Dame of Thrones: Ygritte
By Rebecca Pahle on in Editorial.

Here is your mood music for today’s Dame of Thrones (major spoilers for Sunday’s episode, if anyone who’s reading this hasn’t seen it for some reason). Let’s turn our attention to everyone’s favorite wildling woman, unless you prefer Gilly or Val. Which is legit. Gilly and Val are awesome.

Name: What, do I really need to tell you this? You know nothing, Jon Snow.

Family: Kanye shrug. There’s no known family, at least not that she mentions. Merida, Katniss, Hawkeye, and Legolas are her spiritual siblings in archery, though.

Known Associates: The typical nuclear family isn’t a huge deal among Wildlings, but social bonds definitely are. She hangs with, among others, Tormund Giantsbane, the Magnar of Thenn, and that gigantic nerd Jon Snow.

Weapon of Choice: In addition to her previously mentioned archery skills, Ygritte has a superpower: Despite living on the road with little to no access to soap, combs, or even bathing, her hair never looks all that greasy, tangled, or frizzy. I bet she and all the other Wildling women have shaved armpits, too. Weird, huh?

What’s Her Deal?: Well, she’s dead now, for a start. Before she was dead she was a fiercely independent Wildling (as Wildlings tend to be) who found herself having a love connection with one Jon Snow. Who—unbeknownst to her, but knownst to us—was actually a double agent. Whoops. Cue drama and angst.

Why Is She Awesome?: Look, straight up: I admire a woman who can kill things. But to get a bit more in-depth with it: What makes Ygritte great, for me, is that she gives approximately zero sh*ts about how other people say she should behave. A Song of Ice and Fire, with all its politics and war, has a heavy focus on social systems: How different groups of people—allies, rivals, family members, friends, women, men, etc.—interact with each other and how they should behave. There’s a certain level of dishonesty there, and Ygritte is not there for any of it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Jon Snow telling her how things on the “civilized” side of the Wall are run or if it’s her fellow Wildling giving her crap for her ex-Crow boyfriend. She wants to be with Jon, she will be with Jon. She wants to kill Jon, she will make damn sure everyone else knows to keep their hands off (not that that worked out particularly well). Ygritte knows what she’s about, she knows what she values and what she wants, and anyone who doesn’t like that can go to hell. She displays a refreshing lack of artifice that I’ll really miss.

Most Badass Scene: There are Ygritte scenes that are more badass in the traditional sense, but who can forget Ygritte’s extemporaneous recitation of her and Jon Snow’s Harlequin romance novel?

Best Quote: If you think I’m going to choose anything other than “Girls see more blood than boys,” in response to Jon’s “Well some girls faint at the sight of blood, yanno,” then you truly know nothing.

Fan Theory du Jour: I’m not actually familiar with any Ygritte fan theories. Barring some extreme authorial shenanigans (“X-Men brings people back from the dead all the time—I can do that, right?”), we know how she ends up. However, in the fan theory about The Prince That Was Promised/Azor Ahai being Jon Snow, Ygritte is generally regarded as his Nissa Nissa, aka the person he has to sacrifice so he can achieve his true power and kick some ice zombie ass.

Merch Me Up: Etsy seller waycooltshirts sells several shirts with this spiffy illustration featuring Ygritte’s most famous quote. Society6 also lets people sell their Ygritte art on shower curtains, including this NSFW tarot-inspired piece. Who doens’t want that in their bathroom?

It Belongs In a Museum, AKA Fanart:

Well, this video is a piece of art. But I guess if you’re looking for something a bit more traditional, here’s Ygritte as an ’80s/’90s grunge fan by Mike Wrobel (prints available on society6):

You can find Rebecca on Twitter, Pajiba, or The Mary Sue, where she has feelings about Grumpy Cat Stannis.


22 Comments

  1. Great Khal of the Mushrakhi
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think they shave their pits…. they rip the hairs out one by one. Life is harsh behind the wall!

  2. Space Cadet
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Rose Leslie and Sophie Turner are probably number 1 and 2 for hottest dames in game of thrones. Awesome actress going to miss seeing her on screen.

  3. Troublesome Birdsong
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    “…Jon Snow. Who—unbeknownst to her, but knownst to us—was actually a double agent.”

    She knew. She specifically said she knew he hadn’t stopped being a crow in “The Climb”.

  4. Hexonx
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Poor Ygritte, so misunderstood. Probably one of my favorite minor characters (of course I’m partial to those kissed by fire). I’m still in mourning.

    This is one of my favorite Ygritte fan art, here.

  5. Immi
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    People have been pretty harsh to Ygritte this season! She’s not a favourite of mine but I never wished her dead, and you raise some good points about what makes her her, and so attractive to Jon.

    A lot of people seem to forget, she’s one of the free folk, OF COURSE given the chance she’s gonna kill some ‘kneelers’. You think all the people killed by The Watch didn’t have family and friends as well? Too wrapped up in right and wrong/good and bad I think, they forget that’s not what this series is about, to me anyway!

  6. Head of the Wolf
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    I don’t get why people hate it when she killed people because fan favs Tyrion, Jon and Dany have killed innocent people in self defence as much as Ygritte, in fact Dany is more cold hearted then Ygritte because she burned people alive and crucified 163 men some of which were just innocent, yes she did it for a good cause but she didn’t regret it so explain why no one says she is evil. Ygritte killed because of her circumstances, living in a frozen waste getting hunted most the time so taking it out on the nights watch and villages that had no idea something was coming was just natural to her like for any other character that lived like that so getting a chance to get payback on people who made your life very bad is bound to be a great opportunity for someone like that and anyway most of the nights watch were criminals so why care. Yes her killing Pyp was a bad move but I still don’t think that making her a cold hearted murderer is right because almost every character has killed someone. Bronn kills for money and it’s cool, Arya kills for revenge and it’s fine, Jon kills in self defence and it’s no problem but Ygritte kills because of a bad life and she’s evil. Someone explain the sense in that.

  7. Isabelle
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Hexonx: This is one of my favorite Ygritte fan art, here.

    GORGEOUS. Thanks for the link!

  8. ATG
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Even with all the recent hate she was getting for doing… well just your everyday wildling stuff I guess, she was still one of my favourite female characters on GoT/ASOIAF. And Rose Leslie really brought her character to life, will certanly miss having her around.

  9. Mance Traitor
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    $68 for a shower curtain, lol…

  10. Ours is the Fury
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Head of the Wolf: . Bronn kills for money and it’s cool, Arya kills for revenge and it’s fine, Jon kills in self defence and it’s no problem but Ygritte kills because of a bad life and she’s evil. Someone explain the sense in that.

    This. Ygritte is a soldier in an army. People wanting to make her evil while they worship other characters who kill people are just ridiculous.

    And for the record, three of the people complaining about Ygritte earlier in the comments were the same troll. Multiple screennames aren’t allowed here, so they’ve been deleted.

  11. Patty
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Hexonx:
    Poor Ygritte, so misunderstood.Probably one of my favorite minor characters (of course I’m partial to those kissed by fire).I’m still in mourning.
    **********************

    That is a beautiful rendition. She was one of my fav minor characters from the book too.

  12. Winterdark
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Val is definitely my favourite Wildling but Ygritte’s great as well. Moreso in the books than in the tv show I thought. Which by the way was through no fault of Rose Leslie’s.

  13. Koi No Yokan
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    While I never cared much for Ygritte in the books, I loved her in the show thanks to Rose. I thought her death scene was quite sad and bittersweet.

    She’ll be missed! I really like that story of her last day of shooting, where the crew gave her the bow she used with a new grip that said “Kissed by Fire”.

  14. Needlework
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    It was never the killing that rubbed me the wrong way about Ygritte. I just never saw sufficient depth in the TV character (I didn’t read the books, and friends who have tend to like her more, so maybe it’s that?). She always felt like a bow-swinging GoT universe appropriate Manic Pixie Dream Girl (not sure whether I’m being fair, but this is my impression).

  15. iridium
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Head of the Wolf,

    All of what you said. In an even closer parallel, I don’t see many people baying for Tormund’s blood. He’s a wildling, red-haired (oh how I long to touch that gloriously tangled ginger mane), cold-blooded in battle and has a huge body count. Yet despite these similarities, for some fans it seems that he gets a pass when Ygritte does not. Why? I find this inconsistency a bit disconcerting. Not that it’s my role to convince anyone of Ygritte’s value as a character, but…really. She was f’ing awesome, come ON. And Rose Leslie was magic in the role.

  16. Hexonx
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Needlework:
    It was never the killing that rubbed me the wrong way about Ygritte. I just never saw sufficient depth in the TV character (I didn’t read the books, and friends who have tend to like her more, so maybe it’s that?). She always felt like a bow-swinging GoT universe appropriate Manic Pixie Dream Girl (not sure whether I’m being fair, but this is my impression).

    That’s probably fair from a show only watcher point of view. She, Mance and the Wildlings in general were way more fleshed out in the books. Jon spends a lot more time (weeks I want to say) in Mance’s camp which ended up like only being a day or so in the show.

  17. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 11, 2014 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    That video “piece of art” link made me jump a foot in the air from where I was sitting. Bad for my heart after a long day at work!

    Actually, at first, I thought this thread was Rose Leslie’s curtain call!

  18. Daenerys Naharis
    Posted June 11, 2014 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    For some weird reason, I never really liked Ygritte in the books. But Rose Leslie was so amazing in the role that I eventually loved the character.

  19. KG
    Posted June 11, 2014 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    Because women MUST act girly and weak.

    Unless they are Sansa, then it makes her Satan.

    iridium: even closer parallel, I don’t see many people baying for Tormund’s blood. He’s a wildling, red-haired

  20. GaiusB
    Posted June 11, 2014 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    So sad for her death. She was for me the savior of the Wall storyline from absolute boredom. Here is really usefull to be a book reader and to know the Wall will get exciting additions, which will make this part of story better then ever. Otherwise i would be totally depressed after last episode.

    I do not care about any of her killings, many other characters done worse directly or indirectly, and i would never side with the Nighwatch over whole wildings population anyway.

    Rose Leslie was so great in this role, i liked Ygritte much more then in the books and i think writers are also responsible for it, they took good care about John/Ygritte relationship and written quite funny and touching dialogues for them.

  21. Paul Meyer
    Posted June 11, 2014 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Even though I knew Ygrittes death was coming it still is too bad to no longer have her on the show. Rose Leslie was phenomenal as her on the show. This was a character that the show really improved upon and made into a way more interesting character. I also have to say to anyone ripping on Ygrittes character “You know nothing”, she was one of the best smaller characters on the show and I’ll miss her presence.

  22. Headhunter
    Posted June 11, 2014 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    iridium,

    Some of that is misogyny rearing it’s ugly head. Jamie rapes his sister and tries to throw an innocent boy out of a window and Cersei is blamed and treated like a worse person than him. The hound and bronn are called cool by fans despite killing innocent people but Cat was hated for her treatment of Jon etc. It is worrying.


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