George RR Martin has directly addressed the issue of sexual violence in the Game of Thrones books and TV series, arguing he's trying to "portray struggle" and that "if you portray a utopia, then you probably wrote a pretty boring book."
A debate about the violence against women in the Game of Thrones universe spilled over when Sansa Stark was raped by Ramsay Bolton in an episode of the TV show earlier this year.
Her TV storyline had diverged so far from the books, fans were pretty unimpressed.
Critics pointed out that it was the third time a major character had sexual violence committed to them in the TV show, when it had not happened in the book.
Those two other instances being in Season 1, when Khal Drogo raped Daenerys, as well as Jaime Lannister's rape of his sister Cersei last season.
Martin emphasised on his personal blog the difference between the TV show and novels, saying, "HBO are trying to make the best television series that they can. And over here I am trying to write the best novels I can."