Here's What Happened to Daenerys In the 'GoT' Finale

by Rebecca Patton
Courtesy of HBO

Spoilers ahead for the Game of Thrones series finale. In the past eight seasons of Game of Thrones, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) has transformed from Khal Drogo's terrified young bride to a veritable tyrant burning down King's Landing. In the time between, she became the Mother of Dragons, freed slaves in Meereen and Astapor, sailed the Narrow Sea to Westeros, reunited with the Targaryen's homestead Dragonstone, lost two dragons, and had sex with her nephew. However, nothing could have prepared audiences for Jon killing Daenerys on Game of Thrones.

While many fans predicted that Dany would become the Night Queen, the Mad Queen, or even Azor Ahai, she was felled by her lover Jon instead. While it was pretty much guaranteed that Dany was going to die in the finale, many expected it would be Arya who would do the deed. Back in 2018, Clarke told the Herald Sun of the season finale, as reported by Digital Spy, "People will scream and people will say, 'That's exactly what I wanted.' And some people will go, 'Huh?' — my mum, probably." And it's clear that Clarke was just as shocked when she discovered what happened to her character, telling the Independent that she wandered the streets of London for "three hours aimlessly" after she read the Season 8 script.

It may come as no surprise that both Jon and Tyrion had doubts about their queen after the Battle of King's Landing in Episode 5. While the Lannister dramatically threw down his Hand of the Queen brooch at the beginning of Episode 6, Jon took a little more convincing, blinded by his loyalty to Dany. Naturally, this was deeply frustrating to fans — after all, shouldn't he of all people care about all of the innocent people she'd just killed?! Aren't Starks noble, moral, and just?

Fortunately (or not, depending on your opinion of the Dragon Queen), Jon visited Dany in the throne room, where he pledged his loyalty to her before stabbing Aunty Dany in the stomach.

As a result, Drogon retaliated by breathing fire all over the Iron Throne, melting it into a pile of molten lava. Then, Dany's only remaining dragon took Dany's body and flew off.

And while Jon remained unscathed, it did raise an important question: Who would take Dany's place — Iron Throne or no? The answer turned out to be a divisive one, according to fans: Bran became King of Westeros, as elected by Tyrion and the other remaining leaders of the Seven Kingdoms.

And while Jon and Tyrion arguably did the right thing — protecting the world from a bloodthirsty tyrant — they both harbored guilt for betraying Dany. And although it seems like all is now well in the state of Westeros, the strings were all tied up a bit too neatly. By electing Bran, Tyrion hoped to break the wheel Dany had been referring to. And whether or not he broke the wheel or just invented a new one, it's too soon to tell. But Dany's death was certainly a shocking moment in an otherwise lackluster finale.