Just contrast Sansa and Arya. Sansa represents a very traditional feminine role, and through the course of the books we see how she increasingly inhabits it and gains power through it. Arya occupies the opposite end of the feminine spectrum, channeling a Kali-esque righteous and violent vengeance, along with corresponding influence on the game. Martin’s narrative makes no value judgments in the book about which sister is good or evil, and both are equally fascinating. He just offers them up, alive and kicking; to the reader in true postmodern fashion. (via)
Contributors: Jenn, Nicole and Heather
You know, I understand that GOT is an adaptation and that HBO has to make changes because books are obviously absorbed differently than [an audio-visual medium like] television. I’m sure other people understand this as well.
I love when certain changes enrich the narrative. I have no problem with changes, as long as the point of the story remains the same and as long as those changes don’t come at the expense of the characters. If a character’s motivations essentially remain the same and their purpose is still understood, then I welcome changes.
However, that’s not what’s happening with Catelyn Stark’s story. Here, you have the creators preaching about how they understand that the women are some of the strongest characters in the series and yet, they made the choice to flatten Cat’s narrative and box her into a place that GRRM removed her from in the first place. What is the point of that? The fact that Cat makes the choice to stay with Robb and that she suggests negotiating with Renly and Stannis is important to her characterization and her story. Cat uses her political acumen to suggest solutions that will bring victory (and hopefully peace)—and this is perhaps the only way she knows that she can have her family back safe and sound. It wouldn’t have hurt to just allow her to have those two lines, which make her character’s motivations quite clear. If the writers have time to insert Ros and give her dialogue and give her scenes with Petyr, then they can manage to accurately portray Catelyn.
I think people have a right to complain about something they feel is an egregious mistake because really, if the writers are willing to take away a character’s agency…that decision doesn’t bode well for any of the marginalized characters in the series.
Honestly, taking away Catelyn’s agency is like having someone else birth Daenerys’ dragons and then handing them over to her to raise.
Thank you. It is really irritating me how the show is turning Catelyn into a declawed Mama Bear, which was precisely the trope her character subverted in the novels. That was kind of the point of Robb and Cat’s arc in the novels — it completely inverted the tired fantasy devices of the miraculously competent boy-king and his utra-supportive mother.
And I am seriously side-eyeing the argument that these changes are an improvement because they make Cat more “likeable”, which is clearly what the writers were going for. Diminishing a female character’s complexity and political acumen makes her more likeable? Doing this just so she can better fit people’s expectations of what a “good” mother is makes her more likeable? And when the writers repeatedly insist that the show is feminist and that the female characters are the strongest and yet, in the first two episodes, have stripped two of the major female characters of some of their most crucial decisions and actions and given those to male characters?
Yeah, that’s crap.
I see a lot of people whining about how she “sold Arya out”, or “sided with Joffrey” in tonight’s episode.
Thing is, she didn’t.
She said she didn’t know what happened, which is a completely different thing. It was also actually the best thing she could possibly have said in that case.
Look, Sansa was called because the king was being faced with two opposing stories. Arya said one thing, Joffrey said another, and he didn’t know who to believe, so he turned to Sansa for the truth. What else was she supposed to do?
If she’d told the truth and sided with Arya, she would be naming the prince for a liar before some of the most important people in the realm; in one fell swoop, she turns the Queen, Joffrey, and anybody loyal to the Lannisters (or simply to the royal family) against her, and need I remind you guys that she is engaged to Joffrey, if she pisses him off, she will have to live with the consequences her whole life. And who even knows what Cersei might do to her family, what Joffrey might do to Arya.
So, the logical to do here would be to side with Joffrey, and claim Arya was lying. And this is where fandom’s description of her as selfish and self-serving proves just how much fandom isn’t paying attention, because if she was actually only concerned for her status in the eyes of the Lannisters, she’d have done just that. She didn’t. No matter what it might mean for her relationship with Joffrey or her future in King’s Landing, she couldn’t just let her sister be falsely accused. She’s stuck between a rock and a hard place in the worst possible way.
So what does she do? The most politically apt thing she could have done, one of the first decisions that told me she was going to become a major HBIC one day: she picks the middle ground.
Because she chose the middle ground, because the only other witness to the events of the day said she couldn’t remember what happened, Robert Baratheon was left once more with a case of he said-she said. Which freed him up to do exactly what he did: declare it a fight between children, and leave it up to their parents to discipline them.
Sansa Stark did not betray her sister. In fact, given the circumstances, I’d say she did the best possible thing.
(The direwolf thing? That was all Cersei, and nothing Sansa could have said or done would have prevented that from happening.)