There are, undoubtedly, a lot of badasses of all genders in Game of Thrones. Regarding the female characters in particular, we get a lot of cool examples of women making their way and getting things done in a civilization with a pretty rigid, conservative view on gender roles. For every daughter of Walder Frey who is forced into silence and servitude, there is a Yara, or a Cersei, or an Arya, or a Gilly who has managed to work her way out of or around those oppressive systems.
It's a complex world and the characters are, thankfully, more varied than what we see in a lot of TV shows. A lot of these women are downright evil, so we wouldn't call them feminist icons — but that nuance of character does help the show get outstanding results on the Bechdel test in a lot of ways. Yet, like Girls and many premium-channel shows before it, GoT has garnered plenty of criticism for its frequently nude depictions of women (something we discussed previously here). Does the fact that very few female characters get by without showing major bewb-age make the show inherently un-feminist? One could make that argument. One could also argue that there is a lot of sex on the show, and that most of the sexuality depicted is centered around female bodies, and that this is all part of the politically and hormonally charged world in which these characters operate. Whichever side you stand on, what is the actual intention at play behind the content, here? We asked George R.R. Martin, and several of the show's leading ladies, to share their thoughts.