'Game of Thrones' Finale: Women Rule

Game of Thrones Episode 7 Still 2011

Game of Thrones Episode 7

After last week’s chilling beheading of Lord Eddard “Ned” Stark (Sean Bean), how much more intense could HBO’s Game of Thrones be? Turns out quite a bit as the Starks, Lannisters and Targaryens all plot their course for the newly crowned King Joffrey.

But it was Lady Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley), her daughter Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) -- and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) to some degree -- as well as Princess Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) who came up big in Sunday’s finale as the series inched closer to winter and war.

[Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen Sunday’s “Fire and Blood” episode.]

After Arya is spared having to witness her father’s beheading by a stranger, he then takes her in, cuts her hair and offers stern advice for how she can successfully pass as a boy, thus protecting her identity. Shortly after being left to her own devices among a camp of murderers, rapists and thugs, Arya becomes Arry and defends herself against a fat bully with eyes for her sword.

Arya’s sister Sansa, meanwhile, is in far worse company after witnessing her husband-to-be King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) order her father’s death. Keeping her in King’s Landing against her will, she considers ways in which she can off the power-hungry king after he has a henchman beat her. Her shining moment, however, comes after Joffrey says he’ll next have the head of her brother, Robb, when she replies: “Or maybe he’ll give me yours,” as she finally recognizes the evil in the new king.

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How much does Lady Stark hate Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau)? Plenty. After Jaime’s son/nephew calls for Ned’s head, Jaime does his best to charm his way into Catelyn’s bed and out of captivity. But he soon finds it best not to mess with a Stark in mourning as she grabs a stone and beats him across the face with it, keeping him alive to live in dishonor instead of dying and becoming a war hero who knew no pain.

After trading the life of her unborn baby in an attempt to save Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa), Daenerys smothers the former Dothraki leader to death with a pillow rather than to see the former warrior live life in a comatose state. And that’s just the beginning of the former feeble woman stepping into her true power. The last surviving Targaryen shows she truly has her family’s blood of the dragon. After walking through a burning funeral pyre -- in which the Lhazareen witch burns with Drogo -- Daenerys is reborn -- with three baby dragons in tow. 

What did you think of the Game of Thrones season finale?

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit

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