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==See also==
*[ Daenerys Targaryen at A Wiki of Ice and Fire] (MAJOR spoilers from the books)

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"You have a good claim: a title, a birthright. But you have something more than that: you may cover it up and deny it, but you have a gentle heart. You would be not only respected and feared, you would be loved. Someone who can rule and should rule. Centuries come and go without a person like that coming into the world. There are times that I look at you, and I still can't believe you're real."
―Ser Jorah Mormont to Daenerys Targaryen.[src]

Daenerys Targaryen, sometimes called Dany by her brother Viserys, is a major character in the first, second, third and fourth seasons. She is played by starring cast member Emilia Clarke, and debuts in the series premiere.

She is the only surviving child of King Aerys II Targaryen, who was ousted from the Iron Throne during Robert's Rebellion. Daenerys's mother was sent to safety on Dragonstone island just before the Sack of King's Landing, and died giving birth to her during a great storm which wrecked the remaining Targaryen fleet at anchor, earning her the sobriquet Daenerys Stormborn. She lives in exile in the East. Daenerys was sold into marriage to the Dothraki Khal Drogo​; the two gradually fell in love, but she lost her husband and unborn son to the manipulations of the vengeful maegi Mirri Maz Duur. Her marriage to Drogo and subsequent interaction with the Dothraki people gives her the confidence and strength to lead and the belief in herself as the rightful queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Following the death of her brother Viserys, Daenerys was left as the last Targaryen, and intends to claim the Iron Throne as her birthright. She formally styles herself as Queen Daenerys of House Targaryen, First of Her Name. During her campaign in Slaver's Bay, she is introduced as Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons.  ​She has proven herself as a leader and a conqueror through her swift and (for the most part) merciful conquests of the Free Cities of Astapor and Yunkai.[1]

She hatched three dragons by having her petrified dragon eggs placed on Drogo's funeral pyre, before she walked into the flames to claim them. Her dragons are the first seen in the world for hundreds of years, earning her the sobriquet Mother of Dragons.[2]



Daenerys birth

Daenerys' birth

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 young brother Viserys, fled to the island of Dragonstone, the ancestral home of House Targaryen, to escape Robert. Daenerys's brother Rhaegar Targaryen was also killed in the war and Robert's forces murdered his wife and children, Daenerys's sister-in-law, niece, and nephew, during the Sack of King's Landing.[3]

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.[4][3] As a baby, she was taken into exile in the Free Cities with her brother, Viserys, by loyal retainers.[5][6][3]

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. Living under Viserys' domination has left her meek and malleable.[7]

Season 1

Daenerys and Viserys

Daenerys and her brother Viserys in Pentos.


Daenerys and Viserys with Illyrio.

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.[8]

Daenerys in wedding dress

Daenerys in her wedding dress.

Daenerys 1x03

Daenerys leads her Khalasar across the Dothraki sea.

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.[9] Irri teaches Daenerys to speak the Dothraki language. Daenerys grows more confident and begins issues commands to the khalasar, while also receiving advice from Ser Jorah, who transfers his fealty to her. Viserys, her brother, attempts to renew his control over her, but her men defend her from his attempts at violence, and Viserys is shamed. 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.[10]

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.[11] Unbeknownst to Daenerys, word of her pregnancy reaches King's Landing, where King Robert Baratheon orders her assassination. Magister Illyrio visits his ally Varys in the city, where they discuss how they will pave the way for the Targaryen restoration.[12]


Daenerys eats the heart of a stallion.

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' 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.[13]

Viserys is infuriated at how Daenerys has won the love of the Dothraki. Ser Jorah must 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 harm a dragon.[14]


Daenerys and Jorah at the market in Vaes Dothrak.

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.[15] To raise funds to hire the ships necessary for this endeavour, 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.[16]


Daenerys being carried by Ser Jorah after her 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.[17]

Daenerys and dragon

Daenerys with one of her newly-hatched dragons.

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 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.[18]

Season 2

Daenerys leads her diminished 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  boys.[19] 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.[20]

Daenerys & Drogon 2x01

Daenerys tries to feed Drogon.

Daenerys is waiting in the Red Waste when Rakharo's horse returns without him. Jorah Mormont approaches the horse and finds Rakharho severed braid and head in his saddle bag, apparently killed by a rival khalasar.[21] Kovarro returns with an invitation from the great city of Qarth. Daenerys leads her people there and is disappointed at the cool 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.[22]

Dany Doreah Drogon

Daenerys teaches Drogon to breathe flame on command.

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 suggest to Doreah that she use her skill as a lover to find out more about Xaro, she 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.[23]

Daenerys unsuccessfully appeals to the merchant nobles of Qarth to lend her ships. After meeting with the Spice King she returns to Xaro's home to find that it has been attacked; her men have been brutally murdered, Irri is dead, and that Doreah and the dragons are missing.[24] 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 copies.[25]

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.[26]

Daenerys and dragons 2x10

Daenerys and her dragons use fire to kill and escape Pyat.

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. 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.[27]

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.[27]

Season 3

Dany Drogon Jorah S3 Ep1

Daenerys caresses Drogon, now the size of a small dog.

Following their journey from Qarth, Daenerys's ship arrives at the city of Astapor in Slaver's Bay. By then, Daenerys' 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, were regarded as some of the finest soldiers in the world, Daenerys knew that the fact that they were slave-soldiers would become problematic in Westeros, where slavery was outlawed. However, Jorah convinced Daenerys that she had no choice but to settle for this solution since she had no other means of acquiring an army. While Daenerys considred expanding her tiny Dothraki khalasar, most of whom had become seasick since the Dothraki have never traveled on ships before), Jorah explained that the Dothraki would only join her is she was strong.[28]

Upon arriving in Astapor, Daenerys was 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 did not know that Daenerys understood Valyrian, he frequently insulted her. Throughout the tour, Kraznys explained that the Unsullied were trained for battle from the age of five, and that only one in four recruits survived the training. He also demonstrated that the Unsullied did not fear pain or death by slicing off the nipple of one soldier, much to Daenerys's disgust. This soldier not only showed no sign of pain but even thanked his slave master for the opportunity to serve him. Daenrys also learnt that the Unsullied were trained not to show mercy or weakness by by killing a newborn slave child in front of its mother at the end of their training. While Daenerys was outraged by this, she still asked Kraznys how many Unsullied were available. She was told that there were eight thousand soldiers for sale and that she has until the next day to make a decision.[29]

Barristan Manticore S3 Ep1

Barristan kills the attacking Manticore

En route back to their ship, Ser Jorah recommended 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 was distracted by a playing child who followed her and Jorah. However, neither of them noticed a hooded man, armed with a dagger, following them. The child offered Daenerys a gift, a wooden ball. But, as she picked it up, the hooded stranger knocked it our of her hand. In response, Ser Jorah grabbed the stranger and their struggle knocked Daenerys to the ground. The ball then cracked in half, releasing a manticore. Before the creature could harm Daenerys with its lethal string, the stranger, revealing himself to be Ser Barristan Selmy, killed it with his dagger. Meanwhile, the child hissed in a reptilian manner and used magic to escape. Ser Barristan quickly identified himself as one of her father's Kingsguard and begged her forgiveness for failing  House Targaryen during Robert's Rebellion. In return for his wrongs, he offered to served in her Queensguard, which she accepted.[30]

The next day, Daenerys, accompanied by Jorah and Barristan, walked along a sea wall known as the "Walk of Punishment". Here, any slave who showed insubordination was strapped to a cross and left to die out in public, as a warning to all other slaves. She offered a condemned man water, and he refused to drink, saying that he just wanted to die. At the slaver's bay, she continued her negotiations with Kraznys over her planned purchase of the Unsullied. During the meeting, Daenerys announced that she would take all 8,000 Unsullied soldiers, including those in training. Kraznys initially dismissed her offer and instead offered to sell her one hundred soldiers. Daenerys then offered to sell him one of her dragons.[31]

In the end, Daenerys reached an agreement with Kraznys to sell her biggest dragon, Drogon, for all of the Unsullied soldiers. Jorah and Selmy objected to this deal on the grounds that her dragons were key to winning the Iron Throne. However, Daenerys appeared to brush away their concerns and accepted the transaction, and also took Missandei as a token of faith. Upon leaving the meeting, she scolded Jorah and Selmy for criticizing her decision in public. Daenerys also asked Missandei for her name and whether she had any living family, but Missandei responds that she does not. Daenerys warned her that she was heading into war, she may be killed and fall sick and die. In response, Missandei recited the Valyrian aphorism: "Valar morghulis", which translated into the Common Tongue as "all men must die". Daenerys then realized that Missandei actually knew High Valyrian, and also added that "we are not men".[32]

Drogon takes Flight S3E4

Drogon emerges.

On the day of the exchange, the slave masters and Kraznys, along with the 8000 Unsullied warriors, met with Daenerys to complete the deal. Daenerys handed the chained Drogon to Kraznys, who was hostile towards his slave master. Kraznys then gave her the golden whip, the symbol of ownership over the Unsullied. After finalizing the transaction, Daenerys tested her new powers by ordering the Unsullied, in Valyrian, to march forward and then halt. This shocked everyone including Jorah and Barristan, who did not know that she spoke Valyrian. Kraznys then complained that Drogon did not obey his command, to which Daenerys angrily retorted Drogon does not obey him because he is not a slave. She then ordered the Unsullied to kill all the slave masters and free all the slaves in Astapor, but to hurt no innocent people. Daenerys then ordered Drogon burn Kraznys alive.[33]

Dragons S3E4

Daenerys marches forward with her army and Dragons.

With the Unsullied under her command, Daenerys sacked Astapor with little resistance. Once it is done, she addressed all of her Unsullied warriors and told them were now free. She also gave 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 new found freedom, however, one Unsullied soldier begins to beat his spear against the ground, signifying his allegiance to her. The rest of the Unsullied followed suit shortly after. Now in command of an army of free men, Daenerys marches forward with her new army while her dragons flew overhead and roared triumphantly.[34]

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 select Grey Worm, who like all Unsullied, was given the name of a 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.[35] While Daenerys and Barristan were confident that they could conquer Yunkai since that city only bred bed 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.[36]

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.[37]

In response, Daenerys made a counter-offer: she will spare the lives of Razdal and the slave-masters of Yunkai if every slave (men, women and children) in the city is set free, and given as much food, clothing and property as they can carry in payment for their services. She threatened to show no mercy if Yunkai rejected her offer. Razdal was offended by Daenery'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 offence 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 commited herself to attacking the city.[38]

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 Daario Naharis. During the proceedings, Mero insults Daenerys by likeing 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 replied that she had 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.[39]

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 bristles at the idea she speaks only reasonable Dothraki and switches to the language to teach Missandei a lesson, only to have her pronunciation corrected. Suddenly, an Unsullied enters and hold a knife to Missandei's throat, advising the women not to scream. He removes his helmet, revealing himself as Daario. He confessed that his captains had ordered him 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 fight against Yunkai.[40]

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. For the battle, 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's forces had captured Yunkai.[41]

Dany Mother Mhysa

People of Yunkai celebrate Daenerys as Mhysa

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 darker world.[42]


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 of the world), 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 Dany'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.

Unlike many in her House, Dany has thus far not shown any signs of the "Targaryen madness" that plagued her father (and to a lesser extent, Viserys). She has inherited some Targaryen ruthlessness; this is evident when she says that Viserys was not a true dragon when he was burned to death with molten gold, because "fire cannot kill a dragon". However, 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. Overall, Daenerys is much closer in character to her deceased brother Rhaegar Targaryen than to her father or to Viserys.


Main: Drogo and Daenerys Targaryen


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

Image gallery

Main - Gallery: Daenerys Targaryen

There is a range of promotional images and screen captures featuring Daenerys in the gallery.

Family tree

Aerion family tree
Aerion Targaryen
"Aerion Brightflame"
Aemon Tree
Aemon Targaryen
"Maester Aemon"
Night's Watch Crow shield icon
Aegon V family tree
Aegon V Targaryen
"Aegon the Unlikely"
Targaryen Queen
Duncan Targaryen
"Duncan the Small"
Aerys II Targaryen
"The Mad King"
Rhaella tree
Rhaella Targaryen
Daeron Targaryen
Rhaegar Targaryen
Elia Martell Martell-small
Viserys tree
Viserys Targaryen
Daenerys tree
Daenerys Targaryen
"Daenerys Stormborn"
Drogo tree
Rhaenys tree
Rhaenys Targaryen
Aegon Targaryen


"I am Daenerys Stormborn and I will take what is mine with fire and blood."
Daenerys Targaryen[src]
"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[src]
"The time to strike is now, the Starks fight the Lannisters, the Baratheons fight each other."
Daenerys Targaryen[src]
"A mother does not flee without her children."
Daenerys Targaryen[src]
"Zaldrīzes buzdari iksos daor.
(A dragon is not a slave.)
Daenerys Targaryen to Kraznys mo Nakloz, much to the shock of the latter.[src]
"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.[src]
"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.[src]
"I will answer injustice with justice."
―Daenerys Targaryen[src]
"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[src]

Behind the scenes

The role of Daenerys was originally played by Tamzin Merchant in the unaired pilot episode, but the role was recast for the actual series for undisclosed reasons.

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.[43]

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.[44]

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.

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.

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.

According to the TV series official pronunciation guide developed for the cast and crew, "Daenerys Targaryen" is pronounced "Duh-NAIR-iss Tar-GAIR-ee-in".


Daenerys is actually the second member of the Targaryen dynasty to have this name. The first Daenerys was the sister of King Daeron II, who lived a century ago. The first Daenerys wed into House Martell, as part of the marriage-alliance which united Dorne into the Targaryen realm. However, because this Daenerys did not rule as a queen, Daenerys Stormborn is not called "Daenerys II". In fact, there has never been a ruling Targaryen queen before. When Daenerys Stormborn proclaims herself the rightful heir of the Targaryen dynasty (after her brother dies), she is officially styled as "Daenerys of House Targaryen, First of Her Name" (this has been confirmed in the TV series, as Xaro refers to her as this in "The Ghost of Harrenhal").

Daenerys's full titles are "Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms". Daenerys is a "Queen Regnant" because she inherited the throne in her own right from her father - the first Queen Regnant (Ruling Queen) in the history of the Targaryen dynasty. Compare to how 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 only called "Queen" because she married the ruling King. Similarly, Catelyn Stark became "Lady Consort" of Winterfell (usually shortened to just "Lady of Winterfell") because she married the current Lord of Winterfell. The words "Regnant" and "Regent" mean two different things - this is why they are spelled differently.[45] Lysa Arryn is the Lady Regent of the Vale because her husband is dead, but their son and heir is underaged, so she rules in his place as "regent" until he matures. Daenerys is a "Queen Regnant" or "Ruling Queen" in her own right. That being said, while "regent" has been used on-screen, the term "Queen Regnant" has not - the term is used in documentation such as Game of Thrones Wiki to distinguish between Ruling Queens such as Daenerys and Queens Consort such as Cersei.

See also


  1. "The Bear and the Maiden Fair (episode)"
  2. "The Ghost of Harrenhal"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 HBO viewers guide, season 2 map, special features - Journey of Daenerys, Flight from Dragonstone entry
  4. HBO viewers guide, season 2 map, special features - Journey of Daenerys
  5. HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Targaryen - Viserys Targaryen entry
  6. HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Targaryen - Rhaella Targaryen entry
  7. HBO viewers guide, season 2 map, special features - Journey of Daenerys, Seeking Refuge in Pentos entry
  8. "Winter is Coming"
  9. "The Kingsroad"
  10. "Lord Snow"
  11. "Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things"
  12. "The Wolf and the Lion"
  13. "A Golden Crown"
  14. "A Golden Crown"
  15. "You Win or You Die"
  16. "The Pointy End"
  17. "Baelor"
  18. "Fire and Blood"
  19. HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Targaryen, Daenerys Targaryen entry
  20. "The North Remembers"
  21. "The Night Lands"
  22. "Garden of Bones"
  23. "The Ghost of Harrenhal"
  24. "The Old Gods and the New"
  25. "A Man Without Honor"
  26. "The Prince of Winterfell"
  27. 27.0 27.1 "Valar Morghulis"
  28. "Valar Dohaeris"
  29. "Valar Dohaeris"
  30. "Valar Dohaeris"
  31. "Walk of Punishment"
  32. "Walk of Punishment"
  33. "And Now His Watch is Ended"
  34. "And Now His Watch is Ended"
  35. "Kissed by Fire"
  36. "The Bear and the Maiden Fair (episode)"
  37. "The Bear and the Maiden Fair (episode)"
  38. "The Bear and the Maiden Fair (episode)"
  39. "Second Sons (episode)"
  40. "Second Sons (episode)"
  41. "The Rains of Castamere (episode)"
  42. "Mhysa"
  43. Inside HBO's Game of Thrones
  44. Season 3 Blu-Ray special features
  45. [1]
v  d  e
Lord: Queen Daenerys Targaryen Heir: None
Seat: (Exiled) Lands: Exiled, currently holds Meereen in Slaver's Bay
Title(s): Queen of Meereen · Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea · Queen of Qarth· Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men (claimant) · Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms (claimant) · Protector of the Realm (claimant)
Ancestors:Aegon I, the Conqueror · Visenya · Rhaenys · Aenys I · Maegor I, the Cruel · Jaehaerys, the Concilliator · Viserys I · Daemon · Rhaenyra · Aegon II · Aemond · Aegon III · Daeron I, the Young Dragon · Baelor the Blessed · Viserys II · Aegon IV, the Unworthy · Naerys · Aemon the Dragonknight · Daena the Defiant · Rhaena · Elaena · Daeron II, the Good · Daenerys Martell · Myriah Martell · Daemon Blackfyre · Brynden Rivers · Aegor Rivers · Shiera Seastar · Baelor Breakspear · Aerys I · Aelinor · Rhaegel · Maekar I · Aerion Brightflame · Aegon V, the Unlikely · Duncan the Small · Daeron
Deceased members:Aerys II, the Mad · Rhaella Targaryen · Rhaegar Targaryen · Elia Martell · Rhaenys Targaryen · Aegon Targaryen · Viserys Targaryen · Drogo · Rhaego · Aemon Targaryen
Household:Ser Jorah Mormont · Tyrion Lannister · {Ser Barristan Selmy} · {Rakharo} · Kovarro · Aggo · {Irri} · {Doreah} · Jhiqui · Malakho · Missandei · Grey Worm · Daario Naharis · {Mossador} · Malcolm Branfield · Croft

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