Do Women Actually Run the “Game of Thrones” World? What Is the Show’s View on Gender?


On the surface, Game of Thrones (2011) may appear misogynistic in its character portrayals, but digging deeper reveals a more complicated truth. Women are commonly disrespected, represented as whores or utility, are unable to hold political power, and are forced into marriage to forge political or military alliances despite their personal wishes. George R.R. Martin defends the authenticity of this world, but has also shown evidence that woman arguably hold the most power, from “the the beautiful and manipulative Cersei Lannister (played by Lena Headey), who would defend her children and family to the death” to “Ayra Stark (Maisie Williams), a nine-year-old tomboy who wants her own sword and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), who wants to cross the narrow sea to win back her father’s throne.” While author George RR Martin jokes that he tries to figure out a way to put boobs into every scene he really calls himself a feminist at heart.

Arya (Maisie Williams) becomes the most independent, confident and determined of the Stark children. Cersei (Lena Headey) is considered one of the most powerful and feared people in the world. Daenerys’ (Emilia Clarke) power and authority are obvious, as she has commanded armies and conquered towns. Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) is portrayed as one of the strongest, toughest fighters in the land - so much that she defeated The Hound (Rory McCann). Margaery (Natalie Dormer) has proven to be cunning, intelligent and resourceful in furthering her own status.

Even the worst of Westeros’ women also showcase admirable female qualities, such as Cersei’s willingness to do anything to protect her children, and Catelyn’s (Michelle Fairley) dedication to her family.