lotesse: (narnia)
Interesting convo over at Shakesville that deconstructs the "but rape is historically realistic" canard by showing all the historically realistic ways medieval women had to gain power that are written right out of Westeros.

More and more, Game of Thrones reinforces my conviction that it's essential to include author positionality in SFF analysis, maybe moreso than in other genres? because of the imaginative freedom/responsibility worldbuilding confers. GoT has some cool-sounding ladypersons in it, but I look at the author and I look at the stans and I don't think their fantasy about ladypersons in a crypto War of the Roses with dragons added is the same as mine. There's an investment in - I don't quite know the word, but bad history and rape culture and something liked medievalist evopsych? which I do not, will not, share. Sometimes you can cut the texts up and rearrange the pieces; but Rape Rape Martin, from what I can see, lays down some hard patterns; those books kind of sincerely scare me, I'll admit it. And the question becomes if it's worth doing the work.

Ironically, bc Martin is so often presented as an improvement on Tolkien, Middle-earth is actually much better at allowing realistic paths to power for women apart from fighting or fucking; there aren't many named ladypersons in LoTR but of the few there are two are Ioreth and my personal cotdamn hero Lobelia Sackville-Baggins. And maybe it's part of the reason why I'll always love Narnia best of all: because women in Narnia gain power through insight and imagination, and they don't have to fight OR fuck if they don't want to. It's much easier for me to mentally wander around Gondor or Cair Paravel and add in realistically diverse, complex, and powerful women than I feel like it would be to attempt the same thing around the Iron Throne.

daughter of the sea, oregano's first cousin


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