Extrapolation

Representation of Rape in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and Robin Hobb’s Liveship Traders

Extrapolation (2019), 60, (1), 1–22.

Abstract

Noting that the motif of rape frequently appears in fantasy literature, this essay investigates its use in A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin and The Liveship Traders by Robin Hobb. Reading these narratives within the context of the feminist writing on the representation of rape, a comparative analysis is carried out to determine whether they conform or subvert the “traditional” rape script. While Martin’s narrative, despite featuring strong female characters, adheres to the “traditional” rape script that focuses on brutal violence and the perspective of the perpetrator, Hobb’s novels seem to reframe this pattern by shifting emphasis to the survivor and actually redefining what rape is.

Access Token
£25.00
READ THIS ARTICLE
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Works Cited

Allen, Jeffner. Lesbian Philosophy: Explorations. Palo Alto, Institute of Lesbian Studies, 1986. Google Scholar

Åström, Berit, Katarina Gregersdotter, and Tanya Horeck, editors. Rape in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy and Beyond: Contemporary Scandinavian and Anglophone Crime Fiction. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. Google Scholar

Bock, Pauline. “Robin Hobb on Changing Cultures, Writing about Violence, and the Anonymity of Living on a Farm.” New Statesman, 27 July 2018, www.newstatesman.com/culture/books/2018/07/robin-hobb-changing-cultures-writing-about-violence-and-anonymity-living-farm. Accessed 20 Oct. 2018. Google Scholar

Brownmiller, Susan. Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape. 1975. Fawcett Columbine, 1993. Google Scholar

Buchwald, Emilie, Pamela Fletcher, and Martha Roth, editors. Transforming a Rape Culture. Minneapolis, Milkweed Editions, 1993. Google Scholar

Burt, Martha R. “Rape Myths.” Confronting Rape and Sexual Assault, edited by Mary E. Odem and Jody Clay-Warner. 1998. SR Books, 2003, pp. 129–144. Google Scholar

Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. 1990. Routledge, 1999. Google Scholar

Clute, John, and John Grant, editors. The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. St. Martins Griffin, 1999. Google Scholar

Crosby, Janice C. Cauldron of Changes: Feminist Spirituality in Fantastic Fiction. McFarland, 2000. Google Scholar

Cuklanz, Lisa M. Rape on Prime Time: Television, Masculinity, and Sexual Violence. U of Pennsylvania P, 2000. Google Scholar

D’Amassa, Don, editor. Encyclopedia of Fantasy and Horror Fiction. Facts on File, 2006. Google Scholar

Davis, Angela Y. “Rape, Racism and the Myth of the Black Rapist.” Women, Race and Class. Vintage Books, 1983, pp. 172–201. Google Scholar

Deffenbacher, Kristina. “Rape Myths’ Twilight and Women’s Paranormal Revenge in Romantic and Urban Fantasy Fiction.” The Journal of Popular Culture, vol. 47, no. 5, 2014, pp. 923–936. DOI: 10.1111/jpcu.12179. Google Scholar

Donaldson, Stephen R. “Gradual Interview.” Stephen R. Donaldson – Official Website, 28 Sep. 2008, www.stephenrdonaldson.com/fromtheauthor/gi.php. Accessed 28 Oct. 2018. Google Scholar

Ferreday, Debra. “Game of Thrones, Rape Culture and Feminist Fandom.” Australian Feminist Studies, vol. 30, no. 83, 2015, pp. 21–36. DOI: 10.1080/08164649.2014.998453. Google Scholar

Frankel, Valerie Estelle. Women in Game of Thrones: Power, Conformity and Resistance. McFarland, 2014. Google Scholar

Gelder, Ken. “The Fields of Popular Fiction.” New Directions in Popular Fiction: Genre, Distribution, Reproduction, edited by Ken Gelder, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, pp. 1–20. Google Scholar

Gjelsvik, Anne, and Rikke Schubart, editors. Women of Ice and Fire: Gender, Game of Thrones, and Multiple Media Engagements. Bloomsbury Academic, 2016. Google Scholar

Groth, Nicholas A. Men Who Rape: The Psychology of the Offender. Plenum Press, 1979. Google Scholar

Gunne, Sorcha, and Zoë Brigley Thompson, editors. Feminism, Literature and Rape Narratives: Violence and Violation. Routledge, 2010. Google Scholar

Healicon, Alice. The Politics of Sexual Violence: Rape, Identity and Feminism. Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. Google Scholar

Higgins, Lynn A., and Brenda R. Silver, editors. Rape and Representation. Columbia UP, 1991. Google Scholar

Hobb, Robin. Ship of Destiny. 2000. Harper Collins Publishers, 2001. Google Scholar

Horeck, Tanya. Public Rape: Representing Violation in Fiction and Film. Routledge, 2004. Google Scholar

Hume, Kathryn. Fantasy and Mimesis: Responses to Reality in Western Literature. Methuen, 1984. Google Scholar

Jackson, Rosemary. Fantasy: The Literature of Subversion. Methuen, 1981. Google Scholar

Kaufman, Amy S. “Muscular Medievalism.” The Year’s Work in Medievalism, vol. 31, 2016, pp. 56–66. Google Scholar

Larcombe, Wendy. Compelling Engagements: Feminism, Rape Law and Romance Fiction. Federation Press, 2005. Google Scholar

Larsson, Mariah. “Adapting Sex: Cultural Conceptions of Sexuality in Words and Images.” Women of Ice and Fire: Gender Game of Thrones and Multiple Media Engagements, edited by Anne Gjelsvik and Rikke Schubart, Bloomsbury Academic, 2016, pp. 17–38. Google Scholar

Loomba, Ania. Colonialism/Postcolonialism. Routledge, 1998. Google Scholar

Martin, George R. R. A Clash of Kings. 2000. Bantam Books, 2011. Google Scholar

Martin, George R. R. A Dance with Dragons. Bantam Books, 2011. Google Scholar

Martin, George R. R. A Feast for Crows. 2005. Bantam Books, 2011. Google Scholar

Martin, George R. R. A Game of Thrones. 1996. Bantam Books, 2011. Google Scholar

Martin, George R. R. A Storm of Swords. 2000. Bantam Books, 2011. Google Scholar

Martin, George R. R. “John Hodgman interviews George R. R. Martin.” The Sound of Young America, 21 Sept. 2011, www.pri.org/stories/2011-09-21/john-hodgman-interviews-george-rr-martin. Accessed 28 Feb. 2018. Google Scholar

Martin, George R. R. “George R. R. Martin on ‘Game of Thrones’ and Sexual Violence.” Interviewed by Dave Itzkoff, ArtsBeat: New York Times Blog, 2 May 2014, artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/05/02/george-r-r-martin-on-game-of-thrones-and-sexual-violence/. Accessed 28 Oct. 2018. Google Scholar

McCracken, Scott. Pulp: Reading Popular Fiction. Manchester UP, 1998. Google Scholar

Mendlesohn, Farah. Rhetorics of Fantasy. Wesleyan UP, 2008. Google Scholar

Philadelphoff-Puren, Nina. “Contextualising Consent: The Problem of Rape and Romance.” Australian Feminist Studies, vol. 20, no. 46, 2005, pp. 31–42. DOI: 10.1080/0816464042000334519. Google Scholar

Prater, Lenise. “Queering Magic: Robin Hobb and Fantasy Literature’s Radical Potential.” Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Popular Fantasy: Beyond Boy Wizards and Kick-Ass Chicks, edited by Jude Roberts and Esther MacCallum-Stewart, Routledge, 2016, pp. 21–34. Google Scholar

Pratt, Annis. Archetypal Patterns in Women’s Fiction. Indiana UP, 1981. Google Scholar

Projansky, Sarah. Watching Rape: Film and Television in Postfeminist Culture. New York UP, 2001. Google Scholar

Schubart, Rikke. “Woman with Dragons: Daenerys, Pride, and Postfeminist Possibilities.” Women of Ice and Fire: Gender Game of Thrones and multiple Media Engagements, edited by Anne Gjelsvik and Rikke Schubart, Bloomsbury Academic, 2016, pp. 105–130. Google Scholar

Sedlmayr, Gerold and Nicole Waller, editors. Politics in Fantasy Media: Essays on Ideology and Gender in Fiction, Film, Television and Games. McFarland, 2014. Google Scholar

Shippey, Tom. J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century. 2000. HarperCollins, 2010. Google Scholar

Sielke, Sabine. Reading Rape: The Rhetoric of Sexual Violence in American Literature and Culture, 1790–1990. Princeton UP, 2002. Google Scholar

Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Towards a History of the Vanishing Present. Harvard UP, 1999. Google Scholar

Spohn Cassia, and Julie Homey. Rape Law Reform: A Grassroots Revolution and Its Impact. Plenum Press, 1992. Google Scholar

Stableford, Brian. Historical Dictionary of Fantasy Literature. Scarecrow Press, 2005. Google Scholar

Tolmie, Jane. “Medievalism and the Fantasy Heroine.” Journal of Gender Studies, vol. 15, no. 2, 2006, pp. 145–158. DOI: 10.1080/09589230600720042. Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Borowska-Szerszun, Sylwia