The internet is abuzz after the infamous Sept scene between Jaime and Cersei Lannister as their son Joffrey Baratheon lay dead during “Breaker of Chains“, the third episode of the fourth season of Game of Thrones. Some are accusing the sex scene between the pair, though disturbing on so many levels, rape and shown in a way that makes it seem acceptable.
At issue, is Cersei’s initial resistance to Jaimie’s advances, which then becomes acquiescence after he refuses to back down. Critics argue that in filming this scene, HBO inadvertently set rape advocacy back as the scene implies that “No” doesn’t mean no and will eventually mean yes if one persists long enough. It does not help that the actors and even the author himself are giving responses that are as PC as possible either.
Personally, I don’t think I’m remotely qualified or stupid enough to take a position either way, however I do believe that while the episode strayed from the book on some timeline issues, if you look at the original text, it appears that what was filmed was a best attempt at sticking to the source material in a way that makes sense thanks in light of the problem the show created by altering the timeline. In context, the scene can be viewed differently, and one can take a myriad of views. I’ll let the readers decide.
In the interim check out The Game of Thrones Sex Scene Can’t Be Both Rape and Not Rape by Eliana Dockterman @edockterman and the attached excerpt from A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin from which this scene is based.