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precarious since 1997 | by maryann johanson

Game of Thrones S02 E08: “The Prince of Winterfell”

Game of Thrones Gemma Whelan

(previous: “A Man Without Honor”)

Whew. I really was starting to wonder if Bran and his little brother weren’t actually dead. That would be so like this show, to just kill them off unceremoniously. So glad they’re still alive, and eager to see how this hardens Bran all the more. Can we possibly hope for an eventual showdown between Bran and Joffrey? That would be so sweet.

Also too: Could Yara kick Theon’s ass? She’s already done it here, figuratively, and man, was that scene so very gratifying. I’m not sure if the guys in the audience can fully appreciate what a simple relief and joy it is to see so many women in so many positions of strength and authority here. The wonder of the byplay between Yara and Theon is her clout, not just with her brother but with the men under her command (as when they chuckle as she insults him; even if they disagree with her, or don’t like her, they know they have to suck up to her as the person in charge). Being “kickass” isn’t about violence: it’s about being respected as a human being, as a leader. And seeing women in positions of strength and authority isn’t about wanting to see women as perfect or ideal; certainly, it’s not necessarily a “good” thing that male underlings suck up to a woman commander — it’s just as precisely complex and potenially fucked up as if the commander were a dude. The real beauty of how women are treated in Game of Thrones is that not a one of them is placed on a pedestal, and not a one of them is expected to carry any sort of moral banner: they’re just nothing more and nothing less than complicated human beings.

Like Lady Stark, with her letting Jaime “escape” and all. Like Brienne, who would probably like to kick Jaime in the teeth, the miserable bastard. Like Arya, who is told she “lacks honor,” and shrugs. Like Cersei, whom I hate all over again for stealing Tyrion’s girlfriend (that she got the wrong girlfriend only makes it worse).

I love seeing these fully human women onscreen. They’re not role models… at least not any more that men onscreen have to be.

Quote to cherish: “Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where are the gods of tits and wine?” –Tyrion

(next: “Blackwater”)

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