What’s being a woman like in Westeros? Well, not much different than being one in real life, according to “Game of Thrones” franchise creator George R.R. Martin.
Martin, who penned the novels behind the HBO hit series and upcoming “House of the Dragon,” out August 21, addressed criticisms of female representation and portrayals during this past weekend’s San Diego Comic Con (via Entertainment Weekly). Prequel series “House of the Dragon,” much like “GoT,” hinges on the familial succession and battle to reign over Westeros, with a female heir being overlooked.
The author was asked why the rulers of Westeros seem intent on not having a queen atop the Iron Throne, and Martin responded that the series is rooted in historical fact.
“I get inspiration from history, and then I take elements from history and I turn it up to 11,” Martin explained. “‘Game of Thrones’ is, as many people have observed, based very loosely on the War of the Roses. [‘House of the Dragon’] is based on an earlier period in history called the Anarchy.”
He added, “I don’t think Westeros is particularly more anti-woman or more misogynistic than real life and what we call history.”
“House of the Dragon” co-showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik previously addressed the differences between predecessor “GoT” and the prequel series, based on Martin’s “Fire & Blood” series.
Director Sapochnik told The Hollywood Reporter this production instead “pulls back” on the amount of consensual sex in the series; however, sexual assault is still very much present in the script. According to Sapochnik, the approach is done “carefully and thoughtfully” when bringing the stories of sexual violence to the screen, following criticisms of “Game of Thrones” portrayals.
“[We] don’t shy away from it,” Sapochnik explained. “If anything, we’re going to shine a light on that aspect. You can’t ignore the violence that was perpetrated on women by men in that time. It shouldn’t be downplayed and it shouldn’t be glorified.”
HBO and HBO Max content chief Casey Bloys additionally told THR that “House of the Dragon” highlighted the inner workings of a fantastical family at the breaking point of a dynasty.
“I liked the idea of focusing on one family, and obviously the Targaryens have a lot of drama to go around,” Bloys said. “I also liked the echo of how empires can quickly fall — those are the types of conversations we are having in our own country, which I don’t think is anything I would’ve thought we’d be talking about 20 years ago.”
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