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21 April 2014 @ 08:53 am
Game of Thrones: "Breaker of Chains" Episode Review  
Game of Thrones 4.03 "Breaker of Chains"

I'm not entirely sure how I should comment on the Jaime and Cersei storyline change, because I think it's pretty clear from fan reactions how unnecessary and disappointing and angering it was. I had heard the rumors and saw the little changes from the previous two episodes of their characters, but I didn't expect it to actually be true in what they planned on doing with that scene.

Like, it makes absolutely no sense why they would have him basically rape her when it never happens like that in the book. Yes, they do have sex at the alter right where Joffrey's body is, but it was seen as consensual. In the books this is when Jaime returns to King's Landing and it's their reunion after being away from each other for so long, which the show changed, but regardless that shouldn't mean everything involving their characterizations should have changed as well. Cersei is supposed to still be clinging to Jaime, whereas Jaime is supposed to slowly start unraveling from his attachment to his sister, which thus becomes part of his character development. And now the show basically fucked all that up. And for what? Just to have an unnecessary rape scene included? Why? I don't understand.

Furthermore, not only did they ruin that aspect of the Jaime and Cersei relationship, they also really ruined Jaime's characterization in general by altering that scene entirely. Jaime is one of the few men in the series that actually respects women, that doesn't do or condone violence, especially sexual violence, towards them. It's against his conscience, his moral code. It's just not who he is and not what he stands for. So having him do that completely and utterly demolished everything about his character.

I'm just so sorry for all the book fans who have been waiting and looking forward to the alter sex scene, only to have it completely ruined by the show, and for Jaime fans having to witness the assassination of his characterization right before their eyes.

(Just get back to Brienne, Jaime, at least they're doing something right there.)


With that rant out of the way, here are some of the other things in the episode that I actually did enjoy:

** I loved how we see Sansa escaping King's Landing right away as the episode opens, pretty much continuing from where we left off in the last episode. Here is where her story begins to shift, and it's quite exciting. But of course, as soon as Littlefinger shows up I'm like, oh right. I won't spoil it for anyone who is unaware, but there is going to be some interesting things coming up.

** Arya and the Hound's Amazing Adventure. I really enjoy their scenes together. I also think that Maisie is growing to be a fine young actress. Perhaps it's the way she portrays Arya as her story progresses, but I like the strength in the way she says her lines, the way she interacts with the Hound.

** There were some nice conversation pieces and interactions in this episode, as well. Tywin with Tommen, discussing his future as the next young king and learning from the mistakes from the previous kings before him. The fact that it was taken place right right in front of Cersei mourning her dead son who was right before them was fascinating, because you knew it wasn't the time or place for such a conversation to take place, and yet it was amazing to watch. It's the same with Tywin and Oberyn, interrupting the brothel scene in order to discuss politics with him. Both settings were quite strange to have such conversations in, and yet they managed to focus on the characters and their interaction. I think it's a Charles Dance thing, he manages to focus your attention on the screen whenever he appears and talks with another actor in a scene, no matter what is happening.

** The Martells continue to be magnificent. I just want character moments with Oberyn and Ellaria that aren't necessarily in an orgy scene, but for the brief moments we get of them are worth savoring. They have a warm, loving relationship, they understand each other and I love seeing that. More of that, please.

** Well, we finally saw some penis in this episode, which is nice. But a brief shot of cock (with a blurred out part of one in another scene) doesn't make up for all the lingering shots of women. There is a difference.

** The cinematography in this episode was outstanding.

** Loved Dany's scene, of course. My khaleesi dominating. ♥ And also that little moment between her and Jorah, omg. ♥ ♥ ♥ My heart cannot handle it.


Overall: Aside from the glaringly stupidly stupid thing the show did, I thought it was a pretty decent enough episode. I'm looking forward to Tyrion's trial, his and Jaime's bonding moments that come from that, and everything else in between with other characters.
 
 
Current Mood: productive
 
 
 
verdande_miverdande_mi on April 21st, 2014 06:09 pm (UTC)
I am very much in agreement with what you said about Cercei and Jamie, totally unnecessary, difficult to watch and it makes no sense to me. Granted a lot of the sex scenes in this show are just sexploiation and serves no purpose to the story. There are many places this show would have been better with actual plot than just sex for sex’s sense. This didn’t have the sexploiation feel, but it serves no purpose for the story either. I didn’t watch all of it as it felt and looked like rape, and I had no wish to see it. It makes no sense for Jamie to do this, no sense at all. Scenes like these and the general sexploitation makes me want to stop watching the show, but then there are things which are great and bloody fantastic that I don’t want to miss. I just don’t understand why such scenes are needed!

The ending scenes with Dany were wonderful from start to finish.
Renée: Daenerys Targaryen.rogueslayer452 on April 23rd, 2014 08:28 am (UTC)
I didn’t watch all of it as it felt and looked like rape, and I had no wish to see it.

It really was, from beginning to end, and what's worse is seeing all the defense claims about how it wasn't rape, or how it was "eventually consensual" towards the end. But it wasn't. There was no passion, nothing of the love about two lovers reuniting after a long time apart. Instead, it was Jaime being angry with Cersei. Angry at her for demanding him to kill their brother, angry at her pushing him away, angry that he still loves a "hateful woman", and he forces himself on her as punishment. That's what that scene was. And it's disturbing and horrible and not who those characters were.

There was no need for such a scene. Even with the changed the timeline of Jaime returning before he should have they could have still played in similarly as in the book, but they went along with this atrocity instead.

Scenes like these and the general sexploitation makes me want to stop watching the show, but then there are things which are great and bloody fantastic that I don’t want to miss.

This is my struggle, as well. I mentioned previously that I have a complicated relationship with the show, and this is the exact reason why.
verdande_miverdande_mi on April 23rd, 2014 10:52 pm (UTC)
I haven't read many reactions - to either the episode or the debate it has caused. On the one hand I want to, but on the other much of what I have read makes me shake my head and be sad at the state of the world. And that "eventually consensual" line is just awful. There is no eventually consensual - either it is consensual or it's not.

If anything this has certainly brought to light how different people read and interpret the same scenes/characterzation, and that will always be the case, but I don't understand how this can be read anything but rape.

The show has changed the timeline and characthers in many different ways - some small, some bigger, but I don't believe for a minute this is a thing show-Jamie would do. They have not showed him to be that different from book-Jame. Up until now that is, and if that was the plan all along, to drasticly change him, they should have chosen different ways of telling the tale.
~** The Queen of Peace **~: The night is darkmeri_sielu on April 21st, 2014 10:09 pm (UTC)
Ah now see I think I am one of the rare fans who really wasn't bothered by that scene at all. For me, there are far worse things that have happened so far in this series (books and TV) and no one has been as angry about those, I think I'm just desensitised to the rape and violence in it now. But also, I remember that chapter being written from Jaime's point of view in the books.... so surely it would come across as consensual? I have no doubt had they not changed the arc (which I don't think they've actually changed it that much) it would have still come across that way because she still resists and from the point a woman says not now, or not here any further persistence counts as rape in my eyes. But that's just me.

My heart was really bleeding for Tyrion this episode, that scene with Pod. ;_____;

Littlefinger is a creep and I hate him so much. Poor Sansa thinks she's safe but she is so wrong. :(
Renée: GOT. Daenerys.rogueslayer452 on April 23rd, 2014 08:11 am (UTC)
Sorry, but I just strongly disagree with you on this one.

Judging from the many reactions from people (fans and critics alike), along with GRRM's reaction, that scene wasn't well-received at all, and there's been much discussion about it on why the show presented it in such a way, because for all the defense claims that it's "consensual...eventually" (even though we never see that "eventually" as presented on the screen) really screams rape culture in many aspects, and it's disturbing.
goldenusagigoldenusagi on April 21st, 2014 10:11 pm (UTC)
Huh. All that about the changes to the Jaime Cersei scene is interesting. And disappointing, it sounds like.
Renée: Daenerys. Not a queen; a khaleesi.rogueslayer452 on April 23rd, 2014 07:47 am (UTC)
Pied: MOTHER OF DRAGONSwheatear on April 22nd, 2014 08:23 pm (UTC)
Littlefinger is such a creep, omg. Talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Arya and the Hound are a fun odd couple, I enjoyed her calling him a shit, heh.

I also loved the Dany/Jorah moment.
Renée: House Stark. Winter is Comingrogueslayer452 on April 23rd, 2014 07:40 am (UTC)
Yeah, like you want to be happy that Sansa is finally out of King's Landing, but then you realize that she went out of one bad situation and into another with a creepy pedophile pretending to be her friend. And he's the same guy who betrayed her father, as well. It's like, she just can't catch a break, can she?
Pied: MOTHER OF DRAGONSwheatear on April 23rd, 2014 07:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah. Jesus. Is there no one on that girl's side? D:
giallarhorngiallarhorn on April 24th, 2014 03:31 am (UTC)
There's two reasons I can think of why they changed the scene from consensual to rape- 1) shock value or 2) because they actually thought it was consensual.

Also the fact that Jamie's one of the few characters in the book who proactively takes action to prevent rape of female characters, it really destroys his development thus far.

At this point in time, I'm not even considering the show in relation to the book anymore. It's more like some elaborate retelling or fic.
Renéerogueslayer452 on April 25th, 2014 11:14 am (UTC)
Oh, it obviously was done for ~shock value, with very little regard for the characters and how consensual the actual scene was supposed to have played out. Like, the book version wasn't inappropriate enough for you, you have to make it a rape scene to be seen as ~controversial? Of course, the director even admitted he didn't read that scene in the book (and reading more of his responses make me even more angry, just ugh.)

It's such a disservice to these characters, honestly. Like, not even just the book versions but also how the show portrayed them up until this point. There is such a thing as consistency, and Jaime has never shown an ounce of being this person until that god awful scene.

At this point in time, I'm not even considering the show in relation to the book anymore. It's more like some elaborate retelling or fic.

Well, adaptations are in general basically retellings of the source material, and when you take something as large as ASOIAF and mold it down into a limited ten episode per season series, of course things are going to be changed here and there to fit for a television format. Which I can understand and I have accepted. It's like with Harry Potter, I separate the movies from the books but still enjoy them for what they are.

But in general, it's just sad because GOT does manage to get some things right by the books, but when they do things wrong it's so glaringly obvious that it overshadows all those good things. It's the constant struggle I have with the show because I am excited for certain things that will be happening, this season in particular, but I'm worried on how it will be portrayed. Characterization, for example, is the biggest worry because it's not that hard to get it right in the writing, and yet somehow they manage to fail in many instances.