Daenerys Targaryen (also referred to as Dany or Daenerys Stormborn) is a fictional character in the series of novels A Song of Ice and Fire by American author George R. R. Martin, and its television adaptation Game of Thrones. In the novels she is a prominent point of view character. Daenerys has been called one of the author’s “finest creations” and most popular characters by The New York Times.
Introduced in 1996’s A Game of Thrones, Daenerys (along with her older brother, Viserys) is one of the last confirmed members of House Targaryen who ruled on the Iron Throne for nearly three hundred years until fifteen years before the events of the first novel take place. She subsequently appeared in Martin’s A Clash of Kings (1998) and A Storm of Swords (2000). Daenerys was one of a few prominent characters that were not included in 2005’s A Feast for Crows, but returned in the next novel A Dance with Dragons (2011).
In the story, Daenerys is a young woman in her early teens living in Essos across the narrow sea. Knowing no other life than one of exile, she remains dependent on her abusive older brother, Viserys. The timid and meek girl finds herself betrothed to Dothraki horse lord, Khal Drogo to ensure Viserys gains an army to return to Westeros and take back the Iron Throne. Despite this, her brother loses the ability to control her as Daenerys finds herself adapting to life with the khalasar and emerges as a strong, confident and courageous woman. She becomes the heir of the Targaryen dynasty after her brother’s death and plans to reclaim the Iron Throne herself, seeing it as her birthright. A pregnant Daenerys loses her husband and soon her child while retaining members of the Dothraki at her side. When she climbs on top of Drogo’s funeral pyre with the dragon eggs gifted at her wedding, she awakes unharmed with three hatched dragons. Over time, she struggles to maintain the control of her dragons who become dangerous. Later, she becomes determined to bring justice as a conqueror as she leads a military campaign to bring an end to slavery in Slaver’s Bay, liberating the occupied cities of Yunkai, Astapor and Meereen with an army of Unsullied. Despite her strong moral compass, she is capable of dealing ruthlessly with her enemies, particularly the slave masters.
Emilia Clarke received Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her performance as Daenerys in the HBO series in 2013 and 2015. She has earned numerous nominations and accolades for her portrayal.
Daenerys Targaryen is the daughter of King Aerys II Targaryen and his sister-wife Rhaella, and is one of the last survivors of House Targaryen. She serves as the third-person narrator of thirty-one chapters throughout A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Dance with Dragons. She is the only monarch or claimant of such given point of view chapters in the novels. Thirteen years before the events of the series, she was born in the midst of a storm, earning her the nickname ‘Stormborn’. Shortly thereafter, Daenerys and her brother Viserys fled to Braavos. They spent the following years wandering the Free Cities