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Okay... Okay... Real-talk, y'all: ...what if Stannis Baratheon or Robert Baratheon or Daenerys Targaryen or Arya Stark (or whatever fan-favorite character) turned out be trans?


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Like, I could genuinely see people flipping over Arya Stark being transgender.

It would be A-OK with me and I would honestly approve it... but honestly, I could see Daenerys and Stannis' fanbase taking a major hit.

Dunno what would happen if Robert Baratheon were trans all along.

Idk.

I've been thinking:

This is essentially a 1990s fantasy "grimdark" (I mean, kinda over-stated in Internet discourse, but eh) novel series where most of the cast is, well, white (except the Dornish, some Arab stereotypes, and maybe the Baratheons or at least their ancestors)

I mean, the best we can say is that Stannis is perhaps (maybe) autistic and that the Dornish have a mix of brown and Black characters (and people seem to want Sansa to be lesbian or something), but that's not saying much when you put it side-to-side with other fantasy novel series out there.

Really gets you thinking: what if GRRM started thinking of certain characters as genderqueer or transgender (which is totally acceptable and I don't see the development process being statis DESPITE what the fans have to say about it)

Thoughts?

(Also, it should be noted that A Song of Ice and Fire isn't really all that realistic, even if it tries to emulate certain characteristics of feudalism, despite common discourse surrounding the series so there's that to consider)

Really, I wouldn't even mind something like this happening, but I doubt it would happen because GRRM would be accused of "going against the script" (which fans repeatedly say that he won't do and bring up past interviews with him saying so) or because it would genuinely cause an outcry (because 12 years of no Book 6 means that the fandom has too many rigid ideas about characters that haven't budged since, well, 2011).

Both those last two are probably the bigger problem, imho, aside from the very real reactionary mind-set that you might see nowadays.

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1 minute ago, Jon Fossoway said:

Not this again.

To be honest:

I'm barely here that much.

I tried to do some preliminary searching, but I ultimately decided that nothing new under the sun has been asked by this point so, err, yeah.

I'm sorry...

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4 hours ago, Crazy Old Guy said:

Like, I could genuinely see people flipping over Arya Stark being transgender.

It would be A-OK with me and I would honestly approve it... but honestly, I could see Daenerys and Stannis' fanbase taking a major hit.

Dunno what would happen if Robert Baratheon were trans all along.

Idk.

I've been thinking:

This is essentially a 1990s fantasy "grimdark" (I mean, kinda over-stated in Internet discourse, but eh) novel series where most of the cast is, well, white (except the Dornish, some Arab stereotypes, and maybe the Baratheons or at least their ancestors)

I mean, the best we can say is that Stannis is perhaps (maybe) autistic and that the Dornish have a mix of brown and Black characters (and people seem to want Sansa to be lesbian or something), but that's not saying much when you put it side-to-side with other fantasy novel series out there.

Really gets you thinking: what if GRRM started thinking of certain characters as genderqueer or transgender (which is totally acceptable and I don't see the development process being statis DESPITE what the fans have to say about it)

Thoughts?

(Also, it should be noted that A Song of Ice and Fire isn't really all that realistic, even if it tries to emulate certain characteristics of feudalism, despite common discourse surrounding the series so there's that to consider)

Really, I wouldn't even mind something like this happening, but I doubt it would happen because GRRM would be accused of "going against the script" (which fans repeatedly say that he won't do and bring up past interviews with him saying so) or because it would genuinely cause an outcry (because 12 years of no Book 6 means that the fandom has too many rigid ideas about characters that haven't budged since, well, 2011).

Both those last two are probably the bigger problem, imho, aside from the very real reactionary mind-set that you might see nowadays.

No offense, but this is ridiculous. There weren't transgender people back then as they didn't have the surgeries needed to convert. So aside from simply feeling like a woman inside, Robert wouldn't be able to do much about it. If he made moves at men, he likely would've just been thought of as gay. If he dressed like a woman, he would be a cross dresser (Which Martin has included in the story, a long with gay people).

  Robert, Stannis, or who ever would have to make some actions in the book to give this idea even, such as Jon Connington. Robert is clearly a man whore, so i seriously doubt he's gay, a crossdresser, or feels like a woman trapped in a mans body. 

Would fans be upset if Robert, who is already dead and father tons of kids turned out to be trans. Yea. That would be poor writing. If Jon Connington turned out to be transgender at heart, i really dont think fans would care or be shocked. Considering his passive nature, i would guess that he would be the one to follow if Rhaegar and him danced. 

 

Now, if you wanna hand Jon Con over to Qyburn and let him experiment, you might get a more modern equivalent to your question. Which is a subject and area I dont think GRRM would want to tread down for a whole list of reasons that could backfire on him.

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There are theories that Cersei is trans, which is the real reason for her misogyny, since she has no way of expressing her true self.

But there’s no concept of transgenderism in ASOIAF, so a trans person would be viewed as something different, like a cross-dresser.

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18 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

There are theories that Cersei is trans, which is the real reason for her misogyny, since she has no way of expressing her true self.

But there’s no concept of transgenderism in ASOIAF, so a trans person would be viewed as something different, like a cross-dresser.

Agreed. Its not that the internal struggle wouldn't exist back then, but the concepts and processes of things back then were markedly different. Along with public perception, as noted with Penny's fate. As Tyrions notes that Penny would die if Penny's master dies.  

His will be the first throat slit.[2]

Tyrion Lannister's thoughts on Sweets's fate if Yezzan dies
 
Even Tyrion "dead panning" Sweet would be appropriate to the times as the concept didn't likely exist and if it did, most probably didn't care to be sympathetic about it. 
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1 hour ago, AlaskanSandman said:

There weren't transgender people back then as they didn't have the surgeries needed to convert.

This is like saying you can't be gay if you don't have a boyfriend. Transgender people have always existed. Surgery isn't necessary to be transgender, it's something you may do if you are already transgender.

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10 minutes ago, mormont said:

This is like saying you can't be gay if you don't have a boyfriend. Transgender people have always existed. Surgery isn't necessary to be transgender, it's something you may do if you are already transgender.

You can poach for arguments all you want but i covered all the variants that would be possible. With no other way to act out their self identity issue other than to cross dress or have a same sex partner, there wasn't transgender people back then in the modern context. That term didn't even exist then. You're just trying to apply modern arguments into an ancient world where they didn't exist. And no, transgender people didn't always exist. People with identity crisis, yes. The term and idea of transgender though did not. At best you might be thought of as a dandy or a tomboy, such as Arya. As Arya is still a child and yet to demonstrate emotional feeling for anyone beyond her family, it would be inappropriate to label her one way or another. If she is anything like her aunt Lyanna who was similarly a tomboy, she will likely grow out of some of it to a degree. As to whether she is transgender, you would have to ask Arya if she wanted man bits. As being a tomboy does not preclude that she is either gay or transgender at heart, you would have to wait for the novel to develop to know anyfurther.

As to Cersei being transgender merely for her actions seems a slippery slope on the usage of the term transgender. She dresses and acts like a feminine female in most all respects, straight down to using her looks and sex and tools and weapons as opposed to Brienne using brute strength and a sword. Is Brienne Transgender now? Unlike Cersei, she has no kids? She did love Renly though, very fiercely. So is she transgender now? and Simply not a strong straight female that happens to not be very good looking? Does not being good looking preclude all females are transgender?

Again, you seem to be applying modern logic to an ancient culture/world, albeit fantasy.

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29 minutes ago, mormont said:

This is like saying you can't be gay if you don't have a boyfriend. Transgender people have always existed. Surgery isn't necessary to be transgender, it's something you may do if you are already transgender.

Let me give you another example to your point. Thats like saying blue didn't exist just because they didn't have a word for it back then. Well yes, because blue as a concept did not exist to them back then. It is a rare color in nature and the sky is not always blue, nor is the ocean. They would call it grey, or wine colored, or even green. Cause blue did not exist to them any more than neon colors did. Applying modern logic to ancient cultures has gotten many historians into trouble 

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39 minutes ago, mormont said:

This is like saying you can't be gay if you don't have a boyfriend. Transgender people have always existed. Surgery isn't necessary to be transgender, it's something you may do if you are already transgender.

Also, comparing gay people and transgender people isn't fair. As a male to female transgender person may still prefer women. Just sayin. I know there were people in the past that, by today standards would identify as Transgender had they the option though. Being gay is a little more straight forward and something they definitely had words and concepts for in the past. Transgender is a more recent terminology and concept though probably made possible due to the option of fulfilling ones self identity through surgery. As most transgender people are usually either post or pre opt surgery. So, as Im no authority on the subject, it seems to be tied to the modern ability of actually transforming now. Where as in the past, the idea of physically altering someone into becoming the alternate sex, was impossible. If you explained the surgery to them, it may sound like Frankenstein and crazy to them. Maybe not. Body modifications are not old, but that extreme of a modification would not have been possible with out significant blood loss and infection. Penicillin was only invented in 1928 even. 

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I'm not engaging in an argument here. I'm stating facts.

Your understanding of the definitions may be shaky and that may be the reason you are wrong. But on any meaningful understanding of the term, historians are absolutely clear that transgender people have existed in all historical time periods. Was that term always used? No. But were the individuals we use the modern term to describe transgender as we understand the term? Yes. And we do not, in a modern context, understand the term 'transgender' to refer only to post-operative individuals, or those intending to undergo surgery. If you believe that's the modern usage, you really aren't up to speed, I'm afraid.

I'm not being mean here, but if we don't know a lot about a topic, it behooves us to listen and learn rather than insist that our ignorance is actually understanding.

https://www.apa.org/topics/lgbtq/transgender

https://transequality.org/issues/resources/frequently-asked-questions-about-transgender-people

https://www.publicmedievalist.com/transgender-middle-ages/

https://theestablishment.co/becoming-trans-transgender-identity-in-the-middle-ages-223e01b5c0dc/index.html

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35 minutes ago, mormont said:

I'm not engaging in an argument here. I'm stating facts.

Your understanding of the definitions may be shaky and that may be the reason you are wrong. But on any meaningful understanding of the term, historians are absolutely clear that transgender people have existed in all historical time periods. Was that term always used? No. But were the individuals we use the modern term to describe transgender as we understand the term? Yes. And we do not, in a modern context, understand the term 'transgender' to refer only to post-operative individuals, or those intending to undergo surgery. If you believe that's the modern usage, you really aren't up to speed, I'm afraid.

I'm not being mean here, but if we don't know a lot about a topic, it behooves us to listen and learn rather than insist that our ignorance is actually understanding.

https://www.apa.org/topics/lgbtq/transgender

https://transequality.org/issues/resources/frequently-asked-questions-about-transgender-people

https://www.publicmedievalist.com/transgender-middle-ages/

https://theestablishment.co/becoming-trans-transgender-identity-in-the-middle-ages-223e01b5c0dc/index.html

No, youre just wrong. As I clearly pointed out with the word blue. Blue did not historically exist either by word, or by mental association. Yes blue was there, but it did not exist to the ancient people anymore than transgender people did. You can tell your self what ever you want and pretend others are being ignorant, but in fact, you are being ignorant and any other "historian" claiming as much is too. Though, there are "historians" who claim all sorts or nonsensical stuff so there are always margins for peoples perceptions over facts. 

 

Quote

 

History

Main article: Transgender history

Transgender people are known to have existed since ancient times. A wide range of societies had traditional third gender roles, or otherwise accepted trans people in some form.[78] However, a precise history is difficult because the modern concept of being transgender, and gender in general, did not develop until the mid-1900s. Historical understandings are thus inherently filtered through modern principles, and were largely viewed through a medical lens until the late 1900s.[79]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgender#History

 

 

again, you're simply viewing the past through a modern lens and trying to apply something modern that did not exist in the same context back then. Again, there would certainly be people back then who had identity crises, but to flat label them as transgender would be a misnomer at the least. 

Edited by AlaskanSandman
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16 minutes ago, mormont said:

I'm not engaging in an argument here. I'm stating facts.

Your understanding of the definitions may be shaky and that may be the reason you are wrong. But on any meaningful understanding of the term, historians are absolutely clear that transgender people have existed in all historical time periods. Was that term always used? No. But were the individuals we use the modern term to describe transgender as we understand the term? Yes. And we do not, in a modern context, understand the term 'transgender' to refer only to post-operative individuals, or those intending to undergo surgery. If you believe that's the modern usage, you really aren't up to speed, I'm afraid.

I'm not being mean here, but if we don't know a lot about a topic, it behooves us to listen and learn rather than insist that our ignorance is actually understanding.

https://www.apa.org/topics/lgbtq/transgender

https://transequality.org/issues/resources/frequently-asked-questions-about-transgender-people

https://www.publicmedievalist.com/transgender-middle-ages/

https://theestablishment.co/becoming-trans-transgender-identity-in-the-middle-ages-223e01b5c0dc/index.html

Here's another point, since "Transgender" term didn't exist then, how are you, in the present, going to assign the label to people of the past who may or may not have applied it to them selves. That's as ignorant as you just assuming someone today is transgender with out asking them.

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30 minutes ago, mormont said:

I'm not engaging in an argument here. I'm stating facts.

Your understanding of the definitions may be shaky and that may be the reason you are wrong. But on any meaningful understanding of the term, historians are absolutely clear that transgender people have existed in all historical time periods. Was that term always used? No. But were the individuals we use the modern term to describe transgender as we understand the term? Yes. And we do not, in a modern context, understand the term 'transgender' to refer only to post-operative individuals, or those intending to undergo surgery. If you believe that's the modern usage, you really aren't up to speed, I'm afraid.

I'm not being mean here, but if we don't know a lot about a topic, it behooves us to listen and learn rather than insist that our ignorance is actually understanding.

https://www.apa.org/topics/lgbtq/transgender

https://transequality.org/issues/resources/frequently-asked-questions-about-transgender-people

https://www.publicmedievalist.com/transgender-middle-ages/

https://theestablishment.co/becoming-trans-transgender-identity-in-the-middle-ages-223e01b5c0dc/index.html

Self identity is exactly that, self identity and not something others can assign to people. We're talking the usage of a modern term towards ancients people who aren't here to "self identify" themselves. 

Do you get the point here? 

Self identity is exactly that, self identity and not something others can assign to people.

Run that back a few times and think about that.

Edit- So in no context, is it really appropriate to apply "transgender" to ancient people. Post opt, pre opt, or no opt possibilities and just an identity concept. 

I hope im not coming across as rude to you or anyone. Just trying to drive home the complications of the modern usage towards people of ancient times.

Edited by AlaskanSandman
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Quote

 

History

Main article: Transgender history

Transgender people are known to have existed since ancient times. A wide range of societies had traditional third gender roles, or otherwise accepted trans people in some form.[78] However, a precise history is difficult because the modern concept of being transgender, and gender in general, did not develop until the mid-1900s. Historical understandings are thus inherently filtered through modern principles, and were largely viewed through a medical lens until the late 1900s.[79]

Ancient Greek Hippocrates (interpreting the writing of Herodotus) discusses transgender individuals briefly. He describes the "disease of the Scythians" (regarding the Enaree), which he attributes to impotency due to riding on a horse without stirrups. Hippocrates' reference was well discussed by medical writings of the 1500s–1700s. Pierre Petit writing in 1596 viewed the "Scythian disease" as natural variation, but by the 1700s writers viewed it as a "melancholy", or "hysterical" psychiatric disease. By the early 1800s, being transgender separate from Hippocrate's idea of it was claimed to be widely known, but remained poorly documented. Both MtF and FtM individuals were cited in European insane asylums of the early 1800s. The most complete account of the time came from the life of the Chevalier d'Éon (1728–1810). As cross-dressing became more widespread in the late 1800s, discussion of transgender people increased greatly and writers attempted to explain the origins of being transgender. Much study came out of Germany, and was exported to other Western audiences. Cross-dressing was seen in a pragmatic light until the late 1800s; it had previously served a satirical or disguising purpose. But in the latter half of the 1800's, cross-dressing and being transgender became viewed as an increasing societal danger.[79]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgender#History

 

 

This is a larger section of that Wiki to illustrate my point. 

Hippocrates refers to it as a disease that he attributes to impotency due to riding a horse without stirrups.

The ancients for you folks. Not the most enlightened people. This is how it would have been thought of back then. 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, LynnS said:

As far as I know, only dragons can change their biology in ASOIAF.   To understand transgender issues; I listen to Rose of Dawn and Blaire White on youtube. 

This may be my only chance to recommend Contrapoints on this forum, so I'm going for it. Her video essays are excellent, and a lot of them touch on issues of identity and gender in both fun and serious ways. 

I don't think this general topic of transgenderism is relevant for the ASOIAF series, though, beyond fan fiction.

Edited by Phylum of Alexandria
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