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AnnaJo Terrill

Mane of Thrones: The Redhead Women of The HBO Hit Show

Summer is here and if you’re anything like me, your hair hair is getting brighter, freckles are becoming bolder, and our iron thrones are fiercer- Game of Thrones season came and went!

If redheads really do make up only 2% of the world’s population, then Game of Thrones has cast about 1.9% over the past several seasons. (And, the other .1% is still waiting for my callback.)What can we say? Red hair has always been a symbol of royalty, and these beautiful, powerful, fiery redheads sure know how to play the game of thrones.

So, let’s take a look at what we can learn from these women about embracing that elusive power that comes with a great head of red hair.

Margaery Tyrell (played by Natalie Dormer): 

Though only recently named the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, Margaery Tyrell has long been the Queen of “Throwing Shade.”  No one escapes Margaery’s slanting glare.  When she walks into a room, she owns everything and everyone in it–especially if that room contains a future King–and pity the fool who stands in her way.  If there’s anything we can learn from Margaery, it’s that when it’s necessary to show someone a little of that redheaded attitude, let’s at least have the decency to do it while wearing blue or green!


Sansa Stark (played by Sophie Turner): 

It’s not easy being Queen.  At times being in charge may feel more like being a prisoner of your own castle.  Sansa learned this the hard way, and what we can all learn from her is that sometimes you just have to let your hair down, and let it go.  Living a rigid and structured life is stressful!  Jobs and school can be emotionally and physically draining.  How happy were we to see an empowered Sansa finally escape that life, loosen those hair pins, and let her long red waves flow free?  So, let’s take a note from her book, and make the time to relax this summer–lose the makeup, break from the hair products, and enjoy the power a little freedom provides.

Catelyn Stark (played by Michelle Fairley): 

Redheads are often presumed to have a short-fuse, but in the case of Catelyn Stark, having a fiery temper is not always a bad thing.  Momma Stark is not going to let anyone hurt her babies or her friends, and anyone who attempts to do so is going to catch some heat.  I admit, I can get a little feisty when someone crosses my family or friends, but that’s only because redheads (at least those of us whose personalities mirror Catelyn Stark’s) are loyal to the bone.  It feels natural to lash out at those who hurt the people we love, but what we can learn from Momma Stark is as we grow in wisdom and maturity, we should discover how to show that loyalty without hurting others.  In doing so, we may gain, as Catelyn did, new allies who want to show loyalty to us as well.


Melisandre “The Red Priestess” (played by Carice van Houten):

It is said that though Lady Melisandre wore no crown, every man in the room knew that she was the real queen.  Sometimes the best way to empower ourselves is simply to take action, and The Red Priestess is definitely a woman of action.  If she wants something, she takes it; and if she speaks it, she backs it up.  Melisandre teaches us to be women of our word, because our word has authority.  Even the “true king” Stannis Baratheon said, “I know little and care less of gods, but The Red Priestess has power.”


Ygritte (played by Rose Leslie):

There’s nothing wrong with taking a walk on the wild side, (or, in the case of Ygritte, living there) as long as you’re smart enough to survive.  Her quick draw of an arrow and even quicker wit make her an untamable force to be reckoned with.  Ygritte teaches us that there is no muscle stronger than our brain–a lesson that Jon Snow was slow to learn–“You know nothing Jon Snow!”  Redheads are generally considered to have more courage, confidence, and intelligence than our brunette or blonde counterparts, and there may be some truth to this.  After all, when was the last time you heard someone tell a dumb-redhead joke?  If you think about it, it’s really just survival of the fittest–our population is so much smaller, because only the smartest have survived!  The bullying and taunting we endure through adolescence only thickens our skin and sharpens our wit!  As redheads, we should all learn from Ygritte and embrace the power of knowledge.  It may be the greatest weapon at our disposal.


We’re all different and demonstrate our power in unique ways, but remember this:  if you want to play the game of thrones, your better do it with the mane of thrones, and Rock it like a Redhead! 

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