Ruby Ellam

Ruby Ellam

Ruby Ellam is a writer, artist, curator, art historian and podcaster located in Melbourne, Australia. She is an Aries with a Pisces Moon and Gemini Rising which is exhausting

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Latest Articles

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Why HBO failed the women of Game of Thrones

The last season of Game of Thrones has garnered significant audiences as well as criticism in its handling of the fates of its female characters. However the abuse of Westerosi women for ratings has not been a fresh take from the showrunners. Analyse how the use of sexual violence and patriarchal narratives disguised by capitalist feminism has always led to the bitter defeat of the women in Game of Thrones.

  • It expresses an ironic reality that we live in. An aspect that woman empowerment highlights upon. But after all, it's just a show. – Zoran 1 year ago
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  • I really like this topic. Keep in mind one could go back to the very first episode of season one to get a sense of the misogyny and brutal treatment of women as predictors for the series' final portrayal and fate of female characters. In this sense, the show has always seemed to me to retain a very 1970s feel in its use and abuse of women as disposable commodities. – MarkTodd 1 year ago
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  • I see a lot of people countering this argument with evidence like "Sansa became queen of the North as an independent country, and Arya got to go explore a new world all on her own, so the women weren't treated that badly" but I have to agree with this topic. If you take every woman in the cast and summarize their story arc, they were not treated fairly or with respect as individuals with potential to make great stories. – MissAila 1 year ago
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  • I am part of that 1% that has never seen or been interested in GoT. At first it was because I thought it was all explicit scenes and that was the premise of the entire movie because that first season oomf, very hard to even get passed the first episode. Not my type of genre. Then I realized that the plot line is actually interesting. Instead of watching, I looked through recaps and understood what the story was through that. Not the words of a fanatic, but even I was disappointed by how they painted the characters. If we focus on the women specifically, we were given poor character development (rushed for Daenerys) she was made to be the villain so quickly. Sansa and Arya deserved so much more. Arya defeated the night kind for crying out loud and all we get for her closure is that she goes exploring. – njavaid 1 year ago
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  • Good idea for a piece, but keep in mind that some of the show's characters, Arya in particular, escape or carve a place for themselves outside the patriarchal power structure. She is the ultimate special forces operative--solo, brains over brawn, the only one in the battle against the White Walkers to learn (via the famous scene in the library) to learn about her adversary in order to penetrate their ranks--how else could she have maneuvered into a position to kill him? Unfortunately, the only logical conclusion was her own self-expulsion--she literally did not fit in any Westeros order and needs to find/explore her own brave new world. – barbarafalk 1 year ago
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  • At the end of the final season, Tyrion's motivation for choosing Bran as the new king begins with this line: "There's nothing in the world more powerful than a good story. Nothing can stop it. No enemy can defeat it. " And this line summarizes how the writers have failed the women of Game of Thrones--particularly Daenarys, who by all rights should have been Queen. When you think back to the earlier seasons (and when you read the books) you get a clear sense of the larger story from the perspective of many different characters. In fact the novels are organized around events told from the varying perspectives of the major characters. We can see the world through the minds of Cersei, the Starks, Tyrion, Daenerys, and others. But, when you compare this narrative strategy to the final season, it's clear that the narrative loses this quality and predominantly focuses in on a few narrative perspectives: Jon's, Tyrion's, and Jaimie's. For this reason, we don't really know why Daenerys chooses to burn King's Landing to the ground because we are never privy to her perspective. We are only told that she is "mad" and are forced to accept it. And when the characters reflect on Daenerys's past actions, her reasoning for her actions aren't included, her perspective is erased. And in that sense, Daenerys's story is stolen from her--rewritten by those who would rather see Jon on the throne because he is thought to be the "rightful heir." Thus, the power of story, indeed! On a final note: George R. R. Martin makes it pretty clear in Fire and Blood that the rightful Targaryen ruler is always the one with dragons. – bsumpn 1 year ago
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Latest Comments

Ruby Ellam

A great follow up to this analysis could include ‘Hereditary’ (2018). I spent a solid hour or two reading up purely on the ideas of maternity and inherited female trauma, and think this would be super interesting!

Maternal Horror Films: Understanding the 'Dysfunctional' Mother
Ruby Ellam

Great song, songwriter and analysis. Great job!

This is America: Exploring Lyrical and Visual Symbolism
Ruby Ellam

The scary things I saw as a child, whether on purpose or accidentally, have remained as some of the most vivid memories in my head, from reading ‘When Mum Turned into a Monster’ to accidentally catching about five seconds of Nightmare on Elm street. Strangely, these things still scare me to this day and I refuse to engage with them, but am a horror fanatic with everything else.

Scary Stories: In Defense of Horror for Children