There are very few things I like better in the television adaptation Game of Thrones than in the original source material. And when such a rare improvement does occur, the show has proven time and time again that it is more than capable of messing it up. One such thing is Margaery Tyrell. Although she has a large role in the show, her A Song of Ice and Fire counterpart features significantly less often. We never see the story from Margaery’s perspective, only from the perspective of others, and it’s from them that we are left to interpret her character.
Game of Thrones made her much more active in the story. This allowed the show to imprint on her a fascinating and cunning personality. I know I’m not the only one who was blown away by Margaery when Game of Thrones first introduced her—she’s a proponent for gay rights, sexually active, sure of herself, and smart enough to play the eponymous game of thrones. Of course we loved her. Unfortunately, this is still Game of Thrones. Margaery seemed amazing on the surface, but when you dig deeper, it’s clear she’s just another victim of Game of Thrones’s terrible misogynistic writing. Making her more active in the story is all well and good, but it came at the expense of Cersei’s characterization, because once again, the show completely failed to realize the original purpose of Margaery’s character.
Spoilers up through the end of Season 5 of Game of Thrones, of course.
Game of Thrones dazzles you with grand battles and dramatic contests of strength. Ignore them; it’s a ruse, designed to delude you into thinking that the wars of Westeros can be won with physical power alone.
Suddenly, as we go into the sixth season, the greatest warriors of the land are dead: Gregor and Sandor Clegane, Robb and Ned Stark, Renly and Stannis Baratheon, Barristan Selmy, Khal Drogo, Oberyn Martell, and Jon Snow all lie in their graves, returning to the series only by flashback or magical resurrection. Their strength and battlefield prowess won them nothing.
The remaining players owe their position to something other than physical strength: their ability to do the emotional labor necessary for success, or at least, their ability to rely on others to do it for them. Rather than force, this kind of emotional work will win the war.
This Valentine’s Day, as all Valentine’s Days, will not succeed in bringing our city down. This Valentine’s Day, as all Valentine’s Days, will soon recede into painful memory, fading with time, until another foul Valentine’s Day is upon us again.
—Welcome to Night Vale, “Valentine”
It’s that time of year again, nerd friends. That awful time of year known as Valentine’s Day. Once a year, before Valentine’s Day, our authors nominate and then vote on ships for our Top 20 Romantic Couples in Geekdom (10 Canon/10 Fanon) list. It is during this time that the LGG&F writers go from peaceful coexistence straight into full-blown anarchy as each writer battles for their favorite ships to make the list.
So now, blood-stained and bruised, it is my job as Supreme Overlord of LGG&F to bring you this year’s Top 20 Romantic Couples in Geekdom.