Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones
Feminism

Jaime Lannister is a rapist, and let’s not forget it

[This is an edited and slightly updated version of the post I wrote after Game of Thrones’ “Breaker of Chains” aired.]

[content note for sexual violence]

I’ve read G. R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, which are now airing as the HBO series Game of Thrones. I enjoyed them, although I caution people to engage with Martin’s world critically. He’s been hailed by a lot of people as a “feminist” writer, but I am extremely hesitant to think of him in those terms (read Sady Doyle’s piece there– it’s both hysterically funny and insightful).

Since the beginning, I have appreciated both Sansa Stark and Cersei Lannister as characters. Cersei, up until Storm of Swords, was a relatable character for me– she was forced into a difficult position by the expectations of her father, of her culture, and of her husband, but she did what she could to find happiness in the midst of an abusive marriage and constant rape. There isn’t a lot about her that I would describe as noble, or perhaps even likable– but she felt realistic to me, and I found myself grudgingly admiring her.

And then Storm of Swords happened, and Martin makes it blatantly obvious that we’re all supposed to hate her now because she’s ridiculously incompetent. She’s completely robbed of all sense because, well, the only explanation he offers for this drastic departure is lady-hormones. I don’t follow Game of Thrones as a show, but I’m a part of online nerd/geek communities, so I have a passing familiarity with what the show is like.

Last year, everything in that part of my internet circles exploded because of the rape scene, which a lot of people insisted diverges from the books. I find that accusation amusing because Robb Stark doesn’t even marry the same woman in the show, but this scene seems to matter to people. I wouldn’t be bothered by the scene diverging from the book, since as television it is a completely different medium, and the artists — the writers, the directors, the actors, the editors– are already telling an entirely different story than the one Martin originally penned. In many ways I think the direction they’ve taken is intriguing.

However, in this one scene they stayed true to the book.

Jaime does, in fact, rape Cersei in the sept next to Joffrey’s dead body.

She kissed him. A light kiss, the merest brush of her lips on his, but he could feel her tremble as he slid his arms around her. “I am not whole without you.”

There was no tenderness in the kiss he returned to her, only hunger. Her mouth opened for his tongue.

“No,”

she said weakly when his lips moved down her neck, “not here. The septons…”

“The Others can take the septons.” He kissed her again, kissed her silent, kissed her until she moaned. Then he knocked the candles aside and lifted her up onto the Mother’s altar, pushing up her skirts and the silken shift beneath.

She pounded on his chest with feeble fists, murmuring about the risk, the danger, about their father, about the septons, about the wrath of gods.

He never heard her.

He undid his breeches and climbed up and pushed her bare white legs apart. One hand slid up her thigh and underneath her smallclothes. When he tore them away, he saw that her moon’s blood was on her, but it made no difference.

That is rape. There is no other word for this scene. Jaime raped Cersei, full stop.

And, honestly, by this point in the books a rape scene would cause me to think yawn, well of course a woman got raped it’s Martin writing this for heaven’s sake what did I think would happen? There are various things to be said about how often people are raped in Martin’s fantasy world, but I’m not really here to critique the existence of rape in his books. It’s what he does with it, and this scene in particular, that deeply, deeply troubles me, because of what happens next:

“Hurry,” she was whispering now, “quickly, quickly, now, do it now, do me now. Jaime Jaime Jaime.” Her hands helped guide him. “Yes,” Cersei said as he thrust, “my brother, sweet brother, yes, like that, yes, I have you, you’re home now, you’re home now, you’re home.”

This, I have a problem with– because this is a rape myth. It actually gets a fucking number on the Women Against Violence’s list of “Rape Myths”– it’s #17:

“When a woman says no, she really means maybe or yes.”

It’s the idea that women secretly all want it, they just have to be persuadedHorrifically, “with my dick” can finish that sentence without the person immediately retching at the utterly revolting idea just expressed.

In Martin’s world, hysterical shrew-bitch women like Cersei Lannister do not get to have their “no” listened to (and we get to say “no” for whatever the HELL reason we want), and strong, handsome, virile, maiden-of-Tarth-defending men like Jaime get to fuck them anyway because actually, she really does want it and I just know because . . . well, no reason– and look, see, she’s getting off on my awesome manly ravishing of her!

But, horrifyingly, this isn’t a rape scene to a disturbing number of people. Chris Ostendorf described it as “complicated consensual sex.” To a lot of people, that she’s saying no to the circumstances somehow makes it not real rape. She would have had sex with him, if it wasn’t for his hand, or where they were, or the septons, or their father somehow finding out, etc.

I have a gigantic– no, colossal— rage-inducing problem with this for the simple reason that when I told my rapist “no,” this is exactly what I sounded like. I couldn’t physically stop someone almost twice my weight, and so I did everything within my power to persuade him to stop. I told him it hurt– he did not stop. I told him “no,” he did not stop. I told him “please, not now,” he did not stop. I said “what if your parents come home?” but he did not stop. I told him I didn’t think it was right (ie, “wrath of the gods,”) and he did not stop.

Finally, I gave up and tried not to let him see me cry because I knew he would hurt me even more if he did. When he assaulted me again, and again, and again, and again, and Again, and AGAIN, I learned that it would all just be over if he got what he wanted. He would eventually leave me alone and go and play Halo if I didn’t fight him. He didn’t care about how much he hurt me, or about how often I vomited after because what forced me do to him disgusted me.

So, for all of you people who argued that Jaime didn’t rape Cersei:

FUCK YOU. FUCK YOU TO FUCKING HELL.

To George R. R. Martin, the twisted fuck who wrote this scene and is perpetuating the exact rape myth that has caused me unending agony: fuck you. To Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (who plays Jaime), who thinks because “it wasn’t just [rape]” it’s somehow justifiable: fuck you. To Sonia Saraiya who thinks there’s “wiggle room” in whether or not we think Cersei “enthusiastically consented”: fuck you. To Chris Ostendorf, who given the chance would describe my rape as “complicated consensual sex”– fuck you, too. Fuck you all.

***

I want to be crystal clear that my problem with this scene in the book (for this post, at least) isn’t that Martin has written yet another rape scene. It’s that what he’s written is a rape myth— a chauvinistic fantasy about male-centric sex that ignores or denies women the ability to consent. Cersei told Jaime no seven different ways, but then suddenly starts begging for it– literally. This is an extremely dominant myth about the difference between rape and consensual sex. In order for something to be considered “legitimate” rape, the victim has to fight tooth and nail until the bitter end. In order for it to be real rape, the victim could never– not once not ever— have consented to sex. If they consented to sex once, well, they’re only saying no for inconsequential reasons and they should just get over it, it’s not that bad.

Martin believes that this is not rape because of the rape myth he believes in– that our culture believes in. Cersei’s apparent enjoyment of her rape (and remember, this scene is written from the rapist’s point of view, not the victim’s, and most rapists think that their behavior is acceptable and normal) in the real world of modern America could be a survival mechanism for an abuse victim– and usually is. Sometimes victims freeze up. Sometimes they, like me, try to resist but then give up because it’s useless and we just want it to fucking end.

Martin does not think that Jaime raped Cersei here, because he believes that women can be manipulative whores who say no in order to be “hard to get,” but in reality really just need to be sexually assaulted into silence and then fucked into realizing what the rapist knew all along– that she actually wanted it.

This is one of the most grievous lies of rape culture– and the actors, the directors, and the writers all used it.

Keep that in mind as you enjoy the season premier tomorrow.

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  • TheBrett

    I thought it was rape in the book as well – it’s just that we’re seeing it from Jaime’s perspective, where he’s too self-absorbed to think that Cersei might be just playing along to get it over with after she realizes he’s going to force himself on her regardless of the danger and what she wants. It was no surprise that it only became more obvious that it was rape when we saw it from a viewpoint other than inside of Jaime’s head in the show.

    It wouldn’t be the only time Martin’s shown a character or sequence very differently from different POVs.

    And then Storm of Swords happened, and Martin makes it blatantly obvious that we’re all supposed to hate her now because she’s ridiculously incompetent.

    That’s . . .a different view on it. I figured most people hated her after the whole thing with Sansa’s wolf.

    • 1) The whole thing with Sansa’s wolf was ridiculous and petty, but it’s not the sum total of her character at that point. Like I said, she’s not likeable, but up until Storm of Swords she’s shown as being politically skilled and at least fairly intelligent. That disappears for the convenience of the plot in SoS, in my opinion.

      2) Yes, Martin deals almost exclusively in “unreliable narrator” material, but of the sept scene he’s explicitly said it wasn’t supposed to be perceived as rape by anyone … even though she said “No” seven fucking times:

      In the novels, Jaime is not present at Joffrey’s death, and indeed, Cersei has been fearful that he is dead himself, that she has lost both the son and the father/ lover/ brother. And then suddenly Jaime is there before her. Maimed and changed, but Jaime nonetheless. Though the time and place is wildly inappropriate and Cersei is fearful of discovery, she is as hungry for him as he is for her.

      Source: http://grrm.livejournal.com/367116.html?thread=19030284#t19030284

      • Beroli

        Yeah, I’ve never been a fan of the GoT books, but that was where I went from “Martin sure writes a lot of rape, which doesn’t necessarily say anything bad about him, and men who get defensive about his writing sure use some awful logic to defend it but I’ve never heard him do so” to “Martin is a thoroughly creepy person.”

      • TheBrett

        1) It’s more than that. It’s part of how she behaves throughout all the books – she’s clever and cunning, but also quick to anger, almost reflexively cruel, and she frequently alienates allied folks who aren’t Lannisters because of it. She’s not alone in that, either (Jaime attacking Ned Stark and his men in the alleyway comes to mind in A Game of Thrones), but it’s a continuum in her character.

        I don’t see a transition there in ASoS. She’s still very cunning when she has the chance to be (what with Tywin dominating all things Lannister in King’s Landing in the book), and we see that in how effectively she corners Tyrion politically after he’s arrested on the grounds of murdering Joffrey. He only survives because everyone misunderstands Varys, and because Cersei and everyone else underestimated how much Oberyn hated Ser Gregor and wanted to kill him.

        2) That’s appalling, and disappointing.

        • Debating and disagreeing over characters/plots is one of my favorite things, so I’m aware that there’s more than one way to read a character. In my opinion, there’s a series of catastrophic disasters that are directly caused by Cersei’s utter incompetence — such as giving the Faith military power. We haven’t seen how far that’s going to play out in Westeros, but it is a horribly bad decision with easily foreseeable consequences. Like what immediately happens to her.

          Making something be as obviously BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD to us, the reader, without it being as equally as obvious to a character that’s supposed to be incredibly shrewd as well as power-hungry … just doesn’t seem authentic. That’s not the only decision, either– there’s the whole thing with Margaery Tyrell, which was beyond incompetent. You do not alienate one of the few powerful families allied with you (and the one providing King’s Landing with food!) in order to do whatever that was supposed to accomplish, I forget exactly what.

          • TheBrett

            She thought Margaery Tyrell had been involved in the assassination of Joffrey, and that they were trying to push her and anyone else out of power so they could control the Throne. And she was right – Margaery almost certainly poisoned Joffrey, and I doubt the other Tyrells were totally unaware (Sansa recognized that something was wrong with the up-coming marriage and Loras being put in the King’s Guard before the Purple Wedding). Even then, she tried to build up a trap for Margaery so that she wouldn’t be able to use her family to get out of it, and it mostly worked.

            Cersei just under-estimated how dangerous the new High Septon was. Rearming the Faith was definitely stupid, but . . . the Faith was already becoming more assertive. They’d already disrupted the appointment of a new High Septon to replace him with their own, they were occupying the square of Baelor’s Sept, and so forth.

            That said, I don’t think Cersei’s at the top of her game anymore in Feast. She’s just been hammered with her father’s assassination, her son’s assassination, her brother escaping, her other brother telling her he won’t help her anymore, and her uncle (a man defined by his family loyalty and loyalty to Tywin) refusing to help her unless she removes herself from power. And she’s drinking a lot more. I wouldn’t be in my best of minds after all of that.

          • I guess that seems like a generous reading of Martin’s writing? If the descent into bad decision making were written better, I don’t think I would have walked away with the feeling that Cersei’s character had been fundamentally altered in order to set up conflict for the next 3-4 books.

          • TheBrett

            That’s fair. I have my own issues with his writing as well.

          • I think my main concern with her decision to go after Margaery without being absolutely certain that it wouldn’t disrupt her alliance with House Tyrell is that it’s a sexist motivation for her.

            She’s been shrewd and calculating and brutally efficient at a bunch of other maneuvers … but not this one, because a mother’s grief. To me, she’s seemed like the kind of woman that would make deadly sure to exact her revenge. But she bungles it, because she’s rendered incompetent by the death of her child.

            Would that have happened to her father, or Jaime? I seriously doubt it.

            But I’ll check out his review 🙂

          • Beth Carter

            You clearly do not understand the character of Cersei Lannister as well as you think you do. Cersei goes after Margery Tyrell because it’s a power struggle. She fucks up because Cersei did not count on the High Sparrow using the methods he did to gain information. Cersei at this point thought herself untouchable, but she’s not.

      • Hmm, I still liked Cersei after ASOS and, well, still now. She’s certainly not someone I would look to as a role model or a good person, but she’s always understandable and sympathetic to me. Her increasingly terrible decisions make sense to me, as she’s driven by too much stress, paranoia, and hatred (like the foil to my queens Sansa or Dany).

        (As for the scene, uh, yes, it’s rape, why is this a discussion what is wrong with the world).

  • Kathleen Margaret Schwab

    I have a close friend who was raped throughout her childhood by her father. It stopped only when he died. She once told me that the worst part of the whole thing wasn’t the threats that he would kill her, or the times that it hurt, but the times when it felt good. When I looked puzzled she said “He knew how to make it feel good, and he did that sometimes, and so I felt guilty, and I believed what he said that I really did want it, and so it really was all my fault, not his.” She also told me that sex is wired to feel good, and whether it feels good has nothing to do with whether it was rape or not. I had literally never thought about that until she spelled it out like that, and I am a survivor of sexual abuse myself.

  • D Liston

    I’ve never read these books, and yet I still know about the rapes …
    And I love how, when I say I don’t want to read these books because of the rape (and also, they’re way too long), guys be like ‘that’s just how the world was back then’. Back then when DRAGONS and shape shifting and whoever those creepy blue dudes are? SO HISTORICAL.

    • Beroli

      Also? Male rapes aren’t nearly as common as female rapes, but the ratio has never been infinity to zero like it is in Martin’s books. (Never an MRA around to say “what about men getting raped?” when you actually have a use for one.)

      • Eh, Ramsay does rape Theon by forcing him to give oral sex. 🙁 But still, that one instance doesn’t much change the ratio.

    • The Deed of Paksennarion series by Elizabeth Moon is an amazing example of why those particular arguments are full of shit. It’s set in a fairly analogous time period and culture to A Song of Ice and Fire, and it’s just accepted as a matter of course that:

      a) women can be mercenaries, soldiers, generals and
      b) people can be bisexual and gay.

      The books even deal with sexual assault– but in a way that makes sense, and IIRC there’s even male-on-male sexual harassment, too.

      Brandon Sanderson includes sexism and misogyny in his Stormlight Archive, but he does it in such a way that allows him to explore the reasons for its existence, how sexist patterns are created and enforced … for example, it’s considered extremely immodest for women in one country to expose their right hand, so all their dresses have sleeves that button around their hand.

      There’s also sexist systems like it’s considered “feminine” to be able to read and write. The men learn a writing system that’s kind of like a combination of hieroglyphics and logograms, but the women learn to write using an alphabet. They’re responsible for household finances, and they’re also most of the scientists and scholars because they’re “feminine” fields, while the men focus on war and tactics.

      All of the characters have to confront their sexist biases, too, because something big happens that forces them to deal with the fact that you can’t limit what someone can do based on gender.

      There are good and bad ways to handle misogyny and rape in medieval fantasy. Martin’s handling is egregiously bad.

      • Jackalope

        Yes, that’s one of the reasons that I love all of the Paksenarrion books is that while there is the occasional sexism, the main characters by and large (and ALL of the mainest of main characters) believe that gender is not the primary determining factor in what you’re capable of. And also, along with the fact that you can be bisexual or gay, the main character in the first series (Paks) is as far as I can tell asexual. Slight disclaimer that I don’t know all of the details in defining asexuality, but she’s consistently, throughout ALL the books, not in any way interested in a romantic or sexual relationship. She’s not against them, and is supportive of those who have them, but never wants one herself. I appreciated this, as you almost never find it in any sort of fiction.

        • D Liston

          I’m really bad at reading fiction in general (maybe one or two books a year) but I might have to try these books – as an asexual myself, I would LOVE to see more asexual characters.
          For the record, asexuals may or may not be interested in romance (and/or sex). That’s down to the individual and their other orientations and preferences. Asexuality is defined as simply not experiencing sexual attraction.

          • Jackalope

            Good to know! I definitely think that this is the right term for Paks. One other thing I appreciate about the series is that while there are people who have romantic relationships and get married, it’s not the primary focus for any of them (the one character where this takes front stage for is one who becomes king of an unstable country and his subjects want him to get married and start producing heirs right away to take away their fear that they will fall back into that same instability; the focus isn’t on his wonderful relationship, but rather at his frustration with his people — he gets their concern, he just wants to be “in the office”, so to speak, for more than 6 months before he makes that sort of life change).

            Also, the two primary female leads (Paksenarrion in the first series [“The Deed of Paksenarrion”] and Dorrin in the sequel series [“Paladin’s Legacy”]) don’t ever get married. Paks is never interested and doesn’t feel any attraction to anyone (in that sort of way). Dorrin occasionally had times being interested, but in a minor way (mostly as flashbacks recalling scenes in her youth), and is perfectly happy without it. I’m not necessarily against romantic relationships, but as someone who is not in one and would strongly like to be, I sometimes have to check out of the book for awhile if it has lots of romance and sex because it feels almost physically painful to hear about someone else’s awesome happiness…. And it’s so good to read about female leads who are happy and fulfilled without it being strictly through a romantic relationship.

      • Kathleen Margaret Schwab

        I was wanting to read Martin’s books until this. I think this thread just saved a year of reading time.
        I might use it to read those Elizabeth Moon books.

        • Jackalope

          Yes, do!! I would recommend buying the original series in the combined version titled, “The Deed of Paksenarrion” (rather than the Book 1, Book 2, etc.), since it has all 3 books together. They’re not really 3 separate books; each one starts exactly where the last one left off, and I’m fairly certain they were broken up only because back when they were published there was the idea that people wouldn’t pick up a book that’s as long as a trilogy all published together. (Also, note that the cover of the combined series (as well as the books sold separately) shows the main character, a woman, WEARING CLOTHES!! Clothes that cover more than just the bare minimum! She is wearing fitted but not tight armor, as befits a soldier, and is sitting on her horse getting ready to slash at some wolf-like creatures with he sword; in other words, she is doing soldier-like things, not posing in bikini armor for the Sports Illustrated Female Fighters Edition.)

          If you like that trilogy, there’s a sequel trilogy published in the last few years called Paladin’s Legacy about what happened later. I love that one as well, but definitely read “The Deed of Paksenarrion” first.

          • That’s the copy I own. 🙂

          • Kathleen Margaret Schwab

            I need something good to read – I ordered Deed on Amazon. Thanks for the recommendation!

      • Noirceuil182

        That sounds pretty awesome. Also, as some comenters posted below, you can also write a kick ass adventure without a romantic interest. For a while there, I was worried that the Stormlight archives would turn into a silly Rom-com, even though I loved how Sanderson portrayed Vin and her relationship Elend. It was just this creeping fear that characters would get stupid because love, and the whole story would get derailed over rom-com cliches. Call it Robert Jordan syndrome.

        At the time, there was something bothering me about Cercei’s descent into bumbling incompetence, though in the middle of reading I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I had really enjoyed her as an antagonist, and I was glad to see her get a comeuppance if you will, but it bothered me. It didn’t feel earned. After finishing with the series (so far) and taking it all in, I realized that while petty, vindictive and somewhat prone to let those characteristics color her desicions, she was never stupid, nor entirely without a rationale; she always did what she had to do in a messed up situation.

        But her rule as Regent was just a parade of out-of-character bumbling, stupidity and “really, you can’t see the clearly spelled out writting on the wall?” desicions. If anything, I thought that after Joffrey’s death, she would become a much more shrewd and calculating player, ’cause shit had gotten double real for her.

  • Grasshopper

    I hope I’m able to communicate this clearly.

    Sometimes, women do say no when they want sex. That’s not a myth. When you have been taught that it’s wrong to have sex or to want sex and that choosing to do so makes you a slut, you might still say no even when you really want it and hope that it happens anyway. It’s a twisted way of preserving your virginity. Immoral women say yes to sex. Moral women say no and then if it happens anyway it’s not your fault because you never officially consented. It’s a way for women mired in purity culture to have sex without feeling like they’re sinning. It’s not that women are playing “hard to get” because they like the game, but because they don’t have the power to say what they mean. And this absolutely is part of rape culture.

    This is a big reason why I love the “yes means yes” rhetoric in addition to the “no means no” rhetoric. The solution I see is to teach that saying yes to sex doesn’t make you a slut. To say, “Your sexuality is YOURS and you are allowed to say yes when you want sex! You are even allowed to ask for sex first! It’s NOT true that only ‘loose’ women say yes to sex!”

    I also have zero problems with teaching people they need consent from their partner before continuing along a sexy path. If one person wants sex and their partner obviously does too (ie communicated through body language) but won’t say so, they still need to wait until both people are able to directly communicate their consent. It’s just that instead of only teaching to wait for consent, we also need to teach how to consent and that wanting sex is okay.

  • SirThinkALot

    I always thought that scene was supposed to be somewhat ambiguous. A case where Cersei’s feelings were not clear, and possibly she herself was feeling conflicted.

    Actually this is how the actress who played Cersei saw that scene. Which surprised me, because I found the way the show portrayed that scene to be far less ambiguous, and more clearly a case of rape

    • She says no seven times. She beats his chest with her fists the entire time and is begging him not to.

      That Martin thought this description was “ambiguous” is disgusting.

    • Beroli

      Yes, it was supposed to be ambiguous. That’s exactly the problem–that Martin thought a scene where a woman struggles and says “no” seven times and a man ignores her protests and doesn’t stop was ambiguous and ultimately consensual.

      • SirThinkALot

        Thats the thing though: I’m not sure its supposed to be ‘ultimately consensual.’

        But beyond that, yea I can see your point. I’m not really going to argue this point further.

        • Beroli

          As Sam quoted downthread, he said that in the novels Cersei was as hungry for Jaime as he was for her, and that the show’s change is big and bad. But the show’s change is only to slightly adjust the emphasis in a way that makes people who didn’t see the book scene as rape recognize that it’s rape.

        • Martin specifically said it was consensual, that Cersei “hungered” for Jaime.

  • Original Lee

    I haven’t read the books in a while, so I might be wrong about this, but I think I remember that in the books, Cersei is really pissed with Jaime afterwards, which to me emphasizes that it was rape and not “complicated consensual sex”.

    Also, with respect to Cersei suddenly becoming incompetent, I think it was more that she made a number of unforced errors earlier, and some miscalculations earlier, that began to blow up in her face. She had been able to make shrewd political moves before because the power terrain was familiar and she knew where all the levers were. Then there was the equivalent of a volcano or an earthquake, and the old ways of doing things weren’t working as well any more. I see Cersei as one of those people who is mentally inflexible, so she flounders when the way she’s used to operating doesn’t really work anymore. And then her mistakes and miscalculations start catching up to her and blowing up bigger than they could have in the old power terrain.

  • Holly_Wight

    And Cersei is also into sexual assault, or are you ignoring the stories about her sexually abusing her little brother Tyrion by squeezing his penis hard enough to hurt him when he was just a baby. Cersei’s also a MASS MURDERER who has been fucking her brother since puberty.

    So fuck you, fuck you, fuck you for taking one scene out of context and pretending that Cersei hasn’t committed far worse acts on a great number of people. She’s hardly an innocent in this story.

    Oh, yeah, and I didn’t see any of you screaming about the SEASON-LONG rape and mutilation of a male character at the hands of Ramsay Bolton.

    Want to complain about Cersei being raped? Complain that she spent years as the arranged wife of Robert, who would drunkenly rape her when he wasn’t out whoring or hunting.

    Rape is a part of the brutal, horrible world of Westeros. If you can’t deal with that story element, then you shouldn’t be watching a show based in a savage place during a savage time when people are murdered, raped, beheaded, mutilated, blinded, hanged, poisoned, and have their heads crushed by giant men. You shouldn’t be concerning yourself with a world in which an army of the dead is going to slaughter ever woman, every child, every man, every dog and horse… EVERYONE… in the most brutal, horrible, horrifying way possible and then defile their corpses by raising them to fight alongside them against their own kin.

    Seriously, go home and watch My Little Pony if you can’t deal with Cersei Lannister, the mass-murdering, Machiavellian, incestuous, evil rapist being raped herself. You’re fucking incredible.

    • Beth Carter

      Thank you. At least someone has some fucking sense.

    • I don’t watch the show. I stated that in the post.

      Cersei can both be a horrible person who commits atrocities, which I did not deny anywhere in the post, AND the way her rape was handled by Martin and the show-runners can still be worth commentary because of how it contributed to and perpetuates myths about rape. Both can exist in the same universe without being contradictory at all.

      I’m also against joking about rape in prison for the same reasons– even if the people who ended up in prison are mass-murderers, it does not follow that rape should be used as a weapon against them or that it’s somehow permissible to joke about a rapist being raped in prison (or in other scenarios). I’ve been consistent about that in all my writing.

      If you want to see a post about how Cersei is an abuser who sexually assaulted Tyrion, or one about how Ramsey Bolton’s storyline perpetuates rape culture, write one. I’m not required to do that, especially by vitriolic commentators on the internet. 😀

      Also, this post was written well before the season that covered Ramsey, I’m pretty sure. I stopped paying attention to anything having to do with GoT after “Breaker of Chains” aired.

  • Mihaita George

    You really should get out more, Samantha, sweetie.

  • Thomas Fisher

    This is why people tend to not take feminists seriously.

  • MorgaineLeFay

    I strongly disagree. Sometimes you don’t want it at first, but then you change your mind because you see that there’s no problem. What I see there is that she wanted him so much that she stopped bothering about the septons, the risk, the danger, their father.

  • Zoronita

    Of course was happened was rape, and I think the TV show dealt with it better as Cersei clearly didn’t want it and didn’t suddenly change her mind and succumb. The pov thing makes sense as humans tend to twist things in our mind so maybe from Jaime’s pov he thought she wanted it when she really didn’t.
    No need to be harsh on Martin, he’s writing stuff from a nitty, gritty, dark perspective. Or maybe when he wrote Cersei’s change of mind he was thinking it as her just succumbing because she felt she had to/was pressured into it. I highly doubt he actually thinks that when women say ‘no’ they really mean ‘yes.’

    As for the audience suddenly hating Cersei because she’s ‘incompetent’, well I would argue that’s not true at all, the audience dislike Cersei because she isn’t a ‘nice’ character. She’s cold, manipulative, cunning and cruel, and is ready to have her own brother killed without a shred of evidence. It’s nothing to do with ‘lady hormones.’

    • Beroli

      What prompted the post this one is a follow-up to was that Martin had just gone on the record complaining about what the show had done, and claiming it had changed a consensual sex scene to a rape scene.

    • What Beroli said.

      Also, I’m really talking about books and not really audience reception. Martin suddenly changed the way he was writing about Cersei in SoS. Without any development he fundamentally altered her character in order to create plot movement and some of the central conflicts. She begins making decisions that don’t make sense and doing things that are obviously doomed to fail. Previously, if Cersei had done something that didn’t work out the way she wanted it to, it wasn’t so clearly and obviously doomed from the very beginnings of the idea. She was clever, ruthless … up until her child is murdered when she loses all sense and starts doing ridiculously stupid things that were guaranteed to do nothing more than blow up in her face and not accomplish anything she wanted.