Daenerys Targaryen (also called Daenerys Stormborn, Dany, and Khaleesi) is a fictional character in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels, as well as the television adaptation, Game of Thrones. In the novels, she is a prominent point of view character. She is one of the series’ most popular characters.
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, until fifteen years before the events of the first novel, ruled on the Iron Throne for nearly three hundred years. 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 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 child, but soon helps hatch three dragons from their eggs, which regard her as their mother, providing her with a tactical advantage and prestige. Over time, she struggles to maintain the control of her dragons, which grow dangerous. She also acquires an army with which she conquers the cities of Yunkai, Astapor and Meereen, determined to end slavery and injustice there. 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.
First appearance Novel:
A Game of Thrones (1996)
“Winter Is Coming” (2011)
“The Sword in the Darkness” (2015)
Created by George R. R. Martin
Portrayed by Emilia Clarke
Game of Thrones
Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and of the First Men
Queen of Meereen
Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea
Breaker of Chains
Mother of Dragons
Family House Targaryen
Spouse(s) Khal Drogo
Hizdahr zo Loraq
Significant other(s) Daario Naharis (lover)
Children Rhaego (stillborn)
Aerys II Targaryen (father/uncle)
Rhaella Targaryen (mother/aunt)
Rhaegar Targaryen (brother/cousin)
Viserys Targaryen (brother/cousin)
Rhaenys Targaryen (niece)
Aegon Targaryen (nephew)
Jon Snow (nephew)
Kingdom The Crownlands