Disney Princess meets Westeros!
[Game of Thrones](movie:817617) returned to our screens this week, and even if you didn't cheat and watch the next three leaked episodes (*cough* like me), you have to admit that this is a show with the highest concentration of bad-ass women on TV right now. More than that, it's got a phenomenal range of female characters - rather than just the classic gal-who-can-kick-butt, we've got women with political power, with religious clout, who are using their feminine wiles to achieve their ends... a smorgasbord of feminine grace and power.
Unsurprisingly, this huge cast of female characters has led to many comparisons to another franchise full of femininity: the Wonderful World of Disney. There's plenty of Westerosi/Disney fan art out there, but DjeDjehuti's re-imagining of the princesses is by far my favorite - she's even created a logo!
Her character match-ups are absolutely perfect, and while Disney is often slammed for portraying women as weak and in need of a Prince Charming, there are some real similarities in these characters that may leave you feeling a little more appreciative of their true strength.
Ariel as Melisandre
Well, no questions as to this one - on the surface alone, it's about Ariel having the same fascination with fire as the Red Priestess (and the red hair).
Beyond that, however, we can look at Melisandre on The Wall in the same way that Ariel is on land - journeying to a place that is elementally opposite to herself for the man she loves (whether that man is Stannis or the Red God is up to your own interpretation). Both characters deal with some seriously dark magic to get what they want - although Ariel's dealings with Ursula are definitely a little more innocent on her part.
Mulan as Brienne of Tarth
Who else could encapsulate the woman in armor? Mulan, like Brienne, spent much of her life feeling uncomfortably restrained by expectations of her gender, and does her fighting physically.
I also love imagining Pod as a Mushu-style sidekick...
Jasmine as Ellaria Sand
Now that we've been introduced to the Sand Snakes on screen, everyone can appreciate how perfect this choice is. Yes, it's superficially about the "desert home" that Jasmine and Ellaria share, but it's also about that combination of using their title and running away from it.
Belle as Margaery Tyrell
Ah, the beauty. As we see Cersei supplanted by the gorgeous and popular Margery, there is no one better to portray her than Belle. Both are stunning, smart and able to make just about anyone love them. The biggest difference is in how devious they can be - Margaery is far more interested in twisting people around her little finger, while Belle just wants birds to perch on hers...
Rapunzel as Sansa Stark
Sansa is often seen as something of a whiner - more interested in pretty gowns than politics. However, she has found herself in situations that would break another girl, and yet played her part with a strength that takes a while to see. Rapunzel, similarly, is definitely a very girly princess, but one that manages to keep her smile and her spirit despite a life stuck in a tower with a scheming mother (of sorts). Who can forget Sansa's own trap with Cersei, and see the similarities? (If only Sansa had a frying pan...)
Merida as Ygritte
Red hair, bow and arrow, fierce love for her family, and a refusal to be tamed... if Merida had met Jon Snow, there would have been no question as to who she would want to marry!
Lilo as Arya Stark
Ok, there aren't too many very young princesses to choose from for the littlest Stark girl, (unless you wander into the world of sequels and Disney children), but Lilo is still a fantastic choice. Wild, and with something of a tendency toward physical violence, she suits Arya perfectly. Then, of course, we have the older sister who tries to care for her but doesn't quite understand her, and the dog who is so much more than a dog...
Grandma Fa as Olenna Tyrell
I'm really thrilled to see Grandma Fa getting a look-in here - so much fan art focuses on the classic princesses, and women like this are usually excluded completely. But, as well as being funny and seemingly kind, Grandma Fa is a scheming matriarch who is desperate to get her granddaughter into the most advantageous match.
Elsa as Daenerys Targaryen
Despite the fire vs. ice issue, there couldn't be a more appropriate princess for Daenerys than Elsa from [Frozen](movie:411685) - after all, they are both true queens. Despite family issues (I'm not sure whether I would rather be shamed and locked away or sold to Kahl Drogo), they have both risen to their power and taken the crown they were born to. Daenerys still has a little further to go than Elsa, but she doesn't have a helpful sister or a guaranteed Disney ending (and Elsa never had to deal with slavery and Lannisters). She still owns the crown atop her white 'do.
Tiana as Meera Reed
Frog-woman, familiar with the swamp, hard working and cooks for the group while they wander, lost. Well, that could be either Tiana or Meera! Then of course, we have the journey to find a magical person in the depths of the wilderness who will be able to solve their problems - one may be three eyed while the other is blind, but it sounds pretty similar to me!
Cinderella as Catelyn Stark
While Cinders is often thought of as a silly girl who cooked and cleaned till the Prince came along, it's easy to forget how hard she worked for her family, and for her family home. She could have run away, but her connection to her home was too strong - just like Catelyn, who will do anything for Winterfell and her family.
As perfect as these are, I do have to admit, there are a few in the collection who suit their princesses in looks only. Well, no one's perfect, right?
Aurora as Cersei Lannister
I'm not sure how the sweetest, lightest princess (and yes, probably the wimpiest) relates to the scheming and heartless Queen Cersei, but you have to admit, they both have lovely blonde hair! Perhaps the Queen from Snow White (whose hair we never actually see) would be a better choice?
Snow White as Shae
The physical resemblance may be striking, and if we wanted to, it would be easy to get a little crude about comparing Shae and a woman who "worked" for a houseful of men... but dirty jokes aside, these two couldn't be further from each other. Snow White never cared about money, happy to clean and slave in rags, while Shae is (unsurprisingly) motivated hugely by her silks and jewels. Snow is also pure of heart, and while she is tricked by an evil Queen, it doesn't quite compare to Shae's betrayal.