Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 6 “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” – Written Recap Round-Up

Welcome back to the written recap round-up! This week Arya continued her training, the Sand Snakes attacked, and we had yet another happy wedding in this week’s episode “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”.

And don’t forget WotW’s own Sullied and Unsullied reviews!

Reviews for Book Readers: 

Alyssa Rosenberg, Washington Post

Laura Hudson, Wired 

Myles McNutt, A.V. Club

Sean T. Collins, Rolling Stone

Charlie Jane Anders, io9

James Hibberd, Entertainment Weekly

Sarah Hughes, The Guardian

Neil Miller, Film School Rejects

Eric Dodds, Time

Elio Garcia, Westeros.org

Chris Mandle, The Week

David Crow, Den of Geek 

 

Unsullied Book-Spoiler-Free Recaps:

Andy Greenwald, Grantland

Laura Stone, Hey, Don’t Judge Me

Richard Rushfield (for this week), Hitfix

Erik Adams, A.V. Club

Nina Shen Rastogi, Vulture

David Malitz, Washington Post

Libby Hill, Salon 

It was a rather dark episode so naturally, everyone has a lot to say! Let us know what you think in the comments below!

161 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. I always read the Mcnutt review. I find his reviews insightful and well thought out and I am usually in agreement.

      Plus his last name is awesome! The things I would say to my GFs with a name like that… Lol.

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    2. I think I have heard people swear off the show every other year now….

      Season 1 – Ned being executed

      Season 3 – Robb Stark dying.

      Season 5 – Sansa being “raped”.

      Not sure why people are calling it rape. She wasn’t forced into the marriage. She was given an option from Littlefinger and agreed to do it. She knew that once she got married she would have to have sex. This was a calculated decision by Sansa to give up her body as a way to bring down the family who betrayed hers.

      Was it a tough scene to watch? Absolutely. I cringed and put the volume down and have refused to watch it since. I’ve rewatched the entire episode and just couldn’t watch past the wedding ceremony the second time around. But by Westeros terms, that wasn’t rape.

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    3. Poor Laura Stone! I knew this was going to be tough on her.

      The Bastard,

      “Accepting you can’t prevent what is going to happen to you” is not the same thing as “consenting to sex”.

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    4. Queenofthrones,

      She consented to the marriage in a culture in which bedding happens right after the ceremony. That is consenting to the sex in Westeros terms. Now, if Littlefinger never gave her a choice, then it would have been rape.

      She could have prevented all of this if she just said no I won’t marry him. Simple as that. She knew by saying yes to marriage, she was saying yes to sex.

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    5. That Sansa scene was considerably dialled down from the equivalent book scene. Apparently bad things are only shocking or matter if they happen to a major character. The show writers just can’t win.

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    6. ServantOfLight,

      Pretty much.

      Now, imagine if they stuck to the books. And they introduced a new character this season, only to have her screwed by Ramsey and warmed up by Theon. People would still be complaining.

      They really can’t win. This is why television stations are so afraid to run with serious fantasy. The fans are so fickle they complain no matter what happens.

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    7. Sean C.,

      She consented to being his property where he can do what he wants with her. She knew this when she had a conversation with Littlefinger. She was also fully aware that his family killed her brother and mother.

      Are you following the same story I am?

      I’m not saying the scene was good. It was horrific to watch.

      You do realize in America, less then 300 years ago, the woman was the property of her husband. She couldn’t vote and he couldn’t be arrested for raping her because it wasn’t considered rape. And Westeros is a much worse place then America a few hundred years ago.

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    8. The Bastard:
      Sean C.,

      She consented to being his property where he can do what he wants with her.She knew this when she had a conversation with Littlefinger.She was also fully aware that his family killed her brother and mother.

      Are you following the same story I am?

      I’m not saying the scene was good.It was horrific to watch.

      You do realize in America, less then 300 years ago, the woman was the property of her husband.She couldn’t vote and he couldn’t be arrested for raping her because it wasn’t considered rape.And Westeros is a much worse place then America a few hundred years ago.

      Whelp, Enough Internet for me tonight.

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    9. The Bastard,

      Yeah, no.

      Sansa was raped. She did not consent to being brutalized. This series is a critique of misogyny (or, it’s supposed to be), so trying to defend what happened to Sansa as not being rape on the basis that her society is so misogynistic as to have no concept of marital rape is just completely contrary to the purpose of it.

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    10. The bastard, You need to examine your life. It’s unambiguously rape and the fact that you can’t see that speaks very poorly as to your world view.

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    11. The Bastard:
      I think I have heard people swear off the show every other year now….

      Season 1 – Ned being executed

      Season 3 – Robb Stark dying.

      Season 5 – Sansa being “raped”.

      Not sure why people are calling it rape. She wasn’t forced into the marriage.She was given an option from Littlefinger and agreed to do it.She knew that once she got married she would have to have sex.This was a calculated decision by Sansa to give up her body as a way to bring down the family who betrayed hers.

      Was it a tough scene to watch?Absolutely.I cringed and put the volume down and have refused to watch it since.I’ve rewatched the entire episode and just couldn’t watch past the wedding ceremony the second time around.But by Westeros terms, that wasn’t rape.

      I agree with you about the rape. They were married and she went there willingly. Not that I was looking forward to that moment since I would have preferred that they remained engaged and Stannis arriving before the wedding but I was too naive. It wasn’t pleasant but don’t forget that Ramsay could have raped Sansa any time he wanted the moment she entered Winterfell.

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    12. Might I suggest a small addition that could have plausibly fixed or at least refocused the scene in question to something more palatable than straight victimization.
      If Sansa had a brief scene with the old woman before the wedding, in which the old woman points out that while ‘the North’ is willing to protect/rescue her, Sansa is also ‘the North’s’ only hope of protecting/rescuing them from the Boltons (i.e. If she’s going to avenge her family, then she needs to choose her moment. If she kills Ramsay to save herself, Roose may just kill her, and then the North is still lost. But if she stays with them, it’ll be easier to take them down from the inside)
      Then during the bedding scene, when she turns around to undress, in fear, she pulls out her ‘needle’ (the little blade normally on the end of her necklace) from inside her sleeve, ready to stab Ramsay. But then, perhaps prompted by something Ramsay says, we see her make a conscious decision not to, and hides the blade again.
      So now it’s not about victimization, but courage, because she has agency; she had the choice to stop this, but she chose to suffer through it for the sake of the North. And while it’s still a gruesome, painful experience that will probably haunt her, she can now draw strength from it as an act of sacrifice to enable a long term goal.

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    13. Edd,

      Go online and read comments. A lot of people were saying it was not a rape scene. I am not alone in my comments. One thing we can all agree on is that it was hard to watch. That is basically universally true.

      Based on what you were saying, Cersei was raped by Robert Baratheon. Catalyn was raped by Eddard Stark. They were in arranged marriages and required to bed on the first night.

      What you are commenting about is the complete lack of care he had for her comfort or safety. But what he did was no different then what honorable Ned Stark did years prior.

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    14. The Bastard,

      Didn’t Littlefinger arrange the marriage for her, now that he’s her “uncle?” She didn’t actually choose Ramsay (like she chose Joffrey, remember when she really, really wanted to marry Joffrey before she knew he was monster or when she was really into the idea of marrying Loras). LF coerced her into going through with marrying Ramsay, she thought the wedding proposal he accepted was for him, not for her. Yes, she gave consent to marry, but it wasn’t her idea, her plan, and she didn’t get there by her own volition.

      Also, marriage doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want to the person, martial rape exists in the real world and the fantasy world of Eartheros (sorry, I don’t know the name of the planet). Tyrion flat out told Tywin he wouldn’t rape his wife Sansa because he knew it was wrong even though the were married, so this concept is not unheard of.

      Plus there are several examples on the show where the husbands don’t treat their wives or significant others as “property.” Ned, Stannis, Robb, Tyrion (w/Sansa), Oberyn, and Jon didn’t, so again, not a foreign concept on the show.

      Coercion is not the same as choice.

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    15. Elli,

      He told her is she didn’t want to marry she didn’t have to. She made the choice and said yes. You forgot that part.

      Do people even pay attention to the show anymore?

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    16. I accept that people are going to project all sorts of things in to this simple statement, but I don’t see how what happened to the character Sansa on last nights episode could be seen definitively as rape, especially given the contextual clues of the story and that world.

      As several others have noted, she consented to marriage and fully knows that a bedding is traditional and in fact necessary in that fictional world to legitimize the marriage. Especially given her situation with both Joffrey and Tyrion. She is also never heard to say no to Ramsey. She never protests Ramsey not allowing Theon to leave. People in this thread have said that Ramsey brutalized her but all we see on screen is her ripping the back of her dress and then her sounds of pain. Which yes, is terrible to hear but given that she had never had sex before, an element of pain was going to be involved whether Ramsey was a sweet husband or the asshole that he is.

      The fact that I think that doesn’t mean it enjoyed the scene. It doesn’t mean I endorse the scene. It doesn’t mean that I don’t hate what Sansa’s character has had to go through, both in the book and in the show. If you project that on to me, that is solely of your own doing and does not make it correct.

      I think two key factors are in play that extend beyond each persons interpretation of the scene as it played out on the screen last night:
      1. Both book readers and show watchers are aware of other acts that Ramsey has committed towards other people. The book readers especially know the full weight of the

      Ramsey/fArya chapters

      2. We have grown up with these characters an at the beginning of the show(our time) both Sansa and the actress that portray her.

      As others have said, this show is what it is. Add this scene, regardless of your interpretation of it to Ned’s beheading, Ollys village, Joffrey/prostitutes/crossbow, Crasters wives, Jamie/Cersei in the Sept, the butchers boy/Sandor, Mance burning alive, Dany S1 EP1, Jamie/Bran, the Red Wedding, Oberynn/the Mountain, and so on That’s a short list and mostly involving main characters.

      I say that not as any type of justification for any one scene, but merely that this world that we have chosen to read about and watch may be two diverging universes, but are both equally brutal to so many characters regardless of age, gender, rank, house, goodness, badness, and so on.

      I hope I’ve at least presented my opinion in a serious nature that the subject deserves.
      At the same time, I do not want to be closed mind and absolute in my opinion of the scene. I am certainly open to other interpretations and explanations that support an opinion opposite my own on the matter.

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    17. outdoorcats,

      Because there was a rape in the very first episode. The show set the stage for these types of events to occur…. for better or worse.

      Besides, where was all of the outrage from people online when Theon got his penis chopped off? People didn’t complain half as much when it happened to a man.

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    18. The Bastard:
      Based on what you were saying, Cersei was raped by Robert Baratheon.Catalyn was raped by Eddard Stark.They were in arranged marriages and required to bed on the first night.

      Cersei was raped by Robert. Catelyn was not raped by Ned. It is not merely the issue of sex, but the violence of it.

      Armsbendback:
      As several others have noted, she consented to marriage and fully knows that a bedding is traditional and in fact necessary in that fictional world to legitimize the marriage. Especially given her situation with both Joffrey and Tyrion.She is also never heard to say no to Ramsey.She never protests Ramsey not allowing Theon to leave. People in this thread have said that Ramsey brutalized her but all we see on screen is her ripping the back of her dress and then her sounds of pain. Which yes, is terrible to hear but given that she had never had sex before, an element of pain was going to be involved whether Ramsey was a sweet husband or the asshole that he is.

      She is crying in pain because Ramsay is assaulting. The closed captioning also informs us that we hear the sounds of her struggling against him. She is clearly scared. It was rape. There is absolutely no ambiguity.

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    19. The Bastard,

      By her own admission, Cersei worshipped and adored Robert. (Until he called her “Lyanna”)

      She WANTED to have sex with him.

      Not rape.

      Catelyn was in love with Brandon Stark during a long betrothal. And married Ned to preserve the alliance of their houses. She agreed to it but probably didn’t want to have sex with him until she later fell in love with him.

      Rape.

      This is the bedding custom in arranged marriages you refer to and it IS rape (usually) no matter how “nice” Ned was about it.

      Accepted custom with some historical basis. Still rape.

      And Ned probably wouldn’t have killed her or hurt her had she refused.

      Ramsey on the other hand…

      The crux of the matter is UNCOERCED (in any way, explicitly or implied) consent.

      Just because Sansa “chose” the option not labelled “ripped apart by a pack of dogs” doesn’t mean she wasn’t raped.

      Women make tough choices regarding sex every day and – if she allows it so she doesn’t get beaten or so her kids can eat or so she doesn’t have to sleep under an overpass – it’s not truly consensual.

      You can’t base it on whether the man is a nice guy.

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    20. The Bastard,

      Do you really think LittleFinger gives people choices? He makes people think they have choices, but the choice is his. What do think would happened to Sansa if she stood her ground and said no? He has no problem getting rid of bad investments (pour one out for Ros, Dontos, and even Lysa)

      Are you paying attention to his character?

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    21. Estelindis,

      It is on the money, but at the same time Mad Max presents( in storytelling) a sliver of time after the Wives are freed and then take agency and action in their continuing escape. It’s beautiful.

      But it doesn’t change the fact that in that fictional world had the lens been focused on the days(or weeks) prior to their being freed by Furiosa, we would have seen many terrible, terrible things subjugated on them, besides the general condition of up until that point being treated as “things” and “property” and not having the ability(yet) to change that.

      So kudos to Frank Miller for choosing what part of the world/timeline/story to focus on. That’s his choice and he should be lauded for it.

      I suppose the argument is strong that D&D could have found a better mechanism to pass on that bit of information or that plot device or simply shot the scene different.

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    22. We can’t know whether or not Ned raped Catelyn since we have no depiction of it on page or screen.

      I don’t recall off the top of my head if we have information about Robert, but given that he and Cersei hated each other and Robert’s personality I’m sure he raped her.

      The fact that people are arguing about whether or not this is rape is disgusting. I sincerely hope you’re a 12 year old that hasn’t yet had the opportunity to gain actual life experiences or perspective.

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    23. Sean C.,

      I don’t have the close captions so I was not aware of that and I do agree with you that it is strong information to use in forming an opinion of what that scene was.

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    24. So we have some people on both sides of the issue with Sansa/Ramsey, Ned.Cat, & Cersei/Robert. See, this is not as black and white as some people are making it out to be. I understand people’s different opinions. How you view the custom of required wedding bedding does play a part in that.

      Either way, that is the universe GRRM set up. And it was established early in the books and in the first episode of the show. For people to be upset about it now (season 5) is a bit ridiculous.

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    25. Edd,

      That’s a silly comment to make about the debate being disgusting. People have made legit points on both sides of the equation. It is a legitimate debate. Cogman has said Sansa did have a choice about marrying.

      What isn’t being debated is how cringe worthy that scene was. Not if people enjoyed that scene, then it would be disgusting.

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    26. In Wars of the Roses era England:

      Rape in marriage ≠ a crime
      Homosexuality = a crime

      In today’s society:

      Rape in marriage = a crime
      Homosexuality ≠ a crime

      This coming from a medievalist scholar. The Jaime/Cersei rapegate of season 4 was a much more ambiguous situation as this. Not to say that it wasn’t a horrible scene, but at the same time, it totally made sense within the fictional world.

      If you judge a piece of fantasy modelled after the Middle Ages by current standards, then death sentences like Ned beheading a NW traitor is a murder.

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    27. Armsbendback,

      Nicely constructed argument, great to see those still exists on the internet! But the best part is that you keep an open mind on other interpretation which is way to rare in comments sections!

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    28. The Bastard,

      There’s more than one variable in play.

      Cersei/Robert – consensual (at first), then not (and she avoided)
      Cat/Ned – obligation but relatively kind (presumably), later consensual
      Ramsey/Sansa – hateful, unwanted, obligation of an unwanted (second) marriage born out of no other options

      You can’t paint these pairings with the same brush just because they are all “beddings”

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    29. No One,

      They aren’t the same. They are 3 very different cases.

      What if Tyrion had sex with Sansa…. That would be a 4th situation. He would be having sex with an unwilling person, but at the same time he would have been unwilling at the same time.

      All grey area.

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    30. That’s a silly comment to make about the debate being disgusting.People have made legit points on both sides of the equation.It is a legitimate debate.Cogman has said Sansa did have a choice about marrying.

      No, they haven’t.

      I’m not disturbed by the scene, I’m disturbed by people apparently not thinking it’s rape. There are apparently people in civilized society that don’t think a man threatening violence and then fucking an unwilling girl is rape. Seriously, examine your life.

      Do you think Sansa wanted to have sex with Ramsay? If yes, I don’t know what to say. If no, then I don’t think you understand what rape is.

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    31. Edd,

      I think she wants to win back Winterfell and avenge her family. And getting married to Ramsey (which includes having sex with him) is part of that package. The fact that it was demeaning and rough and painful didn’t have anything to do with those facts.

      So does she want to have sex with him? No. She wants him dead even before the wedding. But she consented to it as part of her plan.

      Is that sick? Absolutely. This world of Westeros is sick.

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    32. The Bastard:
      No One,

      They aren’t the same.They are 3 very different cases.

      Agree.

      The Bastard:
      No One,

      All grey area.

      Disagree.

      I think only Ned/Cat is grey. And pretty much the good-intentions version of the bedding custom. She’s resigned to it, he probably wasn’t vicious about it. (I honestly don’t know where I stand on “eventually falling in love” – romantic or brainwashing?)

      Tyrion had the perfect attitude: I won’t share a bed with you until you want me to.

      Cersei wanted her bedding. Not grey at all.

      Neither is Sansa. In fact, she’s at the opposite end of the spectrum (making the two literally black and white).

      Sansa not only didn’t want it and wasn’t treated “gently”, unless she’s incredibly stupid she feared for her very life. And still does. That’s not consent it’s desperation.

      It’s easy to say a woman is raped if she is beaten into submission but no one will ever convince me another woman wasn’t raped if she allows it to avoid the beating.

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    33. No One,

      In her case, it was the same thing.

      If a “working girl” can’t pay the rent and has sex with somebody she doesn’t even want to, but does it for the money, did he rape her? Nope.

      Look at it from Ramsey’s point of view. Sansa came into Winterfell willingly and on the terms she would marry him. Under those terms, there is a bedding afterwards. She never said she was not willing to have sex. So where was the rape?

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    34. Cecilia,

      If somebody offers me $1 Million to have sex with them and I am repulsed by them and I can’t feed myself unless I take the money…. did they rape me? Nope. I did it to further my position despite not actually wanting to have sex.

      Sansa had sex so she could further her position, not because she wanted to. Doesn’t make it rape. Others agree it isn’t rape.

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    35. Sean C.: This series is a critique of misogyny

      So, what happened to Sansa is somehow not a critique of misogyny, but the other misogynistic acts, of which there have been many and will be more, serve to critique misogyny? How does that work?

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    36. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Cutting off Theon’s cock was far worse then anything that has happened to a woman in this series. Or during the Battle of Blackwater…. when all of the women were in a room while the men had arrows and swords coming their way. This show hates men much worse.

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    37. Sean C.,

      If somebody humiliates you during sex, that isn’t rape.

      That wasn’t assault. Once again, look at it from his point of view. I know in this day in age, looking at it from the male point of view is taboo. She agreed to have sex with him. He was very very aggressive. She never told him no or to stop. Is that rape?

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    38. The Bastard,

      Your analogy isn’t the same as this situation. If someone puts a gun to your head, tells you have sex with a person of their choice or you’ll die. The person they pick repulses you, but you really want to live so you can avenge your family, is it really rape if you go through with it? Yes, it is.

      This a life or death situation for Sansa, not if you’re desperate and do something you don’t like, you’ll get a reward for it. You already know your reward up front – a million dollars. Also, I’m sure you have other options that require more work, like getting a job. Sansa (and we) don’t know if she’ll get rewarded, she might end up flayed and hanging from the gate. “Choices” made under coercion or duress aren’t really your choices.

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    39. The Bastard,

      I was just wondering how if it is supposed to be a critique against misogyny, how some horrible things which happen to the women in the story is in line with it supposedly being a critique, but other horrible things are not.

      The way I see it, horrible things happen to both genders. The viewer, or reader, is supposed to be appalled by these things, given our modern views (who knows, if we could travel back in time and show it to a medieval audience, they may say, yeah, that’s just the way the world works). Any book-reader knows what happens in this world, yet for some reason they’re willing to accept certain things, but not others…or horrendous things happening to some characters, but not others. For those who haven’t read the books, the first episode of the entire series let us know what that world was like.

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    40. Wholeheartedly agree with Sean T. Collins’s reaction on The Mary Sue’s decision to essentially boycott the show:

      In a geek-culture landscape wholly dominated by corporate celebrations of heroic violence, we anathematize the show that depicts it horror.

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    41. I just posted something similar to this in the post-mortem but I am going to reiterate here because that thread has become insanely long and some people still haven’t gotten the point.

      Sansa agreed to sex when she agreed to marriage. That is a fact.

      But rape is more than nonconsential (or even rough – consider Bill Cosbey) sex. Rape is more violent and more about power. Ramsey raped her because he hurt her more than necessary, he humiliated her in front of Theon, he had no concern for her comfort, and what really turned him on was not the sex necessarily but the torture that he inflicts upon others. He took her in a way to establish control and torment her psycologicaly as well as physically…and to continue to torment Theon. He probably enjoys how the whole situation irks Myranda too.

      Don’t tell me it wasn’t rape because Sasna knew that there was going sex on her wedding night…or even suspected that it might be unpleasant. It was rape because Ramsey decided to rape her.

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    42. The Bastard,

      Lack of dissent does not mean consent.

      A real world aside for a moment, this isn’t directly to The Bastard, but to any young man who thinks because a girl didn’t say No that it means yes, please be sure to get an affirmation before moving forward. As a person who works at a college campus, the guiding rule is Yes means Yes, not she didn’t say no, so I thought it was ok.

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    43. I’m interested in the ratings and piracy numbers next weekend. Every year people “swear off” the show but keep coming back. But this time, I am interested to see if it sticks. The ratings have been flat most of the season to begin with, the episode reviews in most quarters while not bad, are not as good in years past either. So there are some ingredients at play here that do make me wonder for the first time about a potential dropoff actually happening and sticking. But we’ll see. That’s why I’m interested in seeing the numbers.

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    44. The Bastard,

      I think you attribute far too much of Littlefinger’s scheming mind to Sansa just because she’s a critical piece of it. There is no scenario where she manages to “prostitute” Winterfell away from the Boltons in exchange for “services”.

      Your million dollar / can’t feed myself scenario is equally muddled. Which is it?

      Riches or avoiding starvation?

      If the only way to BE raped is to choose death OVER rape we wouldn’t need a word FOR rape.

      Being not-dead and having sex doesn’t mean you consented.

      Your position is that Sansa is a full blown seductress using sex to get what she wants.

      Fine. And they may yet go that route. I thought they were at end of last season but I think they have vacillated. If she does at some point exhibit that degree of mastery over her situation – rather than LF striking a deal with Roose and being too afraid to object – I would be somewhat more inclined to agree.

      But I don’t think she’s emotionally equipped for such thing and only buys what LF is selling because of a complete lack of other options. (See Elli’s gun-to-head / consent under duress example)

      Kings Landing? Death.
      Defy Ramsey? Death.
      Defy LF? Death.
      Death, death, death.

      But at least she would have died a virgin, right?

      She may yet “own” her sexuality to a degree that she CHOOSES to wield it as a weapon against her husband but that is not what happened on their wedding night.

      My position is that she’s trying to avoid being turned into dog food (no matter how much she “butches up” by buying into Littlefinger’s rhetoric) and in no way has any real options to avoid unwanted sex with Ramsey.

      Where you say she “has sex” (permits her own rape) to get her revenge, I say she may yet have her revenge after BEING raped.

      I’m not self-important enough to think this is THE final word because you’re entitled to your own opinions and neither of us knows for certain which Sansa they will ultimately portray but it’s my final word for the evening.

      Goodnight.

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    45. The Bastard,

      “The male point of view”? As a male, I take great offense to that. Ramsay is a psychopath who was quite deliberately trying to intimidate, humiliate, and harm her. That is rape. Rape occurs whenever you exceed the scope of what the other person reasonably consented to.

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    46. This false outrage bores me. I think I may take this week off. It’s not that I don’t sympathize with those who have been the victims of rape/sexual assault and had to suffer through viewing that scene, I do, but for most everyone else, I get the sense that this outcry would not be the same had Jeyne Poole been in the show and Ramsay did to her what he did in the books.

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    47. Tyrion Pimpslap:
      This false outrage bores me. I think I may take this week off. It’s not that I don’t sympathize with those who have been the victims of rape/sexual assault and had to suffer through viewing that scene, I do, but for most everyone else, I get the sense that this outcry would not be the same had Jeyne Poole been in the show and Ramsay did to her what he did in the books.

      Yes.

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    48. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      Stick around, we can talk about cock merchants. 🙂

      Hell, maybe we could even talk about other parts of the episode,

      Or how we’re six episodes in and still no Ser Pounce.

      Did I mention cock merchants?

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    49. Tyrion Pimpslap:
      This false outrage bores me. I think I may take this week off. It’s not that I don’t sympathize with those who have been the victims of rape/sexual assault and had to suffer through viewing that scene, I do, but for most everyone else, I get the sense that this outcry would not be the same had Jeyne Poole been in the show and Ramsay did to her what he did in the books.

      agreed.

      along those same lines, anyone have any commentary on the blatant homophobia rampant in the series and whether that fits into our real world vs. westerosi sensibilities.

      i would think there would be some outrage about a person likely being executed by religious fanatics for being gay?

      rape is awful, abhorrent, disgusting. i am not sure whether that last scene was rape, i think there is enoug grey area to not be sure. i think if that happened in resl life, it would be rape, in westeros i am not sure. i do take offense to people being labeled as insensitive or assholes because they ask questions.

      but getting back to my original point, if anyone did to loras in our world what happens to him in this episode, would there not be outrage? isn’t that part of what this argument is all about, that behavior ocurring in a fictional world is somehow a commentary about what happens in the real world? so then, does the lack of outrage mean that anyone not outraged is somehow condoning murderous homophobia?

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    50. Very surprised to have not read anyone use the term “AGENCY” in approximately 5 minutes so this is me saying “but agency!,” because agency.

      The show is getting lame overall this season. Saving grace is certain scenes. Better to watch as a clip show. GoT is a perfect fit for youtube.

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    51. I’ve seen quite a few good opinions on how/why the last scene was bad, then you have people like Greenwald…”look how progressive I am, I think rape is bad, they showed rape and therefore this episode sucks.” Congrats! “They’re just doing it for the shock value.” Uh…no shit? Like I said, tons of reasonable arguments/points against but “the show has led me to believe something like this wouldn’t happen” is a silly one in my opinion. I like Greenwald, so chalk up the laziness to Mad Men I guess.

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    52. I don’t get the outrage. But I can’t deny this may have been a massive mistake. We now have 3 places that have decided to no longer do reviews of the show based on the Sansa scene and are actively boycotting it. The social media response has been horrific for David and Dan. Now does that mean anything? Remains to be seen in the weeks to come.

      I’m a bit confused to the reaction. There is murder almost every week. And yet no boycot reaction to that. So I don’t get it, I really don’t. But this is a bad reaction, probably the worst I’ve seen in the 5 years for the show. We’ll see if it means anything though. I doubt it. People will be back…I think.

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    53. Lou:
      I don’t get the outrage. But I can’t deny this may have been a massive mistake. We now have 3 places that have decided to no longer do reviews of the show based on the Sansa scene and are actively boycotting it. The social media response has been horrific for David and Dan. Now does that mean anything? Remains to be seen in the weeks to come.

      I’m a bit confused to the reaction. There is murder almost every week. And yet no boycot reaction to that. So I don’t get it, I really don’t. But this is a bad reaction, probably the worst I’ve seen in the 5 years for the show. We’ll see if it means anything though. I doubt it. People will be back…I think.

      feels like grandstanding to me. murder is ok, burning people at a stake is ok if they don’t agree with your religious beliefs, racism, incest, bearing children out of wedlock, genocide, patricide, infanticide, perjury, being a complete asshole, betraying someone who has put their complete trust in you (jorah), lying to a king about your sister to save your own skin is ok, murderous homophobia, mercy killing (kevorkian style) then stripping the faces of the people you are mercy killing, the list goes on. what about any of these is ok.

      like i said. grandstanding. or stubborn bookism.

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    54. I’m sorry folks. But there’s no way to read this scene as anything other than rape. Sansa was violently assaulted by her husband, which she did not consent to, and did not object out of fear. This is called rape. Whether it is more or less common by medieval or Westerosi standards is immaterial, because it is still rape. There’s no grey area here, not like the Jaime/Cersei scene (which still reads as rape, but the knowledge book viewers have of the “cringe-y but sorta consensual” scene altered that discussion a bit).

      Sansa went into the situation full well knowing she’d be having sex with her husband, and was prepared for it. The violence, her screams, and the look on Theon’s face makes it quite clear what the filmmakers intended this time. We can have all sorts of discussions over whether they erred in focusing on Theon’s reaction (still better than something graphic, of course), or whether they should have shown anything at all, or about the too-frequent use of rape as a plot tool when they’ve messed that up badly in the past (Cersei and Craster’s Keep). That’s fine and separate. But the scene leaves no ambiguity here.

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    55. I’m so sick of all this outrage about that scene. Ok it was rape, like it must have happened in lots of other medieval marriages, this was common, deal with it.
      And of course being Ramsay makes it even worse because he’s a psychopath, what did you expect? It was a strong scene as it was supposed to be, this isn’t your tipical cheesy show, Sansa has already suffered a lot yes and has clearly changed, that doesn’t mean she won’t have to deal with other problems in life, I think this is what’s going to harden her even more in the future… Like cercei said to her, woman’s best weapon is the one between her legs. That said, these were different times and different morals,People need to stop thinking with their modern minds while watching this.
      If you can’t do that, I’m sorry but I think you should stop watching the show.

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    56. Sean C.,

      Sean, you’re so full of s*** your eyes are brown. This series is a critique of misogyny? HAHAHAHAHAHA. Get off your high horse, like you know what GRRM intended with writing this series, or D&D’s adaptation of it. I don’t want to get into a debate over the whole Sansa scene, but making sweeping statements like that seriously hurts your argument when you have no basis for what you say. If you do, please provide the source where they say the series is a critique of misogyny.

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    57. For those of you wondering why rape gets so much more backlash than murder or physical torture, here is a potential reason. All of these things are horrific (I hope we can agree on that). The difference is (or at least part of it is) the amount of watchers who have experienced it. Something like 1 in 4 women (lower for men but still happens) gets sexually assaulted. That is a huge percentage of the viewing audience, the percentage of murder survivors is zero. Not sure about people who have been locked away and skinned etc but probably pretty low. People connect to rape on screen, personally. There are also many more who deeply care for people who personally connect to it. This particular incident gets a stronger reaction still for two reasons that I can think of. It happened to a character that the audience has bonded with, has watch grow up on the screen in front of them. Also it was brilliantly acted. In this case a bad thing because it felt so real. People are reacting strongly to this because for many (not all) it is deeply, deeply personal. Hopefully this helps some of you better accept why this is being treated as a big deal.

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    58. One element that most reviewers have missed is the extraordinary visual language of this episode – particularly the juxtaposition of the beauty of the wedding scene, and the horror of the aftermath. The wedding, in the snow-covered godswood at night, lit by a number of small lanterns, was absolutely beautiful. Just as most such royal weddings have been in history. The veneer of these times was romantic, elegant and heart-stirring. But below the surface lies a darkness. Especially for women. Below the surface of this wonderful ceremony was the rape of a child, whose parents and sibling had been murdered by the family she had just been born into. The dreams of young women, as exemplified by the snow-castle of Winterfell built by Sansa last season, are only realized in slight, artificial ways. Those dreams cannot paper over the horrible state of their slavery in a brutal, patriarchal society.

      The only way out of this hell, in such a world, is for a woman to bide her time. Build alliances. And strike when the time is right.

      Sansa’s day is coming.

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    59. Alyssa Rosenburg’s review was absolutely superb, I thought.

      And boy, Andy Greenwald sure can use a lot of words to say “I don’t like Arya’s story. I want it to be a completely different one.”

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    60. The Bastard:
      Elli,

      He told her is she didn’t want to marry she didn’t have to.She made the choice and said yes.You forgot that part.

      Do people even pay attention to the show anymore?

      Did you forget the part not long beforehand where while travelling in the carriage Littlefinger very obviously reminded Sansa what happens to those who don’t do what he wants, or the times she’s personally seen him kill. At no point did she have a choice that wasn’t between going through with it and near certain death. She never at any point gave uncoerced consent.

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    61. Sean C.,

      Poor choice of words. Basically, to put it simply, I think the outrage over the scene is way over the top, considering the show we have gladly watched for 5 years. Publications are boycotting covering the series, really? I’m not caught up on ‘Outlander’, but by the sounds of it they put GOT to shame in the rape department. Are these same people boycotting that show too? I’m at the point where I simply don’t care. Let people rage.

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    62. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      Exactly. A bunch of hack journalists are trying to cash in on last year’s outrage and hoping to get as many page-views as they did then, despite the fact that the context is ENTIRELY different. They’re going through the motions.

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    63. Lou,

      We now have 3 places that have decided to no longer do reviews of the show based on the Sansa scene and are actively boycotting it.

      I know the Mary Sue but which other 2 places are boycotting?

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    64. People are “boycotting” the show now? LOL, what a fucking joke. They sure are showing D&D by throwing their childish tantrums.

      They won’t be missed.

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    65. Sean C.:
      The Bastard,

      She consented to marry him, not to being humiliated and violently assaulted.

      Was she violently assaulted?
      Yes he ripped her dress, but I didn’t see any violence. He pushed her down, but not particularly roughly or aggressively. He just failed to be tender, gentle and slow, which is what a virgin would need. Some people apparently even quite like rough sex. Not sure why. We didn’t see him hit her or even handle her roughly, the camera pulled away. We just heard her cries, maybe that made it worse as we just imagine what she’s going through rather than seeing it.

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    66. The Bastard,

      It is endlessly tiring listening to people judging this show by 20th century western standards. What happened was to Sansa was awful, and just barely worse than perfectly normal in context. After all the work the show has done to immerse people in this world, and do what virtually no television does, which is present the reality of both history and present, without the constant last minute rescues and pretend danger of all popular tv and movies, people still expect this to turn into a P.C. fairytale.

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    67. The Bastard:
      Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Cutting off Theon’s cock was far worse then anything that has happened to a woman in this series.Or during the Battle of Blackwater…. when all of the women were in a room while the men had arrows and swords coming their way.This show hates men much worse.

      So glad you posted this. I posted on the Unsullied thread that I would rather be raped (painlessly) than tortured, and it was met with incredulity. I was raped 30 years ago, but it was not painful or traumatizing, so, although I know it can be, it isn’t always. I was again met with incredulity and effectively told that ALL women suffer physical pain (implying that I’m lying!)

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    68. Queenofthrones: Whelp, Enough Internet for me tonight.

      I do believe that rape within marriage was legally impossible in the UK until the 1980s/1990s. Don’t know about US. Yes, rape was seen as a violation of property, the woman’s father’s or husband’s.

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    69. Fiskadoro,

      This. What show do they think they have been watching? For 5 seasons it has been brutal and unrelenting. It is a world that nobody would want to live in. I could make a list of all of the bad shit that has happened, and yet people didn’t seem to be bothered enough not to watch. There are many reasons I could see a fan wanting to quit the show, but the fact that bad shit happens is not one of them. Feeling like the story isn’t going anywhere? Fine. Feel like the writing has deteriorated? Okay. But saying this is what crossed the line and finally made you quit? After all of the murder and mutilation? After Drogo and Dany? What is it that makes people think the show is going to turn into a Disney fairy tale? I am truly baffled by this.

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    70. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      It was a pretty unsetting scene for sure. But in the context of the show it just wasn’t that bad, and I would argue it was necessary. There’s this attitude that Sansa wears black now and isn’t afraid to talk back and so now she’s seized her agency and they just took it away from her. Doesn’t make sense to me (much like the Dornish plotline which has been the one mis-step in a great season). She’s made a few small strides, but always due to someone else taking care of her and teaching her. Obviously part of this is to finally drive the Theon back into Reek, but the other part I think, is to finally force Sansa to survive some actual personal horror and turn it into whatever, wherever her journey leads her. Yeah she was beaten at Joffrey’s orders, but there was always someone with the power to get her out of it. Now she’s finally going to be driven to act to save herself. And wow has Sophie turned into a hell of an actress. They were very smart to give this storyline to her.

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    71. Also just to chime in with my two cents, it was rape by our standards for sure. Not sure what defining it thusly has to do with the show, but for sure she was forced. She had no choice. Threats don’t only come at the end of a knife or gun and she clearly wasn’t interested in the idea. She had no choice there and she knew it.

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    72. I have been trying to find a way to articulate concisely and efficiently what I feel about this scene and how I feel about the outrage over it. Came across some tweets that worded it better than I could:

      From Julia Gfrorer:

      “It’s staggering that anybody could have followed GoT to this point & somehow missed the message: marriage in this patriarchy includes rape. Teenagers are routinely married to a powerful adult men for the purpose of producing hairs, with no opportunity to meaningfully consent. What we would consider rape is inevitable for most of the women in GoT. It’s to the show’s credit that they don’t gloss over this. God knows every other feudalism-set fantasy would prefer that you forget it.”

      Source:

      https://twitter.com/thorazos

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    73. Literally the worst thing about this shit is not what happens to our favorite fictional characters but the fact that we, real people living in the real world, have to listen to totally delusional douchebros going OUT OF THEIR WAY to start claiming that things that are rape “aren’t rape.”

      SHUT UP, DOUCHEBROS.

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    74. Okay, I’ll add my two cents anyway.

      In the books, if Sansa rises to political power through advantageous weddings, but doesn’t suffer through any of the trauma that often comes with Westerosi marriages, I think it will be a cheat. She has already been saved by forces outside her control from this seemingly inevitable fate – her engagement to Joffrey ends, and Tyrion is an exceptional guy who refuses to rape her (and yes, that’s exceptional for Westeros). At some point, she is going to have to have sex with someone she does not actually want to sleep with, and that should be a traumatic experience.

      I get that some would prefer that the actual consummation of her marriage was toned down from what it was (which would probably involve her not getting engaged to Ramsay in the first place). For me, this was the right balance.

      I’m imagining that in the books, she might sleep with someone like Harry the Heir or whoever, and she will be uncomfortable with it, but that Harry’s demeanor and attitude wouldn’t make it feel as “rapey.” A version of that scene echoes to me some of the more heated (and legitimate) gripes about the sept scene last year: it’s a rape scene that doesn’t look like a rape scene. I think if you’re going to put rape in the story, it needs to be clear what it is, not something that looks consensual based on what angle you’re looking at it from.

      At the same time, they didn’t have Ramsay do anything super crazy like what happened to Jeyne Poole. Theon doesn’t get involved, no implications of forced bestiality…basically, they made it clear that it was rape, and stopped there. They were also restrained in how much they showed.

      It was very disturbing, but it should have been, and it didn’t go overboard like it easily could have. Well done scene in my opinion.

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    75. Sam,

      I had the reaction everyone else is having after watching Sansa agree to wed Ramsay in ep3. I knew what was coming- it was obvious considering Brienne is following her as well- and I absolutely hated the decision to have her marry him. Why would Sansa ever do this? How would she ever hope to get out alive?
      Once the Boltons get ahold of her they are clearly going to have her pop out children until she has a male heir or 2 and then they would kill her! Why would they want to keep her around at that point, they would have stark blood in a child that wasn’t a threat to them.
      The other issue is Stannis and his march on Winterfell, if Stannis was about to defeat the Boltons then they would just kill Sansa before letting Stannis rescue her.

      In closing what I’m trying to say is they had Sansa agree to put herself into a situation where she would have no way out unless someone rescue her, and that is definitely a step back for a character who was supposed to start being a player in the game not a helpless pawn.

      p.s. I also think it’s hard to believe Littlefinger would still hold power over the vale once they learn Sansa has been married off to the Boltons. The Boltons brutally murdered her family and the show has shown us that Bronze Yohn Royce greatly respected Ned, he’s just gunna give Littlefinger a pass? No f’in way!

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    76. In Westerosi law it might not have been a rape but morally it would. It wasn’t until the late 20th century that marital rape was recognised to be a fact in the UK.

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    77. Ashara Dayne: So glad you posted this. I posted on the Unsullied thread that I would rather be raped (painlessly) than tortured, and it was met with incredulity. I was raped 30 years ago, but it was not painful or traumatizing, so, although I know it can be, it isn’t always. I was again met with incredulity and effectively told that ALL women suffer physical pain (implying that I’m lying!)

      I don’t believe you are lying by the way. Ever case is different and I’m glad yours was on the non traumatic end of the spectrum. Not that I feel right about my use of the word glad in regards to rape. I’ll stop talking now.

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    78. whoresgotobravos,

      Your hypothesis is built upon the conviction that the Boltons will establish their rule in the North and that Sansa will not react at all which is highly unlikely. First because we don’t know the reaction of the stronger lords of the North and second because it is obvious that Sansa aggrees to go to WF and marry Ramsay not in order to prove how good wife she can be but to take revenge. Then we have Stannis marching to WF. Now even if Stannis looses the battle Boltons will not be unscathed and without casualties. We don’t know either what reaction the northern lords will have. They might join Stannis so that Stannis will win in the end or they might take advantage of Boltons weakened position after the battle and revolt. How could Boltons ssucced in both a battle and a strong rebellion. So the situation as it is always these kind of situations is much more complicate than linear narratives try to persuade us and nothing can be so predictable as you are trying to say.
      On the other matter, that is the reaction of the Vale to LF’s amchinations, I think that LF is very well aware that they will strongly dislike the fact that they have been fooled. Therefore I think that LF still believing that Sansa is a pawn of his will go to WF or at least he will try somehow to persuade her to secretely call for Vale’s help (he would certainly use as an argument that Vale can help her now that she has set her foot at WF). And there it is, I think, that his plan will go all wrong. Because Sansa most likely will deny to help him shattering LFs masterplan.

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    79. All I’m saying is that if someone’s FIRST instinct is to start talking about “Westerosi law,” when you are talking to real people who do not live in Westeros who have just watched a TV show that did not air in Westeros, there is a problem.

      The only conceivable reason I can even think of for mentioning this is if someone wants to try to argue that because of the prevailing, deep hegemony of “Westerosi law,” women who get married to men they would rather not marry and then sleep with their husbands don’t experience this situation as rape, somehow, since they have no expectation of non-victimhood.

      That might be an interesting idea, but the emotions of GOT characters are recognizable to us. They don’t really behave like people who are fundamentally different than we are. Betty Draper smoking a cigarette while pregnant in season 1 of Mad Men is more alien to our contemporary experience than most of the emotional lives of the GOT characters. And on top of that, in this situation, Sansa clearly experienced being made into a victim (again), unless the next episode reveals that she was faking her cries for Ramsay’s benefit.

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    80. I think it’s sad that so much of the comments is dominated by whether or not Sansa was raped. IMO she was, but why has the internet exploded over this? Many reasons, including a lot to do with divergence(s) from the books.
      What about the other scenes?
      The sand snakes arriving at the exact same time as Jaime & Bronn was laughable; more divergence. Arya’s story was ok I guess. In King’s Landing, I felt LF’s arc is seriously strange due to book deviations. Is he really prepared to put Sansa’s head on a spike? Or does he have some plan to avoid that. And WTF is stopping Roose from telling Cersei that LF set the whole thing up? Is he just gonna deny it and hope Cersei believes him. If Cersei doesn’t find out I fear this is where deviating from the novels fails most. Unless LF has some devious means of dealing with it. And why did he go back to KL anyway? To rope in Olyvar? Olyvar looked quite happy, not like he’d been tortured for information unlike the poor book sap.

      And Lena Headey has a body double for her WOS. Wonder if she’ll keep the wig.

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    81. Mr Fixit,

      I’ve never seen so many people miss the point. But then, everyone THINKS they are a critic; this episode is doing a fine job of winnowing out the poseurs.

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    82. Of the Night:
      For those of you wondering why rape gets so much more backlash than murder or physical torture, here is a potential reason. All of these things are horrific (I hope we can agree on that). The difference is (or at least part of it is) the amount of watchers who have experienced it. Something like 1 in 4 women (lower for men but still happens) gets sexually assaulted. That is a huge percentage of the viewing audience, the percentage of murder survivors is zero. Not sure about people who have been locked away and skinned etc but probably pretty low. People connect to rape on screen, personally. There are also many more who deeply care for people who personally connect to it. This particular incident gets a stronger reaction still for two reasons that I can think of. It happened to a character that the audience has bonded with, has watch grow up on the screen in front of them. Also it was brilliantly acted. In this case a bad thing because it felt so real. People are reacting strongly to this because for many (not all) it is deeply, deeply personal. Hopefully this helps some of you better accept why this is being treated as a big deal.

      You are right and there’s truth to what you say.

      On the other hand, let’s not kid ourselves. A significant number of people up in arms over this are simply looking to earn some “progressive creds” by being outraged about the latest Thing Internet Likes to Be Outraged About (TM).

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    83. KG,

      They are glad to miss the point. They do it so they can pat themselves on the back for how stand up they are, how liberal and forward thinking.

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    84. whoresgotobravos:
      Sam,

      I had the reaction everyone else is having after watching Sansa agree to wed Ramsay in ep3. I knew what was coming- it was obvious considering Brienne is following her as well- and I absolutely hated the decision to have her marry him. Why would Sansa ever do this? How would she ever hope to get out alive? Once the Boltons get ahold of her they are clearly going to have her pop out children until she has a male heir or 2 and then they would kill her! Why would they want to keep her around at that point, they would have stark blood in a child that wasn’t a threat to them.

      p.s. I also think it’s hard to believe Littlefinger would still hold power over the vale once they learn Sansa has been married off to the Boltons. The Boltons brutally murdered her family and the show has shown us that Bronze Yohn Royce greatly respected Ned, he’s just gunna give Littlefinger a pass? No f’in way!

      Agreed and agreed. The best Sansa could have hoped for in this marriage was to live long enough to squirt out a kid or two, and then she would be killed. Either that, or she gets rescued by Stannis. That’s a crazy plan to agree to. Likewise, you are absolutely correct that there *should* be no way for LF to ever set foot in the Vale again. The Vale lords will only stay ignorant of this for so long, and they’d have his head on a pike the moment they found out. This entire arc was irrational for everyone involved. But that’s water under the bridge at this point. It’s more fun to speculate what LF’s new reveals imply for the future of the story, including TWOW. His conversation with Cersei is definitely reaching into spoiler territory I believe, precisely because his plot would (with minor changes) also make sense after a Stannis victory. Thus we could be observing a realignment back towards the Sansa/LF TWOW plot.

      Ashara Dayne: Is he really prepared to put Sansa’s head on a spike? Or does he have some plan to avoid that.

      I doubt his plan is to put Sansa’s head on the pike. TV-LF plans to take the North (and much of the Riverlands along the way) using the Vale army, and then tell the crown to bleep off. Sansa is his key to ruling the north. Note this works equally well in the books after a Stannis victory – LF promises a very desperate Cersei that he will root out the traitor Stannis, and once he is firmly planted in the north, he can reveal Sansa with no way for the crown to respond…and he would be in control of a third or more of Westeros.

      An important element of the rape scene is that it is also LF’s first major miscalculation. Cogman has said that yes, TV-LF was clueless about Ramsay. LF didn’t plan the rape or anything like it, and doesn’t know it happened. TV-Sansa should be hating him with all her guts right now, while he still thinks she is his pawn. Obviously, this would have to come about differently in the books, but it’s not hard to imagine possibilities.

      LF will turn North in TWOW and S6, and Sansa will get her revenge on him, both on paper and screen. It will be a beautiful day when the savage giant falls.

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    85. Sam:
      All I’m saying is that if someone’s FIRST instinct is to start talking about “Westerosi law,” when you are talking to real people who do not live in Westeros who have just watched a TV show that did not air in Westeros, there is a problem.

      The only conceivable reason I can even think of for mentioning this is if someone wants to try to argue that because of the prevailing, deep hegemony of “Westerosi law,” women who get married to men they would rather not marry and then sleep with their husbands don’t experience this situation as rape, somehow, since they have no expectation of non-victimhood.

      That might be an interesting idea, but the emotions of GOT characters are recognizable to us. They don’t really behave like people who are fundamentally different than we are. Betty Draper smoking a cigarette while pregnant in season 1 of Mad Men is more alien to our contemporary experience than most of the emotional lives of the GOT characters. And on top of that, in this situation, Sansa clearly experienced being made into a victim (again), unless the next episode reveals that she was faking her cries for Ramsay’s benefit.

      If you’re having a go at me, I do mention that marital rape was only outlawed relatively recently in the real world (in the UK anyway). Rape within marriage was criminalised in Scotland in 1982 and in England as recently as 1991 – before that a woman could have been separated from her husband for some time and he could come round and take her by force and there was little she could do in law about it. There may be countries in 2015 where marital rape has not been made criminal. Do I think marital rape is right – of course not; I am female after all – and I did say that what happened in episode 6 series 5 of GoT might have been permissible by Westerosi law but it was morally wrong (or words to that effect).

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    86. Mr Fixit: You are right and there’s truth to what you say.

      On the other hand, let’s not kid ourselves. A significant number of people up in arms over this are simply looking to earn some “progressive creds” by being outraged about the latest Thing Internet Likes to Be Outraged About (TM).

      i do agree but this makes it even more ridiculous. taking a stand against what? against rape? what kind of monster would not take a stand against rape? everybody should be outraged by rape and it should not take a fantasy fiction cable television show to give these people a pedestal to stand on. it just smacks of grandstanding which is the worst kind of phonyism and is quite condescending.

      i mentioned this above, but where is all the boycotting for the blatant murderous homophobia? religious extremists planning an unfair trial to execute a gay man abd no one seems to bat an eyelash on that one?

      i am never one to tell people how to think, but here is how people should think:

      1). rape is bad, very bad.
      2). this show is fiction, the people are not real.
      3). these fictional characters go through some pretty awful ordeals such as rape.
      4). that remindse that rape is bad, very bad.
      5). this show is fiction, the people are not real, and westeros does not exist in the real life 20th century.
      6). rape is still bad, very bad.

      end of story. no boycotting necessary.

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    87. I hate it when scenes like this come along and just takeover entire comment sections rather than being able to discuss the actual quality of the scene or episode itself.

      Was the scene disturbing? Of course. Was it a good scene? Subjective, but my opinion is yes it was a well handled and powerful scene, with great musical score and raw emotion.

      What surprises me most is that book readers actually expected that this scene may not be included – it was always going to be included whether it was Sands or someone else, and we can at least be thankful that it didn’t go down exactly as in the books.

      Regarding the backlash, I don’t want to get too drawn into the controversy of it all but in my opinion yes it rape, and why is that such an issue? Rape has been shown many times on tv before, including of course on this show. Sophie Turner was not raped, Sansa was.

      I do not agree with The Bastards views that it wasn’t rape, but he/she did make a very valid point up thread that no one batted an eyelid when Theon got is cock chopped off at the hands of the same offender, yet the offence is arguably even worse.

      I love Laura Stone’s reviews but unfortunately I don’t agree with her assessment of the scene in this case – Theon was in the room, of course the camera is going to show his reaction to what is happening (and thank God it did rather than focus on the event itself), that doesn’t mean that D&D/Cogman/Podeswa somehow have some anti-sansa, anti-female, pro-theon, pro-male agenda, and the assertion that they do is just a bit ridiculous. Just sit back and enjoy the ride,

      because the retribution is going to be all the sweeter after this scene

      .

      (Solid episode by the way, better than the last one in my opinion. Didn’t like the Dorne scene too much the way it ended rather abruptly, but I think I can see where it is going and I am looking forward to the remaining Dorne scenes).

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    88. Chad Brick:

      LF will turn North in TWOW and S6, and Sansa will get her revenge on him, both on paper and screen. It will be a beautiful day when the savage giant falls.

      Beautiful indeed.

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    89. It is surprising that nobody mentions the music which was excellent in this episode and in particular in the White Wedding finale. About Theons presence in the last scene: it was a very powerful narrative twist because first it intensified the dramatic effect of the scene right from the beginning, second it gave an excuse to not show us what is happening in the bed and third it was filmed as a continuous sequence starting from Sansa’s expression of despair to Theon’s emotional collapse thus binding these two characters in their common fate.

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    90. “I won’t share your bed. Not until you want me to.”

      Tyrion Lannister, representing the few non-rapist minority of Westeros lords.

      Everyone else is just hiding behind fictional customs and making other excuses.

      Real life rape culture lives and thrives because boys STILL don’t think a woman is entitled to simply choose what sexual experiences she does and does not engage in and instead view every woman as some degree of prostitute somehow constantly scanning for “exchanges” she can make to “improve her position” not appreciating that submitting to sex to avoid misery regardless of the “compensation” IS coercion.

      Yes, it’s fiction. But if we can’t as human beings even agree that UNCOERCED consent is required – whether it’s modern boys raised thinking that a drunk coed who doesn’t have the faculties to object “didn’t say no” rather than COULDN’T say no, or arranged fictional brides (to any groom) feeling resigned to a fate of marital rape – then it’s really hard to take any other element of discussion seriously.

      (Although homophobic religious persecution is right up there – I just don’t have the energy left to tackle that one.)

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    91. Balon01,

      The UK ratings have been pretty stellar so far. Sky Atlantic is subscription TV and GoT is their most successful show to date. I think we can expect another boost next week given the controversy.

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    92. no one is “hiding” behind fiction. what are they hiding? except for a few idiot sycophants, no one, literally no one here is saying rape is ok.

      you cannot have an argument about a definition of a term or act in the real world when the term or act you are arguing is in the context of a world that is not even real. you can certainly make commentary on how it makes you feel based on your own experiences, and any good fiction should encourage that, but to make such concrete 1:1 correlations is taking it too far.

      fiction can comment on real life and can make relevant correlations with real life, but it is not real life and never can be. so stop trying to make it so. i, and many others, are perfectly capable of watching a show and separating my overall beliefs about something (which is not controversial by the way, rape is awful, there’s nothing controversial about it, it’s just awful), from what i believe is happening in the context of the show. it’a an insult to my intelligence to think that somehow i am going to get westerosi culture and real life culture confused. 99.9% of people who watch the show on sunday are not going to go out and rape someone on monday and quote westerosi law/culture as their justification. since there is no justification for the behavior anyway, then what is this argument really about?

      i just don’t think a lot of people are using this show to justify their own views on what constitutes rape in real life, and if they are, then i agree they are stupid.

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    93. Haven’t read through all the comments…

      It strikes me that this controversy could have been avoided (or at least mitigated) if they had not chosen to end the episode this way. Much of the anger stems from the choice to focus on theon (which I understand even though I’m glad we were spared a more graphic version) and the unfair assumption that the show will not explore the ramifications of this moment for sansa. If it had happened mid-episode, and we were given a scene where sansa acknowledged it and accepted that it was necessary for her to make her next step, it would be seen as part of her evolution. As is, everyone assumes it’s a huge step back.

      I was angered and disgusted by the scene, but I understand that this was the intended reaction. I worried Sunday night that theon’s story was subsuming sansa’s, that she had been made a prop for his redemption. If that proves to be the case, it will be far and away the biggest and most unforgivable mistake the show has ever made. But I’m not about to assume that’s what is happening here.

      But again, ending the episode this way has given everyone a week to believe the worst.

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    94. I’m not entirely sure 90% of the comments are on topic (reviews of the last episode), I’ll just say Sansa consented to marriage and potential sex down the line with Ramsay. Sansa definitely didn’t consent for violent and forced sex with Theon watching. That should qualify quite clearly as rape. Was it to be expected? From Ramsay, yes. Was it that unusual given Westerosi (and Essossi) customs? Not really. In Westeros, as in (at least large parts of) our history, women have little if any rights and marital rape is de facto legal. It still is rape, though.

      Well, now that this is cleared up, I’d like to propose Natalie Bochenski unsulied reviews: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/game-of-thrones-season-5-episode-6-recap-didnt-scenes-at-winterfell-make-you-angry-20150518-gh4djn.html They used to be linked to in older review posts, but somehow not anymore. I find them to be well enough quality read.

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    95. There was a lot of excellent stuff in this episode that won’t be talked about, unfortunately. There were a lot of themes of euthanasia in Arya’s stuff that I found interesting. The crushing religious extremism in King’s Landing. Lots of stuff! Alas…

      I doubt Littlefinger’s plan was the have Sansa marry Ramsay and leave it at that. Very likely he planned on the Boltons having accidents, like his dear Lysa, leaving Sansa in a position of power and authority before the purge of Winterfell begins.

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    96. jebbers:

      I was angered and disgusted by the scene, but I understand that this was the intended reaction. I worried Sunday night that theon’s story was subsuming sansa’s, that she had been made a prop for his redemption. If that proves to be the case, it will be far and away the biggest and most unforgivable mistake the show has ever made. But I’m not about to assume that’s what is happening here.

      But again, ending the episode this way has given everyone a week to believe the worst.

      It might be more than a week you have to wait, but this scene spells Littlefinger’s doom. He messed up. He’s lost Sansa but doesn’t know it.
      Eventually this error will destroy him.

      Cogman admitted that LF does not know that Ramsay is a monster. He won’t learn of the rape. He won’t know that Sansa loathes him with all her soul. He will make the mistake of trusting her…just a little is enough…and she will destroy him just as he reaches the height of his power. Parallel lines will happen in the books, only with Sansa’s trigger being something different (perhaps learning of LF’s betrayal of her father, which was not exactly secret).

      That sequence was the best of the season by far, and almost worth the thousand and one plot holes it took to get us there. Combined with the LF/Cersei sequence, we have never been so spoiled.

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    97. Elli:
      The Bastard,

      Didn’t Littlefinger arrange the marriage for her, now that he’s her “uncle?” She didn’t actually choose Ramsay (like she chose Joffrey, remember when she really, really wanted to marry Joffrey before she knew he was monster or when she was really into the idea of marrying Loras). LF coerced her into going through with marrying Ramsay, she thought the wedding proposal he accepted was for him, not for her.Yes, she gave consent to marry, but it wasn’t her idea, her plan, and she didn’t get there by her own volition.

      Also, marriage doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want to the person, martial rape exists in the real world and the fantasy world of Eartheros (sorry, I don’t know the name of the planet). Tyrion flat out told Tywin he wouldn’t rape his wife Sansa because he knew it was wrong even though the were married, so this concept is not unheard of.

      Plus there are several examples on the show where the husbands don’t treat their wives or significant others as “property.” Ned, Stannis, Robb, Tyrion (w/Sansa), Oberyn, and Jon didn’t, so again, not a foreign concept on the show.

      Coercion is not the same as choice.

      Yes, Little Finger did arrange the marriage. Don’t you recall them being up above Moat Cailin and he tells her “you don’t have to do this”. Down in the crypts of Winterfell he tells her “you don’t have to do this”. Don’t you get that she could have told Ramsay and Roose and Little Finger that this was not what she wanted right now, she needed time to get herself grounded now that she was at home. She could have said a hundred things she could have run two days before in the middle of the night. AND knowing what Joff was, she was still going to marry him until she was accused of being from a family of traitors and Margaery stepped in. Did you miss all this in the show?

      Tyrion said that to Tywin BECAUSE Sansa said that she wouldn’t have sex with him. HE knew it would be rape. All examples you gave are false, the show proves them to be false.

      I am done, this is the last time of trying to get some reason around something this difficult. People make up shit to justify their own sophistry. New day and time to move on.

      Don’t worry there are still plenty of other people on the boards who will 1. Gladly agree with you and 2. Gladly try to be patient and explain over and over and over again. You will never see reason and I am glad that don’t work with you – are not married to you and am not your personal acquaintance. You would be hounding me like minute by minute going on and on and railing about a FANTASY show. *twitch*

      Let us make reality our friend instead. NINE people were gunned down in Waco, TX. Killed, their families are going to be devastated forever from this, children lost a parent. Over a parking space. Further, REAL women and children are being abused all over the planet. Serious abuse, cutting off their sexual parts, acid in the face, sold pre-teen to monsters who turn them into prostitutes.

      Don’t you think it is time to clean up our own back yard before we are totally outraged over a FREAKIN FANTASY SHOW ON TV!!!!!

      Pfffffft.

      Tyrion Pimpslap; The Bastard and others

      Thank you for your sanity. We all agree this was so hard to watch and we didn’t want this fate for the lovely Sansa. But we also understand reality and for that, I thank you.

      Time to get work done instead of wasting one more moment on this. You do get that the longer this outrage goes on, the longer you are feeding the mill and causing an “I’m more right than you” 12 year old attitude to persist, right??? Right!!!

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    98. The Bastard,

      Thank you for this comment. I do sometimes wish people who say “women had it really bad hundreds of years ago” would revise that to “EVERYONE had it really bad hundreds of years ago, besides a few lucky nobles.” Commoner men were seen as completely disposable cannon/sword/arrow fodder when they weren’t working as essentially slave farmers for their lords.

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    99. Ashara Dayne: Is he really prepared to put Sansa’s head on a spike? Or does he have some plan to avoid that.

      Maybe we will see ‘Sansa’s head’ on a spike. In the way of Davos’ storyline in the books perhaps?
      In fact it is …. of course….Myranda’s head…

      Just a guess..

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    100. Chad Brick,

      I agree that sansa will be LF’s downfall, in books and show, and this show-only moment will help get her there. I’m just saying that the furor this scene has created has as much to do with it’s placement at the end of the episode as anything. Those critical of it aren’t saying she won’t get revenge: they’re saying she’s been knocked back to season-2-level-victimhood, and I suspect (or at least hope) there’s more to it than that. By delaying the emotional fallout a week, the show has allowed it’s critics to cite this as yet another mishandling of one of the most sensitive topics there is.

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    101. whoresgotobravos,

      Ok – Sansa did not decide to put herself in this situation- D&D did. The showrunners did not have to have this story go this way. There were plenty of other options. I repeat – the storyline did NOT have to be written with Sansa in this situation.

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    102. JCDavis,

      This comment summarises my feelings well. Some of the comments I have seen are quite frankly ridiculous. I also wish people were prepared to wait and see what happens next before making hyperbolic comments about ruined character arcs.

      I love the on-seasom, but in the off-season you get some fantastic discussions with the crazies gone.

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    103. People are completely missing the point of The High Sparrow. Each life matters the same. It doesn’t matter if they are low born or a King and Queen.

      And yet the show viewers don’t understand that themselves. Men are treated like slaves in Westeros. They have to fight for their sworn lords or else be labeled a traitor and be executed. The show has driven home this point season after season. Remember when Talisa was helping the wounded men? She pointed out they did nothing to deserve it.

      So “rape” of one noble woman is bad but slaughtering innocent soldiers in a battle is fun to watch?

      GRRM was correct. He can describe in great detail how an ax goes through some bodies skull and nobody complains. Yet he talks about a sex and people complain.

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    104. What happened to Sansa was horrible obviously, but Theon’s presence in that scene does bond them together in common misery, and that is like to be what gets them working together to get out of the situation.

      It does upset me that people are dismissive of what Theon has gone through. Yea he had his men kill two farm boys in a time of war. Imprisonment for crime is one thing, but TORTURE IS NEVER ACCEPTABLE. If you are so vindictive and spiteful to justify torture you not a good person and not a tough guy.

      Sansa and Theon can also bond over the whole “WARD/HOSTAGE” distinction. Him w/ the Starks. Her w/ Joff, Baelish. Now both of them w/ the Boltons.

      WOMEN ARE NOT THINGS.
      MEN ARE NOT DISPOSABLE.

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    105. ace:
      US Rating(6.24 Million), last week was 6.56M

      http://www.spoilertv.com/2015/05/final-adjusted-tv-ratings-for-sunday_19.html

      These numbers mean nothing. HBO has even said so. They care about the overall viewers during the week from all different sources. They have HBO Go and Now, repeat showing, and even on demand from cable companies. The show was #1 on xfinity on demand a few weeks back. Not to mention international numbers. Nielson is outdated.

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    106. Cersei’s Brain:
      whoresgotobravos,

      Ok – Sansa did not decide to put herself in this situation- D&D did.The showrunners did not have to have this story go this way. There were plenty of other options. I repeat – the storyline did NOT have to be written with Sansain this situation.

      true they didn’t, but then grrm didn’t HAVE to make these types of actions and themes rampant in the books either, jrr Tolkien didn’t HAVE to make Frodo leave Middle Earth, ts eliot didn’t HAVE to write poems that made no sense, Picasso didn’t HAVE to paint in cubes, the producers of Paul Blart didn’t HAVE to make a sequel. nobody HAS to do anything when it comes to their artistic choices. whether you agree with their choices or whether you agree is artistic is your choice, just like it’s your choice to continue following the story.

      here are a couple fanfiction choices that could soothe the masses:

      1) in the next episode, have qyburn run a poll of westerosi general population to see how people feel about ambiguously coerced marital sex.

      2) in the next episode, have sansa light the candle in the tower to discover that it triggers an anti-marital rape protest outside the walls of winterfell.

      there. situation fixed. and like most fan fiction it would be incredibly boring and lame to watch.

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    107. And the clickbait continues… this time from what should be a reputable outlet. Time magazine, informing its readership that a Senator decided to quit the show, decided that this was the most pertinent headline:

      This Politician Just Said What Everyone Is Thinking About Game of Thrones

      And who, pray tell, is this mythical ‘everyone’, I’d like to know.

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    108. Mr Fixit:
      And the clickbait continues… this time from what should be a reputable outlet. Time magazine, informing its readership that a Senator decided to quit the show, decided that this was the most pertinent headline:

      This Politician Just Said What Everyone Is Thinking About Game of Thrones

      And who, pray tell, is this mythical ‘everyone’, I’d like to know.

      New is one giant click bait enterprise now sadly.

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    109. ace,

      Wow, they keep dropping. I wonder if the controversy will help or hurt the ratings. It was another episode that was middling in quality but it was the first episode to create some buzz this season at least.

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    110. Theon’s Iron Will:

      WOMEN ARE NOT THINGS.
      MEN ARE NOT DISPOSABLE.

      You win with that comment. Thank you. Through most of history, it was basically “women are the VALUABLE property of their lord, men are the DISPOSABLE property of their lord.” It’s no coincidence that the description of battles is usually “the men were killed, and the women were carried off as concubines.” Being carried off as a concubine is awful but so is being killed (or tortured). Those periods of history sucked for everyone but the lord.

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    111. The Bastard: These numbers mean nothing. HBO has even said so. They care about the overall viewers during the week from all different sources. They have HBO Go and Now, repeat showing, and even on demand from cable companies. The show was #1 on xfinity on demand a few weeks back. Not to mention international numbers. Nielson is outdated.

      They mean many things. What is hard is to interpret them.

      Here is one thing : 1.8M fewer people watched the first airing of episode 6 than the first airing of the premiere.

      Another thing: Leaks didn’t have as much impact as many people liked to think.

      Another: So did (not did) Mother’s Day

      Another: The upward trend is now a downward trend.

      Etc…

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    112. Pau:

      Another thing: Leaks didn’t have as much impact as many people liked to think.

      Told ya so! 😉

      These numbers are lower than the lowest-rated episode of Season 4.

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    113. JamesL:
      ace,

      Wow, they keep dropping. I wonder if the controversy will help or hurt the ratings. It was another episode that was middling in quality but it was the first episode to create some buzz this season at least.

      Last year (Cersei rape) it helped the ratings.

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    114. Imdb’s rating for E6 is now 8,2, which is the lowest rating of S5.
      Strange.
      In my opinion it was the best episode of the season. Well paced.
      I rewatched the Sand Snakes fight and it wasn’t that bad, was it? Ok, they arrived at the same time as Jaimie and Bronn, but hey, coincidences happen….also in GRRM’s universe.

      Of course the last scene has everything to do with the low ratings and that surprises me. I wonder if there are big differences between the American and the European ratings. I’m a European and rated it 9/10.
      The last scene was the best scene of the episode: intense, well acted and directed.
      But shocking?
      Well….eehm…no, not really.
      Not compared to episode 1 with the burning of Mance Rayder, which I found incredible hard to watch.

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    115. Tyroshi Barber:
      Imdb’s rating for E6 is now 8,2, which is the lowest rating of S5.
      Strange.

      Breaker of Chains (Season 4, Episode 3) got 8,2 too. The reason is the same, I think (rape scene).

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    116. Bottom line this was a mistake. I am not angry with the scene or outraged or any of that other nonsense, but I can’t deny this was a big mistake. It’s the lowest rated episode EVER on Rotten Tomatoes, lowest rated of season 5 on IMDB, the ratings continue to fall, mainstream media is trumping up the “I quit the show” card, 3 or 4 outlets have now stated they refuse to review the show anymore and are boycotting it…etc.

      Don’t ask me why. I guess we like to be “outraged” in society now. To me it’s a fictional story and a fictional character. I don’t get the outrage. It doesn’t bother me any. But to deny this was a harmful decision is foolish. I actually do believe people for the first time when they say they’re quitting the show. The vitriol towards it in multiple outlets is off the charts and unlike anything the series has seen to date.

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    117. Balon01: Breaker of Chains (Season 4, Episode 3) got 8,2 too. The reason is the same, I think (rape scene).

      And how do you explain the ratings of the premiere, then?

      I don’t think that scene had anything to do with it. Many people will pop up now with the “reasons”, all very biased:

      Dorne haters will say it’s Dorne fault

      D&D haters will say its D&D fault

      Martin haters will say it’s Martin fault

      POC people will say there’s not enough POC people

      Etc, etc…

      I just think is a bit of everything of course, mainly that the season first episodes were a bit meh, and number 4 was really bad, toguether with Dorne being boring in general (also in the books), and that people like to get excited by new things, well…

      But surely the rape scene didn’t have anything to do with the drop between episode 1 and episode 6, no? 😉

      Edit: I haven’t watched last episode and I think I just got spoiled…damn! I though you were referring to last year’s rape scene. :S

      Edit 2: Anyway, if the scene is the last scene of the episode it can’t be the reason the ratings dropped. Plus, without having seen the episode, what did people expect? Ramsey is a psychopathic serial killer.

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    118. Mark,

      Meh, it’s a repeat of the last season. If anything that was even worse because the social warriors back then took some comments by Graves, Headey, and Coster-Waldau as proof of some rapist apologist agenda.

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    119. Pau:

      But surely the rape scene didn’t have anything to do with the drop between episode 1 and episode 6, no?

      I talked about the imdb ratings.

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    120. Fiskadoro: She’s made a few small strides, but always due to someone else taking care of her and teaching her. Obviously part of this is to finally drive the Theon back into Reek, but the other part I think, is to finally force Sansa to survive some actual personal horror and turn it into whatever, wherever her journey leads her.

      This. The character growing and making her own decisions is not a linear journey. There are setbacks. And honestly, if she’d walked in and done like a Leslie Jones-level of sass, they’d just behead her. The only worry I have, and many others seem to have judging by online reviews, is that they use this as a way to turn it into a re-awakening of Theon. If that’ s a by-product, fine. But the more important character here is Sansa, not Theon. So if it turns into “how the man copes with the woman being raped,” that sucks.

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    121. Archmaester: I love Laura Stone’s reviews but unfortunately I don’t agree with her assessment of the scene in this case – Theon was in the room, of course the camera is going to show his reaction to what is happening (and thank God it did rather than focus on the event itself), that doesn’t mean that D&D/Cogman/Podeswa somehow have some anti-sansa, anti-female, pro-theon, pro-male agenda, and the assertion that they do is just a bit ridiculous. Just sit back and enjoy the ride,

      It depends. I don’t think they’re “anti-female” or anything. But if they take the rape of one of the show’s most loved characters and turn it into the personal growth of *another* character, notably a man, then that’s a failure to understand the audience, and the needs of the story. A woman’s sexual assault should not be reduced to how it helps a man overcome *his* fears. In this case, there’s a modest difference in that Theon has also been abused, and therefore stands as both an audience surrogate and as a shared victim. But Sansa’s story remains more important than Theon. So if they seek revenge/go on a killing spree/escape in tandem, fine. If Sansa leads, fine. If Sansa sits back and lets someone else do it for her? No, that’s a betrayal of her growth. And would be a misstep, and not for the first time.

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    122. Great read by Jason Concepcion from Grantland. I think it perfectly sums up the outrage.

      http://grantland.com/hollywood-prospectus/ask-the-maester-sansas-horrific-wedding-the-bolton-stark-alliance-and-the-sand-snakes/

      Here’s a few snips:

      “In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, producer Bryan Cogman was asked, “How could you do this to Sansa?” He said: “This isn’t a timid little girl walking into a wedding night with Joffrey. This is a hardened woman making a choice and she sees this as the way to get back her homeland. Sansa has a wedding night in the sense she never thought she would with one of the monsters of the show. It’s pretty intense and awful and the character will have to deal with it.” To which I say: Mmmmm, nah.”

      Then he answers with:

      “What’s worse than portraying a sexual assault? Not knowing that you are. “A hardened woman making a choice” is a statement that seems to fundamentally misunderstand what the show has been portraying over the last few seasons. Sansa depends on Littlefinger for her safety, indeed for her survival. Sure, she doesn’t believe in princes and fairy tales anymore. But “a hardened woman”? She has no means by which to fend for herself and is, along with Tyrion, one of the most wanted persons in the realm.”

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    123. Greatjon of Slumber: It depends. I don’t think they’re “anti-female” or anything. But if they take the rape of one of the show’s most loved characters and turn it into the personal growth of *another* character, notably a man, then that’s a failure to understand the audience, and the needs of the story. A woman’s sexual assault should not be reduced to how it helps a man overcome *his* fears. In this case, there’s a modest difference in that Theon has also been abused, and therefore stands as both an audience surrogate and as a shared victim. But Sansa’s story remains more important than Theon. So if they seek revenge/go on a killing spree/escape in tandem, fine. If Sansa leads, fine. If Sansa sits back and lets someone else do it for her? No, that’s a betrayal of her growth. And would be a misstep, and not for the first time.

      A failure to understand the audience?
      The needs of a story….
      Betrayal of her growth…

      Did you learn anything of GRRM’s books??

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    124. JCDavis,

      JCDavis: You will never see reason and I am glad that don’t work with you – are not married to you and am not your personal acquaintance. You would be hounding me like minute by minute going on and on and railing about a FANTASY show. *twitch*

      You are absolutely right. I’m sorry the words I typed offended your eyes and your precious sensibilities. I am unreasonable, un-coworkerable, un-marriagable, and un- aquaintable, but I am thankful for giving you the opportunity to count your blessings for not knowing a person such as me! Why did my words have to distract you?!?! Why did they have to put you in a huff and make you point out all my unredeeming qualities when it has nothing to the show or what I wrote?! Why!!!! Dear sweet lord why??!!

      Please go back to work and continue all the good you do for the world by helping those that are suffering and in need. May you never be hounded minute by minute. Let no one’s online opinions or observations on a fantasy show irk you to the point where it deems you not worthy to know them “in the real world”. Be blessed! Be kind! Be reasonable!

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    125. Look on the bright side of Sansa’s life – better Ramsay than Joffrey (the latter was an even bigger sicko than Ramsay); better Ramsay than Loras (who’s not interested in women); better Ramsay than Tyrion (she was repelled by his smallness).

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    126. Of the Night,

      That is of course one of the standard arguments when it comes to the different treatment of sexual and non-sexual violence in the media. But I’m afraid it’s not a very good one, actually.

      There are more than enough surviors of non-sexual violence around. Events that can be similarly traumatizing, as well. And there are more than enough people who have lost relatives, friends, or loved ones to non-sexual violence.

      No, the truth is simply that we are conditioned to accept and even celebrate certain types of non-sexual violence and their depiction, whereas the same is not the case for sexual violence.

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    127. outdoorcats,

      How strange then that nobody complained about Jon Snow’s murder of Janos Slynt. Which it certainly would have been in terms of our modern world. Yet, in that particular instance, everybody is more than content to discuss the situation according to the terms of Westerosi law.

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    128. Elli:
      JCDavis,

      You are absolutely right. I’m sorry the words I typed offended your eyes and your precious sensibilities. I am unreasonable, un-coworkerable, un-marriagable, and un- aquaintable, but I am thankful for giving you the opportunity to count your blessings for not knowing a person such as me! Why did my words have to distract you?!?! Why did they have to put you in a huff and make you point out all my unredeemingqualities when it has nothing to the show or what I wrote?! Why!!!! Dear sweet lord why??!!

      Please go back to work and continue all the good you do for the world by helping those that are suffering and in need.May you never be hounded minute by minute. Let no one’s online opinions or observations on a fantasy show irk you to the point where it deems you not worthy to know them “in the real world”. Be blessed! Be kind! Be reasonable!

      Oh now, that did give me a good laugh out loud moment. Thank you. As Tevye says in Fiddler On The Roof, “It is a blessing to be so blessed?”

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    129. Estelindis:
      The featured comment in Laura Stone’s article is 100% on the money, in my opinion.

      Second! Although I agree with Stone, the AV Club and Vulture reviews among others that making Sansa’s rape be All About Theon’s Manpain and his redemption arc is reprehensible. Better to focus on his face than her body but better not to do it at all FFS.

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    130. Chameleon,

      I get that using rape as a plot device to further Theon’s arc would be a bad decision and is a trope that needs to be retired. But in my opinion the word “manpain” is inherently sexist. When a man is in pain, it’s still pain, same as for a woman.

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    131. Greatjon of Slumber: I don’t think they’re “anti-female” or anything. But if they take the rape of one of the show’s most loved characters and turn it into the personal growth of *another* character, notably a man, then that’s a failure to understand the audience, and the needs of the story.

      It would be if that is what they did. However, there were two protagonists in that scene. This is an important dynamic character development moment for both characters. In truth, it needed equal coverage: we need to get Theon’s arc as much as we need to get Sansa’s, after all. Both are about equal third-tier protagonists in the overall story, after all, more or less on par with Jaime and Cersei.

      So, do not look at it as focusing on one character or the other: the scene successfully focused on both characters.

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    132. Tibatonk,

      Perhaps you are right. I was merely hypothesising and by no means meant it as a definitive answer (also didn’t realise it was a common argument). I don’t personally hate the show for depicting it. I thought it could have been much worse. For me though the reaction to it was strong, possibly for my reasons or possibly for yours. I have lost my desire to carry on watching (I will watch next week to try to revive it, but if that doesn’t work I may not be back afterwards). This is not a boycott. I don’t want others to stop watching because of some supposed moral wrong. If I stop it will be because I no longer am entertained by the show and that is after the whole point of watching it as far as I am concerned.

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    133. A Man Grown:
      Chameleon,

      I get that using rape as a plot device to further Theon’s arc would be a bad decision and is a trope that needs to be retired. But in my opinion the word “manpain” is inherently sexist. When a man is in pain, it’s still pain, same as for a woman.

      Fair point, and I apologize. I loved the comment upthread “Women are not things, men are not disposable” and totally agree with that. Please delete “manpain” from my comment but keep the rest because I still believe making Sansa’s rape a vehicle for Theon’s redemption to be reprehensible.

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    134. chameleon,

      Without saying whether I welcome or not using Sansa’s rape for redeeming Theon, how do we know that’s what’s gonna happen? For all we know, next episode starts with Sansa driving a knife through Ramsay’s neck as he falls asleep. (Please don’t say if anything was actually revealed in the preview for next ep, I don’t watch those.)

      Therefore I’d hold on criticisms of DnD throwing Sansa under the bus to work on Theon’s character arc. (Regardless off whether I agree with them or not.)

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    135. Wimsey: It would be if that is what they did.However, there were two protagonists in that scene.This is an important dynamic character development moment for both characters.In truth, it needed equal coverage: we need to get Theon’s arc as much as we need to get Sansa’s, after all.Both are about equal third-tier protagonists in the overall story, after all, more or less on par with Jaime and Cersei.

      So, do not look at it as focusing on one character or the other: the scene successfully focused on both characters.

      I’m talking about the aftermath: if the focus becomes Theon’s attempts to valiantly “rescue” Sansa, that makes her sexual assault more about him than it does about her. I’m fine if it’s an in-tandem kind of thing or if she takes the reins. I don’t see them as third-tier protagonists, though. I’d put Sansa probably 5th among all protagonists, after Tyrion, Jon, Dany and perhaps Arya. Theon probably then ranks behind Jaime, Cersei and a couple of others, so he’s closer to being in the third tier among protagonists.

      The outrage from the Internet that’s more justified, to me – because I feel this way as well – is that they’ve failed in this prior to this. I want this instance to turn out right, and for it to ultimately be part of Sansa’s triumph, and not a story about the Manpain Theon has to deal with because of Sansa’s rape. But their approach to this facet of the story is kind of the inverse of “In Nina Gold we trust,” whereupon any controversial casting should be given the benefit of the doubt; in this instance it is hard to do that.

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    136. Just my personal PoV.

      Winterfel scenes + Dorne fiasco + slow Arya dev + the rest of the key characters pushed against the wall by really complicated situations that can’t be easily solved (think Jon Snow, Dany, Kings Landing) = Me Worn Out. This show is starting to feel like work…

      I am realizing that if I get the payoff I want, it will go against the grain of the show (do we really think Dany will swoop in on her dragons to fix everything? and what payoff will be sufficient for all I’ve seen?).

      I am sadly reminded that in the end, it is not about the end, but rather the journey, and this has been a dark, tiresome and unrewarding journey. Do I want to keep watching? Probably, too much time already invested. (I still cannot believe I am even asking this question given the love I felt for the story before. ) Will this feel like it was a worthwhile choice of entertainment? Ugh. Given the hopes I had in S1, probably not. If the lesson is “life sucks” or “life is complicated”, not sure I needed a whole new world with thousands of new characters to learn that.

      Also if there is no payoff, will this just be “the many ways to torture the Starks” story in the end?

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    137. Even by the customs and sensibilities of Westeros , what happened to Sansa would be considered rape.

      Why else would Tyron, strongly declare to Tywin, “I will not rape her!”, if forcing yourself on your wife in Westeros is NOT considered rape?
      Tywin had no problem with it, because Tywin cared about nothing except getting what he wanted. He didn’t have a shred of compassion. Tyrion was outraged, because regardless of custom, it would be immoral and dishonorable. Honor being a major value in their culture.

      The actual custom, is that the marriage should be consummated on their wedding night. If it isn’t, it’s frowned upon, but forcing it would be even more distasteful. I doubt there is usually someone standing there with a crossbow pointed at the couple, making them do anything…

      Most of the time, the marriage is consummated.

      Unless it’s the rare occasion where the couple is actually in love, “the bedding”, must be incredibly awkward for both the man and the woman, but it’s something they get through together- no physical force, unless you’re a monster like Ramsay.

      If Sansa and Ramsay’s wedding night, was justified, why would Theon have had such an expression of abject horror, and tears?

      Just my opinion.

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    138. the boat left without me…

      is the outrage discussion mainly about
      – the scene being a rape scene
      – the deviation from the books
      – Sansa, the virgin rolemodel, having sex

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