Game of Thrones’ women have suffered a lot. To look back, Season 5's Sansa Stark rape scene was particularly revealing of the show's attitudes towards women, which has reflected throughout the rest of the series. Its portrayal of rape has demeaned victims, while casting many of them aside as plot devices that fulfilled their use, suggests Nina Bahadur of Self. Sansa’s rape is shown though Theon’s eyes, appearing to evoke sympathy for him, not her. Many victims of sexual violence are so marginal that their suffering is reduced to a plot device. In the case of Cersei it is implied that she merits her punishment. The show’s unnecessary sexual violence compresses the nuance of its female characters' misery.
The female-empowering path that Game of Thrones took necessitated a suppressed beginning for its women, only so they could emerge on top while male characters faded, theorizes Jane Gilmore of The Sydney Morning Times. Roles of traditional male power now belong to the likes of Cersei, Daenerys and Arya. Male protagonists on the other hand have become head-, hand-, power- and even genitalia-less in their quest for dominance. Meanwhile female characters have overcome hardships to claim power successfully. Tyrion, one of the show's most brilliant characters, has become content playing second-fiddle to Daenerys. Game of Thrones is a tale of women that rise to power against all odds.