“The Finer Points of Bad Behavior”, Game of Thrones S4e3

0x600Hi Readers,

So it seems that Sunday night, while I was trying desperately to sleep on a train back from WonderCon Jaime was trying desperately to sleep with Cersei. Only one of achieved our objective, and had it been me the achievement would have been controversy free. It was of course however Jaime, and if nothing else Game of Thrones proved once again this week that it has no fear of ruffling feathers in the least decent ways possible, that being said, let’s get to the recap.

By the way, if you’re interested primarily in my thoughts on what happened between Jaime and Cersei, just skip to the bottom, I’m getting everything else out of the way first.

DAvosSo the title of this post “The Finer Points of Bad Behavior” was a line Davos used when explaining a bit about his profession to Shireen, Stannis’ daughter, and there really is an argument to be made. Sometimes a bad action isn’t so bad based on the circumstances, for the most part though not a ton happened on Dragonstone. Davos is getting the Iron Bank involved, which might not go over well, since he’s sending a raven in Stannis’ name.

The title of the episode “Breaker of Chains” has everything to do with Daenerys, who is sending broken chains in barrels to try and convince the slaves of Meereen to rebel and join her and her “Free” army.

tumblr_n478gsi8821qis07wo1_500Oh and widlings were attacking people, I care about the attacks of the widlings as much as pretty much all of Westeros, with the exception of the Wall, where not much interesting is happening, save Sam getting Gilly to Mole town, because he doesn’t trust his “Brothers” not to have their way with her.

What was entertaining though, was Arya and the Hound (I swear I’d watch a spinoff series of just those two characters). Essentially Arya gets a farmer to not only let them stay on their land, but be fed, and for the Hound to be offered a job. None of this good fortune lasts though, as the Hound steals the small fortune (some silver) from the farmer, and then they leave. Needless to say Arya is a bit perturbed.

game-of-thrones-s4e3-sansaArya’s sister Sansa on the other hand, isn’t perturbed, so much as petrified, of Petyr, and with good reason. Turns out, he was behind the poison necklace, as well as Dontos’ help. And he casually left the necklace with Dontos’ body. He’s so cunning, if I didn’t  know the things to come I’d praise his philosophy that money gets a man’s silence for a while, but death gets it forever.

At least some may be saying “Well at least she’s not in King’s Landing”, like Tyrion, in a cell who’s only friend at this point is Pod. I hate seeing Tyrion like this.

113214-Tywin-Tommen-Cersei-gif-Imgur-BPCuAnd speaking of King’s Landing, here’s where all the drama really happened and had the internet in a tizzy after the episode. Cersei is very understandably mourning the loss of Joffrey, and she already sees how her father Tywin, is working to groom Tommen for the throne, add in the reminder that her daughter is in Dorne, and you can see how essentially all of her children seem to be taken from her before adulthood. I actually feel really bad for Cersei at this point. 3_joffrey_bodyEnter Jaime, you’d think her brother and the father of their children would be able to comfort her in this time of need. Well that depends on your definitions of “comfort”, “need” and “rape”. That third word is the only one that the internet is using a lot of, so let’s focus on that.

To reiterate, I get that the books are different, heck while looking to reference the scene with Jaime and Cersei I was reminded of the fact that Joffrey dies at near the middle of the second book and we’re in season 4… I’m less nervous about the series surpassing the books now. Anyway, my thoughts on the scene are incredibly mixed. If I take only what I saw on television, it was rape.

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That’s it. Regardless of whether or not Alex Graves agrees with that perspective or not. His comments on the scene from an article in HitFix were as follows:

“Well, it becomes consensual by the end, because anything for them ultimately results in a turn-on, especially a power struggle.”
That may be true of the book, wherein Jaime is newly returned to King’s Landing, and Cersei hasn’t had an opportunity to be so cold (something that made me pity Jaime). When he makes his advances in the Sept in A Storm of Swords, it is true that he initially forces himself on her, but Cersei doesn’t protest for long, as she begins to enjoy things which is made clear by her actions and dialogue, which is as follows:
“”Hurry”, she was whispering now, ‘quickly, quickly, now, do it now, do me now. Jaime Jaime Jaime.”
And it’s with statements like this that the reader gets a very clear picture that her initial protests, and concerns about being caught are quickly forgotten as she is literally swept off her feet by her lover.
Now, when George R. R. Martin told Entertainment Weekly his thoughts on the scene here’s what he said, and for the most part I agree with it:

“In the novels, Jaime is not present at Joffrey’s death, and indeed, Cersei has been fearful that he is dead himself, that she has lost both the son and the father/ lover/ brother. And then suddenly Jaime is there before her. Maimed and changed, but Jaime nonetheless. Though the time and place is wildly inappropriate and Cersei is fearful of discovery, she is as hungry for him as he is for her.

The whole dynamic is different in the show, where Jaime has been back for weeks at the least, maybe longer, and he and Cersei have been in each other’s company on numerous occasions, often quarreling. The setting is the same, but neither character is in the same place as in the books, which may be why [producers] played the sept out differently. But that’s just my surmise; we never discussed this scene, to the best of my recollection.

Also, I was writing the scene from Jaime’s POV, so the reader is inside his head, hearing his thoughts. On the TV show, the camera is necessarily external. You don’t know what anyone is thinking or feeling, just what they are saying and doing.

If the show had retained some of Cersei’s dialogue from the books, it might have left a somewhat different impression — but that dialogue was very much shaped by the circumstances of the books, delivered by a woman who is seeing her lover again for the first time after a long while apart during which she feared he was dead. I am not sure it would have worked with the new timeline.

That’s really all I can say on this issue. The scene was always intended to be disturbing… but I do regret if it has disturbed people for the wrong reasons.”

Now I bolded the part I thought mattered most and I do think that the whole quote mattered, long though it might have been (I’m starting to think I should have done a post just on that one scene). While I agree that the dialogue in the books makes it clear, so do Cersei’s actions, and her responsiveness to Jaime (If you want to read the scene for yourself it’s page 851 of the mass market paperback printed in 2011).

So even if the dialogue was left out, they could have had Cersei returning his kisses more passionately, or helping him lift her skirts, something that showed she really wanted it too. They didn’t do that on the show though, and so we’re left with something that was mostly rape. PetyrSansaThis in my opinion was a poor direction to take if only because it becomes the topic of the week for Game of Thrones viewers, when if you’ve read the books Petyr is who we should be paying attention to, but I won’t say more, because… spoilers.

So, what were your thoughts on the episode, or even just this scene, leave a comment!

One thought on ““The Finer Points of Bad Behavior”, Game of Thrones S4e3

  1. Fantastic recap as always.

    It’s too soon for me to talk about Jaime and Cersei, so I’ll make lots of other comments.

    I think the episode was probably the first one to almost exclusively feature stuff not directly adapted from the book’s chapters (Sansa and Jaime/Cersei in the sept being from the book) so I was impressed with how great the episode was. Tywin/Oberyon … great. Tyrion/Podrick… great. Arya/Hound/Nicest-farmer-and-cutest-daughter … Great.

    I loved Davos mentioning the distinction between bad behavior and how that echoed later with Arya and the Hound. Arya confused by the Hound robbing the farmer. “I thought you said you weren’t a thief!”

    The Hound did say that. He didn’t say he wasn’t a brigand or a robber. Thieving’s sneaky, simple larceny… it’s not thievery when you directly, unsneakily take stuff from someone. There’s a difference. It’s still bad.

    I liked that scene, because Arya gets to share in the guilt of the crime. The farmer would have been unlikely to have invited the Hound to dinner, but a father who fought for the Tully’s trying to provide for his daughter, that’s different. Too bad for the farmer. (At least the Hound didn’t kill him.)

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