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Gender relations in Westeros

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On 10/22/2019 at 1:18 PM, iberiandirewolf said:

All these women are dead, and what we learn of them is through the memories of the people that knew them (completely or up to a certain degree). I don't see an imbalance between deceased women and men in ASoIaF, to me they are equal. Neither do I see where Rhaella or any other female is used as a prop for male character development, as you mention. In my eyes, these cases exhibit the same problematic as Kvothe POVs in the Kingkiller Chronicle: everything we see and learn is done through Kvothe's eyes, and, as everyone who has read that series knows, reality is terribly distorted. I don't see the slightest problem in gender relationships within GRRM's work, on the contrary, I consider it to be realistic and crude, and beautiful many times as well.

Sorry, that's just wrong, no matter what your opinion on the matter is.

Queen Rhaella turned out to be nothing but an impotent queen-consort who was even blamed for 'her inability to produce healthy children'. George could have taken a dozen or more roads with her, some of which could have involved her actually taking charge or stepping in for her mad brother-husband during his more mad episodes (not to mention her getting a voice during the Duskendale crisis).

Instead, Queen Rhaella - who is essentially a character that was only flashed out as late as TWoIaF - is one of the worst female characters in the series.

Another thing is that George clearly uses most background female characters just as baby machines. They must have been there - like Lyarra Stark - to produce the characters, but that's it. They play no role aside from that.

The best way to illustrate this is that, unlike in the real world, many of the Targaryen queens as well as many of the wives and mothers of the characters in the main series predeceased their husbands. In reality there were dowager queens who remarried multiple times after their husbands' deaths, who grew old enough to see their grandsons or great-grandsons ascend the throne.

And it gets even worse in the later Targaryen era. Myriah Martell seems to have predeceased Daeron II, too. Dyanna Dayne is already dead by 209 AC, Betha Blackwood apparently did not outlive Aegon V, Shaera Targaryen apparently did not live into the reign of her son, Aerys II, despite her being younger than Jaehaerys II and her surviving Summerhall. Naerys Targaryen predeceased her brother-husband, Larra Rogare, too, etc.

As I said somewhere above - a realistic depiction of the birthing bed issues would mean that we would have a much larger percentage of children dying in infancy and childhood with some more - especially royal and noble - mothers living through the ordeal. If you check on royal mothers dying in childbirth then the issues killing them more often than not also caused the deaths of the children - something that's not the case with the most prominent mothers dying in childbirth in the story - Rhaella Targaryen, Joanna Lannister, and Lyanna Stark.

It is also quite clear that women who happen to be still around - like Alannys Harlaw Greyjoy - essentially are reduced to non-existing characters.

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Yeah people make a big deal about Jon/Ygritte, and him having little choice in sleeping with her or to risk being exposed, but marriage in Westeros is basically sex slavery where the woman has no options to get out of save killing herself. Jon at least didn't seem to have any lasting material suffering and enjoyed it.

[Edited because they had already quoted my post before I changed my mind because I didn't want to spark a debate and wrote something else :dunce:]

Edited by R2D

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1 minute ago, R2D said:

Yeah people make a big deal about Jon/Ygritte, and him having little choice in sleeping with her or to risk being exposed, but marriage in Westeros is basically sex slavery where the woman has no options to get out of save killing herself. Jon at least didn't seem to have any lasting material suffering and enjoyed it.

Well, unlike the average noble daughter/woman Jon could not refuse. A woman can technically refuse to be married and does not risk being killed if she does - Jon very much was in this situation.

Recasting this thing as 'a love story' when it was essentially rape certainly shows a weird romantic understanding on part of both the author and the readers who see this as a love story.

If one takes a step back then Ygritte is, in the end, just a honey trap, possibly even used by Mance, to ensure Jon gets corrupted enough to join the wildlings. She puts him in a moral dilemma by essentially making him love her by, you know, means of them having sex - which causes you to bond on via hormones and all even if you do not really want it (especially in as young an age as Jon was).

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, unlike the average noble daughter/woman Jon could not refuse. A woman can technically refuse to be married and does not risk being killed if she does - Jon very much was in this situation.

Recasting this thing as 'a love story' when it was essentially rape certainly shows a weird romantic understanding on part of both the author and the readers who see this as a love story.

If one takes a step back then Ygritte is, in the end, just a honey trap, possibly even used by Mance, to ensure Jon gets corrupted enough to join the wildlings. She puts him in a moral dilemma by essentially making him love her by, you know, means of them having sex - which causes you to bond on via hormones and all even if you do not really want it (especially in as young an age as Jon was).

Can a woman really refuse though? Lyanna couldn't get out of her betrothal with Robert even though she didn't want to marry him, Lysa was forcibly married off to Jon Arryn, later we even see Tywin trying to override Cersei and marry her off to Willas even though she was Regent. And sooner or later she will have to be married.

And I think Ygritte genuinely wanted to save Jon, not lead him into a trap. She steps in to save Jon from Mance by telling him they were sleeping together. 

I think a big difference between Ygritte and marital rapists like Robert and Drogo is that yes, all of them think what they're doing is acceptable because of their society, but Robert and Drogo know that they're harming their partners but do it anyway, while Ygritte because of wildling culture, (where part of marriage is the game of chasing and capturing your partner) assumes that Jon would be into it as much as her and doesn't understand the coercive nature of her advances.

Edited by R2D

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1 hour ago, R2D said:

Can a woman really refuse though? Lyanna couldn't get out of her betrothal with Robert even though she didn't want to marry him, Lysa was forcibly married off to Jon Arryn, later we even see Tywin trying to override Cersei and marry her off to Willas even though she was Regent. And sooner or later she will have to be married.

We know that there were women we got out of marriage contracts - like Shaera Targaryen or Arianne, who could reject the men her father suggested to her. And technically even Sansa could have refused to marry Tyrion - she was asked whether she wanted to marry or not by the High Septon. What would have happened had she publicly refused Tyrion we'll never know, but chances are not that bad that they could not have just repeated the charade - or that this would have been at least very difficult and weird.

Cersei did allow Tywin to cow her - as the Queen Regent he was serving at her pleasure, not the other way around. And as a dowager queen she was her own woman now, no longer subject to her father's ruling. If a man could have married her off it would have been Joffrey, after he became a man grown, not her father.

1 hour ago, R2D said:

And I think Ygritte genuinely wanted to save Jon, not lead him into a trap. She steps in to save Jon from Mance by telling him they were sleeping together.

But we only assume that Mance was not explicitly or implicitly in on the game. Mance is not stupid. He knows the men of the Watch, he was himself one of them. He knows that Jon cannot go back once he has his own wildling woman - meaning that it is in his best interest to ensure Ygritte gets Jon.

1 hour ago, R2D said:

I think a big difference between Ygritte and marital rapists like Robert and Drogo is that yes, all of them think what they're doing is acceptable because of their society, but Robert and Drogo know that they're harming their partners but do it anyway, while Ygritte because of wildling culture, (where part of marriage is the game of chasing and capturing your partner) assumes that Jon would be into it as much as her and doesn't understand the coercive nature of her advances.

Drogo physically hurts Dany while raping her - and he does indeed not care. What Robert does with Cersei seems to be less bad, but both he and Ygritte force themselves on their partners in a setting where they have no other choice. To pretend Ygritte is excused by her cultural views is basically the same as excusing Robert - he, too, has the right to demand sexual intercourse, just as Ygritte thinks she has the right to coerce Jon into intercourse.

The fact that we get Jon's POV and the fact that he sort falls in love with Ygritte (in no small part because they have sex) against his will doesn't change the fact that she doesn't have his POV. She doesn't know whether he pretends or not - meaning she didn't really care about that. She only cared about having Jon for herself. And she didn't really care about his priorities in relation to his loyalty to the Watch. She was not willing to abandon her way of life to be with him.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, unlike the average noble daughter/woman Jon could not refuse. A woman can technically refuse to be married and does not risk being killed if she does - Jon very much was in this situation.

Recasting this thing as 'a love story' when it was essentially rape certainly shows a weird romantic understanding on part of both the author and the readers who see this as a love story.

If one takes a step back then Ygritte is, in the end, just a honey trap, possibly even used by Mance, to ensure Jon gets corrupted enough to join the wildlings. She puts him in a moral dilemma by essentially making him love her by, you know, means of them having sex - which causes you to bond on via hormones and all even if you do not really want it (especially in as young an age as Jon was).

I feel like it depends on the father/brother and the situation, if she can refuse. If it's wartime for example and allegiances need to be made... just think about Arya, she would have had to marry a Frey, whether she wanted to or not. I Also can't imagine Robb giving Sansa a lot of choice, if he got her back, about marrying Willas.

There are numerous examples that show, that women did not really have a choice : Lyanna, Cersei, Lysa, we also don't know what would have happened, if Cat didn't have wanted to do her duty. I think the pressure was so high for all of these ladys, that they didn't really have a choice.

Doesn't mean you can't be upset about the Jon and Ygritte thing though- I certainly am. He had no choice.

But consent is kind of a very new concept and I think GRRM tries to reflects that in most of his "love stories", that's why most of them feel so of for me or yeah... because the lovers are siblings or whatever...

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5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

We know that there were women we got out of marriage contracts - like Shaera Targaryen or Arianne, who could reject the men her father suggested to her. And technically even Sansa could have refused to marry Tyrion - she was asked whether she wanted to marry or not by the High Septon. What would have happened had she publicly refused Tyrion we'll never know, but chances are not that bad that they could not have just repeated the charade - or that this would have been at least very difficult and weird.

Cersei told Sansa she had no choice to marry Tyrion, I'm sure if Sansa said no she would be forced to anyway. 

The lack of spinsters in ASOIAF seems to imply women can't really remain unmarried. 

Shiera Seastar as far as I know didn't have her father making any betrothals for her - it was other men who proposed to her, so she was free to refuse them. She was also a bastard so there was no pressure to marry for her.

As for Arianne, wasn't that because Doran was saving her for Viserys and didn't want to get her a suitable partner? So he chooses old men that he knows she will reject and whom he  allows her to reject.

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Cersei did allow Tywin to cow her - as the Queen Regent he was serving at her pleasure, not the other way around. And as a dowager queen she was her own woman now, no longer subject to her father's ruling. If a man could have married her off it would have been Joffrey, after he became a man grown, not her father.

If Tywin pressed the issue, we don't know what would have happened. Cersei was greatly upset so she seems to think it's a real possibility she would be married off.

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But we only assume that Mance was not explicitly or implicitly in on the game. Mance is not stupid. He knows the men of the Watch, he was himself one of them. He knows that Jon cannot go back once he has his own wildling woman - meaning that it is in his best interest to ensure Ygritte gets Jon.

Still, that is just an assumption, and does not mean Ygritte was working with Mance to enlist Jon into the wildlings.

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Drogo physically hurts Dany while raping her - and he does indeed not care. What Robert does with Cersei seems to be less bad, but both he and Ygritte force themselves on their partners in a setting where they have no other choice. To pretend Ygritte is excused by her cultural views is basically the same as excusing Robert - he, too, has the right to demand sexual intercourse, just as Ygritte thinks she has the right to coerce Jon into intercourse.

The fact that we get Jon's POV and the fact that he sort falls in love with Ygritte (in no small part because they have sex) against his will doesn't change the fact that she doesn't have his POV. She doesn't know whether he pretends or not - meaning she didn't really care about that. She only cared about having Jon for herself. And she didn't really care about his priorities in relation to his loyalty to the Watch. She was not willing to abandon her way of life to be with him.

The difference is Ygritte thinks Jon would enjoy it because he "stole" her. Drogo and Robert don't think that.

And both of them were not willing to abandon their way of life for each other. It's a flawed relationship, I'll agree to that.

Edited by R2D

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The author is a white male from a first world country. If we assume we currently live in a sexist society that discriminates against gender, race, etcetera, it is to be expected that some sexism will seep through the writing. If you do not agree we currently live in a sexist society I'll politely ask you open your eyes. 

Pointing out where GRRM uses sexist tropes is not the same as saying he is misogynistic or even sexist. But it is inescapable that the books were written by a old white man living in the United States. It shows. It shows in how voyeuristic the female POV characters are of their own bodies; it shows in how sex scenes described from female perspective still cater mostly to male pleasure; it shows in how often gendered deaths happen to women who aren't deemed important; it shows in many other instances that have been brought up in this thread and others before by people more qualified than myself. I find it important to stress these are not conscious choices to depict a time and place where sexism abounded, these are subtle unconscious choices that reflect how sexist our world still is. The fact that many people (men and women, but mostly men) can't even see this is happening in the book series we all read and love to analyse is, to me, very sad and scary, and it only reinforces my point. 

Edited by Lady Dacey
spelling

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30 minutes ago, Lady Dacey said:

The author is a white male from a first world country. If we assume we currently live in a sexist society that discriminates against gender, race, etcetera, it is to be expected that some sexism will seep through the writting. If you do not agree we currently live in a sexist society I'll politely ask you open your eyes. 

Pointing out where GRRM uses sexist tropes is not the same as saying he is mysoginistic or even sexist. But it is inescapable that the books were writen by a old white man living in the United States. It shows. It shows in how voyeristic the female POV characters are of their own bodies; it shows in how sex scenes described from female perspective still cater mostly to male pleasure; it shows in how often gendered deaths happen to women who aren't deemed important; and in many other instances that have been broght up in this thread before. These are not concious choices to depict a time and place where sexism abounded, these are subtle unconcious choices that reflect how sexist our world still is. The fact that many people (men and women, but mostly men) can't even see this is happening in the book series we all read and love to analyse is, to me, very sad and scary, and it only reinforces my point. 

Yes, I agree. And GRRM actually has said that himself. That he is biased because he is a white man, who grew up in the 60s. Also in regards to race.

"voyeuristic the female POV characters are of their own bodies" omg this sticks out so much. He especially did that with Dany.

Dunno how often he did describes her boobs and what they are doing. This is just utterly unrealistic.

Just one example "Her small breasts moved freely beneath a painted Dothraki vest," A Clash of Kings  

This is just ridiculous - I'm sorry. Maybe there are some women, who are hyper aware of their own bodies like that, but personally I have never in my life thought something so stupid like that nor do I sexualize myself like that, the closet to a realistic pov in that matter would be "hm, maybe should put on a bra" or something lol or "shit my boobs hurt"

I dont recall him ever writing things like: Jon's dick moved freely between his legs lol

In general he doesn't describe male bodies in the same way he describes female bodies.

Edited by Nagini's Neville

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2 minutes ago, Nagini's Neville said:

In general he doesn't describe male bodies in the same way he describes female bodies.

I'd compare the way he often describes women's breasts with erections. I remember it was a common theme in some of Tyrion's and Sam's POVs, also mentioned in Jon's.

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24 minutes ago, iberiandirewolf said:

I'd compare the way he often describes women's breasts with erections. I remember it was a common theme in some of Tyrion's and Sam's POVs, also mentioned in Jon's.

But you can't compare an erection to body parts. 

With an erection there is something happening. The equivalent would be to describe, how a woman is getting aroused, that's fine. 

But the equivalent to describing female breasts in all their "details" and how they look and how they move from a woman's pov, would be for example to write in great detail from a man's pov about his penis, when he doesn't have an erection and what that penis exactly does or some other body part I dunno

Edited by Nagini's Neville

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Mmmm, true. I guess that being a heterosexual man, female breasts appeal to him in a different way than it does to us. If I was Daenerys and my tokar fell off, all I'd think about would be ''whooops''.

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27 minutes ago, iberiandirewolf said:

I'd compare the way he often describes women's breasts with erections. I remember it was a common theme in some of Tyrion's and Sam's POVs, also mentioned in Jon's.

please read this: https://www.buzzfeed.com/jasminnahar/heres-how-weird-itd-look-if-male-authors-wrote-about-men

@Nagini's Neville I'm sure you'll also appreciate it!

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4 minutes ago, iberiandirewolf said:

Mmmm, true. I guess that being a heterosexual man, female breasts appeal to him in a different way than it does to us. If I was Daenerys and my tokar fell off, all I'd think about would be ''whooops''.

yeah, and that's why it feels sexualized and voyeuristic

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35 minutes ago, Lady Dacey said:

Oh my god!! this is perfect!! Exactly what I was talking about!!:D It's kind of scary how much of that GRRM actually does. Also a lot of the younger girls/ women are described like delicate fragile dolls with shy smiles, but maybe that should also illustrate how women were supposed to behave in that society, I dunno. 

To be fair there are some trash books, which have become so popular rn, where female writers do that to male characters partly as well or in a different way, but than you wouldn't find that in a classic, by a female author, while there are plenty of classics, where male writers treat female characters this way.

Edited by Nagini's Neville

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On 10/17/2019 at 8:37 AM, S. D said:

Is almost every marriage in Westeros unhealthy by our 21'st century, modern standards?

Consider:

1. Wives are pledged to obey their husbands.

That was the only time in all their years that Ned had ever frightened her. "Never ask me about Jon," he said, cold as ice. "He is my blood, and that is all you need to know. And now I will learn where you heard that name, my lady." She had pledged to obey; she told him; and from that day on, the whispering had stopped, and Ashara Dayne's name was never heard in Winterfell again. -AGOT, Catelyn II

Ned Stark has the power to make Catelyn acquiesce to an order of his; as seen she is pledged to obey him, and  when she raised the subject of Jon Snow's origins she was brutally shut down and the entire household was cowed to the point where no one dared speak Ashara Dayne's name ever again.

Let's look at one of the powerful women in the series, Alysanne:

Her Grace had no power to enact laws, issue decrees, make proclamations, or pass sentences. It is a mistake to speak of her as we might speak of the Conqueror’s queens, Rhaenys and Visenya. The young queen did, however, wield enormous influence over King Jaehaerys, and when she spoke, he listened… - Fire and Blood

Losing dragons was a huge drop in the autonomy and agency of the Targaryen women. Even Alysanne had no legal power of her own. Her power comes from her husband listening to her. This is also true of Catelyn, Ned listens to her and respects her and she has power due to that.

See also the issues that troubled Dowager Queen Alyssa Velaryon during her year-long reign as regent for her son Jaehaerys.

2. Husbands are allowed to hit their wives.

Rhaegar Frey: Marriage will soften her, I have no doubt. A firm hand and a quiet word. - ADWD, Davos II

The right of a husband to chastise an erring wife was well established in the Seven Kingdoms and the doctrines of the Faith of the Seven. - Fire and Blood.


Also further illustrating that the husband has authority over his wife.

3. There is no concept of marital rape, and the wife has no sexual autonomy.

"I'd waited long enough. I hated watching Robert stumble to your bed every night, always wondering if maybe this night he'd decide to claim his rights as husband." -ASOS, Jaime IX

Sooner or later there would always come a night when he would drink too much and want to claim his rights. - AFFC, Cersei VII

She wanted to see if it would be as easy with a woman as it had always been with Robert. Ten thousand of your children perished in my palm, Your Grace, she thought, slipping a third finger into Myr. Whilst you snored, I would lick your sons off my face and fingers one by one, all those pale sticky princes. You claimed your rights, my lord, but in the darkness I would eat your heirs. - AFFC, Cersei VII

Queen Naerys begged Aegon IV to allow her to be abstinent and he refused, and that was that. - The World of Ice and Fire.

He wondered what Sansa would do if he leaned over and kissed her right now. Flinch away, most likely. Or be brave and suffer through it, as was her duty. She is nothing if not dutiful, this wife of mine. If he told her that he wished to have her maidenhead tonight, she would suffer that dutifully as well, and weep no more than she had to. - ASOS, Tyrion VIII


As these passages show, a husband has a right to sex with his wife even if she is unwilling. Marriage in Westeros means women are institutionally vulnerable to coercion.

4. Women are not allowed to have sex before marriage or commit adultery, while men are.

The High Sparrow has Cersei punished for having sex outside of marriage, but does not do the same to any man.

Bastards are seen as par for the course in Westeros, meanwhile:

Lysa is seen as damaged goods for having slept with Petyr.

Lollys for her gang rape has be married off to Bronn, a lowly sellsword.

Even Delena Florent, who was deflowered by and had a bastard with Robert Baratheon, the king, had to marry a household knight. 

Princess Gael Targaryen who was seduced by a traveling singer and impregnated; killed herself.

One of the daughters of Alys Arryn and Elys Waynwood was seduced by a sellsword; her bastard died in infancy and she joined the Silent Sisters.

Witness Vargo Hoat’s preoccupation that Brienne “still be maiden” when he was going to ransom her, as though her “virginity” were a commodity, or Arys Oakheart’s concern than Doran find out that he’d “dishonoured” Arianne, as though her consent was not important, this was between two men.

5. And of course, women can't inherit in most cases.

"Separate is the situation with the inheritance of the Iron Throne, where “in the eyes of many, the Great Council of 101 AC thereby established an iron precedent on matters of succession: regardless of seniority, the Iron Throne of Westeros could not pass to a woman, nor through a woman to her male descendants”.

Even if women do inherit, their inheritance is stolen by their husbands, as in the case of Ramsay and "Arya", Tyrion and Sansa, and the Karstark uncles attempted to steal Alys’s rights as well, also by forcefully marrying her.

Or they end up challenged by other males in the family, as in the case of Asha and Victarion.

Cersei sums it up:

“We were so much alike, I could never understand why they treated us so differently. Jaime learned to fight with sword and lance and mace, while I was taught to smile and sing and please. He was heir to Casterly Rock, while I was to be sold to some stranger like a horse, to be ridden whenever my new owner liked, beaten whenever he liked, and cast aside in time for a younger filly. Jaime’s lot was to be glory and power, while mine was birth and moonblood.”— ACoK, Sansa VI

GRRM draws from history, and women were treated this terribly in real life, where they were the actual property of their husbands and fathers.

"One of the things I wanted to do with A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE was to make it a little more "real" than most high fantasy. I drew much of my inspiration from history and historical fiction, and immersed myself in the Middle Ages before I began writing. Patriarchy was as much as part of medieval society as feudalism, faith, or swords. I have created other fictional worlds that are more sexually egalitarian — try my novel WINDHAVEN, written with Lisa Tuttle. With ICE AND FIRE, however, I preferred to stay closer to my historical models." - GRRM

(Note: I haven't read Fire and Blood or The World of Ice and Fire and got those quotes from online sources).

I quite agree with your summation. ASOIAF very blatantly exposes the realities of patriarchy, and I believe GRRM has done so with a specific purpose in mind: after the Winds of Winter have melted away, Westeros will return into the hands of women in the (Dream of) Spring.

It seems to me that the story of Durran Godsgrief's marriage to Elenei was a pivotal, historic event. Elenei was a magic moonmaiden. Her parents were gods. She was the daughter of the sea god and the goddess of the wind, basically the "get" of water and air. The combination of two elements created "magic". Once man had magic, the Children of the Forest and Westeros were doomed.

Maidenheads are commodities and fathers are their daughter's pimps, selling them to the highest bidder, otherwise known as a marriage alliance or marriage pact. How can a commodity have any rights under such an arrangement? Ownership is transferred from the father to the husband. The marriage cloak symbolizes the transaction and calls it "protection".

Cersei is consumed by jealousy and anger on being passed over as her father's heir. Her outrage over this unfairness is her main motivation. She made her sex her most valuable weapon. I seriously doubt that she ever loved Jaime. She's jealous of his position as the heir to Casterly Rock. I think she used their incestuous relationship to control him. I also think Tywin knew very well how his daughter felt and that is why he tried placating her by making her a queen. Tywin's goal to make Cersei a queen has affected nearly every House in all of Westeros.

Arianne is a parallel to Cersei, with one small difference. Her father, Doran always planned to name her his heir. She just doubted her position. She was consumed by doubt, so her plan to crown Myrcella and start a war with the throne was intended to seize Dorne away from her father. She too used sex as a weapon.

Asha Greyjoy was Balon's third child, but after Rodrik and Maron died, she should have been Balon's heir before Theon. She was in fact, Balon's choice, but only because Ned Stark raised Theon and Balon thought he had gotten too soft. After Balon died, the Ironborn denied Asha her right to the Seastone Chair by calling a Kingsmoot. Asha doesn't so much as use sex as a weapon as to try to compete with males on the same level. She can sail and fight as well as any man, and refuses to give herself to any man that seeks to dominate her.

The Targaryens were no different. Every time a female was next in line for the throne, there was either a council called or a war begun. The latest battle was called the Dance of the Dragons. The eldest of Viserys I was his daughter Rhaenyra from his first wife, but his second wife thought her son Aegon II should inherit. The Dance of the Dragons ended when Aegon's dragon, Sunfyre burned and consumed his sister. Even though Rhaenyra had her own dragons, she didn't have enough support from the realm to succeed - the majority of men didn't think a woman should inherit.

Each of the above are cycles of repeated history, but I have them out of order. It should be Targaryens first, then Cersei, then Asha, then Arianne. Cersei may have a good deal of control behind the scenes, but she has never ruled outright in just her name. Asha was Balon's choice of heir, so she should have rights to her family home even though Euron took the Seastone Chair. Arianne is Doran's heir - of that there is no doubt - but she lost her intended marriage pact when Khal Drogo had Viserys killed. Now Doran hopes to broker a similar pact with Young Griff. Each of these women are working against the patriarchy, but I think its GRRM's intention that they will succeed where generations of women before them have failed.

We need to add Sansa into the mix of moonmaids that should prevail over the patriarchy. Right now she's hidden under the guise of Petyr's daughter Alayne. He may try to sell her maidenhead - and Sansa seems to be OK with it if she can have Harrold Hardying aka Harry the Heir. It's very fitting that "heir" is in his title, because in order for history to be reversed, Sansa needs to become the heir. The Eyrie is after all, in her family line of inheritance too as Lady Lysa was her aunt. Lady Lysa was allowed to keep the Eyrie, serving as a sort of regent for Jon Arryn's heir Robert aka Sweetrobin. Sweetrobin may die of epilepsy or Petyr may outright kill him, but then Sansa will utilize her skills gained under the tutelage of both Cersei and Petyr, and find a secretive way to kill - not only her "father" Petyr, but Harry too - taking the Eyrie and maybe even Winterfell for herself. Since Jon is a bastard and should be out of the line of inheritance, Sansa is older than both Bran and Rickon, therefore Winterfell should rightly be hers. A good start for the first Queen in the North.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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11 minutes ago, Lady Dacey said:

Return? What do you mean? 

I'm going on the assumption that there was no patriarchy prior to the Andals. The wildlings, who are of First Men descent, don't seem to abide by a patriarchy. The fathers don't decide who their daughters marry. The daughters decide. If they don't like the man that "stole" them, they slit their husband's throat. I'm theorizing that the north adopted Andal ways after the wildlings were imprisoned behind the Wall, and Winterfell was actually stolen away by a bastard from it's rightful heir who was probably a woman. This is being echoed by Jon Snow and Sansa.

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This is a 20th-21st century attempt at a fantasy world roughly around the late 13th-14th centuries of Europe (and the Near East). Let's think about that a little first...

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