First off, let me make it clear that I in no way condone rape. Just in case the “ok” was throwing anyone off. And in case I tagged things wrong, I just want to elaborate that this discussion does include rape, and rape culture. So trigger warning.
In addressing the book verses the show I think the show has done a great job at some things, and could stand to do other things better (More Dany, am I right?) But with “The Alter Scene” I highly prefer that adaptation to the original. Why?
Because it’s clearly rape.
None of this wishy washy, “gray” area, love vs rape bullshit that gets clouded over in the books. It’s clearly and 100% rape. No arguing about it. In the books I definitely think the scene is rape, Cersei clearly tries to force him off of her in the beginning and her “feeble” attempts succumb to his “hunger”. Little rapey, don’t ya think? But I’ve seen plenty (a majority) of people trying to argue that they are upset with the series because they took a consensual scene and turned it into rape. And that wishy washy-ness right there is why I think they made the right decision in how they interpreted it.
Let’s not forget that the scene was from Jamie’s POV, and we’re watching from a 3rd party POV. So interpretation has to come into play. And i would have been more upset if they took a rape scene from the book, and made it into the beautiful romantic love scene. What it does at that point is tell people who’ve read the books, (and hell even those who haven’t) “Hey, if you push hard enough and she (they) succumb to you, it’s not rape, it’s love.” And that really sits wrong with me, on so many levels. So. Many. Levels.
Now, do I think the show could use less rape and less focus on violence against women? Yes, hell yes. But in this case, I think they made a “good choice” in interpreting that scene as rape, especially because it’s between two established lovers, (rape often happens with SO’s).
And I don’t think it compromises Jamie’s character development as much as people are fearing. People have flaws, and Cersei is Jamie’s biggest. Cersei makes him into a person he doesn’t want to be, but he doesn’t care because he loves and lusts after her more than anything else. So if we consider that, I think it’s not so much a compromise of his character, as reminding us that he’s still wound up by his biggest flaw. His unhealthy love for Cersei.
What I would have preferred over all of this, is no alter scene at all. Since the whole point in the books was that it was Jamie’s and Cersei’s first meeting since he had been captured, and all the emotional ups and downs that meant for them. And in the series he’s been there for a while. They even had a “falling out” scene, where they obviously have grown apart, showing how Jamie’s changed in Cersei’s eyes. Instead of the Alter Scene I would have preferred more Dany.
Cause I’ll never argue with more Dany.