…here’s how it goes, when you criticize beloved nerd entertainments: You can try to be nuanced. You can try to be thoughtful. You can lay out your arguments in careful, extravagant, obsessive detail. And at the end of the day, here is what the people in the “fandom” are going to take away: You don’t like my toys? I hate you!
So, get it out of your system now, because, guess what, George R.R. Martin fans? I don’t like your toys. Deal with that. Meditate for a while. Envision a blazing bonfire in a temple, and breathe in its warmth and serenity. Then, imagine me dumping all your comic books and action figures and first-edition hardback Song of Ice and Fire novels INTO the bonfire, and cackling wildly. Because the fact of the matter is, in my ever-masochistic quest to be hip with what is happening in pop culture these days, I read the first four novels in the series. And my conclusions were: Dear God, George R.R. Martin is creepy. Quite possibly the creepiest author I’ve read in QUITE SOME TIME.
…I could try to look at the positives, before I get to the criticism. But you know what? I’m still going to criticize the books. And if these are your toys, you’re going to be mad no matter what, because criticism of your favorite things exists. On the INTERNET, no less! SCANDAL!
So why don’t we just cut to the chase, here? George R. R. Martin is creepy. He is creepy because he writes racist shit. He is creepy because he writes sexist shit. He is creepy, primarily, because of his TWENTY THOUSAND MILLION GRATUITOUS RAPE AND/OR MOLESTATION AND/OR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SCENES. And I could write a post about those, to be sure. But you know what would be easier? I could just count them. One by one by one.
Yikes. I do love ASoIaF, and I think there are some redeeming things about the portrayals of women in the novels, but honestly it’s pretty hard to argue with this ferocious analysis.
I’m still gonna enjoy them, but I certainly understand why many people can’t. Whether you choose to believe that GRRM is a misogynist, or whether you choose to believe that he is criticizing misogyny, there’s no way around the fact that these books are radioactive.