Daenerys Targaryen’s 10 Worst Decisions In Game Of Thrones

Daenerys made many mistakes in Game of Thrones, starting very early in the series, ultimately leading to her downfall.

Daenerys has a fantastic journey in Game of Thrones. She starts as one of the last living Targaryens, with little to her name and no one by her side except her cruel brother Viserys. Luckily for Daenerys, Viserys demands more respect than he’s worth, so Drogo executes him by pouring molten gold on his head. After this point, Dany genuinely believes that she’s the last Targaryen.

Like anyone in her position, Daenerys makes a ton of mistakes during her pursuit of legacy. That said, power doesn’t motivate her as much as it does characters like Littlefinger and Cersei. Although Daenerys is completely confident in her strength, she lacks the ability to trust people, including some of her closest allies. Her path is inevitably paved with fire and blood.

Updated on December 19th, 2022 by Ajay Aravind: Daenerys is one of the most beautifully written characters in Game of Thrones. She starts from nothing and still manages to secure more power than anyone else in the story. Westerosi hardliners might argue that she deserves the Iron Throne through birthright, while others criticize her for relying on foreign armies. Daenerys doesn’t really care about others people’s opinions of her, as they’re often dripping with jealousy. On the other hand, she ought to have listened to Tyrion and Varys.

15.Dany Allows Mirri Maz Duur To Use Blood Magic On Drogo

Mirri Maz Duur and Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones

Daenerys is warned against allowing Mirri Maz Duur to heal Drogo’s grievous injury. And yet, she trusts Mirri enough to treat her husband and, when his wounds become infected, use blood magic to save his life. Dany obviously feels sympathy for Mirri’s plight and is therefore unable to perceive the latter’s true intention.

Fans empathize with Dany’s desire to see Drogo again, but that’s not what happens. In the end, Khal Drogo dies along with their stillborn child. Daenerys reckless decision destroys her only source of emotional support among the Dothraki, instantly making her an outcast.

14.Daenerys Banishes Jorah Mormont Without A Single Thought

Daenerys protects slave girls from the Dothraki game of thrones

Jorah Mormont should have never tried to regain his honor by putting Daenerys in danger. However, the show consistently highlights what some people are capable of doing to fulfill their goals. Despite Jorah’s atonement, Daenerys chooses to banish him from her recently acquired realm.

She orders Jorah to leave her sight and never return, which is why he desperately struggles to win back her favor. Although viewers can understand her feelings, this decision imperils Daenerys even further. Jorah is one of the very few people willing to martyr himself for his Queen — he’s someone she needs by her side at all times.

13.The Execution Of Mossador Ruins Her Reputation In Meereen

The Sons of the Harpy attack in the fighting pit Game of Thrones

Daenerys is hailed as the Breaker of Chains when she frees Astapor and Yunkai. Unfortunately, her Meereenese reign is tainted by the Sons of the Harpy, who constantly create havoc in the city. When a former slave named Mossador kills one of the captured Sons, Daenerys decides to execute him in public.

Dany needs to reaffirm her position and ensure that she was the one making the decisions, regardless of how she feels about it. However, she kills a former slave and a representative of the people, even though he asks for forgiveness at the end. Daenerys could’ve gained a lot more by showing mercy toward someone loyal to her.

12.Leaving Daario Behind In Essos May Have Been A Waste

Daario talks to Daenerys in Game of Thrones.

Leaving Daario behind is a smart choice on Dany’s part, as he’d only jeopardize her claim to the Iron Throne. However, the Queen’s decision is partly based on Tyrion Lannister’s advice. Daario realizes that Daenerys has been influenced by Tyrion and tries to change her mind, but to no avail.

Daario may have been Dany’s lover, but he’s also a fierce protector and leader who’s entirely devoted to her. He may have been an asset in Westeros regardless of their romantic status. More importantly, it’s possible that Daenerys may not have died if Daario had been around.

11.Daenerys Takes All Three Dragons To Fight The Night King

Viserion vs The Night King in Game of Thrones.

Jon, Davos, Thoros, Beric, Gendry, Jorah, and the Hound journey beyond the Wall in search of a Wight. Although they try to avoid being detected, the Night King and his undead army quickly pinpoint their location before cornering them on a half-frozen lake.

Gendry’s raven somehow reaches Dragonstone in time for Daenerys to bring Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion to the rescue. The dragons effortlessly vaporize the attacking Wights, allowing the heroes to mount Drogon. However, the Night King uses the opportunity to kill Viserion with a flawlessly placed ice-spear. Three dragons are simply overkill when two would have sufficed.

10.The Execution Of Viserys By Khal Drogo Isolates Daenerys

Viserys Targaryen arguing with his sister Daenerys in Game of Thrones

To her knowledge, Daenerys and Viserys are the last living Targaryens and carry the fate of the dynasty on their shoulders. However, Viserys is annoying and brutal and treats Dany without any dignity, trading her to Khal Drogo in exchange for an army.

Viserys does act like an absolute fool, but Dany isolates herself by letting Drogo kill him. Daenerys isn’t aware of the existence of her nephew Jon Snow and great-great-uncle Aemon Targaryen, making her feel even more alone. Removing Viserys from the picture isn’t necessarily a wrong move, but killing him weakens the strength of her Targaryen legacy.

9.Daenerys Takes Two Dragons To Meet Cersei In King’s Landing

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen riding on her dragon, Drogon.

When Dany arrives at King’s Landing to meet Cersei, she’s not only late but also missing a dragon. Cersei instantly sees through Daenerys’ ploy, claiming that the latter was only showing off her power. Unfortunately for the Dragon Queen, showing up with two dragons is far worse than bringing none, as it reveals Daenerys’ crucial weakness.

Cersei realizes that one of her dragons must have recently perished, a sign that these fire-breathing monsters can indeed be brought down. This is why Cersei has Euron Greyjoy stake out Dragonstone, giving him the opportunity to take another dragon out of the equation.

8.Dany Forgets About The Iron Fleet, The Greatest Armada In Westeros

Rhaegal's death by scorpion in Game of Thrones

It appears that Daenerys simply forgets about the Iron Fleet, the single greatest armada in Westerosi history. As such, she’s taken by complete surprise when Euron fires a Scorpion bolt at Rhaegal, killing her second child. This Game of Thrones scene remains controversial, as it doesn’t seem likely that Daenerys and her advisors would disregard the Iron Fleet’s existence.

Dany’s lack of foresight cost her a dragon, even though Rhaegal’s death could have been easily prevented. The Battle of the Kingsroad shows Daenerys that Scorpions exist, and she still chooses to ignore this crucial piece of information.

7.She Coldly Kills Those Who Refuse To Bend The Knee

Dickon and Randall Tarly

“Bend the knee” is Daenery’s unofficial mantra. She constantly chants these three words, completely rejecting the possibility of an alternative solution. Daenerys desires absolute obedience from her enemies, and refuses to show mercy to those who don’t give her the respect she thinks she deserves.

Randall and Dickon Tarly fight bravely at the Kingsroad, but their forces are routed by Daenerys’ Khalasar. She orders them to bend the knee or face execution by dragonfire. Both men perish in the flames, nearly incinerating House Tarly in the process. Daenerys should know better than to terrify her future subjects into submission, at least if she wants to avoid future uprisings.

6.She Decides To Help Jon Rather Than Go After Cersei

Daenerys Targaryen kissing Jon Snow in Game of Thrones.

Jon Snow manages to convince Daenerys to follow his cause and help the North against the Night King. She initially balks at his proposal but changes her tune when she sees the villain with her own eyes. Daenerys temporarily relocates her base of operations to Winterfell, where her armies set up camp.

This decision is partly derived from common sense, but mostly because Daenerys is emotionally drawn to Jon Snow. The North would have certainly crumbled without Daenerys’ assistance. That said, fans still wonder why she didn’t just evict Queen Cersei from the Red Keep before heading to Winterfell. Three dragons are more than enough, and they apparently fly as fast as airplanes.

5.Daenerys Makes Jon Promise To Keep His Parentage Secret

The wedding of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark in Game of Thrones

Daenerys obviously doesn’t want the world to know about Jon Snow’s parentage. As Rhaegar’s son and as a male Targaryen heir, he’s technically ahead of her in line to the Iron Throne. Daenerys initially believes that Jon won’t upstage her, but she doesn’t trust his sisters, Sansa and Arya. Therefore, she begs him to bury the information where nobody can use it against her.

Dany shouldn’t have asked Jon to make this promise as he needs to be able to discuss his position with others, particularly his family. Fans can only speculate what might have transpired if Daenerys hadn’t enforced this oath on Jon. Maybe he’d have kept this secret until after her accession to the Iron Throne.

4.She Continues Her Relationship With Jon Even After Their Kinship Is Uncovered

Jon Snow and Daenerys beyond the Wall in Game of Thrones

Neither Jon Snow nor Daenerys are aware of their kinship when they first meet on Dragonstone. This pair soon embarks on a romantic journey, fully falling in love after Daenerys rescues Jon from the Night King. However, Jon and Dany continue their relationship even after their familial link is uncovered.

Whether out of true love or fear of loss, they endure where other romances would have fizzled out. Jon and Dany’s chemistry is undeniable, but the line has to be drawn somewhere. Family blood aside, their friendship becomes incredibly strained because of Jon’s potentially stronger claim to the Iron Throne.

3.Dany Orders The Unsullied To Execute All The Prisoners Of War

Jon Snow and Greyworm in Game of Thrones.

Even when it becomes clear that Daenerys has successfully taken over King’s Landing, her troops continue killing left and right. Led by Grey Worm, the Unsullied collect various Lannister soldiers and execute them without trial, infuriating both Jon and Davos. Jon even attempts to stop Grey Worm, but the latter reminds him of their allegiance to Daenerys.

Prisoners of war in the real world are protected by the Geneva Convention, but there’s no such global agreement in Westeros. Daenerys can do as she pleases, but her actions highlight the state of her mind. Jon begins losing faith in his Queen around this point.

2.Daenerys Ignores The Bells Of Surrender And Murders Thousands Of Innocent People

Daenerys ignores King's Landing's surrender in 'The Bells' episode in Game of Thrones

Cersei’s surrender is signaled by the Bells of King’s Landing, much to Tyrion’s relief. Winning the Iron Throne without innocent bloodshed fails to satisfy Daenerys, especially after Missandei’s summary execution. Incinerating King’s Landing is probably the most violent decision she could have made in that specific situation.

Dany was supposed to protect the city against harm, but she ends up becoming its worst enemy. Thousands of people are killed in the process, nearly all of whom have done nothing wrong. In the end, Daenerys merely replaces Cersei’s brand of tyranny with her own.

1.Daenerys Bluntly Rejects Jon Snow’s Peaceful Philosophy

 Daenerys Dies in Jon Snow's arms

Queen Daenerys Stormborn takes the Iron Throne with excessive force, subjecting the people of King’s Landing to a fiery nightmare. Tyrion instantly quits his job, and subsequently persuades Jon Snow to assassinate her. Although Jon desperately attempts to find a reason not to kill his beloved Queen, she bluntly and callously rejects his peaceful philosophy.

Daenerys further asserts that only she gets to decide between right and wrong. Jon realizes that she has crossed the point of no return, and that he has no other choice. He embraces her tenderly before plunging his dagger into her rib cage. Daenerys may have been a decent ruler in another life, but she’s too far gone for this one.