Game of Thrones Feminist Leaderboard
11:01 am, May 20th | by Colette McIntyre
HBO’s Game of Thrones has something for everybody — zombies, dragons, manipulation, sex, wolves, Peter Dinklage, violence, politics, homoerotic subtext, songs by super hip indie bands, more sex — but what we love most are Westeros’ badass women: the dames of thrones fight, plot, snark, strive, and are as multifaceted and intriguing as their male counterparts. Each week, The Jane Dough will rank the GoT ladies according to how hard they ruled in last night’s episode. Start your Mondays feeling like the commander of dragons, rather than the bleary-eyed version of yourself you usually bring to work at the beginning of the week. When you play the game of feminism, you win or you…well, don’t win.
- Attempting to stone the Hound and then not even crying for her life after he catches her mid-attempt? Arya has cojones that are bigger than Podrick’s and should be more famous than Theon Greyjoy’s. 4 points.
- Watching Daenerys talk military shop with all the ol’ boys — strategizing, planning, being all stern and stony-faced — nearly makes up for all the threats of sexual assault that she has to endure a few scenes later. …Nearly. 2 points.
- “A man who fights for gold can’t afford to lose to a girl” Dany knows the world she’s in, knows the ignorance she is up against, and knows how to make it work in her favor. She is constantly underestimated and she uses her enemies’ foolish miscalculations to her advantage. Not getting frustrated or emotional…Arya could learn something from this warrior. 3 points.
- “A fortnight ago I had no army. A year ago I had no dragons.” Daenerys started from the bottom and now she’s here. She’s the Drake of Game of Thrones! 3 points.
- Now about those aforementioned threats of sexual assault/rape: I’m more than a little disappointed that the Titan’s Bastard didn’t walk away from Daenerys’ canopy with PTSD from a little dragon show or even a verbal whiplashing courtesy of the Khaleesi herself; I know Dany was playing the long-game but I still couldn’t stand watching her perch there in silence. No points.
- Swaying Daario to kill his captains and pledge the allegiance of the Seconds Sons to you without even trying, just by being your own cute, flaw-free self? Damn girl. 5 points.
Total: 13 points.
- Melisandre is one of the coolest cucumbers in the game. She has slaughtered her fair share of lambs and none have seen the blade. While Melisandre’s plans may run counter to my dreams of an Arya-Gendry wedding, I know a smooth operator when I see one. (And I’ve only seen one before: Sade.) 3 points.
- She previously lived on one bowl of stew a day (okay, let’s be real — “a bowl of brown”) and now she lives in a lap of luxury that she also rules. I mean, just consider how many men have been tossed into jail or killed for backtalking her. Melisandre has certainly hustled her way to the top. 3 points.
- Okay, here’s a little Q for ya, Lord of Light: Why does Melisandre have to have sex with dang near everybody she wants to work her magic against but Thoros of Myr, the Brotherhood Without Banners’ red priest, hasn’t shown his wangdoodle once and gets to bring his buddy back from the dead ALL THE TIME?! Whatchu got to say about that little slice of inequality, hmm, Lord of Light? No points, just think about it.
- You had a rough week. When JOFFREY, “the father of the realm,” that little goblin shrimpd*ck rotten-toothed monster of genetics, gave you away at your wedding…ugh; my stomach churned. How I wished that you could have tripped him or even just pinched him a bit, nothing serious, just enough to give him a bruise. I’m not going to judge you for not standing up to Joffrey’s rape threats — I just want to bring you into my bosom and tell you everything is going to be alright. A hug.
Total: Lots of Sympathy
- Oh Cersei, you have bewitched me. Using the story of the Rains of Castamere as a thinly veiled threat to the Tyrells while guiding Margaery through court, forcing her to just smile along and wave to her adoring public — it…it was triumphant. “If you ever call me sister again, I’ll have you strangled in your sleep.” OOH LAWD, GUESS WHO’S BACK?! 3 points.
- Did Cersei try to protect little Sansa when she suggested that her Joff-Joff speak to his soon-to-be-wife instead of following Sansa out the court? Did she know her hellspawn was in the mood for trouble and wanted to sick him on her enemy instead? Has she finally recognized the evil in her son and will engage and direct him accordingly, as if he were just another weapon in her arsenal? If so….BRILLIANT. A tentative 1 point.
- For putting Loras in his place and reminding him that no one cares what his father once told him (Cersei don’t need your sympathy or sad romancing): 3 points.
- Olenna’s explanation of the complex windings of the Lannister-Tyrell-Stark family tree was appropriately horrifying and hilarious. “Your brother will become your father-in-law.” Yeesh! 2 points.
- The way she smirked at Papa Lanni (I’m sweating, woo) as his son made a drunken fool of himself: PERFECTION. 5 points.
The Biggest Feminist This Week: Getting a man to kill his superiors and conscript his army to you while you’re just sitting around, taking a bath, perfecting your Dothraki — what can compete with that? Daenerys Targaryen, we are not worthy.
Our Takeaway: Don’t be too disappointed or quick to action when it looks like others aren’t going to follow your plan or take you seriously; you never know who is listening…or secretly falling in love with you.