By Coleen Ramos
Winter has finally come to Westeros after six seasons of constant warnings, and it came with fire and blood.
The popular HBO television series, in numerous occasions, has no qualms in portraying the role of women in the era of kings, dragons and warring houses. While women are frequently seen in the grandeur of brothels and on noblemen’s beds clothed in nothing but jewelry, this season presented us a surprising surge of power in women, showcased in epic proportions.
For season six, Game of Thrones gave the mantel of glory to the women and resonated a message that breached the show’s patriarchal roster of main leads: victims can be conquerors too.
From Sansa and Arya Stark’s sweet revenge to Lyanna Mormont’s fearless performance as the Lady of Bear Island, who rose to the top of this season’s most badass female?
- Ellaria Sand
Season five left a bitter memory with fans when The Mountain, Gregor Clegane, killed the ardently audacious Oberyn Martell, Prince of Dorne.
Being Oberyn’s paramour, Ellaria and her daughters, the Sand Snakes, obviously wanted to avenge the Red Viper, but is hindered by Prince Doran Martell, Oberyn’s bro. Unable to put up with the peaceful approach of the Prince, Ellaria and the Sand Snakes managed a coup, killing Doran and his son, Trystane, thus bringing the Martell line into extinction.
With the support of Doran’s past subjects, Ellaria, with the Sand Snakes by her side, is now ruling Dorne with a promise that it will never be ruled by weak men again. And with an alliance with House Tyrell and the Mother of Dragons herself, Dorne has never been more fearsome in our eyes.
Most badass quote: “Weak men will never rule Dorne again.”
- Margaery Tyrell
Margaery has no shame in marrying one king after the other. Even with the death of Renly and Joffrey Baratheon, she gave no signs of giving up as long as the Iron Throne will hold a king in need of a wealthy and powerful wife to ally with. Fortunately for her, she has all of that and we commend her for being able to keep a step ahead Cersei Lannister and taking away her title as Queen of Westeros.
Margaery had been a femme fatale throughout the whole series. Cunning, calm and collected, we never once saw her defeated during the whole ordeal of being imprisoned by the High Sparrow. We even thought that we’ll be seeing a gory retaliation against the Faith but instead, she died with them along with Loras, their father and the rest of residents of King’s Landing and honestly, it really sucked (she deserved a better exit than that).
For a while, the one-time Queen of Westeros was winning it. She became the Queen that she envisioned herself to be and with an enemy like Cersei Lannister, she deserves some special honors and an express pass to torment her in the afterlife.
Most badass quote: “I don’t want to be a Queen; I want to be the Queen.”
- Yara Greyjoy
Upon the death of Balon Greyjoy, King of the Iron Islands, Yara was the most probable candidate to succeed him. Being by her father’s side for years, earning his respect, winning his wars, and commanding her own fleet, Yara has proven herself to be a formidable warrior and commander with a genuine concern for the future of the Iron Islands.
But her claim to the Salt Throne was thrown off by Euron Greyjoy, the killer uncle who came out of nowhere. With this threat, Yara and Theon sail off to Mereen to team up with Daenerys Targaryen, offering her their iron fleet, unparalleled in naval warfare, in exchange for the Iron Islands.
And can we just appreciate the fact that she effortlessly charmed the Mother of Dragons and got a bit flirty in front of Tyrion and Theon (former women aficionados)?
With a Dothraki horde, an Unsullied army, an armada and three full-grown dragons, Yara is set to make her uncle pay the iron price and become the first woman ruler of the Iron Islands.
Most badass quote: “I’m going to find out who did this. I’m going to feed them to the sharks while they live.”
- Olenna Tyrell
The cunning dame of Highgarden and the true trailblazer for House Tyrell, Lady Olenna Tyrell surprises us with her with sly wit and persistence in making sure her house will stay in position to rule, and that her grandchildren are safe against sadistic kings and their mothers (Joffrey and Cersei shoutout).
How Lady Olenna managed to throw a bitch fit and point out Cersei’s blunder in providing power and influence to the High Sparrow and the Faith Militant (with The Mountain ready to strike for the kill) was one of her character’s winning moments. And as we saw in the final episode, she is more than ready to draw some Lannister blood and have the Queen’s head on a spike.
Her clever approach in Westerosi politics is a triumphant portrayal of how far women can go if they can manage to keep their composure in a den full of lions. In becoming the stealthiest kingslayer in Westeros and establishing herself as a no-nonsense political animal, Olenna unleashed will be just one of Cersei’s incoming enemies from all over the world.
Most badass quote: “Many will die no matter what we do. Better them than us.”
- Daenerys Targaryen
Daenerys Stormborn, Mother of Dragons, Break of Chains, The Unburnt, and The Girl on Fire. Dany had had a number of epic moments in the show: from burning the all the Khals alive, to gaining the Dothraki horde back, and finally getting her dragons some action as they burned the slave masters’ ships at Slaver’s Bay just goes to show how ruthless she is and will be in claiming the Iron Throne and establishing her rule.
Although, we’ve probably seen this and that in the past three seasons, along with the speeches, and the promise of revenge and stuff like that.
But no one can negate the results of her conquests in the East and how she’s proven to be the rightful ruler of Westeros to the likes of Varys and Tyrion Lannister. She’s still the badass Dany that fans have loved for six years and counting.
Most badass quote: “I am Daenerys Stormborn of the blood of Old Valyria and I will take what is mine! With fire and blood, I will take it!”
- Arya Stark
Face it, we wanted Arya’s arc in Braavos to end already and finally get on with her killing spree from the list she made years ago. From travelling and being with seasoned killers like The Hound and Jaqen H’ghar, we all expect a lot of grueling kills of the people unlucky enough to be named in Arya’s list.
When she served Walder Frey’s sons in a meat pie, making him eat them and finally delivered a clean cut to his jugular, it signified a bloody grand welcome to one of the last remaining Starks in the North. And boy, did it feel so good to finally see Late Lord Frey die by the hands of a Stark.
A vengeful Arya will certainly be a great asset in the wars to come.
Most badass quote: “The last thing you’re ever going to see is a Stark smiling down at you as you die.”
- Cersei Lannister
In season five, we saw Cersei Lannister at her lowest. Her walk of atonement had stripped her raw with her dignity down the drain as she bared herself naked for the people of King’s Landing to feast over.
And now, in season six, we see her walking down the throne room, a crown placed atop of her head, with Qyburn naming her the Queen of Westeros once again.
Cersei is one Mad Queen that obliterated her enemies in one sitting, to see them burn at the Great Sept of Baelor while she sips wine and smirks while she’s at it. And if leaving poor Septa Unella at the mercy (if he has any) of the “resurrected” Sir Gregor Clegane makes her cruel, then confessing her crimes and saying she did everything just because it felt good will convince anyone that her heart has truly turned to stone.
Cersei came back with a burning vengeance, but at the expense of losing her remaining child and everything she held dear. But if she plans on keeping the throne and her power at bay, then she’ll have to cling longer to her brutality and hope that she has enough little birds to do the counting of the ships looming in the horizon.
Nevertheless, Cersei had truly played her cards right for this season’s finale.
Most badass quote: “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.”
- Sansa Stark
From being passed down to one Lannister after another and finally being sold to the sadistic bastard Ramsay Bolton, Sansa has more than enough reason to demand the death of all the people who have wronged her time and time again.
Long years of emotional and physical abuse have transformed Sansa from a lovesick teenager to the hardened survivor she is right now. Being the eldest remaining (legitimate) Stark, she’s left to carry on the banner of her family and salvage what’s left of their legacy for the North.
And that she did. Jon Snow may have been named King in the North, but Sansa Stark brought this possibility into realization.
Most badass quote: “You’re going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton. Sleep well.”
- Lyanna Mormont
Lyanna Mormont’s undying loyalty to the Stark name is not the only admiring trait about her, but her ferocity to support the Stark resurgence in the North when no one else would. At the tender age of 10, Lyanna seems like a natural leader who weighs wars and deaths of her people rather than play with toys and be trained as a lady of Bear Island.
The Starks owe this little lady everything, really. And we owe everything to her for delivering a badass performance in a span of three episodes in mere minutes of screen time. In shaming three lords of the north, glaring down on Ramsay Bolton, and proudly boasting the might of Bear Island warriors, Lady Lyanna stands victorious in her assertion of self. A true protector of the North.
Now that’s what you call a scene stealer.
Most badass quote: “Bear Island knows no king but the King in the North, whose name is Stark.”
The show will soon unify these women hardened by violence and motivated by vengeance, and if there’s anything that this show thrives on, it’s to know who will win the Iron Throne and be named the rightful ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.
But let’s not expect diplomacy to straighten out years of animosity and achieve peace through handshakes and wine. Because in Game of Thrones, we choose violence.
Photos from Game of Thrones Wiki, Hollywood Reporter, SquareEyed, Winteriscoming.net, Hielo Y Fuego