Thrillist, the pop cultural/what-to-do e-mail service for guys, is asking the tough questions: why do girls hate Game Of Thrones so much? Maybe it's the incest, which is really "ew," it says. Or perhaps it's too hard to follow, what with all the houses and the accents and whatnot. Another thought is that it reminds us of those kids (always boys, right?) who were playing icky Magic The Gathering cards in school cafeterias. According to Thrillist, we hate Game Of Thrones because it just doesn't appeal to our delicate sensibilities.
Of course, the Thrillist piece is written in jest and goes on to point out that many ladies who watch the series from the beginning love it — but, it is when it's taken in pieces that gals tend to shy away from the world of Westeros. But, dear readers, let us proffer something to you: Why do women hate Game Of Thrones? They don't. As women, some of us love the show, and some of us don't. (And some of us are afraid to have our lives sucked away by the pull of Westeros)
Aside from the horribly bland stereotypes offered by Thrillist, one of the reasons that Game Of Thrones tends to appeal so greatly to females is that, well, George R.R. Martin writes both men and women with the same regard. Sure, there is an awful lot of sexism within the realm, but in both the shows and the books, Sansa, Cersei, Catelynn, Arya, Brienne, and Daenerys aren't just "point of view" characters (meaning we experience the world through their eyes), but fully fleshed out, three-dimensional people who are just as capable of "playing the game" of power as their male counterparts. Sure, some are mothers and sisters to the kings, but their movement, schemes, and desires totally (like, totally) shape the realm.
Sure, we watch Brienne get called a freak, but we sympathize with her. We know Arya is helpless, but we see her grow into a fierce...well, no spoilers here. And, while Dany was initially valued for her ability to bear Khal Drogo a child, her cunning as a military advisor deserves a slow clap. Other non-POV characters whom we relate to include the worldly Ygritte, the sharp-tongued Lady Olenna, and — not a spoiler, but we do get more of her — Yara/Asha Greyjoy.
Women might like Game Of Thrones, and they might not — but their enjoyment of the series certainly has nothing to do with their gender. With that in mind, Game Of Thrones is a great representation of powerful women characters...something we here at Refinery29 quite enjoy.
(Also, for all of those "topless girls" comments, there are also regular doses of bare Jon Snow, Jaime Lannister, Robb Stark, and Tyrion Lannister bums, too.)
Photo: Courtesy of HBO