The 8 most empowering Game of Thrones episodes for women

1 of 9

Season 8: Sophie Turner. Photo: Helen Sloane/HBO

There are so many moments from Game of Thrones that showcase the strengths of its female leads, though some episodes stand out as particularly empowering.

Game of Thrones has become known for many things over the past seven seasons, but one of the series’ biggest accomplishments is its portrayal of its female characters. Even in George R.R. Martin’s books, the women of Westeros have always been powerful. But, as the series moves beyond the events of Martin’s novels, viewers have seen the women of Game of Thrones move beyond their struggles and into positions of power.

Of course, even when the female leads of Game of Thrones were powerless in decisions about their futures, they still managed to showcase their strengths. Arya openly rejects the expectations thrust upon her, while Sansa uses obedience as a shield — at least, until she no longer needs to. Cersei, meanwhile, manipulates the men in her life in order to achieve what she wants, and Margaery does the same, only adding charm into the equation. The women of Westeros have never been wholly powerless; they’ve always had strength, even through their struggles.

During the sixth and seventh seasons of the show, however, the tables truly turn, and fans begin to see not just Daenerys take on an authoritative role, but Sansa, Arya, and Cersei as well. That these characters began in positions that allowed them little control over their circumstances is a testament to how far they’ve come over the past seven seasons. Their ability to overcome the things they’ve had thrown at them is empowering, and it’s something the show will continue to be praised for.

There are so many moments from Game of Thrones that showcase the strengths of the ladies of Westeros—whether it’s physical strength like Brienne’s or the quieter perseverance demonstrated by Sansa. But, looking back on the series, there are certain episodes in particular that empower its female leads. These are eight episodes, from seasons 1 through 7, that we think are worth revisiting before Game of Thrones‘ final season airs.