So, about two weeks ago, I didn’t watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones. I was in LA, sleeping on a friend’s air mattress, trying to find a place to live. I watched some other tv, wrote some fanfics, and worried and stressed about apartments and paperwork. I read books on the plane. And I thought “I can catch up on this episode later.”
Then this past Sunday there was certainly no time. I was graduating college Monday, there was a ton to prepare, things to pack, people to meet and greet. So I didn’t watch that night.
And then Monday morning I heard people angrily talking about the episode. About Sansa getting raped. And I just thought “... no.”
And I’ve read the articles and seen people on my friends list on Facebook discussing it, and it’s just been ... vile. A man I considered a friend turned out to be a pretty disgusting human being, spewed ignorance, and then shut down a discussion thread and blocked me and some other women from his facebook page. Because we were outraged over the sexual violence on Game of Thrones.
Sansa is one of my favorite characters, but even if she weren’t I’d still be angry about this. I am sick of this. I am sick of women on the show being treated like objects there for shock-value, to be used and abused for entertainment. I’m particularly disturbed that this time it’s an actress who was so recently a minor, and that as soon as she turned 18 they decided to throw her into a scene like that. Are they looking at Maisie Williams with that excited, anticipatory eye now? Kerry Ingram? Are they counting the days until they can strip these girls onscreen?
Even if Sansa turns into a 1970s-style exploitation heroine and kills all the Boltons with her bare hands it won’t be enough. There’s going to be more rape first, because on this show, there’s always time for rape.
There’s no time for Arianne Martell and her plotline, but there’s time for rape.
There’s no time for Jaime’s trip through the Riverlands, but there’s time for rape.
There’s no time for Melisandre to be anything but a cartoonish “evil sexy lady in red” stereotype who cackles about Davos’ sons dying and strips at the drop of a hat, but there’s time for rape.
There’s no time for Wildling culture and history and Val, but there’s time for rape.
There’s no time for Lady Stoneheart and her plot, but there’s time for rape.
Sansa is going to be raped again. Many female characters on the show will be brutalized, tortured, stripped, for an anticipated leering male audience. It sickens me to think what they’ll do for Cersei’s Walk of Shame but I bet the camera will be about three inches from Lena Headey’s boobs the entire time.
I do not want to watch that. I do not need to watch that.
And so, I will not watch that.
I might watch the Team Dragonstone scenes as clips, but even that makes me worried because the plot and Sansa’s are gonna intersect, I just know it. And I’m worried the show is gonna burn Shireen or something equally nasty to her. So I don’t know if I can even manage to watch my favorite characters.
I still count myself as a fan of the books. They have their problems, particularly their racist moments, but I am willing to take the books, and the book fandom, over the show and the show fandom. I have found people willing to discuss the problems in the books, and share fanfics with, and squee about characters with, and I hate that it took the HBO show to get me into the books. That’s not the sort of person I usually am, usually I start with the books and THEN go to the show or movie. I hate that HBO robbed me of forming my own images of some of the characters and situations.
To those still watching the show, I wish you well. But I cannot watch anymore.