Posts tagged asoiaf
Posts tagged asoiaf
so i just wanted to say this because sometimes i think people are misunderstanding some of the discussions about sansa & arya that have come up. a male audience hating a girl for a “passive,” internal, and “feminine” storyline (including romance, domestic scenes, and little to no physical action) and loving a girl for hewing more closely in her storyline to traditionally “masculine” (action-oriented) storylines, that doesn’t mean that “pretty girls” have it harder than “masculine (gender non-conforming) girls” especially as they reach adolescence and are expected to be sexually/romantically available, and, like, basically, butch privilege is not a thing that actually exists
just because fandom at large hates sansa and loves arya doesn’t mean that feminine girls/women are more discriminated against or that masculine/butch/gender non-conforming girls somehow have it easier
the thing about misogyny is that it shits on girls in dresses and girls with swords and basically girls
(both fictional and real)
and maybe the shit is a little different but it’s still misogyny at its core
and also , if arya wasn’t the product of a male writer in a male-dominated genre, if she were a real living girl, who didn’t have any interest in dating boys (especially the men, her fans, who want her to grow up to be their cool badass but still pretty girlfriend), or any interest in ever conforming to gender expectations, i strongly doubt she would be so very beloved
#i love love love arya and sansa so much #and i too am sick of arya being used as a tool to insult sansa #but i think some people think that girls and women like arya and brienne have rl privilege over sansa #’masculine’ endeavors are frequently praised (esp in fictional characters) #that’s true #but in reality the women who get praised for being successful surgeons or businesswomen #are not unfeminine in appearance #they aren’t single #they definitely aren’t lesbians #they are pretty and feminine and hopefully married and ideally mothers #and also successful in a male-dominated field #so like #let’s pay attention to what men will allow from fictional women #and not assume it equals what they allow from real women #that’s all
“I can’t free you. You have to free yourselves.”
Cut for length, and warning for extreme incoherency and rambliness.
A nice sentiment, no doubt. And at the same time, an entirely too modern one, and completely incongruous with Dany’s character.
For all of her virtues - of which she has many, upon which I could enumerate at greater length but won’t because they’re just not as interesting - Daenerys is still deeply flawed, both in character and in her approach to queenship.
Let’s take a step back for a moment and examine this girl.
Between the tv series and the content of Dany’s own chapters, it’s very easy to forget that Dany is only fifteen years old when she begins her campaign against the Ghiscari cities of Slaver’s Bay. (Fifteen, I might remind you, is the same age when a certain other boy was crowned king, and a great deal of meta can be found on the subject of Robb and how his youth functions as part of his kingship. In fact, one of the greatest authors of that meta is Catelyn Stark herself.)
At fifteen Dany is not only queen, but also: orphan, widow; grieving mother, wife, and sister; the last of a dynasty, lost, abandoned, isolated, and near friendless and resourceless in the bargain. That’s a whole lot of turmoil for anyone to bear, much less a small girl of fifteen with a heart perhaps too big for her own good. The hatching of the dragons was a miracle, yes, but one born of desperation; it was only being pushed to her very brink that drove Dany to give in to what the conventional would call madness and find purpose in the rebirth she knew it would be.
Dany manages to cope, largely by throwing herself into the arms of her new role as queen in her own right. She stymies her own grief through what bonds left to her. Yet it all cycles back around to her family, and being a Targaryen, and precisely what that means. For Dany, raised in a severely patriarchal environment, her role as a Targaryen was first procreation. Her drive to reclaim the Iron Throne is initially motivated by her pregnancy, and the prospect of being mother to the next male Targaryen heir. It’s only upon losing her child and hatching dragons that Dany beings to consider herself a Targaryen heir presumptive in her own right.
And as for those anchorless maternal feelings, Dany transfers them to her dragons and her people. For what brief time she had him, Rhaego was Dany’s world. She envisions for herself a great future as the mother to a king rather than a regnant and powerful queen.
So she sets about trying to be a mother to millions when she never even had the opportunity to be mother to one. And this is where Dany’s youth comes rearing its head. She lacks the requisite experience to form wisdom. In many ways she is still an innocent, if you define innocent as “lacking knowledge of all the world’s many evils.” Some she knows, yes. But all? Hardly.
At all of fifteen, and despite all the hardship she’s suffered in her youth, the world still seems simple to Dany. So the concept of helping people should be equally simple. If you help a person, they are grateful. If you care for someone, they care for you back. Cruelty is met with justice, tenderness with love. Dany’s worldview has no room for the Mirri Maz Duurs, because in a good world, good people appreciate good deeds. And some deeds are absolutely good - such as marching on foreign cities to liberate slaves and bring them with you on a march for which you have no means of support.
But the course of action seems obvious to Dany, because motherhood provides her with a basic sense of power and a role to fill. She sets about attempting to do good from a mix of selfishness and selflessness (and really, isn’t everyone like that?) without stopping to properly get to know the people she calls her children. As a queen, she can’t afford to be the person-mother; she has to be the figure-mother, the goddess-mother, the motherhood symbol rather than the mother in fact.
Yes, motherhood is a role of power. Parents have power over their children, as Dany has power over her people. Doing for them what she thinks is right feeds into her sense of agency. It’s the equivalent of a little girl climbing to the top of a jungle gym and declaring herself queen of the playground. But the playground isn’t hers to be queen of. Neither is Ghis, and neither are the people.
In trying to be the mother, Dany is only playing at motherhood. And this is the point Benioff and Weiss so failed to grasp. By having Dany recognize that her “children” are in fact grown men and women, human beings with their own agency and that you cannot simply give people freedom, they’re whitewashing a central part of her character.
And more frustrating, they’re immediately contradicting it by having Dany the chain-breaking white queen float on a sea of unshackled brown hands. She’s still playing at being the mother - only for a split second she seems to acknowledge the hollowness of her actions before she embraces them.
Like I said, incongruous. And upsettingly shallow writing of one of my favorite characters.
Having taken a moment to compose myself, I can better articulate that KNOCKING UP TALISA JUST TO STAB HER IN THE UTERUS IS NOT FUCKING COOL.
I know this show is graphically violent; I know a lot of violence is canon in the novels. BUT THIS IS NOT CANON VIOLENCE. Robb’s wife wasn’t even supposed to BE at the Red Wedding, and including her just to stab her unborn child to death seems flagrantly unnecessary.
Of course, this isn’t the first time the show has created opportunities to kill characters who otherwise survive in the novels/ do not exist in the novels. HBO killed off all Daenerys’ handmaidens and her horse. They killed Walder Frey’s wife instead of one of his sons. They created and violently killed Ros.
I will happily tell people that I don’t think A Song of Ice and Fire is misogynistic, because while the world it takes place in is absolutely misogynistic, it’s clear that the gendered violence against women is frowned upon by the storytelling. The violence exists, but it isn’t glamorized by the text.
But I’m starting to think I can’t make the same argument about the show. There’s been kind of a lot of unnecessary lady killing, in unnecessarily gendered ways.
- Doreah was killed via entombment with her power-hungry sugar-daddy because she was being a gold-digger .
- Ros the prostitute was sold to Joffrey for target practice, during which she was shot, among other places, in the groin and breast.
- Talisa was stabbed in her womb.
Until men start dying from arrows to the dick, or by testicular torsion, or whatever, do not tell me men get the same treatment. They don’t.
Men have some pretty graphic canon deaths: Viserys and Drogo both readily come to mind. Eddard and Robb Stark. King Robert. But their deaths aren’t sexualized or gendered. Catelyn’s death wasn’t, either. They were just deaths.
These aren’t the deaths I’m complaining about.
I’m complaining about deaths created for the TV show that go out of their way to target or exploit female characters.
I understand the decision to use Frey’s wife rather than a son; she was a character who already existed. It was convenient.
But the Talisa thing, on top of Dany’s handmaidens and Ros, really rubs me the wrong way.
….i read one too many of those ‘sansa should be grateful to marry Tyrion!’ posts and i was feeling a little sarcastic.
The actual lines from A Storm if Swords. I don’t know how D&D read this and got “let’s change this to ‘you sound like a bloody woman.’”
-M (still not over it forever)
I often suggest to people that they watch Game of Thrones instead of reading the books, because when you see Cersei in the show it’s just like, “God what a bitch,” but when you read her chapters in the books it’s all, “This is the Antichrist [FUMING VIOLENT HATRED]”. Lena Headey is an awesome actress, and she pulls the character off beautifully, but there’s just some shit in the books — when you’re inside Cersei’s head — that’s just AUUUAFUAUGUUGUAUGAUGUGGGHHHHH.
So I love when people watch the show, and hate her but kinda sympathize, AND THEN THEY GO AND READ THE BOOKS AND THEIR ENTIRE UNDERSTANDING OF REALITY CRUMBLES AROUND THEM, AS THEY ARE BROUGHT TO NEW HEIGHTS OF VEHEMENT HATRED.
the inside of cersei’s head is beautiful (◕‿◕✿)
I think they just got confused and meant Tyrion’s chapters.
I saw this today on Fandom!Secrets
and I feel it’s finally laying out something that’s been bothering me about the treatment of women in ASOIAF, and I can finally put my finger on why: because rape is used as a gendered assault. Quite apart from the myriad problems it has with regards to female rape, its also ignores the reality of male rape. It’s really just sexism’ing it all up in here.
The OP is making a really good point here about men, the military and prison.
Mirri Maz Duur, hero of her people.
“Innocent? He would have been the stallion who mounts the world. Now he will burn no cities. Now his Khalasar will trample no nations into dust.”
“Only death can pay for life.”
- EW article on GoT season 3 sneak peak — on a list of things that is NOT FUCKING OK
The warrior queen who conquered Dorne.
…with rape jokes.
“If the city falls, these women will be in for a bit of a rape,”
“If anyone dies with a clean sword, I’ll rape his fucking corpse!”
What is wrong with me?!
Angry girls on the internet are coming
Pffft, they came and went. Maybe someday, us feminists will learn that attacking other people’s brand of feminism isn’t getting us anywhere.
“Other people’s brand of feminism”
On what planet, in what universe, is it feminist to laugh at harmful rape jokes…or laugh at the threat of rape when it’s obviously not a joke. How is “if the city falls, these women will be raped” funny to you? Rape as a war tactic is something that actually happened in wartime and something that still happens. It’s severely traumatic for survivors of war.
You’re joking and laughing at an epidemic, something that affects 1 in 5 women. You’re joking about violent crimes that are difficult to prosecute because of rape culture, under which these so-called “jokes” are classified. You’re expecting people to laugh along with you, because you find someone else’s degradation, humiliation and trauma funny.
How fucking dare you sit there and behave as though people replying to you—calmly explaining why this shit isn’t funny—are attacking your brand of special snowflake feminism where you get to laugh about something that degrades and traumatises people? How dare you behave like you’re so enlightened because you can laugh about rape and those who can’t are obviously the ones doing something wrong.
You act as if I volunteered to go.