Game of Thrones fans still came back for more of the popular show this past Sunday, despite widespread arguments over a controversial scene aired on the previous Sunday, April 19. Many viewers were shocked and deeply offended by this scene, where Jaime Lannister rapes his sister Cersei at the side of the table where their dead son is laying.
As this was the episode after the evil King Joffrey was killed by a mystery poisoning at his own wedding, many tuned in to the show to see what would happen, making viewership for this show especially high. Many have called the rape scene inappropriate and unnecessary to the show’s storyline, especially considering that how the scene is played out on the show is not even how it happens in the book. Jaime, who started off as one of the least favorite characters of many of the show’s viewers at the start of season one, has spent the last two seasons redeeming himself, even saving another female character from a rape last season and becoming a fan-favorite amongst viewers who previously could not stand the sight of him. Now though, people who were starting to warm up to him are having second thoughts and wondering what just happened to the man who they thought was starting to become one of the heroes on the show.
The controversial scene in question showed Cersei struggling against Jaime to break free, repeatedly saying “no,” which many viewers who saw this scene as offensive have maintained is the exact definition of rape. In the books by fantasy author George R. R. Martin, Cersei gives her consent to Jaime, making many viewers of the HBO show and readers of the book feel that this scene was disgusting and only for ratings. However, this past Sunday, despite the controversial scene occurring just the previous week and many people feeling disgusted with the show, Game of Thrones fans still came back for more anyway. If nothing else, they tuned in again just to see Daenerys Targaryen acquire another army of slaves, as she started to do at the end of the controversial episode.
The director of GOT maintained when asked that the scene was not actually rape, because at the end, Cersei ended up consenting and “liking what was happening.” This stirred up a mass of issues among publications and even fans, who said “no means no, and she initially said no” and “there is only one definition of rape: someone forcing themselves on someone else… and that is what we just saw in that scene.”
The actor who plays Jaime Lannister, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, when asked if the scene was rape, said that the answer to that question was complicated. He answered, “well yes and no.”
Suffice it to say that there is no “yes and no.” Controversy and protests among Game of Thrones fans, even though they have come back for more of the show, is based on the fact that Coster-Waldau, and the director of GOT, are making these comments under the disgusting pretense there are no circumstances where relations between two people who are already in a relationship can qualify as rape. However, despite the controversial scene, Game of Thrones still appears to be hanging on to its fans, with its viewership up this season and still climbing.
Opinion by Laura Clark