LONDON, March 28 (UPI) — Emilia Clarke doesn’t think Game of Thrones presents a sexist portrayal of women.
The 29-year-old English actress, who plays Daenerys Targaryen, defended the HBO series from critics who claim the show is “anti-feminist” in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
“There’s so much controversy,” Clarke acknowledged. “Yet that’s what’s beautiful about Game of Thrones — it’s depiction of women in so many different stages of development.”
“There are woman depicted as sexual tools, 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 elaborated.
“It pains me to hear people taking Thrones out of context with anti-feminist spin — because you can’t do that about this show,” the star said. “It shows the range that happens to women, and ultimately shows women are not only equal, but have a lot of strength.”
Game of Thrones has faced criticism for its frequent female nudity and plot lines involving violence against women. Director Jeremy Podeswa teased changes for Season 6 after the series faced backlash for Sansa Stark’s (Sophie Turner) rape.
“The show depicts a brutal world where horrible things happen,” Podeswa said in December. “[Series co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss] did not want to be too overly influenced by [criticism] but they did absorb and take it in and it did influence them in a way.”
Clarke has portrayed Daenerys since the series premiered in 2011 and told EW the character won’t be “swayed by anyone” in Season 6. Game of Thrones is based on the A Song of Ice and Fire book series by George R.R. Martin and will return April 24.