Why Cersei & Sansa Are The Most Compelling Characters To Watch On 'Game Of Thrones' Season 6

Folks, I am incredibly excited about the newest season of Game of Thrones, and you should be too. The road leading to the Season 6 premiere of Game of Thrones has been a rocky one. Our fascination over whether Jon Snow is well and truly dead (I still have my fingers crossed that he'll be resurrected soon, though) is indicative of why it's a blessing and a curse to be a devotee of this show. While it's fun to get caught up in all of the plotting, we are often reminded of just how expendable these characters are. But, this season, it looks like each of our lead women will finally be getting the upper hand over the men who have wronged them, especially Cersei Lannister and Sansa Stark. These women are positioned to get the revenge they so justly deserve, a revenge that has rarely been afforded to them in the past.

We need to pay close attention to Cersei and Sansa's narratives this season. They have big axes to grind and lives to reclaim. Often narrative cannon fodder, the Game of Thrones women left to suffer at the hands of their male peers. Reduced to simple gendered stereotypes, they have had to defend themselves time and again. Cersei and Sansa appear to be going through yet another seismic shift in their development. In Season 5, both women went through an absolute brutalization of their respective bodies and minds at the hands of others. For Cersei, her tendency towards morally dubious behavior finally caught up with her. Cersei's epic walk of shame through King's Landing meant she was forced to pay for her sins publicly. She stands to recoup her dignity and power by once again gaining control of the power machine that once affected her so deeply. Her revenge is rooted in her continued fight to push back against the rigid codes that have sought to define her.

In the case of Sansa, we know she is bent of reclaiming her familial home and restoring the name of Stark to the good standing it once had. "It's all I think about, what was taken from me," she says, and, this time, it's tinged with a barbarousness that indicated she is forever changed. Sansa faced a horrific wedding night at the hands of Ramsay Bolton. Her rape was a high price to be paid in order keep a hold in Winterfell, and it was one she should never have had to pay.

As Sansa has been forced to grow up in leaps and bounds since the show first aired, she has had to quickly learn how to bend the will of others to her own interests. In Season 6, her revenge is a noble one. Now aided by Brienne, her determination to destroy those men who thought they could break her spirit is the stuff of maturity and ferocity. It was, at one time, easy to write off Sansa as a frivolous character. Now, separated from her remaining siblings and away from her family home, Sansa appears more ready than ever to shed serious blood.

In a world where power and honor are often — but not always — mutually exclusive, it would appear that both Cersei and Sansa are tipped to seize both, redeemed from their previous blindspots. Only time will tell what their fates may be, yet his much appears to be true: don't ever underestimate a woman of means and power in fantasy world.

Images: Helen Sloan/HBO; Giphy