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Is Daenerys Really the Villain of Game of Thrones?

Don't throw your lot in with the Dragon Queen just yet

Sadie Gennis

We've spent six seasons rooting for Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) on Game of Thrones. But could we have been rooting for a villain all along?

That's what many fans are beginning to think.

It all began when Daenerys decided to incinerate the Dothraki khals in "Book of the Stranger." It was a baller move, don't get me wrong, but heroic it was not. And this wasn't the first time Daenerys took what she wanted by fire and blood rather than by diplomacy and negotiation. In fact, many of her biggest political victories tend to be won by burning her opponents to death.

You know who that's starting to sound like?

Her father.

You see, the Mad King Aerys wasn't always mad. When his reign on the Iron Throne began, he brought great peace and prosperity to the Seven Kingdoms. However, he later was driven to insanity, caused in part by the death of three sons, multiple miscarriages and stillbirths, and a tumultuous uprising, which resulted in Aerys being held prisoner for over a year.

All the crazy Arya theories, explained

After experiencing all these hardships, the Mad King eventually began hearing voices and grew increasingly violent. His maniacal paranoia reached its apex during the Sack of King's Landing, when Aerys planned to burn the city down with wildfire under the belief that the fire would turn him into a dragon (which is less crazy in retrospect after learning Dany is fireproof). But before Aerys could burn the city, Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) stabbed him in the back, as Aerys continued to scream, "Burn them all!"

Could Daenerys be following a similar arc from benevolent ruler to murderous tyrant? Learn more about why Dany might actually be a villain in the video above.