The Insightful Troll

Rants and ruminations.

Sexual Violence of Game of Thrones

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Game of Thrones was on of my favorite show on TV. At least until the Season 8 finally when D&D completely screwed over the audience- but I digress. What really bugged me about the show was the amount of rape, nudity and degradation of women on a weekly basis. Every season trying to top the last one.

Sophie Gilbert writing for The Atlantic:

Game of Thrones, which debuted 10 years ago this spring, has the dubious honor of being the ne plus ultra of rape culture on television. No series before, or since, has so flagrantly served up rape and assault simply for kicks, without a shadow of a nod toward “realism” (because dragons). The genre is fantasy, and the fantasy at hand is a world in which every woman, no matter her power or fortune, is likely to be violated in front of our eyes. Rape is like blood on Game of Thrones, so commonplace that viewers become inured to it, necessitating ever more excess to grab our attention. It’s brutal, graphic, and hollow. It’s also intentional. Daenerys’s wedding night isn’t explicitly written as being nonconsensual in George R. R. Martin’s 1996 novel (despite the fact that the character was 13 at the time), and it wasn’t filmed as such in the first, unreleased Game of Thrones pilot. At some point, the decision was made to introduce viewers to the series’s most significant female character via her humiliating assault—with pornified aesthetics for added titillation—by a man who had purchased her.

When Thrones was on the air, each season brought with it ample discussion of its wearying reliance on rape for dramatic fodder. My colleague Chris Orr did a character-by-character breakdown in 2015 of the exaggerated and invented instances of sexualized violence that the show’s creators, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, introduced in adapting the show; in response to widespread criticism, Weiss and Benioff eventually toned down depictions of rape and assault and sacrificed neither viewership nor Holy shit watercooler moments in the process, proving the show never needed them in the first place.