Daenerys Targaryen Could Be the True Villain of Game of Thrones, According to Fan Theory

Helen Sloan, HBO
Helen Sloan, HBO

Daenerys Targaryen hasn't always had it easy over the past seven seasons of Game of Thrones. But when we last left the Mother of Dragons, she seemed to finally be fulfilling her destiny and making her way toward the Iron Throne. Season 7 gave us a glimpse at what Westeros might look like with Daenerys sitting on the Iron Throne in the finale … but at what cost?

Over the series' 67-episode run (and counting), we've gotten several clues into the sort of queen Daenerys would make, and let's just say the apple might not fall far from the tree. In season 7, we watched as Dany set two prisoners of war on fire for not bending the knee to her, a strategy that was once favored by her father, the "Mad King" Aerys II Targaryen.

Although some would argue that Daenerys's actions were justified and that she's a natural-born leader ready to take charge by conquering the White Walkers (and dethroning Cersei Lannister), there's some evidence to suggest that the true villain in season 8 might just be Khaleesi herself.

While Dany has done an admirable job of maintaining enough innocence to make us believe that she's nothing like her father, a new fan theory spotted by Esquire begs the differ. Redditor nanoelite laid it out like this:

"Both the show and the book series seek to portray a fantasy setting in realistic terms, clearly displaying the grim aspects of medieval life, the brutality of warfare, and the grey morality of its characters. That's why I don't think that either the Night King (a supernatural entity with absolutely no characterization) or Cersei (a comically evil despot) will be the big bads. Both characters are too easy to root against, and having a clear conflict between good and evil doesn't seem in line with what we have seen from the first seven seasons."

It would undoubtedly be surprising to see one of the show's seeming heroes turn out to be the villain—and to see what fans would make of their beloved queen being just as diabolical as her father.

"Daenerys Targaryen will end as the big bad, because she would be an interesting, and dangerous villain," the Redditor continued. "She is extremely powerful, possessing the largest army as well as dragons. She is sympathetic, having been abused and hunted her whole life, punished for the sins of her family, yet still being generous to those closest to her. And she has great moral arguments, seeking to abolish slavery, end the chaos in Westeros, stop the Dothraki and the Ironborn from raiding and raping, and become a queen in a world dominated by men."

This seems like a wild card theory, but Game of Thrones—which returns for its final season on April 14—has never been predictable.

[h/t Esquire]

HBO Is Offering Nearly 500 Hours of Free Content, From The Sopranos to Succession

Matthew Macfadyen and Nicholas Braun talk business and omelettes in Succession.
Matthew Macfadyen and Nicholas Braun talk business and omelettes in Succession.
Peter Kramer/HBO

If shelter-in-place orders have you burning through your streaming service selections, HBO might be able to help. The premium network has just announced nearly 500 hours of content will be made available for free beginning Friday, April 3. In a press release, the channel said that content would be unlocked via HBO NOW and HBO GO without a subscription. Viewers can expect a mix of HBO’s original series as well as documentaries and catalog movie titles. For original series, viewers can select these nine shows:

  1. Ballers
  2. Barry
  3. Silicon Valley
  4. Six Feet Under
  5. The Sopranos
  6. Succession
  7. True Blood
  8. Veep
  9. The Wire

Documentary and Docuseries titles include:

  1. The Apollo
  2. The Case Against Adnan Syed
  3. Elvis Presley: The Searcher
  4. I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter
  5. The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley
  6. Jane Fonda in Five Acts
  7. McMillion$
  8. True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality
  9. United Skates
  10. We Are the Dream: The Kids of the MLK Oakland Oratorical Fest

Movies are from the Warner Bros. library and, unlike The Sopranos, are mostly family-friendly. They include:

  1. Arthur
  2. Arthur 2: On the Rocks
  3. Blinded By the Light
  4. The Bridges of Madison County
  5. Crazy, Stupid, Love
  6. Empire of the Sun
  7. Forget Paris
  8. Happy Feet Two
  9. Isn't It Romantic?
  10. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
  11. Midnight Special
  12. My Dog Skip
  13. Nancy Drew And The Hidden Staircase
  14. Pan
  15. Pokémon Detective Pikachu
  16. Red Riding Hood
  17. Smallfoot
  18. Storks
  19. Sucker Punch
  20. Unknown Title To Be Announced

The shows can be viewed directly without a sign-in on the HBO GO and HBO NOW websites or via their apps. (The services are nearly identical, but HBO GO is typically included with a cable subscription; HBO NOW is a standalone streaming service.) If you’d like to sample the full range of HBO series like Game of Thrones, The Outsider, or Curb Your Enthusiasm, the channel is offering a seven-day free trial.

According to the press release, the programming will be available to watch without subscribing through the end of April.

Which Fictional Character Are You? This Online Quiz Might Give You an Eerily Accurate Answer

Peter Dinklage's Tyrion Lannister is the unofficial king of witty side comments. Are you, too?
Peter Dinklage's Tyrion Lannister is the unofficial king of witty side comments. Are you, too?
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

While watching a TV show or movie, you might find yourself trying to draw parallels between you and a certain character you’d want to be. If you’re like many viewers, it’s probably one of the heroic ones—the handsome private investigator with a tortured past and an unerring moral compass or the fearless queen who builds her kingdom from nothing and defends it to the death, etc.

But which character would you actually be? Openpsychometrics.org, a site that develops personality tests, has a new online quiz that might give you an uncannily accurate answer. You’ll be confronted with a series of 28 questions that ask you to pinpoint where you fall between two traits on a percentage-based spectrum. For example, if you’re more playful than serious, slide the bar toward the word playful until you’ve reached your desired ratio. The ratio could be anything from 51 percent playful and 49 percent serious, to a full 100 percent playful and not a single iota of seriousness at all. Other spectrums include artistic versus scientific, dominant versus submissive, spiritual versus skeptical, and more.

Once you’ve completed the quiz, you’ll find out which fictional character your personality most closely matches from a database of around 500 television and film characters. To pinpoint the personalities of the characters themselves, the quiz creators asked survey participants to rate them on a series of traits, and those collective results are then compared to your own self-ratings.

If you scroll down below your top result, you’ll see an option to show your full match list, which will give you a much more comprehensive picture of what kind of character you’d be. My top two results—which, ironically, were the same as Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy’s—were The West Wing’s C.J. Cregg and Joey Lucas, suggesting that we both have a no-nonsense attitude, a perfectionist streak, and an apparent aptitude for national politics that (at least in our cases) will likely go unfulfilled.

The fictional twin of managing editor Jenn Wood, on the other hand, is Game of Thrones’s Tyrion Lannister, unofficial king of witty side comments and all-around fan favorite. This was not surprising. As runner-up, Jenn got her personal hero, Elizabeth Bennet, which, in her words “makes me feel better about myself.” (Jenn has Pride and Prejudice-themed “writing gloves,” which seems important to mention.)

Take the quiz here to find out just how much you have in common with your own personal (fictional) hero.

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