miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
... or, indeed, read the books. Trigger warnings for much of what is under the cut.


I don't read the books because before the TV series even started more than one person I trust told me that the patriarchal setting and many rapey plot points would bother me, and there are plenty more books in the library. When people started raving about the TV series I asked one of the people who had initially advised me to avoid the books if the TV series was the same. He confirmed it was. Then last year there was a big fuss because a scene which was merely ambiguous as to whether it was consensual in the books was made even more rapey in the TV show.

So at this point we have an already rapey set of stories that had been made even more rapey by the TV show people already.

My question is this: why has the most recent instance of rape in a rapey show that's been made more rapey than the source material on at least one previous occasion caused such a fuss? What was so offensive about this rape that wasn't offensive about all the other instances of rapeyness?

I'm genuinely interested in why this particular instance has been the straw that broke the camel's back for so many, including geek girl website the Mary Sue.

Date: Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 06:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] caseytalk.livejournal.com
One reason is that this one was added in. It wasn't in the books. GRRM did include rape in his imaginary world because it is a fact. It is something that does happen in such situations. It doesn't make it right, but it is realistic. Throwing in this additional one, though, is something that came from the scriptwriters and not the books. It's as if they can't figure out anything else to do with female characters suddenly, when there are so many strong, complex female characters.

Date: Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 11:06 am (UTC)
londonkds: (Default)
From: [personal profile] londonkds
As Andrew said below, the rape scene involved *was* in the books (and was even nastier) but involved a different female character who was unified with Sansa in the TV adaptation.

Date: Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 07:24 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
I haven't read the books past the first one (though I have been spoiled for various things) so I'm not making comparisons to that. I find it disturbing because the producers waited until the actress was 18 and then immediately had her character raped on screen. There's something really off-putting about that, like "now you are a woman, time for rape!"

Date: Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 07:26 am (UTC)
andrewducker: (Default)
From: [personal profile] andrewducker
My understanding from Julie, who has read the books (and I haven't) is that _this_ scene isn't in the books, because this whole plot thread happens with a different character (who isn't in the TV version), but that the equivalent scene in books is equally deeply unpleasant, and possibly more-so for all concerned (and less showable on TV, (not that they showed anything, but it only happened about three feet offscreen, and it was unpleasant).

But yes, I don't really understand it. If you got this far with GoT then you know that hideous things happen to any and all characters. And once character X agreed to get married to *worse than Joffrey for disturbing awfulness* character Y, things were clearly going to be bad for them.

Date: Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 12:45 pm (UTC)
po8crg: A cartoon of me, wearing a panama hat (Default)
From: [personal profile] po8crg
[Trigger Warning: non-explicit description of rape scenes and rape trauma]

There isn't a direct equivalent scene in the books because Jeyne Poole is raped (repeatedly) outside the view of any of the viewpoint characters. We see the effects of the rape and torture on her in the books (mostly after she is rescued), but not the actual events. The effects on her afterwards are an attempt to portray PTSD (I'm not sure how well; it's a while since I read ADWD).

Also, they put Theon in the room. Theon is a viewpoint character, and we know he never saw Jeyne getting raped - because we can read his thoughts and he doesn't know details about what happened to her.

Sansa (the TV character that was merged into Jeyne) was raped on-screen with Theon (her foster-brother) in the room.

Having seen the scene, it's less offensive than the publicity made me expect it to be. I think the Khal Drogo/Dany rape scene is much more objectionable - it was far more sexually explicit, and Dany later (next episode? the one after?) falls in love with Drogo, and Drogo is portrayed generally positively both in the books and on-screen. Ramsay Snow/Bolton is consistently portrayed as evil; there's no redemption coming there, and the scene is about as non-explicit as a rape scene can be.
Edited (Added trigger warning to the comment) Date: Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 01:00 pm (UTC)

Date: Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 01:39 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
Again, it's a few years since I read any of the books, but I'm sure there's a scene where The on is both present at and forced to take part in a rape. I assumed this scene was what was dramatised here.

Date: Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 02:08 pm (UTC)
von_geisterhand: (Default)
From: [personal profile] von_geisterhand
Yes. I assumed so, too.

Date: Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 04:26 pm (UTC)
po8crg: A cartoon of me, wearing a panama hat (Default)
From: [personal profile] po8crg
It appears I've been remembering the book wrong. Please ignore what I wrote.

Date: Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 07:29 am (UTC)

Date: Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 12:43 pm (UTC)
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
From: [personal profile] purplecat
Don't watch the show and didn't make it past the 3rd book but, I saw an interesting suggestion that part of the problem was that the character involved is very divisive with a significant section of the audience accustomed to make remarks to the fact that she "deserved" a "good raping". In that context it looks a little like the show runners pandering to the worst of their audience.

Of course, it also means that she was greatly loved by a large audience segment and I can easily imagine that the straw could be one of your favourite characters who, thus far, had escaped being raped getting raped after all.

Sorry. This has become a bit rambley.

Date: Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 02:07 pm (UTC)
von_geisterhand: (Default)
From: [personal profile] von_geisterhand
Okay, most of the significant points have already been mentioned in the other comments.
To be honest, the only difference I can see is that the rape* occurs to a named main character that people are emotionally invested in as opposed to some semi-random side character.
The thing is that I seriously cannot think of a way all this could have turned out differently.
I understand why they put Sansa in Jeyne Poole's place. It is a way to keep Sansa in the series, similar to how they handled a replacement in Arya's thread. Her plot as far as the current state of the books is concerned is done. They could just not feature her this season, like they did with Bran (who also used up all his book plot) but this undoubtedly would also lead to disappointed and complaining fans. So I understand why they did it.
And as far as any of the people I watch the show with go, there was not a single one who did not go "Uh-Oh!" when it became clear that the show would actually marry her to the character who is probably highest on everybody's wish list for a screaming and torturous death at the moment. Ramsay wasn't going to reveal his kind and tender side and this wedding was never going to be in any way pleasant for Sansa. And to be honest: Having read the books, I expected this scene to be even worse. Much worse.

However, I think it would actually unfair to say that the show made the set of stories even more rapey than the books already were. IMHO the show has actually gone out of its way to make its female characters stronger and deeper than their book-counterparts.** Sansa in particular at this point has become stronger and more self-determined than I would ever expect her to become in the books (even if she is ultimately still a pawn in a man's plan).

Herein might lie part of the problem and I am going to assume how this will continue on the basis of the books so this might be slightly spoilery.
The Mary Sue is correct that the rape of Ramsay's bride is probably just a plot device supposed to provide a motivation for Theon to reclaim his self-determination and make him flee with Jeyne/Sansa. Which in itself is probably fair enough but becomes more problematic if said plot device is a main character whose growth and strengthening we have been witnessing recently. It's clear how this will drive the plot on and it's clear how this will advance Theon's character. It is entirely unclear in what way this will advance Sansa's character, though (I have some ideas but suspect that they will not be the ones the showrunner will go with).

*I am using the word because everybody else seems to. Inside the world of GoT it's likely that it wouldn't be considered thus, even if the groom went out of his way to be as unpleasant as possible. A great deal is made of the fact that Sansa's previous husband chose to never consumate the marriage. Probably says all you need to know about that world.
** I am excluding last season's corpse-side rape from this. I have no idea what the purpose of changing this from voluntary to unvoluntary was supposed to be. To me it doesn't make sense on any level.

Re: Sorry. This has become a bit rambley.

Date: Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 05:30 pm (UTC)
po8crg: A cartoon of me, wearing a panama hat (Default)
From: [personal profile] po8crg
My understanding of your footnote ** is that it wasn't intentional on the part of the writers, but was a screw-up between the writing and the direction.

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