My Song of Ice and Fire reread continues. Book 2, A Clash of Kings, wherein the plot thickens and most of the characters remain surprisingly alive. (See my previous reaction, which was similar.)
G. pointed me to a sarcastic review of all 4 books entitled "Enter Ye Myne Mystic World of Gayng Raype," which highlights the author's treatment of the (minority of) female characters. I summarize: bad. They are portrayed as motivated by simple causes, having value deriving solely from biological function, and objects of threatened/actual/fatal rape. So in this read-through I noticed that her observations are true. Whether or not it is intentional (because Mr. Martin dislikes women) or authentic (because historically women were repressed just like this!), the women in this book are treated badly.
But, you know, so are the men. And I think it is unfair to cherry-pick the pieces from these books which support one thesis. By selective summarization and quotation, I could also make a similarly-convincing argument that Mr. Martin has an unreasonable, unhealthy obsession with food, or with what he might term raiments. Or even with the difficulty of moving without paved roads and gasoline-powered cars. Or with politics! Or religious wars! The books are long and full of material.
(If you yourself are unreasonably obsessed with food, I recommend the chapter which describes the seventy-seven-course wedding feast.)
This post's theme word is caparison, "an ornamental covering of a horse's saddle or harness" and barding, "strips." The stallion was caparisoned in ocher and sable, the colors of House Pretension for more than 500 years, and draped in cloth-of-gold bardings.