Monday, December 30, 2013

When Women Play the Game: Daenerys Targaryen

Daenerys and Dragons by ElinJ
As closest to the epitome of a Machiavellian ruler in A Song of Ice and Fire series, Daenerys Targaryen exhibits the most outright power as a woman, legitimately claiming the throne, unlike Cersei, who wants the throne and rules the throne but through her son as queen regent.  Men fear Daenerys and her dragons.  She is a goddess, a mother, and a queen.  She has both earned and demanded these titles.

Her similarities to Cleopatra VII are astounding.  Cleopatra VII Philopater, too, offered herself in the image of Egyptian goddess Isis.  Her natural language was Greek, but she spoke Egyptian as well.  She cast aside her brother to reign solo in Egypt, rather than with or subordinate to her brother.  Known for her great beauty, she was sought after my many men after her marriage to her brother, most notably Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.  Like Cleopatra, the beautiful Dany was sought after for the power, though one for the lust.  All respect her and fear her.  Her intent was to gain a fleet of ships to Westeros and reclaim her throne in the name of her forefathers.  Cleopatra also armed herself with a powerful fleet to first aid Caesar and later Antony.  The Targaryens were known to marry their siblings and keep the bloodline pure, just as the Ptolemys were, ruling for three hundred years.   Like Cleopatra, Dany fled as a child to Essos after her father’s death.  Both are politically driven, willing to whatever it takes to keep to reclaim the throne, even going as far as killing siblings.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

When Women Play the Game: Brienne Tarth

Brienne of Tarth by Elia Fernández
When we are introduced to Brienne, she bests the Knight of Flowers in a tourney of knights.  Much to the surprise of Catelyn Stark, she reveals herself to be a woman.  She is awarded with a spot as one of the seven in Renly’s Rainbow Guard.  She was never ladylike, both in personality and in appearance.  However, Catelyn noted her large beautiful blue eyes, the only thing beautiful about her.  And the one thing she saw in common with her own daughter Sansa was their love of songs of valor, both memorizing every song, wanting the romantic life of a knight’s or lord’s wife.  In this aspect, Brienne is very ignorant of court politics and customs, despite having been brought up with it.  But due to her looks, she was sidelined to embrace such manners.  The only time Brienne felt wanted was by a man who tried to marry her as a bet.  Tired of the court games and feeling like a joke to all royalty, she gives it up to be a soldier and serve Renly, the boy she fell in love with as a child.  He had been the only boy to show her true kindness and not laugh at her.