Housekeeping: This post is based solely characterisations in the TV show. SPOILERS for Game of Thrones up to Season 3.
I like Game of Thrones for many reasons, up to and including my pantsfeelings for Tyrion. But as the series has developed, one thing that has really stood out to me for all the right reasons is the characterisation and treatment of female characters. When feminists advocate for more strong female characters and better treatment of female characters, a lot of people seem to hear ALL FEMALE CHARACTERS MUST BE PERFECT and NO BAD THINGS MUST EVER HAPPEN TO FEMALE CHARACTERS, respectively. This is not what we are advocating for. We are advocating for female characters who are, respectively, well-rounded and flawed in interesting ways, and who are more than disposable props used to further the male protagonist’s emotional journey.
Game of Thrones is full of women; all of them are flawed, some of them are outright detestable and, as one would expect, they are in no way immune to having graphically violent things happen to them. Granted, those violent things are usually pertinently gendered (we did all just watch a lady get stabbed to death in her pregnant belly a few weeks ago) and deserving of their own discussion, but in terms of character creation, the series has so far done an excellent job of portraying the women of Westeros as complex and engaging. Read More »