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Why do strong women suffer in Game of Thrones?

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. – Dimitri 3 years ago
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  • 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. – RebaZatz 3 years ago
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  • 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? – SarahPearce 3 years ago
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  • 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. – Dimitri 3 years ago
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  • 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? – Zohal99 3 years ago
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  • 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. – RyderVii 2 years ago
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  • Beneath every strong woman lies a broken little girl who had to learn how to get back up and never depend on anyone. – matadorbuildings 2 years ago
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