Having spent almost all of season five in her Meereenese pyramid before escaping the Sons of the Harpy on the back of Drogon, season six proved to be much more adventurous for Daenerys Targaryen.
Having been captured by a khalasar after her unexpected flight, she is taken before Khal Moro, and attempts to gain control over her situation by listing her various titles. The Dothraki simply mock her, and it is only when she reveals herself to be the widow of Khal Drogo that they take her seriously. Moro then declares she must be taken to the Temple of the Dosh Khaleen in Vaes Dothrak, her ‘rightful place’ as a widowed Khaleesi.
Meanwhile, Jorah and Daario have also journeyed to Vaes Dothrak in their attempts to find Daenerys: they surprise her, but together they come up with a plan to break Daenerys out. When she is presented to the Khal’s as they decide her fate, she lives up to her title of ‘The Unburnt’, burning all the Khals in their temple as she pushes over the braziers, whilst she remains unscathed. As all the Dothraki kneel before her as she walks out of the burning temple, it is clear Daenerys is still very much on track to take the Iron Throne. Daenerys forgives Jorah for betraying her trust, in thanks for saving her, but sends him away once again, this time to search for a cure for his greyscale.
Upon her return to Meereen, Daenerys finds her ships burnt and the city under siege from the Masters. She meets with the Masters of the three cities she had previously conquered to discuss their surrender, before ‘boarding’ Drogon once again to destroy their ships, leaving Grey Worm to slaughter two of the three, allowing the other to leave to spread the word of Daenerys’ power.
Later, Yara and Theon Greyjoy arrive in Meereen to discuss an alliance with Daenerys; the two Queens agree that the Iron Islands may be recognized as independent from the seven kingdoms if they provide Daenerys with ships.
In a conversation with Daario, Daenerys insists that she must leave him behind in Meereen to command the Second Sons, and keep the peace in Essos whilst she takes Westeros: he is reluctant to let her leave, but he realises Daenerys is steadfast in her decision. Tyrion later consoles her, but Daenerys is quick to realise she does not need consoling – rather, she is concerned about the ease with which she dismissed Daario. She then names Tyrion as the Hand of the Queen. Our final glimpse of Daenerys in the sixth season is what we have all been waiting for since the first season: aboard one of her many boats, sailing across the Narrow Sea towards Westeros.
Many would argue this has been Daenerys’ best season yet as she has finally achieved her initial goal: to travel to Westeros with a large army, dragons in tow. Many have rather impatiently waited for such a moment, but the final shot is impressive: hundreds of ships sporting various sigils, exemplifying the growing support for Daenerys’ claim to the Iron Throne.
However, she may have some unexpected competition. For a long while, there has been a theory circulating about Jon Snow’s true parentage: he was, until very recently, known simply as Ned Stark’s bastard son. However, Bran, as the Three-Eyed Raven, has discovered Jon is actually the child of Ned’s sister, Lyanna, confirming ‘R+L=J’ theory. The story goes that Lyanna was originally promised to Robert Baratheon, but was kidnapped and raped by Rhaegar Targaryen, Daenerys’ older brother. This started a war, with Ned fighting alongside Robert to rescue Lyanna. Bran bears witness to the reveal of Jon’s parents: he is the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna. It is also a popular theory that Rhaegar didn’t kidnap Lyanna, but rather they eloped together, fearful of Robert’s reaction. Thus, season six, as always, ends on a cliff-hanger – inevitably, the fight for the throne will be between Jon and Daenerys. The next question is: who will triumph?
Words by Ruth Grove