By Kelsey Dickerson
It was not long ago that the topic of women in popular culture led to a far different discussion than it does today. While there are still stereotypical archetypes such as the damsel in distress, the brainy friend or the sexy vixen who is just too hot to handle, the way females are represented in pop culture mediums varies more today than ever before.
Quite fittingly, Tuesday not only celebrated International Women’s Day but also the debut for the long-awaited trailer for season six of Game of Thrones. While this may be a grand coincidence, it certainly brings a topic to light that is trending more positively with how women are represented today. Game of Thrones (GOT) embodies this trend with not just one or two strong female characters, but an entire cast of them. Whether that strength is personified by a queen regent who rules like an iron-fisted snake in the grass or a child who has lost everything except her promise of vengeance, there is no shortage of women who are anything but the princess waiting helplessly for her knight in shining armor.
As great as it is that there are so many resilient women in this series, what is far superior is the fact that they all represent a different kind of strength with an uncanny amount of dexterity and quickness that is both in-your-face and discreet . A lady in GOT is not compelling and persuasive because she is empowered by a man but because she is sound in her resolve. A lady in GOT is not a key playmaker in the grand scheme because of her pillow-talk but because she is willing to put everything she has on the line to go out and get it herself. A lady in GOT is not a side character with no additional value, but instead she is the exact representation of what women are today and what women have been fighting for throughout history. A lady in GOT is actually not a lady at all, she is a person. She is a character as important as any other. And she is just as compelling, prevalent and significant as everyone else.
A show is only as great as its character development, which there is definitely no shortage of in this series. As important as it is to have females who are natural-born leaders and can take charge, it’s just as essential to see them grow into and find out who they are truly meant to be.
For a little girl growing up, it often seems that there are only two ways she can show strength – one of them a physical display by beating the boys while the other is showing no emotion. Through pop culture, particularly shows like Game of Thrones, women now have the validation that is not only okay to be strong and stand up for what they believe, but it also prevents society from pigeon-holing an entire gender. So, thank you Game of Thrones for emboldening half of the human population and showing both male and females alike that it’s more than okay to act like a girl.
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