Here, have some more word vomit on the whole Ros situation:
I have seen some people respond to criticism of Ros’s death by complaining that feminists don’t seem to care about Theon being tortured because he’s a man and instead we’re all upset over Ros’s death just because she’s a woman.
This is so untrue and it completely misses the point of WHY we’re upset over Ros’s death. First of all, I actually am a huge Theon fan. He’s one of my favorite characters in the series and I find the scenes where he is being tortured difficult to watch.
But the issues with Ros go so much deeper than just “she was killed in a brutal manner”. It’s not about the gore. It’s about what her role in the show had been over the three seasons and the manner in which she was killed and the purpose of her death.
Ros was a character that did not exist in the books and initially was only supposed to exist in the pilot, but the writers liked her, so they kept her on beyond that. Unfortunately, throughout most of season 1, she was generally used for sexposition. She wasn’t really a character in her own right, but rather she was there (often in various states of undress) for various characters to talk at in order to exposit things.
In season 2, Ros still endured being brutalized and abused in order to make points about how awful Joffrey was. However, there was some hope for her character as she decided to work for Varys. I began to be even more hopeful for her as a character in an early season 3 scene where Ros explicitly drew attention to the fact that she worked her way up in the world. Finally! Ros was getting some attention as a character! She wasn’t just a sex worker character there to be naked or abused! She warned Shae about Petyr and although I’d previously been annoyed that Ros, an original character was pointlessly taking up screen time, I began to hope and think that Ros might actually become an interesting character.
But then she was killed in the most recent episode. Why was she killed? I don’t know. Maybe the writers realized that they had written themselves into a corner with this original character they’d introduced. Maybe there was some other reason. But the really awful part of her death was the fact that she was basically killed JUST to illustrate how awful Petyr and Joffrey were WHICH IS SOMETHING WE ALREADY KNOW. Her purpose in death was to underline things we already know about other male characters. How gross is that?
And then you have the manner of her death. Poor Ros was just tied up and shot through with arrows- including arrows aimed at her breasts and genitals. And of course she was scantily clad, her breasts nearly exposed, which the camera picked up as it panned up her body.
So there you have it. People aren’t mad because of the gore. We (or at least I am) are mad because she was a character who was used for sexual titillation and to help exposit and develop male characters and was abused by Joffrey and then just as she started to get some REAL characterization, she was killed off to make points about male characters and was killed off in a manner that had STRONG undertones of sexual violence.
Theon, on the other hand, DOES suffer some pretty brutal torture that I find horrific, and I hate that too. BUT as a character, he’s been given plenty of development. Even in the torture scenes, he’s getting a voice and characterization. Ros, however, was just there. Already dead. Silent and strung up.
And for the record, I could not watch Theon’s scenes without covering my face with my hands. I peeked through my fingers when the gross stuff wasn’t on, IT DID BOTHER ME INCREDIBLY.
But Theon gets to be more than just torture porn, he has a legit storyline, and the entire objections to Ros is consistent with that requirement.
I mean personally, no I did not need Ros to exist at all, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to just whatever with her. Once they created her they took on responsibilities.