Gender Communication and Differences in Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Gender Differences
  • Script and Diaglouges
  • Death and Sex


Game of Thrones is one of the most popular tv series of this century and has been highly praised by the mass viewers as well as the critics for depicting the medieval era with a touch of fantasy inculcated. The show has been based of the best-selling book series, “A song of Ice and Fire” written by George R.R Martin and produced by D. Benioff and D.B. Wiess under the banner of HBO from 2011 to 2019. The show can boast of an astonishing popularity, averaging around 23 million viewership per episode if we take in the repeat telecasts and online streaming into account. In 2016 it became of the highest-awarded series in the Emmy Awards history, with a total of 38 wins.

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The story revolves around the contest to achieve the epitome of power symbolized by the Iron Throne among the kings and queens of the seven kingdoms. The show was labeled “boy fiction” for the portrayal of nudity, violence, prostitution, rapes and most of all for misogyny. Despite all this, women made up 43% of viewership in 2014 as reported by Wired, the reason being the depiction of many complex and adaptable female lead characters like Cersei Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, Catelyn Stark, Arya, Sansa, Yara Greyjoy, and Briene of Tarth.

We can see the evolution of female characters from playing to the gender stereotypes, to breaking those chains and becoming the lead and the center of power during the latter part of the show. Characters like Cersei, Daenerys and the Stark Sisters are the prime example of how the women went from being victims to conquerors and taking the center stage. All in all GOT sums up the differences in the Gender while giving way to women empowerment like a phoenix rising strong from its own ashes

Gender Differences

Gender, as a category of analysis, but more specifically as a relation of power, has not featured prominently in the analyses and critiques of many accounts of power and authority that remain influential in IR, both in research and in teaching, despite the existence of extensive feminist engagement with such conventional accounts. Yet, the relationship between gender and power is clearly represented in a show such as Game of Thrones. Within the discipline, the way we learn about world politics has served to exclude from sustained consideration the views, perspectives and representations of those individuals and groups that fall between the spaces of the neat ordering of IR theories and concepts, save for some critical perspectives that generally continue to reside at the ‘margins’ of the discipline. We argue that these disciplinary conventions are fundamentally unsatisfactory, that we need to ‘open up’ and unsettle the disciplinary divisions that inform our research and teaching.

Script and Diaglouges

To get an idea, we are taking the top fifteen speakers of both the gender largely based upon the number of lines spoken by them. According to an article from**/) 155,407 words were spoken, comprising of 10,671 lines and 3,181 minutes of screen time the results are astonishing. In the scripts men spoke 29% more lines as compared to women, but more importantly than that was the fact that a dead male character by the end of Season 6, Ned Stark had more lines credited to him than both Yara Greyjoy and Ygritte combined, who both were portrayed as strong and independent women who broke free from the stereotypes and went on to prove themselves as an effective leader capable of making decisions in their life and being fierce warriors on the battlefield. Male characters had more words compared to their female counterparts. They have spoken 0.7 more words per line and 4.3 more words per minute than female characters.

According to the work of Sally McConnel-Ginets work on gendered language, the below statements can be justified. Sally argues that men and women do in fact speak differently, regardless of the language, and that certain stylistics tendencies are common to each. Therefore the language of men and women are both components of gendered language is also reflected in body language and nonverbal communications.(Power of rehetoric in game of thrones how gender and language reflect character development)

Analyzing the words spoken by a specific gender, the results were even more curious. Male characters seemed to have more masculine-centered words like “men”, “man”, ”king” and “lord”. Female speakers were more likely to use proper nouns such as “Loras”, “Joffery” which reflected the words of female speakers like “husband”. The extensive use of words like “please” by women gave way to male dominance, it was a delight to learn that women used words like “stupid”, “liar”, and “oysters” more than men.

Death and Sex

We can say for sure that you have to have been living under the rock if you escaped the gossip of how Game of Thrones is a very sexy and a violent show at the same time. We still haven’t got over the fact of Ned Stark being beheaded In the Season 1, Episode 9 titled as “Baelor” and the death of Catelyn Stark in the heartbreaking “Red Wedding”, one of the most depressing moments in the entirety of the show.

Comparing death to sex, male characters die a more gruesome and bloody death like stabbing, while female characters die in a more creative way like throwing Lysa Arryn through the moon door, giving birth to Prophesied children, and even killing a prostitute in the most inhuman form by torturing her and impaling her nude with crossbow bolts. The “type of sex” data revealed how the show is full of medieval notions of love. Not only the female characters were more likely to be involve in romantic (love) sex, but they were also more like to be engaging in sex that could be termed as rape. The rape of Sansa by Ramsay Snow was both cruel and demeaning as he made Theon watch the whole act who in fact who was like a brother to Sansa. Male characters on the other hand were more likely to have paid sex as well has served sex. One more thing, incest was associated with Cersie Lannister only (Female), though we know that it always takes two to tango.

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