Game of Speculation: Passing the Bechdel Test

A thought just occurred to me, regarding Margaery Tyrell’s new scene partner in S6. (Really, I was just upstairs, getting ready for bed, and this thought came up.)

Basically everyone’s assuming a male character to interact with Margaery. Why are we assuming that? Natalie Dormer didn’t make any reference to gender. It could just as easily be a woman.

IN FACT, when Dormer mentioned her new scene partner, it was in the context of having shared scenes with other women in the past:

“I just personally wrapped season 6 last week,” Dormer says. “What I love about Game of Thrones is every year you don’t really know who your pairing is going to be with. I’ve had some great stuff with Sophie Turner in the past, and some great stuff with Lena Headey. And I’ve got a whole new partner to play with in this season. So, I had a lot of fun there.”

How about Septa Unella?

(She’s the one who followed after Cersei and rang the Shame Bell.)

Unella will also be in S6; I’ve seen the actress, Hannah Waddingham, in some photos taken from outdoor filming and cast sightings in Girona.

Septa Unella was also the one who kept visiting Cersei in her cell and telling her to confess. She’s the one who held out the ladle of water and then poured it on the floor when Cersei refused.

It’s not at all a stretch to think she’s also been paying some visits to Margaery in her cell, or that she will soon start doing so.

We’ve heard that Margaery appears to have become a convert to the Sparrows at the time of her liberation from the Sept. And then it’s also suggested that she’s just pretending to be converted. But either way, the High Sparrow and his peeps seem to think she’s become one of them, so they let her go.

What if Margaery makes her supposed conversion through her interactions with Septa Unella, rather than with the High Sparrow? We’ve already seen that Marge has better social skills than Cersei; rather than switch between bribing and threatening Unella, she takes a more subtle, thoughtful approach and gradually makes the Septa her new friend. I think that would work, it would be very interesting to play, and we don’t need yet another instance of a privileged young woman using her feminine wiles to manipulate a man into giving her what she wants. Margaery is good at getting men wrapped around her little finger, but she’s also good with women. She is possibly the single female character in Game of Thrones with the most non-adversarial interactions with other women. Dany has Missandei, Sansa had Shae for a while, Catelyn had Brienne for a little while, Ellaria has her Snakes but that’s a terrible example of female bonding, Sansa had her kindly old servant for a little while but we saw what Ramsay did about that. Margaery loves her grandmother, AND she was a friend to Sansa, she was nice to Brienne, and she has her girl cousins around her all the time. Margaery is the best candidate to pass the Bechdel Test. She could be the one to succeed where Cersei failed, which is to convince Septa Unella that she’s a good person.