Women warriors—from Game of Thrones to downtown Vancouver—women are fighting

Kimberleigh Smithbower Roseblade. Photo: Angie Holubowitch

Reported by Angela Holubowich

Crowds of men and women gathered together Sunday night at the Stormcrow tavern on Commercial Drive  for the third Season premiere of  Game of Thrones. Based on the books of George R.R. Martin, the series features a complex cast of characters engaged in sex, violence, war, deceit and the quest for power. Among those are numerous strong females who rival their male counterparts in the acts of swordplay, violence and leadership.

For years, female characters on television, movies and within pop culture have been given attention and focus based on their looks and sexual prowess. But there is a shift in motion: women are being offered up independent, strong role models that rule their world with intelligence, grace and beauty. Female warriors that dominate the battlefield then seamlessly integrate back into the home, whipping up gourmet meals and raising their children.

Local warrior

One of these “Urban Warrior Women” is Kimberleigh Smithbower Roseblade. As a western martial arts practitioner and swordplay instructor at Academie Duello in downtown Vancouver, she is skilled in numerous forms of weaponry and defence.

The integration of women into combat sports has grown substantially over the last few years while being fuelled by the media and pop culture. Smithbower Roseblade has been witness to this growth.

“Our archery program really took off upon the release of such films like Disney’s Brave which has a very strong female lead. There is no prince in that story; she is her own hero and movies like The Hunger Games really brought forth a lot of attention to our programs,” said Smithbower Roseblade.

From damsels in distress to dangerous dames

Where once upon a time princesses were saved by their princes. The damsels of today are armed and capable of wielding their own destiny. The Game of Thrones series has drawn more female viewers than men, which is uncommon for a medieval themed series and has left critics wondering, “What makes this story different”? Historical television has been made for decades and yet this story has entranced women who had not previously been interested by showing strong females in powerful leadership roles.

“I see this as a return to our original roots where the woman could be the one that kept your hearth and your home fires going and cooking your food and bearing your children but also defending her lands and standing by her fellow men and women,” Smithbower Roseblade said.


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  1. Monkey says

    “Female warriors that dominate the battlefield then seamlessly integrate back into the home, whipping up gourmet meals and raising their children.”

    Is it not possible to write an article like this without mentioning women cooking and taking care of children, i’m sure many women used to be fighters only.

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