Natalie Dormer on Margaery in season 6, and Jeremy Podeswa on responding to season 5’s controversy

Margaery

While promoting her new film The Forest this week, Natalie Dormer sat down for a chat with Den of Geek and offered up a few teases about Game of Thrones.

“I just personally wrapped season 6 last week,” Dormer says. “What I love about Game of Thrones is every year you don’t really know who your pairing is going to be with. I’ve had some great stuff with Sophie Turner in the past, and some great stuff with Lena Headey. And I’ve got a whole new partner to play with in this season. So, I had a lot of fun there.”

As for this “new partner” might be, we might glean a couple hints from scenes filmed outdoors in Girona, Spain earlier this year. Photos were taken of the location shoot in September, showing Dormer on set with several King’s Landing-centered cast members. Given the scenes and spoilers out of Girona, it’s possible that she may be referring to either – Click to uncover spoilers

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) or Jonathan Pryce (High Sparrow). With Margaery’s alleged conversion, she’s likely to spend a lot of time with the High Sparrow, and we know that Jaime is prominent in that public Girona scene with Margaery.
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Sansa and Theon

Also discussing season 6 this week is Jeremy Podeswa, who directed last season’s “Kill the Boy” and the controversial episode 6, “Unbowed Unbent Unbroken,” and will be directing the first two episodes of the new season. Forbes reports that Podeswa addressed the season 5 rape controversy in a briefing this week, and how it will affect the show going forward.

The director claims that D.B. Weiss and David Benioff “were responsive to the discussion and there were a couple of things that changed as a result.” He explains that, “It is important that (the producers) not self-censor. The show depicts a brutal world where horrible things happen. They did not want to be too overly influenced by that (criticism) but they did absorb and take it in and it did influence them in a way.”

Podeswa also says that, “I welcomed the discussion about the depiction of violence on television and how it could be used as a narrative tool sometimes and the questionable nature of that. We were aware ahead of time that it was going to be disturbing but we did not expect there would be people in Congress talking about it.”

177 responses

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    1. Regarding Dormer (I guess we’re using spoiler tags for this):

      I imagine she probably does mean Jonathan Pryce. They were in one scene together last year, but didn’t really interact much; the hints from filming at her new arc suggest she’s going to have a lot more to do with the Faith.

      Conversely, I doubt it’s NCW, with Jaime’s raid on the Faith being in episode 6 and him evidently leaving for the Riverlands shortly thereafter.

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    2. While I’m glad in a way that D&D don’t go all “lalala” to criticism, I do hope they don’t start catering to the usual whiners who scream “Character assassination” and “misogyny!” every time they have the chance. Y’know, those who swear to quit the show forever only to come back next week to keep complaining about it.
      (Jesus, taking the Claire McCaskill tweet to heart. People in Congress. So what. If the Dalai Lama tweets something negative about the show will you worry about that as well?)

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    3. Honestly, that quote “…were responsive to the discussion and there were a couple of things that changed as a result“, the emphasized part especially is a bit alarming to me. It is a violent world and should be shown as such. It’s violent books, a violent adaptation, and it should be. No reason to sugar coat and pretend that in the real life time period that most influences this story none of it occurred. Given the quote about certain things changing, I’m a bit worried that they will second guess certain things they write, and edit or delete them. Which if you consciously realize it or not is self-censoring. And that’s no good for a writer in my opinion. I hope not.

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    4. (Off – season show spoiler below)

      Natalie Dormer and Jonathan Pryce should be a treat! Well, anything with Jonathan Pryce is a treat for me, but I suspect the Tyrell woman and the High Sparrow would play some kind of mental cyvasse in order for her to dupe the priest into believing she has become a Faith fanatic herself. I’m going by the speculation in the off season articles.

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    5. The point is not that this is a brutal world, which it is, but that they have gone to the well many a time with rape to represent that brutality in a way that hasn’t always seemed smart or sensitive. To me it was the season four alterations, including the Jaime/Cersei inexplicable rape, and the Nights Watch rapey stuff that also was problematic. So the Sansa scene became the linchpin of that.

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    6. this is how I see it, this is a brutal world. people lie, kill, steal, betray, rape, and any other terrible thing you can think of. rape is rape, killing is killing, don’t bloody sugar coat anything, of course the Nights watchmen are going to rape crasters daughters, some if not most of them where probably rapists before they came to the wall. besides lets face it, someone probably would have complained if nothing happened to the girls under the care of the traitors, calling it unrealistic that they wasn’t raped. But who is going to say that ? and I really didn’t see the whole Jaimie and cercie scene as rape, and I never will, never got that vibe from it. D&D I salute you, and I can’t wait until season 6.

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    7. As far as the latter, “a couple of things that changed” can mean any number of things, since there were numerous different lines of critique of that plot (every from “we shouldn’t be seeing this at all”, which I don’t agree with, to discussions of plot, character, etc.). Changes could mean that they opted to revise in some respect future depictions of sexual violence (we’ve got Dothraki inbound next season, after all); or, given that many of the concerns voiced related to how the aftermath would be handled, that they opted to change or add to how the effects on Sansa would be shown going forward; or something else I haven’t thought of.

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    8. Sean C.: )
      Natalie Dormer and Jonathan Pryce should be a treat! Well, anything with Jonathan Pryce is a treat for me, but I suspect the Tyrell woman and the High Sparrow would play some kind of mental cyvasse in order for her to dupe the priest into believing she has become a Faith fanatic herself. I’m goin

      I understood that as eliminating any doubts or duality or questions about if it was rape or not. IMHO Jaime just had angry sex with cersei and Ramsay even thought he raped samsa she didn’t act traumatized not because she didn’t care or understand, but because she Has gotten progressively stronger. Hell, isnt that her whole arc? Getting stronger?

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    9. Matthew The Dragon knight,

      I disagree. #1 cercei kept saying no no not here not now #2 Jaime ignored her repeated requests to stop and overpowered her. That’s rape in my book.

      I think the problem is that folks imagine rape as happening between people who are strangers or near strangers, not people who have had consensual sex in the past. It helps even more if the guy is nasty like Ramsey or Karl tanner. Imagine that C&J scene with random faith militant nutjob or meran trant instead of Jaime, would it look more like rape to you then?

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    10. Greatjon of Slumber,

      The Jaime/Cersei scene is easily explained: that is what happened in the book, too. Remember, we read that solely from Jaime’s PoV: and he is only dimly aware of Cersei striking him and saying “no.” The show presents it as a 3rd party would have seen it: after all, you cannot “filter” a scene to exclude thing the scene’s lead character ignores.

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    11. The way I see it, we’re coming up to the end. We should be on a rising arc sometime now. This should mean more winning by the protagonists – including less rape for the female characters.

      At the same time, I’d wish the show fit in at least one male-on-male rape, to even the scales.

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    12. But we neither get Cersei’s nor a 3rd party’s PoV of that scene in the book, so that’s not what happens in the book, it’s merely your interpretation.

      And seriously, if we’re starting to use “but we only get XY’s PoV, so why knows if that’s how it really happened?” to justify every change, the writers for the show might just as well throw the books away and write their own version of the story (which is probably what’s going to happen in s6…).

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    13. Not exactly good news. One thing i hate more then showrunners catering to the mainstream audience is when showrunners are catering for for politically motivated whiners who will scream “misogyny”, “rape” and “gratuitous nudity” at every oportunity.

      I dont like Margaery news as well, because as somebody perceptive mentioned early, they might give her possible book Tyene´s stuff with High Sparrow. They already cut Arianne and gave her personality to her, if its turn out that whole Dorne, its storyline and characters were butchered just to give Natalie Dorner something to do, i will hate her character more then Joffrey, Tywin and Ramsay combined.

      Seriously what was the point of casting Sand Snakes, if Obara´s lines are given to Ellaria and her storyline is cut, Trystane get Nymeria´s storyline and Margaery get Tyene´s storyline.

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    14. Dave:
      Honestly, that quote “…were responsive to the discussion and there were a couple of things that changed as a result“, the emphasized part especially is a bit alarming to me. It is a violent world and should be shown as such. It’s violent books, a violent adaptation, and it should be. No reason to sugar coat and pretend that in the real life time period that most influences this story none of it occurred. Given the quote about certain things changing, I’m a bit worried that they will second guess certain things they write, and edit or delete them. Which if you consciously realize it or not is self-censoring. And that’s no good for a writer in my opinion. I hope not.

      I think it simply means that in season six they will pay more attention than they initially would have to the consequences of the rape, which is a good thing. I respected their decision to include that scene, but only as long as it wasn’t just for a cheap shock —it should have consequences for Sansa’s psyche. I think this only means they won’t gloss over that, which is great news to me.

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    15. Off-topic, but interesting imo: I have just watched Cyberbully and Maisie is absolutely fantastic! She is present on screen all the time and the range of emotions she displays… pure gold! I strongly recommend it to all her fans (I am one). Enjoy!

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    16. GaiusB,
      Meh, the show is not the books. There are a lot of people, like me, who don’t care about the books – or keeping the book characters faithful now that the author has stopped delivering. There are plots to arrange.

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    17. Matthew The Dragon knight,

      I fully agree with you. Including the Jaime-Cersei scene. Imo she didn’t want to give him that satisfaction, but finally she followed her own desire. As far as I have read, despair and fear of death are lust triggers.

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    18. About Natalie, I’m excited about how her interactions with

      the HS could be. Is she faking her “turn to religion” or it is real? Maybe both? How she can gain again her power? Plus, I’m waiting to watch both actors onscreen

      About Podeswa (good director, btw), the complains are always about how to change plots, situations and characters to include or force moments in which female actresses (main or extras) are raped or nude, or the Nice Guy is rewarded somehow with sex. Not enough drama? Rape that one! Westeros sucks, we get it. Don’t enfathize that again. Theon’s rape? Is a consequence of his actions in WF, has consequences on his character, is not used to make other character deeper. It’s meaningful. The two nude chicks arousing him? Not. Also, male rape is threated like something funny or cute. Not cool at all.

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    19. GaiusB,

      Tyene will not have stuff with the High Sparrow in the books. Neither she not the HS are main characters. Anything that does happen will be purely plot material for a main character’s storyline: and if such stuff happens, then it does not matter who does it, only that it is done.

      And the point if casting the SS in the show is the same as it was for putting them in the books: supporting protagonists’ storylines. They could not give Obara’s storyline to Ellaria because Obara does not have a storyline. Neither do Larry or Moe. They are props for Arriane’s storyline in the books and Jaime’s storyline in the show. However, the SS are in and of themselves unimportant: it is what they do, not who they are that counts, and you need secondary and incidental characters to do things so that main characters can have storylines.

      (And, ugh: I ha d forgotten that we might see those awfuls SS in Winter. Bleah….)

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    20. Yaga,

      The other thing that book fans of all adapted books forget is that the only characters that must be the same in both media are the main characters. Everyone else is a foil for those few characters.

      Moreover, when you get to characters like the Sand Snakes that are incidental characters in the books, the character development is so weak (bordering on non-existent) that a show or film cannot be “true” to what many fans imagine the characters to be like because different fans imagine different attributes for the characters when filling in the undeveloped gaps.

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    21. SlayerNina,

      The complaints are for female scenes? Where were you hiding during Barristan’s death and Stannis making the decision to burn Shireen? (These are actually worse, because they will probably happen in the books. But the whining…)

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    22. Wimsey,
      True. Vide Barristan’s death, again. I would only add that sometimes, fans exaggerate the function of a secondary character they like, assign undue importance to him/her, and *then* are surprised and angry when it turns out not to be so.

      And then, there are *shippers*.

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    23. Hello everyone! The second part oft he Forbes article is also quite interesting. Podeswa talks about the first two episodes. Here is the quote, just in case you did not read the full article:

      “Doing the first episode of a new season is always a bit tricky because they tend to lay down a lot of tracks for the season and check on where the characters are now. They’re not usually the most dynamic episodes. Happily for me this year the producers tried to work against that. The season gets off to an amazing start, stuff of consequence happens and the first two episodes are really strong.”

      Sounds exciting! My head wants to believe that we’re going to dive right into the thick of this Jonny S. business.

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    24. Wimsey,

      You always write as if you know everything, but i sometime doubt you even read last two books….. You can not know who will be important in Winter and who wont. I am sure you never predicted Brienne will become major character and POV in the fourth book based on her presence in the previous books. We are speaking about books where Asha, Aeron, Victarion Greyjoy, Quentin Martell and Areo Hotah are POVs. And their chapters are not exactly short ones.

      Its not unthinkable that in the next book we will get some POV that get readers inside The Faith, whoever that will be – High Sparrow, Tyene, Lancel or some other character. I would say it would be a logical move from the writer, who feel that those previously mentioned characters are important enough to write for them countless pages, when their plot purpose could be easily covered with FAR less pages.

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    25. What make me angry about Sansa’s sence in season 5 was because they push her back not forward ! , season 5 for Sansa was just like season 1 with a different location!

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    26. Mihnea,

      For me the worst part was Daenerys in Meereen, even if it was her POV. All these characters I didn’t care for and the feeling of postponing something important: I wanted Dany to move towards Westeros – and take Misandei with her, of course. But I didn’t care a bit for political struggle in Meereen and generally for the fate of the town.
      Even Dorne seemed more interesting because it was about Oberyn’s family and Myrcela was there – an innocent, not to blame for what her family had done.

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    27. “The director claims that D.B. Weiss and David Benioff “were responsive to the discussion and there were a couple of things that changed as a result.” He explains that, “It is important that (the producers) not self-censor. The show depicts a brutal world where horrible things happen. They did not want to be too overly influenced by that (criticism) but they did absorb and take it in and it did influence them in a way.”

      Podeswa also says that, “I welcomed the discussion about the depiction of violence on television and how it could be used as a narrative tool sometimes and the questionable nature of that. We were aware ahead of time that it was going to be disturbing but we did not expect there would be people in Congress talking about it.””

      Great. Social Justice nuts continue their crusade to turn art into a sanitised safe space free of any triggering depictions.

      Urghhhh. I’m moving to Japan.

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    28. GaiusB,

      Very well said Gaius B. There are people here who love to play the game of boxes. 10 boxes in a row and then guess what is in each of them. Box A, I say that it has Sansa, High Sparrow and Doran and voilá it is as I said, bonus to my logic, clap-clap. Box B, I guess it contains Ramsay, Tyrion and Brienne and voilá I was right once mor, clap-clap to my intelligent ego and so on and so on. This of course is utterly boring and suffocating. The logic of a corpse. What I like is a writer that can surprise me, that is able create a complex universe of characters big, medium and small that interact and have something to offer. I like diversity and a story that can expand my horisons, a story that can challenge my beliefs and my way of thinking and looking at my world around me. Now I am asking to much maybe but this is what GRRM has intended to do. His world is not just a one-dimensional fantasy with a bit of semi-predictable mystery but a myriad of characters that woven together they make up the ASOIAF. And this very fact defies the norms of the fantasy nerds which of course in their utter despair to know what and how tend to hate the writer for all the “unnecessary diversions and POVs etc, etc”. The t.v series is trying to cope with GRRM’s vision and for obvious reasons it is almost impossible to expand more that it already does. No problems with it. But at least D&D are trying hard to give us a great deal of taste of GRRMs diverse world with great success or not so great success. Fair enough! But when it comes to commentary in sites like this one gets really bored when the analysis of what is happening or will happen is limited to boxes and to the verification of their content, box A and box B and box C. The logic of the boxes versus the logic of a tv series that has succeeded in giving us something more than the usual and the predictable

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    29. Shy Lady Dragon,

      Meereen, is a complete joke.

      And all the characters there are simply badly writen, from the obese guy, to the midget who has an army on stilts, the hermaphrodyte slave and all the ridiculous characters inside Meereen.

      Also the naked men and women dancing for Dany. Don’t even make me start on Quentyns ”friends”: the handsome reckless guy and the strong dumb one.

      Sorry, if I went a bit overboard, but too me the Meereen story is one of the worst stories I have ever read.

      And this is only Meereen, don’t make me start about Penny and her pig..

      EDIT: Forgot the goat kid, a sublime character indead one wich truly was esential to the story.

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    30. Mihnea,

      When Dany flew away on Drogon I felt as if I were saved and the promised Dothraki story seemed promising, I liked them before and Dany’s change in social status announced something new to happen there.
      I didn’t mind the Penny story: it was about Tyrion, my favourite character, and I was curious because for the first time he talked to a woman who wasn’t beautiful, intelligent or educated.
      I completey forgot the goat kid – lucky me, I guess.

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    31. Shy Lady Dragon,

      I had hopes of Dany doing something after she flew on Drogon. Unafortunatly my hopes where met with diarhea…
      I hope something happens with the Dothraki, but honestly my expectations are very low. (in the books, for the show i’m preaty excited.)

      Again I apologize if I’m going overboard, but the entire Meereen arc/story was by far the most dissapointing thing in the last books, I completly hated it..

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    32. Mihnea,

      No need to apologize, imo you just presented your thoughts in a passionate way.
      I’m really afraid that GRRM suffers of writer’s block – of course, I don’t have any evidence and I mean no disrespect. Hell, I hope I’m wrong! But the first three books were way better than the other and we’re still waiting for the next…

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    33. Hm, preemptive self censorship would be last thing I’d like to see from D&D or Podeswa.
      Actually I thought S5 ep 6 has been filmed with care, without speculative shock elements and with a very concentrated camera approach. Apart from the extraordinarily beautiful images not denying but enhancing the tragedy. And the music……

      If the showmakers though wish to rethink some parts of story logic when the show goes on (why was Sansa so easily convinced by Baelish, why did she drop the corkscrew, her only weapon, why did she not close the door leaving the room, why did she not at least try to fight Miranda, being twice her size….????) then I am fine with rethinking as reaction to critics. Altering Sansa’s story the way they did was a good thing done in a hasty manner and with some lapses of logic at the expense of Sansa’s fictional character.

      Atonement though to the god of alleged political correctness for harming some fans’ image of Sansa is what I would dislike. Actually the idea that a female character is “ruined” by rape is grotesque. There will and should be a visible trauma but those fans denying that Sansa still has a valid story ahead of her play the game of those who see an (ab)used woman as “soiled”.
      No, please no self censorship! There is more than enough censorship in the world. But even more careful characterization in scriptwriting please!

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    34. GaiusB,

      GRRM have confirmed that we won’t see any new PoV’s in WoW, except the prologue which will be in the Riverlands. So no ou won’t see 1-on-1 interactions between SandSank 3 and HS.

      Margeary have little resemblance to Arianne, she actually has a brain.

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    35. Lyanna_Targaryen,

      I remind you that I said that I had meant no disrespect and hoped I was wrong. I just expressed a fear: he is human, you know, and humans can’t always give their whole potential. I also strongly believe that AFFC and ADWD are not nearly as good as the previous ones, which I love. I am sorry if you felt offended of what I had said.

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    36. Shy Lady Dragon,

      Writing is my passion. I have mad empathy for GRRM. I’ve only ever been published in a weekly college newspaper, I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be under that kind of pressure. *cue the “LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!” video*

      I kid. Don’t worry yourself about GRRM. He’s fine 🙂

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    37. Lyanna_Targaryen,

      I’m glad you are not offended. I hate quarrelling.
      I have a Ph.D in literature and I write literary criticism for a living and also collaborate to some magazines. So, I know how it is when you miss a great idea to write an original text. And I don’t write fiction, the fiction writers must feel more pressure, they have a real public and more need to present something new. I also feel empathy for GRRM and am hugely greatful for the mesmerizing world he had offered us.

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    38. Oh boy… I don’t want to go down this well traveled road again… BUT

      I’m going to take this as a positive instead of a negative… “were responsive to the discussion and there were a couple of things that changed as a result.”

      As long as they understand the complexities of the frustration with some of the scenes – this could be great. They’re not referencing what die-hard book fans would want – the alterations in Dany’s, Sansa arc, or the Craster’s women, or the Cercei/Jaimie, Brienne etc. I hope they’re not just going to blindly tone down the violence against women. That’s not the true problem.

      Right from season 1 Dany could have taken control verbally of her wedding night,
      The women at Craster’s after getting “rescued” from Jon or the women from Moletown could have taken up arms and defended the wall.
      Cercei could have verbalized her desire for Jaime (because her standing up to a “rape” would have thrown off the entire arc) These are all things removed from the books that softened the sexual violence and made it more palatable.

      Actually… Sansa lit the candle and stole the corkscrew. She was shoehorned into the wrong arc, things went backwards and that was a bit silly done, but pretty good really. I do hope/think they’re getting better. Depict a brutal world where horrible things happen – just let us see some strength in coping from these women who live in the brutal world.

      And the Sand Snakes were just stupid, stupid women, with no plan, no scheme, just mindless hatred. That’s was just annoying.

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    39. Yaga:

      At the same time, I’d wish the show fit in at least one male-on-male rape, to even the scales.

      I’m more in the ‘I hope there isn’t anymore raping’ camp, but each to his own.

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    40. Yaga:
      SlayerNina,

      The complaints are for female scenes? Where were you hiding during Barristan’s death and Stannis making the decision to burn Shireen? (These are actually worse, because they will probably happen in the books. But the whining…)

      How do you foresee Stannis sacrificing Shireen in the books? The logistics of that don’t make a lot of sense.

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    41. Shy Lady Dragon: But the first three books were way better than the other and we’re still waiting for the next…

      Call me contrarian but there are moments of stunning descriptions, revelations and imaginings in AFfC and ADwD that transcend the first three books. Everything was new in the first three, the pace was thrilling and many big memorable events occurred, while the last two dealt with post-war ramifications, relevant world-expanding, many PoV self-studies and eye-opening staging for the final act filled with dark forebodings. Imho, if ADwD hadn’t ended on so many cliffhangers, it would be considered the best book in the series.

      So much anticipation for TWoW…which is an indication that the author has done something right. In any case, there is something uniquely satisfying in each book, worth exploring independently.

      Plus, there is a bit of Penny in all of us. 🙂 I’m glad she is tagging along. It is fitting that GRRM put them together before Tyrion’s next tumultuous phase and possible return to Westeros.

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    42. Hodors Bastard,

      Wow, wonderful presentation! Kudos, ser!
      I have felt the need to reread the books for a while, but your post was the last drop which convinced me. I forgot a lot, as I noticed while taking the poll…
      I really enjoy psychological analysis and the building of symbolic atmosphere and these are the parts I admired in the latest two books. As I mentioned above, I rather liked the Penny story. What I disliked was the Meereen chapters because I couldn’t connect with the characters and political situation there.
      So, back to the books with me! Much better than complaining for TWOW not being published yet!

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    43. Hodors Bastard,

      Content-wise, I don’t think there was anything wrong with AFFC/ADWD. ADWD had structural problems in terms of GRRM running out of room (and the adding in of the AFFC POVs in the final third, which I think should have been in AFFC).

      I think the biggest problem with the reception of those books is simply how long it took to write them. If GRRM had been able to produce them on the schedule he had envisioned originally, the greater emphasis on worldbuilding and character psychology wouldn’t have been a big deal.

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    44. One other potentially interesting quote from Podeswa’s interview.

      “Logistically it’s the most complex show on television,” he said. “Last year we shot in Croatia, Spain and Northern Ireland. This year we had one day in Croatia, then Spain and Northern Ireland. I did a lot of things I’ve not done before, especially in visual effects. The producers have the toughest job; I just go where they tell me to go. I think the show is a piece of magic.”

      The tidbit about only shooting for one day in Croatia stood out to me because we know that the show only returned to Dubrovnik for a very short time this year, and we only had one confirmed report about what they were filming there. It sounds like that scene will be in one of Podeswa’s episodes.

      The scene in question involved Lena Headey and Hafthór Björnsson waiting by the sea. If, as we suspected, that scene is Cersei waiting for Jaime to return from Dorne with Myrcella, it makes total sense that it would be in Episode 1.

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    45. Yaga: Where were you hiding during Barristan’s death and Stannis making the decision to burn Shireen? (These are actually worse, because they will probably happen in the books. But the whining…)

        Quote  Reply

      I didn’t hide. And I complained to, given that they only erase Barristan to have Tyrion on the Council and Shireen for… I don’t know exactly. What’s your point?

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    46. Yaga:
      At the same time, I’d wish the show fit in at least one male-on-male rape, to even the scales.

      Well Theon was almost raped by the Bolton soldier in the forest before Ramsay killed him.

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    47. Chad Brick: How do you foresee Stannis sacrificing Shireen in the books? The logistics of that don’t make a lot of sense.

      D&D told that Martin have said it, Martin confirmed. If that’s not a spoiler, I don’t know what it is. The only difference is if Shireen

      is killed by Stannis himself (doubtly, she’s his only heir), the wildings kill her because she had greyscale or some reason like that, or Melisandre is the assassin (and we already know that she’s at the Wall, magic works with blood and someone has to resurrect Jon)

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    48. Sean C.: I think the biggest problem with the reception of those books is simply how long it took to write them.

      Totally…I sort of wish GRRM was “our bitch.” 🙂 And you know that I am biased regarding the Boiled Leather order…if GRRM had included the anchor characters in AFfC, there would have been an immediate comfort factor for many.

      Secretly, I am a bit frustrated that the threat from the north hasn’t been presented more effectively on the page since the opening prologue and the Fist of the First Men incident. I am almost ashamed to admit it, but the Hardhome sequence in S5ep8 was immensely immersive and rewarding, and the visuals (especially the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse shot) matched many of GRRM’s own descriptions. I do hope we get to experience Hardhome-like chaos in TWoW…but with a deeper, mystical influence from within Jon, Bran (or Davos’s) PoV! (Davos may be near Skagos/Eastwatch, you know!)

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    49. GaiusB,

      Actually Martin confirmed there would be no new POVs in TWOW. Wimsey is simply working under the correct assumption that it’s silly to say they’re giving Margaery Tyene’s storyline when we will never have a Tyene-High Sparrow scene seen from the perspective of either of them. Tyene won’t have a “storyline”; she will only appear in the story, one assumes from Cersei’s perspective.

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    50. Chad Brick: How do you foresee Stannis sacrificing Shireen in the books? The logistics of that don’t make a lot of sense.

      Ravens exist. Also the passage of time. Obviously Stannis’ arc will be a bit longer; he’ll most likely win the Battle in the Snow, but probably lose the Battle for Winterfell itself. There should be more than enough time to send the message via raven or envoy, or even to bring Shireen to Winterfell.

      It may also be that Stannis isn’t involved in the sacrifice in the books, of course (though Melisandre would probably still do it in his name, for his cause, especially now that she has heard the worst possible thing might have happened, with the Pink Letter). Much less dramatic and meaningful, probably, but oh well. Those who ideolize Stannis (because they very much misunderstand the character) will be happy.

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    51. Inazea:
      Hm, preemptive self censorship would be last thing I’d like to see from D&D or Podeswa.
      Actually I thought S5 ep 6 has been filmed with care, without speculative shock elements and with a very concentrated camera approach. Apart from the extraordinarily beautiful images not denying but enhancing the tragedy. And the music……

      If the showmakers though wish to rethink some parts of story logic when the show goes on (why was Sansa so easily convinced by Baelish, why did she drop the corkscrew, her only weapon, why did she not close the door leaving the room, why did she not at least try to fight Miranda, being twice her size….????) then I am fine with rethinking as reaction to critics. Altering Sansa’s story the way they did was a good thing done in a hasty manner and with some lapses of logic at the expense of Sansa’s fictional character.

      Atonement though to the god of alleged political correctness for harming some fans’ image of Sansa is what I would dislike. Actually the idea that a female character is “ruined” by rape is grotesque. There will and should be a visible trauma but those fans denying that Sansa still has a valid story ahead of her play the game of those who see an (ab)used woman as “soiled”.
      No, please no self censorship! There is more than enough censorship in the world. But even more careful characterization in scriptwriting please!

      Well said. The sooner people realise these crazies are just the religious right redux the better.

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    52. Jared:
      One other potentially interesting quote from Podeswa’s interview.

      “Logistically it’s the most complex show on television,” he said. “Last year we shot in Croatia, Spain and Northern Ireland. This year we had one day in Croatia, then Spain and Northern Ireland. I did a lot of things I’ve not done before, especially in visual effects. The producers have the toughest job; I just go where they tell me to go. I think the show is a piece of magic.”

      The tidbit about only shooting for one day in Croatia stood out to me because we know that the show only returned to Dubrovnik for a very short time this year, and we only had one confirmed report about what they were filming there. It sounds like that scene will be in one of Podeswa’s episodes.

      I agree.

      The Dornish ship with Jamie and dead Myrcella arriving in King’s Landing in one of the first two episodes sounds very plausible to me.

      Also, I’m intrigued by Podeswa mentioning things in visual effects he has never done before. I immediately thought of Dany’s dragons, but they were in last season‘s episodes , so must be something else…

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    53. Luka Nieto: bviously Stannis’ arc will be a bit longer; he’ll most likely win the Battle in the Snow,

      Yeah, but even with the time twist considered, I think Stannis will perish by Theon II in a massive, well-fed surprise Bolton-initiated attack (with Asha and Theon escaping…maybe). Justin Massey and Tycho will have left back to CB and will arrive around the FTW incident. With their news and the Pink Letter being digested, Mel will convince Selyse to make the impulsive Shireen sacrifice decision…but R’hllor has other ideas. Regardless, poor Shireen.

      What’s crazy about this is that THE IRON BANK MAY KNOW ABOUT JON’S RESURRECTION FIRST HAND VIA TYCHO!!!! Holy fuck.

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    54. dothrakian raven,
      I think that it’s unfairly positive towards Martin. The way I see it, he loves opening arcs and hanging those Chekhov’s guns. Closing them and firing the guns… not so much. Hence he shifts focus to a novel storyline while the fans guess the ending (and later find it predictable).

      DnD have the uneasy job of closing these opened arcs for him – ie dealing with these predictable parts. Hence, they gather the criticism while he gets the praise. If Martin actually bothered to write these latter books, you would see how predictable he is, too.

      Wall Builder,
      Yeah, but that’s nowhere near close to parity, don’t you think? Reminder: in real-life hypermasculine situations, such as war, male-on-male rape happens nearly as often as male-on-female. Martin simply chose not to include this fact in his fantasy (though to be fair, when he started writing it, this fact was not widely recognised).

      Chad Brick,
      I’m not interested in rehashing this discussion; it’s occurred often enough already, and I’m tired of it.

      SlayerNina,
      Oh, you were one of the complainers? Heh. My current position is merely to laugh at people like you, because discussion is long past us. ?

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    55. Luka Nieto,

      I remember reading a chapter which, I think, will be published in TWOW, about Theon being Stannis’s prisoner and tortured for information. At that time I thought that Theon’s fate would be ironically repetitive. A different purpose – Stannis being a practical man, not a monster – but the same-ish reality.
      How do you think this will fit with the Pink Letter and Stannis being dead/ defeated?

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    56. Luka Nieto,

      Well, young lady pretending to be religious and manipulate with High Sparrow is pretty much what for Doran send Tyene to KL. So i dont think its that much of stretch to say they might give her storyline to Margaery. D+D do similar stuff with other characters, even The Hound felt victim of it in favour of Littlefinger. Ser Barristan is another high profile case. And than there is Sansa.

      GRRM said no new POV, but didnt he also said Jayne will be POV in prolog? Anyway being POV is not that relevant for the show. Things that will happen “offscreen” in the books might happen onscreen in the show. Considering Jonathan Pryce´s casting, i suspect we will see some of Faith stuff even if we really dont get any POV there in the books. So it doesnt preclude Margaery to be given role of “offscreen” character.

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    57. Mihnea,

      Well, Mihnea, in my view these books are not great literature – and Mr. Martin is no Tolkien. I personally found it impossible to read the books – but I enjoy the show a lot. Imo, Mr. Martin is a guy with a very vivid fantasy but with poor writing skills.

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    58. Lyanna_Targaryen,

      Lyanna_Targaryen:
      Shy Lady Dragon,

      If I were GRRM and people were saying shit like this about me, I’d purposely write as slow as humanly possible.

      Un. Grate. Ful.

      Good gravy, that’s what you consider ungrateful?

      I understand people’s concern that Martin is suffering “writer’s block”. Many authors debate whether such a thing exists or if “writer’s block” is just a sign that the author needs to step away from the work for a bit. Well, Martin has been stepping away from the work quite a lot for other “obligations”.

      Eventually, TWOW will come out. Probably. I’ve come through the other side and now don’t care if it comes out. If it never gets published I’ll have a big-ass “I told you so” for his most ardent enablers.

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    59. i’m not worried about the show, I believe in D&D and they haven’t disappointed me yet. I believe they will portray a song of ice and fire the best they can and being as faithful as they can, and I do believe the little bit of criticism they talked about will be minor. I’m still on my watch for that trailer though, so until my watch ends i’ll just stalk the comment section.

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    60. Greatjon of Slumber:
      The point is not that this is a brutal world, which it is, but that they have gone to the well many a time with rape to represent that brutality in a way that hasn’t always seemed smart or sensitive. To me it was the season four alterations, including the Jaime/Cersei inexplicable rape, and the Nights Watch rapey stuff that also was problematic. So the Sansa scene became the linchpin of that.

      Let’s start with Jaime and Cersei. What do you call it when one person tries to get physical with another and continues despite that person saying no? At minimum, that would be sexual assault, right? Which incidentally is straight from the books.

      As for the Nights Watch. I’m not sure whether you’re referring to Craster’s or Gilly. Assuming it’s Craster’s, you have mutineers who were part of a celibate order suddenly surrounded by women. If GRRM showed us Coldhands slaughtering the mutineers, how do you think the mutineers would have been acting prior to the slaughter? Assuming Gilly, it’s to play off of Stannis’ astute observation of the true nature of a lot of the Black Brothers and helps foreshadow Jon’s stabbing.

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    61. Hodors Bastard: Call me contrarian but there are moments of stunning descriptions, revelations and imaginings in AFfC and ADwD that transcend the first three books. Everything was new in the first three, the pace was thrilling and many big memorable events occurred, while the last two dealt with post-war ramifications, relevant world-expanding, many PoV self-studies and eye-opening staging for the final act filled with dark forebodings. Imho, if ADwD hadn’t ended on so many cliffhangers, it would be considered the best book in the series.

      So much anticipation for TWoW…which is an indication that the author has done something right. In any case, there is something uniquely satisfying in each book, worth exploring independently.

      Plus, there is a bit of Penny in all of us. I’m glad she is tagging along. It is fitting that GRRM put them together before Tyrion’s next tumultuous phase and possible return to Westeros.

      I agree
      I loved the mystical magical Rhoyne travels. And I loved to read about Tyrion’s descent into dark despair which made the character only more complex. And I like Penny.

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    62. Yeah Tolkien sucks total dick at writing but is masterful at world building and design, Martin’s awesome at writing, Theon’s chapters in ADWD are him at his best.

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    63. Bearded Onion:

      Martin’s awesome at writing…

      “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”

      “There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”

      “Summer had come to sit on New York’s face.”

      “When I finally caught up with Abraham Trahearne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts in a ramshackle joint just outside of Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon.”

      “Sunset found her squatting in the tall grass.”

      “He was a man without a past, whose future was the imminent grave and whose present was a bitter fever of living.”

      “In this dirty minded world, you are either someone’s wife or someone’s whore. And if you’re not either people think there is something wrong with you….but there is nothing wrong with me.”

      Sure. You bet. He’s awesome.

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    64. Sergei Walankov:
      Sou,

      “A guy with a very vivid fantasy but with poor writing skills” is a far better description of Tolkien than Martin.

      Hey, that is a question of taste, I guess. I personally find Martin SO unequal in his writing. Sometimes one thinks that it’s not the same person that writes all chapters. But that’s only my view, and I would’t want to offend anyone!

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    65. Cumsprite,

      Did you just quote some of my favorite authors/books of all time??? Yes, yes you did…and reading through them, it was like a game of “one of these things is not like the other.” Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed much of ASOIAF, but damn, when you put excerpts from authors like Irving, Robbins, Lewis, etc…

      ps – I still and always will have a healthy respect for/fear of The Undertoad!!!

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    66. The photo above, showing Dame D and Natalie Dormer side by side in profile, beautifully illustrates how much ND resembles the young Dame D, which makes it easier to see them as family. It’s details like this, i.e. meticulous casting, that enhance the experience for viewers. Roll on season 6!

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    67. 3eyes,

      I don’t remember what did young Dame D look like, although I’m sure I have seen her in some James Bond film, but I remember thinking the same as you today when I saw the pictures of the actresses who would play Sam’s mother and sister. And his younger brother was clearly a thin version of John Bradley.

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    68. Dave,

      that real life period is hardly well understood except by scholars of the period who are, at the moment, revising their conclusions about life in the Middle Ages. It was not as the average person imagines. The Middle Ages were not dark; they were vibrant. One concrete example: peasants worked only half the days of the year. The rest were religious holidays during which they rested and partied.

      The idea that all women were subject to rape is more accurate as a correct depiction of today’s world.

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    69. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Thanks! It’s very kind of you. I guess I didn’t know Natalie Dormer when I watched that old Diana Rigg film – the first time I saw Natalie was in The Tudors. the resemblance is amazing, indeed!

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    70. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Let’s hope Queen Margaery will have a better fate than Queen Anne Boleyn…
      I fully understand your admiration for GRRM. If I am asked, I name Dostoyevsky and Mario Vargas Llosa as my favourite writers. But, truth be told, they haven’t been the source of the pure joy I got from GRRM.

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    71. Mihnea,

      I disagree with you on the issue of Penny. She literally and figuratively represents the small folks who have their lives destroyed by the actions of the power. This is a major theme in the books – see the butchers boy, see all the misery in the river lands and the response of the brothers without banners. We very rarely though get more of a passing gimps at these characters as we are more caught up in the pain inflicted on important characters from important families. As Monty Python mockingly observe in the holy grail “violence inherent in the system”. Through Penny Tyrion sees the world through the eyes of someone who has been directly and adversely affected by actions of the powerful – of which he was no small player. Penny will help Tyrion become a better person and leader and as such she is more important to the story than the machinations of power that play out between the great and lesser houses.

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    72. ok…heres my little comment …for what its worth,
      Jamie lost a hand and is seen brooding over the kingsguard book with his near empty page.
      seems to me, everything he’s done since then is to give him a reason, as lcotkg, to be able to write something in it under his name. he tried by going to dorne virtually alone and failed. now we see him on the steps of Girona on a white horse, sure he could be doing this for tommin, or some other reason, but my “guess” is he really needs to do some writing…we saw him practising writing with his left hand in some scene…maybe he’s finally mastered it and needs something to write.
      And please….feel free to comment on my comment but try not to be overly critical of it like most of u ppl are with other “GUESSES””….the way some of you ppl attack other ppl with your comments over speculation makes me think ur not very nice ppl in real life…I myself don’t really care how smart u are, I only care about the subject of g0t and like the fact we can have a decent read here
      have a nice day…:)

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    73. Luka Nieto,

      That sounds right. Remember there is talk of sacrificing Asha and Theon in the books in the preview chapters. So this is set up. If things go badly as the obviously will Mel at CB may enact a sacrifice to save her saviour but discover her saviour is not Stanis. Remember mum is more of a nut job zealot in the books than she is in the show and has already delivered her brother up to the red god. I can see her happily sacrificing Shareen and killing herself when Stanis dies, and with him her faith. It would also nicely set up the end of the nights watch with there doing nothing to save Shireen they would be seen to have truly forsaken their vow to protect the realms of men, which I’m pretty sure includes innocent children.

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    74. The drowned fool,

      Wow! I’m reading the first article in the Meereenese Blot and I’m mesmerized by the parallel between KL and Meereen, Ned and Barristan as victims of Littlefinger’s/ Shavepate’s intrigues. Thanks a lot, ser, for recommending me such an exciting and enlightening read!

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    75. Yaga,

      dude u have issues, you want to see a man getting raped to even the scale on a fantasy medieval show? How does that exactly make things better? Rape should not be accepted whether male on male, or male on female. The show actually depicts it more realistically, because a whole lot of women where getting abused and raped in those times. Unless they where royalty of course, and even then their husbands still had total dominion over them.

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    76. GaiusB,

      Of course I know who is going to be truly important in Wniter and Spring: and so does everyone else who pays attention. Jon. Daeny. Tyrion. Arya. Bran. (Probably) Sansa. (Too a limited degree) Jaime and Cersei. Those first six character are the Story of Ice and Fire. If Tyene does anything important, then it will be the deed, not Tyene: she is a nondeveloped incidental character.

      Other individuals might be important as foils or plot devices: but it is what they will do, not who they are, that is important. (And, no, this is not for “English Majors”: it us for people who layed any attention in High School literature.)

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    77. I wouldn’t mind them doing a little self-censorship. For example, in 4×06 “The Laws of Gods and Men”, Bryan Cogman actually wanted the camera to show the devastated remains of Theon’s genitals, but Benioff and Weiss felt it was unnecessary, and rightly so.

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    78. Sean C.,

      AFFC was hammered for lack of a story, for the unpalatableness of the new protagonists, for omitting the protagonists that are important to the series, and for having too many women act too dumb. Let’s face it, between Cersei, Arriane and Aha, the was a “whole lot of stupid” happening: and neither Brienne nor Sansa added much, either; only Arya’s 3 chapters had anything at all intelligent from a female character. Of course, Arya’s 3 chapters are the only ones in the book that actually are going to be relevant at the series climax, too.

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    79. I hope D & D don’t pander to SJWs after season five. Game of thrones and ASOIAF are cruel worlds. Hilarious how a guy gets his dick chopped off and is made sleep with the dogs, no one bats an eye, one girl gets raped and people pull the mysogny card, lmao. Fanbase is becoming cancer each season when more normies are hopping on the bandwagon.

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    80. One comment on part of the above discussion, FWIW, as I recall from Tyrion II in GoT, there was a scene on the Kingsroad on the way to the wall where it was the 18th night on the journey from WF to CB. And no indication that they could see the wall or were to Molestown … So let’s say three weeks (at least) to the wall in the books – I realize that the distances appear signifiantly shorter on the show. And that’s on the Kingroad. Traveling in enemy territory it might take longer for someone to come from CB to WF or vice versa. A difficult, but not impossible, journey. Unless, of course, a book character had show LF’s transporter or show Melisandre’s magical horse.

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    81. Sean C.,

      Wimsey had a pretty good response to this, but I’d like to pile on.

      Martin engaged in world-building at the expense of developing the central plot lines. The number of POVs exploded. The characters we had come to know over hundreds of pages suddenly started to speak differently; even his editor tried to convince him to take the archaic language out. The repetition of phrases like “Words are wind” “Where do whores go” and so on was grating. Plenty of editorial miscues, most of them minor and unnoticed without a close read, but why don’t you tell me how old the Girl General’s soldiers in the chapter The Windblown? In an interview last year with Suvudu, Anne Groell said she spent about a week editing ADWD after it was delivered. A week. Silly, indulgent stuff like the insertion of Phil Simms and other crapola yanked me right out of the story. MY IMMERSION! Much and more bothered me, true, but I am but a young girl of four and ten blah blah blah blah.

      The wait between books had absolutely nothing with these problems.

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    82. Tywin of the Hill:
      Wimsey,

      In at least one protagonist’s timeline, Jon Snow has received a letter saying that Stannis has lost.

      Stannis is fucked, Ramsay wouldn’t make up dumb lies that can be stopped in their tracks by simply sending Stannis a letter.

      Stannis has to lose the battle, otherwise the Starks and all the bollocks about them being the only ones capable of holding the North will be just that, bollocks if some southern king takes WF and holds it. Sansa and Jon need shit to do in TWOW and that’s going to be retaking the North and holding it, the Boltons are the ancient enemy of the Starks and Stannis has failed to rally enough men to support him.

      Plus, it would be against all logic if Stannis wins, he has less men than Roose who is warmly sitting in WF which is the strongest fortress in the entire region, stannis’ army is also badly starved, badly prepared and just going on purely shit morale right now. He’s in the middle of a blizzard. Stannis is fucked. He’s already dead.

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    83. The Blood of Winterfull,

      I think Sansa progressed. The same crappy shit is happening to her, but shes realized that life is not like the songs and tales she used to always hear. She was very brave trying to get theon to help her, and actually spoke forcefully to him. She was smart enough to grab a corkscrew to help escape, and then was brave enough to do so. She would not have done any of that in the previous seasons, even if she’s still a victim.

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    84. ladywolfsbane,

      The Sand Snakes are awful in the books as well…I found the fourth book unreadable…I was bored to tears and the few memories about the book I have were: why are there so many useless stories about useless characters? And the Sand Snakes characters are annoying to the nth power,to say the least

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    85. Slightly OT: I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed the migration of Charles Dance from Tywin to Karellen in Childhood’s End this past week. I guess it is not such a stretch to go from “Tywin” to an Overlord. I almost enjoyed it as much as Tyrion’s fondness for “Wherever whores go.” 🙂

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    86. Wimsey:
      AFFC was hammered for lack of a story, for the unpalatableness of the new protagonists,

      Both of those in the eye of the beholder. AFFC is more narratively and thematically coherent than ADWD, by comparison.

      for omitting the protagonists that are important to the series,

      Faced with the need to split the plots up by geography, he made a generally sensible series of choices (which he didn’t stick to in ADWD, which muddled the latter book). I totally get why people were annoyed at having to wait ten years to hear from some characters, but had he produced the books in the time period he envisioned that wouldn’t have been a real issue.

      and for having too many women act too dumb.Let’s face it, between Cersei, Arriane and Aha, the was a “whole lot of stupid” happening: and neither Brienne nor Sansa added much, either; only Arya’s 3 chapters had anything at all intelligent from a female character.

      I don’t recall that being a common criticism of the books. In any event, it’s an erroneous one. First, there’s nothing dumb about Asha; she’s the voice of reason among the Ironborn. Sansa was shown developing her skills further (not as much as some would have liked, but there’s only so far she could go before Act 2; the Stark kids are the characters for whom the five-year-gap would have worked best). She was not acting dumb, in any event, nor was Brienne, whose story is a testament to her courage and a very strong exploration of issues relating to gender. Arianne’s initial scheme is misguided, but that’s the folly from which her development is meant to spur. Cersei is rock stupid, but she always was (frankly, it’s the most entertaining part of the book).

      Of course, Arya’s 3 chapters are the only ones in the book that actually are going to be relevant at the series climax, too.

      Oh, you’ve read the series climax?

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    87. Hodors Bastard:
      Slightly OT: I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed the migration of Charles Dance from Tywin to Karellen in Childhood’s End this past week. I guess it is not such a stretch to go from “Tywin” to an Overlord. I almost enjoyed it as much as Tyrion’s fondness for “Wherever whores go.”

      Agreed. I just finished watching Episode 2. Charles Dance does evil very well.

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    88. Ned Stark gets beheaded? I didn’t see that coming!
      Robb Stark is betrayed and stabbed to death? What a twist!
      Thousands of men die in battles? That’s to be expected.
      Viserys is murdered by having molten gold poured on his head? That looked cool!
      Khal Drogo is cursed and left to die? I wonder where this will lead!
      Renly is stabbed by a literal demon? Didn’t see that coming!
      Theon kills some farmboys? Not main characters so who cares.
      People freeze to death beyond the wall? Yeah it happens.
      Jaime looses his hand? These writers sure don’t let anybody off the hook.
      Arya Stark personally murders men, sometimes slowly? Whoa what great writers!
      Jojen Reed is killed by wights? Well he’s in a dangerous place its bound to happen.
      Theon gets forcibly castrated? Had it coming.
      Sansa Stark gets raped? OMG THIS NEEDS TO STOP I’M SICK OF WOMEN ALWAYS BEING THE VICTIMS ON THESE SHOWS.

      Yeah ok. This one rape scene is totally over the top and by far worse than anything else happens on the show. People are definitely being reasonable and not posturing/overreacting at all. Definitely not. Brutally murder as many Stark men as you want and you’re a great show, but once you touch a single Stark woman that’s when you’ve gone too far.

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    89. MB,
      Ohgod. Simple minds… Listen, there is a crucial difference between all these other things and rape. People do get beheaded these days, but if you’re a Western person, you have to go out of your way (ie to the Middle East) to have it happen to you. Otherwise, you can see it on an ISIS video, but it’s just that – a video. On the other hand, if you’re a woman, there is a pretty good chance that you will get sexual abused, or at least harassed, even if you live in a cozy Western democracy. One is so far removed from everyday experience that it may well be complete fantasy. The other, for a lot of people, *is* everyday experience. See the difference?

      Now, I’m not one of these people, mind – my position is different: I dont mind the casual depiction of rape, but if we go for realism, men should be casually raped as well. Because otherwise we get into the unhealthy position where one half of the viewership thinks that rape is something that happens only to the other half, while they are invulnerable.

      Lord of Bones,
      But that’s exactly my point! A lot of men were abused, too. And where is that? Sure, I can go to Outlander and see it there, but this show, which otherwise shirks from no other form of abuse, shouldn’t shirk from this one, either. ?

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    90. Cumsprite,

      Well said, both you and Wimsey.

      When I first read AFFC, I had to check if Martin really wrote it. Thats how different it felt from AGOT-ASOS.
      ADWD is better then AFFC in my opinion, but that’s not saying much..
      They are both jokes when compared with ASOS, wich I still consider to be the best book of the series.

      Got fooled once with AFFC and bought it immmediatly, got fooled twice with ADWD even after reading the the numerously negative reviews.
      That is why I won’t buy TWOW, if it even comes out, something at this point I doubt. I will read reviews and the story in general to see if this is more AFFC/ADWD or Martin has returned to his old writing style, I doubt it tough..

      Simon,

      That could have been done without making Penny in a crying brat and without making Tyrion ride a damn pig.
      I agree with you on Penny’s purpose, but I strongly disagree on the implementation.
      It could have been done much better, but it was done poorly, from the dog and pig jousting too the endless crying.

      It turned something that could have been an interesting story for Tyrion into a joke(at best) or even an annoyance (at worst).

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    91. MB,

      Right! People should pay attention what kind of world is the scene for this story and stop complaining. And what annoys me more is that those people think that D&D enjoy rape.

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    92. Sean C.,

      While it’s true that the publishing delay for those two books certainly didn’t help, it’s far from the only problem. Whatever one may think of them — and I grant you that AFfC has strong thematic cohesion, maybe the strongest of all the books — it’s undeniable that the main characters from the first 3 books almost disappear, and those that don’t have problematic, overly drawn-out story arcs. Actually, almost every single PoV character could stand to have a chapter or three cut; there is simply that much bloat. Newly-introduced characters and their associated plotlines are often uninteresting and/or dull (I mean, Victarion? Quentyn? Aeron? Arys? Areo? who?) while plot slows to a crawl, with two huge books having barely any plot development on most (not all) fronts.

      Frankly, there is a huge number of problems there which needed a very firm editorial hand and gallons of red ink to correct.

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    93. Hype Man Baelish:
      I hope D & D don’t pander to SJWs after season five. Game of thrones and ASOIAF are cruel worlds. Hilarious how a guy gets his dick chopped off and is made sleep with the dogs, no one bats an eye, one girl gets raped and people pull the mysogny card, lmao. Fanbase is becoming cancer each season when more normies are hopping on the bandwagon.

      Friendly reminder that all the female viewers are catcalled or sexually assaulted on their lifes. That’s why. And most despiction of rape on today’s is for add angst to male characters or to sexually arouse viewers. A chopped dick is horrible, a dead female corpse is called “art”. Your welcome.

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    94. Shy Lady Dragon: Right! People should pay attention what kind of world is the scene for this story and stop complaining. And what annoys me more is that those people think that D&D enjoy rape.

      Maybe they don’t enjoy it, but tell me just one storyline in which there’s no added rape or gratuitious boobs, and how they cut important things to left room for that. Just one.

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    95. Yaga:
      MB,

      Lord of Bones,
      But that’s exactly my point! A lot of men were abused, too. And where is that? Sure, I can go to Outlander and see it there, but this show, which otherwise shirks from no other form of abuse, shouldn’t shirk from this one, either.

      Outlander was an fine example about how rape should despicted: horrible? Check. Sexy? Not. It is made to “punish” Jamie for being “weak” or a “whinny bitch”? Not. It is made to make him “stronger”? Not. It is made exploring Jamie’s feelings about the matter? Yes. It is made to develop or give a purpose to Claire or any of the other characters? Not.

      With Outlander and Orange is the new black, I wish that subject were developed in more sensitive and meaningful ways, like that.

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    96. Sean C.,

      We do not need to read the series climax to know what it will be like. It will be an event or set of events that lead Jon, Daeny, Tyrion, Arya, Bran and perhaps Sansa to choose between two or more things that they consider equally good/bad with a “voice” in their heads knowing that it is going to be tough to live with themselves after this choice but tougher to live with themselves if they make the other choice(s). And if MB&W do it correctly, then all of the evolution that we have read or watched from Thones -> Spring (or Seasons 1 -> 8) will provide parallels and context for that choice.

      And that is why we know who is going to be important in Winter. We are in either the penultimate act or the first have of the ultimate act. It has to start tying together now. And that means that It is too late to make new characters important: because we have not seen them evolving since the early books (indeed, since the first book), they cannot contribute to whatever internal conflict GRRM has in mind for the overarching story of the series. New character might contrivute important deeds: but it will be the deeds, not the characters, taht are important.

      That is oart of why people like me bashed Crows so much: of the characters that can be important in the end, only two had chapters. Moreover, Sansa’s chapters continued a level of stasis that Stephen Jay Gould would find admirable, which means that they will not be contributing to the evolution of Sansa that will be important in the “crunch.” Only Arya’s three chapters showed notable evolution of a character that can contribute to whatever “superstory” about internal conflict arises from Thrones -> Spring.

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    97. Yaga:
      SlayerNina,
      Cersei’s. The book Cersei (especially in affc/adwd) reads to me like a caricature. The show Cersei is the more nuanced one.

      Really? To me, book!Cersei was fascinating. She’s not a crazy villain, the roots of her craziness are kinda “”””justified””””. And her behaviour and visceral reactions about everything… I miss that evil of the show, she looks like a victim when she’s really a monster :/

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    98. As for the other matters talked, I admit I miss Penny. She’s a “poor” character in a “poor” environment, and the story needs more points of views that wealthy powerful characters in wealthy powerful environments, wealthy powerful characters fallen from grace, and poor characters in wealthy powerful environments. Martin had a good opportunity to show that on Dany’s and Arya’s chapters, but the characters surroinding them are pure and simply flat :/

      The only thing I dislike is why

      she fall in love Tyrion? She’s a masochist of some sort? He’s plain rude to her and to others, he’s ugly as f*ck and can’t do anything to help or protect her. It comes across like “ey, Tyrion needs a nice gf to reedem himself” :/

      And for the SS, I think it’s obvious they’re the set up of something bigger. I mean, when you meet Jaime, Sam or Theon, you don’t think they’re gonna be so lovable, deep and important later. They just need development, they just had a couple of scenes in AFFC/DWD. I’ll give them a chance and let’s see (I must admit Tyene and Sarella cached my eye XD).

      But I agree with the rest of the Wallies, if they had to include Dornish characters and have so little time, it would have been better cut them entirely (or create a scene like “we have this characters here, if they are important later in next seasons/books, they will be, but if not, ok, they’re Oberyn’s daughters and that’s it”) and change them for Arianne (or just Ellaria).

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    99. SlayerNina,
      Oh, I completely disagree. Thrones is a show explicitly about power, and so it makes a lot of sense that sex is a proxy of that; only those in power, or on the verges of the system, choose their partners; and conversely, choosing a partner is an act of power. Think Dany choosing Daario – she was asserting her rights as a Queen equally as deciding that, yeah, he’s acceptable. This was a fantastic scene. Funny how much better it is than in the books.

      I would have been absolutely fine with that if Jaime had been raped by Locke/Hoat in addition to just having his hand chopped off. In fact, it’s pretty funny to me that in his ‘realism’, Martin evaded what, historically, would have been the most likely outcome in favour of a pretty bizarre detour. Apparently, there are some horrors his mind cannot comprehend. ?

      Don’t mind me, I just love laughing at hypocrisy. ?

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    100. Yaga,

      I don’t get why men should be casually raped in the show. Just as you talk about be-headings being a real life occurrence that one has to go out of their way to have happen, couldn’t the same be said for male rape (at least compared to the other way around?) And wouldn’t the depiction of penile dismemberment be a devastating enough comparison?

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    101. SlayerNina,

      Penny doesn’t fall in love with Tyrion! Ick!

      Gaaa… she was desperate, needs a dwarf in her act, has no brother and tries to get him to stay with her. Remember when she kisses Tyrion and he calls it clumsy seduction in his mind? Tyrion might have been “helping” Penny but she was giving him advice on how to be the smallest of the small too. Pity and need aren’t love… have we had this discussion before though?

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    102. Yaga,

      Locke do what?! You were joking right? Lol. If not, I must be missing something, usually anatomy dictates a man can’t easily be raped in the true sense of the word. Unless we are talking about different orientation, in which case… I know nothing..but yeah, I’m guessing it has happened. However, do we really want to go there? If everything must be equal then why hasn’t a woman lost her hand, or her head, or become crippled? Why hasn’t a man fought off a bear or…wait come to think of it there are no male prostitutes on the show. And we didn’t get to see Jon shirtless but one time, briefly, way back in the first season. Nope they aren’t fair.

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    103. I almost wish D&D or their directors would never respond to the rape controversies. Because every time they open their mouths it’s obvious they have no idea what they did wrong. And then the comment section happens and its obvious a large number of fans also have no idea what the show actually did wrong.

      OITNB S3 is basically a master class in “how to handle rape on screen,” and Jessica Jones is a master class in “how to depict the brutality and deep psychological repercussions of rape without even needing to show rape scenes.” I dearly wish some decision makers on GoT would take a few cues from those shows.

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    104. Tywin of the Hill: Chriss

      I wouldn’t call that self-censorship. I’d call it a creative decision. They decided it was unnecessary assumedly because they maybe felt it changed the tone from despair to ‘icky’.

      Self-censorship is different. It’s when artists can no longer make the creative decisions they want to make for fear of a moral backlash. We should never want to put our creative people, in a liberal democracy, in that position.

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    105. Hype Man Baelish:
      I hope D & D don’t pander to SJWs after season five. Game of thrones and ASOIAF are cruel worlds. Hilarious how a guy gets his dick chopped off and is made sleep with the dogs, no one bats an eye, one girl gets raped and people pull the mysogny card, lmao. Fanbase is becoming cancer each season when more normies are hopping on the bandwagon.

      As soon as they start pandering to sjws, I cash out.

      I like that Maisie Williams has the backbone to effectively tell them to piss off. Gwendoline Christie, on the other hand, continues to get sucked in to believing she’s some civil rights leader because she plays strong women.

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    106. Greatjon of Slumber,

      There’s a lot of murder and violence and there is a lot of rape – it’s the same thing. So I don’t think one can argue they have used the rape thing one too many times. You can’t be sensitive to one type of violence and not sensitive to another .

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    107. Matthew The Dragon knight,

      This! I agree about Jamie cersi. And to some degree Sansa. She didn’t say no or try to stop it. She didn’t want it that’s for sure. But it’s a cloudy area. But anyway not going down that road I know it’s been over discussed here

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    108. Yaga,

      Why?? I don’t get that mentality. Why do people need a male on male rape to feel it even. It’s ridiculous
      There’s so much violence on the show in general. It’s pretty even. I mean take what happened to Theon alone.
      Ugh. People!

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    109. Shy Lady Dragon,

      No problem =) My favourite book is Adwd, and I just want to spread the joy of that book. I absolutely love the reverse-plots of Jon and Dany’s arcs. The reader thinks he knows what’s going on, but he is absolutely wrong. Dany managed to forge a peace in Mereen, and Jon is not that good of a leader (when it comes to meddling).

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    110. Lisa0527: Charles Dance

      Yeah…I guess I wouldn’t label Karellen of CE “evil” per se…more like a middleman for a greater force. But I agree, Dance does macabre omniscience very well! I had tears welling during the finale (as the impact of the book came back to me with the new adaptation…Thanks SyFy channel!).

      For me, this is the Golden Age of viewing…many of the great works from my formative years (including Childhood’s End, The Man in the High Castle, Star Wars, etc.) are getting a rebirth of sorts for today’s viewing generation. I love it! Can’t wait for Foundation (I dream) to get this treatment as well! 🙂

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    111. Yaga:
      SlayerNina,
      Oh, I completely disagree. Thrones is a show explicitly about power, and so it makes a lot of sense that sex is a proxy of that; only those in power, or on the verges of the system, choose their partners; and conversely, choosing a partner is an act of power. Think Dany choosing Daario – she was asserting her rights as a Queen equally as deciding that, yeah, he’s acceptable. This was a fantastic scene. Funny how much better it is than in the books.

      I would have been absolutely fine with that if Jaime had been raped by Locke/Hoat in addition to just having his hand chopped off. In fact, it’s pretty funny to me that in his ‘realism’, Martin evaded what, historically, would have been the most likely outcome in favour of a pretty bizarre detour. Apparently,there are some horrors his mind cannot comprehend.

      Don’t mind me, I just love laughing at hypocrisy.

      You can have the power thing without the rape thing. But you can’t deny the amount of invented rape. Even Meera was stuck on an invented plot to have Karl threatening her.

      About Dany/Daario, this is a prime example of whitewashing Dany as the Strong Female she’s supposed to be (petting dragons, badass speeches instead of dumb teenage tots with Daario) and double standard: Daario is humiliated or uncomfy in some way? Noooo, he’s completly fine. Hizdar is humiliated? Noooo, he was killed before the wedding night with Dany.

      And we can count too. Jon is humiliated? Noooo, he’s not the clumsy virgin, he managed to have the ginger chick naked and excited and begging for more. Tommen is humiliated? Nooooo, he’s happy that awesome Nat Dormer is on his bed. Sam is humiliated? Noooo, he’s the brave hero and he’s rewarded with sex of the damsel in distress victim of incest rape. Tyrion is humiliated? Noooo, the sex worked has a day of free sex to everyone. Bronn is humiliated? Noooo, wherever he is and whatever the situation is, some chick is happy to sit on his lap and show tits. And so on.

      Sexual humilliation is exclusive of female characters and Theon, who is not a man enough (dick’s chopped) and to reassure his manliness has to kill Myranda and save Sansa. It’s too obvious.

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    112. ladywolfsbane:
      SlayerNina,

      Then, again, why she needs

      to “seduce” him (you said so). If they’re in need of do the dwarf spectacle, she just need to go “shut up, asshole and do it if you don’t want to be killed”

      I don’t remember talking to Penny here before, but who knows

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    113. Chriss: As soon as they start pandering to sjws, I cash out.

      I like that Maisie Williams has the backbone to effectively tell them to piss off. Gwendoline Christie, on the other hand, continues to get sucked in to believing she’s some civil rights leader because she plays strong women.

      Cash out then. I’m sure you will be whining about how gay or misandric it would be if GOT were the Dickfest of male characters used as props and a ratio of 6 pennis onscreen each episode.

      The complaint is not about how poorly done is the despiction of sex and rape, is about how the only thing that threaten female characters is rape. Not death, prison or mutilation, only rape. And even their deaths some time are sexualized, like Ros’. Hell, is just male gaze elevated to 1000000. None of the dicks were shown to titilate the female/homo audience.

      And screw Maisie. She’s a wonderful actress, but dumb enough to bash book readers (the source of his work and fame), believe that Arya is above the others because she can use a sword and doesn’t know yet what feminism is.

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    114. Dutch Maester,

      I enjoy Ertaç Altınöz’s interpretations of all things ASoI&F. In the ironborn one you linked, I like how Asha/Yara is flanked (but at a distance) by Aeron and Victarion (only his arm). Guess who else is in Euron’s boat? Fun! 🙂

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    115. And screw Maisie. She’s a wonderful actress, but dumb enough to bash book readers

      Damm, I didn’t think it was possible for me too like her more.

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    116. Mihnea,

      Why should it matter if she bashed book readers? Seems very pathetic to me to hold a grudge over a person because they don’t like a group of people. That’s part of life, grow up and move on. Just my opinion.

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    117. If they merge her back into her book plot, she could very likely be referring to spending time with

      one of the Tarlys or Gilly,

      who actually are “whole new characters” that Margaery has never met.

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    118. Jack,

      Take heart. For the most part, this sort of stuff has died down, although every once-in-a-while it will rear its ugly head. When it does, it’s pretty much the exact same stuff that’s been said over and over and over (and often by the same people).

      Anyway, from your comment it sounds like you may be new, in which case Welcome to the Wall. 🙂

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    119. Yaga,

      lol How condescending – ‘simple minds’? What a smug, self-righteous comment. While women might be subjected to sexual harassment, men are far more likely to be the victims of harassment in general, as well as violent assaults, which, while in your mind may be less severe than rape, can lead to hospitalization and permanent disability.

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    120. Blind Beth,

      That’s because they only did something “wrong” in certain people’s opinion. Every single person I know who’s watched the show had absolutely no problem with any of these “controversial” scenes that people keep pontificating on. In my view, they’d be better off simply dismissing such criticisms, since they’ll make a boatload of cash regardless. If I was in their position I wouldn’t give a damn what the audience thought of my work! As Lars von Trier said regarding his film, Antichrist, “this is my house, you are my guests!” or something to that effect. It’s so arrogant to presume to dictate to others how they should present their art/narrative/whatever.

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    121. Jack,

      There are definitely some heated debates here, but even within those, I’ve found those who vehemently disagree with one thing or another can do so without getting too shitty or condescending, at least for the most part.

      Given part of this article was specifically about that which caused a major meltdown last season, some of the back and forth was inevitable.

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    122. SlayerNina you referred to Maisie as a ‘his’ when you were ranting.

      It’s not the first time you’ve referred to Maisie as a male.

      Do you really think that forwards the feminism cause?

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    123. Two days…. No news… I’d be happy with those 10 second The Sight clips at this point.

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    124. I’ve just been spoiled by all the goodies we’ve been getting. This truly is the hardest time of the off season.

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    125. Mr Fixit,

      Yes! The crucifixion the SJWs gave Joss Whedon was them nailing one of their greatest champions to the cross. No wonder he left the MCU to the Russos. Personally I hope returns to Marvel in the Netflix capacity.
      The issues that SJWs bring up are important but it’s almost like people are guilty of thoughtcrime without any action regardless of intention with them.

      Does anyone know what Whedon thinks of Game of Thrones? I remember reading a tweet a few years ago saying that he doesn’t “partake”. I wonder what he would make of the Sansa rape scene especially given the near rape of Buffy by Spike as the impetus of him to get his soul back.

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    126. One of Roose Bolton’s 20 good leeches:
      Two days…. No news… I’d be happy with those 10 second The Sight clips at this point.

      Well, I wouldn’t go quite that far. Hahaha.

      I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and some of the stuff on this thread has brought it back to the forefront of my mind:

      Some folks are really going to lose their shit if Euron is portrayed at all like he is in the books, at least in terms of women. I’m not sure there’s a single chapter in which he appears (maybe there’s one or two…maybe) where he isn’t talking about raping some woman, in the process of raping some woman, or at the very least doesn’t have some woman in an advanced state of undress around him.

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    127. The drowned fool: Jon is not that good of a leader (when it comes to meddling).

      Jon’s leading was fine: he simply is trapped in a no-win situation. Convincing most members of the Night’s Watch that the Wildlings simply are not an important enemy compared to the White Walkers was simply not possible: many of them had spent years fighting the Wildings, had lost friends to the Wildlings, and even casualties themselves (e.g., Alisser Thorne in the show or Bowen Marsh in the books). The White Walkers were a much less tangible and real threat to many of them.

      So, Jon had bad choices: 1) allow the Wildlings to pass through the gates and be labelled a traitor; 2) attempt to kill all of the Wildlings and probably get everyone in the Watch killed in the attempt; or, 3) try to keep the Wildlings north of the Wall and fuel the Wight Army. Sometimes leaders do the right things and the followers do not get it: and this is a case where the followers (blinded by their hatred of the Wildlings) did not get it.

      Yaga: Oh, I completely disagree. Thrones is a show explicitly about power, and so it makes a lot of sense that sex is a proxy of that;

      eh, not really: it is about “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” choices. It is set in a Darwinian world in which most of the non-protagonists motivations are (explicitly, implicitly and any other plicitlies that might exist) about power: but that is a lot of what creates the “damned if you do/don’t” dilemmas. After all, it is wrong in Westeros to do something that lessens your family’s power: it might not be labelled a sin by the Church of the Seven, but it is labelled “dishonorable” by other nobles.

      And that almost certainly going to be huge when the “Game of Thrones” steps up a notch to some game of Gods where Jon, Daeny, Tyrion, etc., build on their past experiences to choose which damnation is best when balancing Humanity, Walkers, R’hllor and who-knows-what-else.

      Tywin of the Hill: In at least one protagonist’s timeline, Jon Snow has received a letter saying that Stannis has lost.

      Indeed: that is what happens after battles are lost! If you are clinging to the notion that the letter was a fake, then you probably should give it up! (None of the putative evidence supporting the idea was at all sound in the first place, and all of the alternative ideas had holes in them that made the side of the Titanic look merely scratched.)

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    128. AryaArya:
      SlayerNina you referred to Maisie as a ‘his’ when you were ranting.

      It’s not the first time you’ve referred to Maisie as a male.

      Do you really think that forwards the feminism cause?

      English is not my first language, it’s the 3rd, forgive me

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    129. Deesensfan:
      Greatjon of Slumber,
      There’s a lot of murder and violence and there is a lot of rape – it’s the same thing. So I don’t think one can argue they have used the rape thing one too many times. You can’t be sensitive to one type of violence and not sensitive to another .

      But yet again, people are. What if hypothetically, a man first rapes a woman and kills a man next. What’s worse? In the eyes of many who are enraged by the Sansa-scene, the woman getting raped is worse.

      Sexual violence to women is met with a lot more social respons than sexual violence to men. Yes, there’s quantifiable evidence that women are having more on screen sexual abuse than men in this show, but it isn’t as if a. men haven’t been sexually abused (an army of eunuchs says hi), and b. women aren’t sexually oppressive either.

      As Yaga inflamed this debate, by carelessly ignoring that Theon and Gendry were sexually abused (seduced with no intent of making love) in order to get his penis cut off/penis leeched. That and Varys being given the date-rape-drug so a magician could have his way with his root and stem. Yeah, so as Yaga says, lets even the scales and lets feature a female character with a cut out vagina. Imagine the outcry.

      But, what I don’t understand is the insistence on male-on-male rape. It’s as if Yaga doesn’t think female-on-male rape is possible. Or that females can’t inflict rape on other females, when it has happened in our story as well!

      What about ser Lancel? What did he say to Tyrion? “She made me do it”, to which Tyrion responded: “You’ve become a knight, and my sister spreads her legs for you, boohoo! You will continue to do so”. Nope, that’s rape, as Lancel wasn’t in a position to say no.

      And in the books, we have Cersei raping Mrs. Merryweather.. But that’s read as Martin being mysogynistic and adding lesbian sex, just for kicks of male readers, male gaze and whatnot. Instead of an acknowledgment of how power-relations often transfer to sexual relations, in Cersei’s case subconsciously. No matter the gender. Just look at Tommen and Margaery in the show. Sure it’s consensual, but Tommen didn’t know that he has absolutely no say in the matter, and that Margaery was using it to get what she wanted.

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    130. Jamie Z,

      Sadly, it’s the people who insist on finding fault in anything and everything that have the loudest voices. Squealing away on social media, launching petitions, threatening boycotts and generally acting like narcissistic brats who think that the world should bend to their point of view.

      The vast majority of people, who simply enjoy things for what they are and don’t have to mercilessly scrutinize everything for evidence of supposed insensitivity, don’t make half as much noise because they’re satisfied.

      As you say, the producers should just ignore the professional whiners and carry on making films/shows the way they want to, without sanitizing them for the minority.

      It’s like we’re going backwards in time. A few decades ago people were actively trying to push the boundaries and audiences reveled in shocking and controversial films, shows and storylines.

      Now we have armies of self-appointed censors doing their best Mary Whitehouse impressions, self-indulgently climbing aboard whichever high horse they’ve decided to take for a gallop that week.

      And all supposedly in the name of what’s best for society. Yeah, that’s always the justification zealots fall back on.

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    131. So many comments and I unfortunately don’t have time to read them all, but I have to say my opinion too.

      I think the rape scene was awesome. I really didn’t enjoy it, but I don’t enjoy Walking Dead games either but I still religiously play them. Why? Because of the emotional attachment. I don’t play them to get enjoyment or fun, I play them to get feelings and ups and downs. I think people don’t understand this. They come for GoT to find fun times and laughter and then get dissapointed. GoT has just become so big and so long that people are already invested to it, so when it suddenly does something they don’t enjoy, they get mad. They’ve put 4 seasons into it and now it made them sad and unhappy. I can understand that, but it still doesn’t make it right. I’ve put huge amounts of time to long series that have turned utter BS right in the end and it made me angry, but thats how it is. You always don’t get what you want. And ruining it for others because you are angry is how 4 year old kids act.

      I truly hope they don’t water down the experience because somebody is angry. This need the “rape was awesome” kind of movement to counter the “rape was horrible” movement, but I guess that can go wrong in multiple different ways…

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    132. Jack,

      You really did. This has been talked about far too much. Folks need to seperate rape the serious real world incident and rape the story-telling device.

      Newbietothegame,

      It wasn’t even a particularly worthwhile/interesting discussion the first 683 times!

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    133. Matt: Greatjon

      It’s not that the events happened. It’s how you choose to depict those events, and Game of Thrones has tended to amp up the use of rape as a plot point to the point of exhaustion, and in ways that seem like, over the years, that the showrunners don’t get why there has been a steady rise in the criticism of how they depict this type of brutality.

      You, and others, are correct that the book only makes us aware of Jaime’s POV in the scene with Cersei, but what comes across in the book as a messed-up but ultimately consensual sex scene is out-and-out rape in the show that also seems completely out of character for Jaime, particularly after Cersei notably complains of having suffered marital rape at the hands of her husband on numerous occasions. (In the book, she’s saying yes. In the show, she’s saying “It’s not right,”‘ over and over again. There is a difference.)

      That’s then followed up in the next episode by a bunch of Craster’s wives getting raped – with explicit jiggling of tits by one woman getting taken from behind – by the Night’s Watch. Not that these guys would not have reacted that way – they would have – but there’s way to convey this brutality in a way that gets the point across without seeming either exploitative or titillating (not that it was intended as such). But sounds of screams and a couple of shots of one of the women, sitting, clearly bruised, would have done the trick. Again, that followed one episode after the Cersei scene already having left a bad taste.

      And I simply don’t buy the excuse that “it’s a brutal world” is enough. It’s also a world with dragons, too, so clearly there are certain elements that are made up and others that are not.

      So after all of that, and the controversy that brought, to see Sansa raped, and her rape being shot in such a way that the focus is on Theon’s reaction – rather than even Sansa’s face in close-up or some other more subtle way of doing it – is what comes across as exhausting, wearying and ultimately off-putting. And it was further underscored after Gilly, too, is threatened with rape, which is turned into an excuse to demonstrate the bravery of Sam, going so far as to having Gilly have sex with Sam just after she’s nearly raped. Again, this makes it about him, and not about her, as a character.

      There were other ways to go about the Sansa stuff, and if they’re taking that criticism to heart, good for them.

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    134. Deesensfan:
      Greatjon of Slumber,

      There’s a lot of murder and violence and there is a lot of rape – it’s the same thing. So I don’t think one can argue they have used the rape thing one too many times. You can’t be sensitive to one type of violence and not sensitive to another .

      I agree. And I would argue that GoT has, more often than not, been very sensitive to violence, and not sensitive to rape. To demonstrate, ask yourself: How many “YEAH EFF YOU!” deaths have we gotten on this show of characters of anything more than tertiary import? Almost none. I’ll give you a few: Styr, Karl from the Night’s Watch, Kraznys, and maybe maybe Myranda.

      Instead, almost every villain who goes to his death is given some level of humanity that shows the showrunners – and GRRM – understand the importance of, and the sensitivity to, killing someone. A few examples:

      –Janos Slynt is a sniveling little jerk. And he dies crying, “I’m afraid. I’ve always been afraid.” To the point where you for a second feel bad for the SOB.

      –Joffrey, one of the show’s worst shits ever, gets a look on his face when he realizes he’s dying – and you realize that this is a young man, and he’s absolutely horrified because he knows what’s about to happen. And Joff is the worst! And yet for a second, damn it if you don’t feel some sympathy.

      –Mirri Maaz Duur goes out screaming horribly at the top of her lungs, even as much as you want her to go.

      –Craster gets taken out and you’re like, “thank goodness.” And the moment is completely undercut by the sudden death of Lord Commander Mormont out of nowhere.

      –Is there any joy, at all, in the death of Stannis Baratheon? None at all. Sure, by that moment, the guy deserves it. But it’s still a down moment.

      –We have conflicted feelings about The Hound, but no doubt it’s cold as hell to see Arya walk away from him while he screams “Kill me!” over and over again.

      –And this is to say nothing of all of the brutal, depressing, awful deaths of more heroic characters.

      So yes. There’s plenty of violence and rape. And I would say the showrunners have been very sensitive to the effect of violence without making character deaths seem “cool,” while being less sensitive to who is most affected by sexual assault and how it affects them.

        Quote  Reply

    135. Greatjon of Slumber,

      I like how you showed the little glimpses of humanity those hated characters presented in their dying moments. However, I must admit I has a feeling of fulfilment when they died, a satisfaction seeing justice done.
      True, I couldn’t be glad after Stannis died, although I wanted him dead after what he haddone to Shireen (and I think, one way or the other, it will also happen in TWOW).

        Quote  Reply

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