Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How feminism is "ruining" A Game of Thrones

I wouldn't go quite so far as that myself. While there are a number of suboptimal decisions that have been made, such as the invention of a romance between Grey Worm and the child-in-the-book Missandrei, A GAME OF THRONES is still one of the best book-to-film adaptations I have ever seen, second only to THE GODFATHER. No one who has read and loved THE DARK IS RISING and knows what monstrosities were inflicted upon it in the process of adaptation could possibly view HBO's A GAME OF THRONES as ruined. But there is no question that the HBO series has modified a number of the female characters in a feminist manner, and that these decisions have tended to weaken an otherwise strong cinematic story:
It’s cliché to complain about how a movie or television show is ruining the source material by departing from the books.  There’s nothing new about bitching that HBO is sabotaging A Song of Ice and Fire, the literary source for its program Game of Thrones, but what’s not being pointed out is why they are doing it.

The answer is feminism.  Television needs to constantly reinforce the egalitarian narrative.  The point of feminism is to absolve women from all responsibility for their actions.  The show does this by creating simplistic explanations for the female characters’ actions and promoting  Mary Sue style “strong women.”

Women in the books have complicated rationalizations for their actions, often deriving from deep seated insecurities and fears.  Like real life women, they rationalize things to themselves based on deluded self-images, rather than reality.  The show does its best to strip these away, the easier to blame everything on men.
Cersei, in particular, has been sold short. As the writer notes: "In the book, Cercei Lannister is plagued by a mix of insecurity and self-delusion—Tyrion notes that his sister thinks she is “Tywin Lannister with teats.”  Indeed, she looks up to her father partially because it enhances her own self-image as his equal.  She also uses her sexuality as a weapon, betraying her brother (and lover) Jamie, who remains loyal. The show’s Cercei is portrayed as reacting to her oppressed status as a woman forced to marry men she doesn’t love."

It's not that the HBO Cersei is uninteresting; Lena Headey has presented an impressive character and been more than effective with the dialogue she's been given. But it's a little ironic that modifications made in order to make her character more palatable to feminists means that the HBO Cersei is neither as strong nor as ruthless as the book Cersei.


Laguna Beach Fogey said...

After watching the first three seasons of the show (after being introduced to it by my gf), I noticed the character of Daenerys Targaryen became increasingly feminist. Her obsessive quest to free the black slaves was the last straw.

One of the most absurd scenes featured Daenerys being held aloft by an adoring crowd of darkies, a position I imagine many white liberal women in the West secretly wish to be in. This scene made me laugh out loud, and I haven't watched the show since.

Just the usual liberal tripe.

APL said...

LBF: "One of the most absurd scenes featured Daenerys being held aloft by an adoring crowd of darkies, "

Yes, that was f***** up!

LBF: "I imagine many white liberal women in the West secretly wish to be in."

That's the reason for the holidays in Turkey or Morocco.

En-sigma said...

After watching the first three seasons...current favorite youtube


Bob said...

And over in England, we have more women-only government positions being lined up. Because previously "Of the 22 full members of Cabinet until Monday, only three were female and none mothers." Omg!!!11!1 we need more womenz and motherz in government for representation, because that totally matters!


They're describing it as a cull on the "pale, male and stale". Of course this is nothing to do with an election coming up...

Jack Amok said...

Last weekend, I was standing around at a community event waiting for my wife to show up. I overheard two women (mother and daughter I think - mother maybe pushing 60, daughter 30-ish, I recognized her as an art teacher in town) discussing Game of Thrones. They both agreed it was impossible to watch any more because of the nihilism (not the world they used, but that was the concept). As they were talking another woman walked by, stopped and chimed in to agree with them, saying the show was "too dark." The three of them, none of whom looked like they belonged to the Sarah Palin Fan Club, all agreed they'd been suckered. The show started off making them think it would be a mature, adult fantasy epic with some bad things to make it gritty, but then it just became all about the bad things.

So, feminists living in a crapsack world doesn't seem to be appealing to women.

jimmy-jimbo said...

Now you have to worry about the Queen of Thor's.

Whiskey said...

I have not read the books. And will continue my proud tradition of not watching the hyped out, pay-for-it, junk TV.

The difference between the Love Boat, and say, Game of Thrones? Overall the Love Boat had less hype, a better theme song, crummier actors, but more continuity and a sunnier vibe. And you did not have to pay for the Love Boat.

Heck at this point, a show really has to EARN my dollars or time to watch it. Game of Thrones? I knew it was junk just reading the reviews.

Akulkis said...

My freshman year at Purdue, I was literally so busy either with classwork, or making friends that I literally didn't watch TV for a couple of months. One Saturday afternoon in early October, when the football team (lousy) was playing an away game (football tickets were included in our student fees in those days), I decided to take my homework down to the basement of my dorm, where the TV lounge was... sorted through the several (6?) channels available on the dorm's antenna system(*). After flipping through a bunch of shlock, I realized, "I haven't watched any of this crap since I arrived here in the middle of August. I don't need it."

That was 1983. Around 1990, my grandmother gave me one of her old TV's... I ended up giving it away to a friend in 1996.

I've got better things to do with my time than to have my head filled with the filth and lies that eminate out of Hollywood and New York.

(*) a few from Chicago, 1 or 2 from Indianapolis, and 2 others... one in Danville, Illinois and the other from somewhere on the eastern side of the state

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JP said...

Yeah the blonde chick crowd-surfing the mud-people actually made me laugh out loud. I haven't read any of the books, so I don't know when "artistic license" is taken with the source material, but sometimes a scene just seems too silly and out of place.

Duke of Earl said...

I always wonder why proportional representation doesn't apply to those with sub-100 IQs. Obviously if half of people in a particular country have an IQ under 100, then their elected representatives should also have an IQ under 100.

Owen said...

Hodor hodor hodor. Hodor. Hodor. Hodor.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Funny how this post attracted a lot fewer comments than other posts this week (including today).

Retrenched said...

You see this in the video games too, where the companies are caving to pressure from feminists and making all of their female characters into de facto men with tits.

Ah well, we'll always have Contra.

Ann Morgan said...

**I knew it was junk just reading the reviews.**
I don't trust reviews. The absolutely stupidest movie I ever saw, 'The Naked Lunch' got good reviews.

High Arka said...

If you want to fantasize about that fat hipster virgin's interest in "strong women," then you're getting what you want. Game of Thrones is an executive marketing project disguised as a book, where every faction is targeted to a certain outlook, so that every customer feels it has someone to "identify with," from oppressed minority to oppressed woman to kingly man.

Even Martin's name was changed to make him a good fantasy writer; he got two middle names, instead of one, so that dumber shoppers would subconsciously link him with "J.R.R. Tolkein" when considering their next swords & sorcery purchase.

You should've seen this coming a long time away, when the sexless turd first crapped out his first "Jane Austen with swords" book. HBO is only making more evident the same stuff that was there all along.

Martin fears and reveres women. When he's feeling particularly bold and horny, he writes stories of his "manly" characters commanding in the bedroom (but in an unrealistic way, since it's likely Martin never had sex before GoT took off). When he's feeling that deeply buried, secret shame about his mother, he fetishizes his childhood fantasies about his mother, and portrays overly dominant, manipulative women. All that same stuff was there in the text, too.

He loves fantasizing about black men taking away "his" white women, too, but that goes without saying. The whole "plot" is a shaming spiral of his own repressed bedroom fantasies. Reading GoT is, in your words, reading the sex therapy sessions of a fat gamma man who never worked up the courage to ask someone out in real life, so who went home and wrote a multi-book story about how cool it would be if women really were the way he imagined them...and how, if he'd been born a Stark, he might've known how to conquer them.

Dungeons & Dumb: Our Crushing Fantasies.

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