Czhorat wrote:Has anyone seen the discussion on ASoIaF at TigerBeatdown?
http://tigerbeatdown.com/2011/08/26/ent ... -r-martin/
To summerize, the blogger found the books distasteful because if the prevalence or rape and threatened rape, that rape scenes are often eroticized, and that female characters display a lack of agency, especially sexually. Cersei does act with the same level of sexual freedom as many of the male characters and is, therefore, a villain. I think the blogger makes a good point about the level of brutality, especially sexual brutality, in these books. Reflecting on them, the level of sheer violence is the biggest thing separating this from any other endless fantasy doorstop. I'm adding them to Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant in the list of fantasy books with compelling plots that I'll not read (nor recommend to others) because of how they handle sexual violence against women.
Yeah, I've seen it.
I've also come to the conclusion that the author haven't read the books - but started on them, got uncomfortable with them, wanted to rant about them, and then thought "I'd look a bit silly for criticizing them based on only the first 70 pages, wiki summary to the rescue!". Because frankly, there are quite a few instances of her statements about the books being flat out wrong, and where she has gotten a entirely different message out of a situation than I can possible see.
Add in that then link is quite possible the single worst piece of writing I've ever had the misfortune of reading, and I just quietly put the author of it in the "disregard opinions due to being crazy as a vampire squirrel on lsd" column. In general, if people write paragraphs where there are more words italicized, bolded and underscored (and occasionally all three of them) I'll tend to remember the good old pratchett quote "Multiple exclamation marks, the sure sign of a diseased mind"
That's not to say that there isn't things to complain about in the books, because some of it is very, very nasty. But it should at least be approached honestly rather than what she does.
A few examples:
"The Night’s Watch, an honorable band of brothers devoted to defending the world against zombies, is largely comprised of convicted rapists." This is factually wrong - first of all the watch is portrayed as pretty damn nasty bunch of people, and them not being the honer able band of brothers that Snow imagines is a damn important plot point. Secondly, it's made pretty clear in the books that the watch consists of something like 1/4 that have become politically radioactive and needed to be gone, 1/4 that had the misfortune of being on the wrong side in a civil war, 1/4 that commited petty crimes - but in reality was guilty of little else than being poor*, and finally 1/4 guilty of major crimes like rape, murder and arson. Hardly "largely comprised of, I'd say.
"Sandor Clegane, who planned to rape Sansa, gets a late-stage character redemption." He does what now? In in his (supposedly) death he's shown as a utter bastard, completely unlike-able person and someone that doens't even deserve the mercy of a quick death. I really don't see the late stage character redemption**.
Cersei is not a villain because she has sex. The books really make that bloody clear. It's pretty clear that Cersei becomes who she is through ten years of a abusive relationship (the blame is pretty squarely laid at Roberts feet), and that she is obviously deranged. She's very obviously mentally unstable, unable to see faults in her horrible monster of a son, power hungry to the point where she will do *anything* for power and generally nasty. The books threat her sexual escapades as pretty incidental - yes, adultery is the charge that is finally laid on her, but only because a charge of "batshit crazy and trying her best to run the kingdom into the ground" isn't going to work, so they just pick whatever excuse for a charge they can.
*Yes, the justice system is rather draconian.
** It is hinted a bit that he might actually have survived and is tryign to start over his life - which might be prudent if everyone in the world wants you dead. But that's hardly redemption.