Daenerys Targaryen is one of the most fascinating, complex, and frustrating characters to emerge out of the hit HBO series Game of Thrones. The rightful heir to the throne of Westeros (at least in her own mind), her entire arc in the show focused on her attempts to seize it back from a series of what she perceives as usurpers.
As compelling as she is as a character, however, there are still many things about her, both her character and her actions throughout the seasons, that are puzzling and sometimes downright strange.
10 Her Abrupt Transition Between Qarth And Meereen
One of the things that distinguishes the earlier season of the series from the later ones is the quality of the writing. For the most part, the actions of the characters make sense, and there’s clear character progression. Dany is something of an exception to this.
For example, there’s little explanation of how she transitions from a meek girl in Qarth to a murderous avenging queen by the time that she reaches Meereen. A little more character development would have helped this make more sense.
9 Her Refusal To Take Advice
One of the most frustrating, and confusing, things about Dany’s character is her consistent refusal to take advice, even from those who know more about certain issues that she does. For a person who aspires to take a throne, this is especially perplexing.
How in the name of the Seven can she think that she’s going to be able to rule with any kind of efficacy if she doesn’t allow herself to be persuaded by the good judgment of others?
8 Her Conflicted Feelings About Viserys
There are few characters in the first season quite as disgusting and reprehensible as Viserys, Dany’s brother. He torments and bullies her constantly, and yet she can’t quite bring herself (until the very end of his life) to settle into one particular view of him. Instead, she seems to swing wildly in her positions.
What’s more, despite the fact that she knows he’s a weakling, she still believes everything he tells her about Robert and the Rebellion.
7 Her Refusal To Accept Her Father’s Monstrosity
Dany, for better and worse, seems to have something of a blind spot when it comes to her family members and their failings, and this extends to her father. Despite the fact that almost everyone tells her that her father was a murdering monster, she refuses to believe it.
While family loyalty can explain some of this, once again it’s hard to understand how a woman that hopes to avoid the traps that brought down the rest of her family could refuse to learn from the past.
6 Why Is She Such A Terrible Mother To Her Dragons?
Again and again, Dany refers to her dragons as her children. It’s easy to understand why, since her miscarriage of Drogo’s child left her infertile. However, for all of her claims of loving them, she doesn’t seem to take very good care of them.
From the beginning, for example, she refuses to discipline them or attempt to keep them in any kind of control, right up to the point where she has them imprisoned them.
5 The Inconsistency Between Her Responses To Jorah And Selmy
Dany is very quick to condemn Jorah and banish him from her presence when it’s revealed to her that, for some time, he has been acting as a spy for Robert and the court of Westeros.
It is very strange, then, that she is so quick to give the benefit of the doubt to Barristan Selmy, despite the fact that he was actually one of the Kingsguard. It’s yet another example of the frustratingly inconsistent way that Dany deals with her allies.
4 Her Quick Acceptance Of Tyrion
Similarly confusing is the rapidity with which she accepts Tyrion not only into her presence, but also into her inner circle. Sure, Tyrion has something of a silver tongue, and he’s more than able to use his wits to his own best advantage.
Even that doesn’t entirely explain why Dany, not exactly known for her friendliness toward those who were allied with and served her inveterate enemies, would extend him such a warm welcome.
3 Her Crucifixion Of The Masters
While most of the series emphasizes Dany’s capacity for compassion and understanding, one notable exception is when she brutally crucifies the Masters of Yunkai, using their bodies to serve as a warning to those who would continue to oppose her.
While her decision to execute these masters of cruelty is perhaps understandable, her decision to go this extreme is not. In fact, it is this excessive cruelty that complicates all of her efforts to subject the region to her administration.
2 Her Actions At Winterfell
One would think that a young woman who, as yet, is something of a mystery to the majority of Westeros would make more of an effort to ingratiate herself with the people of her kingdom.
However, as soon as Dany arrives at Winterfell she proceeds to act as if she already had their goodwill in their back pocket. It’s hard to understand how or why she could be so willfully blind to the realities of ruling a sprawling kingdom like Westeros.
1 Her Forgetting About Euron’s Fleet
One of the most devastating moments in the final couple of seasons is the brutal death of the dragon Rhaegal, who is struck by a bolt fired by Euron’s fleet. It’s a curious, and in fact rather infuriating, oversight on Dany’s part.
While some might chalk it up to bad writing on the part of the show’s creators, it also seems very much of a piece with Dany’s myopia and inability to keep her mind focused on the most important issues facing her at a given moment.
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