31 Things We Learned from the Game of Thrones Women

8 of 32

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25. Be kind.

Shireen Baratheon

The princess Shireen is very 2015 Cinderella. Her parents lock her away, but her good heart never falters. In Shireen’s case, her purity isn’t enough to keep her alive, much less lead to a happy ending, but it’s an encouraging lesson all the same.

Stannis and Selyse Baratheon may love their daughter, but there remains a dangerous negligence. Shireen is far less important to either of them than Stannis’ quest for power, a fact which is proven to the extreme when they allow her to be sacrificed on the off-chance that it will help Stannis seize the throne. But up until that point, Shireen doesn’t begrudge her parents their wishes. She simply keeps to herself and stays positive, although Ser Davos is the only person to show her regular kindness.

Even though Shireen’s status as an actual human sunbeam doesn’t, in the long run, save her life, it does improve her situation. She has every reason to be resentful, but she doesn’t allow her hardships to turn her ugly. Instead, she rolls with the punches and treats everyone the way she should have been treated—kindly, lovingly, and with an unadulterated pleasure. Shireen found joy in an otherwise joyless life. Her optimism kept her good, and she never gave up on that.