Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones rose from the ashes quite literally to become the most powerful contender for the Iron Throne yet. Dany, who was once the weak-willed sister of the bully Viserys Targaryen, is now called the Mother of Dragons and is backed by the most formidable army in Westeros — even if you do not include her two firedrakes.
Even the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, who established the Targaryen rule in Westeros, had only one dragon. His sisters also had one each. Dany has three, before losing one to the Night King. And her dragons hatched with her in the fire.
We were given hints as to Dany’s fire invulnerability (the first episode itself shows her walking into a tub full of boiling water). But it was only at the end of the first season that we came to know that fire cannot harm her skin.
Dany was given like chattel to Khal Drogo, a powerful Dothraki warlord who led a khalasar, a group of horselords, their wives and slaves traversing across Essos. Initially finding him too brutal for her, she came to love him.
She became stronger with him, bolstered by the removal of her brother’s oppressive presence who invaded the Dothraki sacred space with a sword, threatening to kill Dany if Drogo did not promise him an army to conquer Westeros. Drogo gave him the crown he wanted, a crown of molten gold poured right over his head. He was dead before his head hit the ground with a metallic clang.
But then Dany had to face a huge setback when a wound in Drogo’s chest festered and killed him. She burned his body in a funeral pyre before walking into it with dragon eggs like the Sati tradition. Only she knew nothing would happen to her. And the next day, when she rose, her clothes had burned away, and on her body perched three domestic cat-sized dragons. From that moment, she was not just the ruler of the Dothraki, she was also their deity.
After her ascension, her plotline became plodding and frankly quite boring. She liberated slaves from cities like Astapor and Mereen, facing enemies like the deadly cult of Sons of the Harpy along the way, but it was too static even as events of consequence were occurring in other plotlines. She finally sailed for Westeros with her Dothraki and Unsullied armies at the end of the sixth season.
She stopped at Dragonstone, which used to be Stannis’ seat. It was there Jon Snow came to ask for her assistance to face the Night King and his Army of the Dead. She rescued the Hound, Jorah Mormont, Beric Dondarrion, and Tormund Gianstbane in the battle beyond the Wall, thinking Jon to be dead.
At the ship taking them to Winterfell through White Harbor, she had sex with Jon, unaware that he is not only her nephew, but her rival for the Iron Throne.
Game of Thrones season 8 returns on April 15 in India. It will be telecast on Star World.