Something I Love
I’ve always loved floral flavored things, but I’ve recently become obsessed with rose tea. Not only is it exceptionally tasty but there are so many health benefits. Read about them here.
2. Something I’m Listening To
As promised, here’s my full foot stompin’ playlist! My heart just beats with a little more uuuumph while listening to this playlist, and I can really feel confident in tackling my day. This playlist makes me want to jump in a creek barefoot, but in the day to day, it just packs a little extra punch to my daily drive in Mustang Sally.
3. Something I Accomplished
IT’S COMING! My very first theater show with Jellybean Dance Collective is happening on June 8, 2019 at The Dance Foundation. There will be performances at 3 pm, 5 pm, and 7 pm. Please consider coming out to support this endeavor. I am just thrilled to have the opportunity to share something so dear to my heart. RSVP on Facebook here
4. Something I’m Inspired By
I just joined a Facebook group of Strong Southern women called “Reckon | Women.” This space was created to explore how to improve the lives of women in the Southern region. It is a group of diverse voices and experiences. It is a place to ASK QUESTIONS to better understand why others believe so differently than I do.
“To build consensus, we must first seek to understand. Remember: This group is about building women up--not tearing them down.” - Reckon | Women
In order to join the group, you have to submit who you think is a strong southern woman!
There are so many beautiful options! Who would you choose?
6. Something I Learned
“Why Everyone’s So Mad about Daenerys Targaryen” by Todd VanDerWerff for Vox is exactly the article I’ve been needing to get through this past week. It’s about more than “character development” or “bad writing” to me and to so many others, particularly female fans.
“Suffice to say, making Game of Thrones a story about how a woman who has long wanted power going a little crazy the closer she gets to it has rubbed many people the wrong way.“
It goes on to say…
“And many people have related to Dany deeply, seeing in her an avatar of feminine power they hadn’t seen elsewhere in pop culture when the show debuted in 2011.”
There’s also a note about writing and the eighth season as a whole that I think hits the nail on the head.
If you spend an entire series setting up a certain character as a would-be liberator or a would-be tyrant — and many viewers would argue that Game of Thrones spent way too little time on the latter half of that dichotomy with regard to Dany — it’s still going to be jarring when that character makes her final choice and viewers aren’t permitted into her head as she makes it.
You can respect that choice. You can even love it. But to many people, it’s going to feel like a betrayal, because we want, on some gut level, to understand it. It is this sense of betrayal that unites essentially every controversy that has bubbled up in the show’s final season, every complaint about how the series is no longer good or is making a hash of its reputation.
Much of Game of Thrones season eight seems designed, ultimately, to deny us the kinds of closure we might want. That’s an artistically valid choice, and one that could be immensely powerful in the right hands. But its potential impact relies on viewers’ belief that the choice to forgo closure is a deliberate one on the part of the artist, and not one made accidentally via clumsiness.
If you are disappointed in the Daenerys turn, it’s likely because you feel that Game of Thrones has somehow violated one of the core promises it made at its start. The moment when she burns an entire city reveals that the show no longer cares about rich psychological realism, or it would have invited viewers in to better understand her thinking.
It reveals that the show doesn’t quite trust women in power (the sequence with Dany’s dragon ride even explicitly links Dany and antiheroine Cersei, both via editing and costuming). And it reveals that the two people that Game of Thrones positioned as potentially good rulers who could break the wheel have either gone mad with power (Dany) or are just sort of sweet and dumb (Jon).
You don’t even need to believe that Game of Thrones has betrayed all three of those themes to be angry. For instance, I tend to side with Slate’s Willa Paskin in thinking the Dany turn is not anti-feminist, but I do sort of think the scene violates the show’s former attempts at psychological realism. Game of Thrones has simply gotten so big that its spectacle overwhelms everything else.
This show used to be about the moments between the spectacle, the moments that made us understand why a character would do what they did, even as their ultimate action proved shocking. We understood why Ned Stark lost his head. We understood why Catelyn Stark and Robb Stark died. But do we understand why Daenerys does what she does? On a visceral, gut level?
I would argue we don’t.
And finally, from an article by Vulture’s Kathryn VanArendonk, here’s the EXACT reason I sighed and was just like “okay… fine…” when Daenerys burned King’s Landing.
Disheartened isn’t even the right word. I am exhausted by Mad Queen Dany, with the kind of fatigue that leads to jaw-cracking yawns and deep, resigned sighs. The notion that this sprawling story about epic political gamesmanship, the corruption of power, the things we inherit from our families, the people we choose to love, and the inevitable inescapable march of death would ultimately hinge on a trope as painfully stale as “and then the scary powerful woman goes crazy” is, to be frank, boring. That Dany’s madness is preordained only makes it worse because it extends the umbrella of Game of Thrones’ unoriginal obsession with the emotional instability of women over a longer time frame.
Mad women have a long fictional history. They leap from fiery balconies, having been trapped in secret attics for most of their adult lives. They lose their minds after having children, or having failed to have children, or after their children die. It may not be not hard to find evidence that Dany’s madness is seeded from the beginning, but that does nothing to counteract the implication that Game of Thrones is a story about hysteria. If it’s always been pointing toward Dany’s madness, then it has always been a story about a woman who tries to take command, and whose ambition, trauma, and inability to have nice, chubby, living human babies, makes her mind unfit for the task.
And one final thought….
“I don’t think she decided ahead of time that she was going to do what she did,” Weiss [one of the writers] says about the instant when Dany cracks. “It’s in that moment … when she’s looking at the symbol of everything that was taken from her, when she makes the decision to make this personal.” This is no misguided interpretation of justice, in other words. Dany is not killing everyone in a broken attempt to save them. [matricide] She’s not seeking bigger themes, or trying to wipe the slate clean, or operating on some tragic but predetermined plan. She’s just a crazy, vengeful, unhinged chick on top of a dragon, a woman who once had grand goals but got distracted by her emotions, a woman who used to have father figures and cannot operate without them, a woman who could’ve had it all if she hadn’t gone and made things, ugh, personal.
I am anxiously awaiting the final episode, and I have more or less enjoyed this final season. However, it was so nice to understand this “disconnected” feeling I’ve gotten about Game of Thrones recently. I feel like lots of choices this season have lent it to be yet another mindless television show to pass the time. Its fantasy element and immersion capabilities have diminished to an unrecognizable point, but I still love it as a television show and not as a “story” and I can’t wait to see how the series ends!