10 Most Important Female Characters in Ice & Fire (Ranked)

One of the things that we know about the world of Ice & Fire and the other works of George RR Martin, which were the source materials for Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon, is that their storylines tend to include an ensemble of different characters that all have their own roles to play in the greater storyline. Of course, there are some characters that tend to be more focused on than others, but Martin made sure that almost all of the different characters have their own roles to play.

In that regard, the women in Ice & Fire tend to be quite important to the flow of the storyline. The men also have their own parts to play, but the women tend to be under the spotlight more often than not. That’s because they actually have incredibly large roles to play, and some of the most important characters are even women. So, with that said, let’s look at the most important female characters in George RR Martin’s Ice & Fire.

10. Princess Rhaenys Targaryen

Not to be confused with Queen Rhaenys Targaryen, who was one of the sisters that Aegon the Conqueror married and fought alongside during the Conquest of Westeros, Princess Rhaenys Targaryen is the wife of Lord Corlys Velaryon during the events of House of the Dragon. She is often called the Queen Who Never Was because she actually almost became the queen due to her status as the only child of the first heir of King Jaehaerys Targaryen.

The reason why Rhaenys is such an important character in the history of the Seven Kingdoms is the fact that she was the first person to ever make the realm consider imagining a woman sitting on the Iron Throne. Of course, we all know that this eventually became a reality during the events of Game of Thrones.

9. Brienne of Tarth

Brienne of Tarth was one of the most interesting characters in both the books and the series. That’s because she broke all of the conventional notions of what a woman is and how she would act. She was a huge woman with a face that not many would consider pretty. But she made sure to train in the art of fighting as she eventually became good enough with a sword to defeat Ser Loras Tyrell, Jaime Lannister, and the Hound.

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The reason why Brienne is such an important character in Ice & Fire is that she is one of the women that broke stereotypes of what a woman should be and how a woman should act. Not all women should be ladylike, and Brienne proved that even a woman could be strong and powerful. And the fact that Brienne contributed to the character development of Jaime Lannister makes her one of the few people to actually penetrate through his thick skin.

8. Melisandre

Considered to be an evil witch during the earlier period of her character story, Melisandre is a Red Priestess that serves the Lord of Light and is out looking for the Prince that was Promised, who is the prophesized savior of the world against the coming darkness that would come to swallow the world of men. As such, whatever she did during the time when she was serving Stannis was all so that she could fulfill the prophecy, as she actually believed that Stannis was the prophesized savior.

Melisandre, however, developed into a more understandable character that ended up regretting all of the things that she did while she was pushing Stannis’s claim to the Iron Throne. She was eventually the reason why Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen met, as she claimed to have joined ice and fire together.

7. Alicent Hightower

Alicent Hightower was introduced as the childhood friend of Rhaenyra Targaryen during the events of House of the Dragon. However, she eventually became the second wife of King Viserys Targaryen, and that was when things got messy for House Targaryen and for the entire realm. That’s because Alicent pushed her son’s claim for the Iron Throne even though Viserys always wanted Rhaenyra to be the one to inherit his role and title.

In that regard, it if weren’t for Alicent, the Dance of the Dragons would not have happened. It was the fact that she married Viserys and had sons with him that tore the realm apart. And we all know that the Dance of the Dragons was what eventually led to the extinction of the dragons before Daenerys brought them back.

6. Lyanna Stark

For a woman that was hardly ever given any part in the book or in the series, Lyanna Stark’s role in the events of the Seven Kingdoms during the time of Game of Thrones cannot be understated. That’s because Robert Baratheon went to war when he believed that Rhaegar Targaryen stole the woman that was always promised to him. But in truth, Lyanna eloped with Rhaegar. Had that not happened, Robert’s rebellion would not have happened.

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But the biggest reason why she was important was the fact that she was the mother of Jon Snow, who was secretly a Targaryen and was one of the people regarded as the Prince that was Promised. As such, she was one of the catalysts for the entire narrative to move forward.

5. Rhaenyra Targaryen

Rhaenyra Targaryen lived during the time of the Dance of the Dragons and was the rightful heir of King Viserys Targaryen. She should have been the first queen to rule the Seven Kingdoms, but Alicent Hightower and her supporters didn’t want her to inherit the Iron Throne from her father. Instead, they installed King Aegon II on the Iron Throne, and this was what jumpstarted the Dance of the Dragons or the Targaryen civil war that was fought between Rhaenyra’s Black faction and Alicent’s Green faction.

The reason why Rhaenyra is so important to the history of the Seven Kingdoms is the fact that she was the one who proved that there was systematic misogyny in the realm and that there were people who weren’t willing to allow a woman to rule. On top of that, she was also one of the people that started the war that led to the extinction of the dragons.

4. Cersei Lannister

Arguably the biggest antagonist during the time of Game of Thrones, Cersei Lannister was a cunning and power-hungry queen that didn’t want to let go of her hold over the Iron Throne even after her sons had inherited it. In that regard, we saw the things that she was willing to do during the events of Game of Thrones when she massacred an entire family and several other noble houses just so she could keep her hold on the Iron Throne.

In that regard, as far as Game of Thrones is considered, she became the first and only woman to ever truly rule the Seven Kingdoms as the queen. She was also one of the main antagonists of the latter seasons of Game of Thrones, as she was the final enemy that Daenerys needed to defeat so that she could finally reclaim the Iron Throne.

3. Sansa Stark

Sansa Stark is the very representation of the growth of a woman during a time of strife and turmoil. She began as a young girl with big dreams of one day marrying the king or, at the very least, becoming a beautiful lady ruling alongside a powerful lord. However, things didn’t end up the way she imagined them to be, as she had to endure numerous physical and sexual abuses to her person. And this allowed her to grow into a hardened woman that already knew what it took to become a leader.

As such, during the events of Game of Thrones, she became one of the most important women in the entire storyline as she was basically the key to the north, especially after Bran Stark told her that he had no interest in being the lord of Winterfell. Even after Jon Snow had been named the king of the north, she always had the best interests of her family and the north in her mind. And when the war was finally over, she was able to break the north away from the rest of the continent to become an independent ruling nation, as she became the queen of the north.

2. Arya Stark

In contrast to Sansa Stark, Arya Stark had different ideals in life, as she and her sister were always considered to be opposites of one another. Sansa represented the classic lady that was forced to become a woman in the worst way possible. Meanwhile, Arya represented the innocent young girl that only wanted to be a gallant knight but also experienced hardships along the way as well.

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Due to the many experiences she had, Arya was forced to become a Faceless Man or an assassin with the ability to change her face. She was the one responsible for avenging the death of her family in the Red Wedding. On top of that, it was through her fighting abilities that the Night King was finally defeated during the Long Night. As such, she is one of the most important women in Ice & Fire as she represented a different kind of woman that’s still as strong as any other woman.

1. Daenerys Targaryen

There is no doubt that the most important woman in the history of Ice & Fire is Daenerys Targaryen, who, alongside Jon Snow, is one of the main characters of the entire storyline. As an exiled princess that was forced to endure hardships in a foreign land, Daenerys became a hardened leader that only wanted to get back what was always rightfully hers. And she sought to do so with the power of dragons, as she became the Mother of Dragons when she brought them back into the world more than a hundred years after they were believed to have gone extinct.

Daenerys, of course, is considered the other half of the Prince that was Promised prophecy as she was the fire in the Song of Ice and Fire. In that regard, it was through her help that the Night King was finally defeated, as she brought the army and the literal firepower that allowed the world of the living to stand up to the Army of the Dead. Though she descended into madness when she was about to take King’s Landing and the Iron Throne, Daenerys’s exploits made her arguably the most important character in Game of Thrones.

  • Ysmael is a self-professed geek that loves anything related to fantasy, sci-fi, video gaming, and anime. Spends his free time watching movies, TV shows and gaming, a lot.