Character Summary – Daenerys Targaryen

Image by Michael C. Hayes

Day 12 takes us to Daenerys (Dany) Targaryen: Mother Of Dragons.

Other names for Dany include: Daenerys Stormborn, Unburnt Mother Of Dragons, Khaleesi Of The Dothraki and Protector of the Realm.
We meet Daenerys as a petite, ethereally beautiful girl, entering into the world of womanhood. Dany has fair skin, purple-violet eyes and long silver hair. This is common appearance for a Valyrian Targaryen. Daenerys Targaryen is the daughter of King Aerys II, the last Targaryen King, the “Mad King”, of the Seven Kingdoms and his sister-wife Rhaella. Daenerys was born shortly after her father died in the Sack Of Kings Landing, which ultimately lead to her mother and brother escaping to Dragonstone. There, Daenerys was born during a raging storm, thus leading to her also being called Daenerys Stormborn.

Rhaella died soon afterwards, making Viserys and Dany the last Targaryens of their kind. Soon after these tragic events, she was taken into the Free Cities by Ser William Darry and other loyal retainers to live in exile there. Daenerys grew up living in the Free Cities, where she lived in a house with a red door. She had very fond memories of this house and was grateful because Ser Willem treated her graciously, but when he died they were forced out of the house by the servants. It was the childhood Daenerys had never known.

Viserys and Daenerys then began to consider themselves the rightful rulers of the Seven Kingdoms: King Viserys III and his heiress sister Princess Daenerys of Dragonstone. Viserys taught Daenerys that they were the only ones who deserved to rule, as they were the last Targaryens and the Iron Throne had been ripped mercilessly from them. In the years that followed since the fall of House Targaryen, they have fallen into a rough life, constantly moving for fear of the Usurper’s assasins while Viserys seeks some means to win back the Iron Throne. This was very important to him. Magister Illyrio soon brought them to a place to live in, in the Free City Of Pentos, after many years of Viserys trying to gain support for his rightful place on the Iron Throne. Ever since Dany left the house with the red door, she has been trying to find a place to feel at home in and belong in. Daenerys had a mean life, constantly living in fear of her abusive, temperamental brother who threatened her continuously with “Do you want to wake the dragon?”

In Pentos, Viserys arranges to marry his sweet sister to Khal Drogo, leader of the Dothraki. This plan was ensued because Viserys would like to trade his sister to the khalasar in order to invade and conquer the Seven Kingdoms. Although Dany is not completely agreeable to this plan, and is frightened of Drogo when she first sees him, she accepts her brothers arrangement and marries Drogo. Dany Is surprised by the Dothraki culture during the wedding. She accepts many gifts, such as a white horse given to her by Drogo, which he said reminds him of her hair. Magister Illirio gives her three dragon eggs, which he says have turned to stone over time. He also gives her three handmaids, Doreah Jhiqui and Irri. Ser Jorah Mormont, a knight, pledges his services to Viserys and Dany. He soon becomes an important person in Danys life and her closest companion. He gives Dany books about the Seven Kingdoms. On her wedding night, Dany is defiant and very scared about making love to Drogo, but Drogo is willing and soon eases her. These events were a vital part of Danys future life.

Image by CelestialFrost

The khalasar march east for several months, so Drogo could take Dany to the Vaes Dothrak in the heart of the Dothraki sea and present her to the dosh khaleen as his new bride. Dany asks Doreah to help her on how best to please her husband, because Doreah is trained in the arts of pleasure in the brothels of Lys. This is so Dany can convince Drogo that she is a good bride and worthy of being his equal. We see Dany gain confidence over time and lose her fear of the Dothraki and her dominating brother Viserys. This is evident when Dany invites Viserys to dinner and lays out new clothing for him. He reacts angrily saying he does not want to be dressed in the “rags of savages” and strikes Dany violently. She strikes back with a heavy golden belt and warns him that if he strikes her again, she will order his hands to be removed. Go Dany! She is really coming into her element as a strong independent woman. Dany soon discovers she is pregnant with Drogos baby, and she predicts it to be a son. Soon, Daenerys is made to eat a raw heart of a stallion as Dothraki culture in front of the dosh khaleen. If she manages to eat the whole heart, her son will be a great ruler. When Daenerys finishes it, she names her son Rhaego after her slain brother, Rhaegar Targaryen and the dosh khaleen prophecise that her son will be the Stallion That Mounts The World, a conqueror who would lead the Dothraki to victory and unite the world behind them.

When Viserys, impatient and wanting his crown, tries to convince Drogo to help him conquer Westeros, Drogo responds by publicly humiliating Viserys. Viserys then tries to beat his sister into coercing her husband, but she is stronger than he is now and refuses to let her brother bully her any longer. Drunken and enraged, Viserys breaks Dothraki law by drawing a blade in the holy city and threatening Dany and her unborn child, Drogo orders Viserys to be executed by pouring molten gold over his head and “crowning” him. Daenerys stands and watches, noticing that he could not have been a true dragon as fire cannot kill a dragon. Daenerys is now the last Targaryen.

Now Viserys is dead, Drogo does not care for conquering Westeros. Robert Baratheon has ordered the assassination of Dany, so while Dany is out one day in the markets a wine seller tries to poison her, but is stopped by the intervention of Ser Jorah Mormont. Drogo is enraged that someone would threaten the life of Dany and his unborn son, that he now feels obliged to lead his forces across the Narrow Sea and seize the Seven Kingdoms in blood and fire. This is something no Khal has ever done before. The Khalasar continues east and moves through foreign lands, collecting slaves to sell for ships so they could make the crossing to Westeros, even though the Dothraki do not trust ships.

When the khalasar are lead into the lands of Lhazar, the “lamb men”, they raid the area and seize loot and slaves to sell. Dany is appaled by how the Dothraki treat their prisoners, especially the women, and saves a young lamb girl Eroeh from being raped. She orders the riders to stop and saves the girl to make her a handmaid. She soon stops many other rapes and takes the victims under her protection. She demands that no more rapes are to happen and Ser Jorah comments and says she is just like her brother Rhaegar, not Viserys. Mago, one of Drogos riders, rejects this command and challenges Drogo to combat, which leads to a wound in Drogos chest. Dany instructs one of the women she has saved, Mirri Maz Duur, a Lhazareen princess and maegi, to tend to the injury. The wound festers and as the khalasar are marcing, Drogo falls from his horse, which is a sign of weakness in the Khal amongst the Dothraki. Drogo becomes too weak to ride and Dany begs Duur to save her husband and allows Duur to perform blood magic on Drogo, which is highly frowned upon among the khalasar, but Dany is desperate for anything that might save Drogo even though Duur warns Dany that it is fatal and the consequences of blood magic are usually very dire. There is a payment of life that has to be made. Duur betrays Dany however, slaying Rhaego in the womb and leaving Drogo brain-dead and useless. She saves his life but at a very high price. Meanwhile, Ser Jorah slays one of Drogos bloodriders Qotho, for trying to intervene. Soon the khalasar splits, leaving only a few behind. Dany is appalled by what has happened to Drogo, so she ends his life by smothering him to death and then orders Drogo and Mirri Maz Duur to be burned on Drogos funeral pyre. She places her dragon eggs on it and steps into the blaze herself. She survives the fiery blaze and the restoring magic brings life to the eggs, and they hatch, bringing forth three dragons, the first to be born for centuries in their world. Daenerys emerges unscathed as the Unburnt Mother Of Dragons and she names her dragons Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion after her late husband and her two dead brothers.

Image by Shekhina

Three warriors from her late husbands remaining khalasar, Rhakaro, Aggo and Jhogo swear themselves to Daenerys as her bloodriders, and Ser Jorah and the remaining Dothraki fall to their knees, proclaiming her their khaleesi, the first female Dothraki leader.

Emilia Clarke plays the role of Daenerys Targaryen in the HBO series of Game Of Thrones. She is absolutely phenomenal as Daenerys, we couldn’t have asked for a better actress to play her, really. In my opinion, she portrays Dany perfectly. I honestly do not see any flaws in her, and when I first saw her, I thought she was just ethereally beautiful and just how I imagined Dany although a bit older! I think it’s cool how she took on a character so strong, independent and influential to young readers. Emilia really respects what a role model she’s become and I admire her highly for that. She is also extremely down to earth and lovable! Emilia is a recent graduate of Drama Centre London, with several school stage productions and a commercial under her belt. She also appeared in the long-running British drama Doctors, and had a role in an upcoming SiFi film, Fossils. Her breakthrough came when she replaced fellow actress Tamzin Merchant in Game Of Thrones for the initial pilot. We love Emilia!

Fire cannot kill a Dragon.


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