Politics, Hidden Agendas and a Game of Thrones: An Intersectional Analysis of Women’s Sexuality in George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones
By Elin Sandqvist
Bachelor’s Thesis, Luleå University of Technology, 2012
Abstract: This essay is an analysis of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy novel A Game of Thrones. The novel is analyzed from an intersectional perspective, and focuses on women’s positions in the power hierarchy, and in what ways they use their sexuality to access power. The analysis also discusses the family concept, and how women preserve their families in order to maintain biological ties. The intersectional theory used in this essay mainly consists of the definitions provided by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, and the concept of family structure is grounded in the views of Patricia Hill Collins.
In combination with the analysis, an intersectional model, which consists of eight different social and cultural categories, is presented in order to reflect the apparent hierarchy within the society described in the novel. The model shows that hierarchies within this society exist, and that the male gender, straight sexuality, and fertility are highly privileged factors. It is concluded that women’s sexuality and fertility constitute an important element in order for them to gain power, and it is also evident that women are incapable of attaining powerful positions if they are not in partnership with powerful men. For women, it is necessary not to deny their men sexual intimacy, meaning that they have to please them, giving them full access to their bodies, in order for them to be influential in society and attain a higher state of power in the hierarchy. The male ability is connected to intellect and physical strength, whereas the female ability is equal to fertility, which is also what constitutes a woman. The relationships between different families, or houses, reflect political alliances performed by men where women have no say. Women are merely regarded as assets, or wives, with the purpose of conceiving heirs.