Friday, May 17, 2013

Daenerys Targaryen: The Dragon Queen

We have come to the end of our series of debates on the potential kings and queen of Westeros, finishing with Daenerys Targaryen, First of Her Name, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lord(?) of the Seven Kingdoms, Protector of the Realm, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, called Daenerys Stormborn, The Unburnt, Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Shackles (You can tell Paul’s heart is really in this one).  Without further ado, let the arguments commence!


We saved the best for last, folks.  My heart really is in this one, but why the fuck shouldn’t it be?  Daenerys is a much-loved character, and with good reason.  To hate Dany would be akin to hating Peggy Olson on Mad Men.  She doesn’t have to be your favorite character (he says begrudgingly), but if you abhor her, you’re doing it wrong.  While the series has no “main character” she serves as its heart and soul.  Daenerys is not simply an interesting, dynamic, and relatable character, she also makes the best ruler of Westeros, among all current contenders.

Daenerys is the last confirmed Targaryen, the house that is responsible for the unification of Westeros and for ruling that kingdom for almost 300 years.  Westeros belongs to them.  Without the actions of the Targaryens, the lands would have remained seven separate kingdoms.  Robert’s Rebellion and subsequent stint as a subpar king have not erased the powerful dynasty of the Targaryens, especially when there remains a living heir, a living heir with not one, not two, but THREE GODDAMN DRAGONS.

Dragons may have been absent from the world for the last few centuries, but those fire-breathing, flying motherfuckers are back, y’all.  They are the “children” of Daenerys and although they are still relatively small, at least in comparison to some of the skeletons in King’s Landing, they have proven themselves to be quite capable at burning down warlocks and slavers, without breaking a sweat.  Aegon, Rhaenys, and Visenya swooped down on the Westerosi kingdoms on the backs of their dragons, where they swiftly conquered and united the realm, and as soon as Drogon, Viserion, and Rhaegal are grown, Daenerys should have no problem following in her ancestors’ footsteps.  Combine that with her loyal army of Unsullied and devoted followers of freed slaves and members of her khalasar, and our Silver Queen is as unstoppable as the urge to roll my eyes at presumptuous (read: all) children.

The most important thing about Dany, beyond her birthright, power, and legitimate cause for vengeance, is that she actually is a spectacular queen.  At the start of the series, Daenerys is girl with very little agency, a puppet of her brother and Illyrio Mopatis.  As the series continues, the audience gets to watch Daenerys discover herself and the world around her and take hold of the reigns and refuse to let go.  Daenerys excels at the game of thrones, quickly mastering the arts of playing coy, concealing her hand, and delivering swift strikes to her foes.  While she may often state that she is “but a young girl, [who] knows little” of  various activities, both she and the audience know better.  Daenerys may be getting further and further away from Westeros, but she is amassing an army and dealing hard justice to terrible people committing atrocities.  

At the end of the day, there is one crucial aspect of Dany’s personality that sets apart from her contenders and is what truly makes her the finest ruler.  Daenerys, Mysha to all, is the only potential monarch who is more concerned about the well-being of people, both her own and the downtrodden innocents she encounters, than what throne she sits upon.



Oh have a lot of titles for someone who actually has a total of three dragons and a bunch of vagrants to her name. I will readily admit that Daenerys is one of the least morally bankrupt contenders for the Iron Throne, and that I like her. She has real leadership skills, she learns from her mistakes, she’s a dragon whisperer, and she’s got great tits. Hooray! As much as everyone wants to make one million gifs of Daenerys being a badass with her sassy lines and her unexpected language skills and paste them all over Tumblr, popular vote here in Reality Land is not the way elections work in Westeros.


If George R.R. Martin were writing happy plots for everyone we liked, he wouldn’t have fucking beheaded Ned Stark in the first goddamn book, etc. So now I’m tasked with explaining to you why fantastic clothes and likeability do not a queen make (That’s why we’re suffering through Cersei and Margaery’s boring bullshit and fairly heinous clothes). I think Daenerys would have been a great partner to Khal Drogo, awesome mother, and then graceful retiree to the Dothraki Council of Women Who Outlive Their Husbands. She’s adaptable, sure. Been workin’ it and makin’ it work in the plains and in the desert, amirite?

But. BUT. In order to conquer Westeros you need allies. In order to rule Westeros, you need more than just a few allies. She is just not tapped into the hellish network of plotting and politics, and most of them barely know she is alive. Yes, dragons will be helpful from a military standpoint (also for wow factor and lighting fireworks/cannons/etc.), but they terrify most of Dany’s loyal followers, will a nation of strangers want to be ruled by them? Nope. She can’t control them as it is, and they’re only getting bigger. With winter coming, Westeros can’t handle worst case scenario, widespread burning of fields, and best case scenario, feeding those things for years on end. Not to mention, having three dragons to reunite the Seven Kingdoms in fear also require THREE riders. So far, we have one. ONE. And she hasn’t even done it yet.

Speaking of dragons, Dany comes from a long line of them, and let me remind you, they were BATSHIT FUCKING INSANE. The people of Westeros think “Mad King” when they hear Targaryen, and Daenerys hasn’t exactly always done things that others would consider well thought out or reasonable. I have a very, very difficult time imagining that “her” people would accept her, when they have no reason to believe that she’s any different. Perhaps worse, with dragons to do her burning alive for her. They will fear her, and her dragons. Will they follow another Targaryen? Especially after they’ve been plotting amongst themselves for years, trying to make calculations and jockey for position with whichever House they believe poised to lead. They have no good reason to accept someone who is, at best, an outsider and an unknown quantity.

Sure, people love you when you save them from slavery or rape, sometimes. But will the people of Westeros love her for disrupting their perfectly normal lives with flames from the sky? And it’s not as though Dany’s good intentions have been all that fact lots of people have been worse off as a result of her mothering.

Give it up girl! Pick a nice warm city, rule it, and eat bon bons on your roof porch all day.


We hope that you have been enjoying these and that there aren’t any mega Greyjoy fans out there that are offended we excluded Balon from the list (lolz).  We can safely say this will not be the last time A Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones is featured on our blog, so check back for more thought-provoking Westeros-based articles in the future, or, at the very least, majestic/arousing/comical gifs.


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