From Arya Stark to Ellaria Sand, the much-loved fantasy drama TV series Game of Thrones brought us some of the most powerful women characters on screen. Each of these characters will leave their mark as the show wraps up with the finale.Tanvi Dubey
The first-season of the popular TV series Game of Thrones, which is an adaptation of George RR Martin’s fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire, was an instant hit. It has been closely followed by audience across the world and the frenzy around it can be seen across social media.
The series was initially criticised for its violence, especially sexual violence, nudity, and the portrayal of women. But as the show progressed, we saw some of the most powerful and inspiring female characters emerge and touch us with their rawness, charisma, courage, and their ability to fight back and spit fire (literally). Here are some of our favourites:
They say, good things come in small packages. In the series, Arya Stark from the House of Stark is a headstrong and feisty girl, who witnesses her father’s beheading and vows to take revenge. Arya has been consumed by revenge, and the way she has channeled her energies and anger towards her goal is a reminder that if you desire something deeply, you will achieve it.
Though driven by something as negative as revenge, Arya reminds us of the choices we make in life. From overcoming fear, challenges, and responding to threat, she has a presence of mind, ability to take quick decisions, and wield the sword when needed. Her vulnerability, yet innate strength, makes her so relatable to the audience. Perhaps that is why all of us want to cheer her on.
For someone who has not watched the series yet, then it’s worth watching it for Daenerys Targaryen, the mother of three dragons. She is one of the primary contenders for the Iron Throne, around which the story revolves.
From someone who was initially shown as fragile, Danereys transforms into a fearless leader. Her courage in trying times is inspiring. Her calm demeanour and her goodness has earned her the loyalty of a huge army. Daenerys is opposed to slavery, and her portrayal of a just and fearless leader, with a kind heart, has made her a big hit with viewers.
Sansa Stark is the elder sister of Arya Stark, and like Arya, Sansa’s journey has been difficult. From being a naive young girl, who always dreamt of being married to a prince and having a wonderful life ever after, Sansa has battled against all odds and evolved and surprised everyone.
From being mistreated and sexually abused, Sansa has emerged as a resilient woman who has found her way back home. Sansa is a reminder to us that despite the hatred, the abuse, and the fear that we live in, we know we need to channelise our inner strength and fight back when the time is right.
Cersei Lannister is power hungry and ruthless. She is a good negotiator, and even in the face of failure and setbacks, she bounces back with a vengeance. She is a shrewd political opponent, one who is not scared to play any card. But she is also a mother, and her heart bleeds for her children. Cersei’s character is not a very loveable one, but she seeks power with undivided focus, and that is something we can all learn from her.
Today, women are shut out from boardrooms, from decision making arenas, and from places where people seek power - but Cersei is a reminder that if you seek something with singular focus, it can be yours.
Catelyn Stark is the wife of Lord Eddard Stark, the head of the House of Stark. Mother of Sansa and Arya Stark, Catelyn is politically aware and is a good advisor to her husband. She also manages the estate in the absence of her husband. She understands the cost of war and politics, and as a mother, she is protective about her family. Catelyn is emotional, but eventually she holds her own when there are challenges that need her attention and stands up to do her best.
Brienne of Tarth is one of the favourite characters for Game of Throne fans, simply because this iron-clad lady is a warrior. She is a fighter, with great fighting skills and seeing her engage in battle with other warriors is a sight to behold. Brienne sparks the joy in us in a similar way when we see a woman serving in the armed forces. She is a lone wolf, a woman in the army, and that makes her unique. She is fearless, loyal, and badass. Despite her height and unfeminine looks, we still find men falling for her.
Layanna, the head of the House of Mormont of Bear Island, is just 10-years-old, but has the wisdom, grace, and aura of someone much older. She is competent, a decision maker, and puts forth her views without fear. For her age, she truly wins the audience with the way she conducts herself.
Yara Greyjoy defies the traditional gender roles, and she is the commander of her own ship. A fierce warrior and a staunch leader, she commands discipline and loyalty from her men. Though her journey has not been an easy one, she has always stood by her brother Theon. And when she faces defeat, she is never the one to give up.
Ellaria Sand’s character in the series is full of surprises. She witnesses the gruesome death of her lover Obyren at the hands of Lannisters, and watched her daughter being poisoned by Cercie. As a mother, she is protective of her children and fights for them, but she also seeks revenge. She is smart to understand and acknowledge that revenge is not about fight and can take many forms. Taking Cersei head on by plotting revenge, Ellaria’s shrewdness takes her foe Cercei by surprise. Ellaria may not appear as a formidable foe, but she has it in her to fight back for her loved ones.
Melisandre is a priest, who combines beauty and magical powers. She wields power and authority because of her magical powers and knowledge. Melisandre has made a name for herself, and while she always projects serenity and makes the magic she does look very simple, she has a hidden side and a cruel streak too.
While Melisandre may not always be a favourite with the audience, she reminds us that it is important to have faith in our abilities, and to not underestimate our skills and power. After all, she brought back Jon Snow from the dead, didn’t she?
There are many other women who have stood out in Game of Thrones. Who are your favourites? Share with us in the comments section.