Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Game of Thrones: Also for Girls!

Okay, real talk.

There has been a lot of talk about Game of Thrones and its portrayal of women.  This started as soon as the first boob-filled episode aired, but has intensified since a certain Westeros-shattering event occured. [Spoilers at the link, obvi.]

Many sources have weighed in on the Lady Issue.  In a much-read and oft-quoted New York Times review from shortly after the first episode aired, Ginia Bellefante expressed disgust at the blatant eroticism:
The true perversion, though, is the sense you get that all of this illicitness has been tossed in as a little something for the ladies, out of a justifiable fear, perhaps, that no woman alive would watch otherwise. While I do not doubt that there are women in the world who read books like Mr. Martin’s, I can honestly say that I have never met a single woman who has stood up in indignation at her book club and refused to read the latest from Lorrie Moore unless everyone agreed to “The Hobbit” first. “Game of Thrones” is boy fiction patronizingly turned out to reach the population’s other half.
Ginia, you obviously haven't met my book club.

More recently, Renata Sellitti's inflammatory "Why Girls Hate Game of Thrones" gave us such gems as:  "It reminds us of the kids that used to play magic cards in the cafeteria. And people who go to Renaissance festivals."

To be noted:  "used to play magic cards in the cafeteria" has just turned into "currently playing Magic in my living room."

To also be noted:  The teacher I had a crush on in high school was the faculty sponsor for the Magic: The Gathering club.  Yes.  We had that club.

As you can imagine, Sellitti's piece rallied the troops.
Every Girl Who Enjoys Game of Thrones took to the Internet to proclaim that, NAY, PEASANTS!  In truth, ladies love Game of Thrones.

Most articles I've read focus on debunking stereotypes.  NOT ME, YOU WHORES!  I want to talk about all the reasons a girly girl like yours truly would TOTES HEART Game of Thrones.

[I know it sounds like I'm making fun, but that is seriously how I talk.  Should I question my life choices?]

5.  Not Reading
Lady brains are too lazy for anything except, like, Marie Claire.  [And even then, sometimes those Super Big Ass Fashion Issues are heftier then a Russian classic.]

You know what's a lot easier than reading five 1000+-page books?  Watching TV!!

And, once you start, the show makes it pretty hard for us to stop watching.

They open with DAT THEME SONG!

Then the show part of the show starts, and you get all the best of everything.

Design?  Oh, yeah, they got that on lock.

Writing?  You better believe it!
Baelish:  Do you know what the realm is?  It's the thousand blades of Aegon's enemies, a story we agree to tell each other over and over until we forget that it's a lie.  Varys:  But what do we have left once we abandon the lie?  Chaos, a gaping pit, waiting to swallow us all.  Baelish:  Chaos isn't a pit, chaos is a ladder.


So, really, why read?

4.  Relationship Drama
I heard that a certain beautiful blonde someone might be closer than usual with her brother.

I also heard that her not-so-beautiful husband is still totally sweet on his dead ex.

Oh, and I also heard that someone likes boys but totally pretends to like girls to keep up appearances.  But really he's TOTALLY IN LOVE with his girlfriend's brother!!

Dawson's?  No.  The OC?  Nope!  General Hospital?  All wrong!  IT'S ALL GAME OF THRONES!

Gossip Girl

3.  Outfits
Game of Thrones has fabulous costumes.

I mean, we can talk costume design, if you want.  Meticulous and creative.

How much brocade is too much?  If you ask Ser Loras, there is never enough brocade.

But, y'all, I'm just talking about the OUTFITS.  I want to wear them
The wealth of Highgarden wears only the hautest couture, dahling.

Cutouts. So hot for summer.
What I wouldn't give for gold dragon claw necklace!  Maybe for my first red carpet event?

2.  Man Candy
Now, something I love to talk about: BOYS!!  Like many who have gone before me and all those that will come after, I worship at the altar of the Men of Game of Thrones.

Let us pray:

And one more of Jaime Lannister because MOVE OVER CERSEI, THE KINGSLAYER IS MINE.

Oh, and if you're a lady who likes ladies, take a look at what's behind Door #2 (hint: IT'S LADIES):

1.  The Lady Characters
Now, I've read and watched a ton of fantasy #TrueConfessions

While reading or watching, I often find myself identifying with one or two characters more than the others.  Since I've been "gifted" with a certain intensity that can only be categorized as TOTES DORKY, it's not just, "I like Buffy."  No.  I am Buffy.  I am Laurana.  I am Eowyn.

It is almost impossible for me to say "I am [insert Game of Thrones character]."  George R.R. Martin and the rest of the writers room, the producers, and the actors have given me too many interesting, sympathetic, and engaging women to identify with!!  And the honesty of those characterizations speaks to the inherent feminism of the show.  Martin himself has said:
‘To me being a feminist is about treating men and women the same,' he said. ‘I regard men and women as all human - yes there are differences, but many of those differences are created by the culture that we live in, whether it's the medieval culture of Westeros, or 21st century western culture.'
And that's what I see while watching & reading.  I see people.  People who have real, relatable motivations, regardless of how much I agree or disagree with the actions borne out of those motivations.  People who are striving to make the best of whatever hand they've been dealt, regardless of whether their life has made them cruel or kind.  Or perhaps even cruel to be kind.  People who--male or female, magic or mundane--are so beautifully, terrifyingly human.

This is the first in my series on Game of Thrones.  Next up: “Jon Snow Is Not Your Boyfriend."

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