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I’m very new to the Game of Thrones world. Since some of my students are really into it, I decided I would start watching this season. And I got hooked. I watched enough key episodes from past seasons and read enough online summaries to get up to speed on this season. A major subplot this season has been the disintegration of the power of Danaerys Targaryen who now only has one out of her three dragons left. As she has lost power, she’s gotten more paranoid and reactive. This past episode, I turned on Dany, but then I was bothered at myself for having done so.
See, there’s a contrast that’s being set up that makes me very uncomfortable. On the one hand, we have Jon Snow, the humble reluctant ruler who deserves the iron throne because he doesn’t want it. And then there’s Dany, the mad queen who’s obsessed with the iron throne and makes increasingly paranoid and reactive decisions because of it. Plenty of critiques have been made about the Game of Thrones series being misogynistic and problematic. I’m not particularly interested in raging against the show itself. I’m more interested in thinking about the way that this trope plays out in real life.
Leaders - Country - Queens - Hillary - Clinton
Think about the female leaders in our country. How many of them are set up to be mad queens? How about Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? All of them are very different people who have little in common besides their gender and political party. But all of them have been successfully cast as power-obsessed crazy **** by our media. Men on the other hand get to be reluctant rulers who deserve the throne because they don’t want it. Because we don’t have to fight for respect and authority.
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