Fans of the popular HBO show took to the internet in a frenzy last night over what could be deemed the television sensation’s most controversial episode yet. Hope for the exciting conclusions to plots viewers have invested in all season faded quickly as the episode was revealed to be just one solid hour of every single character on the show being raped/raping while also being on fire.
This conclusion marked a huge departure from the books, and received a mixed reaction from fans. On Twitter, fans debated the merits of the show’s decision to include so much sexually violent immolation. “I am so sick of this show using being raped while on fire as a plot device. Done.” tweeted one disappointed fan. Some bloggers, like Grundy James over at The Aul, expressed continued support for the writers’ decisions, noting that “Some characters in the books were raped, others were set on fire, I could see how they may have needed to consolidate those plot points for television.”
Entertainment Weekly featured an interview with Emilia Clarke shortly after the episode aired, in which the actress expressed her own shock at the turn the story took. “I remember I got the script and was really surprised, I mean I guess you can never really be surprised with a show like this. But I will say of all the immolation or rape scenes I’ve done it was the most fun to film.”
David Nutter returned to direct the fire-and-rape intensive episode, having previously been entrusted with the series’s other major kill-off, the Red Wedding. Nutter offered up that “This was different than the red wedding episode, because in this one, everyone is on fire and raping each other, which would be physically impossible for us to film, so there was a lot that went into this in post-production.” He explained that the mood was “surprisingly upbeat, as no one really had any lines, it was mostly about making sure we got the screaming right.”
The episode features all kinds of rapes between characters that up until last night’s episode had never even met. An extended sequence features Arya Stark forcibly sodomizing five Unsullied as they are all burned alive in some kind of pit that’s just there. “It’s clear the writers are just out of ideas,” noted TV Guide critic Pernum Blunchamp, echoing the sentiments of many fans who felt that the show had lost its way now that it had outpaced the source material.
Though it would appear every character on the show is now dead of fire rape, writers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff assured fans that production on season 6 is well underway. “We really wanted to bring this source material into the world of television, and we feel we’ve accomplished that,” Weiss told EW, “we feel we did justice to Martin’s work, but like, if you don’t finish your own book series, you can’t be mad when we’re forced to bring it to its most logical conclusion on our own, ok?” “Yeah,” added Benioff.
The executive producers also announced that coming seasons would introduce whole new characters for fans to watch burn alive or be sexually assaulted. Or maybe, just maybe, both.