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GoT and Feminism: What Happens Now?

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7 hours ago, Panos Targaryen said:

Wouldn't a female author be just as ignorant about the male experience? Not just rape, generally writing about the psychological complexities that a male human encounters in the journey of life. I highly doubt any of you would ever question Anne McCaffrey's (author of Dragonriders of Pern) right to write male characters despite not being a man, or J.K Rowling writing a story with a male protagonist. 

That's because women can write complex male characters without resorting to sexist stereotypes. You wouldn't even have known J.K. Rowling was a woman if she didn't appear in front of a camera considering Harry's character is so well written and relatable. Haven't read McCaffrey's, but there are so many female authors like Anne Rice, Lionel Shriver who write complex male protags without ruining their character or stories with sexist nonsense. Need I say George Eliot? The same can't be said of certain male authors, perhaps the majority of them. Can you think of a male author who writes complex female characters without resorting to stereotypes? Because I can't (at least not off the top of my head right now). 

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17 hours ago, Selere said:

Their biggest mistake was turning Dany into this female power fantasy. The pandering in the show was so big that they somehow forgot to include the arc of her getting more and more ruthless, which anyone who reads the book knows is the main part of her character. Instead they portrayed even her most awful acts as heroic, as if somehow she couldn't be wrong about anything.

Now every idiotic woman on twitter will spent one month bitching about how this was some patriarchal conspiracy to ruin a "good female character", because they're too damn stupid to look at anything critically or understand that this is an adaptation of a much more complicated book series.

Um, where was these "awful" acts Dany does in the books that are shown as "heroic" in the show? The show ads way more cruel deaths to her arc even in the early seasons, and way more after they ran out of book material. 

You are right, the women are stupid. Too idiotic to latch on to a female character created by some white man and adapted to screen by two white men. 

Edited by Ghost+Nymeria4Eva

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17 hours ago, Tianzi said:

GoT and feminism?

D&D made it so Daenerys found the time to dislike Sansa in the latest episode.

She flipped cause Jon wouldn't love her enough (?).

I mean, come on throw in that she burned the city because there was her time of the month and we have the complete picture of how D&D think the female mind works.

Far more to it than that if it was a pre-planned decision, as much of the setup in the episode seemed to suggest it was. She even says "let it be fear then".

It wasn't just a personal issue, the logical solution was for her and Jon to marry and rule together, the fact they were related isn't a problem in her family. That removes any future potential conflict and gives her a link to Westeros that as a foreign queen she wouldn't possess. She could then rule as she had tried to do in Mereen, through the love of her people.

Instead Jon rejects her and he has the stronger claim, it then becomes a question of setting an object lesson, a warning to anyone else who would think of daring to challenge her. 

Due to inheritance laws there have been fewer female rulers in history but those we have had have often been just as ruthless and blood thirsty as their male counterparts. The reality of power in the ages in which they lived meant they could be little different.

It is only anti-feminism if you think that a female ruler must be perfect, rather than potentially just as capable and just as ruthless as any man. 

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4 minutes ago, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva said:

Um, where was these "awful" acts Dany does in the books that are shown as "heroic" in the show? The show ads way more cruel deaths to her arc even in the early seasons, and way more after they ran out of book material. 

You are right, the women are stupid. Too idiotic to latch on to a female character created by some white man and adapted to screen by two white men. 

I don't think so, the show didn't have her agree to allow the torture of the wine seller's daughter, which is a pretty big deal, the show also didn't have her order the unsullied to kill all males over the age of 13 in a tokar in the show, which is tantamount to genocide.  We also never saw in the show, as in the books, that she allows limited slavery to resume and takes a cut for the crown.  So, the show has seemingly until the last episode made her less blood thirsty and ruthless than in the books.

Edited by Cas Stark

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On 5/15/2019 at 4:24 AM, Theda Baratheon said:

I find your (OP) reading of her character in this way as more misogynistic. Why is it that her father being a mad king wasn’t a negative stereotype of men? Why can a Male character do something and it’s just a part of the story and their gender doesn’t matter and then a female character does the same thing & its misogynistic? Do women not equally have their own personalities, feelings, desires, motivations and back stories just as much as men? 

Her father isn't the only male Targ king. There are dozens of significant male characters in the books and show who do good things, bad things, and everything in between. The same can't be said of women, considering there are so few of them. 

You do realize that there isn't a single male character that does what Dany does, right? The men who do bad things always have a logical sounding reason. Tywin Lannister doesn't order the deaths of Rhaegar's children because he felt like it out of nowhere. Dany's father is actually literally mad, hence he orders KL burnt. The Mountain has been a psychopath from the start. Joffery is a spoiled brat with a cruel streak, so the horrible things he does are never surprising. 

But Dany isn't stupid or medically mad when she decided to burn KL on a whim. There's no logical reason behind it. It's just the sexist tropes that play into it that ends her character arc in this manner. This isn't the first time. People have pointed out earlier other misogynistic issues in her character arc. They simply didn't know how to write a female leader with great weapons. Compare her arc to Aegon's, the original male dragonlord in Westeros. 

You probably don't feel like something a male character does is sexist because these things are usually well constructed and stays in character. And there are many other men to compare in stories too. Even when male characters mess up it doesn't resort to sexist stereotypes against men, because these very rarely exist in literature. Last Jedi totally ruins Luke's character, but does so without resorting to the type of tropes you are talking about. 

If women were to have their "own personalities, feelings, desires, motivations and back stories" they should be well written as such. Cersei in the show is a well-written evil queen, though in the books she's just stupid and narcissistic. Visenya in the books comes off as a good evil queen, though we only know of her through those historical stories. 

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

the show didn't have her agree to allow the torture of the wine seller's daughter, which is a pretty big deal,

I had to look this up because I thought you were talking about the wineseller in GoT. At this point Dany thinks the wineseller is a Son of the Harpy killing freed people and Unsullied. She says yes to the shavepate "questioning them sharply." It's probably torture but we don't hear from these people anymore. While it's a big deal, Dany doesn't agree to it as a tyrant, the same way someone like Tywin does. She is fiercely protective of her people against the slavers. It's probably not in the show because they ditched that storyline, not to soften her character as you suggest. Dany though is burning people left and right after. 

45 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

her order the unsullied to kill all males over the age of 13 in a tokar in the show, which is tantamount to genocide

She orders all adult male slave masters killed. I suggest you look up the word for genocide. Remember there are no minor teens in Westeros or Essos. 13 is considered old enough to marry and go to war. So these teens would have traded slaves, and certainly are not innocent, hence Dany's verdict. Even today for a crime like slavery a 14 or a 16 year old could be tried as an adult. 

45 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

We also never saw in the show, as in the books, that she allows limited slavery to resume and takes a cut for the crown

She certainly doesn't do this, and not for profit. Once the slavers are defeated, the economy of Mereen and those cities completely collapse. They relied entirely on slavery, like the American South before the Civil War, which is most likely GRRM's inspiration for slavery in Essos. She hears some slaves were "willingly" selling themselves to make ends meet, and in frustration declares if people want to willingly be slaves, they can be. This happened in real life too because some people have never known anything but slavery in their lifetimes. Dany's challenge is to uplift these generations out of that type of misery and completely transform the slave-based economy into one that is just. And she has no idea how to do that, and no one else does either, hence the problems in Mereen. 

45 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

So, the show has seemingly until the last episode made her less blood thirsty and ruthless than in the books.

Lol no. In the show, Dany is given way more deaths and murders. Season 1 seems to go ok, but starting season 2 Dany is bloodthristy. She locks up Xaro and Doreah in a vault and burns Pyat Pree--events that don't happen in the books. And from season 4 or so they make up more deaths, like the Tarlys notably.

They also make her more obsessed with claiming the Iron Throne as her own from S2 onwards. In the books, she is displaced and tries to get ships to go to Westeros from Qarth, but ends up setting course to Pentos to meet with Illyrio, but then detours to Slaver's Bay.

And she doesn't go crazy in the books because the Iron Throne isn't rightfully hers or something. She admits that it's rightfully (by law) Viserys's. Viserys dies without issue but Dany says she is his heir and therefore has a claim to the Iron Throne. 

Edited by Ghost+Nymeria4Eva
remembered something new

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45 minutes ago, Lord Davos Seaworth said:

Funny how at the end of the day, the best women leaders came from House Tyrell who used their sexuality and femininity with self-awareness to gain influence. Martin is based and everyone knows it.

I never saw the Tyrells as using 'sexuality' so much as they preferred soft power:  money and alliances.  It was the show that made Marg a sexpot, not the books. 

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva said:

I had to look this up because I thought you were talking about the wineseller in GoT. At this point Dany thinks the wineseller is a Son of the Harpy killing freed people and Unsullied. She says yes to the shavepate "questioning them sharply." It's probably torture but we don't hear from these people anymore. While it's a big deal, Dany doesn't agree to it as a tyrant, the same way someone like Tywin does. She is fiercely protective of her people against the slavers. It's probably not in the show because they ditched that storyline, not to soften her character as you suggest. Dany though is burning people left and right after. 

She orders all adult male slave masters killed. I suggest you look up the word for genocide. Remember there are no minor teens in Westeros or Essos. 13 is considered old enough to marry and go to war. So these teens would have traded slaves, and certainly are not innocent, hence Dany's verdict. Even today for a crime like slavery a 14 or a 16 year old could be tried as an adult. 

She certainly doesn't do this, and not for profit. Once the slavers are defeated, the economy of Mereen and those cities completely collapse. They relied entirely on slavery, like the American South before the Civil War, which is most likely GRRM's inspiration for slavery in Essos. She hears some slaves were "willingly" selling themselves to make ends meet, and in frustration declares if people want to willingly be slaves, they can be. This happened in real life too because some people have never known anything but slavery in their lifetimes. Dany's challenge is to uplift these generations out of that type of misery and completely transform the slave-based economy into one that is just. And she has no idea how to do that, and no one else does either, hence the problems in Mereen. 

Lol no. In the show, Dany is given way more deaths and murders. Season 1 seems to go ok, but starting season 2 Dany is bloodthristy. She locks up Xaro and Doreah in a vault and burns Pyat Pree--events that don't happen in the books. And from season 4 or so they make up more deaths, like the Tarlys notably.

They also make her more obsessed with claiming the Iron Throne as her own from S2 onwards. In the books, she is displaced and tries to get ships to go to Westeros from Qarth, but ends up setting course to Pentos to meet with Illyrio, but then detours to Slaver's Bay.

And she doesn't go crazy in the books because the Iron Throne isn't rightfully hers or something. She admits that it's rightfully (by law) Viserys's. Viserys dies without issue but Dany says she is his heir and therefore has a claim to the Iron Throne. 

We'll have to agree to disagree.  Dany has always had the potential to become a tyrant in the books, and based on the show, it looks like this is the direction Martin will take her story if he ever finishes another book. Her fans, book and show, have always done what you just did, which is white wash her brutality because the people she brutalizes are 'bad' and 'deserve it'.  I suspect this very idea that brutality is okay in the service of justice is what Martin's entire story for her is about, and to disabuse people of this wrongheaded notion.  In my opinion.

ETA.  Yes she actually burns the House of the Undying down and everyone in it in the books.  The Tarlys are still alive and Dany hasn't arrived in Westeros, but again, if you think she won't burn anyone for not bending the knee, my feeling is you are mistaken.

Edited by Cas Stark

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6 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

We'll have to agree to disagree.  Dany has always had the potential to become a tyrant in the books, and based on the show, it looks like this is the direction Martin will take her story if he ever finishes another book. Her fans, book and show, have always done what you just did, which is white wash her brutality because the people she brutalizes are 'bad' and 'deserve it'.  I suspect this very idea that brutality is okay in the service of justice is what Martin's entire story for her is about, and to disabuse people of this wrongheaded notion.  In my opinion.

ETA.  Yes she actually burns the House of the Undying down and everyone in it in the books.  The Tarlys are still alive and Dany hasn't arrived in Westeros, but again, if you think she won't burn anyone for not bending the knee, my feeling is you are mistaken.

Martin is not a pacifist, but he is very anti-war, anti-capital punishment.  I think his view is that when you go down the road of burning and crucifying evil people, because they deserve it, it's exhilarating, but you won't stop there.  

That's one reason why he so loves Lord of the Rings.  The World was saved by Bilbo's pity for Gollum, not by bringing sword and fire to Mordor.

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6 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

We'll have to agree to disagree.  Dany has always had the potential to become a tyrant in the books,

You can say everyone who can end up ruling, including Jon and fAegon, has the potential to become tyrants. Jon kills when the situation calls for it also, and we don't see any scenes where he cries about any of it. 

7 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

it looks like this is the direction Martin will take her story if he ever finishes another book.

GRRM hints Dany will become a conqueror (in her dream visions), and not a nice one. But whether GRRM's Dany would end up killing people for unbelievably petty and illogical reasons is debatable. So far, Dany's shown to be compassionate and righteous, and her actions are driven by those beliefs. 

9 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

Her fans, book and show, have always done what you just did, which is white wash her brutality because the people she brutalizes are 'bad' and 'deserve it'.  I suspect this very idea that brutality is okay in the service of justice is what Martin's entire story for her is about, and to disabuse people of this wrongheaded notion.  In my opinion.

You mean like GRRM's message is don't go to war even to protect your people, yourself, or a righteous cause? So Ned Stark dies because even if he had honorable intentions, he's still a killer? Same with so-called honorable men like Arthur Dayne?

I don't think Dany fans "whitewash" her murderous acts as you say because her enemies--the slavers--really do deserve it. It's just that her motives are understandable. As you say it, cruelty is cruelty, regardless of the intentions. In this sense, Dany, Ned, Jon, Barristan, and the like are no different in their acts than the likes of Joffery, the Mountain, and the Boltons? You are not a Jain are you?

17 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

ETA.  Yes she actually burns the House of the Undying down and everyone in it in the books.

No. Drogon damages that blue heart and sets it on fire when the Undying try to consume Dany. It ends up killing (?) them and the House crumbles upon itself when Dany and Drogon comes out. Pyat Pree's robes catch fire but he isn't hurt. He's even supposed to show up in TWoW I think. There aren't any people inside the House, because it's a horrible, sorcererous place with a pale, wormlike thing. 

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4 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

We'll have to agree to disagree.  Dany has always had the potential to become a tyrant in the books, and based on the show, it looks like this is the direction Martin will take her story if he ever finishes another book. Her fans, book and show, have always done what you just did, which is white wash her brutality because the people she brutalizes are 'bad' and 'deserve it'.  I suspect this very idea that brutality is okay in the service of justice is what Martin's entire story for her is about, and to disabuse people of this wrongheaded notion.  In my opinion.

ETA.  Yes she actually burns the House of the Undying down and everyone in it in the books.  The Tarlys are still alive and Dany hasn't arrived in Westeros, but again, if you think she won't burn anyone for not bending the knee, my feeling is you are mistaken.

I think most people agree that danny has the potential to be a tyrant in the books. That isn t what is irritating people… I mean, her last chapter of adwd was about her realising that she shouldn t have compromised… And most people also have to realize that being a tyrant doesn t make a person a villain… Anyone with absolute power becomes a litle bit of a tyrant… However that doesn t make her a bad ruler… As you said, a ruler that uses brutality to defend his/her people isn t necessary a bad ruler… just not that simpathetic or loved

However, in the show the potential for danny to become a monster was basically set aside in s7 with danny trying to win the throne using the most humane ways she could and leaving mereen with a peacefull agreement with the masters. And while you could say that her burning the tarlys shows she isn t the greatest ruller it doesn t show she is the maddest person in the asoiaf universe that burns all the innocents in KL after they kneel to her… Basically after s7 this super destructive danny option shouldn t be possible! Her entire story in the show is about protecting the inocents and punishing the powerful people that don t obey her...

If you tell me that the events of s7 happen diferently in the books then this ending wouldn t annoy people so much. Basically it is needed either a diferent story or a diferent ending...

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21 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

Dany has always had the potential to become a tyrant in the books, and based on the show, it looks like this is the direction Martin will take her story if he ever finishes another book. Her fans, book and show, have always done what you just did, which is white wash her brutality because the people she brutalizes are 'bad' and 'deserve it'.  I suspect this very idea that brutality is okay in the service of justice is what Martin's entire story for her is about, and to disabuse people of this wrongheaded notion.  In my opinion.

Awesome post, and I'll admit that I was a fan of her's who did exactly that.  Since The Bells, I've had to go back and reexamine her journey, and am slowly starting to understand just how I was taken in by her.  I wonder if Tyrion is doing the same thing...

I think the biggest clue was that her arc only moves forward from Mereen when she goes back to her roots with the Dothraki and reconnects with the lessons she learned from Khal Drogo.  What she did to KL was no different than what he would have done if faced with a contender to his rule.

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1 hour ago, JagLover said:

nstead Jon rejects her and he has the stronger claim, it then becomes a question of setting an object lesson, a warning to anyone else who would think of daring to challenge her. 

So, Joffrey on a dragon.

We had a 'non-perfect' female ruler in Cersei for several seasons and this was fine, as she was portrayed in this semi-consistently. Dany's turn is portrayed as a tantrum of a junior high girl over a hunky quarterback not going with her to the prom and another girl having more social influence.

Want to make her a villain? Fine, but do your homework, give her real reasons, show her decline gradually. About 5 ppl total in Westeros knew about Jon's claim, not many of them cared (no Targaryen supporters in the show), and he didn't want the throne himself. Who is she teaching a lesson? The KL's citizens who were 'supporting' Cersei, another queen with an inferior claim? Now people who were willing to support her whink she's a psycho. She shot her own feet, thrown herself form a position of one of the world saviours to a crazy mass-murderer.

 

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7 minutes ago, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva said:

I don't think Dany fans "whitewash" her murderous acts as you say because her enemies--the slavers--really do deserve it. It's just that her motives are understandable. As you say it, cruelty is cruelty, regardless of the intentions. In this sense, Dany, Ned, Jon, Barristan, and the like are no different in their acts than the likes of Joffery, the Mountain, and the Boltons? You are not a Jain are you?

I think here you tell a very big problem with danny's fanbase. If people are slavers then they deserve to suffer any punishment. One of the things that always bothered me is how unfair danny is in her rullings against the slavers...

I remember one case where 1 slaver had 3 seamstresses trained by someone special and therefore wanted some percentage of their profits now that they were free because he paid for their education. Danny decided that the slaver should buy them new equipment and maybe other things… I mean, REALLY? How can the ex-slaver survive in danny's new world? Should he just drop dead?

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2 minutes ago, divica said:

One of the things that always bothered me is how unfair danny is in her rullings against the slavers...

you must be joking. 

2 minutes ago, divica said:

Danny decided that the slaver should buy them new equipment and maybe other things… I mean, REALLY? How can the ex-slaver survive in danny's new world? Should he just drop dead?

How do slaver's exist in Dany's new world? It's easy--they cease to exist. As in not dropping dead but by stop being slavers. Go get a job instead of exploiting the labors of others in the worst possible manner and not whine about reparations given for being enslaved

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5 minutes ago, divica said:

I think here you tell a very big problem with danny's fanbase. If people are slavers then they deserve to suffer any punishment. One of the things that always bothered me is how unfair danny is in her rullings against the slavers...

I remember one case where 1 slaver had 3 seamstresses trained by someone special and therefore wanted some percentage of their profits now that they were free because he paid for their education. Danny decided that the slaver should buy them new equipment and maybe other things… I mean, REALLY? How can the ex-slaver survive in danny's new world? Should he just drop dead?

I am no Dany fan, but the slaver apologetics can fuck off.

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16 minutes ago, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva said:

snipped

I don't think Dany fans "whitewash" her murderous acts as you say because her enemies--the slavers--really do deserve it. It's just that her motives are understandable. As you say it, cruelty is cruelty, regardless of the intentions. In this sense, Dany, Ned, Jon, Barristan, and the like are no different in their acts than the likes of Joffery, the Mountain, and the Boltons? You are not a Jain are you?

Neither Ned nor Robb ever killed or approved of the killing of noncombatants, because they were the 'enemy'.  Indeed, Robb Stark loses everything because instead of abandoning the enemy's daughter, Jeyne Westerling, he marries her and because his POWs are murdered. 

So, I'm sorry, there is no parallel to Dany's randomly choosing people of a certain class and crucifying them.  We don't know if Ned would allow 'sharp questioning' or not, we do know that Dany does.  We know that in fact, Ned ultimately died when he choose to protect his enemies children instead of his own power,  in the end. 

You want to class Dany with Ned, but she doesn't belong there, or with Jon.

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Tianzi said:

Want to make her a villain? Fine, but do your homework, give her real reasons, show her decline gradually.

I would have loved to see Bad Dany done the same way Blizzard did Arthas. They should have started the hero to villain arc about two seasons ago. Then it would be gradual, where good intentions drive her towards a hellish outcome. In the process she gains powers, cool armor, cool weapons. In the end, it takes actual divine intervention for the heroes to defeat her. When the credits roll, Ramin Djawadi plays a tragic tune to these lyrics:

'O dragon, our stalwart champion
We mourn your loss
Even in death, (you were the) first in battle,
(And the) last to retreat, even so in death
Alas, we have lost a part of ourselves.

Long live the Queen
May her reign last forever
May her strength
Fail her never.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EV46qFZrOzk 

 

9 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

So, I'm sorry, there is no parallel to Dany's randomly choosing people of a certain class and crucifying them.  We don't know if Ned would allow 'sharp questioning' or not, we do know that Dany does.  We know that in fact, Ned ultimately died when he choose to protect his enemies children instead of his own power,  in the end. 

You want to class Dany with Ned, but she doesn't belong there, or with Jon.

Lol that's exactly why people are mad about her arc. Even Ramsay or Joffery didn't do the type of thing that writers have Dany do in the end. And they were waaay worse people. 

Btw Ned does kill noncombatants. The books literally start with him chopping off the head of a runaway nightwatchman. Per law but still. He dies because he slights the old gods. I would have to re-read ASOS to comment on Rob and Jon. 

Edited by Ghost+Nymeria4Eva

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2 minutes ago, Ghost+Nymeria4Eva said:

you must be joking. 

How do slaver's exist in Dany's new world? It's easy--they cease to exist. As in not dropping dead but by stop being slavers. Go get a job instead of exploiting the labors of others in the worst possible manner and not whine about reparations given for being enslaved

It isn t reparation for being enslaved. The slaver spent his Money to train seamstresses in order to have a business to sell clothes.

Then the seamstresses become freewomen and take his business from him… He doesn t deserve some compensation for the Money he invested in their training? Shouldn t danny be concerned in finding a way for the slavers to find other lucrative ways of living besides slavery?

Wether you like them or not the slavers have rights… you can t just destroy their world and don t give them a way to move forward...

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