I didn’t think I would like “Game of Thrones.” My guy friends raved about it, but I just didn’t see the appeal. I’m not particularly fond of the fantasy genre, whether it’s sorcery or swords. I mean, I loved “Harry Potter” as much as any other kid in my generation should and I’ve got mad respect for Tolkien, but I just didn’t think I’d be into medieval make-believe playtime with a grungy-looking Sean Bean.
And, really, I don’t like “Game of Thrones.”
I freaking love it.
It is so much more than medieval make-believe playtime with a grungy-looking Sean Bean. It’s a fantastical show about family and honor and love and death and Peter Dinklage winning all the Emmys forever.
And although there are a fair amount of boy things in “Game of Thrones,” it’s mostly universally awesome. The third season premieres March 31, but don’t even think about pulling the “I’ve been meaning to watch ‘Game of Thrones,’ but I just don’t have time” because you totally do – the seasons are only 10 episodes long and it’s definitely possible to marathon the series in one day (or, uh, so I’ve heard).
So, ladies, turn off those “Sex in the City” reruns and brush up on your Dothraki, because you should love “Game of Thrones,” too, and here’s why:
The ladies of Westeros get shit done.
Fantasy lit has a bad rap of being, oh, you know – sexist. Women are damsels in distress or “badass” damsels with humongous boobs and little access to clothing or just flat-out common whores. It’s a boys’ club genre for sure, which is why I was hesitant to even give “Game of Thrones” (the books and the show) a chance. Fifteen minutes into the first episode, though, and it’s obvious that George R.R. Martin’s Westeros is populated by absolute queens – and not just in the “royal lineage” connotation. A Song of Ice and Fire is filled with more girl power than a vagina monologue.
Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia perfect human Clarke) is a blonde-wigged princess who starts off as crown-bait for her creepy older brother, but she quickly blossoms into a silk-dressed badass who eats hearts (like both figuratively, because all the dudes love her, and literally, during a ritual) and breast-feeds dragons.
Cersei Lannister (Lena “Terminator”-human Headey) and Catelyn Stark (Michelle “Hermione’s mum” Fairley) are the ultimate Mama Bears, each viciously loyal to their babies and willing to get all bloody bitchfest about it at any cost.
Catelyn’s daughters, Sansa (Sophie gorgeous human Turner) and Arya (Maisie adorable human Williams) are little badasses in the making, although prissy Sansa plays lapdog to evil Joffrey for most of the first two seasons, so it takes longer to warm up to her than to her tiny, spunky, sword-wielding sis.
The grrrl power doesn’t stop with the main cast, though. Even the supporting ladies are fantastic: Brienne, Margarey, Asha, Ygritte, Shae, Tonks – uh, Osha. These ladies are fierce. Tyra-level fierce.
There are many attractive men doing attractive manly things.
Yes – strong women are a draw for the female crowd, but let’s be honest, we need some hunky man meat to keep us hooked. Luckily, the show is through HBO (Paradise of the Sexy-Good Shows i.e., “True Blood”) and, also luckily, features many necessary moments of sweating and shirtlessness.
I’ve found that my fellow fangirls often find themselves torn between Ned Stark’s bastard son, Jon Snow, (broody-hot British curly-haired mangod Kit Harington) and Ned Stark’s eldest son, Rob-with-two-Bs (broody-hot Scottish curly-haired mangod Richard Madden).
Downtown Kings Landing isn’t short on attractive dudes, though: Loras Tyrell (Finn Jones) is also a looker, but he plays for the other team. And Jaime Lannister (Nickolaj Coster-Waldeau), though sort of a completely unlikeable cad until the third book, looks like the real-life version of Prince Charming from “Shrek 2.” I mean, damn, even stone-faced no-personality Stannis (Stephen Dilane) gets some action.
It’s not just about dungeons and dragons.
When you’re finished fawning over the babes (male and female) of Westeros, it really hits you that these aren’t just good-looking people on a TV show – they’re incredibly complex characters out to steal not only your DVR space, but your heart.
The Lannisters are painted as the bad guys, but each of them eventually fold back to show vulnerable layers of good guy possibilities (except Joffrey, who’s just plain evil. End of story. The likability of Papa Tywin is also debatable.). The same development goes for the heroic Starks – Ned is noble, as is his well-coifed son Robb, but each also have flaws. Even the sneaky, slimy characters are justifiably so – Theon (Alfie “little brother of Lily Allen” Allen) suffers from major daddy issues, Littlefinger (Aiden Gillan) has serious unrequited love issues – and it becomes more of a “love to hate” them scenario.
“Game of Thrones,” is, superficially, about a bunch of families playing bloody battle games to get a throne (as the writing – in both the books and the show – will often remind you, sometimes in corny one-liner form), but it’s also about so much more – the themes of loyalty, family and society run deeper in this fantasy program than most (if not all) other network dramas. Like, ever.
The production value feeds right into your princess complex.
I don’t care if you wanted to be the knight or the princess – every girl experienced some sort of “princess” fantasy growing up. (And, if you didn’t, well, just skip to the next paragraph, whatever.) “Game of Thrones” knows this, and they feed into it with their gorgeous sets and beautiful costumes and all-around fabulous production. GOT is filmed basically everywhere except outer space, so there’s no shortage of awe-inspiring mountain shots and pretty glittering snow and zoom-overs of desert lands.
Each family also has its individual style, so you get regal evening gowns and twisty updos from King’s Landing; fluffy fur-lined winter wear from Winterfell; and, in a few seasons, beach-y tropical fashion in Dorne.
Seriously, though – there’s a scenario for all of your princess-y childhood dreams. The girl who marries into royalty. The tomboy girl who can also be a princess someday. The power-hungry woman. The “I’m with the dudes” lady knight.
It’s easier just to give in to the peer pressure of a pop culture phenomenon.
Your Tumblr friends love “Game of Thrones,” your real friends probably love “Game of Thrones,” your boyfriend better be avoiding break-up status by learning to love “Game of Thrones” and even celebrities love “Game of Thrones.” It’s sort of a thing in pop culture, and once you start watching it, you’ll see nods to the fandom all over the place. And with about a bagillion pages left of story material (seriously, though – the books eventually reach 900-page brick sizes), the show isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
So, ladies, take a second to reevaluate your life. Do you really want to be That Girl at the party who doesn’t know what a “khaleesi” is?
Hit us up with some nerd love in the comments or Twitter. Just not on Sunday, because we’ll be watching “Game of Thrones.” Duh.