Game of Thrones – Ygritte

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Arguably my personal favorite (it must be the Scottish brogue), Ygritte is a galvanizing character that, to some degree, helped awaken the passions and leadership skills of Jon Snow. While their love affair was short-lived, her character is the essential plot device that motivates Jon Snow to develop sympathy for the Wildlings, a group that has heretofore been reviled by the Night’s Watch and the rest of Westeros south of The Wall. When Jon unifies with Ygritte – even if he didn’t intend to ultimately join the ranks of the Wildlings – he managed to ultimately forge an alliance with the warrior tribes from north of the wall.

My guess is that their assistance will prove helpful beyond just “The Battle of the Bastards.” They will unify with the standing armies of Westeros and take up arms against the Night King in the concluding chapter of the series.

Ygritte is, in many ways, a force of nature, a fierce warrior woman referred to by her cohort as a “spearwife.” Additionally, she is known for her shock of red hair, a powerful sign of luck among the Wildlings. Because of this, she’s also known to have been “kissed by fire.”

Her character arc runs full-circle, and it seems somewhat clear in later episodes that Jon Snow holds onto her memory and his unique love for her; his experience with her has steeled his resolve to persevere in the conflicts to come.

Let me know who your favorite character is in the comment section, and don’t forget to tell me why. Who would you like me to paint a portrait next? There are certainly many more to come.

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Game of Thrones – Brienne of Tarth

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“Brienne’s ugly, and pig-head stubborn. But she lacks the wits to be a liar, and she is loyal past the point of sense.”
~Jaime Lannister

The distinctly un-feminine Brienne of Tarth makes her first appearance in the second season of Game of Thrones, besting Loris Tyrell in a tourney and winning a seat in the kingsguard in the service of Renly Baratheon. Because of her stature (standing at six-foot three-inches), Brienne is considered extremely unattractive by Westerosi standards, and she is often mockingly referred to as “Brienne the Beauty.” But the tall, muscular woman with straw-colored hair is one of the most honorific characters in the entire series.

Like Eddard Stark, her sense of honor and duty often works against her interests.

Her character, much like Samwell Tarly’s, is a sympathetic one. As a child, she was met with mockery when attempting to dress and act like a proper lady. Once she turned to a career more suited to her talents as a warrior, she likewise received contempt and resentment because of her gender, despite her obvious and considerable skill. Having spent most of her life as an object of scorn and rejection, Brienne yearns for respect and acceptance, and she easily gives her love and loyalty to those few who treat her with courtesy.

Renly Baratheon, Catelyn Stark, and Jaime Lannister are the primary objects of Brienne’s friendship, love, and service.

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