Game of Thrones: The House of Black and White. Where have all the strong female characters gone?

Two episodes into season 5 and we get to see a better picture of how they are deviating from the book storylines. However, I was reminded last night about how stupid most of the female characters become. Do we have hope that they will redeem themselves? I’d like to talk about each woman we saw this week, so here it goes:

Arya

No one can say Arya is weak. She’s one of the strongest characters in the whole series and now she’s going to learn how to become No One. Not too put off by her rejection from the House of Black and White she goes to make her own way in Braavos. Yeah she waits around for a bit. . .says a prayer. . . and then makes her way out into Braavos to find her next move.

Arya is super scary in her pigeon killing and fearlessness. The Old Man came and got her before she killed the boys harassing her though and took her back to the House of Black and White– showing himself as Jaqen H’ghar (which had long been speculated by fans but now at least confirmed on the show). She is starting a long and hard journey to become No One and I have a feeling it will be hard to watch. Although after watching all of Daredevil I’m open to blind people doing hardcore stuff.

I bought this robe at Coachella

Brienne 

Brienne and Pod are making their way trough the Wide Wide World and wonder of wonders they run into Sansa and Littlefinger. This is a departure from the books, but I’m interested to see where they are going with this. I’m just glad to not only see scenes with one of the few remaining strong female characters, but we also got to see her be a BMF. She might be a little naive when it comes to how the world works socially, but she totally knows how it works when it comes to killing people. She offers her help to Sansa and Sansa (like the idiot she is) turns down her help citing Brienne’s presence at Joffery’s wedding (umm I’m pretty sure everyone was there). Littlefinger makes a few jabs at Brienne’s motives and comments on her new sword, but she ignores those. She also manages not only to avoid Littlefinger’s attempt at killing her,but kills everyone in the general area while she’s at it.

We see her last following after Littlefinger and Sansa still not giving up on her quest. Although Sansa is less annoying here than in the books I still can’t stand her.

In the books Pod and Brienne are still searching for the Stark girls having found neither of them, but have found someone who was probably once The Hound and then later run into Lady Stoneheart. Sansa is being an idiot in the Eryie still pretending to be Littlefinger’s bastard. So I’m cool with these changes– although I hope they don’t write out Lady Stoneheart.

Seriously how can she resist an oath by the old Gods and the new?

Cersei

First off that is a crazy package to hold a fake snake. Of course they are sending it to a crazy woman. Cersei is super cray cray. She’s breaking under her attempts to control Tommen, Jaime, Highgarden, and it’s driving her crazy that Myrcella is out of her control. Of course her family ordered the murder of the princess of Dorne and that resulted in the rape, murder and then rape again of said princess all while The Mountain had Prince Aegon’s brain matter on his hands. So I could see why she would worry about Princess Myrcella’s safety in Dorne. She sends Jaime away to get Myrcella back which is going to leave her more vulnerable than she realizes.

In the book she’s even crazier, but she thinks she’s in control of everything. Jaime has already left to go squash the Stark rebellion and avoid his sister after what he heard Tyrion say about her. A lot happens to him out on the road during that so I’m wondering if they are going to have all that stuff happen on the way to Dorne. Also in the books they send another member of the Kingsguard to Dorne which is full of tension for other reasons so I wonder how closely they are going to stay with the storyline of what is happening in Dorne right now.

Cersei manages to offend most of the Small Council and shows her inexperience and lack of political savvy by not managing them well. Her uncle whom she tries to push to the side refuses her and leaves. In the books she asks him to be hand, but he only agrees to it if she will go to Casterly Rock and leave Tommen alone so as to not corrupt him like she did with Joffery. She takes that super well and is glad to see him go. She meanwhile continues to dig her own grave.

Lolly’s Stokeworth

Haha she’s totally not a strong female character. Here we see a flighty character that is complaining that her  sister (who is heir) likes to pick on her. Bronn very scarily tells her that her sister will get what is coming to her. In the books Lollys was raped repeatedly by people in Flea Bottom when Joffery was attacked on the way back from see Myrcella off to Dorne. She became pregnant and Bronn agreed to marry her to jump up his status. She is written off as a simple witted person (which could be anything from a serious mental issue to just kind of stupid), but the rape and pregnancy has made her even worse. Later in the books Bronn does kill off everyone so that Lollys inherits, but it looks like that now they might not even get married.

I kinda liked the union– Bronn was 100% a psycho, but still. . .

Sorry for the language, but I’m pretty sure that’s his official title

Myrcella and the Sand Snakes

I know that that’s two very different types, but they are in the same area so that works right?  The Sand Snakes are Oberyn’s bastard daughters who are warrior women and want vengeance for their father’s death. Myrcella is weak as weak can be. She’s a silly girl playing at Princess. It is well noted that she’s a sweet girl in the books which protects her from a lot of the cruelty. A bunch is about to go down in Dorne and I’ll be interested to see if what new characters get introduced into the show.

There is foreshadowing in the books that Myrcella will one day be Queen for a while.

Daenerys

 This is the person that makes me the most upset that she isn’t strong anymore. She’s caught a Son of the Harpy and what she needs to do is feed him to her dragons and instead she holds him prisoner for trial. Welp, that works out as well as you’d expect. He is murdered while in custody and she then chops off the murder’s head in front of all of her supporters.  Who suddenly don’t support her anymore (she’s the only one surprised by this). Let. Your. Dragons. Loose. Burn this city to the ground. Now. Seriously woman.

She does bond with Drogon for a moment which is nice.

I’m pretty sure he’s saying “Why haven’t you figured this out yet?”

Varys

What do you mean he’s not a female? Well he doesn’t have all the requisite man parts so I’ll count it. He once again shows that he knows what’s up as does Tyrion. We finally get to see Tyrion become a little motivated again and Varys is doing a good job encouraging him. I mostly just want to mention that the next time I go on vacation I want to travel in a carriage like that.

Yes, yes she is. Oh and Qyburn is the creepiest creeper ever.

Gilly and Shireen

Gilly is trying to learn to read and is being taught by Stannis’ daughter Shireen who has greyscale. I find it so interesting to hear Gilly talking to her about the disease. In the books the wildlings are openly disgusted by Shireen’s illness and think she should have been put to death years ago. I’ve always wondered if an interaction with White Walkers would change Shireen’s illness for better or for worse. Shireen for someone so put down is actually a lot more independent than you would think. Gilly on the other hand isn’t so much. She does seem to have a bit more character development here though and maybe she will end up better than she does in the books (not that she’s a bad character– just a forgettable one).

Lyanna Mormont

All the Mormont women are strong forceful women and I have to say I love her response to Stannis. That’s what I would like to think I would have said to him. She’s lost her mother and her sisters (they aren’t all confirmed dead, but it doesn’t look great for them) and she still sticks by the Starks. Even though there aren’t really any Starks left either– that she knows of. These are she-bears who ride into war– they won’t be pushed around by any pretender King. And I love her for it.

Bye Felicia.

We also see Stannis offer Jon Snow Winterfell and the title of Lord Stark. This has to be the hardest thing ever to turn down. This is what he would have dreamed of, but in true Jon Snow fashion he sticks by his word and stays with the Watch.

The Frozen/Game of Thrones mashup you always wanted

Sam also manages to get Jon Snow elected as the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. I’m mostly disappointed in how they did this on the show. The book had this election last for days and Sam tricked all the people running into supporting Jon so that he won. Also when he won Lord Mormont’s bird flew out and chose him as well. So much more flair.

So this week we learned that most of the women in Westeros are weak, simple minded, idiots, but when they are strong they are super crazy strong. Thanks GRRM for writing such well rounded characters. . .oh wait.

(I do believe my recent marathon of rereading Brandon Sanderson’s books and seeing real women as leaders I’ve become angry at GRRM for writing such weak women).

There were an amazing lack of boobage this week and I am 100% happy with that. If you’re going to show me weak women at least leave their clothes on them.

One thought on “Game of Thrones: The House of Black and White. Where have all the strong female characters gone?

  1. I’ll defend Sansa’s position to stick with the devil she knows, instead of the devil she doesn’t know. Besides, since Sansa’s story is fresh to us, we have no idea if she’s setting Littlefinger up for a fall, off his ladder and into his pit.

    If she’s playing her own game, the last thing she’d want is Brienne taking her away.

    I’ve heard people complain that Brienne was dumb in that scene, not telling Sansa that she’d recently seen Arya, but I think Brienne played that part right. Littlefinger is the last person you want to volunteer info from. (I’m not saying you were busting on Brienne, I just felt it appropriate to praise the Maid of Tarth.)

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