Upon finally finishing season 6 of Game of Thrones (which was amazing!!), I was going to do an overview of the season, talk about the characters, who I liked, who I didn't like, the aspects of the show and so on. However, I began to think on the fact that season 6 was a remarkable season was because it finally brought many of our heroes out of the dark and into the light. Although Game of Thrones has a plethora of varied characters, good, bad and indifferent, the primary characters have been Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister, and Daenerys Targaryn. All three started as the major underdogs of the story and through trial and error, love and loss, pain and healing, all three have taken their rightful places in the story as leaders.
Where we begin...
Jon Snow is the bastard child of Ned Stark, the Lord of Winterfell. Most of Jon's life has been spent being known as 'Ned's bastard.' Although he is loved by his brothers and his sister Arya, Jon has been raised to believe that he will never be one of them. He is hated by his stepmother, Catelyn, who is harsh, cruel and spiteful toward her husband's illegitimate son. All Jon has wanted is love.
Tyrion Lannister is the youngest son of Lord Tywin Lannister of Casterly Rock. His mother died giving birth to him and his family blamed him for her death. The fact that he is a dwarf, misshapen and ugly has caused his father to all but disown him and he is the bane of his older sister's existence. Known as 'the Imp' Tyrion has led a lonely life with only his wits and street smarts to survive.
Daenerys Targaryn is the lastborn of the Targaryn royal family. Her mother also died in childbirth with her and she never knew her father King Aerys, who was removed from the Iron Throne after the people rebelled against him. Daenerys has spent her life traveling with her abusive older brother Viserys who has sold her off into marriage to the powerful Dothraki lord, Khal Drogo. Pretty, but painfully shy, Daenerys is only a pawn for power and control.
As their stories' progress, our unlikely heroes grown and mature, but they certainly don't do it on their own. Sometimes it takes one person to believe in you. One person that can see the potential that no one else can. For all three, there was at least one person to help them on their paths. For Jon it was the Wildling leader, Mance, for Tyrion it was his older brother, Jaime and for Daenerys it was her own husband, Khal Drogo. To have one person say, you're better than what people think, you're stronger, smarter, you can prove people wrong can make all the difference in the world.
Mance taught Jon how to be leader and to stand for what is right even if you're standing alone. Mance also taught Jon the importance of family loyalty and the bonds of brotherhood that should always remain strong. Jaime was there for Tyrion when no one else was. He defended him constantly and believed that there was so much more to his brother than met the eye. Drogo brought Dany out of her world of fear and gave her the love and compassion she craved. He showed her how to be a strong and even ruthless leader and to listen to wise and just counsel.
Once the heroes are removed from their mentors, they now must face trials that will test them in every way imaginable. Tyrion is accused of murder and has to flee for his life. Jon Snow must unite the Wildlings with the rest of the world, even at the cost of losing his new family. Dany makes many mistakes as she tries to be the Queen she believes she was born to be.
At the end of season 5, Tyrion is Dany's counselor, but they are wary and untrusting of one another. Dany herself has made many unwise decisions as a ruler and begins to collect no small shortage of enemies. Jon Snow has become a leader, but does the unthinkable when he gives aid to the Wildling people and is killed by several men in the Night's Watch. At the beginning of season 6, Jon Snow is resurrected and must now fight for his home Winterfell, Dany is taken as a slave by the Dothraki and Tyrion is left to rule in her stead.
When season 6 ends, Jon Snow has reclaimed Winterfell and is proclaimed King of The North. Dany has learned a great deal in her short time as a slave and realizes that she is capable of caring for herself. She returns to Mereen stronger than ever and is ready to rise to the Iron Throne. Tyrion is made the Queen's Hand and finally has found a place where he truly belongs.
Why do I love Game of Thrones? For the same reason I love any good story. Because the characters are ordinary people, thrown in extraordinary circumstances that will either break or build them. What makes these heroes remarkable is that they are real, they are flawed and broken, but they are also strong and remain standing when others around them fall. While these three all fight for the rightful thrones, they have won something infinitely better. The values of their souls and the everyday victories (and defeats) that can truly created a king from a bastard.