When Rape Is Okay: A Commentary on Game of Thrones and Outlander

It isn’t. Unless—

Game of Thrones is a violent, raw world. So is Outlander. The fans occupy a space near each other if not overlapping in a significant manner. However, the demographics are different, but as far as popularity and presence in the cultural zeitgeist, both are clearly positioned to be permanent entries in our social memory.

Sansa Stark Was Raped.

In this week’s Game of Thrones, the character of Sansa Stark was assaulted on her wedding night (a forced affair of its own) by a sadist named Ramsay Bolton. She lay, teary eyed as she was violated by a character who is, to be frank, superseded only by Outlander’s Black Jack Randall in terms of puerile, horrific tendencies. Both characters are torturers. Both are thrilled by blood and pain and hate. Both are men. Both are powerful.

But there is a distinct difference between these characters and their respective audiences.

Enter the Frauds.

A major culture blog (not worth naming here) who purports to be the voice for women in geek culture suddenly decided that they could not, in good conscience, promote Game of Thrones due to the issue of rape. Their breathless determination created a hue and cry from both sides of the fandom, to which the show runners and writers have been forced to comment from atop their giant,well-earned pile of money. But the response by these bloggers, who hold the delicate flower of womanhood in their collective hands, is a lie. They’re frauds, and here’s why.

Where Were You When. . . ?

Ramsay Bolton tortured and maimed another character, Theon Greyjoy, in a brutal, long-lasting physical and psychological assault that culminated in cutting off Theon’s penis. The member in question was only removed after two women were– shamed? Forced? Raped?– by Ramsay Bolton himself, who encouraged them by whatever means to engage in sex with Theon, excite him, and then have the offending penis (which was noted to be large— no symbolism there, eh?) cut off in a savage act of terror. Theon is now a broken, stinking shamble of a human, but more on that in a moment– he’s not important right now. My suspicion? To the bloggers who “defend women”, he never was.

Outlander Fans: Made of Sterner Stuff?

 In the show Outlander, Black Jack Randall is in the process of breaking Jamie Fraser’s character into shards, and then proceeding to sodomize each and every one of those fragments. Ramsay Bolton and Black Jack Randall are, at the least, spiritually kindred, and enthusiasts of blood, rape, and fear. Their tastes deviates somewhat in flavor, but ultimately, they’re drinking from the same trough of pain.
The Outlander fandom is fiercely defensive of the characters, and they accept the brutal transgressions that are happening– not enthusiastically, true, but the writer Diana Gabaldon ( a female, in case you were wondering) wrote these events not to fetishize violence or engage in “rape culture” as the Blog That Shall Not Be Named has implied.
No. This is fiction and world building, and there’s also one other small detail that we’ve overlooked which clearly brands the originators of this furor as frauds, and possibly highly specialized misanthropes.
What ever could it be?

That’s Right. The Victims Are Men.

If the Blog That Shall Not Be Named was consistent, then they would be burning down the offices of Tall Ship productions (who handle Outlander) and they would have long since attacked HBO. But no. They didn’t. That leaves me with two possibilities:
1) The bloggers are blissfully unaware of the millions of Outlander fans, in which case they’re both inept and amateur.
2) As long as the sodomy, mutilation, and horror is directed at men, it’s cool.

To reiterate: Theon had his penis cut off. He had fingers removed. He participated in forced rapes. Jamie Fraser actually utters a line in one of the Outlander books (to paraphrase) that Black Jack Randall smeared Jamie’s own blood on his penis and raped his mouth.

Are you fucking kidding me? These events are front and center in both narratives (Game of Thrones and Outlander), but The Blog That Shall Not Be Named can only now get around to mustering some righteous indignation? Spare me.

Additional fun fact, with apologies to the talented actress Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark– there were quite a few brown women raped and killed in imaginative ways on Game of Thrones, but it took a lily-white redhead to really get your collective dander up? So you’re not only frauds, and soft-core man haters, but you’re bigots as well?

Well done. I’ve always said I prefer my enemies to be open about their prejudices, and this event has illuminated the beliefs of a great many bloggers/media geeks/ talking heads.

Thanks for unintentionally revealing your inner demons. They’re disgusting, and now you can live with them in the open. As for me, I’ll remain a fan of both franchises, and your future outrage will be duly noted, but not by me.

How could I understand? I’m a man, and I know what you think that’s worth.

Terry