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Painting Cersei as the "Victim" (Book Spoilers)


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  • 4 weeks later...

I can't believe everyone interprets that as a rape scene. I'm quite sure the Queen Regent of the Seven Kingdoms is able to shout loud enough to get a Kingsguard's attention if she were really getting raped. She was emotionally conflicted about the deed, and Jaime was definitely coming on strong, but it was more akin to a James Bond sex scene.

Every time they have sex in the series, it starts out with Cersei not exactly giving in. They just both like a little force to get the juices flowing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

What especially irritates me is that they seem to think that a female character will only be more "likable" if she's stripped of any agency and power and portrayed as a victim instead of someone who makes her own choices.

I hate when people say that show!Cersei is "more complex" than book!Cersei or that book!Cersei is "one-dimensional". No, she is not. Book!Cersei is a villain, and she's also been a victim (as a woman, she had no choice in who she was going to marry, married off to a stranger as a broodmare in political marriage, sexually and physically abused by Robert) but she's also an unrepentant murderer and abuser herself and has no empathy for people who are in a similar position as she is; she can be hateful, pitiable, unintentionally and sometimes even intentionally funny.

But what I like about book!Cersei is that she makes her own choices: she wasn't able to decide who she would marry, but she chooses whose children she'll have; she doesn't try to be a 'good wife' to Robert who is a bad husband to her; she aborts his baby (instead of some sob story in which she lost her baby and then it all went bad, she actually made a choice); she commits murders herself, and isn't just Joffrey's powerless mother who whines that she can't control him (it usually doesn't seem like she even tries to control him); she has sex with her brother in the sept next to her dead son's body because she chooses to, because "she's as hungry for him as he is for her" (GRRM about the book scene); she never felt guilty about her sexual relationship with her twin brother (as she does in the show), which she's been having since they were kids, she was just worried about getting caught.

Why does Cersei have to (what D&D see as) "likable"? Why can't she be a strong, interesting villain/antagonist/character, who makes her choices and does what she wants? People enjoy male villains who are ruthless and make their choices and do what they want. Why can't there be a female villain who does just that?

Furthermore, why does she have to be initially in love with her husband that she never chose or try to be a good wife to him, or wonder "if they ever had a chance"? (Unpopular opinion: I always disliked that Cersei/Robert scene because I found it OOC for her and incongruous with the rest of their interactions in the show, not just the book.) What's D&D's obsession with making every female character try to be a good wife/try to "give a chance" to a bad marriage (even if they don't in the book)? Why is that required to make a character more "likable"? Why change the abortion to stillbirth - to make her more 'likable' in the eyes of the anti-abortionists? I guess we should be relieved that they didn't make her relationship with Jaime all about Jaime raping her, in order for her to be more 'likable' to the moral brigade viewers! :rolleyes:

It's not like they only do it with Cersei, who is a villain - they've systematically stripped Sansa of even those moments of agency and stuff she actively does that she has in the books.

That's, of course, if the rape is supposed to make the viewers sorry for Cersei. Maybe they wanted us to think that she "deserved" it, which is even worse. OK, maybe it's unfair to accuse them of that. But it sucks when you have to choose between two sexist explanations.

I agree. They completely declawed Cersei, and I hate it. In the books, Cersei did actually have control over Joffrey for the most part, but in the show she's just another poor female victim of evil, over-the-top Show!Joffrey. It seems as if the writers want to make every woman more 'sympathetic' and weak, really. *cough*Catelyn*cough*

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