It would be a pretty big understatement to say Daenerys Targaryen had a transformative character arc in Game of Thrones. She was introduced as the timid girl sold and used by powerful men before gradually becoming one of the world's most powerful figures, a liberator and eventually a murdering tyrant.
Though Daenerys did a lot of good throughout the series, her darker path later on largely overshadows those moments. Also, given what she does in the last season, there are some early signs that she might have been more sadistic than we originally thought. Here are the worst things Daenerys Targaryen did on Game of Thrones.
10 Crucifying The Masters Of Meereen
Being sold into slavery herself by her cruel brother, Daenerys develops a strong passion for helping slaves whenever she can. While this is certainly a noble act, she often takes less noble steps to help eradicate the problem.
After taking over Meereen and arresting all of the masters, Daenerys orders them all to be crucified for doing the same to their slaves. Clearly such horrible people should be punished, but Daenerys was proving she is as cruel as them in this moment and uncaring if some of these masters may have been more innocent than they seemed.
9 Letting Viserys Die
Sibling relationships in Game of Thrones can often be complicated. As soon as we're introduced to Daenerys and her brother Viserys, it's clear that he is a pretty awful person and treats her sister like an object. As Daenerys gained more power among the Dothraki, it became apparent Viserys would have to show her respect or face the consequences.
Those consequences come when Viserys makes the mistake of threatening Daenerys in front of Khal Drogo which earns him a painful death. Viserys was a terrible person, but seeing Daenerys emotionless as he watches her brother beg for mercy and be brutally killed perhaps hinted at her darker side.
8 Burning The Dothraki Lords
Whenever Daenerys has the same solution for dealing with anything that stands in her way – burn it. Seeing as she is invulnerable to fire and commands three dragons, this does seem like an effective method for dealing with problems. But that does seem like the same tactic the Mad King used as well.
When Daenerys is captured by the Dothraki, she was given the option of escaping with Jorah and Daario. Instead, she chooses to make a point by burning all the Dothraki lords alive. Again, Daenerys' willingness to massacre her enemies might be effective as a ruler, but it isn't exactly heroic behavior.
7 Caging Her Dragons
One of the most game-changing moments in the series was seeing Daenerys emerge from the fire with three dragons at the end of Season 1. From that moment, she became one of the biggest power players in the game thanks to her impressive pets.
Daenerys surely realized the importance her dragons hold to her reign as queen, which makes her decision to lock them up all the more baffling. To be fair, the dragons did kill a young child, but chaining them up meant she was denying herself her most important weapon and being cruel to her "children".
6 Going Beyond The Wall
It certainly seemed like Daenerys joining forces with Jon Snow meant they had a huge advantage in the fight against the Night King. Of course, like most things in this show, things did not go according to plan.
When Jon needs rescuing from his silly mission Beyond the Wall, Daenerys takes her dragons to save him. However, this plays right into the Night King's trap and one of Daenerys' dragons is killed and reborn under the Night King's control. Daenerys can sometimes act before she thinks and lets her arrogance guide her. This time is had dire consequences.
5 The Loot Train Attack
Though she has a massive army at her back, powerful Westerosi allies and three grown dragons, Daenerys' invasion of Westeros does not go as smoothly as planned. Due to some poor military planning, she suffers several defeats. As a result, she decides to show the extent of her power.
The Loot Train Attack is one of the most epic scenes in the show and does prove that Daenerys and her dragons are virtually unstoppable. However, it is another example of Daenerys using excessive force. Her point was well-proven, but she continued to burn and slaughter the Lannister men out of spite.
4 Killing Varys
Daenerys does a good job of surrounding herself with wise counsel, but she doesn't always enjoy being questioned by her followers. Varys is one of her advisors who she trusts the least. He grows more and more concerned with her tyrannical ways but she refuses to listen to reason.
In the end, Varys sees no other option but to plot against her and try to have Jon Snow take her place. Daenerys finds out and has Varys burned alive. While treachery should be punished, Varys was in the right and killing him seemed to be her letting go of her last hopes of being a good ruler.
3 Forgetting About The Iron Fleet
The writing on the final season of the show was heavily criticized as lazy and one of the main examples that critics point to involves the death of Daenerys' dragon, Rhaegal. The moment comes out of nowhere as the dragon is flying through the air and is suddenly shot down by Euron Greyjoy and the Iron Fleet.
In the behind the scenes look, the showrunners explain that Daenerys simply forgot about the Iron Fleet. That is a pretty big oversight for someone trying to conquer Westeros. Daenerys might have a lot going on, but how does an entire army slip her mind?
2 Relationship With Jon Snow
Jon Snow and Daenerys seemed like a couple that were destined to get together. Both were strong and heroic leaders who were usually easy to cheer for. However, it was impossible to get over the fact that they were related as aunt and nephew. Unfortunately, that didn't stop them.
While the revelation that they are related comes after they get together, the news surprisingly doesn't seem to affect them too much. While Jon becomes more reluctant, Daenerys is still willing to carry on their inappropriate and disturbing relationship.
1 Siege Of King's Landing
After eight seasons of cheering for Daenerys to take the Iron Throne, it finally happens. But the show once again throws a cruel twist in making Daenerys go full Mad Queen in her siege of King's Landing.
The transformation seemed too abrupt for some fans, but Jon's rejection of her, the death of several loved ones, and the people seeing her as an invader rather than a liberator send her over the edge. Seeing this once great hero burn innocent people alive was a truly shocking moment and remains one of the most controversial television moments in recent memory.