Why Daenerys Targaryen Did That: Game of Thrones Bosses Explain the Fiery Fury

Is she really the "mad queen" everyone was worried about?

By Chris Harnick May 13, 2019 1:53 PMTags
Game of Thrones, Season 8, Episode 5HBO

Daenerys Targaryen did that. You know what we're talking about. If you don't turn away, this is your only Game of Thrones spoiler warning.

In the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones, Dany (Emilia Clarke) snapped. She took Drogon and flew around King's Landing, igniting the Lannister army, the people of King's Landing, demolishing buildings, becoming the mad queen everyone feared. Why such a sharp turn? According to co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss it's because she has nobody left. The man she loves betrayed her. Her advisor betrayed her. It's just her and a dragon, against the world.

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"Dany is an incredibly strong person. She's also someone who has had really close friendships and close advisors for her entire run of the show. You look at those people who have been closest to her for such a long time, and almost all of them have either turned on her or died, and she's very much alone. And that's a dangerous thing for someone who's got so much power, to feel that isolated," Benioff said in the video below. "So, at the very time when she needs guidance and those kind of close friendships and advice the most, everyone's gone."

"Jon Snow is someone that she's fallen in love with, and as far as she's concerned by this point Jon has betrayed her by telling people about his true identity, and also the fact that he's unable to return her affections at this point," Benioff said.

"I think that when she says, ‘Let it be fear' she's resigning herself to the fact that she may have to get things done in a way that isn't pleasant, and she may have to get things done in a way that is horrible to lots of people," Weiss said.

"She chose violence. A Targaryen choosing violence is a pretty terrifying thing," Benioff said.


It was the perfect storm of circumstances, Benioff said. "And if circumstances had been different, I don't think this side of Dany ever would've come out. If Cersei hadn't betrayed her, if Cersei hadn't executed Missandei, if Jon hadn't told her the truth," he said. "Like, if all of these things had happened in any different way, then I don't think we'd be seeing this side of Daenerys Targaryen."

Weiss said it all happened so quickly, and it was sparked by seeing the Red Keep, "which is, to her, the home that her family built when they first come over to this country 300 years ago."

"It's in that moment, on the walls of King's Landing, where she's looking at that symbol of everything that was taken from her when she makes the decision to make this personal. We wanted her to be just death from above as seen from the perspective of the people who are on the business end of that dragon," he said. "In most large stories like this, it seems like there is a tendency to focus on the heroic figures and not pay much attention to the people who may be suffering from the repercussions of the decisions made by those heroic people and we really wanted to keep our perspective and our sympathies on the ground at this moment ‘cause those are the people who are really paying the price for the decisions that she's making."

The trailer for the series finale featured Daenerys Targaryen surveying her kingdom. Will it be peace in the realm?

Game of Thrones airs Sundays, 9 p.m. on HBO.