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U.S. senator declares she's quitting 'Game of Thrones'

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Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO

Claire McCaskill has made it official: The U.S. senator is withdrawing her support for Game of Thrones

The Democratic from Missouri tweeted Tuesday that she will no longer watch the HBO fantasy hit following a controversial rape scene in Sunday’s episode.

The most recent Thrones episode concluded with — spoiler alert — young Sansa Stark marrying the sadistic Ramsay Bolton, who then proceeded to attack her on their wedding night while forcing Sansa’s former childhood friend Theon to watch.

McCaskill apparently also took issue with a fight scene in Dorne featuring the Sand Snakes (some fans felt the sequence was poorly staged). 

McCaskill wasn’t the only one to declare they were breaking up with Thrones. Feminist blog The Mary Sue made a similar proclamation yesterday, as did some fans commenting on EW’s extensive coverage of the episode. 

But Thrones actually has a long history of making controversial storytelling moves that result in fans declaring they will Never Watch Again, only for the show to then hit record ratings. The death of Ned Stark, The Red Wedding, the Jaime-Cersei Sept scene—all resulted in some fans insisting they were finished, but Thrones viewership rises every season. Currently Thrones is one of the most popular shows in the world, with cumulative U.S. viewership around 19 million viewers per episode when including streaming and repeats.  

Related: Our deep-dive recap on the episode, interview with Sansa actress Sophie Turner and interview with producer Bryan Cogman

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