Last night's episode of Game of Thrones caused a great deal of controversy over a rape scene that took place between Jamie Lannister and his sister, Cersei. Countless people across the Internet have given their opinions on the scene, and it seems like the majority agree that it was disturbing, to say the least. However, aside from those taking offense to the show portraying such a brutal act, others took issue with how dramatically the scene changed the character dynamics and the way a similar incident was portrayed in the book.
Over on his blog, Game of Thrones creator, George R.R. Martin, expressed his opinions on the scene, and whether or not he had an issue with what was portrayed last night:
“In the novels, Jaime is not present at Joffrey’s death, and indeed, Cersei has been fearful that he is dead himself, that she has lost both the son and the father/ lover/ brother. And then suddenly Jaime is there before her. Maimed and changed, but Jaime nonetheless. Though the time and place is wildly inappropriate and Cersei is fearful of discovery, she is as hungry for him as he is for her.
The whole dynamic is different in the show, where Jaime has been back for weeks at the least, maybe longer, and he and Cersei have been in each other’s company on numerous occasions, often quarreling. The setting is the same, but neither character is in the same place as in the books, which may be why [producers] played the sept out differently. But that’s just my surmise; we never discussed this scene, to the best of my recollection.
Also, I was writing the scene from Jaime’s POV, so the reader is inside his head, hearing his thoughts. On the TV show, the camera is necessarily external. You don’t know what anyone is thinking or feeling, just what they are saying and doing.
If the show had retained some of Cersei’s dialogue from the books, it might have left a somewhat different impression — but that dialogue was very much shaped by the circumstances of the books, delivered by a woman who is seeing her lover again for the first time after a long while apart during which she feared he was dead. I am not sure it would have worked with the new timeline.
That’s really all I can say on this issue. The scene was always intended to be disturbing… but I do regret if it has disturbed people for the wrong reasons.”
It seems like Martin didn’t have much of a say over the scene while the episode was being conceived, and he concedes that the show took a much different route than his original novel. Even though Martin has weighed in, it’s unlikely that the controversy regarding this scene is close to being over.