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Alyn Oakenfist

Why is everybody who sat the Iron Throne in recent history a rapist?

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So Aerys and Robert were both documented marital rapists, messing their wives up horribly in the process. Rhaegar was not the King, but he was the second best thing, and as I outlined before odds are he too was a rapist (at least after Brandon and Rickard got BBQed), Joffrey was let's be honest going very rapidly towards it, and his assaults on Sansa have definite shades of sexual assault, and while Tommen is clearly not a rapist, Cersei is for all purposes the King and her interactions with Taena mirror Robert's so much it's beyond uncomfortable (though not quite rapey). So what's with this fucked up trend? Is GRRM hinting at something or is it just a coincidence. In Cersei's case it's clear she is going down the road Robert went, though with added narcissism, paranoia and all round insanity, but what's up with the others?

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GRRM definitely makes frequent use of sexual assault (and not just with the ruler characters, just look at the Brave Companions or the Mountain and his men) but it's in keeping with the themes of the world he's creating. And while I can't speak for women's responses to the story, I do find some solace in the fact that the sexual assaults are not glorified in his writing like, say, Outlander or even a couple of Ken Follett's books.

Edited by Canon Claude

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Maybe it is because people in absolute power have tendency to take what they want? We know of recent history of Westeros because of specific form of ASoIaF. Guess it could be pretty the same in former history of the Iron Throne.

This reminds me of Casimir III, the greatest of Polish kings. He had Aegon IV attitude (many mistresses and alleged rape of Klara Zach, lady-in-waiting at Hungarian court). And some other medieval Polish duke, cannot remember which, who was killed by German peasant woman when he tried to rape her (while in exile in Reich).

 

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I think that in the world of asoiaf, whatever a husband does with his wife behind closed doors is just considered a man taking his right. In our eyes it is definitely rape, but in their eyes its just the normal way of things.

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On 11/20/2020 at 8:39 AM, Alyn Oakenfist said:

So Aerys and Robert were both documented marital rapists, messing their wives up horribly in the process. Rhaegar was not the King, but he was the second best thing, and as I outlined before odds are he too was a rapist (at least after Brandon and Rickard got BBQed), Joffrey was let's be honest going very rapidly towards it, and his assaults on Sansa have definite shades of sexual assault, and while Tommen is clearly not a rapist, Cersei is for all purposes the King and her interactions with Taena mirror Robert's so much it's beyond uncomfortable (though not quite rapey). So what's with this fucked up trend? Is GRRM hinting at something or is it just a coincidence. In Cersei's case it's clear she is going down the road Robert went, though with added narcissism, paranoia and all round insanity, but what's up with the others?

What is considered rape is not universal across time and culture.  Sad, I know.  Truly it is.  A place like Westeros will have a colored view of rape especially when the victim is the wife.  Brandon would be considered a rapist today if Barbrey was underaged.  Statutory rape in his case.  Rhaegar would have to register as a sex offender if he did in fact have sexual relations with Lyanna.  I don't believe he did but Arthur may have been the one to shag the wolfgirl.  But that's not a discussion for this time.  

The popular social value of what is considered appropriate relations can change very quickly.  Within a generation or two.  I am an American who grew up in rural Texas.  My grandparents on both sides of the family were people with very prejudiced opinions against minorities.  It was also common for the women of their generation to marry very early and sometimes to men who were much older.  Like decades older.  Fourteen and fifteen year old girls marrying older men with property.  Today, one of my sisters is married to a man of color.  My parents supported the engagement and the following marriage.  Values and attitudes can change very quickly.  I've seen the term "social engineering" used frequently and that is a powerful tool to change attitudes.  Anything can be change.  Attitudes and values towards slavery, sexual relations, etc.  All that can change with the passing of one generation.  A catalyst is needed to create the chain reaction.  You could call this an agent of change.  

The men who sat on the iron throne were behaving like the males of their time.  I am betting that what Aerys and Robert did was common behavior among the men.  Imagine how the common men treated their women.  Nobody would even give it much thought if the blacksmith treated his wife roughly.  Aerys and Robert were angels compared to Roose and Ramsay.  But like I said.  All of that can change overnight.  The right catalyst with enough leverage and the right propaganda machinery to bring on social engineering can get this done in a generation.  Allysanne was hamstringed because she had to go through her husband.  But a Queen Daenerys Targaryen will not have to tolerate that sort of male filtering.  Daenerys will not allow males to restrict her reforms.  I really look forward to her rule.  It's time to bring major changes to Westeros.  

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On 11/20/2020 at 6:39 AM, Alyn Oakenfist said:

So Aerys and Robert were both documented marital rapists, messing their wives up horribly in the process. Rhaegar was not the King, but he was the second best thing, and as I outlined before odds are he too was a rapist (at least after Brandon and Rickard got BBQed), Joffrey was let's be honest going very rapidly towards it, and his assaults on Sansa have definite shades of sexual assault, and while Tommen is clearly not a rapist, Cersei is for all purposes the King and her interactions with Taena mirror Robert's so much it's beyond uncomfortable (though not quite rapey). So what's with this fucked up trend? Is GRRM hinting at something or is it just a coincidence. In Cersei's case it's clear she is going down the road Robert went, though with added narcissism, paranoia and all round insanity, but what's up with the others?

Honestly I think Martin stresses this to speak to the thinking of the time.  Might as well add Craster to your list as women and children really were no more than chattle.  Remember, this is a time when unwanted babies were thrown down wells or left in forests as sacrifices.  Henry the VIII had his inconvenient wives beheaded and it was okay fine with everyone.  Marital rape is a relatively new idea that men are actually thinking about.  Wasn't that long ago a married woman had no legal right to not consent to sex with her husband.  Same goes for girlfriends and 1st dates.   The thinking was if you were there you wanted it.  I find your outrage genuinely touching.  

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On 11/20/2020 at 7:39 PM, broken one said:

Maybe it is because people in absolute power have tendency to take what they want? We know of recent history of Westeros because of specific form of ASoIaF. Guess it could be pretty the same in former history of the Iron Throne.

Yes, they have total power, and can do whatever they want to whoever they want. But why do all of them, except Tommen, want to rape? They don't all want to mutilate or burn people to death or be cannibals etc. What makes rape the one crime that all rulers want to commit?

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15 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Joffrey threatened to rape Sansa despite her marriage to Tyrion, but as far as we know he died a virgin.

Nah. Cersei initiated him. Runs in the blood. ;)

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7 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

Henry the VIII had his inconvenient wives beheaded and it was okay fine with everyone.

2 actually, and almost a third too. And he divorced 2 others

7 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

I find your outrage genuinely touching.

Yes having an ounce of human empathy towards events clearly portraid in a very bad light is very touching. Like sarcasm aside, GRRM makes it very clear were he stands on the subject, with both Cersei and Rhaella.

2 hours ago, dbergkvist said:

Yes, they have total power, and can do whatever they want to whoever they want. But why do all of them, except Tommen, want to rape? They don't all want to mutilate or burn people to death or be cannibals etc. What makes rape the one crime that all rulers want to commit?

Presuming it's not just a coincidence, or GRRM thinking that rapist is a good flaw to give a King just because, I would say it's because rape is the epithomy of the type of toxic masculinity that Aerys, Robert and Joffrey all have in abundance, a toxic masculinity clearly brought forward by being a King.

1 hour ago, TheLastWolf said:

Nah. Cersei initiated him. Runs in the blood. ;)

I can imagine Cersei and Joffrey having the talk:

"Mother how are children made?"

"Well you see dear, when a brother and sister love each other very much..."

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2 hours ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Presuming it's not just a coincidence, or GRRM thinking that rapist is a good flaw to give a King just because, I would say it's because rape is the epithomy of the type of toxic masculinity that Aerys, Robert and Joffrey all have in abundance, a toxic masculinity clearly brought forward by being a King.

I think it's because monarchy is something that encourages that type of behavior. You're the king, nothing can be denied to you. How could it be rape if you're entitled to it?

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5 hours ago, dbergkvist said:

Yes, they have total power, and can do whatever they want to whoever they want. But why do all of them, except Tommen, want to rape? They don't all want to mutilate or burn people to death or be cannibals etc. What makes rape the one crime that all rulers want to commit?

Eating human flesh is not the thing most people want to do, sex is. They got others to mutilate or steal for them but this is what one does in person. 

Tommen is young, He is kind but I think it is not determined yet who he would become. 

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Is Robert ever attested as raping anyone else than Cersei?

Or was he ready to take no for answer from anyone else than Cersei, shrug and take the next wench?

We have here a case of unhappy marriage. Cersei plainly did not want to have sex with Robert, and lacked any reasonable excuse such as health obstacles.

What were Robert´s options?

  1. Just accept sleeping alone till reconciled with Cersei.
  2. Taking mistresses if Cersei did not want him
  3. Divorce
  4. Marital rape

Well, in Westeros, divorce is really difficult and faces a high barrier. Whereas the barrier for marital rape is low.

Given how Cersei acted about Robert´s bastards, such as the plan to bring Mya Stone to court, looks like Cersei was willing and able to make trouble for Robert if Robert had settled down for a steady mistress (and left Cersei alone in her bed).

As for accepting sleeping alone, we do hear that Jaehaerys the Conciliator accepted it twice from Alysanne, for a year at a time... but they were past 50 then.

Compare Lysa. She also disliked sex with Jon Arryn, but apparently did not outright refuse - and was not raped.

 

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41 minutes ago, Jaak said:

We have here a case of unhappy marriage. Cersei plainly did not want to have sex with Robert, and lacked any reasonable excuse such as health obstacles.

What were Robert´s options?

  1. Just accept sleeping alone till reconciled with Cersei.
  2. Taking mistresses if Cersei did not want him
  3. Divorce
  4. Marital rape

First off, Cersei was perfectly willing to do her duties at first, as she herself recalls, it's only after Robert gets into the marital bed stinking drunk and whispering the name Lyanna that Cersei goes all nope on him. And after the rapes started it was obvious Cersei wasn't ever going to willingly share a bed with Robert.

Also Robert never goes around to Cersei and be like "hey Cerse, we really need an heir, so please let's boink even if neither of us wants to". Nope he just straight up rapes her. Let's be honest Robert didn't care about heirs and other such things when doing it with Cersei, he was just doing it because he wanted to, being a pretty disgusting excuse for a human being

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When Alysanne was not on sleeping terms with Jaehaerys, he knew what the quarrel was about. He believed he was right and Alysanne wrong, but he understood the reason why she did not want to sleep with him. And by the time, he was past 50, and they had been a loving couple for 30+ years. He was willing to hope, wait and sleep alone while waiting to persuade her - rather than divorce her, take a mistress or resort to marital rape.

For Cersei, well, she did not want to - could not - explain her real reasons. And Robert could not guess - they were not obvious for him. As far as Robert was concerned, Cersei was refusing for unreasonable and unknown reasons.

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Westeros simply had four awful rulers in succession, Aerys, Robert, Joffrey, and Cersei.

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10 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Westeros simply had four awful rulers in succession, Aerys, Robert, Joffrey, and Cersei.

Yeah, the weird thing is that they were as different as they could get but all shared one particular trait. Also please don't forget Rhaegar.

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Note that the expectation that a decent husband should manage to not beat his wife ever IS present. While the laws of Westeros expressly acknowledge right of husband to physically chastise his wife (within safe limits) as in, the wife or her birth family cannot sue him for that, a good husband seems clearly to be expected to manage without using it. Even Robert acknowledges it - "This was not a very kingly thing to do", and Cersei says it happened "a few" times over 10+ years of unhappy marriage. Compare with how Robert complains about Cersei "guarding her cunt like a pot of Lannister gold" to Eddard. Robert expects Eddard´s disapproval for beating his wife, and his own conscience disapproves of wife-beating rather than justify it as proper and legal chastisement - but Robert does not appear to expect any disapproval for raping his wife, or show apparent regret.

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