The Atlantic

Lyanna Mormont and the Slogan Feminism of Game of Thrones

The show has had a complicated relationship with the women in its world. As it looks toward its conclusion, it is trying to simplify things.
Source: HBO

Light spoilers through Season 7, Episode 2 of Game of Thrones.

Jon Snow, newly appointed King of the North, is sharing his strategy—to fight Cersei, to fight the White Walkers, to win the many battles to come—with the assemblage of fighters who have agreed to join him in the effort. “Everyone age 10 to 16 we’ll drill daily with spears, pikes, bow, and arrow,” Jon informs the group. The warriors cheer. They like this plan: Everyone’s in this together, after all. If there’s to be any hope of victory, it’s going to require wide-scale cooperation. And, anyway, “it’s about time we taught these boys of summer how to fight!” Lord Glover bellows.  

But Jon corrects him; Glover has misunderstood. “Not just the boys,” Jon says. Women will be part of the effort, too. “We can’t defend the North,” Jon points out, “if only half the population is fighting.”

It’s in one sense yet another in , a show that has become increasingly fascinated with the minutiae of political decision-making as it winds down, and gears up, to its conclusion. But Jon’s decree also nods to the broader world occupies, a world that is fighting different kinds of wars and negotiating different kinds of politics. is a line that easily doubles as a slogan. It’s the stuff of hashtags, and memes, and Zazzle-friendly T-shirts.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic6 min read
The Indelible Awfulness of E. L. James’s The Mister
The author’s follow-up to her Fifty Shades series is hopelessly retrograde and dismally unentertaining.
The Atlantic4 min readSociety
Barr’s Narrative of Victimhood
The attorney general’s presentation will likely please the president, but does little for the credibility of the Department of Justice.
The Atlantic2 min readPolitics
Trump Still Hasn’t Condemned Russia for Meddling in the 2016 Election
The president has denied wrongdoing, played the victim, and refrained from criticizing Russia’s role in the election.