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6 Best Daenerys Targaryen Fan Theories for Game of Thrones Season 8
Daenerys Targaryen is power-tripping. In Game of Thrones Season Seven, the Mother of Dragons finally brought her conquest to Westeros, laying stake to her birthplace on Dragonstone, showcasing the literal firepower of her dragons, and forging alliances with key ruling families. But it wasn’t without a terrible price. North of the Wall, her dragon Viserion fell to the Night King and was resurrected as an ice monster. And as hundreds have died during her conquest, it will take quite a bit of convincing to get the lords of Westeros to bend the knee.
We’ve been with Dany since she was a timid refugee princess sold into marriage, through her incredible conquests in Essos, and to her invasion of Westeros. We’ll be with her to the bitter end, whether it’s beyond The Wall fighting the White Walkers or in King’s Landing sitting in the Iron Throne. Here are the six most intriguing theories about what could happen to Daenerys Stormborn, Mother of Dragons, in the final season of Game of Thrones.
Dany will win the throne with Jon Snow ruling by her side.
The last time we saw Dany, she was getting it on with her nephew Jon Snow aboard a ship bound for the North. Hot. But incest isn’t particularly new in Westeros, where the Targaryen line is traditionally inbred as hell. (That’s not to mention the Lannisters and their fondness for other Lannisters.) So assuming Jon is a Targaryen, and assuming the knee he bent to recognize Dany’s rightful claim to the Iron Throne remains bent, their partnership could be strong enough to defeat the Night King and Cersei—and they could both command dragons. As Dany told Jon early in Season Seven, the last time there was peace in the Seven Kingdoms, a Targaryen was on the Iron Throne and a Stark was Warden of the North. In this case, the Warden would be a Targaryen masquerading in Stark fur cloaks, but close enough.
In a happy world, Dany would also discover that she is not infertile, despite her repeated insistences that she can’t have children that aren’t dragons. Her bloodline with Jon would continue to hold the throne for ages of peace and prosperity throughout the kingdom. But this is not a happy world, so don’t hold your breath.
Dany will turn into the ultimate villain, the Mad Queen.
Madness runs in her blood. Dany’s father was the Mad King Aerys II Targaryen, against whom the Baratheons revolted to set up the era of Westeros we’re familiar with. He burned anyone who was disloyal to him, and as Dany proved last season when she torched two Tarly lords alive, she hasn’t shied away from following in his ignoble footsteps. She asserts that she cannot be held accountable for her father’s actions, but she demands the Westeros ruling families recognize his power in her.
For seven seasons, Dany has positioned herself as the unimpeachable leader of the freed people. But she remains blind to her own weaknesses, even after Tyrion warned her she is vulnerable atop her dragons, and Jon warned her using her dragons to wage war would make her just like every other tyrant to fight for the throne. And as one Redditor points out, Dany would make for an interesting, sympathetic, and extremely dangerous villain—the kind Game of Thrones might favor in the end over obvious baddies like the Night King and Cersei.
In Season Seven, Tyrion told Jon, “She protects people from monsters.” But she could be a few horrid judgement calls away from becoming the monster herself.
Dany will be betrayed by someone she trusts.
Dany is not a deceitful person. Vengeful, sure. But unlike other Game of Thrones characters—Cersei and Sansa come to mind—she doesn’t lie and scheme well, which could make her more vulnerable. According to a prophecy made in the books, Dany will be betrayed three times: The first betrayal for blood (the murder of her unborn son in exchange for Khal Drogo’s life in Season One), the second betrayal for gold (Jorah selling information about her to Robert Baratheon) and the third for love. The love betrayal hasn’t played out, but it could with two major characters in Season Eight.
As far as we know, Tyrion Lannister is on Dany’s side. But we also know that he loves his brother Jaime, and he loved his niece and nephews, despite everything. As Dany and Drogon burned their way through Lannister forces last season, Jaime saw an opportunity to stick a spear into Drogon. Watching from afar, Tyrion tensed as Jaime considered attacking and muttered, “Flee, you idiot.” In the Season Seven finale, Tyrion meets with Cersei to try to salvage an alliance against the White Walkers. They verbally spar, and then Tyrion discovers he has another niece or nephew on the way. The rest of their meeting is cut off from viewers, but we know Tyrion extracted a shaky truce from Cersei. We just don’t know what he promised her in return—perhaps an agreement to betray Dany for the next generation of Lannisters?
Naturally, Cersei was lying about that truce. But Jaime believed in the White Walker threat, and so he abandoned his sister, presumably to join up with the Targaryen and Stark forces to the North—and his brother. Tyrion could also betray Dany in favor of reuniting with Jaime to keep House Lannister from self-destructing.
And then there’s the more literal interpretation of love: the physical and emotional love growing between Dany and Jon Snow. Jon is committed to team Dany right now, but that could change when they reach the North. The North remembers the Targaryens with anger and fear. Sansa Stark didn’t seem too keen to hand over Winterfell to Dany, as we saw in one of the teaser trailers for Season Eight. Fire and ice might not be able to coexist. Jon is an honorable guy, but loyalty to his family and his territory could pit him against Dany in the end, leading to what would surely be a heartbreaking betrayal for them both.
Dany will sacrifice herself so Jon Snow can rule.
This theory is based solely on the Azor Ahai prophecy. Simply put, Azor Ahai was an ancient hero who forged a flaming sword called Lightbringer by sticking it through the heart of his wife, Nissa Nissa. With this sword, Azor ended the Long Night. He’s prophesied to return as the Prince Who Was Promised as soon as “the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers,” which most people believe is happening right about now. Many people also believe Jon Snow will fulfill this prophecy to defeat the White Walkers, and to do so someone he loves will have to sacrifice themselves so he can forge a fiery sword of his own. Dany is a good candidate for this sacrifice. (Other theories spell out a different interpretation of the Azor Ahai prophecy altogether.)
This Redditor went one step further to predict that upon sacrificing herself, Dany will turn into a White Walker, and she and Jon will finally rule Westeros together, one dead and one alive.
Dany will become the Night Queen.
Speaking of Dany joining the living dead. There’s quite a bit of evidence that Dany could become the new Night Queen, a figure in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire who appears to be a female White Walker. As the Game of Thrones Wiki describes:
According to legend, a Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch found in the Haunted Forest a cold woman with bright blue eyes, seemingly a female White Walker. He took her to the other side of the Wall and declared himself “Night’s King”. For thirteen years the two ruled over the brothers of the Night’s Watch, performing human sacrifices. The Free Folk rallied under the banner of a King-Beyond-the-Wall, Joramun, and marched against the Nightfort, which the Night’s King had taken as his seat, defeating him and his queen with the aid of House Stark.
Our own Daenerys Targaryen physically resembles the Night Queen of legend, with her pale skin and white hair, and in one particular scene that some Redditors read as foreshadowing, her eyes blazed blue as she walked out of the House of the Undying in a vision. In this Season Tw0 vision, Dany was distracted from the Iron Throne by the sounds of dragons crying, prompting her to wander North of the Wall, where she sees Drogo and her unborn baby. It was a tempting taste of the afterlife, and maybe reason enough for Dany to join her family in death. Another Redditor theory predicts Dany’s remaining dragons will die in the North, and the Night King will persuade her to become his Night Queen so she can be reunited with her children.
Dany will die in birth or be killed by a child/dragon.
Targaryen children have a history of killing their mothers. Jon Snow killed his mother Lyanna Targaryen (née Stark) when he was born. Dany killed her mother Rhaella Targaryen when she was born. Perhaps they have a child together—the odds wouldn’t be so good for Dany’s survival. Take the theory a step further to Dany’s other children, her dragons. In a cruel twist, one—probably Viserion, who’s a white dragon now—would kill her before the series wraps.
Or perhaps, because Dany refuses to discuss the succession of her line before she sits upon the Iron Throne, she wins the war but dies a horrible death of loneliness, with no successor, no children, and no way to safeguard the Targaryen claim to the throne.