Daenerys Targaryen is the daughter of King Aerys II Targaryen, the previous ruler of the Seven Kingdoms who was ousted by Robert Baratheon. She was born during Robert’s Rebellion and shortly after her father had been usurped and killed. Her mother Rhaella escaped to Dragonstone and died while giving birth to her there, while Kings Landing was being sacked by Robert’s soldiers and allies. Because she was born in the middle of a storm at Dragonstone, she is also known as Daenerys Stormborn. Her older brother is Rhaegar Targaryen, who also died during the rebellion at the Battle of the Trident. She escaped into the Free Cities with her only other surviving sibling and brother, Viserys. Daenerys is also sometimes referred to by her nickname, “Dany”.
As a child, Daenerys longs to be able to stay in one place and call it home. Because the Baratheons see any surviving Targaryens as a potential threat, she and Viserys are constantly on the run. The young Daenerys is timid and scared of her brother Viserys, who often takes his anger out on her. In season 1, Viserys and Magister Illyrio Mopatis arranges for her to be sold and married to Khal Drogo, the leader of the Dothroki tribe. In payment, Khal Drogo is to provide Viserys with any army of 40,000 men from his khalasar to help him reclaim the throne in the Seven Kingdoms.
Daenerys is at first a reluctant bride. During her wedding, Illyrio Mopatis gives her three valuable fossilized dragon eggs as a gift. Although she is at first frightened of the Dothroki’s seemingly savage traditions, she eventually comes to accept them as her people and forms a deep and loving relationship with Drogo. She soon becomes pregnant with his son. As Khal Drogo’s wife, Daenerys becomes more self assured and beloved by the Dothroki people. This enrages and makes Viserys jealous, so he foolishly threatens her unborn son, causing Drogo to kill him with a pot of molten gold. This leaves Daenerys as the only surviving member of the royal Targaryen family.
During a Dothroki raid against the lamb people, Daenerys is appalled by how the Dothroki men treat the female prisoners. She insists that they be treated better and she gets into an argument with Drogo’s blood rider, Mago. Drogo easily overcomes and kills Mago for his defiance, however, he sustains a surface wound. One of the “lamb women”, Mirri Maz Duur, that Daenerys saved promises to heal his wound, but instead causes it to fester and become fatal. She also curses Drogo to a vegetative state and at the same time, curses Daenerys’ son to be born stillborn. Daenerys set up a funeral pyre for Drogo and walks into the fire with her dragon eggs. She emerges unscathed, unburned, with three hatched baby dragons.
Eventually Daenerys travels to Qarth and later to Slavers Bay and conquers the three cities of Astapor, Yunkai and Meereen. Traveling with a loyal retainer and her knights, Ser Jorah Mormont and Ser Barristan Selmy, Daenerys acquires a massive army and following of Unsullied soldiers, freed slaves and Dothroki. With each season, her dragons grow larger and more fierce, becoming a bigger and more urgent threat to the noble houses on King’s Landing.
Daenerys is acted by Emilia Clarke, and she is a central character in Season 1, 2, 3 and 4 of Game of Thrones.