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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

Game of Thrones S04 E03: “Breaker of Chains” (WTF, Jaime?)


(previous: “The Lion and the Rose”)

From rude manners to someone who has been hospitable to rape and cannibalism: truly there is no crime that the fine people of Westeros will not commit with glee.

Oh, and king-slaying, too. Wait, so someone had planned in advance to have Sansa escape Joffrey’s wedding?


Where is she going? The Black Pearl?


Oh, way worse.


Okay, so Little Finger had advanced knowledge of Joffrey’s murder, if he wasn’t actually involved himself. He may be a weaselly little git, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he knew who all the players were, but I think he’s far too cowardly to have an actual hand in the plot.


Wouldn’t it be cool if Tyrion solved the case from the confines of his dungeon, while waiting for his trial? That would be just like him. If Jaime doesn’t kill him first, for Cersei, I guess. (I’d like to think that Tyrion will be one of the few who will survive this game of thrones and live to a ripe old age, but I don’t trust George R.R. Martin not to kill anyone off at this point.)

Ah. Jaime. What the hell? Just when I was starting to feel a little sorry for him… Just when I was starting to suspect that maybe he wasn’t such a completely horrible person… he rapes his sister-lover? (Ugh, the levels of awful here are many.) And after he made such a point of saving Brienne from being raped. Characters being twisted, unpleasant people is nothing new for this show. But usually they are consistent, or at least inconsistent in a way that seems plausible. Is this bad writing, I wonder, or a deliberate plot? (Very disturbing is that the director of the episode doesn’t appear to believe he was shooting a rape scene.)

Right, so I forgot that the Dornish prince


with his grudge against the Lannisters, could be a suspect in Joffrey’s murder. And maybe Tywin, too: he’s already busy getting to work manipulating the new king to be a good little pawn, unlike Joffrey.

So many suspects. Never has there been a fictional character whose death is less lamented both by us outsiders looking in and within his imaginary world. There is something dementedly special in that. We really have seen an entertainment event destined to be legendary in the annals of television.

So what else? Arya got a harsh lesson in how– well, he would say “practical” the Hound is. Though it was definitely harsher for the poor farmer he clobbered and robbed. I figure that little farm girl will be back seeking vengeance right around the time Arya takes the Iron Throne in ten years.


Aww, is Sam gonna leave the Watch so he can be with Gilly and little Sam? (He’d be in big trouble because isn’t his oath supposed to be for life?) Or, more likely, his affection for her will be warped by some terrible thing — I hope it’s not her being sacrificed for his personal and spiritual growth, because we could do without another iteration of that tedious cliché.

Meanwhile, Daenerys continues her White Savior World Tour in this amazing place:


Though both masters and slaves here — judging by the ones who came out to the wall — seemed racially mixed on both sides, so it’s not quite the “white person brings civilization to the darkie savages” that we’ve been seeing up till now.

Throwing broken slaves collars over the wall was an ingenious move, however:


(next: “Oathkeeper”)

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  • crowTrobot

    Overall I believe they’ve done a great job translating the books but, ugh, the Jaime/Cersei scene pissed me off. Taking what most people read in the books as consensual sex and needlessly turning it into rape takes whatever power and agency Cersei had left while completely destroying the redemptive arc of Jaime (one of the most impressive things the books do) in just 5 minutes. Kinda sucks, really.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    I think “most people” are wrong. The scene, even in the book, is a rape presented from the point of view of a rapist who doesn’t think it’s rape. And anyone who thinks Jaime Lanister is on a redemptive arc is fooling themself.

  • crowTrobot

    GRRM’s response to this furor makes it clear it was consensual. “She’s as hungry for him as he is for her,” is what he wrote on his blog about the scene in the book. His whole post about this comes across as showing his displeasure with the show scene.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    This does not speak well of the character of GRRM, or of the show’s writers and director, I’m afraid.

  • crowTrobot

    Why? Because GRRM didn’t make Jaime a rapist in the books? I was under the impression that book Cersei’s initial reluctance was because, you know, their dead son was lying right there.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    No, because he did make Jaime a rapist, but doesn’t want to acknowledge that.

    It doesn’t really matter why she said no, it matters that she said no, and he continued until she gave up.

  • Rob

    Exactly. I do not get why people don’t realize it was a rape in the book, too. Her last word on the subject was “no”.

    Exact quote:

    “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.”

    That is rape. Period.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    My less charitable theory: rape culture rearing its ugly head once again. People want to rationalize that Cersei really wanted it, in part because they’re uncomfortable with thinking about rape, in part because they want to see Jaime “redeemed” in the course of the story.

  • David_Conner

    I’m more interested in the murder mystery, and specifically, what Tywin’s angle on it is. He’s smart enough to realize that Tyrion didn’t do it. Maybe he wouldn’t mind getting rid of Tyrion? I’m not so sure of that, either, but even if that’s true, he’d still want to find “the real killer or killers,” one way or another (Lannisters, debts, et cetera).

  • While I’m not defending the scene in the show, which was poorly conceived, I’ll just add the next paragraph in the book. You know, for context:

    “‘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…'”

    And so on. I understand the point you’re trying to make, Rob, but the scene as written in the book is not gonna back your claims up unless you cherry-pick it, which you’ve done here. She says no because she fears being caught, not because she doesn’t want to have sex. This is clearly illustrated in both the paragraphs preceding, and following, the one you chose to excerpt.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Even in context, here’s the timeline: she says no, he refuses to stop, she says yes. If no means no, then at best. the consent is ambiguous and (here in the real world of 2014) highly problematic. I think the most charitable reading is that Cersei changed her mind after Jaime had already decided to rape her.

  • Are you referring to the text itself or just the two quotes? I mean, I don’t really want to type the entire scene up but I will if you don’t have the book.

  • Ugh, but then again no… I just realized I got caught up in internet bullshit. My bad! I’m out!

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    *shrug* I don’t see how it’s “internet bullshit”. Neither how other people interpret the book, nor how HBO adapts the book, changes the book. What I find most interesting, is that it’s frankly fine if Jamie did rape Cersei, for values of “fine” equalling “a thing that could certainly happen in this story”. Personally, I find it more interesting if he did than if he didn’t. It’s a good reminder of the one thing that makes all the twists and turns and nonsense of these stories worth following: that in this story, there are no “heros” and “villains”, just people acting ways that people act when faced with dire circumstances.

  • Just the arguing about it part, I meant. Cheers.

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