Queen Daenerys Targaryen, First of Her Name, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms, Protector of the Realm, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons, and, five seasons in, still the most boring character in Game Of Thrones.
Alright, she may be the true heir to the Iron Throne of Westeros (if you discount the R+L = J theory), she maybe so beautiful that Volantene prostitutes dress up like her and Varys may think she’s Westeros’ greatest hope, but after 44 episodes does anyone really care if Daenerys lives or dies?
When you consider what Daenerys has actually achieved, it shouldn’t be this way. Easily the most accomplished character on the show, she’s survived being sold as a sex slave by her brother, endured the death of her husband and unborn child, led a bunch of mercenaries through a desert, freed slaves, captured cities, tamed dragons then freed them from warlocks and commanded the respect of an army. Why then does she still feel like the most lifeless character on the show?
Perhaps it’s because unlike Game Of Thrones’ other strong female characters (Brienne, Arya and even Cersei) Daenerys spends all her time sulking, whining and bossing people about like a teenager.
And, like a moody teenager with their ‘things will be different when I’m in charge’ attitude, Daenerys has never truly had to stand on her own two feet. Almost all of her successes have come at the expense of others.
From Khal Drogo to Jorah Mormont to Daario Naharis (not to mention three massive effing dragons) Dany’s always had someone to fight her battles for her, and in a show that began with Ned Stark lopping off a deserter’s head – setting the standard for leaders doing their own dirty work – who wants to see a contender for the throne hanging around a desert constantly scowling while her henchmen are the ones actually making things happen?
While Arya’s been learning to ‘stick ‘em with the pointy end’, Dany’s arch has basically been one long training-for-the-Iron-Throne montage, but rather than doing one handed-press ups, bench-pressing members of the Unsullied and spin-kicking the Sons of Harpy through glass windows, she’s spent her time slowly learning about democracy and ‘leadership’.
All of which puts her dangerously close to Bran’s Harry Potter subplot in the tedium stakes. Now, rather than making your cup of tea to the sounds of ‘Hodor, hodor’, you can do it to Daenerys droning on about the pros and cons of re-opening the fighting pits.
Unless she crosses the Narrow Sea soon, it’ll be hard to see how any of the trials she’s been through (freeing slaves, eating horses’ hearts, keeping her hair looking good in that heat) mean anything in the wider context of the show. Sunning herself in Meereen, does Dany even know that winter is coming?
At this stage, the best move for the series would be to kill her off in another Red Wedding-style shocker. Maybe Grey Worm and Missandei could stage a coup and lead her remaining forces in a final all-out attack on Kings Landing.
Or maybe Tyrion could continue his trend of offing monarchs on the royal toilet, then somehow steal Dany’s army, eventually taking the Iron Throne for himself.
Or maybe Daenerys’ dragons set her alight for forcing them into a life of violence, when all they want to do is soar peacefully through the skies.
Either way, a Dany-death would throw fans of the HBO show (and the books) off the scent, opening the floor up for all sorts of wild speculation about who’s going to be on the throne. Come on, it isn’t going to be Stannis and Jon Snow’s too much of a pansy. Could it be Littlefinger? How about Bronn? Davos Seaworth? Anyone fancy Gilly’s chances?
The only other option to save the storyline is to have Dany slowly break bad like like her father and become a final, mad Targaryen for the whole of Westeros to unite against.
Then again, isn’t that how all this trouble started in the first place?