Disclaimer (because we're not monsters): this piece is all about Game of Thrones season 6, so if you don't want #spoilers, maybe check this out instead.
Our team is small. And an even smaller subset of our team watches Game of Thrones. We're loyal like the Starks (and feisty like the Wildlings). What we lack in size we make up for in volume of expletives during our weekly Monday morning discussion group, "Thrones and Scones."
Every meeting usually starts with 7 straight minutes of this:
Our tiny band of outsiders has been especially rowdy as of late because women have been kicking ass and taking manes this season. It's undeniable. The women of Westeros are breathing so much fire they make D's dragons look like mosquitos that don't even have Zika.
It's about time. After seasons of gratuitous rape, brutality, and gender-lopsided nudity, we were promised that this year would be different. “The women are rocking this season,” according to HBO's president of programming, Michael Lombardo. “They power this season. It’s organic to the storytelling, yet a radical shift. It’s the women that are the hope.”
Sounds like someone got a "The Future is Female" tee for Father's Day.
There have always been unwaiveringly strong women on the show ('ello Brienne! What up Cersei? #guzzlingdornishwinewhilewatchingtheworldburn) but for us, the tangible shift is the ways in which women truly own (and share!) their power.
So just to add to the internet dog pile of S6 analysis, here are the 3 key scenes that really moved the needle for us this season:
1) Sansa Tells Lord Baelish Where He Can Stick His Littlefinger
Sansa arguably had the biggest growth trajectory of any woman on the show. She's also been on the receiving end of the most violence; first from Joffrey, and then from her husband/captor/rapist Ramsay. But even more satisfying than watching her feed her abuser to his own dogs, was her confrontation with Littlefinger, the man who arranged their marriage.
"What do you think he did?" she asks him. When he tries to placate her with condolences she interrupts and asks again, "What do you think he did to me?" Clearly he missed that this was not a rhetorical question. Four times she asks him to put words to the brutality she endured, and her relentlessness sends a clear message: You are responsible for being complicit. You are part of the reason this happened to me. The agency and assertion she showed in this scene was the door slamming on any shred of her former meekness.
2) Bear Island's Cub Loves the Snow
Oh Lady Mormont, how do we love thee? This 10 year-old sassafras is the pint-sized powerhouse we never knew we needed. When Jon is trying to rally his patchwork army to stick around after yoinking Winterfell back from the Boltons, she stands and delivers a stirring proclamation of unwavering support. "We know no King but the king in the North whose name is Stark. He's my King, from this day until his last day!"
Next thing you know the room of grown men are all waving their swords in the air like they just don't care and chanting, "The King of the North!" Not only is she a budding female leader, but her age doesn't diminish the impact of her command. Well played, little cub. Your future is bright.
3) Yara and Dany Are In Cahoots And We Feel Greyjoy
Ok, this was the most important scene of the entire season. First there was hella good banter, bordering on flirtation, punctuated with some Grade A face acting.
"Has the Iron Islands ever had a queen before?" Dany asks."No more than Westeros," Yara shoots back, not missing a beat (eyebrow raise of approval from D)."Is that all you want?" Dany asks, in response to their reasonable request to regain command of the Iron Islands."We'd like you to help us murder an uncle or two who don't think a woman is fit to rule," Yara adds."Reasonable." D concedes with an approving smirk.
When the Greyjoys propose an alliance with Dany, two incredibly strong women acknowledge each other's power without feeling threatened by it. They agree to a mutually beneficial arrangement and everyone wins. Women helping women, y'all! Then the Mother of Dragons makes the ultimate statement about what new female leadership looks like:
"Our fathers were evil men. They left the world worse than they found it. We're not going to do that. We're going to leave the world better than when we found it. No more reaving, roaving, raiding or raping.""That's our way of life," Yara lightly protests. The way it's always been done when men were in charge. It's all they know."No more."
Boom. Hammer dropped. Mic dropped. Eggs dropped and we all got pregnant with the fertile seed of this new women's order.
In short, this season did well by the ladies of the known world. So good job, HBO. Howeeeeeever, while women ruled GOT on screen this year, there wasn't a single female writer on staff. Let's keep moving in the right direction and fix that in season 7, yeah gents? And maybe some more people of color too? k, thx!
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