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Game of Thrones book (George Martin)

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posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 12:21 AM
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I finally caved and started reading this one. My friends like it, there's an HBO series now I'm told. I figured I should give it a shot since I like fantasy/ sci fi.

First chapter: rape and incest
Second chapter: rape and incest
Third chapter...do you see where I'm going with this? It never ends. Why are these books so freaking popular?! I read The Sword of Truth books and I felt the same way about those. Way too much rape.

It's not that I'm squeamish about the stuff or anything, and I realize that the period of history most fantasy stories mirror was full of rape and incest. But jeeze, I feel like that's all I'm reading in this Game of Thrones one. I don't understand the mass appeal of these books. Is anyone watching the HBO series? Did they water it down at all for TV? I feel like there's so much rape that if they took it all out for TV there wouldn't be much of a story left, unless they just made up a bunch of stuff.

Am I just being too prudish here? Should I just suck it up and keep reading?
edit on 16-4-2012 by ZeroReady because: hit enter too soon




posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 12:31 AM
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You have to suck it up and keep on reading, its a great series, especially when it gets into the battles and the backstabbing, literally. Just suck the rape and such up, and eventually it wont bother you anymore as you get desensitized. The tv series is awesome as well. I suggest you give it a try.



posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 12:42 AM
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reply to post by MrRottenTreats
 


Thanks for the recommendation, I will check out the series. I guess my issue with the whole thing is this book is showing the very worst of human nature, the horrible things we're capable of, and it's topping best seller lists like forever. Why are people so fixated on this stuff?

Sorry having difficulty actually explaining how I feel about this. I'm not bothered by the rape and violence itself. It's just...and I hate to sound like I'm just reaching for a conspiracy here when there probably isn't one... how many millions of people have all read that first scene in A Game of Thrones and said to themselves "Eh that's not so bad, I've seen worse," and continue reading? My excuse is I'm desensitized from war. But what's everyone else's?



posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 12:47 AM
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Originally posted by MrRottenTreats
You have to suck it up and keep on reading, its a great series, especially when it gets into the battles and the backstabbing, literally. Just suck the rape and such up, and eventually it wont bother you anymore as you get desensitized. The tv series is awesome as well. I suggest you give it a try.


This reminds me of a question I once posed to someone about other "trash" on television when told that if I "looked past the __________ and the __________ and the _________ and the __________ as well it's a 'really good show' that is extremely popular" and the fact that you yourself stated "it won't bother you once you get desensitized"...

If I told you that you could have the most exquisite filet mignon the world has ever known and the only catch was you had to wade through a dumpster of dead animals, human fecal matter, bags of rotten garbage and the sort to get to it would you want to eat it after you found it...

People can say that television and movies don't "rot your brain" or cause people to "lose their moral compass"... but the violence and sexual portrayals shown on television have done just that... all you need to do is reread your statement to see that you've proved me right...



posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 12:51 AM
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reply to post by ZeroReady
 


Here's some hints as to why it's so popular....

maybe it correlates with the structure of the bible and its stories....

You ask, why rape and incest....

Genesis

Dinah



According to the Hebrew Bible, Dinah (Hebrew: דִּינָה, Modern Dina Tiberian Dînā ; "Judged; vindicated") was the daughter of Jacob, one of the patriarchs of the Israelites and Leah, his first wife. The episode of her abduction and violation by a Canaanite prince, and the subsequent vengeance of her brothers Simeon and Levi, commonly referred to as "The Rape of Dinah", is told in Genesis 34.

en.wikipedia.org...




Incest in the Bible From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Incest in the Bible does not entirely overlap with the definition of incest in many modern nations. A few books of the Bible, particularly the early parts of the Torah, contain narratives in which certain individuals, from the same family as one another, engage in sexual intercourse together; while this could be construed as incest, endogamy is an alternative interpretation. The Bible does not, for example, forbid cousins from marrying, but it does prohibit sexual relations with several other close relatives.





the Book of Genesis portrays Sarah as marrying Abraham, her half-brother, without criticising the close genetic relationship between them,[2] and the Book of Samuel treats the marriage of a royal prince to his sister as unusual,[3] rather than wicked.[1] The issue of consanguinity is thus a complicated one, and the exact definition of incest varies throughout the Bible and Rabbinical literature.


en.wikipedia.org...

Here's the trick....

You want to become popular, write an epic story, and SELL!

SIMPLE... You roughly copy the most printed book of all time.

BTW, there's even a video game for it...

A Game of Thrones: Genesis
en.wikipedia.org...:_Genesis
edit on 16-4-2012 by MESSAGEFROMTHESTARS because: a



posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 01:09 AM
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You should watch the HBO series, it is one of the best series I have seen by far that is out these days. I, too, am appalled by the bad morals in the series, but it is about politicians - there are honorable ones, ones in the middle and ones that are despicable. The high variance of morals makes the characters come alive and the series unpredictable. It is simply realistic. I don't think the author expects you to like the characters that are evil, but maybe he expects you to realize that we aren't all perfect, although some of us try in the face of it all.

It is much better than the other trash on TV that doesn't even have a decent plot, or any plot at all, like reality shows, and its characters outclass most others on television this season.

Very highly recommended.
edit on 16-4-2012 by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 01:22 AM
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Oh,Just watch it !!!






posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 01:24 AM
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I love fantasy books and have read the Song of Fire and Ice series (or game of thrones as its now called) and the Sword of Truth.

Being honest I didnt really notice that game of thrones was full of rape, maybe it was because it was the next series I started after Sword of truth.
I agree that in Sword of truth it does seem to be laid on a bit thick and it is somewhat off putting with how graphic and how constant it is.

I guess its in there to get the reader emotionally involved and also so you know who the bad guys are and also how bad/depraved they are, lets be honest it doesnt get much worse than rape and baby killing.

I reccommend the Wheel of time series, Its easily the best series Ive ever read. Its 14 books the last of which comes out in Jan 2013, very wholesome as far as sex goes, nothing graphic at all.
Give it a look



posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 01:33 AM
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reply to post by SwissMarked
 


Bottom line, these books have something called the rare infinite realism scenario. They've focused on something that's not so cliche as the plucky hero, the bad evil villain, the story with a climax in the middle leading up to the end...

I suggest reading the books all the way through, they're worth it.



posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 01:47 AM
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Originally posted by ZeroReady
...this book is showing the very worst of human nature, the horrible things we're capable of...


That is pretty much the whole point or message of the story in my opinion. The lengths to which people will go to get to "the top". Power.

I've only watched the TV series and I can't recall that many rapes. There is a whole lot of sex and perhaps too much - but then again sex is as much part of the power play as murder, war and the back-stabbing.

This article gives some insight into the whole issue of why there is so much sex in the story.



posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 02:07 AM
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Thanks all for your replies.

But I'm afraid some of you may be mistaking my aversion to the graphic content of the book for having moral values. That isn't the issue. I personally am not offended by the scenes.

It's just that stuff like this used to give books and movies something of a cult following maybe, a small group of people who are really into it. Clockwork Orange and Trainspotting are two that come to mind. Those movies/books weren't insanely popular with millions and millions of people because they were freaking weird. But to some people, like myself, they really made a lot of sense and are considered classics.

So my issue is, why is it now all of a sudden instant guaranteed success to have such graphic content in a book or movie?



posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 02:09 AM
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Originally posted by ZeroReady
I finally caved and started reading this one. My friends like it, there's an HBO series now I'm told. I figured I should give it a shot since I like fantasy/ sci fi.

First chapter: rape and incest
Second chapter: rape and incest
Third chapter...do you see where I'm going with this? It never ends. Why are these books so freaking popular?! I read The Sword of Truth books and I felt the same way about those. Way too much rape.

There's no rape or incest in the first chapter. There's a beheading, an execution of a criminal, and some other stuff happens but that's it. None of those things in the second, either. There's a hint of incest in the 3rd chapter, but no rape. Actually, there's no real incest until the 8th chapter, and still no rape by that point (yes, I just checked my copy). There's a bit of statutory rape not long after (by modern standards, perfectly normal in a medieval setting, sadly), and it's a couple that's married, so take that for what you will. The girl is too young though.

Okay, fine, these are things that go on in this series, they are themes, real world problems that occur that most older style fantasy (Tolkien and so much of those that followed) don't deal with. Lord of the Rings was downright sexless, in fact. It was as if that entire side of human interaction didn't occur in that world which is just unrealistic. These books are about power, gaining power, lusting for power, how one attains power and then how one holds power once they have it. Sex, murder, deceit are all real tools used in attaining these things in real life, so if he wants to portray such things accurately, even if it's a fantasy world, he needs to show them being employed. There are other things as well...honor, justice, valor...these things are explored as well, but realpolitik is the name of the game (the Game of Thrones) in these books, so how things happen reflect this.


It's not that I'm squeamish about the stuff or anything, and I realize that the period of history most fantasy stories mirror was full of rape and incest. But jeeze, I feel like that's all I'm reading in this Game of Thrones one. I don't understand the mass appeal of these books. Is anyone watching the HBO series? Did they water it down at all for TV? I feel like there's so much rape that if they took it all out for TV there wouldn't be much of a story left, unless they just made up a bunch of stuff.

The show is not watered down. It's on HBO. If anything there's even more sex in them, not always with a point to it either (whereas in the books there's always a point to it when sex is depicted between two characters, I never found it gratuitous). They haven't shirked on the violence either, not one bit.

Do keep reading. The books are brilliant. The characters are very complex, with strong motives and equally strong and well defined personalities. It may not be pretty and yes, you may feel a bit dirty after reading how business gets done in that world, but realize it's only trying to reflect how a fantasy world would look if we applied real world standards of behavior to it. Martin is a student of history, his main influences for this fantasy series are the English Wars of the Roses and a lot of what went on in Roman Imperial history among the aristocracy there. The novels "I, Claudius" and "Claudius the God" by Robert Graves, about the Roman Emperor Claudius, are pretty clearly major touchstones for this series. Same sort of nasty, backstabbing, struggles for the throne and many of the characters are clearly inspirations for various characters in these books (Livia = Cersei, Claudius = Tyrion, Caligula = Joffrey...more or less).



posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 02:21 AM
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Originally posted by ZeroReady
So my issue is, why is it now all of a sudden instant guaranteed success to have such graphic content in a book or movie?

It hasn't been instant, guaranteed success for this series. The first book came out in hardcover in 1996, sold very few copies, so few in fact that they went and changed the original cover meant to appeal to a mainstream fiction audience, to one meant to appeal to a niche fantasy audience. (If you can get your hands on one of those original printings they can be worth a LOT, upwards of $1000 if signed and in good condition. My roommate has one he bought when it first came out.)

The series puttered along, popular in the fantasy market, but nowhere near as popular as other series like Wheel of Time (at the time that the 4th book, A Feast for Crows came out, the entire series had only sold about as much as each volume of Wheel of Time would sell when it was released). Book 4 did hit #1 on the NYTimes Best Seller List, that was 9 years after the first book came out, but it only stayed there for a week or two and was off the list completely pretty quick. It really wasn't until the TV series came along that the books became massively popular, but that took literally 15 years since the first was published. That's not what I would call instant guaranteed success.
edit on 4/16/2012 by LifeInDeath because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 02:40 AM
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reply to post by ZeroReady
 


In my copy it doesn't start out with rape or incest. It starts out with the Rangers of the Night Watch running in to the "Others" in the woods. It is written in a tense and dramatic fashion that shows excellent use of rising tension but ends without release. It hooks you early and keeps you waiting with baited breath to see how this force effects the world.

The first chapter hints are how those forces are creeping in to the world. The Night Watch deserter has seen something in the wilds that has driven him crazy. However, the man has deserted the watch knowing that his vow was faith or death. Eddard orders him beheaded, but he does it himself. It isn't because he is a monster. It is because he believes no ruler should order an execution that he isn't willing to carry out.

People can relate to that kind of showing. How many people have said they are tired of the President and Congrees handing down edicts they need not follow? Here is a lord that is saying he will hand down no law or punishment unless he must bear the burden as well. Right there Eddard becomes a hero to modern Americans. He is the ruler we wish we had. As you hear Bran talk about his father you come to see a man of honor that is uniquely loving towards his family and friends. Plus they save a bunch of puppies. (There is no incest in the first chapter.)

The second chapter isn't about incest. It is about a brother that is trying to sell his sister to regain the throne his father lost to the current king. He is selling his own flesh to provide for his own fantasies of power and riches. All the while people are calling him the "Beggar King." He is living on the borrowed money of another who wishes to gain great power if the "Dragon" regains his throne. All the while, the sister is scared and heart broken over her future. She dreams of a greatness she never knew in her life time. One that only exists (for her) in the words of her powerful older brother.

Does that sound like the population of any country we can name?

Believe it or not Martin reflects a lot of our own desires and fears back at us. Then he gives these rich and powerful people all of the disorders and headaches we imagine our own rulers have. Despite the setting of the book Game of Thrones very much reflects our current mindset as a nation. That is why people read the books. It encompasses our fears, our hopes, and our animosity. That Martin combined it with great writing only ensures it's success.

Plus, Martin gives us a hero full of honor and virtue that still holds true to the old ways. When duty calls Eddard answers even though he could easily stay home and be comfortable. Instead he takes up the call for the honor of family and nation as well as justice.
edit on 16-4-2012 by MikeNice81 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 02:41 AM
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George R. R. Martin and me
Stacey's Bookstore, San Francisco, CA 2005

YOU KNOW I'm a Fan


I have almost everything he has written. You want a GOOD read, get The Armageddon Rag



posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 04:35 AM
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Oh you've just reminded me i have a new episode of it to watch tonight. I'm in the UK so we're a day behind. I've love the series so far and the complexities in it. I'm just about to finish the 5th book but i'm reading the last few chapters very slowly otherwise i'll finish it and then have the pain of waiting for the 6th


I like the fact that most of the characters aren't safe, most stories focus on a few people and its fairly easy to figure out who is going to snuff it. In this series he just kills off who ever he pleases and then if he is running out of chars to tell the story from their POV from then he can just add more i.e. Davos and Stannis etc.



posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 08:45 AM
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I'm not typically a fan of fantasy, but, I've read the entire series up to the most recent which will drive you mad if you get that far since it's likely going to be quite a ling while before the next book comes out.

One of the things that's really enjoyable and also frustrating about this series is, everyone you LIKE, all the characters you get behind, relate to, and possibly feel a kindred spirit with, get the nasty end of the stick.

All the characters you really want to see succeed get beaten down, murdered, brutalized, betrayed, used, abused, and generally trod as far down into the mud as can get got.
All the characters you like to dislike, well, they're living high and loving life.

I find it a refreshing reality and reflection on what real life is actually like.
Good guys and high principles don't win.
Bad guys with evil, plotting, greedy self involved and self promoting selfish goals and desires are pretty much what make up the real ruling class of the planet in reality.
This is embroidered and magnified in this book series.

From time to time the good guy gets a punch in, but, for the most part, brutality reigns.

edit on 16-4-2012 by Druscilla because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 12:27 PM
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reply to post by ZeroReady
 


I would recommend the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.



posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 01:00 PM
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reply to post by ZeroReady
 


They are decent books.. The Dialogue is spectacular.. But reading them in succession you can start to see a formula: This guy walks in wearing this. And other people were there wearing this. And they were eating this.. It gets old after a while.. Plus I can guarantee he will kill one of your favorite Characters.. I gave up on the series by book three.



posted on Apr, 21 2012 @ 06:00 AM
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reply to post by ZeroReady
 


From the HBO series I watched, it had an amazing plot and amazing characters. I didn't like it because of the graphic scenes, but because of this. Oh, and the incest is **super-important** to the plot, if that helps. But... that might be a different bit of incest you haven't discovered yet.
edit on 21-4-2012 by darkbake because: (no reason given)



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