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Gender relations in Westeros

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4 hours ago, Peach King said:

Er, I obviously agree that women suffer because of the patriarchy even today, but that doesn't mean we have to support rich white women in positions of power  like Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi.  (And a rich racist war criminal in a position of power, in Hillary's case).

Why does white and rich automatically mean bad? I would love to see women of all races and identities succeed, but I don't understand why we need to be dismissive of them just because they are white and/or rich. How is Hillary a war criminal? On second thought - never mind. This thread isn't about Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi. It's about the women of ASOIAF. I was just trying to draw real life examples of how men (and some women) discredit women with slander. The more powerful the woman, the more extreme the slander. You're actually proving my point, but I'm not in the mood to debate or defend her actions in this forum. I'd rather discuss the books.

Edited by Feather Crystal

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2 hours ago, The Young Maester said:

You Americans did the right thing by not putting Hillary in power. 

Do you really think Trump was the better alternative??? 

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9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Sure, they were happy with each other for most of their lives, and they are, in a very real sense, the closest couple in the entire series. They are twin siblings and lovers, after all.

I feel they're a very flawed couple. Jaime has no understanding of consent:

A Feast for Crows (Cersei IV):

Quote

Outside a cold wind was rising. They stayed up late into the morning, drinking Arbor gold and telling one another tales. Taena got quite drunk and Cersei pried the name of her secret lover from her. He was a Myrish sea captain, half a pirate, with black hair to the shoulders and a scar that ran across his face from chin to ear. "A hundred times I told him no, and he said yes," the other woman told her, "until finally I was saying yes as well. He was not the sort of man to be denied."

"I know the sort," the queen said with a wry smile.

"Has Your Grace ever known a man like that, I wonder?"

"Robert," she lied, thinking of Jaime.

(There's also the Sept scene and when Bran meets them in the tower, where Cersei is resisting and saying no but Jaime pushes her into sex anyway).

And Cersei manipulates him, and she does love him, but she puts her ambitions before him. 

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Jon knew he faced certain death, Sansa should have known they would not kill her. And what's that about a new High Septon? Do you think Tywin would have murdered the man??? Not very likely. If there is a marriage ceremony then Sansa sabotaging that could have had dire consequences for the Lannisters - after all, there were wedding guests (like the Tyrells) who could have taken Sansa's side, insisting that Tywin do not continue to force the girl to marry his hideous dwarf son. Others may have taken her side, too.

I didn't mean a new High Septon, but they could have gone to another Septon. Plus the Tyrells had dumped Sansa the moment they couldn't marry her to Willas. 

7 hours ago, Nagini's Neville said:

I'm just saying there could be some form of stockholm syndrome taking place. Maybe not the classical form like in kidnapping. And doesn't have to be, but there is no way to know if love would have happened, if there was a choice.

I just feel like calling it "Stockholm Syndrome" is a bit much. Stockholm syndrome is a very specific situation where you are a captive with no recourse who comes to love your captor because you have no other choice. A noblewoman would still have her friends and family, and most husbands probably wouldn't be the type to force themselves on their unwilling wife and batter them like Robert. 

Most of these women aren't marrying for love, they're doing it for power. They don't desire companionship, they want heirs and lands. Though if they can become good friends or come to fall in love with their husbands, that's also a good thing.

7 hours ago, Nagini's Neville said:

I'd argue probably impossible to do so. That's what it felt like to her. You got to be very strong- willed, think outside the box to be and be very confident (to possibly make it on your own, or be able to deal with the consequences) to be able to do so. An Arya type for example, who already knows very strongly that this is all wrong.

Yeah, Jeyne Arryn must have been a woman of very strong character (or her Regent was an accommodating or easy going man).

Edited by R2D

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4 minutes ago, R2D said:

I just feel like calling it "Stockholm Syndrome" is a bit much. Stockholm syndrome is a very specific situation where you are a captive with no recourse who comes to love your captor because you have no other choice. A noblewoman would still have her friends and family, and most husbands probably wouldn't be the type to force themselves on their unwilling wife and batter them like Robert. 

That's why I said a form of Stockholm Syndrome, for a lack of better term rn. And that's actually just developing positive emotions towards your captor. in a way, because you belong to your husband by law he IS kind of your captor. When everything goes right the wife still has her family and isn't isolated, so it for sure wouldn't be a "classical Stockholm Syndrome".  And it depends on the husband again. I feel like you are generalizing a lot. Yeah, there could be good husbands like Ned, but there also could be Gregor clegane. When you just look at domestic abuse rates today, I don't think that husbands like Robert were so uncommon, especially in a time, where corporal punishment towards wife and children was a normal and excepted form of discipline. 

I actually think that Robert was very normal, just that most women would have done their wifely duties and had regular sex with him and were meek and obedient and just accepted that their husband was cheating.

And with all of those traumatized ppl from wars and other stuff I think there was way more violence going on everywhere. The problem is again, that you are completely depended on your husband, you had to obey him- that's just too much power. Yeah, your family might try to protect you, but not everyone has that kind of family and a lot of fathers will just tell their daughters to go back to their husbands and obey them, because they don't want that kind of dishonor, while maybe having a talk with the husband and as soon as husband and wife are alone again she will be punished so severely, that she'll never dare to speak again.

 

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1 hour ago, Nagini's Neville said:

 And it depends on the husband again. I feel like you are generalizing a lot. Yeah, there could be good husbands like Ned, but there also could be Gregor clegane. When you just look at domestic abuse rates today, I don't think that husbands like Robert were so uncommon, especially in a time, where corporal punishment towards wife and children was a normal and excepted form of discipline.

That's true. I am generalizing - I don't think we really know the norm here.

1 hour ago, Nagini's Neville said:

I actually think that Robert was very normal, just that most women would have done their wifely duties and had regular sex with him and were meek and obedient and just accepted that their husband was cheating.

Yeah, maybe :( But I actually think that a lot of marriages could have an "understanding" where the husband was allowed to have mistresses and the wife would get his true born kids, if they didn't become loving partners like Ned and Cat. So the woman doesn't get a fulfilling sex love, but at least she gets all the power and privileges that come with being a noble. This is all wishful thinking though of course. 

As for domestic abuse, Cersei is a very fiery and headstrong woman - most women would accept their place in the system and not challenge their husband's authority. The times when we see Robert hit her is when she reproaches him or insults him. Most women would lay their heads low and if their husband wasn't a drunk or a sadistic brute it would probably prevent them from getting abused. (Again, all wishful thinking). And I hope it doesn't seem like I'm victim blaming Cersei here, that's not what I'm going for here at all. Robert had no right to hit her no matter what she said to him.

1 hour ago, Nagini's Neville said:

And with all of those traumatized ppl from wars and other stuff I think there was way more violence going on everywhere. The problem is again, that you are completely depended on your husband, you had to obey him- that's just too much power. Yeah, your family might try to protect you, but not everyone has that kind of family and a lot of fathers will just tell their daughters to go back to their husbands and obey them, because they don't want that kind of dishonor, while maybe having a talk with the husband and as soon as husband and wife are alone again she will be punished so severely, that she'll never dare to speak again.

Yeah we have to keep in mind this is a very violent society. I mean they watch people fight to the death for entertainment.

And a few more quotes which really hammer in that a husband has to be obeyed and has a right to chastise his wife.

A Game of Thrones, Sansa VI:

Quote

It does not please me," Joffrey said. "Mother says I'm still to marry you, so you'll stay here, and you'll obey."

A Storm Of Swords, Sansa III:

Quote

She climbed onto the featherbed, conscious of his stare. A scented beeswax candle burned on the bedside table and rose petals had been strewn between the sheets. She had started to pull up a blanket to cover herself when she heard him say, "No."

The cold made her shiver, but she obeyed. Her eyes closed, and she waited. After a moment she heard the sound of her husband pulling off his boots, and the rustle of clothing as he undressed himself. When he hopped up on the bed and put his hand on her breast, Sansa could not help but shudder. She lay with her eyes closed, every muscle tense, dreading what might come next. Would he touch her again? Kiss her? Should she open her legs for him now? She did not know what was expected of her.

"Sansa." The hand was gone. "Open your eyes."

She had promised to obey; she opened her eyes. 

(It's weird that pledging to obey your husband isn't in the marriage vows since you're required to obey him by law).

A Storm Of Swords, Jaime III:

Quote

"Well met, friends," he called to them amiably. "My pardons if I disturbed you. You caught me chastising my wife."

A Feast For Crows, Brienne II:

Quote

The day they were betrothed, he warned Brienne that he would expect her to be a proper woman once they'd wed. "I will not have my lady wife cavorting about in man's mail. On this you shall obey me, lest I be forced to chastise you."

So even if the wife complained - they would probably get a lecture from their father or brothers on how they have to be a better wife and listen to their husband. I could certainly see Hoster doing that, or Tywin. 

Edited by R2D

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12 hours ago, R2D said:

But with regards to your innkeeper example - that could be because of Sharna's sheer force of personality, not because of any equitable share of power between the husband and wife in peasant marriages. The person with less power can still control the one with more power, if they are of weak character, or if they have a low conflict personality.

Oh, that's definitely just her personality. I doubt the vast majority of peasant marriages have the power dynamic weighted so. That's an extreme example. I meant that, due to the fact that common men have no actual power, just as common women, that power dynamics between common couples would be mostly equal (or, at least, with a power difference far smaller than those we see among the nobility).

11 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

That's news to me! Why would you make this assertion? The fact is it was Jon Arryn's idea for he and Ned to propose a marriage alliance with Hoster so that the Tully's would join their cause and save Robert.

"Father, I know what you did." She was no longer an innocent bride with a head full of dreams. She was a widow, a traitor, a grieving mother, and wise, wise in the ways of the world. "You made him take her," she whispered. "Lysa was the price Jon Arryn had to pay for the swords and spears of House Tully."

Small wonder her sister's marriage had been so loveless. The Arryns were proud, and prickly of their honor. Lord Jon might wed Lysa to bind the Tullys to the cause of the rebellion, and in hopes of a son, but it would have been hard for him to love a woman who came to his bed soiled and unwilling. He would have been kind, no doubt; dutiful, yes; but Lysa needed warmth.

 

"No more than I did," her aunt said. "Jon Arryn was no dwarf, but he was old. You may not think so to see me now, but on the day we wed I was so lovely I put your mother to shame. But all Jon desired was my father's swords, to aid his darling boys."

I never got the idea that Jon wanted any part of it.

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Effectively, a realistic portrayal should have the numbers of Alysanne's children who died in infancy and childhood reversed with those who lived to adulthood.

Why? Some women had more children that lived to adulthood than died in infancy. Alysanne is evidently one of them. That's not unrealistic at all. An average is an average, not a hard-and-fast rule that all mothers should have an exact percentage of their children dying in their infancy. That would be unrealistic.

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Isn't it unclear whether the guy there actually is her husband? If he isn't, then it is quite unclear why she is the one in charge. Even more so, considering the whole thing is a front in guerillia like underground movement.

I don't think so. She refers to the man as 'Husband', but refers to the boy as 'Boy', not as 'Son' (because he's not her son). Stands to reason she calls him 'Husband' because they're married. I see no reason to believe otherwise.

9 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I'd be rather interested to see how commoner marriages work in Westeros, but chances are that only wealthy people actually do marry.

Doubtful. We see plenty of commoners in the series who reference their wives or husbands. Sharna and Husband for one, Brienne meets a married couple on the road to Duskendale in AFFC, etc.

10 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Marriage is a social contract, not an expression of love, so one assumes peasants and merchants and craftsmen who own land and property do basically the same thing as the nobility - arrange profitable marriage contracts.

No doubt, but that's not really what I'm referring to. These people have something to gain with an arranged marriage. I'm referring to people who own no lands or businesses or anything of the sort. Farmhands, miners, etc. When they marry, there's no political gain, for the most part.

10 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Both Bessa and Kella seem to be half-whores, not exactly virtuous women - who most definitely would also exist in the smallfolk (else there would be no need for proper whores).

I have no idea what you mean, regarding the bold. Or what a "half-whore" is. They don't take money, so... not whores.

I obviously never said they were virtuous women, however. I'm just saying that they seem to be just a natural part of life, among commoners. Not good, not overly bad, just how it is. This is not how it is among the nobility, which was my point.

 

Regarding the rape of men in arranged marriages, I was referring to the marriage night, in particular (which I realise I never actually said. Oops). During the bedding, it's the duty of both to consummate the marriage, and there's really no choice for anyone.

After that though, yes, the husband decides when to have sex. Even if they don't choose to force their wife, the fact that they can is, of course, terrible.

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1 hour ago, R2D said:

That's true. I am generalizing - I don't think we really know the norm here.

Yeah, maybe :( But I actually think that a lot of marriages could have an "understanding" where the husband was allowed to have mistresses and the wife would get his true born kids, if they didn't become loving partners like Ned and Cat. So the woman doesn't get a fulfilling sex love, but at least she gets all the power and privileges that come with being a noble. This is all wishful thinking though of course. 

As for domestic abuse, Cersei is a very fiery and headstrong woman - most women would accept their place in the system and not challenge their husband's authority. The times when we see Robert hit her is when she reproaches him or insults him. Most women would lay their heads low and if their husband wasn't a drunk or a sadistic brute it would probably prevent them from getting abused. (Again, all wishful thinking). And I hope it doesn't seem like I'm victim blaming Cersei here, that's not what I'm going for here at all. Robert had no right to hit her no matter what she said to him.

Yeah we have to keep in mind this is a very violent society. I mean they watch people fight to the death for entertainment.

And a few more quotes which really hammer in that a husband has to be obeyed and has a right to chastise his wife.

A Game of Thrones, Sansa VI:

A Storm Of Swords, Sansa III:

(It's weird that pledging to obey your husband isn't in the marriage vows since you're required to obey him by law).

A Storm Of Swords, Jaime III:

A Feast For Crows, Brienne II:

So even if the wife complained - they would probably get a lecture from their father or brothers on how they have to be a better wife and listen to their husband. I could certainly see Hoster doing that, or Tywin. 

Yeah, sadly they were kind of forced to stay a child forever. The only thing that is really going to change in a marriage is the producing heirs part. And that's pretty disturbing, when you think about it. It was also common to call your wife "child" :ack:  I guess I'm exaggerate a bit. There were of course also other new duties and roles. And ideally the wife helps her husband rule the household. But just this notion that you forever have to obey a man even though you are an adult... and you and you opinion and feelings will never be as valued as him or your brothers or your sons.

And I actually don't think that Bobby would have hit Cersei, if she hadn't rebel. (A least not nearly as much)  So I understand what you mean. 

Would have been interesting to see, what would have happened if Cat would have refused Ned. He certainly would not have abused her, but still would have been interesting to see, what he'd done. A Lord needs heirs after all.

 

Edited by Nagini's Neville

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17 minutes ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

I never got the idea that Jon wanted any part of it.

Ok. I think both of us misunderstood what the other was saying. I thought you were implying that Hoster took the initiative to contact Jon Arryn first, proposed the marriage, offered his men as payment, and believed Jon couldn’t afford to refuse. Whereas my intended position was that Jon Arryn and Ned went to Hoster first, because they needed Tully men, and the marriage proposals were the proposed payment. It may be that Jon only planned to offer Ned and that Hoster countered with Lysa, but I don’t think Jon needed much encouragement to accept. There were benefits. He didn’t have a son as his own heir and his prospective bride was proven fertile.  His heir was a nephew by his sister Alys - not his own issue. Denys was killed in the Battle of the Bells. Jon’s son Robert is his current heir, but should he die the Eyrie would pass to Aly’s grandson Harrold, unless Robert manages to marry and father a son before dying.

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9 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Do you really think Trump was the better alternative??? 

Well yes. To be honest they were both bad candidates. Just that one was more untrustworthy than the other.

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4 hours ago, The Young Maester said:

Well yes. To be honest they were both bad candidates. Just that one was more untrustworthy than the other.

Trump is about to be impeached and removed from office, then prosecuted for tax fraud and money laundering, and you think he’s better than Hillary? You need to quit drinking the kool-aid and read a newspaper. 

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21 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

How many readers cheer for Cersei? Why is she viewed as a conniving bitch? Her tactics are self-preservation and necessary to hold power in a male-dominated world.

I don't cheer for Cersei, but it is clear her feelings for Jaime are genuine, just as his are for her. Both are narcissist in their own way, but Cersei is, in the end, the one more responsible, the one more grounded in the real world. She cares about her children, and her house, Jaime does care only about himself and how he wants to be seen by the world.

21 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Mance tries to redirect the blame away from Dalla for forsaking the black, but it was for her just the same. The old woods witch that repaired Mance's cloak was either Dalla's mother or teacher. Mance met Dalla while still a man of the Watch. He told Jon that he met her on a return trip to the Wall - Qhorin Halfhand was with him. While not explicitly detailed in the text, the meaning can be found between the lines. The repair of his cloak and meeting Dalla occurred at the same time, so by the time he returned to the Wall with Qhorin and was asked to turn in his cloak for one completely black, he refused. It was just an excuse to go back for the woman that nursed him back to health. It's not like Mance became the King Beyond the Wall immediately after leaving the Watch. It took years of negotiation and sometimes force, but I suspect that his most persuasive argument was in using information learned from Dalla.

We don't really know whether Dalla has anything to do with Mance leaving the Wall - to assume that is a big leap, especially if you consider Dalla's age. If they had been together for years then it is very odd that their first child is apparently only born during the battle. In fact, it seems very likely that Mance only hooked up with such an upper class woman as Dalla (long) after he became king.

Mance is a pretty old guy and it seems he turned his cloak at least a decade ago - he is king-beyond-the-Wall for quite some time at the beginning of the series - and you seem to try to twist around the meaning of the text if you make Mance's defection about a romance rather than the cloak. It is also not really the cloak, but what the cloak represented - Mance did not loath his vows nor did he want to fuck or a love a woman - he left because the mind of his black brothers - especially that of Denys Mallister - was too narrow. The cloak was a meaningful token for Mance, something that represented the larger world and a positive memory.

It also is without basis that Mance needed the help of Dalla (or any person, male or female) to make himself king-beyond-the-Wall. He is a larger than life figure, a great warrior (possibly one of the greatest in Westeros right now), a poet and a singer, a man blessed with a charisma that only one in a thousand men possess.

If Dalla or Val were actually influential with the wildlings in their own right, outside being part of Mance's inner circle, then there should have been some hints that this was the case. And there are none at this point. I don't deny that Dalla may have had knowledge about magic and sorcery - she indicates that - but this doesn't make her a priestess. And even if it did - we really do not know what kind of power or role 'priestesses' - assuming the wildlings had any - do have among their people.

I mean, we do know from Bran's vision that the ancient Starks also once had wise women/priestesses conduct their blood sacrifices to their weirwoods - but this did not make them the rulers of the Starks, nor did their existence prevent the Starks from never making one of their daughters Queen of Winter or Queen in the North.

The fact that polygamy and harems are also a thing beyond the Wall (and may have been with the ancient First Men in the North in the past, too) also means women there are worse off than among the Andals - because it is quite clear that raiders stealing women by the dozens can treat them in a similar fashion as the Ironborn treat their salt wives.

21 hours ago, Nagini's Neville said:

I don't know, if I'd call "merely having to stay alive" a position of strength at all. First at all she was too young to understand it and secondly even if she did would she have endured the torture or wanted to, that undoubtedly would have followed, if she'd refused?

Well, we don't know what would have followed - but it is possible that they would have at least decided to marry her to a Lannister less ugly than Tyrion. Tommen, at this time, perhaps, or one of the cousins back at Casterly Rock.

The point being is that Sansa publicly refusing to marry Tyrion would have caused a public scandal, something they may have not been able to resolve by beating her up and torturing her behind closed doors.

21 hours ago, Nagini's Neville said:

We don't know, if she was even able to refuse, maybe they would have found a way to marry them without her "consent"- Joff was the king after all. He had the right to order her around.

Again, if they could do that, then why have a public ceremony at all?

21 hours ago, Nagini's Neville said:

So imo she actually understood very well- she had no choice no matter what.

She allowed herself to be cowed. We'll never know whether she did have a choice. And just to be clear - I understand why she thought she had no choice. She is not to be blamed for that. It is just that we don't know what she could have accomplished if she had shown more resistance. She wasn't beaten up for publicly humiliating Tyrion the way she did, no?

21 hours ago, Nagini's Neville said:

I would have still liked it better if Dany experienced some typical symptoms and psychological consequences of her rape. That wouldn't have made her a weak character, but a realistic one. She still could have been magical Dragon-Lady. Ppl with such struggles are still able to do all kinds of things and have more to their character than that, it would have been just more realistic, otherwise she kind of becomes too Mary Sueish imo.

Well, one must admit that George wants to sell us the wedding night as Dany giving 'consent' in the end - although she really had no choice there, considering if she had had a choice, Drogo would have never married or touched her in the first place.

Their later sex is then clearly rape since she is in pain and she doesn't really want it to continue at a certain point and she more often than not did not want to have sex at all. However, overall her joining the Dothraki is written as her getting a first view at a wider world and her place in it - hints at what she could be now that she is no longer under her brother's thumb.

Her life does not revolve around her sex life back then, there is so much more. And she quickly takes charge of the former, anyway. But I think it is clearly Stockholm Syndrome in the sense that she would have never fallen in love with Drogo had she not been forced to be with him. It turns out fine for her because she makes it work, but the cruel fact is that her being forced to make it work is the ugly thing.

20 hours ago, R2D said:

I think this is exaggerating it. Nobles can get out of marriages - it just means they'll probably be disowned and lose all their privileges. They could stay in the woods and hunt deer and pick berries if they wanted to -but they won't keep their rich and lavish lifestyle, so they choose not to.

Well, it would depend on the father or brother what would happen. I mean, we see the defiant Blackfish not becoming a hermit in the wilderness because he refused to marry, and I assume that girls are not necessarily thrown under the bus, either.

The twisted thing is that the noble class really feeds their children the idea that it is their dynastic responsibilty, the very role they have to play in their lives to continue the family line. That's all they have to do, especially the women. It is very difficult to get out of that, you don't have to physically force them. And the best way to arrange marriages among nobility - then and now - is to not pair people who loath each other. I mean, you see how it goes in FaB very well with Alysanne. They want to pair siblings who love each other - like she always loved Jaehaerys - and that's why she hooked up Daenerys and Aemon in the beginning, and later ensured Alyssa could marry Baelon rather than insisting that Alyssa marry Aemon after Daenerys died. Then there are Aemon and Jocelyn - who simply are young people living at court who start to like each other. Vaegon and Daella are tried, but do not have to marry once it becomes clear they do not want to.

And most of the marriages Alysanne brokered for other houses seem to have happened in a similar fashion. She created and environment where young nobles hung out with each other and then she looked who could be a good match.

The way to do it mildly is to hook up young people who meet at tourneys and feasts and balls and the like - even Tywin didn't arrange the marriage contract before Jaime and Lysa had a chance to meet each other. And it might be that Jaime would have had a chance to say 'no' to his father before the deal was finalized (although Hoster would have definitely not allowed his daughter to say no, considering the man he was).

But those ideal circumstances are not always there. And it is also quite clear that even if you like a particular person you met on a couple of balls you might not want to spend the rest of your life with that person - meaning even if it is done nicely, you are still pushed in a marriage you may never have considered if you had been allowed to be your own woman or man.

20 hours ago, R2D said:

And most men aren't devoid of empathy. Even though they had a right to be terrible and brutal to their wives, most probably weren't. Marrying for love is a very modern concept, but both sides had an incentive to make the marriage work, as it would end up being better for both of them. I know this conflicts my opinion before where I said marriage would be "basically sex slavery", but I've changed my views a bit.

It is still a completely one-sided relationship - and a woman cannot refuse to have sex in that setting. And frankly, it seems that being a mother is the main/only duty a highborn woman has in life in Westeros. Queen Daena and Queen Aelinor wanted their husbands to fuck them and get them pregnant - because that was what their role in life demanded of them. Being a 'maiden queen' aside a king who refused to do his duty in the marriage bed makes them look silly in the eyes of the world. You also see that kind of thing with Selyse in ADwD who so desperately wants Stannis to share her bed again. This means even if they do not like their husband and are not attracted to him in any way, it might subjectively be still better to be 'raped'and impregnated by him than being shunned - because the latter would make them a laughingstock in the eyes of the public as well as give them the impression they completely failed in their role as wife.

What can make a noble marriage 'work' also is the fact that you don't really have to spend time together at all. You may live in the same castle, but each spouse has his/her own apartments, bed chamber, servants, and companions. Noble couples in Westeros (or the middle ages) did not really live together in the same way modern couples do - unless they really, really wanted to.

20 hours ago, R2D said:

Re: being able to stay unmarried, I agree it depends on the people and personalities in question. For example, Jaeherys who was the epitome of the wise and kind king still tried to arrange a marriage for the delicate Princess Daella at the age of 13, and put his foot down that she had to marry by 16. Viserra was also shipped off at 15 to marry a man old enough to be her father, even though it wasn't politically necessary. Viserra most probably wouldn't want to in such a marriage - so why didn't she stop it? The outside coercion applied by her father and society made it hard for her to do so.

Yeah, Jaehaerys I really is overdoing the marriage thing. But there are a lot of theories floating around especially about the Viserra thing. My take on that is not that the girl was 'evil' (she seems to be vilified for her inhumane beauty) but rather that Alysanne - who herself is not, in fact, a very beautiful Targaryen, lacking the prototypical Valyrian hair and eyes - may have been jealous of her young daughter there, and did, for whatever reason, not want her and Baelon to hook up. The idea that Viserra actually wanted to be queen by marrying Baelon while Aemon was still alive and well never made any sense at all.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

She wasn't beaten up for publicly humiliating Tyrion the way she did, no?

Well, one must admit that George wants to sell us the wedding night as Dany giving 'consent' in the end - although she really had no choice there, considering if she had had a choice, Drogo would have never married or touched her in the first place.

Their later sex is then clearly rape since she is in pain and she doesn't really want it to continue at a certain point and she more often than not did not want to have sex at all. However, overall her joining the Dothraki is written as her getting a first view at a wider world and her place in it - hints at what she could be now that she is no longer under her brother's thumb.

Her life does not revolve around her sex life back then, there is so much more. And she quickly takes charge of the former, anyway. But I think it is clearly Stockholm Syndrome in the sense that she would have never fallen in love with Drogo had she not been forced to be with him. It turns out fine for her because she makes it work, but the cruel fact is that her being forced to make it work is the ugly thing.

Tyrion was not fond of beating her up and Cersei and Joff were happy he had been humiliated. If she would have done that to Joff however...

I just think it's kind of a pointless discussion, asking if she could have refused. (even though it might be interesting, just to learn more about the world) If we as reader don't even know, what would have happened... But I guess your point is, if she knew more about her potential rights she might have used that power? Fair enough

We completely agree with the Drogo thing. My point is only, that something like that is very traumatic and since GRRM argues that rapes are part of reality, that's why they happen in asoiaf, PTSD or other psychological consequence should also be included, because that is also part of reality after trauma. And you can't just "will trauma away". Or you just have so much other things on your mind and that's why you just "forget" about the consequences. IRL ppl do amazing things and still suffer from psychological consequences of trauma. Just look at Simone Biles for example. It is not realistic for that to have no effect on you at all. And you don't just get symptoms "when you have a sex life". The effects of trauma is a very complicated and individual thing.

Symptoms come in all forms, PTSD is very often involved though. And most ppl are suffering from the effects all their lives in some way, even though good therapy can help a lot. Before I go on and on please just look into the psychological consequences of being raped or trauma in general.

All in all I do think we have a pretty similar view however anyway.

Edited by Nagini's Neville

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14 hours ago, R2D said:

I feel they're a very flawed couple. Jaime has no understanding of consent:

A Feast for Crows (Cersei IV):

(There's also the Sept scene and when Bran meets them in the tower, where Cersei is resisting and saying no but Jaime pushes her into sex anyway).

And Cersei manipulates him, and she does love him, but she puts her ambitions before him.

That is true, but it is also clear that Jaime does love Cersei. Whether he has a good understanding of consent is another matter. However, it seems clear from his POV that him always going to Cersei and initiating things is part of their game. I mean, you have to keep in mind that they are siblings who do have sex since they were, well, six or so. They know each other much better than the average couple.

14 hours ago, R2D said:

I didn't mean a new High Septon, but they could have gone to another Septon. Plus the Tyrells had dumped Sansa the moment they couldn't marry her to Willas. 

But Olenna never let the Sansa-Willas plan go as her talk to Tyrion and Sansa at Joff's wedding proves. The idea is that a public defiance of Sansa could have caused the Tyrells to speak up on her behalf, and put pressure on the Lannisters. If Mace had threatened to take his armies back to Highgarden if they continued their Sansa business that could have made a difference.

Not sure if it would have, but it is a possibility. I mean, we also learn that Ramsay mistreating 'Arya' is starting to become a dangerous issue for the Boltons.

14 hours ago, R2D said:

I just feel like calling it "Stockholm Syndrome" is a bit much. Stockholm syndrome is a very specific situation where you are a captive with no recourse who comes to love your captor because you have no other choice. A noblewoman would still have her friends and family, and most husbands probably wouldn't be the type to force themselves on their unwilling wife and batter them like Robert.

Not really, a noblewoman lives in her lord husband's castle, and keeps only the companions her lord husband's allows her. Not to mention that she would only make visits and receive visitors if he allowed it.

Lysa makes it clear she neither liked nor wanted to have sex with Jon.

12 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Why? Some women had more children that lived to adulthood than died in infancy. Alysanne is evidently one of them. That's not unrealistic at all. An average is an average, not a hard-and-fast rule that all mothers should have an exact percentage of their children dying in their infancy. That would be unrealistic.

It would have highlighted that children do not only die in infancy because they were weak. And it is in relation to the nonsensical 'unimportant women all die in childbirth routine' - which simply is not realistic at all.

12 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

I don't think so. She refers to the man as 'Husband', but refers to the boy as 'Boy', not as 'Son' (because he's not her son). Stands to reason she calls him 'Husband' because they're married. I see no reason to believe otherwise.

Could be, still they are agents in a war.

12 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Doubtful. We see plenty of commoners in the series who reference their wives or husbands. Sharna and Husband for one, Brienne meets a married couple on the road to Duskendale in AFFC, etc.

Sure, there are married commoners, that's clear - however, travelling commoners would already be the elite. I mean, in the Osgrey hovels a septon only shows up once a year. Are we to believe the people there all marry at the same day?

12 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

No doubt, but that's not really what I'm referring to. These people have something to gain with an arranged marriage. I'm referring to people who own no lands or businesses or anything of the sort. Farmhands, miners, etc. When they marry, there's no political gain, for the most part.

Which is why we don't really know if those people did marry. We know thralls married on the Iron Islands, but they did own property.

12 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

I have no idea what you mean, regarding the bold. Or what a "half-whore" is. They don't take money, so... not whores.

I mean that these women seem to have been sleeping around in exchange for favors and stuff. Sort of like Pia did at Harrenhal. She was no whore, either, but she did like to sleep around.

12 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

I obviously never said they were virtuous women, however. I'm just saying that they seem to be just a natural part of life, among commoners. Not good, not overly bad, just how it is. This is not how it is among the nobility, which was my point.

I don't think bastards would be as vilified as they are - ridiculously so, actually - if sleeping around was accepted for women anywhere in the society where people actually marry. I mean, we do know that Merry Meg's blacksmith husband beat her to death for cuckolding him with Prince Aegon after she was returned to him - and FaB also introduces us to the mistreatment wives faced due to the First Night nonsense.

In fact, considering the shitty behavior of the smallfolk (racism, religious intolerance, xenophobia) we are getting in FaB, it seems very likely that promiscuity is even a larger problem among them than the nobility.

12 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

Regarding the rape of men in arranged marriages, I was referring to the marriage night, in particular (which I realise I never actually said. Oops). During the bedding, it's the duty of both to consummate the marriage, and there's really no choice for anyone.

No, since the bedding isn't really mandatory. The spectators leave before the fucking starts. Husbands can - and presumably do - just ignore their wives and read a book in their wedding night. All that they have to go through is to be physically close/in the same bed with a woman they might not like or actually loath.

But the woman has no right to reject the advances of her husband - she is sworn to obey him, not the other way around.

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48 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

We don't really know whether Dalla has anything to do with Mance leaving the Wall - to assume that is a big leap, especially if you consider Dalla's age. If they had been together for years then it is very odd that their first child is apparently only born during the battle. In fact, it seems very likely that Mance only hooked up with such an upper class woman as Dalla (long) after he became king.

Mance is a pretty old guy and it seems he turned his cloak at least a decade ago - he is king-beyond-the-Wall for quite some time at the beginning of the series

Mance was yet a man of the Watch when he met Dalla, because Qhorin was with him:

Quote

Mance took her by the hand and pulled her close. "My lady is blameless. I met her on my return from your father's castle. The Halfhand was carved of old oak, but I am made of flesh, and I have a great fondness for the charms of women . . . which makes me no different from three-quarters of the Watch. There are men still wearing black who have had ten times as many women as this poor king. You must guess again, Jon Snow."

 

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22 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

How many readers cheer for Cersei? Why is she viewed as a conniving bitch? Her tactics are self-preservation and necessary to hold power in a male-dominated world.

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The same reason readers don't cheer any other mad tyrant. Let's not talk about her tactics.

 

 

Over the topic,  yes, wives have zero agency, really the Ned's example is the best of all, if a realationship as loving as his is so imbalanced, no one can be saved.

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52 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I don't cheer for Cersei, but it is clear her feelings for Jaime are genuine, just as his are for her. Both are narcissist in their own way, but Cersei is, in the end, the one more responsible, the one more grounded in the real world. She cares about her children, and her house, Jaime does care only about himself and how he wants to be seen by the world.

Jaime's thoughts have made it clear that he loves Cersei, but I don't think Cersei feels quite the same way. She'd rather bear his children, that much is true, but their incestuous relationship was more about controlling Jaime (and indirectly her father) than it was about being in love with her brother. If she loved Jaime so much why did she desire to marry Rhaegar? Why did she sleep with Lancel? Or the Kettleblacks? Or Taena?

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2 minutes ago, frenin said:

The same reason readers don't cheer any other mad tyrant. Let's not talk about her tactics.

 

 

Over the topic,  yes, wives have zero agency, really the Ned's example is the best of all, if a realationship as loving as his is so imbalanced, no one can be saved.

There isn't the same amount of venom for any male character. Are you saying there aren't any men that have done equally bad things? Jaime pushed Bran out a window. Sandor cut the butcher's boy in two. Stannis killed his brother. There are plenty more examples....

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8 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

There isn't the same amount of venom for any male character. Are you saying there aren't any men that have done equally bad things? Jaime pushed Bran out a window. Sandor cut the butcher's boy in two. Stannis killed his brother. There are plenty more examples....

No?? Cersei and  her firstborn  are not compared  with the mad King for nothing.

If Cersei had only done one or two things wrong, not stupid just morally wrong, I'd understand the comparation  but from the servants girl and  her babe she had killed and  slaved to Lollys, Cersei is not even remotely on the same league Stannis and Jaime. Cersei is another Maegor and  Aerys, the three  of them act for self preservation.

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2 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

Mance was yet a man of the Watch when he met Dalla, because Qhorin was with him.

Oh, no, you are reading this wrong. Mance refers to his second visit to Winterfell there, the one he made to see King Robert (and where he saw Jon not sitting with his half-siblings). Mance references Qhorin as having no taste for women, but he has. At no point does he say Qhorin was with him when he met for the first time.

And the context here is Jon asking why Mance left the Watch - asking him point blank whether it was for Dalla, i.e. a woman, and Mance denies that, giving him the cloak story. There is no way he defected for Dalla and then doesn't have the balls to admit that. This man is no coward, and he would not humiliate his lady in this way while she is standing there.

And the thing works perfectly if we assume they hooked up after Mance's return from Winterfell early in AGoT - that would give them sufficient time to start a relationship and for Dalla to get pregnant shortly thereafter so she can give birth to their first child and die in ASoS. AGoT covers roughly a year of time, and ACoK and ASoS only months.

If Mance had first met Dalla on his way back from his first visit to Winterfell (when he went there with Lord Commander Qorgyle years ago while he was still a black brother) then he would have met her between Winterfell and the Wall, south of it, which would make no sense at all. The way from Winterfell to the Wall does not lead through the Haunted Forest or the lands beyond the Wall. Not to mention that Dalla would have just been a pre-teen girl at the time, making Mance essentially nothing but a perv.

6 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

Jaime's thoughts have made it clear that he loves Cersei, but I don't think Cersei feels quite the same way. She'd rather bear his children, that much is true, but their incestuous relationship was more about controlling Jaime (and indirectly her father) than it was about being in love with her brother. If she loved Jaime so much why did she desire to marry Rhaegar? Why did she sleep with Lancel? Or the Kettleblacks? Or Taena?

Are you honestly slut-shaming Cersei here because she likes to have sex with more than one man and Jaime is content with sleeping only with Cersei (at least until he learns she may have slept around, then he runs amok mentally with jealousy)?!

Cersei was rejected as Rhaegar's wife when she was ten years old. Her father and aunt fed the idea that she would be queen at Rhaegar's side one day and she liked that. She was never in love with Rhaegar because she never even knew the man all that well (Rhaegar was with his father and Tywin at Casterly Rock after Tywin's death when the twins were 1-2, and then he was there later for the tourney Tywin threw in 276 AC after Viserys' birth where Cersei was rejected when she was ten. They had no meaningful bond at all.

Playing this up as kind of a 'love betrayal' on Cersei's part is like saying it is meaningful what you wanted to do as a ten-year-old. She and Jaime both didn't have a meaningful relationship back then.

And, of course, unlike Jaime's utter narcissim Cersei at least is responsible/grounded enough to know she will have to marry for House Lannister. She is willing to do her duty to her house if it is going to make her queen.

Cersei only sleeps with other men (Robert aside) after Jaime has abandoned her for Tyrion. He runs amok and flees the city when they are about to be discovered, meaning that they all, including their children, could be killed. She has to clean up Jaime's mess which also includes saving the three bastards her brother did father on her - while Cersei also does share a huge chunk of the blame for that it was Jaime Lannister who pumped his semen three times into Cersei's womb to father Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen.

And if we truly assume Jaime occasionally - or even regularly - pushed Cersei's boundaries and/or forced himself on her when they had sex then the children might even be the product of rape (I'm not of that opinion, but I certainly think Jaime is more at fault there considering that he also happened to be Robert's Kingsguard).

Lancel got rewarded for helping Cersei to kill Robert - and also served as a replacement Jaime, considering it was essentially expected that the Starks would kill Jaime to avenge the execution of Ned. Afterwards Cersei is under constant pressure trying to keep Joffrey on the throne, fighting Stannis, Renly, and Tyrion at the same time that she resorts to sex to reward men for the favors they did her.

And Taena, well, that's after she and Jaime are pretty estranged and has as much to do with sex out of love as had her fucking the Kettleblacks.

But with Jaime that's all different. Jaime always is the first person that comes to her mind when she is in danger - that's all very genuine. She wants him as Hand at her side when Tywin is killed, she wants his help when the Faith arrests her, etc.

One can say that this is an unhealthy relationship, and that Cersei's love is not unconditional and that she is a pampered, self-involved brat - but that doesn't change the fact that she is very much - in fact as much as she possibly can - in love with her twin brother.

And she also loves her children very much. She is no great mother, but her feelings are genuine. She fears that Tommen won't be able to be a good king. She really wants to protect him, even if she cannot properly communicate that to him. That she doesn't treat an eight-year-old as her equal is hardly surprising.

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12 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

She has to clean up Jaime's mess which also includes saving the three bastards her brother did father on her - while Cersei also does share a huge chunk of the blame for that it was Jaime Lannister who pumped his semen three times into Cersei's womb to father Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen.

Cersei was perfectly capable of abort as she did when she was pregnant with Robert's kid and  she does want to end Robert's line.

 

14 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

But with Jaime that's all different. Jaime always is the first person that comes to her mind when she is in danger - that's all very genuine. She wants him as Hand at her side when Tywin is killed, she wants his help when the Faith arrests her, etc.

Jaime is her first protector and  until the lost  of his hand, her puppet.

 

 

 

15 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

And she also loves her children very much. She is no great mother, but her feelings are genuine. She fears that Tommen won't be able to be a good king. She really wants to protect him, even if she cannot properly communicate that to him. That she doesn't treat an eight-year-old as her equal is hardly surprising.

 

As a extension of herself, her first reaction when she heard  what happened to Myrce, the first thing she thinks is about she will no longer be pretty, to say she is not a great mother is a understatement, she abuses Tommen only to keep him from the Tyrells or power, even when Tommen has no power  on his on right she just want a yes mom.

 

 

 

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