Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Women of Thrones!

I adore Game of Thrones. Yes, I was one of those people who saw the show first, and then picked up the books. Yes, I watched the show because it had Sean Bean in the first season. But after gobbling up 3 and a half books (I'm drawing out the last book-and-a-half as long as I can, cause I know once I finish Dance With Dragons, I'll be bereft and listless), I can safely say it's the women who keep me reading intently.

Sure, Tyrion is amazing, Jamie grows on you like a weed, and Samwell makes you want to wrap him up in a big 'ol bear hug. But, more compelling than all of them, at least for me, is the iron-clad will of a cast of richly wrought female characters. Clever, foolish, ruthless, compassionate, all the women of Westeros share that will in common, at least the ones who survive a world that is decidedly not in their favor.

Apparently, author George R.R. Martin has gotten criticism for what he puts his female characters through, for putting them into a world that is so very male-dominated. Rape is commonplace in conquering a kingdom, female nobles cannot inherit even if they're the eldest, and instead are used more often than not as pawns. A woman shouldn't go to war, and even learning how to handle a weapon is considered unseemly. Women, by society's measure, are -powerless-. I think those critics forget though, that fantasy world or not, our own medieval era was exactly the same.

And it makes his women shine all the brighter.

On the one hand, we have characters like Sansa Stark,Catelyn Tully, Cersei Lannister, and Margaery Tyrell. Noble-natured, easily used as pawns in their marriages (though Sansa, at least, has a father who loves her), and, traditionally, with only childbirth as their future accomplishments. But they are far, far more! Love her or love to hate her, Cersei is ruthless, manipulative, and dearly loves her son. Margaery maneuvers and smiles and gracefully dances her way into the people's favor, having them calling for her as Queen while Cersei scowls. And Sansa, beautiful Sansa, possibly the most cliche, romantic and naive character at the start, finds her strength and musters it for all it's worth, while still remaining an essentially good-hearted girl. And Cat, such a mother, and made of steel. She loses nearly everyone she loves, but goes barreling on.

On the other hand, there are the girls who don't play by the rules, who defy what's expected of them, difficult as their lives become. Arya Stark becomes a lone assassin at the age of 12. Asha Greyjoy, at the death or imprisonment of all her brothers, becomes the lead contender for her father's throne, not to mention being a badass hottie who leads his armies! Brienne of Tarth (IS A GODDESS *cough*) is a Knight, being an unattractive, large girl she could have been content being awkwardly dressed up and forced to marry a man who mocked her. Instead, she picks up a sword at a young age and is good, noble, more a knight than any man in the books, save maybe Ned Stark...but is still ridiculed the whole way, and takes it. And then of course Daenerys, The Last Dragon. She starts the story as a terrified 13 year old bride, finding her strength, and becoming the Mother of Dragons, the best, and potentially most powerful contender for the Iron Throne.

There are GADS more characters, and more I adore about this story, and thus far, the tv show that is true to the books. Yes, they're tough to read sometimes, bad things happen to Good People. But the above characters, and those they share the stage with are completely, utterly worth it. You want to see these kickass women succeed, rise above, and take their place in a swiftly-changing kingdom. Get in on the awesomeness!

Real entry soon!

I have a Ladydate with my friends Dena & Kater,

to go see Titanic and have some shopping therapy on wednesday.

Expect pics of pretty girls in pretty clothes :D

~ Amy


Anonymous Bannef said...

Uh, sorry to be a creep and leave a billion comments in one day - but have you seen Mad Men? I found it really compelling for similar reasons to what you describe here, which is all the more depressing since it is so much less fantastical. It's one thing to know my grandmother grew up with different expectations, but I think watching it let me feel that frustration on a different level.

1:01 AM  
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