Few characters on Game of Thrones have had as many badass scenes as Daenerys Targaryen.
What is a badass scene? It’s a scene when a character gets the upper hand in an epic, and possibly terrifying, way. Usually it’s accompanied by a wide camera pullback. There’s also very little dialogue, because the character’s actions say it all. After a badass scene, there’s usually a shift in power.
Daenerys Targaryen, played with strength and subtlety by Emilia Clarke, has done done this several times.
Daenerys Targaryen’s pivotal scenes follow a common set up. A person, or a group of people, usually men, underestimate her. They either dismiss her, mock her, or out and out abuse her in some way. She bides her time, watching and learning. Then comes the day, or night, when she makes her move. Daenerys Targaryen finds the perfect moment to completely turn the tables on her opponent, in breathtaking ways.
Game of Thrones fans all have their favorite Daenerys Targaryen scenes. But a handful of these scenes are so badass that you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t love them. Here are five of the best Daenerys Targaryen scenes.
#5 Eat Your Heart Out
In “A Golden Crown,” in the first season of Game of Thrones, the first of the badass Daenerys Targaryen scenes has the silver-haired beauty chomping on a stallion’s heart. She eats the heart as part of an ancient Dothraki pregnancy ritual that’s presided over by the Dosh Khaleen, the Dothraki priestesses and widows of dead khals. The idea is that eating the stallion’s heart will make her son (khals always want sons) strong. The trick is, she can’t choke or retch or show any disgust during the ritual, because that would be mean her child will be weak or deformed.
At first, Daenerys has trouble taking bites and keeping her bloody meal down. But when she sees Khal Drogo looking at her with growing affection and admiration, she merrily masticates on the stallion’s heart, and earns the respect of the Dothraki.
Clarke told Vulture in an interview, “It’s safe to say that I didn’t eat lunch that day.”
#4 C’mon Baby Light My Fire
During the first season finale, “Fire and Blood,” Dany’s world is collapsing. Her unborn child dies, because the witch, Mirri, used the child’s energy for the spell that brought Khal Drogo back to life, at the behest of Daenerys. Drogo falls into a catatonic state and a lot of his followers abandon them. Daenerys smothers her beloved Drogo, unable to bear watching his zombie impression. Then, she has a funeral pyre built for him. Drogo is placed on the pyre, but Daenerys has her knight, Ser Jorah, tie Mirri to it, as well. She tops it off with her three dragon eggs.
After the pyre is lit, Daenerys tells the remaining followers, the khalasar, that she is now the Queen, the Khaleesi, and steps into the fire. Come morning, everything is burned away, except for Daenerys and her three baby dragons. She stands, triumphant, with the dragons resting on her shoulders. The people bow down, recognizing her as their Khaleesi.
#3 Is that a dragon in your pocket…?
In the third season of Game of Thrones, Daenerys Targaryen unexpectedly takes on a mission to free people who have been enslaved, either in the Unsullied Army or in households.
She arrives in Astapor to purchased an Unsullied Army, planning to use the men to help her take back the throne. While she’s there, however, she is appalled at how slaves are treated. Kraznys, the slaver she is dealing with, adds to her fury and disgust by continuously insulting her in Valyrian, a language he assumes she does not understand. When she tells him (through an interpreter) how many men she wants to buy, he laughs and tells her she cannot afford them. But, he tells her, he will trade them for her largest dragon. Daenerys agrees.
On the day of the trade, Daenerys and her entourage arrive to complete the trade. Kraznys continues to deride and insult her in Valyrian. Just when we think the Khaleesi is letting him get away with it — in the name of diplomacy — she begins to speak fluent Valyrian. Kraznys jaw drops when she orders her Unsullied Army to take the city, kill every master they find, and free every slave. Then, she turns to Kraznys, and commands her dragon to “dracarys.” The dragon obeys and kills Kraznys in a blast of fire. One of the best Daenerys Targaryen scenes closes with the Unsullied chanting their loyalty to her, while she stands above them, flames dancing behind her.
#2 Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting
In “The Dance of Dragons,” in Game of Thrones Season 5, Daenerys Targaryen is the queen of Mereen. However, the Masters are unhappy after she frees their slaves. In an attempt to make peace with the Masters, she re-opens Daznak’s Pit, where slaves can fight for their freedom in duels to the death. After one of the duels, the winner reveals himself to be the exiled Ser Jorah. Suddenly, he hurls a spear in her direction; it finds its mark, an assassin who is one of the Sons of the Harpy, a subversive group of Masters who are out to kill Daenerys.
Daenerys and her entourage try to escape by running into the ring, but the Sons of the Harpy surround them. Just as she closes her eyes and accepts her fate, her dragon, Drogon, appears in the sky. Drogon blasts the Sons of the Harpy and kills many of them. In the chaos and violence, Drogon lands in the ring, next to Daenerys. Drogon withstands the spears and arrows of the Sons of the Harpy, while Daenerys climbs onto his back. She orders him to fly, and the two of them disappear into the sky, in one of the most fulfilling Daenerys Targaryen scenes ever.
#1 Ellie Goulding’s Got Nothin’ on Dany
Just when you think there’s no way Daenerys can get out of a situation, her cunning and bravery lead her to victory.
In “Book of the Stranger,” during Game of Thrones Season 6, Daenerys is called before the khal and his Bloodriders. The khal is judging whether she will be allowed to live out her days with the other widows of previous khals, the Dosh Khaleen. While the men discuss her fate, which includes rape (of course, because, I mean, this is Game of Thrones), Daenerys doesn’t flinch or cower.
When she finally speaks, she tells them that none of the options they discussed are to her liking. In fact, she says, she’s going to be their leader. As she delivers her speech, she walks around the temple until she is standing in the center of the temple, surrounded by flaming braziers. The men laugh and laugh at her. Just as Khal Moro advances on her, she very calmly pushes a brazier in their direction. The oil spills everywhere, setting the temple on fire. She continues knocking down braziers until the whole place is in flames.
Outside, the Dothraki, Ser Jorah and Daario (her lover and army commander) surround the temple. They watch in awe as Daenerys, now naked, emerges from the blazing fire. Again, the Dothraki bow down to the Mother of Dragons.
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