Lollygag

All of the Damned Incest: What's the Point?

313 posts in this topic

8 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

I didn't say first cousin marriages are uncommon. They do appear and as I said, people don't bat an eye at them. It's successive generations of first cousin marriages which start to strip the branches from the family tree which are non-existent. It's incest if the tree loses too many branches. Westerosi don't bat an eye at first cousin marriages, but they're also very careful to introduce more blood before or after.

But are they? How did you determine that? Many of those brides who are not named Stark or Lannister in the family trees could actually be first or second cousins through the female lines. There are many Stark daughters in that family tree about whose husbands and children we don't know anything about. And Ran and Linda told us that, for instance, Cregan Stark's daughters by Black Aly did marry. George just didn't want to make up names all the time.

8 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

Again, I stated that it was successive generations of first cousin marriage is what's strictly avoided. It's in the genealogies of the World Book. Uncle-niece, aunt-nephew unions are exceedingly rare. Successive generations of close cousin marriages where new blood is limited are non-existent. Happy and very consistent accident through out all of the non-Targ genealogies? Nope. Cousin marriages aren't seen as a problem because the Westerosi are very careful that they don't become problems.

With the Starks cousin marriages through the male lines are not exactly an exception, and we don't know how it is with cousins through the female line.

I'm not saying successive generations of first cousin marriages would be the rule - although I'm pretty sure that they were common in certain families and under certain circumstances - but rather that there is simply no way that the average heir is not going to have to pick between a bride who was either his first, second, or third cousin, or equally closely related.

And there is no reason to believe a third cousin would be preferably to a first cousin. First cousin marriages are clearly not seen as problematic.

The fact that the Starks of our generation don't have any close cousins to marry is that the family tree was cut down in recent years, most notably due to the Rickard-Lyarra match.

And you have to keep in mind that a Stark marrying in another family can easily enough produce second cousin to the male Stark line in another family, too, if say a Stark-Karstark daughter marries into House Manderly, producing another daughter which then marries back into the Stark main line. This kind of thing must have happened all the time and would have had enormous effects in a realistic setting where our biological laws apply.

Basically most of the Northern nobles would look alike, just as the houses of the Vale, the Stormlands, and the West would look alike, if they also always married amongst themselves.

Even the Blackwoods are part of this inbred thing. We have Black Aly marrying Cregan, one of her daughters marrying back into the Blackwood line, and then Melantha Blackwood marrying back into the Stark line. And that's only the marriages we know about. I doubt Aly-Cregan was the first Blackwood-Stark marriage.

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Just now, Lord Varys said:

But are they? How did you determine that? Many of those brides who are not named Stark or Lannister in the family trees could actually be first or second cousins through the female lines. There are many Stark daughters in that family tree about whose husbands and children we don't know anything about. And Ran and Linda told us that, for instance, Cregan Stark's daughters by Black Aly did marry. George just didn't want to make up names all the time.

They could be intermarrying with slimey aliens, too. I'm not discussing what hasn't been written. That you can only come up with hypotheticals to argue your point gives weight to my point.

5 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

With the Starks cousin marriages through the male lines are not exactly an exception, and we don't know how it is with cousins through the female line.

I'm not saying successive generations of first cousin marriages would be the rule - although I'm pretty sure that they were common in certain families and under certain circumstances - but rather that there is simply no way that the average heir is not going to have to pick between a bride who was either his first, second, or third cousin, or equally closely related.

And there is no reason to believe a third cousin would be preferably to a first cousin. First cousin marriages are clearly not seen as problematic.

The fact that the Starks of our generation don't have any close cousins to marry is that the family tree was cut down in recent years, most notably due to the Rickard-Lyarra match.

And you have to keep in mind that a Stark marrying in another family can easily enough produce second cousin to the male Stark line in another family, too, if say a Stark-Karstark daughter marries into House Manderly, producing another daughter which then marries back into the Stark main line. This kind of thing must have happened all the time and would have had enormous effects in a realistic setting where our biological laws apply.

Basically most of the Northern nobles would look alike, just as the houses of the Vale, the Stormlands, and the West would look alike, if they also always married amongst themselves.

Even the Blackwoods are part of this inbred thing. We have Black Aly marrying Cregan, one of her daughters marrying back into the Blackwood line, and then Melantha Blackwood marrying back into the Stark line. And that's only the marriages we know about. I doubt Aly-Cregan was the first Blackwood-Stark marriage.

You like histories, genealogies and hypotheticals. Ok, but I don't care for them myself. Unless you can disprove my original point that the non-Targ Westerosi are very careful with uncle-niece, aunt-nephew and close cousin marriage in regards to maintaining sufficient branching of the overall tree with hard evidence and not hypotheticals, I'm going to end this discussion here.

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Ya'll still yapping about the incest. FFS the novel is fictional.

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6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I really urge you to sit down and think a little bit about what you wrote there.

I wrote exactly what I wrote. And if you think that I'll change my mind about what true love is just because of your messages on this forum - I urge you to sit down and think a little. 

6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Assuming you are a woman in real life (due to your nick) your own sexuality should provide you with ample evidence for that. Most of the sexual pleasure you are able to experience comes from the fact that you have a clitoris, an organ that doesn't have to be stimulated all that much (or at all) during vaginal intercourse.

However, it is scientifically proven that people (unlike animals) get much more pleasure when they have sex with a person they are deeply emotionally attached.

6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

There are people who love people romantically but never have any sex with them.

I am among them at the moment)

6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Such people wouldn't care all that much if those people had sex with other people.

It's not true for people who valuate virginity.

6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

And even romantic relationships are not solely based on sex.

Agree. However, men and women tend to become sexually attracted to each other, because the two sexes were "invented" by evolution for reproduction. 

6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Love comes in many shapes and forms.

And here I cannot agree with you. Not everyone can love. Love requires from a person certain moral features. The better a man is, the stronger is his love and the more challenges it will endure. If you read the world-acknowedged definition of love given in the Bible, you'll get an idea of the highest standard of this feeling. And even if you take into accout normal human weakness, it'll still be obvious for you that "love" of totally selfish or corrupt person is just a mere exuse for real love.

6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I urge to actually read proper literature on the end of the Roman Empire

Very well. I cannot read it right now, so let's forget about Rome. But if a person spent all his life in the society without any moral limitations, he would hardly apprecciate such values as family, faithfullness, liability and self-sacrifice, because all these things requires from him an ability to limit his instincts and wishes - and he is simply not used to limit them. Why would he chase after a woman, who often counts on wedding/money/getting with child/good physical stature/ect, when it's easier to found sexual partner among male friends? No liability, no suspicion - just safe exchange of sexual pleasure. Why would he chase after a woman, whom he hardly knows at all, if it's much easier to persuade his younger sister to make pleasure for her beloved big bro? I don't say that it is always like this, no. But the idea is clear.

Contraception, liberal laws, children's rights, social care, ect are surely good things. But they also free people from the necessity to take efforts. Nowadays you can say "I love you" and not bother youself thinking about what you will do, if you love gets pregnant. If her mum falls ill and needs constant attention/care? If your child is born ill? If she is unfairly imprisoned for 10 years?

It's not about you, of course. Moreover, I actually admire you and your girlfriend. It's just my thoughts on what I see around me.

Edited by LIVIA

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31 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

They could be intermarrying with slimey aliens, too. I'm not discussing what hasn't been written. That you can only come up with hypotheticals to argue your point gives weight to my point.

LOL, those aren't hypothetical points. The nobility in those books do have parents that are married. Those marriages are usually arranged by picking spouses from a very small and limited gene pool - the few noble lineages, usually from your own region, that are eligible to unite their blood with yours in marriage. And this practice goes back a loong time. Much longer than known history in our world.

There certainly would be the occasional freak among the nobility, some guy marrying for love, or some guy taking an unusual bride like Rohanne Webber.

31 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

You like histories, genealogies and hypotheticals. Ok, but I don't care for them myself. Unless you can disprove my original point that the non-Targ Westerosi are very careful with uncle-niece, aunt-nephew and close cousin marriage in regards to maintaining sufficient branching of the overall tree with hard evidence and not hypotheticals, I'm going to end this discussion here.

How do you know that anyone is 'very careful' with uncle-niece marriages? We don't know anything about those Stark uncle-niece marriages, and nothing indicates that being careful was part of that. And we don't know anything about aunt-nephew marriages. How many aunt-nephew marriages are in the family trees? There could be a quite a few that haven't been marked as such.

In addition, we also don't know anything about close cousin marriages that indicates people are careful with that? Why should they? There is no hint that they even believe or care that this might be bad for their descendants if practiced in the long run. And we don't even know that it is.

If any bloodline practiced Targaryen/Valyrian incest for 5,000+ the bloodline would most likely not even make this long, provided that the people starting it would be more or less like an average human bloodline on our world. But that's clearly not the case in Westeros since the Targaryens don't have any issues with any severe hereditary diseases.

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I tend to find it kind of pointless to argue about incest in ASOIAF, since most people already tend to have their minds made up about it. I will say, in theory, it's reasonable to think that the larger the human population gets, the less common incest would become. When you live in a country with millions of people in it, it makes sense that incest would be seen as an unattractive option, because there simply isn't any need for it. 

I also agree with the assertion that incest can be tied to elitism. Monarchs preferred to wed one another rather than "taint their blood" by marrying someone of a slightly lower standard, and I think this can be seen with the Targaryens, as well. Consider how, prior to Rhaegar and Lyanna, no Targaryen that we know of ever married a noble from the North or the Iron Islands, despite how it could have aided them in the long run (such as when, say, Daemon Blackfyre tried to usurp the throne and both regions appear to have preferred to sit this one out rather that help squash the rebellion). I don't think it's a coincidence that the regions ignored by the royal family were also the ones that followed different religions and were considered lands of "barbarous" people.

But the biggest supporting factor of this, for me, is Egg. Egg is the king that the modern-day audience has the best chance of relating to: he spends his adolescence among the common folk, and then devotes his reign as king to fighting for their rights. He's also grew to resent incest, much like how the smallfolk do. 

As I said before, I doubt my opinion on this matter will change anyone else's, but I figured I might as well throw it out there. 

On 8/12/2017 at 0:21 PM, Lady bonehead said:

 Another is that incest has become even more taboo recently because we associate it strongly with child abuse. 

That's very true. I think you can even see this with Daemon and Rhaenyra -- he pretty much groomed her to be his future wife from the time she hit puberty. And even though Petyr is Sansa's uncle by marriage, not blood, I think he could fall under this category as well.

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14 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

LOL, those aren't hypothetical points.

They are points which aren't confirmed by the text. You "guessed" at them and they weren't written by the author. If the author had wanted the reader to believe that Westeros sees aunt-nephew and uncle-niece and to a lesser degree close cousin marriage as harmless as non-familial marriage, he'd have made that clear with specific examples. But they're curiously missing.

And you keep trying to change the subject from uncle-niece, aunt-nephew and close cousin marriages to distant cousin marriages which are a completely different thing. Arguing that distant relative marriage is fairly common and lower risk does nothing to demonstrate that close relative marriage is treated the same way. The genealogies disprove that.

21 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

How do you know that anyone is 'very careful' with uncle-niece marriages?

They're very, very rare despite their advantages to a feudal society. And the genealogies demonstrate branching into non-related families both before and after.

I'm done repeating myself over and over and discussing things which have nothing to do with my original point.

 

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23 minutes ago, LIVIA said:

I wrote exactly what I wrote. And if you think that I'll change my mind about what true love is just because of your messages on this forum - I urge you to sit down and think a little. 

The problem with that is that you can be selfish and mean and still love someone. I'd say it is not ideal love but it is still love. I mean, Cersei used Jaime's love for her to convince him to join the Kingsguard. That is pretty big thing to ask to prove your love to somebody, but these people are out there. They say 'If you love me as you say you do you do this or that for me, etc.' Some of these people are perhaps only exploiting others, and others may not even be able to feel a lot of empathy for others, but to reduce love as a concept just to ideal scenario of selfish and complete perfect love doesn't sound right to me.

Even abusive husbands or fathers who beat their children might love them.

23 minutes ago, LIVIA said:

However, it is scientifically proven that people (unlike animals) get much more pleasure when they have sex with a person they are deeply emotionally attached.

Well, it depends on the animals. Various apes should be about the same level as we are, or even better equipped in this regard. I'm no expert on that, though.

And there are differences between the sexes there, too.

23 minutes ago, LIVIA said:

I am among them at the moment)

It's not true for people who valuate virginity.

Well, I sort of can relate to that since I had my first real sexual experiences at the age of 28. And if you are asexual there is certainly nothing wrong with having no sex. The problem is when you do want to have sex but forbid yourself doing it because it is sinful or otherwise forbidden. That is not healthy.

23 minutes ago, LIVIA said:

Agree. However, men and women tend to become sexually attracted to each other, because the two sexes were "invented" by evolution for reproduction. 

Well, it is somewhat more complicated than that. Especially the part about sexual pleasure - something that sort co-developed with out reproductive organs but is essentially completely independent from that. Especially with women, but also with men. We could just as well survive without the whole pleasure package attached to that simply because we are also programmed to mate like many other animals do. Even if we didn't had any orgasm it would still be very difficult for us to not be attracted to beautiful people.

We are rather strange mammals due to the fact that we are in heat the entire year, and are not restricted to certain reproductive cycles.

23 minutes ago, LIVIA said:

And here I cannot agree with you. Not everyone can love. Love requires from a person certain moral features. The better a man is, the stronger is his love and the more challenges it will endure. If you read the world-acknowedged definition of love given in the Bible, you'll get an idea of the highest standart of this feeling. And even if you take into accout normal human weakness, it'll still be obvious for you that "love" of hopelessly selfish or corrupt person is just a mere exuse for real love.

Things are not that easy. For one, the whole infatuation thing is something that is biologically present for only a couple of months/years. That's when you fall in love with somebody. It goes away. Later on you can or cannot form a lasting bond with a person on another less 

23 minutes ago, LIVIA said:

Very well. I cannot read it right now, so let's forget about Rome. But if a person spent all his life in the society without any moral limitations, he would hardly apprecciate such values as family, faithfullness, liability and self-sacrifice, because all these things requires from him an ability to limit his instincts and wishes - and he is simply not used to limit them. Why would he chase a woman, who often counts on wedding/money/getting with child/good physical stature/ect, when it's easier to found sexual partner among male friends? No liability, no suspicions - just safe exchange of sexual pleasure. Why would he chase a woman, whom he hardly knows at all, if it's much easier to persuade his younger sister to make pleasure for her beloved big bro? I don't say that it is always like this, no. But the idea is clear.

Well, the problem there is that men really do have to feel attracted to other men to ever consider them as sex partners. That's something you have to feel inclined to do. It is not something that just happens even when there are women around (extreme circumstances like prisons or monasteries aside, of course).

And the same goes for the incest example. It is difficult to measure but there may be a much larger number of people inclined to incestuous erotic actions as we commonly think (about 10-20 %, if I remember correctly) but it is not that the entire world secretly wants to to do that.

And societies without any moral norms and rules don't exist. The closest to that is state of continuous (civil) war or a concentration camp setting (but even there are rules). People growing up in under such circumstances become deeply traumatized - we see this in the series with Arya or Sandor. If the people who are supposed to protect you end up hurting you, you are not likely going to become a healthy and 'normal' person. Instead, you feel the need to hurt others the same way you were hurt.

What helps you to develop into a decent and nice is to be not raised in a violent or abusive environment. That pretty much is it. What kind of consensual sex your elders have in their bedrooms has little to do with any of that.

23 minutes ago, LIVIA said:

Contraception, liberal laws, children's rights, social care, ect are surely good things. But they also free people from the necessity to take efforts. Nowadays you can say "I love you" and not bother youself thinking about what you will do, if you love gets pregnant. If her mum falls ill and needs constant attention/care? If your child is born ill? If she is unfairly imprisoned for 10 years?

Sure, and I'm the last one to actual urge 13+-year-olds to sleep around as early and as often as they can. But unwanted pregnancies are not exactly best averted when you tell adolescents not to have sex with the gorgeous girl next door (because unless you imprison them that's not going to work with the overwhelming majority of young people) but to properly prepare them for the sexual aspects of life.

And knowing how to become pregnant and how to prevent if you don't want to become pregnant is very crucial there. I daresay the overwhelming majority of people in the history of mankind were born because young people had no idea what they were doing and little to no means to prevent a pregnancy.

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1 hour ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

That's very true. I think you can even see this with Daemon and Rhaenyra -- he pretty much groomed her to be his future wife from the time she hit puberty. And even though Petyr is Sansa's uncle by marriage, not blood, I think he could fall under this category as well.

Rhaenyra-Daemon actually begins earlier than that. Uncy Daemon always spoiled her, and began showering her with gifts as soon as she was made Heir Apparent to the Iron Throne in 105 AC, when she was just eight years old. But the real seduction thing only started after his return in the years shortly before her marriage. But it doesn't seem to be that this whole thing overly made her a 'Daemon girl'. It is very likely she also had Criston Cole in those days, and perhaps even before Daemon, and then later on, of course, Harwin Strong.

She only hooked up with Daemon again when they were both mourning Laena, and it is not clear who pushed the other then. I'm more inclined to assume Rhaenyra instigated the whole thing since Daemon had actually just lost his wife.

Littlefinger seems to be very icky because of their weird fake father-daughter relationship. By the rules of their society she really is fair game to hit on considering that she has had her first moon blood. It is really striking how many people react so strongly to the Littlefinger-Sansa thing while so few focus on calling out the child molester and rapist Khal Drogo. That guy really bought himself a little sex bunny. Compared to him, Littlefinger actually respects Sansa considering that he is not forcing himself on her and isn't doing anything to her that she finds too uncomfortable.

1 hour ago, Lollygag said:

They are points which aren't confirmed by the text. You "guessed" at them and they weren't written by the author. If the author had wanted the reader to believe that Westeros sees aunt-nephew and uncle-niece and to a lesser degree close cousin marriage as harmless as non-familial marriage, he'd have made that clear with specific examples. But they're curiously missing.

The author isn't as obsessed with family trees as I am. But there are implicit consequences to the setting he has created you cannot argue against. Nobles in his world don't marry peasants. And they don't marry for love under normal circumstances. And they don't marry all across the Realm or the Free Cities but usually limit themselves to the noble houses of their own regions (at least in the given examples of the Lannister and Stark family tree). And they have no issues with cousin marriages. There is no mentioning anywhere in George's world that the nobility of Westeros considers it problematic to marry their cousins.

That means they do marry their cousins quite a lot, whether it is explicitly stated or not.

And yes, their uncles and aunts, too, or else the author could have chosen to not include any such marriages - or cousin marriages - in the Stark family tree.

Quote

And you keep trying to change the subject from uncle-niece, aunt-nephew and close cousin marriages to distant cousin marriages which are a completely different thing. Arguing that distant relative marriage is fairly common and lower risk does nothing to demonstrate that close relative marriage is treated the same way. The genealogies disprove that.

They don't because we have no idea how many first cousin marriages there are THROUGH THE FEMALE LINE.

The idea that uncle-niece matches are uncommon when the Stark family tree first introduced us to Stark uncle-niece and Stark cousin marriages makes no sense. Sure, it is possible that those two uncle marriages there were a huge exception. But the fact that they also have cousin marriages doesn't make that very likely. There is a strong tendency there that the Stark like to marry their own.

Edited by Lord Varys

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7 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

And if you are asexual there is certainly nothing wrong with having no sex. The problem is when you do want to have sex but forbid yourself doing it because it is sinful or otherwise forbidden. That is not healthy.

My sexual life is certainly not something I'd like to discuss on this forum. But I'm neither asexual nor a person who acts out of fear to commint something forbidden by religion. You see a sin as simply a religious prohibition (though as I've already said, religion is FAR more complex thing than just a set of rules). I see a sin as an act of behavior imcompatible with my personal moral principles, with my consciense, with my feel of shame. I know that my soul will feel bad if I commit it, so I don't want to commit it. I'm not excersising any force on myself. 

I'm sorry but it's really annoying to discuss with you such topics as love, sin, belief, morality and so on. So I'd better stop casting pearls before swine and return to our native planet ASOIAF forum, where people don't speak about sexual life in such a vulgar manner and don't have trouble understanding obvious things.

Goodbye.

Edited by LIVIA

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GRRM litters his writings with all forms of sexual taboo and he derives many of them from examples of history. The Roman emperor Caligula loved his sister. European royalty routinely married their cousins, nieces and nephews. Edward II of England was gay. Ottoman Sultans had hundreds of concubines and multiple wives. In reality, Earthly people have always been "queer" as well. Westeros is a fictional setting for earthly soap operas with a hint of dragons and magic and GRRM is just using these relationships as tragedy, comedy, and to a very small degree as a political corollary to homogenous versus heterogenous societies. I wouldn't say he is promoting incest.

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Nearly all the incest in A Song of Ice and Fire (minus Jaime and Cersei) is subtle or insinuated, there is no sex scene or anything like that, only trough or fantasies, I would have loved that Martin show all the incest of the Targaryen, and how the dynamic worked, hell, even in the A World of Ice and Fire, there isn't much detail about the relationships between brothers and sisters with the difference Dragons Kings. 

That really piss me off, if Martin wanted to write about incest, he should have been more frontal about it and not be subtle, I have been working the last two years to create my own universe based in some aspect of A Song of Ice and Fire, were I write about real incestual relationships, I become really obsessed with the Targaryen, dragons and all that, I want to make my own version of it.

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