Game of Thrones is no stranger to a negative headline. Sure, the show garners enormous amounts of positive publicity in simply being one of the most thrilling ever created, but its uncompromising approach to brutal violence and sex has inevitably given it some detractors.
Much of the brutality was first written by George R.R. Martin, of course, but there has also been times when Game of Thrones has strayed from its A Song of Ice and Fire source material.
The controversy reached a crescendo during season five (we’ll come to the specifics soon) but it has regularly went too far since its beginning in 2010. Let’s run through 7 shocking moments that went too far.
Warning: Some of the following content will be upsetting to readers so proceed with caution!
7. Jaime Raping Cersei
For many, this scene was the most ludicrous and shocking the show has ever conjured up. It happens in the season four episode ‘Breaker of Chains,’ which is partially apt considering it is remembered for breaking from the source material. Jaime finds Cersei at the sept mourning Joffrey’s death and instead of mourning with her, he forced her into some incestuous sex. She physically attempts to restrain Jaime but he persists.
In the book, Cersei says:
“Hurry,” she was whispering now, “quickly, quickly, now, do it now, do me now. Jaime Jaime Jaime.” Her hands helped guide him. “Yes,” Cersei said as he thrust, “my brother, sweet brother, yes, like that, yes, I have you, you’re home now, you’re home now, you’re home.”
In the show, Cersei says: “Jaime, not here, please. Please. Stop it. Stop. Stop. Stop!” We’re not really sure why they deviated from the book in such a manner.
6. Jaime Pushing Bran From A Tower Window
This moment of attempted child murder happened at the end of the very first episode, setting a precedent for all the crazy to come in the subsequent episodes.
Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) caught Jaime and Cersei in an incestuous tryst when he climbed the castle walls to the tower window. Ruthless Jaime quickly solved the problem by casually shoving Bran to his apparent death. Of course he did. Yeah, remember how brutal that pilot was?
5. Ramsay torturing Theon
This was definitely one of those scenes that made male viewers slam their legs shut and squirm awkwardly in their seats. Ramsay makes Theon his slave in season three, mercilessly torturing him at length including a scene of castration. Even though the copious amounts of rape shown in Game of Thrones, we didn’t feel prepared enough for this horrific sequence. After Ramsay savagely chopped off his penis, he taunted him further by munching on a big sausage for dinner. Nothing is safe in Westeros, no matter how precious.
4. The Red Wedding
I don’t think we need to explain why this has been included….
3. Oberyn’s Death
It’s permanently seared into the memory of anyone who watched it. Oberyn Martell’s death is quite possibly the most shocking death ever seen on television and it was definitely too much for the more squeamish sections of the Thrones fanbase. Up against The Mountain, Oberyn looked as though he was finally going to exact revenge on his sister’s rapist and murderer. However, The Mountain overpowered Tyrion’s “champion,” grabbing him by the head, pressing his thumbs into his eyes and crushing Oberyn’s skull with his bare hands.
It made us yearn for the shocking bloodbath days of The Red Wedding. This was much more hardcore.
2. Stannis sacrificing Shireen
This is quite possibly the nastiest thing Game of Thrones has ever managed to produce. Stannis Baratheon’s murder of his own daughter was incredibly difficult to watch, whether you’re a parent or not. In the penultimate episode of season five, Stannis succumbed to Melisandre, sacrificing his daughter to the Lord of Light by burning her alive. Her screams were distressing and it received a tidal wave of backlash after it aired. Even her mother Selyse – who had rejected her Shireen ever since she contracted the greyscale that scarred her face – changed her mind about the sacrifice at the last moment, but it was too late.
1. Sansa’s Wedding Night
Anyone could predict that a wedding night with Ramsay Bolton wouldn’t exactly be every girl’s dream, but this was seriously heavy duty. Sansa Stark has suffered a lot throughout Game of Thrones, but nothing can compare to her horrible rape at the hands of Ramsay. Had Sansa not suffered enough? Apparently not for the writers. The episode ended with this horrid sequence, the camera fixated on Theon’s face as we heard Sansa pleading with Ramsay. Oh, he’ll definitely get what’s coming to him – and we can’t wait.
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