This past Sunday, “Game of Thrones” walked away with Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series for the second year in a row. This Emmy put them into a very special place: “Game of Thrones” now holds the record for the most Emmys in history! They have won a whopping 38, beating the former record holder, “Frasier,” which had 37. (That night also saw the show win an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for A Drama Series and Outstanding Directing for A Drama Series.)
I just wanted to take a moment and consider why. Though I’ve definitely had my share of issues with certain scenes — particularly three scenes of sexual assault — the show is an all-time favorite. (Critiquing something strongly and still loving it as a whole is another article entirely. I don’t get rid of my cat because she sometimes throws up on the kitchen floor.)
One of the reasons, I think, is how well balanced the show is in terms of male and female characters. (Of course, the other reasons are the writing, the direction, the performances, and the dragons.) Look, there are plenty of wonderful characters on television. Tons of them. There are certainly a lot of great female characters out there.
Rarely, however, does a show get the balance right. Very often you’ll have two or three amazing women and 10 men. Or you’ll have a great bunch of men and a single woman. She’s awesome, and kick-ass and beautiful and all that, but she’s the lone wolf. The conversations always end up getting skewed to the “the lady thinks this,” and “look how different she is from the rest of us” in some way.
In “Game of Thrones,” you have Brienne of Tarth, Cersei, Melisandre, Selyse, Daenerys, Sansa, Arya, Catelyn, Olenna, Margaery, the Waif, Ros. There are so many women that you don’t have to keep using the same one for every single storyline that requires one.
There’s the tired argument about Black Widow being romantically involved with most of the Avengers. First of all, who the hell cares if she hooks up with everyone? Second, if the Marvel Cinematic Universe had more women, and you felt the need to do a love story, you would actually have options. (Though you do already have Bucky and Cap, amirite, Tumblr?)
On “Game of Thrones,” if you want to have someone run your company? Hey, it doesn’t have to be a guy! Need someone on the Iron Throne? She doesn’t also have to be the young girl forced to take up a sword to avenge her family as well as a sorceress and a prostitute and the wife of a nobleman.
There is something comforting about watching a world that is populated the same way ours is. It’s nice to see a show get it right. Winter is here!