Why Game of Thrones is good for my 7 year old daughter

Now before you go getting all judgemental on me, I don’t mean I’m going to sit down and watch explicit violence and sex scenes in brothels with my 7 year old, so let me explain.

In general women in films and TV tend to be depicted as the poor, little weakling, who need the men to save/rescue/validate them. As much as I love Disney they don’t do much for L (and C) in learning to become strong, independent women. Disney princesses are pretty and rich, but they usually need saving by a strong, handsome, rich prince, they don’t ever seem able to get up and defend themselves.

In Game of Thrones we have a fantastically inspirational character for girls of L’s age (just a shame the show isn’t suitable for her age!) in the form of Arya Stark.

Arya Stark #GameOfThrones www.FranglaiseMummy.com

Arya Stark from HBO’s series, Game of Thrones

Photo credit www.imdb.com from HBO’s Game of Thrones series

L would absolutely LOVE Arya Stark, this tomboy who is an excellent swords(wo)man, who cuts her hair off and pretends to be a boy at one point, who takes no sh*t from anybody, and seems to have no fear even when faced with her worst enemies.

That’s who I want my daughters to aspire to be like, not a princess who floats around in an ivory tower waiting to be rescued by a prince.

The show is awash with strong female characters, including one of my least favourites, Cersei Lannister.

Cersei Lannister #GameOfThrones www.FranglaiseMummy.com

Cersei Lannister from HBO’s Game of Thrones

 Photo credit www.imdb.com from HBO’s Game of Thrones series

Cersei Lannister is unlikely to be on anyone’s list of dinner party invitees; she’s hard, nasty and does what it takes to get what she wants. But I like the fact she’s strong, powerful despite living in a time and place where a woman can’t be powerful, and is ambitious.

Moving on to my absolute favourite, which has to be Daenerys Targaryen.

Daenerys Targaryen #GameOfThrones www.FranglaiseMummy.com

Daenerys Targaryen in HBO’s Game of Thrones

 Photo credit www.imdb.com from HBO’s Game of Thrones series

Seriously, how can you not love someone who is forced into a marriage with a man who’s supposed to be completely evil, learns how to make him love her, overcomes a domineering brother, becomes “mother of dragons” before going about freeing all the slaves?! Daenerys, YOU ROCK! And if she’s not a strong, empowering and powerful woman, then who is? (I also love that she’s beautiful and feminine whilst being hardcore, winning wars and overcoming all the baddies!)

Next up is someone who is laughed at by everyone, but she’s crazily strong, can beat most men in any form of combat, and is a just and loyal woman: Brienne of Tarth.

Brienne of Tarth #GameOfThrones www.FranglaiseMummy.com

Brienne of Tarth from HBO’s Game of Thrones

 Photo credit www.imdb.com from HBO’s Game of Thrones series

She might not be someone that girls or women aspire to be, but I like her presence in the show and everything she stands for.

Finally, a look at the wildlings as they have their own strong women too. Of course the one I’m thinking of is the one many of us are jealous of, the one who gets to break the gorgeous Jon Snow’s vow of celibacy: Ygritte.

Ygritte #GameOfThrones www.FranglaiseMummy.com

Ygritte from HBO’s Game of Thrones

Photo credit www.imdb.com from HBO’s Game of Thrones series

Ygritte is rough and ready, and isn’t overly nice to Jon Snow (who I’m a little bit in love with), but she’s as good with a bow and arrow as any of her fellow menfolk, and you wouldn’t catch her waiting around for a man to save her!

There are many more strong female characters in Game of Thrones, but these are the main ones for me and, love them or hate them, I  am so pleased about their presence in such a major TV series.

Now, with this being quite a women’s lib blog post, you’re no doubt wondering where I stand with the whole non-stop female nudity in Game of Thrones. And I have to say that at first it put me off watching the show – not that I have a problem with naked women – but because I found it to be misogynistic, violent TV at first. I also found it really hard to follow (I was 6 months pregnant with C when I first started trying to watch it, so concentration levels were low!), so I left Hubs to watch it, but every now and then I would catch bits of it, and, when I was a bit more alert, I decided to give it a try.

And do you know what? I quite like the female nudity in it. Do you know why? Because for the first time, in what seems like forever, the women are normal. There are small boobs, and big boobs, but they are all natural and they wobble, they are not pert, perfect, plastic boobs. The women are not anorexically thin. There are slim women and chunky women. There are curves and bums and thighs. There are no fake tans, fake nails or fake boobs. The women have – shock horror – pubic hair!

Not only is it good for our daughters to see this, but it’s good for our sons too. In a world where our children are growing up to believe that porn stars and porn films are normal, it’s good to see that the naked form paraded around (and around and around) in Game of Thrones is true to life.

Yes, I know, there is a lot of sex, and a lot of violence in the show, but on the whole I’d rather Game of Thrones for our children growing up than the false, plasticness of Hollywood and most films and TV series these days.

Now I really hope that writers, directors, producers and Hollywood will see the success of Game of Thrones, and will start to give us more strong women characters and more natural bodies, for the sake of our little women and men. Then hopefully by the time L is a tween or a teen she will see strong, naturally beautiful women smiling back at her from her TV screen.

I’m linking this up with the lovely Vicki at Honest Mum and her Brilliant Blog Posts, click on the linky below for some other great reads:

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com


35 Responses

  1. Yes, yes, yes! I completely agree with all you’ve said. It’s a great show with lots of strong female characters, even more than you’ve listed above, which is so fantastic. There are so many tv shows and films that have barely any women in, and the women they do have are plastic and weak so Game of Thrones is a great contrast.
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    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      There were so many great women to choose from but I didn’t want the blog post to be never-ending so limited it to who I feel are the strongest 😉 Let’s hope this is the start of a new style of film/TV.

  2. Delphine says:

    Very interesting. I too was put off after seeing the first episode. It seemed to me this lurid mix of violence and sex was just to feed male teenagers’ fantasies and not serving the purpose of the story. But then I changed my mind and now I quite agree with you on nudity here. It seems more natural and more justified than in the Tudors for instance. And as you said there are awesome women characters in this. Go Arya ! Go Daenerys !

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Quite a few people have had the same reaction as us to the first episode but then have gone back to it too, it’ll be interesting to see what this kind of series takes us to next with TV…

  3. Verily Victoria Vocalises says:

    What a superb post! We love GOTs. I wholeheartedly agree with you on all the points about the nudity AND the strong women. I love Arya – I really want Grace to be like her – and I love Brianne too. I also rather like Margaery Tyrell and her Mum too! Girl power!! 🙂

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Agree with you about Margaery Tyrell and her mum/gran/aunt? Just too many to fit in one blog post!

  4. Laura says:

    Great post! I love the show, and whilst I won’t let my teen son watch it yet (though am re-thinking that now…) he is reading the books and LOVING them. You’re so right about the inspirationally strong female characters (his own two favourites are Arya and Tyrion Lannister – a girl and a dwarf; that’s how strong the characterisation is), and yes whilst there is more sex in the show than in the books, it is done in such an intelligent way as to make it perfectly right.
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    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      That’s interesting to know that the books can be read at a younger age than the TV show, will make a note of that for when L is older.

  5. I’ve completely missed this series but now I know a bit more about it I might be tempted to catch up. It is a shame that your daughter is too young, it’d be great if there were more films suitable for younger girls that still had strong female leads though. I can’t think of one…
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    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      I would recommend giving it a whirl, it’s hard to get into at the start, so do persevere.

  6. Gosh I love this post! I totally agree with all your points and especially that you addressed the whole sex/female nudity element and you’re so right, it’s a relief to see a diversity of bodies, skin tones (could always do with more of those) and characters on display. Sure it’s lurid sex and violence but it’s within a certain context, I expect that sort of thing to an extent with HBO anyway, plus it’s most certainly an adult show. Huge Game of Thrones fan here and chomping at the bit to finally see the current season (we don’t have Sky)! x
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    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      I won’t tell you anything about the latest season then….except it’s really good!

  7. I must be the only person in the world who has never watched Game of Thrones, but your post makes great points about female role models.

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    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      I know quite a few people that haven’t too, it’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea!

  8. PottyMouthedMummy says:

    I love Game of Thrones and I had never thought about the female characters like this but it’s absolutely true. I love Brianne, she’s one of my top faves #brilliantblogposts
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    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      It just hit me when I was watching it last week, don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before.

  9. I am sure that they are noticing this! There are a lot of new shows actually that had a lot of strong female characters now more than before which I am glad of! Btw GOT rocks =)#brillblogposts
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  10. LOVE this post. I am a bit GoT fan and love the fact that there are characters with such marked strengths and weaknesses of body and mind. Especially like the fact that there are plenty of ‘in control’ women when it comes to the more sexual stuff.
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    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      I’m so surprised at how many of us there are who agree with this – I was expecting to be told this was nonsense!

  11. Katie says:

    I don’t watch it but its on my list and you make a fabulous case, we only recently finished watching breaking bad so need a replacement 🙂
    And i wholeheartedly agree, we need more women role models and its incredibly refreshing to see powerful, natural looking women in all shapes and sizes x
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    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Ooh, I totally recommend it then, although it does take some concentration to get into it….but I found that with Breaking Bad too.

  12. Notmyyearoff says:

    Isn’t Arya fantastic? I love her. She and khaleesee are my favourites. I’ve ended up missing a few of the series 2 episodes but I’m starting to get it into again now. I’m starting to drive hubby bonkers with all my “who’s that? And who’s that? And who’s that?” 🙂
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    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Love them both! Such fab characters. I’m always having to ask Hubs who’s who as he “gets” it better than me, and is reading the books too.

  13. Mel says:

    I have never seen ‘Games of Thrones’ but you have a point with the Disney characters!

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      I do love a bit of Disney, but it’s got to be balanced out with some strong female characters somewhere too!

  14. Excellent post and I couldn’t agree with you more if I tried! Arya is amazing and I feel will grow to be more deadly than ever and for that, I cannot wait to see! My eldest daughter is already a ball buster at 8yrs old and I like that side to her. #brilliantblogposts
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  15. Honest Mum says:

    Brilliant post and you are so right about these shows breathing a sigh of relief into us all-finally women are being represented in more than a few singular, depressing, sexualised ways-so, so important, here’s hoping this continues when it comes to ethnicity! Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts
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    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      Here’s hoping that this is a turning point and our kids will only know this….

  16. Judith says:

    So true. I love the female characters in Game of Thrones, and the show also passes the Bechdel test (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bechdel_test), as the women talk to each other mainly about world domination. And like you say, one of the great things about Daenerys is that she doesn’t have to look or act like a man to be a powerful woman.
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    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      I’d never heard of the Bechdel test, but it’s very true here. We’ve just finished the last episode and now I just want to watch more….

  17. Game of Thrones is indeed an awesome show with powerful female characters. oh and thanks Judith for letting us know about the Bechdel test.
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  18. Mamawolf says:

    My 4 year old daughter loves this show! When the sex comes on I just tell her to look away and she does. Her favorite character is Khalessi and she rides on my back calling me drogon. Her little 2 year old brother is “tyrion”… I’ll let you all know if this leads to therapy in later life lol but for now I have the coolest 4 year old around

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