The hit television show Game of Thrones is known for its large cast, which includes a significant number of female characters. Not all of them had powerful roles like the Dragon Queen, Daenerys, the Night King slayer, Arya, or the brave knight, Brienne or the witty sensitive Sansa, but their roles contributed to the show’s widespread popularity and success.
Certain characters will undoubtedly rank higher than others in the series due to the prominent roles they played. However, this does not mean that less popular characters should be neglected. While some of these women are heroes and others are villains, they all play an important role in shaping the plot of this thrilling fantastical series. Septa Unella, Margaery, Meera Reed, Osha and others may not be main characters or popular heroines, but they are more powerful than many realize and are worthy of more recognition.
While some may regard Ros as little more than a prostitute, she plays an important role in providing vital information and advancing the plot. This prostitute with a reputation for beauty has met various lords and gained insight into Westeros’ happenings. In season one, the audience learns about the impending war in the north from her conversation with Theon as she travels to Kings Landing. Also, it is through her that Petyr Baelish’s infatuation with Catelyn Stark is revealed.
Ros (Esme Bianco) developed from fulfilling a nudity quota to a real character some loved. There are so many theories about Ros’ role in Game of Thrones but the truth is she is a key plot device in this story and without her, many parts of the story would not have been fully understood. Despite being used as a pawn in the political games of the show, Ros did not deserve to meet her violent death at the hands of Joffrey.
Badass Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan) is one of the underappreciated heroes in Game of Thrones. Yara embodies strength, loyalty, and courage, and she was no cowardly person. Despite being a woman, this ironborn warrior fought valiantly for her kingdom, even becoming allies with Daenerys to gain long-sought independence for her people.
There’s no denying that Yara Greyjoy is one of the most intelligent and powerful female characters in Game of Thrones, and she deserves more credit for it. Despite her limited screen time, her presence was palpable when she finally made an appearance in the second season.
Cersei has been deposed, and the High Sparrow has taken control of Westeros. The Faith militant, also known as “The Sparrow,” may be chaste, but they are equally cruel. Cersei experiences their cruelty firsthand when she is arrested and thrown into a cell by Unella (Hannah Waddingham), who proceeds to torture her until she confesses to adultery with her cousin, Lancel.
For fans who disliked Cersei, it may have been satisfying to see someone finally break her. The walk of shame is a memorable and harrowing episode of the series, and it would not have been as impactful without Unella ringing a bell and shouting “Shame” as Cersei walked naked through the streets. Despite her cruelty, Unella is a tough character and deserves recognition for her role, even though she had limited screen time.
Margery (Natalie Dormer) is not a female warrior wielding a sword and slaying her enemies, but rather an ambitious, powerful Highgarden lady skilled in the art of manipulation. She was able to control the sadistic Joffrey, and after his death, she managed to sway Tommen Baratheon in her favor, undermining the authority of Westeros’ most powerful woman, Cersei Lannister.
It is no secret that only shrewd and cunning individuals can survive King’s landing, which is rife with schemers and manipulators. Margery, who learned the art of manipulation from her grandmother, proved herself to be a formidable player in this game. While it was tragic that Margery met her end in the wildfire explosion in season 6, she remains one of the greatest characters in this epic fantasy series.
As Hodor holds the door against a swarm of wights, Bran must rely on Meera (Ellie Kendrick) to get him to safety. After killing several wights and shattering a whitewalker, Meera escapes the battle alive, pulling Bran in a cart. Despite losing her brother, she never stopped in her quest to bring Bran to safety.
Meera Reed pulled a crippled boy through the merciless north, seething with nightwalkers, bandits and many uncertainties. Without her bravery and the sacrifices of others, Brandon’s story would have come to an end long before it did. In a series filled with heroic figures, it is easy to overlook or downplay Meera’s achievements. However, this young hero from House Reed deserves more appreciation and gratitude from Bran than she received.
After being captured by Jon Snow, Ygritte (Rose Leslie) being a free folk is supposed to be killed, but Jon couldn’t bring himself to do it. Kept alive by a noble Jon Snow, Ygritte constantly torments him until the very moment she leads him into a wilding ambush and thus Jon Snow’s story begins.
Ygritte may be a fan favorite, but she is quickly forgotten when compared to the other feisty women in Game of Thrones. She is, however, more than just Jon Snow’s lover; she is a major reason Jon Snow grew into the leader he was born to be. This red-headed warrior also helped him understand why the nightwalkers, not the wildings, were the major threat. So, if Jon Snow’s path hadn’t crossed hers, would he have fulfilled his destiny?
After Daenerys freed Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel), she found a worthy servant and a loyal friend in her. Missandei, who was just a slave, became the Dragon queen’s trusted advisor even if she was not named the queen’s hand. Missandei also helped to reveal the more feminine and cute side of Daenerys to viewers.
Missandei may be quiet, but she was more powerful than many thought. She may not have been a central character, but it was her last word “Dracarys” that unleashed Daenerys’ Targaryen fury on King’s landing. Only someone with powerful influence could have caused the destruction of King’s landing.
Mirri Maz Duur
After a nasty cut leaves Drogo fatally ill, Daenerys enlists the help Mirri Maz Dhur (Mia Soteriou) to heal him. With her blood magic and unconventional healing procedures, this Dothraki warlord meets his end. The question is, did Mirri kill Drogo? She may not be the sole cause of his death, but she plays a role in delivering his fitting end.
Causing Drogo’s brain death may not be regarded as heroic or even celebrated by many fans, since many eventually fell in love with him. But from the perspective of this witch/healer whose people have been enslaved, murdered and raped by the ruthless Dothraki tribe led by Khal Drogo, taking down their leader is a heroic deed. Without this martyr’s dubious part in the movie, Drogo wouldn’t have died and Danny wouldn’t have found her path on her own.
Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey), the lady of Bear Island, is just like the rest of the Mormont family: brave, outspoken, and willing to fight for her beliefs. When the northern lords were hesitant to support Jon Snow, Lyanna stepped up and declared her full support for the King in the North.
Lyanna may be just a young girl in a time when men held most of the power, but that never stopped her from being a staunch defender of the north. This young heroine may be small, but she was a fierce warrior until the end, and one of the most underrated heroic figures in Game of Thrones.
Winterfell is under siege, and Osha (Natalia Tena) has no choice but to seduce Theon Greyjoy in order to escape with the boys, so they wouldn’t be killed. Into the dangerous woods, she led them, hoping to keep them safe until Theon’s search was over.
Osha deserves to be remembered as more than just a slave that was brutally killed by Ramsay Bolton. She was also a brave, wildling woman who devoted her life to saving her young masters, ultimately sacrificing her own life in the process. Unfortunately, many people may remember her as a victim of Ramsay’s violence rather than the heroic figure that she was.