We’ve discussed in detail about the women of Game of Thrones who ruled season 6 episode 9 Battle of the Bastards. But now that we’ve seen the explosive finale episode, Winds of Winter, we can say that season 6 was about the fierce conquerers that are the women of Westeros. Game of Thrones has had an extensive history of women being powerless and being put under situations like forceful marriage, rape, being sold to warlords, being used like slaves, having their families slaughtered before their eyes etc. Although there were plenty women like Cersei Lannister, Margaery Tyrell and Daenerys Targaryen who showed their power to people who crossed them, there was still a lot of work to be done when it came to the brilliantly clever women of Westeros. This season, however, we saw a different side of all those women who’ve been put to shame by the wretched Lords of Westeros.
Season 6 marked many important changes for the women, and here’s a look-back at all of the events that have led to Cersei’s remarkably grave coronation as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Let’s start with the youngest:
Arya’s track was eventful right from the start of the season. She was in the House of Black and White, getting trained to be a faceless assassin, and was subjected to torture by the Waif. Though Jaqen H’ghar made her a flawless killer towards the end, we’ve seen enough of her struggle. Exacting vengeance from all those who wronged her family is what we’ve been waiting to see from Arya. After being ripped apart from her family more than once, her killing Walder Frey after almost feeding his sons to him was something of a marvel, satisfying as it was. Arya was always a fierce girl right from when we saw her at Winterfell in Season 1 episode 1, and since then, she’s evolved to become a trained assassin who can keep a smirk on her face while slitting a throat, which is courageous and powerful for someone her age. She’s on her way home, and she’s going to take her revenge from everyone she can, as we can conclude. Arya is the representation of a young mind that can turn into a ruthless killer due to circumstances, and her track in this season was the darkest, to which even the show runners agree.
We’ve already talked about the other side of Sansa Stark: the side that is strong enough to talk about her own little brother being killed by her husband/rapist. We saw her as a timid, immature girl who wanted all comforts in life during the start of the show, and now we’ve seen her escape from the clutches of Ramsay Bolton and meet her half-brother(cousin, now) Jon Snow, and later on march to Winterfell with an army. She saved Jon’s existing army from getting destroyed by bringing in the Knights of the Vale at the right time, enough to see the colour drain out of Ramsay’s face. Sansa mirrors her mother Catelyn Stark in this season, and she shows people that when it comes to protecting herself and her home, she will go to any lengths to do so. Her relationship with Jon is a tough one, and even though she didn’t tell him about her alliance with Petyr Baelish, she’s dedicated to her family enough to have a Jon rule the north. Sansa has reached a point where nothing matters to her apart from the protection of her family, and for that she’s changed drastically from a shy young maiden to an angry, tortured woman who has lost a lot more than someone her age should, including getting tormented by Ramsay.
Daenerys has always been a conquerer, be it Yunkai, Meereen, Astapor, or now more recently Vaes Dothrak. She’s the one who has shown true power each time she conquered a city, and we’ve seen her grow into a fierce queen along with her dragons. She might have taken a long time to finally set sail to Westeros, but it was worth the wait seeing the alliances she’s formed and the extensive army that she has now. With the help of various advisors, Tyrion being the best one, she’s now gathered enough ammunition to get to the Iron Throne, and it has now come to a point where she has to fight not a usurper or an illegitimate king born of incest, but another equally powerful queen who is ruling the Seven Kingdoms. Dany’s progression from a young girl sold to Khal Drogo to becoming the Mother of Dragons and the Queen of Meereen was gradual yet remarkable, and the experience she’s gained in ruling does seem to be strong enough to help her rule Westeros. She’s a true Targaryen, but just as settled a ruler, who consists of some ruthless Targaryen traits yet manages to become a benevolent Queen. She showed her power to us when she gathered a Dothraki army all by herself, without the help of her dragons, and made everyone believe that she was just as powerful without her dragons.
Theon Greyjoy’s sister was introduced in the show as a fighter. Yara was and is just as concerned about the Iron Islands as she was when Theon went there claiming to be the heir. She’s since become one of the admired characters of the show. She went against all odds to save her brother, despite him never having been like a brother to her, which showed us that maintaining the integrity of her family and name was all she cared about. We saw her in season 6, proving to be the rightful queen of the Iron Islands, but she was shot down by her uncle Euron Greyjoy; following which, she stole a hundred ships and left to go meet Daenerys in Meereen. They struck an alliance, and we began to admire Yara even more, seeing as how she is hardly afraid of fighting egotistic men like her uncle, and the fact that she managed to bring Theon out of his shell after all this time. Yara portrayed true strength when she stole the ships to sail to Meereen, and that is something worth praising her for.
The now proclaimed Queen of the the Seven Kingdoms and protector of the realm, Cersei Lannister, has always been a manipulative and devious woman, who does not shy away from doing anything to get her way. She killed her husband, truly loves her brother/lover and her children (who are now dead), and gets what she wants. She came through to the prophecy that was made back in season 5, and now that her children are all dead, she’s burned her enemies using wildfire, and she’s taken the one thing plenty of people on Game of Thrones desire: The Iron Throne. We’ve seen Cersei’s rise to power, her public humiliation, her power being stolen away by Margaery Tyrell, and now we saw her take everything back with explosive measures. Cersei proved that if there was anyone who could gain power through disastrous means, it was her. She changed the course of the show since the start, and she brought about this major plot twist that ended with her being on the Iron Throne. Cersei Lannister is the representation of everything that is maliciously powerful in Westeros.
Women truly rose above all in this season, and this includes minor figures like Olenna Tyrell, Ellaria Sand and Margery Tyrell and Brienne of Tarth as well. Game of Thrones used to be a war between Kings who desired the Iron Throne, but now that the women have risen to take what is theirs, it is going to be a revolutionary war between Queens who are set to regain their powers.