Game of Thrones has always been about the rise and fall of kings. But as the HBO show heads into its seventh and penultimate season, that focus is beginning to change. The Game of Thrones queens are on the rise.
Warning: Season 6 spoilers ahead
The Women of Westeros are Taking Center Stage
As we head into the Season 7 premiere, we can already sense a “queen off” on the way, as Cersei Lannister sits on the Iron Throne that Daenerys Targaryen desperately covets. Yara Greyjoy could be poised to become the first Queen of the Iron Islands – if she can take out her uncle, the usurper Salt King Euron Greyjoy. The Season 6 finale left us wondering if Sansa Stark feels jealous of her half-brother/secret cousin Jon Snow becoming King of the North. And Arya Stark remains ever the wild card in the Westeros power struggles.
The Men of Westeros Were Crippled by Their Mistakes
Each male leader’s weakness has been on full display, showing what not to do when fighting for power. Ned Stark was too trusting and too noble to play the game of thrones. Robert Baratheon was too glutinous and apathetic. Khal Drogo was too eager for battle. Renly was too soft, Stannis was too religious, and Joffrey was too violent. Even Rob Stark, who looked to be the hero of the story, was too naive to bring freedom to the north. There’s a lot to consider when leading an army and ruling a kingdom, and these rulers were crippled by their faults. Every time, it undid everything they were fighting for.
The Women of Westeros are (Mostly) Better Than Men
Okay, Cersei is probably one of the most awful people to ever fight for the Iron Throne. But for the most part, the women of the series have learned from the mistakes their male counterparts made.
In the first few seasons, kings like Joffrey, Renly, and Stannis looked like the only options for Westeros. But each of their ambitions ended in their deaths. Those hoping to be queen, however, learned to only strike when the opportunity is most effective, and not just when they are most ambitious. Daenerys alone spent six seasons building up the right army to sail to Westeros. Each female leader is faced with her own journey and, instead of being hindered, she learns how to make the best of her situation. The entire series to this point has led to a swap of power from men to women.
The Lineup Heading Into Season 7
Where do the women of Westeros stand heading into the Season 7 premiere?
- Daenerys Targaryen fought her way from nothing more than a famous name to sailing a massive army to Westeros.
- Arya Stark learned to find herself, rather than being told who she is.
- Sansa Stark went from the hope of a fairy tale life to learning how to take charge of her own destiny.
- Yara Greyjoy lived in the shadow of her father and is ready to challenge the patriarchy.
- Cersei Lannister gained power through the loss of her children, sought revenge for being shamed, and now rules with fear out of sheer hatred. But will it be her undoing?
Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres on July 16, 2017. And so begins the reign of the women of Westeros.