Meet Yara Greyjoy, The First Lesbian Character on “Game of Thrones”

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Caution: A few NSFW GIFS ahead!

If you’re not familiar with Game of Thrones, you might think that the series is about three things: sex, violence, and dragons. But if you’re a fan, you know that the series is capable of some pretty groundbreaking (and infuriating) stuff. While the show has been accused of gratuitous sex, nudity, and violence, it has also featured some watershed sex scenes between gay men, as well as bisexual men and women. Yet all this time, we’ve never had a lesbian character.

Sure, there have been women in brothels performing queer sex for men, and there was Daenerys’s “hands-on” sex training from Doreah in Season One, but we’ve never seen a woman of agency pursue other women. Until this weekend’s episode (#6.7), when it was finally confirmed that roguish pirate warrior Yara Greyjoy is queer.

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After escaping from her home on the Iron Islands with her brother Theon and a fleet of ships, Yara and her crew hole up at a brothel, where Yara hooks up with a curvy sex worker. This comes as no surprise to fans of the series, for whom Yara has always pinged as queer. As one of the only remaining Greyjoys, Yara was raised to be a strong leader and fierce warrior and made a bid to be the first Queen of the Iron Islands when her father Balon was murdered by his brother Euron. Yara loses the Kingsmoot (aka the king election) and escapes the islands before her uncle can murder her. Yara hopes to raise an army to reclaim her homeland with help from her brother Theon…but first, she is going to get drunk and get some. 

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The brothel scene makes Theon uncomfortable, as he was castrated when he was held prisoner at Winterfell by Ramsey Bolton. After making fun of his affliction (not cool, dude) Yara apologizes to her brother and asks him to stand with her and fight. She tells him that he needs to get over the trauma of his torture, or kill himself. This may come across as pretty insensitive, but it’s in-line with what we know about the Iron Islands folk: they are hardened, callous, and rough. Ultimately, Yara has a great deal of affection for her little brother and longs to see him regain some sense of himself.

Yara’s coming out is the latest in a season full of strong, powerful women. We’ve seen Sansa Stark and Brienne of Tarth join forces to retake Winterfell, Daenerys Targaryen burning the Khals alive and assuming control of the Dothraki army, and Arya training to become an assassin. This episode also introduced us to Lyanna Mormont, a 10-year-old ruler with more sass and command than a Lannister army. More of her, please! With only three episodes left in the season, here’s hoping that A) Yara survives and B) we see more of her. In my perfect world, the series will end with Yara and Dany falling in love, ruling Westeros, and adopting little Lyanna as their princess/queensguard. A girl can hope.

What do you think of Yara Greyjoy so far? Tweet me your GOT feels @ChelseaProcrast and live-tweet along with the remaining episodes using the hashtag #Gayjoy (bc why not?)

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