I've stopped watching Game of Thrones—after three seasons of trying to turn myself into a person who gives a shit about dragons, I just have to face facts that I don't give a shit about dragons, or made-up kingdoms, or names I can neither remember or pronounce. I want you to be happy! I am glad of your fandom! But this is not my realm.
One thing that was always inexplicably weird to me was the way fans of the show justified the very obvious baseline of misogyny and sexual assault. The rape just made Khaleesi stronger! Joffrey is just a total bastard who also happens to be an abusive sexual deviant! It's different in the books! So I wasn't surprised when I saw a smattering of people on Twitter post comments about the rape of Cersei by her brother-lover Jaime this past Sunday, or when the internet exploded with thinkpieces about the scene yesterday.
Everything in me rails against rape as a narrative device. I've never seen it treated thoughtfully, and I think Game of Thrones fails women on multiple fronts (you can be queen, but only after you are sold like cattle and completely demoralized; you gain some strength, but only after you are separated from your family and then watch them all get murdered in front of you; rape, schmape, we're powerful men who just want to get down to fuckin'). So why does director Alex Graves think this, one of his "favorite scenes he's ever done," somehow end up consensual? In a rape culture where women are routinely dismissed and blamed for their part in their own rape, why does this director mimic the excuses of rapists the world over by placing the onus squarely on Cersei's shoulders, saying, "she’s largely using Jaime and he hasn’t figured it out yet," as if that's some explanation for Jaime raping her?