Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thoughts on Song of Ice and Fire by GRR Martin

I have friends who rave over G R R Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books and the television series based on it, Game of Thrones. While I can't speak about the television series, I did read the first book in the series. Having forced myself to finish it I haven't tried any others. It's been quite a while since I read it so some of the details are hazy but I distinctly remember the overwhelming feeling I left the book with was too much rape. It seems I wasn't the only one.

This post from Sophia McDougall came up on my Facebook newsfeed today via several friends - it obviously struck a chord. Sophia McDougall describes the use of rape in A Song of Ice and Fire as rape used as wallpaper and goes on to explain why she finds it disturbing. Like me, she is not objecting to rape being described in a novel but to it being used as a lazy way to advance plot or explain a character's behaviour in the name of realism. Quite rightly she asks why women being raped is gritty and realistic and the rape of men is rarely addressed. We all know men also face rape (albeit not as frequently as women) but it's a form of violence we rarely see in fiction. Why isn't it gritty and realistic too? She raises some very interesting points that certainly made me think.

This post is a thought provoking insight into how we need to consider why and how we use violence, sexual or otherwise, in writing fiction. I found it fascinating reading and would be interested to hear your thoughts on the subject too.

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