While the world awaits every new Game of Thrones episode with bated breath, fans and theory mongers are busy scrutinizing past episodes to forecast who would sit, if anyone at all, on the fancy Iron Throne. But this article isn't about speculation. Instead, it's about celebrating the leaders who survived all that came their way in their own unique styles.

GOT, the fascinating story of rulers from across the seven kingdoms, ruled by a supreme leader who sits on the iron throne, has taught us so much. We've seen some remarkable characters who without even being in commanding positions often displayed leader-like qualities and we’ve also seen some miserable leaders who were nowhere close to having any qualities whatsoever of a true inspiring chieftain.

Although Game of Thrones is set in a time so different from ours, the drive and complexity that each character brings in, make it such a compelling watch. While so many promising leaders on the show have already died and many more might die in the coming weeks (most of us are prepared to weep our hearts out), here’s a quick look at some of the most prominent characters and what they have taught us about leadership

Arya Stark, The Aggressive Scholar

From the moment we first saw her on the show, Arya has been the curious apprentice, always willing to up her skills and be thorough about her domain. Throughout the show, she has been open to learning all that can make her the best fighter. She displayed tremendous courage to explore unknown territories and went to unimaginable depths to equip herself with niche knowledge only a handful might excel in (like how to be a faceless no one). She doesn’t indulge in useless gossip and hones her skills whenever possible. Arya trained herself to be a specialized expert and will be respected by everyone due to her sheer talent, whenever and if ever she leads. It wasn’t until the hanky panky of episode 2 of the latest season, that we saw Arya being interested in anything else but fighting (wink wink). Leaders like Arya are masters of their domains. They know the ins and outs of the work they do and can ace anyone based on their expertise and proficiency.

Sansa Stark, The Circumstantial Learner

Ah, the poor gullible girl who everyone takes advantage of’, people thought of her as one of the weakest characters of Game of Thrones. Yet, here she is, kicking ass and ruling Winterfell oh-so-gracefully. Often, more than anything else, challenging circumstances have the potential to carve a great leader. Sansa has seen it all- the lies, the deceptions, the hypocrisy, the ferocity and the viciousness of so many who drooled over the throne. She has learnt from her mistakes. She has learned from others’ mistakes too. More than any other character in GOT, Sansa has evolved, in the way she thinks, behaves and acts. She has developed an unparalleled political acumen owing to all the deplorable situations she experienced that made her grow up from a dainty princess to a fearless authority. Many true leaders that the world has seen are products of bitter circumstances which sculpt them into figures of wisdom, strength, and admiration.

Daenerys Targaryen, The Responsibility Lover

The character development of Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, first of her name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons (phew!), has been phenomenal. And while dragons play a major role in making her what she is, it’s not just about them. She has been shown to understand the symbiotic relationship between power and responsibility from the very beginning. She frees the slaves and promises to ‘break the wheel’ of the status quo. She sympathizes with the common folk and emerges as their messiah. She is also the queen of networking, who keeps expanding her army as she travels towards Westeros to spread her goodwill from a throne which she thinks is rightfully hers. While some of her alarming traits have surfaced in the past few episodes, she has already taught many some remarkable lessons in leadership. A revolutionary leader wins the trust of people by addressing their problems first and then welcoming them to help in accomplishing his/her goal.

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