By Kenneth Wee, staff writer, Men’s Health Singapore
Part of the appeal of HBO’s most popular series to date—alongside razor-sharp writing, casual nudity, gruesome deaths—are the drop-dead gorgeous women playing strong roles.
The fifth season of Game of Thrones kicks off by showcasing the resolve of female characters who were previously victims of villains and tyrants in the fantastical world of Westeros.
With the show officially set to overtake the ongoing book series that it’s based on—spoiler alert!—here’s a look—spoiler alert!—at the top five bombshells who have made it/will make it into season five. And, clearly, not by smiling.
1. Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen
Emilia, 28, is scheduled to star as Sarah Connor in the sci-fi film Terminator Genisys later this year. But before that: welcome back Khaleesi, Mother of Dragons. An exiled princess, Daenerys is the last surviving member of House Targaryen, the former rulers of Westeros. Starting her journey far east of Westeros, she intends to claim the throne as her birthright. With the birth of her three pet dragons, she transformed from a timid girl sold off in an arranged marriage, into a fearsome, respected and (relatively) merciful conqueror. It appears that her claim to the throne will be backed by a key player in season five.
2. Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister
The 41-year-old English actress, who played Sarah Connor in the television spin-off of Terminator and Sparta’s queen in the epic film 300 (and its prequel-sequel), definitely doesn’t look her age. She started the HBO series as wife of King Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy), and has three children whose secret lineage if leaked could cause her to lose everything. Following the king’s demise, Cersei becomes queen regent of Westeros, guiding the capital through new collaborations, guarding the throne for her sons Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman), and allowing nothing to come between her and her kin (with the notable exception of Tyrion Lannister/Peter Dinklage, the dwarf brother whom she loathes).
3. Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark
Before Sophie, 19, plays a young Jean Grey in the upcoming movie X-Men: Apocalypse, the English actress is reprising her role as eldest daughter of Eddard Stark (Sean Bean) who was King Robert’s second-in-command. Deemed one of the most beautiful women in Westeros, a subservient Sansa was betrothed to Prince Joffrey Baratheon early in the series. When the betrothal was broken, Sansa is pushed into a series of events that sees her get a makeover and turn into a scheming power player in the game of thrones.
4. Nathalie Emmanuel as Missandei
Nathalie, the 26-year-old English actress who had a key role in the action movie Furious 7, returns to the slave lands far east of Westeros as translator Missandei who speaks 19 languages. Starting out a bondservant in the third season, Missandei rose to become the trusted advisor and handmaiden of Khaleesi Daenerys Targaryen. She’s so alluring that even Grey Worm, the castrated commander of the elite “Unsullied” infantry (Jacob Anderson, also pictured above), has a crush on her.
5. Carice van Houten as Melisandre
Dutch actress Carice, 38, plays a powerful priestess whose sexy red gowns match her fanatical passion and mystical abilities. Melisandre serves as adviser to self-styled king Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) who is amassing an army north of Westeros to usurp the throne. Her influence over the ambitious Stannis—including sexually—makes her a dangerous character in the seven Westerosi kingdoms. By the end of the fourth season, her world collides with that of Jon Snow (Kit Harington), which is set to be a key plotline of season five.
Photos courtesy of HBO
The new season of Game of Thrones debuts same time as the U.S. on April 13, 9am with primetime encore from 9pm the same day on HBO (StarHub TV Ch 601). New episodes premiere weekly at the same time. The series will also be available on HBO On Demand in Singapore.
Watch the trailer here: