Game of Thrones, one of the hottest series on television, leaves hundreds of critics divided on how “feminist” the show really is. Certainly the female characters, strong and weak, embody a variety of archetypes—widow queens, warrior women, damsels in distress, career women, priestesses, crones, mothers and maidens. However, the problem is that most of them play a single role without nuance—even the “strong women” have little to do besides strut about as one-note characters. This book analyzes the women and their portrayals one by one, along with their historical inspirations. Accompanying issues in television studies also appear, from the male gaze to depiction of race. How these characters are treated in the series and how they treat themselves becomes central, as many strip for the pleasure of men or are sacrificed as pawns. Some nude scenes or moments of male violence are fetishized and filmed to tantalize, while others show the women’s trauma and attempt to identify with the scene’s female perspective. The key is whether the characters break out of their traditional roles and become multidimensional.
This book explores the connections between history and fantasy in George RR Martin's immensely popular book series 'A Song of Ice and Fire' and the international TV sensation HBO TV's Game of Thrones. Acknowledging the final season's foregrounding of the cultural centrality of history, truth and memory in the confrontation between Bran and the Night King, the volume takes full account of the TV show's conclusion in its multiple readings across from medieval history, its institutions and practices, as depicted in the books to the show's own particular medievalism. The topics under discussion include the treatment of the historical phenomena of chivalry, tournaments, dreams, models of education, and the supernatural, and the different ways in which these are mediated in Martin's books and the TV show. The collection also includes a new study of one of Martin's key sources, Maurice Druon's Les Rois Maudits, in-depth explorations of major characters in their medieval contexts, and provocative reflections on the show's controversial handling of gender and power politics. Written by an international team of medieval scholars, historians, literary and cultural experts, bringing their own unique perspectives to the multiple societies, belief-systems and customs of the 'Game of Thrones' universe, Memory and Medievalism in George RR Martin and Game of Thrones offers original and sparky insights into the world-building of books and show.
Is the world of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO’s Game of Thrones really medieval? How accurately does it reflect the real Middle Ages? Historians have been addressing these questions since the book and television series exploded into a cultural phenomenon. For scholars of medieval and early modern women, they offer a unique vantage point from which to study the intersections of elite women and popular understandings of the premodern world. This volume is a wide-ranging study of those intersections. Focusing on female agency and the role of advice, it finds a wealth of continuities and contrasts between the many powerful female characters of Martin’s fantasy world and the strategies that historical women used to exert influence. Reading characters such as Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei Lannister, and Brienne of Tarth with a creative, deeply scholarly eye, Queenship and the Women of Westeros makes cutting-edge developments in queenship studies accessible to everyday readers and fans.
Game of Thrones has changed the landscape of television during an era hailed as the Golden Age of TV. An adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy A Song of Fire and Ice, the HBO series has taken on a life of its own with original plotlines that advance past those of Martin’s books. The death of protagonist Ned Stark at the end of Season One launched a killing spree in television—major characters now die on popular shows weekly. While many shows kill off characters for pure shock value, death on Game of Thrones produces seismic shifts in power dynamics—and resurrected bodies that continue to fight. This collection of new essays explores how power, death, gender, and performance intertwine in the series.
One of the biggest attractions of George R.R. Martin's high fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, and by extension its HBO television adaptation, Game of Thrones, is its claim to historical realism. The author, thedirectors and producers of the adaptation, and indeed the fans of the books and show, all lay claim to Westeros, its setting, as representative of an authentic medieval world. But how true are these claims? Is it possible to faithfully represent a time so far removed from our own in time and culture? And what does an authentic medieval fantasy world look like? This book explores Martin's and HBO's approaches to and beliefs about the Middle Ages and how those beliefs fall into traditional medievalist and fantastic literary patterns. Examining both books and programme from a range of critical approaches - medievalism theory, gender theory, queer theory, postcolonial theory, andrace theory - Dr Carroll analyzes how the drive for historical realism affects the books' and show's treatment of men, women, people of colour, sexuality, and imperialism, as well as how the author and showrunners discuss these effects outside the texts themselves. SHILOH CARROLL teaches in the writing center at Tennessee State University.
George R.R. Martin's acclaimed seven-book fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire is unique for its strong and multi-faceted female protagonists, from teen queen Daenerys, scheming Queen Cersei, child avenger Arya, knight Brienne, Red Witch Melisandre, and many more. The Game of Thrones universe challenges, exploits, yet also changes how we think of women and gender, not only in fantasy, but in Western culture in general. Divided into three sections addressing questions of adaptation from novel to television, female characters, and politics and female audience engagement within the GoT universe, the interdisciplinary and international lineup of contributors analyze gender in relation to female characters and topics such as genre, sex, violence, adaptation, as well as fan reviews. The genre of fantasy was once considered a primarily male territory with male heroes. Women of Ice and Fire shows how the GoT universe challenges, exploits, and reimagines gender and why it holds strong appeal to female readers, audiences, and online participants.
Die 15 Beiträge des Bandes fokussieren Heroinnen / Heldinnen, deren exemplarisches Handeln und / oder künstlerische Repräsentation die Möglichkeit aufzeigen, die ubiquitäre moderne Skepsis gegenüber Heroen- und Heldentum - die in vormodernen Epochen komplexer war - zu überwinden. Sie verdeutlichen, dass die virtus heroica keineswegs nur männlich konzeptualisiert wird. Die Beiträge loten jeweils en détail aus, wie wirkmächtig männliche Norm- und Referenzmuster in der historischen, literarischen, künstlerischen und kulturellen Repräsentation von Heroinnen / Heldinnen sind. Zugleich zeigen die einzelnen Modellstudien aus je unterschiedlichen (Fach-)Perspektiven und auf der Analysebasis unterschiedlichster medialer Repräsentationen die Wirkmächtigkeit der Classical Tradition, die für die interdisziplinäre Konzeptualisierung von weiblichem Heroen- / Heldentum vergangener, »heroischer« Epochen, eine geradezu paradigmatische Rolle spielt.The 15 contributions of this volume focus on heroines, whose exemplary actions and / or artistic representations emphasise the possibility to overcome the ubiquitous modern scepticism towards heroism and heroes / heroines - which was definitely more complex in pre-modern »heroic« times - and highlight that conceptualisations of the virtus heroica are by no means only male(-coded). The contributions analyse the influence, prevalence and potency of male norms and references on the historical, literary, artistic and cultural representation of the discourse-inaugurating heroine en détail. At the same time, the respective contributions also serve as exemplary analyses of different forms of media representations from a variety of perspectives and research fields and traditions which illustrate the efficacy of the Classical Tradition, a tradition which plays an almost paradigmatic role in the interdisciplinary conceptualisation of female heroism / heroines of former, »heroic« epochs.
The New Female Antihero examines the hard-edged spies, ruthless queens, and entitled slackers of twenty-first-century television. The last ten years have seen a shift in television storytelling toward increasingly complex storylines and characters. In this study, Sarah Hagelin and Gillian Silverman zoom in on a key figure in this transformation: the archetype of the female antihero. Far from the sunny, sincere, plucky persona once demanded of female characters, the new female antihero is often selfish and deeply unlikeable. In this entertaining and insightful study, Hagelin and Silverman explore the meanings of this profound change in the role of women characters. In the dramas of the new millennium, they show, the female antihero is ambitious, conniving, even murderous; in comedies, she is self-centered, self-sabotaging, and anti-aspirational. Across genres, these female protagonists eschew the part of good girl or role model. In their rejection of social responsibility, female antiheroes thus represent a more profound threat to the status quo than do their male counterparts. From the devious schemers of Game of Thrones, The Americans, Scandal, and Homeland, to the joyful failures of Girls, Broad City, Insecure, and SMILF, female antiheroes register a deep ambivalence about the promises of liberal feminism. They push back against the myth of the modern-day super-woman—she who “has it all”—and in so doing, they give us new ways of imagining women’s lives in contemporary America.
This volume of essays provides a critical foray into the methods used to construct narratives which foreground antiheroines, a trope which has become increasingly popular within literary media, film, and television. Antiheroine characters engage constructions of motherhood, womanhood, femininity, and selfhood as mediated by the structures that socially prescribe boundaries of gender, sex, and sexuality. Within this collection, scholars of literary, cultural, media, and gender studies address the complications of representing agency, autonomy, and self-determination within narrative texts complicated by age, class, race, sexuality, and a spectrum of privilege that reflects the complexities of scripting women on and off screen, within and beyond the page. This collection offers perspectives on the alternate narratives engendered through the motivations, actions, and agendas of the antiheroine, while engaging with the discourses of how such narratives are employed both as potentially feminist interventions and critiques of access, hierarchy, and power.
It is widely acknowledged that the hit franchise Game of Thrones is based on the Wars of the Roses, a bloody fifteenth-century civil war between feuding English families. In this book, Jeffrey R. Wilson shows how that connection was mediated by Shakespeare, and how a knowledge of the Shakespearean context enriches our understanding of the literary elements of Game of Thrones. On the one hand, Shakespeare influenced Game of Thrones indirectly because his history plays significantly shaped the way the Wars of the Roses are now remembered, including the modern histories and historical fictions George R.R. Martin drew upon. On the other, Game of Thrones also responds to Shakespeare’s first tetralogy directly by adapting several of its literary strategies (such as shifting perspectives, mixed genres, and metatheater) and tropes (including the stigmatized protagonist and the prince who was promised). Presenting new interviews with the Game of Thrones cast, and comparing contextual circumstances of composition—such as collaborative authorship and political currents—this book also lodges a series of provocations about writing and acting for the stage in the Elizabethan age and for the screen in the twenty-first century. An essential read for fans of the franchise, as well as students and academics looking at Shakespeare and Renaissance literature in the context of modern media.
This book analyzes the ways in which television dramas allow audiences to vicariously experience fantasy-indulging, escapism-satisfying, and reality-reckoning stories. Contributors discuss how our innate desire to tell human stories both binds us together and motivates us to persevere as a community on a global scale.
For the first time, all five novels in the epic fantasy series that inspired HBO’s Game of Thrones are together in one eBook bundle. An immersive entertainment experience unlike any other, A Song of Ice and Fire has earned George R. R. Martin—dubbed “the American Tolkien” by Time magazine—international acclaim and millions of loyal readers. Now this bundle collects the entire monumental cycle in the most convenient format available: A GAME OF THRONES A CLASH OF KINGS A STORM OF SWORDS A FEAST FOR CROWS A DANCE WITH DRAGONS “One of the best series in the history of fantasy.”—Los Angeles Times Winter is coming. Such is the stern motto of House Stark, the northernmost of the fiefdoms that owe allegiance to King Robert Baratheon in far-off King’s Landing. There Eddard Stark of Winterfell rules in Robert’s name. There his family dwells in peace and comfort: his proud wife, Catelyn; his sons Robb, Brandon, and Rickon; his daughters Sansa and Arya; and his bastard son, Jon Snow. Far to the north, behind the towering Wall, lie savage Wildings and worse—unnatural things relegated to myth during the centuries-long summer, but proving all too real and all too deadly in the turning of the season. Yet a more immediate threat lurks to the south, where Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, has died under mysterious circumstances. Now Robert is riding north to Winterfell, bringing his queen, the lovely but cold Cersei, his son, the cruel, vainglorious Prince Joffrey, and the queen’s brothers Jaime and Tyrion of the powerful and wealthy House Lannister—the first a swordsman without equal, the second a dwarf whose stunted stature belies a brilliant mind. All are heading for Winterfell and a fateful encounter that will change the course of kingdoms. Meanwhile, across the Narrow Sea, Prince Viserys, heir of the fallen House Targaryen, which once ruled all of Westeros, schemes to reclaim the throne with an army of barbarian Dothraki—whose loyalty he will purchase in the only coin left to him: his beautiful yet innocent sister, Daenerys. “Long live George Martin . . . a literary dervish, enthralled by complicated characters and vivid language, and bursting with the wild vision of the very best tale tellers.”—The New York Times