Quellon

Why are some of the coolest and most macho characters gay?

90 posts in this topic

16 minutes ago, Makk said:

While I hesitate using the word "badass" in a serious discussion, I think the way he convinced and led the golden company to attack Westeros is a suitable demonstration of it. Also not telling anyone about the greyscale, refusing to cut of his hand despite knowing he will die in excruciating pain, just so he can put Aegon on the throne is pretty staunch as well.

I like Connington as a character. There is a lot of depth to him and he really feels alive as a character. Fishing Tyrion out of the river was also astonishingly brave, although personally I found that a bit too stupid and out of character.

If he can defeat a sizable army then I would agree but he hasn't yet. I guess we will have to wait and see. The greyscale thing cuts both ways he could just as easily spread the disease to Aegon before putting him on the Throne. It could also be seen as more honorable to tell his King about it his greyscale and depart after he has more support. Wanting to see Aegon on the Throne despite putting him and his armies in danger because he failed his "father" could be seen as selfish. 

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5 hours ago, Quellon said:

It is true. And I wonder why. Is Martin himself gay or is he pro-gay rights? I mean...Oberyn Martell-bisexual. Jon Connington-gay. Lyn Corbray-gay. Daeron Targaryen (Aegon V's son)-presumably gay. All those four are kickass characters, in one way or another or several ways. Renly is also a charming and dashing character that many people like and he's also gay. But I wouldn't call him cool or macho.

Are you asking why gay men show any trait other than flamboyant? Or why they can do something other than have gay sex? I don't exactly know what you're asking here. I don't want to presume, but I get the feeling you don't really have any knowledge or exposure to gay people outside of stereotypes you've seen on movies or tv. 

If you live in a medieval, tough world, you're going to be a medieval tough person. This, much like in real life, has very little to do with sexuality. If you study history like GRRM has, you'll know there were plenty of gay or bisexual "badass" men in it; you don't have to be "pro-gay rights" to notice and acknowledge this. It's simply just there. Some are brave and skilled, like Loras Tyrell, some are scheming cowards, like Hother Umber, and most are just kind of there.. trying to stay alive, like Satin. Almost like the normal people or something.

I will admit though, GRRM does tend to have a "gay guy" trope that you seem to have picked up on. And I think that's what you're getting at here. Whenever you read about some guy being "charming and clean-shaven", they're almost always a confirmed gay, like Renly, Leanor Valeryion, Daemon II, etc. I think JonCon and Hother are probably the only two that we know of that have some facial hair. 
But anyway, TL;DR: the mark of a good writer (and a good person) is defining characters by their motives and ambitions instead of sexuality. 

PS: Renly is cool wtf!
PPS: yeah GRRM is super gay. He dated Elton John in the mid 90's. He ghostwrote Brokeback Mountain too. no homo

5 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Because they are all from the ancient ruler Tom of House Finland.

Where do I go to nominate you for Supreme Mod?

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I don't think any of the characters are gay in the sense that they live homoromantic lifestyles.  I think they have homosexual experiences but, much like the great chinchilla Ahmadinejad once said, "we don't have gays in Iran Westeros."  

Of course there are gays in Iran and in Westeros, but as far as living out loud, it would be deemed unacceptable in this setting and mark one for death or imprisonment.  Unless they are royal.  

Which reminds me, Carmen Bin Laden wrote some very interesting things about a few of the Sauds....

  

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7 hours ago, Quellon said:

It is true. And I wonder why. Is Martin himself gay or is he pro-gay rights? I mean...Oberyn Martell-bisexual. Jon Connington-gay. Lyn Corbray-gay. Daeron Targaryen (Aegon V's son)-presumably gay. All those four are kickass characters, in one way or another or several ways. Renly is also a charming and dashing character that many people like and he's also gay. But I wouldn't call him cool or macho.

Along with what some others have said, it is also relevant to the story. 

Loras being gay makes the decision to join the Kingsguard a lot easier and less questioned by the reader. Renly being gay makes it easier to believe that Margaery is still a virgin. Jon Con being gay gives the reader some trust in his intentions for being so devoted to fAegon's cause. 

 

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The real question here is why Martin gave us not one but two overt lesbian, male gaze-y scenes featuring "straight" characters but god forbid Jon Connington have one gay thought in his head that isn't ambiguous and exceedingly subtle. Of course the one gay POV we get has to be pretty much asexual. 

(I concede that Cersei's scene with Taena had some character implications but Dany and Irri was out of character, out of nowhere, and had zero repercussions whatsoever. It was Martin's inner HBO rearing its ugly head, though at least those in HBO have the decency of using random prostitutes for their unnecessary porn fantasies instead of main characters*).

* Except Yara, but you get my point. 

 

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What an odd question. Giving the OP the benefit of the doubt that just seems like a strange thing to call into question. We don't question why some characters are black or brown or white. Why some are tall or short, fat or thin, warriors or scholars. The obvious answer would seem to be that this is a story that wants to feel as real as possible. And in the real world, people are different from one another, and sometimes those differences don't affect how cool they are. Most of the time that is an effect of outside perception. A character's height doesn't determine his importance or badassery (Tyrion). Neither does her religion (Mellisandre). Nor his skin color (Salladhor Saan). Sexual preference is no different. And GRRM wants to create a world that is full of diverse characters who are fully capable of being awesome no matter their differences from the OP. 

That's my giving the benefit of the doubt speech. Let's hope I don't have to give the other version. Haha.

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You are all missing my point and this makes me rather sad. That my post can be so taken out of context, I just don't know what's wrong with it. I was asking why Martin chose to make most or all the non-hetero characters either cool, macho or just strong in some way. You took it as if I was attacking Martin for making "the queers" cool and being gay cool. This clearly shows he has at least a sympathy for the gays and lesbians. And that is fine by me.

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9 minutes ago, Quellon said:

You are all missing my point and this makes me rather sad. That my post can be so taken out of context, I just don't know what's wrong with it. I was asking why Martin chose to make most or all the non-hetero characters either cool, macho or just strong in some way.

Actually, he portrays them similar to hetero characters. Not all gay characters are cool, macho, strong or awesome (although a lot of them are), but it is the same for all hetero characters. A lot of them are cool, macho, strong, awesome and amazing in all sorts of ways.

Sometimes, people are looking for differences that aren't there. The only differences between hetero and non-hetero people is their sexual preference. Either one can be cool, macho, strong, pretty, ugly, cowardly, clumsy, smart or dumb. If there was anything GRRM wanted to proclaim in the books when it comes to sexuality, is that it doesn't define you.

What you do, not who you do, defines you.

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21 minutes ago, Quellon said:

You are all missing my point and this makes me rather sad. That my post can be so taken out of context, I just don't know what's wrong with it.

"Taken out of context"?

 

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22 minutes ago, Quellon said:

Q: why Martin chose to make most or all the non-hetero characters either cool, macho or just strong in some way

A: he has at least a sympathy for the gays and lesbians. And that is fine by me.

 

 

 Asked and answered. Can this stupid thread stop now please?

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29 minutes ago, Quellon said:

You are all missing my point and this makes me rather sad. That my post can be so taken out of context, I just don't know what's wrong with it. I was asking why Martin chose to make most or all the non-hetero characters either cool, macho or just strong in some way. You took it as if I was attacking Martin for making "the queers" cool and being gay cool. This clearly shows he has at least a sympathy for the gays and lesbians. And that is fine by me.

You know, gay people, as hetero ones,  come in a range of forms and shapes in real life. In the books too.  You have the "cool" and "macho" (according to your standards) Oberyn Martell; to the sad, bitter and asexual JonCon; the fine and educated Loras and the "drag queen" Lysono Maar, etc. Take your pick.

I'm sure GRRM has some sympathy for gays and why no? He has included a good number of social, political and philosophical issues in the text, some in a subtle way, others quite explicit. Being a contemporary writer, it would be rare, he didn't include at least some hints to the gay world.

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1 hour ago, Quellon said:

You are all missing my point and this makes me rather sad. That my post can be so taken out of context, I just don't know what's wrong with it. I was asking why Martin chose to make most or all the non-hetero characters either cool, macho or just strong in some way. You took it as if I was attacking Martin for making "the queers" cool and being gay cool. This clearly shows he has at least a sympathy for the gays and lesbians. And that is fine by me.

I didn't take it that way at all.

Maybe Martin just doesn't like writing wimps.

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39 minutes ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

I didn't take it that way at all.

Maybe Martin just doesn't like writing wimps.

Hmm, what about Quentin and Sam (who redeems himself with his intelligence), or how would you think of Doran, if his plans hadn't been explained yet (or if looking glass Areo Hotah wasn't there to explain some things)?
GRRM writes all sorts of characters. Most of the male characters are macho, strong or powerful in some way, but a lot of characters do miss quite a bit of these traits. Some of the biggest players (Varys, Littlefinger and Tyrion, neither of them are strong, handsome or macho, but they do get the job done).

Like I stated before, GRRM is trying to point out that it doesn't matter who you do, but what you do and with what means. Sexuality doesn't make you who you are, it's your actions, your mind and your will that make you who you are. Sexuality doesn't define you, it's simply just a part of you.

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19 hours ago, Quellon said:

It is true. And I wonder why. Is Martin himself gay or is he pro-gay rights? I mean...Oberyn Martell-bisexual. Jon Connington-gay. Lyn Corbray-gay. Daeron Targaryen (Aegon V's son)-presumably gay. All those four are kickass characters, in one way or another or several ways. Renly is also a charming and dashing character that many people like and he's also gay. But I wouldn't call him cool or macho.

OMG, LGBT characters having personalities and/or being successful, how shocking.

First, the only decidedly cool character here is Oberyn Martell (I don't know about the Targaryen boy, didn't read prequels), who is Dornish and as such is just free-er to express whatever sexual desires he has. And it's not even confirmed he's bisexual. You're confusing books with show.

The second coolest would be probably Renly, who has also a bit of Robert-like macho-obnoxiousness in him, but I'm surprised Loras isn't here. One of the greatest warriors in the Seven Kingdoms, anyone?

Lyn Corbray is a deviant, Connington is a strict, humourless, dutiful dude, who doesn't even stand out with those traits, because the series has characters like Tywin or Stannis.

I guess that if there was a truly macho character, like Victarion, who would happen to be gay and consequently have a big chip on his shoulder because of this, it would be interesting to explore. But we don't have a theme like that. Seven Kingdoms is just a place where is better to be a badass, no matter if you're gay or straight.

Or are you just complaining that some characters you like happen to be of sexual orientation you don't like?

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2 hours ago, Ser Walter of AShwood said:

Hmm, what about Quentin and Sam (who redeems himself with his intelligence), or how would you think of Doran, if his plans hadn't been explained yet (or if looking glass Areo Hotah wasn't there to explain some things)?
GRRM writes all sorts of characters. Most of the male characters are macho, strong or powerful in some way, but a lot of characters do miss quite a bit of these traits. Some of the biggest players (Varys, Littlefinger and Tyrion, neither of them are strong, handsome or macho, but they do get the job done).

Like I stated before, GRRM is trying to point out that it doesn't matter who you do, but what you do and with what means. Sexuality doesn't make you who you are, it's your actions, your mind and your will that make you who you are. Sexuality doesn't define you, it's simply just a part of you.

Quent tried to steal a dragon. That takes guts. Sam is not as big a coward as he thinks he is, but admittedly the wimpiest of the ones you named. Doran I wouldn't think of as a wimp...given that I still don't know what his plans are. I might see him as a sick old man who is trying to keep his people from being slaughtered. That makes him cautious, maybe overly so, but not a wimp.

Excellent second paragraph, Ser Walter!

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Why are the coolest and most macho characters straight?  :D

Seriously, coolness is evenly distributed regardless of sexual orientation.  I'm straight and I'm cool.

Oberyn is not macho.  He's just cocky and a bit of a bully. 

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22 hours ago, Quellon said:

It is true. And I wonder why. Is Martin himself gay or is he pro-gay rights? I mean...Oberyn Martell-bisexual. Jon Connington-gay. Lyn Corbray-gay. Daeron Targaryen (Aegon V's son)-presumably gay. All those four are kickass characters, in one way or another or several ways. Renly is also a charming and dashing character that many people like and he's also gay. But I wouldn't call him cool or macho.

Because gay people don't become a stereotype once they've figured out their sexual orientation.  Plenty of gay men IRL are buff, macho, stereotypical "guys" who laugh at fart jokes and drink beer and like trucks. And plenty of gay women are pretty, prissy, "girly-girls."  Fiction representing gay men as "normal" men should be perfectly normal, instead of some "weird" thing.  And really, considering the LARGE cast of supporting characters, a rough dozen "gay" characters isn't all that many in the grand scheme of things.  It's far more than older books, where everyone was perfectly happy to pretend queer people didn't exist; definitely a step in the right direction though.  Because people of all sorts (gay, queer, trans, etc) have always *existed,* they've just been kept hidden - either through their own choice or by purposeful omission by historical records.  Gay men are "normal" men, and just like everyone else (man and woman) can be kick-ass or an asshole or somewhere in between. 

That, and "gay" wasn't really a thing....people like Renly and Loras were accepted, though they absolutely were still expected to produce children.  The patriarchy kinda relies on children, whether it's forcing the women to pop 'em out or forcing the men to make 'em.  But the terms we use nowadays and the modern understanding we have of sexuality can't be shoved into "medieval" times (fantasy or not).  Most folk (*not* including religious zealots, but most people aren't zealots even if they are religious) don't care WHO Renly or Jon Con sleep with out of wedlock^, as long as they ALSO produce children within marriage...Renly wants to sleep with Loras, fine. Folks might giggle about it a little bit, but no one *cares.*  It's gossip along the same lines as who was Ashara dancing with at Harrenhal and other crap like that!  And in Lyn Corbray's case, the fewer kids he *does* have, the better for the family as a whole (at least, I didn't get the impression the Corbray's could afford cadet branches) so if Lyn doesn't have any trueborn kids, I doubt anyone's going to worry too much about who he IS sleeping with^ (I'm currently ignoring the "children" part of Lyn's sex life...that's a WHOLE different issue than gay or straight!).  And Oberyn's family clearly could probably afford a cadet branch, but it doesn't seem like it's a big deal that Oberyn hasn't had any trueborn children. 

Basically, men could sleep with just about anyone they wanted...noble men even moreso...and all men, from all walks of life, were still pressured to produce children as well; for labour on the farm, for old-age security, etc., regardless of which gender they preferred to have sex with.

 

^as long as they weren't impregnating noble daughters....people got pissy about that!

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Posted (edited)

19 hours ago, Aetta said:

I don't think any of the characters are gay in the sense that they live homoromantic lifestyles.  I think they have homosexual experiences but, much like the great chinchilla Ahmadinejad once said, "we don't have gays in Iran Westeros."  

Of course there are gays in Iran and in Westeros, but as far as living out loud, it would be deemed unacceptable in this setting and mark one for death or imprisonment.  Unless they are royal.  

There's actually nothing in the books -- religious or otherwise -- that frowns upon homosexuality. It was the show that decided to make the Sparrows some hardcore Catholic analogy. They hate incest and polygamy, but that's about it as far as we know. And in Essos things are apparently much more lax. It was basically common knowledge within the Red Keep that Renly and Loras were banging, so that's a pretty "homoromantic lifestyle." But even outside of royalty, same-sex relations are fairly standard. We know there are male prostitutes or bed slaves in a lot of places. And in the Free Cities it doesn't seem to be a big deal to bang the same sex. 

Obviously there's still some stigma which mainly comes from inheritance and masculinity. You're expected to have a wife and children to carry your name. And in places like the Iron Islands or the North, your precious masculinity is everything, so one would be ridiculed or shunned. But that's not the same as death or imprisonment. 

@Jak Scaletongue pretty much summed it up perfectly. 

Edited by Renly's Banana

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10 hours ago, Quellon said:

You are all missing my point and this makes me rather sad. That my post can be so taken out of context, I just don't know what's wrong with it. I was asking why Martin chose to make most or all the non-hetero characters either cool, macho or just strong in some way. You took it as if I was attacking Martin for making "the queers" cool and being gay cool. This clearly shows he has at least a sympathy for the gays and lesbians. And that is fine by me.

Well it's a medieval setting... anyone who isn't macho or "cool" is dead. People survive either by their own strength or their ability to use someone else's. The weak and lonely tend not to make it.

Being raised a warrior is also just part of setting, so I don't see why we'd question it only in the context of a gay character. There's also the intense homophobia of the Middle Ages, which would give any gay person reason enough hide out and go along with the producing of heirs.

Of course it's more complex than that, but suffice it to say that gay and macho isn't supposed to be an unlikely combination (see: The Village People).

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GRRM has drawn his characters from actual historical figures, especially in England.

The Pantaganats on whom the Targs are based had many, many kins who were gay or assumed to be gay.

1. William II was known to be gay (son of the conqueror) - he was weak and unpopular

2. Richard I (the Lionheart) was a very good war leader but widely rumoured to have slept with the King of France

3. Richard II - was known to be gay - two gay lovers were executed

4. Henry V the most popular of UKs kings - it is rarely even whispered about him but my gut tells me he was gay - probably first molested by Richard II who seems to have been a bit of a Michael Jackson character.

And these four more or less cover the period of the Targ reign in Westeros.

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