The fear that was plaguing so many of us has been confirmed: Game of Thrones forgot about Jaime's despicable rape scene. The show continued Jaime Lannister's storyline as though he never laid an unwanted golden hand on his sister-lover, Cersei. The Kingslayer continued on his path of redemption, and even more so, seemed to be one of the only people in the episode who displayed a touch of humanity. This was an episode that hailed Jaime Lannister when just last week, we wanted to spit on him.
It was like the rape never even happened. It was as though the show didn't take a cue from its previous sexual assault that, oddly enough, wasn't a rape scene in the book. (What's up with these showrunners forgetting to add in a line in these sex scenes that indicates consent? Facial expressions of terror do not indicate consent — a "yes" does. You cannot say that a sex scene is consensual if there is no consent.)
Back in Season 1, Khal Drogo and Danaerys engaged in non-consensual sex, but then the show seemed to erase it by turning Dany into a sexual siren who gets on top of Drogo and falls in love with him when they get to do it cowgirl style, which basically was an example of what would have happened if Cosmo made its way into Westeros. Get on top of your Dothraki man and BLOW HIS MIND! You just might even fall in love him!
When we met Drogo, he hadn't spent an entire season redeeming himself for pushing a kid out of a window, leaving said kid without ambulatory abilities. I had a distaste for Drogo initially, but took a liking to his execution of facial hair. When Dany fell in love with him, it seemed like the showrunners said, "Whoops! Didn't mean to characterize him that way!" Jaime, on the other golden hand, had earned our trust, lost it, and then been allowed to continue on in his life as though he didn't just do something inexcusable.
Sure, Cersei scowled at him, but never once did she mention the rape. Never once did we see Jaime trying to apologize. Instead, we saw Jaime doing nothing but good — like the Jaime we had gotten used to, except this time, it seemed oddly discordant.
We saw the Kingslayer talk to Tyrion and assert that, contrary to his sister-lover's wishes, he would never slay his brother. He then — in a moment that would have been more poignant had he not forced himself upon Cersei last week — gave Brienne of Tarth the Valyrian steel sword formed from Ned Stark's sword, a kick-ass suit of armor, and Podrick Payne as a squire. We saw in Brienne's eyes that she truly has feelings for this man. She admires him and respects him. This episode seemed to be dressed in the notion that Jaime is, in fact, a good, respectable guy — and a whole lot of other problematic issues.
Ignoring the rape could be indicative of the fact that the showrunners do not believe last week's scene to constitute as rape, which is why of course Jaime would continue on his redemptive path of doing good and earning love and respect. This also suggests a scary subtext of, "hey, maybe Jaime raped his sister, but that doesn't take away from the rest of his life!" which is gross.
His constant acts of goodness also suggests that maybe the showrunners do see something flawed in that sex scene's execution, and therefore decided to dunk Jaime in a pool of atonement, hoping that if the audience saw him do enough good this week that we'd move on and forget about last week. That's quite an assumption to make of an audience — we're not that quick to buy anything.
Another option? This may just be essential to Jaime's character — he's a very, very flawed man who does despicable things, and has an internal struggle in which he tries to achieve restitution. Game of Thrones is not one to shy away on the ugliness of humanity, and this is no exception.
We can analyze this until the White Walkers take us, too, and we can come up with a plethora of theories, but the emphasis on Jaime's redemptive qualities in this episode just seemed far too out of place, and it truly appeared as though the series decided to just move upward and onward, assuming the rape scene was forgotten. It was not, and as Brienne looked longingly in Jaime's eyes, I thought, do you even know what he did to Cersei?
But those feelings of disgust and distaste? They're just typical feelings in Westeros that keep us heavily anticipating next week's episode, no matter how conflicted we feel. For those complex feelings that Game of Thrones conjures up within us, we ought to give the show a — wait for it — hand.
Image: Macall B. Polay/HBO; Giphy (2)