Game of Thrones – Roar – Music Vid

As always with vids – didn’t make it just found it.

This is an awesome vid that celebrates the Women of Game of Thrones.  I’m a fan of traditional history-based fantasy.  Well, of most fantasy actually, even the more fantastic and urban fantasy, but one drawback of the genre is the few women in the genre are often boring or weak.  Or they are merely there to be won as a prize by the man.  Even in books written more recently, there’s often only one or two token “strong” women, and the rest of the characters are male.

Not to detract from those books, as I said, I often love them.  JRR Tolkien, and Jim Butcher are two of my favorite authors.  However, something that has really drawn me in to the televised version of Game of Thrones, has been the strong women.  And they aren’t super-women, either, endowed with magical powers.  The women of Game of Thrones often start in very traditional roles:  wife, mother, princess, tomboy, victim, but they grow, they mature, and they become these incredible characters.

Cat Tully Stark – Her arranged marriage to Ned Stark produced five children.  And she starts as wife and mother.  She’s also by no means perfect (no Mary Sue here) – watch her continual criticism and hatred of Jon Snow – Ned’s illegitimate son.  Or her occasional bad advice to Robb Stark.  Yet she is very strong as well.  She does become Robb’s second-in-command, and although she doesn’t know everything – neither does Robb.  And actually, there are times when if Robb had listened to his mother, she would have saved him a lot of grief (not to mention other things I’m trying to avoid spoiling).

Arya – She’s Ned’s tomboy daughter, and usually a character like Arya would have to “grow up and learn to act like a girl”.  Arya becomes an expert fencer, learns when to keep her mouth shut but also learns when to speak up.  She’s fiercely loyal to her friends, and capable of defending those who can’t defend themselves.

Brienne – Brienne actually starts as a strong character.  She’s a female knight.  Though she starts in the service of Renly Baratheon, and seem to have a crush on him – Renly is gay.  He’s never slept with his wife of two years much less Brienne.  When – SPOILER –  Renly dies, Brienne becomes a wandering knight.  No one takes her seriously, despite her skills, and it wasn’t her fault Renly died.  Brienne reminds me of every woman who’s a pioneer in a field dominated by men – she’s belittled, her skills are made fun of, she’s put down, people don’t believe in her, and even other women insult her for choosing a “male career”.   Brienne has to have confidence in herself, the ability to ignore what everyone is saying to her about her career choice, and, when necessary, she has to prove herself over and over, just like every woman who chooses a male-dominated career.  I hope we see more of Brienne in the future.

Cersei – Mother of the current king, wife of the dead king, another “victim” of arranged marriage.  She’s been having a long-term affair with her brother, even right under her husband’s nose.  Thus her three surviving children are all from the affair.  When introduced, Cersei seems almost like pure evil:  spiteful, unfair, the type of mother who sees one child as “perfect”, and not a very good wife.  But over the first three years of Game of Thrones – we see more of Cersei and at least get to understand where she comes from.  It is Cersei who gives the program it’s title, when she says, “In the Game of Thrones, you win or you die.”

Daenerys – When we meet her, her brother literally sells her into marriage with Khal Drago, the leader of a troop of wild people, something like the Mongols.  Her brother watches as Daenerys is raped over and over again by her “husband”.  But Daenerys perseveres.  She learns to enjoy sex and to take control in her husband’s tent.  She becomes “Khaleesi” – his queen.  She has a child, but the child dies and then her husband dies as well.  But it is once she is on her own that we really begin to see Daenerys shine. She leads her dead husband’s people, she becomes Queen in actions as well as name. When she is victimized – she fights back.  And before long she’s conquered three city-states, and freed the slaves within them.  Daenerys hates slavery – because she once was one.  It helps that she owns three growing dragons.

Other women of Game of Thrones:  Sansa – who starts as the “perfect princess” but learns to stand on her own feet – the hard way; Ygritte – who grew up North of the wall, and has an entirely different world view; etc.

And that isn’t to say that Game of Thrones is some inverse world where women have all the power and men are weak and boring.  Tyrion Lannister is easily one of the most complex and fascinating characters of the show.  Jamie Lannister, like his sister, is someone one can despise and love in equal measure, depending on what he’s doing that week.  Jon Snow is a popular character, and it’s not simply because of Kit Harrison’s looks.  There are many more.

So watch the vid – because THAT’s what I’m talking about! – JM, Bitch with Wi-Fi (didn’t make the vid, did write this post).

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