Warning: Spoilers from the Game of Thrones season six finale ahead.
Game of Thrones Season 6 wrapped up last night, and we’re still reeling from the loss of many key characters during the explosive finale. This season of the HBO drama gave us several major shockers when it came to the male characters—Jon Snow’s resurrection, Hodor’s death, and that beyond-epic "battle of the bastards"—but it also delivered some major girl power moments. From pretty much every moment that Daenerys Targaryen was onscreen to the Stark sisters’ most liberating storylines in years, the women of GoT were front and center all season long—culminating with a major power play by the most badass queen of them all, Cersei Lannister, in the season finale. Scroll down for 11 of our favorite #girlboss moments.
1. Cersei Lannister Takes the Iron Throne
Following her unforgettable “walk of shame” at the end of Season 5, Cersei remained relatively quiet throughout the sixth season. Rarely venturing away from the Red Keep, she spent her days hanging out with her protector, The Mountain, while growing out her newly shorn pixie (which is looking fierce these days, by the way). But all along, we had a feeling that the Queen Mother had a major plan brewing to take out the High Sparrow and his followers—and in the season finale, she confirmed those suspicions as soon as she failed to show up for her own trial.
Instead, Cersei made use of the wildfire that’s long been stored under King’s Landing, blowing up the Sept of Baelor and everyone inside (RIP, Margaery, Loras, and, subsequently, King Tommen). Once the sept fell, Cersei proceeded to waterboard Septa Unella with wine and gave her former keeper a taste of her own medicine by repeatedly telling her to “confess.” She snarkily affirmed all of her own sins—noting that “even confessing feels good under the right circumstances,” handed the torture reins to The Mountain, and then exited the room while chanting “shame.” Our last look at Cersei for the season? She took her place on the Iron Throne, proving that she’s the one who’s really been in charge all along. Long may she reign. (Season 6, Episode 10.)
2. Daenerys Targaryen proves why no one should ever mess with her
Holding the Mother of Dragons prisoner isn’t the brightest idea, as the Dothraki khals eventually discovered. After being forced to live with her fellow khal widows, Dany finally managed to secretly reunite with her most loyal men, Jorah Mormont and Daario Naharis. But rather than immediately fleeing to Meereen, she stormed into the khals’ temple on a mission. “You’re not going to serve—you’re going to die,” Dany said before torching the entire hut. Without a way to escape, no one made it out alive—except for our Khaleesi, of course. The image of her emerging from the hut, naked and fireproof, was enough to inspire the people of Vaes Dothrak to kneel before her and pledge their allegiance. Well done, Dany. (Season 6, Episode 4.)
3. Sansa Stark kills off the show’s most-hated villain
No one has proved that they’re a survivor more than Sansa Stark—but after being held captive as Ramsay Bolton’s wife for so long, we weren’t sure when we’d catch a glimpse of the fearless character that we once knew and loved. Luckily, the Battle of the Bastards gave us just that. Once she reunited with her half-brother, Jon Snow, Sansa was ready to help take down the demented spawn of Roose Bolton for good.
Before the battle commenced, she delighted us with this memorable line: “You’re going to die tomorrow Lord Bolton. Sleep well.” Then, once the fight was underway—and it was clear that Ramsay’s army was winning—Sansa saved the day by showing up with Littlefinger and the knights of the Vale. Ramsay eventually retreated to the castle only to be pummeled by Jon Snow, but it was Sansa who ultimately sealed the disturbed ruler's fate. After telling Ramsay that “All memory of you will disappear,” Sansa allowed her tormentor to be attacked by his own hounds. And as she walked away from his violent death, she smiled. (Season 6, Episode 9.)
4. Arya Stark Is, Well, Arya Stark
After spending most of Season 6 trying to become “no one” at the House of Black and White, it became clear that Arya Stark was no longer comfortable with the idea of being “faceless.” We were excited once she reclaimed her trusty sword, Needle—especially with her nemesis, the Waif, trying to kill her. Luckily, the duo’s final showdown ended with a victory for Arya, and the Waif becomes nothing more than a mask in the Hall of Faces. But when Arya’s former mentor, Jaqen H’ghar, compliments her by saying, “Finally, a girl is no one,” it’s clear that she’s no longer seeking his approval. “A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell,” she said. “And I’m going home.” Welcome back, Arya! (Season 6, Episode 8.)
5. Lyanna Mormont Rules as the Coolest Kid-Queen Ever
When Sansa Stark, Jon Snow, and Ser Davos were seeking out support before their battle for Winterfell, they visited fellow houses that would likely want to restore the north to its greatness. One of those stops brought the trio to House Mormont on Bear Island. As soon as they entered the castle and met the queen, 10-year-old Lyanna Mormont, we knew that we were in for a treat. The young ruler was hesitant to join the cause at first—she didn’t respond well when Jon tried to get her to “understand”—after all, she’s been ruling an entire island by herself for a while now. However, Davos had more luck by speaking to her like a true adult, which ultimately convinced Lyanna to offer up her army of a whopping 62 men to fight for Winterfell. (Season 6, Episode 7.)
6. Yara Greyjoy joins forces with Daenerys Targaryen
We love when our worlds collide on Game of Thrones, and it was no exception when Theon and Yara Greyjoy showed up to meet with Dany in Meereen. After pledging their entire fleet of ships to her cause, they asked the Mother of Dragons to support Yara’s bid to become queen of the Iron Islands. At first, Dany questioned the fact that the region has never before had a queen, but she quickly realized that Yara’s mission is similar to her own—and no one respects a queen-in-the-making more than Khaleesi. Dany ultimately agreed to form an alliance with the Greyjoys, as long as the Iron Islands ban raids and rape under Yara’s rule. She reluctantly agreed to the terms, and we can’t wait to watch them work together while trying to claim their respective thrones. (Season 6, Episode 9.)
7. Melisandre successfully resurrects Jon Snow
OK, OK, we know—Melisandre is the absolute worst. And after what she did to Shireen Baratheon, we don’t think we can ever forgive her. But the fact that the centuries-old Red Woman was able to bring the murdered Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch back to life, well, that’s something that we can’t ignore. So just this once, we’re thankful that she proved herself to be the powerful witch she always claimed to be, even when we doubted her abilities. (Season 6, Episode 2.)
8. Daenerys Targaryen shuts down her haters, again
Dany deserves more than one mention after asserting her power time and time again this season. After she returned from her Dothraki win, she found that Meereen—left under Tyrion’s rule—had come under attack by the masters whose slaves Dany had earlier freed. Although she initially wanted to burn the cities from which the masters hailed, Tyrion convinced her to take a more pragmatic approach and meet with the masters face-to-face. After they detail their terms for surrender—her surrender, that is—Dany explains that they’re sorely mistaken, as this is her world and they’re just living in it. That’s when her beloved dragon Drogon appears and whisks her away, just as her other two dragons swoop in to breathe fire onto the ships and set them aflame. Silly masters, nobody tells the Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains what to do. (Season 6, Episode 9.)
9. Brienne of Tarth saves Sansa Stark and Theon Greyjoy
When they first escaped from the clutches of the seriously insane Ramsay Bolton, Theon and Sansa were being hunted by the deranged ruler’s hounds and men. The pair finally thought they were safe after successfully crossing a freezing river—but the dogs still managed to track them down. Things weren’t looking good for the two, even as Theon attempted to protect Sansa from the attack. Luckily for them, Brienne of Tarth rode up at that very moment to save the day. After the group killed Ramsay’s men, Brienne pledged her service to Sansa once again—and this time, Sansa smartly accepted. (Season 6, Episode 1.)
10. Gilly stands up for herself and her family
As soon as Sam and Gilly arrived to his parents’ Horn Hill home, he warned her to conceal the fact that she’s a wildling. At first, it seemed easy enough to hide—with the help of Sam’s sister, Gilly got all dolled up for family dinner. But while the good times began to roll as Gilly embraced wearing a dress and heels for the first time in her life, things quickly turned dark. Sam’s dad tore into his son at the table, and Gilly couldn't help but chime in. Unable to sit there quietly watching Sam take the insults in silence, she accidentally revealed her wildling truth. This didn’t sit well with Sam’s father, who decided that Gilly could still stay at their home as long as she worked for them. But we all know that Gilly deserves more than that, and so does Sam. So in the middle of the night, the pair left Horn Hill—Little Sam in tow—without looking back. Well, except for a quick pause so Sam could steal his father’s beloved Valerian steel sword, that is. (Season 6, Episode 6.)
11. Margaery reveals where her true allegiance lies
We were beginning to wonder if we had lost Margaery to the High Sparrow’s dark side for a while. But it turns out, she’s still in there after all. Despite the fact that she had been spewing New Gods scripture and bowing down to the High Sparrow, the queen of King’s Landing was just doing what she had to in order to survive—and, ultimately, to save her imprisoned brother, Loras. When she met with her grandmother, Lady Olenna, it seemed as though Margaery was an entirely new person. She refused to return home with her grandmother, but encouraged her to leave nonetheless. Just as we were seriously losing all hope, Margaery slipped Olenna a drawing of a Tyrell Rose, a symbol that she’s not actually brainwashed and is still a part of her family, just playing the part as long as she must. (Season 6, Episode 7.)