For much of the first two seasons, Daenerys Stormborn (aka Khalesi) wandered around a vast desert and sailed over an ocean, first in search of a ship to allow her to cross said ocean and then for a great army. Her mission to reclaim her rightful place on the Iron Throne seemed the most bleak out of all characters clamouring for the same ultimate power, as Khalesi would need to climb her way up – from the bottom of the bottom – of the social and political ladders that intertwines all other kingdoms so delicately. Even though the audience first meets her when she is sold into marriage to the Dothraki Khal Drogo, she is anything but meek and shallow (unlike other characters…looking at you Sansa Stark). Khalesi ate a raw heart, looked on with glee as Drogo killed her brother, and mercifully smothered her paralyzed husband with a pillow; that was just the beginning.
While circumstances themselves drove her decisions in the first season, after the death of Drogo she slowly began to navigate the political playing field herself, with advice from Jorah Mormont. Season two saw her travel to the city of Qarth – along with the Dothraki people and her baby dragons – to bargain for a few ships, which yet again leads to the possibility of her marrying another man in exchange. Jorah advises against this and consequently she decides to take the harder path; unsuccessfully convincing the merchant nobles to lend her ships. Does this stop her? No. After having her dragons briefly stolen, enduring a heartbreaking illusion of Drogo and her dead son, and finding Doreah in bed with Xaro, (the man she was supposed to wed) she locked the two in an empty vault, took what little real possessions he had and bought herself a ship. Oh, and she commanded her dragons to kill a warlock by breathing fire on him. To label Daenerys Stormborn as a cold-hearted bitch would be a mistake; she is a woman who realizes that to win in a man’s world, she has to play ruthlessly and keep the trust and loyalty of those whom she relies on most.
All this leads up to last night’s episode, “And His Watch is Ended”. Daenerys followed through with her promise to give Kraznys mo Nakloz her largest dragon in exchange for his army; all 8,000 Unsullied soldiers including those still in training. Jorah tried to convince her to reconsider her decision, but she basically told him to stop talking and trust her…which turned out to be the most badass scene from this season so far. She gave Kraznys her dragon and he gave her his army. When the dragon doesn’t want to behave for him, he remarked something to the effect of, “why won’t this bitch’s dragon come” and she told him, in Valyrian, that he won’t listen because her dragon is not a slave. Kraznys is shocked that she can speak his language and then Daenerys ordered the army to kill all the slave masters in the city and for her dragons to burn Kraznys alive. She freed the Unsullied and they decided to fight for her as free men. FUCK YA!
Daenerys Stormborn is a remarkable character; she is able to keep a moral compass while forwarding her own cause to reclaim the throne that was taken from her father, undaunted. Her heart is with those who are controlled by others and she successfully wins their trust and loyalty, as well as their respect. Jorah will no longer question her motives and decisions in the same way ever again.
To summarize, she was basically like “Bitch, I can speak your language. BURN THEM ALL! THIS IS SPARTA!” and marched with her new army off into the sunset. So poetic. The writers have made this a turning point in her storyline and we will probably see much more Daenerys “bad-assery” in the future, since the writers have proved that she can be just as cunning as the rest of the lot.
Tyrion Lannister, step up your game.