Women Crushes of Westeros

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As a direwolf and a seawolf, I present to you my women crushes of Westeros whom we have much to learn from.  

Be wild as Lyanna.

The Helen of Troy, the Olivia Pope of DC, the Lyanna of Winterfell, that launched the Great War. Despite being a beauty, her true appeal lied in her wildness; her touch of wolfblood; as a free spirit whom others could only hope to capture. Rather than being married off to Robert Baratheon she chose her one true love even if it meant going against all Seven Kingdoms. So go. Go against the roles assigned to you because that is what makes you unique. Don’t let others cage you with their norms. Let that bit of wildness fly free.  

Be as loyal as Catelyn.

Catelyn may have died a Stark, but she lived and breathed Tully, “family, duty, honor.” Not only was she a devoted mother but she was also a powerful matriarch that commanded respect. When needed, she called upon the loyalties of the many houses who once served her father to avenge the fall of her beloved son. Her familial ties and loyalties were her source of power and she wasn’t afraid to use it. Fiercely protect those close to your heart and surround yourself with those you trust.

Be as cunning as Olenna.

As far as matriarchs go, you can’t really beat the Queen of Thorns. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly innocent golden flower sigil (if you’ve ever played Undertale you know just how terrifying that can be) because gold holds the kingdom together just as Olenna does with the Tyrells. Her silence during strategic moments echoes louder than her cutthroat commentary. We can all learn from her ability to stealthily gain the upper-hand.

Be as assertive as Lady Mormont.

Within three scenes, she has the audience bowing at her feet, as well as the rest of the North. Her strength comes from necessity; having greatness thrust upon her as leader of the Mormont household. It goes to show that we must not be discouraged by our age nor lack of military numbers. What matters most is how we utilize our skill set and act upon our beliefs with confidence. Do not let others speak over you or worse, belittle you simply because they feel threatened.

Be as brave as Brienne.

Why be the Fair Maiden when you can be the Lady Knight? Challenge the idea that beauty is only dainty. Show that it can shine through strength. Demand a fair fight from those who doubt your worth and surprise them as you tower over their expectations.

Be as determined as Margaery.

Wanting to be queen did not mean Margaery’s head was full of romantic fantasies and fairytales, rather she was much more of a career woman. The only difference is that instead of heading a corporation, she planned on ruling the Seven Kingdoms. So what if one king dies? When one door closes, another opens. Keep your eyes on the prize and always be on the lookout for new opportunities.

Be as imposing as Cersei.

​Love her or hate her, you have to admire her. To be plagued by the thought of someone younger and more beautiful taking away a position you had spent your whole life toiling for; it’s almost like Hollywood. And let’s not forget the favoritism towards her identical twin by a father who saw her as little more than a plaything for the king. Let her serve as a reminder to fight for what is rightfully ours, but also be a warning for losing sight of those important to us in the midst of our domination.

 

Be as inspirational as Daenarys.

Our goal is not to lead through terror, but rather through inspiration. Not only does the Breaker of Chains reinforce our sense of justice and heroism, but she empowers us to speak our mind and to never bend to the will of bullies. Think now of the violations of civil and human rights, the cycles of systemic oppression and incarceration. Raise attention, stop the wheel. No, break the wheel.

Be as enduring as Sansa.

Tragedies forge heroes. While Sansa had spent most of her life dreaming of being the damsel in distress, she ends up becoming her own hero. What’s often lost on the audience is that her strength is drawn from the resources around her. Though she may not personally wield the sword and shield, she is the invisible force to be reckoned with; the military strategist and wise warden. Do not let your past define you, take it and make it into your platform.

Be as versatile as Arya.

Of all these women, I connect most with the Little Wolf. In fact, the very reason as to why I fell in love with Game of Thrones was because my brother was convinced that Arya and I were one and the same. With a ladylike sister set on marriage and the head of the household brother, it was no wonder we never quite felt like we belonged. Following a family tragedy came our voyage of self-discovery. On the down days, we tell Death, “not today.” In a male-dominated minefield, we are reminded that “all men must die, but we are not men.” For us, adaptability is the key to survival. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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So go forth my warrior women and rule the world.

“I am a wolf and will not be afraid.” Arya Stark on my high school graduation cap. 

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All photos courtesy of HBO