George R.R. Martin Sounds Off on Game of Thrones’ Controversial Rape Scene: "We Never Discussed" the Change

Fantasy series' author took to his blog on Monday to address readers' unhappiness with the HBO hit's creator's decision to alter a scene from the novels

By Tierney Bricker Apr 21, 2014 10:48 PMTags
Game of ThronesHBO

Westeros' creator is finally weighing in.

Warning, spoilers ahead! Sunday night's outing of Game of Thrones left fans of George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy series shocked (and slightly pissed off) after watching a sex scene between brother and sister Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Cersei (Lena Headey) Lannister—who um, reconnect next to their son King Joffrey's (Jack Gleeson) corpse—go down in a completely different way than in the book.

In A Storm of Swords, the sex was written as consensual; on the TV show, which the ep's director described as "horrifying," Jaime rapes Cersei, who tells him to stop. "I don't care," he responds.

Now, in the comments section of his personal blog, Martin is sounding off on the controversial change made by the HBO hit's showrunners, David Benioff and Dan Weiss.

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Martin defends their decision to alter how the Jaime-Cersei scene went down on the small screen, explaining that the TV series is operating in a different timeline and that he wrote the scene from Jaime's point of view in the book, leaving Cersei's perception of the encounter open to interpretation. He also says that "the scene was always intended to be disturbing."

You can read Martin's entire entry below, which of course, contains major spoilers for the book series, as well as the TV series:

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"I think the 'butterfly effect' that I have spoken of so often was at work here. 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.

The whole dynamic is different in the show, where Jaime has been back for weeks at the least, maybe longer, and he and Cersei have been in each other's company on numerous occasions, often quarreling. The setting is the same, but neither character is in the same place as in the books, which may be why Dan & David played the sept out differently. But that's just my surmise; we never discussed this scene, to the best of my recollection.

Also, I was writing the scene from Jaime's POV, so the reader is inside his head, hearing his thoughts. On the TV show, the camera is necessarily external. You don't know what anyone is thinking or feeling, just what they are saying and doing.

If the show had retained some of Cersei's dialogue from the books, it might have left a somewhat different impression—but that dialogue was very much shaped by the circumstances of the books, delivered by a woman who is seeing her lover again for the first time after a long while apart during which she feared he was dead. I am not sure it would have worked with the new timeline.

That's really all I can say on this issue. The scene was always intended to be disturbing… but I do regret if it has disturbed people for the wrong reasons."

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.

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