Showing posts with label Women. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Women. Show all posts

Happy Name Day Lena Headey!

Author: Anonymous / Labels: , ,

Happy name day to the only woman who could so convincingly portray the steely cold, equally calculating Cersei Lannister.

I can't stand the character, because she is evil personified (same with Joffrey). But I do appreciate the time when she said how awful it was to have such high intellect but have to suffer all because you are a woman.

I like to think that Cersei Lannister, in some very backward weird way, is a feminist. I appreciate her frustration in the sense where she feels trapped by her gender. All major decision are made by either her son, her father or the small council. It's just a formal courtesy that they let her sit on the privy council.

It must have totally sucked to be a woman back in Westeros. The positions of womanhood vary quite sharply: you are either a lady, a prostitute, an indentured servant, a nun, an outcast, a pawn, a sister, a mother or a daughter. You can't outright be a powerful woman, otherwise you are regarded as a threat. Cersei has, quite possibly, the most powerful title that a woman can obtain in the Seven Kingdoms. Yet, for all the wealth and privilege, she is downright miserable.

I'm glad I live in today's society.

"X" is for Xaro Xhoan Doxos

Author: Anonymous / Labels: , , , , ,

I didn't really like this character in the books, to be in honest. I found him creepy. I liked him better in the HBO series. But there was something almost 'too good to be true' about him - yes, he was poor and he was starving, so he had to scratch, claw and fight for everything that he had. He was fabulously wealthy did he amass all that wealth?

He certainly didn't hide his desire for Daenerys Targaryen, when she came to his city for help and refuge. I can't say I blame him. She is, after all, beautiful, with that silvery hair and lavender coloured eyes. I'm glad that Ser Jorah Mormont kept cautioning her to not do anything rash. After everything they had been through, it would've been very easy to accept Xaro Xhoan Doxos' marriage proposal and stay in Qarth and rule as his Queen.

But then....we wouldn't have as an exciting storyline for the last surviving Targaryen! That would be no fun and boring! Besides, after a while, I kept thinking that this guy was putting the moves on Dany way too often for my liking. Hm. Was he attracted to her because she was gorgeous? Was it because she was the mother of dragons? Or that she was the last Targaryen alive? Or perhaps it was a combination of all those factors?

Whatever it was, he showed his true colours, once her dragons had been abducted and the coup of the Thirteen had taken place. It seems that Ser Jorah Mormont was right all along. Of course, we know that the second book differed from the second season (there were some changes to the storyline) but all in all, I'm glad that Dany and company kicked Xaro Xhoan Doxos to the curb! Dude, you messed with the wrong woman! So long!

Can't wait to see how powerful Daenerys Targaryen becomes in A Storm of Swords!

"Q" is for Queen!

Author: Anonymous / Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Just because you are a Queen doesn't necessarily give you absolute power.

Just look at Cersei Lannister. She yearns to sit on the Iron Throne and rule over Westeros with a vicious grip. Not bloody likely. Not while she is Queen Regent. Which, for all of her scheming and calculations, it more or less backfired in her face. Placing Joffrey on the thrones was like unleashing a swarm of angry bees after someone has knocked over their hive. Not pleasant for anyone involved.

Not that she fared any better as Robert Baratheon's Queen. She did her duty: she married him, united two powerful Houses in the Seven Kingdoms and produced three children (whom we all know are not legitimate children borne of that union, but products of incest).

Sansa Stark was betrothed to Prince Joffrey Baratheon in Season I. She would've been his Queen, once the late King passed on and perhaps things may have had a nicer turn out, had Eddard Stark not been accused of treason and Joffrey didn't turn out to be the vile sociopath that he really was. In Season II, Sansa should thank her lucky stars that she did not wed Joffrey. Her physical and mental abuse at his hands (or his henchmen's hands) was a real nice preview of what a 'blissful' married life they would've had together. (note my sarcasm)

Next candidate for Queen: there are two potential women who vie for the title and all it's privileges: Lady Talisa Migear and Lady Margaery Tyrell. (in the book we know that Robb Stark ends up marrying a character named Jeyne Westerling, from an impoverished House)

Lady Talisa is a field nurse, tending to wounds, cuts, amputations and dead bodies, no matter what House they serve. Lady Margaery has been trained by birth in the finer arts of women's studies, castellan management and court politics and etiquette by her grandmother, Lady Olenna Redwyne. Who is more worthy of the title? Who will be able to play the game better, outwit and outlast people longer and live to see another year in the Seven Kingdoms?

The tides have now turned and people's fortunes rise and fall just like the sun and the moon in the Seven Kingdoms. By the end of Season II, we see that Lady Margaery Tyrell has now been betrothed to King Joffrey Baratheon. Where Sansa cowered and put on a mask to conceal her true feelings, Margaery looks like she's able to use her looks and her sexuality to manipulate Joffrey. She doesn't look like she's afraid of Cersei, either. And you wonder why I like Margaery Tyrell.

Season III is going to place the women of Westeros on a whole different playing field!

"M" is for Margaery Tyrell

Author: Anonymous / Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Here is one of my favourite female characters: Margaery Tyrell. The lovely Natalie Dormer portrays her in HBO's Game of Thrones.

Margaery is the only daughter from House Tyrell. She has three older brothers - Willas, Lord Garlan and Ser Loras. As a female, she is destined to marry into a great house and unite two families, securing wealth, political ties and forging new alliances.

In A Clash of Kings, we see that Margaery Tyrell has married Renly Baratheon and by rights, has become his Queen. We all know that Loras and Renly are having a secret relationship. This does not bother Margaery, as she has married her King, knowing what she was getting into and what was expected of her in this political arrangement.

For a female in Westeros, she is very well educated and pretty shrewd. I like to think that she gets that blunt and shrewd streak from her grandmother, Lady Olenna Redwyne. Margaery possesses looks and wit and understands the necessity of deception, especially to those in the court. What would've been a strategic marriage soon comes undone, as Renly is murdered by his brother and the red priestess from Asshai.

Margaery understands that being in the right position at the right time means that unrivalled power could be in her grasp. We see her pleading her case to King Joffrey, that she has become enamored of him and all his feats. Just watching Natalie Dormer state her intentions to Joffrey with that seductive twinkle in her eye and her regal wardrobe, well Joffrey pretty much likes what he sees and discards Sansa Stark in favour of Lady Margaery Tyrell.

Season III looks pretty exciting and I cannot wait to see how Margaery's character begins to show some real teeth and some edge. Margaery is savvy enough to know that she wants to be aligned with the most powerful man in Westeros, because it means prestige for her family and a secure position for her in court and for any future heirs. I don't think she will buckle under Joffrey the way Sansa did.

Perhaps she will use her sultry wiles on Joffrey to get what she wants. I say whatever she needs to do to get ahead, do it. The men of Westeros never flinch at having to wage weapons, threats and seize opportunities, when presented.

So if a woman chooses to make love instead of war to obtain power, it doesn't make her weaker. Pen is mightier than the sword. No man alive can withstand the alluring, tantalizing siren call from a woman. Especially Natalie Dormer's Margaery Tyrell. Watch her in the Tudors. Then you'll know exactly what I mean.

Cersei Lannister: Schemer

Author: Anonymous / Labels: , , ,

Cersei Lannister. Queen. Shrewd. Calculating. Angry. Power hungry. These are just some of the terms that come to mind when describing the Queen Regent.

Lena Headey has captured the icy demeanor of Cersei right down to the last detail. I cannot picture another actress even trying to do the part. From the very first time you see Cersei grace the screen, you get the idea that something’s amiss. Cersei’s eyes pierce right through everyone. She comes off as being aloof, almost crisp towards those she does not know, or more to the point, trust. We find out that she was born into the wealthiest family in Westeros – the Lannister dynasty. She has a twin brother, Jaime, who is part of the Kingsguard. Her younger brother is Tyrion “the Imp” Lannister, who in her eyes is worthless and an embarrassment to the family. He did, after all, cause their beloved mother, Joanna, to die in childbirth. After that horrific event, Cersei never forgave her younger brother and had little use for him growing up.
Being born into the wealthiest family in Westeros has its’ privileges. Cersei would never lack for food, shelter, and clothing. She was given the finest education for a young girl at the time. This is where we see Cersei begin to chafe at her role in life. She was born a female, and with that comes specific obligations: she must be tutored in finer arts of reading, writing, painting, dancing, court etiquette and household management. Not exactly exciting stuff, especially for a young girl of her intellect. She had no use for dolls and pretty things and found them to be a complete waste of time. She wanted to be free, to do the same things that Jaime did, to learn the art of warfare, to train with weapons, to ride horses. Unfortunately, being born female meant she had no choice but to acquiesce to her powerful father’s demands and her family’s expectations.

Being born a female, and a wealthy one at that, meant to be ‘sold off’ in marriage to some nobleman from a wealthy house. A daughter’s duty: to marry well and beget the production of heirs. Not exactly what Cersei wanted in life. I think she is a misunderstood, bitter woman. She never got the chance to marry for love or happiness. Unfortunately, she was carrying on an incestuous relationship with her twin brother, so it’s not like she could openly defy custom and tradition. Had she done so, she would’ve probably risked having terrible consequences for her and her family. After all, through a political and strategic marriage can a daughter bring more status and wealth to her family.  Cersei resents being used as a pawn, powerless to the events being dictated in her life. I think she had a great deal of pent up anger and frustration towards Robert and in a sick, twisted way enjoyed the fact that she did not have children by her lawful husband, but by her own brother. It gives you a glimpse into the madness that will eventually catch up with Cersei further down the road.
She feels that women, in general, have no real power. But she is not just any woman. She is Cersei Lannister. As Queen Cersei, the power she had was still limited, after all, her husband, the late King Robert Baratheon, was still her Lord and ruler. Once he died, her power as Queen Regent became absolute. This is where we see the true nature of the beast. This is a ruthless woman who will not hesitate to have her enemies burnt, tortured or killed if they get in the way of her goals. Eddard Stark found that out the hard way.  In the first season, we see glimpses into how she will do anything to protect her children, because after all, they were not Robert’s, they were Jaime’s. She did a good job of protecting their parentage until someone started to have doubts and ask questions. Hence, John Arryn’s death.

Cersei is a feminist, but I wouldn’t say that with the best of intentions. Yes, she hates the inequality of her position and title in life. She resents having to be excluded out of most major decisions. She hates being seen as just a woman, a pretty thing, to be cast aside in favour of men with brawn and brains. Once Robert dies, Cersei attains a great deal of power. And power, as Lord Varys once said, ‘is a curious thing.’ You can really get a true sense of a person’s character – give them a little bit of power and see what they choose to do with it. In Cersei’s case, she only does terrible things with it.  As Queen Regent, she made a terrible decision – putting Joffrey on the Iron Throne as King – thinking she could control him like a little puppet on a string. Bad choice, Queen Mum. However, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and they are both very vindictive people. With Lord Tywin Lannister off fighting the Stark forces in the north and Jaime being a part of the Kingsguard, Cersei feels that she is left to her own devices. Cersei cannot tame the monster that is Joffrey, so rather than control him, she allows him free reign and goes along for the ride. What a horrendous ride it is turning out to be.
Having the backing of her family, their wealth and her title of Queen Regent means absolute power.

And absolute power means one thing to Cersei: absolute control.

The Women of Westeros

Author: Anonymous / Labels: , ,

For those that have read the books and have watched the series, perhaps you've noticed that there are several types of women portrayed: survivor, schemer, prostitute, victim, innocent child or ex-patriot.

Make no mistake: it's a man's world in Game of Thrones. Women are at the mercy of men: noble ladies are dependent on their husbands for safety, their lives endangered by war, the threat of being kidnapped or raped, and the chances of suffering death during childbirth are high. It's a grim, nasty world out there. Women have to do what needs to be done in order to get ahead. Sometimes, that means doing things that are considered "dirty" or "unsavoury."

Catelyn Stark: survivor. She's had five children with her late husband, Eddard Stark. She's the mother of a King (Robb); she's the lady of Winterfell and acts as a counsellor to her son, Robb. It's clear that she loves her children. However, because she's acted as parlay for her son - in speaking to the late King Renly - she has been absent from Winterfell and away from her two youngest sons, Bran and Rickon. She hails from Riverrun, and was part of the Tully clan, before she married Eddard. She had a loving marriage - but the only thorn in her side was Jon Snow, the child that Eddard allegedly fathered outside of their marriage. She lives by her Tully code: "Family, Duty, Honour."

Danyerys Targaryen: survivor and ex-patriot. Her debut in the world was uneventful. As a baby, she was spirited away from Dragonstone, along with her brother Visyers, in order to survive. She was pimped out by her brother and married off to Khal Drogo, a brutal and savage warlord of the Dorthraki tribe. However, her adaptation of their culture and language only endeared her to her husband and their people. Unfortunately, she had a stillborn child and was forced to smother her husband, when he was in a vegetative state. Alone, abandoned by the people, she had no choice but to wander the Red Waste until her tiny tribe came upon Qarth. She's had to be strong for her people, as a good leader must lead by example. She has three 'children' - her three dragons. Once they grow, she will be a force to reckon with.

Cersei Lannister Baratheon: schemer and prostitute. She is constantly plotting to overthrow anyone who gets in her way. Cersei does not trust anyone who isn't a Lannister. Her frustration and anger stems from the fact that she was born a twin, a female and that her role is lessened to that of a princess and she is defined by her gender. She has an unholy relationship with her twin brother and out of it she bore three children. Through incest, those children were produced. Her late husband, Robert Baratheon, did not know or suspect that his three children were not his. Cersei is ruthless and power hungry. She abuses her power. The worst thing this woman ever did was have an incestual relationship with her twin brother Jaime, put her son Joffrey on the throne and stand aside while Eddard Stark was being executed. She stops at nothing to get what she wants and that also includes sleeping with her cousin, Lancel and a few other bannermen to try and get her way. One person who sees through her is Tyrion, her younger brother. Tyrion doesn't accept her lies and calls her on it. She hates Tyrion, because he knows all of her depraved, disgusting secrets.

Myrcella Baratheon: innocent child. Myrcella has a sweet dispostion. It's almost hard to believe that her mother is that monster, Cersei Lannister. She is quiet, dutiful and lives at King's Landing with her mother, uncle and brothers. She is shipped off to Dorne, to solidify a marriage betrothal arranged by her uncle, Tyrion Lannister. Tyrion arranged the match because he was savvy enough to know that they would gain the support of the Martells of Dorne, a rich family, while at the same time, making sure his only niece was safe and out of the rotten environment that King's Landing has become.

Sansa Stark: victim and survivor. Unfortunately, Sansa is a young teenage girl with dreams of courtly love and life. She was raised to be very ignorant: she is trained in the finer arts of needlework and history lessons, court life and chatelaine training to be a dutiful daughter and wife. She used to have fanciful notions of court life - she would be married to Joffrey and have little princes and princesses. Once her father was murdered, se began to see what her life was like in King's Landing for what it really was: she was a hostage.  Before her father died, she caught glimpses of Joffrey's immature and spoiled nature. After Joffrey is placed on the throne, she is under constant threat and attack and has no choice but to acquiese to Joffrey's insufferable tantrums. She becomes numb with duty: she's almost robotic in her nature, declaring she still loves Joffrey and is loyal to him. Look deeper: she's surrounded by enemies (except Tyrion) and she has to do what needs to be done in order to live another day.

Arya Stark: survivor and schemer. Arya is feisty, spunky and fiery. She challenges the norms of her day and dislikes her finer lessons. She embraces her fencing and sword lessons with Syrio Forel. She is quick to size up a situation, especially around her father or brothers. She has a keen sense of intellect, for a girl so young. She is a teenager but what she lacks in size, she makes up for in attitude. Arya held her late father, Eddard Stark, in high esteem and yet, she understood that it was his honour that ended up getting him killed. She buries her fear and replaces it with a searing hot need for revenge. When her father was killed, she was smuggled out of King's Landing for safety from Yoren. On her way to the Wall, she disguised herself as a boy, knowing that it was safer to do so and that nobody would recognize her. With her fiery attitude and sword, Needle, she was quick to befriend Gendry (who just happens to be the late King Robert's illegitimate son and true heir). She begins to formulate a list of who she wants revenge on. She faced her death on many occasions and was able to prevent it. She ends up in Harrenhal, of all places, as Tywin Lannister's cupbearer. She has to be careful the way she comports herself around everyone. As sly as she is, Tywin sees through her act but she is smart enough never to reveal the simple fact that she is a Stark. They come to enjoy each other's company. Tywin likes this little girl with the steely grit in her eyes and she, in turn, likes the fact that he has many conversations - with her and his men - to which she can tuck that information and save it for a rainy day. Valar Morghulis!

Shae: prostitute and survivor. We don't know much about her history, but we know she is foreign. She becomes Tyrion's secret paramour and goes along with him to King's Landing, once Tyrion is proclaimed Hand of the King. She used to be a prostitute but becomes Sansa Stark's handmaiden. She does not trust anyone and advises Sansa to do the same thing, as it is better not to trust anyone, that way you're not disappointed or betrayed.

Roz: prostitute and survivor. The first time we meet Roz, she is with Tyrion. She is a simple country wench, a prostitute with a keen sense for sizing people up. Once she moves to King's Landing, she becomes elevated: she moves up to being the madam, helping out Littlefinger in one of his many brothels. Unfortunately for Roz, she may have 'moved up in the world' in one way, but has been witness to many brutal acts...issued by King Joffrey.

Brienne of Tarth: a new character in a Clash of Kings, Brienne is a knight and loyal subject. She is a survivor and in a sense, an ex-patriot. She witnessed the death of the late King Renly and was accused of his murder, even though she was in love with him and his most loyal subject. Due to her size and stature, she fights with great skill and strength. She is not comfortable being viewed as a genteel lady, but likes the idea of fighting for honour. She becomes Catelyn Stark's personal knight.

Margaery Tyrell: a high born lady that we are introduced to in a Clash of Kings, Margaery is married to King Renly for political reasons. She is a survivor and a schemer. Margaery is highly skilled and tutored for court life. She is beautiful but beyond her looks, she has a shrewd intelligence that will be sharply honed. She is highly influenced by her grandmother. She will become more of a power player in this season and in A Storm of Swords.

Osha: survivor. Osha was taken captive and placed under guard at Winterfell. She ends up helping Bran and Hodor and befriends the both of them. She tricks Theon Greyjoy and seduces him, leaving him in the night, in order to flee under the cover of darkness. She helps Bran and Rickon escape with Hodor and the boys' direwolves.

Ygritte: a wildling and free woman, she is truly a survivor, for she's lived beyond the wall. Fiery in temprament, she's skilled in fighting. She also happens to catch the eye of Jon Snow. She certainly appreciates what she sees in him. And of course, we know he has taken a vow of chastity in order to become a Man of the Night's Watch. The sparks between the two of them are evident. A tale as old as time, it's like watching Adam and Eve. In a word: temptation!