Game Of Thrones: 10 Times Daenerys Didn’t Live Up To Her Potential

Not all was well with Daenerys, Mother of Dragons, and there were many times that she not only failed but also disappointed fans.

Daenerys Targaryen started as a powerless girl whose brother traded her to the highest bidder in a futile attempt to gain an army to storm Westeros with. However, as that girl won over her people and found that her dragon eggs could hatch, she became one of the most formidable opponents in the game of thrones.

Flanked by the Dothraki horse lords, the Unsullied soldiers, and three dragons, she was able to conquer pieces of Westeros, fend off the Night King, and end Cersei Lannister’s reign once and for all. However, not all was well with the Mother of Dragons, and there were many times that she not only failed but also disappointed fans.

10.When She Attacked The Innocent In King’s Landing

Drogon unfurls his wings behind Daenerys, giving her the look of a dragon Game of Thrones.

One of the most disappointing moments in the Game of Thrones series was when Daenerys chose to attack the innocent people of King’s Landing to smoke out Cersei. While Cersei had not given Daenerys much of a choice, no one wanted to see the average people, who always bore the brunt of the actions of those in power, be killed.

The people of King’s Landing stood no chance against Daenerys and her dragons, so it was not surprising that Daenerys was able to destroy everything Cersei had built. Unfortunately, Daenerys made herself public enemy number one in the process and let fans down.

9.When She Fell For Jealousy

Daenerys Targaryen talks with Jon Snow on the island of Dragonstone in Game of Thrones.

Daenerys went through an emotional rollercoaster after coming to Westeros. She “fell in love” with Jon Snow, found out his parental lineage, and then became suspicious and jealous. Jon was loved by the people and by his family. Meanwhile, Daenerys, who had been loved in the places she took over across the seas, felt outshined and alienated.

It was not all in her head, though, as Jon Snow did have a better claim to the throne, and multiple forces were working against Daenerys. She was an outsider who came in with violence and expected love in return.

8.When She Gave In To Paranoia

Daenerys Gets Ready To Commit War Crimes

She began as a fearless character willing to take on all odds, but in a span of mere episodes, she spiraled into a terrified, paranoid antagonist. Fans felt that this change was a drastic turn and that it happened too fast. However, Daenerys was being gaslighted in a way. Others were working against her.

Varys, for one, thought Daenerys was becoming an unsuitable leader, and he got Tyrion on board. Eventually, even Jon Snow was swayed against her. Perhaps Daenerys was picking up on things that were not explicitly said, or perhaps it was all a self-fulfilling prophecy, but fans were saddened to watch her downfall.

7.When She Trusted Mirri Maz Duur

Mirri Maz Duur and Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones

Daenerys and Khal Drogo’s first days were tumultuous, to say the least, but as the series went on, she fell in love with Khal Drogo, and the two became a fearsome power couple. So, when Drogo was taken by illness, Daenerys wanted to do anything she could to save him. That led to her foolish trust in the healer who would end up taking Drogo’s life.

As Mirri Maz Duur took her husband and her unborn child, Daenery’s fell apart, and it looked as though she would not reach her potential thanks to the toll of the loss. However, that was when her dragons hatched, and things began to ramp up for the Mother of Dragons.

6.When She Let Her Feelings For Jon Snow Get In The Way

Daenerys and Jon's final embrace in Game of Thrones.

Above all, Daenerys wanted to be loved. She wanted power and the iron throne, but she also wanted the love that came with it. She relished being worshiped by the men around her, and it was no different with Jon Snow, whom she trusted dearly. However, Jon Snow would also become her killer.

Not only did her trust in Jon Snow keep her from fighting Cersei when the time was right in favor of helping his campaign against the White Walkers, but he also kept her from doing what she needed to take the throne and hold the city.

5.When She Lost Her Dragons

Viserion, Daenerys' dragon, revived under the Night's King control in Game of Thrones.

Throughout the show, Daenerys lost two of her three dragons, one of which she lost to famed pirate and killer, Euron Greyjoy, the other was lost in the north. In the end, Viserion was revived by the Night King and Drogon was the last alive. This created a very serious threat to Winterfell, the Starks, and all those who opposed the Night King.

Daenerys’ use of the dragons was not always wise, and because of this, only Drogon was left to pick up her lifeless body at the end of the series.

4.When She Failed To Set Up An Adequate Line Of Succession In Essos

Daenerys In Mereen

Daenerys worked tirelessly to take over cities across the sea, free the slaves, and make life better for those she saw as like herself. Thanks to Drogo, her dragons, and her trauma, the once powerless Khaleesi became one of the strongest characters in the world, and she was able to achieve many of her goals. However, she could not hold onto them.

She left the cities she conquered to begin her campaign in Westeros, and it left multiple civilizations on their own to deal with the aftermath of significant social upheaval.

3.When She Was Too Attached To Drogo

Khal Drogo lies catatonic following the blood magic ritual in Game of Thrones.

Daenerys lost her child in a bid to try and get Drogo to come back to life. She was so upset with the nature of Drogo’s death and blood-magic-curse that she did not see the importance of her child and what that could do for her status. It also seemed like the loss of Drogo poisoned many of Daenerys’ future relationships, such as those with Daario Naharis and Jon Snow.

If Daenerys had not been so attached to Drogo, perhaps she would have had a better plan in place and not lost a lot of her Dothraki followers.

2.When She Lost Jorah

Jorah Mormont duels Qotho the Dothraki Bloodrider to protect Daenerys in Game of Thrones

Daenerys was susceptible to making decisions on a whim. If she felt hurt, slighted, or betrayed (even if it was in her head) she was liable to cut herself loose of those bonds, which is exactly what she did with Sir Jorah Mormont when she found out about his reporting to King Robert.

She allows Jorah back into her good graces eventually, but the two have a tumultuous friendship that sees them constantly on the outs. This is not the only instance of Daenerys acting this way, but it is one of the most textbook examples of her capriciousness.

1.When She Killed The Knights On A Whim

Randyll Tarley as part of the Lannister army in Game of Thrones

One of the worst things Daenerys did in Westeros, and the event that sprouted seeds on uncertainty about her fitness to rule, was her whimsical and mercurial decision to burn the Tarlys alive. After a particularly terrifying battle, she ordered the men to bend the knee, but they would not.

Despite everyone’s urges against her using the dragons to make an example of the Tarlys, she burned them anyway, and this deeply traumatized Westeros’ military leaders and was the beginning of her undoing.

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