Rape is NOT Entertainment…

… Dear Folks Over At HBO and the Directors/Writers/Producers of Game of Thrones;

We get it. Bad guys do bad things. I think it’s quite fair to say that at this point in the series we, the viewers, have a very clear sense of who these bad guys are and what they are capable of doing (Hint – very bad things).

We don’t need to see a rape with every.single.episode to illustrate just how bad these bad guys are. I can go one whole hour without seeing a naked pair of breasts or a woman being sexually assaulted.

Since you’ve taken it upon yourselves to write a rape scene in every.single.episode, even going so far as to re-write the story line (Bran at Craster’s rape hut? Really?) to guarantee you never miss an opportunity to make with the rape time, I can only assume that you, HBO, like and condone rape.

You must think it the epitome of high entertainment. What else are we, the viewer, supposed to gather from all the gratuitous raping in Game of Thrones?

I cannot even believe there is a need for me to type this next statement but…

Can we please stop glorifying rape? Pretty please? There is nothing entertaining about rape. [Updated 4/29/14] This goes for every television show and movie out there that feels the need to graphically show a person being raped.

Does HBO know the number of women who are fans of the show and the books and how many of them they are turning off? Do they care? Probably not as much as they love rape and ratings.

I’m not naive. I’ve read every single book in the Song of Ice and Fire series. I know they are not for the faint of heart, and yes, there are some graphic scenes in them. But now, HBO, even managed to creep out the author who created the Game of Thrones world, with your love all the rapes obsessiveness.

It’s disgusting and adds nothing to the story line… except a chance for the writers to show a naked woman in all the episodes, which we don’t need. The show would still be great and I’m pretty sure men would still watch if you toned down or took out completely the gratuitous nudity and raping.

As a lover of men, I refuse to think so little of the opposite sex that they need to have breasts and raping in every.single.episode in order to be entertained. That’s a little sexist, don’t ya think?

Enough already.

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  • Laura Lowder

    Unfortunately, the show’s ratings tell HBO otherwise.

  • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

    Dear Crescat,

    Thank you for engrossing our Nielsen ratings by your watching the Game of Thrones and then promoting it by creating buzz in your blog.



    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Updated … “This goes for every television show and movie out there that feels the need to graphically show a person being raped.”

      And by “creating a buzz” I think you mean “condemning rape.”

      • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine


        I’m sure that you know quite well that the media industry swears by the notion that whether a product is spoken of well or bad it’s free advertising. They grab whatever is said to promote their products as “edgy” or “controversial”, so that others will check it out.

        Then again, I ask for the second time, why do you watch such crap? It used to be that entertainment was wholesome; then they started getting “edgy” and sprinkling it with dehumanizing bits and the consumers rationalized them because overall it was just a bit offensive. Now entertainment that is unabashedly dehumanizing is sprinkled with bits of humanity and the consumers still latch onto it in spite of the utterly offensive content. I’m no expert, but it sounds like addictive behavior.

        So, when will you let your eyes feast only on wholesome entertainment and not on trash? When will you take courage to allow yourself to be entertained only by what doesn’t offend the life proposed to you by our faith? Let your hope be the master of your remote, not your concupiscence. You are in my prayers.

        Christ is risen!

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

          So instead of condemning rape as entertainment, you would have me ignore it all together because see no evil?

          That’s kind of like the whole don’t like abortion, don’t have one argument. Me ignoring GoT isn’t going to change the problem with rape as entertainment.

          And thank you for your prayers. I do sorely need all the help I can get.

          • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

            The problem is not that you condemned rape as entertainment, but that you didn’t condemn the entertainment that uses rape and then some as entertainment.

            God bless you.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

            Yes I did. I think I was pretty clear in my condemnation. And if you take out the rape and nudity the entertainment is well… entertaining.

          • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

            So you find gratuitous violence and murder entertaining as long as skin is not show, except if it’s been torn off a person’s body? If so, do you realize how desensitized to the culture of death you then are? Is that the witness you want to give in a dying nation? Food for thought or just ignore my advice, which is as worthy as how much you paid for it anyway.

          • Guest

            Oh, shove off Augie.

          • Patrick Button

            I tried to delete this comment but it somehow was retained as a guest post. Anyway, I apologize for my lack of charity.

  • Michael

    Kat, I’m usually on the exact same wavelength as you; as far as the glorification of rape goes, you’re spot on here. But this should come as exactly zero surprise – after all, the show is premised entirely on prurience. Every. Single. Episode has been “sex! Violence! Sex! Violence! Blood! Sex!” That the TV version has combined the two to skyrocket ratings should come as no surprise.

    Lots of folks praise the books and TV show for breaking readers’ and viewers’ conceptions of storytelling and acceptance of certain themes. But come on, people – GRRM is no literary marvel for chucking out propriety and zoning in on the things that make the heart pound. It’s not particularly creative to write a story in which everyone does the dance with everyone else and then dies a gruesome death.

    Like I said – love the blog, will always be a reader, and almost always find myself wishing I could send you a case of booze in gratitude. But I gotta go with Augustine on this one. The show is just a bad idea all around.

  • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

    It is HBO, after all, that’s how they made their name. Soft porn delivered to your living room has been the concept ever since a nearly forgotten NBC sitcom devoted a whole episode to the danger of having cable TV in your house (Silver Spoons).

  • Neil Leslie

    I lost interest in “Game of Thrones” when I heard George R. R. Martin himself describe the basic concept as “the Sopranos [the show about mobsters] in Middle Earth.” I absolutely love the works of Tolkien, and I would hate to see a universe like that sullied by the gross and appalling violence and vulgarity that one finds in “The Sopranos.” Full disclosure: I’ve never actually seen a full episode of “The Sopranos,” but only clips on YouTube. Those were enough to convince me I wanted nothing to do with that show either.

  • Christine Hebert

    I read 2 or 3 of the Games of Thrones books. Quite frankly I found the author incapable of bring anything to a conclusion and he killed off all the characters who had any virtue at all. I do not have cable TV so I don’t watch the show, but my stepson (who read all the books) watched the first season. He stopped watching because it was so poorly done.

  • kirthigdon

    I’m always a season behind on GoT since I don’t have HBO and get it from Netflix. I have read all the books. My daughter, who is following the current season, said that she did not consider the controversial scene to be rape and apparently there were some other viewers who thought the same. I guess I’ll have to wait until I actually watch it in another year or so. Certainly the definition of rape gets broader by the day with many feminists claiming that any heterosex is rape because patriarchy.
    A couple of questions. Is any depiction of rape in popular fiction to be removed because to leave it in would constitute treating rape as entertainment? Does any depiction of homicide or torture equate to treating those as entertainment? It seems to me there have been far more graphic depictions of homicide or torture in GoT than there have been of rape.
    Kirt Higdon

  • One More Guy

    Wow, glad I never saw the show. I personally stopped reading the books after the red wedding incident. I finally admitted that Martin was just a pervert and a hack who got satisfaction from killing people. And, that he was incapable of telling a story. Almost forgot to mention the good is stupid mantra.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      I had the privilege of meeting Martin. That “good is stupid mantra”? He does not believe that in real life. Not in the least.

      • Élas

        That’s lovely. Pity he decided to make the overriding theme of his work something he doesn’t actually believe.

        One is reminded of “some of my best friends are (X)”, to ward off accusations of being bigoted against X.

        • Valerie Finnigan

          I’m not a fan of his work, though I very much like him as a person. Still, the overriding theme of his work is not that being good is stupid, but that those who crave power tend to be terrible people- and not too bright themselves, as the iron throne’s no safe place to sit.

          • Elas

            Well, if you wanted to write a story about “people who crave power”, a feudal system would be the LAST culture you’d write it about. Feudalism greatly limits power—the very definition of feudalism is a system where power is sharply delimited by obligations. In a real feudal system, for example, any faction that was responsible for something like the Red Wedding would instantly find themselves devoid of allies, for having demonstrated that they disregarded not only obligations of marriage-alliance, but of hospitality. They would be very likely to find themselves wiped out by an alliance of their erstwhile allies and their former enemies.

            No, if Martin sincerely wanted to write about “people who crave power”, he would’ve written about a modern bureaucratic state, where a few hundred officials have the power to ensure that millions of people are starved or gassed to death, or never even get born. But that doesn’t provide so many opportunities for a modern Western audience to indulge in masturbatory self-congratulation.

            I have read real historical accounts that resemble the caricature Martin calls worldbuilding. They are the Apartheid government’s account of Zulu history. That should tell you what Martin’s real motives are.

          • Elas

            I have seen less ridiculously one-sided treatments of truly brutal warlords, who shocked the conscience even of Warring States Japan, which was a far more bloodthirsty culture than Europe in any era before the “Reformation Wars”.

            I’ve seen evenhanded treatments of people like Oda Nobunaga, who earned his nickname “Devil King” by sacking a number of Buddhist monasteries (he actually got the name by a sarcastic remark he made to the monks he was sacking). His actual motto was “All the world by force of arms”. And yet almost all the portrayals note that he innovated new methods of defending his peasants (the mere idea of defending one’s peasants is mocked by the nobles in Westeros—apparently Martin thinks castles were so big for conspicuous consumption?) and made it safer for merchants to travel in his domain, which gave him economic advantages over his rivals.

            Quite honestly, the nobles of Westeros make Nobunaga or Vlad the Impaler look like starry-eyed idealists. The absolute typical nobleman of their society is basically Giles de Rais or Elizabeth Bathory. That’s not worldbuilding; it’s a bad joke. It says some very unfortunate things about Martin, that he thought that was an acceptable way to write a fictional society; and it says worse things about the general public’s knowledge of history, anthropology, or sociology, that anyone takes this risible caricature seriously.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    I cancelled HBO a long time ago. It’s trash.

  • maddermusic

    Here’s one man who loved the political intrigue and adventure aspects of the show, but has always hated the nudity, explicit sex and sadistic brutality of it. I just gave up on it after the Red Wedding. I just can’t stand any more of it.

  • defiant12314

    Does anyone miss the good ‘ole’ days of Deep Space Nine where the worst that happened was a shot of a woman holding a sheet to cover herself ?

    Seriously as a GUY I seriously don’t get the need to portray sex in movies / TV, I mean there was mild innuendo (those pesky but loveable Ferengi) but I can’t remember anything even resembling what Kat is describing.

    I’ve never watched game of thrones (I spend most of my free time dodging bullets in the 41st Millennium) and this post has convinced me that its most certainly not a good idea. If you want political intrigue, just try and figure out who is doing what, why, when and where in Ukraine.

  • http://ephesians4-15.blogspot.ca/ Randy Gritter

    I can’t figure out why people watch it and complain about it. I investigated it for my family. Gave it a big fail. What confused me was the number of Catholics who acknowledged the objectionable content yet still watched it. I wonder if there is anything they would not watch? What would such a show have to contain? Anyway, I blogged about it here.


  • ElizD

    Yikes. I haven’t owned a TV in several years… no chance I will be getting one.

  • thule222

    “I cannot even believe there is a need for me to type this next statement but… Can we please stop glorifying rape?”

    When discussing a different scene in the same episode, the New York Times reviewer wrote,
    “I honestly said this sentence out loud, for the first and hopefully last time in my life: “I’m just glad they didn’t eat the baby.””

  • Patrick Button

    I like the books but can’t bring myself to watch the show. I don’t think either are inherently evil, but I think they can easily constitute a near occasions of sin and of course lead to sin itself, especially in the case of the show. I have no intention of judging Kat for watching the show and am confident that she can work out the morality or immorality of doing so with her conscience, spiritual adviser, etc. The combox crusaders are unnecessary.