There’s no disputing that Daenerys Targaryen, Sansa and Arya Stark, and Cersei Lannister are all forces to be reckoned with. They’re women with power and they know how to wield it. However, despite their political successes, personally and emotionally, the women of Westeros lead very oppressed lives.
I feel like it may be an intentional reflection of the modern world and how much women do suffer, even in the most privileged/powerful positions. Like, no matter what, being a woman is inherently harder than being a man. That said, considering we're in a fantasy world, it would be nice to have women lead lives that aren't bound by real-world sexism. – Dimitri3 months ago
I agree somewhat, but in order for a narrative to be compelling, a protagonist needs to have an obstacle to achieving their goal. Sexism can certainly be an obstacle, but it doesn't also have to be the go-to for writers either. – RebaZatz2 months ago
I've had some quite conflicted feelings about GoT on this front. I still love the show and kept watching, but Sansa's experience upon marrying Ramsay was a particular example of this. I understand the desire to depict real-world sexism, and perhaps the writers were motivated by a genuine desire to do this, but it felt problematically voyeuristic (even pornographic). We've been making art for hundreds of years about women's suffering - isn't it time for a change? – SarahPearce2 months ago
Fantasy is the perfect place to tell these new stories and motion for change. It's a shame more stories don't take advantage of it. – Dimitri2 months ago
I really think this topic could be expanded to include women in fantasy overall. I recently listened to a talk by fantasy author Victoria Schwab, who discussed how fantasy does not necessarily need to follow the power dynamics that already exist in our world - for example, sexism or elements of patriarchal traditions - but that fantasy can flip the power dynamics as well. We could use the women in Game of Thrones as a starting point for a broader discussion of power dynamics in fantasy? – Zohal992 months ago
It has a simple answer. Martin depicts the medieval world as it was - knights aren't clad in shinging armor and they are'nt prince charming. No, they murdered and were murdered. And most women in this time period were oppressed. – RyderVii1 week ago
Beneath every strong woman lies a broken little girl who had to learn how to get back up and never depend on anyone.
– matadorbuildings7 days ago
Consider the map of Westeros as a human body: ‘The Neck’ is located centrally, at Greywater Watch. Perhaps the farther North you go the closer you move towards the mind, and the farther South you go the closer you move towards the genitals. Contrast the frankness and unapologetic polyamory of Oberyn Martell and Ellaria Sand (from Dorne at the most southerly point of Westeros) with the celibacy expected of the Watchers of the Wall and the shame they associate with physical desire (at the most northerly point of Westeros). Near and beyond the Wall, sex acts occur literally underground (Mole’s Town and Jon’s and Ygritte’s cave). The Wall is more than a pile of frozen blocks; it is frequently described in the novels as a living thing which ‘weeps’ and ‘defends itself’. What if the Wall represents the human mind’s need to protect itself from the madness which would result from a direct confrontation with its most profound fears?
I could see the Wall representing instead the Lacanian sense of the arrival of language. The open sensuality of the south would be the Imaginary that is repressed at the Mirror stage. – Aedon2 months ago
What would be interesting to analyze is how the growing trend of killing off major characters in TV seemingly out of nowhere in TV season finales makes a TV show "amazing" and "unexpected". What also might be intriguing is the buzz that comes about when a TV finale is about to air and, more specifically, the fans’ speculation on "who’s going to die" instead of "what’s going to happen". Game of Thrones depicts this perfectly; the countless deaths of its beloved characters has made the show extremely popular, where the high death rate in its season finales brings in many viewers and, subsequently, many dazzling reviews.
(Spoiler alert for Riverdale, Avengers Infinity War, the Divergent series, and the 5th Wave series) While I'm not too familiar with GoT, Riverdale just recently left their viewers on a cliff with the possibility of Jughead being dead. And, of course, if you've seen A:IW, you know that half of the main characters are "dead" at the end of the movie. I've always been a person to respect this choice--like, a lot! In the concluding book to the Divergent trilogy, the main character dies, and the same happens in the last installment of the 5th Wave series. As long as the deaths are dealt with in a realistic way for those universes, I always thought it was great. This would be a really fun analysis to read. Like, why do I like it so much? I don't even really know. – mkkeane972 months ago
I think the expectation of who is going to die might and its popularity might leave any other events as less impactful as they become overshadowed by the deaths. Something to consider. – ZanderTJ2 months ago
This is a very interesting topic. I think with finales of any kind, we're primed to expect a culmination of a character's arc, one whose significance is ultimately encapsulated in how they die, why they die, etc. Death has a finality to it. I think, in expecting death, we become more inclined to appreciate whatever happens in the moments prior to it. Also, I think fan speculation on 'who's going to die' is a preemptive coping mechanism. Again, speculation might prompt extra awareness on how characters act in the finale, thus greater appreciation for their martyr's death, tragic death, etc. I'd argue that the 'who's going to die' and 'what's going to happen' are mutually linked—what really gets lost in the death-hype is how the finale's events will affect future seasons (if any). We'd become so focused on the 'dying' that the 'mourning' aspect of the story, the 'what'll happen after', doesn't immediately come to mind. Especially when there's a break between the finale and the next season. (I think The Walking Dead's S6 finale and S7EP1 is worth examining. Spoilers tho) – Starfire2 months ago
Incest is a fundamental taboo in society. We recognise this for many reasons.
Yet for some odd reason it has begun to rear its ugly head within television, and it does not seem to be demonised as much as one would expect. The perfect example of this is the relationship between the siblings, Jamie and Cirsei Lannister, in ‘Game of Thrones.’ This is ridiculed within the narrative and by other characters, yet it is shown in somewhat graphic detail in the first episode. They are both very attractive actors and the act, without context is an attractive bit of television soft-porn. How are we meant to interpret this? There are a myriad of other inferences by other characters, often used to symbolise the unhealthiness or negative representation of a character, yet this seems largely undermined by the treatment then of the characters within the narrative as redeemable heroes (somewhat). A recent episode of ‘Rick and Morty’, already known for its dark humour, but on the pulse cultural reflection, a "Morty" made a wish that "incest porn was more mainstream" – it was a line used to punctuate the scene with humour before one of the "Morty’s" leapt to his death. However, this is still an open discussion of incest in a somewhat positive manner.
Obviously, this is a highly contentious discussion and one that needs to be handled carefully. However, akin to the inclusion of "rape fantasies" in much of paranormal romance, it is a concerning trend that should be discussed.
https://www.hindustantimes.com/fashion-and-trends/super-gross-was-this-bella-and-gigi-hadid-picture-in-british-vogue-photoshopped/story-CHriBjKH9920aDWDxKFSJO.html Check out this link... – Munjeera6 months ago
Why incest is taboo (and perhaps the best argument against it): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_II_of_Spain – J.D. Jankowski6 months ago
Analyze and discuss what greater meaning there is in Game of Thrones, an overarching message that Martin is trying to send to his readers (and viewers I guess) beyond the amazing fantasy, political intrigue, and gut-wrenching battles and deaths that has enraptured most of the fan base.
An interesting idea for a topic, especially since Hillary Clinton appears to identify with the Cersei Lannister/Baratheon character. Real life copying art? – Amyus10 months ago
Something can be said for the unabashed yet tactical killing off of characters in the series, and what relevance this has in contemporary television's trends in dependency on viewer/fan preferences/reactions. – LNwenwu10 months ago
I think it would also be helpful to analyze, or critique, i would say, his methods for promoting messages. The amount of gross sexual content in the series, for instance...is this fanservice? Necessary to the plot? What are his ways of getting his views across to others? – EricJohnson10 months ago
Is there truly an overall message that Martin is trying to send though? I personally don't believe it's that complicated. Just Westeros vs the dead with Martin just trying to make a buck off his creative and intelligent fantasy writing style. – EsportsJosh10 months ago
While I'm not sure there's a coherent "message" to be found within Game of Thrones, I do think it's been noted before how much GOT/ASOIAF deconstruct certain tropes of fantasy. The traditional good v. evil battle is muddied constantly throughout the series, and there's a quote by George RR Martin saying "the true horrors of human history derive not from orcs and Dark Lords, but from ourselves," which brings up GOT's emphasis on its characters largely being responsible for their actions, and the consequences that arise from them. – LucasLacamara9 months ago
Game of Thrones has seen incredible, groundbreaking success, such it has developed a devout following. The success is due to multiple factors. Two of which are duration and quality. The fact that GOT is indeed a television show instead of a film, allows characters to truly develop and grow. Films generally have a time limit of three hours to develop any characters. Films on the other hand, have quality that tv shows usually do not. Game of Thrones is able to connect these two aspects, tv show length for development and film like quality. Fans are able to become much more invested than other movies or shows. In the future, we can hope that other TV shows look to invest in the higher quality, and produce great shows like GOT.
The showrunners for Star Trek: Discovery have named Game of Thrones as an inspiration for the format of the show. – AGMacdonald12 months ago
I sincerely hope that the success of GoT inspires other writers/producers to make series with a similarly long game view.; either book adaptations, as GoT, or stand-alone series.
– JudyPeters11 months ago
Do shows like Game of Thrones deserve criticism for their depiction of sexual violence, or is their portrayal justified, given the setting of Westeros as a brutal world were violence is the common place?
There’s an interesting debate to be had here about the responsibilities of show writers/directors toward how they handle sensitive topics and staying true to the fictional world they operate within.
There's a fine line between violence and sexual violence in particular being shown in context and becoming gratuitous voyeurism and, in my opinion, Game of Thrones has stepped over this line many a time. Yes, of course we all know that the world in which the stories are set is a violent one, reflecting our own middle-ages in that respect, when life was cheap and a self-appointed 'Elite' could determine someone's fate almost at a whim, but I am still of the opinion that there are far darker horrors lurking within the mind than can ever be successfully portrayed on screen. Sometimes a suggestion of violence can be more menacing than the act itself - less is more. Game of Thrones sells itself on its barbarism, so the writers/directors are somewhat obliged to stay as true as possible to the source material, but I do wonder just how often boundaries are being deliberately pushed just to see what they can get away with. – Amyus1 year ago
An interesting argument. Game of Thrones is a go-to for promoting sexual violence; however, shows like Sons of Anarchy and Outlander have had more graphic sexual assaults and yet they are not mentioned in the debate (in general, not specifically yours). It might be interesting to investigate. – AGMacdonald1 year ago
Apart from shows, it would be better to even consider films like 'Blue Valentine' here. – Vishnu Unnithan1 year ago
Censorship of sexual violence doesn't appear to be the best course, as we have seen how censorship can actually limit the amount of awareness and information about sensitive topics. I think TV and movies provide a platform to start discussions and communication about sexual violence. This something that happens more than we would like to think, even in modern times. Perhaps the question is not whether or not to show it, but rather how can it be shown in a way that doesn't glorify sexual violence. – KRawlyk11 months ago
Whether it is Ned Stark’s everlasting nobility or Joffrey Baratheon’s undying wickedness, a static character in Game of Thrones always seems to perish. Analyze this idea and why this may be the case. Compare unchanging characters to dynamic ones and analyze why changes in character lead to success.
Interesting topic, it'd be intriguing to read whatever kind of explanation someone might try to come up with. But first I think it's important to discus in these notes what makes a "static" character to help the future writer of this article along? Are there exceptions to the rules? I feel as though some characters seem dynamic when in reality we they've been motivated by the same thing this whole time, we just didn't know what that was. Who is static, who's dynamic, and who's in trouble of becoming static and killed off because of this theory? – Slaidey2 years ago
I agree with Slaidey in that knowing who is truly dynamic vs. static may be premature at this point. Especially in light of the fact that some characters who are declared dead, may in fact be still alive (the Hound). But being unsure of the ultimate outcome certainly makes the discussion more interesting... – heliddick2 years ago
Yes, a substantial counterargument you'll encounter is that it's not the static characters that die, just the ones that are not central enough to the story that we have to know their complications. Ned's death and Littlefinger's persistence may be some of your strongest cases of proof, but Catelyn's death and Daenerys's continued living may not be in your favor. – IndiLeigh2 years ago
With popular book series titles making their way into television, authors seem to be forced to make a switch between writing long-form prose and writing with the television audience in mind. Does the narrative change, for better or for worse, when an author is acutely aware that the next book will be formatted for episodes rather than novels? George R.R. Martin’s celebrated Game of Thrones series is a prime example of how an author feels the pressure of a viewing audience baring down as opposed to writing novels at a leisurely pace. What effect does this have on the story, characters and plot when an author is pressed to satisfy an episodic format at a mainstream pace?
Interesting topic. I think J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts screen play is another good example of an author moving from writing for readers to viewers. – C8lin2 years ago
Would be very interested to read this article, as at the moment I cannot think of another TV show besides GoT where the writer of the books also wrote episodes for the show! – Sonia Charlotta Reini2 years ago
The HBO success "Game of Thrones" brings on screen a wide variety of characters with clear mental issues. From Joffrey’s violent nature, which lacks any form of remorse, to Ramsay’s damaged personality or Jamie and Cersei’s incestuous relationship (also Sansa Stark, Jon Snow and Theon Greyjoy can be interesting examples). It would be fascinating to use psychoanalytical concepts, taken from Freud, Jung or Klein, in order to offer a reading of these characters and their backstories and objectives.
This would be so cool to read and an interesting topic to explore. I'm not an avid watcher of "Game of Thrones" myself, but I think that psychoanalytic theory and concepts can be applied to any fictional character, whether they be literary or cinematic. Freud, Jung, or Klein would all be of course good places to start - anyone interested in researching this would I think also be inclined to check out the work of Erich Fromm (philosopher/psychologist). His work in "Escape from Freedom" is a great analysis of authoritarian, sadistic, and masochistic character-types - theories which could be applied to characters such as Joffrey. – kyletsakiris2 years ago