Can we have a quick chat about THAT scene in Game of Thrones?

May 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

A great deal has been written about the final scene in this week’s episode of Game of Thrones. For those of you oddly occupying the centre of a venn diagram of “haven’t seen it” and “want to read about it” then a short summary would go thusly: Winterfell, home to the mostly murdered Stark family, has been unceremoniously taken over by the Boltons, a family so evil they might as well have a sigil comprised of a man being tortured (Oh wait). However, the local people, as well as the north more broadly, unsurprisingly takes issue with such a well regarded house being replaced with a family who comes from a place as evil a sounding as the “Dreadfort.” In an attempt to lend the Bolton’s at least a fraction of legitimacy, Sansa Stark (the last known true heir of Winterfell) is trafficked to marry Ramsey Bolton. After a wedding that involves little of the ceremony that the series is known for (read: death), Sansa is taken back to Ramsey’s room and is raped in order to consummate the marriage.

The scene is uncomfortable, it is unpleasant, and it unambiguous in its utter revulsion at what is happening. There is no suggestion that Sansa might in any way be complicit in what is happening (as was the case in Series 4 with Cersei), and nothing about the scene sexualises what is going on. It is, to my mind, a scene which is shot in a tonally appropriate way.

So where is the controversy?

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