One of the reasons Game of Thrones is such a hit with moms is that the show frequently portrays mothers as the strong and courageous women they are, who would do absolutely anything to protect their families. In fact, even the mothers who aren’t quite so protective of their young (see: Selyse Baratheon) are still incredibly well-written, three-dimensional women. I mean really, we can all identify more or less with the parents on Game of Thrones. But while I could write about Tywin’s go-for-the-gold parenting techniques, I’d much rather explore all the ways in which the moms on GoT are complete and total badasses.

There are so many great (and some not so great) moms on this show. There’s Cersei Lannister, who would have your head mounted on a spike before you ever finished bad-mouthing her spawn. And then there’s Daenerys Targaryan, who is anything but your typical mom, valiantly raising three dragons all on her own. We’ve also got Catelyn, whose life is littered with tragedy after tragedy and fueled by the need for vengeance. Now, I know you’re probably watching and analyzing the trailer for the new season of Game of Thrones over and over again, but seriously. Give it a rest and read through this list instead while and reliving some of the proof that the mothers on GoT truly are the best. Note: SPOILERS ARE COMING.

Cersei On The Power Tactics That Have Worked For Her Family

Cersei Lannister is as sharp as they come. True, she’s one of the most evil characters of the show, ever-so-selfish in protecting herself and her children, but then again considering her upbringing and her forced unhappy marriage, some might say she’s done the best she could. In this scene, she mentions the ways in which she’s managed to maintain her power, however cruel, and attempts to leave this bit of advice to Sansa, should she end up queen.

Daenerys Learns How To Make The Best Of Any Situation (NSFW)

Daenerys Targaryen didn’t want to marry Khal Drogo, but given her position, she finds there are ways to make her situation work for her. She isn’t a mother here just yet, but even before getting pregnant and before becoming the Mother of Dragons, she learns how to yield whatever power she has to become queen: a true Khaleesi.

Catelyn Stark Rounds The Troops And Captures Tyrion

Catelyn Stark has a good heart, but cross her and she won’t stop until justice is served. When Catelyn suspects that the Lannisters were behind her son’s fall, she doesn’t just sit around waiting for Ned or some other dude to do something. She takes matters into her own hands, calling all the men who would follow the House of Tully and King Robert to assist her in capturing Tyrion, which gets her the full attention of Cersei.

The Khaleesi Eats A Freaking Horse Heart To Prove Her Worth

Daenerys is hell-bent on proving that she is a worthy Khaleesi to Khal Drogo and to the rest o the Dothraki. One of the ways she does this? She eats a freaking horse’s heart, raw and whole, while pregnant. Sure, it’s pretty intense, but honestly, has anyone else even come close to doing something like this on the show?

Catelyn Confronts The Man Who Nearly Killed Her Son

Although she loses Tyrion, Catelyn is later able to get a hold of Jamie Lannister. But rather than other noblewomen who might simply call orders while sitting in their castles, she’s on the ground with her men, and even confronts Jamie herself to try and get some answers, but not before whacking him in the face with a giant rock.

Melisandre And Her Complete Power Over Stannis Baratheon

Melisandre is certainly not a likable character. She’s basically had Stannis in her pocket from day one, and is also capable of yielding her powers over other men. But then, can we really blame her? And while she may not be a typical mom, she does end up giving birth to one creepy black shadow demon baby so we couldn’t not count her in this round-up. And after she nudged Stannis to go into several battles and even make one enormous sacrifice, while entirely cruel, she is definitely pretty badass. Who wouldn’t want that kind of power? (And if that doesn’t make you like her, maybe this video of Melisandre at Seth Meyer’s baby shower will convince you).

Cersei Let’s Margaery Know She Sees Right Through Her

When Joeffrey begins to have eyes for Margaery, Cersei is anything but pleased, knowing full well the Tyrell’s are merely seeking to advance their position as richest family in all the kingdoms. But rather than start a full-fledged fight with Margaery and displeasing her son, she finds subtle ways to let the Tyrell’s she’s on to them. In this scene, she discusses the terrible fate of the last second richest family that crossed the Lannisters.

Olenna Tyrell And The Poisoning That Needed To Happen

Olenna is quite possibly my favorite mother on Game of Thrones (well, grandmother). She’s obviously maintained her power due to her smarts, and never was there a better orchestrated murder than the one she commit at King Joeffrey’s Name Day celebration.

Gilly Makes It To The Wall Alive

Gilly is a wildling, so already she gets several points of badassery for surviving this far north of the wall. And when she escapes her sadistic, abusive father (with the help of Sam) while simultaneously saving her baby from being taken by Whitewalkers, and makes it all the way to the wall, she exclaims that her father said no wildling ever made it that far and lived. “And yet, here we are,” she says to her baby. How Gilly made that trek not long after giving birth and against so many odds is truly a testament to her badassery.

Daenerys Feeds Slavers To Her "Babies"

The mother of dragons is not the person you want to cross in Game of Thrones, and she proves that by bringing those who have crossed her to meet her “babies.” One man is fed to the dragons as the others watch. All in the name of keeping the peace, of course.

Talisa Maegyr Calls Out Robb, Gives No Fucks

Although not yet pregnant with the King of the North’s child in this scene, it’s easy to see that Talisa would have easily been yet another of the fiercest moms on the show. When she first meets Robb Stark, rather than treating him like royalty, she’s not afraid to let him know how wrong she thinks all the fighting is, especially when she’s busy having to care for injured children.

Ellaria Sand Rounds Up The Sand Snakes

When Ellaria’s husband is taken out of the picture, she proves to be just as badass as her ever was. But to avenge him, she realizes she’ll need a bit of help. This scene proves she’s just as good at orchestrating revenge as any Lannister.

Olenna Gives Margaery Some Insight Into How Her Position Has Improved

When Margaery discusses the tragic fates of her first two husbands with her grandmother, Olenna clarifies that Margaery’s position is much better now than it ever had been. As usual, Olenna proves to be exceedingly wise when it comes to playing the Game, giving more insight into her own badassery.

Daenerys Takes Astapor, Proves To Be The Best Leader (And Baddest Mama) Ever

Dany has a soft spot for slaves. After all, she was first sold as a slave to Khal Drogo by her own brother. So it’s not surprising when she figures a way to take the Red City by having all the slaves turn on their masters and fight alongside her as free men. If that doesn’t make you a badass, I don’t know what could.

Gilly Keeps Her Baby Safe During A Wildling Attack

Sure, Gilly isn’t out taking swords up against the Wildlings during the attack on Mole’s Town. And why would she? She’s got a baby to protect. Instead, she immediately finds a way to hide herself away from the fighting. Fortunately the only Wildling to happen upon her is Ygritte, who spares her life. But the fact that Gilly can remain so calm under such circumstances to ensure her little one is safe makes her one bad ass momma.

Talisa Freaks Out The Lannister Kids

After one battle, Talisa tends to the wounds of young Lannister boys, filling their heads with tall tales of Robb Stark shape-shifting into a wolf and eating people on the full moon. It’s subtle, but definitely badass.

Ellaria Sand Gives The Kiss Of Death

Ever bent on obtaining revenge for the murder of her husband, Ellaria Sand gives Myrcella the ultimate going away present just before she sets sail with Jamie back to King’s Landing, proving she is a force to be reckoned with.

Cersei Meets Ser Robert Strong And Swears Vengeance With A Single Look

After Cersei’s walk of penance, she finds herself nearly broken and back home, covered in spit and feces, her feet bloody from the barefoot trek. But just as she begins to cry for what is one of only a small handful of times throughout the show, she’s introduced to Ser Robert Strong, who looks suspiciously like someone from her past, and she suddenly realizes and silently vows to use him to avenge her for every single person who crossed her path.