Off-topic – Women in Westeros

Don´t worry, I´m not abandoning Tolkien – in fact, I have a new post (about women´s limited involvement with subcreation in Tolkien´s works) on the way. However, the new series of “Game of Thrones” has featured some really fantastic scenes involving women (Dany´s Dracarys moment was a meme-spawning instant classic, but I´m loving Diana Rigg´s Queen of Thorns as well), and has sparked some interesting discussion about women in the world of Martin (and HBO).

For book readers, there´s the Boiled Leather Audio Hour podcast, hosted by Sean T. Collins and Stefan Sasse. They have so far done four episodes focussing on different pairs (or, in the last episode, a trio) of female characters. The discussions are invariably insightful and make me think about the characters in new ways (I particularly enjoyed their observations on Daenerys), but are definitely for book readers only, with spoilers right up to the very end of “A Dance with Dragons”!

Episode 1 was on Sansa and Cersei.

Episode 2 moved on to warrior women: Asha and Brienne

Episode 3 was on a pair that involved a bit more lateral thinking, but makes sense when you think about their identity as mother-figures: Catelyn and Daenerys.

Episode 4, which came out very recently, was on the trio of Margaery, Melisandre and Lysa,.

I don´t know what their schedule is or if they plan to do any more, but I would hope so – after all, we have yet to hear them talk about Arya, Ygritte, Arianne or the Queen of Thorns (just off the top of my head!)

BLAH´s discussions are definitely the most in-depth and thought-provoking I´ve come across so far. However, I´ve also enjoyed Wine, Women and Westeros´s recent discussion of interactions between female characters (unfortunately limited to the show, but still a topic I haven´t really seen discussed in depth before, and something I now plan to look at with regard to Tolkien). And finally, also in show-verse, Alyssa Rosenberg is doing a weekly power ranking for the ladies of Westeros (and Essos – sorry Dany. Please don´t Dracarys me). Poor Gilly.


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