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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

a few thoughts about Game of Thrones S05 E03 (“High Sparrow”) and open thread

gots05e03

I’m not gonna have time to blog in-depth about the new series of Game of Thrones, but I’m posting a few thoughts after each new episode. Please feel free to talk among yourselves about whatever is happening. (And of course I’ll jump into the comments as much as I’m able.)

Until I say otherwise, take it as a given that I love this show for its complex story and its fascinating characters. That’s the baseline that I’m working from.

So this episode was all about how, if you don’t allow women to have power in their own right, you force them to grab it indirectly. Cersei, Margaery, Sansa, Arya (not ready to give up her Stark identity!)… these women are not stupid or meek. They are smart and ambitious, but their only routes to power are through their sons, fathers, and/or husbands. In this world, Brienne, who is upfront about her strength and her abilities, is considered the freak! (Except, of course, she’s actually awesome.) And this might end up apply to Arya, if she goes the full-on, straight-on bloody-revenge route.

Men: When you try to make women your pawns, you only make them your manipulators. Do you really want that?

(Oh dear god, Sansa is in for a world of hurt with Ramsey as a husband.)

Meanwhile, men are wielding their power by chopping off other men’s heads, and whores are cosplaying the one woman — Daenerys — currently wielding real power. *sigh*

Ack with the full-frontal female nudity! I mean, actually zooming in on a woman’s nethers? Really, Game of Thrones?! And yet even a male character who is intended — both in the text and in the subtext — to be shamed gets to keep his groinal dignity.

“Tears for whores, lest they forget.” As if they could forget…

gots05e03a

Yay, Jonathan Pryce!

gots05e03b

Yay, an Asian face at last. (That’s Rila Fukushima as the Red Priestess.)


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  • Constable

    I think there is an “Asia” in Game of Thrones, it’s just so far removed from Westeros.

  • But people travel. We could have seen an Asian person before now.

  • Constable

    Not arguing with that. Hopefully we get to see more new places as Tyrion travels along “the road to Mereen.”

  • A.

    The creators of GoT distract from the story and ruin immersion with the nudity imbalance. It’s too noticible and irritating and its a flaw. I like US Vikings better because they don’t need nudity and set porn as a time and story filler.

  • Liz D

    A lot of people (including MaryAnn) have said that they need more male nudity to balance out the female nudity. I would prefer less nudity altogether. I don’t actually want to see naked people all the time, you know? I wonder what percentage of people who watch it actually see all the nudity as a plus.

  • Parity is really what we’re calling for. Less female nudity would be fine, too.

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