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GoT 4x03 Breaker of Chains

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  • GoT 4x03 Breaker of Chains

    Wow, what a TERRIBLE episode. I guess with this show you can't have two good episodes in a row! The first scene was fantastic and perfect and thrilling (the chase!), but that was it. (Also it would have been so much better if she and Littlefinger hadn't been seen obviously plotting last season, it now stretches credulity that he wouldn't be the first person they think of when wondering where Sansa went).

    It's utterly disgusting and despicable how they transformed the Jaime/Cersei sex scene into him raping her, ruining a great scene and totally assassinating Jaime's character in order to add in extra sexual violence against women where there was none (because apparently all the sexual violence against women is not enough for two misogynists like D&D, gotta add in more! They really do seem to have a fetish for it). For non-book readers, this is a quote from the actual scene, so you can compare:

    "Hurry," she was whispering now, "quickly quickly now, do it to me now. Jaime Jaime Jaime." Her hands helped guide him. "Yes," Cersei said as he thrust, "My brother, my sweet brother, yes, like that, yes, I have you, you're home now, you're home now, you're home."

    As you can see, it was quite consensual. I had been looking forward to this scene, although I had heard spoilers that they were going to turn it into rape beforehand.

    It was also amazing how many penises they managed to avoid showing when given the obvious opportunity....we cater to the straight male gaze only, folks!

    Most of the rest of the episode was just dull and pointless (the Gilly and Sam scenes in particular). I will never understand some of the scenes they make up and add in at the expense of actually exciting material omitted from the books. But oh well, at least they mentioned the Iron Bank!

    Finally, I'm sad they had to age Tommen up, I will miss his kittens and cuteness.
    Promise that you'll return to me.

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  • #2
    Some might consider this a greater offense for a television show, but as depicted, it's sex that started nonconsensual but clearly didn't up being, which, whether it's a real world phenomenon or not, doesn't really jive with what we went men and women to think of in their sexual conduct -- we want no to mean no, but the fetished underbelly clearly likes to hold on the idea that it sometimes means mostly yes. Sufficed to say, by the time Cersei is repeating "this is wrong", it sounded less to my ears like "... so remove your penis at once" and more like "... we're naughty we're bad we're naughty", etc.

    I'd also ask that we stipulate that there's really no non-disgusting way to have sex, with your sibling, on the floor, next to the corpse of your murdered incest-born bastard child as he lies in state -- at some point, even lack of consent might not be the grossest thing going on in the room anymore.

    I actually liked a lot of this episode. The scene they wrote for Charles Dance to expound on what makes a good king was excellent, as was his scene with Pedro Pascal. I loved the scene between Podrick and Tyrion, too. Podrick really is one of the only few truly decent people in ASOIAF/Game of Thrones, I like him quite a bit. I loved that Tyrion was wise enough about how fair any trial was likely to be that he wanted Pod to tell the lie they asked him for rather than risk himself.

    Aging Tommen up I think had to do with (book spoilers)
    eventually marrying Margaery -- even if he isn't ever going to kiss her or anything, there is a mental squick factor for the audience if you have Natalie Dormer, who's, what, 27, and the 8 or 9 year old they had in there before. Same reason they had to age up the star child from Twilight a bit for the movie... although really, not enough there.
    . Regardless, seems a decent young actor so far.

    I loved the Mereen scene. Emilia Clarke is just so comfortable in her skin as Daenarys now, it's kinda overpowering. I can't remember feeling someone so fully inhabited a role I've watched since... Depp as Jack Sparrow, maybe? There's character nuance in every facial expression and gesture at this point, it's brilliant. Just rewatch the first couple episodes again and compare to this superwoman. Plus, it's a good pattern for the show -- need a strong stinger to go out on, cut to the Khaleesi.
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    • #3
      I'm sorry, but in what way does violently struggling underneath Jaime while shouting "NO!" throughout the entire scene indicate eventual consent? It was a rape scene through and through, give me a break. If they wanted it to come across as her just protesting about the place initially, then they could have done it like the book, and have her going, "to hell with it! Let's do it!" before anything happens; they could have had her saying "yes" instead of no and guiding him along instead of struggling against him.

      It's inexplicable why they even chose to change the scene to a rape (to non-consent) in the first place, given that it is unlikely they will dwell on this scene in the future. What was the point? The only thing I can think of is as a way to punish Cersei, which is how it plays out. Which is disgusting too. In any case, it makes no sense for the characters or the storyline.

      And sorry but one cannot compare a consensual sex scene to rape, in terms of saying it would always be "gross"--this is a different league, and contributes to the real-world culture of rape that exists (as seen by the very fact that this scene is being labeled by some as consensual).

      And yes, I know why they aged up Tommen, but still think it's a shame (related to the other casting).
      Promise that you'll return to me.

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      • #4
        I liked the conversation with Twyin and Tommen about how to be a good King for some reason. It seems like maybe Tommen could learn to be a decent King (something I don't think Joffrey was capable of doing).

        It looks like the recast Tommen although I don't know why they chose someone who had already been on the show (and played a different role).

        I don't really understand why they think Tyrion was responsible for killing Joffrey. It seems like there should be a long list of suspects so I didn't really understand why they pointed the finger at him (I guess he was an easy target?).
        Last edited by Gemini9857; 22-04-14, 11:25 PM.


        • #5
          That was a provoking episode if nothing else considering there were parts I found enjoyable and elements that made me want to scream! Let’s get the worst of it out of the road; I have never been a fan of Jaime finding the lengths he is willing to go to, to protect his dirty little secret (throwing Bran out the window in Winter is Coming) deplorable. However, attempting to initiate sexual intercourse and then raping the woman he claims to love in the Sept beside the corpse of their dead son is absolutely sickening and has lost the character any good will I may have had for him . Now that is out of the way my general thoughts on the different parts of the episode;

          • Sansa finally managed to escape the loathsome clutches of the Lannisters although as someone who has not read the books I am wary of how safe she will prove to be under the guidance of Little Finger! Also am I the only one who rolled their eyes at how naïve she was about the role of Ser Dontos after a long period of time surrounded by the political maneuverers of those living in Kings Landing? Incidentally how long roughly in show verse has Stansa been in Kings Landing?

          • They did an excellent recast for Tommen, standing beside Jaime in the Sept I thought the two made a very believable father and son .While I’m on the topic Tommen is certainly cute and innocent compared to Joffrey isn’t he? Did he seriously think traits like ‘just’ would be the answer Tywin Lannister of all people would look for?

          • The hound is definitely one of the most intriguing characters on the show IMO. It is fascinating how he can be so ruthless at times (killing Micah back in The Kings Road or robbing the man who fed them during this episode) and then at other times seems to possess an honour of sorts. His appearances are always destined to be interesting!

          • Samwell and Gilly’s scenes caused me to feel mixed emotions unlike most in here it seems I actually find the duo to be refreshing in the cut throat world of the show . To get back on point on the one hand I am proud of how far Samwell has come since we were first introduced to him in this episode he was firm in his beliefs, knew what he wanted (to keep Gilly safe from rape and other possible abuse from the men at Black Castle ) and took action to ensue her safety rather than sitting passively by afraid as he would have done when first introduced. On the other hand for God sakes Samwell do not become her father and allow Gilly the opportunity to make decisions about her own life!

          • Although it took me a while I’ve definitely come to enjoy the character of Tyrion and watching as he showed care for Pod by first encouraging him to make the deal to save himself and then to leave when he refused was heartwarming. While not perfect he is definitely someone you can feel more respect for than the rest of his hateful family.

          • Watching Ygriette and the other wildlings murder innocent villagers was difficult to stomach especially as one of them told the little boy they were going to eat his parents . Still I can feel a certain sympathy for the wildlings raised out in the wild where resorting to things such as cannibalism was the norm and conditions were so harsh no one man, woman or child could truly be innocent is understandable why they behave the way they do!

          • As usual Daenery’s just annoyed me in her scenes and I continue to wait in hope that she will be ate by her own dragons or some other equally final end!

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          • #6
            I’m not going to lie, this episode upset me a great deal. Yesterday I was much too mad to form a coherent thought, let alone write a review. I’ve calmed down a bit but I’m still very pissed off. Thank you, writers and executive producers, for turning my favourite character into a rapist! Why the hell couldn't they just stick with the book where it was all consensual (as sherrilina pointed out above)? Why did they think that character assassinating Jaime was a good idea? Couldn't GRRM have done something to intervene?

            I have seen some people online claim that Jaime's actions were perfectly in character. To that I say: hell to the no! Those people either don't seem to understand Jaime or what GRRM was going for with his character (sadly neither do David Benioff and D.B. Weiss) and/or they haven't read the books. Book!Jaime would never have raped Cersei and here are the reasons why. Jaime spent a good part of the third book protecting Brienne from rape. Jaime is just not a guy who condones rape and it is shown repeatedly in the books, for example when he was so disgusted with the Mad King's and King Robert's behaviour when it comes to mistreating and abusing women. But most of all, Jaime would never rape Cersei since he loves her with all his heart and puts her her above everything and everyone else. Now I’m of course not denying that their love is unhealthy and twisted, but in a way Jaime has been more loving and faithful (in the books) than many other male characters. He always stayed true to Cersei, he never wanted to have sex with anyone else, that’s one of the reasons why he joined the Kingsguard in the first place, so that he wouldn’t have to marry another woman. Of everything that I know about Jaime from the books, him forcing himself on the woman he loves most makes no sense whatsoever and is completely out of character.

            A few reviews online have pointed out that this was not the first but the second time Weiss and Benioff changed a consensual sex scene to rape, the first time being between Dany and Drogo in season 1. What this says about the writers/executive producers' attitude towards women is appalling. Apparently, they have an MO when it comes to this and I wonder why. Why the exploitation? Why make an already disturbing scene much more shocking and provoking? Wasn’t Jaime and Cersei having consensual sex close to the dead body of their son twisted enough for David Benioff and D.B. Weiss? The books already contain enough taboos and shocking events, why push the boundary even further? For higher ratings?

            Unlike other (female) viewers, I was never all that bothered by the sexposition featured on the show because it made sense within the books' universe, there is a lot of sex and nakedness in the books as well. However, changing not one but two consensual sex scenes into rape is another matter entirely and reeks of misogyny! I really hope that there will be a backlash against Weiss and Benioff because of their complete misrepresentation of Jaime's character and for perpetuating misogyny for no good reason whatsoever.

            Of course the director of the episode, Alex Graves, did not help matters either with his very unfortunate comments about the rape turning into something consensual. WTF? Either the writers wrote the scene completely wrong and in a very misleading way or the director completely misinterpreted the writers’ intention with this scene. Either way, it’s a mess. This is what happens when you change key aspects of a character without really thinking about it.

            Anyway, you can read the reactions from the episode director, GRRM and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau to the rape scene in this enlightening article:


            I’m glad that at least GRRM realised that an apology was in order. So far not a peep from Weiss and Benioff.

            Apart from that horrible scene and the usual beyond dull Sam and Gilly stuff (which will hopefully be put on hold now that Gilly is no longer at Castle Black, those two really put me to sleep!), I actually quite enjoyed the episode, especially the Sansa, Dany and Tyrion parts.

            I’m glad that it was finally revealed to both Sansa and us the audience that Littlefinger has been pulling all kinds of strings. I’m still not sure whether Joffrey’s murder was all the Tyrells’ doing, if it was Littlefinger through Ser Dontos or if the Tyrells and Littlefinger worked together on this. I’m still a bit dismayed that they took the agency away from Sansa but at least she is out of King’s Landing now. Whether she will fare any better with Littlefinger remains to be seen. And yeah right, he is going to take her home. Don’t trust Littlefinger, Sansa, he is indeed one of the most dangerous men in Westeros! Still, I’m very excited for Sansa’s storyline to get going this season.

            The Tyrion and Pod scene was lovely and actually made me tear up a bit. Pod’s loyalty is really a breath of fresh air in a realm where so many people are corrupt and only out for themselves. I’m also glad that it was revealed that Prince Oberyn would be the third judge (even if Tywin interrupted an orgy, how rude!). I cannot wait to see the trial, I’m sure it will be interesting, to say the least.

            As upsetting as this episode was, I’m glad it ended with an uplifting scene with Dany in Meereen. Poor Daario though, she cannot do without her trusted other knights but it’s not so terrible if Daario dies. Luckily, he survived and impressed the Khaleesi in the process. I loved Dany’s trick of throwing her freedmen’s former shackles over the walls of Meereen with catapults (where did she get those though?), that was neat!

            However, I'm gonna have a hard time trusting the writers/executive producers again after that stunt they pulled. All I can hope is that they learned their lesson and in the future will stick to the wonderful original storylines provided by GRRM and not destroy characters that he has spent years creating and developing.


            • #7
              I'm certainly no rape apologist. One must just talk to my husband for we've had many discussions about the rape culture of our own society and how it is full of victim-shaming and light punishments--if any--for the rapists themselves. It's disgusting that in this day and age women still hold the burden and the shame of such offenses. That said, A Song and Ice of Fire is a world in which rape is merely a certainty, something that occurs with frequency and brutality. Whether they be raiders through a village, men claiming the spoils of war or a husband forcefully taking his wife. It is a misogynistic world. And it's awful and cruel and unfair and unjust. But that's the world. Now, this is certainly something I would not expect of Jamie and I will admit that the scene bothered me because it seemed to go against his character. However, the circumstances from the books differ from that of the show and Jamie has been driven to rage by Cersei's pronounced disgust of him. He's been so utterly devoted to her his entire life and she just turns on him and it makes no sense to him. I am NOT making apologies for his behavior, merely stating that the man seems to have hit his boiling point in having Cersei deny him her love and her comfort. And I think he just wanted to take back some control because control is what she has always wielded over him their entire lives. And if we know anything about rape, it is that it is about control.

              The scene didn't bother me as much as it did the rest of the very vocal internet. But I am bothered if only because Jamie has shown such growth in his character and I am dismayed that this sets him back in my eyes. I expected more of him. Then again, he is still the man who pushed a boy out a window. It's so easy to forget that.

              Anyway, the real point I am trying to make is that one cannot view rape the same way we do in our modern world. When watching or reading any kind of historical fiction, or non-fiction for that matter, this is something that will creep up time and time again. Women are property to be sold for a dowry or to be used as the family patriarch seems fit. They have little choice. They are to do as they are bid because they are not men and are therefore inferior. While this does in no way make rape right in any kind of way, it does color the attitudes of the time(s). And while there were rapists who were imprisoned or killed--or in Westeros, sent to The Wall--it is not something that I find any compelling evidence of that was particularly enforced. Merely looked down upon. Or people turned their noses from it, pretending it hadn't occurred.

              Then again, maybe not much has changed after all....
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              • #8
                Not a fan of the sex next to the corpse of your son scene. Don't understand what Jaime was thinking. Perhaps it was just an attempt to replace one horror with another, to dull it with sex. I don't know. It just didn't seem appropriate or rational, but what's rational when your child has been murdered, possibly by your brother.

                Love when they end an episode with Dany making an epic gesture, worthy of a Hollywood religious epic. Here she bombs the city with broken chains, to give the slaves the idea that they can be free, but they'll have to fight for it.


                • #9
                  I remember thinking the Jaime/Cersei scene was really uncomfortable and I think it was bound up in feeling lessened himself, not having protected his son, feeling angry towards Cersei/himself (going with how they chose to shoot it) and a whole bunch of desperate feelings of wanting connection and the strange twists between life affirmation and death. It was pretty grim in many ways, and especially as they made it a rape which I"m led to believe it isn't in the book.
                  Last edited by Stoney; 16-04-19, 10:37 PM.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Stoney View Post
                    I remember thinking the Jaime/Cersei scene was really uncomfortable and I think it was bound up in feeling lessened himself, not having protected his son, feeling angry towards Cersei/himself (going with how they chose to shoot it) and a whole bunch of desperate feelings of wanting connection and the strange twists between life affirmation and death. It was pretty grim in many ways, and especially as they made it a rape which I"m led to believe it isn't in the book.
                    It was just weird. They start to kiss, and it's not sweet or comforting, it's highly sexual kissing, which is odd to start with because they are standing right next to the body of their dead son. Then Cersei seems to realise where they are and she pushes Jaime away (if I'm remembering this correctly) and says no, and Jaime says something like 'how did I ever love a bitch like you' or some such, then he grabs her and assaults her.

                    I think it's a bit ambiguous and I can understand why some would think it wasn't an assault, because Cersei's protestations are weak, but then she's in a weakened position, both physically and emotionally. Also it doesn't seem to be referred to again. We don't have a scene with Cersei talking about him raping her or even hurting her (I don't think). Perhaps she just accepts that this is their relationship and the sex has been like this previously maybe? The whole scene is just odd and I'm not sure how to read it.
                    Last edited by Priceless; 17-04-19, 08:55 AM.


                    • #11
                      Linking sex/death isn't at all unusual though. It actually reminds me of Anya's sense of reassurance that sex links to life and the potential of future life giving as a way of processing grief when Joyce dies. But I just saw a lot of his feelings of inadequacy since he lost his hand and anger in it too, frustration and resentment. It must be awful when you can't openly mourn your son as your son, whereas Cersei could. I think there were a lot of complicated feelings he is going through at that point for himself and then everything about Joffrey and Cersei on top.

                      I think you're right that it is ambiguous, but there was certainly a distancing from her, a focus on his own needs/wants that suggested her protests were irrelevant, whether she meant them or not, which was enough for me to see it as an assault. It is also why I think there was some anger and resentment mixed into it and why I see connections to the hidden aspect of their relationship as part of what was spurring his action.

                      I'd really have to rewatch to gain more specific thoughts and I feel wary talking generally as I don't have clear separations between the seasons in my mind. I've always watched the show very casually and have only seen it all once. I had intended to rewatch it all before the final season but never got round to it. I'm pretty sure I'll buy the complete box set when there is one and rewatch it all and I'd definitely pay more attention to Jamie's character in the earlier seasons as he wasn't one that I liked as much at first.