Comments on: Yet More Game of Thrones Talk /2011/07/20/yet-more-game-of-thrones-talk/ A feminist pop culture adventure Fri, 22 Jul 2011 14:56:34 +0000 hourly 1 By: Joff /2011/07/20/yet-more-game-of-thrones-talk/#comment-1542 Fri, 22 Jul 2011 14:56:34 +0000 Actually, one worrying racial thing in the show which just occurred to me, Xho hasn’t even been glimpsed in the background of the court, not that he does much in the books except show that there are non-white races that associate with the Westrons, but still…

By: Russell /2011/07/20/yet-more-game-of-thrones-talk/#comment-1541 Wed, 20 Jul 2011 15:53:44 +0000 In reply to Russell.

I think maybe intentionally selective in the first line was more incendiary than I really ought to have been, sorry. I was trying to get across that I think you are missing the point.

By: Joff /2011/07/20/yet-more-game-of-thrones-talk/#comment-1540 Wed, 20 Jul 2011 13:02:05 +0000 I’ve been thinking about the race thing with the Dothraki as well, and I’ve come to the conclusion that both GRRM and HBO spent enough time establishing that most of Westros is fucking awful that the Dothraki are depicted as no better or worse, just different.

Nobody in the Khalassar gets as much casual pleasure from killing as Joffrey (And what? I finally get a character with the same abbreviated name as me in something and he’s a sociopathic little shit with no redeeming human features? Pout) or the Claganes. But the Dothraki are less recognisably ‘formal’ about it.

Nothing the Khalassar does on its rounds is any more savage than what Tywin Lannister orders done repeatedly to various parts of Westros. But the Dothraki are less recognisably ‘formal’ about it.

Both societies settle issues in single combat as a matter of course, but the Dothraki are less recognisably ‘formal’ about it.

I think it actually asks you to examine how you percieve the same acts when wrapped up in a veneer of ‘western civilisation’ and when not. And Viserys is very much an indicator of the lens you’re likely to be using.

By: Russell /2011/07/20/yet-more-game-of-thrones-talk/#comment-1539 Wed, 20 Jul 2011 12:48:21 +0000 I really feel like going into race in this show again is going over ground which has not only been covered but purged with fire and salt, but I do feel the need to comment, as once again your analysis seems intentionally selective. Once again, when one actually looks at the broader presentation of the group that is supposedly more civilised, as compared to the general actions of the supposed savages, we can see that the behaviour of the “civilised” Lannisters – pushing children out of windows, having incestuous relationships and children, betraying and backstabbing at every turn – is far more brutal and savage than anything the Dothraki can come up with, even in their disturbing version of crime and punishment (I’m referring to being tied nude to a horse and made to run behind it). In a sense, the Dothraki are there to provide an intentional contrast; at the very least they show us that our “civilised” Westerners are every bit as brutal and savage as the “savage” Dothraki. Obviously I refer to the Lannisters rather than the Starks, but ultimately the two families though different in sub-culture are products of the same culture. Also, the Starks are very much The Good Guys in this show/series of books; of course any killing they’re going to do will be very much presented as good and honourable. The actions of groups who are out and out villainous (at this stage) such as the Lannisters, or somewhat more ambiguous, such as the Dothraki, will obviously be portrayed with a deal more ambiguity.

I broadly agree with your observations about sexuality, but I do think that rather than looking at as a numbers game of amount of straight sex versus gay sex or “weird” sex (by this I mean the heterosexual situations you mentioned) versus “normal” sex, we need to ask why we’re being shown more of one than the other. In this case, I think the sex reinforces the point that women have a deeply restrictive role in this society, and goes some way to highlighting that when they escape from this mother/wife/whore role they are very capable individuals – though it could be argued that Catelyn’s naivete indirectly causes her husband’s death, discuss, among other examples.

Lastly, I’ll comment again on how frustrating, as a reader of the books, I find the fact that so much discussion focuses purely on the series, and is critical of the series purely on the basis of what is shown so far in this first series, when we not only actually KNOW that Arya does kick quite a lot of ass later on and that Daenerys is a lot more, and scarier, than just a child bride but also KNOW that we are going to see that in the second series. To me it feels like discussing the first chapter of a novel outside the context of the rest of the novel; bizarre, weird, and an odd thing to criticise someone for – like saying a magic trick is rubbish before getting to the prestige.