Contains a few spoilers that are already out there anyway… sorry!
Over the past couple of days, news sites have been rife with spoilers about Game of Thrones. I’m still binging through the third season, having come to the show late, but there hardly seems a point now with major news outlets spoiling narrative elements this way and that. As a colleague mentioned, there is still a lot I don’t know and can look forward to in the show, but at present the Internet makes it hard to enjoy a show without rushing to complete it before spoilers make the rounds.
This week’s outpouring of stories regarding the controversial rape scene in Game of Thrones (I know no specifics, having read nothing but headlines and being behind on episodes) seemed a tad much. My colleague (if you remember, The Cyprus Experiment, that mysterious artist) commented that the articles spawned from the episode not holding much narrative significance, the rape scene easy content bait for clickers like me. Unless I’ve been watching the show wrong, there has been brutality throughout; in fact, one could say the world of Westeros can be classified by its ultra violence and sex as power grabbing.
Westeros is not Earth…
There are dragons, ladies that can birth shadow demons, blizzard zombies, and really big wolves. Yes, the political intrigue, one of the most catching aspects of the show, hits close to home, but ultimately the story is a complete and utter fantasy. The rules are different in George R.R. Martin’s universe, and controversy arising from the show seems extraneous (the show shares more with Dungeons and Dragons than any other media). Is rape in television totally permissible? Probably it shouldn’t be, but the sexuality in Game of Thrones is already overdramatized and ridiculous, it’s not so surprising an intense rape scene appeared in a world where prostitutes are literally everywhere.
What bothers me more than anything…
Folks like me (Internet writers, we scum) can’t leave well enough alone and allow viewers to enjoy the narrative. Reviews are fine, as every single one always comes with a spoilers warning, but picking out controversy in a television show, then creating a headline and an image that spoils three seasons of television is not fair to viewers. I saw at least three different articles, all on main pages of news sites, each at minimum teasing an event on the show I didn’t know about. And while I agree that a discussion about television standards is a good idea, it should come not at the price of the public enjoyment (not because enjoyment is more important, but because said discussion can occur so simply without spoiling shows that a lot of people connect to and watch on a weekly basis).
Obviously, it’s ridiculous to pose the idea that spoilers are more important than the discourse on rape (rape is the worst thing humans do). But in this instance, the focal point of the forum shouldn’t be Game of Thrones, a show where baby killing, throat cutting, brutal, forced marriages, etc., etc., run rampant. Save this vehement and absolutely justified striving for social justice for reality, and don’t rely on the fact that people will click on spoilers (and anything with Game of Thrones on it) to talk about important topics that should change in the real world but will never in the Westeros universe. Social justice should happen here by all means, but ranting about Game of Thrones won’t stop each character from that twisted universe doing unspeakably horrible things to one another. And also, remember, dragons!