Will Daenerys Turn Evil on 'Game of Thrones? Let's Dig Deep Into This Theory

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Game of Thrones spoilers for season 8 thus far. What I'm about to talk about is not terribly popular, and I'm sorry in advance for everyone who's a Daenerys Targaryen fan. There are some very strong Game of Thrones fan theories that suggest Dany, regardless of whether she takes the Iron Throne or not, ultimately ends up evil in the show. This would be exceptionally tragic, given how hard Dany has worked to free herself from the history of her crazy family and the (many seasons of boring) effort to rule wisely, instead of just with fire. There are two main theories out there about how it all could go wrong, so let's break em down.

The first is that Dany will end up being the real villain of season 8—a Mad Queen of sorts. Thanks to a Reddit theory (it's always Reddit with the theories), Dany talks a big game but never actually backs it up with different actions. In part, the theory reads thus:

From an ethical standpoint, she is completely bankrupt. At the end of the day, she won't be changing the political situation in Westeros (Jon: "You're just more of the same."), since her rule would not be one of laws, but one of her own personal discretion...She uses brutal methods to enforce her worldview, and she has a messianic complex about her own actions, such as when she is appalled that the witch isn't grateful to her for stopping the Dothraki from raping her a fourth time. She wants to abolish slavery, yet she commands an army of slavers, and her closest ally was banished for slavery...She doesn't want to be blamed for her father's crimes, but she demands that allegiances to her family are recognized. She burns prisoners alive for refusing to fight alongside foreign invaders against their countrymen.

Our MarieClaire.com fellow, Ineye Komonibo, has already done a deep dive into why Dany isn't fit to be Queen Dany, and I agree with her, #sorrynotsorry. To echo that article—Dany's sense of entitlement coming into Winterfell is not cute, Sam Tarly makes a very excellent point to Jon/Aegon that Dany would never give up her throne for family, Dany, uh, executed the entire Tarly male line except for Sam (mad props to everyone's acting in that scene, though), and she also made kind of a veiled threat that she'd kill Sansa if she doesn't bend the knee?? What's great about the show is that actually doesn't feel out of character for Dany. She's hardworking and fair, liberating and strong, but she's also stubborn af and kind of arrogant. So if this theory is true, the showrunners and writer George R.R. Martin have already laid significant groundwork for the big twist.

In its most extreme form, this theory suggest that Dany just full-on channels her dad. Lots and lots of burning to ensue. Umm, no thank you?

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The second theory is that Dany will become the Night Queen (a legendary figure of lore—like the Night King, but female, you get it):

[Dany's] eyes blazed blue as she walked out of the House of the Undying in a vision. In this Season Two vision, Dany was distracted from the Iron Throne by the sounds of dragons crying, prompting her to wander North of the Wall, where she sees Drogo and her unborn baby. It was a tempting taste of the afterlife, and maybe reason enough for Dany to join her family in death. Another Redditor theory predicts Dany’s remaining dragons will die in the North, and the Night King will persuade her to become his Night Queen so she can be reunited with her children.

Okay, so this one's a bit more speculative, because this would be an enormous break from character. Like, do we really think she'd give up the throne and literally everything she's fought for? And, I get it, her dragons are her babies. But she already lost Viserion and that didn't make her lose her mind or start behaving erratically. However. The crazy in her family is strong. And she is inteeeeeeense about those creatures. So, it's not unheard of. And again, what a bummer that would be.

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