Powerful women playing the Game of Thrones
If you live under a rock and don’t know what Game of Thrones is about (or refuse to watch it because all the hype annoys you to no end,) let me start by explaining you the basic set up. This story takes place in a parallel world, similar to ours with several families and individuals fighting for the throne.
Considering the series mirrors a medieval drama, you’d expect, like most other fantasy and medieval dramas, to see women as secondary and passive characters with may be one or two important scenes during the entire episode length. Not to mention that they would all have clear intentions, devoid of any shades of grey. Well that’s where you’ve got it wrong.
The series is full of rich female characters that are as complex, brave, evil, cunning and erratic as their male counterparts. Right from a teenage girl who escapes being captured and fights her way through the country, dressed as a boy, to extract revenge from her father’s murderers; to an exiled princess who after being sold in marriage by her brother, ends up becoming the most powerful queen in the continent.
But these two aren’t the only lead women characters who are more than just pretty faces in the frame. You have a cunning and passionate queen, married to a king she despises, who finds a way to ensure that none of her living children are fathered by him. Another tall and broad woman, considered unattractive by most men, chooses to become a knight instead of living a purposeless and miserable life.
The show of course receives warranted criticism when it comes to the numerous nude scenes set in brothels, where you see naked women roaming about, without any concrete purpose. But it will be absolutely unfair to overlook the powerful women characters that are more than just Christmas decorations on the show; after all, the show is about men fighting for power and it would’ve been extremely easy to sideline the women characters.
Coming back to nudity, of course is not restricted to the women in the brothels alone, you see all these said characters naked at some point. But is it really that offensive? A queen, the mother of dragons, chooses to sleep with her Lieutenant (not unlike all the other powerful men who are often sexually involved with those less powerful than them) -As a woman that spells power to me.
Another character in the series, Margaery Tyrell, referred to as the “whore from highgardens” by her mother-in-law, is shown using her sexuality to become queen (she admits that is all she wants.) Like all other characters, she is no saint either and you cannot decide whether you love her or hate her; but, the fact that she chooses to use her body, instead of swords or politics to get what she wants, seems to offend many. I fail to understand what makes a young woman, conscious of her sexuality, an enemy of women? For someone who lives in an era where women have limited rights and power, here is a woman who knows what she wants and won’t stop until she gets it.
As a feminist and a Game of Thrones fan, I definitely have some issues with the complicated portrayal of women on the sow, but seeing so many talented women on TV, doing more than just pleasuring their partners pleases me to no end and I look forward to seeing more dynamic and powerful women in the upcoming seasons.
[Featured Picture Courtesy: Nerds and Nomsense]