Sunday night’s episode of Game Of Thrones took an even darker turn than usual: Jaime Lannister, who has transitioned from one of the story’s villains to one of its heroes, takes the opportunity of his son’s death to rape his sister and lover, Cersei—in the Westerosi equivalent of a church, while Joffrey’s corpse is laid out on the slab. It’s hyperbolically awful—a violation of Cersei’s agency, a violation of the sanctity of the grand sept, a violation of the reverence that ought to be provided to a corpse.
Much has been made, and will continue to be made, about George R.R. Martin’s Westeros, a violent, dark, dangerous world, especially for women. And it’s true, Martin’s A Storm Of Swords has that same sex scene, complete with the empty sept and dead boy-king. Except for one crucial difference. Cersei wants to have sex.