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AIBU?

Game of Thrones TV Series - Totally Unsuitable for Teenagers to Watch?

32 replies

daisy6680 · 07/07/2013 10:19

I'm probably very late to this topic, but my daughter has read Game of Thrones books and my husband just got the first TV series for us to watch.

I was horrified! I'm no prude, but this TV depiction of gratuitous and objectifying porn sex and gory violence seems totally unsuitable for a teenage audience, who I'm guessing are a large part of the audience, it being in the same 'fantasy' genre as Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.

Unfortunately, we watched the first episode with both my 16yr old and 7yr old daughter (I knowing nothing about it), which made my horror worse. I should have insisted on turning it off.

I (now) understand that it is about being true to the practices of the time and so women would often just be chattels, to be done with as men see fit. And life would have been brutal for everyone.

I certainly won't be allowing my 7yr old to watch it again, but fear I would alienate my 16yr old if I banned it from her watching and she could probably watch it on the Internet if she wanted to. My husband says it better that she watches it with us than on her own. I don't want to watch it, as I don't feel my life will be improved by watching something so horrible. But I also feel very uncomfortable about my husband, who likes porn (which I object to, for the same objectification reasons etc), watching it with our daughter.

My main concern, for teenagers watching this is, that however intelligent and reasoning they are about the setting, they have,if like my daughter, no experience of sex and most importantly, sex in a respectful, equal relationship. Therefore, they have no 'secure' feelings about sex.

How on earth will their sexually formative minds be affected by this type of viewing?

Presumably, the boys will be titillated and eager to see more. What example does this set them of how to treat women?

I feel very sad if girls see this as what sex is all about: being used and abused.

I know this probably sounds as if I'm a colossal prude, who keeps my daughters under lock and key, but that's very far from the truth and so far, we've been very liberal parents and not hidden things.

I just think this is horrid watching, both in sex and gory violence for an 'innocent' mind.

What do others think?

I'll have to explain to my daughter why I'm concerned about it, at least, in a considered and less reactive way. :-(

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catgirl1976 · 07/07/2013 10:25

Hmm

I LOVE GoT but a colleague at work asked me if it was something he and his 15 year old son could watch together, and I had to say "probably not". I think a 15 year old could probably handle the level of violence, but I told my colleague the sex was very raunchy and possibly not the best view of women and sex a 15 year old boy could be given

I still love it myself though. Certainly not ok for a 7 year old. Maybe of 16 year old with a conversation about the way the sex is portrayed. Though I imagine it would be pretty squirmy for a teenager to watch that level of sex with a parent present, let alone discuss it.

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2rebecca · 07/07/2013 10:31

Why hasn't your box set got an 18 rating clearly stamped on it like mine?
A game of thrones is an adult fantasy book unlike Harry potter which is a children's book.
I think you were unreasonable to put an 18 rated DVD on when a 7 year old is around. My 16 year old watches it because he's read the books, my 14 year old doesn't although I accept many parents would be happy to let a 14 year old watch it, but they'd probably let her play 18 video games as well and I won't.
There's alot of sex and gore in the book so if the series didn't show it it wouldn't reflect the book. I think the series is excellent, but not for children.

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jewelledsky · 07/07/2013 10:34

There is a red circle with the number '18' inside it which should have given you a clue as to its suitability. That, and the accompanying warning of :'contains strong sexual violence, strong violence and very strong language'.
I cannot believe anyone would sit down and watch this with their kids. Totally inappropriate.
What were you thinking? Why didn't you turn it off?

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runes · 07/07/2013 10:37

The first episode is horrendous! I'm no Mary Whitehouse either but i decided i didn't want to watch any more. Dp wasn't impressed either but decided to give it another go as the ones in work were going on about how brilliant it is. We now both love it! Have watched all three series and have just started to read the books. It's definitely not suitable for a seven year old but I think i'd be happy enough with the sixteen year old watching. There are some really strong female characters to come, Khaleesi is brilliant! Smile

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BrigitBigKnickers · 07/07/2013 10:39

WTF? Does your TV Not have an off button- why on earth didn't you switch it off the second there was anything not suitable for a seven year old?

FYI I have 17 and nearly 15 year old DDs and I wouldn't feel comfortable with them watching it. But there again they would die of embarrassment watching something like that with us anyway.

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VikingVagine · 07/07/2013 10:41

I can't believe you let a 7yo watch an 18 rated series! Did you not see the 18??? Shock

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YouTheCat · 07/07/2013 10:41

That would be why the series is an 18 - who would let a 7 year old watch an 18? Hmm

My 18 year old dd found the sex scenes too embarrassing to watch with me.

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LadyIsabellaWrotham · 07/07/2013 10:42

I don't think you're wrong, but I think you can't realistically prevent a 16 year old from watching it - 18 certificate or not, and I do doubt that it will have the effects you fear, especially if she's read the books which give more depth and realism to the situations (although a lot of people do still have big problems with amount of rape in them).

The big problem to my mind is the "sexposition" and use of naked female actors for titillation and set dressing. They were terrible for that in series one, a bit less bad in later series. I'd definitely point that out to your DD rather than let her take it for granted.

And of course, give your DH a bollocking for letting your 7 year old watch it. WTF Shock

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NoComet · 07/07/2013 10:42

DD read some of it when she was 13-14 and wanted the videos for Xmas.

I read the reviews and said no way (15s yes, 18s cert No!)

I'll probably relent this year as I want to see them. DH has been reading them and that's a complement.

(DH generally considers reading fiction a waste of time, that could be used for reading science and technical stuff.)

I'm certain DD1 will have watched most of them on the web anyway.

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Eyesunderarock · 07/07/2013 10:42

The relationship between Daenerys and Drogo is much better written in the book than it was portrayed in the initial encounters on screen, and your 16 year old has read the books.
16-18 years old is an interesting age, and so I'd go on my personal knowledge of the teenager in question to decide if I'd let them watch it, although pissing them off would not be a concern in my mind if I was sure why I didn't want them to watch it.
But your 7 year old? That really was a crap judgement call in the first place.

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EliotNess · 07/07/2013 10:42

TOTALLY NOT

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Burmillababe · 07/07/2013 10:43

YABvvvU - the series is classified 18 so why did you put it on so your children could watch?? I don't always agree wth film classifications but it is a fairly safe bet that an 18 will br graphic. It is rather unreasonable to put a film on without checking the rating. And as for alienating your DC, you can stop her watching it, it is up to you to monitor what she watches!

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VikingVagine · 07/07/2013 10:44

I'm thinking the series was probably "acquired" , so no labelling. In future, check on IMDB to see what the ratings are for different countries (ignore France).

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sashh · 07/07/2013 10:44

Your daughter has already read the books, they are much more graphic.

The TV series does not have the gang rape of Tyrion's first wife which he (Tyrion) had to watch. It also gives the impression Danerys is an adult, in the book she is 14.

The first series is very much made for a male audience with lots of female nudity, the later series show the women characters are so much stronger.

I think if your dd is old enough for the books she is old enough for the TV series, and watching it with parents or a parent means you can discuss things like the lack of pubic hair on screen.

But certainly not suitable for a 7 year old.

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Burmillababe · 07/07/2013 10:46

Sorry, the last sentence was supposed to say that you can stop her watching it if you really don't want her to but I dont think her alienation should be a deciding factor.

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SmiteYouWithThunderbolts · 07/07/2013 10:48

It is NOT in the same genre as LOTR and Harry Potter. Not even a bit. It's 18 rated for a damn good reason.

I love GoT but there's no way on God's green earth that I would allow my kids to watch it. A 16 year old... well that depends on the individual teenager. Some will be able to handle it, some won't. You have to make a judgment call on that one and if in doubt, stick to the age rating on the box.

The books are much more graphic than the tv show though, so if the OP's daughter has already read those and been ok with them, she probably can handle the tv show.

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LRDLearningKnigaBook · 07/07/2013 10:49

I don't disagree with you about it being objectifying and pornographic and in many ways dodgy. I do think the rating should have warned you. But, sorry, I've got issues with this bit:

'I (now) understand that it is about being true to the practices of the time and so women would often just be chattels, to be done with as men see fit. And life would have been brutal for everyone.'

What possible era do you think it's talking about?! IT'S NOT REAL. There is no era remotely like Westeros. On account of it not being real.

I know this may not be an issue, but it really hacks me off when people discuss GoT as if it's quasi-medieval or quasi-ancient Greek, especially if that's being put forward as a mitigating factor to the violence or the misogyny.

I know it's unreasonable that this irritates me, but it does a bit.

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ShipwreckedAndComatose · 07/07/2013 10:50

Blimey, 7 Shock

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catgirl1976 · 07/07/2013 10:52

HaHa YY LRD

Someone at work asked me "When did dragons become extinct?" after watching GoT Grin Confused

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TheOneAndOnlyReality · 07/07/2013 10:56

Why the fuck would you sit down with your SEVEN yr old to watch an 18 rated tv series?

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LRDLearningKnigaBook · 07/07/2013 10:57

Grin

That's awful but hilarious.

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catgirl1976 · 07/07/2013 10:58

Grin

They are lovely but not the erm, sharpest tool in the box. Bless

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KatieHalfPrice · 07/07/2013 11:01

It's clearly rated 18 so it's beyond me why you'd think it suitable for a 7 year old!

Incidentally, my DD appeared in GoT but she'll only be allowed to watch it at an appropriate age...which may be 16 but definitely not 7.

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TolliverGroat · 07/07/2013 11:02

Don't worry; the bit where you settled down with your 7yo to watch an 18-rated DVD doesn't sound as though you are a colossal prude who keeps your daughters under lock and key.

But moving on from that, if your older daughter's read the books then I think there's scope for you to have a good discussion with her about how the sex and the female characters are handled in the books versus the television series and why she thinks the producers/directors made those decisions. As you haven't read the books yourself then you can approach this in a spirit of genuine enquiry and get her to explain the books' approach to you.

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ElectricSheep · 07/07/2013 11:07

No No No - you are misunderstanding the series.

Keep watching - Daenyrs(sp?) who is an exploited bullied, young girl, only valued for her body and is basically sold off to a brute in a political marriage gradually takes control and learns to wield power herself and completely turns around her situation. The Daenyrs character is an excellent role model for young women.

GoT is absolutely chock full of powerless, bullied characters overcoming their powerlessness and taking charge of their lives.

There's the eldest Stark girl Stansa negotiating an abusive partner, the youngest Stark girl, Arya learning to fight for herself, Tyrion the dwarf who is, morally, the biggest-hearted and most generous person, Jon Snow overcoming the prejudice about his birth, etc. Oh there is also Theon, with a massive chip on his shoulder having been raised (kindly) as a fosterson, but who chooses to ignore that kindness and betray his foster family.

I absolutely love GoT and think it's main message of showing all sorts of disadvantaged characters overcoming their vulnerabilities is a valuable one (as well as a bloody great story Grin ).

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