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Rant and Rave without Repercussions - Includes Season 6 Spoilers Part 2


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5 minutes ago, Tijgy said:

That guy flays people, tortured Theon with a smile, ... that is already enough to hate him. 

And hunted/raped/tortured women. The audience knew that, even if stoopid LF didn't bother to just ask some random person on the street, since that would have gotten around like wildfire.

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1 minute ago, Stannis is the man....nis said:

If we are talking about "you know who" then I'm pretty sure it's clear to them but they just don't want to admit it

Well its ok since he dies later to bring his death forward butcher his character heap the humilistion upon humiliation as if it were poetic justice for Shireen by someone who doesnt know who or what happened to Shireen all so hollywood cliches that lead to grrm leaving hollywood and creating Asoiaf to happen instead right? :rolleyes:

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I'd say the interaction on those facebook posts is pretty evenly mixed between praise and criticism for the show. I definitely jumped in on the Brienne post myself but I can never stick around on anything facebook related for too long before reading something like "Sansa is naïve and deserved what she got because she hasn't suffered like the others" and then wanting to vomit in my mouth.


I especially love it when people try to blame the shocking moments on GRRM and it's something he had nothing to do with i.e. Sansa's rape.


And I am not the least bit surprised that D&D don't listen or acknowledge the criticism. That's nothing new. I feel like they are just deliberately trolling at this point.



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25 minutes ago, Karmarni said:

Hahaha! I'm giggling at the idea of the Hound standing there, looking out a window, waiting for Sansa to light some damn candle as a single to "come and get me, I can't handle Ramsey anymore, really". That's sweet. Yeah, he'd not do that. 

I think that D&D in the article have a case of self-propaganda. They believe in things they tell themselves, even when it's patently obvious that it isn't true (like having planned seasons years in advance.) I think this is typical of men who have success and are surrounded by yes-men like themselves. Plus, they're the cash cows, so no one they employ is going to do any nay-saying about them when they're still pulling in the bank, n'est pas?

Yes, all of this. No one is telling them no. Certainly not the woman on top guy at HBO.

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7 minutes ago, Ruhail said:

Well its ok since he dies later to bring his death forward butcher his character heap the humilistion upon humiliation as if it were poetic justice for Shireen by someone who doesnt know who or what happened to Shireen all so hollywood cliches that lead to grrm leaving hollywood and creating Asoiaf to happen instead right? :rolleyes:

Yeah forget the fact they now have 4 major houses who's freakin' logo in the opening extinct and forget the fact they almost ruined "the North remembers" by having no one join him

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4 hours ago, kissdbyfire said:

I really like when things happen exactly how I expect them to, gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. :)




The funniest part of that April Fool's joke (with that fulsome praise of the show what else could this article be?) was when they said D&D "meticulously" plan each season (I do not think this word means what you think it means ... /Inigo Montoya).

Things like Myrcella being in Dorne for "years" but Gilly's baby still being an infant, Jon Snow delivering his warning to the Watch and then waiting months for the Wildlings to arrive AFTER they'd climbed the Wall, not to mention the number of Cersei's children, Doran's children, lion-head necklaces, or the Sand Snakes in general, does not smack of "meticulous" anything.

(And BOY is EW in the tank for this show - The Americans which *coughindependentcough* critics are praising for its actually meticulous storytelling that is actually based on the characters doesn't get nearly this kind of fawning praise from them, wow!) 

Best show ever is such a ridiculous category because it's always subjective but yes, The Wire, Deadwood, Battlestar Galactica, Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Justified, and The Americans all rank waaaaay higher in my book. Even Spartacus, Rome, Buffy & Angel which all had a certain cheese factor that GoT shares also  had soooo much truer emotional beats for the characters - there have been exactly three times GoT has moved me to tears of heartfelt emotion (rather than blinding rage!) Those other shows? More times than I can count. Why can't they borrow some of their empowered women from Buffy, and their political complexity from Rome, and from The Wire? Or, you know, actually use the source material which has all of this stuff ALREADY written for them.

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Also they call it "online criticism" to distance it, whereas the criticism came from many major media outlets (this is a small sample, and there has always been more, much more).


Washington Post -

The use of sexual violence as plot device is not new to Game of Thrones and it's not unique just to this show, either. But while on each occasion in the past it's been plenty disturbing, tonight's closing scene with Ramsay Bolton and Sansa was just flat-out disgusting.

Even if you've never read the books (myself included and that shouldn't limit anyone's enjoyment of the show) it's hard not to know that what happens to Sansa in this episode doesn't happen to Sansa in the books. The show's creators are free to take liberty with certain storylines and characters, but by putting Sansa into this situation, by taking a character that viewers are fully invested in, and subjecting her to the horrors of Ramsay Bolton, it's hard to interpret this as anything but using her rape as an emotionally manipulative plot device.


Vanity Fair -

But did it really have to be rape that brought her low? Is that really the only horror Game of Thrones can imagine visiting on its female characters?... Even worse than the idea of Sansa needing this to motivate her into vengeance is the notion that the Theon character needed to watch her rape in order to snap out of whatever zombie/Reek fugue state he's been walking around in.

I'm afraid that is the show's interpretation, based on where the camera lingered. But the last thing we needed was to have a powerful young woman brought low in order for a male character to find redemption. No thank you... I think most audiences would have been happy with Sansa as avenging angel without subjecting her to a rape. After all, these are the people who killed her family.


Wired -

There have been a lot of complaints over the years about the way Game of Thrones deals with rape, and it's earned them. It has a tendency to use rape sensationally and frequently, not to mention the troubling incident last season where a director filmed a rape scene and didn't even realize it...

Forcing her back into the role of victim and sexually humiliating her at the hands of yet another sadistic fiance adds nothing that we haven't seen before, and indeed, feels regressive. All the forward momentum of her character development is undercut by this assault, transforming her back into the same little girl she was at Kings Landing, weeping as her dress was torn off. Shoehorning additional abuse and rape into her story at this point isn't just upsetting; it's boring and counterproductive. Poorly done, show. Poorly done.


USA Today -

The scene of course sparked all kinds of outcry for the disastrous way the show has treated Sansa (who in the books, is rape-free and nowhere near Winterfell or Ramsay at this point). Was giving Sansa this storyline really necessary? Was this a sign of the show's completely misogynistic way of treating its female characters? For many viewers though, it wasn't about loyalty to the books so much as loyalty to the character and integrity of Sansa Stark, who seems like she was handed a rape storyline to make her more sympathetic or give Theon the push he needs to lash out against Ramsay.


The Atlantic -

I've rarely, if ever, felt less enthusiastic about the show than I did tonight, when the screen faded to black to the sound of Sansa's groans...

Sansa is a girl whose body has been traded to further someone else's ambitions. She doesn't have a choice; she's never had a choice. Sansa has always been good at summoning her haughtiest attitude to protect herself, but it isn't working this time. She's all alone, and she's petrified. The North may remember, but the Stark loyalists aren't much good when she's being raped on her wedding night. In Kings Landing, Sansa at least had the Hound looking out for her at the beginning; having turned away Brienne, she has no personal protection...

Gratuitous sexual violence is bad enough, but gratuitous sexual violence in a ridiculous storyline that not only doesn't advance our understanding of key characters but rather makes us more confused - that may be the greatest sin of all.


Radio Times -

This week's episode ended with a particularly grim scene for Sansa Stark. It's bound to be controversial in a show that's been criticised for the prevalence of sexual violence against women, and especially for adding rape scenes where there were none in the source material...

But it's also hard not to feel the rape was a little gratuitous and emblematic of the show's troubling tendency to show sexual violence quite casually as a mere plot point (such as the sex scene between Jaime and Cersei in the book that became a rape scene in the show for no apparent reason). It did happen to Ramsay's unfortunate wife in the book but offstage, so to speak.


Salon -

To exist as a woman on a cable drama is to understand that at some point you're probably going to be raped by someone you know or in the presence of someone you know or as a punishment to someone you know, but it's okay because in the end, it just gives you something to overcome and everyone knows that having something to overcome is the only way to prove that you are a strong woman...

This was a choice and the choice was to marry off a teenage girl, rape her, and not even have the dignity to care primarily about her feelings about her fate... The character who had shown the most growth and potential for becoming her own woman.. is broken down in a matter of minutes, then not even given enough agency to suffer her own assault.


Salon -

So with this last scene, I think the showrunners have betrayed the trust of their audience, by depicting a scene of brutality against Sansa Stark for no purpose. We already knew that Ramsay Bolton was a sadist and an abuser of women, we already knew that Theon Greyjoy was his tormented puppet. Showing Sansa's dress ripped, showing her face shoved down into the bed, hearing her screams did nothing to reveal character, or advance the plot, or critique anything about Westerosi society or about our own conceptions of medieval society that hasn't already been critiqued.


Salon -

... “Mad Max: Fury Road” does not feature a rape scene. The film is a vision of fighting oppression, a battle epic of overcoming the odds. Rape happened in this world, yes. But there is no reason to depict it in the film.

The problem, as ever, with “Game Of Thrones”’ rape is not that it exists but that it fails to adequately justify why it exists. Miller’s film has incredible vision and purpose and energy. Every moment is considered and vital. “Game Of Thrones” doesn’t feel that way. A world of violence is not a narrative, it’s just a theater of horror. There is a real disconnect in this show between the character arcs and the brutality of each moment; between the subtle storytelling and the entirely unsubtle treatment of its women. It creates a dissonance of attempting to identify with characters before seeing them suffer almost cartoonish horror in the arena of the show; the violence is titillation.

But rape isn’t mere violence; it’s not a punch to the head or a knife through the ribs. It’s an act that attempts to divorce a person’s soul from their body; to imitate the language of intimacy in what is purely cruelty. It is a kind of murder, except afterwards, the victim can still walk and talk and breathe. I question any depiction of rape that seeks to add to a woman’s violation in the text by further robbing her of her dignity in how that story is told. And at this point, with HBO’s “Game Of Thrones,” I’m questioning three.


Hypable -

But this begs the question; why should Sansa have to deal with such a thing at all? What character development could be wrung from this tragedy that could not have been created without a violent rape? Why does Game of Thrones - and so much popular entertainment - revert to this horrific crime when they want their female characters to grow?... There are better ways to sculpt characters than sexual exploitation. There are more productive ways to cause pain than rape. And Game of Thrones has lost the luxury of further indulging in this social blight; it is way past time they do better. The Sansa Starks of the world are waiting.


Flavorwire -

The audience doesn't really see the event that ends Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken, just two close-ups: the first on a terrified Sansa, the second on a man who identified himself as Theon Greyjoy just hours before. The second closeup lasts far longer, the emotion on its subject's face rawer. That's because, to make an already disgusting situation even more so, what happens to Sansa isn't even about Sansa; it's about teaching Theon he's still Reek...

Which brings us to the question of just why Sansa's rape had to happen. Ramsay's assault is the third example of a phenomenon critic Sonia Saraiya pointed out last year: Game of Thrones, the show, adding instances of sexual assault that do not appear in Game of Thrones, the books. (In the original storyline, Sansa remains in the Vale and does not return to Winterfell at all, let alone marry Ramsay Bolton.) Unlike the Red Wedding, in other words, there's no reason David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had to bring one of the shows most interesting character evolutions right back to square one...

But my immediate feeling after Theon's face cut to black and the credits started rolling was that, sometime in the last two seasons, Game of Thrones crossed the line between showing what a cold, hard world its women live in and abusing them past the point of being useful to the narrative, or even interesting.


Buddy TV -

This is not the first time a major female character has been raped in the course of the series. There was Daenerys on her wedding night to Khal Drogo all the way back in the first episode. Then, just last season Jaime raped Cersei in the Sept of Baelor. (If you want to be the type of person who puts an asterisk on the Jaime and Cersei scene, fine be that person. The director didn't intend for that scene to come off as a rape. The intention becomes irrelevant because that's how it appeared for the majority of the audience). In both cases, there was no ramifications for either act. Neither woman acted like they just had been raped or violated in any way. Dany even grew to love Khal Drogo...

Even if this silence from these women is an accurate depiction of the "time", it doesn't excuse Game of Thrones' depiction of its universe. There are plenty of ways to show that women aren't seen as powerful in this world without sexual violence. Game of Thrones has even done it in different areas of Cersei's storyline. Margaery is constantly trying to maneuver herself to a position of power and has to take unconventional avenues because of her gender. There is a difference between a horrifying act that says something disturbing about the world and just cheap shock factor. The end of "Unbowed, Unbent and Unbroken" was just that cheap and unabashed shock factor.


io9 -

Guys, I think I reached the breaking point with the show today. This is by far the most frustrating, unsatisfying, and mean-spirited show ever. However strong the theme was, no matter what kind of framework it builds for a bombastic finale, this episode makes me want to quit the show. And all of it is encapsulated in that final scene. Boy, that final scene...

I also hope they're not using rape just as a cheap plot device. I guess we won't really know until the end of the season, but it's not hard to imagine that the writers are using it to say "Look how evil Ramsay is, making Theon watch Sansa getting raped! and Poor Sansa and Theon! Fans will cheer extra hard when Ramsay dies!" I really hope that's not the case, but the show had been utterly tone deaf regarding rape before.


The Mary Sue -

The show has creators. They make the choices. They chose to use rape as a plot device. Again.

In this particular instance, rape is not necessary to Sansa's character development (she's already overcome abusive violence at the hands of men); it is not necessary to establish Ramsay as a bad guy (we already know he is); it is not necessary to prove how bad things were for women (Game of Thrones exists in a fictional universe, and we already know its exceptionally patriarchal). Rape here, like in all instances, is not a necessary story-driving device.


The Vine -

This scene never happened in the books, and never had to, except as a consequence of D.B. Weiss and David Benioff taking such unnecessary detours from the source material... The show, however, seems to take disturbing pleasure in putting the brutalisation of these women front and center. So you have to ask: if D.B. Weiss and David Benioff insist on deviating from the books, why are they doing it in a way that these female characters are repeatedly tortured and victimised? Westeros is a cruel and unforgiving place for women, true, but there are better ways of depicting that than revelling in these assaults.


Digital Spy -

What the sequence is, is gratuitous in its use of Sansa as a character. It's perhaps the biggest instance of a change from the source material becoming seriously problematic. In the books, Sansa never marries Ramsay: it's someone else, a character the audience is far less familiar with. Switching things up so that it's Sansa makes sense from a streamlining perspective, but it also places what feels like an unnecessary further burden on the character. It begins to lend Sophie Turner's corner of the show an unpleasant whiff of misery porn.

The big question is what has that sequence achieved, other than some great performances from the cast? Sansa hated the Boltons already. They killed her family; of course she hates them. And she's suffered emotional and physical abuse before, and emerged from it a stronger person. Did we really need rape added to the pile?


TV Overmind -

Beginning with Arya and ending with Sansa, Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken is an episode that explores that quest for inner truth; unfortunately, it does so by leaving the audience with another troublesome and particularly unnecessary depiction of sexual violence, throwing a wrench into any assumed progress the show's made in that department this season. And in that scene, that potential moment of strength for the character, Unbowed undoes it with a series of unpleasant shots and sounds, literally ending on the screams of Sansa as Ramsay forcibly rapes her, while making Reek watch from the doorway.

The moment Ramsay asks Reek to stay, Unbowed felt like it was going to that place again, forcing this story of sexual assault onto Sansa for nothing beyond shock factor. There's no reason Sansa needs to be subjected to this to depict her toughness, or Ramsays inherent ugliness; if the wedding bed scene is just existing to reinforce the assumed order of things in Winterfell, without offering any character development with it, why is it there? This is a rape scene for the sake of having a shocking rape scene, and it drags down the entire episode behind it.


Zap2It -

For five seasons, "Game of Thrones" has inflicted Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) with some of the most horrifying storylines of the series. Halfway through Season 5, though, she got served the most disturbing yet when she was raped by her new husband, Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon). Unsurprisingly, this is a turn that repulsed viewers, with some going as far as to say they're done watching the show... Why have her survive Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) if she was going to go through very similar -- and eventually worse -- treatment at the hands of a new tormentor? ...

The look in her eyes when she realizes what Ramsay means to do to her shows that she's learned better than to do anything but accept this. Still, being raped isn't something she can just bounce back from, no matter how she steeled herself for it. It's worth noting that this storyline is a deviation for Sansa. In George R.R. Martin's novels, a woman named Jeyne Poole marries Ramsay... In the show, no matter what comes next, Sansa will always be a victim of sexual abuse. No matter what strength she continues to have after this encounter, she will always have lost her virginity at the hands of a monster.


New York Daily News -

What happened to Sansa was everything I was afraid would happen when it was made clear she had to marry Ramsey Bolton a few episodes ago. Though what happened to Jeyne Pool in the book was actually more disturbing, watching Sansa be raped onscreen was positively sickening. In the book, Sansa was learning to wield and manipulate power in the Vale after a long period of victimization but the show pretty much added a new, and in my opinion, entirely unnecessary victimization to her story. More concerningly, after Jaime's rape of Cersei last season, it's yet another rape Benioff and Weiss decided to add to the show that was not in the text and at this point, we don't need anymore.


Decider -

Sansa's rape, then, seems like a another example of a strange trend that the show's showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have employed into their series. When last season's rape scene stirred much controversy, AV Club's Sonia Saraiya pointed out the show and the books major tonal differences. These are questions many of us ask in the wake of Sansa's rape. Why? Why did this sexual assault, which did not take place in the book, need to happen on the show? Why did this character need to be broken down even more than she already has been? Why did we see it framed as a traumatic event for the man who witnessed it?

When do we draw the line between using sexual violence as a plot device to strengthen a woman's character (and to give her motivation for her later actions) and to display the inhumanity and evil nature of a man who perpetrates it - and as what it seems to truly be: a near-sadistic move on the showrunners to destroy these beloved characters? Game of Thrones has not dealt with sexual violence well in the past, considering that the rapes of both Daenerys and Cersei seemed to go forgotten - even by the victims themselves. Why, then, would the show push yet another envelope when its audience has suffered alongside its many female characters already?


The Concourse -

For some time now, Game of Thrones episodes have followed a familiar pattern: Large swaths of episode are eaten up by the infinitesimal advancement of various plot lines, many of which are deeply boring, and those scenes are then offset by the inclusion of some Cool Shit. Usually, this Cool Shit takes the form of a sword fight, or a dragon cameo, or a Sam shivving a White Walker. Last night’s episode seemed to be following that pattern—Arya walked through a door! Cersei had some conversations! Tyrion got sidetracked!—but instead of a dragon, we got a rape. This was an episode that said, “Sorry for making you sit through 55 minutes of nothing really happening, but here, enjoy this rape!”...

It’s clear that the show runners have written themselves into some corners, and the show is in bad shape if their idea of writing themselves out of those corners is to have Sansa Stark raped for no reason. The problem isn’t that this episode included a rape, but that it did so in the service of bad storytelling. It told the audience nothing that wasn’t already known, and it didn’t advance any plot lines beyond where they already were. It was just there, as inert as it was unpleasant. Unfortunately, that’s starting to become the best way to describe the show in general.


Black Nerd Problems -

Angela Davis remarks on watching the break of a little bird…

Sansa is a powder keg of possibility. Unfortunately, the possibility always lays in the hands of the men that possess her. If I say torture, what I mean is that your surname is a rosebush without the blooming flowers. The narrow path that enables Sansa to pass from young woman to the adulthood her mother promised her, often passes between men who are not quite satisfied playing with their toys yet.

That may be Ramsay Bolton or the showrunners themselves for that matter. Now you finally see the burden of womanhood and how it pertains to legacy. Congratulate Sansa as she carries her fathers name into a room where a sadist may take everything she believes in. Congratulate Sansa for the beautiful wedding gown that pools like blood on the dirty floor beneath her. Congratulate every woman that has the privilege of men telling them what they must endure to be great...

But the real question is, did it work for you? Did you feel the agony, the pain and the violation as the camera zoomed in… on a man’s face. How very painful. That must have been. For him.


Grantland -

But I don’t think there’s really any storytelling acrobatics that can forgive what happened next, particularly when it all seems so clear where it’s going. Or was that itself the trick? That instead of giving the audience the sight of what we’ve long wanted and expected — Reek reclaiming his essentially not-terrible Theon-ness by stabbing Ramsay in the throat — we were given something not needed at all? Sansa’s anguished screaming as she was violently assaulted by her new husband was hideous, full stop. But it was almost worse the way Jeremy Podeswa’s camera lingered on Alfie Allen’s tear-filled eyes, as if his violation was somehow equal to Sansa’s; as if this disgusting act was somehow part of Theon’s long and ugly path to redemption, not a brutal and unwarranted violation. Five seasons in, Game of Thrones is long past the point of earning gold stars simply by showing us the worst possible thing. There’s a fine line between exposing the dirty truth of the world and wallowing in it.



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7 hours ago, Ruhail said:

This photo is perfect, I love it. We already knew they're 'sore losers' b/c any criticism always falls on deaf ears. But this photo shows that they're also bad winners, who instead of just celebrating their victory feel the need to give the finger to critics or anyone who isn't in love with their work. How very telling. 

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11 hours ago, Ruhail said:

I dont know how it isnt obvious to most show defenders that d&d are making it so obvious that they're giving Jon Stannis' winterfell content



I said this early S5 on this board and a load of posters got really annoyed at me. Its the same way Barristan was killed off so Tyrion could have his storyline. The worst thing people are taking from both of these things is that they now happen in the book. 

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20 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

It's sad, I've been waiting for Natalia to come back all this time....and she's coming back only to get killed by Super Ramsay.  

Ditto. At least we'll get a lovely, emotional, and heartwarming scene with her. :lol:

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