12. She is Harsh
There is a fine line between goodwill and foolishness, which is why it is important to, every once and awhile, crucify people. Luckily, Khaleesi does a fine job of finding the right balance between gentle and batshit crazy, refusing to let kindness turn into weakness, and not so subtly counteracting her benevolence with a healthy dose of unpleasantness.
When she can take no more of her brother Viserys’ wickedness, she gives a nod of approval for Drogo to turn his head into a golden paperweight. When the mystical healer Mirri Maz Duur makes Drogo braindead and ends Dany’s unborn child, she has the witch burned at the stake. When Pyat Free, Daxos, and her longtime aide Doreah plot to steal her dragons, she has the first burned alive and the latter two locked away in a vault to starve to death, thinking about where they went wrong. (Hint: Don’t mess with Khaleesi’s dragons.) And finally, the surest sign that Khaleesi can rule with an iron fist, we direct your attention to the 163 slave masters crucified above Meereen. (Don’t feel too bad, they had it coming.) Every once in awhile, even the most steadfast of subjects need a reminder of who’s in charge, and Daenerys won’t let a silly thing like decency get in the way of showing Westeros who’s the boss.
11. She Has a Bit of Ned Stark In Her
Figuratively, not literally. We’re not about to blow your minds with another bloodline bombshell. No, we’re talking about Daenerys being fair no matter the situation. Remember way back in the first episode of Game of Thrones when Ned Stark teaches his children a lesson in fairness by chopping off the head of a defenseless man? He didn’t want to execute poor Will for deserting his post at the Night’s Watch, but as the lord of the North, it was his duty to uphold the law with his bigass sword.
Jump ahead a few years and across the Narrow Sea to Meereen, and we find Khaleesi calling upon her inner Eddard to make the type of tough decisions that define a good ruler. When a young, impassioned, and hyper-loyal worshiper kills a Son of the Harpy without trial, Daenerys makes the tough call to execute him. Even though what the boy did was done for the right reasons, it broke the law that Queen Khaleesi had invented a few minutes prior, so his head had to go. The precedent set was a noble one that would have Ned Stark nodding his head in solemn approval (were it still attached to the rest of him). No one is above the law, not even poor Mossador, otherwise the world would live in chaos. It takes a true leader to realize that. When it comes to freedom and justice, “one cannot exist without the other.”