Daenerys Targaryen: From Stormborn to Salvation


The exiled heir to the Iron Throne, Daenerys Targaryen, is certainly a strong-willed woman with her eyes on Westeros. There isn’t truly a time where her story doesn’t bring excitement or that nagging cliffhanger strategy that was displayed oh so often. From her exiled hideout in Pentos, through the desolate lands traveled by the Dothraki, and eventually to Qarth, Daenerys developed into the woman we all knew she had the potential to become.

What makes her perspective so unique is that while it still has the typical ‘Game of Thrones’ twists, it maintains a sense of chronological progression of her character in a way that the viewers could relate.

A scared, abused young girl who was treated like property by her older brother eventually acquired the raw tenacity to conquer Qarth “The greatest city that ever was or will be.” Of course, we all love the dragons; but with dragons also comes great responsibility one might say.

For Daenerys being the only dragon owner in the land, doesn’t always yield happy endings. I personally marveled at the way she treats them like her babies, even after her own child had been killed.

She had absolutely nothing on her mind but their safe return when they were kidnapped. This was just one of the various mindset changes she had to adapt to for suiting her situation, and they were captured brilliantly by actress Emilia Clarke.

In a world where men are the dominant species, only a few women manage to break the barrier, and Daenerys truly comes into her own. Is there really anything like a beautiful, courageous, determined mother of dragons to drag you deeper into the world of ‘Game of Thrones?’

The Khaleesi – A Queen in the Making?

I know I’m not the only one who was a bit disgruntled after the opening scene of the Daenerys perspective, where her brother Viserys fondled (for lack of a better word) her new teenage body. Only seconds later, she was informed by Viserys that he was essentially selling her to the Dothraki, Khal Drogo for an army of horse lords with which to reclaim the throne.

Brotherly love, right? She knew in her heart that her brother was blinded by the power, but remained in a brainwashed state in order to please him.

Only an episode later, she was forced into the bizarre Dothraki wedding ceremony where she clearly would have rather been anywhere else but there.If that sad scene didn’t tug at your heart strings, the borderline rape scene surely did.

Now, she was marrying the most powerful Dothraki, Khal Drogo, which meant that she became the Khaleesi – a woman held in high esteem to the discretion of the Khal and his khalasar(horde).

Much to viewer’s despair, the struggles didn’t end here. She had to earn the respect of the entire Dothraki horde, learn their language, and most importantly build a relationship with her arranged husband Khal Drogo.

Daenerys grew stronger, more independent, and stood up for herself like never before. She became pregnant and even ate a horse heart in a scene I personally wouldn’t mind forgetting. One of the most fascinating scenes of season one, not only from the Daenerys perspective, but of the entire show was when she was faced with the final decision of her Viserys’ fate.

She allowed Drogo to kill him with a pot of smoldering gold poured over his head to make “a golden crown”, then said;

“He’s no dragon. Fire cannot kill a dragon.”

If there is such a thing as a key turning point, this was it. She relieved the burden of her brother’s tantalizing fury once and for all in a most spectacular way.

Subsequently, she realized that it was, in fact, she who was the last dragon. Did the agony end there? Surely not.

Soon after this, one of Khal Drogo’s rivals starts a death match with him. Drogo at one point of the fight actually allows his rival, who has not landed a single blow, to cut him and pushes himself against the blade showing no fear or pain.

This overly macho act may well impress his watching Khalasar but leads to a nasty infection which threatens his life. He falls from his horse and his Khalasar ride on stating “A man who cannot ride cannot lead”. This leaves Daenerys with the prospect of losing the only love in her life and so she turns to a witch and black magic to save her stallion’s life.

The magic works but at a dreadful cost… the life of their unborn son. The black magic is a double edged sword and although Drogo’s life is spared he is left almost as an empty shell, unresponsive, uncaring not even interested in feeding or washing himself.

This left season one to end with a flare; Daenerys walked onto Drogo’s funeral pyre with her dragon eggs, only to emerge unharmed with her three baby dragons perched upon her.

The Mother of Dragons Leaves Qarth In Ruins

Just when we thought Daenerys might be stranded in the desert forever, they discover that the free city of Qarth is in traveling distance. She is courted by one of the thirteen elders named Xaro Xhoan Doxus almost immediately. She refuses his offer of marriage in exchange for ships to travel to Westeros to reclaim the throne.

This is a monumental stepping stone for Daenerys in the sense that she is torn by what her actual priorities should be. She knows that she isn’t fit for ruling quite yet, and that there is much to learn. Following her brother’s footsteps would be a grave mistake. As for the progression of her character, she’s begun to develop all of the necessary qualities a genuine leader must be comprised of.

When her dragons were captured by Pyat Pree, a warlock of the House of the Undead, she honed in on retrieving them at any costs. This motherly trait is admirable and depictive of a woman fit for ruling and responsible of calling the dragons her own. Her prowess only grew stronger as season two came to a close, when she showed no remorse when connecting with her dragons to vanquish the warlock and banish Xaro, along with one of her closest handmaidens from her khalasar without a second thought.

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