female power

If you haven’t heard of a show called GAME OF THRONES, there’s a good chance you might be living under a rock. The United States made fantasy series focuses on a mythological world with castles, a frozen zombie army, and dragons. While this might seem like wild concepts, the show’s main themes are still relevant today: deception, money, sex, and revenge. One of the things GAME OF THRONES got a bad rap for is its depiction of women. In earlier seasons, the women were powerless and abused.

In later seasons, the show completely flipped that around and gave female characters more ambition and power. Below, I’ll be listing the most iconic scenes (involving female characters) from one episode per season and ranking them according to how positively they portray female power. 1 being the lowest score and 10 being the highest. The more power a female character is given, the higher the ranking will go. In the end, I’ll gather all the data into a line graph because like myself and so many others out there, visuals help me understand a concept.

Setting the Tone for Female Characters in Season 1

Season one of GAME OF THRONES is the season that contains the most sex scenes. That being said, I think it’s appropriate to discuss one of the most popular and controversial sex scenes from this season. In episode 1, Daenerys (the last known woman of Targaryen decent) is forced to marry Khal Drogo (an undefeated warrior and leader). On the night of their wedding, Khal forces himself upon Daenerys and Daenerys has no choice but to suffer through it.

One could argue that if the show were real, this is how most women would have been treated during this time period. But my argument stands as this: the show isn’t based on real events, therefore, why should it uphold the sexist traditions that the real world has exampled?

female power
Image: Pinterest

RANKING: 2 out of 10

MY REASONING: This scene deserves this score because of Daenerys’ future relationship with Khal Drogo. After this episode, Daenerys takes her pleasure into her own hands and begins to develop a healthier sexual relationship with Drogo.

The Struggle is Real in Season 2

In episode 4 of season 2, Joffrey takes a sharp turn for the worst. Joffrey is the king of Westeros. He is a cruel and unforgiving king. He beats and torments Sansa (his soon to be wife) daily. This is not shocking to anyone. Joffrey has always been a bad seed. His father never paid attention to him and his mother couldn’t control him. In an effort to help take some of the heat off of Sansa, Joffrey’s uncle Tyrion sends two sex workers to Joffrey’s room. Instead of taking the easy, pleasurable route, Joffrey gruesomely tortures them and makes one kill the other.

female power
Image: Nurperdia

In this scene, we see the beginnings of the torture and then are told what’s going to happen next. This directorial move is a step in the right direction towards less violence against women on screen. But I have to be frank and say that this isn’t a major improvement from the rape scene in season 1.

RANKING: 2.5 out of 10.

MY REASONING: It shows violence against women, something we need a lot less of. The extra half point is given because it doesn’t show us the torture to death.

Female Power: Doing it Better than the Boys in Season 3

This season’s most memorable moment involving a female character has to be from episode 4. In this episode Daenerys dominates! She gives one of her dragons to Kraznys (a malicious tyrant) in exchange for his very powerful army, the Unsullied. Then she orders them to kill their former masters. She asks that they only fight for her out of free will and not as slaves. The Unsullied remain by her side not as property, but as equals. With Kraznys dead, Daenerys reclaims her dragon. What a power move!

female power
Image: GOT2015

RANKING: 10 out of 10!

MY REASONING: This scene speaks volumes in real life as well as in the series. Kraznys never missed a chance to call Daenerys a b*tch or objectify her. Her victory is even sweeter because women still deal with men’s microgressions to this day. We all wish we could release our dragon on the men that underestimate us. But for those of us without an army, it’s nice to see a scene where a woman gets everything she deserves.

On Thin Ice in Season 4

Lysa Arron runs the kingdom by herself as her family and husband are dead in episode 7. The cause of her instability is mainly rooted in her love interest, Petyr Baelish.  She is a woman (mostly) keeping it together until Baelish comes to undo it all. He convinces her that he loves her and that they must do terrible things in order to be together. Then finally when they are together, Lysa catches Baelish kissing another girl. To say Lysa is an understatement. She sacrificed almost everything for him!

female power
Image: Pinterest

RANKING: 5 out of 10.

MY REASONING: In this episode, I would have liked to see Lysa take her anger out on Baelish. Instead, Lysa threatens the girl and attempts to throw her through a hole in the floor that is hundreds of feet up in the air.  It’s all too common to see a strong woman turned into a damsel in distress at the hands of a man. It’s also too common to see a wronged lover misplace their anger. Seeing women attack other women for the faults of their partner is outdated!

Houston, We Have a Problem in Season 5

Episode 6 is one that is hard to forget. GAME OF THRONES takes a page from their own book when Sansa marries Ramsey. Ramsey is too good at torturing people. He is responsible for mentally breaking Theon (a strong fighter). It gave me the chills to watch Sansa (a girl with a past full of abusive relationships and struggles) marry a man she didn’t know would be her worst nightmare. The inevitable happens. Ramsey rapes Sansa and forces Theon to watch.

This scene is intensely graphic and not for the faint of heart (being over the age limit does not matter). So far, Sansa’s character has been stagnant. While other female characters have also been treated in less than humane conditions, they become stronger and assume control in order to help themselves.

female power
Image: The Daily Beast

RANKING: 1 out of 10.

MY REASONING: After watching this episode, I had to take a break from the show for a while. I waited a good few weeks before I watched the next episode. It’s frustrating to see a female character not change. Sansa perpetuates the victim archetype.

Sweet Sweet Revenge in Season 6

A green explosion! Fire everywhere! A massacre!

I couldn’t talk about season 6 and not mention episode 10. This episode is the ultimate portrayal of a woman in charge. Cersei, a queen, takes matters into her own hands when there are too many people who have wronged her. She gathers them into one place and burns them to the ground. Cersei is a woman who has just lost all of her power. Two of her children are dead, she can no longer control the king, and she was recently forced to walk naked through her city while citizens mocked her. Cersei doesn’t miss a chance to get revenge.

female power
Image: Imgur

RANKING: 10s across the board!

MY REASONING: Female power at its best. She gives way better than she gets and even though her motives are usually not morally sound, she is the embodiment of female power in this scene.

Power is Her Middle Name in Season 7

Season 7 was record-breaking in that I had so many scenes of female power to choose from! The scene that stood out to me the most was in episode 3. When Jaime (a knight) invades Olenna’s (an older queen) castle, she is ready and waiting for him in one of the rooms. Jaime takes pity on her and offers her a painless poison instead of killing her with a sword. Olenna takes the poison. Jaime thinks he has the power but Olenna lets him in on a secret: she is the one who killed his son. Jaime is powerless to watch her die because there is nothing he can do about it.

female power
Image: Popsugar

RANKING: 10 out of 10.

MY REASONING: The power shift in this scene is amazing. Jaime really thinks that he’s in charge, but up until her death, Olenna is still running things.

female power
Image: ComicsVerse

Hopes for Female Characters in Season 8:

What I really hope for is another season like season 7. GAME OF THRONES had tons of good examples of female power. I want to see the same power that men have in women as well. We don’t need to see any more violation/rape scenes. GAME OF THRONES has done it before so I know they can do it again! I’m rooting for it.

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