(Warning: Spoilers ahead)
Deep down, we all want to be able to do whatever we want without having to worry about the consequences. Daenerys Targaryen, of “Game of Thrones,” is a symbol of this. For this reason, liking her is essentially an escapist fantasy. She herself may be a poorly-written and obnoxious individual, but at a subconscious level we all desire the ideal that she stands for.
The thing I admire most about this show is that it has a rigid, unyielding logic, in that you simply have to be the most cunning, treacherous, amoral individual possible to get ahead. It is survival of the fittest on a brutally
Nietzschean level, and any deviation from this path results in harsh punishment, usually in ironic ways.
Daenerys seems to be exempt from these rules. She is somehow one of the more popular figures on the show, and I think I’ve finally figured out why. No matter how many tactical errors or outright missteps she makes on her path to the throne, she rarely gets punished for them the way another character would. Whenever she trusts the wrong person, she lives, whereas for others, this mistake is usually fatal.
She is unique in the show because she fundamentally doesn’t have to deal with the consequences of her actions. She skates by on the fact that she has both competent advisers (whom she rarely listens to) and dragons, the former of which do their best to clean up after her, and the latter of which are a complete Get Out of Jail Free card. In addition, several plot twists seem engineered just to keep her around, such as when an assassin sent to kill her decides to fight for her instead because he thinks she’s cute.
Some would say Daenerys is an important character in the show because she gives people hope. She lets those who know they can never be a
Tywin Lannister or a Roose Bolton feel that they too can be special in their own way. I personally think that such fantasies are childish, but I suppose that I’m willing to let all the untermenschen out there have their fun.
I look forward to the next season, in the hope that balance will be restored and Daenerys will finally get her comeuppance at the hands of a more competent commander. Given how necessary her character is to keep the hopeful, escapist dreamers watching the series though, I wouldn’t bet on it.