'Game Of Thrones' Already Has A Mad Queen & Daenerys Sure Isn't It

Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO

Many Game of Thrones fans are currently theorizing that the Mother of Dragons is becoming the female equivalent to her Mad King father — which makes little to no sense. Daenerys isn't the Mad Queen. Cersei is.

Of course, these theories that Daenerys is becoming her father aren't surprising; the show is dropping hints to suggest this. As Buzzfeed has already observed, we've recently seen far more of Dany wearing more of her house color, red, suggesting she's embracing her Targaryen side. And then there was the brutal execution by fire of Dickon, a character that the show had gone to some pains to humanize with his honest take on the horror of war. And this was despite Tyrion's pleading for a more humane punishment; it's no wonder Varys kept making parallels between the current Hand of the Queen's behavior and his own when he advised and informed her father.

Still, it seems increasingly likely that this is just Thrones doing what it does best and trying to add some moral ambiguity to a storyline that's been a little short on moral ambiguity. (Historically Dany has been one of the more positive roles on the show.) Meanwhile, it's clearer and clearer that Cersei isn't "becoming" the Mad Queen; she already is one.

The show has drawn links between Cersei and her enemy's father, Aerys, whose descent into paranoia led to him becoming an increasingly cruel ruler. In Season 6, with her enemies drawing closer in and even her son Tommen seemingly wishing for her death, she asks Qyburn to confirm a rumor, which we discover later is that, yes, the wildfire Dany's father planted underneath the Sept of Baelor is still there. This is the same weapon that she uses to blow a substantial proportion of her citizens sky high.

The reason the Mad King planted wildfire all over King's Landing makes the parallel even more striking. As we know from what Jaime told Brienne in Season 3, Aerys ordered the wildfire to be planted when the Targaryens were losing the war. He ordered his pyromancer to light the wildfire, preferring that every one of his citizens in King's Landing lose their life than that he surrender the city to the Lannisters.

We got echoes of this reasoning in the episode "Eastward," in which Cersei outlined their options to her brother in their conversation: "So we fight or die or we submit or die, I know my choice." While she later takes it back, at this point, thinking about the number of civilian lives that will be lost along the way didn't seem to be part of her calculations.

And what about that brutal Sand Snake death? When Cersei uses a pink poison lipstick to kiss Tyene Sand on the mouth, she dishes out an even worse fate for Tyene's mother, Ellaria. She chains them just close enough that they can almost touch and states that Ellaria will be fed and kept alive so she can watch her daughter's body rot into bones. The parting shot shows the pair straining to reach each other, Ellaria clearly hoping her daughter can pass the poison to her so they can die together.

That feels all too reminiscent of another one of Aerys' greatest hits, the murder of Rickard and Brandon Stark, which Jaime told viewers about in Season 1. Rickard, clad in armor, was hung from the ceiling with a fire lit below him, slowly cooking to death. Meanwhile, his son (who was restrained with a cord round his neck) was given permission to cut his father down if he could reach the sword, which was placed tantalizingly close, but just out of reach. Brandon promptly strangled himself.

So, no, it doesn't seem likely that Daenerys is due to become the Mad Queen any time soon. Surely Cersei is more than enough to go round.