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Asked why Westeros did not have a woman on the throne, the fantasy author responded (per Entertainment Weekly): “I get inspiration from history, and then I take elements from history and I turn it up to 11.”
“Games of Thrones is, as many people have observed, based very loosely on the War of the Roses. [House of the Dragon] is based on an earlier period in history called the Anarchy.”
The Anarchy refers to a period of civil war and unsettled government during the reign (1135-1154) of King Stephen of England.
“I don’t think Westeros is particularly more anti-woman or more misogynistic than real life and what we call history,” Martin added during the panel discussion in San Diego.
Game of Thrones faced a number of accusations of sexism for its treatment of the show’s female characters. In 2016, Daenerys Targaryen actor Emilia Clarke defended the show’s treatment of women.
“There’s so much controversy. Yet that’s what’s beautiful about Game of Thrones – its depiction of women in so many different stages of development,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “There are women depicted as sexual tools, women who have zero rights, women who are queens but only to a man, and then there are women who are literally unstoppable and as powerful as you can possibly imagine.
“So it pains me to hear people taking Thrones out of context with anti-feminist spin – because you can’t do that about this show. It shows the range that happens to women and ultimately shows women are not only equal, but have a lot of strength.”
House of the Dragon is out 22 August on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV.