Game of Thrones continues feminist tone


David Chang, Staff Reporter

Heading into finals week, the change in the weather is much appreciated by all. Campus can also get excited about the only instance in which we don’t mind that winter is coming. “Game of Thrones” is back with its second episode of the final season, and this time, something else is coming with it: feminism.

HBO’s “Game of Thrones” features many female leaders: Cersei Lannister blowing up all her enemies while sipping wine, Sansa Stark overcoming the torment of three men and eventually becoming Lady of Winterfell and the most powerful of all, Daernys Targaryan murdering all the Khals to free and recruit the Dhothraki army to begin her quest for the Iron Throne. The second episode, like the first, features many character reunions in Winterfell before they are killed off by the White Walkers.

The shock factor of the episode to many was when 18-year-old assassin Arya Stark loses her virginity to Gendry Baratheon after he made her a new dragonglass weapon. Some may find the scene a bit revolting, as fans watched actress Mailese Williams grow up on the show and she is commonly perceived as a little sister figure.

In a show which markets sexualization with rape and manipulation, a consentual sex scene should be celebrated in contrast to the past sexual and politcal opression featured in previous episodes.

Williams said that she had the choice of how much of her body was shown, expressing embarrassment in a tweet on April 23, “if u feel uncomfortable just know that my mother and my step dad and my 2 sisters and my 4 brothers have all probably watched this too ahahakillmeehehe.”

After a childhood filled with a series of family murders and strict training, Stark’s ability to healthily express her sexuality celebrates the human side of her character.

Jamie Lannister knighting Brienne of Tarth was one of the most sentimental moments of the show and perhaps the highlight of the episode. Their long history hits a high note as Jamie Lannister shows his respect and asks to fight under Brienne.

However, some may disagree and argue that women are fitting into male standards. Another perspective is that women had to adapt to the patriarchy and become more violent and immoral than their true selves, as they are forced to embrace masculinity to survive in the cruel “Game of Thrones” universe.

Stark transformed from a child to the ruthless assassin who wiped out the entire family that planned the Red Wedding. Seeing the more feminine characters, such as Maergary Tyrell, who used her emotional intelligence to climb her way to the throne, and the motherly figure of Catelyn Stark, murdered was discouraging to some. The ones alive are all fighters, including Brienne and Yara Greyjoy of the Ironborn.

As the saying goes, “it be like that sometimes.” The genuine nature of the relationships in the show and tough losses that mirror reality are what keep fans rooting for the characters and tune in every season. The series is a lot more compelling if one looks beyond the sex, politics and gore.