My sister, Elia, she married Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and became the princess she already was. In Dorne, she walked among vipers and none would bite her. In King’s Landing, she found herself surrounded by lions.
“Ladies die in childbed. No one sings songs about them.”
The Dead Ladies Club is a term I invented** circa 2012 to describe the pantheon of undeveloped female characters in ASOIAF from the generation or so before the story began.
It is a term that carries with it inherent criticisms of ASOIAF, which this post will address, in an essay in nine parts. The first, second, and third parts of this essay define the term in detail. Subsequent sections examine how these women were written and why this aspect of ASOIAF merits criticism, exploring the pervasiveness of the dead mothers trope in fiction, the excessive use of sexual violence in writing these women, and the differences in GRRM’s portrayals of male sacrifice versus female sacrifice in the narrative.
To conclude, I assert that the manner in which these women were written undermines GRRM’s thesis, and ASOIAF – a series I consider to be one of the greatest works of modern fantasy – is poorer because of it.
The real tragedy of the book to show conversion is that the sand snakes actually wanted to crown Myrcella, not kill her.
See, Dorne is the only kingdom that treats women as if they’re equals. Women inherit lands and titles there. In fact, Doran actually has a daughter, Arienne, who leads the sand snakes in this plot. Oh, and she’s the crown princess of Dorne. Trystane is such a minor character.
They want to crown Myrcella, because according to Dornish law, she should have rightfully become the next ruler of Westeros instead of Tommen. Their revenge on Kings Landing isn’t to kill another Lannister, it’s literally to create a civil war against patriarchy. To make the Lannisters chose a side.
So by erasing Arienne, and making the sand snakes entire plot revolve around wanting to kill an innocent girl, the show really destroyed one of the best plot lines and kingdoms in the books.