Dany is actually the rightful heir of the 7 kingdoms (in the books at least)
I was scrolling through Freefolk and I find a great post by EigengrauDildos. Basically he’s explaining how in the books, Jon is actually NOT the rightful heir of the 7 kingdoms. He is spot on. Now, D&D will probably brush that off but it makes for some good exchanges and conversations. Here what he had to say…
“This has only occurred to me like half an hour ago.
As we know, the Westerosi crown follows agnatic primogeniture as its law of inheritance.
According to agnatic primogeniture, the order of succession is:
0) King 1) Eldest son of King 2) Eldest son of the son of the King, and, in succession, any other sons by order of birth 3) Second son of the King
In other words, the grandson comes before the uncle.
Here’s the snag nobody’s considering. Viserys, the uncle, was crowned King before the grandson, Jon/Aegon was born.
I’ll try to keep it the simplest possible.
The rightful king of the Seven Kingdoms was Aerys. At the moment of his death, he had only two kids: Rhaegar and Viserys (Daenerys was still a fetus in Rhaella’s belly).
Rhaegar was dad to Rhaenys and Aegon with Elia, but he annulled his marriage and possibly bastardised his first children. When he died, Lyanna was, unbeknownst to the world, pregnant with his kid (who had 50% chances of being a girl, mind you).
When news came of Rhaegar’s death, Viserys immediately became the heir to Aerys, the Crown Prince. When Aerys was stabbed by Jaime, Rhaella crowned Viserys King of the Seven Kingdoms.
This was absolutely rightful: when Aerys dies, Rhaegar is already dead, and Jon hasn’t been born yet - he literally doesn’t exist, and as a fetus, has 50% chances of being a girl anyway. At the moment of Aerys’ death, Viserys is the only possible heir to the Targaryen crown.
So, Viserys was king before Jon was born.
The timeline went like this: Battle of the Trident (Rhaegar dead) -> Aerys sends Rhaella and Viserys away to Dragonstone -> Aerys dies, Viserys becomes King -> Jon is born.
So, normally, the line of succession now would be:
Viserys -> Jon/Aegon, unless Viserys has a son, in which case the line would look like Viserys -> Viserys’ son -> Jon/Aegon.
Now, grown up, Viserys explicitly nominated Daenerys his heir. Which would mean that the rightful Targaryen heir is Daenerys and not Jon.
One could argue that Viserys didn’t know about Jon, but it’s really, really unlikely that he’d nominate as his heir, as the head of the Targaryen house, a kid raised as a Stark by one of the Usurper’s dogs, instead of his Targaryen born and raised sister, a sister he, even if in a twisted way, loved.
The fact is that Jon’s birth, even with a better claim as son of Rhaegar, wouldn’t dethrone Viserys. Kingship doesn’t get revoked because a baby with a better claim comes along. And if Viserys elected Dany as his heir, that’s a King’s word - it’s law.
To be honest I don’t think we’ll get any treatment of this in the show. The show seems to be going rather mindlessly in the “Jon’s the rightful heir” route, unless all of this gets brought out next season. Which would make for some compelling political drama.
I’m sure though some discussion of this will get brought up in the books.”
As a book fan, I feel a bit ashamed cause I completely forgot thi important element about the books. Element that could change a lot of things in the grand scheme of things.
Okay, so, sorry to the person who requested this! I know I took an extra few days to post it up. I was busy this 4th of July weekend. I finished it! I don’t know if you would consider this fluff but I do apologize the lack of smut. I might make a part two if I feel up to it. (I sometimes don’t like writing smut, it’s a bit tedious, lol)
Imagine: Being in love with Viserys (female reader)
“Your brother has invited me to go
hunting tomorrow,” Viserys almost excitedly told you as he entered your tent
late that evening.
You had been reading some books that
Jorah was kind enough to give you—your name day had passed some days ago. They
weren’t books of any value except your amusement. They were books for mere
children. You set down the book and gazed at your lover with a pleased smile,
“I know, he had told me earlier this morning of his plans.” You speak very slow
Viserys came to stand in front of
you and squatted down onto his knees so, he was face to face with you. His
violet eyes were so tender and soft—very different from the first time you had
met him. If you thought about it, it felt like such a lifetime ago.
Khal Drogo was your older brother.
He had been proposed with a new wife from across the Dead Seaand was intrigued. He had asked you to
join him in seeing this woman. Your opinion mattered greatly to the Khal and he
wanted to know your thoughts on the woman that could be his new wife.
Dany was lovely with her almost
white skin and silver-white hair. She and her brother, Viserys, were diamonds
in the dirt. You felt an connection with Dany and her brother. You told this to
Khal as he stood in front of the young Dany. Your words had sealed Dany to your
brother. Young she was, she would be well cared for.
Viserys had been full of anger and
greed—that much you saw when you first laid eyes on him. He stood tall and
proud as if he had been the Lord of the manor. His silvery hair swept
deliciously at his jaw-line and his odd colored eyes drew you in at first
But behind those eyes was a story of
struggle and hunger.
You had been determined to comfort
in Dany. She was terrified and it was easy to understand—well, at least to you.
Viserys had been cruel to his sister back then and to you but you were not a
woman to hold her tongue.
You were the sister of a great Khal.
Your brother was overly protective of you as your late father was. Drogo did
his best to teach you to stand up for yourself and to be the fiercest warrior.
Just like your brother, you were undefeated in battles but your hair was kept
short because that is how you liked it.
You often spat words at Viserys and
he would simply glare at you before grabbing Dany and storming off. Dany
eventually told you the tale of her family. Viserys only acted in such a way
because he was angry at the world and was hungry to gain back the crown he
thought he deserved.
Titles were earned here on this side
of the world but you dared not tell Viserys back then.
You had pitied Viserys at first, he
had no real friends. You believed his loneliness fueled his anger. You suddenly
made it your duty to befriend him and make him understand that life was too
precious to fret over some crown that he wouldn’t get for years. Drogo wouldn’t
go to war or cross the dead sea so
soon after getting married. Viserys had acted like his crown would fall upon
his lap along with boats and an army to cross the dead see but no, such an
operation took years to accomplish.
Viserys slowly fell into your lovely
trap. You found him rather fond of his sister despite what Dany told you. He
admitted that his hot temper got the best of him at times; it made him say
words to Dany that he didn’t mean. You understood because Drogo was the same.
The friendship began to blossom into
something beautiful. You began to teach him the ways of your people—the
Dothraki. Viserys looked down upon your people but you taught him so much that
he held your people in respect now.
You taught him how to ride a
horse—that was something very important
to your people. Riding a horse was the signal of a child becoming a man. Only
young children, elderly, and disabled people rode in carts but not capable,
You taught him how to hunt well
enough to join hunting parties—even though many Dothraki men sneered at
Viserys. Viserys had slowly chanced and it was noted by many especially Dany
Of course Drogo wasn’t happy. He
didn’t find Viserys worthy of you and perhaps he was right but you didn’t care.
You had fallen in love with the white-haired man and nothing could ever change
Viserys greed for an army and crown
began to recede and so did his cruelty to Dany. There wasn’t a day that didn’t
pass that you didn’t hear Viserys apologizing to Dany for the way he treated
To hear that Drogo and his riders
would like to hunt with Viserys was a sure sign of Viserys being accepted by
your people and your brother. It was a sign that Viserys had changed and for
You gazed tenderly at Viserys who
was in between your legs and burying his face into your stomach and his arms
wrapped around you. You ran your fingers through his silky hair and found knots
ensnaring your fingers, “You need to bathe, my love, your hair is in terrible
condition.” You mused softly working through the knots.
He chuckled, “I care not for my hair
at this moment, my love, I am overjoyed by your brother’s offer. Does this mean
your people accept me as they have with Dany?” He questioned looking like a
small child wanting to please his parents.
A beautiful smile touched your lips
as he looked up at you. You caressed his cheeks softly, “Yes, my Dragon, my
people have accepted you. My brother has accepted you. You are now Dothraki.”
You murmured seeing the shining in his violet eyes glow brightly.
“I would not be so filled with mirth
had it not been for you, Y/N,” Viserys commented sincerely looking at you as if
you were the sun in his sky, “You have changed me into a real man and taught me
so much. I cannot bear to think what would’ve become of me had you not been
born.” He says quietly.
You chuckle quietly and kiss his
lips sweetly, “Do not think such thoughts, my Dragon, simply think of today and
what you do have.” You say to him.
He drinks in your words—he holds you
in such high regards.
He brings you in for another longer
kiss and it leaves you breathless, “Join me by the river for some bathing after
I return from the hunt?” Viserys suggests with a twinkle in his eyes.
You giggle and tut, “You are truly
insatiable!” You cry with a smile, “You worked me so much last night, have I
not deserve some rest?” You bring your nose to his and look into his bright
He grins widely and kisses your
nose, “You’ve had most of the day to rest, my love, I would like to think that
you enjoyed yourself from all the sounds you were making,” He teases leaving a
soft blush on your heavenly cheeks, “I am surprised your brother did not barge
in and kill me for how loud you were.”
Your cheeks were now red but you
were laughing at his words. Viserys watched with adoration and love as you gave
the world such a lovely sound.
“You jest too much, my Dragon,” You
giggle sweetly as he gets up to cuddle with you on the bed, “Would you read to
me?” You ask him holding up the children book. You loved it when he read to
you. He always spoke to you in such a regal way.
He smiles and gently takes the book
from your small hands, “Nothing would give me more pleasure, moon of my life.”
He whispers in your ear before encasing your lips with his.
Imagine being best friends with Daenerys and having a deep conversation about issues but it gets interrupted by her brother, Viserys.
♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡
\ Request from anonymous /
Can I request a oneshot where the reader is Dany’s best friend and she’s having a heart-to-heart chat with her about Jorah’s true intentions (since he obviously likes Daenerys)… then, as the dialogue progresses, Dany brings up Viserys (who has shown an interest in the reader) and as she question the reader about him, he barges in suddenly and interrupts their conversation - dismissing Dany so that he can talk to the reader alone? You can decide what happens from here on in. Thank you! xo.
The exile knight looked from Dany to her brother; she barefoot, with dirt between her toes and oil in her hair, he with his silks and steel. Dany could see the decision on his face. “He shall walk, Khaleesi,” he said. He took her brother’s horse in hand while Dany remounted her silver. Viserys gaped at him, and sat down in the dirt. He kept his silence, but he would not move, and his eyes were full of poison as they rode away.
[The wonderful @bloomsbury made this fantastic art of Dany x Jon in Pride and Prejudice annnnnnd I just couldn’t help myself!!! (I have permission to post fyi!) I’ve NEVER written this kind of AU before, but I’m a big Jane Austen fan, so this was a must for me. ANYWAY. It’s pretty traditional as far as Austen goes ESPECIALLY when Liz and Darcy meet, so I hope you like it!]
Read on Ao3 here! Annnnnd due to many a positive feedback I’m going to be turning this into a story I guess! Thanks for reading and for the encouragement guys.
“Father says you are to meet Mr. Drogo at the ball tonight. If you’re lucky he will pick you over that insufferable Stark or Lannister girl… ” Viserys snarled with lips pursed and eyes narrowed as he look down on her, scanning her face and light purple dress carefully. Reminding her that he had been left in charge with a single gaze.
Dany knew there would be many men looking for wives at this ball. She also knew that for every eligible husband there would be two times as many sneaky rat like men with a daughters or sisters they wanted to trade for lands and wealth. This was just the way of the world, and she knew it. Marrying for love didn’t happen… it was gold and copper that mattered and Khal Drogo had a mountain of it.
Viserys and her father were ambitious, she’d give them that. They didn’t want just any man to wed her, they wanted one of the richest and most successful men in England. Mr. Drogo was wealthy in ships, horses and men. He was perfect in her fathers eyes and as much as she didn’t want to marry him, or any other man… She didn’t have a choice. She never had a choice.
“We need this. It is your duty, dear sister… Don’t forget it.”
Daenerys never liked when her brother ended with those words. Especially when it came to topics such as this… Topics about her life that she wasn’t allowed any say in. It drove her mad. Just as mad as the rumors about her father had been… She dreamed of a life where she would be free to make her own choices and do as she please, but she also knew that life would never exist. So instead she listened to his words of duty, and orders of obedience.
Today her duty was to impress, so impress she would.
Before she knew where the time had gone they were already entering Meryton. She walked through the doors of that beautiful estate in awe, as her lilac eyes slid to each bright color and the bustle of movement around her. In the moments she walked slowly up the stairs towards the shuffle of music filled feet and booze filled laugher she felt her heart growing anxious.
Dany had never been to a ball before. Not one of this size, with this type of crowd, or these kinds of expectations… She didn’t even really know where to start, so she made her way towards the servers circling the room with elevated trays of crystal. When one came close enough she snatch one from the pedestal with a small smile as she bring the cool glass to her lips. Drinking slowly as she try and spot the man her family expect her to enchant…
But before she could get too deep into her search she felt two slender fingers poking her in either side of the stomach softly. Daenerys turned in a panicked jump to see Sansa Stark wearing the widest smile she’d seen her wear. Sansa looked beautiful; she was wearing the most gorgeous green gown that complimented her hair and eyes perfectly.
Daenerys smiled wide passing a tight hug around her, for a moment forgetting what was expected of her. “It’s so wonderful to see you. I’ve missed you so much.”
“And I’ve missed you.” Sansa released her, sliding her hands down both of Dany’s bare arms until she reached her hands, holding them within hers affectionately. “How long have you been here? You didn’t come find me sooner?” She smiled again leaning forward playfully. Her voice was soft and lined with excitement.
“I only just arrived. My brother always was one to be late…” She said with a sigh. “You know how he can be.”
“Do I ever.” Sansa replied with a softer more sympathetic smile. “Shall we? It would please me to introduce you to Mr. Bingly…” Her lips curled mischievously as her eyebrow raised.
Daenerys knew just what that look was and she couldn’t deny her friend her moment to brag. After she roll her eyes playfully she smiled back allowing herself to be pulled forward through the crowds of dancing and drinking people.
“My father tells me that you’ve been spending quite a lot of time with Mr. Bingley…” Dany’s voice was singsongy as she teased innocently. She’d heard many great things about him, but this was her best friend and she didn’t trust that any man could be good enough for her.
Sansa turned back lowering her posture as she grabbed Dany by the arms again lightly. “He’s a good man, Dany. I swear it. Father would never make me wed him if he wasn’t – I didn’t me…”
The both of them realized what had been alluded, and Daenerys could see the remorse spread over Sansa’s pale face. She knew they all had duties in this life, but it made her hopeful that at least Eddard Stark wasn’t the same kind of man her father was…
After a moments pause Dany softened her gaze and continued. “Oh I know, Sansa. If you’re fond of him, then I like him… honest.”
“Wonderful. There’s something else… I think you might be interested in Bingley’s friend, Jon. I’ve only known him a short while, but- Oh, don’t look at me like that.”
And just like that Dany stopped to look to her with lilac eyes spread wide in confusion. “I’m fairly certain there isn’t a man here that I’d be interested in.” She was confident as she eye the space around them. Playing for just a moment with the idea that she was in charge of such decisions…
Sansa scoffed shaking her head as she pull her forward once more, playing along just the same. Her voice only a little insinuating. “One of these days, Dany. Someone will catch those eyes of yours.”
Daenerys wondered if it were true. If she’d ever find a man that didn’t disgust her, or one she could love. Granted she didn’t know many men and the men she did know weren’t the best examples. But even if she didn’t find love or happiness, she’d do what she must.
Today her duty was to find a husband, so find a husband she would.
Sansa turned sharply standing close to Daenerys from almost a foot above; causing Dany to nearly spill what remain in her glass over the both of them. “What?” She asked wide eyed scanning their gowns for any sign of a mess.
“Over my shoulder… the one to the left is Bingley. The other is Mr. Snow…”
Dany slid her head to the side eyeing both men carefully. Bingley was tall, and had a head of hair nearly as red as Sansa’s had been. The man beside him was just as tall but broader shouldered and had darker more burdened eyes. His hair was black as night and was half pulled back from his eyes.
“Who?” Dany asked mocking confusion as she narrow her eyes on them watching Bingley smile and laugh with those around him and as this Jon Snow stare brooding and bored beside him.
“Jon!” She whispered loudly, as though the answer was obvious. Noticing only a second too late that it was.
“He looks miserable, Sansa. You must’ve known I’d find that the opposite of interesting.” Daenerys still stare at the two as she reply back in a low whisper. The noises of the party almost buried her reply within them.
Sansa thew her eyes over her shoulder and let her face drop in disappointment at the sight. After another sigh she turned back towards Daenerys with a smile and light eyes offering a weak reply. “Oh, you’re right… But he can’t be worse that that man your brother is talking to, can he?” She signaled behind Daenerys towards her brother and Mr. Drogo. “Plus, he’s at least twice as wealthy and I doubt Viserys or your father would argue with that…”
Daenerys dare not look, for if she did he’d summon her immediately. Instead she nodded briefly before speaking again. “I suppose you’re right… Well go on then.” She finished as Sansa pull her lightly by the hand once more making the final stretch forward.
“Sansa.” Mr. Bingly spoke with admiration as his eyes light up at the sight of her. It was clear he was enamored, and by the look she returned it was obvious she felt the same. “Are you enjoying the ball?”
Daenerys stood with hands linked in front of her as she eye this Jon Snow as sneakily as possible. He was rather handsome, she had to admit. But when she lock eyes with him he dart his gaze almost immediately away, leaving her puzzled in both mind and across her face.
“It’s lovely, Bingley.” Sansa stepped closer to him still holding Dany’s hand within her fingertips. They shared a look of devotion before Sansa spoke again, with a lighter voice than before. “This is my dear friend, Dany Bennet. She’s sister to Viserys Targaryen…” Sansa put a hand softly on Dany’s shoulder as she look to Jon.
“It is lovely to meet you, Dany.” Bingley smiled sincerely as he lower his head to a bow. “This is Jon Snow. He’s an old friend of mine.”
“Mr. Snow.” Dany addressed him as she look to his face once more. This time he’d already been staring at her, and he wasn’t looking away. But he didn’t speak either… He just look at her with lowered brow as if he were severely inconvenienced by the whole thing.
Bingley threw Sansa a bewildering glance before changing his gaze to Jon in full. They all noticed the way he stare at Dany under furrowed eyes with lips set lightly together.
After a moment of silence Jon took a slight breath in before lowing his head in a low bow finally speaking towards his feet. “If you’ll excuse me.”
The three of them watched open mouthed and wide eyed as he turn and walk gracefully through the crowds. Dany’s eyes changed further, this time she was upset, and maybe even a little angry. She’d never met this Jon Snow, and yet he was clearly partial to her. Not even Sansa’s soft hand to her shoulder was enough shop her her gaze from lowering to a disappointed glare.
“That was rather rude…” Sansa spoke as she look to Bingley for any sign of what had happened.
“I’m sorry, Miss Bennet. He-Jon must be very tired, it was quite the ride from Pemberley…” Bingly sent her sympathetic smile, hoping that was consolation enough.
“You needn’t apologize for the actions of others, Mr. Bingley.” Dany sent him a soft smile as she place a hand above Sansa’s elbow, giving it a light squeeze before turning to find any place that was not there.
Daenerys wished to be outside or alone with Sansa even, but she knew her brother would want to see her by now… The night was progressing and he’d expected her ages ago, yet here she was offending strangers with mere looks and hellos. Rather than wake the dragon she complied to his warnings in her mind, offering her prettiest of smiles as she walk towards Viserys where he sat with Mr. Drogo.
Today her duty was to charm, so charm she would.
They spent well over an hour talking of less awkward things and before long she’d almost forgotten completely about this Jon Snow and his inability to be polite. That was until she heard him talking to Mr. Bingley just behind her… He must not have seen her there; that or he really was just as cruel as the other men she knew.
‘She is barely tolerable.’ Dany had heard him say…
More time pass as Daenerys tried to ignore the annoying bubbling she felt stirring low in her stomach. She felt that sickness light a fire within her as she repeated his word over and over in her mind…
Who did this Jon Snow think he was? Why did he feel like he knew her well enough to judge her worth within a few short seconds… She said but two words to him, and yet he seemed so indifferent to her.
That’s when she saw him… All of a sudden there he was. Just standing across from her between Mr. Drogo and her bother, doing nothing but looking right at her. His hands were hidden within his dark slim coat pockets, and his brow was just as low. Dany looked around suddenly seeing Sansa and Bingley standing closely behind Jon as they speak quietly to each other with soft smiles.
Daenerys pulled her lips tighter and swallowed down the knot forming in her throat as she lock eyes with him once more. How long had be standing been there? Better yet, how long had she been staring at nothing in silence as she fixated on his…
“Daenerys is quite the beauty don’t you think, Mr. Drogo? When she was only 15 there was a gentlemen so taken with her, I thought he’d ask for her hand…” Viserys paused looking to Daenerys with a side smile.
This was when she realized what they’d been talking about… All of a sudden she was embarrassed, and her heart began racing inside her cage of a chest. She was embarrassed he’d speak of such things to strangers, she was embarrassed this Jon was here to hear them…
But still she didn’t speak, she just stare into this Jon Snows dark eyes he hid beneath roughened brow .
“Pity… However he did write you some lovely poetry before didn’t he, sister?” Viserys was almost condescending when he spoke, but he knew just how to speak to weave a spell; and by the way Mr. Drogo looked over his sister, he knew he’d done it again.
“Poetry is more suited for driving away love if you ask me.” Daenerys said back sharply. The surprise even she felt at her response wasn’t visible on her face, and she hoped Viserys wouldn’t tell their father… Something in the way Mr. Drogo was looking at her told her he wouldn’t though.
“I thought poetry was the food of love?” Jon interrupted Mr. Drogo suddenly. He didn’t look to anyone but Daenerys when he spoke with heavy eyes and arms fastened firmly behind his back.
“Perhaps if it were a fine love… But I’m convinced if it is only a vague inclination, well, such words would kill it dead.” Dany replied flatly. She didn’t look from him once, but she noticed all of the eyes moving towards them both. “Some words cannot be put back once spoken, Mr. Snow.”
“So what is it you do recommend?” Jon asked back curiously, tossing the smallest of glances to those around him as he shift his weight then look back to her.
“Dancing… If ones partner is barely tolerable.” After a second she took a deep breath, watching as he shift his dark eyes back towards Bingley who was now at his side, and as Sansa look to her with lips slightly parted.
“She is a dragon after all…”
Dany watched the wide smile that spread over Mr. Drogo’s mouth as he narrowed his eyes on her as he began to laugh… Dany knew that look. That was the look her father wanted, the look Viserys needed… Moments later Viserys and the others joined in on his loud laughter. But not Jon. And not Daenerys.
After a second she slid her eyes from her brother and Drogo’s pleased faces back to Mr. Snow. He had already been looking at her. Again. But this time in those dark eyes was a look she didn’t know so well. In those moments neither of them spoke, and that unknown stare sent a strange wave through her that ended low then spread like a warm wave.
In an instant she curtsey with forced smile and turned abruptly making her way from the ball.
Today her duty was to to be content, but content she was not…
Jon & Dany - Mirroring journeys leading to each other
We’ve seen a lot of visual parallels of these two through all the brilliant gifsets the gifmakers of this fandom create. @officerparker asked me to take the show apart with a scalpel in terms of these two as characters & honestly as a writer trying to learn the craft, this was a very educational exercise. This
Mother of Metas, a Jonerys thesis if you must, is entirely based on show canon.
Scratching the surface - Stark/Targaryen contrast
Looking at these two at surface level, they might seem like polar opposites. Jon lives by the Stark stoicism, a house whose motto is ‘Winter is Coming’ instead of something personal. It symbolises their disinterest in political games and laser sharp focus towards the danger that lurks north of the wall. For winter hits them first, their strength lies in protecting the realm from what lurks beyond the wall. They have never fared well politically in games of southerners, so they distance themselves from it to focus on what really matters. Joining the Night’s Watch only amplified and cemented this in Jon’s character, as focus on the threats beyond the wall & aversion from politics is the foundation of the brotherhood.
Dany is a Targaryen. ‘Fire and Blood’ both nurturing life sources when contained but devastating when unleashed. She too is kind, nurturing and protective but she doesn’t shy away from violence against wrong doers. Targaryens don’t fare well diplomatically either but with godlike power of dragons and fire magic, the Dragons unapologetically make their way to the top of the food chain. The first Targaryen conquest led to the creation of the Iron Throne, which all the other houses are fighting over with politics ever since the Targaryen dynasty ended. The second conquest could again change the game and setup a new system, which Dany very much intends to do, to break the wheel that tramples the common people. They don’t play the game, they create and dominate it with great power which drives some in the dynasty to greatness and some to madness.
Despite house values that are reactive vs proactive and avoiding the game vs dominating the game, both are more tied with mysticism and a greater purpose, rather than games of mere mortals. Underneath this outer shell of contrast, these two characters are so similar, they are almost mirrors of each other, something their arcs strongly signifies.
Birth : Jon and Dany are both orphans born in a chaotic environment. The death of their fathers put an end to Targaryen dynasty’s reign and their mothers died at childbirth.
Dany was born at Dragonstone during a storm, the night of a naval battle which destroyed the Targaryen fleet.
Jon was born as a Ned fought the guards outside the Tower of Joy in Dorne.
Dany was shipped off to Essos for her safety soon after her birth.
Ned Stark took him back to Winterfell as his bastard to protect his life and uphold his promise to his dying sister.
Upbringing : Their childhood issues parallel in terms of not belonging, toxic relationship with a parental figure and a crisis of identity.
1. A sense of belonging to a home/family: Dany grew up on the run like a fugitive, escaping cities in the nick of time from assassins. She grew up without a home or a stable family other than Viserys. She had no long term friends or formal education as a child.
Jon grew up a bastard, an unwanted outcast with front row seats to the perfect family he would never be a part of. Him getting drunk outside, as the family feasted during Robert’s visit in the pilot is a good indicator of how much worse would the exclusion must have felt when he was a child.
2. Toxic parental figure : Dany had only Viserys to call family and he was quite obviously physically, emotionally and psychologically abusive, with undertones of sexual abuse as well. He treated her like his property rather than a person. Yet she had the same kind of toxic combination of fear and love for him that children of abusive parents have at a younger age before they grow up and realise that there is more to human relationships than being abused.
Jon craved motherly love his entire life. Despite being an outcast, he had strong sibling bonds & a decent relationship with his father but he was completely ignored and despised by Catelyn and he ws unaware of who his biological mother was or why she didn’t want him either.
3. Identity crisis
Viserys raised Dany with a very distorted view of what it means to be a Targaryen based on his distorted childhood memories and who he was as a person. Good example of this would be Dany only knew Rhaegal of a one dimensional warrior and was surprised to find out that he hated fighting and loved music. Her warmth was discouraged and looked down upon as weakness and Viserys repeatedly used the word Dragon when he is hurting/dominating her. Her identity crisis comes from being exposed to only the madness side of the Targaryen coin through Viserys and stories of her father. She had to discover the greatness on her own.
Jon’s greatest mystery is not knowing a key piece of himself, his mother, who was the reason for
denial of maternal love and his exclusion from the Stark family. Ironically as we now know his mother was Lyanna Stark & he would have found a place in the Stark family if his fraternal Targaryen roots didn’t threaten his life. Jon once said he wanted nothing more but to be a Stark his entire childhood. Tyrion’s advise on embracing his identity and wearing it like a badge of honour instead of being ashamed of it played a huge role in Jon coming into his own. He no longer wishes to be a Stark, he is Jon Snow. There is a key piece of his identity and heritage he needs to discover and allow the Targaryen in him to grow. But he has accepted himself as Jon Snow enough to not start calling himself a Targaryen either.
Inciting incident for the story
The plot begins with death of Jon Arryn, Hand of the King & Lord of Vale. He was Ned and Robert’s father figure. His wife Lysa poisoned him
on her childhood crush, little finger’s request. Lysa sent Catlyn Stark a letter stating that she fled to Vale and the Lannisters poison her husband, to create the rift between Starks and Lannisters. This was something Little finger had been plotting his entire life and as he finally sets his plan to destabilise the kingdom in motion, the plot begins with Robert travelling north to ask Ned to be his Hand.
Jon and Dany are introduced as meek and reactive minor characters in a world where House Targaryen, Dragons and magic has disappeared. Both of them are being pushed further away from the central plot with Jon joining the Night’s watch and Dany betrothed to Khal drogo.
Introduction of Character Goals: Magic is so nonexistent that the sighting of white walkers was brushed off by Ned, which would end up being the central motivation for Jon Snow’s character.
It starts with Jon being shunned by Catelyn Stark from a ceremony - Robert’s feast - He gets the advice to embrace the fact that he is a bastard from Tyrion and also meets his uncle Benjin, a brother of the Night’s watch.
Jon was in some control of his destiny, as he proactively chose to embark on his hero’s journey by pleading his uncle Benjin’s to make him a member of the Night’s watch.
He had no better options as a bastard, but he embraced his character goal, to guard the realm from what lies beyond the wall because winter was coming.
This small and innocent desire was the seed to his mission against white walkers once he witnessed magic.
In an attempt to put a Targaryen on the throne once again, Varys’ friend and spy network partner Illyrio Mopatis, the merchant housing the Targaryen siblings’s arranges Dany’s marriage to Khal Drogo to help the Viserys acquire an army.
Dany is launched off into her storyline by being forced into a ceremony she didn’t want to be part of - her marriage to Khal Drogo for the fulfilment of her brother’s goals of getting an army.
She had such little control over her life, she is introduced as a character being stripped naked by her brother in her very first scene and it takes all of season 1 for her to find free will.
Her little plea to her brother “I want to go home” is dismissed with their need for an army & ships to return to Westeros and take the Iron Throne by force.
Her naive desire to go back home ends up being the seed for her character goals to provocatively embark upon her journey to become a Queen who fights for free will.
Meeting their animal symbolism
Varys’ friend Illyrio Mopatis, gifts Dany three dragon eggs at her wedding.
Jon talks Ned into sparing the loves of the Direwolf pups they found next to a dead direwolf mother. As he walks away, he finds an albino pup who Theon calls ‘Runt of the litter’. Jon adopts Ghost.
Key difference here as well is how reactive vs proactive these adoptions were and the fact that Dany’s Dragons weren’t born but given to her as eggs to be hatched when she comes into her own as a Dragon as well.
Personally I loved the fact that Dany first picks up the green egg, the one Rhaegal hatched from, her dragon named after Jon’s father and the one I assume Jon would ride one day. Also Jon got the silver haired pup, just like Dany’s hair in the books.
Key differences in Characterisation: These two have parallels but by no means am I stating that they are same on every level. Both of them are beautifully unique, with similarities and differences. They have character contrasts in their story parallels and character parallels in their contrasting storylines. One of the reasons why Dany’s monologue, when these two meet is so powerful, because their stories began at very different places and it had a huge impact on how they grew.
Dany had an unstable and abusive childhood, Jon was an outcast in the perfect family as a bastard.
She was more privileged and was a Queen in some capacity since the beginning but was treated like a trophy. He had a lower stature in his family and the Night’s Watch at first but he had free will, except S03.
Dany starts out in a powerless, battered, controlled and reactive damsel in distress mould. Jon starts out as every hopeful and naive proactive fantasy genre hero, though the story does a great job at keeping it subtle and presenting him as a minor character.
It would take a season for Dany to find free will and to take charge of her story. Jon had that freedom and was driving his story from the start.
Dany had absolutely no support system. Jon had Ned, Robb, Arya and Bran who loved him dearly.
The episode ends with Jon finding an honourable purpose in life and Dany getting raped and pushed to the very extreme of her life as a victim.
All these differences are a big factor in why these two grew so differently at a surface level. Jon is a hesitant leader because he started hopeful, naive and a little arrogant, which changed after all the horrible things he went through. Dany is an ambitious and dominating leader because she knows what being powerless is and she would never revisit that place or let anyone else live in shackles if she can make a difference. Comparing them at surface level is futile and destroys the entire point of the story, so lets dive in deep!
Season 1 : Struggling to find a place in their new world - Watcher on the walls & Khalessi
She was. She fucking was. I’m sorry if you can’t reconcile that with her also growing to love her rapist, but it doesn’t change the fact that she suffered greatly from it. Also, why are people only thinking of Drogo as her rapist? Viserys abused Dany for years before selling her to the Dothraki, who’s to say she wasn’t referring to those experiences. Or both. I just don’t understand the hate around this particular part of her speech.
Such little things, she thought as she fed them by hand or rather, tried to feed them, for the dragons would not eat. They would hiss and spit at each bloody morsel of horsemeat, steam rising from their nostrils, yet they would not take the food… until Dany recalled something Viserys had told her when they were children. Only dragons and men eat cooked meat, he had said.
I was almost finished writing down my dark!dany-impressions from episodes 1 and two, but then episode 3 aired and I decided to completely change the structure of this little essay and start anew. So of course, this took way longer than anticipated. I decided to finish the first part now, hopefully post the second part later today or tomorrow and complete the third and fourth after Dany went Dracarys in ep 4 (because she will, I just know that she will)
A couple of disclaimers before I get started :
First: D&D are playing loose (very loose) with the social rules and norms established in the books. I will try to keep any “that doesn’t make any sense, in the books xyz would happen” out of this. For example if the show tells me that besieging a city from all sites, thereby cutting its supply lines, will cost the least civilian life, I will take that as a fact. If the show claims that Cersei’s claim to the Iron Throne is “secure” enough to be seen fucking her own brother, at least within Kings Landing and in the mind of several Reach Lords who answered her summon, I will accept that as well. In short: If D&D say that’s how it is, then that’s how it is.
Second: I do not believe that primarily judging characters and their actions from a westerosi point of view really makes sense anymore. The world in which this story takes place should be taken into consideration, yes, but watsonian consistency and accuracy have really taken a backseat to the doylist intentions the show is trying to express. D&D are clearly changing and constructing plot lines, characterizations, decisions and reactions with a modern audience in mind and, most importantly, to accommodate their modern moral and ethical views. This is not to say that modern audiences lack the capacity to put themselves into alien positions and worldviews. This ability simply seems to be very inconsistent and sometimes even contradictory. For example: Even though decapitation has mostly vanished as a form of punishment, it’s fairly easy to recognise the supposed “justice” in such an act. If we are presented with a culprit guilty of a capital crime. As the show has displayed many times, chopping off someone else’s head for breaking a vow, does not turn you into a blood-thirsty murderer or ruthless tyrant, even though we all agree, that it’s good we don’t do that anymore. But on the other hand (pun intended) if one of our good guys were to cut of a thief’s hand on screen -a widespread punishment for theft over many continents and centuries, including the setting of asoiaf* - we would probably have a harder time to “forgive” them for it. I know I would. Humans and their perception of “moral” are weird. I’m sure there are some theories out there on why that is and what influences this, imo, rather weird phenomena, but I hope you understand what I mean when I say: We can accept different realities and their rules, but only when we can. In my opinion, that’s a framework D&D are carefully working with.
You can disagree with me on that, but that is how I am going to approach the show from now on, this little post included. I will focus on what the show-runners are trying to convey to a modern audience. How do they want us to react to what happens on screen and what tools do they use to influence and guide our reaction. Many of my estimations will be intuitive and not necessarily fully objective, so everyone is free to disagree with me in that perspective. But if you want to refute one of my arguments here, solely based on “but it is based on the medieval !!!”, you will have to present a very compelling case for me to care. Because the show mostly doesn’t care on what time period Westeros is vaguely based on, so why should I?
Third: These are only my opinions, blah blah. I do not claim to have an insider in HBO who tells me what they were trying to do. These are only my thoughts, my analysis, my interpretations.
Fourth: I don’t “hate” Dany, I don’t think she is the most evilest person on the show, I simply believe that she is moving into a darker direction. Honestly, that would be the exact twist the series could need right now. It’s starting to get a bit boring and predictable.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get started with the first big question:
Why even conquer Westeros ?
I believe that both intentions and consequences are important. As a rule of thumb I always judge an action by its consequences, the character of a person by their intentions. This is often intertwined, an “evil” person will often do “evil” things, “good” people can sometimes do “evil” things for “good” reasons, and if a “good” person keeps doing “evil” shit you will sooner or later question how “good” they really are. It’s useless to say that all of this is indeed very subjective and it’s pretty unlikely that two people will always be on the same page. No one has to agree with me on that (after all the entire field of philosophy has been arguing about this for centuries), but I found it to be a fair and meaningful way to assess “ethical positioning”, at least for fictional fictional characters and my own opinion.
So in this first section, I will focus on the question Why does Dany even want to conquer Westeros? Rather than her qualities as a queen or the consequences of her actions I will try to focus on her intentions, on what drives her to conquer the Seven Kingdoms. I will end this section on whether those intentions justify or warrant the price she is willing to pay for the Iron Throne and talk more thoroughly about it in later parts.
Season 7 has had a number of interesting hints and revelations about this issue.
EPISODE 1 “DRAGONSTONE”
I honestly didn’t pay much attention to the single short scene Dany had in episode one. (I was preoccupied with the case umber & karstark vs the north). But some comments made by Dany-fans caught my attention and made me take another look at her behaviour. What I’m talking about is Dany entering the Throne Room in Dragonstone, walking towards the throne (a symbol for “ruling”) but moving to the next room, rejecting it for the carved table Aegon planned his conquest on 300 years ago (a symbol for just that - “conquest”).
I read comments along the lines “This was such a great character moment! It really shows where her priorities lie” or “She doesn’t just want to rule, she wants to win!”. After giving it some thought I fully agree with these statements, but … I do not think that’s … a good thing? This reminds me very much of something Dario said in season 6:
You weren’t made to sit on some chair in a palace. […] You are a conqueror, D Stormborn.
I think he is spot on with this. It has been shown again and again that what Dany is good at, what she thrives at, is conquest. Fighting and defeating your enemy. My question is: does this make her a good candidate for the Iron Throne? Shouldn’t her conquest simply be the means through which she accomplishes her real goal - ruling - instead of her true vocation?
I don’t believe that Dany actually wants to sit on a throne, she simply wants to win it. Robert showed that good soldiers don’t make good kings, I do not believe that good conquerors make good queens neither.
EPISODE 2 “STORMBORN”
This episode tackles and subtly undermines two motivations behind this conquest, that made it an relatable, righteous venture in both our and Danys mind.
First, Dany admits that Dragonstone “doesn’t feel like home”.
Dany to Viserys in Pentos [s1]: I don’t want to be his queen. I want to go home.
Dany to Tyrion in Meereen [s5]: I fought so that no child born into Slaver’s Bay would ever know what it meant to be sold or bought. I will continue that fight here and beyond. But this is not my home.
Dany to Tyrion in Dragonstone [s7]: I always thought this would be a homecoming. Doesn’t feel like home.
Longing for one’s home is an outmost humane desire. We can empathize and sympathize with this. We can’t begrudge her for this wish or the actions she takes to fulfill it. She might have never spend a day of her adult life in westeros before, but it has always been “home” in her mind. Now she is faced with the ugly reality that it isn’t. That Dragonstone, and I would deduce the Seven Kingdoms as a whole, are a strange, foreign place to her. If the castle she was born in, her family’s ancestral seat doesn’t feel “like home”, what will? The Red Keep? The Iron Throne? It is quite tragic, but the only real home Dany ever knew was the House with the red door in Braavos she lived in as a child. And that is not the home she will find at the end of her conquest.
Second, Dany realizes that the common folk is not praying for her return, sewing dragon banners and drinking secret toasts to her health.
The wine seller and Dany [s1]: You know there are many in your homeland who pray for your return princess. – I hope to repay your kindness someday.
Tyrion and Dany [s5]: When you get back to you home, who supports you? – “The common people”.
Dany to Varys [s7]: They call out for their true queen? They drink secret toasts to my health? People used to tell my brother that sort of thing and he was stupid enough to believe it.
Acknowledging that Viserys was a fool to believe this, certainly shows maturity and that she’s come to understand “how the world works”, but this notion, that she would return the rightful ruler to her people also gave her conquest a “moral backbone”. After all Dany has always depicted herself as a champion for the common people (at least as long as she was in essos, more on that later). If she believes that “her people are crying out for their true queen”, even if it isn’t true, simply if she believes it, her conquest is to some extent meant to fulfill the wishes of her subjects. Whether that is an important factor for the legitimacy of a feudalistic ruler, is another question, but it definitely is a quality we admire and look for in a good ruler. What makes the King in the North scenes so powerful and engaging, is the fact, that both Robb and Jon are chosen by their people. This has always played an important part in Dany’s self-image as a ruler. She was always shown to be loved by the essosi commoners (ie former slaves), she herself has stated that “the common folk” is who supports her in westeros. But quite frankly the show hasn’t addressed yet what the westerosi small folk is thinking about the dragon queen’s return. Neither has Dany. It is only brought up once, when Varys starts to recount how unpopular Cersei is and Dany shuts him down immediately.
I noticed that “the good” Dany could do for the small folk in Westeros is mostly addressed by her supporters, not herself. Varys claims to back her because he believes “she is the best chance the common folk has”, Tyrion is the one to tell Jon that she “protects people from monsters”. In her time in slaver’s bay she brought this up numerous times herself: What SHE could do to better their lives. But since she landed in Westeros, she only talks about bringing peace and prosperity to the people twice. Once when talking to Onella, who immediately shits all over warfare-the-nice-way and tells her to be “a dragon” (more on that in part 3) and a second time when talking to Jon. But this sentiment was brought up in the context of how “a targaryen on the Iron Throne and a Stark as warden in north” have been good for the realm. It isn’t directly linked to Dany herself, rather her conception of her family’s legacy and it’s influence in the past.
EPISODE 3 “THE QUEENS JUSTICE”
This episode has done nothing to paint Danys motivation in a, let’s say “humanitarian”, light. Quite contrary, Dany freely admits in her own words that this conquest is most and foremost about her. Her wishes, her desires, what she thinks she deserves. She is approaching her “negotiation” with Jon with two key arguments in mind. First, her hereditary claim as a Targaryen and secondly, her personal claim based on her life experiences.
The last King in the North was Torrhen Stark, who bend the knee to my ancestor, Aegon Targaryen. In exchange for his life and the life of the Northmen, Torrhen Stark swore fealty to House Targaryen in perpetuity. […] You’ve travelled all this way to break faith with House Targaryen? …
I’ve already talked about my problems with Dany calling herself the “rightful” ruler. Though she admits that her father was an “evil man”, she doesn’t acknowledge Robert’s Rebellion as a justified uprising against a tyrant. She simply sees her father as the bad apple of the family. As a single outlier in the otherwise “consistent” history of “righteous” Targaryen rule. Not only showing an unwillingness to accept any wrongdoings done by her house, her father gets outsourced as an exception, but also the consequences his downfall has for her “birthright”. Notice how she is specifically introduced as the “rightful” ruler (which is a little node at Jon heritage as well). She insists that the oaths Torrhen Stark made to Aegon are valid for eternity. She accuses Jon of “breaking faith” and “being in open rebellion”. She is not trying to re-establish House Targaryen post-rebellion, she is refusing to acknowledge the rebellions significance, as if it doesn’t even matter. Her goal is to keep the Targaryen rule going, because in her mind, it never was rightfully “interrupted” in the first place. This is a mind-set that hasn’t changed since season 1.
While this argument seems to be prepared, her “outburst” that follows, reveals her most honest thoughts and opinions.
I was born in Dragonstone. Not that I can remember it. We fled before Robert’s assassins could find us. Robert was your father’s best friend, no? I wonder if your father knew that his best friends sent assassins to murder a baby girl in her crib. Not that it matters now, of course. I spent my life in foreign lands. So many men have tried to kill me, I don’t remember all their names. I have been sold like a broodmare. I’ve been chained and betrayed, raped and defiled. Do you know what kept me standing through all these years in exile? Faith. Not in any gods, not in myths and legends. In myself. In D Targaryen.
Don’t get me wrong, she deserves sympathy for all this. She was victimized for most her life, breaking free of this role, taking agency and even drawing strength from her abuse is indeed inspiring. I don’t know if that was the purpose of her speech, but I’m sure that many people perceived it that way. I don’t want to badmouth those who took just that away from it.
But somehow … it also raised some “tragic-villain-backstory” alarms in my head. You know, traditionally at the end of the movie, when our heroes are chained up somewhere in the bad dudes lair and ask “Why are you doing this?” and the villain responds with all the bad shit that happened to them. Talking about how the world wronged them, often how our heroes wronged them.
“All my life the laughed at me, look who’s laughing now?”
This is not a sentiment directly expressed by her, but I feel like it’s so heavily implied that it’s fair to list it here. She has endured many, many hardships and now she feels that the world “owes” her big time. I feel like her ambition of conquering an entire kingdom has crossed the line of “not letting all your traumas stop you” and entered the realm of “I deserve everything I want, no matter the cost because life was unfair to me.” And that really is a text-book villain motive.
I really do not like to compare female characters, and I’m not trying to say that one of them “had it worse than the other”, but all of these things also apply to Sansa, some of them even to Cersei. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that in an episode titled “The Queen’s justice”, we see one Queen using her sufferings to support her claim, one taking revenge on those who wronged her and another taking care of her people’s needs. All of these three women have suffered in similar ways and while two of them use it to justify their rather selfish behaviour, one of them is shown to spend her time working for others. This “parallel” is only amplified by Bran mentioning Sansa’s wedding night in the same episode. The only reason I can see for Bran bringing up this specific incident (there were many other options to proof his three-eyed-raven powers), is to draw a connection to Danys speech. Again, I am not necessarily trying to set them against each other, but Danys approach to coping with her abuse, at least resembles the one Cersei chose to take. Compare Danys speech to this book quote from Cersei and tell me you don’t get similar vibes:
I waited, and so can he. I waited half my life. She had played the dutiful daughter, the blushing bride, the pliant wife. She had suffered Robert’s drunken groping, Jaime’s jealousy, Renly’s mockery, Varys with his titters, Stannis endlessly grinding his teeth. She had contended with Jon Arryn, Ned Stark, and her vile, treacherous, murderous dwarf brother, all the while promising herself that one day it would be her turn. If Margaery Tyrell thinks to cheat me of my hour in the sun, she had bloody well think again.
This makes me believe that Dany is more or will be more like Cersei than she would like to think. If we all believe that Cersei is power hungry, isn’t Dany as well? For very similar reasons?
The ending of her little speech also makes her seem a bit megalomaniac.
[…] Do you know what kept me standing through all these years in exile? Faith. Not in any gods, not in myths and legends. In myself. In D Targaryen. The world hasn’t seen a dragon in centuries until my children were born. The Dothraki haven’t crossed the sea, any sea. They did for me. I was born to rule the Seven Kingdoms and I will.
It’s no surprise really. She is the Mother of Dragons, the Unburnt, the Khal of Khals. It’s no wonder all of this goes to her head. This also ties into her conversation with Melisandre in episode two. She immediately assumes that the prophecy is about her, or at least, seems rather pleased at the possibility. She seems to be taken aback when Mel said she (only) “has a part to play”. (At least that’s how I interpreted it, it’s not really easy to know what EC is trying to convey with her … “acting”. Sry, not sry.) She has fully accepted herself as a chosen one, a prophesied savior, an über-mensch. Whether because of her lineage or her own achievements, this attitude hinges on plain arrogance and is way more often found in “villains” than “heroes”.
Please notice that her speech is not triggered by Jon refusing her claim, but by his insistence that the white walkers are real and coming for all them. Having her react like this at that point off the argument seems a bit out of place. It could boil down to shitty writing, but it could also be meant to emphasize an apparent contrast between Jon and Dany. Jon embraces leadership to protect his people, Dany seeks it to satisfy her need for self-importance.
While episode two subtly degrades her relatable and philanthropic motivations, episode three highlights those who are ultimately self-centered. Those rooted in ideas of superiority and entitlement. Whether she feels entitled because of everything she had to endure or her birthright as the last (lol) Targaryen, isn’t important. The point is that she feels she deserves to rule. She feels entitled to the seven kingdoms because of external circumstances, not because of her own qualities or competence.
I would also like to point out one more thing: Dany could have very well stayed in Essos. She could have chosen to remain in “the Bay of Dragons”, rule as it’s queen, bringing real stability to the region. The show swept that under the rug, and yes, I promised to just take the bullshit D&D feed me at face value, but it she just left Slaver’s Bay behind when it was time to conquer Westeros. I don’t see any reason why the region shouldn’t return to chaos after she, her armies and her dragons are gone. After all, it was “D Stormborn and her dragons coming to Meereen”, as Tyrion put it, that finally brought the former Masters to obey. Now that she’s busy somewhere else, what’s going to keep them in check? Daario and his 2000 Second Sons?
She could have stayed there, leading a comfortable life as it’s queen, caring for the people who worship her as the breaker of chains. Instead she decided to lead a war of invasion on Westeros. She decided to leave as soon as a fragile peace took hold, to wage war again. For what? If Dany isn’t fighting for “home” or “the will of her people”, what is she fighting for? What is left? She said it herself: D Targaryen. She is fighting for herself. This all is primarily about her and no one else. Honestly, I have a hard time rooting for someone who starts an invasion for selfish reasons.
This was part 1 of this long-ass post. I really hope I can finish “Tyrion Cricket starring in Danoccio” today or tomorrow. The sections “Fire and Blood and Burning Shit” will follow most likely after episode 4 has aired and my favourite topic right now (Targ!Cest vs Targ!Bowl) will come shortly after that. Stay tuned and thank you for your attention.
Hey, so I just started the books but I want to know if dany ever thinks about her mom in the books. It's sad how she has never mentioned her mom on the show
Daenerys never knew her mother - Queen Rhaella died giving her birth. So she doesn’t have any memory of her, but sometimes she thinks about her and the family she never knew.
Her mother had died birthing her, and for that her brother Viserys had never forgiven her.
“My mother died giving me birth, and my father and my brother Rhaegar even before that. I would never have known so much as their names if Viserys had not been there to tell me. He was the only one left. The only one. He is all I have.”
Her father had been slain before she was born, and her splendid brother Rhaegar as well. Her mother had died bringing her into the world while the storm screamed outside. Gentle Ser Willem Darry, who must have loved her after a fashion, had been taken by a wasting sickness when she was very young. Her brother Viserys, Khal Drogo who was her sun-and-stars, even her unborn son, the gods had claimed them all. They will not have my dragons, Dany vowed. They will not.
After she exiles Ser Jorah:
He’s gone, then. My father and my mother, my brothers, Ser Willem Darry, Drogo who was my sun-and-stars, his son who died inside me, and now Ser Jorah …
There is also a small backstory about Rhaella’s crown - it was the only object Viserys and Daenerys had from their mother, and their family, really. But Viserys had to sell it in the end - because they were poor, starving, homeless, and they needed the little money they got from the crown to survive. Daenerys recalls that from the moment Viserys sold it, he was never the same anymore.
Now even the coin they had gotten from Mother’s crown had gone. In the alleys and wine sinks of Pentos, they called her brother “the beggar king.” Dany did not want to know what they called her.
When Viserys sold their mother’s crown, the last joy had gone from him, leaving only rage.
And Daenerys refuses to sell her own crown (that she was gifted with in Qarth), thinking of Viserys and how much selling their mother’s crown affected hm.
The crown was the only offering she’d kept. The rest she sold, to gather the wealth she had wasted on the Pureborn. Xaro would have sold the crown too — the Thirteen would see that she had a much finer one, he swore — but Dany forbade it. “Viserys sold my mother’s crown, and men called him a beggar. I shall keep this one, so men will call me a queen.” And so she did, though the weight of it made her neck ache.
After Ser Barristan joins Daenerys, they talk about her family (because he knew them) from time to time.
“One day you must tell me all. The good and the bad. There is some good to be said of my father, surely?“
”There is, Your Grace. Of him, and those who came before him. Your grandfather Jaehaerys and his brother, their father Aegon, your mother … and Rhaegar. Him most of all.“
Ser Barristan went on. ”I saw your father and your mother wed as well. Forgive me, but there was no fondness there, and the realm paid dearly for that, my queen.“
”Why did they wed if they did not love each other?“
”Your grandsire commanded it. A woods witch had told him that the prince was promised would be born of their line.“
On her way to marry Hizdahr, she also asks Barristan to tell her of her parents’ loves:
“Tell me,” Dany said, as the procession turned toward the Temple of the Graces, “if my father and my mother had been free to follow their own hearts, whom would they have wed?”
“It was long ago. Your Grace would not know them.”
“You know, though. Tell me.”
The old knight inclined his head. “The queen your mother was always mindful of her duty.” He was handsome in his gold-and-silver armor, his white cloak streaming from his shoulders, but he sounded like a man in pain, as if every word were a stone he had to pass. “As a girl, though … she was once smitten with a young knight from the stormlands who wore her favor at a tourney and named her queen of love and beauty. A brief thing.”
“What happened to this knight?”
“He put away his lance the day your lady mother wed your father. Afterward he became most pious, and was heard to say that only the Maiden could replace Queen Rhaella in his heart. His passion was impossible, of course. A landed knight is no fit consort for a princess of royal blood.”
Rhaegar is more often present in Daenerys’ thoughts, but she does think of her mother Queen Rhaella too.
This episode has destroyed me. I can’t believe I’ve signed up for getting my heart ripped out like this but this is where we are. There’s so much I’m still trying to process and I won’t do all that in this post but here it goes: