This Actress Just Slammed GoT For Glorifying Rape & Trauma As Tools To Empower Women

“Rape is not a tool to make a character stronger. A woman doesn’t need to be victimized in order to become a butterfly,” said Jessica Chastain.

With a 6.8 rating on IMDB and a 57 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the latest episode of Game of Thrones, ‘The Last of the Starks’ is one of the all-time lowest rated episodes of the series. A shoddy script and erratic character treatment in the episode has irked many loyal fans. But one thing that has many downright worried is how rape was shown as a tool to empower one of its female characters.

The lowest-rated episode of GoT on Rotten Tomatoes, ‘Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken’ also had a controversial rape scene many criticised for being unnecessary and almost gratuitous. In one scene of ‘The Last of the Starks’ episode, there is a reunion scene fans waited six seasons for. Sansa is shown telling Sandor ‘The Hound’ Clegane that she would’ve forever remained a “little bird” if she hadn’t faced the horrors that she did after refusing the protection of the latter. Meaning that she would’ve never become the strong, shrewd, level-headed leader (who totally deserves the Iron Throne) that she is now if she hadn’t been tortured, raped and manipulated over and over.

Among the many who was not pleased with this scene, was Zero Dark Thirty and Interstellar actress Jessica Chastain. She took to Twitter to write, “Rape is not a tool to make a character stronger. A woman doesn’t need to be victimized in order to become a butterfly.”

While many agreed with her, there were several who were quick to defend the showmakers by pointing out that Sansa merely meant that her overall journey made her stronger and smarter, not necessarily her sexual assault at the hands of Ramsay Bolton.

But, there’s no denying that GoT has inserted unwarranted scenes female nudity, rape and torture in the past simply for the sake of titillation. Even some of the female cast members, who were regularly subjected to rape scenes and shots involving nudity, expressed their discomfort over those scenes.

From the fourth season onward, after gaining some clout, Emilia Clarke, who plays Danaerys Targaryen’s character on the show, introduced a ‘no nudity clause’ into her contract. She later on waived it for one scene in the sixth season and this is the reason she gave for it, according to a story on Cosmopolitan, “I was so thrilled with it. It’s not a sexy scene, she’s not naked for no reason, it’s not gratuitous. She’s naked because she’s just destroyed her enemies in this almighty blaze after they underestimated her – how could I say no?”

While many are arguing that the scene where Sansa says,“Without Littlefinger and Ramsay and the rest, I would have stayed a ‘little bird’ all my life,” to The Hound does not justify rape, not everyone is convinced given the shows past treatment of these subjects.

One also needs to keep in mind that Ramsay never raped Sansa in GRR Martin’s books. In fact, he was never married to her in the books either. This entire storyline was developed exclusively for the show. Then making it seem like Sansa, or any woman, became a better version of themselves because of their abuse is just a poor way of glorifying trauma.