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let's talk about cheese boy for a second
( image source: here )
Firstly, I think it is of utmost importance to recall how men with chesse have played an integral part of various forms of media (for who could recall the infamous cheese man of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, or the obsession that Alistair of Dragon Age seems to have with the substance?). But let us put aside our conventional knowledge of the typical cheese tropes (for they have no relevance this series, infamous for its use of deconstructive tropes) and examine how the individual known solely as cheese boy, subverts it and shows insight into true feminine power.
I am well aware that this may be shocking to some, but it very closely aligns with the critiques of various feminist and dadaist theorists (particularly dadaist theorists). For this, I think it is important we analyze what precisely his role is within the show. He is a man (traditionally the ultimate source of power in regards to medieval tropes) who brings cheese. But he is not just bringing cheese to anyone. No, he is bringing it to a group of three women, traditionally deprived of their right to weaponized femininity within this setting. Or perhaps, they radiate femininity but can not quite transform it into a true weapon.
Consider his words:
cheese boy: The cheese will be served after the cakes my lady.
Cake occupies a traditionally masculine space, as it contains flour, distilled from wheat, whose grain closely resembles the masculine “seed” (a term that grrm himself is quite fond of using which I doubt is coincidental). Cheese, of course, occupies a traditionally feminine role, being made from the milk of some manner of female animal, be it a cow or a goat. Here, cheese boy represents the patriarchy, insisting that cake (men) must be served (or valued) before women.
But Olenna Tyrell, the humanized representation of weaponized femininity in Westeros refuses to be treated in such a manner. She insists that the cheese will be served when she wants it served. She discards the masculine ideal of “cake” and recreates it in her own image of “cheese”.
And perhaps most shockingly, cheese boy accepts it with a small look of confusion, clearly symbolizing his new role as a subservient man in a female dominated society.
I would think that it is evident that cheese boy exists to subvert our traditional ideas of what cheese an audience expects from a masculine figure in a pseudo-medieval setting. I applaud whomever created such a nuanced and subversive character.