Poor, poor Sansa Stark has been through a lot during Game of Thrones, from watching her father lose his head to being wed to Ramsay Bolton, the most despicable character on a show full of really despicable characters. In fact, it was so bad by the end of season five that fans and critics were downright outraged by the way Sansa and the show’s female characters were being treated, and the showrunners, producers, and actors had to reassure everyone that the violence served a purpose, and the women would eventually come out on top. Sure enough, Sansa gave some dogs a very memorable meal and people seemed happier with the way things are now going.
We bring that up because one episode of HBO’s highly-anticipated new series Westworld has aired and people are already very concerned about the violence toward female characters, including Evan Rachel Wood’s Dolores. In Sunday night’s premiere episode, “The Original,” there was plenty of violence to go around, and certainly enough death and generally terrible behavior to get people talking. And it’s Dolores they’re talking about, after she was presumably sexually assaulted by Ed Harris’ character, The Man in Black.
On Monday, the Hollywood Reporter shared Wood’s thought on the outrage and she assures everyone that this tired plot device serves a purpose in Westworld’s storytelling.
“It’s absolutely very rough,” Wood said about the show’s violent nature, evidenced at multiple occasions throughout the premiere. “I don’t like gratuitous violence against women at all, but I would wait for the context in which it’s being used. As the show progresses, the way it’s being used is very much a commentary and a look at our humanity and why we find these things entertaining and why this is an epidemic, and flipping it on its head. The roles for the women on this show are going to be very revolutionary. It’s very gender-neutral. I would ask, as somebody who is an advocate against any kind of abuse or violence and is outspoken about it, to give it a chance and wait to see where it’s going. I think it will surprise people.”
How soon it will surprise people is unknown, but hopefully the point is made before the end of Westworld’s seventh season.