Game of Thrones
Feminists know a good deal about having and voicing unpopular opinions about films and television. There are often uncomfortable truths about well-loved movies or series. While many people prefer to either ignore those uncomfortable truths or deride those attempting to expose them, it is imperative that we remain active participants in the consumption of media.
But even if Oberyn Martell isn’t your favorite, he is decidedly unique in one regard: a positively portrayed bisexual man of color on television. As if this weren’t enough, his character arc doesn’t center around his race or his sexual orientation. Like any other character on the show, he has his own convoluted political revenge plot.
Strength is more than fighting with swords, and no one has proved that more often than Sansa Stark. She’s gone from being a (honestly, pretty annoying) starry-eyed teen to a brave and complex heroine, capable of making tough decisions in the face of tremendous personal pain. Perhaps most importantly, she’s done it without attempting to remake herself in the image of men or by diminishing the strongly feminine traits that set her apart from many of Game of Thrones’ other women.
Check out all of the posts from our ‘Game of Thrones’ Theme Week here.
Whilst ostensibly male in terms of gender, Jon Snow’s character is arguably definably feminine through his actions, motivations and interactions with both female and male characters. … This is not to suggest that Jon’s character is not masculine; certainly his actions in battle signal him to be a hero in the archetypical sense, but I am suggesting that Jon Snow’s masculinity coexists with a feminine expression…
Cersei Lannister is cunning, deceitful, jealous and entirely about self-preservation. Yet, her show self seems to tie these exclusively with her relationship with her children… Why is motherhood the go-to in order to flesh out her character? Why can’t she be separate from her children, the same way the father of them, Jaime Lannister, is?
Catelyn Stark’s main function in the show is to be a mother to Robb Stark, a prominent male character, whereas in the book series, ‘A Song of Ice and Fire,’ she is so much more than that. … The show creators are here relying on mother tropes in order to set up the characters; Catelyn is now the nag who only cares about her family and nothing else, whereas Ned is now the valiant hero who wants to seek justice.
But in that web of gloom, there’s this beautiful shining light: Brienne and Jaime. And while rom-coms are not often praised for their realism, to me, this couple is the most grounded, sensible thing about the show.
Ygritte was fierce, she was vibrant, and she didn’t take any shit. Ygritte’s feminism was multi-dimensional, and for me she will always be missed.
It’s hard to ignore that this is a white woman from a foreign nation who feels it’s her birthright to teach a bunch of brown people how they should behave. … On the flip side, watching a woman lose power on ‘Game of Thrones’ always seems to involve watching her be sexually victimized somehow, which I can’t really get on board with, no matter how awful she is.
Children have always figured prominently in ‘Game of Thrones,’ but their presence seems especially meaningful this [fourth] season, as we get a clearer glimpse of the war’s effect on bystanders, people not entrenched in political intrigue and behind-the-scenes strategizing.
With the women of color being so scarce in the show, it’s just as important to look at the quality of these portrayals. While ‘Game of Thrones’ does give us some strong women of color, many of them are portrayed problematically in their own ways: either put into subservient roles, exoticized, demonized, or otherwise discarded by the narrative in ways that the white characters aren’t.