When you play the Game of Thrones keep Dr. Freud’s number on speed-dial because there are some serious Mommy Issues running throughout the Seven Kingdoms. Motherhood is a complex experience on television and in real life and Game of Thrones does a good job of creating mother characters who are multidimensional as opposed to the perfect supermodel-brain surgeons or the abusive alcoholic skanks that haunt the houses of way too many TV dramas.
What’s interesting about the Game of Thrones’ mothers is that they’re so extreme. Some mommies will literally walk through fire for their “children” while others have no problem tossing a kid out a window if he sees something he wasn’t supposed to see.
This brings me to the reigning Queen, Cersei Baratheon, who as sovereign is metaphorically mother to all the people in the realm. While she clearly has what my best friend from college would call “boundary issues” in relationships, her genuine love of her children seems to be the least self-serving of her personality traits. Still, watching her defend her sadistic teenage son, Geoffrey, reminds me a lot of the real moms in playgroup who try to convince you their kid is just expressing his creativity by pouring glue on your daughter’s hair.
Even though she’s supposed to be the anti-Cersei, Catelyn Stark doesn’t exactly exude motherly warmth. I know it’s cold where she lives and all of that, but even while she was holding vigil over injured Bran’s bedside, I kept thinking, “Oh, man, if he wakes up, she is going to be so pissed at him for climbing when she told him not to.” She always seems to be waiting for you to miss curfew by three minutes so she can yell at you for 45 minutes about how inconsiderate you are and how the rules are there for a reason and why the hell did your father have to bring you home with him from the war anyway.
It seems that neither Tully sister must have had much of a role model in the way of motherhood because Catelyn’s younger sister, Lysa Arryn, wears crazy like braids twisted so tight around her head blood flow to the area of the brain governing not breastfeeding your tweenager is obviously restricted. She is that kind of scary-crazy that when she tells you you’re grounded for life, you believe her.
Finally, Daenerys Targaryen has had a difficult life and the loss of her husband and her human baby could have easily cast her as the Seven Kingdoms’ Sandra Bullock – the woman that you love and feel sorry for at the same time. When she gives “birth” to dragons and becomes the most bad-ass mom on the show, all you want to do is sic her on the mom of Glue Boy at playgroup. (No, Melisandre, “shadow” babies the size of adults don’t count. So don’t even think about getting that awful red hair in a twist and trying to go all Baby Momma on Stannis.)