Warning, the following post contains a lot of spoilers for Season 7 of Game of Thrones, as well as many Shakespearean dramas. If you’re not caught up on Game of Thrones, head over to HBO ASAP and if you’re still worried about Hamlet spoilers, you’ve had 400 years to read it — or see it — so this one’s on you.
Now that we’re catapulting toward the final stretch of Game of Thrones episodes EVER, many theories we once thought to be impossible have become increasingly relevant. For seven seasons, we’ve watched Daenerys Targaryen grow from being her brother’s pawn to becoming one of the most powerful women in the world.
This fan theory believes, without a doubt, that Dany is one of the heroes of the story, but it believes she’s actually a tragic hero and will end up dying at the end of the series.
In a Reddit thread, user glass_table_girl laid out a convincing argument as to why Dany — as opposed to Jon Snow — will be the tragic hero in the end of Game of Thrones, using a killer combo of the books, famous literature, and George R.R. Martin’s influences. In her post, glass_table_girl mentions that noted William Shakespeare fan Martin alludes to famous Shakespearean tragedies during Dany’s chapters through the A Song of Ice and Fire series.
We’ve seen Dany’s hubris get the best of her on more than one occasion this season alone — whether she’s killing men without thinking it through, refusing to name a successor, or riding into battle unprotected — so this theory *definitely* makes sense in that regard. We’re not quite sure we’d put her on par with Macbeth, just yet, as that seems closer to Cersei — or as glass_table_girl mentioned in their post, Stannis. However, Dany’s struggled to shed her father’s reputation as a “mad” king, something that has continued to worry her advisors well into the seventh season.
But if that doesn’t convince you, glass_table_girl goes on to cite the scene where Dany kills Drogo in A Song of Ice and Fire, demonstrating how much Shakespeare influenced the scene. There appear to be many allusions to Hamlet, from the use of trochaic pentameter, and the line, “to sleep and not to dream.”
To sleep, perchance to dream, anyone? That’s only Hamlet’s most famous quote from the play, and it sure sounds like that’s happening here. And yes, Hamlet dies in the end, even though he’s the title character of the story.
So that’s a lot to unpack but it definitely proves just how much Shakespearean thought went into crafting Dany as a character. While we’re devastated at the mere prospects of her dying, we have to admit that this theory is super compelling and definitely something George R.R. Martin would do to make us cry one last time.
But if the theory is true, it also means that Dany *is* going to survive the season finale on Sunday. We’ll be watching with baited breath to see if the Mother of Dragons and the rest of our favorite characters survive.