I am going to admit to not watching Game of Thrones. Most people I know do watch it. I have actually read some of the books but stopped when they just became too violent. Watching a screen adaptation was not high on my list, though I will admit to being intrigued by its overwhelming success. But it seemed that each time I thought about changing my mind and taking the plunge, another criticism of the violence, specifically violence again women, was published, and I once again decided to stick with watching Grace and Frankie, Madame Secretary or a rerun of Rosemary & Thyme.

Now Sara David has published her research on the way the female characters are portrayed in the Game Of Thrones, specifically addressing the instances of rape and nudity, and the depth of characterization. She is an avid watcher and the results were fascinating especially as it became clear that the criticism levied has influenced the producers and writers of the show from season to season.

With sensationalized nudity, violence, and rape dominating the discourse around my favorite show, I decided to conduct my own research to see if numbers supported or refuted the claims that women have it much worse than men in Westeros. I thought a quantitative approach would help add larger analysis to the show’s treatment of women and elucidate the whirlwind of feminist and antifeminist discourse that’s surrounded it. So I counted every instance of death, rape, and nudity by gender to see how the numbers stacked up. Because I’ve also watched some of my favorite women characters’ plot lines suffer in recent seasons, I also wanted to examine scenes between women more closely, determining whether or not each episode passed the Bechdel Test. I hoped that all of these tallies, pulled together, would give me a more comprehensive look at the depiction of women characters across all seasons of the show, and the ways in which men’s and women’s representations and story arcs might be treated differently, influence one another, or change over time. To get these numbers, I watched all 67 episodes of the show so far at minimum three times each, totaling approximately 200 hours of Game of Thrones.

 

Read more at Broadly

 
 

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