George R.R. Martin Speaks Up About ‘Game Of Thrones’ Controversial Jaime-Cersei Rape Scene

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George R.R. Martin
Author and co-executive producer George R.R. Martin arrives for the premiere of the fourth season of HBO series "Game of Thrones" in New York March 18, 2014. Reuters

George R.R. Martin has spoken up about the Cersei and Jaime Lannister rape scene on the “Game of Thrones” on Sunday. The best-selling novelist defended the now-infamous scene, explaining that the TV series operates in a different timeless from his novel.

The HBO fantasy series has aired a lot of jaw-dropping and questionable scenes over the years, but the latest episode perhaps has the most shocking scene of all, according to the fans on social media.

After the Purple Wedding last week, in which the sadistic young king Joffrey was killed, his parents, incestuous twin siblings Cersei and Jaime, has had a not-so-wholesome reunion by his corpse on Sunday’s episode.

Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) raped his sister Cersei (Lena Headey) over Joffrey’s altar. The two began kissing, with Cersei at first willing, but when she caught sight of Jaime’s severed hand, she recoiled. Jaime then attacked his sister while she pleaded for him to stop because “it’s not right,” but he wouldn’t listen. They ended up having intercourse on the ground beside their son’s corpse.

The same scene in “A Storm of Swords,” on which the episode is based, is arguably more consensual. That is probably why even those who have read the book were still equally shocked at the said incident.

Fans have been so appalled at the scene that they have written to Martin about it, prompting the author to reply.

“I think the ‘butterfly effect’ that I have spoken of so often was at work here. In the novels, Jaie is not present at Joffrey’s death, and indeed, Cersei has been fearful that he is dead himself, that she has lot 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 author replied to a comment on his blog about the scene.

“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 quarrelling. 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,” he said, referring to showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

“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 timeless.”

He continued, “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.”

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