This week, one of the best commentators in the fandom joins us to tackle one of the most contentious issues in the series. Alyssa Rosenberg is the culture blogger for ThinkProgress.org, where her posts on both A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones frequently approach the material from unexpected and rewarding angles, reflective of a concern for issues of social justice that Stefan and I share. Alyssa’s also a contributor to Beyond the Wall, a fine collection of essays on A Song of Ice and Fire edited by James Lowder and published by Smart Pop Books. Her essay on the role and impact of rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence in the story is one of the book’s standout pieces and likely the definitive statement on the topic. We were thrilled to have her aboard BLAH this week to discuss the piece, and a wide array of other issues pertaining to the central questions: How do the women of Westeros and Essos deal with their lack of control over their own bodies and sexuality? What does that lack of control say about those societies? And what effects on those societies can we trace back to this fundamental fact of life for half the population? It’s meaty, often troubling stuff, and we couldn’t be more pleased to have the chance to pick Alyssa’s brain about it all.
If you like what you hear, don’t hesitate to follow Alyssa’s blog, or to pick up Beyond the Wall, which also features essays by Elio M. Garcia Jr. & Linda Antonsson from Westeros.org, Adam Whitehead from The Wertzone, fantasists R.M. Salvatore and Daniel Abraham, and many more. Not to get all blurby about it, but if you’re a serious fan of A Song of Ice and Fire, it’s a must read.