Last night’s Game of Thrones episode included a surprising twist on a scene in George R.R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords. Today, the author is speaking out about the change.
In episode 3 of Game of Thrones season 4 which aired Sunday night on HBO, Jaime makes advances on his sister Cersei that make it look like he’s raping her. To make matters worse, the act is happening over the corpse of Joffrey who died in episode 2.
Martin took to his blog on Monday to address the concerns after seeing a lot of reader feedback on the matter. “I think the ‘butterfly effect’ that I have spoken of so often was at work here,” he wrote in the comments section of his blog. “In the novels, Jaime is not present at Joffrey’s death, and indeed, Cersei has been fearful that he is dead himself, that she has lost both the son and the father/ lover/ brother. And then suddenly Jaime is there before her. Maimed and changed, but Jaime nonetheless. Though the time and place is wildly inappropriate and Cersei is fearful of discovery, she is as hungry for him as he is for her.”
He continued, “The whole dynamic is different in the show, where Jaime has been back for weeks at the least, maybe longer, and he and Cersei have been in each other’s company on numerous occasions, often quarreling. The setting is the same, but neither character is in the same place as in the books, which may be why Dan & David played the sept out differently. But that’s just my surmise; we never discussed this scene, to the best of my recollection.”
Martin also pointed out that adapting a book for television sometimes requires changes to how scenes play out. “I was writing the scene from Jaime’s POV [in the book], so the reader is inside his head, hearing his thoughts. On the TV show, the camera is necessarily external. You don’t know what anyone is thinking or feeling, just what they are saying and doing.”
He added, “If the show had retained some of Cersei’s dialogue from the books, it might have left a somewhat different impression — but that dialogue was very much shaped by the circumstances of the books, delivered by a woman who is seeing her lover again for the first time after a long while apart during which she feared he was dead. I am not sure it would have worked with the new timeline.”
The comments from Martin will be appreciated from those who’ve made the scene a hot topic of discussion since it aired last night. Check out our recap of episode 3 for more details on what went down.
What do you think of Martin’s reasoning?