A controversial scene in “Game of Thrones” Season 4, episode 3, “Breaker of Chains,” has led to heated discussion from fans and critics. “A Song of Ice and Fire” creator George R.R. Martin has also weighed in on the topic, discussing the changes made by “Game of Thrones” series creators and his thought process while writing the scene.
Warning: Full “Game of Thrones” Season 4 spoilers. If you did not watch “Breaker of Chains,” stop reading.
In “Breaker of Chains,” Jaime rapes Cersei. The scene was already questionable and shocking in “A Storm of Swords,” and many felt the “Game of Thrones” series and its creators, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, changed the scene for shock value.
After receiving plenty of emails for his stance on the “Game of Thrones” rape controversy, Martin responded on his personal blog. Martin describes the very different timelines at play in “Game of Thrones” and “A Song of Ice and Fire.” Jaime has spent weeks in King’s Landing in the HBO series prior to the Purple Wedding, whereas in the “Song of Ice and Fire” series, he has only just returned to the city and overhears the news of Joffrey’s death. Martin explains, “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 series has changed Jaime and Cersei’s story and timing of his arrival and the relationship between the two characters, which may explain why the series creators changed the scene, argues Martin. The “Song of Ice and Fire” creator said he was not involved with the scene, and Weiss and Benioff did not discuss the change with Martin.
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Martin says, “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.”
Badass Digest’s Devin Faraci says the context of the scene needs to be examined. Jaime’s rape of Cersei is disturbing, and the scene from Martin’s novel is equally problematic, but this is the same person that was willing to kill a child in the first episode of “Game of Thrones.” Jaime has a long road ahead of him and he is far from a hero, and Faraci says, “You were supposed to be upset. You were supposed to be horrified. That's what good storytelling, what good art, sometimes does.”
“Breaker of Chains” director Alex Graves says in an interview with HitFix, “Well, it becomes consensual by the end, because anything for them ultimately results in a turn-on, especially a power struggle.” The AV Club has a feature discussing Jaime’s rape of Cersei, including the text from “A Song of Ice and Fire,” as well as the show’s previous handling of rape in Season 1 involving Drogo and Daenerys, and Entertainment Weekly writers Darren Franich and Hillary Busis also discuss the controversial scene.