There is no disputing the greatness that is Game of Thrones. It is arguably the best show on television and has become a worldwide cultural phenomenon. And—like most popular television—this show has been dissected ad nauseam. It has gotten to the point where I expect, among multiple recaps, a few articles talking about various issues within the show. As much as I appreciate thought-provoking discussion about important societal issues, people should not use this as an opportunity to write a fucking dissertation about how a FANTASY show set in a medieval setting should mirror modern-day values.
With all that said, I’m about to talk shit about people talking shit about Game of Thrones. We’ll call it “complain-ception.”
The Show is Sexist
Sexism is prevalent in the GoT universe based on the time period that the show is set in. You know, kind of how racism has been an underlying theme in “Mad Men” because the show is set in the 1960s. In no way does the show have a sexist agenda, though. Let’s face it, Arya and Khaleesi are the two strongest characters in the series. Arya’s brother and father provided her with a sword and fighting skills when she didn’t want to wear a dress. Khaleesi is a powerful liberator and the most feared character on the show—they describe her rise in the same reverence as “the winter.”
Lady Martell ended the tyranny of Joffrey, Marjorie is playing the chessboard as well as anyone, the Red Queen gave birth to a murderous ghoul, Lady Breann will beat anyone’s ass, Cersei scares the shit out of me and everyone around her, and, well yeah, Sansa sucks. Can’t win them all. If you think about it, you can view Sansa as the stereotypical princess getting tossed into the harsh world and becoming a realist.
If you look at the broad strokes of the show, it is very clear that sexism is constantly denounced and demonized on a weekly basis. In the past episode, Dany banged a good looking dude and immediately sent him far away. If that’s not progressive, I don’t know what is.
The Show is Racist
Let me provide a different perspective on this since I’m black—I don’t really care. Maybe others do and they’d have a legitimate gripe. Darker-skinned people are vastly underrepresented and mostly portrayed in a negative light. That’s very clear. Aside from Greyworm and Khaleesi’s sexy-ass translator (who are indentured servants, by the way), characters of color have been aboard the struggle bus pretty regularly. The Dothraki were violent rapists and murderers. The King of Quarth (pictured above) was a deceptive thief and swindler. Then there was that pirate dude who was partying in the hot tub with naked white girls because of course he was. I can definitely admit that I let out a muffled “Fucccccck” after some of the scenes featuring black people.
As I said before, I don’t care. Know why? It’s a FANTASY show in a medieval setting. Dragons and ice zombies are running around. Plus, like, everyone dies. If I clamor for more black people to appear on the show, I am essentially clamoring for more black people to be killed on screen. That’s not a good look. I’ll just pretend they are all on a distant undiscovered island (that’s definitely NOT Africa), not even worried about the Seven Kingdoms.
So viewers (especially you, Brown graduate who majored in creative writing and has a moderately popular Tumblr page), just enjoy the show and if something bothers you that much that you have to bitch about it, please change the channel.
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