|Danaerys Stormborn, Mother of Dragons and last of the Targaryens (Emilia Clarke)|
For a good many years, I refused to read stories in which women were not equal to men. I was sick of epic medieval fantasies that included a select few ladies breaking gender barriers while the rest remained stuck in certain roles laid out for them by history (and are still woefully prevalent today). In my mind, authors have the ability to create whatever world they want, so why write women in these tired roles? Then I discovered A Song of Ice and Fire.
The books (and subsequent HBO series, Game of Thrones) should have been exactly what I hated: a few breakout women in a world where women are inferior. Except I didn't hate them. I realized that for modern audiences, it can be inspiring to see women making a place for themselves in a world where they had even fewer rights.
|Catelyn Stark, Lady of Winterfell (Michelle Fairley)|
|Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner)|
|Cersei Lannister, Queen of Westeros (Lena Headey)|
|Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) and her sword-fighting instructor Syrio Forel (Miltos Yerolemou)|