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“Ultimately, it was meant to be consensual”
If you haven’t seen the latest episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones proceed with caution because some in-depth discussion is about to commence. Now, many viewers were shocked by a troubling scene between twincest enthusiasts Cersei and Jamie Lannister in which it appears that Jamie forced himself on his sister/lover significantly altering the event from the original book version. There has been discussion on whether or not Jamie’s act constitutes as rape, but lets face it, when the last words Cersei utters are “It’s not right” as her brother proceeds to have his way with her, it is strongly suggests and communicates that this is not consensual. That is how the scene reads, at least.
However, the episode’s director, Alex Graves, talked to Vulture about the scene and Game of Thrones showrunners’ (D.B. Weiss & David Benioff) intentions behind the scene and the answer is kind of problematic. Graves states:
“What was talked about was that it was not consensual as it began, but Jaime and Cersei, their entire sexual relationship has been based on and interwoven with risk. And Jaime is very much ready to have sex with her because he hasn’t made love to her since he got back, and she’s sort of cajoled into it, and it is consensual. Ultimately, it was meant to be consensual.”
Yeah, that’s kind of troublesome, not only his equating cajoled with consensual (they do not mean the same thing), but also the inability to realize that the scene does not play out the way the creators envisioned. Obviously there is enough ambiguity to question Cersei’s consent and therefore the suggestion of rape is undeniable. Will this development affect the both Cersei and Jamie’s characterization in the future? Viewers who haven’t read the book will likely interpret this moment significantly different than those who are familiar with the book. Those hoping for a Jamie redemption arc are surely disappointed. Where do these characters have to go following the episode? Check out answers to these questions and more here.
What did you think of Cersei and Jamie’s questionable tryst?