Tor.com blogger Leigh Butler —https://www.facebook.com/leigh.butler.52 — says a lot that’s worthy of comment in her latest post about George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. As a proud parent with two daughters (and a similar gender spouse), I sympathize with the issues discussed here.
But I’ve got to wonder whether or not Martin’s preparing us for something later on in the story as well as tackling societal issues (as good stories tend to do). The chapter Butler discusses is one from the viewpoint of Brienne of Tarth, a woman who feels more comfortable in a suit of armor than in a lady’s dress. And we’re supposed to see how Westeros (and our world) need to be more open-minded when it comes to gender issues. Of course, there’s a lot that’s going on in ASOIF that reflects current issues in the real world (again, as good stories tend to do), but isn’t also possible that Martin’s working on multiple levels?
I’d like to believe he’s preparing his readers on some level for the appearance (finally) of the Others. We’ve only seen them at odd moments throughout the novels. They are the true “enemy” here if you take events at face value, what with winter coming. That big Wall was built for a reason, you know …
… except, are they really the enemy? Just because they’re alien/foreign/other doesn’t mean they’re bad. Look at one of the best images from the HBO series, where Sam engages in a staring contest with one.
Pretty creepy (and pretty cool if you’re a geek like me), and definitely something that’s outside my viewpoint.
But isn’t Brienne someone who lives outside the norm in Westeros?
When we finally find out what’s going on in this world Martin’s built, are we going to take up our dragonglass swords and kill any Other we see? Or are we going to try to understand why and find some way to coexist?