Showing posts with label roles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label roles. Show all posts

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!