Queer Analysis of Daenarys Targaryen
When first introduced to Daenarys Targaryen, I was certain that she would be one of the characters I would be most invested in. what I was uncertain of what why she held my interest. Her brother seems to hold all the power over her, as demonstrated by the strategic marriage to Khal Drogo. In episode 1 of season 1. Daenarys is very nearly silent. We take misjudge her for a submissive girl rather than a woman who could further the power of her family. we are not exposed to her needs or wants; therefore we can assume she lacks agency.
However, at the close of this first scene, Daenarys walks unflinchingly into a scalding bath unharmed. Not only is this strange and terrifying to her servants, the audience is disturbed as well. We can take this scene in two ways. On one hand, Daenarys is an empty young girl without agency so much so that she no longer feels pain. Conversely, she may be stronger than the characters that have born overshadowing her. Based on her later actions as Khalissi, I would argue for the latter.
Daenarys becomes powerful due to her marriage to Khal Drogo, but remains so because she is a steadfast queen. In “Gender and Sexuality in Game of Thrones,” the author suggests that Daenarys “has her own unfaltering values and plans, and is determined to achieve them, with or without help, and refuses to use her sexuality or marriage as a way to succeed.” This statement is a little generous, I think. Daenarys gains and enacts her power through her crown. However it is important to notice that she claims her power forcefully as a queen rather than acting as the king’s accessory. She is originally utilized as a pawn for her brother’s intentional rise to power, but then quickly finds power in her position to transform from silent to conclusive.
Daenarys recognizes how the people of her kingdom should be treated, particularly women. This becomes apparent during her discussion with her servant about sex and her marriage to the Khal. The servant girl is an underrated character in this respect, because even though she is teaching Daenarys how to make her husband happy, she is also showing her how to find power within herself. I believe Daenarys originally knows how people should be treated, but her relationship with the servant girl seemed to have brought the queen’s self worth back into life.
The hot bath and servant conversation are scenes which demonstrate how Daenarys has both instinctual and learned strength. She uses passive femininity to be active. She soon develops a confident voice to give commands to her subjects and against her brother’s intentions. I don’t believe her rationalization for her power, in that it derives from her unborn son, especially when she says, “I have never been nothing.”
Daenarys’ queerness us a blurring of women in power. She loves and respects her powerful husband, but does not rely on him completely. Furthermore, she breaks tradition by objecting to some of his practices (i.e. rape as reward for soldiers). There are still questions about Daenarys that should be examined:
Daenarys is unusually strong. Do you think she is simply a product of the “escapist” writing mentioned in article 3? The fantasy makes everything possible, so she can be powerful, because she is so unusual, is she unbelievable? Writers must create a world in a manner that their readers will believe it.
What if her child survived and was born a girl? How would the power structure be affected?