Game of Thrones has been under much scrutiny in the past for portraying many of its women characters as sex objects. In their world, prostitution, rape and the trading of women is considered completely normal. Even though there have been women like Catelyn Stark and Daenerys Targaryen, who have stood strong since the beginning, this season of the show was a winner for most female characters. They were unapologetic, fierce and completely badass.
Given the patriarchal nature of the show, women were always omitted out of powerful positions because that is what their norms dictated.
But not anymore! Women have come out on top at the end of this season and it’s worth applauding. These women characters pushed the boundaries of patriarchy and smashed them, this season.
1. Sansa Stark – Lady of Winterfell
Sansa Stark was a naive girl who just wanted to sit beside Joffrey Baratheon when we saw her first. She saw her father being beheaded in front of her eyes and in a lot of ways she had given up when she was married off to Tyrion Lannister. Petyr Baelish smuggled her out of Westeros but then fed her to Ramsay Bolton who raped her repeatedly!
Sansa now knows better. She knows that in this political scenario, she shouldn’t trust anyone and for the sake of her home and herself, she has learned to play the game of thrones. She is now the Lady of Winterfell. She is a true born Stark but she is not given this status at Winterfell because of her birth, but because she saved the day when Jon Snow’s army was being decimated against the Boltons.
2. Lyanna Mormont – Lady of the Bear Islands
Truly the most bad-ass 10 year old we have ever seen on television. Lyanna is feistier than Arya Stark, and that’s saying something. She rules the Bear Islands and unlike the underage Kings and Lords we have previously seen on the show, this girl has her head screwed on tight on her shoulders. She acknowledges Jon Snow as the King in the North and berates a huge group of grown men for not standing by Jon. The true bloodline and the customs of Westeros would have forbidden Jon to rule, but Lyanna doesn’t care if he is a bastard (which we now know he’s not). She stands by her word and knows what’s right, which is much more than we have seen in Westeros.
3. Yara Greyjoy – On her way to take over the Iron Islands
Yara Greyjoy is completely unapologetic about her sexuality. She owns her sexual orientation unlike Renly Baratheon. Yara was to take over the Iron Islands after her father was assassinated by her uncle, Euron Greyjoy. Theon could have been a contender going by the patriarchal nature of the show but by now he knows that Yara truly deserves it. Yara knows that her father was not a perfect ruler and expects to not repeat the mistakes that he once committed. But, by the end of this season, we see her supporting Daenerys’ quest to take over Westeros so she can bring some peace back to the Iron Islands.
4. Ellaria Sand – Dorne
Ellaria Sand along with the Sand Snakes killed Prince Doran as he failed to avenge the deaths of Oberyn and Elia Martell. After killing the Prince of Dorne, Ellaria declares that weak men will never rule Dorne again. Soon after his death, the Sand Snakes also kill Trystane who was the last member of the Martell clan. The Martell house is now officially extinct and Ellaria is holding down the fort along with her daughters. She has now joined hands with House Tyrell and is supporting Daenerys’ claim to Westeros.
5. Olenna Tyrell – Lady of Highgarden
Olenna has landed in this position only because Cersei has wiped out all the members of her clan. Her son, Mace Tyrell, grandchildren, Margaery and Loras were all killed in the Destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor. Olenna, who is known as the Queen of Thorns because of her sassy tongue and sharp comebacks is the only member of the Tyrell family who survived. She desperately wants to avenge the death of her family members and has now joined forces with Daenerys and the Dornish contingent.
6. Cersei Lannister – Queen of Westeros
Cersei always wanted this. Her desire to be in the most powerful position was only fulfilled vicariously through her sons, until now. But, it was her actions in the season finale that led to her son, Tommen Baratheon’s, death. Her record confirms that she is going to be an evil queen. There is no doubt about that! Her relationship with Jaime is also under jeopardy at this stage. But, you have to hand it to her, as she has managed to gain the highest position of power in the Game of Thrones universe.
7. Daenerys Targaryen – Her titles just won’t fit here!
Daenerys has been a powerful character since the very beginning of the show. The Dragon Queen has been defying the norms of society and has managed to free slaves and build an army. But, this season finale gave us the visual that we have waited for, for years. Daenerys is finally sailing towards Westeros and has the support of various Houses. Her clash with Cersei is going to be one of the major plot points of the next season.