Certainly it is. But we do not even know if Jon will have been dead as in really dead, dead like Beric or Cat were before they got resurrected. It is more that I hope Martin won't ignore the enormity of death. Apart from that, if he does - then why kill Jon at all? For cliffhanger purposes? There must be more, having been dead must have huge consequences for characterization.
I even dislike the idea that Jon might simply get up and go on with his businees of being the nice chap who is on the road to save the world. Martin is too much aware of philosophical and religious questions about death. Death as threshold where you can never return from or death as promise. But in no cultural context the dead simply returning has ever been a straightforward thing, death as minor inconvenience: shake, hiccup and go on with your life. Death has an impact and there will be a price to pay: in all mythologies the un-dead are not physically human anymore, they may look like us, not every revenant in mythology or pop culture is a zomble, and yet they are monsters, not subject to the same rules of ageing, eating and procreating. Or the revenant gets a mythological role as savior of the world, literally or spiritually, uplifting the simple act of dying, a body transforming into a different arrangement of molecules, into some kind of spiritual payment. We had the burning of Shireen as an attempt to buy a better world by killing an innocent. Would Martin give Jon the Jesus treatment as well? No, I think Martin has too much respect for the real severity and of death as philosophical concept to make it something you can easily deal with in literature. Been dead? Get a grip and take a shower! No, that's not Martin. If Jon was really dead - and not only seriously wounded, his body preserved in a coma, his soul in Ghost - then he will for sure not just go on being the nice guy Jon. Then he will be changed and indeed get much darker. A challenge for the actor btw. We may believe that Jon is the one to do the ultimate sacrifice, Azor Ahai, stabbing maybe Dany or Sansa, and then fight the ultimate fight, not the shiny but the dark, complex and ultimately doomed hero. Only I hope very much the story will not be as straightforward as that and everything might be quite unexpected.
Of course there are adults who desire children or very young teens, that is not unrealistic at all. And before we shame people who have those desires many of us do not understand and agree with we should be aware that it counts what people do with their desire..If people never touch a child, never get offensive verbally and never influence a child to do things a child is too young for - then I have no right to condemn this person for his or her private fantasies, they simply are not my business( (this does not include child porn since you need a child to produce child porn). Pedosexuals only are condemnable if they get active. If they never harm any child they are people who deserve help and and pity for their difficult situation instead of condemning them. Tyrion and Sandor refrained at the last moment from raping Sansa, seeing how much in the wrong they were. And Martin gave us two beautifully written chapters about those two complex characters, even if they themselves formally are not the POV's. While Drogo did the deed and sorry to say, this part of the books is less well written. Not because sexual abuse has been described but because it has been romanticized.
yes, you are right and thank you for your thorough post. But maybe some girls from nobility, though maybe not Dany, were well nourished and had their menarche earlier. This maybe means that basically Martin could have picked any age between 12 and fifteen and Sansa's onset of menses would still have been believable. p.s., I am a tiny woman like Dany and I had my menarche at 11, meaning quite early. The idea to start having sex with an adult guy at that age or at twelve would have been simply cruel. Not romantic.
this yes, we all have our fantasies. But some should not be sold as positive if coming true. They should stay private, where you can fantasize yourself into leaving out the real pain, the terrible fear, the humiliation and the dirt of getting forced. If sold as a good way for young women to enter sexual relationships those same personal private fantasies become rape ideology.
The whole concept tells that, even concerning their own body, women don't know what they really want. Someone else knows better. That it takes an older and more experienced man to teach them what to desire, if violence is needed it's only fot their best. Like fixating a small child on a dentist's chair, for his or her own sake. Young girls deciding to accept themselves as sexual beings because they are left no choice to decide against it is no sexual freedom. Like coming to terms with vegetables being not so bad - they are wonderful actually - because your parents refuse to feed you meat, as opposed to finding out on your own hat veggies are a great culinary experience. Sorry, but the whole initiation by force through some guy who knows better topic is not one of empowering. It can indeed easily play into rape culture. As I wrote above, I am certainly not against drastic depictions of rape, child abuse or torture in literature or movies , and certainly not in a fictional setting where these horrors so much determine the plot. But I dislike the sugarcoating of violence by romanticising the feelings of the victim. The victim, yes. There may be a dichtonomy between the attacker's emotions and the victim's. Martin wonderfully managed to describe this in the Sandor's knife at Sansa's throat scene after Blackwater. All that has a totally different emotional meaning within Sandor's story than it has within Sansa's, highly believable and greatly written, basically two opposed POV's in one. And, just as good, Dany's active way of coming to terms with her fate is absolutely in character. But, sorry, Dany desiring Drogo in the first night does not convince me as literature.
I hope this is a joke. You mean, people who are sensitive should never write erotica? Or people who are sensitive should never read erotica? Now I know why most porn is so dumb! It tried to be art! Delegating art to the insensitive of this world might be the direct path to fifty shades of desastrous art. And who if not the sensitive should value good art??? I do not think that Martin would agree here. Actually writing about erotic situations or sexual abuse and violence between people needs the same artistic sensitivity like writing about any human interaction. Nothing makes good writing about sex or about rape or about torture anyhow special from good writing in general. And Martin is good, his books are about human relationships, they are not reduced to being "erotica", they are, well, about human interactions, including sexuality and sexual abuse. Only the Dany wedding night is maybe not the strongest part, at least in my eyes. While he made amply up for it with that brilliant Tyrion/Sansa wedding night chapter. And sometimes a knife at a throat is just a knife especially if you are the one with the knife at your throat
I as well was quite disturbed by the way Martin described the wedding night of Dany and Drogo. Not because he described the sexual abuse of a child, this is sad reality in our world too. But because he sugarcoated the child rape by being consensual. The frightened thirteen year old girl suddenly open for erotic experimentation? Wishful thinking in my eyes. The show made pure and simple rape out of it which is in my eyes far more realistic. While I have less problems with the idea that Dany later takes the erotic initiative. Throughout the story she has been described as independent thinker who, once woken up, does not wait any longer for others to decide about her. So this fits with her personality. But the wedding night as consensual? Highly unbelievable. Yes, I think all child characters should have been older, it would add credibility to the story without taking anything away. Robert's rebellion would have happened maybe eighteen years ago, so what? Cat, Cersei and Jaime would indeed be forty, Robert and Ned be a little older. The boys would be believably competent or seriously evil, Arya still a child, only Sansa's "flowering" would have to be postponed, everything else in her character could have stayed the same. And yes, a sixteen year old ruling Dany would be quite ok, still room for impulsiveness.
US approach to the human body will forever stay a well of mysteries to me. Carrie Mathison in Homeland has sex with her bra on. Is she hiding a pair of socks in it or what? It can get seriously ridiculous if showmakers try to avoid "nudity"
We can believe this, along with Sansa, until she has met him , facilitates thinking
There are arguments in favor of not applying our morality on the world of Westeros, of measuring torture of prisoners, executions and slavery only after their values, for the sake of story logic maybe? Death penalty would be ok then, slave prostitutes would be fair game in Essos, damage remunerated to their owner, exploiting slaves would be ok there while not in Westeros, burning infidels would be justified, just like pillaging the enemy's villages in wartime. And a king's or even a lord's command can get killed everyone without trial. But these books are not written for Westerosi or medieval readers, they are for us. And we modern readers know that abusing children - even if a child for whatever reason agrees to his or her own abuse - is wrong. That it is a crime to force those Syrian and Afghan girls into marriages, that it is even wrong to marry off twelve year old children if they agree, given the choice between a guy they don't want and a guy they don't know. We know all this. Shall we now proceed and apply Westerosi morals or our own when judging book characters? Shouldn't we realize that this is the dilemma Martin wants us to perceive?
Sansa has never met Willas!!! He might be just as ugly in her eyes as Tyrion or far more disgusting to her nose. He might never wash, have pimples or an ugly way of laughing. He might be someone who hits his servants or he might eat garlic with smelly cheese all day long. Whatever. Sansa has not met him and we have no idea if he looks like Loras and is as polite as Garlan. That is Sansa's construction to get herself adapted to the idea of Willas. The puppies and the garden help. Sansa cannot want real Willas, she has never met real Willas, she tries to come to terms with marriage using her fantasy about him. Which of course does not mean that Willas might not be perfecly nice. And yet nothing can invaliditate the argument that Sansa would still be twelve and Willas is a grown man.
I do not see why we as readers have to choose here at all. And I absolutely cannot follow you in the bolded part. if an adult man has sex with a twelve year old it is always rape or abuse or statuory rape (English is not my native tongue). It does not matter if the child believes she (or he) has to open her (or his) legs for the abuser, believes so for whatever reason. The adult is in the wrong after our morality. It does not matter if the child believes marriage makes the guy entitled or if the guy makes use of the child seeing herself as being in love. it is , after our morality, totally wrong to have sex with a child, (free pass if both are only children happily experimenting) it is, after Westerosi morality, not immoral, maybe tasteles or a little inconsiderate, to force an unwilling bride. And that has nothing to do with age, Sansa was, in this world old enough for sex and if Willas had "consummated he would have been in the right here in Westerosi eyes. Just like Tyrion would have been. Sansa in both cases would have "done her duty", meaning she would have allowed the abusers to go through with it because she thinks this is what a lady does. A bit less disgusted maybe in Willas' case though we don't know, he might be some kind of Ramsay. Or he might be as considerate as Tyrion and leave Sansa alone until she is older, hoping she wants him not out of duty but out of desire. But I see no reason to evaluate Tyrion's behavior differently from Willas, if he had done or precisely not done the same thing. Even an eight year old can be bribed into looking forward to a wedding ceremony with promises of puppies, castles and a garden. Does that mean the child agrees to sex, pain and dangerous early pregnancies? Tyrion recognized that it was wrong to force the child, that Sansa was not yet old enough despite Westerosi norms declaring her beddable, that it was wrong to make use of her conviction that consummation was her duty. It would have been wrong to force even a twenty year old but neither Tyrion nor Willas were in the situation to test if older Sansa would have wanted them. There was no older Sansa at this point of the story. So how can you say that doing the bad deed would be ok for Willas while it was not ok for Tyrion? Because Sansa might have brought herself to keep her eyes open while Willas fucks her? For us both would have been child abuse, in Westeros it was the way marriages often start, too bad.
in the whole story of Tyrion's and Sansa's wedding Martin applies a very traditionally Christian concept of good and bad: you have to be aware of the negative, to feel desire to do the bad thing in order to be able to consciously decide for the right thing to do, you have to overcome temptation. If you have not been tempted before doing the right thing later does not really count. Throughout the books Tyrion is presented as someone highly aware of both options, be it with the famous Tommen for Alayaya debate, be it with the use of wildfire, Tyrion is, together with Dany and even more than Jon, the character whose inner thoughts about moral options are most open to us. So we hear clearly that he is indeed tempted of the illusion to be someone, a lord in the North. That he is tempted by the abstract idea of having a charming wife he is convinced could never hope to find. And he is tempted by the real girl Sansa and her beauty. Temptation, lots of temptation, and Tyrion gives in by not putting up all resistance against the marriage he could have mastered. And, we see again the incompetent coward Tyrion, when it comes to human communication. Not talking to Sansa in advance, like he did in the series, is schoolboy cowardice. Then, when he offers to step back for Lancel it is too late. Even before, if it had not been him Tywin would for sure have found any Lannister to wed and to bed, i.e. rape, Sansa. Tyrion may want to alleviate the moment but there would have been no way to spare Sansa in the end. Someone would have raped the child in a woman's body. (Apart from that - would Willas not have consummated? Butthis is not a moral consideration Tyrion had any right to make at this moment) So it is true: Tyrion's redemption form being accomplice to Tywin's plan only starts after the wedding rites have been performed. Only then he shows courage: by refusing Sansa's abuse during a bedding ceremony, risking serious punishment for offending Joffrey. And of course the not-bedding itself. People who write that Tyrion "deserves no cookies for not raping" have misunderstood the whole complicated and so very elegant mechanics of this chapter. The wedding night chapter is one of the best written parts of Martin's books. The author manages brilliantly to give us the utter misery of both protagonists, their different way of helplessness and their very personal fears. Obviously the chapter would be much less meaningful without the Tysha tragedy or without knowledge about Sansa's shattered little girl dreams. And now we are back to the very Christian motive of redemption through resisting temptation. there is Tyrion's misery, his longing for love and acceptance from Sansa's side: He realizes there is no way to find it. And yet we are pushed by Martin to see his physical desire, the danger of once again to the horrible because he can, because he has been disappointed. There are two reasons why the author has to undress both Sansa and Tyrion: first their nakedness is a symbol of baring their souls, both presenting themselves with all their vulnerability. The second reason is to add temptation to Tyrion's conflict: he had to physically desire the child-woman (i mean, half the court was by then salivating after Sansa), we have to see his erection to make it abundantly clear that Tyrion steps back despite desiring Sansa, this time not repeating the Tysha situation, defying his father. So Martin had to find a way to undress Sansa, and the Sansa character offered herself the best motivation: this child so caught up in norms and values of her world tried, once being married, to do her duty, tried to emulate the dutiful wife, offered herself to do what she believed she had to: get naked and prepared for her own abuse, brainwashed. And so Tyrion realized the emormity of the bad deed he was expected to commit, a deed tha would have haunted him for the rest of his life just as much as the Tysha tragedy did. This chapter is so wonderfully chiselled by the author, every little wheel fitting into the next, a masterpiece of storytelling and characterization