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10 Things People Have Said Since “Breaker of Chains” (That Make My Soul Die a Little)

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WARNING: This post contains potential triggers (and spoilers). Please read at your own caution.

In spite of being a pretty big fan of G.R.R. Martin’s work, I am three episodes behind on Game of Thrones. Why, you ask? Because I still haven’t forgiven the show runners for the choices they made in episode 4×03, “Breaker of Chains”. Yes, I am referring to that scene between Jaime and Cersei.

I understand that most people have moved on. Most of the conversation has ended, the ranting and protesting has died off. However, that doesn’t mean that the conversation should be dropped; in fact, if what I’m told is true and the show has carried on as if the scene didn’t even happen, then I daresay we should be having even more conversation now.

The bottom line is that the scene was problematic and the way in which it was addressed was less than satisfactory. In order to highlight all the issues surrounding the scene in which Jaime sexually assaults Cersei, I’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 things people have said to me about “Breaker of Chains” that make my soul die a little. 

Nothing about the scene was okay.

Nothing about the scene was okay.

10. Maybe she consented later.

Here’s the problem with this one. The show writers want us to believe that Cersei did eventually consent to Jaime and the scene played out the same way it did in the book (which had really dubious consent, by the way). HOWEVER, we won’t ever bloody know that for sure, will we, since the scene ended before Cersei gave ANY signs of consent. No consent = rape. Cersei never gave consent in the footage we saw. This is just wishful thinking, people. Don’t buy into what the writers tell you when they’re just trying to save their own asses.

9. It totally made the story better.

Um… how? How does it make it better that someone who started out as a total ass-wipe and, through trial and tribulation, started to become a decent human being with a moral compass and then… Oh, wait, nope. Then he sexually assaulted his sister. In what way does that serve the story or Jaime’s character development? Sure, the writers changed so much that they had to do something to give reason behind the growing distance between Jaime and Cersei. Except I’m pretty sure losing their firstborn child would have totally sufficed as reason enough. People do grieve in different ways, after all. We’ll go ahead and call this one debunked.

8. But he loves her.

Is this supposed to somehow make it okay? And, if he really loved her, would he have sexually assaulted her in the first place? Research suggests that as many as 70% of rape victims know their attackers in some way, whether they are family members, friends, or partners. It doesn’t matter if Jaime does (or thinks he does) love Cersei. That does not in any way lessen or eliminate the violent act.

7. It wasn’t THAT bad of a scene.

So not much of it was shown on the screen. So there wasn’t any nudity or blood and no one was forced to beat their friend on threat of death. Does that make it somehow not “that bad” i.e. more okay than if it had been shown on-screen? NOPE.

6. It’s not a big deal – worse happens in Westeros!

It’s true that a lot of crappy stuff happens in Westeros. In fact, a lot of crappy stuff happens to women in Westeros. They’re sold, beaten, assaulted and killed fairly regularly and quite graphically. While being shot to death with a crossbow is a pretty shitastic way to go (RIP Ros), just because really horrible stuff happens in the world of Westeros doesn’t mean the scene was at all justified.

Wait, didn’t Jaime Lannister himself say that he would rather die than ever let himself be raped? Whether or not you agree with his sentiment, it should make you pause for a moment. Hmmm….

And to combat the waves of comments that are sure to come: yes, I did find Daenerys’ initial encounters with Drogo to be very problematic as well.

5. Jaime is still my favorite character.

How do you even. No.

4. It’s just a TV show.

Yes, it’s just a television show based on a fantasy book series. Yes, it’s entirely fictional and they’re all actors and no one really got harmed during the filming of the scene.

Here’s the thing, though: sexual assault isn’t just in TV shows. It happens on a daily basis. Why does it happen? Well we could come up with a variety of reasons trying to explain away why the attackers do what they do. One very real reason that we need to take into consideration, though, is the continued prevalence of violence against women in media.

Rape culture is real. For better or worse, what we see in the media does affect how we think (remember all those people who got depressed they couldn’t live in Pandora after Avatar?). While on the one hand we could take the scene as confirmation that one truly cannot identify potential rapists and that rapists do not fit a specific “profile”, on the other there will still be those who see a character who was growing in likability commit a heinous act and get away with it. I’m not saying that this is going to cause a bunch of people to run out and commit sexual assaults because they want to be like Jaime Lannister; I am saying that it normalizes the behavior.

3. He’s still hot/I wish I was his twin/Etc.

Stop. Just stop it. Do you even hear yourself? I can’t deal with this.

2. It wasn’t rape.

What…. How?

There was no consent. At  no point in the scene did Cersei communicate her desire for Jaime clearly and without any doubt. In fact, quite the opposite — she pleaded with him to stop for the duration of what was shown. Unless you’re wearing the rose colored glasses of #10 on the list, there is really no way in which one can possibly view this as not being sexual assault.

1. She deserved it.

NOPE. NO NO NO NO. I don’t care how self-centered and conniving Cersei is or all the terrible things she’s done to people in the show. She didn’t deserve it. Why?

BECAUSE NO ONE DESERVES TO BE SEXUALLY ASSAULTED. PERIOD.

 

If this doesn’t help shed light on why this scene continues to be a problem, then I don’t know what will.

 

Have you continued to watch Game of Thrones? Have a strong opinion about the choices made this season? Sound off in the comments or tweet us at @ThreeChicGeeks.

 

Author: Critique Geek

Writer and dreamer with a BA in Sarcasm. All-around nerd and lover of geeky things.

7 thoughts on “10 Things People Have Said Since “Breaker of Chains” (That Make My Soul Die a Little)

  1. This is so so so so accurate. Thank you for making this post. This scene deserved me in ways I cannot describe, but you eloquently put it into words for people to hopefully understand. Thank you. People needs to realise that this sort of thing furthers rape culture, and if you make excuses for an on scene rape then you make excuses for real life rape. Which is not okay at all.

  2. I agree, totally. I am still a fan of the show and probably will be, but that scene definitely made me jump off the Jamie train.

  3. I have never been so angry at a tv show in my life. I’m a huge fan of the books, but I’ve never seen the show since I wanted to finish the books before I watched. I’ve read all of A Storm of Swords (the book the currant season is based on), and let me tell you, there is ABSOLUTELY NO Jamie on Cercei violence in the book. They were growing distant because Jamie had found a moral compass and was starting to become a good person and rejected Cercei. There’s literally a scene in the book were Cercei tries to go down on him, and he stops her. He’s frustrated with her and wants it to stop. In fact, a budding love for Brianne is hinted at. By the end of the book, he’d pretty much proved that he was on the path to becoming a good person. (See how I left out spoilers?)

    Other than the fact that the writers changed something so crucial to the plotline, the thing that pisses me off the most is that this blog post was the first time I’d heard about this!! I started reading this, and I literally gasped. Seriously, this episode has been out for days now, and I hadn’t heard any of the other blogs I follow nor any of the GoT boards I follow on Pinterest mention this. Why aren’t people making a bigger deal about this? This is disgusting, and no one, not even Cercei, deserves something like this. And, now do the writers of the show want us to go on and believe that Jamie’s turned a new leaf? Thank you SO much for writing this post! I had my doubts about the show before, but now I’ll definitely stick to the books.

  4. Pingback: Signal Boost for Three Chic Geeks…. | Random Me

  5. Thank you for this post! way too little has been said about that scene, and I wholeheartedly agree with the response you have given to the frankly terrible comments you have found on the ‘net.
    Hope you do not mind, but I have posted the link to this post on my blog, as a sort of signal boost, because the more people read what you have to say the better it is, in my opinion (I wanted to reblog the post itself, but I’m wordpress-stupid and had no idea how else to do it without the specific button).

  6. I think that she was protesting the place of it not the act and she only stopped consenting after she saw his hand, this made him angry, also she had just been rejecting him since he got back because of the hand. he was angry and desperate.

  7. I am part of those who have “moved on” but not saying any of those 10 things. To me this scene was a total (and the biggest so far and I hope the biggest of all) mistake from the showmakers.
    I would even add that In the show Cersei is generally (very) much softer than in the books, so there are even less “explainations” for Jamie’s behaviour there. I don’t see the point in making Cersei softer and Jamie more cruel (in this scene only), and then make them act as if everything was normal. I just moved on because I love the show and consider this a big mistake I hope they’ll never do again.
    I am of the few who admire Jaime’s love for Cersei and even find it beautiful. It kinda pissed me that they grew apart in the books (but as Cersei is a total bitch in the books it feels more understandable), but if I was just basing my opinion on the show I would not be surprised to see Cersei growing apart from Jaime instead of the other way round…
    I really don’t understand why they made such a huge mistake when everything else is quite well done, even the changes from the books. It’s like they dodged numerous deadly traps only to dumbly fall off a cliff. Were the usual scenarists on holidays or what ? Did they forget to readproof the thing ? Mystery.

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