Within the first 15 minutes of the Game of Thrones Season 6 finale gay character Loras Tyrell was forced to renounce his sexual orientation and the man he truly loved. “I have laid with other men, including the traitor Renly Baratheon,” he says in his confession. “I’m guilty of depravity, dishonesty, profligacy, and arrogance.” Then the seven-pointed star was carved into his forehead and he had to repudiate everything he once held dear before was he killed when Cersei’s dragon-fire bomb went off under the Sept of Baelor.
Poor handsome Tyrell now joins other GoT gay characters gay characters that have met especially bloody and violent deaths. Renly was killed by a shadow monster that climbed out of Melisandre’s womb. Oberyn Martell, who had his face literally caved in by the Mountain. And Loras had to suffer both physical and psychological violence.
To be fair though many characters die in GoT, but the fact but Loras had to undergo the world’s sickest conversion therapy, and his death is traumatic for gay men who are still trying to shake off the effects of decades of societal oppression and the film and television industry’s representation of gay men either committing suicide or meet an untimely violent death. Loras’ death was especially disturbing coming on PRIDE weekend.
To give credit where credit is due the television version of GoT did make the gay sexuality of these characters more explicit than in the books. George R.R. Martin has not been very gung-ho to adding gay characters to the series. “I’m not going to do it just for the sake of doing it,” Martin said at a book convention in 2014. “If the plot lends itself to that, if one of my viewpoint characters is in a situation, then I’m not going to shy away from it, but you can’t just insert things because everyone wants to see them.
With the gay community demanding more representation in television and film thus we have become more sensitive to gay and lesbian characters getting killed off. There are so few gay characters, it’s hard whenever we lose one of them. Especially when they meet a violent end. Are we still not at the point where they can be a hero or at least live if not happily, at least a content ever after? Not only on GoT’s but any drama
At this point hard to imagine GoT adding any more major characters, let alone any gay ones. But we can always hope that handsome Gendry, the bastard son of Robert Baratheon will stop rowing one day, come out of the closet, get a boyfriend and at least live through the series finale.
But I doubt it.