I guess this is the Chapter of the Rapes, although they are not depicted approvingly, and are hard to call “gratuitous” as the occasion for Dany’s development as a humanitarian and leader. Whether using rape as a tool of character development is that good of an idea is another discussion. But I appreciate that the rapes are not glamorized or fetishized, as seems to happen in much ostensibly feminist fiction I read lately: Martin never lets his readers have their disapproval cake while eating lasciviously-lingered-over play-by-play rape details.
And just when we thought there wasn’t enough male-on-male rape in the books: “the brothels are paying double for healthy young girls, and triple for boys under ten.”
Elsewhere in this chapter:
- What is known? “The Lamb Men lay with sheep.”
- How many times can this chapter mention Mirri Maz Duur’s plumpness, flat-nosed-ness, and middle-aged-ness? At least four. It appears to be impossible to mention her at all without hitting on the above characteristics. This tic seems too obvious not to be deliberate, but what could its purpose be?
- Does Mirri intend, from the start, to harm Drogo, Dany and/or The Fetus That Mounts The World? I find it impossible to tell (and I like that ambiguity).
- “Dany felt she could trust [Mirri Maz Duur]; she had saved her from … her rapers, after all.” A bit heavy-handed there, but once again an effective reminder that “saving” the downtrodden doesn’t always have the effect the privileged intend.