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September 19 , 2010

Women in Game of Thrones

Power, Conformity and Resistance


Game of Thrones, one of the hottest series on television, leaves hundreds of critics divided on how "feminist" the show really is. Certainly the female characters, strong and weak, embody a spectrum of archetypes – widow queens, warrior women, damsels in distress, career women, priestesses, crones, mothers and maidens. However, the problematic area is that most of them play a single role without nuance – even the "strong women" have little to do besides strut about as one-note characters. This book analyzes the women and their portrayals one by one, along with their historical inspirations. Accompanying issues in television studies also appear, from the male gaze to depiction of race. How these characters are treated in the series and how they treat themselves becomes central, as many strip for the pleasure of men or are sacrificed as pawns. Some nude scenes or moments of male violence are fetishized and filmed to tantalize, while others show the women's trauma and attempt to identify with the scene's female perspective. The key is whether the characters break out of their traditional roles and become multidimensional.

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