Game of Thrones: Brienne's Knighthood is the Ultimate Feminist Moment in the Show's History
Brienne of Tarth was resigned to the fact that women can't be knights, until that tradition was broken to give her the honour she deserves in the latest episode of Game of Thrones.
That Game of Thrones is full of feisty, fearless women is no news. The show has time and again displayed its feminist side with powerful female characters. We've had Cersei Lannister blow up thousands of citizens, Brienne of Tarth beating the Hound in single combat, Daenerys Targaryen putting an end to slavery and Arya Stark murdering the entire Frey house tactfully.
A lot of the power tussle in Game of Thrones is between women - the race to the iron throne has been between Daenerys and Cersei for a while now. There is a smaller tug of war happening in the north, between Daenerys and Sansa Stark as the latter tries to hold on to the power she has finally gained as lady of Winterfell, while the other is trying to make inroads as a foreigner and the future ruler of the seven kingdoms.
And so, the scene in episode 2 of season 8 between Sansa and Daenerys is significant, as it speaks of the fact that both women come from their respective positions of power, but are co-dependent. One needs the other, but they are a threat to each other as well. They cannot afford to remain hostile, and so Daenerys extends an olive branch, in the name of the one person that they both love - Jon Snow. But she is faced with a question from Sansa, the one she has no answer to, as to whether the lady of Winterfell will get to hold onto her position, or will have to succumb to the queen's will. One of the most nuanced scenes of powerplay between two women in GoT.
The second episode is significantly named A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. The real big moment in this episode is that of Brienne of Tarth finally receiving the honour she's been deserving of all along. And the best thing was, no one saw it coming. Amid casual banter among some of the key characters waiting for the night to end and war to begin, the show takes it's ultimate step towards equalizing the rights of men and women. Why should Brienne, who's braver and stronger than many men, be denied the title of 'Ser' just because she is a woman?
Tormund's surprise is justified when he learns that Brienne is not a 'Ser'. And the best part is of course Ser Jaime rising to the occasion to rectify the situation, to confer a long overdue honour and to break the stereotype of "women can't be knights," a thought Brienne herself had resigned to. Free folk Tormund is not having any of that 'tradition', and so are we.
Podrick, who swore to be Brienne's squire despite her vehemently denying that she isn't a knight and cannot keep a squire in season 4, is the final nod of support she needs before she kneels before Jaime as he declares her a knight. Brienne's smile as she arises as a knight of the seven kingdoms is one of the most laudable feminist moments in the show.
the scene where all the fellas knight Brienne had big "comedy writers room making a single diversity hire" energy— fran hoepfner (@franhoepfner) April 22, 2019
There are other significant moments of women power in the episode. Lyanna Mormont, famous for her brave spirit despite being only a child, proudly declares that she is not going to hide in the crypts while the men are at war. Her cousin Ser Jorah reminds her that she is the future of the house, and should be kept safe, but she is not one to back down.
In a heartbreaking yet powerful scene, a little girl is seen offering to join the fight as Ser Davos serves her food. She is representative of the will of the northerners, as well as the fighting spirit of the women who do not want to sit in hiding as the men fight their battles for them. She is pacified when she is told that she will be guarding the women in the crypt. The girl's will, much larger than her physical size, is a reminder of a young Daenareys who once had nothing but a strong spirit and a will to survive in the world of men.
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