- "For what it’s worth, I’ve been a cynic for as long as I can remember. Everyone’s always asking me to believe in things; family, gods, kings, myself. It was often tempting, until I saw where belief got people. So I said 'no thank you' to belief; yet, here I am....I believe in you."
- ―Tyrion Lannister to Daenerys Targaryen
Queen Daenerys I Targaryen, also known as Dany and Daenerys Stormborn, is a major character in the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh seasons. She is played by starring cast member Emilia Clarke, and debuts in the series premiere. She is the younger sister of Rhaegar Targaryen and Viserys Targaryen, the paternal aunt of Jon Snow, and the youngest child of King Aerys II Targaryen and Queen Rhaella Targaryen, who were both ousted from the Iron Throne during Robert Baratheon's rebellion.
Daenerys is the only daughter and youngest child of King Aerys II Targaryen, the "Mad King", and his sister-wife, Rhaella. Her father died during the Sack of King's Landing, before she was even born. The usurper Robert Baratheon installed himself as king, having defeated Aerys in the conquest known as Robert's Rebellion. Her pregnant mother and brother Viserys, fled to the island of Dragonstone, the ancestral home of House Targaryen, to escape Robert. Daenerys's brother Rhaegar Targaryen was killed in the war by Robert. The forces of House Lannister murdered Rhaegar's wife, Elia Martell, and their children, Rhaenys and Aegon, during the Sack of King's Landing.
But unbeknownst to Daenerys and the rest of her family, her oldest brother Rhaegar had another son by Lyanna Stark, who died shortly after giving birth to him. In her final moments, she revealed the true name of their son to her brother Eddard, who passed the boy off as his bastard son, Jon Snow, and raised him in Winterfell. Jon initially joined the Night's Watch but later became the King in the North.
On the night Daenerys was born on Dragonstone, a vast storm raged. For this reason, she is sometimes called "Daenerys Stormborn". Her mother died soon after she was born, leaving her an orphan. As a baby, she was taken into exile in the Free Cities with her brother, Viserys, by loyal retainers, among them Ser Willem Darry.
After years spent fruitlessly trying to raise support to retake the Iron Throne, Viserys and Daenerys were given sanctuary by Magister Illyrio Mopatis in the Free City of Pentos. She dreams of finding a peaceful home and a place to belong. She lives in constant fear of Viserys, who hits her when his temper is risen (in his words, whenever she "wakes the dragon"). Living under Viserys's domination has left her meek and malleable.
Viserys and Daenerys stay at the estate of Magister Illyrio Mopatis who has brokered a deal for her to marry Khal Drogo of the Dothraki. Daenerys does not want to marry him, but Viserys has traded her to Drogo in exchange for an army of 40,000 men of Drogo's khalasar, which Viserys plans to use in his invasion of Westeros. Viserys tells her that she has no choice. Viserys fondles her under the pretext that he is seeing how she has grown; she looks off into the distance.
Daenerys enters a bath that her servant warns her is too hot, but it does not affect her; this may be related to her Targaryen heritage. At the wedding she accepts a variety of gifts. She receives three dragon eggs from Magister Illyrio, who tells her that they have been turned to stone by the passage of time. Ser Jorah Mormont, a knight of Westeros, brings books about the Seven Kingdoms and offers Viserys his service. She is given a beautiful white horse (later named Silver) by Drogo. On their wedding night, Daenerys is resistant but Drogo continues regardless.
Drogo's khalasar marches east for several months. Daenerys seeks advice from her new servant Doreah, trained in the pleasure houses of Lys, on how to best please her husband. Doreah teaches Daenerys how to use her sexuality to influence Drogo and win the status of an equal in his eyes. Irri teaches Daenerys to speak the Dothraki language. Viserys, her brother, attempts to renew his control over her, but her men defend her from his attempts at violence. At first, she begs her men to spare him, but at an encouragement stare from Ser Jorah, she grows confident and orders them to spare Viserys, although he is shamed by being forced to walk. Daenerys discovers that she is pregnant with Drogo's child. She assuredly predicts that she will have a son, to Drogo's approval. The pregnancy buoys the love between them.
When the khalasar reaches the Dothraki city of Vaes Dothrak, Daenerys invites Viserys to dinner and arranges fresh clothing for him. Viserys reacts angrily at being dressed in the "rags of savages" and strikes Daenerys. Daenerys hits him back with a heavy gold belt and warns that if he strikes her again she will order his hands removed.
Unbeknownst to Daenerys, word of her pregnancy reaches King's Landing, where King Robert Baratheon orders her assassination. Magister Illyrio secretly visits his ally Varys in the city, where they discuss how they will pave the way for the Targaryen restoration.
Daenerys eats the raw heart of a stallion before the eyes of the dosh khaleen, the Dothraki wise women, and names her unborn son Rhaego in honor of her slain brother, Rhaegar Targaryen. The Dothraki crones prophesy that Daenerys's son will be the Stallion Who Mounts the World, the "khal of khals" who will unite the Dothraki into a single horde that will overrun all the lands of the world.
Viserys is infuriated at how Daenerys has won the love of the Dothraki. Ser Jorah manages to stop Viserys as he tries to steal her dragon eggs to buy his own army. Viserys arrives drunk at the feast and draws his sword, demanding that Khal Drogo pay the agreed price for Dany by providing troops for the invasion of Westeros; he wants his crown or he will take Daenerys back. When he threatens Daenerys and her unborn child, Drogo has Viserys executed by pouring molten gold over his head. Daenerys notes that Viserys was not a true dragon, as fire cannot kill a dragon.
Daenerys tries to convince Drogo to invade so their son might claim the Iron Throne, but the Dothraki do not trust ships and water their horses cannot drink. Now that Viserys is dead, Drogo does not feel inclined to honor the bargain. A wineseller attempts to poison Daenerys to fulfill Robert's orders. She is rescued by Ser Jorah and Rakharo. Following the assassination attempt, Drogo reverses his decision and swears that he will lead his forces across the Narrow Sea and seize the Seven Kingdoms in blood and fire.
To raise funds to hire the ships necessary for this endeavor, Drogo leads his khalasar into the lands of Lhazar, the 'lamb-men'. They seize loot and slaves that they can sell. Daenerys is appalled at how the Dothraki treat their prisoners, particularly the women, and wins them better treatment. One of Drogo's riders, Mago, objects and challenges Drogo to combat. Drogo slays him easily, but sustains a chest wound. One of the women Daenerys has saved, Mirri Maz Duur, tends to the injury.
The khalasar marches southwards to the edge of a great wasteland, but Drogo's wound festers, and he falls from his horse, a grave sign of weakness amongst the Dothraki. Duur continues to treat him, but thinks his wound is fatal. Daenerys convinces her to employ magic to save Drogo's life, which the other Dothraki object to. Ser Jorah kills one of Drogo's bloodriders, Qotho, when he tries to intervene. Daenerys is injured in the altercation and goes into labor. Jorah takes Daenerys to Duur for treatment. The khalasar separates.
According to Mirri Maz Duur, the child is stillborn and deformed, with leathery scaled skin, wings and a stomach filled with graveworms. Duur saves Drogo's life, but leaves him in a vegetative state. Duur admits she did this deliberately in revenge for the sacking of her village. The ritual that saved Drogo drew its power from the death of Daenerys's son, causing the stillbirth and monstrous appearance. Daenerys is appalled by the lifelessness of Drogo and smothers him with a pillow, when she accepts that he will never return to her. She constructs a funeral pyre for his body. She places her dragon eggs on it and ties Duur to the Drogo's funeral pyre to be burned alive in revenge. Ser Jorah believes that she means to die and tries to persuade her not to.
Daenerys gives a speech to those of her khalasar who are left. She tells them that they are free to go, but if they stay with her she will lead them to a great destiny, then she steps into the blaze. The following morning it is revealed that she has survived, and three newly-hatched dragons are clinging to her body, the first three dragons in the world in a century and a half. Ser Jorah and the remaining Dothraki fall to their knees, proclaiming Daenerys their queen and leader.
Daenerys leads the remnants of her khalasar across the Red Waste, hoping to find shelter in the far lands of the east. She tries to feed her newborn dragons, but they refuse the raw meat she offers. She regards the dragons as her sons. The mare Drogo gave her as a wedding gift dies of exhaustion and Daenerys decides to send her three bloodriders, Rakharo, Aggo and Kovarro, with their remaining horses to explore in three separate directions, knowing that they are her last hope.
Daenerys is waiting in the Red Waste when Rakharo's horse returns without him. Jorah Mormont approaches the horse and finds Rakharho's severed braid and head in his saddle bag, apparently killed by a rival khalasar.
Aggo's fate is unknown, but Kovarro returns with an invitation from the great city of Qarth. Daenerys leads her people there and is disappointed at the lukewarm reception she receives. She is denied entry by the ruling council, the Thirteen, unless she shows them her dragons, which she refuses to do. When it seems she will be turned away, the Qartheen dignitary Xaro Xhoan Daxos vouches for her and her people.
Daenerys and her surviving people are made guests in Xaro's lavish home. She begins to teach her dragons to cook and eat their own meat, and slowly begin breathing fire on command. She suggests to Doreah that she use her skill as a lover to find out more about Xaro, who happily agrees. Their host holds a reception for Daenerys and she is introduced to Pyat Pree of the Warlocks of Qarth. He demonstrates his magic by replicating himself and invites her to visit his order at the House of the Undying.
Xaro suggests that Ser Jorah has feelings for Daenerys but she denies this. Xaro shows Daenerys the Valyrian steel vault that guards his fortune and offers to fund her return to Westeros in exchange for her hand in marriage. He relays news of the death of King Robert Baratheon. Daenerys seeks the council of Ser Jorah. She is eager to seize the opportunity, but he counsels against entering Xaro's debt. He reveals the depth of his feeling for her and his hope for the ruler that she will become. She agrees to take the harder path that he suggests, but does not acknowledge his affection.
Daenerys unsuccessfully appeals to the merchant nobles of Qarth to lend her ships. After meeting with the returns to Xaro's home to find that it has been attacked; half of her men have been brutally murdered, Irri is dead, and Doreah and the dragons are missing. Xaro hosts a council of the Thirteen so Daenerys can appeal to them for aid. During the meeting, Pyat Pree reveals that he was responsible and Xaro announces his intention to seize control of the city. The warlock uses his magic to murder the rest of the Thirteen. He repeats his invitation to Daenerys, telling her that her children are at the House of the Undying. Daenerys flees and Jorah attempts to kill Pree but is only able to dissipate one of his many duplicates.
They take refuge in a disused courtyard and Daenerys convinces Jorah to accompany her to reclaim her dragons despite being certain that it is a trap.
On their arrival, Daenerys is separated from her guards by the warlock's magic. She is confronted by a series of visions, including her lost family of Drogo and Rhaego. She has an emotional conversation with Drogo, but ultimately realizes that it is an illusion. Having overcome the temptation, she finds herself held captive by Pyat Pree. He tells her that he plans to keep her with her dragons because they increase his power. Instead, she tells her dragons to breathe flame at him, using the command that she taught them. With the warlock roasted alive, they are able to escape his tower.
Daenerys returns to Xaro's home to confront him for his treachery and finds him in bed with Doreah. Hurt from the betrayal, Daenerys takes them to his vault, which proves to be empty, and locks them inside to die. She salvages enough valuables to buy a ship from amongst his possessions.
Following their journey from Qarth, Daenerys's ship arrives at the city of Astapor in Slaver's Bay. By then, Daenerys's dragons had grown to the size of small dogs. While these dragons were now capable of hunting fish for themselves, they are still not large enough to be used as weapons of war to invade Westeros. Thus, Daenerys needs an army. While the Unsullied, the elite warrior-eunuchs produced in Astapor, are regarded as some of the finest soldiers in the world, Daenerys knows that their being slave-soldiers would become problematic in Westeros, where slavery is outlawed. However, Jorah convinces Daenerys that she has no choice but to settle for this solution since she has no other means of acquiring an army. While Daenerys considers expanding her tiny Dothraki khalasar, most of whom have become seasick since the Dothraki have never traveled on ships before, Jorah explains that the Dothraki would only join her if she were strong.
Upon arriving in Astapor, Daenerys is given a tour of the Unsullied barracks by the Unsullied's owner, Kraznys mo Nakloz, with his slave girl Missandei translating his Low Valyrian into the Common Tongue of Westeros for Daenerys. Since Kraznys does not know that Daenerys understands Valyrian, he frequently insults her.
Throughout the tour, Kraznys explains that the Unsullied were trained for battle from the age of five, and that only one in four recruits survived the training. He also demonstrates that the Unsullied do not fear pain or death by slicing off the nipple of one soldier, much to Daenerys's disgust. This soldier not only shows no sign of pain but even thanks his slave master for the opportunity to serve him. Daenerys also learns that the Unsullied are trained not to show mercy or weakness by killing a newborn slave child in front of its mother at the end of their training. While Daenerys is outraged by this, she still asks Kraznys how many Unsullied are available. She is told that there are eight thousand soldiers for sale and that she has until the next day to make a decision.
En route back to their ship, Ser Jorah recommends that Daenerys purchase the Unsullied, arguing that under her command, these slave soldiers will have a far better quality of life serving her than they would under Kraznys and his ilk. Daenerys is distracted by a playing child who follows her and Jorah. However, neither of them noticed a hooded man, armed with a dagger, following them. The child offers Daenerys a gift, a wooden ball. But, as she picks it up, the hooded stranger knocks it out of her hand. In response, Ser Jorah grabs the stranger, and in their struggle knock Daenerys to the ground. The ball then cracks in half, releasing a manticore. Before the creature can harm Daenerys with its lethal sting, the stranger, revealing himself to be Ser Barristan Selmy, kills it with his dagger. Meanwhile, the child hisses in a reptilian manner and uses magic to escape. Ser Barristan quickly identifies himself as one of her father's Kingsguard and begs her forgiveness for failing House Targaryen during Robert's Rebellion. In return for his wrongs, he offers to serve in her Queensguard, which she accepts.
The next day, Daenerys, accompanied by Jorah and Barristan, walks along a sea wall known as the "Walk of Punishment". Here, any slave who shows insubordination is strapped to a cross and left to die out in public, as a warning to all other slaves. She offers a condemned man water, but he refuses to drink, saying that he just wants to die. Later, she continues her negotiations with Kraznys over her planned purchase of the Unsullied. During the meeting, Daenerys announces that she would take all 8,000 Unsullied soldiers, including those in training. Kraznys initially dismisses her offer and instead offers to sell her one hundred soldiers. Daenerys then offers to sell him one of her dragons.
In the end, Daenerys reaches an agreement with Kraznys to sell her biggest dragon, Drogon, for all of the Unsullied soldiers. Jorah and Selmy object to this deal on the grounds that her dragons are key to winning the Iron Throne. However, Daenerys appears to brush away their concerns and accepts the transaction, and also takes Missandei as a token of faith. Upon leaving the meeting, she scolds Jorah and Selmy for criticizing her decision in public.
Daenerys also asks Missandei for her name and whether she has any living family, but Missandei responds that she does not. Daenerys warns her that she was heading into war, she may be killed and fall sick and die. In response, Missandei recites the Valyrian aphorism: "Valar morghulis", which translated into the Common Tongue as "all men must die". Daenerys then realizes that Missandei actually knew High Valyrian, and also adds that "we are not men".
On the day of the exchange, the slave masters and Kraznys, along with the 8,000 Unsullied warriors, meet with Daenerys to complete the deal. Daenerys hands the chained Drogon to Kraznys, who is hostile towards his slave master. Kraznys then gives her the golden whip, the symbol of ownership over the Unsullied. After finalizing the transaction, Daenerys tests her new powers by ordering the Unsullied, in Valyrian, to march forward and then halt. This shocks everyone including Jorah and Barristan, who did not know that she spoke Valyrian. Kraznys then complains that Drogon did not obey his command, to which Daenerys angrily retorts Drogon does not obey him because he is not a slave. She then orders the Unsullied to kill all the slave masters and free all the slaves in Astapor, but to hurt no innocent people. Daenerys then orders Drogon to burn Kraznys alive.
With the Unsullied under her command, Daenerys sacks Astapor with little resistance. Once it is done, she addresses all of her Unsullied warriors and tells them they are now free. She also gives them the option of leaving unharmed or fighting under her command as free men. At first, the Unsullied remain quiet, not knowing what to do with their newfound freedom. however, one Unsullied soldier begins to beat his spear against the ground, signifying his allegiance to her. The rest of the Unsullied follow suit shortly thereafter. Now in command of an army of free men, Daenerys marches forward with her new army while her dragons fly overhead and roar triumphantly.During their journey to Yunkai, the next great city of Slaver's Bay, Daenerys ordered the Unsullied to elect a commander from their own ranks. The officers ultimately choose Grey Worm, who like all Unsullied, was given the name of a type of vermin. When Daenerys instructed the Unsullied to go back to their own names or pick new ones they like, Grey Worm elected to keep his, as it was the name he had when Daenerys Stormborn set him free. While Daenerys and Barristan were confident that they could conquer Yunkai since that city only bred sex slaves, Jorah expressed his concerns that the city's defenders would not fight them on the battlefield but would rather strengthen their position behind the walls and utilize guerilla tactics against her army. He also viewed the Yunkai campaign as a distraction from their main goal of taking Westeros. Dany was, however, adamant on freeing the slaves of Yunkai, who number in the hundreds of thousands.
She ordered Grey Worm to send a messenger to the city and inform Yunkai's slaver rulers that they must either surrender or suffer the same fate as Astapor. Daenerys held an audience with the Yunkish herald, Razdal mo Eraz, who was one of the ruling "Wise Masters" of Yunkai. Razdal attempted to discourage Dany from attacking his city by claiming that numerous armies throughout history had tried and failed to conquer it. However, Daenerys was undaunted and commented that a hard-fought battle would give her Unsullied much needed practice. Razdal then attempted to bribe her by providing her with the gold and ships needed to transport her army to Westeros. In exchange, Daenerys would have to leave Yunkai in peace.
In response, Daenerys made a counter-offer: she would spare the lives of Razdal and the slave-masters of Yunkai if every slave (men, women and children) in the city were set free, and given as much food, clothing and property as they could carry in payment for their services. She threatened to show no mercy if Yunkai rejected her offer. Razdal was offended by Daenerys's demands and threatened to use Yunkai's "powerful friends" to destroy her.
Razdal's actions caused Dany's dragons to make threatening gestures. When Razadal protested that he had been promised safe conduct, Daenerys responded that her dragons had made no such promise and took offense to him threatening their mother. Razdal was also unable to reclaim the chests of gold he had brought with him. Following his departure, Dany ordered her knights to find out more about Yunkai's "powerful friends" before she decided to attack the city.
They eventually discover that these "powerful friends" are the Second Sons, a professional mercenary company. While there are only 2,000 of them, the Second Sons are armored and mounted, enough to cause trouble for the Unsullied. Daenerys tells Barristan to organize a meeting with the Second Sons' captains, saying that men who fight for gold "can't afford to lose to a girl". Daenerys meets with the Captains Mero, a Braavosi also known as the Titan's Bastard, and Prendahl na Ghezn, a Ghiscari, and Prendahl's underling Daario Naharis. During the proceedings, Mero insults Daenerys by likening her to a whore and touches Missandrei inappropriately. Prendahl and Mero refuse Daenerys's offer of an alliance, pointing out they will not get their rewards until she reclaims the Iron Throne. In response, Daenerys replies that she had no army a fortnight ago and that she had no dragons a year ago. Daenerys gives them two days to make up their mind and sends them away with the barrel of wine which Mero had departed.
After the Second Sons had departed, Daenerys instructed Barristan to kill Mero in the event that she had to fight with them. Barristan replied that he would be glad to do so. Later that night, Daenerys took a bath and was surprised to learn that Missandei spoke no fewer than nineteen languages.
In response, Missandei commented that this shouldn't be that odd, since it only took Daenerys a year to gain a reasonable grasp of Dothraki. The khaleesi bristled at the idea she spoke only reasonable Dothraki and switched to the language to teach Missandei a lesson, only to have her pronunciation corrected. Suddenly, an Unsullied entered and held a knife to Missandei's throat, advising the women not to scream. He removed his helmet, revealing himself as Daario. He confessed that his captains had wanted to kill Daenerys, but he disagreed with them. Instead, he beheaded them and also produced their severed heads. Shortly later, Daario swore fealty to Daenerys. Thus, Daenerys gained a new ally in her conquest.
For their assault on Yunkai, the new captain Daario suggested attacking the city through its lightly defended back gate. Their plan was to infiltrate the city and open the main gates for the rest of the army to invade. While Ser Jorah was skeptical of the plan, Daenerys and Grey Worm were willing to trust Daario. During the war meeting, Daario attempted to flirt with her. When the battle began, Ser Barristan remained behind to guard Dany, fulfilling his duty as a Queensguard. During that night, Jorah, Daario and the Grey Worm infiltrated the city and fought their way through the slave soldiers guarding the city. Within a few hours, Targaryen forces had captured Yunkai.
The following morning, Daenerys addressed the city's slaves with Missandei serving as her translator. During her speech, Daenerys told the slaves that it was their own choice to reach for their freedom. As a result, the liberated slaves revered Dany as their "mhysa", which translated as "mother" from the Ghiscari language. Daenerys mingled with the former slaves who regarded her as a "glimmer of hope" in an increasingly dark world.
Daenerys sits near the sea with her three dragons, each one about the size of a small horse. Dany strokes Drogon's head, while Rhaegal and Viserion fight over a dead lamb, Drogon joins the fight. As Daenerys tries to calm him down, without warning, Drogon snaps at her with a hiss, a warning to not interfere. He then roars and goes to contest the kill. Drogon then snarls a warning at his mother. This act, that her own children would threaten her, and that they are outgrowing her influence and ability to control them, leaves Daenerys visibly shaken.
Daenerys returns to her Unsullied army to resume the march to Meereen. She notices Grey Worm and Daario Naharis are absent and sets out to find them after being told they are "gambling". Daario explains they are deciding on which of them will ride up front with her in the vanguard. Frustrated, Daenerys states that the honor goes to Ser Jorah and Ser Barristan as they did not keep her waiting all morning. She orders the two men to ride at the back with the livestock. She also adds that the last man holding his sword shall find a new queen to fight for.
On the road to Meereen, Daenerys speaks with Missandei, who tells her queen that Meereen would be wise to fear her approach. Daario meets them on the cliff side, and Dany expresses her annoyance when he shows her flowers he has picked. He reveals that the flowers represent a portrait of the landscape, and serve various purposes, chiefly that knowing her surroundings is important to her strategy.The marching army halts, and Dany goes to the forefront, discovering a slave child nailed to a cross. The child is dead, her hand pointing the way to Meereen, and Ser Jorah tells Dany there is one for each mile to the last of the great slave cities, 163 in total. Ser Barristan offers to have outriders go ahead to bury them, but Daenerys refuses, ordering that each of them be buried, and their collars removed, but not before she has looked upon each and every face.
Daenerys and her army eventually arrive at the gates of Meereen as she begins her siege. She is faced with a champions duel where a riding knight of Meereen challenges her to choose a champion that will fight for her. Daario Naharis, commander of the Second Sons and the most expendable member of Dany's entourage, volunteers to be her champion. Once Naharis quickly dispatches the Meereen champion, Dany begins her siege of the city by speaking to the gathered slaves and then catapulting the broken chains of those she has freed across the city walls, demonstrating her previous successes. As the slaves examine the broken chains, the Great Masters look on, perhaps in fear.
She sends her Unsullied led by Grey Worm to sneak into Meereen and start a slave revolt inside the city. The plan is successful, the slaves rise up against their masters, kill some of them and open the gates to Daenerys. She enters the city as a liberator and the freedmen of Meereen celebrate her arrival by shouting "Mhysa" and throwing their old slaves' collars at her feet. She then has 163 Great Masters killed similarly to how they had murdered the slave children on the road to Meereen and despite Ser Barristan's council to answer their injustice with mercy, she claims she is "answering injustice with justice". The Great Harpy of Meereen at the apex of the Great Pyramid is covered with a great Targaryen banner as Daenerys looks down on the newly liberated city.
As a meeting with her advisers and commanders of her forces is held in the highest quarters of the Great Pyramid, she is informed that the Second Sons had taken the Meereenese navy composed of 93 ships. Although she did not command Daario to take them, she asks if it is enough to take her army to King's Landing. Jorah remarks that even though she might be able to take King's Landing, she wouldn't be able to hold all the Seven Kingdoms. He also tells her that in Yunkai, the Wise Masters re-established slavery and took control of the city, swearing to take revenge against Daenerys. In Astapor, the council she has left behind to rule has been overthrown by a butcher named Cleon, who named himself "His Imperial Majesty". Daenerys commands everyone except Ser Jorah to leave her and she questions her ability to rule the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros if she can't even pacify the three cities of Slaver's Bay. Thus she decides to stay in Meereen to gather more knowledge and experience, doing what queens do - rule.
Daenerys sets up time to hear petitions from her new subjects. Amongst the first is a goatherd whose flock were roasted by her dragons; Dany orders him paid three times their value. Next is Hizdahr zo Loraq, who asks to be allowed to bury his father, one of the 163 Great Masters Daenerys ordered crucified. Dany is swayed by Hizdahr's arguments (aided by guilt upon realizing that the elder zo Loraq opposed the crucifixion of the slaves in the first place) and allows the burial. Missandei informs her that there are 200 more supplicants.
Some weeks later, Daenerys is irritated to discover Daario in her private quarters. The mercenary tries to give her flowers, but the queen demands to know what he wants. Daario asks to be allowed to indulge in his only two talents: killing men and loving women. Dany counters that the Second Sons are assigned to patrol Meereen and keep the peace, and there are plenty of women in the city that Daario can pursue.
Daario says that police work doesn't do the trick and that the only woman he wants isn't interested. Nonetheless, he confirms that he is sworn to her and that he will continue boring patrol work if that is what the queen wants, he only asks that she occasionally allow him to do what he is actually good at. In response, Daenerys orders him to take off his clothes.
The following morning, as Daario leaves, Jorah enters, observing that he is earlier than most, but later than others. Daenerys brushes off his disapproval and says that she is sending the Second Sons to retake Yunkai. To ensure that slavery is truly dead in that city, Daario is under orders to kill every Wise Master the Second Sons encounter. Jorah protests, warning her that good and evil exists on both sides of every conflict, and that he wouldn't be advising her today if Eddard Stark had done to him what she is about to do to the Wise Masters.
After considering this, Daenerys instructs Jorah to tell Daario that she has changed her mind: his orders are now to accompany Hizdahr to Yunkai so that he can give the Wise Masters a choice: they can live in her new world, or die in their old one. As Jorah leaves, Dany says to tell Daario that it was Jorah who changed her mind.
Daenerys is in her chambers with Missandei. The two are talking about Grey Worm and how Missandei caught him gazing while she was bathing naked downstream. Daenerys asks whether Missandei thinks he was spying on her. She says no, and Daenerys mentions that the Dothraki have no taboos against nudity or public love-making. Of course, Missandei is not Dothraki, but she says it doesn't matter, as Grey Worm isn't interested in her - none of the Unsullied desire women. Missandei says he was interested, surprisingly to both of them. Daenerys inquires whether, when a slave is castrated, the masters take "all of it" - both the "pillar" and the "stones." Missandei says she doesn't know, to which Daenerys asks if she's ever wondered. Thoughtful, Missandei confirms that she has. Later on, Ser Barristan Selmy find out that Jorah Mormont was spying on Daenerys.
Jorah enters the throne rome in Meeren. In an audience before her, a seething Daenerys demands an explanation, and Jorah says it is a plot by Tywin Lannister to divide them. Dany counters that the pardon was signed the year they met. Asking him whether he claims the pardon was forged, Jorah admits that it was not. He soon confesses to giving Varys information on Daenerys's activities in Essos. Daenerys angrily says that his telling them of her pregnancy by Khal Drogo led to her near-poisoning at the hands of a wine merchant. Jorah then protests that his actions stopped her from being poisoned, but Daenerys retorts this was only because he knew it might be coming. Jorah begs for her forgiveness, but Dany rebuffs him, saying he betrayed her, selling her secrets to the man she holds responsible for the death of her family. She spares his life, however, and gives him a day to leave Meereen. She warns that if he is seen in the city after that, his head will be thrown into Slaver's Bay. Jorah is last seen leaving Meereen on a horse.
In Meereen, Queen Daenerys Targaryen sits in her throne room where she is receiving the day's supplicants. An old man named Fennesz approaches the throne. Fennesz explains that he was not one of the slaves who toiled away at manual labor, but a well-educated teacher and servant to Master Mighdal, who employed him as a teacher for his own children.
He tells Daenarys that Master Mighdal's seven year old daughter Calla admires Daenerys, having learned of the Targaryen dynasty through Fennesz's teachings. As a servant of Master Mighdal, Fennesz was well-treated and even well-respected in the household, but when Daenerys forcibly freed all of the slaves in the city she did not understand the full-scale complications of suddenly having to care for so many people. Fennesz originally stayed in Master Mighdal's house after she took the city. Mighdal's children begged him to stay, but Mighdhal and Fennesz agreed that he must leave rather than face reprisals, forcing Fennesz to become homeless. Daenerys insists that she had established mess halls to feed the freed slaves and barracks to house them. Fennez says that he has visited these refugee centers and they are not very safe: the young prey on the old, harassing and robbing them. Daenerys insists that her Unsullied will restore order, but Fennesz points out that even assuming that they are able to ensure his physical safety, he has lost his livelihood and his purpose and is too old to start anew. Therefore, he has come to Daenerys to beg her permission to sell himself back to Mighdal. She is shocked that he would want to be a owned as a slave again, as a man might own a goat or a chair.
He implores her that the young who can adapt rejoice in her new world, but for those too old to change, there is only fear and squalor. Nor, he says, is he alone: there are many supplicants waiting outside lining up to make similar requests. Daenerys is crestfallen, and says she did not liberate the slaves of Meereen only to preside over the very injustice she sought to destroy, but surprisingly relents and admits that freedom means making one's own choices. Therefore she allowed Fennesz to enter into a labor contract with Mighdal, but lasting no more than one year. He earnestly thanks her, and leaves.
The next supplicant then enters, a shepherd carrying a bundle in his arms. The shepherd timidly approaches and states that he is unable to speak in the common tongue and requires Missandei to translate. Distraught, he tells Daenarys that the "winged shadow" came, placing the bundle on the ground and opening it to reveal charred bones - of a human child. Daenerys's largest dragon, the pitch-black Drogon, has roasted the man's three-year-old daughter Zalla until this is all that was left of her.
Horrified, Daenerys meets with Missandei and Grey Worm in private to discuss how to deal with the growing threat the dragons are posing to the people of Meereen. Grey Worm reports that Drogon was last seen flying over the black cliffs three days ago, but he can no longer be found. Realizing that she can no longer control her dragons, Daenerys tells them to head with her to the catacombs under the city. Later, she leads her remaining two dragons, Rhaegal and Viserion, into the catacombs, where they are distracted by sheep carcasses. As they are feeding, Daenerys personally locks huge iron collars around their necks, which are secured by heavy chains. She weeps as she does so, as it is symbolically reducing her remaining "children" to chained-up slaves themselves. Daenerys wordlessly leaves and closes the huge stone door to the catacombs behind her as her dragons grow distressed and pathetically call after her when they attempt to follow and realize they are chained in place.
Following the removal of the golden harpy from the top of the Great Pyramid and the subsequent murder of White Rat, Daenerys is furious. She orders that he be buried with full honors in the Temple of the Graces as a statement to the Sons of the Harpy, and orders that the Unsullied patrol the streets of Meereen. She later receives Hizdahr zo Loraq's report on the situation in Yunkai. Daenerys is pleased that the Wise Masters will share their rule with the former slaves, but refuses to support Hizdahr's concession of allowing the fighting pits to reopen. Later that night, Daario tries to convince her to reconsider, explaining that he was once a slave who earned his freedom in the pits. The skills he learned ultimately led him to the Second Sons and thence to Daenerys. Upon learning that Drogon hasn't been seen in weeks, Daario muses on the possibilities of a dragonqueen with no dragons. In response, Daenerys visits Rhaegal and Viserion in the catacombs where she imprisoned them. To her horror, they try to attack upon hearing her voice and she is forced to flee.
Daenerys leads a council meeting in the pyramid debating the fate of a Son of the Harpy that Daario and Grey Worm found. Barristan pleads that the man deserves a fair trial while the freed Meereenese slave, Mossador, insists Daenerys put the man to death. Daenerys thanks her advisors for their council and dismisses them, but Barristan asks her for a word in private about her father, the "Mad King". Daenerys initially scoffs at Barristan for reminding her of what she considers her enemies' lies. However, Barristan also reminds Daenerys of his past service in her father's Kingsguard and insists that her enemies did not lie. He tells Daenerys about how her father set entire towns and castles ablaze, murdered sons in front of their fathers, and burned men alive with wildfire, laughing as they screamed. All of this led to a rebellion that killed every Targaryen save for her and Viserys. Daenerys is visibly shocked but assures Barristan that she is not like her father. Barristan agrees, but still warns her that the Mad King gave his enemies the justice he thought they deserved, and each time it made him feel powerful and right until the very end. Daenerys promises not to have the Son of the Harpy executed without a fair trial. Later, Mossador goes against Dany's order and executes the man, angering Daenerys. She decides to sentence Mossador to death, stating that killing the Son of the Harpy broke the law. A crowd gathers to witness Mossador's execution and Daenerys tells the crowd that when she conquered Meereen she promised freedom and justice, but one cannot exist without the other. Daenerys is escorted away by the Unsullied when riots break out between the freedmen and the masters. She retreats to her pyramid where she wants to spend time alone. She steps out onto her balcony and finds Drogon. Daenerys is happy to see him and tries reaching out for him, but he flies away. Daenerys is left heartbroken as she gazes at Drogon from the distance.
Daenerys looks down at the streets below from her royal apartment in the Great Pyramid. Ser Barristan arrives and shares a story of how he and Rhaegar used to leave the Red Keep and mingle with the common people on the streets. Dany then learns the truth that Rhaegar never loved killing as Viserys once told her before, but that he loved singing and was great at it. Barristan soon tells her that one time him and Rhaegar spent the money Rhaegar earned at a minstrel to get horribly drunk and Dany laughs. Daario arrives telling her that Hizdahr is in the throne room awaiting her. Dany asks Barristan if he’ll be joining them, but Daario assures her that he has her back. Dany then gives Barristan the day off, cheerfully telling him to make some music in the city below. In the throne room, Daenerys hears Hizdahr plead again to reopen the fighting pits of Meereen, but she refuses. Hizdahr rationally argues that the fighting pits provide a great spectacle that has always been enjoyed by both the masters and slaves, and is one of the few things that can bring the city together. Dany does not interrupt him this time as he continues to offer his proposal.
Daenerys is devastated upon learning of Ser Barristan's untimely death at the hands of the Sons of the Harpy, having lost another one of her most trusted advisers, and grieves over his corpse in the throne room.
Upon the suggestion of Daario, Dany decides to round up each of the leaders of Meereen's noble families, including Hizdahr zo Loraq. Bringing the eight of them down to the catacombs where Viserion and Rhaegal reside, Dany, with the enforcement of the Unsullied, forces the leaders forwards towards the dragons until one of them is burned alive and then brutally torn apart. Drawn into Dany's debate between mercy and revenge, Missandei advises her queen to trust the decision that she alone sees. Taking this advice, Dany approaches Hizdahr in his cell, admitting her mistake of refusing to open the fighting pits. Daenerys, in order to secure her bondage with the noble people of Meereen, decides to wed herself to Hizdahr, although she makes it clear that she will be the one in control.
Later, while in bed with Daario, Daenerys reassures him that her marriage to Hizdahr is purely political in order to maintain peace. Daario hints at jealousy and asks if Daenerys would marry him instead, but Daenerys, who would like nothing less, is forced to refuse him. To everyone's surprise, Daenerys and Hizdahr appear in one of the fighting pits to watch the opening of the games, though Daenerys is visibly uncomfortable at the violent butchery before her, and gets up to leave, but she is convinced to stay by Hizdahr. While arguing with him, another fighter emerges into the pit, and proceeded to overpower the other participants, knocking them down one by one using non-lethal means that caused Dany to become intrigued by this newcomer. When the fighting is over, the surviving fighter reveals himself as Jorah, but Daenerys, who still hasn't forgiven him, orders him taken away. However, Jorah shouts out that he has brought Daenerys a gift. Jorah's companion enters the arena and introduces himself to Daenerys as Tyrion Lannister.
Daenerys has both Tyrion and Jorah brought before her inside the Great Pyramid. Though she had doubts about the Lannister's claimed identity, she lets him try and talk her out of executing Jorah.
On Tyrion's advice, she spares Jorah's life and banishes him from Meereen again (he counseled that she should not kill those devoted to her, but also that Jorah could not be present should she ever claim Westeros). Later, over wine, Daenerys and Tyrion speak about their families and past. Daenerys is still thinking about executing Tyrion, mostly as revenge against the Lannisters for betraying her family, but decides not to when she sees Tyrion's indifference to death. Tyrion warns her that the noble families of Westeros are too busy fighting the game of thrones or exhausted to help her reclaim the Iron Throne, and suggests that she consolidate her power in Meereen and build a new kingdom for herself. Daenerys says she'll only stay in Meereen long enough to stabilize the situation and likens Westeros's game of thrones to a spinning wheel, with the Great Houses as spokes. Tyrion dismisses her idealism, noting that others have tried to stop the wheel, but Daenerys firmly declares that she intends to break the wheel, not just stop it. She then informs Tyrion that she will take him on as an advisor, but confiscates his wine – she needs him to communicate in complete sentences.
Attended by Tyrion Lannister, Missandei, Hizdahr zo Loraq and Daario Naharis, Daenerys sits in the royal box at the Daznak's Pit as Jorah Mormont gives the traditional dedication to her and manages to be the last fighter standing. At this moment, Jorah suddenly hurls a spear at the royal box – embedding itself in a Son of the Harpy sneaking behind Daario. Suddenly, Sons of the Harpy reveal themselves on every level of the arena and begin slaughtering collaborating Masters and freedmen alike – Hizdahr included. Jorah and Daario evacuate Daenerys from the royal box, while Tyrion rescues Missandei. Finding the exits blocked, the group makes a stand in the center of the Pit with remainder of the Unsullied defenders. Seeing they are hopelessly outnumbered, Daenerys takes Missandei's hand and closes her eyes, ready to face her death.
At that moment, a draconic screech pierces the air, and Drogon descends upon the arena, flying out of a giant flame burst. Many of the Sons scatter in terror as Drogon bites and mercilessly burns the nearest ones to death. The Sons rally enough to attack Drogon with spears, which Daenerys hastily makes an effort to remove. Trying to get Drogon out of the Sons' range, Dany climbs atop his back and bids him to fly ("Valad"), becoming the first Targaryen dragonrider in over a century. The Sons of the Harpy temporarily routed, Daario, Jorah, Missandei and Tyrion look on in astonishment as Drogon, with Daenerys on his back, soars away.
Later, Daenerys finds herself far away from Meereen, atop an impressive hill in a sea of green grass. Drogon is still recovering from his wounds and is uninterested in flying back. Unfortunately, he's also not interested in finding them any food. Daenerys wanders away to find something for them, but is shocked to see a trio of Dothraki bloodriders emerge. Within minutes, an entire khalasar has her surrounded. Understanding what might happen to her, she quickly removes a ring and drops it in the grass, determined to leave a trail.
Now a prisoner of the khalasar, Daenerys is brought before their leader, Khal Moro, enduring remarks about her appearance from her captors. Out of jealousy, Moro's wives suggest killing Daenerys, though he repeatedly ignores them. Daenerys reveals her identity, but Moro laughs off her titles, saying she is nothing more than his bed slave. Daenerys refuses, revealing herself as the widow of Khal Drogo. As it is forbidden for a khal to sleep with a widowed khaleesi, Moro has a change of heart, cuts her free and promises no one will touch her. A grateful Daenerys promises to reward him with more horses if she is returned to Meereen, but Moro informs her that she will be escorted to the Temple of the Dosh Khaleen in Vaes Dothrak, a home for other widowed khaleesi.
Daenerys eventually returns to Vaes Dothrak and arrives at the Temple of the Dosh Khaleen. Inside, the other widowed khaleesis strip her of her clothing and jewelry and give her traditional Dothraki clothing. She attempts to intimidate them with her name and titles, but their leader lectures her on how Daenerys believed Khal Drogo would conquer the world with her at his side, just as they all believed the same of their own husbands before they were slain. Daenerys is then informed that she had violated Dothraki law by not immediately joining the Dosh Khaleen after Drogo died, and her fate will be decided soon by the khals at the "khalar vezhven".
The High Priestess of the Dosh Khaleen introduces Dany to the other khaleesis, some of whom hate her for not being of pure blood. During her time in captivity, Daenerys befriends a young khaleesi named Ornela, a Lhazareen girl taken from her village at the age of twelve. The High Priestess gives Dany permission to relieve herself outside but sends Ornela to escort her. The pair are accosted by Jorah Mormont and Daario Naharis, who have traveled to Vaes Dothrak to rescue her. She tells them to cancel their rescue plan and proposes a plan of her own.
At the Khalar vezhven, Daenerys tells the gathered khals that none of them are fit to lead the Dothraki. Daenerys declares that she will lead them herself. After a pause, Moro and the khals burst into laughter. Dany reminds them that her husband, in the same temple in which they all now sit, declared that he would lead a Dothraki army across the Narrow Sea to retake the Iron Throne for his Khaleesi, and that all the khals have done since is raid and plunder villages in lieu of any meaningful conquest. Disgusted with her insolence, Moro declares that she will be raped by each of the khals, then by all of their bloodriders, and then, if she is still alive, by their horses.
Daenerys's broad smile deepens at his threats, and replies that they won't have to follow her because this is where they will die. She knocks over the braziers at the center of the temple, setting the entire building aflame. The khals desperately attempt to escape the rapidly spreading fire, only to find the temple's only door barred, the bodies of the two khaleen guarding it lying dead outside. Moro tries to confront Dany a final time, but she upends the last brazier on him, completing the conflagration.
As the flames climb higher, the dosh khaleen and khalasars gather in confusion. Eventually, the doors collapse and Daenerys emerges, naked and unburnt. Many of the assembled bow immediately, with the high priestess and the rest of the dosh khaleen following. Jorah and Daario move to the front of the crowd and bow last.
The next day, Daenerys formally thanks Jorah for saving her life, but is shocked to learn he has greyscale, feeling responsible for his condition. After Jorah confesses his love to her and prepares to leave, Daenerys tells him to find a cure; that she will need him by her side when she sits on the Iron Throne.
On the road back to Meereen, Daenerys stops to outline her plan to Daario for when she returns to the city, though the sellsword believes she is a conqueror more than anything else. The conversation ends when Daenerys senses something in the distance and rides ahead to investigate. A few moments later, she returns on the back of a fully-healed Drogon, declaring all of the khalasar as her bloodriders. She then vows to lead them to conquer Westeros.
As Meereen is being besieged by a fleet of the Masters' ships, Daenerys finally returns to the city, arriving at the Great Pyramid's balcony on Drogon.
The following day, Daenerys and Tyrion discuss a plan to deal with the Slaver fleet currently besieging the city. Daenerys declares her plans to "return their cities to the dirt" but Tyrion pleads for diplomacy, begging her not to become like her father. Daenerys and her entourage then meet with the slave masters Razdal mo Eraz, Belicho Paenymion, and Yezzan zo Qaggaz; representing Yunkai, Volantis, and Astapor respectively. The masters discuss their terms of surrender, announcing they will allow Daenerys and Tyrion to leave the city, while Missandei and the Unsullied will be sold back into slavery, and the dragons will be slaughtered. Daenerys rejects their terms, informing them they aren't meeting for her surrender, but for theirs. The Masters are bewildered by Daenerys unwavering confidence until Drogon lands beside her. She mounts her dragon and the two take flight, while Rhaegal and Viserion break free from the catacombs of the great pyramid - all three dragons finally reunited. Daenerys then orders her dragons to burn the slave masters' ships; tilting the negotiating table in her favor. Meanwhile, Grey Worm executes Razdal and Belicho, but spares Yezzan to spread tidings of her power. Daario leads the Daenerys' khalasar to slaughter the Sons of the Harpy; ending the threat of the slave masters and their Harpy allies.
Later, Daenerys and Tyrion meet with the ironborn Yara and Theon Greyjoy. Yara offers to provide one hundred ships to Daenerys if, in return, she helps them defeat their uncle Euron Greyjoy and recognizes the independence of the Iron Islands. Dany accepts Yara's offer of an alliance but demands that the Ironborn end all pillaging of the mainland. Yara is skeptical, but Daenerys claims that both of their fathers left the world worse than they found it, but Daenerys and Yara are going to leave it better than they found it. Yara reluctantly agrees to her terms, and the two Queens make a pact.
Daario reports to Daenerys that the fleet is nearly ready. He's eager to see how the Dothraki do on the open sea. Daenerys informs Daario he won't be joining them, which Daario interprets to mean that he will go on to seize Casterly Rock to cut off the Lannister retreat. Dany clarifies that Daario is to stay in Meereen with the Second Sons, to keep the peace until the city can safely choose its own ruler. Futhermore, she cannot bring her lover to Westeros, as marriage is still her most valuable bargaining chip when considering new alliances. Daario begs her to take him, pointing out that kings have mistresses, and queens should be no different, but Danerys stands firm. Daario realizes that Tyrion convinced her into leaving him, but admits that it is a good move politically. He muses that no woman can take her place, although Daenerys is sure he will have many more lovers. Daenerys assures him that she'll leave specific instructions for him to follow in governing the newly-renamed Bay of Dragons.
After Daario leaves, Dany goes to see Tyrion, who tries his best to console her. Dany thanks him, but admits that she's not upset about Daario: rather, she was frightened that she was able to easily dismiss someone who loves her unconditionally. Tyrion says that Daario wasn't the first man to love Daenerys, and won't be the last. Dany then turns the topic to Tyrion's rule of Meereen in her absence. He then says that he gave up on believing in himself or in anyone or anything else, but that he believes in her. Touched, Daenerys gives Tyrion a pin she had made for him: the brooch of the Hand of the Queen. Tyrion, struck with emotion, proceeds to kneel in front of her.
Some time later, Daenerys, clad in Targaryen black, stands on the deck of the flagship of her new fleet with Tyrion, Missandei and Varys while her dragons circle overhead, determined to finally retake her home. Unbeknownst to Daenerys, however, there is already somebody across the Narrow Sea who may have a stronger claim to the Iron Throne than she does, and who can either prove to become her most valuable ally or her greatest enemy yet.
- Varys: "The Seven Kingdoms need someone stronger than Tommen but gentler than Stannis. A monarch who could intimidate the High Lords and inspire the people. A ruler loved by millions, with a powerful army, and the right family name."
- Tyrion Lannister: "Good luck finding him."
- Varys: "Who said anything about 'him'?"
- — Varys to Tyrion Lannister about Daenerys.[src]
Daenerys is polite and well-spoken, but filled with quiet determination. She used to be cowed by her brother's ambitions and his occasional cruel rages, but her time amongst the Dothraki has taught her pride, confidence and skills of command. She is still somewhat naive of the world due to being young and living her life as an exile (with only her petulant brother to rely on for knowledge), but she is intelligent and quick to understand now that she is free to pursue her own path.
Daenerys spent her entire life living on the sufferance of others, bouncing back and forth between one benefactor or the next (like Illyrio Mopatis) with her brother, until whatever dreams they had of supporting the exiles' claim wore off and they'd have to move on to another patron. As a result, Daenerys has never known a true home. Constantly living under her brother's domination has given Daenerys a great empathy with the downtrodden of the world. She is deeply sympathetic to those she perceives as oppressed, while at the same time, her pent-up frustration from years of being mentally and physically dominated by her petty would-be-king of a brother make Daenerys capable of being utterly ruthless against those she perceives as oppressing others. This has produced a large amount of black-white thinking in Daenerys's mind, and she can be idealistic to a fault. For example, on seeing the plight of the slaves in Slaver's Bay, Daenerys becomes determined that she must free all of the slaves in the region - with little thought devoted to the practical after-effects which will result from this. A particular example is when the Great Masters of Meereen crucified 163 children as she approached the city, in an attempt to intimidate her. After she took the city, instead of pardoning the slave-masters, she had 163 of them crucified in retribution, including many who opposed the crucifixion of the children, unconcerned about any negative political fallout which would result.
Unlike many in her House, Daenerys has thus far not exhibited the "Targaryen madness" that plagued her father (and to a lesser extent, Viserys). She can be ruthless to her perceived enemies, but while Viserys was cruel and demanding to his servants and even his benefactors, Daenerys reciprocates the loyalty of those who follow her with gratitude and compassion, especially her inner circle of friends and her dragons. On the other hand, insanity was often a late-onset condition in the Targaryens, and it remains to be seen how Daenerys's mentality develops as she matures.
Daenerys actually is the second member of the Targaryen dynasty to bear her name. The first Daenerys was the sister of King Daeron II, who lived a century before Daenerys Stormborn. The earlier Daenerys wed into House Martell as part of the marriage-alliance which united Dorne into the Targaryen realm. Because the first Daenerys did not rule as a queen, Daenerys Stormborn is not called "Daenerys II". When Daenerys Stormborn proclaims herself the rightful heir of the Targaryen dynasty, she is styled officially as "Daenerys of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name" (Xaro is the first to refer to her in this way). Daenerys is quite fond of her "Stormborn" sobriquet, however, and frequently substitutes it for "First of Her Name".
Daenerys's full titles are "Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals(, the Rhoynar) and the First Men, Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Mhysa, Breaker of Chains, the Unburnt, Mother of Dragons":
- While she is technically only a claimant to the throne of the Andals and the First Men, she has been acknowledged as Queen by Dorne, House Tyrell, and a faction of the divided House Greyjoy.
- She rules Meereen in her own right, the right of conquest.
- Dany continues to claim the title of khaleesi as a matter of personal pride, even though she is violating Dothraki tradition by acting in her own interests and not recusing herself to Vaes Dothrak; the territorial designation "of the Great Grass Sea" might be her own invention or a borrowed address of respect from one of the Free Cities. Although she never claimed to be the sole khaleesi, following her killing the khals and uniting nearly all the Dothraki under her leadership, she has few challengers to the title.
- The remainder of her titles refer to her personal actions: she came to be called mhysa ("mother") through the liberation of Yunkai, and took the title Breaker of Chains after the Sack of Astapor. She calls herself "the Unburnt" due to her miraculous survival of Drogo's funeral pyre and conflagrations at the House of the Undying, and the Temple of the Dosh Khaleen. It was that same pyre, of course, gave Daenerys her most impressive title, "Mother of Dragons."
Daenerys is increasingly referred to as the "Dragon Queen" as her exploits become more famous and the dragons grow, but this is a matter of common parlance and not a title she uses herself.
- The title "Queen Across the Sea" has been used to describe Daenerys in promotional materials, particularly for Season 2, where she was billed as the fifth "king" in the War of the Five Kings (Balon Greyjoy had not yet been introduced). The title has never been used in-universe.
- Daenerys is a "Queen Regnant" because she inherited the throne in her own right from her father. She is the first Queen Regnant (Ruling Queen) in the history of the Targaryen dynasty. Compare Daenerys's inheritance to the manner in which the real-life Elizabeth I of England was a "Queen Regnant" because she inherited the throne from her father. In contrast, Cersei Lannister is a "Queen Consort" and is called "Queen" only because she was married to the ruling King. Similarly, Catelyn Stark became "Lady Consort" of Winterfell (usually shortened to "Lady of Winterfell") because she married the then-current Lord of Winterfell. For more information, see Regent.
- Khal Drogo: the most powerful Dothraki Khal of his time and Daenerys's first husband, to whom she was betrothed by Viserys and Illyrio Mopatis in order to secure Drogo's Dothraki army in their campaign to retake the Iron Throne from Robert Baratheon. At first, Daenerys was intimidated by Drogo, but came to love him after learning he was a smart leader and kind man. Drogo himself grew to love and respect Daenerys as his khaleesi, which led to them conceiving a child, Rhaego. However, after sacking a village, Drogo was infected in a fight with a rebellious bloodrider and the wound festered, and he was ultimately rendered catatonic by the blood magic by Mirri Maz Duur, which also claimed Rhaego's life. Daenerys smothered Drogo out of pity and cremated him on a funeral pyre.
- Daario Naharis: a lieutenant in the Second Sons sellsword company who became smitten with Daenerys and killed his superiors when they advocated assassinating Daenerys for the Masters of Yunkai. Daenerys eventually developed a sexual relationship with Daario which grew into genuine love, though she refused to marry him in order to pursue political alliances to strengthen her army. She ultimately ended their relationship on Tyrion Lannister's advice just before leaving for Westeros, and they parted ways on good terms.
- Ser Jorah Mormont: an exiled knight from Westeros who has long loved Daenerys but until recently found his feelings for her largely unrequited, especially after she learned he was initially spying on her, for which she banished him. However, upon seeing the lengths he went to rescue her, even after contracting greyscale, she orders him to find a cure for himself so that he can be by her side in the event that she takes back the Seven Kingdoms.
|Season One appearances|
|Winter is Coming||The Kingsroad||Lord Snow||Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things||The Wolf and the Lion|
|A Golden Crown||You Win or You Die||The Pointy End||Baelor||Fire and Blood|
|Season Two appearances|
|The North Remembers||The Night Lands||What is Dead May Never Die||Garden of Bones||The Ghost of Harrenhal|
|The Old Gods and the New||A Man Without Honor||The Prince of Winterfell||Blackwater||Valar Morghulis|
|Season Three appearances|
|Valar Dohaeris||Dark Wings, Dark Words||Walk of Punishment||And Now His Watch is Ended||Kissed by Fire|
|The Climb||The Bear and the Maiden Fair||Second Sons||The Rains of Castamere||Mhysa|
|Season Four appearances|
|Two Swords||The Lion and the Rose||Breaker of Chains||Oathkeeper||First of His Name|
|The Laws of Gods and Men||Mockingbird||The Mountain and the Viper||The Watchers on the Wall||The Children|
|Season Five appearances|
|The Wars to Come||The House of Black and White||High Sparrow||Sons of the Harpy||Kill the Boy|
|Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken||The Gift||Hardhome||The Dance of Dragons||Mother’s Mercy|
|Season Six appearances|
|The Red Woman||Home||Oathbreaker||Book of the Stranger||The Door|
|Blood of My Blood||The Broken Man||No One||Battle of the Bastards||The Winds of Winter|
|Telltale Game Series appearances|
|Iron From Ice||The Lost Lords||The Sword in the Darkness||Sons of Winter||A Nest of Vipers||The Ice Dragon|
- Main - Gallery: Daenerys Targaryen
There is a range of promotional images and screen captures featuring Daenerys in the gallery.
- Spoken by Daenerys
- Daenerys Targaryen: "Tell them all to stop."
- Jorah Mormont: "You want the entire horde to stop? For how long?"
- Daenerys Targaryen: "Until I command them otherwise."
- Jorah Mormont: "You're learning to talk like a queen."
- Daenerys Targaryen: "Not a queen. A Khaleesi."
- — Daenerys and Jorah.[src]
- Viserys: "You do not talk back to me! You are a horselord's slut! And now, you've woken the Dragon!"
- Daenerys: "I am a Khaleesi of the Dothraki! I am the wife of the Great Khal, and I carry his son inside me! The next time you raise a hand to me will be the last time you have hands."
- — Exchange between Daenerys and her brother.[src]
- "I am Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, of the blood of Old Valyria! I am the dragon's daughter, and I swear to you that those who would harm you will die screaming!"
- ―Daenerys addressing her khalasar before walking onto the pyre.
- " No one will take my dragons."
- ―Daenerys to Jorah Mormont
- "I promised to protect them. Promised them their enemies would die screaming. How do I make starvation scream?"
- ―Daenerys Targaryen
- "When my dragons are grown, we will take back what was stolen from me and destroy those who wronged me! We will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground!"
- ―Daenerys Targaryen
- "The time to strike is now, the Starks fight the Lannisters, the Baratheons fight each other."
- ―Daenerys Targaryen
- "Do you know Illyrio Mopatis, Magister of Pentos? For my wedding, he gave me three petrified dragon eggs. He believed - the world believed - that the ages had turned them to stone. How many centuries has it been since dragons roamed the skies? But I dreamt that if I carried those eggs into a great fire, they would hatch! When I stepped into the fire, my own people thought I was mad! But when the fire burned out, I was unhurt! The Mother of Dragons! Do you understand? I'm no ordinary woman. My dreams come true. "
- ―Daenerys attempting to convince the Spice King to give her and her people aid.
- "I am Daenerys Stormborn of the blood of old Valyria and I will take what is mine! With fire and blood, I will take it!"
- ―Daenerys Targaryen
- "A mother does not flee without her children."
- ―Daenerys Targaryen
- "Are you trying to frighten me with magic tricks? You want me? Here I am! Are you afraid of a little girl?!"
- ―Daenerys at the House of the Undying.
- Missandei: "Valar morghulis."
- Daenerys: "Yes. All men must die, but we are not men."
- — Daenerys to Missandei[src]
- "Zaldrīzes buzdari iksos daor.
(A dragon is not a slave.)"
- ―Daenerys Targaryen to Kraznys mo Nakloz, much to the shock of the latter.
- "Nyke Daenerys Jelmāzmo hen Targārio Lentrot, hen Valyrio Uēpo ānogār iksan. Valyrio muño ēngos ñuhys issa.
(I am Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, of the blood of Old Valyria. Valyrian is my mother tongue.)"
- ―Daenerys Taragaryen revealing her origins to Kraznys mo Nakloz.
- "Dovaogēdys! Āeksia ossēnātās, menti ossēnātās, qilōni pilos lue vale tolvie ossēnātās, yn riñe dōre ōdrikātās. Urnet luo buzdaro tolvio belma pryjātās!
(Unsullied! Slay the masters, slay the soldiers, slay every man who holds a whip, but harm no child. Strike the chains off of every slave you see!)"
- ―Daenerys Targaryen ordering the Unsullied in High Valyrian to sack Astapor.
- "I will answer injustice with justice."
- ―Daenerys Targaryen to Barristan Selmy
- "Let the priests worry about 'good' and 'evil'. I'm giving them a choice: they can live in my new world, or they can die in their old one."
- ―Daenerys Targaryen
- Daenerys: "Lannister, Targaryen, Baratheon, Stark, Tyrell, they're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that one's on top, and on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground."
- Tyrion: "It's a beautiful dream: stopping the wheel. You're not the first person who's ever dreamed it..."
- Daenerys: "I'm not going to stop the wheel... I'm going to break the wheel!"
- — Tyrion and Daenerys discuss the noble houses of Westeros.[src]
- "My reign is just begun!"
- ―Daenerys to Razdal mo Eraz
- Spoken about Daenerys
- Eddard Stark: "Tell me we're not speaking of this."
- Robert Baratheon: "Oh, it's unspeakable to you? What her father did to your family, that was unspeakable! What Rhaegar Targaryen did to your sister, the woman I loved! I'll kill every Targaryen I get my hands on!"
- Eddard Stark: "But you can't get your hands on this one, can you?"
- — Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon argue over killing Daenerys.[src]
- Robert Baratheon: "She dies."
- Eddard Stark: "I will have no part in it."
- — Ned refuses to take part in killing Daenerys.[src]
- Robert Baratheon: "The girl...Daenerys. You were right. Varys, Littlefinger, my brother worthless. No one to tell me 'no' but you. Only you. Let her live. Stop it, if it's not too late."
- Eddard Stark: "I will."
- — A repentant Robert belatedly rescinds his order to kill Daenerys as he lies on his deathbed.[src]
- "You are nobody. The millionth of your name. Queen of Nothing."
- ―Khal Moro states his contempt for Daenerys.
Behind the scenes
- Main article: Costumes: Major Characters#Daenerys Targaryen
Costume Designer Michele Clapton explained the costuming shifts that Daenerys goes through in Seasons 1 to 3. In Season 1, it is obviously a major shift when Daenerys starts to wear Dothraki clothing, showing that she is willing to immerse herself in their culture in a way Viserys never will, and earns reciprocal respect from them as a result. However, as Season 1 progresses, Daenerys later switches to a different outfit - still in Dothraki fashion, but made of tanned crocodile hide. The Dothraki also wear animal skins, but use horse-leather. Daenerys put her own Targaryen-themed twist on this by still using leather made from an animal, but from a reptile to evoke her ties to the ancient dragons. In Season 2, Daenerys switches to a Qartheen gown that Xaro provides her, yet she switches into different variants in a subtle progression throughout the season. Initially, Daenerys was awed by Xaro's generosity and Qarth's elegance, but almost at the risk of losing herself: as she increasingly starts to doubt Xaro and become dissatisfied with Qarth in general (as it becomes more apparent that none of them will give her the army she needs), she starts incorporating more and more "Dothraki-style" features back into her outfit. Instead of the completely Qarth-style gown she wore in "Garden of Bones", she starts adding more metal armored pieces or leather, similar to her earlier Dothraki costume.
In Season 3, by the time that Daenerys's ship arrives in Slaver's Bay she has shifted into a new outfit which she retains for most of the rest of the season (alternating with others such as her white gown). In the Season 3 Blu-ray, Clapton explained why Daenerys wears a bright blue dress instead of, say, the traditional Targaryen colors of red and black (which Viserys wore): blue was the color of royalty in Khal Drogo's khalasar. It was the color of the expensive dye which they adorned themselves with, moreso on special occasions such as Drogo's wedding. This is comparable to how purple was traditionally the color of imperial or royal authority for centuries in Europe, because purple was the most expensive color dye (it could only be made from a rare sea snail). Thus, while in Season 3 Daenerys no longer wears a Dothraki-style "cut" to her outfit, she switched to blue colors as a symbol of her authority as a khaleesi and in memory of Drogo.
Daenerys begins to wear more white as Seasons 4 and 5 progress. From a production standpoint, this signifies her purity and relative naiveté in comparison to the world around her, as she clings to her ideals rather than play politics. It's not clear if there is an in-universe reason for the color (i.e., if it is a Ghiscari royal color). She also plays up her connection to the dragons, with some of her dresses featuring quilting to give the impression of scales, and, since she can now have jewelry made, necklaces and rings in the shape of dragons. Clapton also noted that, no matter what color she is wearing, Daenerys always wears Dothraki riding breeches underneath, as experience has taught her that she needs to be prepared for a quick getaway.
Daenerys wears Dothraki clothing again for much of Season 6, but after returning to and securing Meereen, she retains her previous style, but wears black instead of white. Black and red are the colors of House Targaryen. Daenerys has rarely worn her House colors since her journey began, so her wearing black now is the ultimate expression of her acceptance of her identity as a Targaryen conquerer and the rightful queen of Westeros.
In the books, Daenerys does not appear to be "fireproof". Martin has stated that her ability to survive Drogo's funeral pyre was a special circumstance, a blood magic ritual involving "fire and blood" - only life can pay for a life, so burning Mirri Maz Duur in the funeral pyre was enough to awaken the life in the dormant dragon eggs. Under normal circumstances, Daenerys is no more immune to fire than any other human. Her brother Viserys once claimed in the novels that Targaryens were a race above other men, immune to both fire and illness - this was blatantly wrong, given that multiple Targaryens in the past are well-known for having burned to death, and many have succumbed to common illnesses over the years (including Greyscale). Viserys's comment just highlights how little he knew about Targaryen history (or anything else). It does appear that Targaryens seem to have a slightly higher heat tolerance than average, though: at Illyrio's mansion Daenerys takes a bath in near-scalding hot water, despite the protests of her maidservant, but in the novels she thinks to herself how pleasant the heat feels (this also happened in the first episode of the TV series). Still, this is nothing outside the normal human range - i.e. any more than centuries of history have shaped the Dornish to be more comfortable in dry desert heat, or shaped the wildlings to be more accustomed to a cold climate. In fact, when Daenerys rides Drogon out of the Great Pit of Meereen, she is stated to have burns and blisters on her hands from the flames.
The series, however, appears to suggest that Daenerys might in fact have some actual fireproofing ability. In addition to the bath scene in "Winter is Coming", Daenerys doesn't notice the heat from the brazier in "A Golden Crown", and notably, her hands are unburnt, while Irri's are blistered immediately after picking up the egg. It could be argued that she displayed this ability again in "Valar Morghulis", when she has her dragons burn down the House of the Undying, although it's possible that the dragons managed to just aim the fire past Daenerys at Pyat Pree (notice her clothes are intact after this incident). Most glaring however, is Daenerys's stunt at the Temple of the Dosh Khaleen, from which she emerges again unburnt. In the "Inside the Episode" feature for "Book of the Stranger", Weiss and Benioff imply that Daenerys does indeed have this ability in some fashion, although she only decided to exploit it after Jorah and Daario showed up.
It should be pointed out that even if Daenerys is fireproof in the series, there is no indication that all Targaryens are, as most fire-related deaths the House has suffered are mentioned as being similar to those in the books. This adds another layer to Viserys's death: Daenerys was realizing that heat and fire didn't affect her like they did most people, and (correctly) suspected that Viserys lacked this resistance.
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Daenerys was born on the Targaryen island refuge of Dragonstone eight months after her father's death. Her mother died giving birth to her, and a great storm raged at the moment of her birth, destroying what was left of the Targaryen fleet anchored at Dragonstone, giving rise to the nickname "Stormborn". The infant Daenerys and her brother Viserys were spirited into exile across the Narrow Sea by Ser Willem Darry, a loyal retainer of their family, before the castle garrison could hand them over to Robert Baratheon.
In the books, Daenerys is the great-granddaughter of Aegon V, not his granddaughter. The show runners truncated the Targaryen family line in order to simplify her relationship to Aemon Targaryen. They accomplished this by eliminating the reign of Jaehaerys II and making Aerys II Targaryen the son of Aegon V Targaryen instead of his grandson.
The books go into a little more detail about Daenerys's early life in the Free Cities. Initially, Daenerys lived with Ser Willem and Viserys in Braavos, in a house with a big red door. Ser Willem was old and bedridden and yelled at the servants, but was very kind to Daenerys. After several years Ser Willem died and the servants drove the Targaryen children from the house, taking what money they had. Daenerys was old enough to remember living there, and has recurrent dreams about her last sight of the big red door, which came to symbolize the childhood she never had. The house in Braavos was the closest thing to a home Daenerys ever had, but even she never considered herself to be home there. Afterwards, the Targaryen children bounced around between different patrons, each enjoying having the Targaryen exiles as guests but abandoning them when the novelty wore off. Some briefly entertained the idea of helping them retake the Iron Throne, but as the years passed and Robert Baratheon's rule appeared more and more secure, the number of patrons dwindled and their lives grew meaner. Daenerys grew up living on the sufferance of others, frequently turned out on the street with little warning when their patrons lost interest in them. Viserys was reduced to pathetically begging for support throughout the Free Cities as they moved from patron to patron. In the process, they traveled from Braavos to Myr, then to Tyrosh, then to Qohor, then to Volantis, then to Lys, and ultimately to Pentos (each of the Free Cities except Norvos and Lorath). They never lived in one place for more than a few months, and their stay in Pentos with Illyrio was actually the longest time they had lived in one place since Braavos (for six months in the books, but stated to be over a year in the TV series).
Daenerys does not appear to have a particular religious affiliation in the books. She grew up in the Free Cities, which have a more diverse religious composition than Westeros, so she has been exposed to several different religions but finds them to be confusing. Her final chapter in the third novel (A Storm of Swords - Daenerys VI) begins with an inner narration from her POV in which she ponders aspects of different religions. The Targaryens converted to the Faith of the Seven when Aegon the Conqueror invaded Westeros three hundred years ago, and the ancient Valyrian religion is long extinct. Daenerys's brother Viserys apparently made some effort to explain the basic principles of the Faith of the Seven to her, considering that he hoped they would one day rule again over the Seven Kingdoms, where it is the dominant religion - but Daenerys thinks that the concept of a single god who is split into seven facets is confusing. She is also aware of the Lord of Light religion, given that it is the most popular religion in the Free Cities, but she thinks that its belief in a constant violent struggle between R'hllor and the Great Other to be too violent. Daenerys therefore has no particularly strong religious affiliations, but is fairly open-minded to the religions of new peoples she meets in Essos. While not outright "converting" to the Great Stallion religion of the Dothraki, after marrying Drogo out of love for her husband's god she finds herself praying to the great horse in the sky at times, even after Drogo's death. Still, Daenerys isn't particularly sure what her personal beliefs are. The TV series doesn't spend much time on this question either.
Daenerys is thirteen years old when the events of the novels begin. Dany is somewhat quiet and reticent, and fearful of her brother's famous rages, but also curious about life in the Seven Kingdoms and eager to learn more of life there. She has a kind and generous spirit. This spirit slowly begins to harden after her brother's death and after surviving her first assassination attempt.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 HBO viewers guide, season 2 map, special features - Journey of Daenerys, Flight from Dragonstone entry
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "The Winds of Winter"
- ↑ HBO viewers guide, season 2 map, special features - Journey of Daenerys
- ↑ HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Targaryen - Viserys Targaryen entry
- ↑ HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Targaryen - Rhaella Targaryen entry
- ↑ HBO viewers guide, season 2 map, special features - Journey of Daenerys, Seeking Refuge in Pentos entry
- ↑ "Winter is Coming"
- ↑ "The Kingsroad"
- ↑ "Lord Snow"
- ↑ "Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things"
- ↑ "The Wolf and the Lion"
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 "A Golden Crown"
- ↑ "You Win or You Die"
- ↑ "The Pointy End"
- ↑ "Baelor"
- ↑ "Fire and Blood"
- ↑ HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Targaryen, Daenerys Targaryen entry
- ↑ "The North Remembers"
- ↑ "The Night Lands"
- ↑ "Garden of Bones"
- ↑ "The Old Gods and the New"
- ↑ "A Man Without Honor"
- ↑ "The Prince of Winterfell"
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 "Valar Morghulis"
- ↑ 25.0 25.1 25.2 "Valar Dohaeris"
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 "Walk of Punishment"
- ↑ 27.0 27.1 "And Now His Watch is Ended"
- ↑ 28.0 28.1 28.2 "Kissed by Fire"
- ↑ 29.0 29.1 29.2 "The Bear and the Maiden Fair
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 30.2 "Second Sons (episode)"
- ↑ "The Rains of Castamere (episode)"
- ↑ 32.0 32.1 "Mhysa"
- ↑ 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 "Two Swords"
- ↑ "Breaker of Chains"
- ↑ "Oathkeeper"
- ↑ "First of His Name"
- ↑ "The Laws of Gods and Men"
- ↑ 38.0 38.1 "Mockingbird"
- ↑ 39.0 39.1 "The Mountain and the Viper"
- ↑ 40.0 40.1 40.2 "The Children"
- ↑ "The Wars to Come"
- ↑ "The House of Black and White"
- ↑ "Sons of the Harpy"
- ↑ "Kill the Boy"
- ↑ "The Gift (episode)"
- ↑ "Hardhome (episode)"
- ↑ "The Dance of Dragons"
- ↑ "Mother's Mercy"
- ↑ 49.0 49.1 "The Red Woman"
- ↑ "Oathbreaker"
- ↑ "Book of the Stranger
- ↑ "The Door"
- ↑ "Blood of My Blood"
- ↑ "No One"
- ↑ "Battle of the Bastards (episode)"
- ↑ "Book of the Stranger"
- ↑ "High Sparrow"
- ↑ Inside HBO's Game of Thrones
- ↑ Season 3 Blu-Ray special features
- ↑ Fashionista interview with Michele Clapton
Rulers of the Seven Kingdoms
Aegon I, the Conqueror · Aenys I · Maegor I, the Cruel · Jaehaerys I, the Conciliator · Viserys I · Aegon II · Aegon III, the Dragonbane · Daeron I, the Young Dragon · Baelor I, the Blessed · Viserys II · Aegon IV, the Unworthy · Daeron II, the Good · Aerys I · Maekar I · Aegon V, the Unlikely · Aerys II, the Mad