Game of Thrones Fans Say NO to Rape!

HBO's Game of Thrones fans say NO to Rape

It’s been nearly two days since I first viewed HBO’s Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 3 (entitled Breaker of Chains). And the more I’ve thought about it the more I have fumed about it – in particular that rape scene. But something strange happened while I was jogging this morning. I came to wonder if this wasn’t the most grandest anti-rape advertisement of all time.

Please bear with me a moment on this one.

6.6 millions viewers watched this episode. And of these, a large chunk took to social media to view their opinion about the rape scene between Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his sister, Cersei (Lena Headey). Most of these Twitterers were vocal in saying that they believed that Jaime had raped Cersei – regardless of the fact that she succumbed to his advances at the end.

Let’s look at some real time statistics on rape:

  • In the US, a person is sexually assaulted every 2 minutes. This adds up to approximately 237,868 people per year.
  • Of this, approximately 60% of sexual assaults are never reported. Why?
  • Because approximately 2/3 of assaults occur between people who know each other. 38% occur by friends or acquaintances of the victim.
  • Add to this the fact that 97% of rapists will never see jail time and society now has a real problem on their hands.

Which brings us back to Jaime and Cersei. So guess what? They know each other. They know each other well, so well that they quite often involve themselves in consensual intimacy with each other. We now fall into that ‘2/3 of the victims know their assailant’ category.

And this is where the majority of Game of Thrones fans got it so wonderfully right: just because you know someone, and have had sex with someone in the past, doesn’t make it okay to bully them into consensual sex when they say no. So now all those people who make up that 60% of victims who never report the crime have just been told by the majority of the viewing audience of Game of Thrones that they agree that ‘no means no’ and that ‘just because you know the person’, it doesn’t make it right.

Way to go guys!

This brings me to the other thing about this rape scene. For every person out there that watched Game of Thrones on Sunday and went, ‘So? It’s Cersei, she’s a bitch and deserved it anyway,’ there was a multitude of people around them – because, let’s face it, EVERYONE talks about it over the water cooler – saying that, no, actually, it’s not okay. Regardless of what you think of someone, no one is EVER deserving of rape.

Not even when they know the person.

Not even when they say no, but end up saying yes.

HBO – even if they inadvertently did it (and I by no way think this was their true intention of that rape scene. I think they did it to out-shock people and for nothing more meaningful than that) – has now let people talk about and voice their opinions on where exactly that line is when it comes to rape.

Now maybe people who thought they wouldn’t report their sexual assault will hopefully think twice.

Now maybe those people out there who think it is okay to coerce people against their own better judgement will think twice.

Now for the other side of the coin:

This is where the toeline for rape gets REALLY murky in shows such as Game of Thrones – historically they are doing no wrong. That’s right, for every rape or corruption towards a female character we are seeing nothing more than what history has already shown us. For a TV show/novels such as George R.R. Martin’s, we are faced with the fact that if we want historical accuracy, we must also expect brutal honesty. For even though A Game of Thrones is based in a fictional world, there are certainly parallels between it and our medieval history.

For a great flip side to the rape debate regarding Game of Thrones, check out Connie J. Jasperson’s article by clicking here.

Sources: zap2it.com – Ratings: ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 4, episode 3 matches series high in viewers

Rainn.org – Statistics page

(Photo Still Credit: HBO Inc.)

About mrszoomby

Rachel Tsoumbakos is a stay home mother of two whose passions are writing, reading and organic gardening. She lives with her husband, two kids, three cats and seven chickens in suburban Melbourne, Australia. While she has had several articles published through mainstream magazines, she has also written extensively for Suite 101 and True Blood Net. Emeline and the Mutants is her first published novel and available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/EATMUP. A new novel, The Ring of Lost Souls, set in an abandoned mental institute on the outskirts of Melbourne, is her second novel and also available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/TROLSRT. Her current WIP is entitled Unremembered Things and is the first in her edgy Wood Nymphs trilogy.
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21 Responses to Game of Thrones Fans Say NO to Rape!

  1. Pingback: Game of Thrones Season 4 Recap – Episode 3: Breaker of Chains | Rachel Tsoumbakos

  2. The producers may have done it to shock everyone, but they really screwed up Jamie’s character arc doing it. They so changed the scene that, from this point on, he’s nothing more than an asshole who raped his sister before the body of their dead son. It *is* heartening to see how people took to social media as well to protest and say, “This is jacked; there wasn’t anything consensual here.” Now to get the old white men in charge to feel the same way. Maybe we can burn them down with dragons . . .

  3. It does feel like a step forward when so many people can watch that scene and say, “Yes, that is definitely rape.” It’s disheartening how many still believe it wasn’t rape because “she wanted it,” or some nonsense like that. No is no.

    I know a lot of people are upset about the “change,” but the scene in the book was actually rape, as well. Many people excuse it, because she eventually gives her consent in the end, but the truth is, Jaime took advantage of a vulnerable woman for the sake of control. She told him no, but he persisted anyway. I think it’s important to note that in the book, Jaime was not going to stop even if Cersei didn’t give in. This doesn’t make him any better of a person than the TV show made him out to be, in my eyes. Again, no is no. Not, well, yeah she’s saying “no” now, but I’ll get her to say “yes” later. *gag*

  4. I am beginning to want to kick GOT in the face. It’s obviously using women as a bad prop.

  5. anabbloggin says:

    Story-wise, I am very annoyed. Very… annoyed. Jaime is one of my favourite characters, and they just turned him into a rapist. It would have been an odd enough scene without the rape factor, I can’t see why they want to out-shock Martin (kind of like fetus stabbing in the red wedding).

    Personally-wise, I am very annoyed they did this. As we all seem to agree here, no means no. Not so long ago, it was legal for a husband to rape his wife, and the wound is too fresh for bullshit like this to be invented on a whim. So yeah, fuck you D&D, like it or not.

    My boyfriend saw the scene, and I asked him “Was it rape for you?” “Clearly yes” was his answer. Good, he didn’t have to sleep on the couch.

    My father, on the other hand, shocked me. He’s a psychiatrist ffs, and said “Didn’t look like rape to me, sometimes women say no and scream yes in the end”. He has the same view as the producers.

    I do know what this no then yes thing is, and THIS SCENE wasn’t it! They could have made it a no then yes sex scene, it’s easy, the woman’s mouth says one thing and her body does the opposite. Cersei was saying no all over, end of story.

    Either poor producing or poor morality/spirit.

    They ruined Jaime :(

  6. Pingback: Game of Thrones Season 4 Recap – Episode 4: Oathkeeper | Rachel Tsoumbakos

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