|brienne:||sansa's right there|
|brienne:||can't i just rescue her right now|
|jaime:||because technically we're not here|
This kind of reaction is not uncommon, for Skyler in particular and for women – often wives – on top-drawer TV dramas in general. Characters like Skyler become targets of vituperation unimaginable to their male counterparts, most of whom engage in vastly more destructive and immoral behavior every episode. By failing to indulge every whim of the the male antiheroes around whom their shows are built, the women become obstacles to those men getting exactly what they want when they want it at all times, which is the core fantasy of antihero fiction. Cold cunning, ruthlessness, rage, self-interest, a propensity for physical violence – we gender these unheroic characteristics as male, and celebrate them; passivity, bitterness, grief, emotional enmeshment, a knack for attacking and deflating egos – we gender these unheroic characteristics as female, and loathe them. Skyler White, Betty Francis, Megan Draper, Catelyn Stark, Sansa Stark, Cersei Lannister, Carmela Soprano: On the sole count of “being women,” Fan Court finds you guilty as charged.
Sean T. Collins, totally nailing it. I can’t speak to Game of Thrones, but I maintain that the characters he mentioned from Mad Men and Sopranos are really great, well-written characters and the audience’s issues get in the way of many people fully appreciating them.
[Sean here—I wrote this for Rolling Stone regarding Breaking Bad, so there are spoilers if you click through the link, but this passage references Game of Thrones, with what I think is good reason.]