Last night's episode of Game of Thrones featured plenty of disturbing scenes, but one stood head-and-shoulders above the rest: Jaime and Cersei. In the crypt. With a corpse (or at least next to one).
Readers who knew what was going to happen and viewers who didn't were both incredibly disturbed by what was unmistakably incestuous funeral-rape. But the episode's director, Alex Graves, actually believed shooting the scene was "one of the greatest days I've ever had filming," as he told The Hollywood Reporter. That's not to say he wasn't apprehensive about it. When he saw the script, he said, "That was like — you read the scene and go, 'Wait, who's directing this?'"
The scene in question takes place after the Purple Wedding, in the crypt where the late King Joffrey's body is lying in state. After Charles Dance totally kills it as Tywin and takes the new King Tommen out of the room and under his wing, incestuous twins Jaime and Cersei are left alone. Alone with, and I can't stress this enough, the remains of their dead son (upon whose eyes someone has put creepy stones painted with more eyes).
At this point, it wasn't a surprise when they started to get it on, because we've unfortunately grown to expect that kind of thing from such a dysfunctional family. What no one, even book readers, expected was that the encounter would shift into a rape. "I'm never that excited about going to film forced sex," Graves told the Reporter. "But the whole thing for me was about dead Joffrey lying there, watching the whole thing."
Yep. There's no artistic challenge quite like keeping the focus on a dead teenager's body during a rape scene. Although Graves might not even consider it rape. In an interview with HitFix, he explained his take on the scene, saying that "it becomes consensual by the end, because anything for them ultimately results in a turn-on, especially a power struggle."
So rape isn't rape so long as it seems consensual at some point? Whatever helps you sleep at night, buddy.