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Once again I'm going to use the upcoming title to dictate my prediction.  The title of this upcoming episode is "Oathkeeper," which is the name Jaime gives to his Valyrian blade when he gives it to Brienne and charges her with finding Sansa.  So given this, I'll go ahead and predict this week's episode ends with this scene.

Also, I'd like to post a few more thoughts on the now infamous rape scene from this past episode: I've read a number of articles from prominent venues about this topic, and I've noticed a number of them have pointed out how this isn't the first time HBO's Game of Thrones has taken a cavalier attitude with rape, changing a sex scene in the books into a rape scene.  The other notable example was in season one when Khal Drogo has sex with Daenerys on their wedding night (episode one, I believe).

This is a fair point, certainly one worth bringing up.  What surprises me though is that of all the articles I've read, while several of them have noted what a mess the showrunners have made of Jaime's character arc, not a single one has pointed out that last season Jaime saved a woman he loathed from being raped (Brienne), while this season, as we're continuing to witness his transformation from the reprehensible man who threw Bran from a window, he decides to rape the woman he cares about most in the world.

By what metric of storytelling does this character arc make any sense?  Jaime was never on his way to becoming a saint, not in the books or the show, but he was walking a tightrope as he navigated duty to his family vs. the person he wanted to be.  And along the way, he was becoming a person we could identify with, at least to an extent.  He was no longer the ruthless sexual deviant interested in nothing brute force and incestuous sex. So by dialing up the violence up to 11 as the showrunners are wont to do, in one fell swoop they have not only brought Jaime back to the beginning of his character arc, but in all likelihood they have made him more hated than ever by a significant portion of the viewing audience.

And why?  Probably because the showrunners asked themselves their usual rolodex of questions: "Can we make this bloodier?  Can we make this more violent?  Can we make this more sexual?  Can we make this more disturbing?"  Never mind if it actually makes sense to the story.  Sex and violence sells!  It makes EVERYTHING better.  Right?  Umm, ever hear of that little saying called less is more?  The original scene in the book depicts consensual incestuous sex between twins in a  house of worship near the corpse of their love-child.  That is plenty disturbing, especially the way George depicts it in the book, because he made the brave choice to allow the reader to witness the unique passion of this completely fucked up relationship.  It was abhorrent, but we understood it as readers.  We didn't start hating Jaime again because of what happened (we just squirmed something awful).

The HBO scene amounted to little more than being provocative (or edgy if you will) for the sake of being provocative.  Had they followed the source material, people would still be talking about the scene, but there would be no blow-back.  Instead, everyone would be saying what a sick fuck George R. R. Martin is ...only George is such a genius that when we can call him a sick fuck we mean it as a form of praise (and rightly so).  Instead, a lot of people are going to be left with rather ambivalent feelings in this coming week's episode of "Oathkeeper" when Jaime charges Brienne with finding Sansa: "Oh, so you rape your sister while being close enough to piss on your dead son last week, but this week you're talking about keeping your oaths and I'm supposed to give a shit?  Fuck you!"  I'd imagine this will be the reactions for a lot of viewers, and the showrunners have no one to blame but themselves for completely fucking up Jaime's arc, for completely ignoring common sense, and in this instance for failing to understand what constitutes good storytelling.

Going forward they would be wise to have a new rolodex of questions on hand: Will changing this scene really improve it or we simply massaging our egos?  If we do change this scene, what's the worst that can happen?  If we write a scene involving rape, does our director understand it's rape?  And perhaps most importantly, if we're changing this scene, did we consult George R. R. Martin so that he can kick our respective asses if we're making a sad and ugly joke of his source material?

These would be some good starting points.  I'm looking at you David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.


ckastens wrote:
Apr. 25th, 2014 02:48 am (UTC)
How forty-somethings still don't know what defines rape is just...(speechless). As you've said, the worst change so far, utterly destroying sympathy for a character who is one of the best from the books, one of the only ones who truly seeks redemption.

Edited at 2014-04-25 02:49 am (UTC)
fixnwrtr wrote:
Apr. 28th, 2014 12:22 pm (UTC)
I guess clutching the altar cloth is a sign of consent. Strange.

I'm still waiting for the prediction for last night's episode, but I'll continue to wait. However, I wonder if the writers/showrunners are planning to flesh out what George has left undone, like the white walkers. I found that part of the episode intriguing and pretty much what I expected. It would take a very long time to amass a sufficiently large army since the white walkers are waiting for Craster and his kin to ante up their sons. Having said that, how did Craster get to be lord when all the sons are left for the white walkers? Was he lucky enough to get left behind or did his father choose him of all the male children when he was halfway through his reign in office? Craster obviously isn't the only one who tithes to the white walkers, but definitely the most obvious of them.

As for me, I choose to tolerate the Jaime from the books. The show is the show.


Douglas Cohen

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