Asked by sinfulgod
Actually *I* find it too violent to be realistic in the context it’s presented in, because the violence is too ubiquitous. Their standards for levels of acceptable or expected violence don’t actually work within a functioning society, without the resources to actually enforce the structure, like coercing people to stay where they are and produce goods, food, services, et cetera. GRRM kinda goes out of his way to maintain that slavery is illegal in Westeros, and without a system like that, there’s really no way to maintain that kind of terrifying, absolute power.
That’s why the whole point of my original post, which I hope you actually read, is that the levels of violence are Colonial levels, *not* Medieval European levels. The factors that would actually control a population subjected to that kind of constant, grinding violence are absent. There are also no systems in place to maintain the population level, even in the absence of plagues. And the way this jives with the size of the landmass in question kind of makes these things inconsistent and confusing.
Heck, even the riots, when relevant, are not realistic in their scope and purpose. And I say this not only from my academic knowledge-bag, but as someone who’s lived through at least one large-scale riot. The inconsistencies in characterization of individuals and decision making also extends to crowds and institutions.It doesn’t help that Martin constantly insists that his world is “realistic,” that he’s based it on the “real” Middle Ages, that it’s not like all those other “soft,” “Disneyfied” Middle Ages, but the real horrible harsh dirty nasty brutish and short Middle Ages. And people tend to take him at his word and forget that his work is his interpretation of the Middle Ages and doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the “real” Middle Ages (whatever that is.)
(Sorry; this is my dissertation topic.)
Okay well that’s AWESOME.
And yeah, that’s the thing-this kind of thinking supports the concept that “History” is a linear progression from “bad” to “better”. When I made my original post on ASOIAF and violence, I pointed out that while there is historical precedent for these levels of violence, those happened during colonialism, NOT the European Middle Ages.
The thing about GRRM is that maybe he forgets he’s writing speculative fiction, where the whole point is taking an idea or concept and running as far as you can with it. In this case, it’s “what if every individual made the most violent possible decision anytime they are faced with a decision”. It’s like those games where you make choices and gain or lose “morality” or “likability” points. That doesn’t make it realistic.
Anyhow if anyone wants to read up on ASOIAF, violence, and realism, the threads are collected under the tag ASOIAF(includes the show, Game of Thrones).
Wow. Just, wow & agreed.
Fascinating thread about violence in George RR Martin’s fictional world.
- La Belle et la Bête // Christophe Gans feat. Léa Seydoux, Vincent Cassel, André Dussolier // 2014 -
Aesthetically beautiful (costumes and sets are wonderful) but way less poetic than Jean Cocteau's take on this fairytale, hence Cocteau's take on this fairytale “wins” in my books.
This is just lush.
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