Which Character Does Gemma Wheelan Play on ‘Gane of Thrones’?

Game of Thrones has an 8 season history of empowering their awesome female characters — finally — with strength, power, and fierceness we rarely see in TV’s female characters. We’ve been long captivated by the catastrophic plot twists and gut-wrenching deaths but lately, we’ve been drawn to the show because the women of Game of Thrones are the most badass female characters we’ve ever seen.

We love to hate Cersei’s cold-hearted sense of justice and her ruthlessness. We’ve rooted for Daenerys’ success through her single-minded focus on the Iron Throne. We’ve cheered on Arya Stark whose fierceness has shown through since early childhood and applauded Brienne of Tarth’s opposition of gender stereotypes.

This season we are excited to see how some of these women continue to add to the ranks of powerful plot twists. One character we’ve definitely got our eye on for Season 8 is Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Wheelan).

Who is Yara Greyjoy?

Gemma Whelan
Gemma Whelan | Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Yara is the heir of House Greyjoy of the Iron Islands. She’s Theon’s older sister, and (spoiler alert) since Theon’s death at the hand of the Night King in Season 8 Episode 3, she’s the only child of Balon Greyjoy left to take over ruling the Ironborn from the Salt Throne.

She’s a woman who has proven both her loyalty and her intelligence by siding with Daenerys Targaryen in her long quest for the Iron Throne. Yara has pledged more than just her allegiance too, she’s offered the Mother of Dragons her fleet of ships as well. This powerplay not only demonstrates Yara’s good sense but also shows off Yara’s aggressive goals to be a woman who is respected by the men she leads.

Gemma Whelan is her own sort of badass

Whelan recently took social media by storm as she unabashedly displayed a photo of herself breastfeeding, not only in public but on the set of Game of Thrones. Fans everywhere applauded the 38-year-old actress for her fiercely confident portrayal of Yara on the screen, and her motherhood powerplay of breastfeeding whenever and where ever her child needed her to. The multitasking superstar was pretty clear in her priorities, making sure both her daughter and her career were well balanced.

Gemma Whelan is private

Whelan keeps her private life, just that, private. But, lately, the star has been a little more relaxed in what she shares with her fans. Probably due to the fact that she has a brand new daughter to show off on her social media feeds. Previously the actress was rather close-lipped about her relationships and her family life, which led some fans to question her sexual orientation. (Whelan’s Greyjoy character is a lesbian on Game of Thrones. ) However, the star has been quite clear, as of late that her boyfriend is actor Gerry Howell.

Gemma Whelan’s career before ‘Game of Thrones’

As a Jill of all trades, Whelan was an accomplished actor, singer, comedian, and dancer before she landed the spot as Yara on Game of Thrones. Previously, Whelan has starred in Gulliver’s TravelsThe Wolfman, Frites, Shortbread and Tea, Prevenge, and most recently A BBC Two sitcom about William Shakespeare, titled Upstart Crow in 2016.

She’s played some pretty great characters in the past, but Yara tops the list as a powerful female character. When she was asked about playing a strong female character, Whelan remarked the question was a bit redundant. “Women by default are strong,” Whelan said.

We agree, especially if that woman is Yara Greyjoy!