Well, this is certainly a first. Per The Huffington Post, U.S. senator Claire McCaskill (D, Missouri) has officially denounced Game of Thrones for a controversial scene in this past Sunday’s episode. Spoilers follow below.
In Sunday’s episode, the truly revolting character Ramsay Bolton was married off to Sansa Stark as part of a deal to help the Bolton family solidify its hold on the North. However, since Ramsay has proven himself again and again to be a sadistic little sociopath, he decided to rape Sansa on their wedding night.
McCaskill sent out a tweet on Tuesday morning informing the world that she was “done” with the show following the “disgusting and unacceptable” rape scene. To my knowledge, McCaskill is the most high-level government official to have ever weighed in on a Game of Thrones episode.
On the one hand, it’s not surprising that a lot of people are revolted by the rape scene in Sunday’s show — it’s disturbing and difficult to sit through. On the other hand, the show has been completely brutal pretty much from the start and has featured not only other instances of rape but also torture, castration and all kinds of horrible violence. In other words, including such a horrible scene is perfectly within the show’s character.
The key here is all how these horrible actions are portrayed. If they were in any way glorified or if their victims’ suffering was minimized or made light of, then it would be more than fair to condemn the show.
However, in my experience I’ve always found that the show makes it pretty clear that people such as Joffrey, Ramsay and others are nothing short of total monsters. Ramsay and Joffrey in particular have never been shown to have any kind of redeeming qualities, which explains why the world cheered when Joffrey was poisoned and why the world will likely cheer even more loudly when Ramsay inevitably meets a gruesome ending.
At any rate, I don’t blame anyone for not wanting to watch Game of Thrones because it’s so violent — the show is certainly not for the weak of heart. On the other hand, I do have to wonder why people who have been watching it from the start decided to stop watching the show because of this one scene.
After all, Theon Greyjoy was systematically tortured, maimed and eventually castrated at Ramsay’s hands over the span of several episodes. That’s not to minimize the horrible things he did to Sansa, but anyone who’s watched Ramsay Bolton throughout the show can’t be surprised that he’d do something like this.