Why Are The Greyjoys Working With Daenerys? The 'Game Of Thrones' Alliance Is All About Putting Women In Power
Macall B. Polay/courtesy of HBO
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Motives are a murky thing on Game of Thrones. Everyone wants to be in power and there seems to be little room for compromise. This leads to betrayals, backstabbings, and other bad things happening to characters that get in too far over their heads. However, a new partnership in Season 7 of Game of Thrones may actually help bring different parts of Westeros together. The end of Season 6 of Game of Thrones saw Daenerys and the Greyjoys working together to transport her armies from Essos to Westeros, but why? What can Daenerys offer Yara and Theon Greyjoy when she sits atop the Iron Throne?

The biggest hurdle that the Greyjoy siblings believe Daenerys can help them overcome is Euron Greyjoy. Season 6 saw the loud, crass, and violent uncle of Yara and Theon return to the Iron Islands to murder his way onto the Salt Throne. Euron now seeks to gain Dany's hand in marriage and use the partnership to conquer the Seven Kingdoms. Yara and Theon offered to help without demanding co-ownership of Westeros. They simply want their uncle dead and their Islands returned to them under Yara's rule. It seems like a small favor to ask in exchange for a fleet, but Yara throws one more item onto their list of demands – freedom.

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As Yara explains to Dany, the Iron Islands were conquered by The Mad King Aerys, Dany's father, and inherited by Robert Baratheon when he took over the throne. As such, the Iron Islands are under the rule of whoever sits atop the Iron Throne as opposed to the Iron Islands' Salt Throne (It really is dreadful inconvenience that the Iron Throne does not belong to the Iron Islands.) Yara asks that in exchange for her services, the Iron Islands be recognized as an independent Kindgom under her own rule.

It's a large favor to ask, but Yara manages to charm Dany into accepting the deal with little pushback. Yara and Dany's similar experiences, including being raised by cruel men and facing the difficulties being a woman in pursuit of power, help them form a bond that is stronger than mere political allegiance. These two aren't just seeking to change the fate of their two kingdoms – they seek to change the world. Yara also makes a passing comment at being open to a political marriage, which seems far more appealing than forced marriage to Euron.

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The final shot of Season 6 is Dany sailing West amongst a fleet of Greyjoy ships, as a good fleet was the last thing that Dany needed before finally making a move for the Iron Throne. The Greyjoys' need for freedom will keep them by Dany's side until she is Queen of Westeros or dies attempting to become so. The most tangible part of their collaboration is the Greyjoys' massive fleet, but Dany's allegiance isn't just about the ships. Their partnership is about taking a world ruined by men and putting the women who can rebuild it into power. Dany just so happens to be the only person in Westeros or Essos who could actually make that happen.