Game Of Queens: Will The Seven Kingdoms Be In The Hands Of Women?

Warning: this post is dark and full of spoilers.

Ah, the sweet smell of revenge.

Ramsay Bolton -- the torturer, the sadist, the legitimized bastard who loved to remind Jon Snow that only one of them had a last name -- is dead. Dead, dead, dead, and executed by Sansa after Jon captured him, as I expected it would happen. And now Sansa is back at Winterfell as its rightful heir (as Bran is no longer of this world, and Rickon is, at long last, actually dead) and, if the title holds, she is also Queen in the North. A title she has worked for, not least by contacting Littlefinger on the sly and thus saving the day as her brother was being smothered among his own army.

She knows she will probably have to marry Lord Baelish in return for bringing the Vale's army to the rescue, and that -- in retrospect -- is probably why she did not share her plans with Jon, who would have been unwilling to put her in the hands of another unsuitable husband. She knows -- she has said as much -- that no one can protect her. She does not think she needs it anymore: her smirk as she left Ramsay's cell is all the proof we need.

She has an army, she has a sworn sword, she has allies, a commander in chief and a Hand of the Queen: she has, finally, a place in the world that she chose for herself. Sansa is no longer speaking lady: she has learned to speak warrior.

Season 7 of Game of Thrones is shaping up to be a game of queens: while Sansa reclaims Winterfell and makes a new start, the alliance between Daenerys and Yara Greyjoy in the Free Cities aims at putting one on the Iron Throne while the other claims the Salt Throne.

"Have the Iron Islands ever had a queen?" Daenerys asks. "No more than Westeros has" is Yara's reply. These two women are hellbent on making history, but what does that mean for Westeros? Will Daenerys the Conqueror let Sansa keep the North in exchange for stable relations with the fragmented, war-torn south?

Meanwhile, another --  and so far largely, and unwisely, ignored --  woman rules Dorne: Ellaria Sand, who murdered her brother-in-law Prince Doran in Episode 1 of this season, has been allowed to seize control of the territory undisturbed, mostly due to the fact that the Lannisters and the Tyrells are virtual captives of the Faith Militant.

Episode 10 will tell us if another queen will rise to the throne: Margaery, whose feigned piety seems to have everyone fooled, might claim the Iron Throne if her husband dies; which, according to Maggie the Frog's prophecy, is bound to happen. No one else can legitimately rule Westeros at this point: the Lannisters are in shambles, there are no Baratheons left, and her wedding ceremony sealed her soul to that of Tommen, "bound to each other, for eternity". The Tyrells have an army, and food. The Lannisters have nothing but The Mountain and their desperation.

As the Night King descends upon the lands of men, it looks like women will be the ones in charge of stopping the invasion. Whether they will be able to achieve this without destroying one another and the realm in the process remains to be seen.

This post appeared originally on Panel & Frame. Follow Panel & Frame on Medium for the best emerging voices in Comics, Literature, Art and Film.