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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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9 minutes ago, The Young Maester said:

The society of Westeros is in general just medieval people with some weird advanced technology

I disagree. The Targaryen dynastic incest seems to be taken from classical Antiquity rather than medieval society. The maesters are more like renaissance monks and philosophers. The Faith of the Seven sometimes seems to reflect the modern day Church of England, given how superficially it is embedded into the culture, though the Sparrows could be a nod to the Protestant uprisings. Homosexuality seems to be somewhat taboo in Westeros, but not nearly as dangerous as it could be in medieval Europe. GRRM really does grab from various times and places as it suits the narrative.

But also, more importantly: while GRRM is indeed creating a quasi-medieval culture with some really brutal patriarchal dimensions, he is always doing so to make modern readers reflect about what it means for our own lives. I think he definitely wants us to think about how militantly masculine ideals of heroism are toxic and untrue. That's a thematic priority that is highlighted by the stories of Sam, Brienne, Sansa, and Arya (as well as others). That theme leaves some room for other interpretive possibilities, such as explorations of queerness (which is defined by a non-normative and non-categorical nature). As I said before, I don't think such explorations into gender identity can go very far without veering into fan fiction, but at very least the text invites readers to wonder a bit.

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6 minutes ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

I disagree. The Targaryen dynastic incest seems to be taken from classical Antiquity rather than medieval society. The maesters are more like renaissance monks and philosophers. The Faith of the Seven sometimes seems to reflect the modern day Church of England, given how superficially it is embedded into the culture, though the Sparrows could be a nod to the Protestant uprisings. Homosexuality seems to be somewhat taboo in Westeros, but not nearly as dangerous as it could be in medieval Europe. GRRM really does grab from various times and places as it suits the narrative.

But also, more importantly: while GRRM is indeed creating a quasi-medieval culture with some really brutal patriarchal dimensions, he is always doing so to make modern readers reflect about what it means for our own lives. I think he definitely wants us to think about how militantly masculine ideals of heroism are toxic and untrue. That's a thematic priority that is highlighted by the stories of Sam, Brienne, Sansa, and Arya (as well as others). That theme leaves some room for other interpretive possibilities, such as explorations of queerness (which is defined by a non-normative and non-categorical nature). As I said before, I don't think such explorations into gender identity can go very far without veering into fan fiction, but at very least the text invites readers to wonder a bit.

I am unsure whether the Targaryen incest was inspired by the classical antiquity. Incest was particularly normal, it’s just that targaryens took it to the extreme (which is something George tends to do with his worldbuilding).

The maesters are an example of advanced technology. But it isnt an exact copy of such institutions. Monastery’s were intellectual, and university were common at the time. Only that maesters and the citadel are more technologically advanced. For the citadel George definitely took inspiration from monastery’s and higher learning institutions.

George isn’t known for being a religious man. This clearly translates to his world, he didnt make it as religious as our own timeline because of his own beliefs. And the worldbuilding behind religion is still a problem that needs being fleshed out. So its clear he didn’t put much effort into it. Which translates to the lack of homophobic thinking in Westeros.

I dont know about this masculine bravery. Because I still dont have the bigger picture due to the series not being finished (thank you George). So I can’t comment on that. I mean I don’t know exactly what you mean when you say they are toxic and untrue. George after all is a pacifist and lived through the hippie movement of anti war, so I can see him taking this route. However John f Kennedy did enlist for ww2 (despite his health condition) because he knew that his political career wouldnt survive/succeed if he didnt enlist and fight. Men who returned from the war were hailed as heroes in their neighbourhoods.

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9 minutes ago, The Young Maester said:

I am unsure whether the Targaryen incest was inspired by the classical antiquity. Incest was particularly normal, it’s just that targaryens took it to the extreme (which is something George tends to do with his worldbuilding).

The maesters are an example of advanced technology. But it isnt an exact copy of such institutions. Monastery’s were intellectual, and university were common at the time. Only that maesters and the citadel are more technologically advanced. For the citadel George definitely took inspiration from monastery’s and higher learning institutions.

George isn’t known for being a religious man. This clearly translates to his world, he didnt make it as religious as our own timeline because of his own beliefs. And the worldbuilding behind religion is still a problem that needs being fleshed out. So its clear he didn’t put much effort into it. Which translates to the lack of homophobic thinking in Westeros.

I dont know about this masculine bravery. Because I still dont have the bigger picture due to the series not being finished (thank you George). So I can’t comment on that. I mean I don’t know exactly what you mean when you say they are toxic and untrue. George after all is a pacifist and lived through the hippie movement of anti war, so I can see him taking this route. However John f Kennedy did enlist for ww2 (despite his health condition) because he knew that his political career wouldnt survive/succeed if he didnt enlist and fight. Men who returned from the war were hailed as heroes in their neighbourhoods.

Let's just agree to disagree. This discussion is kind of hitting a wall.

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3 hours ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

The top tier people are already set on their course. Orientation is not likely to play a large role with the survival of all living things at stake, in my opinion.

Why do you say that? We don't know this.

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5 hours ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

I disagree. The Targaryen dynastic incest seems to be taken from classical Antiquity rather than medieval society. The maesters are more like renaissance monks and philosophers. The Faith of the Seven sometimes seems to reflect the modern day Church of England, given how superficially it is embedded into the culture, though the Sparrows could be a nod to the Protestant uprisings. Homosexuality seems to be somewhat taboo in Westeros, but not nearly as dangerous as it could be in medieval Europe. GRRM really does grab from various times and places as it suits the narrative.

But also, more importantly: while GRRM is indeed creating a quasi-medieval culture with some really brutal patriarchal dimensions, he is always doing so to make modern readers reflect about what it means for our own lives. I think he definitely wants us to think about how militantly masculine ideals of heroism are toxic and untrue. That's a thematic priority that is highlighted by the stories of Sam, Brienne, Sansa, and Arya (as well as others). That theme leaves some room for other interpretive possibilities, such as explorations of queerness (which is defined by a non-normative and non-categorical nature). As I said before, I don't think such explorations into gender identity can go very far without veering into fan fiction, but at very least the text invites readers to wonder a bit.

Sounds close.

Planetos has never been "realistic."

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Fwiw, homosexuality as a definitive term is a relatively modern concept, mainly due to the Judeo-Christian view and even that only later on. Earlier western cultures would have been confused by the idea that you are defined by what they would view as your taste, possibly ephemeral. It would kinda be like being asked if you are a chocolate or strawberry person, or a wine or beer person, or w/e.
 

They did have ethical ideas about sexuality, but not about what gender you preferred, more along the lines of whether you were submissive or dominant with whoever you had sex with, and even that wasn’t nearly as morally defined as modern western cultures put on gender preference. 
 

So, for example, a lot of people like to say Greeks were gay or pro-gay or similar, and that’s just incorrect. Greek men often had sex with and/or were in love with Greek men but would not have had any kind of identity association with that. Again, they would have been confused by the thinking behind it. It’s a thinking that evolved out of religious prejudice/persecution without which we would not even have the term. 
 

edit: as to the op question, it would depend how it was done. George, like a lot of writers, is a bit awkward when writing about sex, it’s often his least credible passages, but to what extent he would premise a transgender reveal through sex is an open question. Generally I’d say the more he did the less well it would go. Otoh he can handle sexuality fairly subtly, as per Jon Connington…so I think it depends on which way he goes. 

Edited by James Arryn
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As @AlaskanSandman logically put it, there were no procedures, no hormone treatment, etc (Do note, I speak as someone whose knowledge comes from parents, the odd article that catches my eye and one NatGeo magazine). 

Besides, no one would take them seriously in the world and I'm not here for some politically correct stuff to pop in, just so GRRM could cover his butt. I'll be chill, so long as no one knocks on my door and demands to speak to my manager. 

Besides, he already sucks at sex scenes, there's no need to make it any more awkward. Thicc pink mast and all......

Edited by Jaenara Belarys
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17 hours ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

As @AlaskanSandman logically put it, there were no procedures, no hormone treatment, etc (Do note, I speak as someone whose knowledge comes from parents, the odd article that catches my eye and one NatGeo magazine). 

Besides, no one would take them seriously in the world and I'm not here for some politically correct stuff to pop in, just so GRRM could cover his butt. I'll be chill, so long as no one knocks on my door and demands to speak to my manager. 

Besides, he already sucks at sex scenes, there's no need to make it any more awkward. Thicc pink mast and all......

Politically incorrect" is a politically charged term.

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On 4/7/2022 at 8:28 PM, Crazy Old Guy said:

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?

Unless that's how GRRM had thought about them from the beginning and written them accordingly keeping in mind their transgender identity, it could potentially be bad writing for future books. If he looks back at a character and thinks they could be transgender, nothing wrong with that, but GRRM would run the risk of making that character seem out of character. Of course it could be done if he takes the time to inform himself about transgenderism, learn as much as he can and deal with the subject accordingly. 

And if he chooses to do it, I dont think it would seem out of place for the series, because the story is very much character driven. And one REALLY does not need to mention genitalia when talking about transgender people. Being transgender isn't about what anatomical parts one has, it's just what society fixates upon. That's partly because that's how most people define gender and partly it's unwarranted curiosity. And of course people think of transgender people as a curiosity, which does not help at all in any discussions about transgenderism.

I would not mind it the subject is not trivialized.

On 4/7/2022 at 8:28 PM, Crazy Old Guy said:

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.

Readers definitely have very rigid ideas about characters for this series, and they get more rigid the longer readers have been readers. This is not unexpected, but I personally try to reassess with new information and books and characters are no exceptions. And reactionary mindsets have always existed, it's not a recent phenomenon. It's only recently that reactionary responses are called out and not coddled. But that's a different discussion.

If done for right reasons, I wouldn't mind.

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56 minutes ago, Apoplexy said:

Unless that's how GRRM had thought about them from the beginning and written them accordingly keeping in mind their transgender identity, it could potentially be bad writing for future books. If he looks back at a character and thinks they could be transgender, nothing wrong with that, but GRRM would run the risk of making that character seem out of character. Of course it could be done if he takes the time to inform himself about transgenderism, learn as much as he can and deal with the subject accordingly. 

And if he chooses to do it, I dont think it would seem out of place for the series, because the story is very much character driven. And one REALLY does not need to mention genitalia when talking about transgender people. Being transgender isn't about what anatomical parts one has, it's just what society fixates upon. That's partly because that's how most people define gender and partly it's unwarranted curiosity. And of course people think of transgender people as a curiosity, which does not help at all in any discussions about transgenderism.

I would not mind it the subject is not trivialized.

Readers definitely have very rigid ideas about characters for this series, and they get more rigid the longer readers have been readers. This is not unexpected, but I personally try to reassess with new information and books and characters are no exceptions. And reactionary mindsets have always existed, it's not a recent phenomenon. It's only recently that reactionary responses are called out and not coddled. But that's a different discussion.

If done for right reasons, I wouldn't mind.

My suggestion?

Ignore the fan theories and go by the "impression" that's first given when reading the books (while also keeping in mind that misdirection is very much thing). Then go by the "second impression" once you know everything.

I honestly think that that's at least marginally better than simply going by all the fan nonsense (built up over the course OF TWELVE FUCKING YEARS since 2011, which is not what you want to be listening to because the fan nonsense becomes very much accumulative by that point).

(Sorry for the profanity.)

But yeah, just thought I'd reply to the bolded part.

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4 hours ago, Crazy Old Guy said:

My suggestion?

Ignore the fan theories and go by the "impression" that's first given when reading the books (while also keeping in mind that misdirection is very much thing). Then go by the "second impression" once you know everything.

I honestly think that that's at least marginally better than simply going by all the fan nonsense (built up over the course OF TWELVE FUCKING YEARS since 2011, which is not what you want to be listening to because the fan nonsense becomes very much accumulative by that point).

(Sorry for the profanity.)

But yeah, just thought I'd reply to the bolded part.

A couple of questions here.  First, what exactly are we talking about?  How do we (or you) define transgender anyway, especially in a setting such as this one?

Second, how are supposed to know, or find out?  Modern indicators don't help.  Hormone treatment and surgical intervention aren't available, and self-identification doesn’t work in this setting. 

Sarella Sand is pretending to be male and wearing men's clothing.  I doubt she is transgender though.  I think it is a temporary, practical means of attaining a specific goal; in this case, attending the Citadel.  And let's face it; girls pretending to be boys is a well-established trope in fiction, especially in settings with rigid gender divisions, such as Westeros. 

Brienne could be transgender, but the evidence on that is ambiguous at best. And unless she decides to permanently present as male (doubtful) or settles down and marries (possible), it will remain so.  I can't think of any other character that would make sense.  Such a radical shift would simply be regarded as bad writing. 

Third,  why would Martin bother?  He seems pretty indifferent to LGBTQ issues or characters so far.  There are only four gay characters (all men).  Of those one is dead (Renly), one might be (Loras), and the other two are minor characters (Jon Connington and Lyn Cornray).  So why would he bother trying to make someone transgender in the first place?  I think it far more likely to establish someone as gay or bisexual.  That could be done within the limitations of the series and the setting. 

Edited by Nevets
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4 minutes ago, Nevets said:

A couple of questions here.  First, what exactly are we talking about?  How do we (or you) define transgender anyway, especially in a setting such as this one?

Second, how are supposed to know, or find out?  Modern indicators don't help.  Hormone treatment and surgical intervention aren't available, and self-identification doesn’t work in this setting. 

Sarella Sand is pretending to be male and wearing men's clothing.  I doubt she is transgender though.  I think it is a temporary, practical means of attaining a specific goal; in this case, attending the Citadel.  And let's face it; girls pretending to be boys is a well-established trope in fiction, especially in settings with rigid gender divisions, such as Westeros. 

Brienne could be transgender, but the evidence on that is ambiguous at best.  I can't think of any other character that would make sense.  Such a radical shift would simply be bad writing. 

Third,  why would Martin bother?  He seems pretty indifferent to LGBTQ issues or characters so far.  There are only four gay characters (all men).  Of those one is dead (Renly), one might be (Loras), and the other two are minor characters (Jon Connington and Lyn Cornray).  So why would he bother trying to make someone transgender in the first place?  I think it far more likely to simply establish someone as gay or bisexual.  That could be established within the parameters of the series. 

True, and Martin is poor at writing female characters.

Never mind the Arab stereotypes in Slaver's Bay.

So, err, not sure I want to see him write a trans character.

But that's not the point of the thread.

It's more: how would the fandom react?

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6 minutes ago, Crazy Old Guy said:

True, and Martin is poor at writing female characters.

Never mind the Arab stereotypes in Slaver's Bay.

So, err, not sure I want to see him write a trans character.

But that's not the point of the thread.

It's more: how would the fandom react?

To which I might respond: how would the fandom know in the first place?  It's not as if he is going to say "[X character] is trans."  So how are supposed to find out?  What would be the indicators that readers would recognize?

Edited by Nevets
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9 hours ago, Lord Lannister said:

Come on, you don't want to read about Cersei's thick pink mast sailing through the Myrish swamp?

No.  

6 hours ago, Crazy Old Guy said:

Politically incorrect" is a politically charged term.

I honestly don't care. That's what it is, or would you prefer me calling it sucking up to avoid cancellation? Now, if you'll excuse me, I have The Last Command  waiting. 

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1 minute ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

No.  

I honestly don't care. That's what it is, or would you prefer me calling it sucking up to avoid cancellation? Now, if you'll excuse me, I have The Last Command  waiting. 

But using "politically incorrect" is just virtue signaling as the kids call it these days.

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1 minute ago, Crazy Old Guy said:

But using "politically incorrect" is just virtue signaling as the kids call it these days.

I hardly spend much time here, and don't give a crap what most people think by now. I've also had a shitty day, and am not concerned with "virtue signalling."

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