She is young, beautiful, a civil rights activist, hates the status quo, commands a massive army, keeps mythical fire-breathing beasts for pets, has great hair, and is not above eating a horse heart. Tell us that doesn't sound like a ruler you'd like to bend the knee to? A lot of wannabe kings and queens have made sham claims on the Iron Throne of Westeros, most of whom are long gone or just waiting in line to get choked out, poisoned, sliced, diced, Mountained, or murdered in their homes by shadow baby assassins. But there is one lady in waiting that outshines all the rest and is a safe place to hedge your bets for being crowned victorious when Winter has come and gone.
Of course, winning the Game of Thrones isn't just about sitting on a spiky seat. It is about dominating the entire realm and all of its inhabitants - and making them like it. Which makes Daenerys Targaryen the perfect candidate for the job. Sure, there are plenty of reasons why Kahleesi shouldn't win the Iron Throne, but let's be honest, those all look pretty insignificant when put beside three dragons and an entire army of eunuchs. Shall we begin?
Here are the 15 Reasons Daenerys Will Win The Game Of Thrones.
15 She Might Be the Promised Prince (or Princess)
Thanks to a grammar lesson from translator extraordinaire Missandei, we now know there's more to the myth of The Prince That Was Promised than meets the eye. Bleeding comets, dragons, salt, smoke and flaming weaponry, Daenerys definitely has shown signs of being Azor Ahai reborn. Sure, so has Jon Snow, Jamie Lannister, Beric Dondarrion, Sam Tarly, and Hot Pie, along with a whole lot of others, but few fit the bill better. Of course, there's no reason why the promised one can't be two, or even three heads of the same dragon, but at the moment, Dany is definitely in the lead.
For those not familiar with their Game of Thrones lore, the legend of The Prince That Was Promised is one of several closely related tales about a legendary hero that will save the world from darkness. In the version associated with Azor Ahai, a great figure who some eight thousand years prior forged a sword of fire (whose name is Lightbringer) by stabbing it through his wife's heart to help defeat the White Walkers and restore peace to the realm, so that one day Sean Bean could have his head chopped off. Since then, worshippers of the Lord of Light have prophesied Azor's return to repeat the feat in preventing the zombie apocalypse. If Daenerys is truly going to win the Game of Thrones, then she will need to conquer the White Walkers, and right now, the prophesies appear to be on her side, which would make her brother Rhaegar very proud.
14 She Has Literally Walked Through Fire (Twice)
Call it fate, God, the Lord of Light, George R. R. Martin - take your pick - somebody wants Daenerys Targaryen around till the end of Game of Thrones. After all, there have been no shortage of opportunities to knock her off or hardships to keep her from getting there. But every time Dany gets burned, she walks out unscathed, often naked, stronger and wiser then ever before. That's because rulers aren't born, they are forged.
When during season 6 the dosh khaleen plan on making Daenerys their eternal prisoner, she walks out scorch-free as her would-be overlords have their faces melted off, and she takes their place as the commander of the Dothraki. (They don't call her “the Unburnt” for no reason.) This mirrors the finale of season 1, when she steps into the flaming funeral pyre of Khal Drogo and comes out sans clothes with three newly hatched dragon pups. While GRRM has stated she is not immune to fire (at least in the books), Dany's resistance to getting burned alive is just one of the many signs that this Kahleesi is unstoppable, and shows if nothing else, her talent for survival suggests a larger purpose.
13 She is Benevolent
If there is one thing the characters of Game of Thrones can never be accused of, it is being good. But just like her infamous brother (the one that wasn't a dick), Daenerys is not your typical Targaryen. She is fair, just and compassionate. After all, you don't lock up your awesome dragons if you could care less about the sanctity of life.
Her moral compass may run askew occasionally, and oftentimes conveniently align with her actions to veil vengeance as charity, but she cannot be called inherently malevolent. If she acts harshly, it is never done lightly, and always in response to an inhumanity committed against either herself or her people. Daenerys may have stumbled in her ruling over Meereen and not always known the best way to do so, but her heart is primarily in the right place, and she is a staunch protector of the weak. All traits that will easily find support in obtaining the crown.
12 She is Harsh
There is a fine line between goodwill and foolishness, which is why it is important to, every once and awhile, crucify people. Luckily, Khaleesi does a fine job of finding the right balance between gentle and batshit crazy, refusing to let kindness turn into weakness, and not so subtly counteracting her benevolence with a healthy dose of unpleasantness.
When she can take no more of her brother Viserys' wickedness, she gives a nod of approval for Drogo to turn his head into a golden paperweight. When the mystical healer Mirri Maz Duur makes Drogo braindead and ends Dany's unborn child, she has the witch burned at the stake. When Pyat Free, Daxos, and her longtime aide Doreah plot to steal her dragons, she has the first burned alive and the latter two locked away in a vault to starve to death, thinking about where they went wrong. (Hint: Don't mess with Khaleesi's dragons.) And finally, the surest sign that Khaleesi can rule with an iron fist, we direct your attention to the 163 slave masters crucified above Meereen. (Don't feel too bad, they had it coming.) Every once in awhile, even the most steadfast of subjects need a reminder of who's in charge, and Daenerys won't let a silly thing like decency get in the way of showing Westeros who's the boss.
11 She Has a Bit of Ned Stark In Her
Figuratively, not literally. We're not about to blow your minds with another bloodline bombshell. No, we're talking about Daenerys being fair no matter the situation. Remember way back in the first episode of Game of Thrones when Ned Stark teaches his children a lesson in fairness by chopping off the head of a defenseless man? He didn't want to execute poor Will for deserting his post at the Night's Watch, but as the lord of the North, it was his duty to uphold the law with his bigass sword.
Jump ahead a few years and across the Narrow Sea to Meereen, and we find Khaleesi calling upon her inner Eddard to make the type of tough decisions that define a good ruler. When a young, impassioned, and hyper-loyal worshiper kills a Son of the Harpy without trial, Daenerys makes the tough call to execute him. Even though what the boy did was done for the right reasons, it broke the law that Queen Khaleesi had invented a few minutes prior, so his head had to go. The precedent set was a noble one that would have Ned Stark nodding his head in solemn approval (were it still attached to the rest of him). No one is above the law, not even poor Mossador, otherwise the world would live in chaos. It takes a true leader to realize that. When it comes to freedom and justice, “one cannot exist without the other.”
10 It is Her Birthright (Maybe)
R+L may equal J, but Daenerys is still the most widely recognized legit candidate to be crowned queen. While Robert Baratheon's conquest may have technically altered the rights to the throne, it was never meant to fall to him or his descendants. He may have held the oaths of all the lords of the Seven Kingdoms, but according to birthright and all those who still support House Targaryen as the rightful rulers, Daenerys is the once and future queen, publicly speaking that is.
As the widely believed sole surviving legitimate heir to the Mad King Aerys II Targaryen (sorry, Young Griff, but you don't even exist here), it's hard to deny the royalty of her DNA. Of course the revelation that Jon Snow is a trueborn Targaryen thanks to a super secret annulment and marriage throws a wrench in the whole birthright discussion. But since that spicy piece of gossip shows no signs of hitting the ravens anytime soon, as far as the rest of the world is concerned no one has a stronger claim to the Iron Throne than Daenerys. This will surely help her find plenty of backing when the time comes to take it.
9 She Aspires to Rule
A key ingredient to becoming a successful king or queen is that you have to want it. There are plenty of reasons why Jon Snow could win the Game of Thrones, but the he probably won't because he has no aspiration to do so. Even if everyone learned he was the son of Rhaegar, he is more likely to pass on the crown than fight for it. Dany, on the other hand, has only one goal in life, and that is to rule the Seven Kingdoms.
Of course, wanting to sit on the Iron Throne does not guarantee a spot there. It does, however, greatly increase your chances - just ask Cersei. And while no one expects her to stay there long, the former Queen Mother proves where a singular focus to rule will get you. But Cersei's shortcomings will almost certainly spell her doom, while Daenerys' strengths will ensure she remains in charge for the long haul. In the end, the most likely scenario finds Jon Snow, regardless of his legitimacy, either giving up his life to save the world or being content to let Dany rule it. Then again, this is Game of Thrones we're talking about ,so there's always the chance that both of them will end up dead by the next episode and Samwell Tarly becomes king.
8 She Has Ships (Hopefully)
Armies are only as good their ability to mobilize. Luckily, Daenerys has a fleet to match her army thanks to the Greyjoys and the remaining boats from Slavers Bay. Or at least she did, until Ramsay Bolton 2.0 aka Euron Greyjoy sunk her battleships. Best guesses had their numbers in the range of 500, but given recent events, who knows now. Though that doesn't mean Khaleesi's navy is completely adrift.
For starters, she still had enough of a navy to take on Casterly Rock, so maybe there are still more in the reserves. Secondly, the 100 warships the Ironborn brought to the table were pretty cool, but you know what is even better than 100 ships? 200 ships. That's the estimated total currently commanded by House Redwyne. These Lords of the Arbor have yet to play a major role in the series, but those familiar with George R.R. Martin's books know the grape flagged merchants own the largest armada in the world. And although Queen Olenna may have been the head of House Tyrell by marriage, she was born as a Redwyne. Should her family come into the fray to avenge her, Daenerys' battalion may resurface stronger than ever.
7 She is Open Minded
The mark of a good king or queen is their willingness to listen to others. Which is exactly why Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen have lasted so long, while the Rob Starks and Viserys of the world are long gone. As the headless body of Mossador proves, this doesn't mean Dany is easily persuaded, it simply means that she is open minded and not above learning a thing or two from the places she burns and people she crucifies. Also, that she would rather break the wheel, than merely become a prong within it. Traits usually lacking in most leaders.
Take Cersei, for example. When you refuse to believe anything outside your immediate circle - which primarily consists of a giant mute zombie and a creepy alchemist - the odds of being successful are not in your favor. Daenerys, on the other hand, would surprise no one if she ultimately decided to put aside disbelief and take up arms against the White Walkers. That's because she sees the big picture. Not to mention that once you've hatched dragons with your bare hands, you'll believe anything is possible. Narrow mindedness gets your pregnant wife stabbed during a wedding. Open mindedness gets you a long lasting seat on the Iron Throne, and some pretty sweet dragons.
6 She Has the Largest (Living) Army in the World
All this talk of birthrights, having a good heart, and walking through fire is good and all, but when it comes to brass tax, winning is a numbers game. Mashable has a helpful infographic that puts things into perspective, showing that of all the standing armies running around Westeros, the one led by Daenerys is by far the strongest. The totals work out to around 60,000 Dothraki, 8,000 Unsullied, and 3 dragons. (Some even say the Dothraki reach 100,000.) In second and third place are the slightly smaller yet less no impressive fleets of the Tyrells (though they may have been completely wiped out, we're not entirely sure) and Martells, both of whom you might recall, have sided with Khaleesi. Add in what's left of the Ironborn, and a couple thousand Second Sons in the reserves, and Dany's army is awe-inspiringly massive. The Lannisters, on the other hand, have around 30,000 fighters by best estimates, and the North some 10,000, though there's a good chance the latter will end up fighting by her side too. Like we said, digits don't lie.
Of course, if we're talking solely in numbers, the White Walkers have the clear advantage with infinity. But when your potentially greatest weakness (i.e. dragons) is your opponent's greatest strength (i.e. dragons), your army of undead don't look so
hot cold anymore. That is unless they aren't affected by their fire and somehow manage to zombify the dragons… oh wait. RUN!
5 She Has the Most Well Rounded Army in the World
Given the events of Season 7's first couple of episodes, Daenerys may not have the same army she did when first arriving on the shores of Dragonstone. But still, what she has got is a tour de force of awesome. No matter how bad things may seem at the moment, remember that the night is always darkest right before a dragon burns all your enemies to death.
Even discounting the three large Charizards flying about, the battalion Khaleesi has unleashed is unlike any other the armies of Westeros have ever seen. Each of the highly trained Unsullied might as well count as 10 warriors in one, minus their baby makers. The sight of a horse ridden horde of Dothraki with their feral screams and massive chesticles is enough to make the most steadfast of soldiers pee their codpieces. Add into the mix the well-established Westerosi armies of whatever remains of the Martells and Tyrells, the behind-the-scenes meddling of Varys and his ring of spies, the remnants of the seafaring Ironborn, the potential sorcery of the Red Woman, and the stratagem of the Little Lion, and you have a group of fighters both experienced and unpredictable, able to pounce from the air, ground, sea, shadows, and whatever other realms the war wages on.
4 She Has a Varys
It's always the quiet ones that look like Uncle Fester that you have to watch out for. Not just because they are super weird, but because they usually have a lot more going on than you might suspect. Which is why it is a very good thing that Varys has spidered his way into Dany's war council. What's more, it looks like she has finally spun from him what no other previous ruler could - his respect, loyalty, and honesty. Now if he will just come clean about being a merman.
Aqua monsters aside, another way of looking at things is that the Game of Thrones is essentially a chess game between Littlefinger and Varys. Both were on similar footing when the game began, but while Petyr Baelish seems to have had the greater victories, Varys has been silently killing it from behind the scenes. Basically, Varys is Littlefinger on spy steroids. More telling is that, unlike the former, Varys is not power hungry and acting out of selfishness; rather, he does what he does for the benefit of the entire realm. While it appears tragic things may lie ahead for Varys, having him put all his chips on whispering in Daenerys' ear pretty much says it all.
3 Jorah Mormont
It was pretty easy to count out Daenerys' trusted aid turned undercover spy turned repentant reptile. After all, greyscale is pretty much a death sentence. But thanks to a devil may care medical procedure by Sam Tarly to save his life, it seems this former resident of Bear Island still has a big part to play in the action ahead. Considering that he is not only loyal to Daenerys, but in love with her, that can only mean good things for the Dragon Princess. Why else would we still be talking about this scarred and disgraced member of House Mormont?
Some have gone so far as to predict that Jorah is The Prince That Was Promised. Even if that theory doesn't prove true, there is more than a good chance that this able warrior will help swing things in Dany's favor, or at the very least sacrifice himself to save her/ensure she reaches the Iron Throne. And don't forget that Jorah the Andal was once a Lord in the North. Granted, an exiled one who fled to Essos for fear of having his removed by Ned Stark, but if he can gain favor with his former people once more, then he can definitely help bolster more support for Miss Stormborn.
2 Her Right Hand Man is Tyrion friggin Lannister
Who better to have by your side than an alcoholic womanizer with familial ties to your greatest enemies that has spent most his life walking around with a massive chip on his shoulder? The Mother of Dragons, of course. Tyrion Lannister is the brains to her heart. Despite all of his shortcomings, there is no denying that he has one of the most brilliant and strategic minds in all of Westeros - when he's not drunk, that is.
Like Daenerys, Tyrion is as an outcast, unwelcomed nearly everywhere he goes. Yet given all that disdain, he too has risen against the odds and shown that underestimating him is an easy way to find yourself with a bolt through the chest while sitting on the can. Few people know the inner workings of Westeros better, and if he can pretty much single handedly save King's Landing from invasion, you know he can turn the tables and just as easily figure out a clever way to conquer it. Who knows, he may even be one of the three heads on the fabled dragon that will save the world. If that's not enough, there's also a theory floating around that his real father is Aerys II, which would make him Dany's half-brother. Remember when he tamed the dragons beneath Meereen? Do you really think that was because Rhaegal and Viserion weren't hungry? Good luck stopping the combined forces of two homeless dragon-tamers.
1 She. Has. Dragons.
Need we say more? Really, this list could have just been one entry. Neigh, one sentence: DAENERYS TARGARYEN HAS DRAGONS. Westerosians, Essosians, White Walkers, it's all the same. Everybody is just fire fodder waiting to get burned.
Slavers Bay was just a taste of things to come. There is good reason why these winged beasts rule the show. You can build all the massive spike launchers you want, but the awesomeness of Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion will live on forever. (In Viserion's case, as an ice dragon zombie.) Even if by some stroke of luck each of these mythic beasts are somehow slain in battle, what they stand for will continue to haunt, mesmerize, and dominate the realm, embodied in a tiny little silver-haired girl with nothing to lose and everything to gain. Because the fact remains, Khaleesi gave birth to dragons. Anyone with that on their resume has already won the Game of Thrones in our book.
Besides, if The NeverEnding Story has taught us anything, when you have a dragon on your side, great things happens.
Do you think Daenerys Targaryen will win the Game of Thrones? Let us know why or why not in the comments.