Articles Discussing Sexual Violence in the Show

Game of Thrones

Articles Discussing Sexual Violence in the Show


Trigger Warning: The articles referenced below discuss Game of Thrones content and are necessarily sexually explicit in nature and cover wide-ranging themes of sexual violence and exploitation. Some articles include still photos and video excerpts from the show. Discretion is advised.


“The war over sexual violence in “A Song of Ice and Fire,” ‘Game of Thrones’ rages on”

March 3, 2016

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation, or NCOSE, released its “Dirty Dozen” list last week, an annual roundup of the 12 worst contributors in media and business to what NCOSE terms “the culture” of sexual exploitation, or the “pornified, objectified portrayals, particularly of women, but also sometimes of men, in advertising, in music videos, in magazine covers at retail stores, in television,” says Lisa Thompson, the center’s vice president and director of education/outreach.


“Sexual Assault in HBO’s Game of Thrones
July 3, 2015
Although we do not need the scenes of sexual violence in Game of Thrones to understand the plot more, we want them. The more society becomes desensitized to something, the more extreme it has to be in order to evoke the same reaction. The real question that should be evaluated in regards to Game of Thrones is, do these scenes encourage and normalize violence against women?


 “Why Does Game of Thrones Feature So Much Sexual Violence?”
June 17, 2015
Despite the fact that A Song of Ice and Fire—the original book series the show is based off of—depicts a lot of sexual violence during essential developments in the plot that the creators “needed” to keep, they go out of their way to increase the sexual violence beyond the original series.


“Game of Thrones’ Most Controversial Season Yet: A Retrospective”
June 15, 2015
Game of Thrones has recently received criticism for its treatment of women, especially as the television series starts diverting from the original book series more than prior seasons. The fifth season was packed with just as many atrocities as other seasons, but the women remained helpless, unlike before where they had redemptive, empowered moments.


“Why Are Critics and Viewers Suddenly Turning on ‘Game of Thrones?’”
June 11, 2015
The author analyzes why Game of Thrones’ viewers are suddenly outraged with the sexual violence depicted considering it has included sexual violence from its very inception. This result could be because viewers have had too much cruelty over the years and have finally drawn the line, high profile critics have opened the door for everyone to truthfully share their opinions, or possibly because the plotlines are progressively worsening and there is no tradeoff now for the unneeded sexual violence. *There is cursing in this article.


“TV’s Rape Obsession: What ‘Outlander’ Got Right and ‘Game of Thrones’ Gets Very Wrong
June 2, 2015
Although rape and sexual violence are depicted in other television series, Game of Thrones is full of both unnecessary and gratuitous sexual violence that has a negative effect on viewers and sexual assault survivors. Using sexual violence for entertainment purposes fails to demonstrate the complexities and trauma of sexual assault and only “reinforces a larger rape culture.”


“The Ones Who Walk Away From Westeros”
May 20, 2015
The author offers three main points to defend viewers who were outraged with a recent episode depicting the rape of a female character: 1) The creators of the show often add unnecessary sexual violence not included in the book series in order shock the viewers, 2) although there may be darker scenes depicted in the book series, television will almost always create a more intense reaction than prose, and 3) if someone finds something morally uncomfortable, it does not matter where or for what reason they draw their own stopping point.


Viewers are Quitting ‘Game of Thrones’ After That Controversial Scene”
May 19, 2015
A recent episode of Game of Thrones that depicted the rape of a key character sent many viewers away for good because of its disgusting and unacceptable nature. Although there are two sides of the argument, a lot of viewers believe this scene, like others, does nothing for the character development of those involved and only serves to shock the viewers.


“Has ‘Game of Thrones’ Finally Gone Too Far? Latest Episode Leads to Online Outrage”
May 19, 2015
The latest episode of Game of Thrones, which concluded with a brutal rape scene of a female character, has left some fans shocked and disgusted, especially since this scene was not featured in the original book series. George R.R. Martin defends the creators of the show by writing that they are telling the same story as the book but through the lens of the television, which will always look different.


“Is The Sexual Violence On ‘Game of Thrones’ Really Necessary?”
May 18, 2015
The author questions the purpose of including unnecessary sexual violence that did not occur in the book series Game of Thrones is based off of. Admittedly, some changes will have to be made in going from book to television, but why change these particular scenes into something crueler than they already were or have to be?


“Game of Thrones Absolutely Did Not Need To Go There With Sansa Stark”
May 17, 2015
The author discusses the rape of a key character in a recent episode, stating that if the writers really had to go as far as rape, they could have at least made it about the female character being abused, rather than about the male character’s pain who had to witness it. Additionally, the author does not feel that rape was necessary to diminish her power or motivate her into seeking vengeance.


Vikings Creator Michael Hirst Slams Game of Thrones for Gratuitous Sex and Violence
February 20, 2015
Michael Hirst, English screenwriter and producer (of films like Elizabeth, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, and the History Channel’s series Vikings) speaks out about the graphic sex and violence on Game of Thrones.



“Why I Can’t Watch ‘Game of Thrones
June 9, 2014
The author analyzes the sexual violence in Game of Thrones, and concludes that the sexual violence is superfluous in most scenes. Beyond this, it is a moral uproar to “idly [watch] someone enjoy a sexual assault.”


“For ‘Game of Thrones,’ Rising Unease Over Rape’s Recurring Role”
May 2, 2014
The debate over the sexual violence in Game of Thrones has become a mainstream topic, not limited to critics of fantasy fiction anymore. Critics are concerned that rape has become so pervasive throughout the show that its audience is becoming desensitized to the routine exposure.



“Harsh Game of Thrones Review By Orson Scott Card”
April 28, 2011
The author discusses his dislike of the pornographic nature the sex scenes in Game of Thrones take. In the book series the show is based on, the sex scenes are not described in detail like the show and are always used for plot and/or character development.


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