Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones | Photo Credits: HBO.
Game of Thrones' badass queen has turned out to be a disappointment.
Coming into the HBO series' fifth season, this was supposed to be the year of the Khaleesi since Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) stopped her march across the giant continent of Essos to put down roots in Meereen, the latest city where she abolished slavery. The intent was to practice how to be a ruler and better prepare herself for eventually taking her rightful place on the Iron Throne in Westeros. Unfortunately, all of her strength and potential seem to have crumbled, leaving her supporters to wonder: What happened to Daenerys? TVGuide.com breaks down the Mother of Dragons' rise and fall with a little help from her friends.
A promising start
Despite being sold into marriage to the Dothraki by her own brother, Daenerys rallied and not only outlived her brother and husband, but became the first female leader of a Dothraki horde, aka khalasar. Simultaneously, she was also "reborn" as the Mother of Dragons when she survived a funeral pyre that also hatched three dragon eggs. The platinum hair and ability to handle the legendary creatures marked her as a true Targaryen, whose birthright was ruling Westeros.
Her resilience, courage and bloodline all made her a leading candidate for the Iron Throne, and gave former Kingsguard knight Ser Barristan Selmy (Ian McElhinney) a purpose. "He spent his life serving bad kings," McElhinney tells TVGuide.com. "First of all, there was [Aerys] who was mad, and then there was Robert, who was a man he obviously liked and a soldier he admired, but unfortunately not a good king. [After being dismissed by Joffrey], he's come all this way to find Daenerys because he wanted to serve somebody he thought he could believe in."
From survivor to savior
Daenerys' might could not be denied, and by simply uttering "dracarys," she had her dragons render her foes into sizzling bits of human barbecue. Despite this advantage, however, Dany didn't use her power for mere conquest but to also free countless slaves, among them Astapor's Unsullied -- eunuchs who've been trained since childhood to be soldiers unmatched in skill and obedience. Jacob Anderson, who plays an Unsullied named Grey Worm who has become the leader of her armed forces, understands Daenerys' anti-slavery stance. "She's had a taste of slavery in a smaller way than the Unsullied," he explains. "She was passed around and she was basically her brother's slave for a really long time and completely beholden to men. She was owned. So I think she can identify with [the slaves]."
Despite having his freedom, Grey Worm has reason to stick by Daenerys' side. "She introduced him to the idea of being a human being," Anderson says. "She's almost like some sort of angel that has come in and given all of these traumatized young men their their lives back. He's trying to work out how to be a human being, which is again such a weird, incomprehensible thing, that this is somebody who has never thought of themselves as an individual, or thought about their needs or their desires or who they are."