Thanks to House of the Dragon, Game of Thrones fans have something else to look forward to while patiently waiting for the long-delayed The Winds of Winter release date. Based on George R.R. Martin‘s companion book Fire and Blood, the upcoming HBO prequel series follows the history of the Targaryens 300 years before Game of Thrones.
With the original series ending on a disappointing note and several unresolved storylines, House of the Dragon could fix Daenerys Targaryen’s fate while offering an alternate ending to Martin’s books.
Long before the end of Game of Thrones, fans speculated that the Mother of Dragons would go on to become the Night’s Queen (aka, the corpse queen). The character is a legendary figure described as a cold, white-skinned woman with blue eyes. She is said to have existed thousands of years prior to Martin’s books and was the lover of the thirteenth commander of the Night’s Watch (aka, the Night’s King). Together, the pair cut off the Night’s Watch from the rest of the world for 13 years and committed such heinous abominations that their history was destroyed from the record. Or so the legend goes.
Dany the Night’s Queen?
After Jon Snow stabbed Daenerys in Season 8, Drogon lifted her dead body and flew east, at least according to newly minted Grand Maester Samwell Tarly. However, plenty of fans have speculated that the dragon may have actually taken Dany north, beyond the wall. If that’s true, she could be revived to become the Night’s Queen and the new leader of the undead. Of course, Game of Thrones killed off the White Walker army so there’s no one left to change her into the undead. The White Walkers (also called the Others) have yet to cross south of the Wall in the books, however, leaving the door wide open regarding Dany’s story in Martin’s ending.
There is precedent for Dany’s turn, and House of the Dragon might foreshadow her demise and transformation into the icy figure. Martin’s Fire and Blood, the book the prequel series is based on, reveals that Daenerys’ namesake actually died from something called the Shivers. This came as a shock for House Targaryen, all of whom were believed to be impervious to any illnesses.
Princess Daenerys I Targaryen, the daughter of King Jaehaerys I, came down with the disease, which is an endless cold-like illness that made the victim shake from chills before progressing to bloody coughs and death. Daenerys was also one of the only Targaryens on record to have contracted the Shivers. Despite being beloved by the realm, her name was struck from the family tree and her existence became nothing but a memory.
House of the Dragon could reveal Dany’s future
We know that House of the Dragon will cover the time period leading up to the Dance of the Dragons, the Targaryen civil war that was fought over the rightful successor to the Iron Throne. With that in mind, it’s doubtful that Daenerys I will be a prominent character, having lived decades before the series is set. But that doesn’t mean that she can’t be mentioned to explain how the Targaryens are the exact opposite of fire and could actually die from the Shivers — the only illness that has been able to kill them at all.
Martin didn’t include Daenerys I in previous mentions of Targaryen history, so her addition to Fire and Blood has to be important, right? We know Dany can withstand and walk through fire, but the cold may be the start of her new life as the Night’s Queen.
If her namesake couldn’t survive the cold, then maybe the Mother of Dragons can. With Dany potentially ruling north of the Wall, she could pose a new threat to Westeros by joining forces with the Others. Either way, this alternate fate could finally bring together both fire and ice, tying together the theme of Martin’s better than Game of Thrones ever did.
House of the Dragon is set to premiere on HBO in 2022.