(warning: graphic content)
Spoilers for last night's episode follow.
The end of last night's Game Of Thrones episode saw Sansa marry Ramsay Bolton, and when they went to the bedroom to seal the deal, Ramsay told Reek (Theon) to stay and watch, much to a horrified Sansa and Reek. Ramsay then told Sansa to take off her clothes and proceeded to have intercourse with Sansa (which was more akin to rape than anything else).
Following the episode, the various social networks lit up with complaints, and now Game Of Thrones creator George R. R. Martin took to his blog to respond:
It probably should also be pointed out the scene was different and more graphic in the book as Ramsay had Theon get involved, I believe.
I have a lot of fans asking me for comment.
Let me reiterate what I have said before.
How many children did Scarlett O'Hara have? Three, in the novel. One, in the movie. None, in real life: she was a fictional character, she never existed. The show is the show, the books are the books; two different tellings of the same story.
There have been differences between the novels and the television show since the first episode of season one. And for just as long, I have been talking about the butterfly effect. Small changes lead to larger changes lead to huge changes. HBO is more than forty hours into the impossible and demanding task of adapting my lengthy (extremely) and complex (exceedingly) novels, with their layers of plots and subplots, their twists and contradictions and unreliable narrators, viewpoint shifts and ambiguities, and a cast of characters in the hundreds.
There has seldom been any TV series as faithful to its source material, by and large (if you doubt that, talk to the Harry Dresden fans, or readers of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, or the fans of the original WALKING DEAD comic books)... but the longer the show goes on, the bigger the butterflies become. And now we have reached the point where the beat of butterfly wings is stirring up storms, like the one presently engulfing my email.
Prose and television have different strengths, different weaknesses, different requirements.
David and Dan and Bryan and HBO are trying to make the best television series that they can.
And over here I am trying to write the best novels that I can.
Sophie Turner also responded (via EW):
But then I found out it was Ramsay and I’m back at Winterfell. I love the fact she’s back home reclaiming what’s hers. But at the same time she’s being held prisoner in her own home. When I got the scripts, it was bit like, dude, I felt so bad for her. But I also felt excited because it was so sick, and being reunited with Theon too, and seeing how their relationship plays out. Theon’s a member of the Stark clan but she thinks he totally betrayed and killed her brothers. It’s a messed-up relationship between them
When I read that scene, I kinda loved it. I love the way Ramsay had Theon watching. It was all so messed up. It’s also so daunting for me to do it. I’ve been making [producer Bryan Cogman] feel so bad for writing that scene: “I can’t believe you’re doing this to me!” But I secretly loved it.
I completely agree with them [the fans]! After Joffrey, she’s escaped him and you think she’s going to lose her virginity to a guy who’s really sweet and takes care of her and she’s thrown in with a guy who’s a whole lot worse. But I kind of like the fact she doesn’t really know what a psycho he is until that night. She has a sense, but she’s more scared of his father. And then that night everything gets so f–ked up.
Game of Thrones producer Bryan Cogman responds (via EW):
“This is Game of Thrones,” he said soberly. “This isn’t a timid little girl walking into a wedding night with Joffrey. This is a hardened woman making a choice and she sees this as the way to get back her homeland. Sansa has a wedding night in the sense she never thought she would with one of the monsters of the show. It’s pretty intense and awful and the character will have to deal with it.”
Cogman added that the scene is also “an important turning point” for Sansa. “She’s seen Theon and hated him and thinks he killed her brothers and betrayed them but she’s very conflicted by what she’s seeing there,” he said.