Game of Thrones’ (GOT) didn’t just shock us by its flight of imagination in the form of the White Knight, Army of the dead, dragons and mother of dragons but also by its attempt at exploring topics like incest. Ever since the serial came on air, Jaime and Cersei Lannister, brother and sister, twins for that matter, have been involved in an ongoing sexual and romantic affair. Their relations result in the birth of three children Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen. It is mentioned for the audience that certain old powerful families mated amongst immediate family members to keep the bloodline pure but it is nonetheless quite obvious that such a relationship is culturally and religiously a taboo even in the seven kingdoms. We still continue to see this relationship flourish on our screens year after year. The characters go through a lot and mature with time but their passion for each other remains unchanged. Incest is a taboo topic in our society and hardly ever discussed but ‘Game of Thrones’ is the most favourite subject under discussion ever since its beginning and while discussing GOT the incestuous relations between the twins cannot be ignored.
Jamie and Cersei’s sexual relationship is strongly condemned by all, the more delicate ones feel that the serial would have been better without this evil, monstrous and abhorring angle. Brides & You avails this opportunity of talking about incest by revealing some facts about it.
Incest is the act of engaging in sexual intercourse with one’s direct family member (siblings, parents, children). Although psychologically speaking consensual sex between any two adults is not considered a disorder but many personality disorders lead to engaging in an act that is strongly condemned by religion and society.
Incest is more common in our society then we dare to acknowledge. Talk to any Psychologist, Psychiatrist or Psycho Therapist and you realise how many have gone through the worst form of incest in childhood. Any sexual relation with a minor is morally wrong and a criminal offence against society. In closed societies where all things and information related to sex are a taboo, criminal offences like incest against minors flourish and go undetected because the victims never speak out.
The most horrifying fact about violence is that it begets violence. The victim of sexual abuse, in most cases, becomes the abuser when he/she is in a powerful position.
The large portion of sexual activity is linked to pleasure and not procreation as we are made to believe. The concept of pleasure is complicated. For some people it originates from a certain smell, organ, thought or fantasy and this correlation is formed at a young age. The victims of sexual abuse get trapped into deriving pleasure from the forbidden and then the normal way lacks charm for them. These victims suffer many other complexes which are usually the result of a heavy sense of guilt.
In cases where incest occurs between a minor and an adult, the minor ends up linking approval and acceptance with allowances for inappropriate sexual actions. These actions win the minor a special status with the adult most often in a very powerful position compared to the minor. The special status although coming at a high price is unique and a source of pleasure, so without realizing it, the minor develops a dependence on inappropriate sexual actions for pleasure. Such children face many issues in establishing healthy sexual relations hence any positive or meaningful adult relations.
Stockholm Syndrome is a term in psychology that explains the dependency of the victim on his or her captor. A hostage’s development of positive feelings towards their captor is commonly observed in many cases. A captor maintains great power over the hostage and the only means of survival for the hostage is the captor’s mercy which he/she is willing to obtain at any cost. Once that cost is established the hostage feels a balance in their power relationship and the mind constructs it as a good thing.
In other cases two minors can explore sexual pleasure at a young age and develop association with a particular partner like Jamie and Cercei. These children can only derive pleasure from each other’s company and cannot form healthy sexual relations with a different person. Such adventures become a handicap particularly for males as they feel impotent in the company of a stranger. Their dependency on their sibling for sexual pleasure often forces them to continue with their inappropriate relations during their adult lives as well.
These are just a few generalized examples of the form of incest that are common in any society. The only protection from such events is an open environment where a child can feel safe to relate his/her experiences and is knowledgeable about his/her rights. If the act is taking place between two consenting adults the issue is of morality and requires a society that manages to achieve high moral standards.
In cases where children are abused or molested by their close relations at a young age they can develop many personality disorders. We have already discussed the Stockholm Syndrome a few others include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Multiple Personality Disorder.
PTSD is a disorder that develops after a person is exposed to a traumatic event, which may also be sexual assault. Disassociate Identity Disorder (Also called multiple personality disorder) is a severe condition in which two or more distinct identities are present in one person. This is due to the mind’s advance defense mechanism. When the natural behaviour is mostly in contradiction with the acceptable behaviour, some people develop a multiple personality disorder. They can be completely normal one moment behaving as one is expected to behave and observing all proper protocols and the next moment they can switch off and become a completely different person.
All personality disorders are deeply rooted in our early age experiences and with professional help we can first recognise and identify them and then slowly come to terms with them to develop a balanced personality that is capable of maintaining healthy meaningful relations with other human beings.
Parents must be very well aware about their children to ensure none of them are being forced into a sexual relationship by any close family member. If you find out such a case, get them proper professional help instead of shoving things under the carpet, which could have serious repercussions for the child at a later stage in life.