The mother of dragons is obviously a big deal. Aside from maybe Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen is likely the most important character in the world of Game of Thrones. She’s been set up as one of the characters who may end up on the Iron Throne. She claimed it as her birthright the end of the show’s first season, and she’s been slowly making her way toward that goal ever since.
Daenerys may seem to some, both on the show and outside of it, like a natural fit for the throne. She’s got the bloodline, and her heart is certainly in the right place. What’s more, she has three massive dragons that make conquering Westeros much easier than it might otherwise be. Even though she has all that going for her, Daenerys Targaryen still shouldn’t sit on the Iron Throne. Her virtues are many, but they aren’t enough to make her a worthy ruler for the seven kingdoms.
Dany certainly has her fans. She very well could end up on the throne with those dragons, plus the armies of Dorne and Highgarden. If she does end up ruling Westeros, things probably wouldn't end well for her or the kingdom.
Here are 15 Reasons Daenerys Should Not Win The Iron Throne.
15 She Lacks Military Experience
Although military experience probably isn’t a necessity in Westeros, it can’t hurt. After all, many of the rulers we’re led to believe are strong earn that strength through their fighting or war-waging capabilities. It’s true, of course, that Daenerys has advisors around her who do understand the nuances of war, and can guide her in her quest to retake the Seven Kingdoms. Even so, Daenerys will ultimately be the one making the calls for Westeros, and she doesn’t have as much experience fighting as King Robert did.
Of course, many of the male kings of Westeros, including Joffrey and Tommen, didn’t have any experience in battle, and it’s not as if Robert was a great king because of his combat experience. The most likely alternate to Dany is Jon Snow, who does have some combat experience, although the Battle of the Bastards did showcase many of his weaknesses. Dany’s lack of combat experience certainly isn’t an asset, but it may not be a liability either.
14 The Iron Throne May Have to be Melted
A fan theory suggests that no one will ultimately be able to sit on the Iron Throne. They won’t be able to sit there for a really practical reason: the throne will no longer exist. This fan theory suggests that the Iron Throne is actually made of Valyrian Steel swords, and it will have to be melted down in order to defeat the White Walkers.
It’s true, of course, that there are several Valyrian Steel swords around the world of Westeros. Valyrian Steel is supposed to have magical properties, and we saw what it could do to a White Walker during Jon’s battle at Hardhome in the show’s fifth season. Still, if they want more, the show’s many characters may have to melt down the Iron Throne to make it. It would be a symbolic end for the show, one that suggests that the humans of this world have to work together if they are going to beat the most pressing threat in the world of Westeros.
13 She Has Never Lived in Westeros
Although Daenerys’s family hails from Westeros, Dany herself has never set foot there, which may pose something of a problem for her for a number of reasons. For one thing, she’s unaware of many of the customs of the kingdom, and has never experienced most of its people first hand. She doesn’t have a firm grasp on the philosophies of northerners and how they different from southerners, and so on.
On top of that, she doesn’t get the way she will be viewed by those who have lived there their entire lives. She may see it as her home, but many natives will not share that view. It’s true, of course, that most commoners probably aren’t too pleased with the current queen either, but they also may want someone from their own land to rule over them.
Dany does have Tyrion, though, and his ability to maneuver Westerosi political systems knows no bounds.
12 She Could Marry Jon Snow
The upcoming season of Game of Thrones is shrouded in mystery, but there’s a popular theory that Daenerys will end up marrying Westeros’s most eligible bachelor -- Jon Snow. This marriage could be for love, but it would definitely be advantageous for Daenerys and Jon politically, as it would give her a powerful ally in the North against the Lannisters. Unfortunately, this marriage would also keep Dany from taking the throne.
Although it may seem stupid for Daenerys to take this deal, since she believes she is the rightful ruler, she may ultimately come to the realization that Jon’s rule would be good, and he would treat her as an equal. If there’s anything we know about Jon Snow, it’s that he’s enormously respectful. Daenerys may choose to marry him understanding that it’s what’s best for the kingdom, even if it means giving up a huge chunk of her power. It may be a sacrifice that she’s willing to make.
11 She's Much Better at Conquering Than She is At Ruling
The fact that she took over Slaver’s Bay may lead some to believe that Daenerys is a natural fit to unite Westeros under her rule, the way her ancestors did centuries before. Unfortunately, Daenerys’s talent for conquering did not extend to ruling. In fact, things got so challenging for her in Meereen that she basically burned the whole thing down and left it for one of her followers to clean up.
Dany would much rather prove her strength than compromise with others, and that leads her to deal in absolutes.
Daenerys has a habit of leaving things unfinished, which means that she usually doesn’t stick around long enough to see if her rule has been prosperous for the people she’s conquered. The addition of Tyrion as hand of the queen makes her much more equipped to rule than she was before, but Dany has yet to prove that she’s great at any part of being a leader - besides deposing the leader that was there before her.
10 She Had Trouble Ruling Meereen
Meereen isn’t a small city, but it’s nowhere near the size of the seven kingdoms, and still Daenerys found its internal politics too difficult to control. She liberated the slaves, and in doing so she set the entire culture of Meereen spinning out of control. She didn’t think through the consequences of her actions, which could have disastrous consequences in the politically complex world of Westeros.
Meereen is designed as a test run for Daenerys. It’s a place where she can try out her skills as a ruler, and work out the bugs. That test run goes terribly.
Instead of proving what a competent ruler Daenerys can be, it showcases all of her flaws as a leader, and reveals how quickly she can destabilize the land she rules over. Granted, Meereen and Westeros are very different places, but you could reasonably lose faith in her ability to rule well after seeing what she did with Meereen. Even Tyrion couldn’t save it.
9 Her Principled Leadership May be a Problem
Daenerys is a principled person, which is a good thing, most of the time. Unfortunately, Dany tends to get herself in trouble because she is so unwilling to compromise with others, especially when they take more ethically dubious positions than her own. This unwillingness to compromise may seem admirable, but it’s what ultimately puts her in thorny positions a large part of the time.
Of course, Dany’s principled beliefs come from a truly good place. She wants to make the places she rules over better for those who live there, but her decisions have unintended consequences that she never considers. With someone like Tyrion by her side, she may be able to avoid such bad decisions, but Dany’s principles seem a little too much like those that Ned and Robb Stark once held; ones that ultimately led to their demise.
Game of Thrones loves to cut down characters who are trying to do the right thing, and Dany could be the last victim of that trend.
8 Jon May Have a More Legitimate Claim to the Throne
Westeros is a patriarchal society above all else, and that may be bad news for Daenerys, whether or not she decides to marry Jon. As we learned at the end of last season, Jon isn’t actually Ned’s bastard son, but is instead the child of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Mormont.
It’s unclear whether or not Jon was born out of wedlock. If he wasn’t, he most definitely has a stronger claim to the throne that Dany, because he’s a man, and a son of Aerys’s heir. Even if he was born a bastard, he may still have a better shot at taking the throne than his aunt Dany does.
There are several implications throughout the books and the show that bastards can be legitimized for the purposes of ruling. One such idea comes after King Robert dies, when many correctly believe that Joffrey isn’t a legitimate heir, and decide one of his bastards should be baptized instead. This has led many fans to suggest that Jon could be legitimized, even if Daenerys has the more rightful claim.
7 She'll Be Seen as a Conqueror
Daenerys sees Westeros as hers to claim. When she looks at the seven kingdoms, she sees land waiting to be ruled by its rightful heir. The people of Westeros haven’t been waiting for her, though, and many of them are unaware that she exists. This means that, when she does return to conquer Westeros, she will be coming to the land the way her ancestor once did; as a foreign conqueror.
While it’s true that Aegon ultimately did manage to unite the Seven Kingdoms, but he did so with the kind of brutality that Dany may not wish to repeat. Although she can be cruel, she may want to be warmly received by the citizens of her kingdom, which is an expectation that may not be based in reality.
If Dany wants to take back what she believes is hers, she’ll have to do it by force - which isn’t going to make her very popular, especially when innocent people die.
6 The Three-Heads-of-the-Dragon Prophecy
This may not be touched on very heavily in the world of the show, but George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series lays out a prophecy that “the dragon has three heads.” While it’s never been confirmed, many have suggested that this theory means that no one person will be able to successfully rule over Westeros on their own. Instead, it will require three of the central figures (in both the show and the books) to get the job done.
Most configurations of these three dragon heads feature Daenerys prominently, but all of them suggest that she’ll be unable to rule the Seven Kingdoms on her own.
While it’s true that she and her dragons will be instrumental pieces of the puzzle at the end of this story, the three-headed-dragon theory suggests that no character, not even Dany, will be strong enough to rule over Westeros on their own. Perhaps that’s for the best, considering what happened under the last king.
5 She Has Some Anger Issues
Daenerys isn’t a hot head, exactly, but she does have a fiery rage inside of her. While that rage can sometimes be a powerful tool to strike fear into her enemies, it has also led some to hypothesize that Daenerys is actually the ultimate villain of the Game of Thrones saga. Her father went mad, and many have suggested that Daenerys might succumb to the same fate, and begin seeing enemies everywhere she looks.
While she may seem quite far from that place right now, it would most definitely be interesting to see her slip further and further into villainy, perhaps without even realizing that it was happening. Before she knew it, she might come face to face with Jon Snow, and realize that her goal of conquering the Seven Kingdoms has cost her too much of who she once was. Daenerys may become her father, and embrace much of the cruelty that defined the Targaryens throughout their history.
4 She May Not Be Azor Ahai
The idea of a "prince who was promised" or Azor Ahai is prominent in the world of Game of Thrones, and there are several theories about who this mystical savior who will stop the coming winter could be. Daenerys meets many of the criteria associated with Azor Ahai, there are other characters who meet just as many criteria, or even more than she does.
As in most places, her chief rival is Jon Snow, who meets almost all of the same criteria Dany does, although he doesn’t have her dragons. The flip side of that, though, is that Jon Snow is the most literal representation of the melding of ice and fire - being half Stark and half Targaryen.
There are other characters who could be Azor Ahai, including Tyrion, Beric, and until he died, Stannis. Dany may have a strong claim to that title, but she certainly doesn’t have complete ownership of it - at least not yet.
3 Daenerys Taking the Throne is too Easy for Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones ends its first season with the death of Ned Stark. It's an event that establishes the storytelling rules of this world. Ned Stark is a natural hero; a character who believes in honor above all else and always does what he believes to be right. Instead of watching him expose the villainy of the show’s other characters, Ned is cut down in his prime. It’s a messy, horrid, thing that shows us how complicated Game of Thrones can be.
As satisfying as it might be to see Daenerys ascend to the Iron Throne at the end of the show’s run, that answer is far too clean for Game of Thrones. It grafts a "Chosen One" narrative onto a story that has worked consistently to buck that tradition, and suggests that the characters inside of this story can live happily ever after, even if they lost a lot along the way.
Game of Thrones has never been that type of story, but putting Daenerys on the Iron Throne would turn it into one.
2 She's Too Reliant on Her Dragons
Daenerys Targaryen has an ultimate trump card, and she certainly isn’t afraid to use it. In fact, you wouldn’t be crazy for suggesting that she relies on that trump card a little too frequently for her own good. The dragons have gotten her out of a number of tight squeezes, but they’re not a nuanced solution to any problem she’s faced. Instead of trying to riddle out a workable answer, Daenerys simply blows her problems up with the help of her fire-breathing friends.
While it’s worked for her thus far, that’s partially because she’s chosen to move on from many of the places that she’s visited. In Westeros, that won’t be an option, and she’ll be forced to solve problems with her enemies without destroying her entire kingdom.
Dragons are a nice answer to many problems, but they can’t make her a competent leader, and it’s starting to seem like Daenerys thinks they could.
1 She's Unaware of the White Walkers
This is true of many of the show’s characters, but it’s also a somewhat disqualifying fact. After all, viewers of the show and readers of the books know that the biggest threat to humanity in the world of Game of Thrones comes from the White Walkers, and it’s a threat many of them have ignored for far too long. Now, Daenerys hasn’t had many opportunities to ignore the threat yet, in part because she’s been safely stashed on a different continent.
When Dany does run into Jon Snow, though, this will be a major test of her leadership. Will she believe him about the real war to come, or turn her back like the rest of Westeros’s nobility? If she believes him, Dany will have proven herself a more responsible leader than her predecessors, but there’s a very real possibility she won’t without evidence, which will make her ill-equipped to handle the threat when it eventually arrives at her door.
Do you think Daenerys should win the Game of Thrones? Let us know in the comments!