25. She’s determined to be better than those who came before her
Like we said, the Targaryens have a blemish on their history as a Great House. Though they’ve seen many a conqueror to join their ranks, a House nearing extinction is never a good spot to start in. That’s where we found Dany and her brother Viserys at the beginning of the series. As Maester Aemon once said, “A Targaryen alone in the world is a terrible thing.” And ever since her brother received a golden crown worthy of a man like him, Daenerys Stormborn has been on the path to prove that quote wrong.
Although Viserys had a claimant to the throne by birthright, he never fully grasped how a leader should conduct himself. Dany picked up on it much quicker and far better than he could have ever dreamed to. She was the natural leader, not him. She was the dragon, not him. Throughout her travels, Dany’s advisers constantly remind her of her father’s misdeeds, which she acknowledges. She knows it’s better to start anew, or “break the wheel” as she says in Season 5’s “Hardhome.”
The Targaryen bloodline was also corrupted by rampant inbreeding, something that’s still a cultural taboo in Westerosi society (though it does happen, right Cersei and Jaime?) Dany has already proven she can lead without a spouse, and if she can’t produce an heir, she may set up a whole new system of government for the Seven Kingdoms, one that won’t result in bastards with no claim to the throne taking over and descending the land into chaos.
But as we head into Season 7, a new Targaryen challenger has appeared, and he’s bringing an icy presence along with him. Will the fire and ice force of Jon Snow and Dany be prosperous for the Known World? Only time will tell.
What are some of your favorite things about Daenerys Targaryen? If in the end it’s not her sitting on the Iron Throne, who would you like to see take the reins?