Female Badassery on Game of Thrones: Sansa Stark

There are plenty of examples of women not being treated right on Game of Thrones but this is not that kind of post. I will be talking about two specific women I love but I feel like get a bad rep. [I have genuinely been defending her with all my strength,]

Yes, Arya is not on this. This due to her being everyone’s favourite and the thick plot armour she possesses, therefore making her kind of boring to me now.

Sansa Sassqueen Stark

There is a stigma around femininity; feminine qualities and liking feminine things is weak often perceived as weak. Further perpetuating the women hating women cliche. Sansa is a Lady, who likes all the pretty things along with all that this title holds, she grows to see the flaws in her idealised thinking but still holds true to being a woman.

Besides her name, she is not extraordinary in any way. She is not trained to be a faceless man, she is not the princess who was promised and does not have dragons. She is by every definition of the word ordinary, yet she has survived in a world that wants her dead, eventually rising to a leader.

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There are only so few characters who can have such a subtle development over the seasons. She starts of as a child, a spoilt naive child, who honestly I hated because she said shit like this:

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Despite the red flags and warnings, she still wanted this. Her dreams were quickly taken away and when she was no more than a child begged for her father’s life and was close to organising a plea deal for him. When tragedy hit even harder she still came back with some zingy one-liners but not bad enough to get her killed.

Credits to this amazing thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/freefolk/comments/b3yl5j/i_dont_think_sansa_gets_enough_credit_for_sassing/

She used the “Joffrey is my one true love” line and it is what kept her alive.

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She dealt with a lot of abuse from Joffrey, Merrel and Cersei but was resilient. When she met Margaery, she took to her like a sister and once again, dreamed of marrying her prince (Loras). There was plenty wrong with that set up and yes, it may even be stupid for her to have hope, but I think it speaks volumes. She is still kind to people and led to saving Dontos’ life. She has compassion, a quality which often time is shunned.

The two major issues I had after this point was (1) her treatment of Tyrion and (2) why she didn’t go with the hound when she could escape. These can be justified upon further thought.

  1. As far as we the audience know, Tyrion is not a bad guy. However to her he is another Lannister, a scheming bunch who so far have been terrible to her. Despite this, they did grow to have an understanding and a mutual respect.
  2. As much as she feared Joffrey and King’s Landing, there were lines that people could not cross due to her influence. Cersei is fundamentally a bad person but Sansa knew what she would and would not do. She knew nothing of Sandor and feared him, which is understandable. She knows what he is capable of and even if he would never hurt her, he can not guarantee her safety

What I like as well is that for a long time Sansa was still a brat, her development was a slow burn, which is shown more later. She is still a brat, especially to Shae, but once again they started to have a pretty good relationship.

Finally, when Sansa had a real opportunity to escape she took it. Again, judgement-wise she was not smart for trusting Dontos but she sure as hell didn’t trust Petyr Baelish.

Up to this point, she has been observing everyone. She even knows Cersei better than Tyrion and has learnt by observing Tyrion how to survive by using your brain. The same goes for Baelish.

When Lysa died, she had no problem concocting a story to ensure her survival. She knew what she was doing. She came back ready to slay.

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However, this lead to her only facing a hell worse than the one she just escaped. I’m not going to get into what she endured but focus on her escape. She ESCAPED hell. Again. And it was no easy feat but she never gave up.

Then she forgave Theon.

Once again, she is ready to kick ass. She is the one who wanted to take the North because as she said no one is safe as long as Ramsay is around. Further proven when he kidnaps Rickon, who Sansa wants to save.

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Also when Jon agreed to fight for their home, he ignored her battle plan which is much better than his. Further showing that she is much smarter than everyone gives her credit for.

She was finally grown up enough to make amends.

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When hope was lost, she saved the Jon and was the victor. She won the battle of the bastards.

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This line doesn’t hold up well because of the circumstances in which she says it but she is not wrong.

She played Baelish like a pro then delivered her most iconic line.

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In the latest season, she’s the only one calling out Jon. stating that the people of the North made them their king and he gave it to Danaerys purely because he loves her.

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She also was ready to give the loyal families a reward but Jon didn’t listen to her and surprise surprise — they betrayed them once more.

She has shown she knows how to be a Warden of the North, ensuring that armour is being made properly, rations are given out and ensuring that people get rest before going into another battle. She cares about the North and the people.

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Finally, as pandering as I thought this was, she knows how to rock a crown.

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Mindy

There are those shows you watch, that you wait weekly for. The characters that you root for. The shows which you can’t explain why you love it so much. The ones that make you laugh. Make you cry. Then by the end when you have spent all that time with these fictional characters and just as you bid them that final farewell, the writers fuck it up.

The Mindy Project is rom-com kind of show starring Mindy Lahiri as a colourful hilarious OB/GYN. Mindy is awesome, she is confident, she pulls guys and has a good time, along with all that she is also accomplished. In the beginning shes a hot mess, actually shes a little bit of a mess the whole way through but who isn’t? Also I know I said that it was a romantic comedy-esque kind of show but I’m using that lightly. She has had her fair share of romantic encounters but they don’t feel forced. No super cheesy grand romantic gestures, not all the guys were the princes they once seemed to be and that is what makes it different to any other show.

Throughout the first few seasons she has had extremely hot guys fall for her, I love the eye candy and they were easily shippable. Some guys were real slimeballs, some didn’t last long and others came with an important message, however behind all these escapades there was Daniel Castellano, a colleague to Mindy and one half of the couple who had the “will they/won’t they” relationship. They had chemistry with the witty banter, they had friendship sprinkled with some healthy rivalry. After a few season of that sexual tension, everyone was pleased when they finally got together.

But no, that wasn’t when the curtains closed and read happily ever after, that is the beauty of The Mindy Project. They had problems, a lot, a lot of problems. In about 1 season the whole build up of the romantic connection was destroyed. Danny became the character we loved to hate, he refused to marry Mindy after he knocked her up, left her alone for ages (he was caring for his dad so we can accept it but he dealt with the situation horribly) and he wanted her to give up her career. Eventually I was rooting for her to leave his sorry ass.

It,s better to be alone than to be with someone who holds you back, that’s the message. It’s a message that isn’t often addressed especially with the growing pressure to be in a relationship, being single doesn’t seem like an option. This show did that, Mindy had her own business, thrived in her career and was a single mother. Sure, she wasn’t perfect but she was doing it.

Then came dependable Ben, I’m not going to bullshit you- I loved him. He was exactly what Mindy wanted, he was committed, he liked her and they both were divorced parents. But she fucked this one up. Constantly thinking she was better than him because he was a nurse and just in general, she didn’t treat him right. Just like how I applauded Mindy when dumped Danny, I was practically cheering when Ben found his self worth and declared “I’m too good for you”.

However the creators really had to make sure that bridge was burnt with this couple as they got together, got hitched and got divorced. Ben said “we should get divorced” atfer a series of events proved Mindy liked being apart from her husband constantly. Mindy simply agreed. He desperately hoped she would fight a little for their marriage but was heartbroken when she didn’t and that was the end for them. I liked this story line, I would have preferred it to be a bit longer but it showed how there was no spark in it for Mindy. It mirrored her relationship to Danny but in this case, she was Danny, oh sweet irony.

The whole way through we get a strong Mindy, who has grown up and wants passion but at the same time understands being single. Then again its fucked up, conveniently Danny is getting a divorce, after being portrayed as a dick for the past few seasons, and still doesn’t become remotely likeable, he is reintroduced as the love interest. While watching I couldn’t believe they were going to get back together and thought of it as a plot device to show why they would never work. However after watching the season finale not long ago, I was disappointed. All those lessons she learnt, all the reasons a relationship won’t work, all the battles won and lost, only to revert back to your old ways.

This was a step back in both plot and character development, to simply get back together with Danny just because she thought he changed by one gesture. Give me at least a half decent reason they should be together, not this bullshit.

The main thing was it didn’t fit into the tone of the show. I wanted an ending that was full of possibilities for Mindy not a not-so-grand empty gesture. Why make us spend so much time despising Danny for him to come back and try to make him seem like a half decent guy who deserves the lead character?

I always loved this show. An accomplished strong minority woman as the lead, it kind if reminded me of Ugly Betty, which i absolutely love. Mindy was super relatable, the episode which showed her rewatching the princess bride over and over, that is basically me. She was witty and likeable, loved to eat, was overall unapologetic about who she was which all felt so honest. It brought many characters and plot lines which were entertaining and Kahling did a great job as Mindy.

The other characters were disregarded by the end of it, a quick fix for a few of them which again were completely out of character. Then ignoring the rest (I really wanted on last hurrah for Peter). The running theme in The Mindy Project is that the guys are meh and the women settle, some character development or any context would have been great.

The ending honestly just killed it a bit, there were moments along the way which were great to watch. The end was cheap and clearly forced, a desperate attempt to end on a high. HOWEVER, saying that, as much as the quality decreased,  I will happily rewatch the show and I look forward to see what Kahling has up her sleeve next.

 

Betty

I don’t know how many people are familiar with the show Ugly Betty (and if you aren’t then shame on you).
I absolutely loved it, I mean Betty was fucking hilarious, the idea was bloody brilliant. A heroine with thick rimmed glasses and braces- now that’s a plot.
An “ugly” (note the air quotes) girl who went to work for a fashionable magazine. She didn’t fit in (I’m pretty sure everyone knows how that feels). Shows like that aren’t really on, usually tv shows are about pretty people complaining about their lives. With Ugly Betty, I don’t know, I just feel like I could relate. Besides the poncho *face-palm*

I know it may sound stupid to have an emotional attachment to a fictional character but I don’t care.
My all time favourite quote from her-
“No I’m the jerk for thinking that clothes and a new hairdo would make a difference on someone like me.”
To me, I never really saw Betty as ugly, beauty IS in the eye of the beholder and to me she was beautiful. Honestly, she was an inspiration. I think more girls should try to be like Betty because she was a strong, independent woman, who was successful. Yet people still try and be like the models in there.

I’m not going to lie even the superficial characters had there moments. Honestly have you ever heard truer words-
“A word of advice, be who you are, wear what you want, just learn how to run real fast.”
~ Marc St

I even think Betty introduced the idea of blogging to me.
She was a real person; she had bad hair days (a lot of them), she snorted when she laughed, she embarrassed herself (once again, a lot!)
But she also stood up for what she believed in, she had experiences and had morals.
Which is why I refuse to call her ugly.

Thanks for reading
^___^
(=^.^=) (hey look a cat, since that has your attention—> leave a comment about your favourite heroines from books or tv shows)