I guess many of you have been grossed out and shocked as little Bran Stark, who possessed ninja-like climbing skills, caught regicidal Jamie Lannister banging his twin sister Cersei doggy-style in one of Winterfell’s towers. No wonder, incest, the sexual relation between relatives, has been socially condemned for centuries. Although in the Antique there wasn’t really anyone with a university degree in genetics, and DNA would have sounded to the ancient man’s ear just like the Hitachi Magic Wand to my great-grandma’s, people were observant and realized fucking your own sister (or mom, or daughter etc.) equals fucking with nature. Geoffrey is the (thankfully no more) living proof for that. This is also why, centuries later, in one Step By Step episode, Cody (who didn’t exactly shine with his intelligence) was asked whether his mom and dad had the same family name before they got married.
In some societies, led by their obsession of preserving the bloodline, royal families practiced incest, thus inbreeding their heirs. This was House Targaryen’s specialty, therefore the saying “Madness and greatness are two sides of the same coin. Every time a new Targaryen is born, the gods toss the coin in the air, and the world holds its breath to see how it will land.”
Oddly enough, Lena Headey (who plays Cersei Lannister) is apparently doomed to bear the stigma of incest on screen – in another famous role of hers, in the movie “300”, she appears as Queen Gorgo, who, historically, happens to be both a wife and a niece to brave king Leonidas.
Nowadays, as it is scientifically proven that incestuously conceived children have a way higher risk of being born with congenital impairments and health disorders, Oedipal love is not only looked upon as something pretty uncool, but also constitutes a criminal offense in many countries around the world. Depending on how close the family relationship of the enamored couple is, in Austria, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Poland, The United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and New Zealand, their dark passion will be penalized by a few years of imprisonment.
Traditionally liberal, the Dutch won’t send you to jail if you are enjoying motherly love to a bodily extent. Neither will the Russians. However beware, because they have their wicked Family Code, which won’t let you marry (thus preventing you from lawfully calling one and the same person both “son” and “brother”, or “daughter” and “sister” etc.).
But, well, the Lannister siblings are fictional characters, and (at least that’s what I assume) the average reader keeps his/her pants on while interacting with other members of the family. However, horrifying examples of incest and its abominable consequences do exist. In 2013, in New South Wales, Australia, a whole incestuous commune of 40 people was discovered – four inbred generations, all descending from the same brother and sister that once felt horny for one another. “Some of the children seemed developmentally delayed, cognitively impaired or physically handicapped – the shocking result of sex between brothers and sisters, uncles and nieces and fathers and daughters.”