Season 8, episode 5 of Game of Thrones was a total cluster #$%& of bad writing. The showrunners’ full-sail assassination of all character development and character arcs we’ve invested in these past 10 years was beyond disappointing. I really, really couldn’t care less how it ends now.
But, that’s not why I’m writing. There are a plethora of articles and videos online outlining all the issues with it (and the memes! Ahhh. Those hilarious memes).
I’m writing because I wanted to be vulnerable and share a valuable lesson I learned: that as much as I think I’m an ally to women, I STILL HAVE A LOT TO LEARN. I still harbor thoughts and feelings which are patriarchal, and dare I say, gulp, sexist.
Case in point.
At the company I work for, we have a #gameofthronesspoilers Slack channel (I have no doubt we’re not the only ones. 😊) After last Sunday’s episode, “The Bells,” one of the women engineers at the company wrote in the channel:
… this whole storyline is sexist. If your storyline can be summarized with “bitches be crazy” that means you’re doing something wrong.
TBH, my first reaction to her comment was “I think she’s being a little sensitive. It’s bad writing for sure, but sexist? I don’t know about all that.”
Then I read this great article on Romper:
These two quotes from the article really say it all:
Just remember that NONE of the writers or directors of any of the episodes this season were women…And NONE in season 7. and NONE in season 6. And NONE is season 5.
In response to the comment made by the showrunners in the “Inside the Episode” segment afterward, that Dany in a split second decided to make it personal, the writer of the Romper article responds:
So the showrunners are trying to tell me that they had Daenerys make a snap decision to murder thousands of innocent people… because she made it “personal”? Do they realize that by saying this, they’re also admitting that there is, in fact, no reason why Daenerys let go of her goals except… her emotions got in the way? There is no grander reason. No overarching theme. No misunderstanding. In the final season, Daenerys of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, The Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Lady Regent of the Seven Kingdoms, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons, was reduced to a mad woman on a dragon.
I was not at all clued into this thought. I was not even aware that the show lacked any women in the writing or directing for the past three seasons. I was not empathetic to the comment made by my coworker. In a way, I did to her what the showrunners did to Dany—reduced her response to the show as “emotion,” as opposed to a reasoned reaction to how the show runners treated a character who, up ’til now, had been portrayed as someone who, despite her emotions, made sound, and even just decisions.
As much as I clamor on about the need for those who aren’t a person of color to understand issues that we face, I appreciate the fact that as a man, I still have a lot to learn about issues women face.
But, as I am often fond of quoting: “I’m tryin’ Ringo. I’m tryin’ real hard.”