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In the game of feminism, you win or you… well, no, you pretty much just win.

A SYTYCB entry

In a recent interview, George R.R. Martin, the author of the fantasy saga A Song of Ice and Fire, on which the popular HBO television series Game of Thrones is based, said something that brought a triumphant grin to my face.

George Stephanopolous: There’s one thing that’s interesting about your books. I noticed that you write women really well and really different. Where does that come from?

George R.R. Martin: You know, I’ve always considered women to be people.

Yes, that’s right, folks: George R.R. Martin is a feminist. And, consequently, so is his series.

Although there are many reasons to love Game of Thrones (the story is fabulously compelling, packed with enough war, politics, intrigue, murder, incest, and homoerotic subtext to keep even the most attention-challenged reader entertained), the series’ strength lies in its characters. As I continue to devour both the novels and the TV series with obsessive fervor, it becomes apparent that this is especially true of its women.

With the possible exception of Tyrion Lannister, a cunning and quick-tongued dwarf, the female characters in Game of Thrones are always far more intriguing and complex than are their male counterparts. While most of the men in the series either strut around like unintelligent peacocks, drinking and whoring and plundering (King Robert, Jaime Lannister, Theon Greyjoy), or brood darkly and incessantly (Eddard Stark, Stannis Baratheon), or just complain all the time about being cold, hungry, and horny (Jon Snow), the ladies fight, ...