The Women of Game of Thrones
Updated: Sep 22
With Game of Thrones in its last season, and its season premiere amassing an astonishing 1 billion views on its first night, the HBO show is set to break streaming records and possibly the internet. A lot of things separate GOT from other shows; the high definition graphics, the casual nudity that makes you question why you decided to watch Game of Thrones with your family in the first place, and the fact that you can’t trust that any main character will live till the end of any episode. One thing the show also has that many other shows lack are the legitimately badass, strong women in the show. And if you’ve made it to the last season, you’re well aware of the characters I’m talking about. But these women didn’t start out this way. Just like us, they've endured a tremendous amount of hardships that made them the women they are now. Let’s take a look at four powerful women from Game of Thrones whose endurance and strength we can all learn from.
1. Don’t Mess with a Mother and her Cubs If you thought there was nothing you wouldn’t do for your child, there is LITERALLY nothing Cersei Lannister wouldn’t do for her children. Only daughter of Tywin Lannister, the richest man in all of Westeros, Cersei has been groomed from a young age to be the perfect wife in a world where men dominate society. She was married to Robert Baratheon, King of the Seven Kingdoms. Throughout years of her loveless marriage, Cersei endures endless nights of her husband constantly sleeping with other women, along with his drunken attempts to get her to join them. Despite all this, Cersei knows her place and plays her role in the castle well, because she understands that in order to keep her children safe, she must bade her time until her eldest son takes the throne and the power of the throne will finally reside in her hands. Despite the numerous forces trying to unseat her from her state of power, and despite the numerous amounts of men who think they can outsmart her, Cersei has proven time and time again that you don’t mess with her, and especially not her children. Being a woman and a mother doesn’t make Cersei weak. In fact, it’s what gives her the motivation to survive in the world she was placed in.
2. Swords Aren’t Just for Lords Brienne of Tarth is a woman, and a formidable knight, who is loyal to King Renly, the master she has chosen to serve, and his vision for the world the reason why she has decided to become a knight. At a time and in a world where women are not raised to be fighters, Renley acknowledges her ability and strength and takes her into his Kingsguard, the most prestigious and honored position for a knight. However, when King Renly is murdered by an act of black magic, and Lady Catelyn Stark is the only witness to the impossible act, she later declares her loyalty to Lady Catelyn, promising to bring her back her two daughters, Sansa and Arya, from King’s Landing. Not once on her journey, despite all the men on the way that beat her down (physically and verbally), did she stop to question her mission. Her loyalty and determination is unbounded, and Brienne kicking ass in this show proves that a women can do whatever a man can if she sets her mind to it.
3. More than Just a Pretty Face Sansa Stark is the eldest daughter of the Stark family, and an extremely beautiful girl. Despite what should’ve been promised to her, a life of parties and fancy dresses, married to a handsome king and raising her own little beautiful children, Sansa endures and witnesses acts many of us can’t even begin to imagine. At the age of thirteen, Sansa leaves her family and home Winterfell and is brought, along with her sister Arya and her father Ned Stark, to King's Landing, where her father will serve as Hand of the King, the second most powerful position next to the King. At first it looks promising, entering a new land with exquisite cuisine and being promised to marry the next king in line to the throne, Joffrey Baratheon. However, in a quick turn of events, Ned Stark threatens to tell King Baratheon that Cersei’s eldest son Joffrey is not actually Robert’s son. But when King Baratheon dies in a tragic hunting accident, and after being promised that if Sansa gets her father to confess his crimes about the “lies” he has made about the crown in front of the people of Kings Landing which she eventually convinces him to do in order to spare his life, witnesses instead the brutal beheading of her father, ordered by none other than King Joffrey, her betrothed. From that moment, Sansa is being used as a pawn in a game, surrounded without any of her family by the people who murdered her father. All at the age of 13. Despite the few instances her hopes are up that things may get better, time and time again she is proven wrong. Sansa’s perseverance allows her to slowly understand how the game is played, and later proves she’s no one’s property. Her patience is finally paid off when she exacts revenge on all of the men who used her for their own agendas.
4. Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon Forced to flee from Westeros as an infant, after the murder of her father Prince Rhaegar during the Baratheon takeover of the Iron Throne, Daenerys and her brother Viserys were left on a new continent, Essos, with nothing to their name. She and her brother have the true claim to the Seven Kingdoms, and must live in hiding for fear of death by the current crown. In a plan to reclaim what is theirs, Viserys has groomed Daenerys for marriage to Khal Drogo, a violent Dothraki leader who however has a massive army that they will need if they want to take back the throne. At 13, she is married to Khal Drogo against her will, and is forced to have intercourse every night to produce an heir. However, through determination and perseverance, Daenerys turns this bad situation around by asserting her power and loving her husband the way a wife would. Khal Drogo soon grows to love her, and is willing to take his armies to fight for her. Later in the show, she acquires three dragons, and uses them to continue to build her army across Essos. Just like the dragons she mothers, Daenerys Targaryen has a fire inside her that cannot be ignored or extinguished. Refusing to be like the rulers before her, she uses her dragons to free both soldiers and slaves, who later decide to fight for her, the women who gave them their freedom.
Game of Thrones Sunday may be a thing of the past with the final season coming to an end earlier this month, but the fearless, brave, badass women of the series will not be forgotten. We know you may still be coping with the loss of GOT, but the best way to get over grief is to talk about it. So leave a comment below and let us know who your favorite characters of the series were.