The world of Westeros in Game of Thrones offers some of the best and worst mothers on TV.
TLDR: just see this summary table.
The return of HBO’s Game of Thrones is swiftly approaching, with the series promising more thrilling white walker and dragon-filled scenes, than ever before. Spoiler alert: The following contains plot lines from the HBO show and the book series, as well as widely-believed fan theories. Read ahead if you want to find out who is the most badass mother of Weteros! Have a mother/wife who is also a die-hard fan? Then you need one of these free Game of Thrones mother's day cards.
The fifth season concluded with the suicide of Selyse Baratheon, one of the most heinous antagonists of the series, a woman who willingly stood by while her daughter, Princess Shireen, was sacrificed by Melisandre. Her addled mind is eventually filled with regret, as witnessed within the finale, which was aptly titled, “Mother’s Mercy.” With her careless disregard for her own child, Selyse can now be considered one of the worst mothers of Game of Thrones, displacing Lysa Arryn and Cersei Lannister from their reviled spots. Here is a look at some of the best and worst mothers of Westeros.
Cersei Lannister is fresh off her fall from grace and walk of shame, at the hands of the High Sparrow and his militants, which is why she’s mad as hell and ready to wreak havoc on Westeros. She has more to gain than any other woman in the sixth season, as the antagonist who almost lost everything because of her own failed attempts of manipulation. In the past, Cersei seemed like the worst matriarch in Westeros. However, the deplorable actions of Selyse Baratheon paint Cersei in a different light. She is a mother who will stop at nothing to help her children, who is willing to go as far as killing her own brother, Tyrion, after believing that he was responsible for the murder of her beloved son, Joffrey.
Lysa Arryn is one of the strangest female antagonists in Game of Thrones and a primary instigator of the conflict between the Starks and the Lannisters. While she later admits to poisoning her husband, Jon Arryn, who was the hand of the king, Lysa deceives Catelyn Stark into believing that the Lannisters were responsible for his death. She coddles her son, Robin, and encourages an abnormal level of co-dependency. If breastfeeding a grown child were not bad enough, Lysa later reveals that a large part of her horrid actions were attributed to her unrequited love for Petyr Baelish, who later pushes her out of the Moon Door. Not only was she a creepy mother to Robin, she was also a very sinister aunt who thought every castle needed a Moon Door to easily dispose of enemies. Lysa also gets props for instigating renewed strife between the Lannisters and the Starks. Oh and let’s not forget she’s been breastfeeding a child for 7 years. That’s dedication. Lysa is a character whose pathetic attempts to win affection should be pitied, more than feared, with the exception of her home decorating abilities: a moon door for your living room, anyone?
Catelyn Stark, the matriarch who attempts to hold her besieged family together after the untimely death of Eddard, may be gone, but she is not forgotten. While other women would have collapsed under the pressure of looking after a bastard son (Jon Snow), a daughter who didn’t want to become a pretty princess (Arya) and one who unfortunately did (Sansa), Catelyn persevered. She tended to Bran after his run-in with baddie twins-turned-lovers, Cersei and Jamie Lannister. Viewing their actions against Bran as an assassination attempt, Catelyn ventured out on a journey where she came upon their brother Tyrion. She easily could have killed him, but instead takes him as a prisoner. Catelyn appears to have reached her demise during the infamous Red Wedding, in an episode that was aptly titled, “The Rains of Castamere.” Spoiler alert for nonreaders: If the novels are any indication, there is a chance that Catelyn Stark may reappear in season six of Game of Thrones as Lady Stoneheart, a ghoulishly undead woman with a disfigured face and penchant for revenge.
Daenerys Targaryen is undoubtedly the most kickass woman of Westeros, who is only somewhat rivaled by the armor clad unofficial knight, Brienne of Tarth. Known throughout the lands as the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys continues to narrowly escape harrowing events, which is why it was so thrilling to watch her first encounter with Tyrion Lannister at Daznak’s Pit, because he also possesses an uncanny ability to avoid death and has very similar daddy issues. While she may have had control over her dragon “children” when they were younger, she witnesses the result of their teenage rebellion when Drogon carries her away from Meereen into Dothraki territory, after she decides to escape assassination by hopping on his back. Things seem hairy for Daenerys, but her situation shouldn’t be too difficult for a woman who survived fire, conquered several foreign armies, is the first person in a century to birth and command dragons.
Beautiful, headstrong, willful, courageous and hot-tempered, Lyanna Stark is the woman whose abduction/love affair ignited a rebellion and brought down The Targaryan dynasty. Eddard Stark compares his tomboyish daughter Arya to Lyanna in both appearance and personality, and it’s not hard to imagine why since Lyanna is the most likely candidate for the mysterious “Knight of the Laughing Tree” who, under disguise, defeated three pompous squires and avenged Meera Reed’s father (Did you forget Meera was still in the show? Apparently so did HBO).
Fan Theory Alert: Lyanna may have had a greater role in Game of Thrones mythology than previously believed. Season five fueled fan speculation that Lyanna may have been the birth mother of Jon Snow, a product of when she was lustfully kidnapped by Rhaegar Targaryen, Daenerys’ older brother. Her significance to the series will likely be revealed along with the answers to whether Jon is truly dead or if he will be resurrected at the hands of everyone’s favorite evil fire sorceress, Melisandre, who is always on the hunt for king’s blood.
Here is an at-a-glance table comparing the talents and badass level of these badass mothers of Westeros:
So who is your favorite badass mother in Westeros or any other TV show? What do you think about the special talents of each of these women? What's your theory regarding Jon's heritage and the significance of Lyanna Stark? I'd love to know!
Feel free to share this post and the table I designed, please do link to the blog post so your friends can enjoy the article too and join the discussion!
Oh and don't forget...
Mother’s Day is less than a month away (May 8) and right around the corner from the premiere of the sixth season of Game of Thrones. Hopefully, you were reared by a sweet matriarch like Catelyn Stark or a fierce maternal figure like Daenerys Targaryen. If so, consider saying, “Happy Mhysa Day, you rule our world” or tell your wife that she is should be considered mom the year with a message like, “You are the Catelyn to my Ned, except I am still alive and you haven’t kidnapped an imp and started a war. That makes us amazing parents.”
Both greetings can be found on our Game of Thrones Mhysa's day cards that are sure to bring laughs to any Game of Thrones fan mother. Simply sign up to our monthly newsletter to download these cards for free.
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