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Public outrage over rape scene has changed Game of Thrones

December 23rd, 2015 by Matt Gault Comments

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Game of Thrones season six has reportedly wrapped filming, with cast taking to several parts of Northern Ireland to celebrate.

We’ve now reached an interesting stage in our Westeros journey as the show has overtaken George R.R. Martin’s books in various story lines. Because of this, considerably less is known about season 6 than its predecessors.

However, one thing we now know is that the show’s sexual violence will be curtailed and toned down considerably for the upcoming sixth run after outrage sparked from several controversial scenes.

For example, the episode ‘Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken’ – the one featuring Sansa Stark’s horrifying wedding night with Ramsay Bolton – was at the centre of talks at Fox Studios: “We were aware ahead of time that it was going to be disturbing but we did not expect there would be people in Congress talking about it,” director Jeremy Podeswa said of the episode which he directed, according to Variety.

It was a difficult and brutal scene and we knew it was going to be challenging for the audience, but it was very important to us in the execution that it would not be exploited in any way.

“To be fair, the criticism was the notion of it, not the execution. It was handled as sensitively as it could possibly be; you hardly see anything.”

After defending the episode, Podeswa told the Telegraph that the show creators would tone things down after listening to the criticism: “It is important that (the producers) not self-censor. The show depicts a brutal world where horrible things happen.

“They did not want to be too overly influenced by that (criticism) but they did absorb and take it in and it did influence them in a way.

“[The show creators] were responsive to the discussion and there were a couple of things that changed as a result.”

However, author Martin has previously defended the scene which appears in the books in more graphic detail. He said Sansa “is a hardened woman making a choice – and she sees this as the way to get back her homeland.”

Game of Thrones season six starts in April 2016.

Source: Squareeyed

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Matt Gault is a sports writer and film fanatic. He is a fully-qualified journalist and has worked for BBCNI, Sunday Life and has been published on The Guardian's website. He interns at REDNI, sub-editing for the Belfast Telegraph. He studied at Queen's University pretending to like history and literature and then University of Ulster Coleraine, where he slacked off enormously for a year and somehow got away with it. He also enjoys Captain Morgans, The Sopranos, Led Zeppelin and Hunter S. Thompson which makes him a remarkably uninteresting person.