Sorry - this got a bit long, but I wanted to give a perspective I haven't seen mentioned before. Forgive me Rodfather.
First of all, people have been complaining about the rape scenes since the very beginning, so I need folks to stop that "where was the outrage when" business. The outrage has been there even if you weren't aware of it. Besides the horrific nature of watching them, these scenes have bothered me for two reasons.
One, the rapes of the major characters we have seen on the show did not occur in the books. Khal Drogo stopped and asked Dany's permission before proceeding, so she got to enjoy her wedding night. Can't have that, sprinkle some rape on it. Cersei, after initially protesting was overcome with lust and was participating in passionate sex with her brother/lover. Can't have that, sprinkle some rape on it. This wasn't even Sansa's storyline, but let's just shit on her and sprinkle some rape on her because she needs to be an eternal victim. The showrunner specifically said this was a subplot from the books that he loved, so that's why Sansa got shoehorned in. The Craster's keep scene was totally made up for the show - the rape was referred to in the books, but not described or depicted in any detail. But, let's have this elaborate rape scene chock full of all the tittay shaking and soul piercing screams we can cram in. That's the only way to show how bad those guys are and why they need to die.
So, you get past the horror of watching and you wonder why this is even happening. Then, you go online and see the writers and cast talking about how the disgusting display you just witnessed wasn't rape. Dany and Sansa consented to marry those guys, so being brutalized on their wedding night is totes cool, you guys. (Like either one of them could have refused the marriages if they wanted to.) Cersei was totally into it even though we depicted her as sobbing and saying no over and over again the entire time. Not rape at all. And, since they weren't raped, we are not going to deal with the aftermath in any way, shape or form.
If you're going to do a rape storyline, DO a rape storyline. Deal with the completely life altering/shattering effects of it. But, that's not what they want to do. They LOVE to show rape, but they don't want to deal with it - that would be too much like good writing. They just want the shock value of it and then want to pull some Jedi mind trick and try to tell us we didn't see what we know we saw. Fuck right off! Also, I believe that the Sansa rape wasn't about her, but about Theon's redemption arc. That just makes me see red. I would like to believe that they are going to handle this well, but they have a shitty track record, so I can't.
Hey by the way, speaking of the Dany/Khal Drogo rape scene in Season 1 Episode 1(or was it 2?), I wonder why we heard absolutely no blowback or uproar there? Is it that woman loved Khal Drogo and hate Ramsay? Cause it was the exact same scenario... a marriage the bride didn't want, both virgins, a man in power, tears, the whole nine. The only differences are that Theon was forced to watch, and most women don't consider Ramsay attractive. I'm not condoing either scenario, but if it was/is a huge problem I'd figure it'd be voiced in Season 1 and not Season 5
Look... rape happens. It's sad but true. Murder happens, robbery happens, kidnapping, arson, etc... it heppens. In this case with Sansa, I can't imagine how people didn't see something like this coming. Since we found out Sansa was being wed to Ramsay we've been saying "poor Sansa." And thats because we know dat nigga Ramsay is crazy and it really wouldn't be a romantic wedding night, in fact something very messed up would happen, and at least to me I figured more than likely it'd be rape. I can understand that it may trigger some people, but really by Season 5 of this show if you are still watching then you know what's up. Hell Dany got raped in the VERY first episode by a dude that didn't even speak ANGLISH! Love the show guys, first time commentor, keep doing what you're doing. JW
I think the inclusion of Sansa's rape was merely a plot device to develop Theon/Reek which is the most troubling. Notice that while Sansa is being raped, they focus on Theon's face, Theon's reaction. Like Sansa's rape was there to jar Theon out of his weakened brainwashed state. And if the writers do not effectively focus enough on Sansa and the emotional aftermath of the rape, then they do not do her character justice at all and it is lazy plot writing.
Examples: Brienne being threatened with rape was used to turn Jamie Lannister to a character people can cheer for. The Hound killing those people that threatened to rape Arya was a motivating influence in people changing their thoughts about the Hound. Oberyn is seen as a hero because of his motivation for revenge for his raped sister. Tyrion is seen as honorable because he wont rape Sansa and force her to have sex. Joffery is seen as evil and his threatened rape of Sansa helps to solidify it. During the Craster Keep scene, the Karl Tanner speech about raping the women until they die, was purely about developing Karl Tanner's character so that we would care about his battle with Jon Snow. During that rape scene, the women were just used as props. They didn't focus on their faces. They didn't bring any humanity to those victims. They didn't care about the aftermath for the victims.
I am going to continue watching the show to see if this is used to develop Sansa at all or if it was just used to develop Theon. That is my fear. If it isn't properly addressed, then the show is just contributing to society's callous views towards rape victims. The idea that women are just suppose to bounce back from it like Dany did, like Cersei did, like Sansa previously did when she was almost raped in the streets of King's Landing. The Walking Dead actually showed the aftermath of the almost rape scene properly and actually showed Maggie and Glen grappling with the traumatic event. I think it is important that people point out why its problematic for awareness.