eyeheartsansa, on 07 May 2012 - 08:05 AM, said:
I don't like calling it rape, because it puts Drogo in the same category as the Gregors and Lorches in the world when he is clearly not - at least not to Dany.
You know, I’ve heard this stated on these boards before (that one cannot call “character X” a rapist, because to do so “would be to group him along with Gregor Clegane”), however, I disagree with it. There is a basic flaw in the reasoning behind such thinking. To commit a criminal act, one does not automatically become the moral equivalent of all those who have committed that same act. Not all rapists are stereotypical villains, laughing wickedly as they twirl their mustachios. Not all rapists are Gregor Clegane.
If a person with many good qualities commits a murder, they are still a murderer. It does not mean they are automatically the equivalent of Geoffrey Dahmer, but it does not mean they should be categorized as “something other than a murderer” because they are “better” then men like Jeffrey Dahmer. Similarly, no matter how many good qualities a man may have, if he rapes or abuses a woman at any point, he can be defined as a rapist or abuser of women. And if a man violates a woman, it is not slander to say he has violated a woman.
The idea that all rapists are vicious, purely sadistic, scary sociopaths without a single redeeming is a widely held societal myth that many of us, IMO, hold onto for the sake of comfort. It allows us to feel safe and simultaneously hang onto our common assurances and preconceptions. But the fact is that pure, vicious psychopaths along the lines of Ramsay and Gregor are incredibly rare. Far more common is the “smaller” (and far more common) crimes of date, acquaintance, or marital rape, in which someone is violated by one they know, trust, even love. I don’t find it at all hard to believe that many of people who rape their wives, female acquaintances, or girlfriends have many good qualities, and are seen by many who know them as “nice guys.” But for whatever reason—either because of anger, the desire for dominance, or, disturbingly most common of all, because they simply want to satisfy their own sexual needs at the expense of another person who is unwilling, these individuals violate another human being.
Of course, the vast majority of men are not rapists and would never do this. (And I have male friends who have fallen victim to female sexual predators in various ways, so it is by no means a gendered issue.) However, the point is that not all rapists are card-carrying sociopaths a la Gregor Clegane, whatever we’d like to believe to comfort ourselves. Drogo used and violated Dany because, it seems, his pleasure and release was more important than her pain and discomfort. Something very common, and that continues to happen in marriages to this day. Robert Baratheon did the same thing to Cersei.
As it happens, Danerys never blames Drogo for treating her this way, adores him, and learns to love the sex. Both her love for her husband and the sex they have is pure, total, and without a shade of ambiguity and resentment present. Personally, I find this unbelievable, in both the unconflicted nature of Danerys reaction and GRRM’s presenting this attitude as unambiguously morally right on Danerys part. (He parallels Danerys “good” reaction to her husband using her body with Cersei’s “evil, unnatural” one. But that’s another topic for another day.)
GRRM’s attitude seems to be (judging from the way the scenario is presented by the text itself) similar to that of several posters here. That it was not really rape because that is what Drogo should expect of his wife, that is how society works. In bending over and learning to love the sex, Danerys showed strength and was “natural” and did the best thing she could to thrive in her environment. Personally, I agree about Danerys strength of character, but I find the idea that Drogo, regardless of societal norms, did not violate, use, or mistreat Danerys in any way to be rather ridiculous. Danerys may never resent the following treatment:
"Yet every night, some time before the dawn, Drogo would come to her tent and wake her in the dark, to ride her as relentlessly as he rode his stallion. He always took her from begind, Dothraki fashion, for which Dany was grateful; that way her lord husband could not see the tears that wet her face
, and she could use her pillow to muffle her cries of pain
. When he was done, he would close his eyes and begin to snore softly and Dany would lie beside him, her body bruised and sore, hurting too much for sleep.
Day followed day, and night followed night, until Dany knew she could not endure a moment longer. She would kill herself rather than go on, she decided one night."
..and if she still cried out when Drogo took her, it was not always in pain."
But in the end, Danerys reaction is dictated by the message GRRM wants to send. He determines Danerys reaction, and in this case, I find it utterly unrealistic, more colored by personal ideology and wishful thinking than human reality.
People have said that to say that Drogo roughly treated and used and violated Dany entails creating facts and breaking with the truth. But honestly, it’s all right there on the page. Drogo makes Danerys cry, he uses her, she screams out in pain. Even later, in passages that people have characterized as “triumphant” and “awesome,” Danerys continues to occasionally cry out in pain. To quote: “and if she still cried out when Drogo took her, it was not always in pain."
And she’s in love with him, adores this sex, and feels no conflicts or resentment either against him or her situation? Okay then.
Honestly, here’s how it went down:
Danerys is sold to Drogo
He plays with her tits once, and treats her with consideration on their wedding night.
He does the following to her each and every proceeding night:
Taking her roughly without foreplay and causing her intense pain and psychological trauma.
She feels no resentment towards him whatsoever, and feels guilty about her own tears and screams of pain.
She starts to enjoy the once excruciatingly painful sex, at the age of 13 with a grown ass man.
She becomes a randy sex kitten, learning tons of sexual tricks to “empower” herself, and starts adoring every last second of banging Drogo
She falls deeply and unambiguously in love with Drogo, no resentments, internal conflicts, or issues involved. She submits to him utterly in all things.
This is called “romantic” by the author.
Honestly, hard as the series was to watch, I actually find it more honest than what was shown here. Both cases are basically the tale of a girl falling in love with her rapist.