Let’s Play: Game of Thrones, Shakespeare, or The Bible?
Scene: A general invites his hated enemy to dinner and serves her a slice of meat pie. Unknown to her as she takes her first bites, the pie is made up of ground up people; her sons, in fact. This is revenge for what her sons did to the general’s daughter; that is, they raped her and then cut off her hands and tongue so she couldn’t report the crime.
Scene: A mother and her sons faithful to the old god refuse to accept the new gods commanded by the new king. The king and his henchmen flay and dismember one of the sons before throwing him on a giant frying pan, cooking him alive as his family watches. The rest of the sons and mother are flayed, dismembered and fried in a similar manner, each time showing defiance to the king.
Scene: A demented lord rapes his wife on their wedding night, forcing a servant he castrated himself (and who was once the wife’s adopted brother) to watch in horror for the lord’s amusement.
Of course we all know feminists are even more outraged with Game of Thrones now than they were before. Now popular young Christians like Matt Walsh are piling on. At least most of the feminist critics actually watch the show.
It’s just a little disappointing. Many of us expect a number of feminists to be unwilling or unable to put aside their sense of absolute self-righteousness to appreciate the greater context and literary value of GoT. Anyone who reads the Bible on a regular basis, though, or even some of the greatest literature of the Western world, should be no stranger to murder, rape, torture, humiliation, degradation, filth, obscenity and horrors of every kind in their reading.
Walsh is quite confident, again never having watched the show or read the books, that it is all done for “shock value.” These scenes are shocking, but for him to insist that the scene wasn’t “necessary” is just embarrassing, as is any admittedly ignorant diatribe.
GoT is Shakespearian if not Biblical in its view of the human condition. The sexual sadism of Ramsay Bolton is not that far removed from the psychological sadism of Iago (which brings about a multiple murder/suicide). The madness and cruelty of rulers such as the “Mad King” or King Joffrey are not so far removed from that of King Lear or King Herod. And scenes of rape and violence? If the Bible were made into an HBO series, it would give GoT a run for its money and possibly exceed its brutality. In one play, Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare gives us murder, rape, torture, mutilation, cannibalism and near-infanticide.
Finally, for the love of Jesus, does Matt Walsh remember this?
At least be consistent and throw the Western literary canon in the trash too. Or better yet, just don’t become a Puritan puke. Give the show a chance. There is nudity and sex that I would honestly consider gratuitous and unnecessary, but it is worth it for the overall experience.