Of the many characters that populated Game of Thrones, Daenerys Targaryen is perhaps the most important character. Since the very beginning of the show, her journey has been central to the overall story and she remains a beloved fan favorite despite the controversial arc by the show’s end.
Daenerys headlined some of the most memorable episodes in the series and delivered some of the most unforgettable moments. While there are so many key episodes to consider in her arc, there are some clear standouts that really speak to Daenerys as a character, her best moments, and what made her so interesting.
10 Winter Is Coming (Season 1, Episode 1)
Looking back on the very first episode of the show, it becomes clear that Daenerys may be the character who changed the most over the course of the series. This episode introduces her as a timid and controlled young woman forced into a marriage by her domineering brother.
There is not much hint to the ruler Daenerys will become, but the episode does set up many important aspects of her future journey. Immediately, she becomes one of the most interesting characters in this world.
9 Fire And Blood (Season 1, Episode 10)
Even by the end of the first season, Daenerys has changed drastically. She has become a much more confident and powerful young woman, even when things crumble around her. This episode finds her losing her unborn baby, her husband, and being abandoned by the Dothraki people. But she is far from done.
As Khal Drogo’s funeral pyre burns, Daenerys walks into the flames and is consumed by them. But not only is she unharmed by the fire, but she also emerges as one of the most powerful people on the show. The image of her naked in the charred aftermath while cradling her newly hatched dragons is an iconic moment for the series.
8 And Now His Watch Has Ended (Season 3, Episode 4)
Season 2 was admittedly a bit of a bore for Daenerys and her adventures in Essos were starting to grow tiresome. It didn’t help that she was also seeming to make very stupid decisions, like promise one of her dragons to a slave master in exchange for the Unsullied army.
However, Daenerys proves herself to be no fool. She takes control of the Unsullied, ordering them to kill the masters, then unleashes her dragons on the rest of them. It is a thrilling victory that also foreshadows her ruthless nature that will later take a dark turn.
7 The Dance Of Dragons (Season 5, Episode 9)
Daenerys’s time in Mereen was filled with problems. Her friends her getting killed off, her dragons were kept chained up, and Drogon had left the city entirely. This culminated in the opening of the fighting pits where Daenerys’s enemies tried to end her reign for good.
After the Sons of the Harpy surrounded Daenerys and her allies, it started to seem like this might be the end of her. But then Drogon appeared to save the day. Not only did Drogon torch the Sons of the Harpy, but Daenerys even rid him for the first time.
6 Book Of The Stranger (Season 6, Episode 4)
Season 6 found Daenerys in a rare vulnerable position as she was captured by the Dothraki army and taken to their spiritual home of Vaes Dothrak. There Daenerys was held as the most powerful khals in the world decided what to do with her.
But as fans already knew, Daenerys was well past being told what to do and she had other plans. With all the khals gathered, she had the doors sealed and proceeded to burn the place down along with herself inside. As she emerged unharmed, the Dothraki people knelt before her.
5 Battle Of The Bastards (Season 6, Episode 9)
Most fans expected this episode to focus exclusively on the battle between Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton at Winterfell, but it opens with Daenerys taking care of business in Mereen and squashing her enemies for good.
The action sequence was epic as Daenerys returns to Mereen and proceeds to fly Drogon and the other dragons to torch the fleet of attack ships. If that wasn’t enough, the Dothraki army arrives to finish off the Sons of the Harpy. It was a thrilling way to open one of the best episodes in the series.
4 The Queen’s Justice (Season 7, Episode 3)
Fans had been waiting for Daenerys and Jon Snow to meet since the beginning of the series. They had to wait seven seasons, but it was worth it. Immediately, the dynamic between the two characters is electric even if they don’t get off to a great start.
As the series grew, it inevitably became more about the battles and big moments. Sometimes it was nice to get back to the simpler scenes of characters interacting and these two pivotal characters finally being face-to-face was an unforgettable moment.
3 The Spoils Of War (Season 7, Episode 4)
Despite arriving in Westeros with three dragons and a massive army, Daenerys didn’t get off to a great start in the war for the Iron Thrones. She was dealt some huge defeats at the hands of the Lannisters and it suddenly looked like her victory was no so guaranteed.
However, Daenerys quickly and effectively reminded everyone of her power when she attacked the Lannister loot train. The unexpected battle is one of the best in the show’s history and the devastation makes Daenerys seem both badass and terrifying.
2 Beyond The Wall (Season 7, Episode 6)
The whole mission of Jon Snow going Beyond the Wall to bring back one of the undead soldiers was pretty silly but it did make for some interesting moments. It also helped to make Daenerys and her campaign a lot more vulnerable.
When Jon and the others are stuck behind enemy lines, Daenerys comes with her dragons to save the day. Unfortunately, this is just what the Night King wanted and he manages to do the unthinkable and take out one of the dragons. It is a devastating blow to Daenerys.
1 The Bells (Season 8, Episode 5)
One of the most controversial aspects of the much-lamented final season was the character turn for Daenerys. This ruler who many had wanted to see on the Iron Thrones from the beginning suddenly started becoming a villain in some very rushed character development.
Though this episode received a good deal of backlash, it is undoubtedly one of the most essential moments in Daenerys’s journey as she torches King’s Landing just to kill Cersei Lannister. And it is effectively devastating to see a once heroic character become the villain.
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