With almost 8 million viewers for the season 6 premiere of Game of Thrones, it doesn’t look like the series is losing any of its public appeal. While other shows have dwindled in their story-line, it seems like Game of Thrones just keeps getting better. Each season has its own jaw-dropping episodes, from the beheading of Eddard Stark to the infamous Red Wedding. Yet, one of the characters that seems to pop up as everyone’s favorite is Daenerys Targaryen.
Just as fans are rooting for House Stark to gain back their lands and bring their House back to its former glory, there is a sense of an underdog theme to Daenerys. As the last of her lineage (or so they say) and the woman that was able to bring dragons back into the world, what’s not to like about Daenerys Stormborn? Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons, there is more to her than just her Targaryen last name.
Throughout her incredible journey from being in hiding at Illyrio’s palace to being the first Khaleesi to rule over a monumental Khalasar, there have been a number of successes that have led her to where she is now. Yet, taking a more in-depth look into all the different incidents that have helped further her journey, also opens the door to seeing all the mistakes she’s made on the way. While hindsight is 20/20, taking a look at all of her mistakes can be helpful in preparing for all the struggles that have yet to come.
Currently surrounded by all of the enemies she’s made throughout Slaver’s Bay, it seems she must battle the masters (yet again) before she can ever hope to make it to Westeros. In her journey to regain her rightful place on the Iron Throne, her path has been filled with both triumphs and blunders. Check out our list of the 15 mistakes the Dragon Queen has made in Game of Thrones thus far, and see what we might be able to learn for the future of Daenerys Targaryen.
15. Getting Advice From A Sellsword
When Daario Naharis was first introduced to audiences, fans didn’t know how trustworthy he could truly be to Daenerys. While he pledged his sword to her on their first night, it isn’t quite the same as a respected knight swearing their allegiance. Sellswords are known for selling their sword services for a price, which means they only hold true allegiance to the almighty coin. Yet, even putting aside the qualms over his loyalty, the true question to ask is whether or not the advice given from a sellsword is worth listening to.
While other advisors in Daenerys’s camp have experience around those who have led forces and ruled over lands, Daario Naharis is more of a brute soldier that only has a mind for fighting. Although fans can forgive Daenerys for seeking out Naharis for comfort and to share her bed, it’s definitely a mistake for her to seek out his counsel.
14. Locking Up Her Dragons
While trying to protect the innocent from her dragons, Daenerys chooses to lock up two of her dragons with chains in a confined space. Her limited knowledge of dragons came in to play here, since Tyrion revealed that in the past dragons held in captivity were smaller and sickly. Rectifying this mistake, Tyrion went in and set them free, which threw fans into a fury over the popular theory that Tyrion is actually a Targaryen.
There has always been mystery surrounding Tyrion’s birth, since no other Lannisters have dwarfism in their lineage and Tyrion looks so different from his siblings. George R. R. Martin’s book, The World of Ice & Fire, revealed that The Mad King would take “unwonted liberties” with Tyrion’s mother, Joanna Lannister. The timeline actually matches up where Tyrion could have been sired from one of the occasions Joanna was with Aerys Targaryen. This could possibly be the reason why the dragons didn’t immediately kill Tyrion when he approached the chained dragons.
13. Trusting The Second Sons
When Daenerys was outside of the gates at Yunkai, she met with the Second Sons in the hope that they would sway to her side and fight for her. Letting them enter her tent, she offered them wine and riches and even allowed them time to think about whether or not they would go against those they pledged with. This one act may have been a strategy on the part of Daenerys, but it was also a mistake to let the leaders of the Second Sons so close to their encampment. This became a key factor in the plot to kill Daenerys, since they were able to see how easily it would be to disguise themselves as one of the Unsullied.
Later, they made a game out of who would be the one to sneak in to kill Daenerys, before even having to battle the Unsullied army. It was just happenstance that Daario Naharis pulled the Bravosi coin out of the bag, but it could have easily been one of the other men. While Naharis chose to kill the other men and join the Second Sons to the queen’s side, it still doesn’t diminish the mistake she made in trusting them to fight honorably.
12. Engaging In The Battle Of Yunkai
After obtaining her army of Unsullied in Astapor, Daenerys set her sights on Yunkai and all of the slaves in bondage within the city. Each stage of her evolution on the show seems to be based on her own experiences. Since she did not have a choice in marrying Khal Drogo, she was pretty much a slave that was sold in trade for the services of the Dothraki hoard. Although Daenerys was able to become an equal in the eyes of Khal Drogo, she understood that slavery didn’t always end in positivity.
Once she witnessed her own hoard taking on slaves, her battle against it set in motion the chain of events that led to the death of her beloved Khal Drogo. So, when she came upon the city of Yunkai, she wasn’t able to just accept the master’s gifts and be on her way. Although she was advised against engaging in battle, Daenerys felt it was worth the gamble to free the slaves of Yunkai and build her force moving forward. Not only did she make an enemy of the Yunkish, but the freed slaves weren’t soldiers and were simply more mouths to feed.
11. Trusting Her Love Slave
Doreah, the former bed slave, was actually a key part in a number of blunders by both Daenerys and Viserys Targaryen. Buying Doreah to be a bedmate while on the journey with the Dothraki hoard, she was actually key in bringing self-confidence to Daenerys and helping to create the unbreakable bond she had with Khal Drogo. Doreah was the one to teach Daenerys a way to get through the intimate moments with her new husband, and she also became an ally she depended on.
Yet, her quickness to switch allegiances from Viserys to Daenerys should have been a red flag for the Dragon Queen. It showed that she was willing to betray confidences and join the side of the person that she feels will get her further in life. This mistake came to a head when they made their way to “the Greatest City that Ever Was or Will Be,” Qarth. When the dragons were stolen, it was revealed that Doreah took the side of Xaro Xhoan Daxos. Also, there was a deleted scene that showed Doreah had a bigger part in this sinister act, even killing the faithful handmaid, Irri.
10. Too Familiar Around Strangers
When Daenerys finally embraced her role as a Khaleesi of the Dothraki hoard, she seemed to gain confidence with her new position. Embracing her Khaleesi status, Daenerys began taking the air of a true queen, but didn’t seem to realize the repercussions that come with power. Since Ser Jorah Mormont was feeding information to those in Westeros, her enemies knew of her whereabouts as well as the fact that she was carrying the child of Khal Drogo. Being way too trusting with strangers, this was evident during a trip to the market where she was offered a cup of wine by a wine dealer.
Ser Jorah Mormont spoiled the poisoning attempt, with what seemed like a change of heart, since he had become so close to Daenerys through their travels. However, she still was the one to make the mistake of trusting a stranger offering her something free to drink. In a world filled with poisoning and plots, she should have been more careful about a stranger offering free wine.
9. Sending Away Her Best Warrior At Qarth
After opening the gates of Qarth to Daenerys and her Dothraki hoard, Daenerys really only had one true supporter in her camp. Ser Jorah Mormont was her trusted advisor and most loyal supporter (even though he previously betrayed her). While she had a few members of her khalasar still with her, her most trusted bloodriders were killed in the Red Waste. As she was considering aligning herself with Xaro Xhoan Daxos or another wealthy merchant in Qarth to get ships to sail to Westeros, Ser Jorah Mormont was sent to find another way to get her ships. Rather than staying by her side, Ser Jorah Mormont left, which opened the door to have an attack on the rest of Daenerys’s group. Dead bodies were strewn around her living quarters in Qarth, including her trusted handmaid, Irri.
Things might have not turned out like this if she were to have kept Ser Jorah Mormont close by her side. Daenerys seems to have made a habit out of sending away her most trusted supporters, rather than keeping them close. She could learn a few things from the Westerosi way of governing, which involves the Small Council headed by The Hand of the King.
8. Trusting Xaro Xhoan Daxos
Ser Jorah Mormont warned Daenerys about the dangers involved in venturing out to the “the Greatest City that Ever Was or Will Be,” since the area outside of the gates is known as the “Garden of Bones.” Those who have been turned away from Qarth are left to succumb to exposure and thirst, with none having the provisions to make it to the next location of sustenance in the Red Waste. For every visitor that is turned away, the garden grows. While Xaro Xhoan Daxos was integral in allowing access into the city, his simple gesture of cutting his hand shouldn’t have won over Daenerys’s allegiance so quickly.
She seemed to trust him instantly, and even entertained the notion of marrying him to obtain access to ships. She quickly learned that he was not all that he portrayed himself to be. Involved in the plot to take her dragons and become the King of Qarth, it was a huge mistake to put trust and faith in Xaro Xhoan Daxos.
7. Sending Bloodriders From The Red Waste
After Daenerys united the remaining individuals of her Dothraki hoard, the group went on the journey to cross the Red Waste. This is the desert region on the Essos continent, and was more than just a harsh environment. People were starving and dehydrated, with horses succumbing to the desert environmental factors. In an attempt to find relief, Daenerys sent off her best warriors to see what was beyond the Red Waste. This was a way to help define which direction they should be heading in order to thrive, but it was a definite mistake to send away her best warriors.
Although only a Khal can have bloodriders, Daenerys’s ability to rise from the ashes with her dragons helped to sway Dothraki warriors to fight by her side. Jhogo, Agoo, and Rakharo became her bloodriders, and she sent them off to see what was beyond the Red Waste. Rakharo was her most trusted rider, and his head was sent back to them in his horse’s satchel. While it was smart to send riders out to see what lay beyond, she should have chosen expendable members of the hoard.
6. Using Blood Magic To “Heal” Khal Drogo
One of the biggest draws to the Game of Thrones series is the magical aspect of its characters and environment. From dragons to erecting the dead, the fantasy aspect of the series brings it to another level than other period pieces. So, when the healer from the conquered village was being called a witch, hopes were high in what her true ability really was in healing. Yet, the blood infection that overtook Khal Drogo proved that he was beyond the point of typical healing powers. Asking the “witch” to use blood magic to heal Khal Drogo, Daenerys was all too eager to enlist her services without asking the appropriate questions.
After being told, “Only death can pay for life,” and the strict rules on no one being able to enter the tent, this was a decision that cost her more than just the death of his horse. The use of blood magic caused many of her Khalasar to abandon her, Khal’s bloodriders turned against her, she lost her baby, and Khal Drogo entered a vegetative state. Letting her emotions rule her actions, regardless of the repercussions; this was a pivotal mistake made by the Dragon Queen.
5. Letting An Outsider Treat Her Husband’s Wounds
Once Daenerys took the role of Khaleesi and after the death of her brother, her character had conflicting themes as she started coming into her own. While she grew more confident, she was still very much naïve and ignorant to much of the world. When she stepped in to stop the Dothraki hoard from raping a group of women, she created tension in the ranks. Stopping their ability to reap the benefit of conquering the village and messing with tradition made some question the leadership ability of Khal Drogo since he allowed her to take the women as her own, and took her side when her actions were questioned.
This was the catalyst that gave Khal Drogo the injury that later took his life. One of the women she saved, Mirri Maz Duur, claimed to be a healer; and Daenerys allowed her to treat Khal Drogo’s wounds. Why would you trust a healer from the village that you just pillaged? Surely the Dothraki hoard had healers of their own? It seems unreasonable to think that no one in the entire Dothraki hoard knew how to treat a seemingly cosmetic flesh wound.
4. Too Trusting Of Strangers
Daenerys has always had trust issues ever since she was first introduced to audiences of Game of Thrones. It took her an inordinate amount of time to finally break free of Viserys and his tyrannical rule, even though he treated her like a piece of property to be used to get him to the Iron Throne. This may be a reason why she isn’t very forgiving when those closest to her stumble, and she is so willing to be trusting towards those who aren’t known to her. Fearful and despondent when she first joined the Khalasar, she would soon see that her new role as a Khaleesi gave her new opportunities and a sense of self-worth.
She seems to be super open towards strangers, with a weakness for children. This became a huge mistake when she engaged in an interaction with a child in Astapor. Making an enemy of the Warlocks of Qarth, new assassins were sent out to kill Daenerys. The child had the typical blue lips from the Warlocks’ shade-of-the-evening drink that turns their mouths blue, and she almost succeeded in killing the Dragon Queen. She’s lucky Ser Barristan Selmy showed up when he did.
3. Banishing Ser Jorah Mormont
Making emotionally-charged decisions is never a good idea for those in authority, and especially not for a Targaryen queen. The Mad King Aerys was known for his emotionally-charged decisions in ruling, and things didn’t turn out too well for him. When it was discovered that King Robert Baratheon granted a pardon for Ser Jorah Mormont, it opened the door to a lot of questions regarding his involvement in informing on the Dragon Queen. Although it merited a good “talking to,” Daenerys should have been able to forgive him after all of his actions afterwards.
Knowing that King Robert Baratheon had since died, Ser Jorah Mormont stopped the poisoner from getting to Daenerys, and became her most loyal advisor; banishing him was a huge mistake. Tyrion Lannister said it the best when he proclaimed, “a ruler who kills those devoted to her, is not a ruler who inspires devotion. You’re going to need to inspire devotion, a lot of it. If you’re ever going to rule across the Narrow Sea.”
2. Executes Mossador
As another classic case of leashing out at the ones closest to you, Daenerys truly went too far when she executed one of her advisors who most related to the common people. When a member of the Sons of the Harpy was imprisoned by the Dragon Queen, Daenerys was the biggest supporter of holding a fair trial. Seeing the error in her ways with fighting fire with fire, she was going to change her tactic with the masters and the other citizens of Meereen. Her advisor, Mossador, took it upon himself to kill the prisoner. Rather than sticking with the whole merciful way of doing things, Daenerys chose to execute Mossador in a highly publicized fashion.
This seemed like the spark that ignited the biggest revolt against Daenerys and her occupation of Meereen. While she had the love of the common people on her side, that quickly dissipated when they saw how she treated those loyal to her. It was difficult for everyone to see how different Daenerys was from the other masters that ruled over their city. Addressing her as “Mhysa,” everyone could see the pleading that occurred before his life was taken before their eyes. This definitely wasn’t the action of a true “Mhysa.”
1. Not Leaving For Westeros
Unlike other television shows that focus on one location, the world of Game of Thrones isn’t like a standard cop show that films in one particular city. Instead, there are a number of different lands and regions, with each having their own characteristics in what makes them unique. While everyone seems to be so enthralled with all that happens at The Wall and King’s Landing, all of the story-line that involves Daenerys happens across the Narrow Sea. Slaver’s Bay is almost nonexistent in the minds of those in Westeros, but there is clearly a lot going on in this region.
While you can argue that Daenerys helped the region by battling the masters and she may have even grown her forces in doing so, sticking around to rule Meereen was arguably her biggest mistake. Being diverted from her true goal of sitting on the Iron Throne, she made a mistake in converting her goal to freeing all the slaves in Slaver’s Bay.