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July 14, 2014

Is it erotica? Is it porn? It’s Game of Thrones!

Text by Nittal Chandarana

Now that GoT season 4 is done and dusted, we’re all facing massive withdrawal symptoms, like a dry spell after tumultuous onscreen erotica

We’ve all been shocked but pleased to witness the onslaught of sex and nudity on our favourite show. They’ve also run through sexual violence, rape, incest, paedophilia and such. Infidelity doesn’t even count anymore. There’s a Night’s Watch established for all the bastards borne out of illicit pleasure. Talk about glorifying adultery. Right in the first episode, we saw Daenerys sensually rising out of a tub of water. Men wanted her. Women wanted a body like hers. They went on to show the Lannister twins get jiggy atop an abandoned tower. These initial jolts set the tone for what the show is going to be and also succeeded in sending the Internet into a tizzy. Everyone had an opinion about it. Sex sells the show. Ah, non. It is an integral part of the books and the makers are merely being loyal to the written word.

There was gradual desensitisation to the continual depiction of nudity and they were well-acquainted with this fact. They began to introduce racy dialogue while imparting information and now, not only do the scenes titillate, they make you focus to avoid missing out. Be it Oberyn, his paramour and the whores or Robb Stark and Talisa Maegyr discussing war strategy while interlocked. You had to concentrate.

They introduced paedophilia when Sansa gave in to Lord Baelish’s overtures. Oh, there was rape too. Jaime forced himself on Cercei by their son’s grave. The spectators lamented. But it’s this sexposition that’s keeping the show alive. Sex is power. Daenerys wins the Khaal’s respect when she refuses to be treated as a sex toy and for once, demands consensual sex. A Khaleesi was born that day. Margery uses sex as a weapon with both brothers to be held in favour and to fulfill her ambition of being queen. Sex was seen as coming-of-age when Jon Snow lay with Ygritte. Or when Sansa decided to be the replacement to her mother and aunt in Little Finger’s life. Sex is love. Tyrion falls for Shae after all of one sexual encounter. As a weakness…it’s the one weakness Theon has and the very one that brings about his downfall. As loyalty – Jaime has only been with one woman in his life and therefore, is in a position to question Ned Stark’s honour. Even the righteous Lord Stark faltered once and it resulted in Jon Snow. And the absolute phony theme – the will of the Gods. Melissandre and Stanis, anyone? As for pleasure, all the time! The ‘whorehouses’ in Westeros lay witness to this fact.

However, we see the actors a little miffed. Natalia Tena has gone on record to state that an excess of female nudity is uncalled for. Yes, we did see quite a bit of Theon Greyjoy across the show, but that’s one man as opposed to every woman baring all. Feminist movements have demanded male nudity. Anyone else see the irony here? And then there was the BBC gaffe. They sent a push message to all subscribers that read: ‘Breaking News. No nudity in the latest episode of Game of Thrones!!!’ Such is the outrage. Has it succeeded in increasing objectification and sexual violence? I don’t think so. But it has made it easier to speak about sex and in a country like ours, that’s a huge deal.

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