January 4, 2024 | Jennifer Crump

Facts About The Toughest Women of Game of Thrones


“I was good, very very good,” says Olenna Tyrell. She, like most of the women in Game of Thrones, is at her best when she’s bad. So cut class, sneak a smoke, and read on for these 26 facts about the badass women of Game of Thrones.


1. How Bad Do You Have to Be?

Game of Thrones women have to be tough to survive. To date, 64% of the female characters have passed in the TV series so far, and there have been over 50 acts of assault or attempted assault. In the books, that number climbs to at least 214.

 Women of Game of Thrones

2. Child Prodigy

Lyanna Mormont is only 10, and yet she has already stood up to Stannis, and was the first in the new landscape of the North to declare for a Stark. Here's hoping this precocious leader is on the right side of history.

House Mormont factsGame of Thrones, HBO

3. Unburnt

Daenerys Targaryen, famous for her long silver hair in the TV series, is actually bald for much of the book series. Her hair was burnt off along with her clothes when she walked into Khal Drogo's funeral pyre.

Screenshot of Daenerys Targaryen looking at front - from Game of Thrones (2011-19)HBO, Game of Thrones (2011-19)

4. Can't Touch This

In the sexually charged world of Game of Thrones, Brienne is one of the few virgins. Her fellow guardsmen in Renly's army had a standing wager regarding who would be the first to take her virginity; no one won.

Toughest Women of Game of Thrones FactsGame of Thrones, HBO

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5. Shapeshifter

Although she's rarely had a chance to use her abilities, like all the Stark children, Sansa is Warg.

Bran Stark FactsGame of Thrones, HBO

6. Unconventional

Ygritte the Wilding is actually supposed to be unconventional-looking in the books: she has crooked teeth, a pug nose, and wide-set eyes. She still snags Jon Snow, who is drawn to her physical appearance.

Toughest Women of Game of Thrones FactsGame of Thrones, HBO

7. Shae

The actress who plays the prostitue Shae, Sibel Kekilli, got her start as an adult movies star. Her name then was Dilara.

Toughest Women of Game of Thrones FactsShutterstock

8. Three Times a Queen

Margaery  Tyrell once told Littlefinger that she wanted to be the queen, not just a queen. And she was. Three times in fact. The socially mobile royal became the queen of Kings Renly Baratheon, Joffrey Baratheon, and Tommen Baratheon.

Toughest Women of Game of Thrones FactsGame of Thrones, HBO

9. Yara Greyjoy

In the books, Theon's sister's name is Asha, but the series renamed her Yara to avoid confusion with the Wilding Osha. While Yara is bi, George R.R. Martin has confirmed that Asha is not.

Screenshot of Yara Greyjoy looking at front - from Game of Thrones (2011-19)HBO, Game of Thrones (2011-19)

10. Eternal Youth

In season 6, when she takes her necklace off and becomes an extremely old woman, it was finally confirmed that Melisandre's ruby necklace is the source of her youth and likely the source of at least some of her power.

Screenshot of Melisandre standing outside - from Game of Thrones (2011-19)HBO, Game of Thrones (2011-19)

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11. Rejected

Despite her renowned beauty, Cersei Lannister was rejected as a bride for both Rhaegar and Viserys Targaryen. Robert Baratheon didn’t want her at first either, and even accidentally called her Lyanna on their wedding night.

Cersei Lannister FactsGame of Thrones, HBO

12. Queen of Thorns

Olenna Tyrell can’t tell her twin guardsmen named apart, so she calls them simply "Left" and "Right". She herself is known as the Queen of Thorns because of her sharp tongue.

Diana Rigg FactsGame of Thrones, HBO

13. Lady Stoneheart

In the books, the perished Catelyn Stark is brought back as vengeful zombie named Lady Stoneheart, a fearsome being who kills anyone associated with the Red Wedding. Because Catelyn’s throat was slit during the Red Wedding, Lady Stoneheart is unable to speak.

Toughest Women of Game of Thrones FactsGame of Thrones, HBO

14. Lizard-Lions, Oh My!

Meera Reed, along with her brother Jojen, carries a house crest that depicts a black lizard-lion on a grey-green background.

Toughest Women of Game of Thrones FactsGame of Thrones, HBO

15. Whippersnapper

Osha is one of the few characters who is younger in the TV show than she is in the A Song of Ice and Fire novels.

Toughest Women of Game of Thrones FactsGame of Thrones, HBO

16. The Serpent's Woman of the Street

Ellaria Sand is one of the most sensual characters in Game of Thrones. In addition to being open to threesomes, she worships a Lysene love goddess.

Toughest Women of Game of Thrones FactsGame of Thrones, HBO

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17. Pre-Pubescent 

In the books, Daenerys's faithful servant Missandei is only 10. Granted, she's a pretty self-possessed 10-year-old, but she's 10 nonetheless.

Toughest Women of Game of Thrones FactsGame of Thrones, HBO

18. Lend Me Your Ears

A lesser-known character, Chella is a warrior of the Black Ear tribe. She wears a necklace made of ears, one ear from each of the foes she has slain. Enough said.

Toughest Women of Game of Thrones FactsGame of Thrones, HBO

19. Loyal Til the End

The six-foot-tall Dacey Mormont was one of Robb Stark’s most loyal guards, and claimed to have fought every battle with her king. She’s also heir to House Mormont until she is liquidated at the Red Wedding.

George R.R. Martin FactsGame of Thrones, HBO

20. Mudcake Surpise

Lysa Arryn and her sister Catelyn Stark used to kiss their father’s ward, Littlefinger, for practice when they were children. They also once made mud cakes for him, and he was sick for a week after eating them.

Toughest Women of Game of Thrones FactsGame of Thrones, HBO

21. Cersei’s Game of Thrones

The phrase “game of thrones” is said only once on screen, and the speaker is Cersei Lannister. “When you play the game of thrones,” she says, “you either win or you perish".

Lena Headey factsGame of Thrones, HBO

22. Shame!

You might remember Unella from Cersei's walk of shame; she was the one ringing the bell and yelling "Shame!" so she was kind of hard to miss. You might not know, however, that Unella is also a member of the Most Devout, who elect the High Septon.

Toughest Women of Game of Thrones FactsGame of Thrones, HBO

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23. Dangerous Woman

Myranda, Ramsey Bolton’s equally sadistic lover, does not appear in the books. In the TV series it is revealed that she once trained to be a septa, but her overheated sexuality kept her from taking the vows.

Toughest Women of Game of Thrones FactsGame of Thrones, HBO

24. Founding Mother

Nymeria is long gone when the TV series starts, but she was a revered warrior queen who led the Rhoynar refugees and founded one of the seven kingdoms–a unified Dorne. Arya Stark is so inspired by Nymeria, she names her direwolf after her.

Toughest Women of Game of Thrones FactsGame of Thrones, HBO

25. Peasant Roots

Unlike some of her other fellow Sand Snakes (like Nymeria Sand), Obara Sand is not of noble birth; in the books, her mother is a woman of the street.

Game of Thrones Characters FactsGame of Thrones, HBO

26. Thread the Needle

When her liquidation count hit 64 by the end of season 7, Arya Stark became one of the deadliest characters in the game. Like her sword Needle, she’ s tiny and lethal.

Maisie Williams FactsGame of Thrones, HBO

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35