Recently I’ve become a huge GOT fan, and it all started when I read a chapter of my book Ariella’s Escape to a writers’ group I attended back in the UK, and one of the members said it was a lot like Game of Thrones.
So of course I wanted to check out Game of Thrones. I’d always been hesitant because some people I know said they hated it, that it had too many rape scenes. But then even the most hardcore feminist person I know became a fan. At this point, even my mom and dad have seen it! I was like, “Okay, I think it’s time to see GOT already.” And now I’m an addict!
I feel silly not having watched it sooner because it’s the kind of high fantasy stuff that I love with lots of noble lords and ladies being very noble and chivalrous, but also plenty of devious traitors.
Her father is a great lord of the Northern realm, and there’s a wonderful scene where he’s having a nice talk with Arya and telling her that one day she’ll marry a lord and have a castle of her own and have lots of children.
But instead of objecting strongly, Arya replies with quiet assurance, “No, that’s not me.”
And it turns out she’s right because she ends up traveling the realm of Westeros trying to survive and having lots of adventures. Despite being a girl in a man’s world, she gains others’ respect because she’s so fierce and so dedicated to her plans for vengeance against her enemies. And she’s so cute!
Then there’s Brienne, a friendly giant of a woman, very calm and very serious. She just wants to be the perfect knight more than anything in the world. She reminds me of those knights of the Round Table from the stories of King Arthur who would always do the honorable thing even if it kills them.
Brienne also had an identity crisis, and her backstory is eventually revealed. When she was younger, and her father threw a ball for her, she was shunned by all the young men for being so huge and ungainly. It could have been the worst day of her life, but she was approached by the king’s brother, Renly, who also feelt like an outsider because of his homosexuality.
Brienne wanted to cry and run away, but Renly danced with her and told her that those “little shits” aren’t worth her time. Ever since that moment, Brienne had a special love for Renly. Obviously she knew he was gay, but I think it was sort of a pure, non-sexual love also similar to the way Arthurian knights would admire a certain lady and fight for her honor even though they had no hope of reciprocity.
I’m so glad there are all these female actresses who can get roles in an action/adventure show and not just be the sidekicks, love interests, or the cliche ‘strong female character’. These ladies and the characters they play are not so much trying to get equality with men, they seem to see sexism as a minor inconvenience and are just doing their own thing and kicking butt.
Lady Warriors in Ariella’s Escape
Unlike Arya and Brienne, the title character from Ariella’s Escape is a bit spoiled. She grew up in a land where female warriors are already accepted as the norm. In fact, women are running the place. What’s more, she’s a lady with her own castle, and she’s always been the boss ever since her parents died when she was just a child.
But she has other problems to contend with such as a prince trying to have her assassinated. I didn’t want the whole novel to be about a woman being picked on for being a woman, but rather a woman being double-crossed because of other people’s political ambitions.
Unlike the token ‘strong female characters’ of past generations, Ariella is definitely not perfect, and maybe not that strong. I mean, she once threw a bottle at her loving nursemaid!
But she’s actually a very kind and generous person as she proves throughout the book. At the ripe old age of 24, she’s still a bit immature, but I like to think that she does change and grow even in this first book, but even more so in the next books in the trilogy, so I hope readers won’t write her off as a spoiled brat and will stick with her. 🙂
Anyways, I’d love to hear from you. Do you have a favorite warrior woman? Game of Thrones, love it or hate it?