George R.R. Martin is creepy.
There! I said it! In days of yore, before the Striding Elves sailed West to Sygmagfhdflkglll, and giants did waylay travelers throwing stones carved from the mighty Tghfarghfr Mountains, and yon Good Queen Sady had not yet been assailed in that great war known as the Rage of Nerds, led by those black-hearted, dishonorable brigands known as the Knights of Rowling, joined later by those who would overthrow the land of Tiger Beatdown itself in the name of the Nameless King called Who — I will NEVER! READ! TIGER BEATDOWN! AGAINNN!!!! rang their rallying cry, feared of all who stood at the Gate of Twitter @ Replies — I maybe would have tried to downplay this conclusion a little.
But, nope! Today is a different day, my friends. Because 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 get into the reasons why, here. I could try to construct some kind of nuanced argument for you. I could talk about how the impulse to revisit an airbrushed, dragon-infested Medieval Europe strikes me as fundamentally conservative — a yearning for a time when (white) men brandished swords for their King, (white) women stayed in the castle and made babies, marriage was a beautiful sacrament between a consenting adult and whichever fourteen-year-old girl he could manage to buy off her Dad, and poor people and people of color were mostly invisible — or how racism and sexism have been built into the genre ever since Tolkien. I could acknowledge the plotty, cliffhangery aspects of Martin’s writing as a selling point: So-and-so was dead! But now he’s alive! But now he’s dying! But now he’s a zombie! But now he’s the Prince of Sblarghlhaar, because he was IN DISGUISE! 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.
And, if you’ve gotten this far? Spoilers.
1. A Game of Thrones, or, The One That Got Turned Into A TV Show
Major Female Characters: CATELYN STARK, The Hero’s Wife; SANSA STARK, The Hero’s Prissy Daughter; ARYA STARK, The Hero’s Tomboy Daughter; CERSEI LANNISTER, The Evil Queen Who’s Fucking Her Brother; DAENERYS TARGARYEN, The Blondest Girl In The World
PLOT SUMMARY: Everything was going fine for Ned Stark, until he got promoted to be Vice President of Westeros, and his son Bran got pushed out a window. Turns out, Bran was peeping on the Queen’s royal fuck times. They were with her brother, gross! Bran is now in a Soap Opera Coma. Regardless, Ned and his daughters have to move to the capital of Westeros, where there is a dark fuck-times-related mystery which he must investigate. Intrigue ensues. Meanwhile, Bran awakes from his Soap Opera Coma. He has Soap Opera Amnesia! And is paralyzed! How will he ever tell anyone about the queen’s fuck times now? Ned is still with the intrigue. After approximately 700 pages of intriguing, Ned solves the mystery. Turns out, the queen was having royal fuck-times with her brother. Which we found out 700 pages ago. But still! Ned is shocked at this illicit use of royal fuck times! He is going to expose this corruption! Ned promptly gets his head chopped off. Meanwhile, in an apparently unrelated plotline, The Blondest Girl In The World hatches some dragons.
FEMALE CHARACTER SCORE CARD:
Meet Catelyn! She’s a dutiful, obedient wife and mother. Also, her husband is the hero. She will, therefore, be a sympathetic figure. Catelyn’s an all-around swell gal, and seems pretty sharp and competent, too, except when she is (a) getting all hysterical and non-functional because HER CHILDREN, (b) stupidly kidnapping members of the royal family on a whim because HER CHILDREN, and (c) being a total bitchface to Ned’s illegitimate son because he is not HER CHILDREN. Remember, kids: Women are meant to be wives and mothers. Also, they are meant to be kept away from sharp objects and heavy machinery at all times. Because they are always thinking with their baby-makers! Oy!
Meet Sansa! She’s 13. She likes gossip and parties and pretty dresses and handsome boys. We are meant to believe that, for these reasons, Sansa completely sucks and deserves everything that’s coming to her. Which is unfortunate, because what’s coming to her is inadvertently betraying her entire family for her crush Prince Joffrey and/or learning in the final pages of the book that Joffrey enjoys beating girls up and threatening them with rape. Sansa’s entire plot, from this point forward, will consist of an ongoing competition to molest Sansa, in which every male character in her immediate vicinity will participate. Ha ha, serves you right for being such a girl, Sansa!
Meet Arya! She’s 9. Arya is not girly. She likes her Dad and swords and wolves and rough-housing. For these reasons, she does not suck as much as Sansa, because girly things suck and we hate them, right? Nothing sexist there, for sure! Arya trains to be a sword-fighting ninja. She’s going to be fine.
Meet Cersei! Cersei is fucking her brother. She also hates her husband, King Robert, and won’t ever give him the good sex. Sooner or later, she schemes to kill him and/or Ned. Oh, coincidentally? King Robert beats Cersei up. One slap that we see, a long history of beatings disclosed by Cersei. Never mind, though. She won’t give him the good sex. Also, she talks sometimes. Totally worth a slapping.
Meet Daenerys! Oh, brother. Here is my problem: I really want to like Daenerys. She’s molested by her brother; she’s sold, at 13, into “marriage” with a grown man; she emerges from all this as a hardcore warlord, and one of her first actions is to ban rape, and I really want to like that particular story. And yet, there are these two leeeetle problems. Problem One: CREEPY PEDO SHIT. Despite being effing terrified of her grown-assed adult husband, we’re led to believe that Daenerys really gets off on being fucked by the guy. At least, at first. Subsequently, he maybe rapes her a little. But then they fall in love, so that’s fine. Again: DAENERYS IS 13 YEARS OLD. We are treated to several graphic, eroticized scenes of a 13-year-old child “having sex” with and “falling in love” with a grown man. In other words: Creepy pedo shit. But even if you got rid of that, you would still have to deal with Problem Two: BLATANT MOTHERFUCKING RACISM. Daenerys, you see, has been exiled to “the East,” where everyone has “bronze skin” and “almond eyes” and is “savage.” Her husband, Drogo, is pretty much modeled on Genghis Khan. The Easterners’ religion is mystical and magical and barbaric, the way religions from “the East” tend to be when white people make them up, and at their weddings, they engage in “savage dances” and public gang rapes. When they win a battle? ALSO public gang rapes, surprisingly. The savage mystical barbarous brown Eastern people: Always gang-raping! And Dany, as The White Lady In These Scenes, has to educate them that rape is wrong. So when your Daenerys scenes are NOT composed of Creepy Pedo Shit, they are comprised of Enlightened White Savior Shit and/or How Will I Ever Communicate With These Superstitious Natives Shit and/or After Our White Women Shit. What I’m saying is, I want to like Daenerys. But her scenes? They are shit. They are shit. They are shit some more. And then there are dragons.
2. A Clash of Kings, or, The One That Was Really Boring
MAJOR FEMALE CHARACTERS: CATELYN STARK, The Hero’s Mother; SANSA STARK, The About-To-Be-Molested; ARYA STARK, Sword-Fighting Ninja Runaway; CERSEI LANNISTER, The Evil Queen Who Fucked Her Brother; BRIENNE, Ser Restrictive-Beauty-Standards; DAENERYS TARGARYEN, The Chosen Blonde.
PLOT SUMMARY: What’s more interesting than medieval battle tactics? If you answered “LITERALLY EVERYTHING,” you’re going to hate A Clash of Kings. So, anyway, it turns out that Recently Headless Ned had a variety of sons who did not get pushed out of windows. One of them is Robb, and he wants to be King of Mystical Dragon Land! But Cersei has a son, Joffrey. He is the current King of Mystical Dragon Land! So Robb has to overthrow Joffrey, but also, Dead King Robert had brothers, who have figured out that Cersei’s babies were caused by illicit, brother-in-law fuck-times. And you’re not going to believe this, but Brother One (Renly) and Brother Two (Stannis) BOTH want to be King of Mystical Dragon Land! Then there’s Daenerys. She, too, wants to be Queen of Mystical Dragon Land, but is currently side-tracked, what with her being worshiped by various non-white populations. And yet! Robb had a foster-brother, Theon, who comes from a disgraced house of Viking equivalents. Theon is convinced that Viking equivalents should be the Kings of Mystical Dragon Land! Who will emerge victorious as the One True King of Mystical Dragon Land? I sure hope you didn’t want an answer to that, because it turns out there are like five more books in this series. Meanwhile, in an apparently unrelated plotline, Headless Ned’s other son Jon is fighting zombies.
FEMALE CHARACTER SCORE CARD:
Catelyn is a dutiful mother to Robb. Since she mostly focuses on attaining a man’s goals for him, rather than assuming leadership or decision-making power for herself, she remains competent and non-hysterical.
Arya is being taken away to safety by the Night’s Watch. It doesn’t work out. She gets kidnapped! She escapes! She runs away! She gets kidnapped! She escapes! She runs away! There’s an interlude of particularly gratuitous rape-threatening. Then she gets kidnapped! WILL SHE ESCAPE? Yes! Other likely events include: Running away! You guys, Arya will be fine.
Cersei: Still evil, not currently being beaten by her husband.
Daenerys is still in “the East.” Refreshingly, we learn that there is more than one skin tone in “the East,” and in Mystical Dragon Land; somewhat less refreshingly, we learn that everyone in the East is still very mystical and decadent and barbaric and Orientalist-stereotypey, and they are still cultural Others, and they all have racialized/Other-ized names like “Pyat,” “Xaro Xhoan,” and “Jhogo,” as opposed to Dragon Land names like “Ned,” “Catelyn,” and “Jon.” Also, the Other-ized Easterners seem kind of unsettlingly eager to worship the little blonde foreigner. So, there’s that.
Meet Brienne! She’s ugly. So, so ugly. If you saw her, what you would think would be: “She’s ugly.” Catelyn feels super-sorry for her, because of how ugly she is. Very, is how ugly she is. Also? She’s the only female knight that we’ve met thus far. Because female competence can only evolve in the absence of sexiness, or if you are a nine-year-old girl. Did you know that most of the women in the Fortune 500 are in fifth grade? Well, that is because I just made that up! Go with it. Anyway, Brienne is a knight because she has a crush on Renly, and this was the only way to get close to him, because he’s hot, and she is, as previously stated, an uggo. Also, Renly’s gay. And recently dead. Really, this relationship is doomed on any number of fronts. Meanwhile,
Who’s Molesting Sansa Stark? Thus far, the leading contender would appear to be Prince Joffrey, who has his men beat her up, strip her naked in front of him, and then beat her up some more for his amusement. Strong showing from bodyguard Sandor Clegane, however, who climbs into her room and plans to rape her! He changes his mind, however, thus yielding the field to Joffrey once more.
3. A Storm of Swords, or, The One Where Everyone Is Dead
Major Female Characters: CATELYN STARK, The Hero’s Mother; SANSA STARK, The Perpetually-About-To-Be-Molested; ARYA STARK, The Frequently Kidnapped; CERSEI LANNISTER, The Queen Who Used To Fuck Her Brother; BRIENNE, Ser Self-Destructive-Dating-Patterns; DAENERYS TARGARYEN, Hail The Conquering Whitey.
PLOT SUMMARY: Oh, man. This thing is 1,500 pages long, so take a deep breath. When last we visited Mystical Dragon Land, there were approximately 900 candidates for King. You know what that means? Yup. Time to die, everyone! Renly? Dead. Theon? Apparently dead. Robb? He’s doing fine, except for the fact that he pissed off that old dude whose daughter he was supposed to marry, but that’s a fairly minor slip-up and I’m sure it won’t… oh, shit, that old dude killed him! Robb is dead!!! Catelyn is dead! SO MANY PEOPLE ARE DEAD! Anyway, that leaves Daenerys, Stannis and Joffrey, and since Stannis’s forces are decimated and Daenerys is currently busy conquering every single Eastern civilization she can get her hands on, I guess Joffrey is the undisputed King of Mystical Dragon La… oh, shit! Joffrey’s been poisoned! Joffrey is dead! But we all know that the power behind the throne is Cersei’s dad Tywin, so this shouldn’t disrupt… OH MY GOD CERSEI’S DAD IS DEAD??? I guess that means… whoa, that means Cersei is in charge of everything! Woo-hoo! I’m sure we won’t be given any unfortunate, sexist lessons on the evils of irrational/slutty/catty/bitchy female leadership. Especially now that Catelyn has emerged… as a vengeful zombie!!! Meanwhile, in an apparently unrelated plotline: The 9,000 other characters in this book.
FEMALE CHARACTER SCORE CARD:
Catelyn, unfortunately, attempts to do something in this book: Setting the Queen’s captive brother/boyfriend Jaime free, under Brienne’s guard, in exchange for HER CHILDREN (subset: Sansa and Arya). Like all independent Catelyn operations, it immediately backfires. Later, she gets hysterical and rips her own face off because of HER CHILDREN (subset: Robb), tries to avenge HER CHILDREN (subset: Robb), and dies. Sorry, Catelyn! You know bad things happen when you try to do stuff! Try to be more careful next time. Because there will be a next time. Because you are now a zombie.
Arya is still getting kidnapped. And escaping. And running away. And getting kidnapped. And escaping. And… you know what? Arya’s going to be fine. Let’s not check in with her again unless something changes.
Brienne gets her own plot line. Or, rather, JAIME, the queen’s brother-boyfriend, gets a plot line with Brienne in it. In this plot line, we learn that Jaime — recently seen pushing a seven-year-old child out of a window — is really a good guy, at heart! He’s just in really, really into having consensual royal fuck-times with his sister! That’s not so creepy, right? Yeah, no, it’s creepy. Anyway, we learn that Brienne is valorous, honorable, and pure of heart. We also learn that George R. R. Martin’s favorite thing to do with Brienne is to surround her with guys who attempt to gang rape her, at which point, she requires rescue. By Jaime. The guy who pushes kids out windows. On whom she now has a crush. Yeah, I KNOW.
Cersei is evil, eeeeeevil. How do we know she’s evil? She’s consensually fucking more than one dude, OBVS. Also, she’s saying things like “that time you betrothed me to a guy when I was a kid, and then I had to sleep with him even though I didn’t want to? That was basically rape” and “there’s no reason I shouldn’t be allowed to exercise power just because I’m a woman” and “nobody has any problems if a DUDE sleeps around, but when I do it it’s somehow the most damning evidence against my character” and “given the patriarchal slant of our society, sometimes I wish I was a guy!” So, just to be clear: The only female character who consistently levies an institutional critique of sexism in these books? Evil. Eeeeeevilllllllll! You surprised?
Daenerys: Oh, here we fucking go. Daenerys, you see, has discovered that the mystical, barbaric cities of the Orient have one particularly barbaric custom of which she disapproves heartily. That custom? Is slavery. And so, Daenerys must save these other cultures from themselves, by going city to city and systematically destroying them, imposing her own standards upon them all. Here’s a problem, though: We, the European and/or American readers, also know slavery to be a bad thing. And here is how we know this: White people enslaved people of color. For generations. We brutalized people of color, we institutionalized the rape of people of color, we committed genocide against people of color, we devastated the cultures of people of color. And here is how we white people rationalized that: We told ourselves that these people of color were barbaric, that they were savages, that European standards should be universal, and that we were saving these people from themselves. So, for those keeping track: The rationale behind Daenerys’s campaign to abolish slavery? IS THE RATIONALE THAT CREATED SLAVERY. Daenerys: Mystic Dragon Land’s leading producer of UGH.
Who’s Molesting Sansa Stark? A very competitive round, here! Joffrey, the returning champion, is still in the lead here, until a stunning second-quarter turnaround, in which Sansa is force-married to Tyrion “Raging Dinklage” Lannister himself! Tyrion gets total boners thinking of Sansa, who is STILL 13 YEARS OLD, but refuses to actually rape her (what a guy), and Joffrey is cleared from the field with poison! My god! It’s anyone’s game now! Sansa escapes the castle, and… could it be that NO-ONE is going to molest Sansa this season? What an upset! Wait, no, who’s that I see… why, it’s Littlefinger, that wormy guy from the first book! After a brief fumble in which one of Littlefinger’s servants attempts to rape Sansa and nearly takes the goal, Littlefinger emerges as a clear winner, as he instructs Sansa that he intends to care for her as a father, and then totally Frenches her! Wow! A thrilling conclusion to a great game of Who’s Molesting Sansa Stark! Be sure to tune in next installment, for more long-running plots constructed entirely around child molestation.
4. A Feast for Crows, or, I’m Sorry I Forgot To Write The Next Installment Of My Book
MAJOR FEMALE CHARACTERS: BRIENNE, Ser Author’s-Excuse-For-Feminism; ARYA STARK, She’s Going To Be Fine; CERSEI LANNISTER, The Evil Queen Who Broke Up With Her Brother; SANSA STARK, The Still-Being-Molested-After-Four-Solid-Books; ARIANNE MARTELL, The Filler Content. Special Guest Appearance by ZOMBIE CATELYN.
PLOT SUMMARY: This is the book that got them mad. The one that dropped all the central plot threads, resolved none of the cliffhangers, and cut out all of the “important” characters and “fan favorites,” instead focusing on some side characters no-one really cares about. And here’s a startling revelation: The side characters no-one cares about? Were the women. Daenerys is gone, but otherwise, it’s the girls who got left over. And yes, they are boring as hell. Brienne is trying to find Sansa, which consists of wandering around asking people if they’ve seen Sansa. Arya has finally found refuge, and is training to be an assassin, which consists of wandering around in spooky caves. Sansa’s with Littlefinger. You know what’s going on with Littlefinger. The only real semblance of a plot consists of what’s going on with Cersei, who has claimed the throne for herself. Meanwhile, in an apparently unrelated plotline: The plotline. But no worries! The afterword says that the sequel will be out in a year! Wait! What’s that you say? This afterword was published… in 2004?
FEMALE CHARACTER SCORE CARD:
Brienne is wandering around all “have you seen Sansa?” No-one has. You know what they HAVE seen, though: An exciting opportunity to threaten Brienne with gang rape some more! So, that happens. As usual. Brienne fights them off and/or is rescued by the nearest male, until she is eventually captured and possibly killed by Zombie Catelyn. Catelyn is mad at Brienne for setting Jaime free and going off to look for Sansa and Arya. Which is… what Catelyn told her to do? Turns out, Zombie Catelyn is an even less effective strategist than Regular Catelyn. And you thought it couldn’t happen!
Arya is training to be an assassin. She’s going to be fine. She’s always fine. She’s…. oh, shit, they blinded her? Darn.
Who’s Molesting Sansa Stark? Littlefinger. Still. It’s gross, and Stockholm-Syndrome-y, and he keeps calling himself her father, and… oh, my God, can we please move on?
Arianne Martell is a princess of Dorne, where they believe in equal inheritance. Girls inheriting shit! Boys inheriting shit! Everybody’s inheriting, in the wacky land of Dorne! Arianne is sassy and strategic and sexy and other s-words, and she has a plan to place Cersei’s daughter on the throne and thereby run shit, which seems alarmingly non-sexist. Fortunately, this is A Song Of Ice and Fire, so she promptly fucks up, gets everybody on her side killed, and is imprisoned, at which point her father shows up to tell her he has a much smarter plan which she must now go along with. Women: Don’t come up with your own plans! Ever! Remember the sad example of Zombie Catelyn! Or, for that matter,
Cersei Lannister. Cersei is Queen. Cersei, as Queen, wants to run shit. But, guess what? It turns out that she’s just too slutty and irrational and bitchy and catty to do it right. Surprise! Cersei’s always fucking dudes, and being mean to dudes, and making decisions out of personal preference and emotion rather than logic, and refusing to bone her brother (which is now… bad? Look, it’s a complicated story), and it turns out she’s just really insecure because her seven-year-old son’s thirteen-year-old wife might be prettier than she is, and basically, what you need to know is, the woman who’s spent the past three books scheming her way into dominating an entire continent becomes an incompetent, screeching harpy the moment she actually exercises power. Women bosses. Am I right?
NOVELS READ: Four.
FEMALE CHARACTERS: As of Book 4, eight women have had chapters written from their point of view. Six of those women have had long-running, major plotlines. Those six female characters are Cersei Lannister, Catelyn Stark, Arya Stark, Sansa Stark, Brienne, and Daenerys Targaryen.
PERCENTAGE OF MAJOR FEMALE CHARACTERS ABUSED, RAPED, or THREATENED WITH SAME: “Abuse,” in this scenario, means “physical partner violence,” because if we had to count everyone with a dysfunctional family, the list would never end. So, as of Book 4, the major female characters who have been abused, raped, molested, or threatened with same are: Cersei Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, Brienne, Arya Stark, and Sansa Stark. That is five out of six, or about 83%. The only major female character to go without a single rape, attempted rape, sexual assault or incident of partner violence? Catelyn Stark. Who, as you may recall, is dead. And a zombie.
BONUS POINTS — SYMPATHETIC RAPISTS AND WIFE-BEATERS: Sure, fine, this is a little startling. But those rapists and abusers are all villains, right? Joffrey, Littlefinger, Daenerys’s child-molester brother, etc; these are bad guys. Ah, but not so fast! King Robert, lovable but ineffectual ruler whose death kicks off the series, beats his wife. The Night’s Watch, an honorable band of brothers devoted to defending the world against zombies, is largely comprised of convicted rapists. The Dothraki are portrayed as an entire civilization of dedicated, enthusiastic rapists, because racism; Khal Drogo, Daenerys’ beloved husband, gives a speech about it. The Ironmen, Viking equivalents, are another entire civilization of gang-rapists. Victarion Greyjoy, a heroic old Ironman, beat his ex-wife to death for cheating. Sandor Clegane, who planned to rape Sansa, gets a late-stage character redemption. And then, we have Tyrion Lannister. Hero Tyrion Lannister. Fan favorite Tyrion Lannister. Author favorite Tyrion Lannister. Who has, to date, participated in the gang-rape of his first wife, gotten boners for his 13-year-old second wife, and strangled his favorite prostitute for bad behavior.
PERCENTAGE OF MAJOR FEMALE CHARACTERS WHO ARE LITERALLY CHILDREN: Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Daenerys Targaryen; 50%.
PERCENTAGE OF FEMALE CHILDREN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED or THREATENED WITH SAME: Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Daenerys Targaryen; 100%. Arya is threatened with rape only once; Daenerys and Sansa are successfully molested by multiple characters. Daenerys falls in love with one of her molesters (Drogo) and Sansa gets a crush on one of hers (Sandor Clegane).
A NOTE ON ARRANGED MARRIAGE and CHILDREN: Yes, it’s true; in Ye Olde Medieval Europe, female tweens were oft wed to the grown-ups. A Song of Ice and Fire is known for being “gritty” and “authentic,” so really, aren’t I just objecting to the realism? Reader, here are the things that George R. R. Martin changed about Ye Olde Medieval Europe, when he set out to write A Song of Ice and Fire: Religion. Geography. History. Politics. Zombies. Werewolves. Dragons. At one point, when asked why his characters were taller, healthier, and longer-lived than actual Medieval people, George R. R. Martin explained that human genetics and biology do not work the same way in Westeros as they do in the real world. So George R. R. Martin considered that he could change all of that while maintaining “authenticity.” Here’s what he left in, however: Institutionalized pedophilia. So:
WHERE WILL YOU END UP IN MYSTICAL DRAGON LAND? If you are an unmarried woman, it is 100% certain that you will be raped or experience attempted rape (4/6: Arya, Sansa, Daenerys, Brienne). If you are married or engaged, there is a 75% chance that your husband or fiancee will beat or sexually assault you (3/4: Sansa, Cersei, Daenerys). If you are an adult woman who exercises authority, you will be killed (Catelyn) or imprisoned (Cersei), because your attempts to exercise said power will backfire (Catelyn, Cersei). If you are a child who exercises authority, you will not be killed or imprisoned, and will be seen as competent (Daenerys). It helps if your subjects are cultural Others, in which case your superiority is assumed (Daenerys). As with all female children, however, you will be sexually assaulted (Arya, Sansa, Daenerys). If you have a traditionally male role, with traditionally male skills, you will merely be threatened with rape (Brienne, Arya); if you are traditionally feminine, or occupy a traditionally feminine role, attempts to sexually assault or beat you will be successful (Sansa, Cersei, Daenerys). If you are the rare character who is an adult, occupies a position of authority, exercises power, and has not been sexually assaulted or beaten by her partner (Catelyn), don’t worry: You’re not getting out of this story alive.
VERDICT: George R.R. Martin is creepy.
YOU: Can be as mad about that as you want. It will still be true.