Game Of Thrones’ Michelle Fairley on women in Westeros

Catelyn Stark star Michelle Fairley on strong women in Game Of Thrones

Michelle Fairley as Catelyn Stark in HBO's Game Of Thrones
Michelle Fairley as Catelyn Stark in HBO’s Game Of Thrones

HBO’s fantasy epic Game Of Thrones may have no shortage of female characters, but as for strong female characters geeks are divided – in a clearly patriarchal society the women of Westeros often have to use their sexuality or feminine attributes like maternal needling and matching making, to get on top – literally and figuratively in the case of Daenerys Targaryen‘s (Emilia Clarke) character arc.

“The strong female characters are a testament to George [RR Martin] initially, and then of course to David [Benioff, executive producer], and Dan [Weiss, executive producer], and Bryan [Cogman, script editor],” says Michelle Fairley, who plays Stark matriarch Catelyn, speaking exclusively to SciFiNow, wryly pointing out that her contract has a “no nudity” clause.

“The female characters in Game Of Thrones I feel are slower burning than the male characters, they learn at a different rate depending on which family they are in, as well, especially in Catelyn Stark’s case… Because she’s so ingrained in her way of how you operate, how you do.

“What they have is a survival instinct in terms of how you exist in a male dominated world, and I think in many ways they have to be ahead of the game, much more so than the men, in order to outsmart them. They know how to use their charms, whether they’re ladies, queens, whores, daughters, whatever – it’s about survival.”

Game Of Thrones is airing now on Sky Atlantic. Read our review of the premier and pick up Season 2 now on DVD for £28 and Blu-ray for £36 from Amazon.co.uk.