On last Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones, HBO’s uber popular fantasy series about an uncomfortable chair, the fictional character Jamie Lannister raped his fictional sister, Cersei Lannister, in what was certainly the most controversial sequence in the show’s already controversial history. Like all of its seven million weekly viewers, I was taken morally aback. I was flabbergasted; I was gobsmacked. And I believe I speak for the entirety of the Game of Thrones viewership when I say that scenes such as these fly in the face of every reason why I watch the show. I’ve truly had to reconsider everything I thought I knew about fictional incest-rape. It hasn’t been easy.
I watch Game of Thrones because it’s high art, end of discussion. To accuse the show of being ridiculous, melodramatic pulp is to misconstrue its deeply artful essence entirely. This isn’t a show that features gratuitous female nudity in nearly every episode. Its actresses (discounting Brienne of Tarth, of course) aren’t just facially-flawless models dressed in renfair costumes. When its constant sexual violence occurs, it always occurs in the most tasteful way possible: to SECONDARY characters. This is why I watch Game of Thrones. For the psychological complexity of its characters, especially when they’re murdering children. For its nuanced take on the human condition, specifically the human condition as it relates to ice zombies. I watch Game of Thrones for too many reasons to list, and, before last Sunday, I couldn’t imagine anything could convince me not to watch.
But main character on main character sexual violence? That I cannot stand for.
Real talk: jkjk, I can totally stand for fictional incest rape on Game of Thrones. It’s pure pulp fiction, with no ethical system to speak of, and I imagine most watch the show out of boredom and everyone who read the books read them because J.K. Rowling stopped writing Harry Potter. So I’m fine with a fictional murderer incest-raping his soulless sister on their son’s corpse. What I can’t stand for is a backwards cultural consciousness that discusses this imaginary rape a thousandfold more than actual rape, where Jamie Lannister, a person who doesn’t exist, is criticized and demonized to a greater extent than living, breathing rapists. Kobe Bryant continues to play basketball; Terry Richardson continues to take shitty photos. Dominique Strauss-Kahn sleeps at night and I’m sure he does so soundly. That’s just limiting the rapist purview to celebrities; the lesser known rapists of the world abide. How the fucking fuck does that work?
Due to my penis and my love for Lena Dunham, I cannot write for Jezebel. I honestly would if I could, and I’ve applied multiple times under my female pseudonym, Carmella Cepatchio, but I can’t. With that said, I wonder seriously why it and similarly minded sites and feminists waste time and energy prioritizing the fictive over the actual. Because I would be writing an update on our society’s free rapists, every day, until the second they died. It’s so easy; I can tell you where Kobe Bryant is right now. He’s in Germany, having his irreparably broken knee repaired by future technology, so he can play basketball instead of going to jail, or maybe rape another hotel employee. But he exists, so it’s better we not talk about it. Winter is here.