Daenerys Targaryen is on the brink of madness in HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” She has spent much of her reign attempting to be compassionate and caring about common people — trying to be different from her father, the Mad King.
But is Dany on a path to become the Mad Queen?
Dany’s descent into madness
While fighting for slaves and the lowborn, Dany has always been ruthless to when it comes to dealing with tyranny. She’s crucified and burned slavers, decimated armies, and locked people into vaults — but she’s always cared about the innocent.
Tyrion (and other close advisers) have been a bit worried about Dany’s mental state since season 7. The perfect example is when Dany burns both Dickon and Randall Tarly alive, despite Tyrion’s pleas not to do so. This was a sign of Dany becoming the Mad Queen.
In Season 8 Episode 4, we see Dany lose her composure when all the wildlings and northerns are praising Jon Snow. She’s jealous, and it’s causing her to change. She begs Jon to keep his true lineage a secret, saying she never begs for anything (again hinting at her deteriorating mental state).
Tyrion and Varys discuss Daenerys’ madness
HBO decided to be overt regarding Dany’s mental state by having Tyrion and Varys have a full conversation about it. In fact, they have the conversation twice.
Varys says: “She does not like to have her authority questioned. I’m worried about her state of mind.”
Tyrion acknowledges that he’s afraid of Dany, and suggests marrying her to Jon in the hopes that Jon could keep Dany’s worst impulses in check.
Tyrion and Varys also discuss how Dany has already bent Jon to her will.
Later, Varys says he has seen many tyrants — and draws direct comparisons between those tyrants and Dany. He directly tells Dany that she’s making a mistake and warns her: “Do not become what you have always struggled to defeat.”
It’s clear that Varys and Tyrion are afraid that Dany is becoming the Mad Queen.
Dracarys: Missandei’s final word was a message for Dany — “burn them all”
“What’s echoing in Daenerys’ head in those final moments would be Missandei’s final words. ‘Dracarys’ is clearly meant for Dany. Missandei knows that her life is over and she’s saying, you know, light them up,” said HBO “Game of Thrones” co-creator David Benioff in an interview that aired after the episode.
D.B. Weiss, the other co-creator, added: “Emotionally, she’s alone in the world and she can’t really trust anybody … [s]he’s filled with a rage that’s aimed at one person specifically.”
Will it now be the mantra of the Mad Queen? Will Dany take up her father’s mantle and “burn them all”? Or will someone stop her — perhaps Jon Snow?
Dany’s poor military choices are a sign of her madness
Dany has always been calculated and smart. Now she’s making all sorts of mistakes.
For starters, she ignored Sansa Stark’s sage advice and is not allowing her army proper time to rest before marching south to fight Cersei.
Daenerys also ignored Varys’ council when he said not to rush King’s Landing. She has ignored Tyrion’s council in previous years.
Dany decided to fly her dragons over the ocean — rather than over land — despite knowing Euron Greyjoy and the Golden Company have enemy fleets and control most of the seas.
She brought a small party to meet with Cersei and stood close enough to be killed by archers.
Additionally, Ser Jorah Mormont is now dead, and Jorah was usually able to talk Dany down from the ledge. His death is representative of the uncaging of her inner rage.
The Mad Queen: Dany’s vision of a ruined King’s Landing might be her own doing
Back in season 2, Dany visits the House of the Undying and has a vision of a destroyed King’s Landing and throne room. It now seems likely that she is the one who destroyed King’s Landing (or her and Cersei, who is the other Mad Queen).