Opinion | ‘House of the Dragon’, the feminist series that never was

Sofia Tellez is a film and television translator.

I grew up reading stories about princesses, not queens. Very few stories have entered popular culture with a woman as head of state. It is not surprising: there are few instances in the history of the world of women leading and directing the destiny of a people or a nation, of decision and fertility. Mexico has never had a female president; To date, only 14% of all state leaders are women.

The good thing is that we always have a fantasy world and imagination. when House of the Dragon As it began to air, it was talked about as a series more connected to a feminist agenda with a female perspective away from overt sexual violence. At this time, several eyebrows were raised simultaneously, but the reasons behind their raising were different. The first to doubt that this was possible were many women who had seen the previous series, Game of Thrones. Are we talking about the same universe inspired by the Middle Ages? In which women were traded, traded, sold to the highest bidder, raped, abused, kidnapped, beaten and tortured? Are they saying that the Westeros of 170 years ago is more progressive than the one we’ve seen over the course of eight seasons? Game of Thrones?

as an ornament or ornament, House of the Dragon It promoted what seemed to be a turning point in the fantasy genre: a banner of gender equality with an anti-patriarchal discourse. Questioning this ad in the post-#MeToo era, where commercial gender issues abound, was inevitable.

Another segment that raised eyebrows was the die-hard, mostly male fans of the gaming world. Game of Thrones. It is enough to do a non-exhaustive search on YouTube to find all kinds of opinions from men offended by the “indoctrination” of the series. They accuse the producers of pushing a “progressive agenda”, who want to force HBO viewers to change their ideology, their concept of good and evil… a lot of nonsense that results in videos full of men screaming and raging. See the inclusion of strong female characters as a sincere affront to masculinity.

And actually House of the Dragon Does it adhere to some degree of supposed feminist ideology that some of us view with suspicion and others point to with disdain and revulsion? Not really.

Wow, at least it doesn’t have its flaws game of thrones, It started airing in April 2011. There, when men lose their honor and everything they fought for, they are deprived of power, influence, territories. When women lose their dignity, they are deprived of dignity, free will and their humanity. In the first episode, Emilia Clarke in her Daenerys Targaryen character appears completely naked, her eyes fixed on nothing, she will be defeated. It will be the first time we understand that the women of Westeros not only desire power, but are not the masters of their own lives.

In this sense, House of the Dragon One goes a step further and separates herself from the narrative in which women can only give their bodies because they have nothing else to lose or gain. Rhaenyra Targaryen (played by Millie Alcock), the main character, will be the first female heir to the throne in her kingdom’s history; By appointment of his father, the King. Not without significant resistance from various powers close to the Iron Throne, who have already taken the opportunity to rule from a woman. A generation ago, Rhaenyra’s aunt, Rhaenys Targaryen, was denied this right even though she was the direct heir. That is why she received the nickname “the queen who never was”.

Westeros is not ready for a woman to occupy the throne, everything suggests. Rhaenyra’s own mother tells her: “Childbirth is our battlefield,” referring to women of the royal line. But what Rhaenyra has in mind is the battlefield, where she wants to cover herself in glory as a knight; With blood, betrayal and a plan that all suggests. That is, the dream of a new candidate for the Westerosi throne is like a man.

Although it is refreshing to see leading women who are not limited to suffering and pain, but have ambitions, values ​​and dreams, once again, they find themselves surrounded by men who want to determine their destiny and, ultimately, that Think they’ll succeed.. So, what’s the point of an audiovisual product that ideally questions gender issues if it doesn’t go beyond them?

Feminists who view all these short-series social conscience performances with suspicion and misogynistic YouTube detractors may have more in common than one might think: it seems that the creators of the series simply used feminism as a label to label them. can be placed. To improve the profitability of the product.

This year I got a chance to see College girls sex live, Hex Y Yellow jacketTo mention just a few American series that have a good dose of criticism of patriarchal society and that do not need to be presented in the media as part of “culture. Awake, got up” Her characters are women of varying dimensions, as well as sexual and ideological diversity. Almost never do their decisions and questions revolve around what a man does or doesn’t do, nor do they aspire to be one.

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House of the Dragon He arrived promising the full storygirl power” (Is it still called that?). And, although in some ways he manages to distance himself from the rampant mischief that Game of Thrones Can be put in a box, it is far from being the standard that its advertising teams would have us believe.

Feminism has to stop being treated as an added value in television and cinema which is more of an added value to the audiovisual product. And, if creators want to help create tangible change in popular culture, they need to start asking themselves if they have the right stories to do so. There are still a few chapters left from this season that will help us confirm that if House of the Dragon It will go down in history for its good treatment of female characters or if it lives up to the series Feminist That it never was.

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