If you aren't already DVR-ing it, "Game of Thrones" is HBO's latest buzz show, that basically depicts a power struggle for the throne in a medieval-ish fantasy world. It's based on an obscure novel by George R.R. Martin, which, let's face it, was never really for women.
Sure, there are women who attend sci-fi conventions and name-drop characters like "Daenerys" and "Cersei," but Martin's fan club call themselves the "Brotherhood Without Banners," for freak's sake. A nerd friend of mine who has read the books refers to them as "Boy Twilight," explaining that they "hit certain masculine pleasure centers" such as "sentimental men doing their duty," "amoral warriors drinking and wenching" and "and doing the right thing even if it kills you." (It's no makeover montage.)
But despite the serious nerd vibes emanating from this operation, I am totally into it! And so is every woman I know.
Maybe because, as another nerd friend points out, for a fantasy novel there aren't a whole lot of traditional fantasy elements (read vagina repellers) in the story. It's mostly a lot of political infighting, intrigue, backstabbing and plotting.
Oh yeah, and a ton of filthy sex. Cuz like the best HBO shows, it is duuuuurty. Every 5 minutes somebody is taking it from behind or humping their brother (or both). Which I guess brings me to my true "Game of Thrones" theory, which is that if you want women to get into something considered traditionally "male," just throw in some otherworldly boning.
Of course, it remains to be seen if women will stay tuned in without the draw of a strong female character like a Sookie Stackhouse, from that other dirty show on HBO. There are some powerful women in "Game of Thrones," but they all seem to get that way through a combination of manipulation and sex.
And I'm a sucker for that "Other Boleyn Girl"-style behind-the-scenes vagina wizardry in historical settings, because what else was a lady gonna do? But "Game of Thrones" takes place in a totally imaginary universe -- if winter can last for 8 years, why can't women have advanced beyond slaves, prostitutes and scheming wives?