The Strong Women Of HBO’s ‘Game Of Thrones’
April 17, 2012
Girl power may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Game of Thrones, but maybe it should be. In case you didn’t already know, Game of Thrones is an incredibly popular book series written by George R. R. Martin and it is now an incredibly popular TV series, already in its second season on HBO.
The series is chock full of interesting and strong characters, but its the women that are standing out from the men.
First, there is Catelyn Tully Stark (played by Michelle Fairley), the wife of Eddard Stark and the Lady of Winterfell. In Season 1 of Game of Thrones, we saw her as the strong wife of Lord Stark and a loving mother to her five children, Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon. Instead of standing behind her husband, she stood beside him and took matters into her own hands to protect her family. After her husbands death at the end of Season 1, Catelyn set out to find out who was responsible. After learning that young King Joffrey ordered her husbands death, she vowed to make his family pay with their lives and joined her son Robb Stark’s war council. In Season 2, Lady Stark plays an important role in war negotiations and shows viewers that women weren’t just objects and playthings for men, they they are an integral part of scheming, planning, and fighting.
Speaking of fighting, our next strong woman is Brienne of Tarth (played by Gwendoline Christie). Brienne was introduced in Season 2 following a fight sequence between Renly Baratheon’s lover and a tall, masculine masked warrior, dressed in armor from head to toe. After Renly’s lover retreated from the battle, the warrior removed his mask only to reveal that he wasn’t a she at all. Instead, it was Brienne, a woman who towers over most men and wants nothing more than to be a knight. In an effort to make that dream come true, Brienne asked Renly Baratheon to grant her request to join his Rainbow Guard, which Renly quickly granted.
Brienne will go on to become an integral part in the story and her strength and courage is admirable.
The next strong woman of Game of Thrones technically isn’t a woman at all, she’s just a girl and her name is Arya Stark (played by Maisie Williams). Arya is the young daughter of Lord and Lady Stark of Winterfell and instead of dresses and flowers, Aryra prefers boyish garb and swords. In Season 1, Arya followed her father to King’s Landing, where she learned how to use her sword and defend herself. These lessons served her well later on when she was forced to go on the run disguised as a boy after her father was beheaded just feet away from her.
Arya is by far my favorite character and it’s a joy to watch her stand up to the many men, women, and boys who seek to capture and harm her. Not only is she strong, but she’s also quick witted and smart. It’s these traits that make her a survivor.
The next strong woman is Daenerys Targaryen (played by Emilia Clarke) and it’s not hard to see why she made this list. First, she suffered the loss of both her parents, endured abuse at the hands of her brother, was married off to a freightening warrior named Khal Drogo, who she eventually fell in love with, and then sacrificed the life of her unborn son to save life of her husband after he fell ill. In the end, she lost everyone she cared about and after standing in the flames she ignited to punish her medicine woman, she emerged unscathed with dragons. Instead of falling to pieces, she picked herself up and has headed out to claim the Iron Throne for herself in Season 2.
Protecting the Iron Throne is Cersei Lannister (played by Lena Headey), who is a hard character to love, but she is a strong woman and had earned her way onto this list. Cersei Lannister is the wife of King Robert Baratheon, making her the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. She has three children, however all of them are the product of an incestuous relationship she has with her very own brother, Jaime. Following the death of her husband, the rightful heir to the throne is questioned as her eldest son, Joffrey, claims it for himself. Determined to keep her son in the throne, Cersei hides the truth of her children’s bloodline from everyone. She is bound and determined to keep her son Joffrey in control, even though she knows he is unstable and cruel.
Another character who was a little difficult to love in Season 1 of Game o Thrones is Sansa Stark (played by Sophie Turner). Sansa is the eldest daughter of Lord and Lady Stark of Winterfell and unlike her younger sister Arya, Sansa is very girlie and whimsical. In Season 1, Sansa found herself hopelessly in love with Joffrey and dreamed of being his Queen. Unfortunately, her dreams didn’t turn out quite the way she believed they would. Instead, she has found herself the victim of his abuse and held against her will after being forced to watch her father get beheaded at the command of her future husband, King Joffrey. The veil of innocence was quickly lifted and now Sansa sees things as they really are. In season 2, Sansa struggles with her new role as King Joffrey’s unwilling future wife, while she continues to be held as ransom in a war Joffrey forged against her own family.
Next up is Margaery Tyrell (played by Natalie Dormer), the wife of the incredibly homosexual Renly Baratheon. What makes Margaery Tyrell so strong is the fact that she not only knows about her husbands sexual preference, but she’s OK with it despite the fact that her husband is in love with her very own brother. She uses this information in her favor, because she is determined to have his child and is willing to do so at any cost. Having a child with Renly would give any of her future children a chance to rule the Iron Thone, provided Renly wins the battle over the Iron Throne. Margaery appears determined to secure her place in the world and that makes her a very strong woman.
Another strong woman introduced in Season 2 is Melisandre (played by Carice van Houten) and she serves as the priestess to Stannis Baratheon, brother of Renly Baratheon. Melisandre holds a lot of power over Stannis, who is battling his own brother Renly over the Iron Throne. Both brothers believe they are the rightful heir to the throne and Melisandre convinces Stannis that with her magical help, he will overthrow his brother and that what is rightfully his. Melisandre stands firm in her beliefs and takes control of every situation, proving that she is a strong force to be reckoned with.
Last, but certainly not least is Yara Greyjoy (played by Gemma Whelan), the daughter of Belon Greyjoy and sister of Theon Greyjoy. Yara is also introduced in Season 2 and captures the audiences attention when her own brother tries to seduce her (a common theme in this series). Yara is incredibly proud of her family and may just prove to be stronger than her own brother.
There are so many incredibly strong characters in this entertaining HBO series, but these women stand out among the rest. They make this story more interesting and give female viewers a strong connection to characters that offer more to the story than just sexual eye candy and that’s what keeps fans tuning in week after week.
What do you think?
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