DH, one of the increasingly less token liberals here, asks about my assumption that he would enjoy George Martin’s novels:
Hey you started me thinking about why you presume that as a token liberal I would be predisposed to enjoy or not be disappointed by Martin’s ASOIAF series. What if anything is the link as you see it between leftism and Martin’s works?
- Martin’s world is intrinsically amoral. There is little in the way of Christian or high pagan morals in the Julian mode; even Jaime and Cersei’s incest is only noteworthy for its effect on her sons’ claims to the Iron Throne.
- Martin’s world is essentially secular. While he does a credible job of creating an alternate religious system and making use of it for plot purposes in a meaningful quasi-medieval manner, there is only two characters out of the huge cast who appear to be religious in any meaningful sense. That being said, I very much liked the sea-based religion of the Greyjoys, but even there, Martin was unable to convey the emotional aspect of a strongly held faith. It was like watching a blind man attempt to describe color.
- Martin’s world is entirely nihilistic. There is no point to anything except the pursuit of power, and to a lesser extent, sex and money.
- Martin is, as he has declared, a feminist, and although his commitment to realism prevents him from giving in too heavily to the Warrior Woman trope that presently infests fantasy, science fiction, and urban fantasy, he created the ludicrous Brienne of Tarth and the equally silly Sand Snakes as a nod to it. I went to high school with a heavily recruited basketball star who, at 6’6″, was both taller and bigger than Brienne. She was strong, but, (and this is what the SF/F writers always leave out), she was incredibly slow. The main reason women cannot fight men is not because they are weaker, although they are, but because they are so much slower.
- The sex in ASOIAF is almost invariably perverted. Although married couples have children, and therefore presumably at least occasionally have sex, Martin is more likely to describe a sexual encounter between a dragon and a pig than a conventional one between a married couple. The absurd Reek-assisted wedding night of the Bastard of Bolton demonstrated that Martin is aiming to shock the reader in the manner that so excites leftists.
- As it is said, Martin never met a Stark he didn’t want to kill. Every honorable character seems to be stupid and meet with a bad fate, while the amoral but clever survive. Like most intelligent leftists, Martin values cleverness over every other virtue.
So, amorality, secularism, nihilism, feminism, perversion, and a cleverness fetish. Throw in sword control, abortion, and progressive taxation, and it would tick all the boxes. Oh, and let’s not forget the cornucopia of Daddy issues! I’m not saying they are bad books, the first three are really quite good. But there is little of traditional or civilizational value to them; about halfway through A Dance with Dragons, I found myself beginning to sympathize with the Others. Say what you will about them being murderous and dead, but at least it is an ethic of sorts.