Why is Game of Thrones so good? #1

(Contains spoilers for people who haven’t seen all 4 seasons – the rest of the unsullied are safe)

The 4th season ended a week ago, and we all are hungry for more. No more the thrill of Sunday night (or Monday morning, for those poor souls who cannot afford HBO). I consider myself lucky, because my boyfriend hadn’t watched the show. He finally gave in and watched an episode of the latest season with me, and two weeks ago I found myself starting the series from the beginning with him.

The second round made me realize that I really really like the show. I haven’t felt this excited about tv series since Lost. Re-watching also helped me be more elaborate about what is so good in the show.  It’s also very interesting, since the show is brilliant for very different reasons that the books are.

#1

There are strong female characters in the show, and I really appreciate that. In so many books and shows it seems that the women are there only to be objects of lust, to support the male characters, cause problems or just be wifes and girlfriends because that’s “realistic”. In this show, women actually do something. Curiously enough, somehow I feel that in the books the female characters aren’t depicted as strong. Just compare the show Arya to Arya in the books, and you will see so much more personality, growing, and emotional development. If I had to list my favourite characters from the GoT, the top 5 are women. And no, I am not just favoring girls since I’m a girl myself. Let’s take a closer look to some of the characters.

women-of-westeros

So, there is Cersei. Cersei Lannister has been my lest favorite character throughout the series, but I cannot say she wasn’t a great character. In my previous GoT post (Back to Westeros) I mentioned, that it would be more effective to kill Cersei instead of Joffrey, because she is the one pulling the strings behind everything. She is cruel, she is ruthless, but she is a mother. She would do anything for her children, which makes her vulnerable and little softer than  she’d like anyone to see. What I like about her is that she isn’t as smart as she thinks she is. Cersei makes pretty dumb moves, which proves that she isn’t perfect. She can be hurt too. She can fail. Gives me hope that she could die too…  Also, Cersei has been one of the main characters from the beginning, which is interesting, because in the books we don’t get to see her viewpoint before the Dance with Dragons that is the latest book.

Okay, then we have Arya. In the beginning it seems like she was a typical boy-girl, a highborn child who doesn’t want to be a lady. It is true, but fortunately that is not all she is. Arya becomes a fierce warrior. At the same time she gets little less likeable and more cruel. But seven gods! I love her, and especially her growing list of people she wants to kill. “Cersei, Joffrey, Ser Ilyn Payne…”

Margery Tyrell. I absolutely adore Margery. The hbo Margery though. In the books she hardly does anything. But in the tv show Margery we have a cunning woman who knows how to play the game, even better than the Queen Regent. She seems innocent. Cares about the poor, does charity, is beautiful, knows how to act, knows the etiquette. Knows what’s her place as a wife. She was able to convince Joffrey that she loves him! She was  able to marry Joffrey even though she used to be the wife of the Traitor King. That calls for talent. She seems so perfect and everyone falls for her. But under all that she is ambitious woman, thirsty for power and the iron throne. Renly died, she married Joffs. Joffrey dies, she starts to woo Tommen. She’ll do anything to be a queen. Go Margery!

Sansa Stark. Nobody liked Sansa in the beginning. Then everybody felt sorry for Sansa. Now it’s is time to love Sansa. She used to be lost and confused, hurt and humiliated. Poor little Sansa. As soon as she got rid of Joffrey, she started to dream of Ser Loras “the king lover”. And then she got married to Tyrion. So so unlucky. Oooh, but look at her now. She’s learned to play the game of thrones, and right now she’s playing Littlefinger like nobody else before. And once she gets one finger, she’ll take the whole hand, if you excuse my poor pun. I’m telling you. Sansa will win the whole game.

The last lady I’d like to mention is Lady Brienne of Tarth. Loyal as a dog and strong as a bear. I like her because she can be trusted, but she is not dumbly loyal to any family or lord because she has to. If she is loyal to someone it’s because she has promised that. First she protected Renly Baratheon, then Catelyn Stark. Then it was Jaime Lannister. It is nice to see a character without agenda.

P.S. I’d love if she was Sam’s sister. Somehow that’d just make sense. Sam’s dad has always been ashamed of his coward son, since he has a brave, butch  daughter. Samwell Tarth sounds just as good as Tarly, and I love it when characters are connected to each other.

P.P.S. Imagine if Brienne and Hound fell in love.

Let’s just take a quick look at some of the male characters. Jon Snow. He has that same puppy dog face every single time we see him. He couldn’t kill a girl. He falls in love with that girl. So sooo predictable. What about his dumb plan to go to negotiate with the wildlings alone? Playing a hero. Well I guess he is a hero. I don’t have anything against Jon, but I wish he had more personality.

Or Robb Stark? He was the ultimate good guy. Righteous, down to earth, humane. He had no flaws. His only mistake was that fell in love with the wrong woman. Booring.

What about Varys? Does he have anything else to do than gossip? And Stannis? Could he please tell a joke? Even once, please. I hate to say this, but Theon seems like the only interesting, complex male character besides Tyrion.

So in my opinion, good characters make a good show, and the strength in GoT is the female characters.

..to be continued…

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3 thoughts on “Why is Game of Thrones so good? #1

  1. Great article!

    I want to thank you for saying that Theon is an interesting and complex character. I don’t have to approve of his actions to find his story compelling. I hear a lot of people really aggressively angry about his storyline, hoping that he’d just die off, and I shake my head.

    It’s intriguing to see a different side of the North than we saw through the eyes of the Starks, and it really enrichens the story.

    Thanks again for this post.

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you liked it. Maybe it’s time to finally post the sequel to this post like I had planned…
      I have been reading your Game of Thrones related stuff too and enjoyed it a lot. Keep writing!

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