George R.R. Martin Explains Why There's No Gay Sex In His Novels
One of the most noticeable differences between George R.R. Martin's books and the Game of Thrones television adaptation was the fact that the latter features fairly explicit homosexuality, especially between Loras and Renly. Talking to the Edinburgh Book Festival, Martin explained why he left that out of the books.
Basically, it boils down to the fact that Martin's books are written with tight third-person narration, and that means Martin can only show scenes that one of his viewpoint characters personally witnesses.
As the Guardian goes on to explain:
Because none of the viewpoint characters are gay, there are no explicit gay sex scenes in the early books. "A television show doesn't have those limitations," he said. "Will that change? It might. I've had letters from fans who want me to present particularly an explicit male sex scene – most of the letters come from women."
But he added: "I'm not going to do it just for the sake of doing it. If the plot lends itself to that, if one of my viewpoint characters is in a situation, then I'm not going to shy away from it, but you can't just insert things because everyone wants to see them.
"It is not a democracy. If it was a democracy, then Joffrey [the sadistic boy king] would have died much earlier than he did."
At least he's leaving the door open for having one of the viewpoint characters in the last couple novels be someone who's either gay or witnesses some activity.
Maybe Loras will finally get his moment in the sun?
And from Jezebel:
George R. R. Martin Explains Why His Books Don't Have Gay Sex Scenes
Speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, George R. R. Martin answered a fan question about why A Song of Ice and Fire (the book series upon which HBO's Game of Thrones is based) is chock full of straight sex scenes but lacks homosexual or bisexual scenes. His rather unsatisfying answer? None of his main characters are gay. The main characters that he invented. They all just happen to be straight. So. [SHRUUUUG]
Each chapter of ASOIAF is written from the first-person perspective of a different character—i.e., there are Ned chapters, Sansa chapters, Arya chapters, Dany chapters, Davos Seaworth chapters, Cersei chapters (O, THE HORROR), and so on. To have a gay sex scene, Martin explained, you'd have to have a gay POV character. And he's chosen not to have those, so how could he possibly have those!?!? It's almost as though you people think he's a sentient being creating this universe from scratch.
Via Rolling Stone:
Martin said that his storytelling is limited because he writes through "viewpoint" characters, and so far none of those characters have been gay. "Frankly it is the way I prefer to write fiction because that is the way all of us experience life. You're seeing me from your viewpoint, you're not seeing what someone over here is seeing."
Martin does have two more books left in his saga (possibly even three) and did say a shift was possible in the future, but only if it fit the story: "I'm not going to do it just for the sake of doing it. If the plot lends itself to that — if one of my viewpoint characters is in a situation, then I'm not going to shy away from it — but you can't just insert things because everyone wants to see them." Noting that fans have written him about including a more "explicit male sex scene," Martin added of his writing process, "It is not a democracy. If it was a democracy, then Joffrey would have died much earlier than he did."
There are shades of Woody "But Putting Black People in My Movies Would Require Putting BLACK PEOPLE in My MOVIES" Allen here. It's not as if novels or screenplays exist, fully formed, in some other realm, and Martin and Allen are simply calling them into being with a pentagram and the right incantation. Martin is building his world himself, slowly, deliberately, thoughtfully, on purpose. He chooses who the POV characters are. He chooses which characters get a voice and which are relegated to the background, he chooses which characters' bodies to exploit for titillation, and he chooses which characters' sexualities to banish to the realm of gossip.
I love you, GRRM (SOOOOOO VERY MUCH!!!), but "I just didn't feel like it" is a really disappointing excuse.
Draw your own conclusions.
At some time in the future, we will replace the irregular system we have now, with something reasonable. Like metric.
It didn't work during the French Revolution, and it won't work now.
From the National Institute of Mental Health:
Mental disorders are common in the United States and internationally. An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. When applied to the 2004 U.S. Census residential population estimate for ages 18 and older, this figure translates to 57.7 million people.
I don't have the figures for 2004, but I do have the figures for 2012 regarding homelessness. From the US Department of Housing and Urban Development:
On a single night in 2012 there were 633,782 homeless people in the United States[...]
Dividing by the US population in 2012 (312.8 million), we get 0.00202615728, or, 0.2%
So 26.2% of Americans are mentally ill, and 0.2% of Americans are homeless. So no, it's not a "positively idiotic statement." The mentally all are all around us, and perhaps the reason the study can't pin down why they're dying younger is because people are under the impression that you can easily spot someone who's mentally ill. Yeah, a lot of homeless people are mentally ill. But about a quarter of everyone is mentally ill, and trying to put the mentally ill into a box means that most of those people will go untreated because they'll be ashamed of their disease.
DOS WordStar is notably lacking in support for extended characters of any sort.
If there's one thing Martin doesn't need, it's more characters.