Emilia Clarke Doesn't Buy That 'Game Of Thrones' Is Sexist

"I’m more than my appearances."

As Daenerys Targaryen, aka Khaleesi, aka the Mother of Dragons, aka many other things, Emilia Clarke has displayed an impressive range across five seasons on HBO's Game of Thrones. Her character has gone from being a pawn to a queen and everything in between, so it's no surprise — however unfair — that she's often questioned about one of the show's central controversies in the media: sexism.
Although many think Game of Thrones has a real problem with the way it depicts violence against women, Clarke doesn't agree that the show is anti-feminist. 
"There's so much controversy," she acknowledged to Entertainment Weekly recently. "Yet that's what's beautiful about Game of Thrones — its depiction of women in so many different stages of development." Although there's no denying that the show features women "depicted as sexual tools," she thinks it's important to take a more zoomed-out look at all the kinds of women on the show.

"[There are also] 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," she said. "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."

What Clarke further takes issue with is how both her comments and the show's approach to sex and violence can be misrepresented in the weekly media storm that takes place when new episodes are airing. Asked about a reporter who falsely claimed she "can't stand" sex scenes, she explained, "It's difficult to be misquoted and it's nice to have something like Instagram to say the truth. How many times has [Daario actor Michiel Huisman] been asked about the fact he's taken his clothes off a bunch? Is that even a discussion? No."
It's a fair point — so much attention is paid to female nudity and the things actresses are asked to do on TV that male actors almost completely steer clear of similar questioning from the media. Game of Thrones may, in fact, be the key reason for an uptick in male nudity over the past year or so, and while the scales aren't suddenly balanced as a result, it's very likely the trend wouldn't have happened at all without the conversation HBO's flagship series sparked.
So credit is due to Clarke and her fellow female co-stars for setting the record straight when it comes to the show's "sexism." You're free to have your own opinions on how or if it manifests in Westeros, but leave the perception of Daenerys to the one person outside of George R.R. Martin who probably knows her best.