If anyone deserves a place on the throne of our beloved epic fantasy GOT, it is Daenerys Targaryen.
Although she appeared on our screens as a manipulated runaway, the Chain Breaker continued to rule many cities, freeing thousands of slaves, building powerful armies and political alliances. And to resurrect the “reality” and splendor of the dragons.
As season 8 of Game of Thrones came to a fitting close, check out this article for All About the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen.
Who Is Daenerys Targaryen?
Breathe deeply; Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of the Name, the Immaculate, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Chain Breaker, and Mother of Dragons – otherwise known as Dany – is one of the most important characters in Game of Thrones.
To understand why, we need to take a quick look at Westeros and its history. When the first season of Game of Thrones arrived on our screens, King Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) was on the throne of Westeros – having become the ruler in a coup against the previous monarch, King Aerys II of the Targaryen family.
Aerys, who was also known as the Mad King (which is not a good nickname for anyone in power), was deposed and killed because of his violence and cruelty. He had three children: Rhaegar, Viserys, and a daughter named Daenerys. Rhaegar, his wife Elia and his two (known) children were all killed before the series began. While Viserys and Daenerys were exiled clandestinely, and grew up miles away from their homeland.
After the death of the cruel and ambitious Viserys in the first season, Daenerys becomes his father’s heiress and is determined to take the Iron Throne of Westeros back for herself.
Her status as a true Targaryen ruler was cemented, for many of us, after she managed to hatch three dragons – the first of these creatures to be seen in many years. All this while entering a pyre with the eggs and coming out unharmed.
Although the dragons were tiny at first and probably adorable, they have since become three fire-breathing powerhouses (a bit like when you adopt a “micro-pig” and discover that it’s not a micro-pig after all).
Similarly, Daenerys has gone from a frightened young girl – sold in marriage by her brother – to a fierce and majestic queen, well able to command the respect and loyalty of her armies and followers.
The average throne seeker could not waltz into Winterfell with a troop lined up with traitors, let alone claim the castle, and would receive little more than a refusal in return.
Of course, now that she and her lover/nephew Jon Snow have learned that he is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, his life’s work is at stake. And losing Jorah, Rhaegal and Missandei a few days apart won’t help her deal with the situation. Especially with such a strong sense of justice (which, thanks to his own experience of being sold in marriage, was established by a powerful empathy for slaves).
Who Is Emilia Clarke, the Daenerys Targaryen Actress?
Clarke, who is 34, became famous by playing the Daenerys in Game of Thrones – and becoming the queen of all the starring roles.
Before that, the Berkshire-born British actress had played a few roles on stage and was a guest on the soap Doctors. But she was virtually unknown.
In fact, she almost missed her “starring role” in GOT, because it was first given to another actress, Tamzin Merchant.
Merchant was playing in an unmanned pilot, but presenters Dan Weiss and David Benioff later decided to replace her, for reasons not revealed. (Jennifer Ehle, who originally played Catelyn Stark, was also replaced, and large parts of the pilot were reprised).
Since 2011, when the first season of the series began, Clarke has played leading roles in several Hollywood films, including Terminator Genisys (2015) and the heartbreaking romance Me Before You (2016).
She also played Han Solo’s childhood best friend, Qi’ra, in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Clarke recently revealed that she suffered a life-threatening brain hemorrhage in 2010 – a kind of stroke that left her unable to remember her own name.
She did it to start a charity to support young people with brain injuries, SameYou.
What Happens to Daenerys Game of Thrones?
A. SEASON 1
Sold by his brother as a wife to Dothraki warlord Khal Drogo. Upon Drogo’s death, Daenerys earned his dragons from his funeral pyre. Drogo’s followers acclaimed her as their new queen.
B. SEASON 2
In desperation, Daenerys and his supporters took refuge in Qarth, but became entangled in a conspiracy to take control of the city.
C. 3RD SEASON
Daenerys acquired an army of elite warriors Immaculate at the slave town of Astapor. It turned them against their slave masters, sacking the city and liberating the population. It then attacked the city of Yunkai, also run by slavers. With the help of the company of mercenaries, the Second Sons, she conquered the city and once again freed all the slaves.
D. 4TH SEASON
Daenerys laid siege to the last great slave city, Meereen, overthrowing it with the help of a slave rebellion. However, she learned that the other cities she had liberated had reverted to slavery and, moreover, that she had lost control of her dragons.
Fan of the huge creatures and Game of Thrones? Check out our article on dragons in GOT.
E. 5TH SEASON
The Mother of Dragons has entered into a political marriage with Prince Hizdahr zo Loraq in the hope of stabilizing the region. However, she had to face a revolt in her own town that killed her new husband. Her dragon, Drogon, rescued her from the fray, but left her miles away in the midst of a hostile Dothraki attack group.
F. SEASON 6
the Mother of Dragons broke free from the Dothraki in a style so terrifying that they vowed to follow her again. Back in a besieged Meereen, she crushes the slave masters once and for all. Allying herself with Theon and Yara Greyjoy, inhabitants of the Iron Island, she set off with their fleet to a waiting Westeros.
G. SEASON 7
After arriving at the island fortress of Dragonstone, she sent the Immaculate to take Casterly Rock and its Greyjoy ships to King’s Landing. Unfortunately, the Lannisters left Casterly Rock in favor of Highgarden and Euron defeated Yara Greyjoy’s fleet. In search of allies, Dany summoned Jon Snow (the new King of the North) to ask him to bend the knee. Attempting to focus on the White Walkers’ threat, Jon refused. She then took Drogon and the Dothraki to destroy the supply caravan of the Lannister army – even though her beloved dragon had been wounded. The survivors pledged allegiance, except Randyll and Dickon Tarly – whom she burned alive.
When Jon broke through the wall to capture a wight, the army of the Night King came to meet them (and killed them). Jon and his forces were saved in no time by Daenerys and his dragons. However, the Night King then killed Viserion with an icy spear.
Dany vowed to help Jon continue the fight and he finally bent his knee before her. They then brought power to Cersei, who agreed to fight with them (which we know will only last as long as a betrayal can be prepared). Without knowing that they are related by blood, Jon and Daenerys then had sexual relations. Yuck.
H. SEASON 8
After arriving in the North and being given (albeit reluctantly) control of Winterfell, the Mother of Dragons begins many tense conversations with the distrustful inhabitants and leaders of Winterfell. As she struggles to overcome their obvious dislike for her, she is told that her dragons don’t eat. She takes it upon herself to take Jon for her very first dragon ride in response. Their intimacy continues in the second episode until Jon, whose true lineage was recently learned, breaks the ice of the Iron Throne. Apparently ill-prepared for the Battle of Winterfell, Daenerys has a hard time understanding simple combat tactics. She ends up losing most of the Dothraki, many allies and – most shockingly – Ser Jorah before being saved by Arya’s assassination of the Night King.
With attention turned to the Iron Throne, Dany takes a small fleet to King’s Landing but is ambushed by Euron Greyjoy and the Golden Company along the way. They kill Rhaegal, capture Missandei and generally wreak havoc at sea. Furious, Daenerys launches a forward assault on the capital, causing the Targaryen and his declining army to witness the beheading of his closest confidant (Missandei).
Why Do People Not Like Daenerys?
While it is impossible not to have sympathy for the Mother of Dragons as you watch the show, it is important to remember that, to all the poor people of Westeros, she is essentially just another conquering aristocrat who came from foreign lands to wreak havoc, convinced that her lineage entitles her to the throne.
She has also shown a darker and more ruthless side in recent years, which has led some to speculate that she may one day turn into an outright “villain”, following in the footsteps of her father Aerys.
Writer Dan Weiss, however, has warned against this theory.
“She’s not her father, she’s not crazy and she’s not sadistic. But there is a Targaryen ruthlessness present even with good Targaryens,” he said in 2016.
Is Daenerys Bad?
If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, the presumed enemy of the series would not stray too far to take a Skywalker turn to the dark side.
Although we have supported the Targaryen from day one, she has often blurred the lines between good and evil. Freeing slaves, then killing innocent people who refuse to bend the knee. She intends to take the throne to break the wheel, but pays no attention to how she does it.
Without the help of her advisors Jorah (sobbing), Varys and Tyrion, we have seen her become subject to ruthless judgment and – although this does not make her fundamentally bad – reckless decision-making. Her moral compass could be compromised without sound advice.
The stage is set, too. In the first episode of season 8, we saw the Mother of Dragons show no remorse for the murder of Samwell Tarly’s father and brother. Then, when she learns of Jon’s true parentage in Episode 2, a queen is visibly uncomfortable and threatened (which is understandable – she slept with her nephew without knowing it and he has the right to take the singular dream of her life away from her). There may not be much ground to stand on for long. Especially since the trailer in Episode 4 seems to show her skipping mourning and encouraging survivors to do the same so that she can claim the Iron Throne.
Fans have speculated that, in a story based on the shades of grey of morality, it would be appropriate for the real villain to reveal herself as our Mother of Dragons with corrupt power.
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