By Lady Kaitlyn
“The book and the show are different, deal with it. Rape was common in this type of society, deal with it. Ramsay had to rape her, deal with it. Gore and sex are a hallmark of Game of Thrones, deal with it. Don’t be so defensive of your favorite character, deal with it. You’re overacting, deal with it.”
You’re still wrong
Have you ever had a dream stolen away from you? Maybe, it was the dream of who you want to be, that pure ideal that you long for. Did that dream ever come true? Imagine it was in your grasp, all of your heliotrope hopes cascading into your heart, their song filling your head and the sweet spring green joy tingling all the way down to your toes. Because, for that second, it was real. Now imagine it that dream was taken away- by circumstance, illness, money. Or perhaps you were simply naïve. The dream was hollow. So you found another dream, another goal. You were given a little hope. It was stolen. Another dream, a little hope. Stolen. Another dream, a little hope. Stolen. Now imagine this was done in the horrific violence we see in Game of Thrones, over and over again. Losing one dream can crush a person’s soul. They scream out in pain.
You think you hit rock bottom, only to find out it is a ledge. The cavern was vaster then you could imagine, and over and over, you fall again and again. Each time you think this is it, this is the end, you have finally found the true bottom. And each time you fall again.
This has been the story of Sansa Stark. And Sansa Stark would not- and could not, survive that rape. I believe in human endurance. But Sansa has no reason to live. And yes, it is that simple. She has no reason to live, no family to leave behind, no guilt to prevent her, no future that isn’t filled with the cruelty of those around her or the cruelty she must place in her own heart to survive.
Even if this corpse of Sansa goes on living, breathing, she will be mourning herself, for Sansa Stark died on that bed. Who she was and who she always has been has been purged from her body, leaving an empty violated shell. Sansa Stark is dead. Her death was longer and more drawn out then Ned’s or Robb’s, but her death took everything she was. No character on this show has faced such a complete devastation- for no one dreamed like Sansa did.
But tonight we pretended that Sansa is okay. She begged Theon, she laid in bed, ignoring the world for a minute. Or less. But she begged Theon to save her. That implies she has the will and strength to survive. She has the will and strength to get out of bed. And then she stands before Ramsay, clothed in pride and gave him the same attitude she gave Joffrey. Clothed in pride? From what we’ve seen, with Ramsay, she’s rarely clothed. What pride can she have left after this abuse. But she is still being Sansa somehow- defiant, impudent and proud. She’s fine. She survived. What does this say? Sansa is stronger than any human has the right to be? We should all aspire to be like Sansa and ignore our sadness, our depression? Should we let it manifest inside ourselves until it has grown too great to contain? Should the shattering of our dreams not affect us? Should we trivialize rape? Should we just get over rape? Should it not affect us? Should we just think pretty little bird thoughts? Should we always be stronger and stronger and never let ourselves break? Should we always be okay?
This is an outrage because it crushes a strong female’s story. This is an outrage because she somehow isn’t crushed. This is an outrage because it crushes a whole plotline- because any plot that does not result in her death will be hollow and empty. This is an outrage because there were other ways. This is an outrage because THIS way was chosen, a way that makes no sense. This is an outrage because her suffering is being ignored. And this is an outrage because it cheapens human suffering and tells us to “deal with it”.
And all that is left is the shock value of rape. The sympathy. The revenge. The redemption- for someone else. Maybe.
But it’s just a show!
True. But last week’s episode, the show left behind something else. The show left someone staring at the screen in horror, seeing their own face reflected back at them, feeling the horror of their own life swelling back up around them and dragging them back under. The show left behind pain. Real pain, in this world, in our reality. This show left behind someone who can’t sleep at night, someone whose nightmares have come back, someone being crushed under the ignorance of those who simply don’t understand. This person is real. And there is no doubt in my mind that there are more people out there, suffering in the same way. And tonight, the show told us that somehow Sansa is still the same person after so much pain.
I will not deal with it. I will not deal with this mockery, this disgusting and cheap shock value scene and story.
I will not deal with- because I know there are people out there who simply can’t deal with it.