Wine, Women and Westeros Episode 1

By Michael DiMauro on

About Michael DiMauro

Michael founded GeeklyInc with Tim Lanning way back in 2013 when they realized they had two podcasts and needed a place to stick them. Since then, Geekly has grown and taken off in ways Michael could have never imagined.


Welcome to the inaugural episode of Wine, Women, and Westeros, an offshoot of the regular Cast of Thrones podcast! In this very special, lady-centric episode, I and my friends Betsy and Annie discuss both the badass women of the ASOIAF universe and our experiences as female fantasy fans over a rather large bottle of wine.

Though I totally love book-clubbing and episode-analyzing with the guys, I must admit that this lady-cast was loads of fun. We talked Arya’s tomboyishness. We talked Cersei’s Mean Girl bitchiness. We talked how Sansa manages to be the worst despite following all the rules. It was like all my grad-school and Game of Thrones fangirl fantasies converged into an hour of perfection. That is, until Tim Lanning shows up and throws off our collective groove. Oh well, nothing gold can stay, right?

Since this is our first woman-centric episode, we want to know what you think! Are there any topics that you’d like to hear us talk about? What wine should we try next? Is Cersei Lannister the Regina George of Westeros? Leave us some iTunes reviews, or get at us on Twitter! Thanks as always for your fabulousness.

The coHosts- Nick BristowMichael ‘Thrifty Nerd’ DimauroMike DaoTim LanningJennifer Cheek – Special Guests: Betsy Cohen and Annie Bickerton.

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  1. I really liked the whole “Wine, Women, and Westeros” idea. (Spinoff, I guess?) I feel like if y’all keep it going, it’s going to be even more interesting around books 3 and 4. That said, there’s certainly plenty to talk about already and I really like getting the more estrogen-filled discussion. One thing I was a bit shocked wasn’t brought up in the “crazy mother” section was Catelyn’s intense (and somewhat irrational) hatred of Jon Snow. Maybe next time? As far as wine suggestions go, I’m a fan of tempranillos and I’ve been able to find those as low as $6. I’ll definitely be drinking along with you next time!

    • Oh man, Betsy, Annie & I were talking off-microphone about how much more there will be to talk about in the upcoming seasons! No spoilers here, but I am super excited about it. And yea, I’ll blame the wine on us not talking Catelyn’s extreme Jon-hate. I can’t get over how terrible she is in relation to him when she’s normally such a great character.

      Thanks for the wine suggestion! I will definitely keep an eye out for a tempranillo next time I’m in ye olde liquor store. 🙂

      • Also when you talk about Catelyn’s extreme Jon hate, think about what Cersei does to Robert’s bastards. I know a lot of book fans really dislike Cat at least in regards to Jon Snow, but she’s sort of lenient compared to Cersei.

  2. I absolutely LOVE this offshoot. Women and Westeros are probably my two favorite topics of conversation, and I have been thinking about them in tandem ever since I realized that ASOIAF is full of fascinating, multivalent gender issues that lead to great discussions. Please keep recording WW&W episodes!

    I also have some comments and questions about this episode. Firstly, I don’t think that Arya has gender dysmorphia because, when mistaken for a boy, she always corrects the speaker and asserts her girlhood, often rather indignantly. I think she’s just a young woman in touch with her masculine side.

    Like Jennifer, I like Sansa and feel really terrible about everything she has been forced to endure. As you mentioned on the show, her hyperfemininity and focus on marriage and children would be fine if she were not being used as a pawn in a war. During wartime, the more masculine characters (at least, the ones who don’t get killed in the testosterone-fest that is battle) often come out more powerful than the feminine characters. That being said, do you think there is a way for a character in Westeros or Essos to be feminine and powerful that does not involve sex? (And I do mean “feminine,” not “female.”) Is it fair to discount sex as a way to power, given the social situation of these feminine people? Can you think of any examples of this? (SLIGHT SPOILER: one thing that comes to mind is one character’s repeated phrase, “I am but a young girl, and know little of the ways of war.” Playing at femininity to gain information?)

    And one more question: what if Cersei had been a man?

    • LOVED the W3 cast!!! Absolutely want recurring episodes. Nice job ladies! Future topic requests – bringing back Marry, F***, Kill with an all femme’s POV might be kinda funny.

      Wine recommendations – if you like chocolate and wine, Chocolate Shop ( I’ve only tried the Chocolate Red and it was like drinking wine and eating dessert all at once! MacMurray Ranch has good pinot noir too. Thanks for the great podcast.

  3. Thanks so much for the awesome questions and comments, ladies! I totally agree with you about Arya, Caroline. I think she identifies pretty strongly as a girl, but just doesn’t want to fulfill the female roles that are prescribed to her.
    Also, I think there are some really fascinating things coming up for Dany that would make your question about femininity and power without the use of sex a really dynamic point of conversation. I also wonder if the power Catelyn and Cersei hold as mothers and the ways they empower themselves in regards to their sons in future seasons can be qualified as ‘non-sexual?’
    And if Cersei had been a man… geez-I’m pretty sure she would have been just like Joffrey, but less stupid?
    Thanks for the wine rec! Chocolate + wine sounds delicious!

    • Thanks for the response! That is a really good point about Catelyn and Cersei empowering themselves as mothers. They use their children (mostly sons) to gain power because they have more power over their sons than they have other any other men, and men typically get the power in Westerosi society. So it’s empowerment through owning a feminine role (motherhood), but it’s still empowerment through a man.

      A related topic of inquiry that I find fascinating is the relationship between biological and non-biological motherhood in the series. Catelyn, Cersei, Lysa, etc. attempt to gain and/or maintain positions of power mostly through leveraging their children, but Daenerys and SPOILERmelSPOILER have some pretty interesting ways of gaining power with their ability to create nonbiological “children.” Which group tends to be more successful? What kind of success do they attain? There are so many juicy quotes in the series about motherhood, such as Cersei describing childbirth as the woman’s equivalent of battle. I would love to hear you tackle this issue on a future podcast. It might be especially fruitful after ACoK is on the table for discussion.

  4. I was as happy as Tyrion riding a dragon made of whores listening to this podcast. There are some truly interesting and amazing women in this series (Brienne, Cat, and Sansa being my favorites) hidden among all the bumbling penises. Not literally. Well, okay, sometimes literally. Please continue with the ladies’ perspective in future seasons/books.

  5. I wanted to say how much I enjoyed this episode.
    I began reading the books when I saw the trailer for the show. I thought the show looked interesting I would give the book a shot. I honestly didn’t think I would like it as much as I do. I actually LOVE the story line.
    I believe that the women actually seem to be the strong characters in the first book ( I am re-reading the second to get ready for the new season). The women and the children of the major families. It seems that each female character herself has a sense of strength to survive and use her wit and sexuality to her advantage to control the situation. As far as Sansa, I do believe she will evolve to realize that is what she may have to do to outwit Joffery and get away.
    I look forward to seeing how these women evolve and the men around them play the war games.
    Please continue these sessions.

  6. I really enjoyed this guys! The usual Cast of Thrones episode is always hilarious and engaging, but it was great to listen to a female perspective and to hear a little more from Jennifer than usual. The nerd in me would like more academic discussion of feminism and patriarchy in the series, but perhaps that would clash with the wine 🙂

    Looking forward to the next one!

    P.S. I’m shocked that no one mentioned Harry Potter in this episode. I’m pretty sure you have a running streak by now.

  7. I really liked this episode! I thought it was great and insightful because I love most of the female characters in the series. I can’t wait to hear the next installment of Wine, Women, and Westeros.

  8. Loved W3! Hope to hear more from you, guys.

    I’ve read all of the books and I’m listening to the cast of thrones podcast while I wait for GRRM to finish book 7- and the rest of the series for that matter.

    I think its a necessity for Lady to die in the series. The book alluded to Sansa dreaming about Lady and I think she will draw strength from her. I recall how Ghost also sees his brothers and sisters and one of them was “lost” but he can still feel her. In the same way, Lady’s death triggered Sansa’s character to evolve. To learn to adapt to the situation in order to survive. I feel that both sisters, will be strengthened by being separated from their wolves. I do wish Nymeria will find Arya somehow. Just imagining how intense their reunion will be gives me goosebumps!

  9. Late response, but I just started listening to the (regular) podcast yesterday, and I have to say that I would LOVE if you guys did more installments of Wine, Women & Westeros. There’s such rich topics to explore in this series in regards to gender, so it’s great to see to hear a podcast focus on the female perspective. I particularly enjoyed the discussion on the Arya/Sansa dichotomy, and of course the exploration of how a huge element of this story is about the ways in which these women work to grab what power they an (this is why I can’t really dislike Cersei, for instance).

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