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rare female film critic | by maryann johanson

Game of Thrones S02 E07: “A Man Without Honor”

Game of Thrones Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

(previous: “The Old Gods and the New”)

Oh, make it stop: I’m feeling sorry for Lannisters! At least a little bit. I was almost won over by Jaime’s sad tale of being 16 and a lousy squire… until the distant Lannister cousin he was telling it to became part of Jaime’s schemes. But Cersei definitely had me rethinking her, with her conversation with Sansa about motherhood, love, and protecting oneself as a woman in this world. It’s hard to look at that scene and deny that Cersei does truly identify with Sansa’s plight and feel a little sorry for the girl. At the very least, we do learn here — in this scene and via Cersei’s conversation with Tyrion — that she does not idolize Joffrey, and sees him for precisely the meanspirited little psychopath that he is.

A girl’s first period! This is not a thing that is dramatized often in pop culture… certainly far far far less than boys’ awkward sexual milestones, like inconvenient boners.

Speaking of: poor Jon Snow, getting his virginity and celibacy thrown in his face by a mere girl.

One thing this show has been very good at is dealing with the sometimes unfair realities of sexual politics without seeming to condone them. Girls taunt boys sexually. Boys use girls sexually. It’s all wildly unequal in all sorts of ways, but it’s not right, but we’re all sort of stuck with it in our medieval mindsets. (Which obviously we in the audience are still living with today.)

That said, I know it’s wrong that bloodied, beat-up, chained-up, fucked-up Jaime Lannister is attractive, but he is.

Seriously, though: How fucked up is it that Jaime can say, with all sincerity, that he is a better man than Ned Stark? Jaime’s been 100 percent faithful in his incestuous relationship with his sister, but Ned was less than perfect for being less than monogamous? In the context of this culture, it’s hard to say that Jaime is wrong… except we know he’s wrong. Don’t we?

Meanwhile: Regime change in Qarth! Theon pretends to have killed the Stark boys! (He is only pretending, right? Grandpa read that bit wrong, I hope.)

(next: “The Prince of Winterfell”)

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