Game of Thrones writes LGBTI character into TV canon with surprise reveal

There has been no shortage of surprises in the sixth season of ‘Game of Thrones’, including last episodes revelation that one of heirs of a major House is attracted to the same sex.

Yara Greyjoy (known in the novels as Asha) is seen reveling in the company of a plethora of nude women in a brothel across the sea, as her brother Theon struggles to adjust to his new-found freedom.

The warrior captain would have been the first Queen of the Iron Islands after outshining her brother at the traditional Kingsmoot ceremony – until her pesky uncle not shown up and pandered to the whims of his patriarchal kinsmen.

This reveal came as a surprise to many avid readers of George R. R. Martin’s series – including actor Gemma Whelan – as the character has a male lover in the original texts.


Gemma Whelan as Yara Greyjoy

Speaking with HBO, Whelan said she had no idea her character was gay.

“I reckon she is anyway. I don’t think she’d limit herself to one or another,” Whelan said.

“Anything goes. Get the job done with whatever is fun and interesting.”

Yara joins the now deceased Renly Baratheon and the imprisoned Loras Tyrell as known LGBTI characters in the series – though of course there may be many more unspoken members of the community in this conflicted and prejudiced universe.

Only time will tell whether Yara’s sexuality will play a greater role in her story arc, or whether it affects her primarily sea-faring life at all. Perhaps we will see a lesbian take the Iron Throne?

Game of Thrones airs Mondays on Foxtel’s Showcase channel.

OIP Staff

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