Who Is Daenerys Targaryen?

Games of Thrones was a huge hit for HBO last year, and because of that it was no surprise when it was renewed for a second season.  Like the novel the first season focused on several characters from several different houses, and one of those characters was Daenerys Targaryen.

Daenerys and her brother Viserys were the last remaining members of the house of Targaryen, the former royal family of Westeros.  Her brother was desperate to regain the kingdom, and in order to do so he sold his sister’s hand in marriage to Khal Drogo, a warlord of the Dothraki so that he could use Drogo’s army.  As a wedding gift she is given three petrified dragon eggs, which she treasures.  Viserys is impatient, a trait Drogo doesn’t respect, and eventually it leads the warlord to kill him.  Daenerys meanwhile has grown closer to Drogo and more confident, and she is told that she’s carrying a child that is prophesied to be the Dothraki conqueror.  Before she can give birth however her husband is wounded in battle, and in an attempt to save him she loses her child.   The ritual doesn’t save her husband either, and while he’s burning in his funeral pyre Daenerys enters it with the dragon eggs.  The eggs hatch, and Daenerys remains unharmed. When the season ends she’s nursing the baby dragons as if they are her children, and she’s named the new leader of the tribe.

The character of Daenerys doesn’t seem to be a main player at the start of the series, but by the end of season one the stakes are upped and she emerges as one of the most compelling and interesting ones.  Season 2 promises to show us much more of this royal child and her destiny.  Which is definitely great news for Emilia Clark, the young actress who plays her.

The 26 year old actress from England only had two credits to her name before Game of Thrones, but her career is sure to get a kick start thanks to the series.  She studied at Oxford’s St Edwards, Rye St Antony, and the Drama Centre London.  She wasn’t the first choice to play Daenerys but was cast after Tamzin Merchant dropped out.  She even won an Entertainment Weekly Best Supporting Actress Award for the role.  She has two movies lined up in the next couple of years, so look for her to start becoming more of a household name.

Games of Thrones Season 2 begins April 1st on HBO.

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