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All Hail Khaleesi

I am a huge Game of Thrones nerd. Daenerys Targaryen, who is also known as Khaleesi, or Mother of Dragons, is my most favorite character, because one I relate to her on so many levels and two she is a badass. In the beginning of the series Daenerys is very submissive and does whatever her abusive brother, Viserys, tells her to do. But after marrying Khal (King) Drogo, the fearless barbarian leader of the Dothraki Tribe, Daenerys realizes that she is powerful as both a queen “Khaleesi” and woman. She later stands up to her brother, when he tries to attack her in front of Drogo, as she no longer will put up with any type of abuse. Drogo then kills Viserys, as he does not want his wife to be threatened by him ever again. Later Khaleesi’s loving-husband dies from a festered wound and she takes over his tribe.

Daenerys then decides to go on a journey to reclaim the Iron Throne of Westeros that was once her father’s. Throughout the series Khaleesi gives birth to three dragons, frees thousands of slaves, who wish to join her in her quest to take over Westeros, and realizes that even though she is a woman it does not affect her ability to be a successful and well-loved leader.

One aspect that makes Khaleesi a strong and empowering woman is that she was once meek and put up with her brother’s abuse, but instead begins to defend herself. When she later interacts with men who comment on her beauty and lack of power to be a leader, she attacks back and makes it known she is not someone to mess with. This is evident as Daenerys must be called by her proper title, Khaleesi. Even though Khaleesi is a derogatory term as it can mean a woman is the wife of a Khal, or is a woman that rides alongside the Khal, or is a woman who is not respected as the Khal’s wife and any man in the Dothraki tribe may sleep with. Khaleesi wishes to reclaim the word to show that any Khaleesi or woman can rule just as well as any man. Khaleesi also believes in equality not just for herself, but for all, as evident with her freeing slaves. Khaleesi is a leader who is respected by her followers both men and women.

Some may argue that Game of Thrones is a sexist show, as there is a lot of female nudity. But I disagree. First off the show is on HBO so people want to see things they cannot see on a regular TV Show, nudity being one of them. Secondly, there are naked men and gay sex scenes. I feel that the creator of the show and books, George R.R. Martin is very pro-feminist as Khaleesi does not put up with people who mistreat others. Do you think Khaleesi is an empowering woman and that Game of Thrones is a pro-feminist show? Why or Why not?                                                                                

3 Responses to “All Hail Khaleesi”

  1. yourknightinshiningtutu

    Oh my goodness, I am so obsessed with Game of Thrones (and mostly watch it for Daenerys!). She is such a strong woman and I think her transformation from submissive sister to powerful khaleesi is the best storyline in the show and certainly an inspiring one. I agree with what you said about the nudity also, it’s certainly not only the women (though maybe a great deal more), but also Daenerys is such a good role-model for strong women that one can’t very well assume that the writer/creator is sexist. So go-you for this great article and bringing all the amazingness of Game of Thrones (aka Daenerys Targaryen) to light!


    • SarahStar77

      Yourknightinshiningtutu, thanks for the reply. Its nice to know that you are a Game of Thrones fan and a Daenerys supporter. I agree with you that Khaleesi’s storyline shows that you can make whatever you want your life to be, even if you do not have a lot of people your side. George. R.R. Martin is very pro-feminsit and it’s not just Daenerys but a lot of other women like Arya, Bryn, and that one Tully girl who is going to marry Geoffrey, who are really strong-empowering women who are beginning to dominate in a “man’s world.” Maybe I need to write about these ladies in the future. In the mean time let’s hope Daenerys wins the Iron Throne.


  2. Abby Eastridge

    Wow, love this article! I hate that I missed it in February. One of the reasons I love GoT so much is Martin’s use of strong, female leads. I am a huge LOTR fan as well but Tolkien emphasized a male dominated society and only used females as (for lack of a better word) playthings.. not in all cases, but most. I appreciated Peter Jackson’s emphasis of stronger female characters. George RR Martin shows strong, fierce women who are powerful in their own ways and because of their own decisions. Arya is another example of this. Looking forward to this weekend’s episode as well as the next book installment!



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