WARNING: This article contains spoilers from last night’s episode of Game of Thrones.
Last night, Game of Thrones got its first openly lesbian character: Theon Greyjoy’s sister Yara (aka “Asha” in the books). She’s a tough, principled, yet loving sea captain who proved her mettle earlier in the series by defying her abusive father, attempting to rescue her brother from a dangerous torturer and then claiming her right to rule the Iron Islands, her homeland.
Naturally, that last one didn’t go so well. During her bid to become ruler this season, her uncle showed up out of nowhere, admitted to killing Yara’s father (the previous king), won the throne and then tried to have Yara and Theon killed. Luckily, Yara and company escaped on a fleet of the islands’ best ships and now she’s leading her crew to Meereen where she intends on teaming up with Daenerys Stormborn, the Mother of Dragons, to conquer the Iron Islands and take the throne.
That brings us up to last night where Yara and her crew (including her once-horn-dog-but-now-castrated brother Theon) went to a brothel. There, she kissed a topless, female sex worker while encouraging Theon to enjoy himself. Naturally, Theon was a little bummed out, having had his penis removed by the aforementioned torturer.
Yara asks the sex worker to give her a sec and then tells Theon to drink up and snap out of his post-traumatic stress disorder — if she’s going to win back the Iron Islands, she needs his help, but if he’s just gonna sit around like a hurt dog, he’d be better off killing himself. Yes, Yara’s a tough love sort, but her pep-talk seemingly works. Convinced that she has Theon’s support, she smiles and announces that she’s leaving to go “fuck the tits off” of the sex worker. Fun!
Granted, Game of Thrones has had woman-on-woman action before. Ros — a brothel worker who appeared in the show’s first three seasons (before getting crossbowed to death by psychopathic boy-King Joffrey) — made out with a handful of women. But we got the sense she was more bisexual, doing the bidding of her devious and politically chaotic brothel owner Littlefinger.
Yara is the only female character who has expressed same-sex attraction as a result of her own desire rather than as a sex-worker. You may recall that when we first met Yara, her horny brother Theon tried to seduce her (not realizing she was his sister). He fondled and kissed her neck while the two rode to their father’s castle. Then, when Theon realized her true identity, we were as surprised as he was! Since their brief horse-ride, we’ve never seen Yara get physical with anyone else… until last night, that is.
It’s especially nice because we’ve had no lesbian action for two whole seasons. Furthermore, Yara’s coming out follows a recent trend in the show: with Daenerys Stormborn recently dominating a bunch of misogynist, over-sexed horse-loving warrior men; young Sansa Stark building a rebellion to overthrow the aforementioned torturer (who also raped her) and Queen Margaery manipulating the patriarchal zealots who currently rule Kings Landing, it’s like the show is trying to make up for all its repeated past raping of female characters and allow its female characters to truly come into their own.
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