05 8 / 2014
I saw someone on winteriscoming say that we have moved from Martin’s story to D&D’s story and that’s it’s not necessarily a bad thing, just different. And I feel like ranting.
The thing is, I do know what they mean. If the show changes a character’s motivations it’s not necessarily bad. It just means that we have two different stories and one isn’t automatically superior. BUT, the story in the books is simply more inclusive. In the books, the Martells are people of colour. We have amazing layered female characters who break traditional fantasy tropes, instead of fulfilling these sexist tropes like in the show. Catelyn is the best example here, I think. In the books, Loras Tyrell is more than every gay stereotype put together. Oberyn is more than his sexuality. The weird offensive ableist beetle story doesn’t exist in the books. In the books, Cersei isn’t raped by the only person she trusts. Brienne calls Jaime a coward, but never “a bloody woman”. Arya never calls most girls idiots. In the books feminine female characters are valued just as much as the female characters who fill traditionally masculine roles.
While flawed and by no means perfect, the books are for everyone. The show is written through the male gaze and mostly for white cishet men. I personally resent D&D taking the books that are empowering to me as a female fantasy fan and turning them into the same tired stereotypical sexist fantasy. And the thing about changing characters’ motivations is that too often on GoT they are changed to the detriment of female characters in a way that takes away their agency. See Sansa plotting her escape with Dontos versus Sansa being dragged away by Dontos like a sack of potatoes. When a change like this is made then I can say it has made the story worse.
TL;DR - D&D’s story isn’t inferior because it differs from the books. D&D’s story is inferior because it’s sexist, racist and gross.