Game of Thrones fan art depicts the evolution of Daenerys, Cersei, and Sansa

Image: Game of Thrones/HBO
Image: Game of Thrones/HBO /

Game of Thrones is known for the complexity of its character-driven story arcs, and the series has been lauded specifically for its dynamic representation of the women of Westeros. Every player on the show has been on a journey from the first season to the eighth, and not all of them turned out better for it.

But while every character has changed tremendously over the course of the series, the major female players have probably seen the most growth — a sentiment echoed by showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, both of whom pointed to Sansa Stark when asked who had changed most significantly.

Daenerys and Cersei are also prime examples of women on Game of Thrones who have changed drastically from the pilot episode to the final episodes of the series — and maybe not in the ways we imagined they would. They’ve both had turning points that defined their storylines, and they both became more powerful and more ruthless because of it.

To wit, this stunning fan art Reddit user Mmheyre posted on the Game of Thrones subreddit, depicts the evolution of Dany, Cersei, and Sansa; highlighting the beginning, middle, and ending of each of the three women’s character arcs. Check it out:

"[SPOILERS] Girls of Thrones from gameofthrones"

The color scheme of Daenerys’ picture captures her shift from hero to villain well, featuring her in lighter tones at the beginning, and surrounding her with the dark black and red colors that mark her as a Targaryen as she reaches the final stage of her evolution: the Mad Queen.

In hindsight, it’s almost upsetting to see the younger version of Dany who walked onto a pyre with her dragon eggs, as well as the Dany who freed the oppressed and built a name and crown for herself. Her desire for power — marked by many significant losses along the way — corrupted her in the end, but at least she never lost her sense of authority.


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The artwork of Cersei’s journey begins with her as a queen, and in the first image, she looks as ordinary as any woman of the court. The second picture, however, depicts her brutal walk of shame in season 5 — a moment that shifted Cersei from a villain with some humanity left to one who’s far more ruthless. The blood and bruises covering her really drive home how violent Cersei’s turning point was, and that violence defines her time as queen, which is highlighted in the last picture of her.

And while none of these three women had a particularly happy beginning, Sansa certainly suffered the most at the start of the series.

The artist demonstrates this by placing the first Sansa on her knees, with tears running down her face. Sadly, this is a pose we saw during her days as a captive in King’s Landing. However, that made it that much more satisfying when she transformed into the following two versions of herself: the Lady of Winterfell and the Queen in the North. Sansa has come a long way since her engagement to Joffrey Baratheon, and in the final image, she stands tall.

The only thing that could have made this artwork better would be including Arya Stark and Brienne of Tarth. The two of them have had to overcome very different obstacles than the three queens, but they’re still major women on the show, both of whom have had fascinating journeys to draw inspiration from.

Thankfully, there is some gorgeous art on Reddit:

"[spoilers] Brienne of Fucking Tarth from gameofthrones"

It really would be something to see Brienne’s transformation into Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, though. Maybe next time.

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