In storytelling terms the best point of comparison for what this does to Jaime’s arc is Daenerys’s season two storyline. I don’t think that storyline worked at all, but the point of it was that if Dany’s progress were portrayed as steady and unidirectional for season after season, she’d be boring to the viewers, so she needed a setback. If I had to guess I’d say the thinking here was that if Jaime never again did something abysmally awful, the face turn he underwent when his hand got cut off and he befriended Brienne would make him a less dynamic character.
Man, I technically agree with your point - but there are others ways of showing that a character is not becoming a goodie two-shoes than simply having them rape the most important person in their life. Jaime in affc comes to mind. While I do need to refresh my mind on what exactly goes on in those chapters, I think that threatening to launch an infant with a trebuchet is hell of a lot more elegant.
Is it too early for that plot? Of course! But there are shitload of ways to portray a morally ambiguous character, dude. In this case, I consider it a case of a lack of creative writing when having him rape Cersei is the only solution. No, I wouldn’t have him threaten infants at this point… But these books and the show has proven us that there are plenty of ways to be a bag of dicks, or at least morally ambiguous.
TL;DR: I don’t want Jaime having a flawless redemption arc, but trebuchets and goldenslaps is more in character for jaime than raping his beloved sister, or anyone else, really.
Alex Graves on the Jaime-Cersei scene in “Breaker of Chains” (x)
So I guess he’s stopped trying to say it was consensual.
*throws self away*