heyyy everyone and welcome to my first official blog post! I am so excited about this post because I have wanted to share my views on the book A Court of Thorns and Roses for a while and thought this blog would be a great opportunity to express my opinions.
TW: contains themes of sexual assault and drugs
So I want to start by saying this post is in no way a hate post toward the book or the author, but I feel it is important for people to acknowledge the problematic themes portrayed which have been completely ignored by readers and the author.
I am going to start with the problematic traits Rhysand displays which are completely disregarded, and he is thought to be the perfect character. Let’s begin with mental health and how important it is to acknowledge someone’s trauma and to help them through it instead of ignoring it. This connects to Rhysand as throughout the book A Court of Silver Flames he completely overlooked Nesta’s mental health and only cared about how it affected Feyre.
This is a very serious and triggering topic for people who have had their mental illnesses classified as invalid or had them altogether ignored. And what is detrimental is to see the person doing this be adored and have the behaviour go unacknowledged by the readers.
Responses to trauma include fight, flight, fawn, and freeze. Nesta’s natural response was to fight and freeze. This is seen as she had many outbursts of anger and had what can be classified as “explosive behaviour” these are both signs of the fight response. She also isolated herself and acted “numb” to her feelings and these are both signs of the freeze response. Although Feyre also went through trauma her reactions were different. She went through flight and fawn this is displayed as she tried to be a people pleaser, panicked, and had anxiety regarding the traumatic event. Just because they had different responses does not make them any, less important and they should both be acknowledged to the same degree. Although Rhysand did acknowledge Feyre’s, Nesta’s trauma was neglected. Evidence of this is when instead of helping Nesta through her trauma Rhys and Feyre send her away. This was not the right way to help her heal.
Another triggering topic overlooked about Rhysand is how in the first book he sexually assaulted Feyre. This statement is not disputable and is a fact.
Let me explain, in the first book he drugs feyres drink using faerie wine. In the real world, drugging someone’s drink is called ‘Drink Spiking’. Drink spiking is when someone deliberately gives you a drugged drink. Which is terrible but when he tries to give it to her she shakes her head NO and then says NO. This shows she is not giving consent and she does not wanna drink the wine. This should have been enough for him to stop, but he doesn’t. He infiltrates her mind with his powers and forces her to drink.
When she wakes up the next day she sees the paint smeared around her waist and wrists, this shows where Rhys touched her while she was drugged, Lucian tells her Rhys had her dance for him or sat her in his lap. ALL OF THIS WAS DONE WITHOUT HER CONSENT!
THIS IS SEXUAL ASSAULT HE TOUCHED HER WHILE SHE WAS DRUGGED AND WITHOUT HER PERMISSION.
Many people say “he did it to protect her” but sexual assault and the word protect do not belong in the same sentence! No matter what he was trying to accomplish. What he did was wrong and can not be justified. I do believe his intentions were good but what he did was completely wrong. Many people argue that Rhys was sexually assaulted by Amarantha too, but that’s not an excuse and does not make it okay. It is like saying if someone hit me it is okay for me to hit another innocent person. Which it is obviously not.
I want to make it clear though that I am extremely happy SJM showed that men can also be sexually assaulted as it is not often seen in fiction. But just because it happened to him doesn’t make it okay for him to do it to someone else.
Saying this I want to say that it is incredibly important to accurately represent such topics in fiction, as fiction impacts our lives and influences us. Topics like this need to be properly portrayed so if it happens to someone in real life they understand what it means and that is it is not something to be swept under the rug and bottled up.
Comment your ideas and perspectives on a court of thorns and roses and the characters ☺️
Thank you so much for reading,