Adapted from George R.R. Martin's popular fantasy epic series "A Song of Ice and Fire" by Daniel Abraham. Daenerys Targaryen first appeared in Game of Thrones #1.
Born of "the Mad King" Aerys II Targaryen and his wife (and sister) Queen Rhaella at the end of the Civil War. On the night of her birth a great storm raged, and as such she is often referred to as "Daenerys Stormborn". The Targaryens had ruled over the Seven Kingdoms for many generations.
However, after Jaime Lannister killed her father during the "Sack of King's Landing" and Robert Baratheon became King, she fled in exile, along with her older borther Viserys Targaryen, to the east across the Narrow Sea. Impoverished and hiding in the Free Cities, she is initially an abused little girl living under the whims of her bullying older brother Viserys Targaryen, who is trying in vain to gather support to reclaim the throne. Viserys considers himself the rightful heir, and owner, to the throne. Robert, and his house, merely usurpers.
Although many of Viserys' efforts for support were mocked, a powerful and influential magister called Illyrio Mopatis offered them aid in the Free City of Pentos. Illyrio and Viserys arranged the marriage of Daenerys to the powerful horselord Khal Drogo of the Dothraki people. This union would grant Viserys control of the thousands of men under Drogo, giving him the forces he requires to win back the throne. Upon the marriage, Daenerys was gifted a silver filly and three petrified dragon eggs, long since turned to stone. She was also given three handmaidens named Doreah, Jhiqui and Irri. While initially scared of the Dothraki, she becomes comfortable with their culture and way of life, and eventually comes to deeply care for her new husband. Her newfound confidence, found as a result of her position of power as a Khaleesi ("Queen" in the Dothraki language) leads to her losing her fear of her brother.
Khal Drogo, and his khalasar, traveled to Vaes Dothrak (a city in the midst of the Dothraki Sea) to present his new wife to the dosh khaleen; which was comprised of women who had been Khaleesi, but had been widowed. By this time Daenerys, who was then fourteen, is pregnant with Drogo's child. Daenerys then took part in the "Stallion Heart Ceremony", in which she had to consume a raw stallion heart without vomiting. In doing so, her child is prophesied to become the "Stallion who Mounts the World", a legendary Khal who will unite the Dothraki and lead them to numerous victories. During the ceremony, she announced that the child would be called Rhaego, in honour to her fallen brother Rhaegar.
Later, consumed with rage and impatience, Viserys confronted Drogo on the absence of his promised army. After a brief tirade, Viserys broke a sacred Dothraki law by unsheathing his weapon in Vaes Dothrak, and threatened Daenerys and her unborn child. In retaliation, Drogo ordered Viserys to be held down whilst molten gold was poured over his head. In death, Viserys finally received the crown he so coveted. Daenerys watched her brother die without comment or protest. With her brother's death, Drogo lost interest in his campaign of invading Westeros to reclaim the thrones from the Baratheon usurpers. Daenerys, meanwhile, attempted to change his mind- realizing that she too had a claim, and a reason, to reclaim the Iron Throne. While her words did not persuade him, another's actions did. Whilst visiting a nearby market for provisions, an assassin disguised as a wine merchant attempted to poison Daenerys. It was only Ser Jorah's attentiveness that saved her life; it was evident that Robert Baratheon had put a price on her head, and would not let her live in peace. Drogo, enraged by this cowardly attempt (it went against the Dothraki principle of killing by one's own hand) swore to avenge this by crossing the Narrow Sea and taking Robert's throne for his unborn son.Drogo urged his khalasar east, towards the Narrow Sea, razing the land along with any settlements they encountered as they traveled. Having previously no interest in currency, they sought to capture slaves to fund the provisions needed to cross the sea (as they had no ships of their own). During the pillaging of a small village, Daenerys was alarmed by the actions of her khalasar, as they performed their traditional right to rape any captive women. As such, she gave orders to stop the rape of any woman she saw, and placed the victims under her own protection. Naturally, the khalasar were infuriated by this decision, and approached Drogo to override her order. However, he refused as he was delighted by her boldness - seeing it as further evidence of his son's strength within her. Unfortunately, during the raid Drogo suffered a relatively minor injury to his chest. A priestess by the name of Mirri Maz Duur, who Daenerys had rescued from rape by her Khalasar, stepped forward to heal him. Drogo's bloodriders expressed disgust at this, claiming she was a maegi- a woman who practiced dark magic. Though she was allowed to treat him eventually, Drogo's wound festered nonetheless and he soon became too weak to ride. A Khal who could not ride, was deemed unfit to lead. Drogo's health was paramount to Daenerys' survival. His death would most likely result in the khalasar dividing, with Drogo's bloodriders claiming a portion for themselves; Daenerys and her unborn son would therefore be considered a threat and would be killed. All this was explained to Daenerys by Ser Jorah, which led to her pleading Mirri Maz Duur to save her husbands life by any means necessary. This included the use of blood magic; magic which was largely reviled. Mirri Maz Duur agreed, but explained that only life could pay for death. Daenerys allowed the magic to proceed regardless. During the rite, Daenerys went into labour following a minor dispute by Drogo's bloodriders and their disgust at the use of blood magic to restore him. Disregarding the maegi's warnings that no one should enter the tent during the rite, Ser Jorah carried Daenerys in, fearing her safety should she remain outside.
Daenerys awoke many days later, yearning to see her son and to learn the fate of her husband. Ser Jorah told her that her son had been stillborn, and had emerged mutated - with leathery wings and scales. Drogo was alive- of sorts- but existed in a catatonic state and was largely oblivious to the world around him. Angered, Daenerys confronted Mirri Maz Duur, who stated that her son and husband's fate was the true price of the blood magic. The maegi continued, saying that she felt no gratitude towards Daenerys for saving her life as she had been raped multiple times by the time she had arrived and stopped her Khalasar. As predicted by Ser Jorah, Drogo's Khalasar had been disbanded into several smaller tribes, each led by one of his previous blood riders. He urged her to flee to the west, to relative safety. What remained of Daenerys' Khas (her personal guard) advised her to return to Vaes Dothrak and become a dosh khaleen (a band of widowed khaleesi). Daenerys, however, had other plans. After smothering Drogo in an act of mercy, she ordered a funeral pyre to be built and for the traitorous Mirri Maz Duur to be placed upon it, along with her husband's corpse and the three petrified dragons eggs. She then asked her khas to become her bloodriders, but all three refused on the grounds that it would be shameful to be the bloodrider of a woman. Undeterred, Daenerys then named Ser Jorah as the first of her Queensguard- which he accepted gratefully.
Once the pyre was lit, and the flames engulfed the maegi, Daenerys walked without hesitation into the inferno. The strong magic which was summoned upon this act (blood magic of sorts involving the forces of life and death) restored life to her dragon's eggs, which caused them to hatch. These dragons were the first to exist for many centuries, the last being when her great-great-great grandfather had reigned. Daenerys, who was revealed to be the true blood of the dragon, emerged from the flames unharmed in the early hours of the morning. What was left of Drogo's former Khalasar swore themselves to her fully, even his blood riders who then knelt in awe and willingly accepted the gifts they had previously refused. Daenerys had become the first female Dothraki war-leader, a Khaleesi in her own right.
Clash of Kings
Daenerys named her three dragons Viserion (after her late brother), Rhaegal (after her long dead brother and her stillborn son) and Drogon (after her late husband). She and her khalasar found themselves stranded in the Red Waste, a barren desert, with little in the way of provisions or water. Upon Drogo's death, the majority of his Khalasar were divided amongst three of his blood-riders; Daenerys was left with the crippled, the old and the young, with very few capable warriors. Dany and her khalasar found themselves in the barren desert of the Red Waste, surrounded by the Dothraki Sea, the Slaver's Cities, and the city of Lhazar- all of which posed substantial threat to their safety due to the bulk of Drogo's old Khalasar who had declared themselves as enemies to Daenerys. At around this time, a red comet appeared in the sky, and Daenerys took this as a symbol of the birth of her dragons and her rise to power; the Dothraki meanwhile saw it as an omen, a dark prophecy waiting to be hatched. Nonetheless, Dany ordered her people to follow its trail and eventually, they met the old city of Vaes Tolorro. The city, though once again a place which made her khalasar on edge (they believed it to be haunted by spirits), allowed them to recuperate from their journey across the Red Waste. Once rested, Daenerys sent out three scouts to the North,West and East.
One of the scouts came back with three emissaries from the affluent trader city of Qarth. All three were wealthy, prominent citizens of the city; and all had notable power within its walls. The three identified themselves as Xaro Xhoan Daxos, Pyat Pree and finally, Asshai'i Quaithe. They offered aid in return for seeing Daenerys' three dragons, which she agreed to do gratefully. The emissaries then led the khalasar back to Qarth, with Daxos - a influential merchant- offering to house Daenerys and her people in his palace. In the first time in many months, Daenerys was able to learn of the activities of her enemies; it was in Qarth that she learned that Robert Baratheon had died, and that a new king (Robert's son), Joffrey Baratheon had taken the iron throne. She also learned of the Civil War which had ignited between the Lannisters and the Starks, led by the new "King in the North" Rob Stark. Whilst in Qarth, Daenerys took the opportunity to gain potential allies and aid, however, it quickly became evident that the residents of the city took little interest in the Targaryen and more interest in acquiring her most prized possessions; her dragons. One of the original three emissaries, the warlock Pyat Pree persuades Daenerys that he can offer assistance. Apparently ignoring the advise of her friends and advisers, she agreed to meet him in the House of the Undying, home to the Undying Ones, who are shades of great power. Ser Jorah and her blood-riders offered to enter the House with the khaleesi, but she insisted to enter alone. Pyat Pree remained behind with her advisers, yet offered her advice on how to navigate the labyrinthine corridors. She drank the "Shade of the Evening" as instructed, then entered. The "Shade of the Evening" was a concoction which caused Daenerys to experience intense visions whilst navigating the corridors, most of which involved events from her past, or those that held significance for the Targaryen House. Some visions hinted at a possible future, of reclaiming the Iron Throne, of the future of Westeros. Whispers hailed her as the "Mother of Dragons", prophesying that the young Targaryen would experience three betrayals, light three fires, and ride three mounts. The Undying Ones in essence showed Daenerys her greatest dreams becoming reality. The Undying then attacked her, using the visions as an effective distraction. Drogon then appeared, and helped Daenerys defeat the Undying Ones, and burned the House to the ground.
Unfortunately, the people of Qarth then turned hostile against her Khalasar; with the warlocks despising her for destroying one of the sources of their power, and Daxos- who had taken a slight too personally (he had tried to acquire one of her dragons in exchange for ships, but Dany stated that as she owned the last three dragons, that only the third of all the ships in the world would be adequate in exchange of one dragon)- asked her to give back any gifts he had given in good faith, and to leave his quarters. Finding herself with very few allies, she turned to the final emissary, Quaithe for assistance. The Asshai'i gave her sound advice; she must travel further East to gain allies, before returning West across the Narrow Sea and to her home of Westeros. Daenerys then travelled to the docks in search of ships, with the knowledge that her khalasar were reluctant to travel by sea (the Dothraki did not trust water that their horses could not drink). Whilst at the Docks, Daenerys became aware that she was being followed by two individuals, whilst distracted by their presence a Sorrowful Man ( a member of a guild of assassins in Qarth) attempted an assassination, trying to poison her with a Manticore. One of the strangers who had been following Dany interceded, and knocked the Manticore aside before it could deliver a fatal dose of its poisons. With the danger out of the way, the two men - one of which who had just saved her life- identified themselves as a former pit-fighter (and Eunuch) who went by the name of Strong Belwas, and Arstan Whitebeard who was a native Westori now serving as Belwas' squire. They claimed to the khaleesi that they had been sent on the orders of Illyrio Mopatis who feared for her safety now that Drogo was dead. The two men then said that they had acquired three ships of their own, renaming them Vhagar, Meraxes and Balerion after the three dragons that had bought Daenerys ancestor Aegon Targaryen the Conqueror to Westeros, along with his sister-wives. It was aboard these ships that Daenerys sets off for the slave-city of Pentos.
A Storm of Swords
During the journey to Pentos, Ser Jorah, and to a lesser degree Arstan Whitebeard, expresses concerns about Illyrio's motives for aiding Daenerys. Whilst she initially rebuffed his concerns, Daenerys eventually admits that it would be more wise to acquire an army by herself, without the aid of the magistar. With this is mind, Daenerys orders her small Queens Guard to head to the slave city of Astapor.
After arriving, Daenerys arranges a meeting with a prominent slave master and part owner of the famed "Unsullied", Kraznys mo Nakloz. Jorah advises Daenerys that the "Unsullied" are a feared and powerful force, which she desperately needs to be taken seriously by those in the Free Cities and across the Narrow Sea in Westeros. Daenerys chooses to feign ignorance in regards to understanding Kraznys' speech- for he speaks Astaporian Valyrian, and Daenerys, whose Targaryen ancestors are of Old Valyria, grew up speaking High Valyrian (it is her "mother tongue")- to better test the slave master's loyalty. As a result, Kraznys openly insults Daenerys repeatedly, relying on his translator to soften his words. Regardless of his motives, Daenerys agrees to buy the Unsullied army of 8000 soldiers for a price of one dragon; her largest and most powerful - Drogon. Ser Jorah and Arstan challenge her decision, arguing that it is her dragons that will win her the Iron Throne and not a slave army. Daenerys does not heed their protests and continues on with the deal nonetheless.
The character originally appeared as one of the main protagonists in the first book of "A Song of Ice and Fire" entitled "Game of Thrones", written by George R.R. Martin and published in 1996. The series received very little public acclaim, until the release of the HBO television series, which revitalized interest in the books. The character of Daenerys Targaryen is much the same in the comic book adaption as the novels themselves. Daenerys is a "main" protagonist in all of the books, with the exception of "A Feast for Crows" in which she is only mentioned twice by minor characters.
Daenerys Targaryen appears in the HBO television series entitled after the first book of "A Song of Ice and Fire", a "Game of Thrones". She is played by Emilia Clarke in Season 1 to 3.