8 ‘Game of Thrones’ Fan Theories About Daenerys Targaryen’s Endgame
As the HBO fantasy series enters its final stretch, will the dragon queen have a happy ending or will she crash and burn?
As we approach the end of Game of Thrones, Daenerys Targaryen’s dream of ruling the Seven Kingdoms is not going swimmingly. In fact, it has cost her dearly.(Note: SPOILERS for Season 8 ahead).
First, she lost her beloved Ser Jorah Mormont, half of the Unsullied, and practically the entire Dothraki horde in the Great War against the Night King. Yet, the frosty folks of the North still see the Mother of Dragons as an outsider who cannot be trusted. To rub more salt into the wound, Daenerys and her remaining forces were then ambushed by Euron Greyjoy and his Ironborn fleet upon their return to Dragonstone. Goodbye Rhaegal, RIP Missandei. To top it all, she also learnt that the man she loves, Jon Snow, is actually her nephew, Aegon Targaryen, who has a better claim to the Iron Throne.
Daenerys has been one of Game of Thrones’ most popular characters since the series' premiere episode—from the timid princess sold to a horse lord as wife to her becoming a slave-liberating conqueror to her triumphant return to Westeros with two big armies and three large dragons. Yet, in this final season, the Targaryen heroine seems to be losing everything she holds dear at every turn.
But that’s Game of Thrones for you, isn’t it? George R.R. Martin, whose novels the HBO series is based on, does have a tendency to raise a character all the way up, only to have him or her come crashing down. Robb Stark, for example, won every battle but lost the war (and got murdered at a wedding party), while Tywin Lannister, the real power behind the Iron Throne when he served as Hand to various kings, was assassinated by Tyrion, the son he despises, as he sat on a latrine throne no less.
So, will Daenerys gets the Iron Throne she so craves, or will she crash and burn in the final stretch of Game of Thrones? With the theory that she might become the Night Queen safely out of the way, let’s check out eight other intriguing fan theories about Daenerys Targaryen's possible endgame.
1. Daenerys becomes the Mad Queen.
Let’s first get the elephant out of the room (sorry, Cersei!) This appears to be the most popular theory right now: that Daenerys will become the Mad Queen, a la her father, Aerys a.k.a. the Mad King, and “burn them all.” With Missandei exclaiming “Dracarys” before dying at the end of Episode 4, everyone is expecting a wrathful Daenerys to go all out and shower fire and blood on King’s Landing to destroy Cersei Lannister once and for all.
Most fans felt that Daenerys’ mad-as-in-angry actions are justified, but the citizens of Westeros would not see it that way. All they'll see is an exiled princess hell-bent in destroying the capital to get what she thinks she's entitled to. Also, in the Season 8 premiere, Jon Snow ensures Sansa that Dany is “not her father” when the Lady of Winterfell berates him for bending the knee to a Targaryen queen, as confident as Winterfell folks who kept saying, “The crypts are the safest place to be.” Let’s hope Dany won’t turn out to be “like father, like daughter.”
2. Daenerys will not end up on the Iron Throne.
This theory has been floating around since Season 2, Episode 10 when Dany enters the House of the Undying in Qarth and sees a number of visions. In her first vision, we see her entering the throne room in the Red Keep, which has its roof severely destroyed, and just as she was about to touch the snow-covered Iron Throne, she pulls away upon hearing her baby dragons’ cries. Most fans believed it is a clear sign that Daenerys will eventually get to King’s Landing (which she did), but she will not end up on the Iron Throne. Instead, Jon Snow would.
Although the show’s visions are drastically different from those depicted in the second book, A Clash of Kings, the book visions didn’t exactly figure in the Iron Throne in Dany's future either. Instead, they seem to indicate that her true quest is to be aware of “the prince that was promised” who is also “the song of ice and fire,” as her brother Rhaegar seemed to be telling her in one of the visions. Well, we now know that he was referring to his son with Lyanna Stark, Aegon Targaryen a.k.a Jon Snow.
3. Jon Snow gives up his claim to the throne for Daenerys, or vice versa.
Remember that haunting song, “Jenny of Oldstones,” sang by Podrick in Season 8, Episode 2? That actually refers to a song mentioned in the third book, A Storm of Swords, that tells the story of Duncan Targaryen who gave up his claim to the throne to marry a commoner, Jenny of Oldstones. The couple tragically died in the tragedy of Summerhall in 259 AC, where coincidentally Dany’s brother and Jon’s real father, Rhaegar, was born.
As the last shot of the song and accompanying music video (by Florence + The Machine) both landed on the scene where Jon Snow revealed his parentage to Daenerys in the crypts, some fans believed that it could mean that Jon might give up his claim to the throne for love and let Daenerys rule, or maybe Dany would give up her lifelong quest and rule side-by-side with the love of her life. If they win "the last war," that is. It is a “Disney ending” that some fans are happy to live with; but then again, as Ramsey Bolton once said, “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.” And the song does end on a very sad note. Still, one can hope. A bittersweet ending doesn’t mean it has to be tragic.
4. Daenerys gets assassinated/executed by Cersei.
As Qyburn informs Bronn in the Season 8 premiere when he was giving the sellsword the assignment to kill Jaime and Tyrion Lannister, Cersei has “other plans for the Targaryen girl.” Euron Greyjoy could have killed Daenerys and Drogon at Dragonstone, but Rhaegal took the hit instead. Heck, Cersei could have easily killed Dany from afar when Tyrion was negotiating for her surrender. There are many ways Cersei—the real Mad Queen in my humble opinion—could slay the dragon queen, but she probably would want to do it in a very public way (especially if she defeats Daenerys’ dwindling and exhausted forces). Hold that thought.
5. Daenerys gets assassinated by Arya Stark.
This fan theory recently sprung up because of Melisandre’s prophecy of “brown eyes, blue eyes, and green eyes” that the Faceless Assassin will shut. With brown eyes attributed to Walder Frey and blue eyes of course to the Night King, most fans are certain that green eyes refer to Cersei. However, a new faction is claiming that Daenerys, too, has green eyes.
With the Stark sisters voicing their distrust of Daenerys as queen, some are speculating that perhaps Arya will assassinate the dragon queen instead so that "brother" Jon can claim the Iron Throne. Which is reasonable, except for the fact that Daenerys, being a true-blue Targaryen, actually has violet eyes in the book (while actress Emilia Clarke's eyes are a heterochromatic mix of hazel and greyish blue).
6. Daenerys will encounter a treason for love.
In the books, Daenerys was told in the House of the Undying that three treasons she will come to know—one for blood, one for gold, and one for love. Many book fans believed that that the treason for love will appear in the final stretch of the saga. Even though this prophecy was not mentioned in the show, it is very likely referring to Daenerys discovering that her lover Jon Snow has a better claim to the Iron Throne than she does. Even though Jon keeps insisting that he doesn’t want it, Dany is certain that everyone else will prefer him to be their ruler over her once they know of it, and she was right. He also told his sisters, even when Dany begged him not to, resulting in Varys and Tyrion “discussing treason” as they seriously reckoned that Jon would be the better ruler. Some fans even believed that if Dany really becomes the Mad Queen, Jon may have no choice but to kill his love from taking the Iron Throne. Let's hope it doesn't come to that...
7. Daenerys gets pregnant and marries Jon Snow.
It was foreshadowed a few times throughout Season 7 that Daenerys is likely to get pregnant with her constant claim that she cannot have children. With she and Jon Snow consummating their relationship in the Season 7 finale, many believed she would indeed carry Jon’s child; and Jon, not wanting to father a bastard (as he told Samwell Tarly way back in Season 1, Episode 4), would insist that they get married (despite the fact they are aunt and nephew). If Dany does find out that she is pregnant by the next episode, it would be interesting to see if Tyrion, after trying to persuade Cersei to surrender for the sake of her unborn child, would advise Dany to do the same thing and give up her quest of roasting the capital in order to claim the Iron Throne.
8. Daenerys gets pregnant and dies at childbirth.
This is another popular theory that has been circulating since Season 7. Because her mother died at childbirth and Jon’s mother died the same way, some fans believed Dany is very likely to die at childbirth too if she does indeed get pregnant. After all the things this character had gone through, it will be a real cop-out if she were to die this way. With two episodes left though, there might not be time for Dany to carry the child to term if a pregnancy does come into play (unless there is a time jump in the last episode). Besides, not every woman in Westeros dies at childbirth—Catelyn Stark managed to have five children and Cersei had three; although, granted, both were not under as much stress as what Dany is going through. Here’s hoping that the story of Daenerys Stormborn, the first of her name, and all her other titles etc., won’t end in this way.
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