There’s no denying the characters in George R.R. Martin‘s A Song of Ice and Fire series are complex and layered characters. It’s probably the number one reason the books, and subsequently the television series Game of Thrones, have captivated fans from the beginning. These people are so well developed it’s easy to find someone you can relate to within the story.
It’s even more commendable that Martin is responsible for some the most varied depictions of women in fiction. Just think of all the ladies in A Song of Ice and Fire: Arya, Sansa, Catelyn, Cersie, Daenerys, Margerey, Brienne, Lysa, Melisandra, the list goes on and on. And these women couldn’t be any more different from one another. But something unfortunate has been happening in the fandom when it comes to these women characters. Femininity has become synonymous with weak. and that ain’t cool. Sure, I love Arya and Brienne, they kick ass, literally, but just because Sansa and Cersie don’t wield a sword it doesn’t mean they’re weak characters. If anything I believe it’s the total opposite because it makes their struggle all the more arduous.
The three characters who come under the most abuse for being weak and useless are Sansa, Catelyn and Cersie. Now, I can’t really say any of the ladies are favorites of mine, I’m a HUGE Dany fan and my loyalties are Targaryen all the way, but I’ve never hated any of them like some fans seem to. Okay, maybe Cersie a little but she’s meant serve as an antagonist for many characters and more often than not she’s against characters I like. But she’s not weak, that’s for damn sure.
Youtuber elsabette has made a three part video series where she discusses in depth the issues people have with Sansa, Catelyn and Cersie and then deconstructs why these women act the way they do. Here’s the description,
A three part series that looks at the (most hated) women in A Song of Ice and Fire: Catelyn, Cersei, and Sansa. Each video will discuss the featured character in depth and analyze the social location of that character and the way her status as a woman has effected her social mobility, health, and overall well-being. These videos are meant to address the issue within fandom of pitting one female character against another and deeming one better due to more masculine behavior. Trigger warning for discussion of abuse.
The videos aren’t the flashiest production-wise but her points are completely valid and worth a listen. Note, there are a plethora of spoilers for the books in here, if you’re not completely caught up you might hear something you’ll regret.
All right, these videos are clearly discussion starters, so what have you got to say? Sound off in the comments, but come on, play nice.
Source: The Mary Sue