GoT: the season so far
Must say, I’ve been very impressed with this season overall. It’s had some missteps—the Loras character assassination chief among them—but there have been no full-on face plants like last year’s Dany in bizarro world thing. Also pleased to see we’ve had a decent amount of male nudity, when there was so little in s2. Parity is still far off, but it’s progress. Been waiting for quite some time to see as much of Richard Madden as we got tonight. Well done on that!
Spoilers ahead! Beware!
There are a couple of things I’m still withholding judgment on. The first is swapping in Gendry for Edric. Much as I’m enjoying the Schadenfreude as the creepy Gendrya shippers pitch fits, I’d been under the impression that GRRM was holding Gendry in reserve for something; this would scotch that. The other is what we’re seeing of Theon’s torture. It’s starting to get a little gratuitous and therefore slightly boring. I preferred the book leaving a lot of that to the imagination rather than spelling it out.
Still, there are things the show does that the books do not that make it such a great complement to the story. The scenes with Littlefinger and Varys, and Tywin’s scenes with Olenna and Joffrey have been especially juicy, and we’d never have seen them otherwise, without a PoV character involved.
And the way it’s handled some of the canon scenes has been great, too. The Jaime/Brienne stuff has been sublime, even with the random dude standing in for Vargo Hoat, and Dany laying waste to Astapor was the highlight of the season so far (High Valyrian is my mother tongue, BITCHEZ.) Also enjoying the development of Margaery, beyond the rather thin picture we get on page. And of course, every time Diana Rigg is onscreen, I get goosebumps. She’s perfect.
Looking forward to seeing more of the Reeds, since there’s been so little of them, unfortunately. Of course, they’re in the story for quite some time, so there’s much still to come.
One last spoilery note: in the book, it wasn’t clear if Robb ended up with an heir. We shall see what happens with this bit of news!
Can’t believe there are only three eps left. Seasons are too short!
Some women like…
I still end-game ship Sansa with Lancel, in the pretty-idiots-belong-together way, but I’ll take this. Damn sight better than most of the horrors she gets shipped with.
Misha lays down the motherfucking law. [x]
In which Misha explains—perfectly—why I stopped watching the show. I just can’t get into anything that doesn’t have three-dimensional women, even if it’s a slashfest. This is also why I’m not terribly into Sherlock or Merlin, though I watch them. Every woman in them is a cardboard stand in, not a real person.
He’s also right that many SPN fans would find female characters threatening to their pairings, which is ridiculous. I don’t think a show/movie/book has to be devoid of realistic women in order for slashable pairings to happen. Arrow, for instance, has plenty of slash potential, but also has some great women. And of course my favorites—Primeval, Game of Thrones, Vikings—are swimming in slashbait, yet also manage to pass the Bechdel test at least now and then. When’s the last time SPN, Sherlock or Merlin did that? Hell, DW also doesn’t do it often, which is why I don’t watch that, either. Honestly, if a dudebro bait/slash tsunami like Hawaii Five-0 can manage to include great women, there’s no excuse for a fan-savvy SFF show not to.
I just don’t get why women would be so heavily into stories that basically erase them from existence or treat them like unicorns or scenery. We’re half the damned population. Why are we only 25% of TV characters?
We are all stories in the end!: Wow. I normally do not rant/squee about TV shows on here except by...
Wow. I normally do not rant/squee about TV shows on here except by reblogging the pretty but I am a bit sad by some of the hate I see for people who are upset about what happened with Loras in this latest Game Of Thrones episode. As I am upset about it too. But NOT because I think he is a slut, or…
I’ve seen next to no actual slut-shaming going on, here. People need to stop trying to justify that scene with that complaint.
There’s nothing wrong with folks who do the casual thing, even when grieving. But that’s not who *Loras* is. It’s out of character for this one individual person. He joined the Kingsguard in part to dodge and future questions about his relationship prospects.
(Book spoiler warning!)
Loras was so deeply in love with Renly that he led a massive assault on Dragonstone to avenge his lover’s death, damn near dying himself in the process. This is not a guy who’s going to tumble into bed with some random squire on a moment’s notice.
What’s been done here is sloppy character assassination for the sake of not having to introduce new characters. That it was done to the show’s only remaining gay character, and in a way that reinforces stereotypes, is inexcusable.
Really kind of pissed off about this, not just for the character-assassination issues, but because if you have a single gay character in your story, you don’t drown him in stereotypes, yo.
There’s nothing wrong with people who are into casual sex, but a) that’s not Loras, and b) many already assume gay men aren’t capable of serious relationships, which is why they’re against them getting married. This isn’t just a story that exists in cultural vacuum. Perpetuating stereotypes has real-world negative consequences, and therefore pop culture has a responsibility not to do that.
We had a chance here for something truly unusual—portrayal of a serious m/m love story in an otherwise mainstream show—and it’s been squandered. Really disappointed.
GOT Writer Bryan Cogman Answers…
What happened to the peach?
Ahahahahaahah. I so miss having Bryan on Twitter. Bless.
This season is REALLY proving why Game of Thrones is such a feminist powerhouse. Can you name ANY other currently airing show with so many strong women of so many different types? They span decades in ages, are of many different social classes and professions, are butch, femme and everything in…
Okay, excellent. But the quibble?
Sorry, I don’t know what you mean. Should I not be disappointed that the show hasn’t (yet) had many women of color or lesbians? In context, those things aren’t a deal-breaker for me (hardly!) but yes, they’d be nice to have.
Or are you taking issue with my noting that women writers don’t always include diverse ranges of women characters?
I mean, they’d be great to have, But the thing is, and you nearly hit on it with dorne, but it’s a regional story in a setting that really isn’t cosmopolitan.
So what you have is a very honest portrayal of women from an era wherein all but the hardest core of the gays denied it of themselves and otherwise hid it.
Though there are women who may be gay, there just aren’t any showing up in the major political drama of the world. And I think we need to expect that of every group that is a small subset of humanity.Basically, on another tack: but in what way does that serve the plot?
So … you’re saying that because lesbians are a small part of the population, we shouldn’t expect them to be included in a story with five dozen main characters?
GRRM managed to include three gay men, one bi man and a handful of bi (or at least flexible) women. But no lesbians. No women who were, for instance, het married for practical purposes but otherwise same-sex only (see: Renly) or who found a way to avoid having to get married (see: Loras.) Which is a fail, IMHO. In the overall landscape of his story, it’s a relatively minor fail, but it’s still a fail.
It’s a fail he could easily resolve, though. It’d be quite simple for him to eventually reveal that one of the younger girls is gay (Arya or Meera, for instance) or to intro another character later on. And perhaps he will, which is why I’m not terribly worried about it yet.
As for serving the plot: What did it serve the plot to have Dany fooling around with one of her handmaidens? Orientation is not a plot point. It’s just a character feature like any other.
More to the point: We get MOTHERFUCKING DRAGONS AND ZOMBIES AND SHAPECHANGERS .. but lesbians/bisexual women are not possible? In the books, Dany gets her gettin’ on with girls at least twice, so it’ll be interesting if that shows up.
And there’s Cersei’s fling, too.
Really kind of annoyed at the implication that including lesbians requires a plot point, because apparently lesbians don’t exist unless they’re important to a story. Bzuh?
This season is REALLY proving why Game of Thrones is such a feminist powerhouse. Can you name ANY other currently airing show with so many strong women of so many different types? They span decades in ages, are of many different social classes and professions, are butch, femme and everything in between. There are mothers, sisters, daughters and lovers of men, but they’re rarely defined by those roles, and are different from other women who have the same labels. Cat, Cersei, Gilly, Olenna, Lysa and Dany are all mothers, and yet all wildly different from each other, for instance. And the women warriors are different from each other, too. Arya, Brienne, Ygritte, Asha (Yara), Meera … all different. You basically never see that anywhere else, since most writers assume giving a pretty girl a weapon instantly makes her a strong character.
This story—book and TV both—is not without its problems, of course, but for something written by an old white dude, the women (and girls!) in it really are phenomenal. And it’s not like a woman writer would guarantee such a diverse group of women characters, either. (In fact, they often default to women with whom the author identifies. See: Girls.*)
It could use more women of color, definitely (though: non-book readers will be pleased to know there are more coming in future seasons, as the story moves to Dorne) and a proper lesbian or two would be nice as well. But really, I continue to be impressed with the female characters in this story, and only wish that would happen in other stories, too. It’s rare enough to have strong women characters in mainstream entertainment. Having so many different kinds of strong women is more or less unheard of.
*ETA, in case that statement is unclear: My point is that merely being a woman doesn’t guarantee a sense of diversity. The problems modern feminism has with intersectionality should be proof enough of that. Sexism, racism and classism have ensured that most of the women who have a voice in pop culture are white, femme, 30-something, educated urbanites, and unfortunately, they tend to write women characters who fit that same description.
Word to the wise
Never, ever fuck with someone called the Mother of Dragons.
Been looking forward to that scene since I first read it, and it didn’t disappoint. “Hi, you miserable shitstain slaver, I DO speak your language. Now please hold still so you can become a charcoal briquette. Thanks!”
Missandei’s cheeky little “Hofuck! Blondie speaks Valyrian!” look at that was great, too.
Good TV night all around, actually. Vikings freaked me the hell out (need to rewatch, now that I’m not in a panic about the fate of the pet monk-y), and this GoT was really, really good. It’s actually been good all season so far. Also: surprise!Burn Gorman was amusing.
Also-also: Every time I see Ben Crompton (Dolorous Edd) onscreen, I want him to talk about being on probation. Daym, I miss Ideal.
Too tired to watch Borgias tonight. That’ll be tomorrow’s thang.
Also into: Game of Thrones, Sinbad, Arrow, Vikings, Continuum, Leverage, Warehouse 13, Fringe, Criminal Minds, Sherlock, LOTR, BSG, Lost, Sanctuary, Downton Abbey, The Hour, Being Human (UK), Eureka, Longmire, Merlin, Wilfred, The Borgias, True Blood, Grimm and Lost Girl. Among other nerdy entertainment delights.