Why Did Dany Drop Her Ring On 'Game of Thrones'? The Khaleesi Had To Make A Quick Decision

The penultimate episode of Game of Thrones this season may have ended with Daenerys flying triumphantly away on Drogon, but the Mother of Dragons has a new challenge to face. In the Game of Thrones finale, Daenerys found herself surrounded by Dothraki riders, her old people. As she recognized them coming, Dany subtly dropped a ring she was wearing off of her finger and onto the ground near her foot. It was a deliberate moment that caught fan attention, though I guarantee that her primary thought in that moment was "great, how much of the Dothraki language do I remember?"

The whole scene was wonderful. Not only is it good to see Daenerys get back to her Dothraki roots, but for one shining moment I actually thought that Drogon had carried her all he way to Westeros. So what was that ring drop about? Was she disguising herself? Was she leaving it for somebody to find, exactly like Olivia Pope on this past season of Scandal? Did she like the ground so much that she decided to put a ring on it? Do the Dothraki hate pearl jewelry? Honestly, she could have dropped it for a variety of reasons. Whatever the reason is, the ring is sure to be important in Season 6. This is what's called "planting and payoff" in screenwriting. I can't think of a plant being any more obvious.

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If you trust the executive producers (meaning you aren't in Jon Snow denial right now), I do have a definitive answer. According to the behind-the-scenes featurette for the Game of Thrones Season 5 finale "Mother's Mercy," the reason Daenerys dropped the ring to leave tracks in case she needed to be rescued. Watch the clip that explains Dany's logic below.

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David Benioff explained that Daenerys knows that the Dothraki might not treat her as well as Khal Drogo did, and is wary of what's next. "She drops the ring because she's smart," he said. "That ring is the sort of bread crumb that's gonna point in the direction that she's being taken. And it's somebody down the line hopefully who means her less harm than the Dothraki we'll notice."

That doesn't sound good. I don't know how I feel about Dany being in serious danger next season. The people we know are following her, of course, are Daario Naharis and Ser Jorah Mormont. Game of Thrones never ceases to amaze me with the many ways that they can pair up new characters for road trips and adventures. Meanwhile Tyrion, Missandei, and Grey Worm are running Meereen joined by Varys — who showed up just as casually as I expected him to after weeks of absence.

Maybe I'm just too stubborn to give up my initial theory, but I think that she may have been serving multiple purposes by disposing of the personal item. My theory is that Dany dropped that ring so as to not let any Dothraki with loyalty or fond memories of Khal Drogo know that she remarried. Even though Drogo is long dead, I'm sure that wouldn't sit right with her old people. Daenerys has had many identities (and many names) over the past five seasons of Game of Thrones. She needs to appeal to this Khalasar not as a Targaryen or as the Break of Chains or Queen of Meereen, but as one of them.

This article was originally published on June 19, 2015. It was updated on Sept. 6, 2019.