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A Games of Thrones – Daenerys 1

A Games of Thrones - Daenerys 1

Daenerys Targaryen faces the daunting prospect of marriage to Khal Drogo as part of her brother Viserys’s plan to reclaim their lost throne.

Chapter Summary

Viserys Targaryen is preparing his sister Daenerys for her presentation to Khal Drogo, hoping the marriage will secure an army for him to reclaim the Iron Throne. Viserys gifts Daenerys a silk dress from their host, Illyrio Mopatis, and warns her not to disappoint him. He reminisces about their noble heritage and their exile following the fall of their house. Daenerys recalls their hardships after fleeing to Dragonstone, their mother’s death during her birth, and their subsequent life of wandering and decline. Despite Viserys’s ambitions, Daenerys longs for the simpler days at the house with the red door in Braavos. As they travel to meet Drogo, Viserys is optimistic about gaining support from various houses in Westeros, while Daenerys feels apprehensive about the impending marriage. Daenerys is intimidated by Drogo but musters a smile, understanding the importance of this alliance for her brother’s plans.

Scene Setup

In this chapter, Martin takes us to the very south of this world, in the city of Pentos. We learn that there are free cities in the south that are not a part of Seven Kingdoms, which is currently ruled by King Robert.

This whole setup is so foreign to everything that came before it. You forget about the Others and dangers lurking in the North and get rightly involved in the politics. You hear about dragons and so many new elements. There is something exotic and magical about it.

We also get to know that there is a practice of slavery in this part of the world, quite contrary to the name of ‘Free Cities’. 

There was no slavery in the free city of Pentos. Nonetheless, they were slaves


This chapter unveils a new contender in the saga, expanding the narrative beyond the Stark family, who initially appeared to be the archetypal heroes. We are introduced to the exiled remnants of a dethroned dynasty, casting the previously established protagonists in a new light as usurpers. I love the books which have multiple protagonists with conflicting claims as it sparks engaging discussions about which characters deserve our allegiance.


Her character is portrayed with a mix of vulnerability and inner strength. Despite the grandeur of her noble heritage, she has experienced significant hardships and displacement, which have shaped her into a more introspective and complex character. Her longing for the simplicity of her past, particularly the house with the red door in Braavos, tells us she has a desire for stability and peace, contrasting with her brother’s ambition and restlessness. Her ability to muster a smile in the face of intimidation speaks to her resilience and understanding of the political necessities of her situation.


Viserys is a deeply flawed character. He was mature enough to recall the grandeur of his family’s past and the tragedy of their downfall but he still retains a youthful vulnerability that elicits empathy. However, his sentimental reflections is overshadowed by his impatience and entitlement, as he seems more consumed by dreams of conquest than by the well-being of his sister or the reality of their exile. Moreover, his delusions of grandeur, stoked by the manipulative Illyrio Mopatis, are visible to the observant Daenerys, yet they elude Viserys, further showing his detachment from reality.

There are also two more characters introduced in this chapter, a knight named Ser Jorah and Khal Drogo, whom we are only seeing at a distance. Their stories are merely hinted at, we will learn more about them as we read further.

Playing with words

The detail in colors

As we are noticing from the first chapter itself, Martin uses color as strong literary tool. In this chapter too, he has ingeniously weaved in such references. This is one great analysis by a reddit user


There was a scene in this chapter where the serving girl prepares a bath for Daenerys and it was scalding hot. But Daenerys didn’t feel the heat. This unique trait definitely suggests a mystical connection to dragons, which are creatures of fire, and foreshadows her future interactions with these mythical beasts.

The water was scalding hot, but Daenerys did not flinch or cry out. She liked the heat. It made her feel clean. Besides, her brother had often told her that it was never too hot for a Targaryen. “Ours is the house of the dragon,” he would say. “The fire is in our blood.”


The Targaryens have a history of incest, marrying brother to sister to keep their bloodline pure. This practice is controversial. However, I think that the insistence on purity of blood could be both a political move to maintain the dynasty’s uniqueness and a belief that it strengthens their bond with dragons.

For centuries the Targaryens had married brother to sister, since Aegon the Conqueror had taken his sisters to bride. The line must be kept pure, Viserys had told her a thousand times; theirs was the kingsblood, the golden blood of old Valyria, the blood of the dragon. Dragons did not mate with the beasts of the field, and Targaryens did not mingle their blood with that of lesser men.

History Lesson

In this chapter, George R.R. Martin masterfully presents the history of Westeros through the eyes of those who were vanquished. The portrayal of the battle is heart-wrenching, and it leaves us in a moral quandary, questioning our allegiances. From Daenerys’s perspective, the events are depicted with such raw brutality that one cannot help but empathize with her plight. Martin’s writing is cleverly opaque, not revealing the full motivations behind the war, thus compelling us as readers to delve deeper into the narrative, eagerly turning pages in search of the truth behind the conflict.

The midnight flight to Dragonstone, moonlight shimmering on the ship’s black sails. Her brother Rhaegar battling the Usurper in the bloody waters of the Trident and dying for the woman he loved. The sack of King’s Landing by the ones Viserys called the Usurper’s dogs, the lords Lannister and Stark. Princess Elia of Dorne pleading for mercy as Rhaegar’s heir was ripped from her breast and murdered before her eyes. The polished skulls of the last dragons staring down sightlessly from the walls of the throne room while the Kingslayer opened Father’s throat with a golden sword.

New Religion

In this chapter, we are introduced with a new religion, centered around Lord of Light and embodied by a red priestess. While the details are sparingly provided, the introduction of this religion is a significant element that should not be overlooked.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this chapter as it is giving new shape to the saga. Looking forward to read more.

How was reading experience? Share any thoughts or any interesting thing you noticed in the comments

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