HBO's hit series "Game of Thrones" took a macabre turn on Sunday night, and Sen. Claire McCaskill is not happy about it.
The Missouri Democrat took to twitter to vent her frustration:
The "gratuitous" rape scene to which McCaskill referred involved one of the show's female leads, Sansa Stark, who was raped on her wedding night by her new husband, the monstrous Ramsay Bolton, as Bolton's castrated manservant looks on.
The actress who plays Sansa, Sophie Turner, is 19, but her character is a minor in the series. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Turner suggested she had no problems shooting the controversial scene. "I love the way Ramsay had Theon watching," she said. "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."
"Game of Thrones" isn't exactly known for pulling its punches - grotesque violence and overt, sometimes violent sexuality have been a mainstay of series throughout. McCaskill never tweeted her distaste last season after one character's head was crushed like a watermelon onscreen. Or after another character raped his sister next to the corpse of their murdered, incestuous son.
For what it's worth, the rape scene involving Sansa Stark did not happen in the books on which the HBO series is based. Ramsay Bolton does rape his newly betrothed in the novel, but the character he marries is a childhood friend of Sansa's, not Sansa Stark herself.
Author George R. R. Martin has defended the show from criticism that it's diverging too significantly from the novels.
"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," Martin wrote on his blog. "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."