The HBO television series strayed from the books by portraying Sansa Stark's rape scene following what fans call "The Black Wedding." According to Huffington Post, Ramsay Bolton's assault on Sansa never occurred in G.R.R. Martin's fantasy book series.
Missouri Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill shared her disgust via Twitter:
Ok, I'm done Game of Thrones.Water Garden, stupid.Gratuitous rape scene disgusting and unacceptable.It was a rocky ride that just ended.— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) May 19, 2015
Interestingly enough, G.R.R. defended the television show's style his blog:
"The show is the show, the books are the books; two different tellings of the same story. "
Game of Thrones has always been known for its gruesome violence and explicit, sexual content. But turning rape into a form of entertainment consequentially normalizes it. Rape scenes on popular television shows are especially triggering for victims of sexualized violence.
Senator McCaskill is right: The Game of Thrones rape scene of a child was unacceptable. Not to say the entertainment industry should necessarily censor or ignore rape. Sexualized violence is a very real and present threat that should not be ignored. However, portraying rape onscreen in a repulsive, detailed and disgusting manner just for the sake of shock value is barbaric.
Physical violence has become an accepted entertainment norm due to desensitization. The last thing our culture needs is to be desensitized to rape.