American Horror Story is one of those shows whose existence never ceases to surprise me. Not because it's bad though, bad shows getting green-lit doesn't surprise me much anymore. AHS is a unique beast all its own with each season having different characters, locations, and themes with actors coming and going like a revolving door. If it were any other show this would raise red flags for any backer but the creators (also producers) happen to be Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk who gave us the popular and successful TV series 'Glee' which focused on the goings-on of a fictional high school glee club. So it's bound to do well somehow, right?
Now that quite a few seasons have been released it's quite easy to see the perks of having such a format. No storyline can be drawn out to a point where the audience no longer cares, returning actors get to show off just how talented and versatile they are (and aren't forced to return), and the intrigue of what each new season will bring is more than palpable every time. But the true key to its success is how the strange stories they tell manage to captivate and astound with each new episode. It's like a soap opera on acid with lots of disturbing and deep-seated issues, all while paying tribute to beloved genres of horror. Oh how I love it!

There's always speculation from fans as to what the next season's 'theme' will be and while nothing has been confirmed for their upcoming season there is talk of the creators attempting to get the rights to a character the internet knows and loves: Slenderman.
Picture
You thought I was kidding about the 'love' thing, didn't you?
For those of you living under a rock, Slenderman is a being created from a photo contest on the website 'somethingawful'. He is always depicted as being very tall and slender (obvs) with no face and wearing a black suit, necktie, and slacks. Normally he likes to hang out in the woods, blending in with the trees or will stalk children to make them disappear forever. Ever since this contest and a short horror game starring him got released, he's become something of an internet god and has been firmly planted in the annals of pop culture.

As to his involvement in AHS, we have no clue. Fans have already begun to theorize that he will be the focus of the next season while others believe him being in the show may be a clue as to the theme of the season as a whole. Now, the info was given to the media by an 'anonymous source' and in a matter of days after this news yet another 'anonymous source' said that the rumors were not true. Not too helpful to tell you the truth. But I'd like to believe that ole Slendy will finally get some primetime attention, though my prediction for the season will differ from some, if not most, fan theories.
As mentioned before, each season has a 'theme'. The first season was a take on the haunted house story and was followed up with a story about a mental asylum. After that we got a season about witches, so you see every type of horror is being represented. I doubt they would dedicate an entire season solely to Slenderman as he isn't horror staple that's stood the test of time. But at his core Slenderman would fit into two realms of horror that never fail: Urban Legends and Scary Woods.

Think of how many scary urban legends there are; Bloody Mary, the Hook-Hand Man, the Vanishing Hitchhiker, and Bunny Man Bridge. See! And I could think of those in a matter of seconds! Now think of how much horror has taken place in the woods. Yeah, pretty much all of it.

What if the next season revolved around a creepy stretch of woods that has some gruesome or mysterious history involving those that live on its' edges? You don't even have to make Slenderman real, you could have him be a recurring figment of someones imagination. Or maybe it takes place in a rural town where urban legends are treated with more seriousness as they're so disconnected with the rest of the world. Once again, Slenderman doesn't have to be real but it would be super cool to have him become a problem in the town as children begin to disappear. Heck, for all I know Slenderman may only get cameo appearance in a season with a different theme altogether!
The other sad but real possibility is that the 'anonymous source' who started this whole thing is only pulling our leg to get us excited at the prospect of Slenderman teaming up with the messed up world of AHS. If it is indeed not true than I implore Murphy and Falchuk to note the collective 'squee's coming from horror nerds everywhere and 'make it so' for a
 
 
If you've been watching this blog long enough you'd know that each week a new post is put up on Wednesday. But once and a great while, an exception has to be made. And after the events on the show Game of Thrones this past Sunday and the subsequent reactions to it, I felt a need to put in my 2 cents about the matter. This is a blog geared towards women in geekdom, after all.
Sansa Stark Season 1
Image via HBO
SPOILERS. SPOILERS. SPOILERS. Nothing but spoilers, folks!
In the last episode of GOT, Sansa reluctantly married the ruthless and terrifying Ramsay Bolton so that him and his father would have a rightful claim over Winterfell, and, in turn, the North. You're all aware of what a couple usually does on their wedding night, but knowing Ramsay, it's going to be twisted into something much worse. Ramsay rapes Sansa while making Reek, formerly Theon, watch the whole thing. After the episode aired, everyone flipped out! There were claims from hundreds of fans saying that they were done with the show or threatened that they would stop watching if this kind of thing kept happening. A politician even had some harsh words to say, so you know it's serious *sarcasm*.

Initially the thing that confused me the most, was the impression that everyone seemed to have that the show was somehow endorsing something as heinous as rape. In what way are they doing that? The man raping Sansa is one of the most hated and feared characters of GOT! I've yet to meet any fan that likes him or finds him in any way redeeming, whatsoever. Not once in the series has a protagonist openly communicated in any way that sexual violence is A-okay! Whenever they do decide to show such a thing, it makes the viewer cringe and silently outraged; that isn't on accident people! They wrote, shot, and edited each of those scenes to make you understand and feel the injustice and inhumanity of what you're seeing.

Then I realized that this is far from the first time they've shown something like this on the show. Where were all of these threats to stop watching when a sobbing Dany was forced to consummate her marriage to Khal Drogo in the first friggin' episode? Why did no one make a fuss when they found out Craster kept dozens of daughter/wives sexually enslaved in his keep? Where was the outrage when Joffrey tortured whores in his chambers? I don't even remember people getting this upset when Jaime assaulted Cersei at Joffreys' funeral! The entire plot of the series wouldn't be the same if a woman wasn't assaulted at some point.

The series, in both the book and television, takes loads of inspiration from historical people and events that took place in European history around the 1400s and beyond. Knowing how violent and patriarchal society was in those days, you can bet your butt that the way women have been treated in the show is accurate with the times.

Listen, if you're the casual viewer who just can't stomach the amount of blood, sex, and violence in the series then don't watch the show. I completely understand that it's not everyone's cup of tea. There are even a few friends of mine that I have steered away from GOT because I know they wouldn't be able to handle it. But if you've been an avid watcher since the first episode, and up to the current episode of season 5, and you're only now complaining and throwing a fit about it's content, then you're a hypocrite. Plain and simple.  You can't suddenly act all high and mighty after coming this far and seeing the countless boobs, blood, and violence. The moment Sansa was given to Ramsay you knew what was probably going to happen.

I suppose lots of credit needs to be given to Benioff, Weiss, and Martin for making the Game of Thrones universe so real to those watching that they forget Sansa Stark isn't an actual person that lives in Westeros (Which, guess what, also doesn't exist!). It's incredibly sad to me that the same people who are outraged over a television show can't have the same reaction to the fact that real women are sexually assaulted and raped every minute of every day across the globe. 

Here's what I think the main issue is that people have had with the recent 'developments' of GOT: Sansa is innocent. Since we've known her as a young girl she's been naive and even a bit spoiled, dreaming of being a princess and someday even a queen. Then over the course of each episode, that dream is slowly torn down, piece by piece. She comes to realize that her intended is a monster, watches her father get beheaded, is constantly abused in nearly every way by the crown prince, made to marry a man that is seen as a joke throughout the kingdom (thereby making herself a joke), threatened and assaulted by what she thinks is the only family she has left, and finally taken back home to Winterfell to marry the biggest monster in Westeros. The worst part of it all is that somehow she's managed to keep her 'virtue' intact throughout all of this madness. The way in which she finally loses it can almost be seen as an incredibly cruel and callous joke.

Being familiar with storytelling and development from my college studies, what Sansa has been through this entire time is called an 'arch', in which a character (usually the protagonist) starts off with certain attributes and goals but then goes through a journey where they are changed into something else. Usually they change for the better and overcome whatever obstacle is put in their way. Right now, Sansa is at the lowest point in her journey, rock bottom, the thing she's kept safe has been stolen from her and it looks like she may never have the idealistic, fairytale happy ending that she's always dreamt of. After this point in the story, characters will make the change that is needed for them carry on and succeed. It's a plot device as old as dirt. 

I'm actually intrigued as to where Sansa's character could go from here. She's been nothing but a victim for several seasons and that may be about to change. What kind of change she's going to make and whether or not it will be towards the dark side or light side remains to be seen; this IS Game of Thrones we're talking about after all. But, like any women who goes through something as horrible as what Sansa went through they can rise up and be stronger, be a voice for sexually abused women when everyone else puts their hands over their ears, refusing to look or listen because 'they don't need to think about that' or because it's 'upsetting'. Who knows, she may now become a huge playing piece that changes the course of history in Westeros.

And that is why I'll continue to watch Game Of Thrones.

Rant over. Phoebe out!