If you鈥檝e been watching Game of Thrones as obsessively as some of us have, you will have noticed a major shift this season from the previous six. The show has had its detractors, and one of the major reasons was the way that many of the women in the show were portrayed. With Sansa鈥檚 assault a main (and terrifying) plot point in season five, and even the relationship between Daenerys and Khal Drogo starting with her being essentially sold to him by her smarmy brother, even the show鈥檚 most powerful women haven鈥檛 always been given a fair shake. But this season, people can鈥檛 help but notice the way Game of Thrones is changing the way it uses its female characters, and we鈥檙e living for it.

From the death of Shireen Baratheon (based on her father鈥檚 wishes) to Cersei鈥檚 public shaming, abuse of women has been used as a plot point to further the story without giving those characters a human voice. Just two episodes into season seven, however, and there鈥檚 a woman on every throne in Westeros.

From the jump, this season just feels different. Starting with Lady Mormont鈥檚 assertion that boys and girls need to know how to fight, and Sansa鈥檚 power plays at Winterfell, this season of Game of Thrones is the one many female fans have been waiting for.

Even Arya is finally getting her revenge, but sparing the women around her quietly and with dignity. With Dany, Cersei, and Sansa all holding thrones throughout the seven kingdoms, and Olenna Tyrell, Yara Greyjoy, and Ellaria Sand all playing supporting roles, it鈥檚 the women playing the game this season and not the countless men who have tried and failed in previous ones. But are the showrunners paying lip service to the many viewers who have spoken out over the years against the show鈥檚 many violent plot points?

With the show having now outpaced the books in terms of story line, it is probable that this was the plan all along. With men constantly losing the battle for the throne, it鈥檚 only natural that women would eventually be able to seize the control they need to win.

In this past Sunday鈥檚 episode, Olenna Tyrell warns Daenerys Targaryen that the reason male rulers failed in the past is because they listened to each other. 鈥淚鈥檝e known a great number of clever men. I鈥檝e outlived them all,鈥 Olenna says. 鈥淵ou know how? I ignored them.鈥

With Dany having listened to Tyrion Lannister, and trying to attack King鈥檚 Landing via sea (and losing her entire fleet to bad boy Euron Greyjoy), maybe she鈥檒l listen more closely to her own intuition and to the lessons being taught by other women, because as the men in the show have shown, 鈥淚n the game of thrones, you win or you die.鈥

And with an all-female ruling class heading up the seven kingdoms, we鈥檙e sure we鈥檒l be getting more woman-centered relationships. The women鈥檚 perspective on the show is exciting and fresh, and for fans of both the book series and the television one, not knowing how the game will play out is getting even more exciting now that there are so many women in the fight.

Who鈥檚 your favorite Game of Thrones character? Tell us @BritandCo!

(Photos via HBO/YouTube)