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HBO’s Game of Thrones returns for Season 6 on April 24. Gritty, violent, at times gory and always uncompromising in its choice of subject matter––in short, very much adult––the show is one of the network’s top-rated programs. But the show has received criticism from even its most die-hard fans for its worsening portrayals of violence against women; some believe the show has already crossed the boundary between acceptable storytelling and outright misogyny.

THE “RAPE OF THRONES”

Two years ago, Game of Thrones was plunged in the midst of its very first substantial controversy. Fans found themselves divided over whether an incestuous encounter between Cersei and Jaime Lannister on the tomb of the late Joffrey Baratheon was, in fact, rape. Critic Andrew Romano believes viewers should pretend the scene never actually happened. “Pretty much 100 percent of the people who tuned in for [the episode] ‘Breaker of Chains’ thought that what Jaime did to Cersei on screen was rape—and they were unequivocally, unavoidably, undeniably correct,” writes Romano. “There was no verbal consent—just refusal. ‘Stop…it’s not right!’ Cersei snapped. ‘I don’t care,’ Jaime hissed back. The last word Cersei said before the cameras cut away? ‘Stop.’ Again. For the fifth time. And Jaime kept going. That's rape, plain and simple.”

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