue the Fury brings much-need gravitas and reason to the conversation.

      I believe casual viewers will say they will leave the show. Those, like me, who are are fully engrossed in (both- TV & Book) worlds of this series are in for the long haul. Rape for women in this world (and in the real world) is an ongoing threat. That’s why Arya had to have her hair cut off before leaving King’s Landing. That’s what Cercei was informing Sansa during the Battle of Blackwater. It was a matter of time when a main character would be getting assaulted, sorry to say. But it makes sense in this world and with these people, the Boltons.

      And people are acting as if this would be taking away from Sansa’s character. I believe the people who are thinking this are the ones victimizing Sansa and taking away her agency. It’s not like she is suddenly tainted and insignificant now. That’s insulting and says more about how we in the modern age treats rape victims.

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    27. Sue is so right. Being a victim of rape doesn’t make you weak. She doesn’t need to be saved by The Hound or Tyrion Lannister or Reek. She is strong.

      Plus the book readers don’t even know what happens between her and Harry the Heir other than that she thinks he’s a monster.

      Also, Ramsay by his nature, cannot be seduced. He would turn it on its head into something horrible.

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    28. Maybe fans’ reactions to Ramsay’s rough intercourse with Sansa would be milder if Ramsay is a dwarf, as dwarf cocks have magic powers.

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    29. Roberta Baratheon:
      I still believe this is the best show on television right now.They do have their big fails depicting sexual violence, i.e., Jaime/Cersei rape and the Crasters Keep multiple rapes used as background.They also have some eyeroll-worthyplot fails, i.e., the Sand Snakes arrive at the same time as Jaime/Bronn.

      I agree…but what I can’t abide is that all the failings are the result of D&D’s meddling with the original source. Adapt the book. Their own concoctions, frankly, suck. Produce, direct…fine…..but D&D need to stay the hell away from writing. Their ideas are lame, juvenile, bordering on frat-boy nonsense.

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    30. Valkyrist101 (Tower of the Hand):

      “I guess my main concern with this decision is that it takes Sansa’s character evolution – of someone who has been horribly abused, but has managed to escape her tormentors with her innocence and humanity intact,

      Sansa escapes wither innocence and humanity intact? Really? “Innocence” in the sexual sense of the term? Or in some moral sense?

      Because the Sansa who escaped King’s Landing and within days of the event, covered up the murder of her Aunt by faking tears and lying through her teeth to a Lord she knew? That wasn’t innocence. Recognizing that Baelish wants to have sex with her — and then deciding she is going to embrace that sexuality as a weapon to use against him is not “innocence” in my book either, though it is certainly not as shocking a crime as the one she commits concerning Lysa.

      I put it to you that if your own sister covered up your Aunt’s murder, regarding her conduct – my guess is that describing her actions as evidence of her intact “humanity” would be something that would never, ever, happen.

      Sansa had her reasons and they were pretty good ones, too. But innocence and altruism and humanity are not on her list of reasons. It was all about her own naked self-interest — and nothing else.

      Just because the show is a fantasy does not mean that you should create a further fantasy in how you describe these characters, their actions and their qualities, divorced from the reality as the show portrays it,

      You and others here have lost all sense of objectivity and perspective and you are making emotional judgments about imaginary characters without regard to the evidence within the tale itself.

      The emotions of fans of this show and book series who project and invest their own hopes, fears, and desires upon these fictional characters, never mind what happens to them or how they act in turn, is nothing short of astonishing.

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    31. I am more in line with those, particularly Sue, that are reserving judgment until we see how the story arc plays out. Sunday night I was both disgusted and furious. As the week has progressed, I have become, as is typical for me, more reserved in my judgement. Some thoughts in no particular order:

      1. It was rape. Full stop. So was Dany-Drogo in the books. It isn’t remotely close. Stop digging.

      2. It was unavoidable once they decided to bring Sansa to Winterfell and engage her to Ramsey. Anything else would have felt as horrifically bad writing as the Dorne Watergarden raid in broad daylight fiasco.

      3. I thought (hoped) it wouldn’t happen this quickly because of the need to gather Northern Lords and witnesses but given they are clearly cutting the whole political dealing going on in the books with the Karstarks, Manderlys, etc., I guess it makes sense.

      4. I think focusing the camera on Theon, not Sansa was a wise move from a shooting perspective and did NOT make the rape all about Theon. Of course, how they deal with the aftermath this week and for the rest of the season will determine the argument one way or the other.

      5. My wife, who has not finished the books, had a much less visceral reaction to the scene. this seems to be a basic truism, those of us who already had a specific connection with Sansa and who “she should be”, are more disturbed.

      6. Sue is very right. Being sexually assaulted does not take away a woman’s agency. Nor does the fact that Sansa was raped mean that they have destroyed what agency she developed since S4.

      7. Nor is the fact that she didn’t “fight” or that she cried (I’ve heard some say they would feel better if they saw determination in her eyes while enduring the rape) mean that she is a passive victim or a betrayal of her growing agency. People are complicated things and no one’s trajectory is always linear.

      8. I will keep watching.

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    32. Rafael:
      Excellent post! The rape doesn’t undo Sansa’s growth.

      The entire storyline that the rape is part of undoes Sansa’s growth. Hence, why she hasn’t shown any evidence of her prior character development this season beyond her wardrobe.

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    33. Sean C.: Sansa talked back to people and put servants in their place in King’s Landing too (again, see season 2). Likewise, she was trying to see how the game is played in King’s Landing too (though the show never really showed that, and just insisted on it after the fact).

      Putting a servant in their place and putting a potentially dangerous stranger, who is trying to bully and manipulate you, in their place, are two very different things.

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    34. dragonreborn,

      In a way, although I don’t agree with his position, of the naysayers I respect Stefan’s take the most. He’s honest in that he doesn’t think this is in the best service of Sansa’s character development.

      As I said, I don’t think that’s true; I’d say this turn of events is very much in keeping with Sansa’s overall character arc of a brutalised and traumatised girl that has everything taken away from her — freedom, home, family, wolf, name, and yes, even sexual agency — but refuses to be broken, refuses to submit, or surrender, or give up. In other words, she is a survivor, and does what she needs to do in order to survive and fight another day. And yes, the show gets even darker than the books in this instance, but I feel it is warranted and true to both her character arc and larger themes of ASoIaF.

      Now that I, hopefully convincingly, argued my position on Sansa, I feel that other objections to the scene that focus on the act of rape itself fall short. Because, yes, Martin does much worse in the books, in the corresponding scene in ADwD with Jeyne Poole and in countless other scenes that involve sexual violence against women that haven’t found their way onto the show (yet which many people conveniently forget about).

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    35. Cenere:

      What I think that people are giving for granted is the argument that since Sansa was raped then her growth has been interrupted and brought back to square one. But that’s not how things work, not in real life.

      In storytelling we see all the time that it’s secondary characters that get abused in the worst ways, subtly implying that to the ‘strong’ main characters this kind of stuff doesn’t happen. But the thing is that in real life people don’t prove their strength because things don’t happen to them, they prove it when things happen to them.

      The thought that this could happen to younger Sansa because she was weak and couldn’t possibly happen to older Sansa because she has grown is the kind of persuasion that we get (willingly or not) from the structures of storytelling we’re used to.

      Brilliantly put and something to think about. The sentence I bolded is especially pertinent, I think.

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    36. Ross: Putting a servant in their place and putting a potentially dangerous stranger, who is trying to bully and manipulate you, in their place, are two very different things.

      In King’s Landing there was no difference between “servant” and “potentially dangerous stranger”. Everyone was a potential threat.

      And, of course, the point of that scene was that Myranda was completely right, and Sansa was wrong.

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    37. all tl;dr
      What I’m finding less enjoyable about GoT is mainly following all of the conversation, articles and reviews of GoT. So much bitching!!

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    38. Youtube views:

      Game of Thrones Episode 5 preview – 848 527

      Game of Thrones Episode 6 preview – 778 781

      Game of Thrones Episode 7 preview – 1 094 991

      🙂

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    39. chebyshov,

      Who decides what is improper and offensive? In the scene we got, we didn’t see nudity (unless you count some of her back?) or sex of any kind so it’s hard to call it offensive on that count.

      It was disturbing mostly because we knew what was happening to a character we care about, with Ramsay ripping her dress, the sounds of her cries and Theon’s expression watching. But that was the end of the episode. So the story arc is nowhere near finished, therefore we have no idea whether or not the choice was ultimately one that helped her story at all.

      I would rather not have a rape scene, in general, but if we’re going to discuss the fact that *some* rape scenes can be good for plot/character development, we have to assess this situation. We’re still mid-plot here- how can anyone make a call as to whether or not this is a failure storywise?

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    40. Sean C.: In King’s Landing there was no difference between “servant” and “potentially dangerous stranger”.Everyone was a potential threat.

      And, of course, the point of that scene was that Myranda was completely right, and Sansa was wrong.

      No, the point of that scene was Sansa standing up to Myranda who was trying to intimidate her love rival. It was about her drawing strength from being in Winterfell. It was about demonstratng that she is not just meek, naïve Sansa of previous seasons.

      And what follows does not undermine that.

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    41. I have to be honest, not much could keep me from watching the show. Still, I feel literally sick though about what they have done with Sansa’s character.

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    42. Clob:
      all tl;dr
      What I’m finding less enjoyable about GoT is mainly following all of the conversation, articles and reviews of GoT.So much bitching!!

      Oh, I know what you mean. I can’t help myself, but at times this whole GoT thing feels like a chore. Like a dog that every time he sees a bone he’s being conditioned through electroshocks it’s bad so that neural pathways start malfunctioning and the poor thing goes crazy.

      I love the show, but it takes ever increasing levels of mental fortitude to set aside the constant barrage of hate and not start buying into it.

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    43. I think most of what can be said has been said, but not this:

      We don’t know what GRRM has in store for Sansa in TWOW. Harry the Heir seemed kinda like an asshole, when described by LF in the end of AFFC. In the new sample chapter Sansa is able to manipulate him. However, if this scene is based on a similar wedding night scene in the books, it may have been a good adaptive choice to merge Jeyne Pool and Sansa…

      just saying.

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    44. The level of outrage leveled at this episode seems huge only to people who spend way too much time online.

      Consider this – what is the percentage of people who watch the show on Sunday nights, then get on with the rest of their lives for the rest of the week, never reading a single review or critique, let alone taking or having the time to comment/critique/argue on fan sites, versus the percentage of people who watch the episode, then jump on line to start analyzing and critiquing and arguing?

      So … like 95%/5% … ?? 98%/2% …??

      I know a lot of people who watch the show, friends, family, co-workers etc. but NONE of them are even aware that these fan sites exist. I’ve been asking some of them this week about this controversy and they say “what controversy?” That’s because they have better things to do with their time than engaging in pointless debates about fictional TV shows.

      Now I’m not saying that there is no merit to any of these arguments, but some people just seem to go out or their way to bitch, and shit on D&D with a misplaced sense of importance as they use big words like “agency”, “character arc”, “jump the shark” etc., as if any of them could do a better job adapting these massive novels.

      Research has already shown that internet comment boards are breeding grounds for malcontents, a place for people who have too much time on their hands to rant and rave – heck, some new words have already been accepted in the English language to describe them: haters and trolls!

      So this controversy that is keeping the 5% buzzing online this week will pass, just like last year’s Jaime/Cersei shitstorm, haters gonna hate, people will rant and rave on their keyboard pulpits, but the other 95% go on wondering what’s the big deal, and Game of Thrones will live on.

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    45. Ross:
      And what follows does not undermine that.

      What follows absolutely does undermine that, because Sansa’s boast is proven completely wrong. Myranda is proved right.

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    46. Sean C.: What follows absolutely does undermine that, because Sansa’s boast is proven completely wrong.Myranda is proved right.

      With respect that is too simplistic. Of course Myranda was right about Ramsay, but she herself did not manage to intimidate Sansa in the way she wanted. That represents a (small) victory for Sansa. Of course she can’t win in the situation she is then in with Ramsay – but it doesn’t mean she automatically reverts back to Sansa 1.0. If anything, I imagine the event will harden her resolve to do anything in her powers to gain revenge on these people and to play the game with the powers she has. Ultimately we can’t really judge it until we see how it plays out.

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    47. Sue the Fury,

      Because every single shred of logic was defied to move Sansa to this point. Which casually dialed back the characterizations of Sansa, Littlefinger, and Roose Bolton in one fell swoop. And the fact is Sansa is a main character with her own arc, and she was moved to service someone else’s. So even if they somehow handle her violation deftly, it isn’t her story. The total and complete butchering of Sansa’s storyline was completed with this rape. And that’s not something the show can come back from. To me, that is a very good reason for the disgusted outcry and people turning away from watching. It was senseless and it was done to shock. If they wanted to intimately deal with a woman coming back from the rape of Ramsay, there was a character for that. They chose not to use her. They didn’t think we would care. Which is poetically the entire point of Jeyne…she wasn’t important enough at Winterfell for anyone to care either.

      Even if we want to look at this episode itself and ignore the ridiculous framework that was set-up to establish it, rape wasn’t a foregone conclusion. For one, they’ve hit us over the head with like 3 options for her rescue (Brienne’s bat-signal, the smallfolk of WF helping because “The North Remembers,” Stannis’s army arriving). And the fact that they couldn’t imagine any other way for this to conclude without rape? Seriously?

      And look, I 100% agree that a wife of Ramsay Bolton would get brutalized on the wedding night. Yet at the end of Season 4, D&D made it pretty clear that Sansa is an intuitive character, if nothing else. She tells Littlefinger “I know what you want,” and then outright acts on that, getting the Vale Lords on her side and positioning herself to have Littlefinger wrapped around her little finger. However much they dialed that back to get Sansa into Winterfell, they seemed to have some shred of understanding that intuition is a strength of hers, because that was in the Myranda scene. And a little bit in her dinner scene the episode before, when she’s clearly happy that Ramsay got bad news because she is starting to see him for who he truly is.

      So even though Myranda was trying to scare Sansa, it is alerting Sansa to Ramsay’s “true” nature. Clearly the episode before she was getting the impression that this isn’t the type of guy who you want to marry. And given his outward cruelness, the “make him yours” plan should feel DOA to her (again, as a character who gets Myranda’s motivations, calls her on it, and cows her…they’ve written Sansa inconsistently, but at least have her be one person in an episode). So maybe wouldn’t that have been a very good time to employ the Brienne bat-signal? Or to do something other than quietly resign herself to a completely illogical and unbeneficial fate?

      Not to mention, the show is clearly doing whatever it damn-well pleases, so the idea that had to include this to stick to the integrity of the situation is a bit paper-thin at this point. As if they couldn’t have imagined some other way to utilize Sansa in Winterfell that didn’t end in rape. It’s also particularly disturbing that the “empowerment” they gave Sansa in that scene with Myranda was simply to add to the shock and horror of what was coming up.

      As I said, was rape a foregone conclusion to the bride of Ramsay? Yes. Need it have been for Sansa? No. Plus I think it is should be noted that the D&D are more willing to remain true to Ramsay Bolton than they are to Sansa Stark. So that’s why to me, the “it would have been disingenuous otherwise” argument doesn’t resonate.

      I think what irritates me the most is that Cogman talks about how this was done because “there’s this great plotline with Ramsay” so of course using Sansa makes sense. But…what about this plotline did D&D like exactly? They have literally cut out everything (Northern Lords and that entire tension) other than Ramsay gets a bride that he rapes.

      And to give them the benefit of the doubt because “we don’t know yet”? No, we do know. They were out to rape Sansa for shock and they gave absolutely no damns about logic, thematic impact, and characterizations. It’s basically the textbook definition of “gratuitous.” Plus worse still they did it in a way that’s created a space for apologists while cowering behind the “well it’s in the books” defense. This was outright irresponsible.

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    48. chebyshov: For one, they’ve hit us over the head with like 3 options for her rescue (Brienne’s bat-signal, the smallfolk of WF helping because “The North Remembers,” Stannis’s army arriving).

      You would honestly rather someone swooped in “in the nick of time” in the tradition of Hollywood cheese than go through with the logical (if extremely unpleasant) consequence of the situation? That would have been truly awful. Why should they sacrifice plausibility for sensibilities? If nothing else I do think it was a brave decision. Can’t say if it’s the right one until we see the rest of the season.

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    49. chebyshov,

      You’ve completely hit the nail on the head with my gripes about the scene and Sansa’s arc in general this season. Eloquently written to boot. Bravo sir, bravo.

      “Brienne bat signal” god I won’t be able to take her scenes seriously anymore 😀

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    50. Ross,

      No, clearly it’s far better to go with the sexist trope that her brutalization was “needed” and she’ll rise from the ashes harder and stronger. Because her King’s Landing plotline didn’t happen. And because she really needed a reason to hate the Boltons. And because Jeyne was so clearly an empowered figure after her abuse. Or how a powerful female character (I think that’s what they were going for with Darth Sansa) needs to be brought low for the redemption of a man.

      Pass.

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    51. For all anybody knows, any person posting on this site could be a real life victim of rape – I mean, being a victim is not something one would want to broadcast to the world is it?

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    52. Harry Lime:
      Does anyone else think that “The Gift” could dip below 6 million viewers, what with all of the table-flipping over last episode, the fact that it’s Memorial Day weekend, and the general downward trend of this season’s ratings?

      Although I believe Sue was exaggerating by saying that “everyone” wanted to watch this episode because of the record number of pirated downloads, I do believe that most fans and even curious non-fans will be extremely interested to know exactly what happens next. There may be up to 5% of fans (although probably much less) who won’t watch the show because of this scene, but there will be a much more significant uptick in those who will want to watch to know how this plays out.

      That said, this is Memorial Day in the States. Folks are travelling. Folks are grilling. Folks are partying. So there may be even less this week than last week who watch live. But it won’t be because of the Sansa scene – at least not yet.

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    53. If only some of these people were just as critical of GRRM pervasive and casual use of sexual violence in his novels than maybe I would respect their opinions more.

      Especially from some of these comments from the “Tower of the Hand” people. I can’t that believe “ghostlovesinger” could read the rape filled ASOIAF series and make the comments he made and not even be aware of the staggering amount hypocrisy involved. “if and when Martin writes a scene like this one into his books, I’ll stop reading them, too.” I mean really?

      The guy has a mentally handicap woman being gang raped in his book along with a bunch of other random nameless women and side characters being raped and violated but some how they want to pretend like GRRM is above content like this or handles it better. The world GRRM describes in ASOIAF is far more sexually violent than the world we have seen in the show.

      That comment is even more pathetic because he literally wrote a scene just like this in the books. I would say his book version is even worse not just because it is more graphic but because Jeyne is only there to be a victim. She has no point of view in the story, no character development, only there to be a victim for Theons redemption arc. Sansa will have a role to play other than being a damsel for Theon to rescue.

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    54. So much wankery in that discussion, good God. Some of those Tower of the Hand folk are seriously out to lunch… reminds me again why I generally only discuss GoT here.

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    55. chebyshov,

      It was done carefully and handled with sensitivity on the part of Martin.

      Yea, the way Ramsay tells Jeyne to lie on the bed spread her legs so he can see her “cunt” and then jams his fingers up her “cunt”, then smacks her for being too dry and forces Theon to go down on her was handled with great sensitivity. The desperate lengths some of you will go to try and justify GRRMs use of this content to rationalize your critique of the show is ridiculous. Jeyne is barely a character, she is just there to be victimized for Theons redemption. The only reason this storyline is considered acceptable to some of you is not because it was handled with more care or sensitivity but simply because it was written by GRRM.

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    56. red viper,

      None of my friends who watch this show are aware of any controversy or only marginally so. The Internet is a breeding. Ground for wackos and malcontents and rabble rousers. I miss the old days when the only way you could be heard were letters to the editor.

      To the people who boast about quitting the show, please quit and don’t come back. If you find something offensive stop watching listening etcetera. Your constant bitching is just annoying to everyone else. We get it. You’re overy sensitive.
      George created a dark and violent world very much modeled on our own. To think that rape would be off limits in this world of mutilaions beheadings oil burning unwilling eunuchs is overly ridiculous. I read the books because bad things happen to characters I like. It is shocking and interesting at the same time. It’s not safe fiction.

      Also worth noting in the conversation is that when discussing the rapes in the book series I don’t believe I’ve seen Septon Utt or the Maester on Victarions ship that gets “used as a woman” mentioned.

      Bad horrible shite happens in the books. It makes it compelling. If you don’t like these things go back to reading Harry potter or divergent.

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    57. Mr Fixit,

      Mr. Fixit, you have misinterpreted my argument, but even worse, you’ve invented an entirely new argument, ascribed it as my own, then argued against it. Frankly, that’s more than a bit insulting, especially given that you’ve ignored everything I wrote.

      My words, explicitly, were that I stopped watching the show as it seems to be putting in “controversy for controversy’s sake.” Social justice, political correctness , and the like had nothing to do with what I wrote, yet you threw it at my feet.

      So, here’s why the Loras arrest makes no sense.

      Homosexuality in the books follows the pre-modern approach. In that, exercise of masculinity was important. Homosexual noble men were expected to marry and further the family line, exercise discretion in their trusts with their preferred gender, and act in accordance with traditional masculine virtues. In short, femininity was what was to be avoided. In this, Loras does well, as he is a great jouster and swordsman.

      We don’t see, in the books, a gay man as the target of religious violence. It’s a transplant of a situation in our own society with 21st century morality into Westeros. So, it’s immersion-breaking, because it’s a transplanted scenario, not one that grew organically out of the setting.

      Even if homosexuality is demonized in the Faith, we never see it. Oberyn and Lorax have no problems in King’s Landing. Renly is the target of a few jokes, but his homosexuality is an open secret. Yet none of these characters get so much as a slur thrown in their earshot. Even nobility can’t be said to be a shield, as Littlefinger staffs an arsenal of male prostitutes who are likely lowborn. Littlefinger might survive thanks to his money, but his staff wouldn’t be so lucky.

      Corruption can’t be held as a limiter, and neither can it be seen as solely growing out of the Faith Militant, as they don’t practice some extremist version of the Faith that condemns homosexuality more.

      So, there we are. Unreasonable for the time period and setting, which breaks immersion and runs contrary to the logic in place. Three-for-three.

      Regards,
      SomethinglikeaLawyer

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    58. Clob:
      all tl;dr
      What I’m finding less enjoyable about GoT is mainly following all of the conversation, articles and reviews of GoT.So much bitching!!

      Why do you follow them if you don’t like them? 😉 Just kidding. I understand what you mean. Remember it’s all supposed to be entertainment.

      I enjoy it and I enjoy a lot of the discussion around it as a break from real world things. For example today there’s been real controversy about the urban planning politics of Stockholm with political parties deciding to block much needed development. So I joined some people in writing an article about it. Then I was working on my master thesis which I need to turn in on Monday and which still has some factual problems with it I would like to fix.

      So I enjoy the break of discussing if Sansa/Jeyne is ruining the Sansa character or not. If it stops being entertainment for you just quit it.

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    59. Zeus: To the people who boast about quitting the show, please quit and don’t come back. If you find something offensive stop watching listening etcetera.

      Amen! And I don’t mean that in any mean-spirited way either, though it might look that way. There have been plenty of TV shows I stopped liking. Thing is, I stopped watching them! Life’s too short to waste it on entertainment that bores you. Find another show you like and enjoy it!

      (For the record, that’s why I stopped reading almost all the GoT fansites except this one… because I got bored reading pages and pages of ridiculosity.)

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    60. chebyshov,

      While I’d like to think that there may be valid points in your post, it’s exceedingly difficult to identify them in a text that overflows with verbiage such as:

      shred of logic
      total and complete butchery
      disgusted outcry
      senseless
      ridiculous framework
      hit us over the head
      bat-signal
      paper-thin
      shock&horror
      gave…no damns
      gratuitous
      apologists
      irresponsible

      When even Purists-in-Chief Elio and Linda are taken aback by the hysteria, it’s really something to behold.

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    61. maybe it should be boycotted because of the poorly done action scenes, weird lightings, dropping storylines for seasons and inconsistencies but not for that scene!

      rape as horrible and unfortunate as it is it’s still a common phenomenon in today’s world, just take a look at our own civilized country and see how many cases occur every year let alone rest of the world. in a medieval environment It was prevalent way more.

      showing it on screen doesn’t encourage people to become rapists and censoring it doesn’t make it go away either!

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    62. The show’s writing has seen better days. In retrospect, you can see how D&D were laser focused on getting to the Red Wedding. The writing was generally fantastic up until the end of S3. Since then, the quality of the writing (likely a result of the quality of D&D’s season outlines) has declined. There used to be a time where I’d say “In D&D I trust”. To me that meant “These guys know and respect the source material and will do everything possible to create a faithful adaptation”. Those days are long gone. I used to get annoyed at name changes (Yara), but think, “These guys know the industry and there’s probably a good reason for this”. Now I get annoyed that the major themes and character storylines are gone or altered beyond any recognition (Brienne, Jamie, Greyjoys, Dornish plots, DIREWOLVES, Warging, Sansa, etc. etc.). I still get annoyed at the little LAZY things like ‘1000 Eyes and…2?’.

      Regarding Season 5 so far: Parts of some of these episodes have me rolling my eyes (DORNE). Others have me wishing for even further departure from the books (Sansa’s wedding night). News Flash: Rape happens and it’s HORRIBLE. The source material and the show depict rape numerous times. The problem is not that it happened in the show; it is that they altered an entire storyline to make it happen and in doing so contradicted all of the character development that Sansa underwent recently. I have no idea, however, what the hell is going to happen with her. Maybe I’ll feel differently when the rest of the season puts this in context for me.

      That said, I still get excited every Sunday night. Every week, my unsullied wife tells me to (and I’ll paraphrase) stop being such a book wanker. I’m excited for Tyrion’s story, King’s Landing, Arya, even Jon’s arc. I’m interested to see if they can salvage the Dornish storyline (Bronn’s cut, is Jamie going to fulfill Aerys Oakheart’s role, what have the Dornish to do with anything if Doran’s plots never happened in the show). I’m also interested in the Baelish & Winterfell storylines and how the hell they’ll resolve those. I look forward to next season as well, seeing Bran, some Greyjoys, etc.

      Side Note:
      The Bastard,

      Dude, you can’t be taken seriously if you defend the Star Wars Prequels.

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    63. Sue the Fury,

      Sue and Axechucker: thanks for being voices of reason on that panel.

      I’ve been a longtime lurker who only posted once or twice before Sansagate. Then, the floodgates opened. I started typing, and before I knew it, my subconscious disgorged paragraph after paragraph in post after post. I wasn’t even consciously organizing my thoughts. I just wrote.

      And looking back on it all, I can’t believe I had so much to get off my chest. Regarding a TV show. Regarding a fictional character. Regarding a staged ‘rape’ that the brilliant actress involved confessed to secretly loving because it was ‘so messed up.’

      Sansa and Reek and Ramsay and all the rest have become more real to me than my co-workers I see every day who are just cogs in the corporate cubicle machine, the smallfolk, the Mereen slaves with dog collars. The Jeyne Pooles.

      For some of us, GoT and ASOIAF has become an obsession. For others, it’s gone way beyond that. It has become a religion. The Bible. The Faith of the Seven. That ridiculous guy from TOTH acts like he just watched the Virgin Mary get raped.

      Come to think of it, could the Virgin Mary have said ‘no’ to God? Did the Virgin Mary have ‘agency’? Did the D&Ds and Cogmans who cobbled together the Bible go too far? Will some High Sparrow cast me into the black cells with Loras just for joking about this?

      A while back, GRRM opined that those in charge of adapting a book for the screen should be careful about messing with the original story, as no one really knows what mysterious alchemy went into making the book a success in the first place.

      That’s what’s been happening.

      George himself is finding it difficult to recapture the magic (hence, the delays).

      The point is, we can analyze ‘that scene’ from now until the publication of ‘A Dream of Spring’ and get nowhere. It’s not ‘that scene.’ It’s us.

      Our reaction–The Disturbance In The Force–is what fascinates me. GoT and ASOIAF have tapped into something, and D&D have pounded the nails even deeper.

      What is it?

      ‘The truth is not in the stars, but in ourselves’–or some such.

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    64. Good conversation. I agree with Axechucker & Bex with regards to boycotting. I have friends who do not watch Thrones simply because they do not want to have to watch any sexual violence, and that is perfectly legitimate. But boycotting the show *because* of the scene in question? I think that’s ludacris. Yes it’s a sensitive topic, yes the scene is extremely disturbing and upsetting but it has a function in the story. As much as I would have liked to see it play out differently, Ramsay is Ramsay and Sansa is Sansa: when you put the two in a room, they act as you would expect. The former will not wait for consensual sex and the latter is not ready to consumate the marriage.

      Which leads me to one arguably more important thing I want to echo about responses to Valkyrist101’s first statement. The major problem I have with the “back to square one character development” argument is that Sansa getting raped does *not* make her any less of a character, make her less manipulative, diminish her worth or cause her to forget what she has learned. The argument is too victim blame-y. I’ll even go a step further and say she does play the game at WF. What about the congrats to Walda while smirking at Ramsay? What about Sansa figuring out Myranda and dissmissing her jealousy as juvenile and unimportant? The real test for the showrunners will in fact be the followup. That is, how does Sansa react in the aftermath? How is she able to bond with Theon or convince herself that Brienne is trustworthy?

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    65. chebyshov: Even if we want to look at this episode itself and ignore the ridiculous framework that was set-up to establish it, rape wasn’t a foregone conclusion. For one, they’ve hit us over the head with like 3 options for her rescue (Brienne’s bat-signal, the smallfolk of WF helping because “The North Remembers,” Stannis’s army arriving).

      Why are people so sure that Brienne can help/rescue Sansa? It is quite possible that Ramsay kills her, or wounds her ‘n flays her alive, or captures her ‘n fucks her as well + forces Sansa to watch him fucking Brienne.

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    66. Also, Sansa agreeing so fast and easy to go to Winterfell and restart her captivity mode MAKES NO SENSE!

      The rape scene itself wasnt bad writing, illogical writing leading to this inevitable consequence was bad!

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    67. SomerhingLikeALawyer,

      Of all the flaws in the story, having the treatment of homosexuality be not historical and contradictory is obviously the most severe.

      Give me a fucking break. This kind of shit is so insignificant.

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    68. SomerhingLikeALawyer,

      I must admit that I don’t understand your argument. In the Middle Ages, depending on the exact time and location, homosexuality was generally treated as a crime and sin, though not always. There were instances of tolerance, and even some evidence of the existence of what could be characterised as proto-same-sex marriage, believe it or not (in France). However, due to the waxing and waning of Church influence, among other factors, just as there were periods of intense social violence aimed at homosexuals, there were also periods where such things were practiced much more ‘liberally’, if precautions were taken to not be open about it in public. As always, because of the instability of the social order and lack of clear rules and laws in those time, these things could — and often did — change almost overnight.

      Therefore I don’t think it illogical in the least that there are various factions within the Faith, and within society at large, which have differing views on homosexuality, the danger it represents, and on the steps, if any, that should be undertaken to prevent and punish it. Until now, given the relative peace and prosperity of the Seven Kingdoms, and not to forget, 300 years of Targaryen rule which certainly influenced (read: relaxed) views on uncommon (or sinful) sexual behaviour, it doesn’t surprise me that rumoured instances of homosexuality, especially among the high-born elites, have generally been ignored.

      But, as in our real history, times change. Wars, famine, and other phenomena that lead to a widespread breakdown of social order are fertile grounds for zealots and fanatics of all sorts to appear. It’s even more dangerous where lords and kings use this climate to pursue other, often political, goals. For instance, one of the accusations level against the Knights Templar when they became a threat was that of homosexuality.

      I see no problem in believing that a similar climate might be flourishing in the show canon. Homosexuality has probably always been a sin the eyes of the Seven, but was tolerated and not paid any attention to until recently. Now, with the High Sparrow in charge and with the Crown’s support, I can well imagine that all sorts of previously allowed or tolerated behaviour would suddenly become much more dangerous to practice openly. I fail to see what is illogical about that. And I fail even more to see how that would be grounds for ‘being done with the show’ when such views on homosexuality are in no way inconsistent with either real history nor with established ASoIaF themes.

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    69. Lion of Night: That is, how does Sansa react in the aftermath?

      That’s the right question, how does Sansa react in the aftermath? In the case Sansa will get pregnant with Ramsay, do u think she should undergo an abortion by drink Moon tea? Moon tea is an abortifacient drug, substance that induces abortion.

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    70. Lion of Night:
      The major problem I have with the “back to square one character development” argument is that Sansa getting raped does *not* make her any less of a character, make her less manipulative, diminish her worth or cause her to forget what she has learned.

      But the storyline does do that, because she has not demonstrated any of those characteristics this season.

      I’ll even go a step further and say she does play the game at WF. What about the congrats to Walda while smirking at Ramsay? What about Sansa figuring out Myranda and dissmissing her jealousy as juvenile and unimportant?

      Neither of those things constitute “playing the game”. The “game” is not snarking on people (Sansa did that in season 2, too). The game is the game of thrones, which Sansa has done absolutely nothing in all season, while being led around compliantly by the nose and victimized by all parties.

      And specifically on the Myranda scene, that scene exists to set up that Sansa is wrong. She tells Myranda that she’s different in station from all the other women Myranda describes, only for Ramsay to rape her and treat her just like the rest.

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    71. I just wanna focus for a moment on the people claiming that GRRM is as much to blame as the show runners, and direct you to this article on the subject – which words stuff way better than I ever could.

      https://pawntoplayer.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/unbroken-unbent-unbroken-unbowed-unbowed-unbent/

      A bit long, but a good read if you’ve got the time. If you don’t, just locate the paragraphs in which he compares the narrative effects of the scene in the show with the narrative effects of the “equivalent” scene in the books. I personally don’t feel as though the writer is putting GRRM on a pedestal in this article. I think he makes some very good points.

      It largely comes down to the amount of involvement Ramsay, Theon and “Sansa” (Jeyne) have had at this point in the show’s story vs this point in the book’s story.

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    72. Mr Fixit: I see no problem in believing that a similar climate might be flourishing in the show canon. Homosexuality has probably always been a sin the eyes of the Seven, but was tolerated and not paid any attention to until recently. Now, with the High Sparrow in charge and with the Crown’s support, I can well imagine that all sorts of previously allowed or tolerated behaviour would suddenly become much more dangerous to practice openly. I fail to see what is illogical about that.

      Don’t even need to focus on the homosexuality side of it … notice that the Sparrows are also destroying a bunch of wine barrels. Even though we’ve seen plenty of characters drown themselves in wine throughout the show, these guys are against it. They’re fanatics doing what fanatics do.

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    73. Scenes like the slapstick WaterGarden skirmish and the Yara Dreadfort goofiness are much better reasons to boycott than the forced, premature Sansa predicament.

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    74. To all the people sayings “I’m not watching” I’ll see you all here on Sunday ;).

      To those that will actually “stop watching”, have fun missing out on For the Watch, Draznak’s Pit, and The walk of shame.

      Like Stefan alluded to, when the show is on point, it is immensely satisfying.

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    75. Hodor’s Bastard:
      Scenes like the slapstick WaterGarden skirmish and the Yara Dreadfort goofiness are much better reasons to boycott than the forced, premature Sansa predicament.

      Add Qarth and Robb/Talisa love story, too. Fortunately, the relatively few goofy scenes are heavily outweighed by the good stuff (IMHO). It’s kinda like that horse-running scene in Tombstone. Ridiculous, but not enough to take away from an otherwise great story.

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    76. The Rat Kook,

      This guy is fighting a complete strawman. The “you didn’t care when it was Jeyne” argument is being directed at those who have expressed moral outrage at the scene existing and who say that the books were better in that regard.

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    77. The Bastard,

      .. did you just try to compare GoT to the Star Wars prequels? Lol.
      Damn man, I have my issues with the show too, but I don’t hate it THAT much. The simple reason Revenge of the Sith is ranked as the best is because that’s what the younger audiences are more familiar with. It’s directly tied to the newer CGI show. No 9 year old prefers Empire over Attack of the Clones.

      Anyway this is a baity thread and I’m sick to death of this stupid “controversy” – so I’m not even gonna address it.
      If you’re gonna leave then please go. Just go. Stop talking about why you’re leaving and go already. Hit the Gold Road and keep going west until you hit Lannisport, then jump into the water and keep going until you hit the Lonely Light.

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    78. Sean C.,

      There are two things going on here. One is conflating Sansa’s entire S5 arc with the rape. Let’s keep them separate for the sake of discussion. If you’d like to argue that her entire arc is a step back, fine, we probably disagree there.

      My statement is simply concerned with the rape and whether or not being a victim of that takes away character development. And in order to know the effects of the rape on Sansa, we have to see the aftermath, which we have yet to see.

      And specifically on the Myranda scene, that scene exists to set up that Sansa is wrong. She tells Myranda that she’s different in station from all the other women Myranda describes, only for Ramsay to rape her and treat her just like the rest.

      But Sansa *is* different. We as viewers know this. Sure, it doesn’t change how Ramsay treats her because Ramsay does not discriminate and treats all women abhorrently. One cannot judge Sansa’s merit on how a psychopath treats her.

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    79. Littlefinger taught Sansa to go for the win-win scenarios. The idea of marrying Ramsay to regain the north or wait for Stannis to similarly give her the North is presented as a win-win scenario. But that assumes you don’t care about what happens to the pawns. Now Sansa, being a pawn, has learned that so-called win-win scenarios can have a lot of suffering for the pawns. I think perhaps what D&D were going for here is Sansa rejecting Littlefinger’s teachings, because she can never treat pawns as objects to use like Littlefinger. Maybe she’ll move towards Manderly-style guerrilla politics; maybe she’ll work out a way to be a Wolf again, a Wolf with Stark honour that doesn’t get ripped apart by enemies. She needs her pack.

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    80. The “game” is not snarking on people (Sansa did that in season 2, too).The game is the game of thrones, which Sansa has done absolutely nothing in all season, while being led around compliantly by the nose and victimized by all parties.

      I kind of disagree with this statement. I think the entire purpose of her going back to Winterfell and marrying Ramsay was to regain the North. You can’t play the “game of thrones” without Kingdoms…and Sansa isn’t going to have a Kingdom without marrying into one. It’s a necessary evil for a greater outcome. By choosing to go to Winterfell she positions herself to regain the North either through Stannis’ victory in Winterfell or (as I’m hoping) her own actions in rallying the Northern Lords in an all out revolt against the Boltons.

      The “concept” is the same as it is in the books. Why was she going to marry Harry? To gain the Vale and regain the North with the Vale army. The entire purpose of marriage for Sansa (no matter the groom) is to gain control of Kingdoms. She IS playing the “game of thrones”. That we don’t like what she has to do to ‘play’ it (or the way its portrayed on TV) doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s happening. She’s not suffering needlessly. She’s suffering to regain her House/Kingdom.

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    81. Mr Fixit,

      Your argument really doesn’t hold up with the reality of Westeros as it has been presented in the books or show, or in the medieval Europe counterpart of our own world. As I said, it beggars belief that now, and only right now, is it really a problem and so against the grain of the Faith. Homosexuals don’t have the backing of the Crown behind them like incestuous marriage, so the fact that there’s been nothing about it only for it to be a big deal? Jarring. Especially since we haven’t seen a lick of evidence that homosexuality even mattered until right then. The Reach and Dorne are rather liberal with their attitudes, and we never hear of religious preconceptions against homosexuality in Westeros. So, yes, it’s illogical and jarring when taking the setting on its own.

      Where your logic and the setting hold is if we applied the relatively modern conception of all homosexuality is abomination that we see in the present, as well as the Catholic Church’s own proscriptions on the practice. Unfortunately, bringing in this outside information degrades our perception of these settings and actions.

      In the end, it comes down to poor writing and an attempt to use controversy to get viewers to make the same support of the setting that you yourself have made. The showwriters needed the Faith to prosecute the Tyrells to put Margarey and Cersei where the plot required. They couldn’t do an adultery charge since Tommen was old enough to consummate the marriage, so they went with arresting Loras. I understand why they did it, but the execution cemented their ultimately mediocre writing when they stray from the core text, and the use of shock to ram plot holes past the audience simply turned me off, especially since I know that the series will be straying further and further from book material as it continues onward.

      Hopefully this can clear up your confusion.

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    82. I’m so conflicted about this whole show right now. I love the show to pieces – its my favorite show – but I’m so angry that they use our love for the show to get away with such shitty things such as Cersei’s rape, Sansa’s rape, that horrible Craster’s Keep rape-fest, stabbing Talisa to death in her pregnant stomach, the sexual assault (for lack of a better word) on Gendry, the almost rape of Meera, the whole sexualized aspect of and extreme extent of Theon’s torture, and the sexualized murder of Roz. Yes the show is horribly violent but its a show about war and there has to be violence. All of the scenes above were added sexualized violence. No one needed it added. And let’s be honest – no one needed to see SO MUCH torture of Theon. We got the hint with about 1/3 of it. Part of the shock and horror of the show is because we’re seeing it versus reading about it. There is no way that the book could be quite as brutal as watching it happen. That’s understandable.

      Its very hard for me as a fansite owner for the show to process this. I still love the cast, I love the show – minus the scenes mentioned above, but I no longer trust David & Dan to do what’s best for the actors or the characters if they have an option to make it more shocking and brutal. I honestly never thought they would do something like this to Sophie Turner who they watched grow up from a young girl. I guess the fact that they didn’t actually show it was the extent of their respect for little girl growing up on the show. She was already almost raped and humiliated as part of the storyline so why couldn’t they have gone with another way of handling of this scene. Nothing they did with this scene would make us feel any less hate or repulsion for Ramsay’s character or for Theon’s suffering so why not have made this scene about Sansa actually handling it in a way that showed her strength. I don’t really know that there was a good way to handle the scene because I wouldn’t have wanted her to seduce him but maybe she could have manipulated him in some other way. I really don’t know what the alternative was but I hate how we’re here having this discussion again after last year’s rape-tastic season.

      But the show gets bigger and more popular every year sending the screaming message to D&D and everyone else that no one really cares what they do enough to affect their viewership – they’ll still suck everyone into their web. So I guess in the end, I’ll be one of the hypocrites and continue watching and promoting the show because its 80% awesome. I don’t mind promoting the cast because I think they’re still amazing.

      I do think Sophie Turner will end up getting a lot of flack for this because of the EW interview she did before she filmed the scene and saying she ‘loved’ the scene. I think her wording was bad and the timing of the interview made it easier to say but she’s also got to support the show – they’re her employers – and she’s been on the show and seen worse happen so is she really going to be that surprised? She was probably just thrilled to death she wasn’t going to be naked and it wouldn’t be shown in detail. I feel sorry for her because she has also stated in another interview that there was a ‘very traumatic’ scene this season and I think that was a more honest statement than ‘loving’ it. She loves that she’s doing a challenging scene – not that she’s doing a rape scene.

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    83. I think this scene is being judged way too early.

      I think people that are calling it gratuitous as opposed to GRRM’s version are being incredibly stupid. GRRM’s version is much worse. The only reason this sparked controversy is because it’s Sansa- the ONLY reason. People who complain about the scene because it’s another time the show adds an original rape scene are kidding themselves, and people who are criticizing HOW it was portrayed are even more so- in my opinion they showed it in a way that wasn’t graphic at all, but was still as powerful and dramatic as Sansa getting raped should be.

      The critique that IS partially justified is the one that says it undermines Sansa’s growth and places her back in the victim position before she ever really managed to justify her Darth Sansa turn. And on that, I say wait and see. Yes, Sansa was raped and in that was powerless- which goes against her arc of obtaining power. But the real test of this arc will be how she takes it and what she does with it.

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    84. Lion of Night:
      But Sansa *is* different. We as viewers know this. Sure, it doesn’t change how Ramsay treats her because Ramsay does not discriminate and treats all women abhorrently. One cannot judge Sansa’s merit on how a psychopath treats her.

      It’s not a question of Sansa’s merit. The supposed strength of that scene is Sansa’s asserting that she is different from the women Myranda tries to scare her with, but the subsequent scene shows that she is not, in any way that matters. Ramsay rapes her and (after she made a point of how she could not be scared in her home) reduces her quite visibly to tears and terror.

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    85. Except for Cersei, none of the primary women in Martin’s series actually get raped, unless you really want to argue the Dany-Drogo thing

      Oh. Unless you want to argue that one little thing that is literally identical to the HBO’s depiction of Ramsay and Sansa?

      He always took her from behind, Dothraki fashion, for which Dany was grateful; that way her lord husband could not see the tears that wet her face, and she could use her pillow to muffle her cries of pain. -A Game of Thrones, Daenerys III

      Some things are hard to watch. Defining horror isn’t something we should try to do, to gauge, measure or compare to anything else because it means something different to everyone. And we certainly shouldn’t judge artists based on what personally affects us; much less long before the relevant sequential content is released. I’m neither a fan of judging people for expressing their feelings, or allowing people to make irrational claims (e.g. This kind of thing never happened in the books!) to justify their own toward artists.

      Some of you found this disturbingly hard to watch. I did too. I can’t stand to watch women suffering, that’s just my thing; and to this day I still have to fast-forward the Season 2 scene where Joffrey abuses his “nameday gifts” of Ros and Daisy. But after that scene never once did I feel like making a public statement and threatening to quit watching; and if I had I would have done it, and meant it. Not sought to explain myself, or judge a plot-line that I had yet to see the end of, or vowed to quit… only after watching the remainder of the season. That wouldn’t matter, because I would be done.

      If you want to quit, if you find this show so reprehensible or just personally disturbing that you can’t watch it anymore then I can completely understand that. But if this scene of paid actors simulating violence, who love their job, is having such a powerful effect on you that you’re compelled to speak out about it after you’ve stuck with it for five-seasons, then I’m willing to bet it’s because you’re immersed in the content, and if you’re immersed in the content then you probably love it.

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    86. SomethingLikeALawyer:
      Mr Fixit,

      Where your logic and the setting hold is if we applied the relatively modern conception of all homosexuality is abomination that we see in the present, as well as the Catholic Church’s own proscriptions on the practice. Unfortunately, bringing in this outside information degrades our perception of these settings and actions.

      I honestly don’t get your position. Are you saying that ‘homosexuality as abomination’ is a relatively modern conception? People were burned at the stake for it in the Middle Ages! Countless people were executed on those charges in certain times!

      As for your position on homosexuality in Westeros, can you name a single book character that is openly homosexual? Let’s leave Dorne out of this conversation for obvious reasons. The mere fact that there AREN’T ANY shows you that homosexuality is not looked upon favourably.

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    87. Was thinking of writing a long analytical piece again explaining why the scene was perfectly legitimate and that things that feature rape don’t encourage, plus plenty more but ultimately….

      Anyone who is still making an issue about this then just stop talking and please f*ck right off if you don’t want to watch the show anymore. Leave the rest of us in peace.

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    88. I do sense a sincere “quit the show” and this time I mean it attitude from many corners that I haven’t before in the series run. We can debate back and forth the merits or not of the scene but the bottom line is it’s a mistake and a scene that has hurt the show. Anyone who tries to deny that is lying to themselves. It has attracted negative publicity and negative PR and I do believe some of the people who maintain an attitude of never watching again. I think they mean it this time.

      The ratings will be down this week. Many will cite Memorial Day and once again broken piracy records in an attempt to hold true to their opinion that their favorite show on TV is as universally loved by everyone else as it is them. But the fact is, it’s not. This is a point in the series run that will be looked back on as a damage point. There is no question about it. It has damaged the series in terms of public relations.

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    89. This whole Sansa outrage has really not been sitting right with me (and I say this as a woman who has experienced sexual assault) for a number of reasons. I feel like a lot of the arguments against this scene are inherently sexist, disingenuous or hypocritical in nature. I know that one of the biggest complaints that people have had is that it wasn’t in the books or that its equivalent scene happened to Jeyne Poole, a minor character we have little emotional investment in and who has not had the level of character progression that Sansa has had, and that shifting this plot line onto her regresses that progression. But are we really going to pretend that because we are not as emotionally invested in Jeyne Poole, what happens to her in the books is somehow less gratuitous or horrific? We have a character who is the same age as Sansa whose entire arc has consisted of repeated brutal sexual abuse and a complete lack of agency and thus her suffering is less important?

      And let’s not pretend that Sansa being raped somehow undoes her development as a character because that’s sexist as fuck. So if a woman is sexually assaulted she’s just reduced back to a passive victim and all evolution she’s undergone as a character is just dismantled?? A lot of people have said things along the line of “rape does not build character, people don’t grow stronger from it”; again, as a woman who has gone through it, absolutely it does not! But it also does not make a person weak or passive and it doesn’t strip someone of their agency or strength.

      And a lot of people have argued that the scene wasn’t necessary, that it was gratuitous, that it did nothing to advance the storyline. And I don’t disagree. It wasn’t necessary. Neither was Theon’s season long torture sequence where he is sexually assaulted and mutilated. Except instead of collective moral outrage, we had “dick in a box” memes. And I remember people calling those scenes drawn out and gratuitous, but I don’t remember people and websites coming out in droves to boycott the show and write think pieces. As a feminist who believes in gender equality, that pisses me off. Now, Theon was indisputably a shitbag of a person and Sansa is pretty damn innocent. But you know who is also indisputable a shitbag of a person? Cersei. And we were all pretty damn outraged over her being raped. So I guess the moral of the story is that Theon deserved it but Cersei didn’t…? IIRC, most, if not all, of Theon’s torture occured “off screen” in the books, and his mutilation is mostly hinted at. Yet in the show, it was front and center.

      And for the record, I hated that Jaime/Cersei scene. Not only was it completely out of the blue with no ramifications for either one of them, to me it completely undermined Jaime’s development as a character. A person can grow and evolve and be raped and still be a strong, complex character. A person can’t, however, grow and evolve into a sympathetic person and then rape someone and still come out a sympathetic person. But again, people are conflating that scene and this scene and calling it out as yet another ill conceived scene contrived simply for the male audience’s titillation. But there is a vast difference between how that scene played out and how this one played out and I don’t see how anyone could make the argument that this scene wasn’t depicted with the appropriate gravity and seriousness it deserved. I fully believe that Sansa’s rape will have real ramifications in the story, whereas the Jaime/Cersei scene was utterly excused and swept under the rug.

      And as for saying that GRRM does not subject his main female characters to sexual violence, I’ll just drop these in here:

      “Yet every night, some time before the dawn, Drogo would come to her tent and wake her in the dark, to ride her as relentlessly as he rode his stallion. He always took her from behind, Dothraki fashion, for which Dany was grateful; that way her lord husband could not see the tears that wet her face, and she could use her pillow to muffle her cries of pain. When he was done, he would close his eyes and begin to snore softly and Dany would lie beside him, her body bruised and sore, hurting too much for sleep.

      Day followed day, and night followed night, until Dany knew she could not endure a moment longer. She would kill herself rather than go on, she decided one night…”

      “Robert would force her legs apart…”
      “…push her legs apart and use her … when the drink was in him….’

      Those had been the worst nights, lying helpless underneath him as he took his pleasure, stinking of wine and grunting like a boar.–AFFC, p. 685.

      “She was always sore afterward…”

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    90. My favorite part is the guy who says something like “Yea, I’m totally quitting the show. But after this season. Even if the next four episodes are the best TV ever made.”

      ……. Why? If you hate it so much, just stop watching now. There’s no point in investing even a second of your time if you believe the show is beyond redemption. Why waste another 4 hours of your life? I mean, I get that your life is slow enough that you can sit around talking about game of thrones on the internet, but it seems like that energy could be better spent.

      It’s just such a bizarre attitude to me. It seems awfully disingenuous.

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    91. SomethingLikeALawyer:
      In the end, it comes down to poor writing and an attempt to use controversy to get viewers to make the same support of the setting that you yourself have made. The showwriters needed the Faith to prosecute the Tyrells to put Margarey and Cersei where the plot required. They couldn’t do an adultery charge since Tommen was old enough to consummate the marriage, so they went with arresting Loras.

      Woop, there it is!
      It’s the butterfly affect. Ever since they decided to inexplicably make Tommen a teenager, things have been out of whack. And the only reason they made Tommen a teenager was because they wanted added sexual control from Margaery Boleyn, something that isn’t in the books either. The changes snowball.
      They change key elements from the books but keep treating it like the canon. For example Tommen still acting like he’s 8 — despite the fact he’s like, what, 14? It’s extremely jarring.

      Shockmesane,

      Well, I know the only reason /I/ will most likely quit the show after this season is because I don’t want them spoiling stuff from the books. Not because of the quality.
      Which I’m sure will continue to deteriorate.

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    92. Steve:
      This is a point in the series run that will be looked back on as a damage point. There is no question about it. It has damaged the series in terms of public relations.

      With the current social media crowd, everything is an insult. I mean, Joss Whedon, who was championed as some kind of uberfeminist, has recently been portrayed as ‘racist, ableist, chauvinist pig’ or something to that effect because of one statement or another. Trying to appease these people is a futile endeavour.

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    93. Beth:
      But it also does not make a person weak or passive and it doesn’t strip someone of their agency or strength.

      No, I agree. It’s the storyline itself that has been doing that.

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    94. TheTouchOfFrost:
      Was thinking of writing a long analytical piece again explaining why the scene was perfectly legitimate and that things that feature rape don’t encourage it but ultimately anyone who is still making an issue about this but….

      If you want to stop watching the show then stop talking and please f*ck right off.

      Perhaps you should seek out a fascist land more in line with your own internal views where dissent and differing opinions to that of yourself are looked down upon and make your home there. For the rest of us non loons, people have the right to state what their opinion is and you do have the right to hate it. But I don’t know what bizzaro world you were raised in where you think you’re an important enough person to tell people what they can and cannot watch for their own entertainment or what they can and cannot say when desiring to express an opinion.

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    95. Mr Fixit,

      Right, this is the second time you’ve either failed to read what I wrote, or ignored it entirely. I’ll be honest, I don’t think you care to actually discuss the subject or listen.

      Oh well, at least you’re not inventing a position for me this time. That’s progress, of a sort.

      What I said the first time, and what I’m saying now, is that highborn homosexuals who acted ‘manly,’ so to speak, exercised discretion, and continued the family line had their sexual predilections ignored. This was, frankly speaking, reality. There’s no way to mince it. That’s what happened among nobles of that era.

      As for all homosexuality being a sin, what I’ve been saying is that the exercise of masculinity was seen as the key variable in premodern times as far as social judgment.

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    96. Sean C.,

      But that’s an equally problematic statement. To say that the storyline is doing that to sansas character still implies that you think her rape undermines her growth as a character. Which it doesn’t.

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    97. Beth:

      And let’s not pretend that Sansa being raped somehow undoes her development as a character because that’s sexist as fuck. So if a woman is sexually assaulted she’s just reduced back to a passive victim and all evolution she’s undergone as a character is just dismantled?? A lot of people have said things along the line of “rape does not build character, people don’t grow stronger from it”; again, as a woman who has gone through it, absolutely it does not! But it also does not make a person weak or passive and it doesn’t strip someone of their agency or strength.

      Exactly.

      Sean C.,

      Again, we don’t know that. Sansa’s story has not ended how Tansy’s story did. We have to wait and see how Sansa reacts in order to fully gauge whether we can differentiate her from, for instance, Tansy. As Myranda says, Ramsay gets “bored.” There is nothing to suggest that he is “bored” with Sansa yet.

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    98. RosanaZugey: I think the entire purpose of her going back to Winterfell and marrying Ramsay was to regain the North. You can’t play the “game of thrones” without Kingdoms…and Sansa isn’t going to have a Kingdom without marrying into one.

      King Richard the Third had offered ‘his’ kingdom for a horse. IIUIC u’r saying that Sansa had offered her cunt for the North?

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    99. Concerning Sansa’s ‘agency’ the plot is practically exactly the same as the WoW Alayne chapter.
      Sansa agrees to LF’s scheme to marry and give up her innocence for vengeance and power.
      She doesn’t know for sure Ramsay is a psycho rapist until the very last moment.
      We don’t know what will happen with the unpleasant Harry the Heir.

      Rape is a brutal and horrifying crime in any world and unfortunately in the GOT world rape,torture,murder,slavery,social and sexual inequality are terrible realities that ALL of the characters face.
      If the viewers feel this is too much then don’t watch
      Book readers…If plot and character merging in this adaptation feel like sensationalism or a betrayal of the source material then don’t watch
      Stick to the books where only the characters specified by GRRM are raped.
      I’m staying tuned to the show as I feel we may be about to witness an Unbowed Unbent Unbroken Sansa get her vengeance.

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    100. SomethingLikeALawyer,

      I’m going to be honest as well since you are doing Mr Fixit that honour: Frankly, your point is incredibly muddled and nonsensical, and you have shown a complete inability to cogently make your points. Not only that, you repeatedly have changed your argument to make it even harder to pin down. One post your saying the problem is that it’s historically inaccurate and inconsistent with the world, the next your saying the problem is that it’s poorly written.

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    101. Beth:
      But that’s an equally problematic statement.To say that the storyline is doing that to sansas character still implies that you think her rape undermines her growth as a character.Which it doesn’t.

      No, the storyline has been undermining her growth because she has not demonstrated any capacity or intent to be manipulative (nor, frankly, any brains to speak of), has been lead around by the nose all season, and has done nothing but act sullen and be victimized.

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    102. There is a reason why GRRM has Sansa in “slow burn” mode in the books. For better or worse, he is allowing her to grow and dream again during Act II…in a way, it is as if GRRM covets her and protects her with his keyboard. Perhaps this will lead to further weakness and subservience or perhaps it will lead to a life-changing decision at a critical moment. Hopefully, we’ll understand this soon.

      Obviously, D&D are having none of that and seem to be seeking the bandwagon “frying pan and fire” approach for Sansa’s arc. In her current state, Sansa is no match for a socio/psychopath like Ramsay and most of us knew what would happen when this forced pairing was exposed….hence our collective screams and regurgitations! D&D predictably wanted the “Talisa” factor in the northern WF storyline. My fear is that, as others have aptly described, the depth of the northern storyline has been irksomely compromised (like Sansa’s maidenhood) as well with this bold, yet bullshit, shift in canon.

      We now know well how D&D want to perpetuate the Kill the Boy metaphor in this series. Whether we like it or not, they prefer the sensational, bombastic approach rather than the slow mental burn. It is the expected price we are paying for the 70-hr “visual” TV adaptation.

      Is it compromising the integrity of the story? Is rape truly Sansa’s “come-to-agency” moment? Is that GRRM’s ultimate intent? She could have been raped many times by the monsters of her recent past but she was preserved. Why? If anything, this scene has made me even more curious about the content of TWoW. Is this truly a “cliff notes” version of Sansa’s TWoW tale or is it another bullshit Yara/Dreadfort canonical excursion?

      But no, how would anyone think about leaving this robust tale just yet? I cry “Foul!” and “Lies!” when I read that crap.

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    103. RosanaZugey,

      This doesn’t make any sense. In the books she needs to marry Harry to use the forces of the Vale to reclaim Winterfell, forces that she would not otherwise be able to use. However, she doesn’t need to marry Ramsay to claim the North. It’s the Boltons who need to marry her to claim the North. The marriage benefits them immensely, while doing nothing to strengthen Sansa’s claim to the North. In fact, it weakens her because it links her to a despised family.

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    104. Ali Kat,

      Ali Kat: I’m so angry that they use our love for the show to get away with such shitty things such as Cersei’s rape, Sansa’s rape, that horrible Craster’s Keep rape-fest, stabbing Talisa to death in her pregnant stomach, the sexual assault (for lack of a better word) on Gendry, the almost rape of Meera, the whole sexualized aspect of and extreme extent of Theon’s torture, and the sexualized murder of Roz. Yes the show is horribly violent but its a show about war and there has to be violence. All of the scenes above were added sexualized violence. No one needed it added.

      For every added sexual violence the show excised some from the books, most of it much worse than anything we’ve seen on TV. Just from the top of my head, there’s:

      – Jeyne Poole
      – Lollys Stokeworth
      – Pretty Pia
      – The 13-year-old innkeeper’s daughter gang raped by the Mountain’s men
      – Bunch of stuff from the Iron Islands plotline (some of which might still make it into S6), e.g. the Dusky Woman, the women of the Shield Islands

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    105. Sean C.,

      And just how does a teenage girl manipulate a sexual sadist who could overpower her in an instant? Was she supposed to seduce him with her feminine wiles?

      She made a conscious choice to marry Ramsay. He was more than she bargained for. Or perhaps she thought he was smart enough to control himself around her. If she is the key to the north, it’s not the best move strategically to abuse her right out of the gate. Now that she knows he has no self control, she has the potential to use it against him, especially if he underestimates her.

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    106. I’m sure few would admit it, but I wonder if much of the complaining regarding the show is that people have invested such time in this book series, they have a sense of ownership over these characters – or at least their favorites. Martin himself has said the ultimate ending is “bittersweet”. And of course the Imp: If you think this story has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention. When it’s all said and done, half the fans will hate it. But I guess those were just bandwagon fans anyway.

      How you think things should go for any given character – is irrelevant.

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    107. The simple fact is that compared to other rape scenes in recent television that I have seen, this one was tasteless and minimized the experience of the victim, in fact using her experience to prop up other characters.*

      In Mad Men, for example, Joan’s marital rape was heartbreaking, awful and harrowing to watch. This is because it is all from her perspective, before, after and during. Same with Lagitha in Vikings. Even the rape in Downton Abbey was better handled, and that one shared the problem with this one in that it’s used as a plot device to further a male character’s story. Similar situation in BB. But in all these cases, we are left with absolutely no doubt even during the rape that these women will forge ahead themselves after this horrible event.

      OTOH here we have Sansa in a situation where she has basically been damselled ever since they got to Winterfell, despite the fact that IMO they set things up so that she could have done a lot for herself. She had a lot of options besides sit around do nothing and make snarky comments at dinner, but they didn’t go with those options. It seems like the showrunners wanted to maximize the sense of “dread” so they coudln’t have Sansa doing anything useful like raising the north in her own name, or setting up her own escape, or negotiating with Roose or Myranda to delay the wedding, etc. The simple fact is that Sansa in winterfell has been about Theon and the Boltons, just like in the books. And now after being reduced to a plot device character, she has no less than three major characters poised to “save” her. At this point I would be incredibly shocked (though grudgingly, quite happy) if they have Sansa do anything at all for herself. I honestly dont’ expect anything but her getting victimized further (e.g. raped some more) and then rescued.

      *before anyone says “but what about Jeyne – the books did it too you only care cuz it’s Sansa!” I hate that scene in the books, almost as much as this scene. It’s very, very bad to use a woman’s rape to motivate a male character. I have always disliked the entire Theon arc and was somewhat revolted to find out that some people consider it their favorite arc in the book…

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    108. Regardless of some of the negative comments I’ve read, I still have to say that even with that kind of approach during that last episode (It’s GoT, book changes and adaptations are common and imminent and of course there’ll be rape in this one), it is still currently the best show on TV.

      The Dorne scenes are okay; it could have been worse, for sure, but it’s passable.

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    109. And fuck, we got ONE scene of her bullshitting to get Littlefinger off the hook. She’s learned how to lie from the best of them. That doesn’t mean she’s prepared to take on a sexual sadist whose favorite past time is torturing to death people who bore him. She didn’t rise from the ashes as some infallible fucking superbadass because she lied that one time and dyed her hair black.

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    110. Queenofthrones: It’s very, very bad to use a woman’s rape to motivate a male character.

      It’s entirely okay to use a woman’s rape to motivate a male character. As long as you don’t forget about the female character in the process. That’s why the show scene stands the chance to be much better than its book equivalent.

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    111. Beth:
      And just how does a teenage girl manipulate a sexual sadist who could overpower her in an instant?Was she supposed to seduce him with her feminine wiles?

      Beth:
      And fuck, we got ONE scene of her bullshitting to get Littlefinger off the hook.She’s learned how to lie from the best of them.That doesn’t mean she’s prepared to take on a sexual sadist whose favorite past time is torturing to death people who bore him.She didn’t rise from the ashes as some infallible fucking superbadass because she lied that one time and dyed her hair black.

      And now we’re back to things that are in fact potent critiques of the storyline, because the writers deliberately chose to scrap Sansa’s own plotline and put her in an arc where you claim it only makes sense that she is incapable of doing anything, i.e., exactly the same story she had before.

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    112. Zeus,

      In the late 80’s my hometown newspaper started a “Rant Line” where people could call an answering machine and complain about anything. They would print selected transcripts in the paper and it was at once both hilarious and dumbfounding.

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    113. As I’ve said in other threads, if the wedding night had occurred mid-episode, with a follow-up scene later in which sansa expressed that she had accepted her fate there and was putting some kind of plan in motion, then there would be no (reasonable) outcry. By ending the episode that way, d&d allowed critics to assume the worst, that sansa had no agency and the rape was just shock for shock’s sake.

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    114. Syrio,

      What I got from that article was “rape is ok as a narrative device in the books but def not in the show ew pathetic”. The Dany/Drogo argument is absurd. A 13 year old girl sold as a child bride to a 30 plus year old warlord after her brother threatens her repeatedly that she’ll wake the dragon if she doesn’t “make him happy” is not in a position to fucking consent, no matter how “sweetly” it’s written in the books. Especially if she is then repeatedly subjected to violent sex for weeks afterward.

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    115. Tibatonk: It’s entirely okay to use a woman’s rape to motivate a male character. As long as you don’t forget about the female character in the process. That’s why the show scene stands the chance to be much better than its book equivalent.

      Ok I should have said, making a rape primarily about a male character is very very bad. And all indications are that they did both before and during that rape, forget about Sansa as anything but a simple victim.

      Just like GRRM never really bothered with Jeyne as a character either before or after her rape. The showrunners “needed” Sansa to be as similar to Jeyne as possible in order to put the scene they wanted on the screen. And they really wanted to have Ramsey rape someone while Theon watched. Cuz that’s super important to do because reasons.

      Like I said I will be very surprised if Sansa is anything besides a simple damsel for the rest of this season. And I was with them with “the north remembers” shit, and LF’s whispers about vengeance. But then they had Sansa do exactly nothing with it.

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    116. jebbers:
      As I’ve said in other threads, if the wedding night had occurred mid-episode, with a follow-up scene later in which sansa expressed that she had accepted her fate there and was putting some kind of plan in motion, then there would be no (reasonable) outcry. By ending the episode that way, d&d allowed critics to assume the worst, that sansa had no agency and the rape was just shock for shock’s sake.

      Possibly, this would have made the outcry smaller, but it’s a terrible way to construct a television episode. You always want the biggest, most shocking moment at the end, whenever possible. That’s not to say that it’s shock for shock’s sake only, but if you are going to have a shocking moment, you want to finish with it. That’s how you emphasize that moment. Having it fade to black after that gives the viewers time to process what they’ve just seen and the ramifications of it.

      Imagine if you have that shocking moment with Ramsay, Sansa, and Theon and the next thing you see is some B-movie extras prancing around with daggers and a whip! That would completely crush the emotion of that scene, treating it with disrespect and utter disdain. Having it be the last thing you see emphasizes its importance and *sustains the emotional impact*. You see the same thing in network dramas where mini-shocking moments lead to the comercial break — and they look totally awkward when watching on BD/DVD where it immediately cuts to another scene and destroys what originally was a one of those lingering emotional moments.

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    117. Rape is abhorrent and it persists in 2015. It’s relevant. If it isn’t glamorized or belabored, if it’s shocking and upsetting, the creators are doing their job. I appreciate that they toned the horror down from the books.

      Having said that, if you’re going to quit the show, then quit the show. For Petes sake if you are so offended why are you planning to finish this season if regardless of the outcome you say you won’t watch season 6? Someone is not keeping it 100.

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    118. Sean C.,

      She is not “incapable of doing anything”. She is still in the process of learning, just like she is in the books. People don’t just go on an uninterrupted upward trajectory out of thin air. They grow, they learn, they falter, they claw their way back. She trusted in littlefinger’s plan. His plan was flawed. Now we’ll see where she goes from there.

      It’s like you think there’s no grey area in between “perpetual victim” and “badass mega manipulator”.

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    119. Queenofthrones,

      Maybe that’s where a lot of the current outrage comes from? People know that Jeyne Poole was nothing more than a plot device in the books, so they assume that Sansa, taking over part of her story, will be treated the same way on the show?

      In any case, only future episodes will show whether or not you’re right about Sansa’s role in this storyline. If the rest of the season confirms your suspicions, I’m going to agree with you that this plot was handled badly. But for now I’m afraid this entire discussion seems utterly premature and – since we’re simply lacking necessary facts to adequately judge the situation – rather pointless to me.

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    120. The rape of Sansa was a profoundly disturbing experience. It has generated a great deal of on line angst and controversy. Many have sworn never to watch GoT again while others cannot feature a Sunday evening without watching. I can respect either opinion as long as it is sincerely held. (Those, on the other hand, who swear never to watch again but go right back to GoT Sunday night should receive an all expense paid weekend at Chez Bolton.)
      Since we are discussing television, we won’t know what effect Sansa’s rape will have had until the ratings come back next Tuesday. Viewer numbers up, viewer numbers down or viewer numbers unchanged, pirate numbers up, pirate numbers down or pirate numbers unchanged the numbers will tell us if, in the opinion of the viewers, B&B have jumped the shark.

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    121. Simeon: Possibly, this would have made the outcry smaller, but it’s a terrible way to construct a television episode. You always want the biggest, most shocking moment at the end, whenever possible.

      No. Look at how rape is done in any other decent show (I named several examples in my post above). There is always a follow up scene to check in with the character who has been assaulted and that is for a damn good reason. It is absolutely vital to show the entire emotional journey of the character and not leave us with the idea that her pain is just there to shock the audience, or that she is just a screaming victim and nothing more than that.

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    122. Beth:
      It’s like you think there’s no grey area in between “perpetual victim” and “badass mega manipulator”.

      I don’t need her to be a “badass mega manipulator” (indeed, it’s the show that has basically eliminated the ‘grey area’ by cutting her training arc). I need to see her doing something, which she has not been, all season. Indeed, this plot has been constructed to have her do as little as possible (for instance, instead of sounding out Stark loyalists, which would have been an obvious thing for Sansa to do when she returned home, one just wandered up and introduced herself; a development that Sansa did absolutely nothing with).

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    123. I’m not a book reader but it’s my understanding that jeyne was treated even worse than sansa. I don’t even know where to begin. Some of these book fans are hillarious.

      Women in this universe consumate their marriage, forced or not. I’m starting to wonder if these hardcorebook fans remember what they even read. So much awful shit happens in the series and yet a mild rape scene between an incestuous couple and sansa finally having intercourse upsets them this much? What were they expecting? Sansa keeping her virginity until she dies?

      Please boycott the show. Nobody cares or wants you around. It’s like a bunch of children boycotting an adult show. None of us adults want you children around.

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    124. Beth:
      Syrio,

      What I got from that article was “rape is ok as a narrative device in the books but def not in the show ew pathetic”.The Dany/Drogo argument is absurd.A 13 year old girl sold as a child bride to a 30 plus year old warlord after her brother threatens her repeatedly that she’ll wake the dragon if she doesn’t “make him happy” is not in a position to fucking consent, no matter how “sweetly” it’s written in the books.Especially if she is then repeatedly subjected to violent sex for weeks afterward.

      Amen. Honestly I have a hard time giving any credence to the opinion of a “book expert” who didn’t catch how Drogo was raping her in the books.

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    125. Queenofthrones: No. Look at how rape is done in any other decent show (I named several examples in my post above). There is always a follow up scene to check in with the character who has been assaulted and that is for a damn good reason. It is absolutely vital to show the entire emotional journey of the character and not leave us with the idea that her pain is just there to shock the audience, or that she is just a screaming victim and nothing more than that.

      Since I haven’t seen any of those shows you mentioned (well, I saw one episode of Downton Abbey, but there was no rape) I cannot comment directly on those scenes.

      However, while I agree it is absolutely vital to show the entire emotional journey, I don’t think it is absolutely vital to show it immediately in the same episode.

      What about Jamie having his hand chopped off? That’s a pretty fucking traumatic experience! Yet I remember exactly ZERO people complaining that “his pain was just there to shock the audience and that he was just a screaming victim and nothing more than that.” And you know what, we actually did get his entire emotional journey in succeeding episodes, and it included one of the best scenes of that season, IMHO (bath scene with Brienne).

      Sansa’s emotional journey *is* going to happen on screen. If they manage to stuff it up, I’ll comment about that after it happens. 😉

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    126. So on one hand there’s me judging the scene from within the context of the world and story and the characters and their actions/choices. On another there’s me judging the storyline as a thing written by real people who made choices as to what to include, where to have this storyline go, how to film it, etc. And then on the third hand (?!) there’s me just thinking Sansa is my bae and just.. goddamnit.

      All of these positions are really different and conflicting. And all of them are valid.

      It’s been a hell of a week, guys.

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    127. Sean C.,

      Seeking out Stark loyalists could get her in more trouble if she approaches or confides in the wrong person. It’s much smarter to proceed with caution. And again, I think whether or not she’s “doing nothing” will depend on how she comports herself for the rest of the season. Judging by the preview, it seems like she’s getting gears in motion in response to the fact that her situation has escalated beyond what littlefinger anticipated. Once it becomes clear that marrying Ramsay and sticking it out until Stannis invades is no longer an option, she’ll have to adapt.

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    128. lol, I wish people would get this worked up over real life issues. Also it goes to show you a vast majority of people are okay with violence against children, but draw the line at rape. You’re all twisted individuals and hypocrites. Redemption for the hypocrite can never happen because that in itself would be hypocritical.

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    129. Beth:
      Seeking out Stark loyalists could get her in more trouble if she approaches or confides in the wrong person.It’s much smarter to proceed with caution.

      That notion of proceeding with caution is indistinguishable from doing nothing.

      But even if you accept that her complete inaction is some kind of strategy, her time at Winterfell has been spent acting sullen (certainly not winning over the Boltons, which was literally the only action Littlefinger suggested she take) and doing stupid stuff like going into the kennels because the clearly-untrustworthy Myranda tells her there’s a mystery surprise at the end, like the opening kill in a horror movie.

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    130. SomethingLikeALawyer,

      Westeros is a lot less religious than its real-life counterpart in English history. BUT they have made very clear that homosexuality isn’t looked on well in Westeros. Renly lied about it, Tywin called it an “affliction,” and Margaery warned Loras to be discreet. So being gay, even when highborn, is clearly problematic.

      Even if you think that most of Westeros doesn’t think homosexualjty is a big deal, is it really hard to believe that a group of fundamentalists would have a problem with it? Your argument makes no sense to me.

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    131. Beth:
      I know that one of the biggest complaints that people have had is that it wasn’t in the books or that its equivalent scene happened to Jeyne Poole, a minor character we have little emotional investment in and who has not had the level of character progression that Sansa has had, and that shifting this plot line onto her regresses that progression.But are we really going to pretend that because we are not as emotionally invested in Jeyne Poole, what happens to her in the books is somehow less gratuitous or horrific?We have a character who is the same age as Sansa whose entire arc has consisted of repeated brutal sexual abuse and a complete lack of agency and thus her suffering is less important?

      No one’s saying that Jeyne’s suffering is “less important” or “less gratuitous or horrific.” The point is that Jeyne doesn’t have a character arc that is undermined by the journey to Wintefell and the eventual rape. Unlike Sansa, she isn’t a character whose role is to become increasingly politically astute and manipulative as time goes on, so Ramay’s raping her isn’t seen as a betrayal of her character development in the same way that his rape of Sansa in the show is. Jeyne was written to be raped and abused. Sansa was made for better things, but the show just doesn’t seem to get this. You can’t blithely assume that one of your increasingly influential leading ladies is interchangeable with one of your increasingly powerless minor characters, and not expect to be called out on it, and that is people criticizing this scene, and by extension, Sansa’s whole story arc this season, are doing.

      And let’s not pretend that Sansa being raped somehow undoes her development as a character because that’s sexist as fuck.So if a woman is sexually assaulted she’s just reduced back to a passive victim and all evolution she’s undergone as a character is just dismantled??A lot of people have said things along the line of “rape does not build character, people don’t grow stronger from it”; again, as a woman who has gone through it, absolutely it does not!But it also does not make a person weak or passive and it doesn’t strip someone of their agency or strength.

      The fact that the rape neither strips her of agency or strength nor builds character only shows how gratuitous it was.

      And just how does a teenage girl manipulate a sexual sadist who could overpower her in an instant? Was she supposed to seduce him with her feminine wiles?

      Why is this so ridiculous a proposition? Sansa has, after all, seen that Margaery and Cersei are more than capable of using their feminine wiles to manipulate men who might otherwise hurt them. Furthermore, you later say

      She is not “incapable of doing anything”.

      so I’m not sure why you find her actually doing something in this situation so unacceptable. If she’s not incapable of doing anything, then what exactly *is* she capable of doing and why hasn’t she done it yet?

      She made a conscious choice to marry Ramsay.

      This, more than the inevitable rape that follows, undermines Sansa’s character development so far. Sansa, of all people, should know that marrying into a family that helped destroy hers is hardly a recipe for achieving satisfying vengeance, given her failure to do so in King’s Landing under the same conditions. Sansa’s choosing to wander into the flayed man’s den makes her character development stagnant at best and regressive at worst.

      Now that she knows he has no self control, she has the potential to use it against him, especially if he underestimates her.

      Sansa did not need to be raped to understand this. Myranda and Theon’s explanations of Ramsay’s sadism could have been expanded to give Sansa this insight. If they are setting up for Sansa to manipulate Ramsay, there are plenty of ways to demonstrate this without rape, so people are criticizing the fact that they chose the most ham-fisted, inherently controversial way of doing so simply to shock and titillate the audience.

      It’s like you think there’s no grey area in between “perpetual victim” and “badass mega manipulator”.

      No, it’s the show that is making this assumption. They have not done anything to show that Sansa is in this sort of grey area aside from her lying to the lords of the Vale last season. Prior to that, she was in the former category, and her blundering into Winterfell this season makes it painfully obvious that she is still there. If she were indeed learning, she would have done something other than blindly obey authority figures when she finally has the means and motivation not to.

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    132. Beth: She didn’t rise from the ashes as some infallible fucking superbadass because she lied that one time and dyed her hair black.

      Well, Sansa never was in the ashes, Ramsay did. He was a bastard, now he fucks his ‘beloved’ high-born wife Lady Stark. Interesting evolution’s going on for some GoT characters. Ramsay Snow got married ‘n became Ramsay Bolton; Sansa had lost virginity (but remains a puppet); Arya the Retaliator transforms into a cold-blooded assassin; Jon killed the boy ‘n became the commander; Cersei de facto became the Hand ‘n Margaery her prisoner; the High Sparrow transformed from harmless ‘Dalai Lama’ into dangerous inquisitor; ex-slaver Jorah became slave afflicted by the grayscale; Tyrion’s cock became a piece of good luck; Daenerys is getting married for a second time; Barristan is killed off;
      Brienne ‘n her squire are still useless, but now they’re useless in the North…

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    133. Beth,

      Exactly.

      Further, as a rejoinder to those claiming she is the “new Jeyne Poole” and/or lost her agency totally, Jeyne was paralyzed with fear – the way Reek has been – by Ramsey’s abuse, cruelty and torture. I don’t think Sansa will be.

      My prediction is that, instead of Theon having to drag Jeyne out of the castle with the spear-wives in the books, Sansa will be the one encouraging and rallying Theon to assist in escape/revenge/action.

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    134. si91,

      No, it’s the show that is making this assumption. They have not done anything to show that Sansa is in this sort of grey area aside from her lying to the lords of the Vale last season. Prior to that, she was in the former category, and her blundering into Winterfell this season makes it painfully obvious that she is still there. If she were indeed learning, she would have done something other than blindly obey authority figures when she finally has the means and motivation not to.

      You are making presumptions that I don’t think are accurate or called for. Wait to see how it plays out before presuming.

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    135. chebyshov,

      Couldn’t agree more! Thanks for having the energy and elegance to say this better than I could.. I feel like I’ve been bullied online regularly this past week for expressing my distaste for the scene and distrust for the writing process. Much appreciated!

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    136. Beth,

      Seeking out Stark loyalists could get her in more trouble if she approaches or confides in the wrong person.It’s much smarter to proceed with caution.

      Proceeding with caution requires actually proceeding, which Sansa is not doing. Furthermore, how exactly can she proceed, with or without caution, unless she seeks out Stark loyalists? What’s the “smart” alternative?

      Once it becomes clear that marrying Ramsay and sticking it out until Stannis invades is no longer an option, she’ll have to adapt.

      The fact that the show has her thinking that this is an option at all, when she was in the exact same situation in season 2 and achieved nothing, and should therefore know better, is why her development has been stagnant, if not regressive.

      SKI,

      I’m judging what’s already happened, and so far, the show has made Sansa revert to her Season 2 self.

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    137. I’d like to make an aside to discuss something that really peeves me most about this discussion and that would be fans who are dismissive of other fans’ opinions. Using lines like “JUST QUIT” or “BYE NO ONE CARES” etc… is so rude, dismissive, and frankly childish.

      Some of us have loved the books for years, and loved the show with the many changes, but are finding it harder to like this season. It’s not like we watch hating every second of it… we like some things and dislike others. Lately the bad is outweighing the good, but at least in my case I’m hopelessly tuning in, wanting it to reverse.

      Maybe this was inevitable in TV, that it would become more about the exciting moments and the action and less about the more subtle, complicated but exceedingly brilliant politics, characters, and storylines.

      And that’s fine, but I don’t have to like it all. And just because I don’t like every second, even if lately I’m only enjoying maybe 40% of it, as a long-time fan I think it’s fair for me to watch with a critical eye. Who is anyone else to decide how much I should like or dislike about an episode, or if I should continue to watch?

      I just hope that those who insist on being rude to other fans who have concerns or dislike certain things about the show learn to respect others with differing opinions and maybe grow up a bit. It disheartens me that I can’t have faith that will be the case in this fandom anymore.

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    138. red viper,

      Thank you for your thank you.

      By now I think I’ve read all the Sansagate posts here and many elsewhere (I’m all in, obviously), and what I’ve concluded is… it’s not the show I’m beginning to have issues with. It’s the machine behind the show. The Man Behind The Curtain. The whole Internet edifice that is like what Tywin said of The Iron Bank: ‘We all live in its shadow.’

      Mass media audience manipulation can be soft advertising (buy stuff) or hard propaganda (this means war!). The soft manipulation to watch the show and talk amongst ourselves has transmogrified into let’s hate-watch the show and fight amongst ourselves. Why?

      Click-bait articles ‘Has GoT… Miley… Kim… Whomever…. Gone Too Far This Time?’ used to be just silly and relatively harmless. But the ginned up outrage every year over GoT is becoming as intense as the passions aroused by Trayvon, Mike Brown, and the UVA rape hoax, which were all, to some extent, something the media titans ran with–right into the ground.

      All these Sansa posts are beginning to sound alike, as different camps call their Bannermen and consolidate their message into House words (‘plot device’; ‘agency’; ‘making rape about him not her’; ‘the show is not the books’, ‘feminist’, ‘misogynist’, etc.).

      D&D in appearances and interviews are always on message. As eerily cool as the White Walker King but dressed like longshoremen, for some reason. What PR directive was it that said they need to always look like us smallfolk?

      Every cast member, too, is always as cheery as a Stepford Wife. Even those exiled. The first Mountain? The first Daario? Gone because… reasons. To pursue other opportunities…

      All the rapey rapey? Okay by me, say the actresses (with heavily negotiated nudity clauses behind the scenes).

      Sansa, Sansa, Sansa.

      Somewhere in HBO’s research department, the guys in the white lab coats are laughing at how they made the lab rats dance–again.

      ‘Mad Men’ might be over, but Don Draper lives. Have a Coke. It’s the real thing.

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    139. si91,
      The point is there is no smarter alternative. And how are people conflating this arc with her season 1/2 arc? She married Joffrey blindly believing he would be a chivalrous prince and she a princess who’d make beautiful babies just like the songs. She made a conscious choice to marry Ramsay with the intention of positioning herself as wardeness of the North after the Boltons and Stannis battle it out. And Stannis will most likely win, which puts her in a good position. Her being raped doesn’t magically undo that, especially when we are a little over halfway through the season and don’t. Know. What. She’ll. Do.

      si91,

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    140. Beth,

      You’re still missing the point, which is that rape, like everything else, is fair game in a fictional story, *everything* that happens in a story is a “narrative device”, and rape can be narrative device. However in the books, at the hand of a talented writer, the miserable events like rape and murder serve a narrative purpose, it tells us who these people are, it establishes their personalities and motivations and move the plot forward.

      In the show this scene does not, and is hence not a narrative device but a gratuitous shock value torture porn. Because we already know how awful Ramsay is, and we already empathize with Sansa. The problem with this scene is not that the show writers are misogynists, I don’t think they are, but what they are, are terrible storytellers. They resorts to this shock value trope because they aren’t capable of creating real tension, real danger and real empathy without resort to these type of cheap tricks. They are hacks. Sooner or later their repeated use of these tricks get tiresome and sooner or later viewers get fed up with them. Everyone’s tolerance level is different, some people reached it before this season, many are reaching it now, and more will reach it in the future.

      Which is another reason why I think they insist on 7 seasons, because they know their one trick pony style of writing can’t keep it up for much longer and they need to end it before the show audience really starts to crater.

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    141. si91,

      People ARE arguing that Jeyne’s abuse is less gratuitous. That’s the point. It’s a butt ton of people defending GRRM’s JP plotline as necessary and serving a purpose while condemning this one. And another butt ton of people who are mad exactly because they’re invested in Sansa and not in Jeyne’s Poole. That’s why this outrage is so disingenuous. Dany and Cersei are both leading ladies, and both of them have been raped in the books. In fact, rape as a device to make a woman stronger is a precedent set by GRRM, especially in Dany’s arc. I’m irritated at the hypocrites who hold up the books like they DONT fall into this trope when that is so patently untrue.

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    142. You can have your rape story. Fine. Use it well and it will be entertaining. Rape in Outlander or Spartacus, well handled, was awesome.

      But “Violence is violence, we have seen worst things before”.

      No.

      NO.

      NO FUCKING WAY, SO SHUT UP DICKS

      You’ve never seen someone beheaded before. You will never see it. You’ve never seen someone cuts into pieces. You will never see it. You’ve never seen an axe through a stomach. You will never see it.

      But you saw rape EVERY DAY.

      Me, as a woman, I have to specially take care of myself to avoid to provoque a bunch of assholes: “don’t come home alone”, “don’t come late”, “don’t be in the dark”, “don’t drink too much”, “beware your dress-bra strap-whatever”, “don’t let your glass alone”, “what were you wearing?”, “what you did?”, “why you didn’t say no”?. EVERY FUCKING DAY. All this since I was 10 years old. And the worst part is if I made a mistake and I get raped or sexually/verbally abused, somehow IT’S MY FAULT.

      I don’t need a remember of how the world really works, thank you. I’m not a plot device, I’m not the redemption of a male watcher, rape doesn’t make you stronger or a survivor or a hero, a rape doesn’t serve to make you more sympathetic an unsympathetic. Is disgusting and gross.

      That’s why people is angry. And they’re done with rape and boobs and sexual assault.

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    143. Hodor Targaryen,

      Renly didn’t really lie about it that well, given Random Oxcross guy #1 knew about it. Littlefinger we can excuse, since he’s a secret hound, but Random Oxcross guy #1? Just like Lorax knowing about Cersei/Jaime, though even he at least, had the benefit of Stannis’s letter.

      As for Tyson, his conversation with Lady Olenna Tyrell makes it plain that homosexuality is more or less a matter of regional morals, not religious ones. Drone helps with this, since they are Faith-followers as well and very licentious.

      And Margarey warning Loras only shows in Season 5, where homosexuality is suddenly controversial. I understand the setup, but so late in the game, the omission of other setup becomes more glaring. Are we supposed to believe that all of Littlefinger’s boy-shores were protected by his vast wealth, or that literally no one cared until the Sparrows showed up? Because that argument makes no sense given how prevalent the Faith is in two of Westeros’s most gay-tolerant regions.

      In short, it makes sense only when we ascribe religious strictures and the anti-homosexuality fundamentalist movements that we, the audience, know to the Sparrow movement, not the characters themselves. That might be fine for a lot of people, and it’s a great time-saving tool when the setting is our own real world. But Westeros is fundamentally different when it comes to religion, and so instead, I see it as poor writing, drawing me out of the universe instead of keeping me in it.

      As an aside, I actually liked the scene from a purely cinematographic standpoint. The interspersal of violence without (the Sparrows wrecking stuff) with the carrving of the seven-pointed star in Lancelot’s flesh was brilliantly shot. We even know that the Sparrows would wreck foreign religious symbols, since the Andals whole deal was a holy migration to Westeros. Baelor even tried to outlaw prostitutes, so I could see the logic behind the Sparrows going after prostitutes. But anti-homosexuality needs too much of a draw on the real world to be plausible.

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    144. You people will realize that the bedding scene was necessary when Sansa cuts off Ramsey’s penis in Episode 10.

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    145. JoJoSoPhat:
      JoJoSoPhat,
      Also Sue the Fury brings much-need gravitas and reason to the conversation.

      I believe casual viewers will say they will leave the show. Those, like me, who are are fully engrossed in (both- TV & Book) worlds of this series are in for the long haul. Rape for women in this world (and in the real world) is an ongoing threat. That’s why Arya had to have her hair cut off before leaving King’s Landing. That’s what Cercei was informing Sansa during the Battle of Blackwater. It was a matter of time when a main character would be getting assaulted, sorry to say. But it makes sense in this world and with these people, the Boltons.

      And people are acting as if this would be taking away from Sansa’s character. I believe the people who are thinking this are the ones victimizing Sansa and taking away her agency. It’s not like she is suddenly tainted and insignificant now. That’s insulting and says more about how we in the modern age treats rape victims.

      I fully back Sue in this discussion as well. There’s a lot of things wrong with the backlash and I think it has in part to do with people who are taking a stand, for the sake of taking a stand – and ignoring the principal thing that lured us all into this series: The chance that bad things happen to main characters.

      I also fully agree with your final paragraph. The audience is clearly victimizing Sansa and completely taking away her own agency. I mean, we know that Sansa saw this coming right? She said as much when LittleFinger left for KL.

      Ghostlovesinger seems like such a tool, sorry to say. He says the following: “You want to tell the story of Sansa allowing herself to be assaulted for a higher purpose or a greater political gain? Fine. Then tell that goddamn story.” They are telling that story. She knew what would happen and she had set her motives straight and accepted the possibility. Doesn’t mean that she can’t cry at the thought of losing innocence all the same. It’s just perhaps not seen clearly enough that Sansa had her own motives here, in part to people are blinded by their own subjectiveness (I’ve seen mentions of violent rape while NO violence had been shown).

      It’s why I feel weird with the term “assault”, or “rape” or as Chebyshow says: “Brutalization”, in this sense. Surely, this wasn’t a bedding filled with love and Ramsay’s psycho came out – but towards Theon mostly -, but there are elements in the episode leadings up that Ramsay didn’t go in with the intent to assault/rape Sansa at all. 1. He asks if she likes the way he has the room decorated. 2. Roose tells the story about Ramsay’s conception and Ramsay looks appalled (at least, as much as you would see Ramsay be appalled). 3. In the interview Iwan had with Vulture, he says that he sees Sansa as a Lady, and solely to further the family name and that with Sansa, it isn’t about dominating (as opposed to Theon and Myranda), but just getting “the job done”. That doesn’t imply rape or even assault. Not to mention that this is the PG13 version of what was rated XXX+B in the books, B for implied Bestiality.

      So if you put those two together, I’m coming at the conclusion that Cogman may have wanted to let this be perhaps seem in the form of a mutually agreed to “business transaction”. Hellraisers are screaming rape, but Cogman may have replied: “if you wanted rape, I could’ve gone there”, but in the EW-article when they were on set, you clearly see that he goes: “NONONONONONONONONO” at the mere mention of Ramsay letting Theon warm Sansa up. So there’s a lot of textual evidence that says that this was meant to be seen as a uncomfortable to witness, sad, but mutually agreed to business transaction. All things considered.

      As for the argument Mr. Fixit and SomethinglikeaLawyer had. SLAL said that it broke immersion and that the arrest was out of place and time, and references the books. I think in this scenario, we should look at the show for the boundaries of what the FM was all about as the situations regarding the institution between book and show are different in the nuances. The moment they were instated, they went after the ale and other offenses in the eyes of the 7, including homosexual conduct in LF’s brothel. Yet you say they don’t practice an extremist variant that’s against homosexually, the book version may not, yet the show’s version does. So Loras’ arrest was foreshadowed by that event and the rules for his arrest were set in place in the show. So only if you infuse the show with book-knowledge does it tear away from immersion.

      Also, Leonardo Da Vinci was arrested for sodomy during the renaissance of all things. So I’d say that it’s also not historically incorrect for the time period (in which the Catholic Church had influence in the judicial powers themselves).

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    146. Boycot GoT? {How ridiculous. Grow a spine for god’s sake. Put a stop to this so-called controversy and stop discussing it! You’re heatedly discussing a TV episode like it’s a life or death matter!{ That’s straight up delusional!

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    147. I agree mostly with Ghostlovesinger’s comments on what they did with Sansa. The scene was horrific and no one has argued that, but a lot of the episode seemed to challenge the viewer’s intelligence, as they said, and that is a statement I haven’t thought of that best describes it.

      Now, we have to see how it plays out, but it is set up in a way that Sansa cannot show any sign of weakness from here on out, otherwise, we’re all just going to be over her and no longer invested. Which is a shame –I always thought that it was going to be played out as we had Sansa in Jeyne’s environment/situation, but written in a way that shows how SANSA’S continuing development would react to it. Which is a more heightened story arc and the caliber that we’re used to in a show such as this one.

      As for the Sand Snakes scene, in my opinion, all the episode needed to do to take most of the cheapness away from the scene was to NOT SHOW the Snakes rallying before they entered the courtyard. As if the, “For Oberyn!” wasn’t cheesy enough, we were again –keeping with the theme of assuming we’re an idiotic audience– left with an inauthentic and coincidental; same place same time piece of garbage. If writing a scene like that it is better to take one side out of the equation TO IGNITE the feeling of a coincidence which, by the way, is meant to take you by surprise.

      I know they only had a week to film there, and that comes with a lot of challenges –and also, most likely why the fight scene isn’t as polished as the show is used to. However, that simple edit out of the Sand Snakes rallying and entering the water gardens after we see Jamie and Bronn arrive and instead, introduced when Tyene cracks her whip around Jamie’s arm it wouldn’t have felt AS cheap.

      Before anyone says I’m being a backseat writer, yeah, perhaps I am. I’ve also written and have co-written/edited many screenplays for short film. I have a few writing achievements under my belt, but I still know my place. D&D and Bryan are exceptional writers and I really respect them. Which is why I’m so upset by it. They HAVE to have seen how this was going to play out in the editing room. Did they really not have enough material to cut together that they actually added in scenes that cheapened the story? It blows my mind.

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    148. Cumsprite,

      It’s obvious noone has touched you without consent ever. I even had a guy jerking off in front of me. Two times. When I screamed to one of them once, he just laugh and go out like nothing happened.

      If you don’t see it that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

      And it’s scary people saying “she wasn’t raped!”. Are you fucking kidding me? Where her consent was? This people never saw that video of the tea, right?

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    149. Even on liberal news sites, I see most people defending the scene. Most comment that GoT has done far worse. It seems like the biggest outrage is from book readers….

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    150. Beth: She made a conscious choice to marry Ramsay with the intention of positioning herself as wardeness of the North after the Boltons and Stannis battle it out.

      Sansa was not aware that Stannis’s army is at the Wall, she had consented to the marriage anyway. She could stay in the Vale ‘n wait until situation is resolved somehow. In case she found out that Stannis’s army is marching against Boltons she could easily send Knights of the Vale to help Stannis.

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    151. Beth: In fact, rape as a device to make a woman stronger is a precedent set by GRRM, especially in Dany’s arc.

      What. No. Gross.

      “Rape” did not “make Dany stronger”. Dany chose to be strong in the face of all the shit she went through. She literally chose not to be victimized.

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    152. {Dave,

      People have a right to critique the issue of how rape is depicted in television. I may disagree with the critisms being leveled here, but telling people to “grow a spine” because they’re upset about what they view as a mishandling of a very serious issue is just dismissive and rude. Yes, we have seen people’s heads being crushed and babies being stabbed, but neither one of those things are pervasive, systemic issues like sexual assault. Of course that hits closer to home, especially if, like me and many other viewers, you’ve experienced it first hand.

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    153. SlayerNina,

      Seeing “rape every day” is a bit of hyperbole, isn’t it? Seeing someone jerk off in front of you isn’t rape, it’s an implied threat. And I am hoping that you don’t see that every day. Just so you know, I agree with your post. But I kinda want to address this part:

      “You’ve never seen someone beheaded before. You will never see it. You’ve never seen someone cuts into pieces. You will never see it. You’ve never seen an axe through a stomach. You will never see it.”

      And most people will never see a rape. But someone being decapitated or grievously injured in a medieval setting is analogous to being in a horrific car accident. Or witnessing the aftermath of a nasty fall, work incident or any kind of violent act. Or being the victim of such. Not the same thing as rape. Apples and oranges. But there are people who are put off by onscreen violence. I am one of them. When I saw Jaime stab someone in the eye and it came out the back of the dude’s skull in a promo, I decided the show might not be for me. I like my gore less “real”. ZOMBIES! I will watch the shit out of some zombies.

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    154. Once they put Sansa in WF, there had to be a progression of her forgiveness and willingness to work with Theon, so this scene’s not here just for his reaction and motivation. They showed us that Sansa sees him break down over what’s happening to her, not long after she’d cut him with, “You think I care what he does to you?” It moves them both forward. Still, unfortunate.

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    155. Queenofthrones,

      And Sansa couldn’t “choose to be strong” after being raped? Holy shit how is this any different? There would be literally no fucking point of Dany being assaulted other than to have her learn to take control of her own destiny. That’s why he wrote it that way. Otherwise it would have been smooth sailing from their wedding night on. It was put in there as something for her to overcome. It’s an easy fucking device. Pretending GRRM is above using this tired ass trope is just sad.

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    156. Sean C.,

      I think you are being slightly facetious because your opinions are so obviously contrary to what the writers are very clearly showing.

      Let’s have this conversation again on two or three weeks when the season has had a chance to breathe after this event. Perhaps the context may change your view?

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    157. SomethingLikeALawyer,

      Well, sure, our own understanding of fundamentalism helps us understand the fundamentalism in the show. How is that a bad thing? Isn’t art supposed to reflect reality to a certain extent?

      What I’m saying is that, while Westeros is clearly less hung up on the homosexuality thing than War-of-Roses-England, it was clear that being gay could be a dangerous thing politically, at the very least. Which is why Renly and Loras kept their relationship a secret (although they kept it pretty badly). So the idea that conservative religious fanatics are particularly anti-homosexuality shouldn’t come as a surprise.

      And I think it’s worth noting that it hasn’t come as a surprise to anyone watching the show, from what I’ve seen. The only people who seem to be pointing to this “inconsistency” are people who note the difference between this and the books.

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    158. Beth,

      Yup. And as someone above mentioned, the books have many, many rapes that never happened on the show and that have no particular reason for existing in the first place like Lollys’ gangrape (by ‘half a hundred men’), the gangrape of a 13-year-old girl by Mountain and his men, mass Ironborn rape (including that of a maester). But the second the show depicts it, there’s mass hysteria.

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    159. Mr Fixit,

      I’m honestly starting to think a lot of book readers are jumping on the outrage bandwagon as an excuse to throw around the books as being superior, not because they genuinely give a shit about rape. Nothing else explains the selective memory and ludicrous leaps in logic you have to make to justify GRRM’s treatment of women while vilifying Dan and Dave.

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    160. UknowO,

      She and Littlefinger discussed it pretty thoroughly. He talked about betting on Stannis. She went through with it. Even before that conversation she knew it served a strategic purpose. Having her take on this story line is the most logical way to compress two narratives in a season that is already overcrowded with too many arcs. Having a separate vale arc and a Bolton arc with a character introduced out of nowhere that no one would be invested in does not make for compelling television.

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    161. Mr Fixit,

      And book Shae didn’t understand what all the fuss was about with Lollys, saying, ‘All they did was fuck her.’

      ???

      Half a hundred men would just have been all in a day’s work for book Shae, apparently.

      In fairness, book Bronn didn’t judge Lollys as ‘damaged goods’ at all and married her as he would any highborn bride offered him. I honestly can’t recall Lollys’s opinions on the matter, or what Bronn’s comportment might have been on the night of the wedding, but from what we know, the union seemed a happy one.

      Book Bronn didn’t even fat shame her!

      That the show took time to introduce us to Lollys pleased me greatly. Show Bronn strikes me as quite gallant with the ladies, and show Lollys seemed quite taken with him. I honestly hope Bronn comes back to her.

      Those two crazy kids belong together!

      Sometimes, the show did right by its women compared to the books.

      Show Shae was an improvement on book Shae, the much maligned Talisa was a much more fully realized character, for good or ill, than the book’s Jeyne Westerling, and even Ros had some character development before her uncalled for demise.

      Tyrion’s prostitute in Volantis came across like a trafficking victim in the books but not the show, and the Dothraki ladies certainly seemed to always offer the ‘enthusiastic consent’ that is today’s standard.

      It seems that happy sex on the show has only been marginally less criticized than the unhappy sex.

      D&D cant’ win.

      I’m almost of the mind that with a few judicious cuts and more discrete camera angles, GoT could have avoided all the controversy it has courted.

      And that’s the point: it wants to generate outrage!

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    162. Beth, thank you for your very balanced and realistic comments.

      People tend to look at this scene with their 21st century glasses on. They forget that the show is an adaptation of GRRM’s books, and that he is writing about a highly patriarchal world based on RL medieval society in which a woman essentially became a man’s property once she married him. Women had no right to say no to sex: they simply had to endure it, no matter how brutal their husbands. Dany/Drogo, Cersei/Robert, mad Aerys/Rhaella – the list goes on. The show has downplayed these aspects, especially with Dany. Her book marriage sexual experiences with Drogo were far more traumatic than what was portrayed on the show, though I don’t think that anyone who watched the Dany/Drogo wedding sex scene in Season 1 could have believed the experience was ‘pleasant’ for her. Most noble women also had no choice about their husbands either – they were traded off as political pawns, whether their marriage was to a man three times their age or a mere child. The show now portrays these extremely unpleasant facts as an accurate part of that world with Sansa’s wedding night (again, remember Dany), and people are suddenly screaming blue murder?

      Yes, the scene was shocking and highly unpleasant to watch, but it was meant to be. Apart from any book or show plot reasons, we are supposed to be outraged by a society which allows a woman to be brutally assaulted/raped by her husband. GRRM doesn’t lack a social conscience, and I firmly believe that even within his fantasy world, he expects his readers to understand the various social injustices he writes about. Those include the position of women, and he wants his readers to both feel for the characters concerned, and to be angry at what is going on. But I haven’t seen the internet erupt into outrage because of what he wrote, often extremely graphically. Yet if the show should dare to portray an equivalent incident, it is all the fault of those terrible showrunners! As others have said, the writers have made a (perfectly sensible, IMHO) decision to condense the books by combining elements of the Sansa and Jeyne storylines, but because the show rape happened to Sansa, it is somehow more dreadful and outrageous than if it had happened exactly as in the books to poor Jeyne? Because of course, Jeyne really doesn’t count (sarcasm intended) – she is just a minor character, and we don’t need to care about her like we do about Sansa, Cersei, Dany and so on. Will there be an equivalent internet storm if TWOW includes another scene of rape/sexual violence, or if GRRM has Sansa married off to someone, and suffer an agonising Dany-style wedding night? Somehow, I very much doubt it.

      Point to remember when being outraged at Sansa’s wedding night and marital rape. In the USA, women got the vote long before marital rape became part of the law, and women got the right to say no to sex in marriage.

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    163. si91,

      Can we stop suggesting that Sansa, a virgin whose sexual experience amounts to kissing Littlefinger and Joffrey, could seduce a sexual predator that intentionally puts her out of her comfort zone (with Theon)? Come on. The fact that she started being a player doesn’t instantly make her capable of seduction, she has zero experience on that front and it just wouldn’t make sense at all.

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    164. Watched the episode again, not only were the Dorne sequences not as bad as I remember, the Red Bedding wasn’t either. Get past the initial “poor Sansa” and there is no way to classify that as rape. She was undressing to in order to consummate the marriage. She was anticipating, and willingly participating in the act of sex. Sure, Ramsay probably was rough with her. She was a virgin, it definitely hurt.

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    165. Hodor Targaryen,

      This. It’s not that Westerosi have a high tolerance for homosexuals, it’s that the highborn (especially as high as the Tyrells and Baratheons) are considered above any rules given the power they have. Clearly, the High Sparrow doesn’t care about any of that, he goes for absolute equality and he doesn’t care for the consequences of applying his law on the highborn.

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    166. jebbers,

      That’s really dumb, sorry.

      This show consistently tries to trick its viewers. Including a scene that shows Sansa’s true colors here or in episode 7 doesn’t really matter, with the real difference being that the wedding would have been a much much much more powerful ending to the episode.

      D&D can pick up the pieces and prove Sansa’s arc worthwhile, depending on how they handle the last 4 episodes.

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    167. SlayerNina,

      I am somewhat mystified that the recent ‘Spartacus’ didn’t offend you. That whole show’s reason for being was CGI, blood, sex, and rape.

      What do you think of network television shows like ‘Law & Order: SVU’? I see them as comfort food. All those rapes for all those years, and almost none of the cops seem affected by any of it except Stabler, who was always on the verge of cracking up completely.

      To me, the SVU approach is borderline travesty, with cardboard characters and all’s-well-that-ends-well denouements every episode. Doesn’t that trivialize rape?

      Don’t get me wrong: I think the whole Sansa thing was a mistake. But if you look at it another way, Sansa is now like a poster girl for rape awareness.

      Although this was most likely not the intent, ‘that scene’ might have done more for rape awareness (albeit momentarily) than any Take Back the Night rally ever held, which are generally ignored, lets’ face it.

      That might be sad, but it might be true. EVERYONE sympathized with Sansa, no matter their opinion of the choice to include that scene.

      Could this possibly be the silver lining? I’m trying to be as sensitive to your situation as I can, and though anyone can write anything on this website without being able to prove it, two women in my family were wartime rape victims, and ASOIAF’s War of Five Kings gave me some insight through fiction as to the environment they had to survive.

      I’d appreciate your thoughts.

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    168. jentario,

      Yeah, that’s a good point. Lords could get away from more, but I think lowborn homosexuals have obviously had it a lot worse.

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    169. Many people have hit upon this point, but I’m going to repeat it anyway.

      If you don’t enjoy watching the show, please, for the love of God, STOP watching. I’m certainly not going to try and convince people online to watch something, when all they do is whine and moan. I’ve said it before, but these boards are better in the off-season, because you can actually get some really good discussions with all the crazies gone.

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    170. Thanks for the link to the Anatomy of Throne article before it was posted on the main page, Sue!

      Also, with regards to quitting the show, I came up with an example from my own life for those who like to point out that Sansa’s situation is causing a lot of boycotts while the violent deaths of other characters did not. An unsullied friend of mine was so disturbed by Oberyn’s death that she stopped watching the show, and has kept that vow.

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    171. Rodrik the Reader:
      SlayerNina,

      … Sansa is now like a poster girl for rape awareness.

      Although this was most likely not the intent, ‘that scene’ might have done more for rape awareness (albeit momentarily) than any Take Back the Night rally ever held, which are generally ignored, lets’ face it.

      That might be sad, but it might be true. EVERYONE sympathized with Sansa, no matter their opinion of the choice to include that scene.

      Totally agree. It’s sad / ironic, isn’t it. People have gone into meltdown about the TV rape of a completely fictional character (and technically, the scene didn’t actually even ‘show’ the rape) but there is no equivalent internet outrage about the daily news reports of various acts of violence against women. RL incidents of rape and other assault; women and children being kidnapped and ‘married’ off against their will; young girls being sold into marriage, often after being taken out of the country to ‘visit our family’; girls being disfigured from genital mutilation; and so it goes on. The very people who have angrily sworn they are going to stop watching GOT will no doubt continue to watch the news, read newspapers, and just tune out the RL problems. Because of course they don’t ‘know’ those women like they know Sansa, while countries where there are mass kidnappings are far away and therefore don’t really exist. Not like Westeros!

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    172. Hodor Targaryen,

      Now we”ve finally come to the crux of all of it. In short, while art serves a valuable purpose in reflection, I think I value the setting it creates more from an entertainment perspective. This stems from my background as a fiction writer.

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    173. Minty: Totally agree.It’s sad / ironic, isn’t it.People have gone into meltdown about the TV rape of a completely fictional character (and technically, the scene didn’t actually even ‘show’ the rape) but there is no equivalent internet outrage about the daily news reports of various acts of violence against women. RL incidents of rape and other assault; women and children being kidnapped and ‘married’ off against their will; young girls being sold into marriage, often after being taken out of the country to ‘visit our family’;girls being disfigured from genital mutilation; and so it goes on.The very people who have angrily sworn they are going to stop watching GOT will no doubt continue to watch the news, read newspapers, and just tune out the RL problems.Because of course they don’t ‘know’ those women like they know Sansa, while countries where there are mass kidnappings are far away and therefore don’t really exist.Not like Westeros!

      That’s such a nonsensical comparison. There is plenty of outrage about quite a few specific incidents of rape.

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    174. As a feminist and a rape survivor, I had no problem with the scene at the end of episode 6. I did not find it objectionable in the least, nor do I agree with interpretations that claim it as an example of fridging, or of a female character being used merely to further a male character’s ManPain. Nor, for that matter, do I agree that it was in the least bit anti-woman or anti-feminist for B&W to have Sansa replace Jeyne Poole as the Stark wife the Boltons use to try to bolster their claims of legitimacy. On the contrary, I think it was a good decision, and I think the scene itself, while horrible to watch, was responsibly and sensitively written and directed — and certainly far less problematic on feminist grounds than GRR Martin’s claim that his POV characters now possess a special authorial shield against rape.

      The arguments which many of my fellow feminists and survivors have used to object to this scene over the past week, on the other hand, I have found upsetting and infuriating in the extreme. (So much so, in fact, that I’ve been putting off writing anything of length on the subject for nearly a week now, hoping that maybe I’ll eventually be able to put something together that doesn’t come across as furious or accusatory or nastily snide or unduly confrontational. But no. Still not there yet. Sigh.) Not only have I found some of these arguments personally distressing, and not only do I think that they are often based on flawed readings of the show’s text, but I also find a fair number of them deeply, deeply problematic on feminist grounds.

      I hate culture war bullshit as much as the next decent human being, but I’ve got to admit that it does feel a little strange when so many of the people I’m accustomed to having “on my side” when issues like this come up are now the ones pissing me off the most. Not, mind you, that this is the first time it’s happened to me. It’s just that this particular topic hits a hell of a lot closer to the bone for me than other topics on which I’ve found myself opposed to those with whom I usually agree.

      jentario: Can we stop suggesting that Sansa, a virgin whose sexual experience amounts to kissing Littlefinger and Joffrey, could seduce a sexual predator that intentionally puts her out of her comfort zone (with Theon)? Come on.

      Yeah, seriously. What would make anyone think Ramsay an appropriate subject for a rank beginner’s first seduction attempt? For God’s sake, people. I’ve said this elsewhere, but I’ll repeat it here. Sansa is not your villain redemption fic’s Mary Sue, and Ramsay Bolton is not the bunny slope.

      Beth: Yes, we have seen people’s heads being crushed and babies being stabbed, but neither one of those things are pervasive, systemic issues like sexual assault. Of course that hits closer to home, especially if, like me and many other viewers, you’ve experienced it first hand.

      Precisely. And that’s why I’ve been finding so many of the complaints against this scene so unbelievably annoying.

      Sexual violence isn’t rare, and it isn’t exotic. It’s common. Really, really, really common. More common than plague, more familiar than famine, closer to home than war. Rape isn’t a “cliche;” it is a reality for a good percentage of the world’s population. For massive numbers of people all across the globe, this is not an astonishing event. It is a part of my reality, and it’s a part of your reality, and I strongly suspect that it’s a part of Cumsprite’s reality as well — even if maybe s/he doesn’t realize just how close to it s/he is. It is in the air we breathe and the dust beneath our feet; we are fucking swimming in it. But let that experience be reflected in a work of fiction and suddenly we’re all supposed to act as if it’s some kind of freakish rarity that the writers tossed in to be provocative or controversial? As if it’s so shocking and unspeakable as to be completely beyond the pale? “Going too far?” Seriously?

      If anything, sexual violence and those who have been affected by it are grossly under-represented in the fiction we consume. It’s not rare on TV because it’s actually rare in real life. It’s rare on TV because it’s one of those giant stinky elephants standing in the middle of our shared cultural living space that lots of people would much rather pretend isn’t really there at all.

      In fact, some of these arguments remind me of arguments I’ve heard against other forms of representation in fiction. “I have no problems with gay people on TV, don’t be silly! I just think that their sexual orientation shouldn’t even come up unless it is narratively necessary” “I just can’t help feeling that this author was preaching to me by making this character non-white. Was there any real reason for him not to be white?”

      Ugh. How about because sometimes fiction wants to reflect reality? Is that reason enough for a woman who has married a psychopathic sadist in a viciously patriarchal society to be abused on her wedding night?

      The idea that fiction should pretend that this part of the human experience doesn’t exist baffles and bothers me. That’s a pretty huge part of the human experience to only include in fiction when one determines that it is absolutely, positively necessary. And a pretty enormous group of people, people like you and me, whose personal experiences are being dismissed as so freakish as to constitute “nothing but a tired trope.”

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    175. Beth,

      I’m honestly starting to think a lot of book readers are jumping on the outrage bandwagon as an excuse to throw around the books as being superior, not because they genuinely give a shit about rape. Nothing else explains the selective memory and ludicrous leaps in logic you have to make to justify GRRM’s treatment of women while vilifying Dan and Dave.

      That is really the heart of it. The show writers are already held with contempt by a significant portion of the fanbase and controversies like this allow these people to add another level of social commentary outrage over their typical nerd rage. If these people were so offended by “rape as a plot device” or casual use of sexual violence they would call out GRRM and stop making excuses for him in order to justify their hypocritical critiques of the show.

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    176. Steel_Wind,

      Fair points. Sorry if I offended. When I say “innocence and humanity”, I guess I am contrasting with other King’s Landing characters like Sandor or Cercei, people who are fundamentally embittered and dehumanized by the world around them. They have lost their moral bearings, and been filled with malice. Not that they don’t have their reasons, of course. Whereas, I just felt that, for all of the torment Sansa suffered in the first 3 books, she has still been able to preserve a sense of compassion.

      However, that’s a good point you made about covering up the murder with Lysa. Obviously it happens differently in the books, where Lysa is trying to kill Sansa, and they end up pinning the murder on a notorious rapist. Which, as far as crimes go, didn’t stick out to me as evidence of Sansa’s growing corruption. But in the show it’s a little more sinister, so that’s true.

      I think they’re treating her as a different character from the one in the books, with a different arc in mind, so we’ll see I guess.

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    177. jentario,

      “It just wouldn’t make sense at all” is a phrase that could be used to describe Sansa’s entire story this season so far. It just wouldn’t make sense for Sansa to not ask about LF’s letter until days or even weeks after he gets it in some random inn, yet that is what she does. It just wouldn’t make sense for Sansa to leave the Vale without asking where they were going, yet, she did. It just wouldn’t make sense for Sansa to not know they were heading North until they were literally in sight of Moat Cailin, yet that is what we see. It just wouldn’t make sense for Sansa to *willingly enter* ANOTHER castle run by cruel usurpers who have murdered her family members and seek to rule the North by marrying her to their heir, without even seeing the full political picture (like Stannis’ attack) yet she does it with a smile on her face. So clearly, “it just wouldn’t make sense” has not stopped the writers so far; I fail to see why they would stop now, especially seeing as Myranda actually explains Ramsay’s sexual depravity beforehand. I expect Sansa to do *something* with that information; is that too much to ask?

      Furthermore, I never said that Sansa could *successfully* seduce Ramsay, or that I expected her to. I do, however, expect her to do *try*. It’s not like the show hasn’t made a point of showing us that Sansa knows the potential efficacy of such manipulation. In Season 2, Cersei tells her that were Stannis not virtually incorruptible, she would attempt to seduce him in an effort to be shown clemency. Sansa has also seen Marg pretend to enjoy Joffrey’s sadism to great effect. In fact, Cersei explicitly tells Sansa that “Tears aren’t a woman’s only weapon. The best one’s between your legs. Learn how to use it.” In Season 3, Margaery teaches her a similar lesson in a more diplomatic fashion, saying “But women in our position must learn to make the best of our circumstances…” and specifically mentions that some women like “rough men.” Cersei also points out that should Sansa fail to learn, then she will be reduced to “a slice of cake, just waiting to be eaten” and indeed, Sansa’s fate at the hands of Ramsay is far more akin to that which the noble ladies of King’s Landing would have suffered at the hands of Stannis’ men than that which Cersei would have experienced successfully seducing an enemy commander other than Stannis.

      Of the two “weapons” mentioned by Cersei, Sansa has always resorted to the former. It has literally never worked. Her attempting to use the latter, albeit in a predictably clumsy and hopelessly and ineffective fashion, would therefore be neither unexpected nor unwarranted in this situation. Though it would not work, it would contrast nicely with Sansa’s meek haplessness in her bedroom scene with Tyrion, and show the audience that far from being a passive observer, Sansa actually picked up a thing or two from the most successful and ambitious women in Westerosi politics, and is indeed attempting to use this marriage to seize control of the North, a fact that we are told but never shown, as effective storytelling ought to.

      afartherroom,

      I’m not saying that Ramsay is an “appropriate” subject for a novice’s first seduction attempt. The entire situation is revoltingly inappropriate, but Sansa doesn’t have the luxury of dealing with “appropriate” men. She’s a virgin who was handed a psychopath, but seeing her try and fail at manipulating him would be far more interesting than seeing her do nothing. We are supposed to believe that Sansa is “still in the process of learning.” I’d like to *see* that instead of being told.

      Beth,

      Ramming Sansa into Jeyne Poole’s story line is not logical, it’s a disservice to Sansa’s character development. Just getting her to Winterfell involved making her insultingly clueless and passive. As far as the Boltons are concerned, considering that the writers were planning to send Sansa to Winterfell since Season 2, they could have easily expanded on Jeyne’s character since then to make us care by the time she got to Winterfell. Jeyne isn’t as unimportant as people seem to think; her presence affects Jon, Stannis, Mance, and Theon to name a few. In fact, they didn’t even have to put the marriage in if they didn’t want to; just have the Boltons able to seize the North because the other houses are too weak to fight them, have Theon escape after being horrified by Ramsay’s many other instances of sadism (flaying Ironborn, Cerwyn, perhaps raping Myranda, etc). At the core of my disapointment, after cutting so much in the name of “streamlining,” one big thing they went out of their way to include was this unnecessary rape.

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    178. Lion of Night,

      The argument isn’t that being raped diminishes her character, it’s that the entire Winterfell storyline diminishes her character. I’m by no means a book purist – I have no qualms about them changing things for adaptation purposes. But the writers have taken a storyline about her learning the game of thrones and acquiring political influence in the Vale, and transplanted it for a story where she is placed under the torment of another vicious sadist. As I said, the story might have worked if we saw a change in her character, a continuation from the cunning we saw emerge in season 4, but her attitude after Littlefinger departed seems to have reverted back to season 2 fear and resignation.

      The scene of her taunting Ramsay and Myranda are nice, and they definitely show the steel that has formed beneath. But, as I said, I think it would have been cool to see her actively manipulating Roose and Ramsay, pretending to be on their side, and working with them, rather than acting like a despondent prisoner (which is obviously how she feels, but the idea of performance and manipulation is one of Sansa’s key tools of survival – it seems strange for the writers to abandon it). Another thread could be her trying to gather support among the castle smallfolk or the other northern lords, so that they would be able to have her back. I have no idea how they could have handled the material – I personally just find it discordant with her character arc.

      As you say, however, the test will be what they do with Sansa’s storyline going forward. Will the rape scene have a longterm effect on her character, or is it purely being employed for shock/worldbuilding/plot device (like so many former instances of sexual violence depicted by the show). I slightly dread the answer. But I hope I’m wrong.

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    179. si91,

      Theon simply escaping on his own would not be the same at all. Who would cheer for him? In the books, he saves a tortured helpless girl. In the show, his role remains to be fulfilled but it’s clear he’ll play a major role in Sansa’s escape.

      Don’t forget that Littlefinger has his own plans as well. His talk with Cersei proves that he intends to get the North, no matter the price (and at this point he’s pretty much secured it for himself). This storyline isn’t another Yara in the Dreadfort deal- it changes and affects the whole story. It changes Sansa’s story a LOT, and keeps her North. It adds this new Littlefinger plot. It pretty much made Brienne’s arc this season. And it makes Cersei aware of Sansa. I’m also expecting it to affect Stannis as well.

      In the books, Jeyne Poole had a major affect on the story as well (Stannis, Theon and Jon- which the show chose to exclude by killing Mance and having Melisandre leave Castle Black before the wedding). So they couldn’t just cut her.

      One thing I agree on is that for all the hype, Sansa hasn’t really done anything special yet. Her applying sass at the dinner scene and to Myranda just isn’t enough. We don’t see her trying to affect her environment at all, which is disappointing. But that has nothing to do with the rape scene specifically. I have hopes that now that Sansa lost her virginity, she won’t be like Dany and get raped half a hundred times- I think now, she could actually try the seduction deal (and I still think she couldn’t have done it in her first time, especially considering Ramsay was trying to torment her on purpose by having Theon watch).

      Basically, I think this arc is still salvageable. Sansa will need to finally start doing shit, though.

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    180. afartherroom:

      It is a part of my reality, and it’s a part of your reality, and I strongly suspect that it’s a part of Cumsprite’s reality as well — even if maybe s/he doesn’t realize just how close to it s/he is.

      I do. Not sure what assumptions you are trying to avoid making about my experiences. I am certain they are positive because I am just wonderful all around. I’d rather not start talking about other forms of violence while a discussion about rape is going on, but some people are making some pretty ignorant assertions about the violence aspect of the show and how it might impact viewers.

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    181. afartherroom,

      Well it was an upsetting scene – and I am sorry that you have had such a nasty experience in real life. I’ve had unpleasant experiences when I was younger – I think most women have – but I was never actually raped. (Male readers, I am NOT saying most men are potential rapists – just that the minority who are form a minority which is capable of doing damage). There has been much virtual discussion on this website about last week’s episode’s final scene. I doubt HBO will take much notice of the exchange of opinions here though. If enough of the people who found the scene hateful wrote to HBO, giving solid reasons for their loathing of the scene, then HBO might take notice, though I can’t know for certain what they would do.

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    182. jentario,

      Well of course Theon escaping on his own wouldn’t be the same – I never said it would be. Keeping things “the same” in terms of individual character journeys or character development clearly isn’t a priority anymore. If they could do something as drastic as sending Sansa to Winterfell to be raped, they could deviate much less from the book material and have Theon escape alone. The LF storyline doesn’t need Sansa in the North either. It seems that Cersei is willing to simply take LF’s word for it that Sansa is in the North, having heard no other rumors or intelligence reports that would corroborate his story. Therefore, he could use the Vale army with Cersei’s blessing to take the North even with Sansa still in the Vale, telling Sansa, as he does in the books, that he’s doing it to reclaim the North for her. Brienne could hear about this, move on Winterfell, and eventually get captured like Mance does. But again, they could have also avoided this entire substitution problem and emphasized Jeyne back in Season 2 if they had felt so inclined.

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    183. Cumsprite,

      Ugh, I think that must have come out very differently than I intended. I was trying for a joking tone, in line with your often sly persona, but it obviously didn’t land, and wound up hitting the person behind the persona. My apologies.

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    184. DonalNoyesArm,

      I challenge you to a ski duel! En garde

      For some reason your comment has made me think of that Simpsons episode “nothing at all…..nothing at all…….nothing at all” Who knew Flanders had a booty on him.

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    185. si91,

      Theon escaping alone wouldn’t just not be the same, it would be entirely unsatisfying. Same goes for Brienne chasing Sansa to Winterfell when she isn’t there.

      And you seem to be way too sure that Littlefinger’s talk with Cersei is bullshit. I think to him it is actually a legitimate plan B. As much as he seems to like Sansa, she’s not Catelyn.

      Besides, without Sansa in Winterfell Littlefinger has no choice but to take his army and attack the victor. With Sansa in Winterfell, say if Stannis wins and makes her Wardeness of the North Littlefinger wouldn’t have to sacrifice his troops at all (the North would be his through her).

        Quote  Reply

    186. The Bastard: I think the reaction of Americans says more about our own pitfalls then it does anything about the show.

      I think you need to ask posters what country they are from before posting such generalizations. And start reading news media in other languages than English too or if you do then be fair about it. Because that type of generalization is fast becoming boring it serves nobody.

      This comes out at first google for Spanish laguage articles about the rape:

      http://www.primerahora.com/entretenimiento/tv/nota/gameofthronesvuelveaincurrirensupeorvicio-1083697/

      They call Petyr Baelish show plans stupid. Also blame the writers for using Sansa, for having a fixed idea with the rape and that they should know better.

      Here is an Italian one.
      http://www.ilgiornale.it/news/cultura/stupro-game-thrones-c-1130335.html

      In summary they say the rape is a terrible plot device to advance a story, that it doesn’t serve Sansa’s story or the narrative and what was it for?!

      I’m seeing a general universal trend actually. This is not an “American” reaction.

      I could very well paraphrase you and say that the fact you cannot see that says more about your personal prejudice against Americans than about them having a certain kind of reaction.

        Quote  Reply

    187. si91:
      RosanaZugey,

      This doesn’t make any sense. In the books she needs to marry Harry to use the forces of the Vale to reclaim Winterfell, forces that she would not otherwise be able to use. However, she doesn’t need to marry Ramsay to claim the North. It’s the Boltons who need to marry her to claim the North. The marriage benefits them immensely, while doing nothing to strengthen Sansa’s claim to the North. In fact, it weakens her because it links her to a despised family.

      For me, this is the key

        Quote  Reply

    188. You know we have a whole networked show running for 16 seasons which the premise is investigation of rape and/or “sexually based offences”. Goodness know how many young women and children ( and even some men) characters have been “used” in the show just to be victims, sometimes they come out of it with dignity intact, sometimes not. Is this really a suitable subject for well over 200 episodes of prime time TV? Presumably some of the folks posting on WOTW have been lobbying Wolf Films & Universal for years to get this taken off the air, right?

      Now attacks are not portrayed in a salacious way for titillation but neither was the final scene in this episode. Viewers watch that programme (I hope) to see if justice is served – and on occasion it isn’t due to crafty defence lawyers and legal shenanigans – and whether the victim can get some sort of closure, but you can also claim that the attacks are just a vehicle for entertainment. Of course you get that in 40 minutes ( or an hour with the ad breaks!) but the same principal of wait and see applies.

      So…there is plenty of room left for outrage at the end of the season if this turns out to have been gratuitous, and I would hope that the fact that Sophie T herself seems to be at ease with the storyline is an indicator that it may turn out to be justified even despite the (understandable) antipathy for it.

      Oh and yeah we were all having a right good laugh when Tyrion was threatened with the Theon treatment I guess. Cock removal is always comedy gold …

        Quote  Reply

    189. pau,

      It’s not about claim, it’s about who directly rules the North. At the moment, the Boltons do- and they may well remain in that position for a very long time if they defeat Stannis.

      Keep in mind show Ramsay is a nobody that only popped into existence after being legitimized, not the known psychopath he is in the books. Littlefinger decided that if the worst happens and the Boltons win, Sansa will at least be able to hold power in the North through them. Or perhaps, at some point, get rid of them.

      This also creates a bond between Littlefinger and the Boltons which they may rely on, and die for. Say, if Littlefinger pulls a Tywin and comes with the Vale knights to “help” the Boltons and then slaughters them with his men inside Winterfell.

      And he could also live up to his word with Cersei, have Sansa killed and assume control of the North by law of the Iron Throne.

      On the flipside, not putting Sansa there would hurt his chances of an alliance with Stannis. Could he just go up to him and say “here’s a Stark, have fun”? No, I don’t think Stannis would take that very well. If Stannis saves Sansa, then she could start working on reshaping Stannis’s thoughts about Littlefinger using her new manipulative traits and with that increase the chance that Stannis agrees to an alliance.

      Basically, putting Sansa in Winterfell creates more opportunities, and essentially gives him a sure win (no matter what happens), whereas not putting her there makes everything less certain.

        Quote  Reply

    190. Cumsprite,

      Thanks for being so understanding. It is an emotional subject, and I really should have known better than to go for rib-elbowing jocularity in a post that was otherwise taken up with serious matters. “Fraught with peril” is an excellent description. Thanks.

      (And on the subject of such incongruities, am I the only one who can’t help but giggle a bit each and every time at the title of this article? The comments are filled with impassioned argument about sexual violence. The title sounds like something Comic Book Guy might say. Boycotted Forevah! Oh noes!)

        Quote  Reply

    191. jentario,

      “Entirely unsatisfying” is a phrase that could describe a disturbingly large section of the show. The fact that something would be unsatisfying hasn’t stopped the writers before. As far as Brienne is concerned, her trying to go to a place where we know Sansa isn’t is exactly what happens in the books. The fact that Stannis is in the North as well adds additional motivation for her to go there.

      I don’t think LF is necessarily bullshitting Cersei. I think he’s hedging his bets, and will use the Vale forces to support Tommen, Stannis, or Roose as he sees fit. Sansa’s absence from Winterfell wouldn’t alter his plans at all. If Stannis wins, LF can produce Sansa from the Vale and hand her over, ruling the North through her while acknowledging Stannis as King without having sacrificed any of the Vale’s military strength. If Roose wins, LF can offer her to Roose so that he can cement his control over the North fresh off of a military victory, in exchange for helping LF destabilize the Lannisters. Or, LF can simply take the North from the Boltons/Stannis, rule as Warden with Cersei’s blessing, and deliver Sansa’s head to KL.

      Putting her in Winterfell, where she might die in the ensuing Baratheon/Bolton fight, is an unnecessary risk that gains him nothing, especially if Stannis wins. Stannis is less likely to trust Sansa if she were “Lady Bolton” than he would he were merely an exiled daughter of Ned Stark. Indeed, he would want to know how exactly Sansa got there, and once she told him that LF sent here there to cement his alliance with the Boltons, Stannis would get very suspicious. I also doubt that Sansa could successfully use her “new manipulative traits” on a man like Stannis when she has only just started to learn to manipulate, which suggests that LF would hardly make this an integral component of his contingency plan in case Stannis wins. Even Cersei doubted her ability to manipulate Stannis.

        Quote  Reply

    192. deefalc:
      I’d like to make an aside to discuss something that really peeves me most about this discussion and that would be fans who are dismissive of other fans’ opinions. Using lines like “JUST QUIT” or “BYE NO ONE CARES” etc… is so rude, dismissive, and frankly childish.

      Some of us have loved the books for years, and loved the show with the many changes, but are finding it harder to like this season. It’s not like we watch hating every second of it… we like some things and dislike others. Lately the bad is outweighing the good, but at least in my case I’m hopelessly tuning in, wanting it to reverse.

      Maybe this was inevitable in TV, that it would become more about the exciting moments and the action and less about the more subtle, complicated but exceedingly brilliant politics, characters, and storylines.

      And that’s fine, but I don’t have to like it all. And just because I don’t like every second, even if lately I’m only enjoying maybe 40% of it, as a long-time fan I think it’s fair for me to watch with a critical eye. Who is anyone else to decide how much I should like or dislike about an episode, or if I should continue to watch?

      I just hope that those who insist on being rude to other fans who have concerns or dislike certain things about the show learn to respect others with differing opinions and maybe grow up a bit. It disheartens me that I can’t have faith that will be the case in this fandom anymore.

      I’ve been fighting this fight mostly alone in this site for a long time 😉 Book purists may bee annoying, but at least don’t insult fellow commenters like show jihadists do

      It’s funny though that it was ok for people here to berate Elio when he didn’t like Bran+Craster’s plotline, with the acquiescence of moderators like Bex, but now that it’s her pals that have a problem with the show it’s a different story…hope someone learns something out of this

      The North Remembers

        Quote  Reply

    193. si91,

      Cersei wanted to manipulate Stannis with sex (which obviously wouldn’t work), all Sansa would have to do is tell Stannis that her marriage to Ramsay was part of a revenge plot gone wrong and that Littlefinger saved her from KL and killed Joffrey, offering an alliance with him and giving him the Vale forces to help fight the Lannisters. The difference is that Sansa would actually be sincere (but still hiding some truths).

        Quote  Reply

    194. jentario: Basically, putting Sansa in Winterfell creates more opportunities, and essentially gives him a sure win (no matter what happens), whereas not putting her there makes everything less certain.

      Not really, no…the marriage was useful for the Boltons, not for Littlefinger. It was just a plot device D&D tought the show needed, but it doesn’t make sense. It’s ok, everyone makes mistakes.

      I’ll say 3 more things

      – I don’t recognize many of the outraged posters.

      – I don’t see many of the most hardcore show jihadists

      – the rape was a given once Sansa was sent to WF.

        Quote  Reply

    195. pau:
      It’s funny though that it wasok for people here to berate Elio when he didn’t like Bran+Craster’s plotline, with the acquiescence of moderators like Bex, but now that it’s her pals that have a problem with the show it’s a different story…hope someone learns something out of this

      The North Remembers

      I literally have no idea what you’re trying to say here or why you are singling me out.

        Quote  Reply

    196. jentario,

      Stannis has little reason to believe in the sincerity of someone as corrupt as LF, especially seeing as the idea of using marriage as part of a revenge plot makes no sense whatsoever. Sansa can hardly get revenge against the Boltons as a Bolton prisoner in a castle full of Bolton men, any more than she could as a Lannister prisoner betrothed to Joffrey in the Red Keep. Indeed, the Boltons could easily decide to kill her rather than let Stannis get his hands on her, just like the Lannisters attempted to, which would leave LF Starkless, a problem that he could have avoided by not putting Sansa in a war zone. The revenge arc makes much more sense were she to use a Vale force to attack the Boltons.

        Quote  Reply

    197. pau,

      I addressed the reasons why I think it does make sense, saying “nope” without further explanation doesn’t exactly strengthen your point.

      But this issue was already talked to death, maybe it’s time to stop

        Quote  Reply

    198. jentario:
      pau,

      I addressed the reasons why I think it does make sense, saying “nope” without further explanation doesn’t exactly strengthen your point.

      But this issue was already talked to death, maybe it’s time to stop

      I was on the phone, and I’m lazy 😉

      But yeah, let’s stop

      Bex: I literally have no idea what you’re trying to say here or why you are singling me out.

      It’s quite clear to me…if you really don’t remember check the comments of one of your review recap posts of last season .

      Or don’t, I don’t care, but I do remember and it’s as I say quite funny to read your comments now 😉

        Quote  Reply

    199. pau,

      If you have no receipts and are not going to elaborate then I’m not sure why you’re making fanciful comments about me in the first place.

        Quote  Reply

    200. pau,

      So you’re fighting for internet pleasantness but in the same paragraph manage to use one of the most derogatory terms for a group of fans I’ve heard so far? I wonder why your fight remains mostly fruitless.

        Quote  Reply

    201. Bex:
      pau,

      If you have no receipts and are not going to elaborate then I’m not sure why you’re making fanciful comments about me in the first place.

      What is it that you don’t understand?

      It was ok to make fun of Elio’s issues with the show before, YOU used to make fun of his reviews, instead of treating them with RESPECT, in the comments of your posts in WIC, where u recapped the reviews of past season. How ironic, right? Specially reading then opinions in this post. You don’t make fun of them, right? Good. Maybe you learned something

      Is it clear enough now?

        Quote  Reply

    202. pau,

      Still not seeing any receipts here. You have a bug up your ass about Bex, I don’t care. She’s a moderator and writer here, I don’t want her hassled just because you think she doesn’t pay Elio and Linda enough respect. Considering how much Linda has insulted her and pretty much everyone who ever wrote for WiC at one time, we don’t owe her anything. You reap what you sow.

        Quote  Reply

    203. No too long ago, Linda TUMBL’d a post directed at me personally. It was a proud moment. But then she deleted it. I HAVE WITNESSES!

      Call me up if you want gangsta.

        Quote  Reply

    204. Sue the Fury:
      pau,

      Still not seeing any receipts here. You have a bug up your ass about Bex, I don’t care. She’s a moderator and writer here, I don’t want her hassled just because you think she doesn’t pay Elio and Linda enough respect. Considering how much Linda has insulted her and pretty much everyone who ever wrote for WiC at one time, we don’t owe her anything. You reap what you sow.

      I’m talking about Elio, not Linda. It’s clear that you guys have some personal war going on over Tumblr, westeros and who else knows where. I don’t go to westeros, tumblr or anywhere else for that matter, I just check this site and maybe you guys don’t see it, and I’m sure your hate is totally justified, but to the people that is not up to date to the current events of this war all we see, all I see is HATE from your part,

      And maybe you guys don’t see it either, but this hate translates in your attitude towars other people. To be fair, I can only speak to myself, so I’ll say it translates toward me. I did feel bullied on the comments of that recap post. This guy, Cumpsprite, I really don’t know what his problem is with me, I guess (well, now I know) he has a personal issue with Linda that he translates towards me, because I made a personal point not to adress him personally after some attacks from his part, so really it’s quite annoying to have him always at my throat .

      Maybe you guys think I’m on Elio’s and Linda’s side, that I’m a moderator there or whatever. I’m sorry but I’m not, I don’t even visit the site and I don’t even like the guy but if there’s something I can’t stand is people with power abusing that power and that is something Sue and Bex sometimes do.

      All I said is that it was funny to read Bex comments here, expressing her dissapointment with D&D when she used to make fun of Elio for expressing his dissapointment with D&D and now I’m hassling her? OK, whatever guys.

      PS: The “receipts”

      http://winteriscoming.net/2014/05/05/written-recap-roundup-season-4-episode-5-first-name/

        Quote  Reply

    205. Thanks for the receipt, Pau! I had forgotten about that conversation. Not sure why you would want walk down that particular path again since you don’t come off very well. You, in fact, were rude and dismissive. I could also ask what you have against me since you replied to my first post (which was not in any way directed at you) in a very condescending manner. Then I remember I don’t give a fuck what you think.

      Cheers.

        Quote  Reply

    206. Cumsprite:
      Thanks for the receipt, Pau! I had forgotten about that conversation. Not sure why you would want walk down that particular path again since you don’t come off very well. You, in fact, were rude and dismissive. I could also ask what you have against me since you replied to my first post (which was not in any way directed at you) in a very condescending manner. Then I remember I don’t give a fuck what you think.

      Cheers.

      Surely you don’t, that’s why you’re always trying to pick up a fight.

      As an example, your insults on this thread or in the one linked

      I’m sorry your problems with Linda are making you treat others like I guess she treated you.

        Quote  Reply

    207. Pick a fight? MOI? Surely you are joking. Oh. It is true I do like a good, old-fashioned internet donnybrook. But let’s go to your receipt.

      My first post: “Where is Elio’s review? How can I properly experience outrage at HBO’s fanfictional adaptation unless someone official provides me guidance?”

      Your response to my post: “Also has you’re weekly dose of contempt for his disappointment…not sure what’s worse.”

      Looks like you started it, doesn’t it? You also have a number of posts in that thread where you make whinging accusations and resort to name-calling. I think it’s hilarious that you even brought it up or felt it’s an indictment of anyone’s behavior except your own.

        Quote  Reply

    208. Cumsprite:
      Pick a fight? MOI? Surely you are joking. Oh. It is true I do like a good, old-fashioned internet donnybrook. But let’s go to your receipt.

      My first post: “Where is Elio’s review? How can I properly experience outrage at HBO’s fanfictional adaptation unless someone official provides me guidance?”

      Your response to my post: “Also has you’re weekly dose of contempt for his disappointment…not sure what’s worse.”

      Looks like you started it, doesn’t it? You also have a number of posts in that thread where you make whinging accusations and resort to name-calling. I think it’s hilarious that you even brought it up or felt it’s an indictment of anyone’s behavior except your own.

      I’m not sure what you’re talking about, my comment was an answer to Bex comment, not to yours, as I already told you in that post over a year ago

      Here it’s Bex comment:
      “I just checked and his weekly dose of disappointment has hit the web”

      And here is my answer:
      “Also has you’re weekly dose of contempt for his disappointment…not sure what’s worse.”

      And here is my first answer to you:
      “I meant to quote just Bex…you can hate all you want, but a moderator doing it is not very elegant in my opinión”

      So no, it doesn’t look like I started it. It looks like you thought that I started it.and I’m not sure what to tell you i you can’t see the confusion

      Anyway, I don’t see how my answer was worse tan her remark. Actually, her being a moderator makes it worse in my opinión, because she had a position of power and she should have been neutral. As I already said a year ago

      In this thread I commented on the irony that now was Bex and the rest of the authors of the post that were having their weekly dose of dissapointment.

      Sue says in this thread that Linda has told her horrible things, and you also say something about a tumblr post…whatever, I guess that’s why she wasn’t neutral. But how can people know?

      Regarding you don’t giving a fuck about what I think, why do you keep on answering then, and insulting me one year after that? Was I really that offensive to you? I had no beef with you, as I told you here and I told you then, you can hate all you want, my issue was with a moderator doing it.

      Regarding who comes off worse I guess it’s in the eye of the Beholder.

        Quote  Reply

    209. Then you should kindly leave me out of your replies instead of continually bringing me into it.

      Maybe you should check some more receipts. Should be fun.

      ETA: you’re the one digging up year-old posts to address your butthurt. All you are doing is rubbing caresalt in it.

        Quote  Reply

    210. Used to comment back in the early days, when we were waiting for greenlight etc. Happy to have the old format here. Not so much merchandise and other sickening stuff. Just a side note.

      Cenere: In storytelling we see all the time that it’s secondary characters that get abused in the worst ways, subtly implying that to the ‘strong’ main characters this kind of stuff doesn’t happen. But the thing is that in real life people don’t prove their strength because things don’t happen to them, they prove it when things happen to them.
      The thought that this could happen to younger Sansa because she was weak and couldn’t possibly happen to older Sansa because she has grown is the kind of persuasion that we get (willingly or not) from the structures of storytelling we’re used to.
      And what concerns me is that films and other media may be reinforcing this idea and unwillingly implying that the worst things won’t happen to strong people, and that in a way the reason they happened to other people is because they are ‘weak’.

      This is exactly it. I myself haven’t even begun to dissect my thoughts of this horrendous scene, other than that I saw it coming, and that it was every bit as horrible as I imagined.
      I agree with your very insightful comment: “the thing is that in real life people don’t prove their strength because things don’t happen to them, they prove it when things happen to them.”
      And however horrid rape is, it is important to understand that rape happens to women, whether they are strong or weak.
      If for nothing else, then one thing to take from this controversy is the opportunity to debate and discuss this.

      As for the story arc. Theons tears spoke plenty, and Sansa is a strong person, and I believe she will continue to grow stronger, no matter what happens to her.

      I also agree with all that is being said in the post about the need for women on the creative team, and them needing to balance the show better.
      And – side note – I am also irked by the liberties with Martins material, re Jaime-Bronn “hollywood-team-up” distaster and other additions and alterations.
      I just want to echo “No one understands” like AngryGOTfan used to or perhaps still do.

        Quote  Reply

    211. Cumsprite:
      Then you should kindly leave me out of your replies instead of continually bringing me into it.

      Maybe you should check some more receipts. Should be fun.

      You mean after your initial remarks on this post, then? Like being bottled-fed as a child and whatnot?

      By the way, nice way of not adressing my points. I guess you finally realized I actually didn’t start it.

        Quote  Reply

    212. cosca:
      Pau,

      Why does Bex need to be neutral? This ain’t the United Nations bro

      Well, I think I said it better 1 year ago because it seems my english is getting worse. But I don’t think it’s very elegant to make snarky remarks about other peoples reviews as a moderator of a site that post their own reviews.

      And then I found ironic that 1 year later her opinión about the show it’s starting to align with those reviews

        Quote  Reply

    213. Pau,

      I insulted you in this thread. Boo-hoo. You are acting like a brat. Just like you acted like a brat a year ago when you called people bullies and haters and generally disparaged them for their opinions with no provocation whatsoever as your vaunted receipt has demonstrated. If you didn’t mean to insult me a year ago, you should’ve left me out of your reply. Tough shit. You DESERVE to be insulted. You’ve earned it.

      And, pray tell, which points did I not address? Short sentences, please.

        Quote  Reply

    214. Livvey,

      Happy you found this place…welcome.
      Oh, and Angry GoT Fan is still at it, and, yes, to this day…

      #NOONEUNDERSTANDS

        Quote  Reply

    215. Cumsprite: You DESERVE to be insulted

      Of course I do. Why would you do it otherwise? I MUST have earned

      Cumsprite: And, pray tell, which points did I not address? Short sentences, please

      Really man, for not giving a fuck about what I think you can’t let it go, can you?

      Nymeria Warrior Queen:
      Livvey,

      Nymeria I’m sorry I didn’t make that post, I don’t think I’ll be able to, I hope the videos were informative enough :/

        Quote  Reply

    216. I don’t care what you think, true. But I am curious what questions you might have asked me. Didn’t really see any. Not doing it for your benefit, just itching to continue making you look like a fool.

        Quote  Reply

    217. LOL. boycotting game of thrones won’t get it off the air. It was a success back in the first season when only book fans were watching it. It will continue to be a success when all the bandwagon fans leave.

      If you don’t like the show don’t watch it. Calling for a boycott is really dumb because no one cares if you like it or not. You’re opinion is irrelevant.

      As RR Martin said himself “Anyone that thinks what goes on in ASOIAF is too brutal should open a history book or two”

        Quote  Reply

    218. Haha, I’m sorry, but I don’t need you to look like a fool, I manage very well on my own…almost as good as you, I might say 😉

      And yeah, I can totally see you don’t care, that’s why you just can’t stop reposting with ever-increasing bile, making straw-man arguments ( what questions? points, man, points!)

      Waiting for the next justification for your insults to prove my point further :*

        Quote  Reply

    219. I answered your question regarding why I treat you poorly. To revisit: in your receipt you so helpfully provided, you were rude in your reply to me without any provocation. Pretty simple.

      Now, if you are still frustrated about how this site is being moderated, I can’t help you with that. I think the team here does a pretty good job. Don’t always agree with them, but they seem nice.

        Quote  Reply

    220. Cumsprite:
      I answered your question regarding why I treat you poorly. To revisit: in your receipt you so helpfully provided, you were rude in your reply to me without any provocation. Pretty simple.

      Now, if you are still frustrated about how this site is being moderated, I can’t help you with that. I think the team here does a pretty good job. Don’t always agree with them, but they seem nice.

      I wasn’t replying to you man, I was replying to Bex. Your name was quoted by mistake. I told you 4 times already, and that was actually my first post to you:

      “I meant to quote just Bex…you can hate all you want, but a moderator doing it is not very elegant in my opinion”

      So no, I was no rude in my first answer to you. On the contrary, I tried to clear the confusion. So again, it isn’t pretty simple.

      I’m not frustrated, I do think they are nice people and they do a good job.

      I think Sue and Bex are too authoritative at times, and I do remember some sad episodes with comments being deleted. Nothing like that has happened again, though.

      I think calling them up on this attitudes is healthy, don’t you think?

      Anyway just today another commenter said he felt “darkly amused” by the fact that Elio’s reviews seem the most moderate now, just like I was saying…it IS amusing. And Bex DID make fun of one of Elio’s reviews. That WAS a snarky comment.

      That is all I was saying, and I hope Bex and Sue get to read this and see I was not inventing things.

        Quote  Reply

    221. This is all ironic to read.

      Hearing the cries of fouled viewers, believing any offense caused to them is through the reading or watching of the show. It is in fact not, as much as anything in the history books (much worse) or anything of fiction, let alone anything you can find on the web, or other shows/books. Or real life.

      Your interpretations of character development are null and void. Unless you are a learned writer who has achieved critical success, you are merely a baby trying to do calculus. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to give fair reviews of literature, it means you are a long way away from doing it legitimately.

      If you believe it is bad, unfair, gross, or anything else, then stop watching the news, reading the paper, or walking around in real life. Freedom of speech is akin to freedom of listening/watching. If you don’t like it, don’t make yourself available to it. This show doesn’t condone what it portrays, it simply tells. As the bible does, as fifty shades of grey does, as the Texas chainsaw massacre movie does, and as Mark Twain did.

      To hear you criticize or attack the writing or the show is to hear you attack imagination, how it makes you feel doesn’t lessen or increase it’s creativity. It only garners a reaction, as does anything in film or literature.

      It is the most viewed show in the world and isn’t going anywhere till it decides to end.
      Deal with it.

      I do not condone rape or violence. Neither does the writing. It is fiction within the likeness of real life. Everyone’s view of a character and their place is a view of their own, no matter how similar to someone else’s.

      Before slamming the show with your interpretations of good and evil, I challenge you to define those terms first, and to where those definitions sit in our world, at any given time, or place.

      I would call all definitions a matter of opinion, and liken them to one’s favorite color. Though some may share the same favorite color, all see it with their own eyes.

      By all this I mean mainly one thing. The horrors and good in this show reflect greatly on us.

      If you have such an issue with it, consider your opinions and voices wasted in this forum, as they are elsewhere more greatly needed. In the real world. This Show doesn’t influence the greater world, that shit operates outside the T.V. It is only reported there AFTER the fact.

      This is the only great power you may ever have (reaching readers on the internet), and it is a mockery of justice, and if that is what you are calling for, consider yourselves tyrants.

      True justice comes through crusading for a shared, REAL LIFE and good cause. Not against a writer, who simply holds a mirror to your face.

      If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. You’re the vast minority, and most of us have only the best intentions, and wish to enjoy some fantasy.

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