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[Show and Book SPOILERS] I don't understand [scene with Cersei and Jaime]

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Been reading all the social media about the last episode, and I don't understand why THIS is the change that people are not okay with. I watch the show only for those rare occasions where I can watch and enjoy a scene from the book. Obviously, I am usually disappointed. So after 2 years of D&D making a complete mess of things, why is THIS instance of them butchering the story such a big deal? Just because it has to do with rape? In the book, the scene becomes consensual. So if this scene in the show is rape, why doesn't she scream out as loud as she can? Why doesn't she punch and kick? To me, this was just POOR representation of the book, and not the biggest change ever. Furthermore, it goes all with most of the changes D&D make....to add shock value! So why care so much now?



Who cares if Irri and Jhiqui are dead right?



Who cares if Missandei is suppose to be 10, and instead is a woman with voluptuous breasts?



Who cares if they COMPLETELY ruin the House of the Undying?



Why have Arya kill the Tickler when she can kill Poliver instead?



Why bother having Barristan kill the Titans Bastard? Why put that incredibly memorable scene in the show?



Strong Belwass? Who?



How are they going to have Dany find out Jorrah betrayed her? Not well!



How will Arya leave the Hound when he is not injured in the fight at the Inn? NO REASON TO CHANGE IT!



Why do I have to watch Oberyn grab a handful of some guys junk EVERY EPISODE!!!! One little teeny line about RUMORS that Oberyn has had sex with everyone, and D&D run like the wind with it! It adds NOTHING to show. NOTHING! And yet its there...every episode....why? Shock value!



Who cares if they've COMPLETELY annihilated the Shaetrayal by giving her the laughable scorned lover motive! Making it Tryion's own fault! REALLY!



I could go on and on. So I ask again....why is THIS scene, after all of the ridiculous and meaningless changes they've made so far, why is this the one everyone is making such a big deal about?


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Do not downplay the exemption of Strong Belwas!!!



I think people are upset about this change because Jaime's character is one of the most dynamic in the books. He also undergoes a massive transformation from AGOT to ADWD. Having Jaime rape Cersei sets his character backwards and basically negates his saving of Brienne from being raped.


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People care so much about this particular screw-up because this is a particularly consequential screw-up. It makes Jaime a lot less sympathetic and Cersei a good deal more so. The fact that it has to do with rape does indeed make it a whole lot worse, because rape is a very, very touchy subject.



Most of the stuff you've cited has to do with minor characters who most people don't care all that much about, or are simple medium translation issues, or are simply communicating something in a different way than it was communicated in the book. This is a major scene involving two major characters who are central to the story which messes up their portrayal. It's also a very memorable book scene that many of us were really looking forward to seeing filmed, and the fact that it's completely ruined by a director who clearly doesn't understand what was going on in that scene at all makes it cause for outcry in a way that most changes aren't.



The scene turns Jaime into someone who is capable of raping a woman he claims to love in a fit of anger, whereas in the book he wouldn't do that. In the book he is a man in love, desperately horny after being apart from Cersei for more than a year, trying to comfort her in her grief in a way that's clueless and inept and incredibly gross but also well-meaning and ultimately kind of sweet. In the show he's angry with her and trying to hurt her. He says outright that he doesn't care about her feelings. The book version makes him sympathetic, the show version makes him a monster. If Jaime were a minor character people wouldn't much care, but he's a major character and a fan favorite, so the outcry is deafening.


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Because many people (including myself) see that this rape kills ALL of Jaime's character development from the last season. Yes, many things on your list irritate myself as well - I'd actually forgotten about some of them - but many of those changes can be justified (TV budget, not needed to move the plot forward, etc) however the fact that they chose to remove Cersei's consent and make it outright rape is not justifiable. We have to remember whenever we see a change that this is a television adaptation and may not have the budget or time to fill in tiny details and adapt the books word for word, but to have a character spend a season "redeeming himself" after a bad first impression and then to destroy all that work is just mad.

On the whole, I agree with you. And I don't want a lengthily argument about this, I was only explaining why people were irritated about this change.

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Because people like to fetishize a redemption arc. It was not a "change," and the outcry over this is confusing, especially when there was a change to make Drogo's first scene with Dany rape, which was a marked difference from the books.

Frankly, I'm disturbed by how many "it wasn't rape in the books!" comments and articles there have been. If the book scene was shown completely unchanged through the medium of TV, it would look similar. Although being inside Jaime’s head while reading the book may soften the scene a bit, I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing. It’s certainly a darker moment for Show!Jaime, as he’s attacking Cersei out of a combination of disgust with her and self-hatred for having loved her (can’t emphasize this enough, but I am NOT defending his actions), which is very different in tone from “relapsing” with her on their reunion out of habit, though both depict a sexual assault.

Would a “yes” from Cersei at the end of the show’s scene have helped capture the essence of the book scene more? Mayhaps. But I’m not sure it should, and frankly I prefer not to have violence against women being depicted as morally ambiguous, as Martin does in both his book and his post on the issue. This is a problematic world Martin created. If you think this has a straight-redemption arc, you haven't been paying attention.

This outcry is confusing, and worrying, but I think it's borne of people wanting the reformed bad-boy, which is not the nature of the story we're being told.

EDIT:

It's also worth noting that director Graves's remarks really made this controversy blow up, when he said his infamous "it became consensual by the end," when everything about that scene contradicts it. I think a lot of the reaction came to be about someone else's commentary on the scene, rather than the scene itself.

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Because people like to fetishize a redemption arc. It was not a "change," and the outcry over this is confusing, especially when there was a change to make Drogo's first scene with Dany rape, which was a marked difference from the books.

Frankly, I'm disturbed by how many "it wasn't rape in the books!" comments and articles there have been. If the book scene was shown completely unchanged through the medium of TV, it would look similar. Although being inside Jaime’s head while reading the book may soften the scene a bit, I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing. It’s certainly a darker moment for Show!Jaime, as he’s attacking Cersei out of a combination of disgust with her and self-hatred for having loved her (can’t emphasize this enough, but I am NOT defending his actions), which is very different in tone from “relapsing” with her on their reunion out of habit, though both depict a sexual assault.

Would a “yes” from Cersei at the end of the show’s scene have helped capture the essence of the book scene more? Mayhaps. But I’m not sure it should, and frankly I prefer not to have violence against women being depicted as morally ambiguous, as Martin does in both his book and his post on the issue. This is a problematic world Martin created. If you think this has a straight-redemption arc, you haven't been paying attention.

This outcry is confusing, and worrying, but I think it's borne of people wanting the reformed bad-boy, which is not the nature of the story we're being told.

EDIT:

It's also worth noting that director Graves's remarks really made this controversy blow up, when he said his infamous "it became consensual by the end," when everything about that scene contradicts it. I think a lot of the reaction came to be about someone else's commentary on the scene, rather than the scene itself.

In the book Cersei's protests are clearly motivated entirely by the fear of getting caught, and she yields to Jaime's advances before he enters her, whereas in the show her refusal is unqualified and she is still fighting him while he's fucking her. Also, and even more crucially, in the book there is no indication whatsoever that Jaime is angry with Cersei or trying to hurt her, whereas in the show he is clearly angry and doesn't care that he is hurting her. So if the scene had been shown more true to the book, it would have been much softer and people would be arguing about whether or not it was rape instead of just yelling at the director for turning Jaime into a rapist.

The scene in the book is a case of "dubious consent", falling into the gray area whose existence a lot of people hate to acknowledge because it's so difficult to navigate, whereas the show scene is in the black zone of "definitely rape". The director is plainly clueless about issues of consent in general and the meaning of this scene in particular.

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In the book Cersei's protests are clearly motivated entirely by the fear of getting caught, and she yields to Jaime's advances before he enters her, whereas in the show her refusal is unqualified and she is still fighting him while he's fucking her. Also, and even more crucially, in the book there is no indication whatsoever that Jaime is angry with Cersei or trying to hurt her, whereas in the show he is clearly angry and doesn't care that he is hurting her. So if the scene had been shown more true to the book, it would have been much softer and people would be arguing about whether or not it was rape instead of just yelling at the director for turning Jaime into a rapist.

The scene in the book is a case of "dubious consent", falling into the gray area, whereas the show scene is in the black zone of "definitely rape". The director is plainly clueless about issues of consent in general and the meaning of this scene in particular.

Right. In my opinion the "shades of rape" is not a useful discussion to have. I understand where you're coming from, and I've heard the book-scene described as "date-rape" whereas the show-scene is thought of as more "aggravated." But I think it's a troubling path to start down if we try and define where rape begins and ends, and if we view some rapes as "worse" than others. The tone is different, aye, and darker, but it's hardly character assassination, and the outrage over "the change" troubles me.

Like I said, I don't think a "softer" scene is necessarily better. Depicting violence against women as morally ambiguous is problematic, and the conversation which would have followed isn't a good one to have. Even though watching it was really disturbing, in a way I'm glad the show made us deal with Jaime's assault head-on. Martin's book-scene (and his comments on the episode) instead present us with the disturbing idea that we shouldn't view it as "rape" because Cersei "gets into it." It's like completely ignore the moment where Cersei is shouting for Jaime to stop, beating against his chest with her fists and he “doesn’t hear it.” That is rape.

There's no such thing as "maybe rape" or "less-terrible rape." Was the tone different? Yes. Not that different, though. So rather than screaming and pointing fingers at the director (who really dug his own grave with his comments, and I can't excuse that), I think we should be more critical of the source material, or at the very least stop holding Jaime up as the redeemed, good knight. He's a grey character in a very, very grey universe. The show stayed true to this. The reason this is the scene that made everyone freak out is because they had false notions about the nature of Jaime's character.

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I agree with the original poster.



I too don't understand why it's such a huge deal that Jaime does rape Cersei (other than obvious moral reasons, but I mean for the character/show itself).


As I said in the previous thread regarding Jaime, I believe both the scene in the book and show are parallel, just slightly less obvious in the show. I guess no one wants to admit - even GRRM - that in the books, it's rape.


"Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse, which is initiated by one or more people against another person without that person's consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or against a person who is incapable of valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, or below the legal age of consent." - Wikipedia, but we all know that's what rape is.



No matter what the reason for Cersei saying "no", it's still no, therefore it is rape. I don't really understand why everyone defends book Jaime for this either - he does rape her, she just "consents" halfway through the act - just like she does in the show, just less visibly (she kisses back, barely fights back, wraps her arms around him, etc - someone who does not "consent" would not do those things) which was probably the only mistake in that scene. I don't think it takes away from his character, therefore I don't think it's a big deal. :/ It's not that far off from the book, whereas other parts hugely differ from the books - so really...nothing to complain about there imo.


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I also agree with original poster.



This is not the perefect adaptation that people were waitng for. This show deserves at least D&D to read the books ffs.



Also one more thing. If Davos will travel to Bravoos this season ( WHY EVEN BOTHER THE PLOT ) what is the reason for Arya to not go there and just get i over with ?


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I also agree with original poster.

This is not the perefect adaptation that people were waitng for. This show deserves at least D&D to read the books ffs.

Also one more thing. If Davos will travel to Bravoos this season ( WHY EVEN BOTHER THE PLOT ) what is the reason for Arya to not go there and just get i over with ?

I think this is a rather unfair treatment of D&D. The different medium necessitates changes. There's many I disagree with, and there's many I prefer, and then there's "changes" like the scene the OP discussed, which I don't think are remarkable. And that's the nature of adapting something.

As for your question about Arya, her plotline barely has enough material between AFFC and ADWD to last one season. I think they don't want to rush her there. Just my thoughts. I'd agree that Iron Bank politics might not be the most captivating plot to include.

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Right. In my opinion the "shades of rape" is not a useful discussion to have. I understand where you're coming from, and I've heard the book-scene described as "date-rape" whereas the show-scene is thought of as more "aggravated." But I think it's a troubling path to start down if we try and define where rape begins and ends, and if we view some rapes as "worse" than others. The tone is different, aye, and darker, but it's hardly character assassination, and the outrage over "the change" troubles me.

Like I said, I don't think a "softer" scene is necessarily better. Depicting violence against women as morally ambiguous is problematic, and the conversation which would have followed isn't a good one to have. Even though watching it was really disturbing, in a way I'm glad the show made us deal with Jaime's assault head-on. Martin's book-scene (and his comments on the episode) instead present us with the disturbing idea that we shouldn't view it as "rape" because Cersei "gets into it." It's like completely ignore the moment where Cersei is shouting for Jaime to stop, beating against his chest with her fists and he “doesn’t hear it.” That is rape.

There's no such thing as "maybe rape" or "less-terrible rape." Was the tone different? Yes. Not that different, though. So rather than screaming and pointing fingers at the director (who really dug his own grave with his comments, and I can't excuse that), I think we should be more critical of the source material, or at the very least stop holding Jaime up as the redeemed, good knight. He's a grey character in a very, very grey universe. The show stayed true to this. The reason this is the scene that made everyone freak out is because they had false notions about the nature of Jaime's character.

I really disagree with you here. Violence against women - indeed, violence in general - is very much a moral issue, but every moral issue has gradations and degrees of wrongdoing. If we can divide homicide into first, second and third degree murder, negligent homicide, various degrees of manslaughter, etc., why on earth shouldn't sexual assault be dealt with similarly? Shouldn't it be obvious that beating a screaming woman to a bloody pulp and then forcibly raping her is way, way worse than having sex with a romantic partner who is feeling conflicted about whether you're in the right place for it, even if those two things do have some things in common and neither one is right?

The fact of the matter is that there is a very wide spectrum of wrongness in the category of violence against women, and what Jaime did in the show was clearly worse than what he did in the books. In both versions he's a gray character, but the show's portrayal of the Sept scene really does make him seem to be a much worse person than he is in the books.

The fact that we want to see rapists punished in the real world and want the police and courts to take rape seriously as a crime shouldn't blind us to the fact that ambiguities and gray areas do exist in this issue. Insisting that an issue be treated as totally black and white and refusing to acknowledge the gray areas even when their existence is staring us in the face doesn't do us any good, in my opinion. Denying reality for the sake of intellectual comfort is never a good idea.

Given how clueless the director is about what he showed Jaime doing in this episode, I think we're likely to see Jaime sympathetically portrayed going forward. Having the same character commit a clear, unambiguous rape and then go and be a good guy after that should probably disturb us more than it would if the Sept scene were ambiguous, because it advances the unfortunate idea that a man can be a good guy even if he's a rapist.

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I disagree with OP, series fans have gone on and on and on over EVERY little diversion from the books, not just this one ... and that includes the omission of Belwas, which I'm still depressed about :)

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<snip>

Let's agree to disagree. It's not that I don't see shades of grey here, it's that I see it unleashing a very dangerous precedent/conversation. And one I'm very much not interested in having.

But if we want to talk about this scene, this "change" in particular, I'm happy to. In the books Jaime's partner says no, protests, and beats his chest with her firsts and he ignores this/blocks it while tearing off her clothes. In the show, despite the poor directing, Jaime's partner voices protests repeatedly, even sobs, while pulling him closer. Not dissimilar because they're both rape. Discussing which version makes Jaime looks "nicer" is not a useful conversation.

Yes, the framing was bad and muddied this. Yes, the director's comments afterwards were insensitive. But it doesn't change the fact that if the book-scene was done through the medium of TV, it would look very, very similar. We're in Jaime's head so it "feels" different, and he's not angry so the tone is different. And we probably want it to be different. But it just isn't. My point is that we're viewing Book!Jaime through rose-colored glasses and the medium of television stripped us of that lens.

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What I think it says about our culture is that many people lack the critical thinking skills that give people the talent to look at the actions and words of a character, and differentiate the subtleties of human behavior and complexities of relationships, and understand that a character's physical ACTIONS (Cersei grabbing Jamie, pulling him towards her, and kissing him passionately - not the actions of a woman being raped), go along WITH their DIALOG ("No", "not here", "it's not right", "stop"), and do not exist separately.

So many people just seem to hear what Cersei is saying, while not taking into consideration her ACTIONS, and the history of these two together, and their complex relationship.

What's disturbing is so many people are able to edit out everything but Jamie being forceful, and completely ignore what Cersei is doing in the scene, to get to their rape scenario, which doesn't exist since more things were at play in this scene, and Cersei's actions do count.

If Cersei Lannister didn't want to have sex, I have no doubt she'd be able to fight off a one-handed Jamie.

Life isn't black and white. Neither is Game of Thrones.

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<snip>

Okay, I'm not having another day discussing what is and isn't rape. I think to say that people are calling it as such because they "lack the critical thinking skills" to examine actions and words is insulting and fallacious.

The OP's point is there's been tons of changes to the book material so why this? I think we should stick with that discussion.

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