Warning: Contains Spoilers
With just two episodes left, the fight for the Iron Throne has never been more uncertain.
While Cersei Lannister does everything in her power to keep hold of it, Jon Snow has said he wants nothing to do with it, despite his true parentage and rightful claim to the throne.
Daenerys Targaryen, meanwhile, wants the throne so badly, she’s in danger of spinning out of control. The most recent episode, The Last of the Starks, saw her suffer two significant losses, disregard sound advice from others, and ultimately retreat with her tail between her legs.
All Dany has ever wanted throughout Game of Thrones is to rule Westeros, believing it is her destiny to rid the world of tyrants. However, as close as she is now, Dany is in severe danger of following in her father’s footsteps – Aerys ‘The Mad King’ Targaryen.
While it’s said her father went mad due to the Targaryen’s incestuous lineage, some viewers are wondering whether it’s the current circumstances that will be the unravelling of Dany.
As one Redditor noted after the recent episode:
During that Winterfell dining hall scene. A lot of people interpreted that as her feeling jealous of Jon and getting activated as the mad queen. Maybe there is some of that too. But I read that scene mostly as her feeling isolated and lonely in a room full of people. It’s a sad sad feeling. She quietly watched Jon getting adored by the northerners and Lannister brothers bonding with Brienne and Pod. Everyone had somebody by their side – family or friend. Dany had no one by her side, she just sat there all alone feeling like she had no one to belong with.
I have not read the books, but her show arc has been about finding home, somewhere she truly belongs. That’s what she was indoctrinated by her brother. Dany grew up in Essos, but always longed to go back home. She couldn’t integrate there completely though she did really well with the Dothrakis by embracing (most of) their customs and language. She continuously failed to understand and accept the cultural differences in the other Essos cities she conquered. She struggled between pleasing people and sticking to her principles and that led to her making some very questionable decisions.
Now she’s finally made it to Westeros and does not feel at home here either. In S7, she said to Tyrion (IIRC) that Dragonstone does not feel like home. In the north she got (understandably) cold shouldered both before and after she fought alongside the northerners. Sansa had to reminded by Arya that Dany played an important role in this battle against the NK. Dany got a toast from Tormund, but eventually Jon was the one getting all the attention and accolades. She just wants to be loved by her people. This came up later in her conversation with Jon.
The girl has literally no support system left. She lost Jorah, and has most likely lost Jon as her partner. Her second child got murdered. Now Missandei who was like her soulmate was executed right in front of her. This was her final trigger to becoming the mad queen, but at least we are getting to see a legitimate set up to her transformation.
As we saw from the look on her face after Missandei’s death, Daenerys is quickly losing her cool. Will it be a descent into madness, or will it fuel her fight for the throne? With two episodes left, it’s going to be a hell of ride either way.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.