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Women Who Won't Die a Maid in Renly's Bed


Corvo the Crow
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I dunno, even outside of this fictional medieval world, men attracted to men often have relationships with women and sometimes have children before coming out as gay. 

It would be a duty more than a pleasure in Renly's case, and maybe would require some wine and an active imagination, but it could be done.

 

 

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Is this a riddle?  Any woman who is not a maid to begin with will do.  Cersei.  Dany.  Lollys.  Varys.  Lady Lemore.  Melisandre. Gatehouse Ami.  Gilly.  Shae.

Jokes aside, there is no particular reason to suppose that Renly would have found it impossible to produce an heir when he got around to deciding he really needed one.  It's just that it would be lonely times otherwise.

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45 minutes ago, Gilbert Green said:

Is this a riddle?  Any woman who is not a maid to begin with will do.  Cersei.  Dany.  Lollys.  Varys.  Lady Lemore.  Melisandre. Gatehouse Ami.  Gilly.  Shae.

Jokes aside, there is no particular reason to suppose that Renly would have found it impossible to produce an heir when he got around to deciding he really needed one.  It's just that it would be lonely times otherwise.

I really don't think so, unless the Maesters practiced some medieval artificial insemination.  Renly had months of alone time with M. Tyrell, one of the most tempting, manipulative and gorgeous women on the continent, and she went without.  He's fully gay and likely cannot perform with a woman, no more so than a straight man would be able to with a gay one.

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30 minutes ago, Ring3r said:

I really don't think so, unless the Maesters practiced some medieval artificial insemination.  Renly had months of alone time with M. Tyrell, one of the most tempting, manipulative and gorgeous women on the continent, and she went without. 

You are talking about a political marriage -- not a love match -- involving a 14 year old girl.  A child.  Waiting 6 months or a year or two years before consummation is not exactly an outrageous idea, if only because of the risks from pregnancy and childbirth in so young a mother.  Sure, some husbands would have difficulty holding out for 6 months, but Renly does not have that problem.

Meanwhile, he has not even taken the Iron Throne yet.  He's only 20, his bride is only 14.  It is not exactly the 11th hour as far as producing an heir is concerned.  It is far too soon to say that not having done it yet proves he is completely incapable.

But he died only a few month into the marriage, so we'll never know.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Gilbert Green said:

You are talking about a political marriage -- not a love match -- involving a 14 year old girl.  A child.  Waiting 6 months or a year or two years before consummation is not exactly an outrageous idea, if only because of the risks from pregnancy and childbirth in so young a mother.  Sure, some husbands would have difficulty holding out for 6 months, but Renly does not have that problem.

Meanwhile, he has not even taken the Iron Throne yet.  He's only 20, his bride is only 14.  It is not exactly the 11th hour as far as producing an heir is concerned.  It is far too soon to say that not having done it yet proves he is completely incapable.

But he died only a few month into the marriage, so we'll never know.

 

 

Indeed, the practical reasons to delay marriage were well known even as far back as Sparta (where the average age of brides is recorded as 25) and even the middle ages the average age for church weddings was the same, if only because arranging marriages takes a long time.

Robert and Ned married at about 20, Brandon would have as well

Renly could have been unable to perform with a woman but we don't know that from his very short marriage with Margary

if he was and Stannis does appear to think so then its a huge problem

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5 hours ago, Alden Rothack said:

Indeed, the practical reasons to delay marriage were well known even as far back as Sparta (where the average age of brides is recorded as 25) and even the middle ages the average age for church weddings was the same, if only because arranging marriages takes a long time.

Robert and Ned married at about 20, Brandon would have as well

Renly could have been unable to perform with a woman but we don't know that from his very short marriage with Margary

if he was and Stannis does appear to think so then its a huge problem

Yes, but Renly was in desperate need of legitimacy, since he was in fact usurping his brother's throne.  Proving that he could father a child (lets be honest, his orientation was an open secret amongst the highborn) would have gone a long way towards that.

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9 hours ago, Ring3r said:

Yes, but Renly was in desperate need of legitimacy, since he was in fact usurping his brother's throne.  Proving that he could father a child (lets be honest, his orientation was an open secret amongst the highborn) would have gone a long way towards that.

"Orientation" is a modern concept.

The rumor regarding Renly is that he buggers young men.    Nothing about this idea implies, to the medieval mind, that he was born that way and cannot help himself, and still less does it imply that he is incapable of doing anything else.  It is not as though Renly "came out" at a gay pride march and made a speech.

Even from a modern perspective, it begs the question to assume that Renly's orientation is 110% gay, and that he is absolutely incapable of conjugal intercourse.  Bisexuality is also an "orientation" in modern lingo.

I am guessing you would be hard pressed to find any document, written before 1900 or 1800, where any connection was ever drawn between homosexual behavior and conjugal impotence.  I vaguely recall some ancient Greek writer expressing the concept that boys are for pleasure and women for making babies; but I don't recall any suggestion that this division of labor would pose any particular challenge.

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27 minutes ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

To be fair though, he did have that Rainbow Guard...

Ah yes.  The rainbow sign.  Because never more by water; the fire next time.

In all seriousness, yes, I do think Renly's Rainbow Guard is a little modern-culture in-joke by GRRM to modern readers.  But I don't think it signifies anything to the other nobles of Westeros.

Edited by Gilbert Green
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7 hours ago, Gilbert Green said:

"Orientation" is a modern concept.

The rumor regarding Renly is that he buggers young men.    Nothing about this idea implies, to the medieval mind, that he was born that way and cannot help himself, and still less does it imply that he is incapable of doing anything else.  It is not as though Renly "came out" at a gay pride march and made a speech.

Even from a modern perspective, it begs the question to assume that Renly's orientation is 110% gay, and that he is absolutely incapable of conjugal intercourse.  Bisexuality is also an "orientation" in modern lingo.

I am guessing you would be hard pressed to find any document, written before 1900 or 1800, where any connection was ever drawn between homosexual behavior and conjugal impotence.  I vaguely recall some ancient Greek writer expressing the concept that boys are for pleasure and women for making babies; but I don't recall any suggestion that this division of labor would pose any particular challenge.

Er....actually, people were perfectly aware of homosexuality and bisexuality and all sorts of other sexual topics FAR before medieval times.  It really only became taboo to even talk about in victorian times.  Nowadays people think they're so modern but none of this stuff is new at all.

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49 minutes ago, Ring3r said:

Er....actually, people were perfectly aware of homosexuality and bisexuality and all sorts of other sexual topics FAR before medieval times.  It really only became taboo to even talk about in victorian times.  Nowadays people think they're so modern but none of this stuff is new at all.

You ignored my actual challenge, which was this:

"Find any document, written before 1900 or 1800, where any connection was ever drawn between homosexual behavior and conjugal impotence."

You answer the challenge by finding such a document.  Not by arguing against positions I never took.

As for your two sentences above, you are right (sort of) in a very fuzzy general sense, but wrong on all kinds of specifics.    The specifics matter.  So find me such a document, and do not hide behind fuzzy generalizations.  And it does not have to be from Victorian times either.  Go earlier if you like, to the 18th, 17th, or 16th, or 15th or 14th century.  Maybe not earlier, just so we can avoid translation issues.

Edited by Gilbert Green
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1 hour ago, Gilbert Green said:

You ignored my actual challenge, which was this:

"Find any document, written before 1900 or 1800, where any connection was ever drawn between homosexual behavior and conjugal impotence."

You answer the challenge by finding such a document.  Not by arguing against positions I never took.

As for your two sentences above, you are right (sort of) in a very fuzzy general sense, but wrong on all kinds of specifics.    The specifics matter.  So find me such a document, and do not hide behind fuzzy generalizations.  And it does not have to be from Victorian times either.  Go earlier if you like, to the 18th, 17th, or 16th, or 15th or 14th century.  Maybe not earlier, just so we can avoid translation issues.

That's sort of a ridiculous challenge.  It's also not even what I'm saying.  At no point have I made the case that Renly would be physically incapable.  My point is that he's mentally incapable - he's actively turned OFF by women, and this is a very real thing for some gay people.  It's just not going to happen with Renly, and this was not something that people were simply not aware of back in the day.  If anything, sexuality was more openly discussed in pre-christian europe than it is even now.

Thankfully, wikipedia already has an entire page on the subject of gay/bi monarchs.  If you look into many of the people featured on that page, you'll find that some of them, despite becoming quite old, and despite being married, died without issue.  It was a known thing.

I'm not trying to make some kind of political point or social commentary here.  From what we've read of Renly, I simply think he falls into that camp.  I fully expect that he'd have behaved similarly to the TV portrayal of Laenor from House of the Dragon - fine if his wife gets down to business with another man and would raise that child as his own to avoid succession issues.  I thought the portrayal of that character was actually quite nicely done.

 

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Historically as far as I know there were three schools of thought the first was that fucking anyone not your wife was unacceptable, the second was that it was okay as long as you were the dominant partner (Sparta held to the first, the romans increasingly the second), third that men should only have sex with women and the related notion that sex was a duty you performed not for fun (Stannis takes this position)

Renly is only a problem if he can't perform his duty and produce an heir, which we don't know he can't though Stannis implies so.

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