When first introduced on Game of Thrones, Daenerys Targaryen was a submissive young woman controlled by those around her. She quickly showed her inner strength and how she could take control. Her many victories gave her confidence as a leader but also arrogance as a conqueror.
There were moments in which Daenerys used the way people underestimated her to defeat them in epic fashion. Other times, she made reckless decisions that she only escaped by pure luck. The fact that Daenerys was able to win the Iron Throne is all due to these moments of brilliance and luck.
Taking Control Of The Unsullied
When Daenerys sets out on her mission to win back the Iron Throne, she first searches for an army. She finds the Unsullied, a feared army of slave warriors. However, the slave masters selling them demand the high price of one of her dragons to buy the army.
While all of her advisors see this as a foolish idea, Daenerys has a plan. She waits until she has control of the Unsullied, then orders them to kill the masters and has her dragon burn the rest. It is a moment in which Daenerys shows how dangerous it is to not respect her power.
Sending Grey Worm To Take Meereen
Daenerys’ mission to free all the slave cities further cements her as a ruler who fans could cheer for. But while she was gradually building the means to take these cities by force with her army and dragons, Daenerys was also able to use more tactful methods.
When she comes to Meereen as the next city to conquer, she decides to give the power to the people to take the city for themselves. Daenerys sends her trusted friend Grey Worm to sneak into the city, arm the slaves, and lead them in an uprising against the masters.
Killing The Dothraki Lords
After being such a powerful leader for so long, it is strange to see Daenerys more vulnerable at the beginning of the sixth season. She is taken by the Dothraki without her dragons or her allies for the first time in a long time.
But when she is brought before the Dothraki lords, Daenerys proves it is not the dragons that make her powerful. She locks herself and lords in a building and burns it down. When she emerges from the flames unscathed, the Dothraki see her as their new leader.
Taking On The Slave Masters
When Daenerys returns to Meereen, she finds it under attack from the former slave masters she overthrew. They seem to think she is in a vulnerable position and the city can be taken from her. Daenerys seems to take great pleasure in showing that they are the vulnerable ones.
Instead of being intimidated by the army at the gates, Daenerys sees this as an opportunity to deal with all of her enemies at once. With her dragons and army ready, she makes quick work of the would-be invaders and ends up with a fleet of ships for her troubles.
Attacking The Loot Train
Sometimes it is not necessarily a clever strategy that makes a good plan but rather just using the power at her disposal. Upon arriving in Westeros, Daenerys suffers a number of crushing defeats and loses most of her allies.
But when the Lannister army is returning to King’s Landing, Daenerys takes the opportunity to show her incredible power. Despite the Lannisters’ early victories, by the end of this battle, Daenerys is winning the war.
Almost Getting Poisoned
Even while on the other side of the world, Robert Baratheon still saw Daenerys and any Targaryen as a threat. Using Jorah Mormont as a spy, the king sends word to have Daenerys assassinated.
While sending an armed man into the Dothraki camp to kill Daenerys would have been too difficult, attempting to poison her with wine while at a market proves to be a nearly successful plan. Thankfully for Daenerys, Jorah had a change of heart and revealed the poisoner’s plan.
Getting Into Qarth
Despite hatching her three dragon eggs, Daenerys is in a dire situation at the beginning of season 2. She is made to wander the desert with her followers with nowhere to go. When they come across the city of Qarth it is the only chance Danerys and the others have to survive.
However, the leaders of Qarth are not too eager to help Daenerys out and she doesn’t help matters by threatening them to do what she says. It is only because Xaro Xhoan Daxos stands for her for his own greedy reasons that Daenerys doesn’t die out in the wastelands.
Escaping The Fighting Pits
Though Daenerys is able to take Meereen with her considerable power, she finds herself surrounded by enemies looking to overthrow her rule over the city. The Sons of the Harpy emerge as a dangerous group who make their move to strike during the games at the fighting pits.
Given the hostility Danerys was facing, to expose herself in public with very little protection was a bad idea. She and her people quickly find themselves surrounded and facing certain death. Luckily, Drogon shows up with a perfectly timed rescue mission.
Rescuing Jon Snow Beyond The Wall
Jon Snow is another beloved character of Game of Thrones whose plans are not always very intelligent. His worst idea was to take a small group of men Beyond the Wall in the hopes of capturing one of the undead soldiers to bring back as proof.
Unsurprisingly, this plan goes poorly and Jon’s team is surrounded by the Night King’s entire army. Somehow, Daenerys receives word of the trouble in time to fly out and rescue Jon. But the fact that Daenerys was able to find Jon and his men in the incredibly vast area Beyond the Wall is purely coincidental.
Surviving The Battle Of Winterfell
The entire Battle of Winterfell against the Night King’s forces seemed to come down to luck. Though ridiculously outnumbered, shockingly few main characters ended up dying. And Daenerys is one of the many characters who logically shouldn’t have made it.
She comes into the battle with no real plan, simply attacking the Night King with her dragon. However, once she realizes dragon fire doesn’t kill him, she is pretty useless in the fight. It takes Jorah Mormont sacrificing himself to defend her from the endless army for her to emerge alive.