Last week’s episode of HBO and George R.R. Martin‘s Game of Thrones had a controversial scene between Jaime and Cersei that had the Internet and Monday morning water-cooler conversation buzzing. Now George R.R. Martin has weighed in on the scene and the differences between the television show and the books it is inspired by.

I’m sure by now anyone reading this already knows what happened in the episode, because clicking on this post without having already seen the episode in question would just spoil it for you.

As always there are two groups that watch Game of Thrones, those that have read the books and those that haven’t. Those that have read the books know that this uncomfortable scene is much different in the book. Martin commented on the scene in his Live Journal blog when a reader asked him this question:

George answered:

I think the “butterfly effect” that I have spoken of so often was at work here. In the novels, Jaime is not present at Joffrey’s death, and indeed, Cersei has been fearful that he is dead himself, that she has lost both the son and the father/ lover/ brother. And then suddenly Jaime is there before her. Maimed and changed, but Jaime nonetheless. 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.

The whole dynamic is different in the show, where Jaime 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, but neither character is in the same place as in the books, which may be why Dan & David played the sept out differently. But that’s just my surmise; we never discussed this scene, to the best of my recollection.

Also, I was writing the scene from Jaime’s POV, so the reader is inside his head, hearing his thoughts. On the TV show, the camera is necessarily external. You don’t know what anyone is thinking or feeling, just what they are saying and doing.

If the show had retained some of Cersei’s dialogue from the books, it might have left a somewhat different impression — but that dialogue was very much shaped by the circumstances of the books, delivered by a woman who is seeing her lover again for the first time after a long while apart during which she feared he was dead. I am not sure it would have worked with the new timeline.

That’s really all I can say on this issue. The scene was always intended to be disturbing… but I do regret if it has disturbed people for the wrong reasons.

Interesting response. I hadn’t really thought about the time difference in the scene in the show and in the book. I would like to point out that it is these small changes that keeps those that have read the books on their toes. Much like The Walking Dead, which has a lot more deviations from the source material than Game of Thrones in their respective series so far.

The episode’s director, Alex Graves has commented on the scene as well:

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?

I do like Graves’ description of Joffrey as their sin, their lust, their love and now he is dead. Can their feelings survive the loss?

What do you think about what Martin or Graves had to say. Does it change your thoughts about the scene? No matter what explanations or motivations are given, the scene will always be an uncomfortable one, no matter how one looks at it. The subject matter is one that evokes strong reaction and I’m sure people will be pointing back to this scene whenever another show in the future goes there.

For those of you that have not read the book and for those of you that have, but need your memory refreshed, here is the original version of that scene from the book:

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.

Via: Uproxx

Category: TV

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