Beyond Television, Media Stories
Leave a Comment

Beyond Television | The Women of Westeros Representation


Beyond Celebrity is a blog were I discuss lot’s of kind of topics and one of my favourite topic way beyond the celebrity representation in society is representation through TV shows. So I created a brand new category named : Beyond Television ! Many topics are in center of Game of Thrones, such as slavery The myth of the happy slave, mysogyny, etc. Here I want to question the role and the representation of the women of Westeros .


Women are very present in the fantasy world of Game of Thrones and they are represented in many kind of ways. I find it really interesting to observe what are  the major archetyps and what they can tell us on our society today.

Women and Power

daeyneris

If I were to identify the central theme of Game of Thrones, it would be power. Some characters have a lot of it; some don’t.

The show asks questions about what people are willing to do to acquire power, what they do with it once they get it, and how they handle themselves if they lose it. 

Game of Thrones is set in a highly patriarchal fantasy world, which means that society works to rob women of power. But instead of accepting this as a given, the show asks how women face up to their powerlessness in this world, and how they might empower themselves despite the strictures of the societies they live in. [1]

1) The unattractive woman and the “Good Master”

Some women in the show acquire power by going completely against what their societies tell them they can do.

_ Brienne Tarth and Daenerys Targaryen

daeyneris dragon games-of-thrones-saison-3-daenerys-650x365

I am the blood of dragonsIf they are monsters, so am I._ Dany

Queen Danerys Targaryen. Dany is perhaps the most beloved character of the show. From what I heard and read, she’s loved for her fantasy kind of magic mystic power brought by her dragons (Mother of dragons) – and for her kind ambition of power. she’s the sylphid of Game of Throne.

Where bad guy cannot achieve, she does.

he bad guys are defeated, the oppressed are freed, and Dany has bought herself both glory and riches. Shortly after the battle, she goes on to free her slaves, but they are content to stay by her side, happy to risk their lives to achieve her aims. Dany’s response to the Unsullied reveals her need to tell herself, as nineteenth century slaveowners did, that her power is benign, that her slaves were enthralled by love rather than chains.  [2]

Brienne, no fear, no sex. If Dany embody the ultimate perfect woman attractiv, kind, but strong, Brienne Tarth is an unattractive woman. She’s a solitaire, she’s loyal,  “She is a woman who does not seem to fit anywhere in her world.” 

Brienne is despised for being both too much and not enough of a woman. She is not delicate enough, not beautiful enough, not passive enough for men to accept or respect her femininity, but she is still inescapably female, and so can never be anything more than a joke of a warrior to most of the men she meets. [3]

If Game of Thrones contain lots of sex she’s perhaps one of few who does not happen to have sex. Not because she’s not at age like Catelyn that is obvious had sex. For Brienne we could even suspect that she’s still a virgin. A virgin soldier.

2) The Heroic Villain and Queen Mothers

Other women in the show gain and wield power through means that are deemed socially acceptable.

Cersei Lannister, Margaery Tyrell, and Catelyn Stark

cersei2

cersei

Cersei Lannister, I still don’t get why people hate her so much. Cersei is far from a feminist character. However, she is a fascinating character to examine from a feminist perspective, because her entire life (and much of her personality) is a reflection of the misogynistic nature of Westerosi society.

She’s a fascinating villainess, understandable if not excusable. She’s cold, silent and deadly. “Anyone who isn’t us is the enemy.” she simply said to her son Joffrey. She has to endorse multiple and very complexes roles. First as a mother and Queen Regent behind her sadistic son Joffrey, as a widow queen, as a daughter of a very strict and powerful father Tywin, and as a sister. She’s 100% devoted to her family, which can, and will make her in danger.

catelyn-stark-catelyn-tully-stark-29431539-800-450

Catelyn Stark. While Margaery Tyrell and Cersei Lannister use flattery, sexuality, and manipulation to get what they want. Catelyn in the other hand is a devoted mother that uses her status as the lady of a powerful and well-respected noble house to get what she wants.

But while we could blame the vicious behavior of the first two women, we can’t help but wonder why the only respectable and honourable one died.

3) The innocent child

Other women are stripped of their power. Yet these women’s struggle to retain a sense of self despite their powerlessness makes for amazing drama and amazing characters.

Sansa and Arya Stark

sansa sansa porcelaine

Sansa women in GoT

Sansa Stark. I still don’t get why people hate Sansa so much ?

Right now, Sansa may not have Arya’s blood-lust, Brienne’s physical power, Cersei’s political acumen or Daenarys’ ambition (or, you know, dragons), but she’s still one of the strongest characters in the series. It’s just that we’re not used to recognizing her strength for what it is. [3]

ayra

ayra2

Ayra Stark :

she represents a strong (young) woman whose plot lines have absolutely nothing to do with sexuality or finding romance, but still manages to be just as interesting and even more dynamic. (

4) The prostitute – the angel versus the witch

Sex sells, and what’s true for HBO’s ratings is true too for Westeros’s women who start with nothing.

Shae, Melisandre, Ros

melisandresex

Prostitution and sex abuse is very prominent in Game of Thrones.

Most of the male characters are portrayed as extremely sexual and constantly desiring sex, whether it be through rape or by way of prostitutes. The female characters, however, (with a few exceptions) seem to be classified as either a virgin or a whore; they are either extremely sexual and “easy” or in no way desiring sexual relationships, aside from marriage.[2]

Melisandre Vs Shae and Ros

shae

In one hand you have the mystic witch who use sex to manipulate men, in the other hand you have poor prostitute who use sex to free themselves from slavery.

Tyrion’s mistress Shae, the mysterious priestess Melisandre, the prostitute Ros who runs Lord Baelish’s brothel. The first one eems to have true affection for Tyrion and Sansa, she has kindest despite her condition. She’s the beloved prostitute. The second one is using sex mixing with mystic magic to gain trust and power. The last and not the least has lost her life by using her premature influence she just gained.

 Ros_dead_Closeup_S6E6


Source :
[1] Why more feminists should watch Game of Thrones
[2] The Happy Slave or Khaleesis american dilemma 
[3] There are No True Knights: Brienne of Tarth
[4]  Why Sansa Stark Is the Strongest Character on ‘Game of Thrones’ byJulianne Ross 
Game of Thrones: the women of Westeros
Daenerys Stormborn, Mother of Dragons
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s