Winter is coming to HBO.  Game of Thrones is headed to television, and hopefully the buzz has inspired you to pick up the first book of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series for the first time or for the hundredth.  Besides including the epic fantasy standards of a vast kingdom, a war, and themes of good vs. evil, the books have more than one strong female character.  Not that this is atypical in modern fantasy, but I’m impressed with the range Game of Thrones offers.  A female picking up the book can find a character or parts of characters that she can relate to.  Here are a few of the characters I admire:

Catelyn Stark – She is good, noble, and she does what she believes to be right.  She is not afraid to take charge, and she’s known for being stubborn.  She’s willing to admit when she has erred and will do what she can to make amends.  She ultimately makes decisions to benefit and protect her husband and five children.

Cersei Lannister – The Queen of the Seven Kingdoms may be cruel and manipulative, but no one can deny her strength.  She is motivated by a hunger for power.  She pulls many strings behind the King’s back.  She is ruthless when dealing with anyone she believes to be an enemy.  She does what she has to do to keep her secrets and her three children safe.

Daenerys Targaryen – The young, exiled daughter of an old King, Daenerys is her brother’s pawn.  At first.  It takes only a small push for her to find strength within herself.  She overcomes fear, and she does whatever it takes to survive.

I could keep adding to the list, but I want to leave you some surprises.  The Seven Kingdoms of Westeros are rich; the characters are a big part of the treasure.