Game of Thrones Season 4 Ep 3 Review "Breaker of Chains" - Rape & Betrayal

Greg Tito

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Game of Thrones Season 4 Ep 3 Review "Breaker of Chains" - Rape & Betrayal

Just when you thought the show was maybe telling a more well-crafted story than the books my George R. R. Martin, it screws something up.

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008Zulu_v1legacy

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Perhaps the makers of GoT are relying on the trope that rape will make a person better. With Daenerys, she was introduced as meek and timid. Then after a few rounds of apparent non-consensual sex, she finally stands up to her brother and becomes a strong, heroic woman. Perhaps George Martin didn't like how he originally wrote it, and decided to change/correct it with the t.v series?

In the book, Jamie and Cersei, my impression was that they were falling in to old patterns and that Jamie's change in to a better person might have taken too long to convey over a short ep season approach in GoT, so they condensed it (as they always do), the shorter version gets you to the same destination, but not as long.
 

StriderShinryu

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While I'm not going to disagree with the way the scene in question is described (I was quite frankly disturbed while watching it too), I do think there's a little too much "but it's not like in the books!" in this recap/review. Maybe Jamie's character arc is different in the television show than in the books, and maybe the chronology is different. Those may well be facts (well, the chronology aspect is definitely a fact) but that doesn't make them somehow inherently wrong.

Personally, I'm curious to see what they choose to do next. Jamie was clearly becoming a heroic (or at least likable) character and his rape of Cersei absolutely should change that. I'm not sure there is anything they could do at this point to turn things around for me. I certainly can't think of anything off hand and, really, that actually excites me. I know what happens in the books to this point and it frankly would be a little boring if it was a carbon copy of what happened there.

At the end of the day, is the turn for Jamie a positive one or negative one for the story at large? I really don't know, but I think it's a little early to say that the scene was totally out of place/character or only included for shock value.
 

baconmaster

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I just have 3 questions.

1: what was the director was trying to depict here? (I've read interviews suggesting it was meant to be rape and others suggesting it wasn't.)

2: If he really was trying to depict rape, what are they doing with Jaime's character? I haven't read the book and I'm not one of those babies who thinks you should never depict rape in TV or film, but from what I've heard this is a big departure from the books and it was really unexpected considering Jaime's recent development. The fact that they changed something that big worries me a bit, but if they manage to pull off whatever they're doing with Jaime, this scene will pay off in the long run

3: If he was trying to keep it true to the books, how did he screw up so bad? The people behind Game of Thrones are clearly very talented and I find it hard to believe they watched this scene before this aired and DIDN'T think it was too rape-y. I really doubt they were trying to depict consensual sex

Also, the title of this article kind of sucks. Nothing about that scene suggested to me that what was happening was ok on any level. I hate how people can watch 3 seasons of a show loaded with horrible events, but as soon as someone gets raped they automatically get on their high-horses and act as though it was presented as a good thing. That said, if they just write this off in the next few episodes and act as though Jaime is still firmly on the same path as before this, I can see why people will be offended
 

snowfi6916

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ajapam said:
I just have 3 questions.

1: what was the director was trying to depict here? (I've read interviews suggesting it was meant to be rape and others suggesting it wasn't.)

2: If he really was trying to depict rape, what are they doing with Jaime's character? I haven't read the book and I'm not one of those babies who thinks you should never depict rape in TV or film, but from what I've heard this is a big departure from the books and it was really unexpected considering Jaime's recent development. The fact that they changed something that big worries me a bit

3: If he was trying to keep it true to the books, how did he screw up so bad? The people behind Game of Thrones are clearly very talented and I find it hard to believe they watched this scene before this aired and DIDN'T think it was too rape-y. I really doubt they were trying to depict consensual sex

Also, the title of this article kind of sucks. Nothing about that scene suggested to me that what was happening was ok on any level. I hate how people can watch 3 seasons of a show loaded with horrible events, but as soon as someone gets raped they automatically get on their high-horses and act as though it was presented as a good thing.
The problem is that Jaime doesn't rape her in the books. Cersei objects to the location being the Sept of Baelor, and doesn't want to at first, but SPECIFICALLY says "yes, take me now, you're home". She never says that in the episode.

And it ruins Jaime's character on the show. Rape is something that you give a character who you want the audience to absolutely fucking HATE with all of their being. Ramsey Bolton is a good example. But this just made Jaime back into being a total asshole, when in the books he starts to become better after getting back to King's Landing.
 

baconmaster

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snowfi6916 said:
ajapam said:
I just have 3 questions.

1: what was the director was trying to depict here? (I've read interviews suggesting it was meant to be rape and others suggesting it wasn't.)

2: If he really was trying to depict rape, what are they doing with Jaime's character? I haven't read the book and I'm not one of those babies who thinks you should never depict rape in TV or film, but from what I've heard this is a big departure from the books and it was really unexpected considering Jaime's recent development. The fact that they changed something that big worries me a bit

3: If he was trying to keep it true to the books, how did he screw up so bad? The people behind Game of Thrones are clearly very talented and I find it hard to believe they watched this scene before this aired and DIDN'T think it was too rape-y. I really doubt they were trying to depict consensual sex

Also, the title of this article kind of sucks. Nothing about that scene suggested to me that what was happening was ok on any level. I hate how people can watch 3 seasons of a show loaded with horrible events, but as soon as someone gets raped they automatically get on their high-horses and act as though it was presented as a good thing.
The problem is that Jaime doesn't rape her in the books. Cersei objects to the location being the Sept of Baelor, and doesn't want to at first, but SPECIFICALLY says "yes, take me now, you're home". She never says that in the episode.

And it ruins Jaime's character on the show. Rape is something that you give a character who you want the audience to absolutely fucking HATE with all of their being. Ramsey Bolton is a good example. But this just make Jaime back into being a total asshole, when in the books he starts to become better after getting back to King's Landing.
It seems like you're trying to disagree with me by writing exactly what I wrote in a different way. I know it didn't happen this way in the books. I also know this sort of ruins Jaime's character (at least the way he's been recently) in the show. I'm just willing to give the writers the benefit of the doubt that whichever direction they're taking Jaime in might eventually be worthwhile in it's own way

At least I hope it is. This is the first time in the series I've had serious doubts about any new development
 

Makabriel

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I don't agree with this assessment. It is a bit different than the books, but it rides along side.

Jamie's been gelded. Lost his hand, his abilities, his son and the woman he loves is basically blowing him off as a cripple. He's angry and flat out scared. The last thing he had was Cersei. He desperately wants her back and wants the feeling of utter power and control he used to have. Does no one remember the way he pushed Bran out the window? Did that look like a man that cares about anything but himself?

A lot of people seem to think Jamie redeems himself in the books, but I never saw that. I see it as a really horrible man that lost everything due to his own arrogance and eventually hits just rock bottom. This episode shows that. He never starts to redeem himself until the end of book 5.

And honestly? I felt more creeped about Sansa/ Baelish. Poor girl.
 

Orange12345

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It was pretty cringey and clearly rape, I really hope this isn't a fumbled scene and they are just reworking Jaime's arc a bit but we'll see with the rest of the season

On a side note is it just me or is Tyrion's scar getting less prominent as time goes on?
 

Adventurer2626

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Yea that scene was just not good. Just cut it off after their talk with them both looking at their dead son. All you need. It did not get the "I need to have sex right now!" from Jaime. It was a Sept-full of awkward that just shouldn't have been bothered with.
 

snowfi6916

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Adventurer2626 said:
Yea that scene was just not good. Just cut it off after their talk with them both looking at their dead son. All you need. It did not get the "I need to have sex right now!" from Jaime. It was a Sept-full of awkward that just shouldn't have been bothered with.
They could have still had the sex scene, but for fuck sake, just have Cersei say that she wants to have sex with Jaime! That's what she does in the fucking book! Why does it need to be a rape scene when it was NEVER a rape scene in the book?
 

Droppa Deuce

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"With one sloppily directed scene, he's gone back to being a villain."

There are no heroes in Game of Thrones, nor are there villains. It would be too simple for Jaime to become a heroic knight. Too simple, and too cliched. The heroic knight is a concept the massess can relate to, which is why we crave it; but the Game of Thrones doesn't care about cliches.

Jaime has a monstrous side to him, an arrogant and perverted side. And this scene was reminding us not to get too comfortable with him as a "nice guy".
 

ninja51

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Alot of people seem to be using the fact that Cersei speaks consent in the books as the reason for why the more explicit rape happens in the show is bad. Cersei in the TV show is simply different than her book counterpart. Two different mediums call for different tellings of the same story, both in dialogue and how things unfold visually. In the show Cersei is done with Jaime, and very bitterly so, making him bereft of the last thing he viewed as his. Their sex in the show is very close to rape, and the book version is less so, and that is an intentional change, a necessary one in my opinion based on the characters as they are in the show.

As far as telling a story goes, there are no boundries or limits, the story demands what it demands, and it being different than what the book's story demanded is no damn reason to view the television's version of the scene as wrong
 

[REDACTED]

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ninja51 said:
Then explain to me what about the television story "demanded" that this scene be portrayed in this way. 'Cause all I saw was everything we knew about Jaime's character at that point in the show being thrown out in the name of cheap shock value.

I don't care how it compares to the books, I've never read them. What I care about is how it works as a standalone story. This scene was a mistake, period.
 

balladbird

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Makabriel said:
I don't agree with this assessment. It is a bit different than the books, but it rides along side.

Jamie's been gelded. Lost his hand, his abilities, his son and the woman he loves is basically blowing him off as a cripple. He's angry and flat out scared. The last thing he had was Cersei. He desperately wants her back and wants the feeling of utter power and control he used to have. Does no one remember the way he pushed Bran out the window? Did that look like a man that cares about anything but himself?

A lot of people seem to think Jamie redeems himself in the books, but I never saw that. I see it as a really horrible man that lost everything due to his own arrogance and eventually hits just rock bottom. This episode shows that. He never starts to redeem himself until the end of book 5.
your assessment isn't in line with pre-book 1 Jaime, though. The idealistic young man who idolized noble knights and dreamed of being one, who was shaken and traumatized by events he witnessed in his time in the king's guard, including the mad king's rape and abuse of his wife, and who ultimately, and thanklessly, saved the lives of the whole of King's landing.

I agree that fans go a bit overboard in painting him as a noble character, but the counter-movement is equally flawed. He's not the completely unfeeling sociopath the other side of the aisle tries to paint him as, either. My personal interpretation of his arc is that of a man who started out fairly nobly, was spurned by people for his greatest act of heroism, and as a result recoiled into a gilded cage of arrogance, shutting out the entire world, sans his family. From book three on, a series of events occurred that caused his cage to shatter, forcing him to come to terms with who he really is, and his place in the world. As you said, he hit rock bottom. the only direction you can go from there is up.

So yes, in my opinion his redemption arc started there. it's all YMMV, though.
 

Rutskarn

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"It was supposed to be a rape that ended up being consensual."

Fuck this guy. Fuck him, fuck him, fuck him. This is not a thing.
 

Johnathon Burchett

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Jaime's rape of Cersei isn't about sex (rape seldom is); it's about anger, betrayal, and hatred. Cersei rejected Jaime when things were going well, for incredibly petty reasons. Now her world is shattered, and she wants his love and affection...but only so he'll kill one of the only two other characters for whom he has any feelings at all. That rage, as well as the realization that the woman to whom he's been absolutely loyal and whom he's done terrible things for is a monster, better than Joffrey only in that she does love someone besides herself. This doesn't excuse his actions, but I'm not sure it ruins his character. It reinforces that what has compromised Jaime's honor has been his family: it's one monster's brutal reaction to another monster. That's what the Lanisters bring out in one another. Jaime wanted to be Ser Barristan or Ned Stark, but Cersei and Tywin have made him what he is. Sure, in the show and in the books, he's much improved morally, but he never truly comes out of it. Jaime is still capable of terrible things, as he's always been. He even told Tywin that his "honor was beyond repair." Jaime was never being redeemed: he was simply being made a multi-faceted monster. Something that's at once more realistic than simple redemption, and more frightening than a one-note monster.

Okay. Sorry the rambling response, it's been a long day. My two cents.
 

ChristopherT

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I did not like the rape scene, I didn't care for most of this episode, and I don't know how much I can continue to care for this show. But focusing on the Jamie and Cersei scene, why do that? Why bring it into rape territory? Ignoring the fact it might just be a mistake, or mishandling, someone slipped up, I can only think of two possible ideas for Jamie's actions as portrayed.

Jamie returned to King's Landing, wants to see his sister, as he misses her dearly. And she blows him
off, just stone walled, No Jamie GTFO! He's left cold, alone. He get's a new "hand", get's a nice shiny sword, with some insults, get's to train with his left hand, with some more insults, no one gives a shit he's returned...and his son is killed. So fuck it, it's time Jamie got something that Jamie wanted, sis spread your legs the brother train is coming into the tunnel. This seems like a character change, not a slow deliberate change, not something intentional, but a quick sudden jerk the viewer awake sort of change, and I don't know why they would do that. Maybe Jamie was becoming too well liked, admired. NO! Don't you get it, he commits incest! He's EVIL! Look how evil! RAPE!

Or they decided to really change his character, and his and Cersei's relationship, 'cause the only other thing I can really think of is this may be the only time HE (Jamie) could really get Cersei alone, and the rape, well that's just how it's always been, and any time Cersei so much as hinted at having affections for her brother was stockholm talking, and all this time, since they were young Jamie's been raping Cersei, those kids are not just born of incest but also from repeated rape. Cersei never wanted it, and with Jamie being away, for once, finally not constantly raping her, she snapped out of it, she came to her senses, and said no, not any more. But again, why? Why make that particular change? I don't think it makes the story any more compelling, I don't think it lifts any character, all it does is hurt Jamie's character.

I don't mind that changes from the source material happen, sometimes they make for a story I prefer, sometimes they make for their own compelling stories, but this one, it just doesn't feel right.
 

Smiley Face

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Darn, I didn't know this had become such a big thing, but I can see how it could.

When I watched the scene, I could tell that the intent of the scene was for her to protest, then get into it, and be conflicted between wanting to be with Jaime and wanting to grieve, and wanting solace and wanting to NOT have sex by their firstborn child's still-fresh corpse, and for it to be twisted and messed up and uncomfortable for everyone involved and everyone watching.

When I watched the scene, I thought it did a poor job of getting that across, but because I'd figured out what it was supposed to be, I just rolled with it and chalked it up to a directing error. I didn't consider at the time what people who didn't figure it out would think, and given how poorly it was brought across, that was probably a fair amount of them.

I got it partly because of knowing the characters and their arcs, and partly because it echoed their scene in the first season, where Cersei initially protests with Jaime, the one where he throws out the quote about killing everyone until he and Cersei are the only ones left in the world.

With all of that, and the uncomfortableness that everyone involved would have with such a scene (even if it'd been done right, it would have been really uncomfortable to watch, much less make), I can see how some of the people might assume that the message would come across and not objectively look to see if it did. Given their higher level of familiarity with their own work, they'd probably have let the echo influence their perception more than it should have - they'd already established for themselves that it was part of Jaime and Cersei's relationship, they just forgot that most folks had forgotten that, and even then, it's a delicate line.

Every now and again, everyone on a production misses the same thing, and it slips through. Hell of an error to have though, but assuming it is one, which I'm fairly certain it is, the show will likely just continue on as if the error hadn't occurred. It's an inconsistency, which happens with TV, and it's got a higher impact because it's on a high-quality, heavily-serialized show with mature content. But if you can go back in your head and edit it down to how it was probably supposed to play out, you can probably continue your viewing unfazed.
 

Greg Tito

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Yeah... you're pretty much flat-out remembering the book wrong, man. That whole mini-arc was about Jamie having a compulsive desire to bring things back to the way they used to be and Cersei rejecting him because (dead son regardless) she feels like she's better now that she's in control of everything. It was flat-out rape in the book, too, especially by contrast to how their relationship before she gained control of King's Landing was depicted.

There's... actually quite a bit of rape going on throughout the books, if anything they've toned it down a lot on average. They've almost sliced the thing with Sansa and the Hound out entirely, for instance, which was a huge running indicator of her mental stability (every time she remembered it it became less rapey and more romantic).

The whole arc with Daenerys illustrating her growing power in the Drogo relationship with sexual positions is straight, word-for-word out of the book too.

(I mean, the ENTIRE PLOT of the entire book series spins off of a Targaryan raping a Stark and touching off medieval WW1, that's the only reason the Lannister/Stark thing and Daenerys finding some dragons happened in the first place, rape is quite literally the root cause of EVERYTHING in GoT. What level of chivalry and mutually-respectful relationships are you expecting from this IP, exactly? It's even Rapier than Arthurian legend.)
 

Coruptin

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Seriously though, coming from the perspective of a person who hasn't read the books, it made sense to me that the arrogant guy who pushes kids off towers would when given the opportunity to regain some semblance of control over his life take the chance to do so. He did it for the power.

Jim_Callahan said:
It's even Rapier than Arthurian legend.
S tier auto correct wit