Tobi Evans, Reimagining Masculinity and Violence in Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire, Liverpool University Press, 2022.
In this examination of violence and masculinity in George R. R. Martin’s fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire and its television adaptation Game of Thrones, Tobi Evans offers a queer reading that revises the idea that the texts glorify violence. Moving from monstrous men characters and sovereigns to female, disabled, and genderqueer masculinities, Violent Fantasies understands the novels and television series to offer a complex and ambiguous negotiation of different types of violence. Deploying queer feminist poststructuralist and psychoanalytic approaches to the acts of violence that masculine characters use, Evans views hegemonic violence as part of a destructive cycle wherein characters use violence to dominate others but have their violence turned against them in such a way that their bodies become disgusting and they are unable to enter into systems of patriarchal reproduction. The only characters who succeed in proliferating their values and knowledges are those who use violence to care for others. These characters are also threatened with a bodily undoing when they use violence, but their bodily borders are secured because of their connections to others and their queer kinship bonds. Violence transforms the body, Evans argues, in ways that are both circular and ideologically ambivalent.