I think everyone is aware, or should be, of my obsession with this TV show based off the even more rich and magnificent book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. But why am I obsessed? Well, there’s dragons, so that’s pretty self explanatory. There’s such an intricate depth-filled story that makes you think, “how does someone come UP with that!?” So you’re always captivated. There’s that action, suspense, sex, plot twists, gore, gut-wrenching “did they really have to DIE!” moments that you think you can’t handle, but you can, and you surprisingly find yourself wanting more of it. But really, it’s the vivid, endearing and compelling characters that make the show what it is; whether you love them from every corner of your heart or despise them with every crevice of your soul, those characters seize you in a way you wouldn’t imagine. These characters, specifically the vigorous and powerful women George R.R. Martin has brought to life in a ways many haven’t done before, is the main reason I am obsessed with this show.
Take Cersei Lannister, she can be defined and stereotyped as one thing, “a bitch.” Sure, I could justify that. There are more times than not where I wanted to personally claw my nails into her eyes, (I blame the show for these gory examples), because she aggravated me with her selfish, prideful, and atrocious decisions in life, but at the end of the day, this woman is called a “bitch” because she is confident, intelligent and knows her worth. All her life she has been belittled and criticized for being the lioness among the pride of powerful self righteous Lannister men. Growing up, she had to work twice as hard to get the least bit of gratification from her father and be recognized to be as brilliant as the men around her. Cersei herself could never sit on the Iron Throne and rule the seven kingdoms because she was born a women, but because of this set back she dedicates her life and unfathomable mother love and advice to give her children everything she can offer. She will go through enormous lengths to fight for what she thinks her children deserve. Sure, her son who actually gets to sit on the Iron Throne is actually the worst thing to happen to the seven kingdoms since the Mad King became, well mad, but who do you think this upsets more than anyone!? Cersei Lannister, especially in the novels, is always amusing herself and expressing her displeasure in the fact that men have more influence in the world than she could ever dream of having. She has to work in the shadows, her manipulative and scheming ways is the only way she can achieve the power she could never be given due to the fact that she’s a woman. But this woman, is the most passionate, determined and unyielding character in the series. Cersei knows what she wants, and she isn’t going to let the absence of something dangling in between her legs stop her from getting it. Sure, she’s pretty darn right ruthlessly evil more often than not, and I personally wouldn’t want to live anywhere near Westeros if Cersei actually sat on the Iron Throne, but my respect for this woman can not be mistaken. I’m cheering for your satisfaction and happiness Cersei, from across the wall of course!
Seriously, nobody warms my heart more than Brienne of Tarth. If you love her as much as I do, and aren’t reading the books, please pick one up right now because this extraordinary women plays bigger roles in between those chapters than on screen. Brienne is a female knight, a rarity in all the lands of Westeros, but that’s exactly what she is and how Jamie Lannister even described her. Cersei has power, she gets talked behind her back and belittled in privacy but Brienne continuously deals with the disapproval and judgements everywhere she goes, even while in combat. Brienne also has to deal with her abnormally large giant like features, that are normally not accepted as beauty in the standards for women, because they’re supposed to be dainty, frail, and cry for help, right? Well, that’s basically everything Brienne isn’t, and she sure as hell doesn’t live up to anyone’s expectations besides her own. Men have spat in her face, mauled her with brutal words, attempted to devalue her by threatening her with rape and death, but she has overcome them all. This woman is brave, vigorous, loyal and independent, and I love reading and watching her because when she kicks a man’s butt in combat and proves everyone wrong, nothing gratifies my heart more to see all her efforts in life pay off. This is a character who proves her worth in all kinds of ways, but at the end of the day, will still show you that softer feminine side as she curls up into a ball like a child while she sleeps to remind us that we can be strong, devoted and courageous, while still recognizing we are women and proud of it.
The last big spotlight of course has to go to the one and only mother of dragons herself, Daenerys Targeryen. I mean, if you watch the show, you already know, right? She at first is sold into marriage and practically slavery by her brother, as if she were property and is raped on her wedding night. But then she eventually becomes as ruthless and even fiercer than the Dothraki community she becomes a part of. This woman loses her husband, the man she fell in love with, and an unborn child…and what does she do!? Becomes the ruler of the Dothraki people, and travels all across the lands and freeing slaves with an army of loyal trained killers, with three dragons to help her cause of course. She believes in justice, equality, freedom, love, and the right to the Iron Throne. By birth right the Targeryen’s are the deserved rulers of all the seven kingdoms, and Daenerys, despite being a women, has been kicking ass since season one to get back the position she rightfully owns. I mean she lets nothing phase her, challenge after challenge this unbelievable, fascinating and fierce women becomes everything you would want to aspire to be. We have seen her be a benevolent and loving wife and become a fearless and daring ruler to millions of loyal followers. She’s my role model, and if I don’t end up growing up to be just like her, minus the three dragons (to be replaced with three dogs), I am definitely doing something wrong.
You know, I could really write about every main female character George R.R. Martin has created, because they can all be characterized as fierce, extraordinary and recognize their worth. Arya Stark is your tomboy, who has questioned since she was young why boys didn’t take her as seriously in combat as they did with each other, and vowed she would be as strong, if not better, than anyone would would underestimate her. This girl has vengeance on her mind since season one, and has only become stronger and more independent ever since, easily having one of the greatest character developments of the show. Ygritte is the wildling everyone loves, because she was free spirited, intensive and skilled in everything she did. Her character comes from a different world than the rest, one where women are not undermined, but she still has to show the rest of the world what that means. Then there’s Asha Greyjoy, who also plays bigger roles in the novels, and possibly this upcoming season. This woman is on a similar mission as Cersei, but her heart’s in a better place. It sickens her rotten to know she can not rule any part of her fathers’ lands because she is a women, but it hasn’t stopped her from trying. There are many other women, like Tyrells, Stark mother, supportive wives that have come and gone, and soon on screen…the sand sisters.
Seriously, Game of Thrones is the show that will give you guys to gawk on, admire and appreciate, while also providing the fulfillment of women to simultaneously do the same to. The women in this series are not in any sort of second ranking compared to the males, they go neck in neck, stand firmly against each other and provide the richness and gratification that I am so thankful for. The fictional land of Westeros may treat women badly, but each one of them are fighting for their worth and recognition. This is a creation that makes me feel proud to have characters I can look up to, respect, and know they are loved for more than just their looks and stereotypical archetype best selling notions. I don’t know of another series with a world filled with women like this, but there need to be. Sure, there is still a lot of women nudity…more than male nudity, and there’s other contradictions, but it’s sure of a hell of a progress from a lot of other things on television. Thank you George R.R. Martin, for bringing to life these powerful woman that warm and satisfy my heart to the fullest.
“Yes, all men must die. But we are not men.” – Deanerys Targeryen