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: