Game of Thrones: The Mother of Dragons Greatest Hits

By AT&T Digital Media Productions editorial team

She goes by many names. Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons. Call her what you want, it’s impossible to deny Daenerys Targaryen’s place in the Game of Thrones universe. Here are her top 10 takedowns, triumphs, and transformative moments.


A crown for a king
Season 1, Episode 6, “A Golden Crown”

Daenerys’ story begins with a forced marriage to the Dothraki Khal Drogo, who promises to deliver a crown to Viserys, her brother and onetime heir to the Iron Throne. Dany eventually comes to love her husband and his people, becoming a proud Khaleesi. Her power-mad brother senses her confidence growing with his obsolescence, and makes a desperate grasp at power. After he strikes her and tries to steal her dragon eggs, Drogo makes good on his word and crowns Viserys with a pot of molten gold. Dany notes that Viserys was not a true dragon, as fire cannot kill the dragon.


Dragons from ashes
Season 1, Episode 10, “Fire and Blood”

At the end of the first season, Khaleesi loses her husband and unborn child to the blood magic of a witch named Mirri Maz Duur. In revenge, Dany ties Duur to a funeral pyre, places her dragon eggs in the circle, and climbs aboard as she burns the witch alive. The next morning, Dany emerges from the pyre unscathed, with three newborn dragons to show for it. The Dothraki kneel before her in witness of the rebirth of dragons, of magic, and of Dany herself.

Farewell to Qarth
Season 2, Episode 10, “Valar Morghulis”

In the city of Qarth, Xaro Xhoan Daxos, one of the leaders of the city, plots to steal Dany’s dragons. After entering the warlock Pyat Pree’s House of the Undying, Dany is met with visions of her family, and her previous life with Khal Drogo. When the magic wears off, however, she finds herself held prisoner by Pyat Pree, chained along with her dragons. Unbeknownst to Pree, she has taught her dragons to breathe fire on command, and she roasts him alive. She returns to find Xaro in bed with her handmaid Doreah and answers their betrayal by locking them in his empty vault forever.


The Unsullied meet their Khaleesi
Season 3, Episode 4, “And Now His Watch Is Ended”

Following her time in Qarth, Dany heads to the slave city Astapor, where she buys the Unsullied, an army of eunuch slaves. Their owner Kraznys insults Dany in High Valyrian to his translator Missandei, not realizing that Dany speaks the language. She offers to trade one of her dragons for the entire Unsullied Army. Upon completing the deal she commands the Unsullied, in flawless Valyrian, to kill all the slave owners, and Drogon roasts Kraznys alive. Once the city is taken she offers the Unsullied their freedom, giving them the choice to fight with her or remain slaves. Spoiler alert: They’re with her.


Dany befriends Daario in Yunkai
Season 3, Episode 8, “Second Sons”

Dany arrives in Yunkai to resistance and attempted murder. Not wanting to risk the lives of her newfound army, she looks for a way to infiltrate the city with minimal casualties. After dashing sellsword Daario Naharis warns her of an upcoming assassination attempt, she sends a small group to overtake the city and set its slaves free. She gives the Yunkai the same option as the Unsullied: live their free life as they please, or join her ranks. The newly liberated Yunkai cry out to her as “Mother” in the show’s first and only display of crowd-surfing.


Dany takes Meereen
Season 4, Episode 4, “Oathkeeper”

After Daario dispatches Meereen’s chosen champion, Dany encourages the people of Meereen to rebel against their masters. The emboldened slaves kill the masters and open the gates of Meereen to her, throwing their slave collars to the ground. At the city’s Great Pyramid, a black and red Targaryen banner covers the statue of the Harpy, symbolizing Meereen’s new regime.


So long, Old Bear
Season 4, Episode 8, “The Mountain and the Viper”

After discovering her trusted confidant Jorah Mormont has been informing on her to the Iron Throne in exchange for a royal pardon for past crimes, Dany demands an explanation. Jorah reveals that while he became loyal over time, he did pass information to Varys about her whereabouts, resulting in multiple attempts on her life. Worst of all, he told the Lannisters about her lost pregnancy. Jorah begs for forgiveness, but Dany refuses, banning him from Meereen (for the first time).

In the pit
Season 5, Episode 9, “The Dance of Dragons”

After agreeing to reopen the fighting pits that entertained the slaves and masters of Meereen alike, Dany finds herself facing death at the hands of the insurrectionist Sons of the Harpy. Just when circumstances seem most dire, Drogon appears out of the sky and begins bathing the arena in fire. Dany stares down the beast, gets on Drogon’s back, and commands him to fly away, making her the first dragonrider in over a century.


Unburnt Part II
Season 6, Episode 4: Book of the Stranger

After being captured by a rival khalasar, Dany ends up at the Temple of Dosh Kaleen, where widowed khaleesi live out their days together. The women strip Dany and dress her in traditional Dothraki garb, informing her that her fate will be decided by the khals. She responds with a confidence she lacked the last time she came to Vaes Dothrak, telling the assembled warlords that they are not fit to lead. The khals laugh and threaten her, so she locks them in the temple and sets it ablaze, once again burning along with her enemies and living to stare fiercely about it.


Reclaiming Meereen
Season 6, Episode 9: “Battle of the Bastards”

Daenerys returns to Meereen to find it plunged into chaos, with the masters of Yunkai, Astapor and Volantis wishing to discuss the terms of her surrender. They say they will allow her to leave Meereen unharmed, but will slaughter her dragons, with her subjects returning to slavery. Dany rejects these terms wholeheartedly, then hops on Drogon’s back to burn the masters’ armada and retake the city with ease.

Daenerys Targaryen was last seen at the head of her fleet, a massive army at her back, ready to reclaim the Iron Throne. Find out if she’s successful, tune in on Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.