WARNING: This will contain spoilers for the latest Game of Thrones episode, Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken.
HBO’s Game of Thrones is known by book fans to have taken some wild deviations from the source material. It’s a necessary evil for a television series to do so, and as the series has gone on over the last four and a half seasons the departures have been bigger and bigger. But with the latest episode of the show, HBO has done something that is going to cause so much uproar from fans of the book I don’t think I’ll be alone in saying it’s really turned me off from the show.
As viewers know the series has been setting up the forced wedding of Ramsay Bolton and Sansa Stark, and tonight came something that absolutely doesn’t happen that way in the books and was clearly done for shock value. As evil as Joffrey was in his time on the show, nothing compares to what HBO did with Ramsay, Reek, and Sansa tonight.
Remember how shocked and outraged the internet was over the Lannister rape episode (which even did have something of a root in the books)? That’s nothing compared to what people are going to say about this episode, where Ramsay brutally forces himself on Sansa while Reek/Theon just watches.
The biggest thing is that it doesn’t happen in the book with Ramsay. At all. Never. There’s not even a hint of anything like that happening in the background unseen. It’s something HBO completely invented for the series just to shock people into outrage and make it a social thing with people talking about it on Facebook and Twitter.
I can accept some changes from the books, as I said it’s necessary, but to completely invent a major scene like this involving one of the core POV characters in the story is going a bit too far. The shock value HBO was going for just set it over the top, almost as if the show runners really don’t know what they’re doing anymore and just want to give every season a talked-about shock moment regardless of the story.
And because of that I honestly don’t care if I miss the show each week now. It’s gone to one of those I’ll DVR or catch on HBO Go as opposed to making the time to watch it immediately each week.