Viewers were reminded of the Targaryen queen’s past lovers at the beginning of the episode, as she and Tyrion discussed the heroes she had known and how they had, in her mind, foolishly run off to be brave.
“Heroes do stupid things and then they die. Drogo, Jorah, Daario and even this Jon Snow. They all try to out do each other, they all try to do the stupidest bravest thing.
Tyrion reminds his Queen that all four men have fallen in love with her, and arguably each one has contributed to making her the strong leader that she is, but which one is actually her true love? Taking into account their treatment of Daenerys, their heroic acts and their not so heroic ones, here’s a definitive ranking of her men.
4. Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen)
Ser Jorah spent most of season one spying on her on behalf of King Robert Baratheon and Varys just so he could get pardoned and return to Westeros so it’s hard to think of him as her true love when there’s always been a selfish ulterior motive on his part: redemption from his sins. If you remember, Jorah fled the Seven Kingdoms after being sentenced to death by Eddard Stark for selling poachers to a Tyroshi slaver to fund the lifestyle of his second wife Lynesse Hightower, so his motives haven’t always been so admirable as they have in the last few seasons of Game of Thrones. Yes, he did pledge fealty to Daenerys after Drogo’s death, but he’s lied to her constantly and while he has worked hard to redeem himself, it’s hard to imagine him falling in love with her if she wasn’t so beautiful or powerful.
The TV show might present Ser Jorah as the Colonel Brandon to Daenerys’ Marianne Dashwood but in the books he’s far more the Humbert Humbert to her Lolita. Either way, it’s clear that while Dany has love for the former knight, his love for her will, and should, remain unrequited.
3. Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa)
The relationship of Khal Drogo and Daenerys has been ridiculously romanticised in Game of Thrones by viewers who seem to forget a lot of the key details about their union. She was sold to Drogo as his wife by her awful brother Viserys so that he could use the Khalasar to help him win back the Iron Throne. She was used as pawn in the war games of other men, given no choice as to who she should marry or love. She didn’t speak their language for a long time, had no one else to turn to for support and he sexually assaulted her on numerous occasions until she finally took some power back in the bedroom, but getting forced upon by your husband during the honeymoon period of your marriage hardly screams romance. Their romance feels more like a product of Stockholm Syndrome than true love.
Relationship aside, let’s look at Drogo as a person. The Dothraki relish death and violence and spend much of their time raping and pillaging villages to support their own existence, as well as forcing people into slavery which seems very out of sync with Daenerys’ views on the subject. That’s why Drogo needed to die, because his ideology may have been changing under the influence of Daenerys but he is fundamentally a misogynistic killer who would not have allowed her to lead or become the strong, fair and capable ruler that she does in later seasons.