Is Daenerys following in the footsteps of her father, Aerys II "The Mad King" Targaryen?

By Aurelie Corinthios
May 06, 2019 02:02 PM
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WARNING: The following contains spoilers from season 8 of Game of Thrones.

The Army of the Dead has come and gone, but the real war is still to come on Game of Thrones.

On Sunday night’s episode, “The Last of the Starks,” Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) suffered two crushing blows in her quest for the Iron Throne. First, her dragon Rhaegal was shot out of the sky by Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbaek) and his fleet as her forces returned to Dragonstone. In the aftermath, Missandei of Naath (Nathalie Emmanuel) was abducted by Euron — and in the episode’s final minutes, she was decapitated on Cersei Lannister’s (Lena Headey) orders.

After losing one of her dragon children and her most trusted ally and confidante, Daenerys snapped. The episode ended with the Mother of Dragons marching away from the scene, ready for war — and fans are taking this to mean that she’s gone full “Mad Queen.”

Helen Sloan/HBO

The HBO fantasy epic appears to have long been hinting that Daenerys could follow in the footsteps of her father, Aerys II “The Mad King” Targaryen, and turn into the Mad Queen. As Time points out, thanks to her family’s long history of incest — they’ve spent over 300 years wedding brothers to sisters to keep their bloodline pure — she could be genetically predisposed to insanity.

And in addition to her losses piling up, Daenerys’ claim to the Iron Throne is being threatened by none other than her lover, Jon Snow (Kit Harington). Earlier this season, Jon revealed to Daenerys that he’s the secret son of Prince Rhaegar, which makes him not only her nephew but also the true heir to the Iron Throne.

So where does Dany go from here? Thrones fans are theorizing that she’s on the brink of losing it, with her most ruthless impulses poised to take over. Check out some tweets below.

But others point out there’s another character who’s already acting like a “Mad Queen”: Cersei.

“People are calling Dany the ‘Mad Queen,’ but I’m pretty sure that slaughtering the Sept of Baelor, reanimating the dead, torturing a septon, poisoning her husband, killing a dire wolf, and spawning Joffrey have already earned Cersei that title,” tweeted one fan.

“There is one Mad Queen in Westeros and it is the bitch blew an entire Sept into cosmic dust, incinerating every person in its path. Even family members,” tweeted another.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Clarke explained that Daenerys’ main concern is not the accidentally incestuous relationship with Jon but rather the fact that he, as the last male Targaryen heir, now has a better claim to the Iron Throne than she does.

“The related thing, to her, is so normal,” Clarke said. “She could have easily married her brother. It’s not a thing. It’s a thing for Jon, but let’s just forget about that. The main thing is we’re up for the same promotion and I’ve been working for it for my entire existence.”

“This is [Daenerys’] whole existence,” the actress emphasized. “Since birth! Dany literally was brought into this world going: RUN! These f—ers [in Westeros] have f—ed everything up. Now it’s, ‘You’re our only hope.’ There’s so much she’s taken on in her duty in life to rectify. There’s so much she’s seen and witnessed and been through and lost and suffered and hurt to get here … and Jon doesn’t even want it!”

Game of Thrones airs Sundays (9 p.m. ET) on HBO.