The Women of Westeros

2:56 PM

After that season 6 finale of Game of Thrones, I have so many feelings and thoughts. For now, however, I would like to focus on the women.

This episode proved that season 7 of Game of Thrones is going to be the "season of women." In the first six seasons we have largely been experiencing the universe through male power dynamics and attempts to resolve age old male conflicts. However, season 6, episode 10 has set an unprecedented number of women (at least in Westeros) into positions of great political power. We have Daenerys and Yara Greyjoy teamed up and moving from Essos to Westeros, Darth Cersei sitting on the Iron Throne (*gulp*), Sansa Stark, although under Jon, certainly has her spoon stirring the Northern plot, wildcard Arya is seeking to finish her kill-list (only Cersei and the Mountain to go!), and Lady Olenna and Ellaria Sand plotting it up with Varys in Dorne.

Yara and Daenerys are going to be a force to be wreckoned with. Between Dany's dragons and Yara's extensive fleet of ships, the current Westerosi powerhouses had better brace themselves for a bitter battle if they have any chance at holding their positions.

Cersei has always been a bit dark, but this episode seems to be pushing a comparison between Cersei and the Mad King. He prepped the fire to "burn them all" and Cersei actually took action. Unfortunately for her, she may be sorry she used up the wildfire before the White-walkers arrive on the scene. If nothing else, it seems that Jamie has finally come around the the position he holds in the books of being 100% OVER Cersei's BS. Did you see that look he gave her as he watched her take the throne? Something tells me that Jamie may have to decide whether or not to take out a second "Mad" ruler. This would, after all, complete the Valonqar prophecy.

Although I specifically mentioned Arya as a wildcard above, I would argue that this is actually true of each of the Stark sisters. Ever since Sansa's time with Baelish, the audience has been exposed to a back and forth tendency in Sansa where we are not quite sure where her loyalties lie. In fact, I would argue that the hardships that she has faced have her becoming more and more like Cersei (which is obviously quite troubling). Arya, on the other hand is pretty clear about who she is and what she wants, but I am unsure how this is going to impact the overall power structure of Westeros. We saw at the end of this episode, however, that her ability to take faces is one that will allow her to get close to her enemies and perform her kills and taking out the last two people on her kill list will most certainly shake things up.

I am still a bit unsure how Lady Olenna and Ellaria Sand will play into things but the season finale suggests that Varys is going to put these powerful ladies to good use in some one or other of his own plots.

Clearly season seven is going to be largely about the ladies of Westeros. It will be interesting to see if there might be an argument to be made about the difference in rule and political problems in gendered terms. But for now...we will have to wait and see. Is it next year yet? I'm already singing Beyonce ("Who run the world? Girls!") and waiting impatiently...

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  1. There's also Melisandre and that other priestess out causing trouble, but before we dismiss the men completely, I'm thinking Jon Snow, Tyrion, and Bran all have major plot developments coming up in Season Seven. And maybe some dark horses with Sam, Theon, Davos, and Tormund. I'm curious whether they will try some major romance before the story's up, hasn't been much since Jon/Ygritte and a few flirtations with Brienne.


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