GoT: Qyburn = Mengele?

Jul 2017
187
Wales
#1
I am currently reading the Song of Ice and Fire stories, and the more I read, the more I associate Qyburn with Josef Mengele. Anyone else seeing this connection, or is it just me?

Example (SPOILER): the secretive experiments he is conducting on the women he is "awarded" by Cersei, notably Falyse Stokeworth. When she was needed by Cersei for one of her schemes, he pretty much told her that she wouldn't be much assistance anymore as she can no longer even eat. Additionally, his "fatherly" manner, "friendly eyes" and general niceness remind me of Mengele's infamous happy whistling whilst he would operate his sick experiments.

Do you think GRRM had Mengele in mind here?
 
Oct 2017
95
Mars
#2
Although I can see the comparisons (inhuman experiments at the behest of a higher authority and a cheerful demeanor), I doubt it.

Mengele focused many of his experiments on genetics, and he used primarily children (and twins). Understanding genetic engineering was an import role for doctors at extermination and concentration camps in Nazi Germany; genetic engineering was a vehicle for creating a 'perfect Aryan race'.

For instance, Mengele injected chemical dyes into the irises of patients. The eye experiments were attempting to change the color of the eyes (most likely to blue). However, these procedures often ended in severe infections and/or blindness. When Mengele was done with an experiment, the patient would be killed by lethal injection, and their organs would be harvested for further research.

Qyburn and Mengele have different motivations; Qyburn's experiments are being used directly by Cersei, and there is a slight rate of success for Qyburn. Further, Qyburn's experiments are secretive. Mengele did not receive specific orders to conduct certain experiments, and if he did, they would not have come from Adolf Hitler... there was a chain of command. Mengele's success rate was practically zero, and his 'scientific' reasoning unsound. Finally, the experiments happening in extermination and concentration camps were not secretive; the people in the camps knew about the 'Angel of Death', other doctors and scientists knew, and figures of authority knew.

Finally, there is a difference in the levels of repugnance between Qyburn and Mengele.

TLDR; From what I have read, George R. R. Martin is inspired by European Medieval history... I'm sure Qyburn was inspired by someone, I just don't think it was Josef Mengele.
 
Aug 2012
1,470
#4
I believe Martin took some inspiration, if not in the motives of both men then in their demeanour.
At one stage in the books, Qyburn is described as looking harmless and kindly, almost like a friendly grandfather. This is eerily similar to how Mengele was perceived by the prisoners. He would hand out sweets, and generally give off a veneer of charm and friendliness. It was such that some people actually felt those who he "selected" were lucky, never knowing the awful things he was doing to them.


So whilst what they want is wildly different, I think it's fair to see parallels in how both men behave and the image they choose to project to the world.
 
Aug 2015
2,359
uk
#5
I can definitely see similarities. Both are assiciated with children, both wish to carry out unauthorised and unapproved experiments, as much for their own curiosity as anything else. If Qyburn had a thought about a medical procedure that involved a child, would he shy away from it? Very unlikely. Just like Mengele, he has no consideration for others, satisfying his own curiosity is all that matters. In either case I don't think that there is any intention to purposely torture the individual being experimented on simply to inflict pain, it is just cold scientific research with no thought or consideration for the subject ; which in many ways is worse and makes them (if it's possible) even more inhuman.
 

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