The finale of "Game of Thrones" season 7 aired Sunday night, and while it's certainly going to take us a while (and a few re-watches) to fully process everything we learned, there's one thing we know for sure: The women of Westeros aren't fucking around anymore.
Not that Cersei Lannister ever was, but she went from being power-hungry to being power-mad pretty damn quickly. She's spent the past seven seasons fighting her way to her current position as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, and she's not about to give that up easily. Nothing says "conniving, lying bitch" better than a structured, armor-like gown and an overcoat with shoulders stolen from Nicolas Ghesquière's best collection for Balenciaga.
The other Queen present for the Show-and-Tell: Living Dead People meeting was Daenerys Targaryen, who, naturally, made a big, showy entrance by riding in on her dragon. Points given for creativity, points taken away for destroying a historical site. Daenerys shows up in an equally authoritative structural grey dress with a purple-red capelet pinned to one shoulder. Editors planning outfits for New York Fashion Week: We've just found your new, deeply-impractical way of wearing your outerwear!
Also present at the big summit was Brienne of Tarth, who has a bit of history with the Lannisters (namely, she is definitely in love with Jaime Lannister JUST SAY IT ALREADY). It's interesting that, as she's sworn fealty to the Stark family, she's adopted their way of dressing. Obviously, a big fur cape is incredibly practical up north, but it also sends a message about whose side Brienne will take in the coming fight.
Up north, Sansa Stark delivered the most satisfying moment of the season, if not the series, by pulling off the ultimate fake-out and leading Littlefinger straight into her trap. GOD, will ANYTHING ever feel as good as watching him realize he was going to die?! I don't know, man. What I do know is that Sansa now fully looks — and acts — the part of Lady of Winterfell in her grown-up, practical gown with stark shoulders and clean lines. Winter is here, and Sansa is fully ready to lead her pack.
That pack (thankfully!) includes sister Arya, who, like Brienne of Tarth, is more interested in looking like a warrior than looking like a lady. Sticking with practical leather outerwear and tied-back hair, Arya is more intimidating than at least half the men on this show — and that's only partially because she might be crazy.
"Game of Thrones" is unquestionably a show that started out with a problematic treatment of female characters, but as the show nears its end, it's nice to see that the women are finally running things. It's also nice to see that there is no one right or wrong way to dress and to express power as a woman, from Cersei and Sansa's embrace of more ladylike pieces to Brienne and Arya's use of more practical garments.
Stay tuned for our coverage next season, after we've had a year to unpack our feelings about that sex scene. Was seeing Kit Harington's ass worth it? We'll find out.