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On 9/22/2021 at 2:55 PM, The Bard of Banefort said:

This may seem like a silly thing to worry about, but given how long it’s taking to finish the books, I’m concerned that there’s going to be more backlash when TWOW/ADOS are eventually released. Not because of the quality, but because we’re now in the midst of a very moralistic climate where people can’t seem to separate reality from fiction, or the past from the present (and judging by the internet, this is an international phenomenon). The hardcore fans probably won’t care, but I’m sure he’ll get flak from reviewers/columnists. There will be a bunch of garbage articles about how problematic ASOIAF is and how it is “a relic from a different time.”

 

I think it's a salient point you make and it is one I have wondered about too.  GRRM is a liberal and the attitude to certain things have changed massively even over last decade.  One of the best things about the books (well the first four anyway) was the nuance and subtlety, but keeping it realistic and gritty in terms of mirroring Westeros as medieval Europe in terms of ignorance and prejudice.  Renly is a great example of this.  His character was brilliantly written.

I have wondered whether GRRM is struggling and rewriting to shoehorn in more inclusivity.  He could probably weave in another male major character as coming out of the closet or discovering "new" feelings, but he is going to struggle to introduce the significant amount of major characters to fulfill the persons of colour quota that will surely be demanded (and that he will almost certainly be trying to do given his own political persuasions) without bloating the story even more.  He'll probably have to find some kind of way in the Dany arc, and make sure they end up on the righteous side at the end.  He'll also have to try and weave into the story prejudice against them.  Maybe he'll add a few in the Golden Company and turn one of them into a POV character.

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On 9/25/2021 at 8:02 PM, Ser Gareth said:

 

I think it's a salient point you make and it is one I have wondered about too.  GRRM is a liberal and the attitude to certain things have changed massively even over last decade.  One of the best things about the books (well the first four anyway) was the nuance and subtlety, but keeping it realistic and gritty in terms of mirroring Westeros as medieval Europe in terms of ignorance and prejudice.  Renly is a great example of this.  His character was brilliantly written.

I have wondered whether GRRM is struggling and rewriting to shoehorn in more inclusivity.  He could probably weave in another male major character as coming out of the closet or discovering "new" feelings, but he is going to struggle to introduce the significant amount of major characters to fulfill the persons of colour quota that will surely be demanded (and that he will almost certainly be trying to do given his own political persuasions) without bloating the story even more.  He'll probably have to find some kind of way in the Dany arc, and make sure they end up on the righteous side at the end.  He'll also have to try and weave into the story prejudice against them.  Maybe he'll add a few in the Golden Company and turn one of them into a POV character.

I've also had thoughts along these lines as well.  I think the biggest issue would be with the whole MeToo/Time'sUp movement concerning sensitivity to sexual assault.  GRRM's treatment of sexual violence and underage sex (by modern standards) has caused him controversy in the past, and sensitivity to those issues has only grown in recent years.  While there is quite a bit of sexual violence in the books, I think it has been exaggerated somewhat.  I have seen much worse, even in fantasy (unfortunately).  I expect, however, that regular readers will have become used to it by now, so unless a main characters suffers it, I think he will be OK.  Underage sex could be a problem, especially as the minimum age of acceptability (especially in America) seems to be climbing ever upward.  If he originally (back when the characters were intended to be older by now) had intention for Sansa or (gulp!) Arya to have romantic interests, this could be causing him some problems.  Even Jon and Daenerys's current ages of 16 and 17 could be problematic, which may be why their ages don't seem to be mentioned any more.

With respect to Gay issues, I get the impression that he has no real interest in the subject.  No major character is out, and only one minor one that I can think of (Lyn Corbray).  The only real possibility that I can think of among men is Brynden Tully, the Blackfish.  I can't really think of any women.  Meera's sexuality is unknown, but I see nobody to partner with, so I don't really see the point.  I regard Cersei's and Daenerys's same-sex activities as experimental.  They are quite obviously straight.  

Race I don't see as much of a problem.  The racial composition of Westeros might be different if it were being written today, but it is pretty much baked in by this point, and I have not seen any controversy on this issue.  His treatment of societies such as the Free Folk has been generally fair, though the Dothraki seem a bit unpleasant.  

That's all I have time for right now.

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honestly being highly sensitive especially about underage sex and sexual violence myself, I don't see anything in the series that deserves backlash.

yes there's loads of sexual violence in the books and uncountable cases of assault but the fact is text itself is not ignorant about all these. in fact we can see several characters addressing this in the first book alone including Dany , Ned and Sansa.

the violent scenes in the books are sometimes more than disturbing especially in the case of bastard of dreadfort and the Mountain but they are not routine and they are not done by the people who anyone would root for.

and we should consider that the writer used to read and write horror at his youth.

as for everyone's age , i do believe Martin could consider more appropriate ageing knowing his audience. even when the books were first published it wasn't normal for 13-14 year-olds to have sex and get married in America or Europe i guess , although it unfortunately was in many places in the world. but the writer who is a history nerd has written a fantasy based on medieval europe and it has resulted in characters who are pretty much grown up at 14 and have to have short childhoods.

there are quite few gay characters in the series and I doubt anyone except for Jon Conn be a gay/lesbian pov but again that seems alright since again the world the books are in is not officially accepting homosexuals but still we have them in major characters like Jon Conn , Renly and Loras ( and i can easily guess Blackfish is gay too) .perhaps some people liked to see gay stereotypes like in many movies that seem to put a gay-black guy with no personality or purpose just to be sassy which I think is insulting.   yes there are no homosexual women in the series but again we should see the context of the story. Westeros is manly world so men might be able to realize what they truly feel but women are simply not allowed to know anything and have to shut their feelings down.  

about the whole coloring I think there could be more diversity in Westeros itself but the world is built based on Europe . there is no way that Martin can fix anything by putting a person or two who are not white in Dany's chapter and be done with it . that wouldn't be diversity. actually the minor characters we already have is way better than including characters just to shout there are people of color in the series 

anyways i think that sort of backlash wouldn't affect Martin because the guy is old and experienced enough to know that is somewhat shortsighted

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27 minutes ago, Nevets said:

I've also had thoughts along these lines as well.  I think the biggest issue would be with the whole MeToo/Time'sUp movement concerning sensitivity to sexual assault.  GRRM's treatment of sexual violence and underage sex (by modern standards) has caused him controversy in the past, and sensitivity to those issues has only grown in recent years.  While there is quite a bit of sexual violence in the books, I think it has been exaggerated somewhat.  I have seen much worse, even in fantasy (unfortunately).  I expect, however, that regular readers will have become used to it by now, so unless a main characters suffers it, I think he will be OK.  Underage sex could be a problem, especially as the minimum age of acceptability (especially in America) seems to be climbing ever upward.  If he originally (back when the characters were intended to be older by now) had intention for Sansa or (gulp!) Arya to have romantic interests, this could be causing him some problems.  Even Jon and Daenerys's current ages of 16 and 17 could be problematic, which may be why their ages don't seem to be mentioned any more.

With respect to Gay issues, I get the impression that he has no real interest in the subject.  No major character is out, and only one minor one that I can think of (Lyn Corbray).  The only real possibility that I can think of among men is Brynden Tully, the Blackfish.  I can't really think of any women.  Meera's sexuality is unknown, but I see nobody to partner with, so I don't really see the point.  I regard Cersei's and Daenerys's same-sex activities as experimental.  They are quite obviously straight.  

Race I don't see as much of a problem.  The racial composition of Westeros might be different if it were being written today, but it is pretty much baked in by this point, and I have not seen any controversy on this issue.  His treatment of societies such as the Free Folk has been generally fair, though the Dothraki seem a bit unpleasant.  

That's all I have time for right now.

Sexuality is what I was thinking of as well. There are so many instances of 12-to-13-year-olds marrying/having sex with people in their 20s and 30s that in order to enjoy this series, you just have to accept that 13 in this world is 18 (or older) in our world. George has said both that he included young marriages because they were common in the Middle Ages (although that has been heavily disputed) and that he intended for each book to span several years, which would have made each of the characters older for certain pivotal moments. (For example, I'm guessing that George probably intended for Sansa to be around 16-ish by the Battle of the Blackwater, rather than 12. The Mercy TWOW chapter also becomes much weirder once you remember that Arya is 11, so it's just easier to think of her as 16, which is what she would have been had the five-year gap worked out). Right now in our culture, there's a huge emphasis placed on power dynamics and what is or is not considered an abuse of power. The consensus towards someone like Bill Clinton is a good example of this: twenty years ago, most liberal-minded people were of the opinion that it was no one else's business what someone does in their bedroom. Now, even Monica Lewinsky has said that she considers their affair to have been an abuse of power on his part, since he was technically her boss and old enough to be her father. I'm not even saying this is a bad thing, especially not in the real world, but in a series like ASOIAF, pretty much every relationship is considered toxic by modern day standards. So you either have to be willing to overlook that and put yourself in the mindset of "this is fiction, we're adults, we can root for people without agreeing with them morally" or you're going to find every character problematic.

George is a liberal, but he's more of a Baby Boomer hippie liberal than what we're seeing today, which tends to lean more towards moralism. It's a very unforgiving climate. Like most book fans, I was upset by the depiction of sexual assault on GOT, and I'm quite glad that we're seeing less of it on TV now--even outside of GOT, it was mostly used either for shock value or as a lazy plot device (and judging by George's own comments about RamSan and Jaime and Cersei in the sept, I'm guessing he wasn't too happy with how it was being depicted on GOT either). But along with these improvements came a lot of other baggage. Like I mentioned before, many people seem to really struggle with separating fiction from reality, or depiction from endorsement. If AGOT came out today, there would be an uproar over Dany and Drogo--not just about whether their wedding night was consensual, but about the age difference between the two of them and how Dany came to love Drogo despite his domineering nature. I'm convinced that if GOT premiered today, it would not have been nearly as successful, both for poor creative decisions on the show runners' part, but also for the nature of this fictional world.

Which brings me back to my original point that by taking so long to finish TWOW (let alone the series), George unknowingly shot himself in the foot. I do think we'll eventually circle back to a more forgiving culture, but it probably won't be for a very long time. Established fans will still devour anything he publishes, but whatever backlash a series like this receives may well chase off new fans, and diminish the accomplishments of this incredible series.

(Side note: As far as queer characters go, don't forget JonCon, who is currently our only homosexual POV).

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was just looking at some recent-ish threads about shipping on Reddit and. . . Jesus, have fandoms become joyless. There really are people now who believe that escapism is immoral and that there's something heinous about applying different standards to fiction as to real life.

A lot of people have called this climate puritanical, but that might actually be a disservice to the Puritans. In addition to the many myths that have been passed down for centuries now--contrary to popular belief, they actually had pretty progressive beliefs about sex and gender for their time--the Puritans also built lasting institutions that fundamentally changed our culture (i.e. the Ivy League system). The modern social justice movement can't really say that--they're great at tearing things down but not at building them up (ironically, George rather ominously posted a quote about this from Nelson Mandela on his blog a few months back). The closest you can get would probably be the MeToo movement, but even then, it's not really clear if it is creating any lasting institutional change yet, or if it's all just smoke and mirrors. So we have the extremely dogmatic morality of puritanism without any of the achievements.

I don't know. It is what it is and there's no point in dwelling on it, but I do find it a bit dispiriting. 

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On 9/22/2021 at 8:55 AM, The Bard of Banefort said:

This may seem like a silly thing to worry about, but given how long it’s taking to finish the books, I’m concerned that there’s going to be more backlash when TWOW/ADOS are eventually released. Not because of the quality, but because we’re now in the midst of a very moralistic climate where people can’t seem to separate reality from fiction, or the past from the present (and judging by the internet, this is an international phenomenon). The hardcore fans probably won’t care, but I’m sure he’ll get flak from reviewers/columnists. There will be a bunch of garbage articles about how problematic ASOIAF is and how it is “a relic from a different time.”

I'm sure that both Winds and Dream (but especially Dream) will be very, very dark books with some grim endings.

I think Sansa is going to have a hard go at things in the next two books.

On 9/27/2021 at 7:24 PM, The Bard of Banefort said:

There are so many instances of 12-to-13-year-olds marrying/having sex with people in their 20s and 30s that in order to enjoy this series, you just have to accept that 13 in this world is 18 (or older) in our world. George has said both that he included young marriages because they were common in the Middle Ages (although that has been heavily disputed) and that he intended for each book to span several years, which would have made each of the characters older for certain pivotal moments. (For example, I'm guessing that George probably intended for Sansa to be around 16-ish by the Battle of the Blackwater, rather than 12. The Mercy TWOW chapter also becomes much weirder once you remember that Arya is 11, so it's just easier to think of her as 16, which is what she would have been had the five-year gap worked out

Well, you have to remember that adolescence is a 20th century concept. Either you were a child or an adult and adulthood came early for both boys and girls back in the Middle Ages. They might not have been married off at 13 (clearly Sansa and Daenerys were exceptions) but they were betrothed and had jobs and apprenticeships and maybe even homes.

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There’s values dissonance on just about everything.  I think most readers can bring themselves to accept that same-sex marriage is not a thing in this tale, but a surprising number seem to think that the Geneva Conventions ought to apply in this world.

I’m afraid every leader (not just Tywin),  including Ned Stark, would be branded a war criminal, by the standards of a modern Western country, fighting limited wars.  And of course, such standards are completely anachronistic to people in a medieval world at war.

As to children, I assume that 12 in this world is basically 16/17 in ours.  Teenage soldiers are common, and Jon, Joffrey, Robb, and Dany are considered legitimate targets by their enemies.

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33 minutes ago, BlackLightning said:

I'm sure that both Winds and Dream (but especially Dream) will be very, very dark books with some grim endings.

I think Sansa is going to have a hard go at things in the next two books.

Well, you have to remember that adolescence is a 20th century concept. Either you were a child or an adult and adulthood came early for both boys and girls back in the Middle Ages. They might not have been married off at 13 (clearly Sansa and Daenerys were exceptions) but they were betrothed and had jobs and apprenticeships and maybe even homes.

12 year olds (and younger) could be hanged as felons.

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On 9/28/2021 at 1:24 AM, The Bard of Banefort said:

Sexuality is what I was thinking of as well. There are so many instances of 12-to-13-year-olds marrying/having sex with people in their 20s and 30s that in order to enjoy this series, you just have to accept that 13 in this world is 18 (or older) in our world. George has said both that he included young marriages because they were common in the Middle Ages (although that has been heavily disputed) and that he intended for each book to span several years, which would have made each of the characters older for certain pivotal moments. (For example, I'm guessing that George probably intended for Sansa to be around 16-ish by the Battle of the Blackwater, rather than 12. The Mercy TWOW chapter also becomes much weirder once you remember that Arya is 11, so it's just easier to think of her as 16, which is what she would have been had the five-year gap worked out). Right now in our culture, there's a huge emphasis placed on power dynamics and what is or is not considered an abuse of power. The consensus towards someone like Bill Clinton is a good example of this: twenty years ago, most liberal-minded people were of the opinion that it was no one else's business what someone does in their bedroom. Now, even Monica Lewinsky has said that she considers their affair to have been an abuse of power on his part, since he was technically her boss and old enough to be her father. I'm not even saying this is a bad thing, especially not in the real world, but in a series like ASOIAF, pretty much every relationship is considered toxic by modern day standards. So you either have to be willing to overlook that and put yourself in the mindset of "this is fiction, we're adults, we can root for people without agreeing with them morally" or you're going to find every character problematic.

George is a liberal, but he's more of a Baby Boomer hippie liberal than what we're seeing today, which tends to lean more towards moralism. It's a very unforgiving climate. Like most book fans, I was upset by the depiction of sexual assault on GOT, and I'm quite glad that we're seeing less of it on TV now--even outside of GOT, it was mostly used either for shock value or as a lazy plot device (and judging by George's own comments about RamSan and Jaime and Cersei in the sept, I'm guessing he wasn't too happy with how it was being depicted on GOT either). But along with these improvements came a lot of other baggage. Like I mentioned before, many people seem to really struggle with separating fiction from reality, or depiction from endorsement. If AGOT came out today, there would be an uproar over Dany and Drogo--not just about whether their wedding night was consensual, but about the age difference between the two of them and how Dany came to love Drogo despite his domineering nature. I'm convinced that if GOT premiered today, it would not have been nearly as successful, both for poor creative decisions on the show runners' part, but also for the nature of this fictional world.

Which brings me back to my original point that by taking so long to finish TWOW (let alone the series), George unknowingly shot himself in the foot. I do think we'll eventually circle back to a more forgiving culture, but it probably won't be for a very long time. Established fans will still devour anything he publishes, but whatever backlash a series like this receives may well chase off new fans, and diminish the accomplishments of this incredible series.

(Side note: As far as queer characters go, don't forget JonCon, who is currently our only homosexual POV).

Allegations of abuse of power cover a very wide spectrum, from rape at one end,  to genuinely affectionate relationships at the other, but where one person is more powerful than the other.  I think that branding all such relationships as disgraceful really does no justice to the range of human sexual experience.  

What jars with Dany/Drogo to me is not so much the marriage per se, or the wedding night, as the fact she was nearly driven to suicide by his behaviour, and later, can only persuade him to give Viserys his horse back by performing bed tricks for him.  I can’t see such things as romantic, even though the author sees their relationship as a genuine romance.  By way of comparison, if we learned that Sansa was able to secure better treatment for a prominent Stark prisoner only by giving head to her husband, I think we’d be disgusted with Tyrion.

What it seems *to me* is that life with Viserys was so bad, that Daenerys hugely romanticised her time with Drogo, by comparison.

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2 hours ago, SeanF said:

What it seems *to me* is that life with Viserys was so bad, that Daenerys hugely romanticised her time with Drogo, by comparison.

I don't think life with Viserys was bad because of Viserys. Surely, he wasn't having the time of his life even then, but Daenerys pretty much didn't let him go unless Viserys threatened her child. We don't know how much did Daenerys romanticize Viserys, just that she tought they'll marry.  The thing is, Daenerys (somehow) isn't traumatised by either of her two bullies. I'm not a woman but I hardly can imagine you'd fall in love with someone who previously kinda raped you. Viserys never assaulted Daenerys sexually, altough he desired her. He was harassive towards her sometimes, but I don't think that was as bad as sexually assaulting her should had been. 

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25 minutes ago, Daeron the Daring said:

I don't think life with Viserys was bad because of Viserys. Surely, he wasn't having the time of his life even then, but Daenerys pretty much didn't let him go unless Viserys threatened her child. We don't know how much did Daenerys romanticize Viserys, just that she tought they'll marry.  The thing is, Daenerys (somehow) isn't traumatised by either of her two bullies. I'm not a woman but I hardly can imagine you'd fall in love with someone who previously kinda raped you. Viserys never assaulted Daenerys sexually, altough he desired her. He was harassive towards her sometimes, but I don't think that was as bad as sexually assaulting her should had been. 

I think it largely was.  I believe Illyrio when he describes Daenerys as "frightened and furtive" when she arrived at his manse. Viserys had been hitting her, belittling her, groping her, for quite some time. Later, she learns to mask her fears. Daenerys is good at pretending confidence outwardly, when in reality, she's riddled with worry and self-doubt.

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7 minutes ago, Daeron the Daring said:

I don't think life with Viserys was bad because of Viserys. Surely, he wasn't having the time of his life even then, but Daenerys pretty much didn't let him go unless Viserys threatened her child. We don't know how much did Daenerys romanticize Viserys, just that she tought they'll marry.  The thing is, Daenerys (somehow) isn't traumatised by either of her two bullies. I'm not a woman but I hardly can imagine you'd fall in love with someone who previously kinda raped you. Viserys never assaulted Daenerys sexually, altough he desired her. He was harassive towards her sometimes, but I don't think that was as bad as sexually assaulting her should had been. 

that's because you are not seeing it in Dany's mindset.

anything that Drogo did to her was normal in her eyes because he was her husband. that was his right to do as he pleased to her no matter she cried in the pillow afterwards. in fact even nowadays domestic sexual harassments or domestic rape isn't a crime and even has no meaning in many countries ( I'm aware of the Islamic ones at least) . on top of that Drogo died before Dany could realize he was a bully and he wasn't ,well, the romantic husband she thought he was!

as for Viserys , I'd say she sounds troubled enough to me. the very thing that triggers her waking the Dragons prophetic dream is Viserys asking her "you don't want to wake the dragon, do you?" and it takes her a relatively long time to finally realize that Viserys mustn't have been so cruel to her because he was both her brother and king. while in the past she seemed to think he had every right to treat her as he did because he was her brother and king.

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37 minutes ago, EggBlue said:

that's because you are not seeing it in Dany's mindset.

anything that Drogo did to her was normal in her eyes because he was her husband. that was his right to do as he pleased to her no matter she cried in the pillow afterwards. in fact even nowadays domestic sexual harassments or domestic rape isn't a crime and even has no meaning in many countries ( I'm aware of the Islamic ones at least) . on top of that Drogo died before Dany could realize he was a bully and he wasn't ,well, the romantic husband she thought he was!

as for Viserys , I'd say she sounds troubled enough to me. the very thing that triggers her waking the Dragons prophetic dream is Viserys asking her "you don't want to wake the dragon, do you?" and it takes her a relatively long time to finally realize that Viserys mustn't have been so cruel to her because he was both her brother and king. while in the past she seemed to think he had every right to treat her as he did because he was her brother and king.

Daenerys hasn't even shaken off that mentality as of ADWD.  She refers to Hizdahr as her "Lord Husband", as if she's the lesser in the relationship. 

I do think Drogo came to love her in his way, but she was in no sense an equal, or anything more than his trophy wife.

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Daenerys was subservient to Drogo because that’s what was expected of her in this world. They loved each other to the extent that they could in this sort of environment.

There’s a lot of pearl-clutching about Sansa and the Hound now too. People are free to like and dislike whatever they want to, but it’s been a popular ship for 20 years now, and suddenly there’s all this moralizing about the people who do like it.* Of course their relationship is messed up! So is Jaehaerys/Alysanne and Jon/Ygritte and pretty much every other relationship in this series (even Ned and Cat are toxic by our standards when you consider that he forbade her from asking about Jon’s mother for fifteen years). But it’s fiction and we’re adults (at least I hope we are) and therefore we can enjoy character dynamics without endorsing a real-life equivalent. If anything, it’s a testament to the author’s talent as a writer.

*Of course, some people just hate it because it’s something that Stupid Girls like. A lot of people hide behind rhetoric to mask their real feelings. It’s like all the guys who now use “Karen” as a substitute for “bitch.”

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9 hours ago, SeanF said:

I think it largely was.  I believe Illyrio when he describes Daenerys as "frightened and furtive" when she arrived at his manse. Viserys had been hitting her, belittling her, groping her, for quite some time. Later, she learns to mask her fears. Daenerys is good at pretending confidence outwardly, when in reality, she's riddled with worry and self-doubt.

Daenerys considers Viserys' anger a terrible thing when aroused, yes, but my point was that everytime she thinks of her life before Illyrio's mansion but after the house with the red door, Viserys' behaviour wasn't the thing tha she remembers first, but that how they've been rejected by everyone, that they've been living on a street, and how Viserys had grown more and more bitter due to this life form. In a sense, I think Daenerys kind of undestands why Viserys was like that, likely because what cracked Viserys is her own burden now. She thinks life with Viserys was bad because they lived the life of a beggar or a homeless. Of course her past self was the profuct of growing up under Viserys' (abusive) hands, but she doesn't really blame him for the quality of life they had. 

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On 9/22/2021 at 3:55 PM, The Bard of Banefort said:

This may seem like a silly thing to worry about, but given how long it’s taking to finish the books, I’m concerned that there’s going to be more backlash when TWOW/ADOS are eventually released. Not because of the quality, but because we’re now in the midst of a very moralistic climate where people can’t seem to separate reality from fiction, or the past from the present (and judging by the internet, this is an international phenomenon). The hardcore fans probably won’t care, but I’m sure he’ll get flak from reviewers/columnists. There will be a bunch of garbage articles about how problematic ASOIAF is and how it is “a relic from a different time.”

 

On 9/22/2021 at 6:11 PM, CamiloRP said:

I fear the opposite, I fear diet nazis protesting it because it's SJW propaganda or some other bullshit. There's a lot of diet nazis who like GOT and even ASOIAF, that's because they are unable (or unwilling) to see the themes and meaning GRRM wove into it, but when the ending nears, those themes become much more evident and harder to ignore, and I don't know how George would be able to cope with having a bunch of diet nazis screaming at him.

You know what is (not) funny? You are both right, as both groups will most likely will start a shitstorm (on Twitter, so it's not as if the real world should care), no matter what GRRM would write, so @MelisandresBurningPanties is right, the prudent reaction would be ignoring them.

 

14 hours ago, SeanF said:

Allegations of abuse of power cover a very wide spectrum, from rape at one end,  to genuinely affectionate relationships at the other, but where one person is more powerful than the other.  I think that branding all such relationships as disgraceful really does no justice to the range of human sexual experience.  

Beside this allegations being unrealistic, as every relationship any being on this planet ever had has a power imbalance woven into it (At the least due to individually different preferences, abilities etc. It's just that - in a lot of species and (theoretically) modern human culture - these kind of imbalances do complement each other, so they don't appear as such on the first glace):

What is the suggested solution for these couples? Not loving each other? Deus-ex-machina-leveling the power difference?

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[mod] Folks, this has moved way off topic for the thread. That's largely because there is no news, I understand, but there are other threads for these discussions. [/mod]

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