Game of Thrones has met countless criticism in the past. Most controversial accusation of all is of the hit HBO series being anti-feminist due to its depiction of women and the sexual abuse scenes that women have been subjected to in the past.
Just last month, Game of Thrones had been included on the Dirty Dozen List of the National Center of Sexual Exploitation.
However, Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys Targaryen, has recently addressed the issue and claims that the portrayal of women in the show is "what's beautiful about Game of Thrones."
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about women's portrayal in the show, the 29-year-old actress said:
There's so much controversy. Yet that's what's beautiful about Game of Thrones – it's depiction of women in so many different stages of development. There are women depicted as sexual tools, women who have zero rights, women who are queens but only to a man, and then there are women who are literally unstoppable and as powerful as you can possibly imagine.
So it pains me to hear people taking Thrones out of context with anti-feminist spin – because you can't do that about this show. It shows the range that happens to women, and ultimately shows women are not only equal, but have a lot of strength.
Personally, I agree with Clarke. While the show does feature scenes where women are shown in a poor light, that doesn't mean that's the entirety of the show itself. There are countless scenes featuring women at their most powerful. In fact, the most powerful characters on Game of Thrones are women – Daenerys Targaryen, Margaery Tyrell, Cersei Lannister, Arya Stark, Oleanna Tyrell, and Brienne of Tarth are just a few of them.
Yes, there's no denying that Game of Thrones is overly brutal and violent, but the world is as well during medieval times. George R.R. Martin simply chose to highlight that reality of the world during such an era. If anything, I think the series is empowering to women, who have been shown to rise repeatedly despite seemingly hopeless situations.
In any case, the show is meant to be watched by mature audiences only.
Game of Thrones returns to HBO on April 24.