It may seem like an ancient controversy, given the internet’s short attention-span, but Game Of Thrones generated quite a lot of strong reactions over the last few seasons due its depiction of sexual violence. There was the time in season four in which the show changed a consensual scene from the books into one that was not, and then earlier this year (in season five) the show played up the emotional toll a rape took on a character who witnessed it—but less so on the woman actually being raped. Lots of people offered their opinions on all of this, with Sophie Turner (who plays the woman in question) appreciating how “messed up” it was and author George R.R. Martin defending the show’s adherence to some kind of “historical accuracy.”
But enough viewers were so vocal about their disappointment in the way Game Of Thrones handled this stuff that it seems like the people behind the show are actually planning to make some changes. They haven’t said what these changes are—so it’s hard to prove that they’re real—but admitting that your show uses sexual violence as a plot device too often is the first step in making things better. This comes from Forbes, which quotes director Jeremy Podeswa as saying that Game Of Thrones creators Dan Weiss and David Benioff “were responsive to the discussion and there were a couple of things that changed as a result.”
Podeswa then backpedaled a little bit, explaining that the show’s producers shouldn’t “self-censor,” because “the show depicts a brutal world where horrible things happen.” With that in mind, the producers don’t think they should “be too overly influenced” by what people say, though “they did absorb and take it in and it did influence them in a way.” There you have it. Problem solved.