Gay Character?

Discussion in 'Wheel of Time Discussion - Books 1-8' started by Agea Al'Saralonde, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. Vodan Anuvos

    Vodan Anuvos

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    Psh I love the direction this thread went in. Hilarious.

    As for gay characters in WOT its an interesting thought. I love the concept of pillow friends, though I agree that it is ambiguous if that is how it was meant. It certainly makes sense, especially in later books with Elaida.

    Part of me always looked at Rand and Mat that way a little too - Mat seemed more upset about Rand channeling than anyone else. And the way they were together in EOTW sometimes was downright adorable. And the scene in Rhuidean? Whether or not they are... what was the term... bunk buddies? Whether or not they are bunk buddies, I still think Mat cares about Rand a hell of a lot more than he'll ever admit!!!
     
  2. Aran Cherubim

    Aran Cherubim Resident Citizen

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    I think there's a certain tendency among some people, to interpret close personal relationships as being romantic or sexual (Possibly due to just finding the idea appealing, for varying reasons). If I were to speculate on the matter, I'd say it might have to do with the paradigms of love in our time. While the general acceptance of homosexuality is rising, the portrayal of heterosexuals being physically intimate or emotionally close is still a pretty rare sight (at least from what I can tell, and mostly for males).

    I seem to recall it not being entirely uncommon for soldiers to hold hands while walking in public in Edwardian England, for example. I've heard from an anthropologist professor that adult males sitting on each others laps isn't seen as anything peculiar in certain areas in the Amazonas.

    It's of course likely that many homosexual people used these social conventions (like two bachelors living together) to pass by the radar of hate - but it's also important to not automatically assume that every historical instance of same-sex intimacy, emotional or physical, is "really" a hidden expression of homo- or bisexuality, as we've come to understand these terms. Well, "important" is a relative term, of course. :lol

    The point I'm making, is that it's a bit presumptious of us to try to boil everything down to a specific, "mechanical" category, due to a preconceived notion of how personal relationships "should be", because different cultures in different times have had radically different views on the matter.

    I dunno if that makes sense.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2013
  3. Rhandhal al'Deez

    Rhandhal al'Deez

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    Common in some parts of Africa for male friends to hold hands, as well.
     
  4. Brandegoris Al'Mor

    Brandegoris Al'Mor Citizen

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    Not to mention it is quite normal for middle eastern men to HUG a LOT, Kiss one another on the cheeks AND the mouth and to hold hands in public. :)
     
  5. Arecias Dezell

    Arecias Dezell

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    There is a moment in the series where a man is looking at Faile "like a fence post." Faile wonders if he likes girls "in that way." So Faile must known of, or heard of gay persons.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2013
  6. Andiwyn Daighir

    Andiwyn Daighir

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    I'm glad I found this thread, because I've been thinking about this. I'm not sure I have anything to add to what's already been said, really. But thanks for "confirming" about Ailil and Shalon, I was a bit confused about if that meant what I thought it did.
     
  7. Tazren Talamar

    Tazren Talamar Gaidin

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    The whole "bromance" thing? Guys being close and intimate and caring deeply about each other, in a completely platonic and non-sexual way. I think guys like that generally make very adorable "couples" (of friends) in various media. It's a nice thing that it can be portrayed without it automatically being considered "gay" or not macho enough. Like how there's nothing weird about two straight girls who are friends to be physically close without anything sexual happening, like holding hands, hugging, etc.
     
  8. Mattrim al'Korin

    Mattrim al'Korin

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    Where do I send my resume?? :p
     
  9. Brandegoris Al'Mor

    Brandegoris Al'Mor Citizen

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    Thats an excellent point! Bromance is REAL! And it doesnt necessarily mean that ur Bro gives you a BRONER. U guys are just brothers! LOL I mean if you WANTED to you could( and some folks do) construe the entire Arthurian legend with tons of homosexuality. It was a Brotherhood of like minded men that supported the chivilric ideal. But it was definitely one Bro mance after another! HAHAH The formula?
    Knights meet at a bridge. They bluster and brag. They fight until it comes to a standstill, they then fall over eachother with praise and become BFF's.
    Rinse and repeat all through the saga! LOL
     
  10. Ahmyra al'Ruley

    Ahmyra al'Ruley Mistress of Foretelling Aes Sedai Head of the White Ajah

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    We need a like button. Way to many of these for me to pin point my fav...

    However, Aran, I adore the way you put it in your last post.
     
  11. Swervage

    Swervage

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    I think there's no homosexuality in the wot...
     
  12. Onis O'Leia

    Onis O'Leia Aes Sedai

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    To those who still keep doubting/thinking there are no gay characters, please read the direct quotes that were posted early in this thread - quotes of Robert Jordan's own answers to the question about this.
     
  13. Ashlyn Sindal

    Ashlyn Sindal Aes Sedai

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    One thing that I noticed in this reread is that most of the adult women who are most explicitly shown or implied to be attracted to other women are villains of various sorts. And the two who aren't evil are cheating on their husbands to be together. :facepalm
     
  14. Dnae Ila

    Dnae Ila Gaidin

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    I haven't read every post here, so this may have been mentioned, but I view pillow friends as being similar to something I heard once. I believe it was a Japanese concept, where adolescent girls would date each other and it was seen as practice for relationships with boys, and a mark of adolescence (meaning it was looked down on to carry it into teen years because it was a sign of immaturity.)
    I don't remember the term, and I can't find it, because 20 minutes of googling variations on the terms "Japanese, girl, young girl, dating, love, lesbianism" got me pages and pages of... not relevant material, ahem.
     
  15. Maibella ni Rhoiden t'al'Varrak

    Maibella ni Rhoiden t'al'Varrak Aes Sedai TVT Editor Forum Moderator

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    :waggle

    ;)
     
  16. Dnae Ila

    Dnae Ila Gaidin

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    Well, did you hear me complaining? ;)
     
  17. Maibella ni Rhoiden t'al'Varrak

    Maibella ni Rhoiden t'al'Varrak Aes Sedai TVT Editor Forum Moderator

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    Nope, not in the least. I'm just encouraging. :D ;)
     
  18. Aran Cherubim

    Aran Cherubim Resident Citizen

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    I see it as reasonably similar to what happened in the British boarding School system, where the boys, in lieu of having any girls around, explored each other sexually. Some of these were gay (and may have done so regardless), others were not.

    Basically, when you cram a lot of people of the same gender together over a long time, it's going to get intimate, regardless of which specific gender, and that intimacy is not always indicative of their predominant sexual orientation (a more brutal comparison: sexual relations in prisons).

    ---

    On another note: since technology in WoT is preindustrial, the reproductive pressure is probably higher than in RL-modern societies (simply because more people are dying before they get to adulthood.), which would probably mean pressure towards heterosexual marriage. (Then again, they have the One Power, which might lessen the pressure a little bit. On the other hand, the general gist of the story is a gradual diminishing of humanity)

    Yet another thing is that it's important not to blindly assume that everyone in WoT married for love (which is a tendency in some, especiually younger Readers, I find). Many of the main characters do, it's true, but the norm is probably to settle down with someone you like reasonably well, that is a dependable partner, and more or less approved by the family.

    So basically, there might well be many homosexual characters in heterosexual marriages simply because in most societies in human history, marriage isn't first and foremost about love, but survival, ("legal") reproduction, and preserving and managing economic assets.

    Lastly we of course have Jordan's own statement that apparently people just don't really care too much. The people we do see expressing negative opinions might just be outliers.
     
  19. Dnae Ila

    Dnae Ila Gaidin

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    Frankly, I like that homosexuality is subtle in WoT, because that's how it is in real life. There are, yes, some flamboyantly gay people, but most gay people you wouldn't know one way or the other. I like Jordan's attitude that it's the people and the story that are important, and homosexuality is incidental. People are so much more than their orientation.
    There are few things I hate so much as a show or book that shoves a ccharacter's homosexuality in your face like "look at how tolerant and progressive we're being!"
    They don't do that with heterosexuality. Jordan treated both (all?) orientations as equally irrelevant to the story.
     
  20. Ashlyn Sindal

    Ashlyn Sindal Aes Sedai

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    I have a hard time understanding the perspective that Jordan treated all orientations as equally irrelevant to the story when there are so many heterosexual romances in the series. A number of the romances crop up in later books, but even by the end of book 8, there are several established (for example: Lan and Nynaeve; Rand and Min, Elayne, and Aviendha; Perrin and Faile) and several more with either the beginnings hinted at or foretold. I would be a lot more comfortable with the subtlety of homosexuality in the series if everyone and their sister didn't end up with an explicit opposite-sex romantic subplot.