Discrepancies between source material and adaptations are common, but a deviation in the most recent episode of Game of Thrones has many fans upset. Their issue is not with disparities themselves, but with the particular content of Sunday night's change. On the show, Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) rapes his sister Cersei (Lena Headey) next to the dead body of their son, Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) -- in the book, the sex is consensual.
Episode director Alex Graves told Vulture Monday that the scene was "meant to be consensual," but some fans and critics still disagree. Many cite Cersei's physical attempts to resist and protests of "no" and "don't" throughout the incident as clear indications of rape.
Series author George R.R. Martin has weighed in on the controversy on his blog. He credits the "butterfly effect" for the change -- a theory that any deviations made on the show will inevitably lead to further changes in later episodes.
"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," Martin says of the incident in the book. "The whole dynamic is different in the show."
"In the novels, Jamie is not present at Joffrey's death," he continues. "[In the show] Jamie 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 quarreling."
"The setting is the same," the author continues. "But neither character is in the same place as in the books, which may be why [the show] played out differently. But that's just my surmise; we never discussed this scene, to the best of my recollection."
"If the show had retained some of Cersei's dialogue from the books, it might have left a somewhat different impression," Martin concludes. "The scene was always intended to be disturbing ... but I do regret if it has disturbed people for the wrong reasons."
[George R.R. Martin Blog]
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