In last night's episode of Game of Thrones, a key scene between Jaime and Cersei Lannister was changed to be - for lack of a better word - more rapey - provoking outcry online and questions about whether the show is taking misogyny in the Game of Thrones universe too far. The story hit all the major media outlets. Jezebel contrasted the book's versions of events with what took place in the show here and linked it to another TV-added rape between Khal Drogo and Daenerys Targaryen in Season One, so go read that real quick if you live under a rock and managed to not hear about this somewhere today.
Now, GRRM himself has responded to the controversy with a statement in the comments section of his Live Journal:
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.
What do you think?