Abigail

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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Feminism in Game of Thrones

See how the typical depiction of women in fantasy novels is different from G.R.R Martin’s perspective. Is his inclusion of rape and violence a necessary evil or is it something excessive meant to be demeaning?

  • I've seen this topic discussed in a number of places. I think the question needs to be made more specific. Beyond just general rape and violence, which aspects of the series and its characterization are you considering talking about?I'd also note that while Martin's work is often said to be "realistic" it really isn't. Speaking as a guy currently teaching part of a medieval/early modern history course, the world Martin creates is in many regards more misogynistic than the actual Middle Ages. That doesn't invalidate it as a work, keep in mind, or mean that he isn't using it to say something useful, just that the usual defence of "its realistic" doesn't really fly. – Winter 5 years ago
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  • Though I am not familiar with the whole genre of fantasy novels--just a few of the more mainstream titles--I am quite familiar with G.R.R. Martin's series. The violence is not just against women, it is against men as well. So to say he's glorifying violence against women would be difficult to support because there are numerous instances of males being subjected to horrific means of torture. As for rape, it is a delicate subject, but in being true to the subjugation of women during the time period--though fictionalized-- actions such as these against women were unfortunately common. I would not view him as insensitive to rape, and attempting to demean women, but as an author exploring the vicious side of human nature in situations that include the succession of power and a battle for survival. The world in which these characters exist call for a battle of will, not kindness. – danielle577 5 years ago
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  • I think he's trying to get at a 'realistic' 'gritty' tone for a more Medieval Ages fantasy world - and there would have been that going on (and it's not misogyny from the writer himself, I think), but the excess of it is (especially in the TV series) starting to come off to me as gratuitous and unoriginal - unoriginal from a writing perspective. Can you think of any other way to make more villains 'evil' or make the world 'gritty' without bringing sexual violence into it? (I'm looking at other works, both past and future, too) – GraceD 5 years ago
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Latest Comments

I will forever love these books and they will never not be relevant.

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