George R.R. Martin Speaks About ‘Game of Thrones’ Rape Scene



Even if you read the books, those of us who have seen last week’s Game of Thrones episode “Breaker of Chains” were in for a shock: Jaime raped Cersei.

The scene happens differently in the book A Storm of Swords and along a completely different timeline: Not present when Joffrey dies, Cersei believes Jaime to also be dead. While she mourns next to Joffrey’s body, he appears, and while at first she resists, they both eventually give in to their incestuous carnal desires.

But in last Sunday’s episode, Jaime, who has been back at King’s Landing for an indeterminate amount of time and has continuously been rebuffed by a repulsed Cersei, flat-out rapes her, next to Joffrey’s corpse.

After backlash and inquiries about the episode, author George R.R. Martin posted an explanation on his blog:

“In the novels, Jaime is not present at Joffrey’s death, and indeed, Cersei has been fearful that he is dead himself, that she has lost both the son and the father/ lover/ brother. And then suddenly Jaime is there before her. Maimed and changed, but Jaime nonetheless. Though the time and place is wildly inappropriate and Cersei is fearful of discovery, she is as hungry for him as he is for her.

The whole dynamic is different in the show, where Jaime has been back for weeks at the least, maybe longer, and he and Cersei have been in each other’s company on numerous occasions, often quarreling. The setting is the same, but neither character is in the same place as in the books, which may be why [producers] played the sept out differently. But that’s just my surmise; we never discussed this scene, to the best of my recollection.

Also, I was writing the scene from Jaime’s POV, so the reader is inside his head, hearing his thoughts. On the TV show, the camera is necessarily external. You don’t know what anyone is thinking or feeling, just what they are saying and doing.

If the show had retained some of Cersei’s dialogue from the books, it might have left a somewhat different impression — but that dialogue was very much shaped by the circumstances of the books, delivered by a woman who is seeing her lover again for the first time after a long while apart during which she feared he was dead. I am not sure it would have worked with the new timeline.

That’s really all I can say on this issue. The scene was always intended to be disturbing… but I do regret if it has disturbed people for the wrong reasons.”

What do YOU think about the event in last Sunday’s episode? Was it out of character for the “new” Jaime Lannister? Did the scene go too far?

[via Entertainment Weekly]

35 Responses to George R.R. Martin Speaks About ‘Game of Thrones’ Rape Scene

  1. Watch the scene closely and you will see that she doesn’t continue to resist. While she starts with resisting, she ends up kissing him back as hard as he’s kissing her, and you can tell she’s conflicted not knowing whether she wants to continue to resist. The conflicting emotions you can read and know in the books are almost impossible to act out…I think the show creators (producers, directors, actors, etc.) did as good of a job as anyone could to bringing the books to life.

    • lol naa bro… she continued to say stop and he said “i don’t care” multiple times. while she was conflictedat first, it became clear that she didn’t want especially next to her recently deceased son who she was still grieving for moments before. please don’t try to explain your opinion of the scene to any women. you will raise many red flags trying to reason like that. good luck in the future trying not to sound like a rapist lol.

        • Oh she stopped resisting?? OF COURSe then it ISN’T rape. No not at all.
          What the hell is wrong with you lady?? He pushed her down and yeah, perhaps she just let him by the end but she DIDN’T WANT IT. So it was RAPE.

        • For the record, that’s not remotely uncommon in real-life rapes. It doesn’t mean she’s into it. It just means she’s not fighting back. It’s not even all that uncommon for a rape victim to take steps to help the guy along in hopes that he’ll leave that much sooner.

          People react in a number of ways to being raped, both during and after the fact, and it’s often in ways quite different than media portrayals would lend folks to believe. Probably contributes to a lot of the negative treatment experienced by rape victims when they come out and discuss what happened, unless their experience happens to line up pretty well with fictional movie/tv/book rapes. (Or worse if they do, and it lines up with the wrong depictions…)

      • What the h…? He doesn’t sound like a rapist at all, he’s basically just elaborating on Martin’s point! Why are you entitled to give YOUR opinion on the matter while at the same time telling him not to do so? I’m sure you don’t speak for every woman, generalization just makes your argument feeble and biased. I haven’t even watched the episode, so I don’t have an opinion on the matter, but it is this kind of mentality the one that taints the public opinion towards issues such as this and the feminist movement in general.

      • Yeahhh hahaha, I’m sorry but it seems more women then men are saying…it really did look like she was just conflicted in the beginning because they both know it’s wrong let alone next to a corpse. And he wasn’t really banging her around she wasn’t screaming for help, or just…screaming at least, just saying “This isn’t right, this isn’t right *light push*” idk if I wasn’t consensual to sex I would be doing more…..Especially considering he has a stub for one of his hands, lol didnt look to difficult at the time to get away <__> . That is just MY opinion though lol.

  2. I can see that scene being in character for Jaime, for a couple of reasons.
    1. The only woman that he ever has or ever will sleep with is Cersei.
    2. He’s lost almost everything, his hand, a son (vile, though he was), and he seems to be losing the one sure relationship that he’s had since he was born.
    3. He’s always been fairly amoral when it comes to things he’ll do with / around / for Cersei.

    The thing I don’t get is, Jaime is a cold blooded murderer in general, but no one bats an eye. But, the moment he doesn’t take no for an answer, NOW he’s a monster. Jaime’s always been a monster (as has his sister), just because he’s become a sympathetic character doesn’t change that at all.

    • But it is a break from character..He is very amoral in many regards but has never been an advocate for rape..Im going to use the books which I shouldn’t because the books are different, but he shows guilt several times for not stopping rapes like the king raping his wife..They do show this in the show as well when he made up the story about bre and her families wealth because he didn’t want to see her raped (a woman he doesn’t care about), now he is going to do it to the one woman he loved

      • I think that Jaime is a more complex and conflicted character than most of you are making him out to be, much like most of the characters both in the books and TV series. Yes, he’s trying to be a more moral person or seeking redemption, but any recovering alcoholic or drug addict can tell you the road to redemption is not a straight and narrow one and it’s full of potholes and setbacks that can easily throw you off course. As George R. R. Martin said, in the show the camera is external so you don’t know what is going on in the characters’ heads, and Jaime being back for awhile on the show rather than just appearing in the sept has already altered the narrative.

        So what is going through his mind? As Dingo pointed out already, Cersei was the only woman he’s ever loved and been with, but since returning she has spurned him, refused to make love to him as they once did, and overall been cold and spiteful towards him for nothing more than not being there, something clearly beyond his control. He has lost his sword hand so he is no longer the swordmaster he once was (now having to retrain himself), he lost his son, and now is feeling the loss of the only woman he’s loved. When he goes to comfort her, she rebuffs him yet again and demands, not asks, but DEMANDS, that he kill Tyrion for her, for their son. He knows Tyrion well enough that he is smarter than that and wouldn’t have been stupid enough to be standing there over the body when it happened, as Tyrion himself points out later in the episode. Jaime also is about the only Lannister who treats Tyrion with an ounce of respect and has any care for him as a brother, which he pointedly reminds Cersei of when she demands he kill their brother.

        Jaime is a man who has lost much and is himself hurting as much, if not more, than Cersei at that moment, and has been starved for any measure of affection, intimacy, or comfort since his return (something which Cersei has not suffered during his absence, let us not forget). He knows what she’s asking him to do is wrong and out of pure spite, the doing of which would sentence him to his own demise or further suffering. With all this, he asks why he was cursed to love such a hateful woman. This is a man who has been reviled when he did the right thing even when it went against the oaths he swore and committed atrocities to keep hidden the illicit love that he and his sister shared. He has been beaten and battered by the consequences of both and is vulnerable and in pain, and now rebuffed by the one person he truly sought comfort from. With this last affront, why would he not at this point simply take what he wants from her, willing or not? I’m not saying it’s justified or that it’s not rape, but given everything he’s done and been through, certainly not out of character.

        Extra for those who have read the books (if you haven’t don’t read any further here!):

        If you’ve read the books then you know this is the beginning of the end of their relationship with one another. The show brought him back before this point and changed how Cersei and Jaime dealt with one another leading up to this scene. This could easily be the point for the show that causes that break and continuing distance from one another. As Martin noted, the scene was meant to be disturbing, but people are being disturbed for different reasons from the book. As outraged as everyone is by this, how many do you really think are going to stop watching now?

    • The character doesn’t like sexual violence. He hated when Robert did stuff like that to Cercei, he rescues and tries to save from rape Brienne, and he’s actually trying to be more ethic and moral. Rape changes all that from the book, didn’t like rape scene from Drogo either, in the book he was very sweet,

  3. So what’s worse? Beheading someone? Slitting someone’s throat? Empaling heads onto spikes? Or rape?

    Without being harsh, I don’t feel that rape is the worst of what happens in Game of Thrones in the books or the tv show, and yet where is the pure outrage when we see Catalyn Stark slicing open someone’s throat, or when we see her throat being sliced open!

    Plus obviously it happens a little differently in a book. Plus it was never intended to be rape per se. And without sounding harsh, murder is far worse than rape.

  4. Interestingly enough, I didn’t read that scene as rape… It seemed to me that Cersei was protesting time and place, not the sexual act. I’m now anxious to get to this in the books and see how it was really intended.

    • Hum dude wether the woman is protesting th place or the color of your shirt as a reason not to have sex with you, if you do penetrate her then you are raping her

      • I agree, but it did seem out of character to play to play it that way. (Also, I’m not a “dude”)

    • Right, but her refusing the act at all still makes it rape. I suppose that a previous commenter is correct, that she eventually succumbed to her illicit desire, and I’m sure you do have a point. In the books, it’s very much a ‘survival-welcome-back-I’m-mourning-I-need-you’ sort of thing. As a fan of the books, this felt so, so wrong. I cannot see Jaime, who defended Brienne from rape and death, treating his beloved sister this way, considering all he’s done for her.

  5. What annoys me about it, is from there Jaime has a real Moral Change. He starts to become an actual Hero of the story, and I REALLY hope they don’t fuck that up.

  6. The one thing that those protesting this scene seem to forget is the time period. If this was set in a modern day city, I could see what the issue is – rape or not, but it isn’t and it’s obviously fairly accepted that in THAT era, these are the monstrous things that people will do. For those worried about the influence or message this sends are young, consider that perhaps our young shouldn’t be watching it and, if they are, consider that they should be made to understand that it’s a) fiction and b) set in a time period where these monstrous things happen and they are no longer accepted in society today. I sincerely doubt that a well-adjusted young person would go out and mimic these behaviours, especially if they were guided through it. As for how it depicts women, again – fiction and time period.

      • That’s only if you are a scrawny little guy, and not associated with one of the big houses. Oh and also if the girl turns out to be the daughter of some noble. Yes, rape is still frowned upon, but….. not like it is now. Things are much better now (or so we like to think). What is interesting here though is that most rapes in the series are “We pillaged your village / We high born / we do it cuz we can” sort of rapes. This is perhaps the few “I love you, and so you owe me sex” sort of rapes. Though as a reader of he books, i was entirely confused when i heard he raped her, as obviously i remembered the scene completely differently. Not to mention there are times when cersei is trying to force james!

  7. I’m going to assume the other comments above were all written by men. Because to me as a woman that scene was deeply upsetting. And even though I haven’t read the books, I could see that it is was an unnecessary rape scene. To me that was clear to see, plain as day. Ceresi demanded that Jamie stop, she was begging and pleading with him to stop all the way through. How anyone could mistake that for consent is beyond me! If someone’s asks you to stop, you damn well stop in the first instance!

    This was a rape scene no ifs and no but’s.
    And yes Jamie is meant to be a character of dubious morals, however he is supposed to love Ceresi, to the point of doing anything for her. Raping her seems to me to be out of character for him, especially in a time where is is so vulnerable and hurt.

    • Agreed. Rape. No question at all about it.

      And you’d be surprised how many women will defend even real-life rapists. A friend of mine went through that experience, and was more than a little shocked at the number of her female friends that turned on her because of it.

  8. Jaime is not a good guy – as Dingo says, he’s become a more sympathetic character, but among all the other stuff we know about the Kingslayer let’s remember that we actually watched him push a child out a window with intent to kill. This serves as a nice reminder that Martin’s characters aren’t simply “good” or “evil” and it came at a good time; I think as an audience we were starting to like Jaime.

  9. I dot condone rape, period. However, this is a show. If you don’t like the content, don’t watch. Plus, tons of horrible things have happened on this show, and I don’t really think this was (or will be) the worst of it.
    As for affecting children this should not be an issue. This is not a show for children!

  10. Am I the only one who thinks that his reaction was just an act out of the despair Cersei gave him by asking him to kill Tyrion? I mean, seriously, he lost everything, she’s been a bitch the whole time and then he comes to comfort her in her sadness and all she can do is – as he says – be a “hateful woman”?

    For me it was just an eruption of Jamie’s dispair and inner conflict. And as I said above – if you look closely she’s hardly protesting. Everyone who can at least picture a real situation like that knows that what she did was not at all near to doing her best to get rid of him. It was more that “it’s bad manners to do that” – kind of protest. So fuck it, she wanted the d.

    And just to mention: I say that as a girl^^

  11. Really? people complained about this scene? This is nothing next to drowning kids and stabbing babies.

  12. So, let me get this right…

    People are ok with;
    Murder by poison
    Murder of infants
    Torture of Greyjoy
    The king sadistically killing with a crossbow a tied up woman
    Kraster bedding his own daughters
    Innocent people being burned at the stake
    A smoky assassin being born of sex with the red witch to kill your own brother
    Pushing a boy out a window to fall to his death
    Stabbing a pregnant woman to death in her belly at a wedding

    But not ok with the scene of Jamie and Cercsi?

    Just checking….

    • Right?? I was more disturbed by Arya’s “slow, intentional kill”… THAT is a changing character. Jaime is being a typical, selfish Lannister. If we’ve learned nothing it’s that the Lannister’s are just as awful to each other as anyone else.