One of the most controversial scenes in HBO's Game of Thrones last season (or ever) was, without a doubt, when the most famous Twincest couple in book and TV history -- Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his twin Cersei (Lena Headey) -- engaged in some questionable activity in front of their dead son’s cold body.
The act, in itself, was already seriously disturbing, but what was even more shocking was the tone of it, which felt, to many fans, much more like a rape than the consensual -- if really messed-up -- coupling portrayed in the books. The scene drew the ire of fans everywhere, which surprised the actor playing the Kingslayer. In an interview with GQ, Coster-Waldau opened up about THAT scene, saying:
“I was sure there was going to be a lot of talk about it. But I assumed it was going to be about the fact we had sex in front of our dead son. It became more about, ‘Was it rape?’, which shocked us. I sound naive, but I never saw it like that.
“It was as if Game of Thrones was now social commentary. I was like, ‘Really?’, and suddenly it was pro-rape. I’m not going to talk about that because it’s a sensitive topic. But it’s a television show with a storyline featuring two people who have had a dysfunctional relationship. It’s clearly not healthy for either of them — that scene being just another example. And suddenly a scene in a television show is used as an argument in an overall political discussion.”
This scene was probably even more appalling to loyal Game of Thrones viewers because Jaime had experienced a boatload of personal growth over the course of four seasons. Thanks to George R.R. Martin's nuanced characterizations and the trials viewers had seen Jaime go through in season three (including saving his captor/companion, Brienne of Tarth, from a violation), many fans came to view Jaime as a sympathetic, tragic man. But with the rape of his twin, Jaime Lannister was once again cast in even more shades of gray. But Coster-Waldau would like to remind us of the cold, hard fact that he threw a kid out a window in the first episode of season one:
“What if killing this kid was the only way to save your life and those of your sister and three children?” Coster-Waldau says.
“Probably more people than not would say, ‘Yeah, I would kill someone else’s child to save my own child, even if that other child was innocent.’ These are the difficult decisions people make, and they’re worth examining.
“We all know the feeling of meeting someone and then being surprised and almost ashamed because we find out this person was nothing like what we’d expected. People can relate to that in Jaime.”
What do you think of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s comments on the season-four scene? Do you agree with him? What did YOU think of the controversial scene when you saw it?