Game of Thrones AU: in which Joffrey is transformed into a llama and forced to travel cross-kingdom, all whilst learning the true meaning of humility and friendship
So I’ve been seeing a bunch of people on Tumblr/Twitter complaining about the Grey Worm x Missandei subplot because it takes time away from canon material and first of all, the book isn’t a visual medium and some changes have to be taken into account. But also, a few things I want to highlight:
- It’s an age appropriate, fully consensual relationship positively portrayed. In a show which often uses violence against women as a plot device, Grey Worm explicitly apologizes for just looking at Missandei and potentially making her uncomfortable and despite the admittedly male-gazey scene of her bathing, the point still stands.
- It humanizes both Daenerys and her Khalasar. Dany’s people aren’t this nondescript mass of brown people calling her Mhysa, and they’re being shown as fully fledged human beings with their own motivations and emotions apart from their devotion to her. Dany braiding Missandei’s hair and talking about Grey Worm is closer to book!Dany and the woman behind the queen/conquerer than most of what we’ve seen on the show (which I can understand since internal monologue is definitely hard to convey) but it’s still nice to see.
- The pairing is a major middle finger to the idea that those who lack traditional genetalia cannot feel love and desire. “They can’t have sex” Gross lies because a) penis in vagina intercourse isn’t the only way to “have sex” and b) even if they can’t have traditional intercourse, why does that invalidate their potential romantic relationship in any way?
Honestly, I would much rather have a sweet added romance between two POC in a predominantly white dominated show that takes up a few minutes an episode (if that!) than more scenes where Meera Reed gets threatened with rape, Cersei is raped by Jaime (never ever over it EVER), Ros gets strung up nude and shot by Joffrey, random naked women are told to pleasure each other as Littlefinger monologues, because his personhood is so much more valuable than theirs… And who knows, maybe the show can use its reach and influence for good instead of pandering to the lowest common denominator and propagating violence against women as a form of entertainment, since our media has a major influence on societal trends and more representation is always a good thing.
HBO: In a previous episode, Oberyn is writing a poem for his daughter. Have you thought through his life in Dorne?
Pedro Pascal: I see him as an extremely contemporary, progressive and loving father. I think it’s so suitable that he had nothing but daughters to raise. He doesn’t shape ideas based on old conventions so his daughters are not limited by backwards, medieval morality.
HBO: He’s very emotionally intelligent.
Pedro Pascal: I think there’s a depth in the way that Oberyn perceives the world and the way he lives in it. I think there’s a lot of woman inside of Oberyn, which attributes to his strength.
HBO: Can you explain what you mean by “a lot of woman”?
Pedro Pascal: Perceptiveness. Intelligence. In the world of ‘Game of Thrones,’ which can harshly reflect some of the darker elements of our reality, I would argue that women are often forced to be smarter and more in touch with themselves because their circumstances are so ruled by men. Women’s survival skills kick in a bit earlier.
HBO: Would you say that Oberyn is a feminist?
Pedro Pascal: Absolutely. Without choosing to be. It’s just intrinsic and logical to him. Ellaria Sand is the love of his life because she is his equal, if not his superior, in certain ways. That’s part of what makes him such a fierce man because he knows who to take his lead from.
HBO: How do you hope that fans remember Oberyn?
Pedro Pascal: As a lover and a fighter. As a fun character who ushered in something new to King’s Landing and stirred some sh*t up: Big in, big out.
HBO: Fans are bound to be brokenhearted.
Pedro Pascal: As am I. As I have been all along.
Here’s the thing about why Sansa slapping Sweetrobin on the show is so gross:
In the books, Sansa deliberately avoids continuing the cycle of abuse, because she realizes the dangerous situation Sweetrobin is in, and why he has become the child he is, how his illness and Lysa’s mothering has affected him, and is able to relate his circumstance to her own. In the show, D&D have blithely had a victim of physical abuse continue it by slapping someone with much less power — due to illness and familial power structure — than she does. I’m 99% certain they have no idea what they did by writing that, but there it is. And we shouldn’t be using that moment to point out Sansa as a “badass,” because on top of it being a sign of continuing the cycle of abuse, there are dozens of other things about Sansa to celebrate.