Warning: This article is dark and full of Game of Thrones season 8 spoilers.
Even though some fans had predicted Daenerys becoming the Mad Queen, last night’s total annihilation of King’s Landing still felt like a shock. Sure, she was showing some warning signs that her patience was wearing thin, but did we really earn a full 180 on Dany’s character? According to some viewers, however, the HBO show has been building to this moment for years. So for those skeptical about Dany’s change of heart, we’ve rounded up all the foreshadowing for last night’s Targaryen massacre.
— Victoria A. Harper (@GrulloArab) May 13, 2019
Season 2: Dany’s Throne Room Vision
Back in season 2, Dany has a vision of walking through the throne room at King’s Landing. The ceiling is open and it looks as if snow is falling. As predicted by Twisted8999 on Reddit, though, it appears her vision wasn’t of snowfall: it was ash raining down, following her burning the Red Keep to the ground. She’s become the queen, but only the Queen of Ashes, having burned everything else in her wake.
Season 2: Dany Threatens Mass Destruction
Also in season 2, Dany says “we will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground” by way of explaining her takeover plan. At the time, these are just words — but given how things have played out, perhaps we should have taken her threats more seriously early on.
Me looking at my mentions of people telling me Dany turning mad has been foreshadowed since the beginning so I shouldn’t be disappointed with it feeling weirdly rushed and off #GameOfThrones pic.twitter.com/GWDL0zaeh6
— Brett S. Vergara (@BrettSVergara) May 13, 2019
Season 4: Dany Crucifies The Slave Masters
Obviously, there’s a difference between killing a specific group of people for a specific crime and killing thousands of unarmed, random civilians. But Dany’s crucifixion of 163 slave masters proved that she wasn’t above killing a large group of people to make a point, and that she didn’t mind if some relatively innocent people died en route to her overall goal. It also proved she wouldn’t always take her advisors’ suggestions — in that case, Ser Barristan’s — to show mercy.
Season 6: Dany Burns The Khals
Once again, this is an example of Dany killing those who have committed a specific wrong, and not the indiscriminate carnage of last night. But it’s another example that belies Dany’s thirst for vengeance and preference for burning en masse first, demanding loyalty later. After the khals take Dany hostage, she burns them all alive as punishment — then has the remaining Dothraki swear they’ll “kill [her] enemies in their iron suits and tear down their stone houses.” Given the role the Dothraki played in sacking King’s Landing last night, this seems like a significant warning of what’s to come.
— The All-Mighty Xilla Valentine (@BlogXilla) May 13, 2019
Season 7: Dany Burns The Tarlys
Honestly, we weren’t the biggest fans of the Tarlys (outside of Sam, of course). So it didn’t seem like such a red flag when Dany executed them, despite Tyrion’s suggestion that she take them as prisoner instead. When Sam learns of his family’s death in season 8, however, we start to look at Dany’s choice in a different light — taking a step back from her tireless quest for the throne, and considering the victims of her ambition. It’s not a defining moment for Dany’s character at the time, but the fact that we dwell on it again a season later may have been the showrunners’ way of nudging us to consider the dark side of Dany’s actions so far.