You either watch “Game of Thrones” or you take to social media to overtly let people know that you don’t watch it or ever will. Really though, you are just missing out on one of the best shows of our generation. The show follows many storylines and each character is as strong as the next. Daenerys Targaryen easily being one of the strongest and empowering feminist icons within the show.
From the start, Daenerys is alone. She is betrayed but learns to love and trust along the way. As the last remaining survivor of the House Targaryen, she will fight to reclaim the Iron Throne, with one of the most powerful weapons at her side: Dragons.
Throughout the series she continues to grow into an independent woman afraid of no one. She has had her fair share of unforgettable quotes that landed so well, you can picture her dropping a mic after voicing them.
After reading some of her best quotes from “Game of Thrones,” you’ll surely be inspired to rule your day as fiercely as “Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons.” Yes, it is a mouthful, but she’s earned her title.
Season one is where we see Daenerys begin to grow into her own. Married to Khal Drogo, after being sold to him by her brother Viserys, she is now the wife of a very powerful man. A woman does not need a man to make her stronger by any means, but Drogo treats Daenerys better than her brother, or anyone, ever did. Tired of years of mistreatment, she's had enough.
After her brother visits her in her new home, she invites him to dinner and presents him with a Dothraki gift. He practically laughs at this and calls her a “slut” for being married to a “horse lord” such as Drogo. He strikes her to the ground but Daenerys hits him back and rises to her feet to deliver this powerful line as he lies stunned, and on the ground. The sibling dynamic immediately shifts.
Though the relationship between Daenerys and Khal Drogo was rocky at first, she does grow to love him just as much as he loves her. She begins to call him “my sun and stars” to show her love and admiration towards him. Khal Drogo is later injured in battle and is close to death after his wound becomes infected. Daenerys is able to save his life by having a witch perform blood magic, which is forbidden by the Dothraki.
Unfortunately, such magic causes her child to have a stillborn death and Khal Drogo stuck in a vegetative state. Daenerys chooses to kill him out of mercy and their unique relationship comes to an end as she tearfully delivers these last heartbreaking words to him.
With no army and no current allies in Westeros, Daenerys is denied ships to sail into future battle. She is belittled, called a “little princess,” and pretty much told she doesn't deserve to “retake” the throne since it was never truly hers, but her fathers. At this point, she's tired of not being taken seriously. She reaches a point where she realizes that in order to continue moving forward, asking nicely and politely, will get her nowhere.
Enter Missandei, a slave girl who becomes Daenerys’ advisor and handmaiden. When asked if she is willing to follow Daenerys into battle and risk her life, she simply responds with “Valar Morghulis,” which translates to “All men must die.” Daenerys agrees but she also suggests that death does not apply to them since they are literally women. But she doesn't say this in a literal way, she knows that she cannot escape death but what she implies here is that women are smarter than men and not as quick to make rash decisions. Women calculate and can see the consequences brought forth by their actions.
Time and time again, Daenerys shows just what kind of ruler she truly is. If you learn anything from her, it is that humanity is her top priority. She never abandons those who have shown her loyalty, especially the thousands she has freed along her journey. Faced with the decision to stay and rule the now slave-free Meereen and risk the city's downfall, or sail to King’s Landing at a time were it is at its weakest, she chooses to stay with her people. Conquering the Seven Kingdoms will just have to wait.
For many years Daenerys father, “The Mad King,” sat on the Iron Throne, but after his murder, a power struggle began. The political world in Westeros has caused the common people to struggle while the ruling houses have remained on top. When speaking to Tyrion in this scene, Daenerys knows that in order for change to happen, the system has to be rewritten all together. Her insinuation of rewriting the system provides us with a solid mission, whether she ends up on the Iron Throne or not.
After an ambush that leaves her abandoned in the Dothraki Sea, Daenerys is taken to Khal Moro, leader of the Dothraki horde. When it is discovered that she is Khal Drogo’s widow, she is told she must live out her days with other Khal widows in Vaes Dothrak. Other khals gather to judge and decide her fate after defying tradition and running wild in the world after her husband's death.
After delivering this powerful line in Dothraki, she is threatened with gang rape. She proceeds to burn down the hut they are in, killing all the khals, but emerging unscathed by the flames. Bearing witness to this, the remaining Dothraki people accept her as their true Khaleesi, which can roughly be translated to “queen.”
There’s not much to interpret here. Daenerys knows that her father, known as “The Mad King” left chaos in his wake. He wasn’t perfect, but neither were the fathers of those she’s addressing. But that doesn’t mean that any of them should follow in their father's footsteps. We’ve seen Daenerys as a ruler, she’s kind and fair, at least to those who deserve it. She makes it a point that no matter who ends up on top at the end, they must all work to save the Seven Kingdoms from any disaster. Especially any caused by them themselves.
Worlds are colliding, the North finally comes face-to-face with the Mother of Dragons. Early into the seventh season, Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow finally meet. Their fist encounter is a tense one, with power being thrown left and right. Jon hopes Daenerys will join him to face the White Walkers, if he can convince her of their existence. Really, this entire scene could be quoted for its hard-hitting.
Jon refuses to bend at the knee to Daenerys who, more than once, voices that she is the only true heir to the Iron Throne. She proceeds to deliver this empowering speech that shows him just how much she's been through. Getting back to Dragonstone, her birthplace, was not easy, but the faith in herself overcome any obstacle along the way.
This quote can only be read in the books from which the “Game of Thrones” series was adapted. But I had to include it for it’s powerful anti-sexism message. In this moment, Daenerys shuts down a person's toxic masculinity by implying that she doesn't even view him as a man. She reminds him, and all of us, that trying to demean a female by calling her a woman is never an insult.
Slow claps for Daenerys Targaryen. Not the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, yet, but queen of empowerment, individual growth, and resilience.
With the eighth and final season of “Game of Thrones” now airing Sundays on HBO, I can't wait to see who will finally sit on the Iron Throne and rule the Seven Kingdoms. But more importantly, what will Daenerys Targaryen say next?