Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Kat

[BOOK & TV SPOILERS] Dany and Drogo's relationship

Recommended Posts

No he wouldn't. "Murder" is an unlawful killing, Stark would say that he carried out a lawful execution. The difference is huge.

I'm not going to continue this, you obviously have a great deal of difficulty understanding the mindset of people from cultures and traditions different from your own.

No, I understand it well. And better than you.

I'm not talking about whether Dany sees it as rape. I'm certainly not talking about whether or not Drogo sees it as rape. That is immaterial to the point. When I say "Drogo raped Dany" it is using the English language to define that based on our culture.

Now, is Dany going to be scarred forever? No.

Is it wrong? Does Dany think it is wrong? Does Drogo? No.

Can I. Sure. It's meant to be brutal, it's meant to show that Dany was forced into having sex she explicitly does not want and does not consent to. It's meant to show that at least for that instance, life really sucks for Dany.

Neither Dany nor Drogo see the world in general or "rape" in particular the way that you do, and therefore their reactions to events are going to be very different than what your "common sense" tells you they "should be."

That's true.

At the same time, I can factually state Drogo raped Dany and be 100% correct. And you claiming that it wasn't rape makes it sound like you're totally on board with the notion of spousal rape and the like right now.

It is rape. Rape in the Dothraki culture and most of Westeros was at best frowned upon and often outwardly accepted or even joked about. Wives could never be 'raped' by their husbands in Westeros legally or by their culture, but their cultural differences do not preclude us talking about it in our cultural mores.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem here is that you can't accurately portray the scene from the book. Dany is a scared little girl, and Drogo gets her to open up. There really isn't anyway to do that without internal monologue and foreplay. Both of those seem to have been off the table.

That leaves us with two options, either change Dany's actions(which would change her character) or change Drogo. I think that accurately portraying Dany is more important. That means changing how Drogo acted, which ultimately was the exception anyway. Their relationship dynamic is still going to change and evolve when Dany changes things up in the bedroom.

Was it rape? By our standards? Yes. By Dotraki/westerosi standards? No. Ulitimately Viserys is an asshole who traded his sister for an army. And when Drogo gives Viserys his crown, everyone will get over Drogo's treatment of Dany.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mod hat:

Keep it from getting personal and cool down a bit, everybody. The cultural subjectivity of rape is a difficult enough subject to talk about without accusing anyone personally.

Thank you.

/mod hat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm very startled by the number of people who read the scene in the books as a bodice-ripper-type 'Oh please Drogo take me now!'. To me it was very clear - if maybe ambiguous before the next chapter elaborated - that her 'yes' was a very different kind of consent. It's Dany's first sign of maturing, showing how she takes the situation she has been given and accepts it, and by accepting it gains some amount of power over it, where struggling or bemoaning her fate would keep her powerless.

I always thought the first step in this - and maybe even where she learns that strength, where she starts to become the queen she becomes - is when Drogo forces her not to cover herself. To give up cowering and stand proud in the most fearsome situation. And when she has stood proud, naked, in front of a brute who means to have his way with her - and when she has done her duty and survived essentially unharmed - what else is left to fear, that she cannot face?

The HBO version isn't inconsistent with this reading, but the focus on the tears in her eyes definitely gave me more of an impression of someone who is in despair, someone who is broken, rather than someone with exceptional courage. It remains to be seen whether they can work it around to where it should be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know, I was not happy with the TV show's portrayal of it, but reading through this thread and the other one, I find myself persuaded that this was the best route to go for the show. (Depending on how they do the rest of the relationship, of course.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The HBO version isn't inconsistent with this reading, but the focus on the tears in her eyes definitely gave me more of an impression of someone who is in despair, someone who is broken, rather than someone with exceptional courage. It remains to be seen whether they can work it around to where it should be.

I believe they can - with only one episode down we haven't seen much that would reinforce any Targ strengths aside from a drive to want to be back on the Iron throne. I am hoping in the next few episodes we will start to see those situations that drew out the power in Dany - flashbacks to riding on her wedding day, gaining knowledge of and acceptance from the khalasar, being empowered as khaleesi and starting to push back a little on Viserys. It won't be "by the book", but I'm fine with that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While the scene in the book is nice and romantic and all, I always thought it clashed with the image of the Dothraki and Khal Drogo as a war leader. The Dothraki are a hard people who value strength and Drogo is feared and respected, for good reason. I don't really see him going all soft and gentle with a girl he knows nothing about (and has no respect for yet). He's not stranger to sex with young girls, so why make an exception for this one, especially that she is now his to do with as he pleases. Does anyone really think that he would have waited for a better time had Dany said "no" in the books? The loss of face with his warriors and fellow khals would have been huge.

Drogo is not brutal in the TV scene, but he is firm. A few people made the remark that he treats her like a skittish mare and not a person, why yes, that's exactly it. That's their culture - the men have to be strong and have a firm hand with women, children, slaves and animals.

I'm sorry to pick on Mazikeen's post in particular because I've seen several people make the point that this seen was more "realistic to the Dothraki culture"... But this post is what's handy at the moment. :fencing: And while I see the basic point, I think it's incredibly problematic that Khal Drogo is the character in the series that we apply it to.

[rhetorical questions (with a light dose of sarcasm)] Based on Westerosi society in general, and Tyrion's hunger for a seat of power in particular it doesn't make sense that Tyrion does not have sex with Sansa... After all, Tyrion is the acting hand of the kind and is not a stranger to sex with young girls, or for that matter raping his wife... Why should he make and exception for this one, especially that she is now his to do with as he pleases... After all, Tyrion really could not afford to loose more face then he all ready had.

Is it perhaps because he was a viewpoint character?

Well then, why are readers not bothered by the cheesy romance when the Hound did not rape Sansa. He was a warrior, he had nothing less to lose, and he went to her room with the specific intent of raping her. The Cleganes are a hard family who value strength and Sandor is feared and respected, for good reason. I don't really see him going all soft and gentle with a girl just because she happened to sing a song for him. Talk about a scene from a romance novel... [/rhetorical questions].

Why is it that Drogo is the only male character who is denied nuance and dimension with regards to having some compassion for the women they have sex with?

The difference in reader attitude doesn't seem to be based on character size, or type, or whether the character has a POV, the reason most people have cited is "Dothraki culture" and that has some pretty problematic undertones when you deny the individual characters the room to be well, individuals within that culture -- Particularly when you are willing to grant that individuality to the men of Westeros' culture.

-Edited for clarity

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it wrong? Does Dany think it is wrong? Does Drogo? No.

Can I. Sure. It's meant to be brutal, it's meant to show that Dany was forced into having sex she explicitly does not want and does not consent to. It's meant to show that at least for that instance, life really sucks for Dany.

She is not "explicitly not want and not consent"-ing to the sex.

There is crying and pain. There is fear.

It is entirely possibly, in some circumstances, to accept, consent and want something that is painful and scary. Like getting a tattoo even though needles make you faint for example. Even sex. Even when you are not SM inclined.

She is doing something painful and scary because it gives her a great reward in the future (a child/heir and status, respect, wealth and power).

The fact that she thinks to herself that she is grateful Drogo cannot see her tears could imply either

a) fear that he will hurt her more because of the tears - I can see nothing that would suggest this to her, and plenty in the book first night scene that would suggest otherwise, OR

b)that she is actually consenting to the sex and happy that Drogo is not 'put off' or upset by seeing her pain - this is much more likely IMO given the situation.

Thus it cannot be categorically stated as rape, even by modern standards (except legal/underage stuff), and those who claim it are assuming things that are not explicit in the text and run counter to the known circumstances.

Many posters have simply taken the (IMO false) implication that crying/pain/fear equals non-consent and taken it up as fact. They need to think a bit more about the wider situation rather than just the imagined 'here and now'.

Based on Westerosi society in general, and Tyrion's hunger for a seat of power in particular it doesn't make sense that Tyrion does not have sex with Sansa... After all, Tyrion is the acting hand of the kind and is not a stranger to sex with young girls, or for that matter raping his wife... Why should he make and exception for this one, especially that she is now his to do with as he pleases... After all, Tyrion really could not afford to loose more face then he all ready had.

Is it perhaps because he was a viewpoint character?

No.

Tyrion is obvious - he can, and does, get willing (if paid) sex often. But we can see in all his other interactions, what he really wants is to be loved for himself. So when Sansa is afraid, he backs off. He wants her to love him, not fuck him, which means it has to be her choice, ready and willing.

Well then, why are readers not bothered by the cheesy romance when the Hound did not rape Sansa. He was a warrior, he had nothing less to lose, and he went to her room with the specific intent of raping her. The Cleganes are a hard family who value strength and Sandor is feared and respected, for good reason. I don't really see him going all soft and gentle with a girl just because she happened to sing a song for him. Talk about a scene from a romance novel...

Couldn't be further from the truth. There isn't much romantic about the scene.

Sandor is a bit more complex to understand than Tyrion because we don't see his thoughts. But what he really sees in Sansa is the only real innocence and purity and nobility in his world - the one he is so cynical and angry about and pained by.

Raping her would be destroying the last good thing he can believe in. The fucking simply isn't worth that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing I don't like is Drogo and the Dothraki in general looking like WWE wrestlers with spray-tans.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No.

Tyrion is obvious - he can, and does, get willing (if paid) sex often. But we can see in all his other interactions, what he really wants is to be loved for himself. So when Sansa is afraid, he backs off. He wants her to love him, not fuck him, which means it has to be her choice, ready and willing.

Couldn't be further from the truth. There isn't much romantic about the scene.

Sandor is a bit more complex to understand than Tyrion because we don't see his thoughts. But what he really sees in Sansa is the only real innocence and purity and nobility in his world - the one he is so cynical and angry about and pained by.

Raping her would be destroying the last good thing he can believe in. The fucking simply isn't worth that.

Sorry Corbon, I wasn't clear in my original post that I was being somewhat sarcastic and completely rhetorical... And I agree with you on the motives of both Tyrion and Sandor.

What my point was, is that we are willing to see that while Tyrion and The Hound are surely influenced by their culture they also are individuals first... We grant them complex motives in how they treat women, despite the fact that Westeros culture would also condone forced sex, especially in Tyrion's case.

But several posters have not been willing to accord Drogo similar complexity, because sexual compassion "goes against his culture" and him perhaps being smitten with his exotic princess and exile, and perhaps, like Tyrion, (in your words) "wanting her to love him, not fuck him, which means it has to be her choice, ready and willing" is "overly romantic."

There is a clear double standard in this rhetoric... The men of Westeros are granted individuality within Westeros society and Westeros masculinity, whereas Drogo is expected to act as a generic representative of Dothroaki masculinity. And not to put to fine a point on it, but it is flat out problematic that the character denied individuality in terms of sexual complexity and compassion is also the character who is non-white.

Unless someone else can give me a convincing reason why The Hound is allowed a complex sexual and emotional life, but Drogo is not? :worried:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unless someone else can give me a convincing reason why The Hound is allowed a complex sexual and emotional life, but Drogo is not? :worried:

Because they're married, and there's a clear expectation for him to consummate the marriage? (As in Westerosi weddings, as well.)

Even today, in modern society, there's a significant number of people who believe that rape can't happen within a marriage. (And trust me, I've seen numerous people express this belief on the internet.) I'm not sure that there's any such belief about raping a random girl, as Sansa/Sandor would be. In the patriarchal society of Westeros and the Dothraki, if you're a woman who gets married, your vagina, maidenhood, and everything associated with it are not just your husband's property, but it's expected that you won't be a virgin past your wedding night.

Do I think this is right? Hell no. But can I differentiate between a guy who just got married, and an unmarried guy? Yes. I don't really consider "I'm not going to rape this girl" (yes, rape-rape! <_<) evidence of a "complex sexual and emotional life". That's a pretty low standard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
She is not "explicitly not want and not consent"-ing to the sex.

There is crying and pain. There is fear.

It is entirely possibly, in some circumstances, to accept, consent and want something that is painful and scary. Like getting a tattoo even though needles make you faint for example. Even sex. Even when you are not SM inclined.

She is doing something painful and scary because it gives her a great reward in the future (a child/heir and status, respect, wealth and power).

The fact that she thinks to herself that she is grateful Drogo cannot see her tears could imply either

a) fear that he will hurt her more because of the tears - I can see nothing that would suggest this to her, and plenty in the book first night scene that would suggest otherwise, OR

b)that she is actually consenting to the sex and happy that Drogo is not 'put off' or upset by seeing her pain - this is much more likely IMO given the situation.

Okay - you're taking what they say in the book in the later part to associate what happened in the show on their first time. There is no way that we should think that the Dany in the show is grateful that Drogo can't see her tears; for starters, he does see them, so that would be a bit off, no?

And yes, she's doing something painful and scary to get a reward. Great - she wasn't raped, she's just a whore. That's significantly better.

As to why she is grateful that he doesn't see the tears in the book, I would imagine because she doesn't want to show weakness or humiliation. People don't actually often like those who hurt them to see that they hurt them. It's not a matter of being abused more or being okay that he'd not be put off by her tears; it's that she doesn't want to give him that power at that point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting to read other people's responses to this scene. I admit, it was the one that I had the most trouble with on first viewing.

I was mildly quesy in the book's wedding night scene, until he finally waited for the "Yes." Did he have to do this? No. Is there actually any way in their world that he even could have "raped" his wife? No. So therefore I read it as an indication that Drogo was somewhat unusual. Although he was still a man in that world (and showed it in the disturbing weeks following the wedding with the oft-quoted Dany's pain with riding and sex passage), it showed the foundation from which Dany's love for him could eventually form. And I think the validity of her love is an important point in the book; no matter how powerless she was on the wedding night, we are supposed to take her as a person of substance and power later on. Someone who loves fiercely and cautiously. Additionally, it also seemed to show a sense of freedom in Dothraki culture. Captives and dancer girls might be open for the taking, but a Khaleesi is a full-fledged Dothraki, someone who wants to be with her Khal. I respected the delicacy of Martin's portrayal of a complicated and brutal situation.

The tv scene, however, made me very uncomfortable. I understand that for tv plot arcs and character portrayals have to be shortened. I assume they're going for a more direct Dany-rising-from-the-ashes-of-her-struggles arc with it by portraying her in such a victimized light in this scene. They seem to be, as someone above said, "getting rid of the exception." And apparently her love for Drogo will grow out of Stockholm's syndrome (only partial sarcasm). Do I like it? No. Do they care? No.

PS: I just want to clear up that if the sexual encounter Dany had in the tv episode happened in our world (even with age differences set aside), just the fact that she didn't "run away" or verbally say "no" doesn't make it any less rape. She was physically manipulated and entered while crying for goodness sake. If there's anyone who questions that the this encounter was not consensual, I kindly and respectfully suggest that they may wish to examine their own sexual encounters more thoroughly. No harm meant.

This. Also,

I'm very startled by the number of people who read the scene in the books as a bodice-ripper-type 'Oh please Drogo take me now!'. To me it was very clear - if maybe ambiguous before the next chapter elaborated - that her 'yes' was a very different kind of consent. It's Dany's first sign of maturing, showing how she takes the situation she has been given and accepts it, and by accepting it gains some amount of power over it, where struggling or bemoaning her fate would keep her powerless.

I always thought the first step in this - and maybe even where she learns that strength, where she starts to become the queen she becomes - is when Drogo forces her not to cover herself. To give up cowering and stand proud in the most fearsome situation. And when she has stood proud, naked, in front of a brute who means to have his way with her - and when she has done her duty and survived essentially unharmed - what else is left to fear, that she cannot face?

The HBO version isn't inconsistent with this reading, but the focus on the tears in her eyes definitely gave me more of an impression of someone who is in despair, someone who is broken, rather than someone with exceptional courage. It remains to be seen whether they can work it around to where it should be.

this.

I'm not saying other readings aren't valid. I just think they're wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing I don't like is Drogo and the Dothraki in general looking like WWE wrestlers with spray-tans.

Speaking as a wrestling fan, you didn't need the last bit of that sentence. When you said "WWE wrestlers", the spray-tan was implied. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
She is not "explicitly not want and not consent"-ing to the sex.

There is crying and pain. There is fear.

It is entirely possibly, in some circumstances, to accept, consent and want something that is painful and scary. Like getting a tattoo even though needles make you faint for example. Even sex. Even when you are not SM inclined.

She is doing something painful and scary because it gives her a great reward in the future (a child/heir and status, respect, wealth and power).

The fact that she thinks to herself that she is grateful Drogo cannot see her tears could imply either

a) fear that he will hurt her more because of the tears - I can see nothing that would suggest this to her, and plenty in the book first night scene that would suggest otherwise, OR

b)that she is actually consenting to the sex and happy that Drogo is not 'put off' or upset by seeing her pain - this is much more likely IMO given the situation.

Thus it cannot be categorically stated as rape, even by modern standards (except legal/underage stuff), and those who claim it are assuming things that are not explicit in the text and run counter to the known circumstances.

Firstly, as someone else already pointed out, the passage about Dany being grateful for Drogo not seeing her tears occurred later in the book while she was in pain from horse riding all day. The situation in which that thought appeared in was different from the wedding night for several reasons: 1)she was no longer a virgin, 2)she had already sucked-it-up and accepted her role as Drogo's wife (during the wedding night, for one), 3)there were other circumstances at play in those instances that might possibly have been the source of her pain and tears instead of it being 100%-sex related. Is it a pleasant set of passages? No. Are there ameliorating circumstances? Somewhat. Martin does not explicitly spell out why she is crying. In this situation, though it is not acceptable in our world, I can at least in theory ascribe to your "b" read on the story.

However, that is not the situation we are talking about. The wedding night in the book was one thing, but what seems to have people reacting and discussing this so strongly is the depiction of the wedding night on the tv show.

While I will concede that it may be possible in our world for a woman to in fact wholeheartedly consent to sex while being terrified and in tears, there is another participant in such a sexual encounter as well. (Note: I, also, am not talking about S&M). And there is no our-world situation in which a man in Drogo's place as depicted in the show was can proceed with the sexual encounter without it being rape. I'm sorry, but there's just not.

I'm in no way trying to single out Corbon specifically, but it's a touchy subject, and I'm trying to address the root of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay - you're taking what they say in the book in the later part to associate what happened in the show on their first time. There is no way that we should think that the Dany in the show is grateful that Drogo can't see her tears; for starters, he does see them, so that would be a bit off, no?

Both post#23 and post#25 (yours BTW) equate the later sex with rape, which implies (and some posts have directly stated) that therefore the wedding night was rape. "If one was, the other was."

And since that makes the book fair game over the show, even here (in the show forum), I'm counting the book over the show for the wedding night scene as well. The book is 'what happened', the show 'what someone else interpreted' - and the show doesn't give us Dany's thoughts either.

And yes, she's doing something painful and scary to get a reward. Great - she wasn't raped, she's just a whore. That's significantly better.

Whoring is associated with promiscuity, not all contractual sex. And pretty much all sex is contractual (at least initially), even if neither party has bothered to write their contract, or read the other party's contract. The contract may be as little as 'this has no meaning beyond pleasure now' for a ons to 'we commit to each other alone for now' to a couple entering a monogomous relationship, to 'we commit to each other until death do us part' for a marriage to 'I'll give you sexual pleasure, you'll give me $1000' for a purely financial arrangement.

So no, she isn't a whore just because she is performing contractually obliged sex.

She's just a person getting along in the world she lives in.

As to why she is grateful that he doesn't see the tears in the book, I would imagine because she doesn't want to show weakness or humiliation. People don't actually often like those who hurt them to see that they hurt them. It's not a matter of being abused more or being okay that he'd not be put off by her tears; it's that she doesn't want to give him that power at that point.

It could be many things.

The point is, there is implicit consent and no non-consent and therefore it is not rape.

First night or following nights, at least in the books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Both post#23 and post#25 (yours BTW) equate the later sex with rape, which implies (and some posts have directly stated) that therefore the wedding night was rape. "If one was, the other was."
Yes. Do you think that Dany would have said no if given the chance? Given that she was almost about to kill herself because life was so miserable, I don't think that she was particularly consenting. It's clear from the text that she would have not had sex if she could have made that choice. She would have preferred not to. That's at least coercion, and given that it takes her a while before she even starts to enjoy some of it it's pretty clear she's not wanting it.

Not wanting sex and having sex is lack of consent. Hence, rape. One does not have to say no for it to be rape.

Whoring is associated with promiscuity, not all contractual sex.
how is taking money for sex associated with promiscuity and not with contractual obligations? This makes zero sense to me.

It could be many things.

The point is, there is implicit consent and no non-consent and therefore it is not rape.

First night or following nights, at least in the books.

What was Dany going to do - say no? It's clear from the books that she's terrified of Drogo and terrified of what her protest might bring - both from him and from Viserys. There's an implied threat of violence there - and that also means rape, at least in our society.

Naturally in Westeros it wouldn't be rape; you can't rape your spouse.

Regardless it doesn't matter; do you honestly believe that on the show, that was non-rape? Can you see that there could easily be an interpretation of that being rape?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regardless it doesn't matter; do you honestly believe that on the show, that was non-rape? Can you see that there could easily be an interpretation of that being rape?

I can totally see it being interpreted as rape, especially by someone who hasn't read the book yet, which is why I'm somewhat dumbfounded that they didn't just add her saying "Yes." before the end of the scene.

This is probably the only sizeable problem I had with the pilot episode. Such an easy fix makes you wonder why they left it out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The point is, there is implicit consent and no non-consent and therefore it is not rape.

First night or following nights, at least in the books.

Ok, in the books there was consent on the wedding night. She said "Yes" and then it happened. Later nights there was not implicit consent and it was a painful nasty crying business. Therefore, in the books: wedding night was not rape, later nights it's at least potentially up for debate and your argument may work.

In the show there was no consent the wedding night and it was a painful nasty crying business. That difference is what this whole thread has become about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×