Lyanna Mormont is a child ruler who made her debut in the most recent episode of Game of Thrones. She’s 10 years old, has 62 fighting men at her disposal, and has no time for Jon and Sansa’s Stark-splaining to their fellow Northerners. Though her screen time was short, she’s already the best tv character of the year. She also happens to be a better ruler than Daenerys, a character we’re ostensibly rooting for, who has been around for six seasons. It is known. Here’s why.
She gets the job done in no time
Daenerys has been wandering around vaguely dusty landscapes for six seasons now. She gives rousing speeches to awestruck crowds, imposes her will on cities before leaving them worse off than before, and marches on to rinse and repeat the same plot line next seasons. When we last saw her in “Blood of My Blood,” she was making a rousing speech to an awestruck crowd. It was a moment the writers clearly intended to be exciting, if only we hadn’t seen a variation of the exact same scene about twenty times previously. In short, Daenerys is kind of the worst. The writers think she’s interesting, but yelling about being queen does not a Strong Female Character make.
Lyanna Mormont is so efficient, she has no time for small talk. She cuts Jon Snow off from his pleasantries, quickly evaluates the decision, and pledges her 62 strong fighting men in the span of mere minutes. If she had three dragons in her possession, the show would have lasted one season. She would have claimed the Throne and even the White Walkers would have said, “you know, maybe we won’t march on humanity and destroy it.”
She’s risen to the occasion
Daenerys always says “I will take what is mine.” Her entitlement comes from her Targaryen blood — barring the minor fact that her father was an actual psychopath who slaughtered his own people and her brother started a war from his inability to keep it in his pants. Sure, Danerys has tried to prove herself by ruling Meereen, but that hasn’t exactly gone swimmingly either for the city or for the plot. Daenerys’s “right to rule” then, is more than a little shaky.
But as Davos established when he got through to Lyanna, the leader of Bear Island rose to the occasion purely on merit. She’s not yelling about her right to rule, she’s straight up ruling. She needs no dragons to demonstrate her inherent badassery. It is known.
She’s fun to watch
As we mentioned, Daenerys is rather one-note, oscillating between vaguely imperious and more imperious, and her plot lines are repetitive as hell, to the point where dramatic fire rebirths are a big yawn. Lyanna Mormont, on the other hand, is riveting, and in the span of a few minutes, oscillates between pissed off, compassionate, honest, and respectful.
Lyanna Mormont is a better ruler than anyone we’ve seen so far — male or female — and wins the Game of Thrones. But especially on a show that seems to tout Daenerys as the ultimate Strong Female Ruler, Lyanna Mormont leaves her in the dust.