Game of Thrones: TV show cut a massive part of Daenerys’s backstory from the booksGame of
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Fans of Game of Thrones will certainly be familiar with how different the HBO show is from its source material, George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire saga of novels. And while the show tried its best to remain as truthful as possible to the spirit of all its characters while putting them in new situations and having them undergo new adventure, one omission seems to have been to the detriment of the character involved.
Daenerys Targaryen, played by Emilia Clarke, was undoubtedly one the show’s most popular characters for most of the show’s run.
Fans admired her drive and determination and saw her as a more suited ruler for the Iron Throne than many of the Kings and Queens of Westeros.
However, the excitement for her climb to power started fading in season eight, when the power started going to her head.
Daenerys was seen following in the same footsteps of her father, the Mad King, and became so hungry with power that Jon Snow, played by Kit Harington, eventually had to kill her for the collective good.
While Daenerys’s fate in the books is still unknown since the saga hasn’t ended yet, it’s hard to say whether her descent into madness came solely from the showrunners.
It’s likely that she will have to face her father’s legacy in the books too in one way or another.
But there is one detail in the book that completely changes Daenerys’s motivations for wanting the Iron Throne that the show does not explore.
The novels give readers a direct access to Daenerys’s thoughts and dreams, which is how it’s revealed that she often thinks back to a house with a red door.
This house is believed to be in Braavos and is where she and her brother Viserys lived for a time as children while in exile.
They were under the care of a knight loyal to the Targaryens, Ser Willem Darry who cared for them until his death.
Daenerys remembers that place as the closest thing she ever had to a home, and with most of her family dead, claiming the Iron Throne for her is motivated by this desire for a home.
In the show, on the other hand, her pursuit of power is mostly motivated by her birthright.
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The house with the red door is never mentioned and so the show fails to give the character of Daenerys the nuance she has in the books.
It is striking therefore to notice that for most of the run of the show, Daenerys goes simply by Khaleesi, a title equivalent to Queen, rather than her own name.
She is framed as a power-hungry ruler rather than the lonely girl she is in the books.
One comparison between the show and books emphasises this comparison even further.
In episode two of season eight of the HBO show, Daenerys said: “All my life I’ve known one goal. The Iron Throne. Taking it back from the people who destroyed my family.”
In Martin’s books however it says clearly: “All Daenerys wanted back was the big house with the red door, the lemon tree outside her window, the childhood she had never known.”
While the omission is understandable, especially since the format of a TV show doesn’t give the same access to characters’ minds as a book, it is still considered a shame to some fans the producers decided to leave out this crucial detail.
However, it could also have been an intentional decision by the show to focus more on the conflict between kingdoms and frame Daenerys in a way that fitted that narrative better.
Game of Thrones is available to stream on Now TV.
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