One of the great feats of Game of Thrones is that for the hour every Sunday I spend watching each episode, I'm completely transported from reality and taken deep into the wild world of Westeros. When I was watching "The Queen's Justice," however, one scene felt all too real. Like, ripped-from-the-headlines, why-am-I-still-protesting-this-sh*t real.
It was the much-anticipated meeting of Jon Snow and Daenerys, and it went a little something like this:
Missandei: "You stand in the presence of Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, rightful heir to the Iron Throne, rightful queen of the Andals and the First Men, protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, the Breaker of Chains."
Davos: "This is Jon Snow."
(Awkward silence . . .)
Davos: "He's King of the North."
The long-awaited scene garnered lots of chatter on social media, namely that the whole laundry list of Daenerys's titles is getting to be rather annoying, as is Daenerys herself, and about how refreshing it is that Jon Snow doesn't concern himself with accolades. He's the real deal.
Did no one else see what I saw?
Because I was watching the most obvious metaphor for sexism in the workplace, the most stereotypical man-versus-woman job interview in fake history.
Here's this orphan girl, who spent the better part of her life being subjugated by men, toiling endlessly to rise up and do some good along the way (ahem, she freed a bunch of slaves). She's now in a position of power, backed by a killer résumé. She's a working mum with three unruly toddlers, she's proud of her accomplishments, and she isn't about to be all modest about it.
And here's Jon Snow, a bastard with no birthright, yes, but a man who apparently needs no introduction just the same.
Sure, Daenerys spent a good deal of time on "bend-the-knee" semantics when there are justly some bigger undead fish to fry, but before everyone writes off Dany as just another bossy b*tch, consider the context.
Daenerys hasn't seen Jon Snow in action — she doesn't know what he's done or what he's gone through to get here, that he took a knife to the heart and straight-up died for his people. At this point, she's meeting yet another man who's probably planning to betray, rape, or murder her. ("So many men have tried to kill me, I don't remember all their names," she aptly puts it.) She has good reason to stand her ground and push for what she believes is justly hers.
Anyone who thinks she shouldn't needs to stop and ask themselves why.
I love Jon Snow as much as the next GOT fan, but before everyone starts lifting him up on their shoulders while piling mud atop Daenerys, remember that they both want the same thing, whether they admit it or not. They want to rule. Jon might seem above titles, but he certainly didn't seem willing to let his go.
Perhaps I read into this and the bitter realities of our male-dominated world had no place in that intimidating meeting room in Dragonstone, but I can't help but think that none of these eye-roll-emoji-filled tweets about Daenerys would be making the rounds if she weren't a woman.