Winter is finally here! After waiting much longer than normal for Game of Thrones to return (seriously, that was torture), everyone's favorite medieval fantasy series is back for its 7th season. Considering the way we left off, we can't wait to see how the fight for the Iron Throne plays out this year, with dragons, White Walkers, and spooky witchcraft seemingly around every dark corner.
Over the last seven seasons, one of the things we've come to love most about GoT is the countless strong women in the series who tirelessly kick ass. From young girls to old women, #girlpower knows no limits in this series. The medieval times were not exactly great for women, so to see these ladies from all different walks of life taking control of their circumstances and rising to the top is, honestly, inspiring.
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Read on to see what we've learned from 5 of the badass women of Thrones, and beware: past-season spoilers ahead! Catch the season 7 premiere on HBO this Sunday, July 16, at 9 p.m. ET.
1. Embrace Your Inner Boss Bitch
Perhaps the most badass of all the badass women on GoT is our girl Khaleesi (Emilia Clarke) aka Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons (that's a mouthful). She is always true to herself, confident under pressure, and she doesn't take sh*t from anyone. We can all learn a thing or two from Dany.
Over the last six seasons, she's conquered Dothraki horsemen, freed thousands of slaves, and commanded her very own army. Oh, and remember that time she literally walked into a blazing inferno and came out with not a burn on her? But if all that's not proof enough, please refer to the above photo. She's riding a freakin' dragon!
2. Never Give Up
If Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) is one thing (besides tall!), it is persistent. After she swore her allegiance to Catelyn Stark, Brienne never gave up on fulfilling her duty of protecting Lady Stark's children. In season 4, after embarking on a journey to find Sansa, Brienne stumbled upon Arya and immediately offered her protection, which Arya refused. Strike one. When she finally locates Sansa, her help is turned down multiple times before Sansa finally accepts. Brienne clearly does not take oaths lightly, and eventually, her persistence paid off. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
3. Be Resourceful
Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) has always been resourceful, starting from when we saw her as a curious little girl running around Winterfell, to now, crossing people off her kill list one by one. But we didn't realize just how resourceful she was until she lost her vision at the end of season 5. She had to learn how to fend for herself and fight her enemies without the aid of sight, which took a lot of grueling practice, patience, and quick wits. But she was able to adapt to her situation, and it ultimately paid off when she got her vision back last season and sets off on a journey to return home. A girl is always resourceful.
4. Don't Let Anyone Define You
Melisandre (Carice van Houten) has done some questionable things over the years, but we still love that she doesn't let anyone's opinions of her change who she really is. The Red Woman has proven time and time again that she doesn't let anyone define her—and certainly not any men. She is who she is, whether it be the beautiful, alluring sorceress or a very old, frail woman. We can't wait to see what kind of crazy magic she'll be up to this season, because, after all, "the night is dark and full of terrors."
5. Shatter the Glass Ceiling
Cersei (Lena Headey) has slowly gained more and more power in the Seven Kingdoms with each new season. Having served as Queen Consort, the Dowager Queen, and simultaneously the Queen Regent and Queen Mother, she's risen through the ranks and, after King Tommen's untimely death last season, she has finally made it to her end goal: the Iron Throne. She may not be the first woman to sit there, but she is the first woman to rule as Queen of Westeros, and that definitely counts for something.
6. Don't Underestimate Yourself
Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) has done a lot of growing up over the last seven seasons. She started out as a bratty little girl who always did what she was told and didn't stand up for herself or anyone else who may have needed it (RIP to the butcher's son in season one). But Sansa really came into her own last season once she reunited with her brother, Jon Snow, and realized her true power as a Stark sibling. She saved the day at the Battle of the Bastards when she brought in Littlefinger and his Knights of the Veil. Had she doubted herself, the outcome of that day would not have been a positive one.