It’s so rare that fantasy stories have a strong female character. Mostly it’s men being hero’s coming home to dutiful women. That’s why I love Game of Thrones…not only is there one female leader—there are at least five. Allow me to break them down:
Daenerys Targaryen: In the books she’s about 14 but in the show she looks much older. She is sold to Khal Drogo the head of the Dothraki tribe (killers…awesome killers). She finds a way to make her marriage work, she becomes a beloved Khaleesi (Queen) and after her husband dies she leads the Dothraki…UNHEARD OF! Not to mention she’s the rightful heir to the Throne of Seven Kingdoms and she will fight for them. Not to mention she’s the Mother of Dragons—she has three dragons.
Now, in season two she is a whiny entitled brat that demands people do and give her things because she has these dragons. It’s extremely annoying and disappointing to me but still—if I had dragons I’d threaten to burn people too to get my way. By the end of season two she finds her way back to being a bad-ass leader of the best fighters in seven kingdoms. I’m sure it’ll only get better in season three.
Cersei Lannister: Queen regent. She—like Daenerys—was sold to marriage but made it work for her. She never had sex with her husband, preferring her brother instead. She manipulated the King so her brother could be in his king’s guard, remain unmarried, and close to her. She put her son on the thrown because she thought she could control him and while she can’t…she manages to control everyone else to do her bidding. She’s tough as nails and calculating. Everything she does she feels is in the best interest of her children and her family (excluding her awesome brother Tyrion).
Catelyn Stark: Wife of the noble Eddard Stark. After Eddard Stark is murdered Catelyn helps her oldest son Rob rage a war. She barters on his behalf, plots to get her two daughters back, and all the wild stays on a very high horse.
Arya Stark: My favorite Stark! She’s the youngest girl and refuses to be a Lady. She can shoot a bow better than her brother, she takes sword fighting lessons, and she escapes with the night watch and pretends to be a boy. Basically, she stays alive by being brave and clever. As Arya’s story progress she will get better and better—her story is my favorite from the books.
Sansa Stark: This is controversial since she’s a very hated character. But Sansa is smart. She, at first, falls for the glitz and glamour of being a Queen—but once her father is murdered she quickly finds a way to survive while being a hostage of the Queen at King’s Landing. She deals with immense abuse and torture and never gives up. I’m quite fond of Sansa.
Honorable mention to Shae: Shae starts out as a whore brought to Tyrion Lannister (a dwarf, who is by far the smartest and most clever Lannister but is despised by his family for his height). Tyrion is quickly taken with her and brings her to King’s Landing. Throughout the story she is shown to be a survivor. She knows to trust no one, watches out for Sansa and tries to protect her as best as she can. All the while saying things like, “I know. I won’t let them. I’ll cut off their faces” when Tyrion explains that she needs to be careful because people want to hurt him.
Honorable mention to Ygritte: Called a “wildling” she is a “free woman”. She doesn’t understand why Jon Snow took a vow to not have sex. Telling him that her people would kill someone if they told them they couldn’t have sex with whomever they wanted. She’s tough, she can live off the frozen land. She turns the table on Jon Snow and goes from being his prisoner to his captor and as time goes on she seduces him. Plus…the way she says, “Jon Snow” is freaking hot.
Basically, these women are tough, powerful, clever and gorgeous. They’re just as good as the men and sometimes better. My hat goes off to George R. R. Martin for writing such amazing women into his book and to the writers of the HBO show for not dumbing them down for the show.