Between the direwolves and the dragons, there are plenty of fearsome creatures on Game of Thrones. But even the ferocity of Drogon pales in comparison to the fiery will of the Dragon Queen herself. Born in the aftermath of Robert’s Rebellion, Daenerys started out with next to nothing, living in exile under the abusive hand of her brother. But over the years, she has become one of the fiercest players in the game of thrones, coming into her own as the Mother of Dragons and a leader worthy of the Iron Throne.
Although she’s developed quite a talent for raining fire and blood upon her enemies, she’s become just as good at destroying those who stand against her with nothing but a few well-chosen words. Here are 8 Of Daenerys Targaryen’s most fearsome quotes.
8 "They can live in my new world, or they can die in their old one."
When it comes to death threats, Daenerys Targaryen isn't one to beat around the bush. While other characters in Game of Thrones might dress up their menacing intentions with flowery vocabulary or wordplay, if the Mother of Dragons wants a head to roll, she is unafraid to say so. And she's said so a lot, promising death to everyone from the Great Masters to the Lannisters to the Whitewalkers.
At this point, threatening to reign fire and blood upon her enemies is just another day at the office for Daenerys Targaryen.
7 "The next time you fail me will be the last time you fail me."
Daenerys is many things, but merciful is not one of them. She may have started out with a more gracious countenance, but bearing witness to the horrors of slavery, injustice and inequality in Essos fanned the flames of her temper.
When Tyrion misjudges the loyalty of his siblings in the eighth season, Dany makes her displeasure clear, threatening that further failures will result in consequences (fiery ones, we're guessing).
6 "Fire cannot kill a dragon."
Unlike the many people she has burned alive, Daenerys is immune to the effects of fire. Rather, she thrives in the flames, and often uses them to further her political ambitions. Whether she is freeing slaves or bringing justice to traitors, fire was a friend to Daenerys throughout most of Game of Thrones.
But in the most recent season, it was her downfall, with her fiery rage destroying not just her enemies, but also the loyalty of her followers.
5 "You are small men. None of you are fit to lead the Dothraki. But I am. So I will."
Daenerys has always been one to speak her mind— even if that meant royally pissing off a room full of Dothraki Khals. The testosterone-fuelled posturing of men has never shaken Daenerys; instead, it has further motivated her to pursue leadership.
Most of the wars of Westeros and Essos have been waged over the slighted egos of small men, and Daenerys is very aware of the problems penises can cause. The Mother of Dragons knows she is fit to lead both the Dothraki and the Seven Kingdoms, and even in the face of death, she is unafraid to say so.
4 "Do you know what kept me standing through all those years in exile? Faith. Not in any gods, not in myths and legends, in myself. In Daenerys Targaryen."
It can be hard to build a sense of self-worth when society tells you that you're lesser than those around you. This is something the women in Game of Thrones face on a daily basis, constantly confined to the sidelines and told to stay out of the business of men. But even in the face of violence and blatant sexism, Daenerys constantly believed in herself, unshaken by the bigoted opinions of those around her.
Although she's had assistance along the way, it was more so Dany's faith in herself— not her armies, not her advisors, not her dragons— that got her to Westeros. After all, it was that strength of will she's so famous for that inspired so many to follow her in the first place— including three dragons. Self-confidence probably won't win you the loyalty of a fire-breathing beast anytime soon, but it might get you that promotion at work.
3 "Any other man and I would have you executed— but you. I do not want you in my city, dead or alive."
The Mother of Dragons has become just as famous for her verbal burns as the literal ones inflicted by her dragons.
Forced to reckon with petty insults and mockery from a young age, she's become adept at vocal sparring, able to go toe-to-toe with even the king of quips himself— Tyrion Lannister. Although witty one-liners won't win her the Iron Throne, they sure make it a lot more fun for us viewers to watch.
2 "I swear this: If you ever betray me, I'll burn you alive."
Or, in other words, the way Daenerys Targaryen says hello. For the entirety of the series, George R. R. Martin has hinted that Dany might follow in the footsteps of her father, becoming obsessed with power and inflicting unchecked, senseless violence upon her enemies.
As we saw in recent season, Dany's fire burned too bright in the end, consuming the entirety of King's Landing and many of the innocent people within it. Although Daenerys has burned people alive from the beginning, her wrath was usually reserved for slavers and traitors, not civilians. In the end, she became the type of ruler she had spent her life trying to overthrow, sacrificing the lives of innocents for the sake of her own personal ambitions.
1 "I am not your little princess. I am Daenerys Stormborn of the blood of old Valyria."
There are a few things Daenerys just will not stand for: injustice, a fully-clothed Jon Snow— and people talking down to her on the basis of her gender. Sexism has never sat well with the Mother of Dragons, and when she's confronted with those who would talk down to her because she's a woman, she tends to get a tad testy. Witnessing Daenerys take down the bigots of Essos and Westeros has been one of the great pleasures of watching Game of Thrones.
Power-hungry kings are a frequent fixture of medieval fantasy, but it is rarer to see a female character unashamedly embrace her ambitions and gun for the throne. Daenerys Targaryen helped to normalize female ambition within the public consciousness, and in doing so, became a role model for girls around the world.