Oh boy. Is the internet ever in a tizzy over this past Sunday's episode of Game of Thrones. The tizzy is not so much about what's going on on the show story wise... it's about the writer's interpretation of a certain scene between the show's two most morally ambiguous characters, Jaime and Cersei Lannister.
Before I get to that, I just want to say that Game of Thrones is currently one of the best shows on television. It's well written, has good character development (not to mention, like, 300 characters... so many people, man) and interesting plots that keep the show moving. It's one of the most interesting shows I've seen on TV since Lost.
With that said, Game of Thrones is also one of the most violent, sex crazed, morally divisive shows on TV as well. There is incest (ewwww), people slaughtering people, people using black magic to make events happen, and a whole lot of sex. There's more sex on this show than I think I've seen on any other HBO show that I've watched. Hell, "Sex and the City" had less sex in the show, and that show had the word "sex" in the title!
One of the reasons I like the show so much is because I think it truly reflects how people function in society. Some people do good things and are rewarded for it. Some people do good things and have bad things happen to them (the poor Stark family springs to mind here). Some people do bad things and get their comeuppance. And some people do bad things and totally get away with it (King Joffrey had a good run on the show torturing his subjects for threeish seasons).
And that's life. It's unfortunate that it plays out this way. Just because you are a honest person doesn't mean that if you don't play the game every now and then that you'll never have to worry about losing your head (poor Ned Stark). Even the most honest person on Earth has to tell a few white lies and do a few crazy things to survive every once in awhile. But in contrast, even if you are in power and get away with abusing it for a long period of time, it doesn't mean that eventually your day in the sun won't come. Every action has a reaction, every decision we make has consequences, good or bad.
From what I've read on various blogs, people have had a hard time watching this show because of all of the crazy morally ambiguous things that a lot of the characters on the show do. I'm in agreeance with them on a lot of it - I mean, watching a love scene between Jaime Lannister and his SISTER Cersei is enough to make anyone scream. But unfortunately, incest was highly prevalent in society back then. Hell, it still happens today (gross). Also, watching men slaughter women and children, people cutting off people's heads, people stabbing babies, people cheating on their spouses with prostitutes... ugh to all of it. I'm not condoning any of it... I'm just pointing out that even though all of those things are awful, lots of those things that may have happened a long time ago in medieval society still go on in 2014. I just think that the show is a huge reflection on how people operate and do things to survive in this world. Even though these characters operate in a fictional universe, they were all loosely based on ACTUAL people who lived a long time who did these things. And in my opinion, society hasn't changed much since then.
Back to the "scene" this week between Jaime and Cersei Lannister (pictured). Now, in the TV show, after Jaime and Cersei's son the king (born out of incest... ewwww) died, Jaime asked everyone to leave the room where his "nephew's" body was being held so that Cersei could say goodbye. He ended up staying in the room with her. They talked a bit, and Jaime tried to comfort Cersei (by making out... ewwww). And as soon as Cersei felt Jaime's metal hand (he got it chopped off after running his mouth too much in Season 2) touch her face, she pulled away, disgusted. But he wanted to "be" with her anyway, and ended up forcing himself on her. And then they did the deed.
Now, it gets tricky because Cersei at first said no. And then she turned around and didn't stop him from kissing her. And then she said no again. And then he ripped her dress. And then she said "this isn't right", but it then it seemed like she relented. I think she relented. I'm not sure. They let the scene end with him on top of her, with what looked like him "raping" her.
This is what happened on the TV show. In the books, their lovemaking, however, was consensual. And fans of the show are mad.
I'm not going to address the whole "rape" thing or whether he did it or didn't do it. Rape is a very dicey topic to discuss, and I'd rather not give my opinion on the matter. It looked like he raped her, but, considering the history between Jaime and Cersei (a very dysfunctional one), I don't know if he did. I'm going to see what happens next episode and see how the writers handle the aftermath of that situation.
My issue with the blog forums is that people are upset because Jaime, in the books, even though he has done some morally reprehensible things (like pushing a child out of a high window in an attempt to kill him), around this time decides to turn his life around and become a better man. He also in the books doesn't believe in raping women and even saved Brienne of Tarth from being raped when they were being held prisoner away from King's Landing. But in the TV show, it seems like he raped Cersei, which most people are arguing is out of character for him.
Here's where I disagree. I don't think it's out of character for him. The man pushed Bran Stark from a window and meant to kill him. He ended up maiming him for life, and gets away with it. To me, for him to turn to rape after practically murdering a little boy (for his own selfish reasons, nonetheless) isn't much of a stretch. They are both bad crimes. One isn't much different or better than the other one, and to me, if a person can murder someone, they sure as hell can rape someone.
He could turn his life around all he wants, but at the end of the day, this man is a murderer. Also, he sick in the head, because he sleeps with his SISTER. Yuck. Yes, he did some good deeds afterwards, but that still doesn't erase his incestuous, murderous ways.
I guess he goes on a hardcore mission to redeem himself in the books (I haven't read them). He has yet to do that in the show. I don't care what he does - he could cure cancer... but in my eyes, he's still a child pushing incestuous murderer. How anyone can defend him, or call his actions on the TV show a "character assassination" is beyond me. From what I can tell, he's been the same person in the books as he has been on TV. There isn't much of a difference. A murderer is a murderer regardless of what canon you put him in.
We really need to see what happens next week to make the final decision on Jaime's actions. I'd hate for it to actually be rape, because that would be a game changer on the show in Jaime and Cersei's crazy relationship. I don't know... I guess we'll find out.
Even so, I still think that Game of Thrones is a well written show that truly reflects human nature, in a good and in a bad way. I wish that we all had more morals and didn't do some of the things that are reflected in this show, and on television in general. We have a long way to go as human beings. But until then...