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George R.R. Martin
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George R.R. Martin Threads > Is George R.R. Martin a dirty old man?

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Micah (onemorebaker) | 1043 comments Please no spoilers!

Now I am going to preface this question with some information. I am currently about 1/2 way through A Clash of Kings and totally loving the series so far. But I have had this nagging question on my mind since the beginning of the second book.

Whenever I read an *ahem* intimate scene between two characters it seems to me to be almost %100 unneeded. What I mean is that all the talk of the mans "seed" or the descriptions of his fleshy bits; or the women's breasts or other parts (a four letter word which I have previously heard is very offensive to a lot of the ladies :) seem totally gratuitous to me. They seem out of place in this otherwise great character driven storyline and world that GRRM has built. So I ask the S&L crowd this question. Is George R.R. Martin just a dirty old man who delights in titillating his readers? Or am I missing something here where these scenes add something to his otherwise great characterizations?

This may just be my own prudishness showing through but I just don't find that the scenes further the story along for any of the characters. What do you guys think?


Alterjess | 318 comments I think the rough sex is, in most cases, there to demonstrate that this is not a hearts & flowers kind of fantasy universe. It's there for the same reason the characters swear, and the same reason there are at least 3 separate SOIAF food blogs. It's a dirty, sweaty, smelly world and GRRM puts us there by making sure we know about every detail.

So while I think you could argue strongly that individual scenes are gratuitous, on the other hand I think it speaks to a world where the characters are very much driven by their physical needs and pleasures. They are not, for the most part, lofty minded noble people. They are mostly whiny childish assholes with inflated senses of entitlement. (Don't get me wrong - I'm a HUGE fan of these books. But I wouldn't share a cab with most of the people in them for all the sapphires in Tarth.)

And of course, for some of the characters, who they have sex with is crucial to the plot - Cercei/Jamie, for example, or Dany/Drogo. It would be silly to tell their stories and leave out a part of it which is so hugely important to the characters themselves.


Micah (onemorebaker) | 1043 comments You make a very good point. And for the most part I agree with your reasoning. While a lot of the scenes in book 1 seemed a bit excessive to me they did quite easily inform you as to their characters motivations and wants. But in a book two it almost seems as if GRRM has turned it up a notch. The scenes seem to be more plentiful and even more descriptive than the first book. I just read a scene between Tyrion and Shae that made me blush as if I had been reading one of Veronica's vaginal fantasy genre picks.

And that was the scene that got me thinking of this question. It and most of the the others I have read in book 2 didn't seem to give a deeper understanding of the characters actions. They seemed just to be there to add a little gratuitous sexy time in between other more character driven scenes.

Maybe its just a choice of style that I am finding hard to get used to. Once upon a time I probably would have read these scenes and thought nothing much of it.


Aloha | 919 comments Well, I better move his books to the top of my to read pile. I've been meaning to get around to reading the Ice and Fire series.


Alterjess | 318 comments I definitely agree that the books get more...padded, for lack of a better word, as the series goes on. I don't think it's spoilery to say that by book 5 I really did not care anymore what or who everyone in Westeros was having for breakfast.


Philip (heard03) | 379 comments Micah- I concur with your sentiments on the sexy time in ASOIAF, the details seem quite gratuitous to me, and self indulgent on the part of the author. I get that the fact of the encounters is part of the plot, but the graphic descriptions are unnecessary. I was pleased that in the most recent book there was less of this than previously in the series.

Not liking this sort of thing in a story is not prudish, but a matter of discretion. Sex is awesome and I'm a big fan of it, I just don't need to hear or see it in a book or movie/TV show. I keep my business behind closed doors and would prefer others do the same.


Karen | 29 comments I don't find the sex gratuitous, no more than the violence, which is more graphic, abundant and described in greater detail than the sex. I think the characters attitudes towards lust and the opposite sex shape who they are and how the reader perceives them just as much as their non-sexual acts of cruelty and violence. That the sex and violence is combined in some characters tells us even more about them. In order to better understand how these men and women think, GRRM chooses to let us peek into the brothels and bedrooms, to lay out on the page what we we would know is going on behind the scenes anyway. The whole series is so primal and dark, to leave out the sex would read false somehow, IMO.


Aloha | 919 comments I find it funny that some people find sex more disturbing than violence. In the horror forum, if I mention cannibalism and slashing, it created no stir. If I mention sex, some people get uncomfortable.


Micah (onemorebaker) | 1043 comments Karen wrote: "I don't find the sex gratuitous, no more than the violence, which is more graphic, abundant and described in greater detail than the sex."

See but that's where book two is different so far. I am now a little more than 1/2 way through the book and there has been little to no violence so far. The battles have all been alluded to and there have been minor incidents here and there but I have yet to see the violence on a large scale in this book. I am sure it is coming but it hasn't happened yet. But the sex at first was very graphic and very common place. It just got me thinking about this sort of thing.

Aloha - you are right. At least for the American public as a whole. We can have the most brutal violent acts on TV at any time of the day but you pull out one nipple during a superbowl and everybody just goes CRAZY! It is a vast double standard on what is allowed. I think that the mainstream of America is way to uptight when it comes to the human body.

That being said I find it very odd and it actually disrupts the story for me when I read about the actual sexual act that is being performed on another character. I just don't really need to envision that act being performed so graphically. Setting the scene would be ok but to actually read when Tyrion's climax happens is a bit much for me. I guess that double standard applies to me too.


Alec (Alec1887) | 3 comments the way in which different characters behave during their sex scenes (and indeed how their sex scenes are described) often gives hints as to how they perceive sex, which in turn gives clues to other parts of their personality. It's been a while since I last re-read the series, but I don't remember any of the scenes being gratuitous. The series was a completely different matter of course.


Aloha | 919 comments I think sexual arousal produces different emotional reactions. Some are casual about it, but some people become moralistic about it. Some men can't stand it because they're not getting some, or the emotion is too strong for them to deal with. That's why you have the madonna/whore type of thinking and assumptions. I've had devout Christian guys think that they can play with me while they fend off their fellow church ladies' relationship advances. I play with them, too, even if it's with words. LOL. That's also why some awful customs came about suppressing women.


Micah (onemorebaker) | 1043 comments Aloha wrote: "I think sexual arousal produces different emotional reactions. Some are casual about it, but some people become moralistic about it. Some men can't stand it because they're not getting some, or t..."

It wasn't sexual arousal that I was commenting on. Nor even on sexuality in general. Male or female. I was thinking more along the lines "was this graphic sex scene thrown in for no reason?" A lot of the sex scenes felt like a "B" movie to me. Where the young busty college girl shows her boobs at some point for no other reason than it is expected of her to give the crowd what they came for.

I am almost done (70 nook pages left) with A Clash of Kings now. And I must say that GRRM left the graphic descriptions behind in the second half of the book. There was still the allusion to and even the description of 1 or 2 acts but it was nowhere near as graphic as the 1st half of the book. These parts even managed to still give the same amount of character development with out telling the reader exactly when penetration occurred or even when a character climaxed.

The graphic depictions of the sex scenes just seemed really out of place to me. I don't mind that they exist or that some people may enjoy reading them. In these stories they just seemed out of place to me. I have read some stories where descriptions like that actually enhanced the story. The Windup Girl comes to mind as one we read here in S&L awhile back. That book had a brutal scene of exploitation, but it furthered the story in a way I don't feel would have been possible otherwise. The scenes in ASOIAF world just seem gratuitous to me.

TL;DR: Wasn't commenting on sexuality in general. Just the scenes in these books. Some books use it in such a way that it fits in. I don't think that these do.


Mike Betts (michaelbetts) | 255 comments Everything in this series is gratuitous. The dining scenes? Unnecessary and exceedingly graphic. I'm not really being sarcastic either. It puts you in the world, as said above, and you watch these people eat, kill, and fuck. It's not out of place, and to me, a little refreshing to witness. Not that many of the sex scenes were arousing, it just added a certain... color to it for me.

As to the thread's title, though, yeah, probably.


Aloha | 919 comments That's one thing about drama, what's in a fiction may or may not be too much for some people. For example, sometimes emoting may be too melodramatic for some people, while it's stirring for others.


Dobie (IndianaDobie) | 22 comments If Martin is in a dirty old man, he is in good company. Sci-Fi/Fantasy is full of what a friend of mine and I refer to as the "dirty old men of science fiction" phenomenon. It seems like a writer gets to a certain age, and the book about the old, but very intelligent professor/scientist/general who ends up with the young nubile girl just has to be written. Look at Asimov, Herbert, Heinlein and Clarke for examples. Asimov even named the girl "Bliss".


Esther (eshchory) | 131 comments I've been reading rather too much paranormal romance recently so in comparison I find Martin's sex scenes relatively restrained and a logical part of the plot.

I agree that the sex scenes give clues to a character's personality.
I've just started watching the series and was annoyed by the way they portrayed the sex scenes between Dany&Drogo because I felt it gave a totally different impression of Drogo and his relationship with Dany.


Christine (LadySioned) | 30 comments I have not read George RR Martin just for this reason. My brother had felt the same way about some of the graphic scenes not being needed. I know thing like for example rape happen in the real world but I don't want to read about it in a book unless there is a purpose behind the scene being there. And I think it is all a matter if opinion of what each person considers too much and that does not make me right and you wrong that makes us different. For example I have read books were the writer really gave you a sense about how creepy a man was were I knew he was the type if man that would rape women and kill babies without any of those scenes being in the real book..wish I could remember what book it was..dang it. Anyway that was all my imagination needed I filled in the blanks others might need more.
Oh here is an example from a movie Hitman. This movie only annoyed me because *spoilers* he is trying to kill some bad guy he meets in the guys girlfriend..so logically I assume she has a purpose like information to help him get the bad guy or she will participate in the kill..nope she was just walking boobs in the movie. Literaly at one point she walks around with her top off so I think ah ha love interest..again nope they didn't even have sex. So again she was there because they were lazy they thought the story couldn't hold up so the threw in some boobs so all the guys would like the movie but not remember why ;)
Maybe someday I will read GERM because I am pretty good a self emitting aka skimming sections with images I don't want in my head. But for now I trust my brothers opinion since we tend think alot a like.

There is my long two cents :)


Tamahome | 4250 comments No, I think George is a violent old man.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Violent and apparently hungry all the time.


Aloha | 919 comments If you studied anthropology or history, there's a whole lot more violence, sex, and deviant behavior there. I'm halfway through Thrones, and I have not found any material that is gratuitous. It's a great story on the machinations for the power of the throne. It's like people who protest the visuals of the killing of farm animals, while they go to the grocery store to buy their nicely packaged meat.


Aloha | 919 comments If there's a problem with the sex or violence, there are always YA books. I don't recall the A Song of Ice and Fire series labeled YA.


Micah (onemorebaker) | 1043 comments Aloha wrote: " It's like people who protest the visuals of the killing of farm animals, while they go to the grocery store to buy their nicely packaged meat."

What does that pertain to in this conversation?

Aloha wrote: "If there's a problem with the sex or violence, there are always YA books. I don't recall the A Song of Ice and Fire series labeled YA."

I didn't say that there was a problem with it. Or even that anybody should have a problem with it. Once again my question was more along the lines of: "Are the sex scenes gratuitous?"

If your answer to that question is "no" then that is fine. Just please don't try to point out the obvious to people like "well it isn't YA is it?"

And I am going to leave my reply there because I don't like to participate in chat room flame wars.


Philip (heard03) | 379 comments Nice restraint in the face of a rude comment, Micah.


Aloha | 919 comments I don't see what is so rude about my comment. It's no more rude than wondering whether Martin is a dirty old man for content that do not look objectionable to me at all.


Alex Ristea (alexristea) | 600 comments The really sad thing is that Martin is probably showing about 10% of what it was really like.

Suppose we actually lived in those times (similar to our medieval or Dark ages), I think modern day humans would not be able to stand the sheer brutality.

Sure, it may seem a bit much, but I think that adds to the whole story. Of course, it all depends on personal preferences. I'm not squeamish, and actually kind of enjoy reading about gratuitous violence, sex, and the like.


Christine (LadySioned) | 30 comments Aloha yes history has alot of violence and sex. But what someone has written is not history. Authors tell stories they can choose what they put into the story. And from your comment it seems like there is an attitude that if someone does agree with your opinion that they shouldn't be reading Adult books it seems a bit condescending. Its all opinions here and there is no right or wrong answer since everyone will judge based on there own life experiences if the violence or sex in the books enhances the story or distracts from it.


Aloha | 919 comments I'm a little over halfway through with Thrones. The only detailed sexual scene I saw was between Dany and Khal Drogo, and that was very mild. It was more for expressing the painful wedding night, and her difficulty with the rough relations with the tribal Khal Drogo. This is really mild in comparison to how women were treated historically. Historically, in most areas, women were treated as property, and even had to endure the practice of genital mutilation so that they would not feel pleasure. In most tribal customs, the men were hunters, and women would trade sex in return for food brought by the men. Also, the fact that the men of the upper class bedded often outside of wedlock with "wenches" is realistic. In fact, the churches had condoned prostitution because they thought that it was something that was necessary and cannot be changed.

What is wrong with an author choosing to put details of sex and violence in a situation in his fiction, without having to be labeled dirty or immoral? I may sound condescending by expressing my opinion that I think that Martin being a "dirty old man" was exaggerated. It's condescending to me in my enjoyment of racier or more violent materials. I guess that makes me a dirty broad, because Martin's material is really mild to me.


Micah (onemorebaker) | 1043 comments Aloha wrote: "What is wrong with an author choosing to put details of sex and violence in a situation in his fiction, without having to be labeled dirty or immoral? I may sound condescending by expressing my opinion that I think that Martin being a "dirty old man" was exaggerated. It's condescending to me in my enjoyment of racier or more violent materials. I guess that makes me a dirty broad, because Martin's material is really mild to me. "

See the post I made from FEB 19th in this thread. Nothing is wrong with it. A few of the scenes in the 1st half of A Clash of Kings were just really to descriptive in my opinion. They seemed out of place in the book. Not because it was S E X. But because of the descriptions of the sexual act itself; an example being when GRRM actually described Tyrion climaxing inside of his lover.

It was not my intention to impinge GRRM's character. I am actually quite enjoying his series and would read other books by him. My use of the phrase "dirty old man" was intended to bring about the point that he may be just titillating himself and his readers with his descriptions in these books. And once again that is fine if you like that. I did not intend to be condescending to you in any way Aloha. I'm sorry if I came off that way.

There was another thread floating around in our S&L group that I can't find anymore. It was discussing the same thing along these lines; but having to do with the show and some post that GRRM made while they were casting the first season. I wish I had a link to it now.

And yes my use of the phrase "dirty old man" was probably exaggeration. It is the internet after all. :)

Now smoke if you got 'em everybody. I'm out. I do believe this thread has lived beyond its lifespan.


Christine (LadySioned) | 30 comments Aloha no what I thought seemed a bit condescending was not where you expressed your opinion about the 'dirty old man' label or that you enjoy racier or violent material. The feeling for me came from this specific statement.
If there's a problem with the sex or violence, there are always YA books. I don't recall the A Song of Ice and Fire series labeled YA.
Which I am always willing to admit I am wrong. And it could have been you were trying to joke around but tone of voice is really not expressed well in a forum post. So maybe your intention was not the way I read it.

You may not see anything wrong or immoral with sex and violence in books but some people do. And if someone labeled a author I like as dirty or hated that authors work. Why would it matter to me? I like what I like no matter what others label it. And I like seeing different peoples points of view.

But I expect the same respect I try to show others. Just because someone does not share my views does not mean they are wrong or stupid. I have seen people get very heated on forums before when there is something they really love and they take any attack on that as an attack on them personally. Which is not the case for the most part.

I happen to like the Terry Goodkind Sword of Truth series. My husband definitely thought that Terry Goodkind was a 'dirty old man'. My husband met him at a party and told him to his face he did not like his books because there was too much violence and sex. Terry explained why those things were in the books and my husband understood why he did it. But my husband still will not read the series for him his imagination is just too vivid and he does not want those kinds of images floating around in his head some of it is too dark for him. I don't think my husband is wrong not wanting to read those books and I am right. Even though with everything in our marriage I am definitely right :P

It was actually interesting when I first met my husband to discover how differently we experienced the same books because of life experiences and how our imaginations worked etc. That is why I like reading through peoples thoughts here because I find people in general very interesting and love to realize how we are different and the same in so many ways.

Sorry this turned out longer then I intended. I am a rambler..


Aloha | 919 comments LOL! It is the internet where we get to trade opinions and have debates. Anyhow, whether Martin is a dirty old man or not, he writes a terrific fantasy. I'm really enjoying his tale. He writes it with such gusto.


message 31: by Aloha (last edited Mar 06, 2012 07:09AM) (new)

Aloha | 919 comments My pet peeve are people who seem to want to control the world. They want people to march in line with their belief, whether it be that they think homosexuality should not exist or be pushed as far away from existence as possible, that any point of view against their religion should not be expressed, or that what the person create or write should conform to their palate. Under the stance of righteousness, people seem to think that it is not rude to go up to an author and complain about the "dirt" or any anti-religious writing in the work. I don't usually hear of people going up to a writer and saying that the work is milk toast and needed to be spiced with more sex and violence, or to stop writing religious crap. I don't hear of Christian writers being attacked for their literature, but Christian groups, and recently an ex Goodreads "friend" vilified me for recommending Philip Pullman, saying that he is destroying the minds of children and comparing him to Hitler because of Pullman's atheistic belief. This is the same "friend" who threatens authors with violence for going into a forum and promoting a work in a wrong forum area. There is a huge double-standard in what is considered rude here.


Micah (onemorebaker) | 1043 comments Aloha wrote: "My pet peeve are people who seem to want to control the world. They want people to march in line with their belief, whether it be that they think homosexuality should not exist or be pushed as far..."

once again. I believe you may have missed the whole entire point of this thread.
It was NOT ABOUT christian vs. the world of sex drugs and rock and roll. I know this because I started it and I would not call myself a christian.

And that's all I have to say about that.

(if anybody needs context just go ahead and read the thread)


Napoez3 | 158 comments Mike wrote: "Everything in this series is gratuitous. The dining scenes? Unnecessary and exceedingly graphic. I'm not really being sarcastic either. It puts you in the world, as said above, and you watch these ..."
+1


I was going to joke a bit with the title of the thread... but it might be a bad idea...


message 34: by Eve (last edited Mar 21, 2012 04:04PM) (new)

Eve Davids (EveDavids) | 10 comments Aloha, I was going to reply to the slightly ignorant title of this ridiculous question, but then I read your responses and you pretty much voiced everything on my mind. Bravo to you, and thanks for saying everything so eloquently.
Now, to those linking the attitudes in Martin's fiction to whom he is as a person:
First, it is insulting to assume that what a writer includes in his work of fiction has anything to do with his beliefs as a person. As someone who has met and worked under GRRM, that statement is very annoying to read.
His works are fiction! Just that! Whether they are gratuitous to you or not doesnt give you the right to question whom he is in real life.
You find Aloha's comment rude? Then what if I said, "Is the person who started this post mentally challenged to assume a work of fiction describes an author's beliefs and personality?" Do you find that rude? Well, I hope not, considering the title of this thread.
I mean, so when people exaggerate on tv and books just to get a point across, say for example with a racist issue, that means they are racist? How ridiculous.
As Aloha said, YA books are always available. Maybe those will soothe your tastes more.


Micah (onemorebaker) | 1043 comments thought this thread had died a happy death.

SOMETIMES THEY COME BACK...........


Philip (heard03) | 379 comments If it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck....it may just be a duck.

http://bit.ly/GJUAxA

http://bit.ly/GJUtC6


Kamil | 372 comments I believe there are some unnecessary sex scenes, but it's mostly because of the world GRRM created. We get conspiracies, slaughter, beastly magic, relatives killing eachother, slavery, nobles trying to prevent the uprising of commoners, vengefull bastards so sex is more than appropriate, like a cherry on top of the cake. I admit at times GRRM goes to far and his writing becomes gross and repulsive, expecially when it comes to describing the rituals in Meeren) but whithout sex the song of ice and fire would be incomplete. GRRM might be a dirty old man, but remember we're living in a house made of glass, so whoever is whithout sin shall throw the first rock


Stefan | 14 comments He certainly likes to talk about boobs. It seems like every other line there is a breast being grabbed.


Martin (Martinc36au) | 64 comments I don't enjoy the GRRM books at all, but I agree with the attitude

http://boingboing.net/2012/07/27/geor...


Sean O'Hara (SeanOHara) | 1622 comments Martin wrote: "I don't enjoy the GRRM books at all, but I agree with the attitude

http://boingboing.net/2012/07/27/geor..."


The statement is a good riposte to those who object to his sex scenes on grounds of prudery, however it does nothing to address criticisms of sexism or outright misogyny in how he portrays sex.


terpkristin | 2607 comments Stefan wrote: "He certainly likes to talk about boobs. It seems like every other line there is a breast being grabbed."

Sometimes it's a duck breast. There's a lot of food porn, too. ;D


Tamahome | 4250 comments Sean wrote: "The statement is a good riposte to those who object to his sex scenes on grounds of prudery, however it does nothing to address criticisms of sexism or outright misogyny in how he portrays sex..."

Is that George's sexism and misogyny or history's?


Sean O'Hara (SeanOHara) | 1622 comments Darren wrote: "Misogyny? When Cersei uses her sexuality for power, it's misogyny? Or Melisandre?"

Yes, notice how when women fuck around in the series, they're evil whores -- even if they've been good up until that point like Shae, the mere act of being unfaithful, even to a person who's scheduled to marry someone one else makes them irredeemable. The good women like Catelyn and Sansa, they never think with their crotch, and they'd never dare usurp power from the God-ordained manocracy -- well, except for Daenerys, but that's okay because she only does it to brown people, and a white person bringing the light of civilization to the backwards hordes of No-I-Swear-This-Really-Isn't-Asia-With-The-Serial-Numbers-Filed-Off takes precedence over a woman getting uppity.


message 45: by Rasnac (last edited Jul 30, 2012 10:35PM) (new)

Rasnac | 318 comments Let's not mix two unrelated issues here. Orientalism in ASOIF(and in the fantasy genre in general, and in the whole "Western" concioussness for that matter) is a very very very complex, very old, highly political and extremely sensitive issue that needs a whole different in-depth discussion.

On the "misagyny" issue:

G.R.R.M wrote about a very cruel, very grim, very realistic world that is modeled after the social patterns of the Medieveal ages. And that era was very very very misagynystic. But G.R.R.M also created some of the strongest, most independant and most interesting female characters of fantasy genre. The thing is, those characters share the same fate with any character in the series: bad things happen to them and they suffer.

None of his female characters are evil, neither virgins nore sexually active ones. Becuase G.R.M.M do not write "evil" characters. Evil does not exist in Westeros, not more than it exist in real world.
I don't think even Whitewalkers are evil, they are just like a storm or an earthquake or a plague;a destructive force of nature.

As far as I remember, Melisandre, Cersei, Asha Greyjoy, Daenerys Stormborn are the sexually active POV female characters in the series and none of them were represented as evil. Martin does not put judgement on any of them favourably or unfavourably. On the contrary, he makes us feel empathy for every one of them. Even Cersei, is nothing more than a deeply disturbed person who is trying to survive in the game of thrones that she did not choose to play; she was born into it. And Asha and Daenerys are basically great characters, heroes of their own stories. But G.R.R.M also don't write perfect characters either. All of his characters, including females are flawed, make bad decisions, do violent and destructive things.

Do those things make the author misagynyist? If so; do the suffering or immorality of his male characters make him a misandryist? Or should we call him a sadist misantrophe and get it over with? Or is it that he is just writing a naturalistic fantasy world with three dimensional characters, a world that bad shit happen to people and people sometimes make horrible things for stupid reasons; or nice people got hurt for no reason. Guess what, world is not a good or just place, and neither is Westeros.


Sean O'Hara (SeanOHara) | 1622 comments Darren wrote: "Darren | 235 comments Shae was a whore. Literally. Using her as your example of how women in Martin's book are "evil whores" is stacking the deck a bit, don't you think?"

No, because, believe it or not, prostitutes are not inherently evil. Compare her portrayal to Trixie in Deadwood who, despite doing a number of reprehensible things, was never treated as, "Stupid slut doesn't want to be faithful to Sol and therefore should die."

And "unfaithful" is a mild word to describe her actions. She slept with Tyrion's father, and lied about Tyrion with the express purpose of having him shamed and then executed.

Yes, that's the point -- promiscuous women in ASoIaF are evil women.



And yet I would not call her evil. Only selfish and greedy.

It's weird to me that you think of Catelyn and Sansa as the "good women". I think they are naive and foolish, and the story puts them through untold hell as a result of that. Sansa betrayed her own father and sister because of a crush, and we all know how that turns out for Ned (and for Sansa). If this is Martin putting them on a pedestal for their virtue, it's a strange pedestal.


Catelyn and Sansa are treated sympathetically throughout the story -- they make mistakes, but we aren't supposed to think, "Bitch must die!" like we are with Cersei and Shae after her duplicity is revealed.

But reading your post, I see you're not only accusing Martin of misogyny, but racism, and cultural imperialism?

And this supposedly elite culture is Westeros? Because Martin is clearly writing that as such a paragon of civilization, in the books...


The books are racist. Yes, yes, I know. You're going to say, "But Westeros is full of rapeyness just like Essos." But here's the thing -- the Dothraki are rapists. Every man among them. Rapists. That's what the Dothraki do. It's part of their culture. In Westeros, though, rape is something individuals do. It's widespread, sure, but it's men choosing to be that way because they can, not because they're raised in a society where raping women is what you do on a Saturday night after karaoke. And there are plenty of characters in Westeros who frown on rape without needing some foreigner to step in and tell them, "This is wrong."


Blair Beveridge | 8 comments It's funny, I am a big fan of this series, but for me I find GRRM just seems to latch onto a otherwise shocking word, and use it excessively over a short period of time for shock factor alone. Like the kid who learns a good swear outside of school, says it once in the school yard and impresses his classmates, and keeps on saying it in hopes that it still will.

To the title of the thread, dirty old man...naw I will let him pass on that one. But does he wish to invoke shock and perhaps discomfort in his readers from time to time, definitely.


message 48: by Klerosier (last edited Apr 26, 2013 06:15AM) (new)

Klerosier | 6 comments I admit I haven't read these books (and I won't). I'm six episodes into series but have discussed books with many.

I am a social worker. I counseled domestic abused women and victims of incest and rape for years.

Yes GRRM writes a gritty world where rape, incest, horrific violence fit in perfectly, a world where women (and children of both genders) are sexually abused and victimized.

Emphasis on he WRITES. HE chose to dwell, to zoom in HIS prose with excessive detail on tits and rough doggie style sex and such. HE creates demented women with ten years old boys nursing in court. HE chose to tell us about that in fine detail--hey can you bring the camera closer on that nipple please? He also chose describe all the gritty violent bloody gore in detail.

Writers can get the feel of a gritty world without this detail. They can give one or two graphic images and then the stage is set.

SO for what reason does GRRM gives all this gratuitous detail?

Edited:
My professional opinion in layman's terms--He is a dirty old man.


message 49: by Firstname (last edited Apr 25, 2013 11:43AM) (new)

Firstname Lastname | 487 comments Aloha wrote: "If you studied anthropology or history, there's a whole lot more violence, sex, and deviant behavior there. It's like people who protest the visuals of the killing of farm animals, while they go to the grocery store to buy their nicely packaged meat."

ZING!

Is GRRM a dirty old man?
Yes. Point being?

I remember being totally grossed out by my parents kissing. Much of the whinging over the sex bits in SOIAF sounds a lot like that. When you grow up, you realize people do have sex, it is a pretty large part of how our lives get structured. If you want to read stories without any sex in them, get thee to YA.

Darren wrote: "but I can't remember whether the other women were taken against their will or not."

(view spoiler) I'm sure there are more examples. Having read enough European history, none of this seems out of the realm in any way. Yeah, people are nasty and brutish. This is news?


Firstname Lastname | 487 comments Sean wrote: "well, except for Daenerys, but that's okay because she only does it to brown people, and a white person bringing the light of civilization to the backwards hordes of No-I-Swear-This-Really-Isn't-Asia-With-The-Serial-Numbers-Filed-Off"

I heart you.


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A Clash of Kings (other topics)
The Windup Girl (other topics)
The Warded Man (other topics)

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Philip Pullman (other topics)