Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, rightful heir to the Seven Kingdoms, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, Breaker of Chains, and the Mother of Dragons (I believe I got all of her titles), Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen has been a Game of Thrones (2011 - ) fan favourite since the first season. Most polls out there show her in the number one spot. Yet, anecdotally, I know many people who absolutely hate her as a character. Are these people just being contrarian, or do they really not understand what's to like?
In case you're one who hasn't joined the Daenerys train, I'm going tell you what's to love.
Daenerys and Drogon, Game of Thrones Season 5
In the beginning, she’s scared and shy. She has no control over her life and no idea who she is. But through the episodes, she begins to come into her own, learning how to be confident, embracing her power and using it for good. She learns that she deserves to be treated with respect and demands it. This transformation is really inspiring to watch because none of us are born confident. We face insecurities, we experience people treating us poorly, and we struggle with who we are, just like she did. She’s relatable.
She isn’t a Robot
Daenerys Targaryen, Game of Thrones
In many film/television stories, strong characters have no emotions, and when a woman or man cries, that character is suggested to be “weak”. But the truth is that everyone has emotions. Even the most confident, happy person will have a down day, and the strongest person will sometimes be vulnerable. And that’s normal. Daenerys has loved, she has wept, and she has been confused and doubted herself. She will step into a roaring fire, walk into the House of the Undying, and take what is hers with fire and blood, but even the Mother of Dragons gets scared and sad. She’s human (with a bit of dragon in there), just like us.
She Makes Mistakes
Daenerys In The Red Waste, Game of Thrones
While some hate her for the bad decisions she's made, it’s one of the most endearing things about her. No one has all the answers, especially when problems are thrust on us suddenly. It takes time and mistakes to find the right path. The Mother of Dragons is no exception.
She Fights Injustice
Daenerys, Breaker of Chains in Game of Thrones
She stands up for both her people and herself and will always do what she thinks is right, even if it’s the harder way. If she could take the Iron Throne in one year by shedding much innocent blood vs. taking seven years with shedding less of it, she will choose the seven years.
She Doesn’t Let People Walk All Over Her
Daenerys exiles Ser Jorah, Game of Thrones
When she discovered that Ser Jorah used to be a spy for Robert Baratheon, she cast him out. It pained her to do so, but she did it anyway because he had betrayed her and she knew she deserved better.
But She Also Knows Forgiveness
Daenerys and Jorah are reunited, Game of Thrones
She takes him back when he proves his loyalty and love for her.
She Knows Her Sex Does Not Make Her Weak
Daenerys, Game of Thrones
Being a woman is no weakness. And she won’t let anyone try and make her feel like it is. She comes to understand how awesome and powerful she is, thank you.
She Is the Mother of Dragons
Daenerys and Drogon, Game of Thrones Season 5 Finale
Let’s be honest. If you don’t have direwolves or dragons on your side, are you really as awesome as Daenerys?