When you read or watch Game of Thrones for the first time, the one thing that stands out starkly in nearly every scene, plot, game, and relationship is the fact that this world is violently, virulently, and catastrophically misogynistic. Women are property. They’re either someone’s wife, daughter, sister, niece, granddaughter, priestess, … and whore or slave. Queens are at the whim of the Kings. It is rare that a woman is in charge or has stepped into a role starkly (no pun) reserved for men.
But over time, by the end of the sixth season and in that wonderful climax, the male leadership has severely diminished and women have taken command.
I have yet to see anyone in any “overall” review (and I admit I haven’t read nearly as much as is out there) of Game of Thrones where anyone has even noticed this change, this switch.
I find it extremely gratifying. I nearly turned the damn thing off after the first six episodes, but I kept hearing things so I gave it chance. I’m glad I did.
There are, of course, a lot of changes that have occurred during the book-to-screen transition, as is par for the course. If Stephen King’s “The Stand” or “IT” were to be filmed again, and properly, they would a) be rated severe-R, and b) take nearly as long to tell as Game of Thrones. And even that said, there’s a bit of stuff HBO’s GoT has left out.
ASIDE: There is one excessively severe screen “adaptation” that I am extremely thankful for: Tyrion Lannister. In the books, he’s a caricature, a stereotypically bad joke relegated to a circus performer when he’s captured and sold as a slave, forced to perform like those sad bastards at Joffrey’s wedding feast. By the end of the 5th book, he’s nowhere near Daenerys or even in any shape to escape. There’s no Varys, no Jorah. Thank you, producers, for making that change.
There are, IMO, five major players at the end of season 6.
While it’s arguable that Ellaria is one of them, she’s in a leadership role. Arya isn’t, except that she’s captain of her own destiny who’s become a revenge assassin–which I adore–but I think she’s a major player because she’s changing the political landscape of everyone else. I think it would be *awesome* if she does indeed murder Cersei. While Elena Tyrell is the leader of her family–by the fact that she’s now the only surviving member of the top tier Tyrells–she’s not really in a position to jockey for the Queen of Westeros. The rest of the women are–even if it’s really only a contest between Daenerys and Cersei.
I left out Brienne of Tarth because she’s still in a subordinate role, despite being a badass. Some would argue that Sansa is still in a subordinate role under her half-brother (which he isn’t) Jon because he’s now King of the North, she’s also the Lady of Winterfell and a pure blood. It isn’t likely that Jon will get the Stark name and it isn’t likely that Bran will take over because he’s now, permanently, the Three-Eyed Raven.
The series began with a five-way battle for King of Westeros. It’s ended in a two-way battle for *Queen* between Daenerys and Cersei. Two women who are miles apart in character and temperament. It’s ironic that though the Targaryens have this insanity trait in the family, it’s conceivable that Cersei, a Lannister, has gone mad. Her power-hungry personality makes her hated, and she’s the complete opposite of her Targaryen counterpart.
No matter how the remaining two seasons play out, equality is well on its way to the world of Game of Thrones. Providing the men don’t screw it up and the other women don’t find their backbones.