Game Of Thrones: 10 Daenerys Mannerisms And Traits From The Books Emilia Clarke Nailed
Emilia Clarke did a brilliant job bringing Daenerys Targaryen to life, nailing several of the character’s most significant traits and mannerisms.
House of the Dragon is all about the Targaryens, showing the iconic dynasty at the height of its power. Still, for all its accomplishments, the show owes its very existence to one Daenerys Targaryen. Played by five-time Emmy nominee Emilia Clarke, Daenerys was one of the most popular characters in Game of Thrones.
Although Daenerys came from the brilliant mind of George R. R. Martin, it was Clarke who brought her to life, imbuing her with purpose and spirit. The gifted actress did justice to the character, especially when portraying the traits and mannerisms that first made Dany an icon of fantasy literature.
Season 1 of Game of Thrones features Dany at her most naive. She has spent all her life with the emotionally and physically abusive Viserys and has no idea how human interactions work. Dany also finds life among Drogo’s khalasar challenging and taxing, making her the most vulnerable she ever was.
Emilia Clarke does a perfect job with Dany’s innocence. Virtue can be hard to portray accurately, and Clarke chooses not to overdo it, especially because Dany won’t stay that way for more than a few episodes. Still, innocence is a crucial aspect of Dany’s early characterization, and Clarke does a brilliant job with it.
Daenerys’ Gift For Languages
Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon have multiple popular Valyrian words and phrases. The world of Ice and Fire also has other languages, including Dothraki and Old Gischari, although the latter doesn’t appear in the live-action adaptations.
Book and show Daenerys has a gift for languages. She’s fluent in High Valyrian and the common tongue and quickly learns Dothraki, making her one of the most accomplished characters in the series. Clarke is perfect whenever she needs to recite one of Dany’s elaborate soliloquies, especially during her last speech to her armies after the burning of King’s Landing.
Daenerys’ Inspiring Qualities
Daenerys’ greatest quality is arguably her gift for inspiring devotion among her followers. Some of the most heroic Targaryen kings, such as Jaehaerys I, Daeron II and Aegon V, were notorious for the love they inspired from the commonfolk, and Dany is no different. Across her journeys through Essos, Dany became beloved by her subjects, securing an army that believed in her above everything.
Clarke successfully conveys Dany’s proud and regal spirit while also displaying the warmth and approachability that makes her such a beloved figure across the Narrow Sea. It’s not an easy trick to pull, but the actress makes it look easy.
Daenerys’ Hatred Of Slavery
There is nothing Daenerys hates more than slavery. Since childhood, Dany has loathed the practice, despite growing up surrounded by it. Once she begins amassing power, one of her first major acts is freeing the slaves she finds and abolishing slavery, earning a host of powerful enemies along the way.
Dany’s wars of conquest display her as a decisive leader who isn’t afraid to be merciless against those she considers unworthy and evil. Clarke embodies Dany’s desire for justice and willingness to get it by any means necessary, centered around the character’s opposition to such a reprehensible practice.
Although she won many victories, Daenerys was also quite inexperienced. It’s understandable, considering she spent most of her early life under Viserys’ control and learned about ruling as she conquered more territories. Still, her inexperience was considerable, and Daenerys made several dumb decisions throughout Game of Thrones.
Clarke walks a fine line between portraying Dany’s confidence and displaying her lack of experience. It’s a tricky act to pull, but the actress is clever enough to show the subtle cracks in Dany’s stony facade every time she makes a mistake, like during the attack on the pits of Meereen.
Daenerys’ Strategic Mind
Despite her inexperience, Daenerys was a brilliant strategist. Unlike other characters in Game of Thrones, Dany understood warfare and people, meaning she could devise clever plans and anticipate her enemies’ moves. Dany successfully tricks the khals, misleads Master Kraznys, and plots to infiltrate Meereen, thus gaining control of the city.
Clarke nails the inner workings of Dany’s mind. Although she remains stoic throughout the show, her incredibly expressive face always conveys the thought process behind Dany’s mind. Thus, Daenerys comes across as assured and prepared, cementing herself as one of the show’s best strategists.
Although she is one of the most inspiring characters in Game of Thrones, Daenerys is also ruthless and decisive. She isn’t afraid to kill, manipulate, lie, or trick to win. Dany is a conqueror through and through, willing to cross every line if it means taking back the Seven Kingdoms.
Clarke does a brilliant job with Dany’s cunning and absolutist attitude, particularly toward later seasons. Scenes like her burning of the khals or when she nailed the masters to the cross could easily make Dany unsympathetic, but Clarke always injects Dany’s actions with purpose, making her easier to understand, respect, and even fear.
Dany loves to keep things simple. She doesn’t trouble herself with elaborate or so-called clever plans, like Tyrion, or drive herself to exhaustion with needless worrying, like Jon. On the contrary, Dany is pragmatic, always choosing the most direct path.
Appropriately, Clarke adopts a decisive approach when playing Dany. She keeps things simple and to the point, always delivering her lines as a firm and final statement, never allowing any room for debate or arguing. Thus, Dany remains inspiring but firm and always in control.
Daenerys’ Love For Her Dragons
If there’s one defining trait in Daenerys character is the relationship she has with Drogon, Rhaegal, and Vyserion. The bond between a rider and their dragon is mysterious but fascinating, even if multiple details remain unknown to fans of the series. Dany’s connection to her children is unique, a powerful bond of magic unlike anything else in the world of Ice and Fire.
It’s impressive that Clarke manages to convey Dany’s love for her dragons, especially considering they are a product of CGI, meaning the actress was always alone in front of a green screen. Even so, she coveys Dany’s devotion to her children, making her performance more compelling and relatable.
Daenerys’ Fixation On The Iron Throne
Above everything, Daenerys wants the Iron Throne. She believes it to be her birthright and considers herself the rightful queen of Westeros, especially once she realizes how incompetent, cruel, and delusional Viserys is.
Clarke embodies Dany’s steadfastness to the tee. She spends eight seasons of the show injecting Dany with a clear sense of purpose, building the character’s burning desire for the Iron Throne and making it believable and even understandable. Her actions in season 8 might not be entirely justified, but Dany’s all-consuming desire for the Iron Throne is clear from day one.
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