HBO's popular fantasy drama, Game Of Thrones, has often faced criticism regarding its treatment of women. Now being a fantasy show, GoT can get away with pretty much anything — be it the controversial rape scene of Sansa Stark or the young Shireen Baratheon being burnt alive by Melisandre — and that's exactly what actress Natalie Dormer, who plays Margaery Tyrell on the series, feels as she defends the show from critics who call it sexist or misogynistic.
"I choose fantasy to vent, to process complex political, sexual and social politics at the safe distance of fiction," Dormer told Sunday Times' Culture magazine. "For me, that's what art should be."
"The horror of human nature is prevalent in our world, and I appreciate that some people want to turn on the telly for escapism — but if that's what you want, don't watch Game of Thrones," added the actress.
In an earlier interview, Dormer's co-star and fellow female star Maisie Williams, also weighed in on the controversies surrounding the treatment of women on the show, comparing it to what the situation really was in the time period parallel to when the fantastical world of Game Of Thrones is set.
"I feel like people are treated badly on it all the time — men, women, girls, boys ... animals," Williams told Time last July. "[The show is] set in a time where women didn't have it easy. Women haven't had it good over history, like it's been a pretty s**t time for us. And like a lot of other fantasy, the show takes on controversial topics."
Game Of Thrones season 6 premieres on Sunday, 24 April 2016.