Game of Thrones' final season is zipping along faster than fans can process all the choices our beloved characters are making sometimes. But while a lot of the show's final moments feels rushed, the tragic arcs are not necessarily unjustified. You may have loved the Dragon Queen, but she's shown us who she really is on more than one occasion throughout the series. In fact, Game of Thrones foreshadowed Dany burning Kings Landing down and then taking the throne she feels entitled to through violence.
This is not the first time that Dany has violently disposed of people who have wronged her. Usually her twisted frontier justice is dolled out on an individual basis, by pouring molten gold on them, locking them into vaults, or issuing a swift "Dracarys" — but violence is not out of character as some fans have suggested after the penultimate episode. She's also, to be fair, not the only character to execute someone or the only character who has threatened to burn cities down, or actually done it. It was Petyr Baelish, in fact, who was first described as wanting to be "King of the Ashes." Stannis Baratheon, Theon Greyjoy, and Cersei Lannister also burned cities and citizens — and none of them got the "Targaryen Madness" label. Cersei actually made the promise to burn cities to the ground quite often, making her demise all the more tragically ironic.
However, while Daenerys did one time say that she "is not here to be Queen of the Ashes," there are way more examples of her promising to do exactly what she just did to King's Landing — burn it to the ground — than not. Here are all the times that Game of Thrones has hinted at or blatantly predicted Daenerys' tragic turn over eight seasons.
1. The Witch In Season 1
All throughout Season 1, exposition tells us all about the Mad King Aerys and how he burned cities to the ground. In the Season 1 finale, the Witch who killed Daenerys' unborn son and bewitched Khal Drogo into some kind of coma, predicted this fate for her child.
Oh, and what does Daenerys do to this woman? Burn her alive, while swearing to the Dothraki that those who harmed them would die screaming. After that, her children were born, and they did burn cities to the ground.
2. The History Of Harrenhal In Season 2
In Season 2, Arya arrives at Harrenhal with Gendry and Hot Pie. It was burnt by dragon fire centuries prior to the events of Game of Thrones and never recovered. OK, so the crumbling stone walls of King's Landing don't look exactly like the melted walls of Harrenhal, but we were warned.
3. Daenerys' Fierce Promise In Season 2
"When my dragons are grown," Daenerys says in the same episode that introduced the ruins of Harrenhal, "we will take back what was stolen from me and destroy those who have wronged me. We will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground."
Now we're surprised?
4. "Fire & Blood" In Season 2
"I am not your little princess," said Dany, provoked. "I am Daenerys Stormborn of the blood of old Valyria and I will take what is mine, with fire and blood I will take it."
5. Bran's Vision In Season 4
Daenerys takes a brief sabbatical from her Iron Throne to embark on an often problematic white savior arc, but Bran skipped to the end of the series while training with the Three-Eyed Raven. The isn't burning, per se, but the above shot from Bran's raven vision did come to pass in the penultimate episode.
6. Kinvara's Prophecy In Season 6
A red priestess told Tyrion and Varys this would happen, basically. Red priestesses also, of course, love fire way too much.
7. "You're A Conquerer" From Season 6
When the Mother of Dragons acquires her new khalasar (which includes burning a bunch of khals alive) and asks them to kill her enemies and tear down their douses, she asks Daario what she was made to do when she takes what is hers in Westeros. Conquer, he replies, not sit on a chair in a palace.
When they return to Mereen, her what she wants to do to a city that has betrayed her is also not an empty promise. "I will crucify the masters," she says. "I will set their fleets afire. I will kill every last one of their soldiers and return their cities to the dirt. That’s my plan."
8. Happy Mother's Day
In Season 6, Episode 8, Jaime monologues to Edmure Tully about the lengths mothers like Catelyn and Cersei will go to protect their children. Perhaps Cersei should have thought about this before she had Euron kill one of Dany's children.
9. Vengeance Is Coming In Season 6
Varys knew exactly what he was getting into. When he recruited what remains of House Tyrell and House Martell, he promised them vengeance, fire, and blood.
10. War Talks In Season 7
At multiple points in Season 7, Daenerys wants to forgo clever battle plans and take her dragons to the Red Keep. When you consider how many of those plans failed, it's less difficult to imagine why she was frustrated by the attack on King's Landing, and not willing to trust that the bells really meant a surrender.
11. "We All Enjoy What We're Good At," Season 7
What is the Mother of Dragons good at? Daenerys may not laugh while she kills innocent people, but commanding fire is her strength.
Daenerys asks that Jon not judge her by her father's sins, and that's completely fair. She isn't the same as the Mad King Aerys Targaryen, even if they both wanted to see King's Landing burn. Instead, judge Daenerys by her own sins, and the way she has always seen her path to the Iron Throne. It's horrifying to watch, but she did exactly what she set out to do.