Wednesday, May 27, 2015
It was with great interest that I read the outrage over the rape of Sansa Stark on a recent episode of Game Of Thrones. In the episodes final scene, Sansa (Sophie Turner) is sexually assaulted on her wedding night by husband Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) as Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen), is forced by Ramsay to stand and watch. Don't get me wrong, the rape was ugly and difficult to watch. As a viewer I was always rooting for Sansa to escape the masculine evil that always seems to surround her. My fascination however is with all of those who all of a sudden found this scene so out of bounds?
Yes, I have read that in George R.R. Martin's books, it was not Sansa who was raped, but a girl posing as Arya Stark who married Ramsay. But someone was raped. Anyone who reads FH on any type of regular basis knows how much I adore cruelty. Physical cruelty, mental and emotional cruelty, sexual or power based cruelty especially. FH is in fact my response to various other blogs and sites whose purpose is only to mock and bring down others. Although I have made the odd swipe at a celebrity or media hypocrisy, I try to keep the blog as positive as possible.
But... Game Of Thrones is rooted in cruelty. Passion and power yes, but much of the power the characters gain come through incredibly violent and cruel acts. I don't understand why this surprises anyone. I love the show, but have had to divert my eyes many times during overtly violent and cruel scenes have graced my television screen. Both men and women have been raped, mutilated, decapitated and bludgeoned in every possible way since the show began. Forgive the term, but the writers have clearly been toying with Sansa as 'rape bait' since season 1. The term is ugly I know, but all through the shows first couple of season, Sansa's virginity was played up and she was always on the verge of being assualted or raped when engaged to Joffery. In fact, Joffery played out his violent fantasy's about Sansa in some particularly violent acts on prostitutes. Then there is Petyr Littlefinger, whose lecherous looks always had me thinking he was the big bad wolf to Sansa's red riding hood.
I did not enjoy the scene of Sansa being raped, but I was also not surprised, the show pretty laid out this was Sansa's fate early in the shows run. It was especially hard to have Theon there given he and Sansa were raised together. But many seem not to be as outraged by how horrible the rape must have also been for Theon. No character on GOT has been through more violence, torture, and sexual humiliation and degradation than Theon (nicknamed Reek by Ramsay). All of this cruelty, not to mention his castration was also at the hands of Sansa's rapist Ramsay.
I am wondering why all of those people calling for a boycott, (including you Sen. Claire McCaskill) were not outraged about all of the acts of violence and sexual sadism Theon has gone through? Was it because Theon was written as a bit of a letch himself in season 1? I trust not, we have all been educated not to blame the victim. I am not sure the response to Sansa's rape says as much about our feelings towards the violence against women, as it does about our acceptance with the epidemic in film and television of violence against men.