Dany Has a Tough Choice Ahead

We took a week off from the various and sundry events taking place throughout Westeros and Essos to focus on the battle at The Wall... but now all those other plots are coming back with a vengeance for the Game of Thrones finale, titled "The Children." What trials and tribulations will our beloved Daenerys face in the Season 4 finale?

Two out of three previous Game of Thrones seasons have ended with a scene focused on Daenerys Targaryen. Season 1 culminated with the fiery birth of her three dragons, and Season 3 ended with the freed slaves of Yunkai proclaiming Dany as their liberator, chanting "Mhysa" at her (which means "mother" in Ghiscari). Those two season-ending moments tracked Dany's upward climb from outcast child bride to triumphant Breaker Of Chains. But now that she's sitting pretty on the throne of Meereen, we're sad to report that Mhysa's got nowhere to go but down.

A Storm Of Swords, the third novel in George R.R. Martin's A Song Of Ice And Fire series (the latter half of which formed the basis for Season 4), ends with Dany's decision to stay in Meereen — the newbie ruler feels she must learn what it means to be a leader before conquering Westeros. On the show, Dany reached this decision only halfway through the season, in the fifth episode, "First Of His Name." So we're going to have to look a bit farther to find out what happens to her next.

As Dany's dragons grow larger, we've seen evidence that they are also outgrowing her control. In the season premiere, Drogon unexpectedly snapped at his mother when she tried to interfere in a fight over food. And in the sixth episode, a poor Meereenese goatherd asked for recompense after Drogon roasted and ate his entire flock. This event is direct foreshadowing for the decision Dany will be forced to make in the finale.

In the fifth novel, A Dance With Dragons, Dany is horrified to learn that Drogon has transitioned from eating goats to munching on the goatherds themselves. A man presents Dany with the bones of his six-year-old daughter Hazzea claiming that the "winged shadow" ate her. Dany realizes that she has lost control of her dragons, and orders them to be locked up. While Viserion and Rhaegal are successfully corralled, Drogon escapes and flees to the countryside.

The sight of Dany closing the doors on two of her own scaled offspring while the other becomes a fugitive will mark a huge change in tone from Dany's previous season-ending plots. The realization that she's lost control of her dragons is difficult for her to accept, and her decision to lock them up is the first step in the unravelling of her well-laid plans.

Viewers should know by now that hardly anything ever goes as planned in the world of Game Of Thrones. (Unless you're Tywin.) But for four seasons now, Dany has seemed almost infallible. The end of her unimpeded ascent is a seismic shift for the fictional universe and should set up an interesting downward spiral for the character next year.

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