When I say Game of Thrones, who do you think of first? Chances are, the face of Daenerys Targaryen pops up. That's because she's become, over five seasons, one of the leading characters on Game of Thrones. Daenerys has been a polarizing character from the beginning, but there is a real opportunity in Season 6for the writers to take the reins and make Daenerys into the character they want as well as the character the fans want. But, so far, that's not what we've seen. If Game of Thrones Season 6 is set to be a departure from the books that inspired it, why are we not getting more Dany?
Now that we're (nearly) one-quarter of the way through Season 6, it seems that Daenerys is still being marginalized in comparison to her leading peers. After the disastrous events in Meereen, and subsequent capture by the Dothraki, Daenerys is currently being confronted and belittled in a Dothraki hut. And that's pretty much it. Sure, it's understandable that Jon Snow, and the implications of his resurrection, are taking a prime narrative position. And, sure, there are a ton of storylines to juggle and a ton of characters to account for. But, if the fan theories are to be believed, Daenerys is still just as important a player as, say, Jon, Cersei, Tyrion or Bran. The much-publicized emphasis on the women of Game of Thrones and their empowerment in Season 6 means that Daenerys deserves more than simply being a captive of her own people.
Over at The Telegraph, Ed Power echoes my feelings on how Game of Thrones is treating one of its prized characters: "The show has wasted her on an interminable road trip across Essos, aka the continent where nothing important EVER HAPPENS." This is my main frustration with the way Danerys has been treated. If you're going to create a female character so powerful (reinforced by a large army and a band of dragons), and allow her to take on lead character status, why aren't you doing more with her? Surely she could be able to make a concerted effort to return to Westeros. Better yet, she should be making a concrete play for the Iron Throne. If that's her impetus, then let's finally give her what she wants.
Now is the time when she should be taking a more central spot. To keep her under the thumb of the Dothraki for the next seven episodes feels like a slight to Daenerys's characterization. With Season 6 running a separate course to the novels, the screenwriters have been given a golden ticket. Not that there's ever been much concern over adhering to the books, but now there's a chance to create the version of Daenerys the fandom has embraced over the course of the show. Let's return Daenerys to her status as an army-building, badass queen who doesn't care. Let's keep her a bit flawed and a bit headstrong. Let's give her more interactions with the people in Westeros — where the real action is happening.
I hope that we can see a return to form for Daenerys over the course of Season 6. She's become such a major figure on this show, and, in my opinion, is one of the best aspects of the show. Holding her captive is another way of holding her back, just like having her roam about conquering Essos felt like a bit of a wild goose chase. Season 6 could and should be Dany's time to shine, and shine she always does — when she's being given more screen time to do it.
Images: Helen Sloan/HBO; Giphy (2)