The Dead Ladies Club
“Ladies die in childbed. No one sings songs about them.”
The Dead Ladies Club is a term I invented** circa 2012 to describe the pantheon of undeveloped female characters in ASOIAF from the generation or so before the story began.
It is a term that carries with it inherent criticisms of ASOIAF, which this post will address, in an essay in nine parts. The first, second, and third parts of this essay define the term in detail. Subsequent sections examine how these women were written and why this aspect of ASOIAF merits criticism, exploring the pervasiveness of the dead mothers trope in fiction, the excessive use of sexual violence in writing these women, and the differences in GRRM’s portrayals of male sacrifice versus female sacrifice in the narrative.
To conclude, I assert that the manner in which these women were written undermines GRRM’s thesis, and ASOIAF – a series I consider to be one of the greatest works of modern fantasy – is poorer because of it.