You might’ve noticed Daenerys Targaryen acting a little too extra on the last episode Game of Thrones, appropriately titled “Stormborn.”
First, the rain pissed her off. Then Tyrion made it worse by not letting her be pissy about it. Varys chafed her even more for the crime of just standing there, to the point where she threatens to burn him alive.
Finally Melisandre arrived, offering to arrange a potentially vital alliance to her mission to which Dany responded with contempt, impatience, and the royal equivalent of a temper tantrum.
Dany is acting erratic. And remember, this episode’s opening scenes were actually our first real reintroduction to her character this season, save for the single line of dialogue from the premiere. I hate to be the raven bearing bad news, but this could very well be the first sign of any number of disastrous ends for our beloved Dragon Queen.
Her trust issues are not without reason. She’s lived an unstable life since Day One
Dany’s “Stormborn” nickname served as a cautionary reminder of her family’s mercurial temperament. Cersei did one better, driving her lineage as the Mad King’s daughter home to a room full of sympathetic lords.
We all know Cersei’s not the most rational of rulers herself, having used the Mad King’s own wildfire reserve in a terror attack against her own city. But it’s starting to look like this season might wind up as a War of the Mad Queens rather than the dragon-backed victory lap we’d imagined.
Book readers will remember that, right around this time in George R. R. Martin’s universe, Dany’s inner monologue starts to grow increasingly paranoid, her self-doubt leading to dangerous decisions.
To be fair, her trust issues are not without reason. This is a woman who’s lived an unstable life since Day One, coming into the world an orphan during a literal and political shitstorm. She has been public enemy No. 1, sold, enslaved, raped, betrayed (a few times), cursed, and the survivor of several assassination attempts.
Right now, she might even have genuine cause for concern regarding the loyalty of her allies. Olenna wants nothing but vengeance. Her outburst might’ve just given a certain spider reason to hold a grudge. Some are even doubting Tyrion’s true intentions. I mean, wasn’t it a little suspicious just how easily Euron found Yara’s fleet? Almost as if someone in that war room is providing Dany’s enemies with information.
So Dany’s paranoia is not totally unfounded. But, regardless, they could also be the beginning of her spiral into the oft-referenced madness that plagues her entire family line.
In case you need a refresher: Targaryens were even bigger fans of incest than the Lannister twins (and just look at the incompetent rulers that unholy union produced.) After generations of inbreeding, Targaryen genetics are a minefield of insanity just waiting to implode in fire and blood.
In fact, the good people at Film Theorist did the math and, based on science and her incestuous genetics, Dany has a 75% chance of straight up losing it. Primarily through the same early on-set Alzheimer’s that turned the switch inside the Mad King, who was said to be a reasonable man up until his late 20s.
And those aren’t the only red flag in the flames.
Like Cersei and her own maddening (arguably self-fulfilled) prophecy, the book version of Dany becomes consumed by several mystical promises of betrayals, false dragons, and death. The show mostly CliffsNoted these into the visions she witnessed in Season 2’s House of the Undying.
And now that Dany’s finally landed in Westeros, the image of her becoming Queen of Ashes in a destroyed throne room only grows close and closer.
Sure, prophecies are funny things in the world of Game of Thrones. Martin himself has said that, often, people become the makers of their own doom.
All things considered, that photo of Dany on Drogon’s back in a hellish field of fire is starting to feel increasingly ominous.