Daenerys Targaryen

Daenerys Targaryen

Daenerys Targaryen (Dany) is a fictional POV character from George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire". She is a beautiful girl with silver hair and violet eyes, and at the beginning of "A Game of Thrones", she is one of the last members of the ancient Targaryen Dynasty.

Birth and early life

Daenerys is a member of House Targaryen, the former royal family of Westeros, descending from Aegon I and his sister-wife Rhaenys. Her father was King Aerys II, and her mother was Aerys's sister, Queen Rhaella. Daenerys was conceived during Robert Baratheon's rebellion known as the War of the Usurper that would ultimately end her family's reign. Before she was born, her pregnant mother and her brother Viserys fled the royal seat at King's Landing for the safety of Dragonstone, the family's ancient home.

Daenerys was born as a fierce storm struck Dragonstone, and so was called "Stormborn." Her mother died as a result of the labor. Shortly thereafter, Dragonstone fell to the rebel forces, and Daenerys and Viserys were smuggled away to the Free City of Braavos by a loyalist knight, Willem Darry. In Braavos, they lived in a house with a red door. Ser Willem was old and sickly, but he treated Daenerys kindly. After his death, his servants drove Daenerys and Viserys from the house. Daenerys wept as they were forced out, and the house with the red door became her symbol for the childhood she had never known.

Viserys and Daenerys considered themselves the rightful rulers of Westeros: Viserys III, King of the Seven Kingdoms, and his heiress-presumptive Daenerys, the Princess of Dragonstone. In the years that followed, she and Viserys wandered among the nine Free Cities looking for aid, which earned Viserys the mocking title of "the Beggar King". He was often a cruel, abusive companion, treating Daenerys as little more than a tool to reclaim the Westeros, prone to mood swings and fits of violence. His abiding obsession with regaining the crown that he felt was his by bloodright instilled in Daenerys a similar belief that reclaiming Westeros was the paramount goal of her life.

"Khaleesi"

In the Free City of Pentos, the Targaryens were the guests of Illyrio Mopatis, a rich and powerful magister. Illyrio and Viserys arranged to marry the thirteen-year-old Daenerys to Khal Drogo, a great leader among the Dothraki people, who are nomadic horse lords. Viserys hoped to use the thousands of men in Drogo's "khalasar" to conquer Westeros. Despite Daenerys' fear and apprehension, she had no choice but to accept her brother's will and wed Drogo. At her wedding, the exiled knight Jorah Mormont pledged his service to Daenerys. He would become her closest companion. Two of Daenerys's wedding gifts were a magnificent silver filly and a set of three petrified dragon eggs. Although she was frightened by Drogo at first, the fierce warlord proved to be gentle and considerate toward his young bride, and she grew to love him. Now out of her domineering brother's control, the freedom and power of her new role as "khaleesi" (queen) helped Daenerys blossom into a strong and confident young woman, even beginning to stand up to Viserys.

Daenerys, her brother, and the "khalasar" traveled east to the only Dothraki city, Vaes Dothrak, in the heart of the Dothraki Sea, where Daenerys was presented to the crones known as the "Dosh Khaleen". Viserys grew increasingly impatient, demanding that Drogo help him invade Westeros. Meanwhile, Daenerys, now fourteen, became pregnant with Drogo's child. At Vaes Dothrak, the crones prophesied that her child, to be named Rhaego after her late brother Rhaegar, would be "the stallion that mounts the world", a long-prophesized Dothraki conqueror. During a drunken rage, Viserys broke Dothraki law by drawing a blade in the holy city, inciting Khal Drogo to "crown" him by dumping a pot of molten gold over his head, killing him.

As Drogo's "khalasar" continued west, conquering foreign lands, Daenerys saved a Lhazareen priestess named Mirri Maz Duur, who was labeled as a "maegi", from rape and possible murder at the hands of Drogo's men, and took her into service. When Drogo took a wound in battle that threatened his life, Daenerys commanded Mirri Maz Duur to heal him. But the "maegi" betrayed her, leaving Drogo a brain-dead husk and slaying Rhaego in the womb. Daenerys ended Drogo's life herself, and was abandoned by most of his "khalasar." She ordered Mirri Maz Duur burned on Drogo's funeral pyre, and entered the flames herself with her dragon eggs. The resulting magic restored life to the eggs, from which three dragons hatched, the first to be born in the known world for centuries. Daenerys emerged unharmed, and was called "the Unburnt" and "Mother of Dragons". She named her dragons Viserion, Rhaegal and Drogon, after her two brothers and husband respectively. Three warriors of her late husband's remaining "khalasar" swore themselves to Daenerys as her bloodriders, and she became the first female Dothraki leader, a "khaleesi" in her own right.

Qarth

When the funeral pyre was lit, a red star appeared in the sky. Daenerys, her dragons, and what little remained of Drogo's "khalasar" wandered in its direction to a desolate area known as the red wastes, until they found an ancient, abandoned city. There they recovered from the deadly ravages of the desert while Daenerys sent out scouts in all directions. One scout returned with three emissaries from the great city of Qarth. Daenerys accompanied them to Qarth, hoping for aid in conquering Westeros from the merchant emissary Xaro Xhoan Daxos, but the merchants of Qarth were only interested in obtaining her dragons.

Daenerys turned to one of the other emissaries, a warlock called Pyat Pree. Against the judgment of her friends and counselors, she agreed to visit the warlock's leaders, the Undying Ones, in their hall, the House of the Undying. After viewing several mysterious portents and hearing vague prophecies, Daenerys realized that the warlocks were plotting against her, and destroyed the House of the Undying with the aid of Drogon. With nowhere else to turn, Daenerys considered the suggestions of the third emissary, the masked woman Quaithe of Asshai, that she must go further east to conquer the west.

While unsuccessfully seeking passage out of Qarth, Daenerys noticed that two men she did not recognize were following her and Mormont. Daenerys became distracted and was off her guard when a Sorrowful Man assassin tried to poison her with a manticore. One of her mysterious followers interceded and knocked the manticore away just in time to thwart the murder. The two men introduced themselves as agents sent by Magister Illyrio. One of them, a huge eunuch and former pitfighter called Strong Belwas, was to be her bodyguard. The one who had saved her life was Belwas's squire, an older Westerosi man called Arstan Whitebeard. Along with the two men, Illyrio had sent three merchant ships to transport Dany and her people to Pentos. Instead of returning to Pentos, however, Daenerys claimed the three ships and their cargo for her own, and continued to the east.

laver's Bay

Daenerys next traveled to Slaver's Bay, a region whose cities thrived on the sale and labor of slaves. In Astapor, she purchased an army of elite eunuch slave soldiers called Unsullied by pretending to sell Drogon. After taking control of the Unsullied, she reclaimed Drogon, commanding him to use his fires against the Astapori leaders, and used the Unsullied to conquer the city. After forming a council to rule Astapor, she set out for the city of Yunkai.

Yunkai had hired two sellsword companies, the Storm Crows and the Second Sons, in addition to conscripting a force of some four thousand slave soldiers. Daenerys parleyed with the captains of the companies, hoping to convince them to switch sides. Her arguments convinced one of the Storm Crows' commanders to assassinate his colleagues and pledge the company for Daenerys. To the Second Sons, Daenerys offered a great store of wine as tribute, then attacked them in the night while they were drunk and sleeping. With the Storm Crows' betrayal and the Second Sons' drunkenness, Yunkai's slave army was unable to withstand Daenerys's Unsullied. The entire Yunkish army was slain, captured, or put to flight and Yunkai surrendered a few days later. The Second Sons also went over to her.

Near Meereen, Daenerys was nearly killed by the Titan's Bastard, the former captain of the Second Sons. Arstan Whitebeard slew the Bastard, and finally revealed his true identity as Barristan Selmy, a famous knight of her father's Kingsguard who had served the Usurper Robert Baratheon after the end of the Rebellion. He claimed to have seen the error of his ways and had sought her out as the true heir to the Seven Kingdoms. Selmy also revealed that Jorah Mormont, still Daenerys's trusted right arm, had been sending reports on her actions to the spymaster in King's Landing, hoping for a pardon from King Robert. Daenerys felt betrayed by each of them, though both fervently wished to atone for their actions. During her siege of Meereen, she sent them on a covert suicide mission through the sewers, half hoping that they would die in the attempt. The mission succeeded and won the city with minimal blood. Barristan humbly submitted to his Queen's judgment and was forgiven. Jorah stubbornly continued to insist that he had done nothing wrong, and Daenerys was forced to banish him from her service - despite her desire to pardon him.

Having captured Meereen, Dany turned her eyes toward Westeros, but through talks with Barristan about her homeland and its history, she learned that there was much she did not know about ruling. Upon hearing that Astapor and Yunkai could not maintain the peace she had hoped to bring, she resolved to bring order to Slaver's Bay before leaving it behind. By this time, she is close on seventeen years. An excerpt from A Dance with Dragons George R. R. Martin reveals that Dany is struggling as ruler of Meereen, as her men are being murdered in the street. She is also troubled by her dragons growing increasingly more wild, with one of them apparently killing and devouring a child.


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