Did last night’s episode of Game of Thrones feature, as Josh put it, the most disturbing sex scene in television history? I don’t know. And I don’t particularly want to research it to find out. I imagine a man raping his sister at the foot of an altar their dead son is laying on has to be on the list somewhere, though. Let’s just call it top five and move along.
And move along we shall, sort of, from a discussion of the whats to whys. The Hollywood Reporter caught up with the director of the episode, Alex Graves, who explained the motivations behind the scene.
I’m never that excited about going to film forced sex. But the whole thing for me was about dead Joffrey lying there, watching the whole thing. (Showrunners) David (Benioff) and Dan (Weiss) loved that, and I was like, I wanted to make sure I had Jack in there as much as I could. Of course Lena and Nickola laughed every time I would say, “You grab her by the hair, and Jack is right there,” or “You come around this way and Jack is right there.”
He is their first born. He is their sin. He is their lust, and their love — their everything. If he’s gone, what’s going to happen?
Apparently the answer to that question is “millions of HBO viewers will squirm around in their seats a lot.”
Also of note: As mentioned in the recap, this scene was significantly less rape-y in the book. Here’s the relevant excerpt via the AV Club, which has a nice essay about how the show’s producers are kind of making a habit of doing that.
She kissed him. A light kiss, the merest brush of her lips on his, but he could feel her tremble as he slid his arms around her. “I am not whole without you.”
There was no tenderness in the kiss he returned to her, only hunger. Her mouth opened for his tongue. “No,” she said weakly when his lips moved down her neck, “not here. The septons…”
“The Others can take the septons.” He kissed her again, kissed her silent, kissed her until she moaned. Then he knocked the candles aside and lifted her up onto the Mother’s altar, pushing up her skirts and the silken shift beneath. She pounded on his chest with feeble fists, murmuring about the risk, the danger, about their father, about the septons, about the wrath of gods. He never heard her. He undid his breeches and climbed up and pushed her bare white legs apart. One hand slid up her thigh and underneath her smallclothes. When he tore them away, he saw that her moon’s blood was on her, but it made no difference.
“Hurry,” she was whispering now, “quickly, quickly, now, do it now, do me now. Jaime Jaime Jaime.” Her hands helped guide him. “Yes,” Cersei said as he thrust, “my brother, sweet brother, yes, like that, yes, I have you, you’re home now, you’re home now, you’re home.” She kissed his ear and stroked his short bristly hair. Jaime lost himself in her flesh. He could feel Cersei’s heart beating in time with his own, and the wetness of blood and seed where they were joined.
So there’s all that, too. Either way, the TV version or the book version, the Lannisters are a very strange family. There, I said it.