screams i just installed xkit and i accidentally posted this without tagging for trigger warnings or before my answer was even done i’m sorry
okay now to the answer
The entire thing was revolting and I wanted to fucking vomit.
Firstly, I have a really hard time believing Gendry would just jump into bed with Melisandre, but of course we can’t have men on this show who aren’t Real Men, and Real Men want to jump right into bed with a hot woman as soon as they see her.
Now, I still haven’t seen Theon’s sexual assault scene in the previous episode because I’d run to the bathroom during that bit and why would I go back to rewatch the episode just to see Theon get raped? I don’t want to do that????? There are literally nine million less horrific uses of my time I could come up with than watching that scene. In any case, I understand, from others’ thoughts on the scene, that Theon was flat-out raped.
The Melisandre scene is pretty much identical. Melisandre seduces Gendry, they get into bed, it’s getting hot and heavy, lots of moaning, yawn ad nauseum—
And then Melisandre ties Gendry up and starts sticking leeches on him.
Further, it was rape, but it was portrayed as sexy rape. Through the majority of this scene, Melisandre was naked. Gendry might have been shirtless, yes, but Melisandre was completely buck-ass nude. The emphasis in this scene was completely on Melisandre: her body, her voice, her movements. The camera pans lovingly over her breasts in case any of the neckbeards missed them both times last season.
The emphasis was not on Gendry’s horror at what was being done to him, but on Melisandre, and Stannis, and how far they’ll go out of their fanatical devotion. Gendry was reduced to less than a person in a single scene. He was raped and his rape was used to characterize his rapist.
Note how again!!! They had genital mutilation of a man!!! And did not show the affected region of the body like they did with Ros!!! So by this point we have:
- Visible female genital mutilation and eroticized graphic death
- Two instances of invisible male genital mutilation
- The eroticization of female-on-male rape
For no reason whatsoever.
From a storytelling perspective, the inclusion of the consensual sex-turned-rape was absolutely pointless. “The fear spoils the meat,” Melisandre says. It looked to me like he was pretty fucking terrified when she tied him up and started taking his blood. How the fuck was that “unsuspecting”? It would have made more sense to, I don’t know, put him at his ease, set him up with comfortable rooms, feed him something and slip a little bit of poison into his food—not enough to kill him, but enough to justify a leeching of the blood for “medical” reasons.