Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Daenerys was raped!

I've only just started watching the HBO series, A Game of Thrones, based on the novel by George R. R. Martin. The portrayal thus far is excellent for the most part, but as of the first episode feminism has already reared its ugly head by changing a critical scene from the book in order to demonize men as rapists.

A self-labeled feminist has actually complained about the change, not realizing feminism is to blame:

So I tuned into the HBO show, expecting to be pleased. And I was, for the most part. That is, until the scene of Khal Drogo’s and Daenerys Targaryen’s wedding night, where what unfolds (which I swore I had saw a clip for, I think off of Jezebel, but can’t find anymore) is a rape.


Today, I went back and started re-reading the book, and when I got to this scene, I was shocked. Not only does Khal Drogo spend an extensive amount of time trying to comfort Daenerys, but he actually asks her for consent. Yes, indeed. He explicitly asks her, “No?” when about to begin penetrative intercourse and she explicitly provides her consent, saying, “Yes.”

Now the book purist in me is DOUBLY angry. Screenwriters, you took a touching–even tender scene, and bungled it into a rape. Why would you do this!? What is up with the terrible obsession with the racialized rape fantasy? I’m disturbed and aggravated by this change. It would have been so much better to see their relation played out consensually. But no. Khal Drogo has to be even more “barbarian-ized.” Good job furthering the Other-ing of people based on the color of their skin.

Oh, right, because this is a race issue.


A rather lively commenter had the following to say:

I’ve only started watching this series, but with all the nudity and extreme violence, it’s quite telling that feminist’s rape hysteria would ruin an otherwise wonderful scene. These crazy feminists want to make all sex into rape, and to even suggest that, yes, even a woman forced into a marriage might CONSENT to it and ENJOY it in the end is too much for their little brains to handle. Of COURSE they must demonize male sexuality, because that’s what feminists are all about – demonizing boys, men, and masculinity in order to gain power for their insane worldview.

Thanks for posting this article. I Google searched it to find out if anyone else was paying attention. I’ll be posting this at

It seems you’re a bit confused – not surprising for a feminist, of course. The reason they ruined this scene is precisely due to feminists – can you imagine how much they would have protested if they had displayed Daenarys *consenting* to a forced marriage? They would have said the screenwriters were all “rape apologists”! And THAT is why the screenwriters ruined a perfectly good scene. FEMINISM.

Here’s another example of what feminists would just *love* to define as rape:

How far our society has fallen since even 1980. Thanks, feminism!

I couldn't agree more.

another edit:

I thought I'd share a few more choice quotations from the thread:

Feminism has created a culture where male sexuality is demonized and women are always victims, where all heterosexual sex is considered rape. It’s that simple. If you don’t understand that, you don’t understand feminism.


I really do think it’s sad that we have so many people today who can’t connect the dots. How could someone not realize that today’s feminized society would react with anger if a woman was shown to enjoy sex with a man who has basically forced marriage upon her? What, women can enjoy sex even when they’re not in control, even if they were forced into it? What, a woman would actually start to fall in love and become the willing sextoy of a man who forced her to marry him? But I thought all women were strong and independent, and never like to be dominated? She has to be a victim, not a willing participant, because according to feminism, all women are victims, and all men are perpetrators.

Feminism certainly is a contributor, but it's not entirely to blame. More on this in my new article, Patriarchy and the low-born male.


  1. Okay, let me start by saying that I am a feminist in the original definition of the word. Which means that I want equality for men and women alike. I am not a man-hater, I do not think that all men are rapist pigs. Now, the so-called feminists who are actually just misandrists have ruined the definition of feminism so that I can't even claim to be one anymore without being judged as an ignorant man-hating lesbian. So I guess that makes me an equalist by today's standards. That being said, misandry is actually to blame for the portrayal of men as barbaric rapists in the media. I have also read the part of the book depicting the wedding night of Daenerys, and I can't agree with you that it was "tender"...but I do agree that it was consentual sex, and so much better than the nonconsentual rape shown in the tv series. She definitely was enjoying herself in the book scene despite the fact that she was sold into the marriage, and seemed reluctant at first. But the whole scene still left a little sick feeling in my stomach, probably just because she was so young. Overall, the tv series just completely turned that scene around in a horrible way for very bad reasons.

  2. Well, this is your blog, so I'm not going to instigate a flame-war over what feminism is and isn't. I will say that part of the feminist mission is to counter the societal stereotype of men as barbaric rapists who "just can't help themselves." Feminists believe men are better than that.

    What I really wanted to bring up is the Daenerys Targaryan rape issue. For starters, I'm glad you agree that the scene in the HBO series plainly depicts a rape. At least we're on the same page there. What I think you're missing is that the scene was a rape in the book too. You've got a 13-year-old girl (GIRL, not woman) with a history of abuse being coerced and intimidated into submitting to the sexual whims of a strange adult man. Here's what her brother says to her before she leaves the wedding ceremony: "'Please him, sweet sister, or I swear, you will see the dragon wake as it has never woken before.' The fear came back to her then, with her brother’s words. She felt like a child once more, only thirteen and all alone, not ready for what was about to happen to her."

    When they are finally alone, Drogo proceeds to undress and molest her: "When he bared her small breasts, she could not help herself. She averted her eyes and covered herself with her hands. 'No,' Drogo said. He pulled her hands away from her breasts, gently but firmly, then lifted her face again to make her look at him. 'No,' he repeated."

    So much for consent. Then we come to the alleged consent which consists of the following exchange: "'No?' 'Yes.'" Which means so much, given that these people don't even speak the same language, and considering we just watched the girl be viciously threatened by her brother into utter submission. How is this not a rape?

    Finally, we get this passage in the following section, which thoroughly contradicts the claim that she enjoys the sex: "He always took her from behind, Dothraki fashion, for which Dany was grateful; that way her lord husband could not see the tears that wet her face, and she could use her pillow to muffle her cries of pain. When he was done, he would close his eyes and begin to snore softly and Dany would lie beside him, her body bruised and sore, hurting too much for sleep. Day followed day, and night followed night, until Dany knew she could not endure a moment longer. She would kill herself rather than go on, she decided one night . . ."

    It seems everyone is getting caught up in the language of the text, which includes words like "tender" and "gentle." Do people really think that if there's no gratuitous violence, it's not rape? That if a man touches a young girl's vagina or a young boy's penis, it's consensual as long as no force is applied? Or is that only the case when the girl gets wet, or the boy gets erect? Because that's just sick.

    Daenerys was raped, period. She was raped in the show, and she was raped in the book--over and over again. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to wake up and smell the coffee.

    1. Could not agree more. Well said.

    2. Yes. And the book tells a story in which she grows strong enough to take control of sex, of her own life, of her tribe and finally of the world. It is a story of a woman fighting for power - and winning - in a world where women normally get no direct power. That dark world provides a background against which her battle is more visible.

      To that story arc, it is relevant that in the beginning the sex is rape. Stories aren’t necessarily nice, and just because something is written in a book or shown in a series, it is not necessarily a good action.