interesting & I’m behind in catching your reply — yes, the visceral personal — I seem to have a line now as to blithely accepting more rape & sexual violence on screen — yes, I’m a gal. yes I don’t like it.
However, what GoT is doing on a grand scale, is stretching audience tolerance for fucking up what are clearly established as dramatic through-lines that set-up expectations of future dramatic payoffs. I don’t think I’m the only person responding to GoT in that regard. Killing off the long arc retribution characters one by one becomes a no-win gambit in dramatic terms. I don’t see myself caring all that much about a storyworld in which no one morally good is left at the end.
RE. good and bad storytelling, there are millennia old traditions as to what ‘good’ tragedy is, and you can draw a line from Aristotle’s Poetics and his notion of tragedy as a whole that creates an effect of catharsis, producing pity and fear & then wonder at our revelation of the meaning of the whole work of art. So sure, I’m tired of the sexual violence on the show. However, in dramatic terms, the writers may now be playing for very very long arcs, yet if they kill off all the characters who stand to turn that final dramatic whole to something morally meaningful — ie. we understand something profound about the human condition, experience pity, fear, & wonder, GoT will end as a valueless exercise in sadistic violence.
Add to Aristotle’s point that every culture manifests great art expressing the values of that age. It would be really great, saying this again, to see a shift where rape is not the go-to plot point to bring home dramatic victimization. But maybe you don’t see that as a beneficial shift in values. Pity.