I remember the first time I watched Game Of Thrones. My flatmate at the time was watching it, and lets just say I was not impressed. The rule was that if he wished to watch it in the future he could at least let me know so I wouldn’t be around to watch violent deaths and naked women being sexually violated on a repetitive basis. That stuck and I successfully avoided watching any more GoT. Now, a year on, I’ve read all the books, watched the TV series numerous times and google’d the crap out of GoT theories (there are some serious good theories that have made me feel all kinds of feels for Martin, but that’s a whole other article). So how does one go from viewing it as barbaric and disgusting to kickass and inspiring?
I guess it took reading the books before I was hooked to the series. The TV series obviously struggles to show the internal thoughts of characters and comes off pretty brutal and violent. It’s important to note, without disregarding the fact that Game of Thrones does show extensive sexual violence and emotional and physical abuse against women; it also uses women to challenge and fight against gender prejudices, many claiming their right as human beings (or wildling I guess) to be equal with men. I’m not going to argue about the reasoning for and against the treatment of women by Martin, there are many blogs that you can educate yourself with to see both sides of this argument, and if I’m honest I still don’t know where I stand with it all. Perhaps the show does jump too easily to use sex as a plot device, or perhaps it’s exactly what’s needed to reinforce uncomfortable issues that have previously been swept under the rug. Issues that are too readily assumed that we have moved past, thus incorrectly assuming that mistreatment of women is no longer a battle we face in today’s society. I do know that regardless of this, I believe women are failing to achieve equality. Yes you can go on and list the improvements made in the past 50 years or so, and hey that’s great! But that still doesn’t make up for the fact that today, in 2014, we still have a heck of a long way to go. But for now, since it’s Heroine month and GoT returns to television April 7th (EEEK!), I’m simply choosing kick ass women from the series and why they kinda rock. Perhaps if you’ve written off GoT like other friends of mine, this might spark an interest to give it another shot.
Hate her or love her (usually the former), Cersei is one badass woman. The way she refuses to let her gender hold her back and her constant demand for power is impressive. She has a stubborn belief that she can rule the kingdom better than her lazy husband and she even goes so far as to voice confidence in her own intellectual ability by telling her husband, the KING at the time, “I should wear the armor and you the gown”. As the books evolve her belief in this only gets stronger and despite being reminded by her family of her apparent inadequacy due to being a woman, she stands strong in her belief that she is smarter and more powerful than any of her brothers. Cersei is quickly judged through the eyes of other characters and it’s not until the fourth book that we get too see it from her own perspective. She knows she is the best at ruling the kingdom, she desperately wants the job, but she is incapable of doing so simply because of her gender. Hence her control of trying to gain this power through Joffrey (even mentioning his name irks you doesn’t it?).