I have dtopped watching GoT a while ago because of unnecessary ultraviolence. I realised I was no longer really looking forward to discovering the new episodes but was in fact genuinely scared of what they would come up with next to horrify the hell out of me. The books are full of violence, sure, but writing and film are different mediums and I think the choices made are extremely unfortunate. Clearly they're picking storylines for shock value, adding characters so they can get extra sexualised, raped and killed (Ros), adding dubious sexual stuff when there was none (Meera), and showing a lot more than they'd need to (in the case of Ros: was showing her body stuffed with arrows in strategic places really necessary? Did we not know already that Joffrey was a murderous sadist?). I had been fed up for a while and what tipped me over the edge was actually Oberyn's death, but that's merely because it was very graphic and it made me have a panic attack. Shortly after I learnt of Jaime raping Cersei and I was SO annoyed. They're just messing up characterisation so, so much just so they can add rape. It is utterly out of character for Jaime to rape Cersei. Makes no sense, except to satisfy all the fans that have no understanding whatsoever that rape is not entertainment or a punitive device for characters they hate.
About Sansa. Personally, I'm most worried at the fact that the writers went out of their way to get sure Sansa would get to that point. They had planning that plot since Sophie Turner was about 14-15. They waited impatiently for her to be of age just so they could have her raped on screen. I find it disturbing that they felt it was needed to keep THAT storyline (that they "loved") when Arianne Martell was cut out, Lady Stoneheart was cut out, etc. We can obviously that their priority is more rape, more violence, more shock value. The character is also very much underage even if Sophie is now of age and barely.
I think people are just bored that GoT has becoming this: lazy writing for shock value purposes based on sex and violence, when Asoiaf is so much better than that. There was so, so much potential to this show and they're really ruining it. GRRM wants to shock and shake his readers, but there is a LOT of content and the violence is framed, contextualised, the books aren't a litany of rape and murders. The plot is complex, the backstories are complex, the universe is developed. HBO cut short everywhere and what did they keep? What did they add?
I just wish people would stop watching instead of complaining though because in the meantime, they're still making tons of money even with a good portion of the fandom who hates the way they're going, idk. I mean, obviously they do not care.
ETA: personally i think it doesn't make much sense for Baelish to have Sansa marry Bolton in terms of characterisation. BUT, what you say about Sansa's agency makes sense. I think the whole "she could have stabbed him!!!" thing makes no sense. Sansa is not Arya, ppl.Edited at 2015-05-23 06:35 am (UTC)
Ah...so, I did not get the impression that D&D were waiting "impatiently" for Sansa's actress to be legal just so they could have her be raped. If they were bending timeframes unrealistically in order to accommodate this that's one thing. But this is a natural time for this plotline to happen. I really, really think this was more coincidence rather than them gleefully waiting for a chance to have her raped.
It's true they've added probably more violence than needed. But they also don't have every instance of violence that was in the book. Even if there is more violence in the show, I don't think the difference is quite as egregious as what people make it out to be. After all, they've also added things that are not violence based, such as Margeary being a far more prominent "player" in the show than she is in the book. But either way, there are times when I think it's justified to be mad at things they've added (like Jaime raping Cersei) but this post was about how I don't think this scene was really much of a violation.
Ellaria effectively replaces Ariane. I know it's not the same, but it's not like they cut out Ariane and kept Quentyn, or something. To be quite honest, I don't see the value of Lady Stoneheart, even in the books, nor do I really understand people's attachment to her. She's not even Cat at all, more a one-track-mind zombie than anything. I'm almost glad she was cut, but that's just my opinion.
Anyway, I realize that we disagree. And no one should have to watch/read something they aren't comfortable with, so...
(Okay first of all I had just woke up and was sleep-deprived when I wrote the comment above so I apologise if it was going offtrack or not very clear)
About the impatience, I was referring to the fact that they had been planning that for a while and, of all the storylines, deliberately kept this one, but I still can't find a good reason why. I mean, the show has already shown how fucked-up Ramsay is at that point, right? It's not like it adds anything to his characterisation. Sansa has been through a lot of shit and I'm not sure it was necessary for her character to go through that abuse, either. Perhaps they'll do something interesting with it, but I kind of doubt it? We'll see.
I think my issue with violence on the show is how unnecessarily graphic and hypersexualised it is, very often. Is it plausible that rape and murder happen very often in that universe? Yes, absolutely. Do we need to see every single gritty detail on screen? I don't know. In the case of Ros, they totally could have shown her feet dangling off the bed with blood dripping, for instance -- that would have gotten the message accross just fine. But they chose to show her barely naked with arrows in her breasts and crotch, you know?
Ellaria does replace Arianne, but at what cost? It seems like characters are interchangeable to the show's writers. Jeyne can become Sansa, Arianne can become Ellaria, it doesn't really matter apparently. I have to say that this storyline fucks up Ellaria's characterisation big time, though. Ellaria was not a vindictive, vengeful person. In the show she's going against what Oberyn stood for, too ("In Dorne we don't hurt little girls"). And I guess I wouldn't be annoyed if it wasn't so boring? Like, this characterisation for Ellaria is so tired. I would have liked for her to actually be like "Ok, let's not add up violence to all of this shit, revenge will lead us nowhere, Oberyn already died to get revenge, hurting Myrcella is bullshit."
I would agree Jaime raping Cersei was definitely worse, in terms of characterisation and plot, than Sansa's rape by Ramsay. I think maybe the outrage about it is also due to the fact that it comes after Jaime/Cersei getting fucked up. I mean, a lot of Sansa fans are also Cersei fans and were really bitter about that. But I do think some people might react more strongly because they care less about Cersei getting raped. They hate Cersei, so they might think she deserved it or something like that.
I'm happy to discuss this even if we disagree! I like to discuss things without animosity, and there isn't much place for that in other platforms, lbh :')
Anyway, overall, now my criticising of the show is much more... detached, somewhat. I don't watch it anymore and I have absolutely no intention of ever watching it again. The scenaristic choices just push my buttons and I'm so saddened to see such potential go to what, to me, is somewhat waste. As someone who was raped as a teenager, and who identifies very strongly with Sansa, I'm beyond glad I never got to that scene, really.
Well, I feel like I tried to explain somewhat in this post why I thought it would be hard to get away from this storyline. I mean the options were:
1) Sansa gets raped.
2) sansa gets raped, but we don't see the scene only hear about it, for example.
3) Jeyne gets raped.
4) Ramsy doesn't marry anyone and no one gets raped.
I get the impression that you would prefer #4
, but as I said above, we don't know yet how feasible that would be because it's not clear what fallout there will be from this marriage plot-wise. So yea, we'll see I guess.
I have to admit, I don't remember Ellaria's characterization very well from the book (it's been a while) so I can't fully comment on how this does or doesn't mess that up.
I mean...I guess you're right in that there is probably no need to make the violence as graphic as it is. Maybe I've just built up a tolerance to it. Like, I recently watched the Spartacus series and the violence there was even worse (although, it was less sexualized, I guess) and I still liked the show *shrug* I mean, personal experiences go into this sort of thing too, of course.
I guess...I just feel like some people are being hypocritical? (Not you, to be clear.) Like, they will scream about how the show has all this violence but never call it out in the books and act like the books do everything right and the show ruins everything. And I feel like that's a terrible exaggeration of the situation. IDK. Like...for me the hardest part was Theon's torture and humiliation. Arguably, the books were worse on the torture end but the show is worse on the post-fact humiliation end, which is harder for me to stomach. Like, those weren't necessary additions either but...it's not like the books were so much better at avoiding torture porn? IDK. Sorry, I'm just...not very good at expressing how I feel about the situation, I guess *shrug*
I think 2) or 4) would be my preferred options. I mean sticking to canon is good but a graphic rape scene of Jeyne wouldn't have pleased me either, because again: we already know how fucked-up Ramsay is, re: scenes with Theon. 2) seems reasonable though.
Personally I tolerate much more violence in what I read than in what I watch... I guess I'm very visual in general (visual memory, visual imagination), that might have something to do with it. And I think GRRM depicts a lot of violence, including rape, but it doesn't feel like he purposely goes out of his way to focus on it? Like, he creates a very violent world and he goes into details about pretty much everything -- smalltime bannermen, genealogy, ancient history, geography, food, the universe of asoiaf is very well shaped out. There is so much more context to the violence and I feel like in the books, power, mind games, political stakes are more important. And they unfold in very violent ways -- but the focus is still on the whys and hows. Isn't it? GRRM does want to surprise and shock his readers, keep them on their toes, but I don't get the feeling he neglects characterisation in doing so, on the contrary. I can't really say the same for the show (anymore, anyway). It just pours hypersexualised violence allllll the time now. I mean, my issue with ultraviolence is one thing; it's quite personal, really. One of my phobias got triggered at some point and I just couldn't take it anymore. Some people take ultraviolence just fine and really are able not to cringe that much at it ; I guess that can allow to watch certain very good movies with gore (I really can't). My issue with hypersexualised violence is different. Noncon and dubcon fic is one thing: there is usually a high awareness of what is happening in the fic, warnings. You can choose not to read it and you are aware that what you're reading is not something that should happen in reality. Getting off on a fantasy is something, and I am not coming after that *at all*. But hypersexualised violence in a show, without any sort of warning, in a universe where it's presented as the norm, and shown to people who are for the most part very uninformed about consent? Eeeeh. I mean, I'm wondering what seeing this does to us. Some people are going to look at it critically and take a step back, but some are not. I don't know how I would have reacted to GoT if I had been a teen. And some comments about the rape scenes and the characters of GoT are really disturbing. Some fans were actually complaining that Sansa's rape wasn't MORE graphic. I mean... Shouldn't ppl just watch porn that roleplays rape, and quit asking a mainstream show to do it, at that point? I know some people who watch this who are as young as 14. Suggesting sexual violence is actually a way of making light of an issue that is well alive today, I don't think it would be best to censor it altogether and present a Westeros where no one gets hurt because it wouldn't be realistic. But I guess they're really pushing it and doing it in a way that feels really in-your-face. It would be ludicrous to expect the show to be without violence, but I'm sad that it's become the utmost priority.
Hopefully I'm making sense >.<
Ah, I think I'm seeing at least part of where we disagree. For me, #2
aren't actually that different, because what I'm focusing on is what actually happened, not whether it was on screen or not.
(As a side note, since you mentioned it, I don't think this show was meant to cater to 14-year-olds in the first place, though. It is most certainly an R (or higher) rated show. I mean, I know that teenagers still get hold of content via internet or whatever, that they are not meant to get a hold of. But that's more on their parents than the showrunners. Otherwise we'd never have mature content in things because "the kids could see it.")
And I mean, sure. Books and tv/movies are different mediums, so things can read differently. For example, you can just write "X walked into a brothel" in a book. You don't need to describe the naked prostitutes to establish the setting or anything. In a visual medium, the most organic way to show something is a brothel is to show...well, prostitutes. Who will probably be naked. I guess for people who are sensitive (more than I am, anyway) to this sort of thing this all adds up. And similarly, in order to describe a setting, GRRM must use up a page or two to do it in detail. Visually, all that description can be done in two-three shots. So it looks like there is a lot less scene setting. I understand that showrunners/directors should be sensitive to this sort of thing, but I don't know how much of it is fixable and, like for me persoanlly, I don't see the need to bend over backwards to fix it either. But, as I said, we're probably different here. Whether or not Sansa's rape happened off or on screan wouldn't make a difference to me. To you it obviously does.
I'm not saying the show it all it could have been. I've been irritated at changes too, especially when they have to do with plot (and major characterization issues). But, IMO, it's not as bad as people are making it out to be.
Yep, that's it!
Oh, I definitely think the show isn't for 14-y-o. But, you know, I think GoT is the epitome of the "everyone talks about it" phenomenon. I mean... the way everyone started watching it and talking about it about two years ago? I had rarely seen something so intense. Well, maybe Breaking Bad. I think the peer pressure to watch GoT to see what it's about and just be aware of what's going on would be very very strong for someone young if their friends are into it. Obviously censoring everything so it's kids friendly is ludicrous, I totally agree with you on that matter. But I think if you *can* stick to your plot and just make things less graphic, why not? Because it seems to me it makes a huge difference for teens (and more some people who are more sensitive to visual stuff like me, too).
At some point I am puzzled by the need they have to make all rapes so obvious. I'm really happy it makes no difference to you and to some other people bec it means you can still enjoy the show and that's pretty great, really! I'm just like: what does it take away if you suggest rape but don't show it? You can have the characters talk about it. You can show scars. You can even maybe just have the audience hear sounds but not *see* it. I think my issue with seeing the scene is that rape is so, so glamorised. And while I have no issue when it's done in fanfic where it's literally the point and it's acknowledged that it's a fantasy, when it's done in a show for entertainment and people aren't necessarily going to think about it/question it.... Eeeh >_<
Honestly, you're probably right -- it's probably not as a bad as people make it out to be. But everything is exaggerated by fans on tumblr. The positive, the negative, the meta, everything. You have very interesting, relevant stuff, and you have major wank. I think you can find a lot of hardcore purist fans that use that space to vent at the stuff that irk them. I think if I had had tumblr when I was about 13-14, I would have ranted my heart out about how the Harry Potter movies weren't good enough, lololol. Now I'm just like "eeeh, they really fucked up GoF plot and I'm pissed off at it, but not enough that I can't watch it and appreciate the special effects, the scenery, and just the mere fact that it's a HP movie".
Funny story: my brother is 14 and I don't think he even knows what Game of Thrones IS, lol. It's totally not unlikely that other teens his age know, though. My brother is kind of a dork.
Hmm. See this is interesting. I would have found it jarring if something this major happening to a major character would have been just mentioned off-handedly or something. Like, really? She was raped but we're just going to have people talk about it? And who would talk about it? Sansa doesn't have anyone to talk to really. Ramsy and co. would discuss it in the most harmfully disgusting way possible, I'm sure. ... I don't know how much you know about the scene, but it wasn't sexualized at all. Like...we see a shot of Sansa's back as Ramsy rips her dress. Then there's a shot of her face for a few seconds and then a shot of Theon's face for a few seconds. Hmmm...maybe they could have cut straight to Theon after showing Ramsy Sansa's dress and then fade to black? That would still establish that there was a rape and Theon was forced to watch without actually showing any of the rape? But I guess I don't see how this is so much different from what was actually shown. (My point being: in no way was this rape sexualized or even very graphic. Not like the Jaime/Cersei disaster...)
Like, I understand what you're saying, and I totally respect that this is just not something you're comfortable with watching. But you've also left watching the show a long time ago. And from what I'm getting from you is that there's just a big difference in what you can handle visually vs. reading, which is totally understandable. I'm more side-eyeing people who have made it this far through far-far worse and THIS is what they chose to have a riot over.
I think it's the cumulative effect of the writers constantly using rape and sexual violence as a plot device that has people pissed. Like, if it was an isolated incident then I don't think there would be so much outrage. But on top of Dany's, Cersei's rape and now Sansa's (yes, it was in the books with a different character, but the writers feel absolutely no obligations to adhere to the books like 80% of the time, especially this season so the fact that they've chosen to go the most violent route establishes a disturbing pattern to their preferences).
Also, I completely agree with this:
lazy writing for shock value purposes based on sex and violence, when Asoiaf is so much better than that. There was so, so much potential to this show and they're really ruining it. GRRM wants to shock and shake his readers, but there is a LOT of content and the violence is framed, contextualised, the books aren't a litany of rape and murders. The plot is complex, the backstories are complex, the universe is developed. HBO cut short everywhere and what did they keep? What did they add?
Honestly, I think they were decently true to the books until maybe...last season. I mean, know they made alterations before that too, but those always felt minor to me or things that made sense when adapting from one medium to the other.
(Also, I know people claim Dany's rape didn't happen in the books. But I mean, come on, she was 13. It totally did.)