Watchers has a list of ideas and sources for Game of Thrones-related Halloween costumes, which is great!, but there’s just this one thing that’s been bugging me for a while.
(I’m about to ruin y’all’s fun.)
There’s a costume for Cersei’s Walk of Shame.
And this is the part where I go: Really? Are you quite sure you want that to be your Halloween costume? Have you stopped to think about what exactly went on in that scene?
I’ll tell you what bothers me about using that scene as a costume: the Walk of Shame was an act of sexual violence, with Cersei as the victim. Even if no one actually laid a hand on her, the walk was designed, and executed, and experienced, as sexualized humiliation. They actively encouraged the crowd to scream sexual insults and abuse at her as they paraded her exposed, vulnerable body through the city. They wanted her to feel degraded and terrified.
It’s sort of like choosing “Rape Victim” as a Halloween costume. It’s pretty much exactly like using Rape Victim for a costume.
Remember when I shook my fist about how badly the show handled the Sept of Baelor incident, and later made noises about how Game of Thrones gives the impression that rape is a bad thing only when the victim is a sympathetic character? In that respect, the fact that the show made the Walk of Shame so brutal, and allowed Lena Headey to make Cersei look so degraded, is a sign of progress. They’ve shown us an act of sexual violence on someone who isn’t a nice girl, hasn’t been a virgin in a long time, and is far from innocent, and they made it horrifying. I think the execution of the scene made it very clear that this humiliation is way out of line for anyone, and that this is not an appropriate consequence for anything Cersei’s done, and that we should be outraged on Cersei’s behalf. Victims aren’t always innocent.
So…now people want to dress up like Cersei and Septa Unella, like it’s funny to do that to someone? Really? Like Cersei asked for that naked walk through the city, enjoyed all that shit thrown at her (literally, shit thrown at her), or learned valuable lessons from the experience?
I’m not saying you can’t dress up like the Walk of Shame for Halloween. I’m just asking: what are you representing, exactly, with that costume? What do you intend to represent? If someone who doesn’t watch Game of Thrones wants to know what the costume is, how do you explain it?