Fire and Estrogen.
Game of Thrones has long been marked off as a violently sexist show. From the innumerable naked and nameless women on the program (with relatively few nude male counterparts) to the treatment of sexual assault and rape, even the general lack of women in power and displays of misogyny have run rampant since Season 1. After all, this is a medieval world.
But now, winter is officially here, and Daenerys isn’t the only woman bringing the heat. Suddenly, and almost without warning, woman are running Westeros nearly everywhere you look, from the youngest of girls to the most wizened of women, author George R. R. Martin and show-runners D. B. Weiss and David Benioff have quite pleasantly surprised us with a coup de femme, and–love them or hate them–the female characters are calling the shots now.
Okay, so we might have seen this coming for seasons at this point, but the finale of Season 6 was just so satisfying, and so obviously filled with the girl power that is sweeping Westeros, we had to comment on it. Naturally, don’t read on if you haven’t finished Season 6 yet and don’t want the spoilers!
Here’s what’s happening with the women in Westeros…
Lady Lyanna Mormont is a new favorite on the show this season. Though young in age and small in stature, Lyanna shows a wisdom beyond her years, as well as a fierce loyalty so engrained in Northerners. Throughout the season, she demonstrates her sharp intelligence and no-nonsense manner, often acting more boldly then her middle-aged male counterparts, the Northern Lords.
Lady Mormont singlehandedly gives momentum to Jon and Sansa’s cause, allowing the Starks to regain influence and power in the North, and ultimately, she is the one to name Jon King in the North as the other Houses follow.
Another character who rose from the ranks of secondary importance to leading lady this season was Yara Greyjoy, and her importance as a woman on the show remains especially unique.
A born warrior and a proven leader from the particularly misogynistic society of the Ironborn, Yara is fearless, sarcastic, and a risk-taker. Despite a failed attempt at becoming the first queen of the Iron Islands, Yara stands up to her dangerous uncle by convincing her entire fleet to follow her halfway across the world. During this journey, she helps Theon find his humanity, even in the face of his lost masculinity, all the while revealing (if not to the shock, then at least to the delight of viewers) her lesbian tendencies.
Yara’s biggest moment all season was when she confronted Daenerys in Mereen, and the two women parlayed a bit (with plenty of sexual tension, much to the speculation of fans) before forging a monumental pact for the show: Well before reconquering her Seven Kingdoms, Dany is already breaking them apart and gifting them to the rulers she deems worthy. This alliance between two ruthless female leaders was groundbreaking for the show.