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In Game Of Thrones Review, New York Times Explains Women Hate Fantasy Novels

Illustration for article titled In emGame Of Thrones/em Review, emNew York Times/em Explains Women Hate Fantasy Novels

On Sunday Game Of Thrones, the TV show based on a series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin, premieres on HBO. In her New York Times review, Ginia Bellafante writes:

Like "The Tudors" and "The Borgias" on Showtime and the "Spartacus" series on Starz, "Game of Thrones," is a costume-drama sexual hopscotch, even if it is more sophisticated than its predecessors. It says something about current American attitudes toward sex that with the exception of the lurid and awful "Californication," nearly all eroticism on television is past tense. The imagined historical universe of "Game of Thrones" gives license for unhindered bed-jumping - here sibling intimacy is hardly confined to emotional exchange.

The true perversion, though, is the sense you get that all of this illicitness has been tossed in as a little something for the ladies, out of a justifiable fear, perhaps, that no woman alive would watch otherwise. While I do not doubt that there are women in the world who read books like Mr. Martin's, I can honestly say that I have never met a single woman who has stood up in indignation at her book club and refused to read the latest from Lorrie Moore unless everyone agreed to "The Hobbit" first. "Game of Thrones" is boy fiction patronizingly turned out to reach the population's other half.

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Wow, that's too bad. The show looks pretty awesome in the 14-minute preview, and I just started reading the books after two (female) friends recommended them to me. But now that I know the sexy bits are only thrown in to pander to women I guess I'll move on to something else. I really should get around to finishing The Silmarillion one of these days.

A Fantasy World of Strange Feuding Kingdoms [NYT]
'Game of Thrones': HBO Won't Let You Miss It [VIDEO] [The Wrap]

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DISCUSSION

tiredfairy
tiredfairy

First of all, I have a hard time believing she actually watched it. Mainly because she acts like Tyrion, who has the somewhat uncommon genetic trait of being born a HUMAN "dwarf", is the same as Gimli in LOTR...where dwarfs are a separate RACE. So that's a huge and epic viewing comprehension fail. And it just gets worse. What on earth does this have to do with D&D? Oh, wait, it has swords. It must be exactly the same. WTH.

As a huge LOTR nerd, comparing ASOIF to LOTR would be like comparing Neuromancer to I, Robot. Sure, they're both science fiction. But that's about all they have in common. The approach, perspective, world, and concept is totally different.

I suppose it also escaped her notice that True Blood is viewed mainly by a female audience. Because horror has a higher female viewership. And ASOIF is actually horror fantasy, so, it's not the "sex" that's appealing to women. It's characters like Arya, Daenarys, Brianne...etc. The fact that female characters are good, bad, ugly, fucked up...you know...treated like characters. And because women like many different kinds of stories that do not necessarily include SATC.

Honestly, the most insulting part of the article is when she claims the show is patronizing to women...when her ENTIRE article acts like we are only capable of enjoying "literary" type fiction or romance or shoes. Thanks, but, I like a lot of things. I like Mad Men and sci-fi and Fantasy. I like GOOD STORIES with COMPELLING FEMALE CHARACTERS.

This nerd rage brought to you by a Tolkien geek, horror/sci-fi/fantasy/genre fiction enthusiast, who writes and edits comics for a living. That article can officially get off my girly, nerdy, lawn.