(THIS WAS SENT TO ME ANONYMOUSLY – POSTING IT WITHOUT CHANGING A WORD)
SPECIAL THANKS FOR AUDIO BY @YOURPOWERISMINE
Sorry. This is a 6,500 word therapeutic rant. But I had to write to get it out of my head. And then I had to tell someone, and you were the only person I could think of (sad isn’t it). I wrote it like a blog entry, but it is ridiculously long, waffling and probably in need of serious editing. I don’t know what else to do I am not strong enough to join the discussion forums. I hoped you could do something with it. You can do with it what you like. It is about GoT 506 and the Sansa scene. And why it was not a good change, and why rape shouldn’t be a plot device. But I don’t know how coherent it is. I am a mess, and I can’t face re-reading it. Please keep speaking up. I’m not strong enough. I’m sorry to dump this on you but you seem to get it. I just want to let someone know. I havn’t been able to sleep since Sunday, so this might not make any sense. I don’t need a friend or support, just a voice. I am sorry. I will not bother you again. Thankyou for your anger.
Rape should not be a plot device and I am the reason why.
I used to love the ASOIAF fandom. I’ve never posted in any forums, but I read them. There were always the assholes you get everywhere the dudebros, the ignorant and uninformed, the rape apologists. But there were also strong, vocal well informed and caring people who could speak well on difficult topics with care and compassion and tried to inform or educate the idots, the uncaring, the apparently sociopathic. People who stood up for people like me who were in the fandom but were not strong enough to join some of the conversations.
Because of the world we live in there is no surprise that Sansa gets a lot of hate. She isn’t my favourite character either, but I loved how a man was able to capture the naïve thoughts of a young girl. Yes she made mistakes. Every character in the series has made mistakes. Have you never made a mistake? But even after all she went through in the books there are some who want to see her puinshed more. See she “betrayed” their man Ned, refused their favourite Tyrion, so she deserves to be punished. And they are vocal. They show up in discussions of Sansa’s character arc, analyses of her character, SanSan threads etc. to restate over and over their hatred for this “weak”, “stupid”, “naïve” girl because she is not what they want her to be, or she doesn’t do what they think they would have done.
No, because she is not them. She is a surprisingly realistic depiction of a young woman who doesn’t know everything and is brutalised by the system she lives in and the people around her. I got used to these people. I got used to how they would go out of their way to intrude on any discussion to reiterate how “weak” she was (because feminine is weak to them), how much of a “bitch” she was, because of course they say that. But there were always strong voices pushing back, with quotes, with their own experiences and understandings of her development. These books offer such a rich world and characters to discuss, and I used to love to read along with the discussions, the essays, the analysis the crackpot theories. These books can stand up to so much of it, that is why I love them. This was my “home”, my fandom, my quiet place.
Then there was Game of Thrones…
More people joined the discussion which was great, I want more people to love what I love, because I think I love good things (just like everybody else does). But with them came more crap. This was to be expected, some people are crap, throw crap, or know crap all.
I convinced people I know to watch the show, because it was going to be one of the best things on television. An adaptation of one of the best works of fiction I had ever read. Realistic to the time period that inspired it, but with dragons, and direwolves, and white walkers and magic. It was going to be a complex political thriller, with wars and plots and murders. A chance to put on screen some strong female characters and well developed character arcs that genuinly explored the brutality and difficulty often glossed over in sword and sorcery tales. The Sopranos, meets The Wire, meets LOTR. I convinced people to watch it. Because I loved this work and this fandom. It was where I belonged. Even if I couldn’t join in.
After episode 506, I will not be watching any longer. I have asked the people I know to not watch, but they don’t understand and I can’t explain. They still think it is entertaining even though they admit it is getting worse the last two seasons. They are not big readers and prefer to watch things, and after all, I said this was the best thing I had ever read, I said it was going to be awesome. Me. I did that.
I can’t convince them to stop watching because there is a reason I don’t join in discussions. And it’s the same reason I love these books. I am a rape victim. Don’t call me a survivor. I didn’t survive it. It changed me. I used to be a different person. Outgoing, bubbly, intelligent, inquisitive, strong. I’m not me anymore. For half of my life now I have been some wasted shell of a person; useless, reclusive (literally), reserved, scared. What “survived” is not me.
I read fantasy books to escape. But that doesn’t mean I want them to gloss over what life is really like. I don’t want people like me erased from stories. We exist. ASOIAF knows that and shows that, in a way I can identify with, and I appreciate that so much. The strong women like Brienne, who is so delicate on the inside, Catelyn who doesn’t have to weild a sword to win a war and Sansa. Yes, even Sansa, the victim of so much, who learns how to keep herself safe in a dangerous world without becoming a violent monster like those around her (and yes, I’ll admit to SanSan shipping, because I’m still a little naïve in my head and want her to have her knight in rusty armour who would never hurt her, and for him to have a real family who loves him).
Mr Martin handles the content of his material well, in my opinion. He is a long-time feminist as far as I know, (though I heard him say he doesn’t use that word anymore, as someone told him men can only be allies – which I disagree with. Please use the word if you believe in equal rights ser, it needs to be heard from the mouths of men, especially ones with “power”.) He doesn’t shy away from the hardships women face, he doesn’t hide our pain, he makes you face it and always with respect for the victims. He doesn’t let you forget what happened to them, or why, or who is to blame.
In my opinion Mr Martin doesn’t resort to damaging, insulting and overused tropes like “rape empowers women”. He never has a character raped and have it not affect them (looking at you D&D with that god-awful sept scene). It is reflected on, talked about, dealt with properly. I wouldn’t read it if it was treated flipantly. In my opinion it is not used for shock value (some may disagree, but I can only speak from my experince). It always fits the story, the character, the situation, it is never glorified or glossed over (the Craster’s Keep scene anyone?). The plot never seems contrived just to fit in a rape. It always makes sense. The character’s reactions always make sense. And he doesn’t blame the victim.
Then there was Game of Thrones…
THAT scene in 506. It was well written, it was well directed and well acted, the set was beautiful, everyone who worked on it did well. I will accuse them or blame them, they are employees doing a good job, they deserve praise for how they handled it with dignity, especially Alfie Allen (WHERE IS HIS EMMY ALREADY, ENOUGH WITH NOMINATING DINKLAGE FFS! no offence Mr Dinklage). The buck for that scene starts and ends with David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
It was them who read the books and “loved” the Jeyne Poole sub-plot. It was them who planned to include it since season 2 (apparently the only thing they planned ahead for). It was them who set it up so, defying all in-show logic, they could make Sansa go to Winterfell how and when she did.
Why did Little-Finger do that? How did he not know about The Bastard of Bolton? Why did he not send troops with her, or sstay longer? Why did Sansa agree? Why not wait until the battle was over rather than put his most valuable pawn in two types of danger? IT MAKES NO SENSE! It is contrived.
If they wanted to give Sophie Turner more to do, how about an intregue plot where she actually learns something, bests Little-Finger, or conquoers the Vale, or becomes the “hooded man” in Wintefell, anything else. Is it not exciting enough without the threat of rape? And to a character who has been nothing but a victim in their story. They already gave her Lollys’ “rape” in the King’s Landing Riot, although they had to stop short because Sophie wasn’t 18 then, right?
I don’t understand what was wrong with the Northern Lords being there and plotting, they lost so many great moments and all of the Stark’s vengeance with the changes they made this year. Not to mention cutting the only female heir and any mention of women having power in Dorne, in exchange for badly written cartoon female warriors, sorry I mean, “little girls”.
They wanted the Jeyne sub-plot, that is the only logical explanation. And they resolved to make it happen any way they could. Why not just leave in Jeyne then? We met Jeyne. I remember Jeyne. Jeyne looked like me.
They could have kept the line where Reek is told to get her ready and then cut away. You don’t need to be graphic. We know what happens to Jeyne in the books, but practically all of it is “off screen”, and that is all it needed to be. We know what Ramsay is like. We can imagine what happens. But then, they also had to put Theon’s torture on screen (and sexualise it) didn’t they? AND ALFIE ALLEN DIDN’T EVEN GET AN EMMY NOMINATION. They could have kept the part where she begs Reek to help her escape before the wedding and he can’t. At least she knew what was coming. They made Sansa look like either fool, or like a pawn. Have they even called the scene a rape?
I don’t blame Bryn Cogman for his questionable interview quote saying Sansa choose this, and was a hardened woman making a choice. He has to come up with stuff to justify what he has been told to write. But I don’t believe it. I didn’t see any real choice. Did THAT happen off screen?
They told us Sansa was empowered, a player. I mean, they literally had Little-Finger just say it. We never saw that for ourselves. All I saw was a clichèd costume change. If only I could get over my past with a new dress rather than over a decade of medication and therapy, how easy life would be. In the sample chapter Mr Martin released we see her learning and growing and safe(ish). SHOW DON’T TELL. Writing 101.
Then Sansa and Little-Finger were on the road to Winterfell when he asked her to go along with his plan, so what choice did she have? When was she fully informed? Could she have turned around and gone back to The Vale? No. Because Benioff and Weiss “loved” the Jeyne sub-plot, so she had to go. And the characters not knowing about Ramsay is just another contrivance to excuse their choice. I don’t buy that either. It makes no sense. It is an excuse for what THEY chose to do.
Sorry I’m rambling. This is hard to talk about.
Jeyne is not empowered by the rape. It is not a plot device to move her arc forward and make her a “player”. It is not something for her to overcome, it is horrific and devastating. Her and Theon are both abused in that sceen (yes Reek being forced to preform sex acts on Jeyne is also rape of him, but they managed to cut that out well enough). Yes Jeyne’s abuse serves Theon’s arc more than her own (she is not a main character, we are not all heroes) some of us are powerless, used by others and thrown away. That is life. That is gritty reality. And stories have to have side-characters or it would be impossible to tell any stories, and Jeyne is one of them. But she is not the only reason Reek’s arc progresses, there are also the hooded man, the Northern Lords, Barbery Dustin etc.
But her and Reek’s shared abuse leads him to sympathise with a “small-folk”, someone he would have looked down on before (like in that scene with Osha in season 1). And he remembers himself and risks everything to save them both (it is now her who is terrified to flee). Two damaged people fleeing their terrors into the unknown in the hope that they find safety, but knowing they will never be the same again. The broken saving the broken, no true heroes, just a chance to have some sembalence of life (even if it just to keep breathing). I know that feeling. Being too afraid to flee because worse might happen if you do, but running anyway, dragged by someone else, dead inside and all because of someone elses “fun”. It is not empowering. (What I experienced was nowhere near as bad, but I still identified with Jeyne).
This sub-plot is not something to be handled by men who can’t even decide what rape is. Did Cersei want it or not? D&D say one thing, the direector says another. Did Sansa have a choice? Cogman says yes (though has not clarified whether he considers this rape – hint IT WAS, even by in-world and historical satandards, old law does not change the definition of words, so stop trying to excuse it all you people in comments sections. It was). What do D&D say? Nothing. They don’t respond to internet criticism. They don’t respond to any criticism. They only give puff interviews for publicity. They don’t face any repurcussions so long as people keep watching.
Jeyne is not empowered, she is broken. She is not now going to become a player. So what will happen with Sansa’s character now that they have contrived to make her Jeyne? Do these men have any idea of the impact rape has on a person? (Nevermind the in her dead parents bed for the benefit of the people who murdered her family angle.) Have they talked to rape survivors/victims to make sure they develop the character properly and with respect? Have they even thought about it beyond – it will show Ramsay is a monster and Sansa is strong because it won’t “break” her and NOW she really has a reason to hate them (like killing her family wasn’t enough). And I bet she will even forgive poor Theon for all he did in destroying her home and getting everyone she knows there killed, if not her brothers, because women are forgiving, especially feminine ones like her right, that’s StrongTM? She isn’t a “badass”, and they don’t want her to be a “bitch”, right?
Jeyne is still broken. Mr Martin does not allow us to forget her, she is still there, still thought of, still in your mind. I remember Jeyne. Jeyne was like me. Broken.
The way this show uses women, makes them one dimensional, either masculine and strong, or feminine and victims, it is the opposite of the books I read and love. I see nothing of value in their depictions. No comments on the difficulties women face, how varied we are, how we can be strong and powerful with a sword or without. How we don’t have to be sexy to be valued, respected or loved. Nothing. Their Brienne is a brute. Their Cat had all her good ideas given to male characters, because she was just a mother. And their Sansa is a victim.
No, I don’t know where they are going with the character and I don’t care. Rape is not a plot device you can’t just force any character into. It changes people. It changed Jeyne. It is not a motive for vengeance, it is a violation of your very being. It makes you feel worthless, used, dirty. It is a stain that never quite comes out. It is always there in the back of your head. When you meet a stranger, when you start to trust someone, when someone you love touches you. (I don’t let anyone touch me now). It can’t be undone. You can’t be unraped. (I actually saw someone in a forum say “what do you expect them to do, I mean they can’t unrape her” as a way to stop people critising.)
Will Sansa seek revenge? Did she not have enough reason before? Is that what they think empowerment is? Revenge. If she stabs Ramsay the audience will love it…and she will have to live with that as well. A victim and a killer. No matter how justified, it doesn’t make it better. And it doesn’t make what they have written any better. It is just more gratuity and unrealistic writing. How many victims kill their abuser? Did they even think about that? What message are they sending out into the world with their “art”? That people like me should kill their rapists? (I can compare myself much easier to their ShowSansa, as I doubt they will go with the dogs that Jeyne feared – am I still too trusting?). Killing him would have made me feel like a monster, and I would still have been raped. They won’t have her fully take Jeynes role, with her subsequent characterisation as a broken, damaged, terrified girl. That would be bad television.
They have no respect for what they are “adapting”. They just loved the gratuity of that sub-plot. Thought it would be oh so shocking. So took out all context, all characterisation, all the surrounding events, and I guarentee will remove most if not all of the repurcussions for the victim. All for ratings. For your mindless enjoyment. No self-reflection needed.
They started planning for it in season 2 (when Sophie Turner was still a young girl) and have made jokes about it on set appently. Sophie Turner has said in interviews that Alex Graves told her she would be getting a “love interest” – yes he apparently called it that. And she has also said she got a congratulations on your fake wedding card. ‘Though they did not send one to Iwan (that would probably have been distateful). Do they know enough about all the women who work for them to be sure none of them have been a victim of sexual abuse (1-4/1-5 women)? Or did they just find it funny. Things like this, which really happen to people like me, is a joke to them. A JOKE! How is this not considered inapropriate behaviour at work? But then we’ve seen what happens to people who dare to disagree with D&D, they want to write them out more and then joke and laugh about that in a public forum, on video. Who would risk their job rather than keeping their mouth shut?They are oh so professional. They need sensitivity training, like anyone else who pulled this crap AT WORK, from a position of power even. It’s beyond.
They have no respect for the seriousness of the content they are filming, or that it is a thing that happens A LOT in the real world, to people who are watching their show, to people in their own family I bet (judging by the statistics). They are too arrogant or ignorant to understand their own limitations and blind spots (Duning-Kruger effect in action).
But Sansa made a choice.Well I made choices as well. I chose to date an older man when I was 14 (he was 17). I chose to trust him. I chose not to fight because he was bigger than me and much stronger, and had a temper. I chose not to say no because I knew it would make him angry. I chose to stay with him because when I tried to leave he got angry, and my father didn’t beat me when he was there (because he was big, and strong). I chose not to tell anyone because I was ashamed of the choices I HAD made. But I DIDN’T chose to be raped. I didn’t chose to be broken by it (I have worked so hard to overcome that year of my life) but it still broke me more than the 10 years of beatings. Bruises can heal, but I can’t be unraped. I still don’t let people touch me.
So tell me again what Sansa chose? To go there? To marry Ramsay? To go into that room? To be raped? – She didn’t choose this, she isn’t real. Benioff and Weiss chose this. And thought they should show it to the world. And it is doesn’t even make sense.
They are not adapting the Jeyne sub-plot. They are contriving to use the rape of Jeyne in Sana’s plot line. Sansa will not be broken – she will overcome – like a “hero”. Not like me. Not like Jeyne. We are weak. We don’t make good television. People don’t want to see stories about people like me. Well I don’t want to see stories like their’s.
I knew there was a “traumatic” scene coming up. But they were very careful not to say what. They are fond of lame twists. So while I had a very good idea what they were going to show I wasn’t certain. And they had four different options for rescue. They made that VERY clear. I knew a resuce would seem contrived, but the plot has been so shoddy this season it didn’t seem unreasonable that Sansa would be rescued.
- The stupid candle plan could have paid off, (if that isn’t a trap). Brienne could have arrived and saved her.
- Reek could have found himself again and killed Ramsay.
- Sansa could have been armed and killed him herself before he raped her.
- The small-folk could have helped, after all “The North Remebers” and all that.
- And as Little-Finger had obviously managed to get all the way to King’s Landing (1,000 miles don’t ya know?) Stanis had pleanty of time to arrive, and the bedding could be interupted by war-horns. (this is what I expected to happen).
So many options. So many “bad-enough but not that bad” options. So I watched. There’s always a “sexual violence” warning, it’s GoT after all, that could mean anything. There’s no way they would make such a stupid choice after last season right? They had more respect than that right?They know how many of their viewers are likely to be survivors or whatever right? They know televison is different to books, they do know that right? Seeing it and hearing it is different to reading it. You can skip chapters. No sentence can realy surprise you, you can read it at your own pace, skim ahead. Skip it. They know all of this, right?
But they did it. And I was transfixed, staring at the television, waiting for one of the rescues they had foreshadowed so bloody heavily. Certain the would be a twist, a hero moment, why else did they have Brienne there? I couldn’t look away. And I was back there. That pathetic little 14 year old who had made her own bad choices, trusted the wrong people, made the best of a bad situation. And then Sansa was screaming. And Theon was crying and he looked so horrified. And it faded to black and it was my face staring back at me (they did that on purpose). Tears streaming down my face. Shaking. I couldn’t move. No-one rescued her. How did Stannis not arrive? It made no sense. Why was she even there? It made no sense. Why did they include this scene? It made no sense. It was gratuitous. It was cruel. It was disrespectful. It was all intentional.
The actors said it was a traumatic scene, shocking. And I stupidly thought it was more overblown hype, because they love to use words like that in their promotions. Now I know Alfie Allen was trying to warn me. At least he had respect enough to do that, and I thank him for that at least. I wish he had been clearer, why keep this scene secret – because shock is more important than making sure you don’t re-abuse your viewers. Because that is what they did to me. That was actually traumatic. As in I have been traumatised by that. By them.
I havn’t slept yet. I can’t. Whenever I close my eyes I see it. Alfie Allen’s face, my face in the screen, HIS face, hear his words, hear Sophie scream, hear myself cry. That was not entertainment! Why didn’t Stannis get there, Little-Finger travelled further. Stannis should have gotten there shouldn’t he? Where was Brienne? Why did they pretend she had a chance of being rescued. I would never have watched it if I knew she wouldn’t be rescued. They tricked me. And yes maybe I was stupid or naïve. It wouldn’t be the first time obviously that I had made a “bad” choice. But I didn’t think they would go that far. It would make no sense. Ramsay broke Jeyne. They can’t break Sansa that wouldn’t be good television. No-one wants to see the woman Jeyne becomes. Broken people like us aren’t heroes.
The episode was even called “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”. A play on words obviously. What could “unbroken” be referring to? It didn’t seem relevant to anyting else in the episode, so it must have been refering to Sansa right? Maybe a specific part that was used in the past to wrongfully test for virginity even? You know? So it was a hint to people like me that it was ok. They weren’t going to go that far, right? They wouldn’t show that on television, they’ve read the books, they know how Ramsay destroys the life of Jeyne. She can’t be unraped. They wouldn’t do that to a main character with her own developed plot and character arc. Jeyne was only a means to move Theon’s story, but Sansa is a player. They said that. They wouldn’t put a main character in a role that only exists to move another character forward. She is a main character. One who overcomes her past and grows and who is safe and happy(ish) and has her own power and agency. She is not like me. ~She was never raped. She is who I wish I could have been. They wouldn’t do that. They are professionals. They know what they’re doing. Right? YES. THEY KNEW EXACTLY WHAT THEY WERE DOING! AND THEY CHOSE TO DO THIS! And that title was a sick joke.
I have trusted the wrong people again. I trusted these men. These stupid, ignorant, heavy-handed, unsympathetic, f***ing men. I used to defend these men. I convinced people to watch this show. I convinced people who I can’t tell about my past to watch this show, and they just got “entertainment” out of watching/hearing/whatever something that happened to me. Something that ruined my life. And I can’t explain. I can’t get them to stop watching this crap because I told them this story was the best thing I had ever read, so resectful to it’s subject matter, feminist even. I told them that, and they have made me a liar (#NOONEUNDERSTAAANDS).
And that brings me back to where I started. I loved being in the ASOIAF fandom. It felt like home. Even though it was too emotional and personal for me to join in. I am terrified of people, even on line. I am afraid that every time I say something they will know. They will be able to tell I am a victim. I will give it away. I didn’t want people to see I was weak. Because our culturre does not like people like me. Victims. We make them feel sad. They have to tiptoe around people like me and that isn’t fun. I know that. I don’t want to ruin other people’s fun. So I just read, and let others talk.
I went to the forums (Westeros.org), because I knew there would be people talking about this, people as annoyed, as betrayed, as angry as me (and everywhere else has turned into a dude-bro, rape apologist cesspool since this show started if it wasn’t one before). I read AngryGoTFan’s twitter feed because they would UNDERSTAAAND. And they did. But those other people were also in the forums and feeds. Going out of their way to go into threads (e.g. rant and rave) to disrupt, to victim blame, to be rape apologists, to argue that it was good television. To have a go at people like me, for being too sensitive, book-purists who just like to be outraged. They quoted Bryan Cogman saying it was Sansa’s choice. They quoted D&D saying Sansa was empowered this season. They said we were only upset because it happened to Sansa not Jeyne. They shouted people down and caused arguments, they wouldn’t listen. And so rather than banning them, the conversations were banned. The safest space I had was taken away because someone didn’t like that their favourite show was being criticised. (Please don’t stop the conversation and venting, just ban the assholes. This is important to talk about if we are going to fix this problem in our fandom.)
There’s no point in people like me saying anything, because no-one listens and I’m not strong enough to argue. I’m more like Jeyne. Of course I was upset when it happened in the book. But Mr Martin gave Jeyne her own arc, her own consequences, her own life. She was broken. She was realistic to me. Rape is not some plot device to be overcome, a set-back in the hero’s journey before they snatch victory from the jaws of defeat etc.
This is why the change in character matters. Not because I only care that it is Sansa, but because I cared about Jeyne and people like Jeyne. I’m more like Jeyne. The powerless who react in a realistic way, not some imaginary super woman who is made stronger by being violated by a monster. Sansa will overcome this, otherwise it wouldn’t be “good” television. But it will be unrealistic television. Yet another example of the same tired trope. Why do writers keep going back to this well. It never strengthened my resolve. I never got any revenge. My rapist won. He is happily married with children. I am a recluse with PTSD and very few friends, reduced to seeking solace in a fandom now swarming with people who think what happened to me was “entertainment” when they saw it happen to a fictional character. People who wish they could have “seen more skin”. People making jokes about it. Rape culture. Before you tell me it doesn’t exist, walk a mile in my shoes.
And yes I know the books and show had child murder and men being savaged as well. But really? Does that happen on a daily basis to hundreds of thousands of people and then get brushed off as something they will get over or something they “chose”, or were to blame for? No. It doesn’t. I know someone who was murdered as well, although not by a sword or being pushed from a window, do you? Because we ALL know someone who has been raped. If you don’t think you do, it’s because you are not the sort of person they feel safe telling. You need to fix that. You need to change and learn and then you will see. We are everywhere. One fifth of the women you see everyday. That argument is not the easy comprison you think it is just an excuse to shut down criticism and discussion of something so serious because you don’t care, you think it doesn’t personally affect you. That conversation is all some of us have to help us get through seeing this callous disregard for our experiences in the most popular show on television. Rape Culture. People like me need voices speaking for, trying to get others who havn’t been through it to understand and take it seriously, or nothing will change. Listen. Just please, stop and listen for once. You are hurting people.
These people think rape (by someone like that) is just a one-time thing that you should be able top shake off. It will make you grow as a person. Maybe it does for some women. I have never met one. Almost all the women I have ever known well enough to have these conversations with have been raped (and some men). They ALL still think about it. It is something they mention to their partners to explain why they may have “issues” sometimes. None of them can be un-raped.
And threads are being closed because of arguments. Go look, nearly all of the threads about this scene are closed. There is no safe place for people like me now in the fandom. Either they are closed because people are getting personal about things (why not just ban the individuals?), or because “discussions of what rape is, are not appropriate for this part of the forum” or “this thread has gone on long enough/run its course. Don’t start another”. The fact that it comes up over and over again means it is necessary and clearly hasn’t run its course. This is wrong. People who need to talk are being told to be silent. Everyone is being punished for a few assholes. I need to hear the conversation. I need to see people trying to explain why this change matters. Why rape is not a plot device. Why it should have stayed as Jeyne or been removed completely. Why it was a bad choice to film. And I need D&D to FOR ONCE acknowledge the criticism. LISTEN. No-one ever listens. And then they blame victims for not speaking up. It is sick. It is Rape Culture.
The rape apologists are not banned, from the boards or threads, not singled out and told to stop by mods, or repremanded in any way. (I hate to criticise somewhere that has given me a refuge and a place to discover new things about something I love, and I don’t mean to single them out but that was where I went and what I saw, It is still the best place to go and wallow in this world, but please let people talk about this, even if it can get ugly, personal things often are ugly. Assign a mod for the specific thread maybe, but please don’t stop the discussion. It is an important discussion to have, and is clearly relevant to these episodes, it is silencing and it hurts). And this is all because of Rape Culture. Because this is entertainment in our society. Because calling the men who CHOSE to do this, and play the “tune in next week to see if Sansa gets raped” game sexists, or hacks is not fair to them. Not fair TO THEM. After all, they work so hard. No. This was lazy. The development from here will most likely be lazy given their track record. And the reasoning for including this scene when they have cut so much, was lazy. They wanted to…that’s actually it.
What did they love about this sub-plot? How it would be shocking? Or how Mr Martin showed the complex and devistating impact it had on Jeyne and how she is ireparably damaged by the callous behaviour of those with power over her? Like a lot of us who have been abused.
Why pretend she was going to be saved? Why didn’t Stannis get there in time? Why foreshadow possible rescues they knew weren’t coming? Why did they do this? Why did they play it for shock rather than actually taking it seriously and warning people properly? Why will they never apologise for their mistakes? Why did they call the episode that. It is all some sick joke. A sick joke at the expense of people like me. I will never forgive them. I will never watch again. I convinced people I love to watch this crap. I convinced them it would be good. My fandom has been swamped by people who are steeped in rape culture, encouraged by shows like this. I need it to stop. I have nowhere else to retreat to. I’m already being as small as I can be. I can’t be the only one.
They didn’t have to do this. THEY had the choice. And they made the wrong one.
And even though I can explain how they tricked me, and why I trusted them, I will still be blamed for having watched it, over them being blamed for having planned, written, framed, filmed, edited and broadcast it. What did I expect, it’s Game of Thrones? I EXPECTED THEM TO HAVE SOME F***ING RESPECT. That was my mistake. It won’t happen again. Because I am not a Strong WomanTM. I’m more like Jeyne. And I’m done with this shallow excuse for “entertainment”.
And don’t tell me “It was in the books, are you going to stop reading them?” I read the books, and I explained that already, it was handled well in the books. It was treated with respect by the author, for what it really was. No-one ever said Jeyne made a choice. No-one ever blamed Jeyne (this is not a comment on Cogman’s quote, I believe his apology). Jeyne was a sympathetic victim, and Jeyne was broken. D&D chose to make it Sansa and everything that goes with that. She will not be broken, unfixable, destroyed, she is a trope now. One that erases people like me and reminds us no-one wants to hear our stories because were are to weak to be likeable. That is one reason why the change is important. It is not a small thing. Not to me. Rape ruined my life. I broke, like Jeyne, and I exist.
I’m going to go re-read the books now, to try to wash this disgusting fanfic out of my head.
P.S. I have my own theories on Jeyne’s character, because I identified with this minor character enough to wonder what wil become of her (because Mr Martin handled her story well). I want her to go to the House of Black and White, to ask for the gift, to end her pain on her own terms. Not a very strong or empowered idea I know. But pleanty of us victims go that route. I want her to meet Arya, to offer Ramsay’s name to the God of Many Faces, and for Arya to hunt him down with Nymeria and her pack like he used to hunt his girls. I think that would be poetic, if not “heroic” or strong. We are not all heroes, or their twisted notion of a Strong WomanTM. Rape has consequences.