I remember the first time I watched Game Of Thrones. My flatmate at the time was watching it, and lets just say I was not impressed. The rule was that if he wished to watch it in the future he could at least let me know so I wouldn’t be around to watch violent deaths and naked women being sexually violated on a repetitive basis. That stuck and I successfully avoided watching any more GoT. Now, a year on, I’ve read all the books, watched the TV series numerous times and google’d the crap out of GoT theories (there are some serious good theories that have made me feel all kinds of feels for Martin, but that’s a whole other article). So how does one go from viewing it as barbaric and disgusting to kickass and inspiring?

I guess it took reading the books before I was hooked to the series. The TV series obviously struggles to show the internal thoughts of characters and comes off pretty brutal and violent. It’s important to note, without disregarding the fact that Game of Thrones does show extensive sexual violence and emotional and physical abuse against women; it also uses women to challenge and fight against gender prejudices, many claiming their right as human beings (or wildling I guess) to be equal with men. I’m not going to argue about the reasoning for and against the treatment of women by Martin, there are many blogs that you can educate yourself with to see both sides of this argument, and if I’m honest I still don’t know where I stand with it all. Perhaps the show does jump too easily to use sex as a plot device, or perhaps it’s exactly what’s needed to reinforce uncomfortable issues that have previously been swept under the rug. Issues that are too readily assumed that we have moved past, thus incorrectly assuming that mistreatment of women is no longer a battle we face in today’s society. I do know that regardless of this, I believe women are failing to achieve equality. Yes you can go on and list the improvements made in the past 50 years or so, and hey that’s great! But that still doesn’t make up for the fact that today, in 2014, we still have a heck of a long way to go. But for now, since it’s Heroine month and GoT returns to television April 7th (EEEK!), I’m simply choosing kick ass women from the series and why they kinda rock. Perhaps if you’ve written off GoT like other friends of mine, this might spark an interest to give it another shot.

Cersei Lannister

Hate her or love her (usually the former), Cersei is one badass woman. The way she refuses to let her gender hold her back and her constant demand for power is impressive. She has a stubborn belief that she can rule the kingdom better than her lazy husband and she even goes so far as to voice confidence in her own intellectual ability by telling her husband, the KING at the time, “I should wear the armor and you the gown”. As the books evolve her belief in this only gets stronger and despite being reminded by her family of her apparent inadequacy due to being a woman, she stands strong in her belief that she is smarter and more powerful than any of her brothers. Cersei is quickly judged through the eyes of other characters and it’s not until the fourth book that we get too see it from her own perspective. She knows she is the best at ruling the kingdom, she desperately wants the job, but she is incapable of doing so simply because of her gender. Hence her control of trying to gain this power through Joffrey (even mentioning his name irks you doesn’t it?).

Published by Erica

Erica is a 22 year old student studying a BCom/BA in Dunedin for her fifth and final year. She has a long love for Winnie the Pooh, Vinyl, Football, Cider, Poetry and Sherbet lollipops. She's a feminist, dances terribly to one direction, is new to vegetarianism, has total wanderlust and will always be a Tar Heel.

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  1. I’m kind of missing Margaery Tyrell here ^^
    That sly lady is one of my favorites when it comes to playing the game…

  2. I also need to say about Arya: to me she hasn’t risen out of any ashes. she has taken all the violence onboard and responded with violence. She is the most screwed up of all and I love her so, so much (I read the books) but I don’t think she is a hero, she’s an anti-hero. She’s like The Punisher.

    1. Glad you’re on the Sansa fan bus! She is certainly a great character. Arya is a hard character for me. I have actually had a few people come up to me and ask how I failed to put Arya on this list! And I agree with them, I stand by what I said to Isaac below. However I initally loved her, then I kinda disliked her and now I go between feeling “meh” and slightly annoyed with how she sometimes acts with violence to justify she is the girl who has no feelings and can be brave etc etc But in doing so she is going against a lot of her own morals and values she pursues in the first few books. I’m not sure why but I definitely have conflicting views about her.

  3. SO glad you included Sansa! I wrote a huge blog post on her ages ago that i ended up deleting… now wish I didn’t. Hoping this isn’t the last GoT related article on HVNGRY (:

  4. Isaac – Definitely agree about Arya, she was originally one of my favorite characters and I love how kick ass she is – always ensuring she grows and learns with every opportunity she is given e.g. her dedication to take everything Syrio is teaching her and to practice this extensively. Its like she is so appreciative of been given the rare chance and opportunity to learn swordsmanship that she not only acknowledges that, but works even harder to prove how thankful she is of this chance. Not to mention the issues she faces when shes constantly torn between leaving her past behind to pursue the path that the house of black and white requires of her. I guess I left her off the list because she comes to mind easily as being so brave and kick ass that simply due to length issues I decided I didn’t need to justify ‘why she rocks’, otherwise I would end up writing a 10 page article 😛 But in saying that I did mention Brienne and Dany who go without saying as well I guess.

    Jacob – Agree 100%. I feel so silly that before writing this piece I didn’t see how important Sansa was to the whole plot. Like what. It’s gonna be so so interesting to see where Martin takes her, because as you said in A storm of Swords she definitely flourished and showed a whole new side.

  5. I have to ask, no Arya? She has had a lot of the same issues as Sansa, and has always held herself to being more than a lady, on her own two feet and not defined by the men in her life. Arya for Queen of Westeros!!!

  6. The moment where Sansa really flourished to me was when she was in the Eyrie building Winterfell out of snow. Before that point she was always trying to be a southern lady of King’s Landing, and then we see how she longs to return to her home in the north, she finds comfort in the solitary cold, and we see a side of her that we hadn’t seen before where she has the courage to throw a snowball at littlefinger’s face. This character is really, REALLY important. Inb4 Sansa suddenly controls the North, the Riverlands and the Vale and everyone wants to marry her because in doing so they will unite the 7 kingdoms.