Who will win the ‘Game of Thrones’? The case for Daenerys Targaryen

Season 8: Emilia Clarke portrays Daenerys Targaryen on GAME OF THRONES. photo: Helen Sloane/HBO
“Game of Thrones’ ” Daenerys Targaryen has earned the iron throne ten times over. Give it to her, or else. The drama’s eighth and final season premieres Sunday.
(Helen Sloane / HBO)
Television Critic

Her “children” are weapons of mass destruction. She commands an army of steely eunuchs and horseflesh-eating barbarians. She’s bedded the King in the North and bent his knee. Still not impressed? She’s fireproof.

No one is better suited to rule and protect the Seven Kingdoms than Daenerys Targaryen, which may be the kiss of death considering that “Game of Thrones,” like Queen Cersei Lannister, has a history of killing off the most valiant of characters for sport.

Khaleesi, however, is a warrior for our times. She frees slaves, fights an abusive patriarchy, uplifts the downtrodden and makes the 1% pay … dearly. In short, she’s a benevolent queen who flames the competition.


Who else in the series seeks justice above power and is intent on “breaking the wheel” that’s kept the same viper’s nest of royal families in control for centuries? Okay, maybe her main squeeze Jon Snow, but we know who wears the crown in that relationship.

She also looks fantastic in casual, around-the-castle tunics and leather battle gear. But like Dany, let’s stay focused on what’s important: defeating the Night King and his army of White Walkers.

All realms will be plunged into eternal darkness if the White Walkers win. The silver-haired whore, as Queen Cersei has referred to her between gritted teeth, could very well be the savior Westeros and the rest of the far-flung lands need. It’s been hinted at more than once that Dany is poised to fulfill the prophecy of The Prince That Was Promised, a savior who will defeat evil, despite the gender specifics of that forecast.

Dany has a birthright to the throne, as does everyone else lined up outside of Kings Landing like planes waiting to land — Snow, Sansa Stark, the blacksmith Gendry. And like most of the women in the series, Dany’s had to suffer a multitude of indignities at the hands of mud-caked men to play the game of thrones: child marriage, rape, imprisonment, starvation and more.


FULL COVERAGE: The final season of ‘Game of Thrones’ »

But she’s different from the rest of the castle-seeking crowd, and not just because she has the best hair of any character in the HBO production hands down, especially since Cersei’s golden locks were sheared off by religious zealots, who paid for their horrible crime when the Lannister Queen sent them to the heavens via an explosion of biblical proportions (please see Meredith Blake’s argument for Ceresi for more intel on the smirking royal).

She also has more names than the Man from Braavos has faces, though it makes sense that it takes ten minutes to speak her full title. Daenerys of the House Targaryen, first of her name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons is too multifaceted to address in one or two titles.

She’s a strong woman and freedom fighter who slays for the people. She’s been vulnerable and unsure of herself, has made mistakes that got her devoted followers killed, has been rash when doling out deadly punishment (sorry, all 163 slave masters crucified back in Meereen) and possesses an ego that’s primed to expand at the prospect of total power.

But now that she’s hooked up with another rightful heir to the throne, she may be willing to share power if it means the survival of the realm. Or not. But does it matter? The girl with the most dragons should always win.


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