Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week, wherein we shine a spotlight on strong women who inspire us. This not only includes fictional female characters in geeky media, but creators as well. These ladies are a prime example of female empowerment and how crucial it is for young girls to have said example to follow.
DISCLAIMER: The following contains spoilers galore for Game of Thrones. If you’re not already caught up on this HBO fantasy darling, now is the time to start binge watching. For the internet is dark and full of spoilers. The Lord of Light told me as much.
Yara Greyjoy (portrayed by Gemma Whelan) was raised on Pyke of the Iron Islands, the stronghold of House Greyjoy. She’s the only daughter of the deceased King Balon Greyjoy. Yara is the commander of her own longship Black Wind. She’s known as a fierce warrior and a bastion of strength for the Ironborn. After her father Balon was murdered by her uncle Euron (Pilou Asbæk), Yara becomes a claimant for the Salt Throne. However, her fellow Ironborn choose Euron as their next king. Yara and her brother Theon (Alfie Allen) flee with a remnant of the Iron Fleet and pledge their allegiance to Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). Later, Yara is captured by Euron after he attacks the Targaryen fleet. Theon frees her and Yara sails with her army to retake the Iron Islands from her uncle.
The Real Deal:
Now, Yara is the real deal. First of all, she’s a powerful female warrior during a time when women had considerably less rights than they do at present. Yara has her own ship complete with an army all loyal to her. She possesses immense physical strength as well as mental acumen. Yara is of royal lineage and grew up under a king, so we know she’s book smart as well as street smart. Yara is loyal to her Ironborn brothers and sisters, and will do anything to ensure the prosperity of the Iron Islands.
Of course, unlike several others in Westeros, Yara isn’t interested in the fight for the Iron Throne. She’s a breath of fresh air in that regard – someone who’s more concerned with the well being of her brethren as opposed to an entire kingdom. She’s family oriented! Not to mention, her mind is sharp as a blade as is her tongue. She’s resilient and won’t go down without a fight. Yara is a natural leader and has her own legion of loyal followers to prove it.
Why She Matters:
Alright, why does she matter? Yara is the pinnacle of strength in every sense of the word. She’s an example for young girls everywhere intent on seeking higher positions in society. Yara is proof that you can be a queen and a fighter. You can have the best of both worlds. Just as you can be a “girly girl” and a “tomboy.” One does not cancel out the other. Yara is complex and multi-faceted, as all humans are. Not to mention, she’s a fierce queer character who isn’t defined by who she loves. She loves who she loves, and that’s that. Her romantic passions aren’t a hindrance, as they can sometimes be viewed in period pieces like this. Love is love is love is love, baby.
Now, Yara is also proof that a woman equipped with ambition is a powerful thing. Unlike a lot of other royals in Westeros, she isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. Yara mingles with the socially lowest of the low, the peasants of the Iron Islands, and views everyone as important. She knows every one of her fellow Ironborn have crucial roles to play in the grand scheme of things. Yara is immensely loyal – she would gladly fall on her sword for her constituents.
So, be like Yara. Be the fierce warrior you really are. Be kind, but take no sh*t. Fight for your family and friends. Tap into your inner leader when necessary. Know you can be a fighter and still enjoy a good book. Sharpen your mind as you would your body. Oh, and don’t let your creepy, murderous uncle steal your Salt Throne. That’s a big no-no.
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