To Winterfell we pledge the faith of Greywater. Hearth and heart and harvest we yield up to you, my lord. Our swords and spears and arrows are yours to command. Grant mercy to our weak, help to our helpless, and justice to all, and we shall never fail you. I swear it by earth and water. I swear it by bronze and iron. “We swear it by ice and fire.”
Having taken a moment to compose myself, I can better articulate that KNOCKING UP TALISA JUST TO STAB HER IN THE UTERUS IS NOT FUCKING COOL.
I know this show is graphically violent; I know a lot of violence is canon in the novels. BUT THIS IS NOT CANON VIOLENCE. Robb’s wife wasn’t even supposed to BE at the Red Wedding, and including her just to stab her unborn child to death seems flagrantly unnecessary.
Of course, this isn’t the first time the show has created opportunities to kill characters who otherwise survive in the novels/ do not exist in the novels. HBO killed off all Daenerys’ handmaidens and her horse. They killed Walder Frey’s wife instead of one of his sons. They created and violently killed Ros.
I will happily tell people that I don’t think A Song of Ice and Fire is misogynistic, because while the world it takes place in is absolutely misogynistic, it’s clear that the gendered violence against women is frowned upon by the storytelling. The violence exists, but it isn’t glamorized by the text.
But I’m starting to think I can’t make the same argument about the show. There’s been kind of a lot of unnecessary lady killing, in unnecessarily gendered ways.
- Doreah was killed via entombment with her power-hungry sugar-daddy because she was being a gold-digger .
- Ros the prostitute was sold to Joffrey for target practice, during which she was shot, among other places, in the groin and breast.
- Talisa was stabbed in her womb.
Until men start dying from arrows to the dick, or by testicular torsion, or whatever, do not tell me men get the same treatment. They don’t.
Men have some pretty graphic canon deaths: Viserys and Drogo both readily come to mind. Eddard and Robb Stark. King Robert. But their deaths aren’t sexualized or gendered. Catelyn’s death wasn’t, either. They were just deaths.
These aren’t the deaths I’m complaining about.
I’m complaining about deaths created for the TV show that go out of their way to target or exploit female characters.
I understand the decision to use Frey’s wife rather than a son; she was a character who already existed. It was convenient.
But the Talisa thing, on top of Dany’s handmaidens and Ros, really rubs me the wrong way.
Timbers & Wind - an original ballad for the Red Wedding
The Red Wedding is a pretty momentous event in the universe of ASOIAF, and I thought certainly it would be something that the bards would sing and play about for centuries after. So, I had a go at it. I tried writing in a more traditional ballad structure to suit the series’ universe and tell the story a little better. Hope you enjoy!
Full lyrics under the cut.