The last two episodes of Game of Thrones left me wondering if men and women are more at war than ever before. The way the male writers chose to end Mother of Dragons’ reign left me asking, how many men still think all beautiful, sexual, intelligent and powerful women will go bat shit crazy if given the power and therefore must be killed?
The second to last episode—where she lost it and went fire-happy on all of the innocent civilians—made me think we may never have a female president. Your eyes may have already rolled so far back in your head you have lost consciousness but this show, written by men, did not, in fact, break any wheels. I’m also not supposing it was meant to but just identifying how it may be a mirror of our current situation.
I do not think all men want to kill the women that provoke uncertainty or uncontrollable desire in them, or who challenge their mind, soul and spirit. But an NBC News article states, "nearly three women are murdered every day in the U.S. by current or former romantic partners." An FBI Supplementary Homicide Report found that, in homicide cases that could identify the relationship between the offender and victim, 93 percent of female victims (1,450 out of 1,551) were murdered by a male they knew. The Center for Disease Control states that over half of the killings of American women are related to intimate partner violence, with the vast majority of the victims dying at the hands of a current or former romantic partner. Black women were most likely to die by homicide of any kind, at 4.4 deaths per 100,000 people, followed by Native American women, Hispanics, and finally whites and Asians. Data from earlier reports suggests a far smaller percentage of men—around five to seven percent—were killed by intimate partners. However, middle-aged white men are taking their own life at higher rates than ever before. To that point, Jon Snow’s character had an internal decline this last season and now will be walking with the free folk into his midlife celibate. So he may add to this statistic.
I’m aware of the war between men and women. It’s been long standing. But is healing possible?
Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons. A character who steadily accumulated several titles to symbolize her many transformations and triumphs over the patriarch, misused power, family betrayal, sexism, oppression and bad magic. She was the breaker of chains and the first powerful character to befriend and introduce people of color to the pale show. Calm down, white people—I'm not dogging thrones for being mostly white or trying to take anything away from you. It’s just interesting to see how all the characters of color sailed off at the end when they realized they had no place without their queen, just sayin.’
Back to Daeny, who walked out of a goddamn fire with three baby dragons for Christ’s sake, no matter your gender or orientation it is safe to say that even after giving birth and being burned she was gorgeous, sexy & pure. How many can pull that off? As time when on and she was alone in her power, she still consulted her numerous advisors. While she always listened to and considered their consult, she often found her own unique solution by taking her time and ultimately listening to her own intuitive voice within. This voice had her kill her enemies and free as many slaves as possible. Every time we thought she was gonna be taken down, she rose. She used her raw, sincere femininity to connect with Kahl Drago. That partnership symbolized the beauty of both the masculine and feminine energy. I'm not saying all men are brutes and all women soft. I'm saying their union balanced them both and taught them how to tap into their own feminine and masculine sides. Drago gave Kahlisi strength and courage, and she game him heart. Together they were powerful and of maximum service. An ideal? Yes. Let us all remember this is fantasy but also myth. Myth, whether from religion, the tarot, folklore, children’s storybooks or Athens/Asia/Egypt (and everywhere), is there to teach us more about our own psyche. Just as understanding history informs us of a possible future, myth depicts the archetypes we sometimes fall into, and destiny within those roles. So this show has sparked conversation because these characters were so well developed, so flawed, so driven—so us, each of us, in all our glory and horror.
Look, I know George R. R. Martin literally said, "My biggest dream was to ruin the lives of my readers and crush their souls," so I am aware GOT was never headed for a Hollywood ending. Since the storyline makes the audience well aware of the role of mental illness in the Targaryen family history, I will of course acknowledge Daeny’s fate as a plausible storyline. There was no way to wrap the show in a fulfilling bow in one season. Martin will continue to write the books without the pressure of having to end in a certain way or on a timeline. So this is not my critique on the last season—you can find those on any social media page of any person worldwide if needed. This is about how the final season mirrored what some women and people of color face today and my annoyance that NO WHEELS WERE BROKEN.
I'm speaking to the part of society that fears the wild woman, and the confused man who feels emasculated and hopeless. I’m speaking to how the depiction of the North is so like the current state of America—hating outsiders and fearing what they don't understand, yet living in a mask of "integrity" and "honor,” and often so stubborn within that facade, that they are blinded and unable to evolve to a grander world with cultures and possibilities they could not fathom. I hated that Aria and Sansa couldn't befriend their brother’s queen. Why? Cersei, a woman in power and of course evil—why couldn't these women bond together? Maybe that is the scariest storyline of all. The term “cat fight” and all other rhetoric around women being competitive with each other is a tool of oppression to keep us small. Unfortunately, it has worked.
Mother of Dragons, in my eyes, was pure feminine energy. In the end, she herself chose fear. Her heart was too broken to stay soft, grounded and sound. The betrayal was too fresh and too poignant. She fell in love with her nephew who refused to step up to his name and instead kept murmuring, "my queen, my queen" and "I don't want it, I don't want it." Ugh, God just fuck your aunt like ya already did. Make more baby dragons and stand beside her, guide her when she needs you, command her when she is needing strength, and support and care for her heart when she is weary. Be her king, just as she is your queen. Is that too much to ask? In my fantasy world, Danerys is not threatened when he reveals his lineage. She instead begs him to join her and help her, and she helps him. They both take the throne. But I am sometimes taken down by my ideals and my ability to fall in love with potential. I often see the best in those who refuse to step up to their highest selves because I use them as a focal point to avoid living up to my highest unlimited potential. Jon Snow sure did that. They made him a boy who did not want to become a man after seasons of watching him be the strongest moral character. But maybe that was their point. He was stripped down, overtaken by strong women, and cast out to roam the North and take no women. Perhaps this is all men’s fear—all or nothing. Perhaps it’s just a story. Perhaps it’s just me questioning my role, as a woman who very much loves men but also fears them.
So the last two episodes just made me question our place as men and women. Can we find a common ground and work together, or do we fear each other too much? When you go on the Internet and search “how women die” the top two results are childbirth and domestic violence. We birth our perpetrators just as we birth our soul mates, protectors and allies. Is the man’s misunderstanding of a woman’s power to create and also provide mystique too great of a threat? With women empowered, do men no longer know how to approach, and therefore resent? Can we all inhabit masculine and feminine traits? Can we integrate? Maybe the integration process takes a lifetime because that is the lesson of life, but maybe not. I will continue to contemplate as I mourn the loss of my queen.