the most unrealistic thing about asoiaf is how a bunch of people living within a medieval society can manage to have like 5 different major religions and not be constantly trying to murder each other over which one is more legit.
thats like less realistic than the dragons or the zombies.
To be fair, some pre-Christian societies like the Roman Republic/Empire had multiple religions, partly because a polytheistic worldview can be added to by saying “oh, they worship some other gods who also exist”. Unfortunately, Darwinian evolution (ironically) favours religions that proclaim themselves the One True Way.
Also, the different religions pre-War of the Five Kings were mostly geographically separated, with the Old Gods mostly being worshipped only in the North,
Cthulhuthe Drowned God in the Iron Islands and the Seven elsewhere. R’hllorism was a “weirdo foreign religion”. It’s only with the war that they’ve started impinging on each other, and unsurprisingly we are seeing religious justifications for killing (Winterfell’s septon being thrown down a well, Melisandre burning people, etc.).
That’s correct. Furthermore, when the Andals first invaded, there was a lot of war between the followers of the Seven and the followers of the Old Gods — that’s why there’s hardly any weirwoods in the South, because the Andals cut them all down. They fought for hundreds of years before there was a peace.
And the ancient enmity between the Blackwoods (Old Gods worshippers in the Riverlands) and their neighbors the Brackens (who supposedly poisoned the Blackwoods’ weirwood) only goes to show it’s still going on, really, even if they’ve found other reasons to fight.
And it’s really only been Maegor’s crushing of the Faith Militant that has kept the Faith of the Seven a “peaceful” religion for the past 300 years or so. (And the general threat of the Targaryens is what also kept the followers of the Drowned God from acting up.) Now that the Faith has militarized again, partially in reaction to the disturbing influence of the “weird foreign religion” of R’hllor, I imagine TWOW will be showing a lot more religious intolerance.
Major spoilers for A Dance With Dragons and the series as a whole. Many thanks to folks at the Westeros.org forums, where I post as Yeade and hashed much of this out.
“Love is sweet, dearest Ned, but it cannot change a man’s nature.”
— Lyanna Stark, AGOT
I know this quote is said in reference to Robert, and Lyanna’s perspective on who he is, but this quote is more significant than that. This quote and the lines preceding it give readers one of the few solid glimpses into Lyanna’s character — something that doesn’t seem to be delved into very often in the fandom.
i like how we forget that tywin lannister ACTIVELY HATES tyrion in comparison to jaime and cersei
and then people are like oh he can totally stand up to tywin
#well technically he can #but maybe people need to reread ADWD to see what happens to someone like Tyrion once he loses all that privilege and family protection
That’s an excellent point, although I don’t know how effective a recommendation it is since as far as I can tell most of this fandom has only read the first third of ADWD. That’s the only explanation I can find for the widespread tendency to dismiss ADWD-Tyrion as a self-pitying drunk. Somehow they’ve missed the vast majority of the book, where he’s not only surviving slavery but repeatedly risks his life and uses his wits to protect others.
Also: lifelong emotional abuse aside, people do not stand up to Tywin Lannister and the ones who do get wiped off the fucking map. Tyrion’s not just reacting to a lifetime of having his self-esteem ground down into the dirt to where he’s almost psychologically incapable of defying Tywin; he’s also being practical. I love show!Shae, but she fundamentally does not get one thing, and that’s when she keeps saying “Let’s go to Pentos! Your father doesn’t rule the world!” and like statements. Because… Tywin does actually rule the country, he’s got nearly unlimited power and resources, and if he doesn’t want you running off to Pentos, your ass isn’t going to Pentos. (Which we know because Tyrion already tried when he was sixteen.)
And the one moment where he does stand up to him and says I’m not gonna let you continue to sexually abuse me or make me complicit in the abuse of others? Everyone goes “BUT HE SHOULDN’T GET A COOKIE FOR NOT RAPING SANSA” when that is not what the fucking scene is about. There is an entire context here of Tyrion having been a victim of sexual abuse when he was the same age Sansa is now and you can’t separate the events of their wedding night from that context.
people do not stand up to Tywin Lannister and the ones who do get wiped off the fucking map
There’s even a song about this.
Which is what makes people saying “Tyrion should just stand up to Tywin” even MORE FUCKING FRUSTRATING
‘cause I’m like were you not listening ten minutes ago when Cersei was like “are you familiar with the hit pop song ‘My Dad Kills Everyone Who Pisses Him Off’”
okay so people are happy to dismiss margaery as just another person who’s manipulating sansa
that just makes me a little uncomfortable? I mean I know I reference tv!margaery a lot when I’m talking about margaery x sansa but that’s just because we’re getting SO MUCH MORE margaery in the tv show than we did in the books. margaery is just much more fully formed in the tv show than she is in the books. in the books, you don’t really get a sense of who she is so much; you aren’t certain how much of an active role she has in olenna’s schemes. and what we do see of her, she is KIND. she’s clever, yes, she wants the truth from sansa about joffrey, but does that make her unkind? does that mean she’s manipulative and a terrible person? even if she is manipulative – is manipulation in westeros the worst trait a woman can have?
“she’s terrified, grandmother, just look at her.”
(spoilers for asos and coming and past episodes of got under the cut)
In reading the first few chapters of A Clash of Kings something that really struck me is how often the concept of shadows is repeated, in many different contexts and pov’s.
Note: this is not even an attempt at coherence. Really it’s just a to-be-meta’d about later reference post okay? okay then.
So, one of the most often repeated uses of shadow that I first noticed was in how GRRM weaves it into character beat descriptions, and even into character dialog.
We first see this in the prologue, in the Patchface’s song:
The shadows come to dance, my lord, dance my lord, dance my lord
The Shadows come to stay, my lord, stay my lord, stay my lord
And in several of the description of Stannis:
Only a fringe of thin black hair remained on his head circling behind his ears like the shadow of a crown.”
And a little later—
He descended the steps of his chair to stand before the table, his shadow falling across the mouth of the Blackwater Rush and the painted forest where King’s Landing now stood. There he stood, brooding over the realm he sought to claim, so near at hand and yet so far away.
This image of the shadow that people cast is repeated again in several character descriptions throughout the first chapters. Very briefly, very matter of factly, but once you’re paying attention to it you see it pop up everywhere.
A bit later on, Catelyn uses it in her description of the Harrenhal, in a way that really imparts the dark and gloomy horror-movie type doom aspect of the shadow as a visual metaphor.
I would not have Robb fight a battle in the shadow of that keep,” Catelyn admitted.
The metaphor of shadows comes up yet again during the conversation between Tyrion and Varys, when they are discussing the answer to the riddle Varys had posed earlier.
“Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less.”
“So power is a mummer’s trick?”
“A shadow on the wall,” Varys murmured, “yet shadows can kill. And ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.”
So here, GRRM uses it as an incredibly apt and visceral visual metaphor for power itself—where the only power that counts is that which others perceive you to have—the size of the shadow that you cast is how the players of the game measure your power.
I think that it brings up so many interesting concepts/themes. This duality, of on the one hand power being measured by how ‘far’ or where you are able to cast your shadow, and those that know how to play the game are those that know how to stand in just the right angle to cast their shadow the farthest; but also, on the other hand, how it can be deceiving, believing in nothing more than a play of light, in the echo rather than the sound itself; in a reflection rather than in the real solid thing.
Yes so as I said….. tbc
we’ve got our meta on tumblr so i wondered about actual academic papers published online. i always thought that our own meta posts are basically raw versions of literary analyses done by scholars. so it’s interesting to see that what we write about here on a daily basis is actually an academic pursuit. (these were all collated from the internet, i’m sure other papers exist that aren’t available online.) the best thing about papers like these is that in order for them to have any integrity, they must cite their sources. they must be cross-referenced and researched thoroughly. they’re “meta posts” written with ample knowledge and background.
- “A Game of Genders: Comparing Depictions of Empowered Women between A Game of Thrones novel and Television Series” by Rebecca Jones (student, University of Wisconsin)
- “A Game of Thrones: Lessons About Status” an introduction of a course entitled Status, Power, and Influence by Michael W. Kraus at the University of Illinois (profile)
- “The Boundaries of Imagination: Important aspects of fantasy translation” a Translation Master’s thesis by Marlies Kok (Utrecht University, the Netherlands)
- “Constructed Authorship in Television and the Case of ‘Game of Thrones’” by Tobias Steiner (Alumnus, History of Art and Screen Media in Birkbeck College, University of London; profile)
- “The Familiar and the Fantastic: A Study of Contemporary High Fantasy in George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen” a Master’s thesis by Magnus Vike (Department of Foreign Languages, University of Bergen, Norway)
- “George RR Martin’s Women in A Song of Ice and Fire” by Johanna Strong (MA in Education from Northeastern State University, Oklahoma; CV)
- “Politics, Hidden Agendas, and a Game of Thrones: An Intersectional Analysis of Women’s Sexuality in George RR Martin’s A Game of Thrones” a bachelor thesis by Elin Sandqvist (BA English, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden)
- “Popularizing Epic Narrative in George RR Martin’s A Game of Thrones” by Ida Rochani Adi (Department of English Literature, Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia; CV)
- “Returning the King: The Medieval King in Modern Fantasy” a Master’s thesis by Georgia Kathryn Natishan (student, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University)
- “‘There Are No True Knights’: The Injustice of Chivalry” by Stacey Goguen (Graduate student of Philosophy, Boston University; profile; only the abstract is available)
- “‘Tuneful Tragedy: Aesthetization of Horror in A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin” by Dagmara Zajac (doctoral student, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland)
sidebar: THANK YOU LORD FOR SCHOLAR.GOOGLE.COM.
A lot of people seem quite invested in the idea that it’s Jaime. Because see, it’s not the brother she’s been so paranoid about all this time, it’s the one she loves and trusts, and wouldn’t that be clever?
screams i just installed xkit and i accidentally posted this without tagging for trigger warnings or before my answer was even done i’m sorry
okay now to the answer
The entire thing was revolting and I wanted to fucking vomit.
Firstly, I have a really hard time believing Gendry would just jump into bed with Melisandre, but of course we can’t have men on this show who aren’t Real Men, and Real Men want to jump right into bed with a hot woman as soon as they see her.
Now, I still haven’t seen Theon’s sexual assault scene in the previous episode because I’d run to the bathroom during that bit and why would I go back to rewatch the episode just to see Theon get raped? I don’t want to do that????? There are literally nine million less horrific uses of my time I could come up with than watching that scene. In any case, I understand, from others’ thoughts on the scene, that Theon was flat-out raped.
The Melisandre scene is pretty much identical. Melisandre seduces Gendry, they get into bed, it’s getting hot and heavy, lots of moaning, yawn ad nauseum—
And then Melisandre ties Gendry up and starts sticking leeches on him.
Further, it was rape, but it was portrayed as sexy rape. Through the majority of this scene, Melisandre was naked. Gendry might have been shirtless, yes, but Melisandre was completely buck-ass nude. The emphasis in this scene was completely on Melisandre: her body, her voice, her movements. The camera pans lovingly over her breasts in case any of the neckbeards missed them both times last season.
The emphasis was not on Gendry’s horror at what was being done to him, but on Melisandre, and Stannis, and how far they’ll go out of their fanatical devotion. Gendry was reduced to less than a person in a single scene. He was raped and his rape was used to characterize his rapist.
Note how again!!! They had genital mutilation of a man!!! And did not show the affected region of the body like they did with Ros!!! So by this point we have:
- Visible female genital mutilation and eroticized graphic death
- Two instances of invisible male genital mutilation
- The eroticization of female-on-male rape
For no reason whatsoever.
From a storytelling perspective, the inclusion of the consensual sex-turned-rape was absolutely pointless. “The fear spoils the meat,” Melisandre says. It looked to me like he was pretty fucking terrified when she tied him up and started taking his blood. How the fuck was that “unsuspecting”? It would have made more sense to, I don’t know, put him at his ease, set him up with comfortable rooms, feed him something and slip a little bit of poison into his food—not enough to kill him, but enough to justify a leeching of the blood for “medical” reasons.