Warning: this post will have Game of Thrones Spoilers
Way back in season 1, reigning Queen Cersei Lannister expresses disgust with her husband King Robert Baratheon by saying "I should wear the armor, and you the gown."
Cersei has always felt that she has had the reigns of power kept from her because of her gender. She believes that the physical strength of men make them more powerful, here likening the dress to something weak and undesired.
She is now in the minority, as none of the other major female players in the game of thrones have had found their skirts have gotten in the way of seeking and wielding power.
With male heirs dying off faster than ever, it's time to take stock of the great houses of Westeros and those leading them.
House Targaryen - Daenerys
The most obvious candidate for ruler of Westeros, Dany has been on her own family-wise ever since her husband Khal Drogo memorably killed her increasingly erratic brother Viserys. She's cut her teeth on ruling in Meeran and has seems to genuinely want to benefit her people, whether they be Dothraki, Meeran, slaves, Unsullied or Westrosei.
House Stark - Sansa and Arya
As of this week, we are fresh out of men to pass on the Stark name. Or course Bran is still out there North of the Wall, but due to the nature of his injury he is unable to have children. Jon Snow might be another option for the Stark lineage, it doesn't seem to take much to make a bastard into a lord. But such a move would undercut the misfortune and growth Sansa has made for her family name. Especially that Sansa now possesses the diplomatic skill to unite scattered forces for a common goal.
And then there's Arya, who after several seasons of denying her very name, has come to terms with who she is and is heading back to Westeros on a mission to return to what family she has left. Will the sisters be able to stick together and rebuild their ancestral home after so many years apart?
House Greyjoy - Yara
From a side character to a major political force and leader in her own right, Yara was essentially raised as a boy in childhood and groomed for the role of heir to the Iron Islands. She's led men in battle and contributed heartily to all the extremely masculine aspects of her culture. Although, now she has (seemingly genuinely) agreed to discontinue the reaving, roving, raiding and raping that comes with paying the iron price. Although she faces competition from her uncle Euron, it seems the Kingsmoot - like the Northerners- will be swayed back to a familiar face, regardless of gender.
House Martell - The Sand Snakes
The sisters Obara, Tyene and Nymeria Sand have never been fan favorites, but there is no denying their power. Although living in Dorne allows them a few more freedoms while being female, it didn't stop the daughters of the charming Oberyn Martell from conspiring with their mother to kill their uncle and cousin and thereby ending the line of Martells. With the support of the people of Dorne, The Sand Snakes are set to enact vengeance on the remaining Lannisters for past wrongs.
House Mormont - Lyanna
Just look at this girl, she is unfuckwithable. Can you expect any less from the niece of season 1 - 3's resident grumpy badass Jeor Mormont? We've only seen her twice but she has told Jon where to get off and completely NAILED the one shot she had in episode 9. Technically, she could be ousted by her cousin Jorah if he makes it back to Westeros with Daenerys, but again, it seems unlikely considering her fierceness and slavery free record.
House Tyrell - Margaery
Even though she is the current reigning queen of Westeros, things have not been good for her recently. Coming out of her run in with the Faith Militant she has all the appearances of a religious zealot, which horrifies her grandmother. Through a note slipped to her Olenna, Margaery reaffirms her loyalty to her house. But with a wavering Loras in jail for the forseeable future, is Margaery the only leader of her family?
House Tarth - Brienne
If any woman in Game of Thrones has gone against the grain of what is expected of her, it's Brienne. Made the butt of jokes for most of her life for her "un-womanly" demeanor and lifestyle, she continued to live her life by her own terms and is the sole heir of Tarth Island. Will we be seeing Brienne take a more active leadership role in the next two seasons?
House Reed - Meera
Since the death of her brother Jojen and now Hodor, Meera has been taking on her oath to Bran solo. Being the last of her family name means that she will is in line for the Stark supporting seat of Greywater Watch.
What does it all mean?
Back to Cersei's dreaded prophesy of being queen "until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear."
Cersei has lived her life in fear of this woman, which would explain her above average hostility towards Margaery and Sansa. But with an even larger number of younger women in the show who are considered Queens of their people (Daenerys, Yara, Sansa, The Sand Snakes) closing in on Kings Landing from all sides, which one will realise the prophesy?
We've lost far too many male heirs of major (and not so major) houses. Now with an alliance being formed without the usual marriage pact between Targaryen and Greyjoy will we see a similar trend in Westeros between the remaining female leaders of houses?
If Game of Thrones has taught us anything, it's that all leaders have (sometimes fatal) flaws and that the power struggles of humans are nothing in comparison to the coming supernatural evil.