Game of Thrones is an adaptation of the epic dark fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire from writer George R.R. Martin. The series airs exclusively on HBO and stars Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke and Kit Harrington.
While speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Martin finally decided to speak about the violence against women that is projected both on the page and in the television series. Much of that backlash has come recently where a main female character is brutally raped during the fifth season.
“There’s the whole issue of sexual violence, which I’ve been criticized for as well. I’m writing about war, which what almost all epic fantasy is about. But if you’re going to write about war, and you just want to include all the cool battles and heroes killing a lot of orcs and things like that and you don’t portray [sexual violence], then there’s something fundamentally dishonest about that. Rape, unfortunately, is still a part of war today. It’s not a strong testament to the human race, but I don’t think we should pretend it doesn’t exist.”
Martin argued that his novel series was grounded in the reality of real medieval history and that the typical Disneyland-Middle ages which audiences are mostly familiar with never revealed the gritty side of how that time really worked.
“It’s a complicated argument. To be non-sexist, does that mean you need to portray an egalitarian society? That’s not in our history; it’s something for science fiction. And 21st century America isn’t egalitarian, either. There are still barriers against women. It’s better than what it was. It’s not Mad Men any more, which was in my lifetime. “