Warning, possible spoilers below!
I’m kinda wondering: There hasn’t been a feminist rant regarding the HBO premiere of George R.R. Martins A Game of Thrones. Why? Because the TV version changes some things for the worse.
Granted, any book adaption simply has to change things, shorten scenes, leave out some storylines, especially if tackling a big and convoluted work like Martins Song of Ice and Fire. And overall, HBO did a fantastic job: The actors, the mood, the costumes, the sets — it all shows the Westeros I imagined.
But towards the end of the first episode, we get two sex scenes that, hmm, kinda blew it for me. First of all, apparently everyone important in Westeros goes at it doggy style. Even the high-and-mighty arrogant Cersei. Does she want to compensate for something here?
But worst is the first coupling of Khal Drogo and Daenaerys: The book takes several pages to bolster the princesses confidence, to set up the tone that she finally is at a place where she doesn’t have to be afraid. She isn’t just put on that horse, but she rides it out of her free will and with evident pleasure. And later on, during the wedding night, she does the same with the barbarian she was forced to wed, understanding and enjoying the customs of the Dothraki. The result is an empowered and awakened princess Daenaerys.
HBO though just cuts that whole thing down to a few minutes of showing that the Dothraki are really brutal and uncivilized (at one point two men literally fight to the death over the right to continue humping one woman) and then immediately cuts over to how Khal Drogo rapes Daenaerys. Granted, he does it without beating, cursing or anything, but yes, it’s a rape.
Right now, I cannot see how that is supposed to be the foundation of a future career as self-confident and empowered queen. Unless of course, they resort to the age-old mysogynistic path of „every woman secretly wants it anyway“…