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Starspear

Anyone else thinks that ADWD goes too far with Ramsay Snow?

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I might take offense if we had page after page of gratuitous descriptions of the nasty things he does,but we don't.If described at all it's mostly in brief flashback.I had the misfortune to read American Psycho when I was much younger and,believe me,nothing in these novels come close to that.

He's a baddie who does bad things.

Edit-I just noticed I'm supposed to feel the same.Sorry!

Also read American Psycho and the Burke series. Still I am disturbed about the Mercy sample chapter.

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Dude, the books aren't exactly euphemistic so there's no reason to be all coy or childish about it. In fact, Martin goes into such explicit detail that my question seems tame in comparison. What exactly did I miss concerning bestiality?

As far as Ramsey being such a despicable character, umm, that's sort of the point. Even some of the most vile characters in the books have some redeeming qualities or perhaps some sort of justification. With Ramsey, there's nothing good about him and the reader is given no reason to sympathize with him. Why Martin has decided to go that route, we'll have to see, whether its satisfaction when he dies or disappointment and disgust when he triumphs. Honestly though, nothing he does seems completely out of place in the depraved world of ASOIAF. Much of what he does is committed by other people as well: flaying, murder, psychological torture. He just happens to be a bit more brazen about it.

The people of the North weren't exactly going to let him get away with it either, as they had killed Reek thinking it was Ramsey. He only gets away with it now because of his already influential father's rise in political power. To me, that's what Ramsey exemplifies, what happens when the actions of a person go unchecked due to fear of consequences resulting from taking action against a member of a wealthy or powerful family.

To answer the question posed by the thread title, no I don't think ADWD goes too far. In addition to showing the utter depravity of Ramsey it helps to not only solidify the notion that Theon could be turned into Reek 2.0 but gives some sort of insight into why Ramsey would do such a thing, i.e.- he's a fucked up guy who obviously sees other humans as playthings and he knows Daddy isn't going to do anything about it worse than a scolding.

It's not about being childish. It's about having a bit of taste. We're not living in Westeros. We're living in this world and can avoid some of the villainy that in fictional contexts is more acceptable (no need to elaborate on how evil exits in our world; yes, we know).

My main concern is keeping the boards clean in case traffic from immature or under-18s happen to come across (ASOIAF is of course not for children).

I think the forum's rules are sensible:

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/forum-20/announcement-66-reminder-on-offensive-content-civility-and-discussing-rape/

Edited by Starspear

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I might take offense if we had page after page of gratuitous descriptions of the nasty things he does,but we don't.If described at all it's mostly in brief flashback.I had the misfortune to read American Psycho when I was much younger and,believe me,nothing in these novels come close to that.

He's a baddie who does bad things.

Edit-I just noticed I'm supposed to feel the same.Sorry!

Not sure I understood your last sentence.

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It's not about being childish. It's about having a bit of taste. We're not living in Westeros. We're living in this world and can avoid some of the villany that in fictional contexts is more acceptable.

My main concern is keeping the boards clean in case traffic from immature or under-18s happen to come across (ASOIAF is of course not for children).

I think the forum's rules are sensible:

http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/forum-20/announcement-66-reminder-on-offensive-content-civility-and-discussing-rape/

So you want to discuss something without actually discussing it? I said nothing vulgar or offensive, I was merely looking to get an explanation on something someone else had already brought up and you yourself had commented on without scolding them. My goal is not to offend or be shocking or gross but rather have a serious conversation, something that is apparently villainy in your eyes. How can you have a discussion about something without pointing out details?

Your answer to me that there was an example in the book that I missed and that it might be better that way not only doesn't answer my question but also makes me feel like you are treating me with a lack of respect and like a small child who might get upset by something I read. Please, just spare me the condescending prudish behavior. You are the one who brought up the topic of a character and his despicable acts and I feel that I am entirely in my rights to seek clarification on something that I apparently missed, one of the prime examples of how this site can be a valuable resource for those wanting to better understand the source material.

Once again, I'm not trying to offend your delicate sense of what is acceptable to talk about concerning a book that clearly contains graphic adult material, I just want to know what there is in the text concerning Ramsey and bestiality because I honestly don't remember it.

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Beat me to it. Was thinking the same.

Maybe Hentai or some of that Japanese stuff I saw go through the media review office when I worked for Customs.

Did Ramsey commit some bestiality that I missed? Maybe it got shuffled in with all the other things he's done but I don't remember him having sex with animals

Ramsay didn't commit it, he might have made Jeyne do it, it's kind of a throw away line in one of Theon's PoVs I think, but I don't want to go looking for it since that whole thing disgusts me too.

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To answer the original poster. No I don't think he goes too far with Ramsay Snow. The lines in question made me reel with disgust upon reading them. The abhorrent actions that Jeyne Poole were made to commit have a purpose in the narrative and were not gratuitously described.


If you are this easily offended, my friendly advice would be to stop reading the books. I'm sure there will be equally nasty events in future volumes of A Song Of Ice And Fire. If you think that Mr. Martin would change his writing style because he offended a few reader's delicate sensibilities, you will most probably be disappointed.


Edited by Robbs Graves

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So you want to discuss something without actually discussing it? I said nothing vulgar or offensive, I was merely looking to get an explanation on something someone else had already brought up and you yourself had commented on without scolding them. My goal is not to offend or be shocking or gross but rather have a serious conversation, something that is apparently villainy in your eyes. How can you have a discussion about something without pointing out details?

Your answer to me that there was an example in the book that I missed and that it might be better that way not only doesn't answer my question but also makes me feel like you are treating me with a lack of respect and like a small child who might get upset by something I read. Please, just spare me the condescending prudish behavior. You are the one who brought up the topic of a character and his despicable acts and I feel that I am entirely in my rights to seek clarification on something that I apparently missed, one of the prime examples of how this site can be a valuable resource for those wanting to better understand the source material.

Once again, I'm not trying to offend your delicate sense of what is acceptable to talk about concerning a book that clearly contains graphic adult material, I just want to know what there is in the text concerning Ramsey and bestiality because I honestly don't remember it.

You're missing the intention. Nothing in what you said offended me. It's about keeping the thread relatively clean. You are not being accused of mischief or villainy. Didn't mean to single you out, but I think you'll see the sense of what I'm meaning if you think about it. It's not about you. It's about keeping the forum approachable. No intention to treat you with any lack of respect, so my apologies if anything I wrote came across that way.

But yeah, if you care for it, read over the Reek/Theon scenes and you will clearly be able to paint the picture for yourself. It's not pretty and frankly, I think in ADWD, goes too far, hence the thread.

As for condescending and prudish - you don't know me. Neither applies. What you are interpreting was my attempt to say things without saying them.

To answer the points you brought up. We have Theon's stories of countless men and women that have offended Ramsay Snow. He punishes in a variety of torturous ways. With women, he sics the dogs on them or hunts them down. All of this, deplorable in its own right, remains relatively to the imagination. With Jeyne Poole - an absolutely innocent character - it no longer remains to the imagination. There's your clue for your own research.

Edited by Starspear

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The allusion is in one comment Jeyne makes in one of Theon's last chapters, however I didn't get the impression of Ramsay imposing such a brutal thing over poor Jeyne. I thought Jeyne referred to Theon as Ramsay's dog, and that is where the confusion starts. I may very well be wrong, but if it is not clear, I'd rather believe my interpretation at least.



As for the topic, Ramsay is the most evil character in the books. Joffrey is meant to be what happens when you give absolute power to a spoiled bully kid, but Ramsay is a psycho. I'd suscribe to the crackpot theory, as Roose wouldn't let him live otherwise.

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The allusion is in one comment Jeyne makes in one of Theon's last chapters, however I didn't get the impression of Ramsay imposing such a brutal thing over poor Jeyne. I thought Jeyne referred to Theon as Ramsay's dog, and that is where the confusion starts. I may very well be wrong, but if it is not clear, I'd rather believe my interpretation at least.

As for the topic, Ramsay is the most evil character in the books. Joffrey is meant to be what happens when you give absolute power to a spoiled bully kid, but Ramsay is a psycho. I'd suscribe to the crackpot theory, as Roose wouldn't let him live otherwise.

Roose = sociopath as well.

Edited by Starspear

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Thank you. See, is it that hard to answer a question or at least point someone in the right direction?



Also, I'm glad that you've learned and taught me precisely where the cutoff line of decency is to keep this forum safe for children and oversensitive adults that might come across it and save them from the absolute horror and mind scarring terror that comes with reading about stuff contained in a series of books and a tv show that are adult in nature and the source material for this forum. I'll be sure to keep things squeaky clean when I start my next forum thread "why did that one person did that thing to that other person?" No one will know what I'm talking about, but at least I will know in my heart that the children are safe and no one will be offended. Score another convert to the morality police, Starspear.


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Thank you. See, is it that hard to answer a question or at least point someone in the right direction?

Also, I'm glad that you've learned and taught me precisely where the cutoff line of decency is to keep this forum safe for children and oversensitive adults that might come across it and save them from the absolute horror and mind scarring terror that comes with reading about stuff contained in a series of books and a tv show that are adult in nature and the source material for this forum. I'll be sure to keep things squeaky clean when I start my next forum thread "why did that one person did that thing to that other person?" No one will know what I'm talking about, but at least I will know in my heart that the children are safe and no one will be offended. Score another convert to the morality police, Starspear.

I was gonna let you have it, but then I was reminded that you do have Rick Moranis as an avatar. I'll also give you credit for being mildly amusing. The above snark is not bad at all.

Edited by Starspear

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I personally think hes a stupid character. Not realistic and exaggerated to ridiculous proportions. Any lord would have had such a bastard politely hanged even if he did exist. But the whole "Joker" vibe is too comic bookish for whats so frequently touted as a realistic and grounded series.


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I personally think hes a stupid character. Not realistic and exaggerated to ridiculous proportions. Any lord would have had such a bastard politely hanged even if he did exist. But the whole "Joker" vibe is too comic bookish for whats so frequently touted as a realistic and grounded series.

Theon was suppose to be awesome with a bow. Sure, he's mentally-damaged... but why Ramsay Snow is still around... it's a bit contrived now that you bring it up. Plot-armor. Then again, can't kill off every character immediately either.

Edited by Starspear

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There's a limit that I can accept in fantasy (or perhaps depravity is the better word).

A thread for those who feel the same.

Obviously not a thread for me then. But as useless as it probably is, I'd like to try to point out that having the readers cringe is the whole point of characters like Ramsay Snow. Once you understand that, he actually takes an almost comical dimension, and that's exactly how he is depicted in the show (so sick he's a dark joke by himself). Now, I know everyone reads in a different way, but I never have a problem with characters like this because I don't "suspend my disbelief" when they're doing their stuff. I see them as plot devices, as big bad villains, and move on... In fact, I strongly believe that Ramsay will soon become the main "villain" in the North after the convenient death of Roose, and the only question is who we will probably "love" for making him "pay"...

What bothers me more is that if Ramsay is what makes you think ADWD went too far, then you haven't been paying attention. The problem in the books isn't what purposely "evil" characters like Ramsay do, it's what supposedly "good guys" do. GRRM has gone to great length to build a universe in which good and evil exist in all characters and where everyone is not "black or white" but really grey-ish. He's very good at having the reader condone actions which should revolt any sane person. In other words, Ramsay's actions are so obviously evil that one shouldn't take them seriously. On the other hand, what characters like Dany or Arya do is what should really bother the reader because they're the ones he roots for. Once again, the show does a great job at showing that a character like Arya is actually just as much deranged as Ramsay, only we tend to overlook it because we sympathise with what she's been through. We shouldn't. Or at least, not to the point of liking her. I'm pretty confident that by the time ASoIaF ends, very few characters will be unambiguously "good", and that many readers will be left with a lot of moral conundrums as to what they ought to accept in the name of "justice", because in a realistic setting such a concept is very hard to define.

So... What I kind of want to say is that anyone who thinks the Ramsay character is "too much" should stop reading. Now. This isn't a fairy tale, it's a very dark story of how all people can easily do terrible things under certain circumstances. Ramsay's not a real issue because he will eventually be killed, thus providing a moral aspect to his life story. Characters like Arya and Dany, on the other hand, won't necessarily die, or suffer the consequences of some of their deeds. They might even gain from being cruel and remorseless. Yes, Ramsay's bad and one is expected to cringe when reading of his sadism. But if you want to go down this road, Arya and Dany are sadists as well, possibly worse because they think their actions are morally defendable. In truth, they're not, and as readers we should be shocked by what they do because unlike Ramsay they make their choices consciously more than instinctively. In truth, characters like Ramsay or Joffrey never had a chance of doing what is right, because they never had the ability to recognise it. Dany or Arya, on the other hand, both have it in them to do evil voluntarily. Every time they kill or torture someone (or order someone killed or tortured) the reader should realise that the author is leading him to see this as acceptable, when in fact it isn't.

When did ASoIaF go "too far"? Wasn't it when Dany, one of the "heroes" had 163 people publicly crucified? Or when Arya, another "hero", started randomly killing people whenever she felt like it? Or was it all the unmentionable sexual acts? Fact is, the books are constantly playing with morality, testing the reader with every possible cringeworthy situation. The point is to create a maximum of emotional responses through the proper use of words on paper. In this, I find GRRM to be a talented writer taking a leaf out of Nabokov's book. I remember that more than half of my class in college had to put Lolita down at some point because of how bad it got at times. ASoIaF seeks to achieve the same thing. It cannot go "too far", because going as far as it can is the whole point. If you keep in mind that this is a literary project you should be fine. And possibly enjoy cringing once in a while...

On a different note, here's my favorite quote from ADWD:

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one. [...]"

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Obviously not a thread for me then. But as useless as it probably is, I'd like to try to point out that having the readers cringe is the whole point of characters like Ramsay Snow. Once you understand that, he actually takes an almost comical dimension, and that's exactly how he is depicted in the show (so sick he's a dark joke by himself). Now, I know everyone reads in a different way, but I never have a problem with characters like this because I don't "suspend my disbelief" when they're doing their stuff. I see them as plot devices, as big bad villains, and move on... In fact, I strongly believe that Ramsay will soon become the main "villain" in the North after the convenient death of Roose, and the only question is who we will probably "love" for making him "pay"...

What bothers me more is that if Ramsay is what makes you think ADWD went too far, then you haven't been paying attention. The problem in the books isn't what purposely "evil" characters like Ramsay do, it's what supposedly "good guys" do. GRRM has gone to great length to build a universe in which good and evil exist in all characters and where everyone is not "black or white" but really grey-ish. He's very good at having the reader condone actions which should revolt any sane person. In other words, Ramsay's actions are so obviously evil that one shouldn't take them seriously. On the other hand, what characters like Dany or Arya do is what should really bother the reader because they're the ones he roots for. Once again, the show does a great job at showing that a character like Arya is actually just as much deranged as Ramsay, only we tend to overlook it because we sympathise with what she's been through. We shouldn't. Or at least, not to the point of liking her. I'm pretty confident that by the time ASoIaF ends, very few characters will be unambiguously "good", and that many readers will be left with a lot of moral conundrums as to what they ought to accept in the name of "justice", because in a realistic setting such a concept is very hard to define.

So... What I kind of want to say is that anyone who thinks the Ramsay character is "too much" should stop reading. Now. This isn't a fairy tale, it's a very dark story of how all people can easily do terrible things under certain circumstances. Ramsay's not a real issue because he will eventually be killed, thus providing a moral aspect to his life story. Characters like Arya and Dany, on the other hand, won't necessarily die, or suffer the consequences of some of their deeds. They might even gain from being cruel and remorseless. Yes, Ramsay's bad and one is expected to cringe when reading of his sadism. But if you want to go down this road, Arya and Dany are sadists as well, possibly worse because they think their actions are morally defendable. In truth, they're not, and as readers we should be shocked by what they do because unlike Ramsay they make their choices consciously more than instinctively. In truth, characters like Ramsay or Joffrey never had a chance of doing what is right, because they never had the ability to recognise it. Dany or Arya, on the other hand, both have it in them to do evil voluntarily. Every time they kill or torture someone (or order someone killed or tortured) the reader should realise that the author is leading him to see this as acceptable, when in fact it isn't.

When did ASoIaF go "too far"? Wasn't it when Dany, one of the "heroes" had 163 people publicly crucified? Or when Arya, another "hero", started randomly killing people whenever she felt like it? Or was it all the unmentionable sexual acts? Fact is, the books are constantly playing with morality, testing the reader with every possible cringeworthy situation. The point is to create a maximum of emotional responses through the proper use of words on paper. In this, I find GRRM to be a talented writer taking a leaf out of Nabokov's book. I remember that more than half of my class in college had to put Lolita down at some point because of how bad it got at times. ASoIaF seeks to achieve the same thing. It cannot go "too far", because going as far as it can is the whole point. If you keep in mind that this is a literary project you should be fine. And possibly enjoy cringing once in a while...

On a different note, here's my favorite quote from ADWD:

I understand your views; they're not mine, but I gotcha.

The worst of his scenes carry little plot purpose... of course, we shall see in the next books.

If you read the early part of the thread, you'll see how various posts suggested that the conclusion might only be determined in how Ramsay Snow's arc evolves and ends (for certain readers).

But, there are levels of depravity, just as there are layers of being to a human. And assaulting those layers in good works should have some valued intention.

Is the abuse committed by Ramsay Snow all justified? There will be a thousands of answers to that question.

The next books will tell. For me, I've yet to be convinced. And GRRM is an author in whose writing skills I trust, but not an author with whom I trust my sympathies.

Edited by Starspear

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But, there are levels of depravity, just as there are layers of being to a human. And assaulting those layers in good works should have some valued intention.

I hear you. But we've had incest, rape (tons), paedophilia (a lot, if you take into account how young some of the female characters are), all kinds of torture and abuse (physical, psychological... ), cannibalism, corpse desecration... Honestly I wasn't surprised to see a hint of bestiality, and come to think of it, we could yet see other forms of depravity before the end... (winter is coming, right?)

In truth, many shocking elements in ASoIaF don't carry that much plot purpose. Many things could be hinted at rather than graphically described. Hence my conclusion that eliciting strong emotional reactions is the goal, and that the depravity is its own raison d'ĂȘtre, as part of the literary/artistic aspect. To put it simply, GRRM loves messing with readers, which definitely makes ASoIaF adult material.

I understand that everyone has their own limits. I remember feeling nauseated the first time I read Lolita, but I had to read it again for my exams, if only to acquire critical distance. I still think GRRM is nothing compared to Nabokov and I like how he uses moral transgressions to build a credible medieval world. Maybe he does go a bit far sometimes, but hey, you signed for it! There were plenty of warning signs... ;)

On a sidenote, the show really did a good job of translating this aspect of the books on screen by making some scenes even worse than in the books. I'm thinking of Dany's wedding night with Drogo (which wasn't rape), or the red wedding (which didn't involve a pregnant woman being stabbed in the belly). I think D&D are just as bad as GRRM...

I've always wondered whether the Unsullied are aware that Dany is supposed to be 13 at the beginning of the show, and how they would react if they knew... Do you imagine telling your friends: "Hey, there's this really great show on HBO in which a 13-year-old girl gets raped by a barbarian king in the first episode!" ?

Anyway, there is a valued intention: manipulating readers and pushing them to their limits has them question their own sense of morality and justice. That's kind of what we're doing now. Not all writers can achieve that.

The worst of his scenes carry little plot purpose... of course, we shall see in the next books.

If you read the early part of the thread, you'll see how various posts suggested that the conclusion might only be determined in how Ramsay Snow's arc evolves and ends (for certain readers).

My guess is that he will die a gruesome death at the hands of a beloved character, thus having the reader condone some form of torture because he will suffer. And later on, said beloved character will turn out to have his own issues because of what he's done.

Ramsay is someone's Count Dooku. :cool4:

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I think Martin portrayed Ramsey as a typical psychopath. These types of people exist in real life. Look it up. I don't think he went too far. His world is gritty and dirty. And psychopaths are real even in our reality. Why not his world?

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Shortspear Rick - let's try to keep thread euphemistic if that's agreeable. Maybe you can slightly edit your last to be a little less direct (I'd appreciate if that's cool with you). But yes, you missed something. Mind you, might be better that way.

Focus of thread is on Ramsay Snow's atrocities as a whole. All of them. Overkill - though there might be a better word.

The books and show are for adults, and adults should be able to discuss valid topics without resorting to 'euphemisms'. We're not children and it's not 'distasteful' to talk about what happens in the books and show by actually using the actual words to describe it. Are we supposed to say "Ramsay cut off Theon's wee-wee"?

In any case, while Ramsay's actions are awful and terrible, I see no reason why the author or the screenwriters have to 'tone it down'. It's their work, and if some people can't take it, then they can stop reading/watching. I had difficulty watching the scenes in the show, but I never thought that they went 'too far' or shouldn't have put them in. It's necessary for understanding Theon's character and why he becomes what he does. It's how they make the audience go from loathing Theon to feeling sympathy for him.

Edited by sj4iy

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The books and show are for adults, and adults should be able to discuss valid topics without resorting to 'euphemisms'. We're not children and it's not 'distasteful' to talk about what happens in the books and show by actually using the actual words to describe it. Are we supposed to say "Ramsay cut off Theon's wee-wee"?

In any case, while Ramsay's actions are awful and terrible, I see no reason why the author or the screenwriters have to 'tone it down'. It's their work, and if some people can't take it, then they can stop reading/watching. I had difficulty watching the scenes in the show, but I never thought that they went 'too far' or shouldn't have put them in. It's necessary for understanding Theon's character and why he becomes what he does. It's how they make the audience go from loathing Theon to feeling sympathy for him.

Not necessarily referencing Theon's castration.

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I think Martin portrayed Ramsey as a typical psychopath. These types of people exist in real life. Look it up. I don't think he went too far. His world is gritty and dirty. And psychopaths are real even in our reality. Why not his world?

.

I agree. I wouldn't say the character is "cartoonish" at all. People that sick exist in our own world so why not Martin's? I think Ramsay if anything should be looked at as the kind of evil that does exist and how it can run rampant in this given feudal society.

Also, i think describing the event would have been crossing the line but how he referenced the act was def still enough to put a bad taste in the readers stomach without being exploitive.

Edited by league of blooDraven

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