George R.R. Martin: Less rape would make ‘Game of Thrones’ unrealistic
“Game of Thrones” has good things going for it—sex, violence, torture, incest, you name it. One of the things that has never been much of a strong suit, however, is fidelity to historical realism.
After Jamie Lannister raped his sister and estranged lover Cersei last week, Martin spoke up in internet comment boards about the scene, saying that it had been much more ambiguous in the book and not necessarily such a clear-cut rape.
However this week speaking to the New York Times Martin defended the show, suggesting that any less rape would simply make the show too unrealistic.
In Q&A with New York Times over whether all the rape had gotten a touch gratuitous, Martin said:
An artist has an obligation to tell the truth. My novels are epic fantasy, but they are inspired by and grounded in history. Rape and sexual violence have been a part of every war ever fought, from the ancient Sumerians to our present day. To omit them from a narrative centered on war and power would have been fundamentally false and dishonest, and would have undermined one of the themes of the books: that the true horrors of human history derive not from orcs and Dark Lords, but from ourselves. We are the monsters. (And the heroes too). Each of us has within himself the capacity for great good, and great evil.
Which a nice try, I guess. An allegorical rape to express the inner evil capacities of man. Except inner evil usually manifests in the form of doing terrible things like, ya know, raping people. In which which case it’s not really an allegory, it’s just terribleness embodied—and one hell of a lot of it.
And the argument for historical accuracy is a total joke. I mean, we’re talking about a show where a lady gives birth to dragons and a paralyzed boy projects himself into the body of a wolf. Nothing else in this “Game of Thrones” has been a realistic depiction of anything. Except rape under military siege, I guess?
I don’t know. Unlike The Guardian’s Danielle Henderson I’m still hanging on. But I still think the show could use to tone down the rapey vibe. There’s still plenty of evil to go around.