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

Helen Sloan, HBO
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]