Listen: Everyone knows that the women of Game of Thrones are the best and most badass characters on the show (sorry, Jon Snow). But out of all these incredible women, there's one person I really hope is sitting on the Iron Throne when Season 8 comes to an end: the MVP of Game of Thrones, Daenerys Targaryen.
Part of the reason Game of Thrones is so great is that it's never been afraid to show women who are physically powerful (Brienne and Arya), politically cunning (Cersei and Margaery), pretty much evil (Myranda), or all of these things at once. The show recognizes that women are complex people who can't be pigeonholed into one archetype. No character better exemplifies this than Khaleesi.
Throughout the seasons of GOT we've been blessed with thus far, Dany has been a mother of dragons, a wife, a queen, a lover, a prisoner, a woman strong in her decisions, and a woman seeking counsel from others. Her character proves that just because a woman is a mother, or a wife, that doesn't mean that she can't also be a determined and fearsome ruler. Khaleesi is a big part of how Game of Thrones has transformed into a feminist show in the past few seasons. And, of course, she's so dang cool.
Here are all the times the Mother of Dragons was the MVP of Westeros.
1. The Time She Emerged From a Huge Fire Unharmed
Watching this was probably the first of many times you questioned why you couldn't just be Daenerys. Not only did we learn that Khaleesi is fireproof, she also emerged from the ashes with not one, not two, but three baby dragons. Even Jorah thought she was a goner. Never doubt the power of Khaleesi, Jorah. Never.
2. The Time She Freed The Unsullied
Sure, other characters are doing cool things. But can any of them say they brought liberty to people who had been brutally enslaved? This particular plot line has been the center of significant controversy, regarding Khaleesi's potential role as a white savior. But it is worth mentioning that regardless of the racial dynamics, this action proves that Dany has compassion as well as ferocity, traits that will make her a great ruler.
3. The Time She Ate A Horse Heart
OK, so this was mostly pretty gross. But could any other main character (looking at you, Jon Snow) eat a raw horse heart without chucking it back up? Probably not. This just proved that Dany will do whatever it takes to earn the respect and trust of her people.
4. The Time She Rode On Her Dragon
People across Westeros were always insisting that the time of Targaryens riding their dragons to victory was long over, but then Dany came through to prove them all wrong. Watching her escape from the Sons of the Harpy on the back of Drogon showed that she's really going to be an unstoppable force in seasons to come.
5. The Times She Killed The Fashion Game
Look at that hair. That dress. That cape. That dragon necklace. Not only does Khaleesi win for best ruler, she also wins best dressed. She constantly proves that just because you're slaying your enemies doesn't mean you can't also slay a fierce white gown.
6. The Time She Knew Good Advisors When She Saw Them
The Mother of Dragons easily could have decided to kill Tyrion when Jorah brought him to her as a present (nice try, Jorah). After all, he's a Lannister, one of the sworn enemies of the Targaryen family. But Khaleesi was wise enough to recognize someone who could be useful to her.
7. The Time She Took Revenge On One Of The Masters
Not only was the owner of the Unsullied a creep, he also had the audacity to assume that Dany couldn't speak Valyrian. Never underestimate the intelligence of a woman, especially the Mother of Dragons. Watching that jerk get burned alive by the dragon he traded the Unsullied for was the most satisfying moment of that season.
8. The Time She Stood Up Against Domestic Violence
Fans of GOT tend to forget that at the beginning of Season 1, Khaleesi was subjected to both marital assault from Khal Drogo and emotional abuse from her nasty brother, Viserys. When he decides that he's going to hit his sister, Dany lets him know how that treatment will be taken by her. Hint: not well. The next time we see Viserys, he's got a pot of melted gold on his head.
9. The Time She Took Leadership Of ALL The Dothraki
Only Dany could go from being the prisoner of the Dothraki to becoming the Khaleesi of them all. And, of course, she burned a bunch of people to do it.
10. The Time She Defeated The Masters
The Old Masters should have thought twice before trying to take over Meereen and reinstate slavery. Not on Khaleei's watch. Her dragons destroyed their whole fleet in like, .2 seconds.
11. The Time She Forgave Jorah
OK, so Jorah has not always been the most truthful fella. Sure, he betrayed Khaleesi by spying on her for Varys. And sure, he never told Khaleesi about it after he started drinking the Dany Kool-Aid. And yes, he's really in love with her and it's kinda creepy. But besides the whole spying thing, Jorah has been her most loyal advisor from the beginning. He would die for her in a heartbeat. And that's the kind of follower that Khaleesi is going to need around when she tries to take the Iron Throne.
12. The Times She's Lifted Up Women Around Her
Being a feminist isn't just about taking things for yourself, it's also about lifting up those women around you. And Khaleesi is trying to do that all. the. dang. time. Whether it's freeing Missandei from slavery and making her a translator and advisor, or forming an alliance with fellow badass female leader Yara Greyjoy, Khaleesi is helping build a world where women are the ones in charge, and not merely pawns in a men's game.
13. The Times She Did The Right Thing
Whether it was freeing the Unsullied or conquering cities in order to end slavery, Khaleesi is forever following her conscience and doing what is right, even if it is politically dangerous (like in Meereen) or personally dangerous. Often, it's both. But Dany rarely comprises on her morals (for an exception, see: fighting pits), and when she does, it's in an effort to keep peace and minimize bloodshed.
14. The Times She Wasn't Afraid To Be "Bossy"
Personally, I would be one happy camper if I never heard the word "bossy" used to refer to a woman again. But being called that patronizing term seems to be the last thing on Khaleesi's mind. Girl came to rule, no matter what men have to say about it. And to rule, you have to command. You know, like a boss.
15. The Times She Refused To Be Ruled By Men
The Mother of Dragons spends a lot of time surrounded by men. Whether it was Jorah pleading his return to her good graces, Daario trying to influence her in the bedroom, or slaveowners who thought they could trick her, Khaleesi never let men usurp her power or limit her actions. She banished Jorah when she discovered his treachery, left Daario behind despite their romantic connection, and defeated every Master who tried to stop her. Her character proves that you don't need a man to achieve power: in fact, she's often better without them.
Daenerys is huge part of what makes Game of Thrones such an incredible show. It's only a matter of time before she (and her dragons) return to TV screens in 2019.