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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. The Oncoming Hurricane
    June 6, 2016 @ 7:03 am

    ‘And the Yara/Theon scene is a small delight, with some of the best chosen nudity in the series’ history’

    No, it’s rape actually, and it’s disgusting.


    • Carl Churchill
      June 6, 2016 @ 10:45 am

      Game of Thrones and its toxic rape culture, when will they ever learn!


      • The Oncoming Hurricane
        June 6, 2016 @ 1:13 pm

        Can’t tell if sarcastic or not, but the decision to make Yara a rapist in particular is even more egregious for a number of reasons.

        Firstly, the only other representation lesbian/bi women have is Ellaria, who is almost as bad.

        Secondly that doesn’t play into a dangerous stereotype at all, nope.

        Thirdly, they specifically rewrote (admittedly inadvisable, but the show somehow ended up being worse because it made the sex slaves randomly jealous and willing not to accept payment) book scenes set in Volantis last season so as not to portray Tyrion and Jorah as rapists.

        Fourthly, if the Inside the Episode is any indication, we are actually supposed to like Yara as a person, apparently. And now we have the same problem as last year’s Stannis vs Ramsay plot, that both Yara and Euron are about as abhorrent as each other, and why the fuck should we actually care?


        • Elizabeth Sandifer
          June 6, 2016 @ 4:40 pm

          This is purely down to Volantine prostitutes being slaves, right? Such that Yara is a rapist in the same sense that Tyrion would have been a rapist if not for his vast quantities of angst over Shae, and that probably everyone to use Littlefinger’s brothel is given the fundamental coersiveness of his methods.

          (More broadly, the Ironborn practice of taking salt wives makes the entire culture rapists by default, so it’s not really new information.)


          • Elizabeth Sandifer
            June 6, 2016 @ 4:42 pm

            (Which isn’t, to be clear, to deny that Yara is a rapist – just to note that this seems within the general level of rapiness that, six seasons into Game of Thrones [and especially post-Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken] I just sort of figure one has either come to terms with or stopped watching.)

          • The Oncoming Hurricane
            June 6, 2016 @ 5:04 pm

            Hmm, no. Because critics who vehemently criticised Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken are still watching, and the complaints are curiously absent this time. And no, that’s not because ‘expect rape, it’s GoT’. It’s because of the cultural view that women can’t rape. And the argument that Game of Thrones isn’t helping shape cultural narratives regarding this can’t be denied at this point as you can find any number of idiots willing to defend it.

          • Elizabeth Sandifer
            June 6, 2016 @ 5:07 pm

            I suspect they’re not speaking up because hardly anyone remembers that detail about Volantis, which is mentioned in one scene of one episode over a year ago.

          • The Oncoming Hurricane
            June 6, 2016 @ 5:53 pm

            The massive iron collar’s kind of a fucking big hint if you have though.

          • Elizabeth Sandifer
            June 6, 2016 @ 5:56 pm

            It’s still simply not part of what the episode was communicating to an overwhelming majority of viewers. I mean, the show’s having enough trouble making sure the audience remembers who the fuck the Blackfish is; if an entire 1% of the audience recognized that the unnamed prostitute is a slave it would be massive.

            You are looking for objections. Which is fine – I get that absolutely fucking hating everything about Game of Thrones is a huge part of your fandom, and more power to you. But it’s absurd to expect that anyone else is interested in playing that game with you. Or at least that I am.

          • The Oncoming Hurricane
            June 6, 2016 @ 6:42 pm

            The implication that I’m looking for objections (it’s more accurate to say that I’m looking for things not to object to) in regards to this in particular is unfair. I noticed this back when the trailer aired and I saw the tattoo, which I knew what it meant. I was angry about it then and I’m angry about it now. Not because I’m looking for things to object to, but because I’m both a lesbian and a sexual assault victim and this is what passes for lesbian representation on this show. Then the scene managed to be worse in context, mixed in as it was with emotional abuse of Theon, because I’m a victim of emotional abuse as well.

            (That does not mean I am against depiction of sexual or emotional abuse, but this condones/endorses both.)

          • Elizabeth Sandifer
            June 6, 2016 @ 6:46 pm

            I mean, that would carry more weight for me if I hadn’t had to unfollow you on Twitter a few weeks ago because the constant stream of petty complaints about Game of Thrones became unbearable.

          • The Oncoming Hurricane
            June 6, 2016 @ 7:01 pm

            (in reply to your comment below so it’s not just a string of letters)

            Well, even if I’m not looking for things to object to, there’s still quite a lot I do find objectionable. On a show only basis, that includes unnecessary violence against women and background misogyny, the utter lack of logic in most plots, the total stagnation or regression of a number of character arcs and the impossibility of the timeline. A few of my complaints might be petty but if these issues weren’t present I wouldn’t be mentioning them as my attention would be elsewhere. I wish it wasn’t the case but sadly it’s not.

          • The Oncoming Hurricane
            June 6, 2016 @ 5:43 pm

            Yara is a rapist in that sense (assuming you mean show Tyrion). But if it’s not meant to be a problem to the likability of the character, why not keep Tyrion and Jorah doing it (Tyrion is actually wronged by Shae in the show’s context what with the attempted murder so it makes more sense, and if it’s the timeframe that’s unrealistic, Loras jumped into bed with Olyvar a similar amount of time after Renly’s death)? The fact they weren’t willing to do one but were the other doesn’t exactly say good things.

            Littlefinger’s brothel may be on a case by case basis, but every Volantene sex slave has the tattoo, so nobody could rape them and not know there were consent issues (to put it mildly). They just don’t care.

            As for the Ironborn taking salt wives, also, maybe Yara, as a woman, experiencing discrimination in that culture should possibly feel empathy for her fellow women? Especially if the audience are supposed to like her (and they are, even her emotional abuse of Theon is framed as a good thing, both in and outside the episode). There’s a fairly important point of Asha Greyjoy being disgusted by men using the word ‘cunt’ to demean women when it’s the only part of a woman they value. But maybe wanting or expecting women to show empathy or respect each other at all on this show where so many hate or are catty to each other for no reason is just me being a terrible book snob.

            And finally, marital rape is kind of not unusual in Westeros. And we already knew Ramsay was a rapist and an abuser of women prior to Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken (as the Myranda the battered wife scene the previous episode attested). So, that wasn’t new information either, but you never deigned to defend that. Why does it apply now, exactly?

          • Elizabeth Sandifer
            June 6, 2016 @ 5:52 pm

            I’m not so much deigning to defend it as suggesting that you don’t really have a substantive insight here so much as an obscure bit of trivia about Volantis that you’re wielding as a cudgel to justify your frankly pathological hate-watching of the show.

          • The Oncoming Hurricane
            June 6, 2016 @ 6:20 pm

            Fine, let’s take rape out of the scene. You are still left with Yara who emotionally abuses her brother. The music and Theon’s reaction, as well as the Inside the Episode all frame this as a good thing, so this isn’t being played as values dissonance here. The audience is supposed to like her. Something here does not add up.

            If you’re going to insult me about ‘lack of insight’ the last time you offered a genuinely insightful comment on the show was when you suggested Ramsay should have made Sansa flay someone. And maybe I wouldn’t be hate-watching the show if it wasn’t basically impossible to avoid, particularly within nerd spaces, particularly for fans of ASOIAF, but if I am going to see those discussions, I prefer to have context (ditto for fates of characters I’m attached to even if they bear no resemblance to their book counterparts). You can find that as weird or as not weird as you like, I don’t particularly care. Quite often, the failures are amusing too, and that’s entertaining. And occasionally, there’s a scene actually done decently (the Jaime/Blackfish scene this week’s an example) and that’s nice too.

            Oh, and it’s particularly ironic that you say Theon’s the only character it’s remotely possible to care about in the ADWD Winterfell plot, when Theon actually is the only character it’s possible to care about in this plot, and I’d take almost the entire ensemble over every one of these awful people in the show.

          • Dan
            June 7, 2016 @ 1:27 am

            So you only watch GoT because you want context for the discussions about it on the internet?

            Do you think Yara Greyjoy is supposed to be an uncomplicatedly nice person, kind and empathetic to her brother, with a trained counsellor’s nuance and ear? She is not meant to be that character.

            Actually, I really like Arya. I objectively disapprove of much of what she does, but I understand why she does them, and I’m still rooting for her.

          • The Oncoming Hurricane
            June 13, 2016 @ 3:39 am

            …You’re actually talking to an ASOIAF fan about whether they think nuanced characters should exist. Brilliant use of your time, that.

            You know what, I’d be fine with it if this was actually framed as part of Ironborn culture, and not what Theon actually needed, because surprisingly enough, no trauma victim has ever needed emotional abuse, and it does not make you better. This is not a fact that has changed throughout history, funnily enough. The episode frames it as what was needed. The showrunners spew abuse apologia in the Inside the Episode and the writer does the same on Twitter.

            Here’s an idea, how about you don’t tell emotional abuse victims how to think about depictions of it, because there’s just a chance we know a damn sight more about it than you.

  2. SpaceSquid
    June 6, 2016 @ 8:01 pm

    Wasn’t a huge fan of three scenes of attempting to secure alliances, given Jon and Davos both managed to carry the day but Sansa couldn’t make a dent in Lord Percy Glover-Percy’s sulking. Even Jon is talking over her now. Let’s hope the payoff to her letter makes this work in hindsight, because it was fairly annoying at the time.


    • Dan
      June 7, 2016 @ 1:29 am

      The letter to that wonderful chap Petyr Baelish? Which I assume it is.


  3. SpaceSquid
    June 7, 2016 @ 7:12 am

    Oh, Seven Hells. I was thinking she was sending it to the Cerwyns, since she’d mentioned them, but you’re almost certainly right. If you’ll excuse me, I need to flip over every table I can find.


    • SpaceSquid
      June 7, 2016 @ 7:13 am

      (Um… that should have gone above, obvs.)


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    September 24, 2016 @ 10:46 am

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