Warning: This article contains spoilers for the most recent episode of Game Of Thrones.
You mad after that episode of Game Of Thrones? Because Dany (Emilia Clarke) is, and it seems like she’s just getting started.
Wasn’t this supposed to be a victory lap?
In episode three, The Long Night, Arya (Maisie Williams) shattered the Night King (Vladimír Furdík) — the embodiment of death — into a million ice cubes with one thrust of a Valyrian steel dagger, thus supposedly ending the threat of the army of the dead.
But apparently, death doesn’t have anything on Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey).
Whereas the Night King clearly hadn’t been watching game film (Arya’s been practicing that dagger switch for a while), Cersei did her prep work. In episode four, she dealt the dragon queen two shocking losses: Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and her baby boy Rhaegal.
Missandei of Naath has been on the show since season three, becoming one of Dany’s closest friends and most trusted advisers after the Mother of Dragons acquired the Unsullied army.
Sadly, now her watch has ended.
As much as we loved Missandei, she was probably on borrowed time already, planning a beach getaway with Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) before the battle with the dead even began.
In Monday’s episode, after being captured by Cersei’s forces, Missandei was beheaded by the Mountain (Hafþór Björnsson) in front of Dany and what’s left of her army. Her last word was “Dracarys,” basically imploring Dany to burn the eff out of Cersei.
Grey Worm was, understandably, heartbroken.
And in addition to that loss ― among ongoing struggles with Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Sansa (Sophie Turner) ― the Mother of Dragons lost another one of her kids.
Rhaegal was taken down by Euron (Pilou Asbæk) and his fleet in a surprise attack when Dany and her team were heading south.
With that, it looks like a well-worn Game Of Thrones theory may finally be coming true: It’s time for the Mad Queen to “burn them all.”
Game Of Thrones is a cyclical show, and the idea that Dany becomes the villain, aka the Mad Queen — much like her father, Aerys Targaryen II, the Mad King — has been alive within the fan base for years.
We asked her friend zone ambassador, Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen), about the idea in 2017, and at the time, he was doubtful, telling us: “My belief in her is such that I can’t see her going that way myself, so I think that’s highly unlikely. It becomes academic whether I would stand by her or not because I don’t believe that would happen.”
But times have changed.
In season eight, episode three, Khaleesi lost Jorah and a lot of her Dothraki and Unsullied forces to the army of the dead. Even before she lost Missandei and Rhaegal, episode four basically foreshadowed that the “Mad Queen” is on her way, and King’s Landing (along with all the citizens inside) is about to burn.
First off, everyone was kind of hanging out with Jon after the Battle of Winterfell, leaving Dany alone like she was the new kid at school. (Seriously, can someone please just pay attention to the dragon queen? Jon did nothing in the battle. He did not yell, “Go.” He did not collect £200.) Unsurprisingly, she’s not happy.
Dany forbid Jon from telling anyone about his parentage, thinking the North would rally around him instead of her. (Spoiler alert: He did anyway.) Daenerys then went around saying lines about Cersei such as, “We will rip her out root and stem,” causing Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) to remind her, “The objective here is to remove Cersei without destroying King’s Landing.”
Dany didn’t care one bit.
The hints continued, and they were about as subtle as an undead giant banging down Winterfell’s gate.
Sansa realised Tyrion is fearful of Dany, causing him to retort: “Every good ruler needs to inspire a bit of fear.” And after hearing about Jon’s true parentage from Tyrion, Varys (Conleth Hill) questions Dany’s “state of mind.” He later told Tyrion that Jon could be a “solution” if Dany is about to go all Mad Queen and destroy innocent lives.
Tyrion did his best to defend Dany as much as he could, but by the end of the episode, it seemed he was about to blurt out: “I get it, everybody. Chill.”
The episode five preview also seemed to add more evidence to the theory, showing Tyrion looking concerned while at Dragonstone.
Game Of Thrones seems to have been preparing fans for this turn of events, showing Dany gradually losing her empathy on her path to the throne.
After saying adios to Daario Naharis (Michiel Huisman) in the season six finale, she told Tyrion: “Do you know what frightens me? I said farewell to a man who loves me, a man I thought I cared for, and I felt nothing.”
Mad Queen vibes were also prevalent in season seven when she burned Randyll Tarly (James Faulkner) and his son Dickon (Tom Hopper) to a crisp for not bending the knee. (Though, really, they should’ve just bent the knee. That’s kind of on them.)
We’ll see what happens in episode five next week, but it’s safe to say Dany’s new House words are: “We don’t need no water, let that Mother of Dragons burn.”