A shotout to Arianne Martell, who:
- Is not only a woman of color, but also one of the very few women in ASOIAF who is in a relative position of power (sure, she is just an heir now, but when Doran dies, she will rule one of the greatest houses in Westeros).
- Is not ashamed of using her sexuality and does so both for pleasure and for getting what she wants. And she is not shamed by anyone for this! It’s such a huge thing, when characters like Cersei, who also uses her sexuality, are constantly humiliated for doing so.
- May use people for her own purposes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she doesn’t care for them (“Arys, she thought, my white knight. Tears filled her eyes, and suddenly she was weeping, her whole body wracked by sobs”, “Arys, my sweet, my white knight, why did you do it? You should have yielded. I tried to tell you, but the words caught in my mouth. You gallant fool, I never meant for you to die, or for Myrcella… oh, gods be good, that little girl…”)
- She is one of the very few nobles who is actually seen having friends, whom she seems to love very much (including an orphan — guess just how common is a noblewoman being best friends with an orphan?). She actually goes so far as asking mercy for her friends, when she thought her own life might be at risk. ("I ask leniency only for my friends."). Arianne is very much a people’s person, with it being mentioned that the people of Dorne love her.
- Has an amazing relationship with all of her cousins. Because there are never enough female!! friendships!! (She wanted to share her first man with Tyene, so if that doesn’t tell you something…). And while she may not have their ability to use weapons, she surely has her charm.
- Acts like the young woman she is, dreaming about dashing men (”I sat beside the well and pretended that some robber knight had brought me here to have his way with me, she thought, a tall hard man with black eyes and a widow’s peak.”), and that’s perfectly fine and normal, not a reason she should be mocked for.
- May not have the cunningness or patience of her father, but, despite her impulsivity, Arianne is not stupid — she’s just young and, in some ways, naive. Remember when she made a White Knight fall in love with her and swore his allegiance with her? Remember when she figured out that a servant of hers was in love with Garin, and she managed to manipulate the girl into sending a message for her, while she was imprisoned? (Well, granted, that plot did not work, because Doran’s too good, but still.)
- Despite all her fights with her father and the disappointment she feels towards him at first, Arianne still loves Doran and would never hurt him. (”It is time he put his burdens down, but I will suffer no slights to his honor or his person. She would return him to his Water Gardens, to live out what years remained him surrounded by laughing children and the smell of limes and oranges.”)
- Is simply an amazing female character.
- And let’s not forget: “That is Nymeria’s star, burning bright, and that milky band behind her, those are ten thousand ships. She burned as bright as any man, and so shall I. You will not rob me of my birthright!”
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