You, like basically the entire rest of the world, love — like, LOVE — “Game of Thrones.” But how ok is it to cheer for Dany and Jon, which is ultimately just another incest plot line, only with more likable, less culpable characters?

This was the topic I recently discussed with writer Lynsey G. for Glamour.com — and boy oh boy, was it interesting!

You can read Lynsey’s piece — “How OK Is it to Cheer for the ‘Game of Thrones’ Incest Plotline?” — on Glamour right here (30 August 2017).

Here are some highlights from our chat and the piece:

1. Gimmicky! I personally think the hook up of Dany and Jon is just a gimmick on the part of HBO and the entire “Game of Thrones” universe. The show could have totally proceeded without it, and yet… there it is.

2. Why are we less freaked out? There are three reasons I think we are *less* freaked out by Dany/Jon than we are by the show’s other (least) favorite incestuous lovers, Cersi and Jamie. Three, I mean, aside from the fact that this is a TV show so it isn’t incest at all.

First, the genetic closeness — Jamie and Cersi are twins. Dany and Jon are far more removed. (Also, zero possibility of spawn, unless Jon has dragon sperm.)

Second, Jamie and Cersi are culpable. They know they are related, twins even. Dany and Jon, for much of this build up, do not know they are auntie and nephew.

Third, we like Dany and Jon. We do not like Cersi and Jamie. As a consequence, some characters are easier to forgive.

3. Incest TV vs. fauxcest hardcore. Why is it that porn must heavily load its disclaimers for fauxcest content — e.g., I had sex with my stepsister, a fact that’s reiterated by disclaimers and the narrative itself, in super popular fauxcest content — while HBO needs to make no such statements about plot lines in “Game of Thrones”? This is for a number of reasons all connected to the fact that we have no analytic tools for adult content or working understanding of porn production.

We know HBO is television, we know the actors are not even remotely related, we know they are not having sex — and we also have a million op-eds and graduates students at the ready to help us analyze any other feelings we may have thereafter. Porn, on the other hand, lives behind a veiled curtain of our own design, one that we wouldn’t know how to process even if we were dropped inside it. We don’t know who those people are, but we do know they are definitely having sex. Therefore, disclaimers at every corner.

There was so much more to our talk, and there’s so much more to Lynsey’s interesting take on this particular issue. Read the whole thing right here.

Here’s an interesting quote to get you started:

Dr. Tibbals agrees that for most of us—even die-hard Game of Thrones fans—incest fantasies are fleeting and non-damaging. “There’s a lot of this that’s really just impulse,” she says. “It’s not that my stepmother, per se, is hot. It’s the idea of that taboo relationship that’s hot. And that’s part of what’s so titillating about sex in media, be it sex in Game of Thrones or actual hardcore porn. It’s the idea of that taboo.”

What do you think?

(pictured: image via Glamour)

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Got a sociology question? Need some social justice informed life advice? Contact Dr. Chauntelle right here.

Get Exposure: A Sociologist Explores Sex, Society, and Adult Entertainment on Amazon and CT.com.

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