“People love new female artists so much because they’re able to explain that woman’s success,” Swift said in the new issue of Rolling Stone released Wednesday. “Look at the ‘Game of Thrones’ finale. I specifically really related to Daenerys’ storyline because for me it portrayed that it is a lot easier for a woman to attain power than to maintain it.”
During the lengthy interview, Swift sounded off on a number of hot-button topics, from her highly publicized feuds with rapper Kanye West and music executive Scooter Braun to the mother of dragons’ controversial, murderous turn at the conclusion of HBO’s hit fantasy epic.
Though the “Lover” singer clarified she didn’t condone Daenerys’ jaw-dropping decision to set fire to hundreds of helpless civilians, she could understand where Emilia Clarke’s dragon queen was coming from.
I hadn’t done a @RollingStone cover in 5 years, and hadn’t seen @hiattb since I got in 2 car crashes while driving him around during our interview in 2012. 🤦♀️ There were no cars driven this time, but we had a lot to catch up on.— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) September 18, 2019
📷: Erik Madigan Heckhttps://t.co/NAFBh0pUgI pic.twitter.com/fwbRYouo8r
“It’s a total metaphor!,” Swift said. “Obviously I didn’t want Daenerys to become that kind of character, but in taking away what I chose to take away from it, I thought maybe they’re trying to portray her climbing the ladder to the top was a lot easier than maintaining it, because for me, the times when I felt like I was going insane was when I was trying to maintain my career in the same way that I ascended. It’s easier to get power than to keep it. It’s easier to get acclaim than to keep it. It’s easier to get attention than to keep it.”
Much like Daenerys, the pop star and self-proclaimed “Thrones” fan has often found herself at the center of conflict. Her name recently landed in headlines when talent manager Braun purchased her first six albums from Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Label Group. Swift’s outraged reaction to the news prompted a familiar mix of sympathy and ire from the public.
“When you have a business relationship with someone for 15 years, there are going to be a lot of ups and a lot of downs,” she said of what she considers a “betrayal” by Borchetta. “I truly, legitimately thought he looked at me as the daughter he never had. ... To go from feeling like you’re being looked at as a daughter to this grotesque feeling of ‘Oh, I was actually his prized calf that he was fattening up to sell to the slaughterhouse that would pay the most.’”
The hitmaker, who has since declared plans to rerecord her earlier work, also addressed her now-infamous feud with West and, to a lesser extent, his wife, Kim Kardashian West. Swift’s beef with the rapper dates back to the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, when West interrupted Swift’s acceptance speech for female video to praise Beyoncé instead.
West later apologized to Swift, and the pair seemed to have buried the hatchet, until West rapped in 2016’s “Famous” that he “made that bitch” — referring to Swift — “famous” after musing that the two “might still have sex.”
The country-turned-pop artist publicly disapproved, followed by the release of a secretly recorded phone conversation between her and West, shared by Kardashian West, in which Swift permitted West to use the first half of the lyric (there was no mention of the B-word).
“I started to feel like we reconnected, which felt great for me — because all I ever wanted my whole career after that thing happened in 2009 was for him to respect me,” she said of their rocky relationship. “I realized he is so two-faced. That he wants to be nice to me behind the scenes, but then he wants to look cool, get up in front of everyone and talk .... And I was so upset.”
Throughout the Rolling Stone interview, Swift also detailed her newfound obsession with politics — after regretting her decision to remain neutral leading up to the 2016 election — and her inspirations for her latest album, “Lover,” which dropped late last month.