I've never recommended Game of Thrones as a TV show.
It is vulgar and violent and downright pornographic.
But I have been following the series since season one. As bad as it was in terms of graphicness, it had sharp writing and amazing acting. I took great pains to try to enjoy the good in it while avoiding the explicit scenes presented.
The thing I found most fascinating was how some characters tried to be good in this horrid world.
SPOILERS AHEAD. STOP READING IF YOU NOT WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING ON THE SHOW.
There are no saints in Westeros. That point has been hammered home. The closest thing we have to a real and true hero is Jon Snow, and he recently beheaded a man who was begging for mercy.
Tyrion Lannister fascinated me because was raised with no virtue anywhere in his upbringing and yet he still tries to be good. He fails often, but still tries.
But the character I felt the most protective of was Sansa. Since season one she has been through the most emotional torture and stress. She has had to play a game of manners just to stay alive. She even had to marry Tyrion. But in one of the series' most touching scenes, as she begins to disrobe on their wedding night, Tyrion stops her and tells her that he will not come to her bed until she asks. And so she remained pure.
Through a series of circumstances, Sansa ended up at her home, Winterfell, and married the sadistic son of the man who helped murder her mother and brother. In the final scene of the episode, she is (for all intents and purposes) raped by her new husband in front of his slave.
I cannot tell you how much this sickened me.
Game of Thrones has always been a fairly rapey show. But this was just too much.
In a show that has been awash in disgusting things, why is this my breaking point?
The show was always horribly violent.
I can take violence.
I just cannot stand suffering, particularly the emotional suffering that Sansa is enduring.
I have been watching in hope that good will triumph over evil and that there is a greater plan at work in the horrors that have occurred. Perhaps there still is, but I no longer care.
A long series very often only works because you care about the characters; you have an emotional connection to them. Jon feels like the leader you could follow. Tyrion feels like the witty friend you wished you had. Sansa feels like the sister/daughter that you want to protect. To see this happen to her offend those affections horribly. And I accept that sometimes characters die, especially on a show like this. But to have Sansa endure all that she has thus far only to end up here feels like a long day's journey into night.
Even shows like The Walking Dead wallow in darkness. But unlike Game of Thrones, that show does so in order to highlight the struggle to retain basic human goodness. Game of Thrones revels in its depravity. I was hoping for a redemption from that darkness. That is, after all, the main idea of our Christian faith: as horrible and debauched as the world is, "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son."
But the world of the show is a Christ-less world.
For now I think I shall leave Westeros in the shadow of their Son-less night.