One of the reasons why Game of Thrones caught my attention immediately, despite a lack of interest in this fantasy nonsense, is because of all the sex. Apart from the obvious frivolous joy of watching writhing bodies sweat pleasure juices, here, for the first time was a popular show, using it as a tool for power, politics and war. I like that idea, that in a world as complex as Westeros, something as primal still holds the key to control. Much like I’d like to believe it does in ours. So, in keeping with the theme of this month’s issue, let’s have my take, a Carlton Cavanagh zeitgeist tale on some of my favourite Game of Thrones sex scenes.
Daenerys and Drogo The first time Dany takes control (Season 1, Episode 2)
The simple switch from the derogation of being penetrated from behind like a beast as she was raped by her husband, to riding him as she made love to him, took time, phenomenal mental strength and a bit of training (which is also quite the scene) for Daenerys. The only thing that supersedes the simple yet potent titillation of that scene is its depiction of a woman’s transition from absolute weakness, as a defenseless victim of marital rape, as a victim freshly robbed of kingdom, parentage and living kin, barring the one who had sold her like cattle, to a position of ultimate power, with absolute control over the commander of the strongest army in the world. All by a simple switch of her full hips from doggy-style to woman-on-top. And the stubborn utterance of five words: “Tonight I would look upon your face.”
“Play with her” Lord Baelish and the prostitutes (Season 1, Episode 7)
This scene begins innocuously. Kids playing, people drawing water from a well, the usual medieval riff-raff, when we see a window, from which Lord Baelish has been watching what was happening outside, rather unimpressed with what was happening inside—two drop-dead stunning women from his brothel, refining their oral techniques on each other. Already the dams of my pants were flooding. I recognised a singularly talented girl I’d met, an adult film actress, Sahara Knite. But Baelish tells them to stop. And then begins a monologue that is first an instruction on the psyche of the customer, then a detailed instruction on the inducement of premium pleasure, which the ladies begin to simmer their way into, passionately enough to blur its line of make-believe, culminating in a vigorous and explosive orgasm. Baelish himself remains aloof, treating them like no more than an owner overseeing a fine training session of his prized horses, and reveals his soul. In that one scene, the stage is set for two things: his great betrayal, which kickstarts the game of thrones, and for a ridiculously large amount of vaseline and tissue paper going missing from your home.
Jaime, Cersei (and Joffrey’s corpse) (Season 4, Episode 10)
Sometimes just one emotion overwhelms your entire existence. Cersei’s is spite. Spite, which is not just hers, but that of the entire dynasty of Lannisters. Spite towards everyone who isn’t a Lannister. Spite constructs her brick by brick, until spite is all she has to give. Even in her incestuous relationship with Jaime, there is a kind of spite. In her mind, it is almost as if no one deserves a Lannister, but another Lannister. The immense and dangerous love that she has for her brother is also edged with the spite she feels for their relationship. When their hellspawn, Joffrey, the boy with an insatiable thirst for blood and sodomy lay cold in his coffin, out of spite, she demands that the person she suspects, their own brother, Tyrion, be killed in revenge. Jaime’s reluctance becomes immaterial. He is clay in her hands. Which is why he agrees to do this for her. And then he rapes her. Right next to the coffin that contains the body of their dead son, almost as if drawing from the act, the darkness he needs to do her bidding. This is a disturbing, but important scene, probably one of the most powerful in its connotations and the debates it continues to drive about sex and violence and of violence in sex in our own world.
Podrick and the prostitutes (Season 3, Episode 3)
The greatest mystery of Game of Thrones for me aren’t the White Walkers or Hodor or Dragons or any of that fantasy bull crap. For me, it is the mystery of what Podrick did to those prostitutes. Imagine King’s Landing, the confluence of the finest folks of Westeros, and the finest flesh that can satisfy these fine folks. Kings, merchants, traders, soldiers and athletes are all customers at the brothels. And none but the finest service for the Lannisters. Tyrion Lannister and his hired man-at-arms, Bronn, both ardent customers and well-renowned for their flair with their respective tools in these parts, sponsor errand boy and rabidly shy introvert, the bastard Podrick’s visitation to the choicest prostitutes of the city. We barely get to see what happens between them. We are instead left with Tyrion and Bronn discussing matters of money-lending when Podrick returns with a spring in his step of the kind that comes when a lot of weight is relinquished from a man’s balls. He also returns their generous sponsorship. Which is when Tyrion and Bronn realise that the women who earn great money in exchange of the best sex in the land had returned THEIR money, because Podrick had provided them with sex that was still better. The boy with no great prowess at anything turns out to be a sex god.
That, among all this overwhelming power being shaped and shared and torn to bits in rooms where kings and queens are made, a poor little good-at-very-few-things chap like Podrick enjoys the respect of a god is a pleasant thought. That anyone can be Podrick and that Podrick can be anybody. It is what I leave you with.
Until next time.