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Game of Thrones: 10 Characters Who Contributed The Most To Daenerys’ Downfall

The Targaryens are slated to be the most important characters in the forthcoming Game of Thrones spinoff series House of the Dragon. Their most recent descendant, Daenerys Targaryen, exemplified many of the worst tendencies of the dynasty, particularly once she began her final descent into her persona of the Mad Queen, a development which led to her destroying most of King’s Landing.

While she was largely responsible for many of her own actions, there were also a number of characters who emerged throughout the series’ several seasons who also played a remarkably prominent role in her eventual downfall and death.


Jon Snow

Jon Snow is one of the best characters in Game of Thrones, and he was a very noble man, someone who genuinely believed in doing the best for the entire realm. In fact, this is precisely what led him to undertake the most difficult task in his life, assassinating Daenerys at the moment when she had finally achieved the crown that she wanted so badly.

Without his intervention, she almost certainly would have ended up ruling the Seven Kingdoms, at least until someone else decided that her tyranny couldn’t be allowed to stand.

Sansa Stark

Sansa is among the best and bravest of the Stark family, and by the time that she encountered Daenerys face to face it was clear that the two were on a collision course. In fact, Sansa was one of those who did the most to work against Daenerys and her eventual plans for the Seven Kingdoms.

Sansa’s great skill, however, was in managing to do so while never quite making it obvious what she was doing. She had, through her time on the series, become one of the best (and most ruthless) players at the game of thrones.

Tyrion Lannister

Tyrion Lannister showed time and again that he was one of the smartest characters on Game of Thrones. For a time, he seemed to actually believe that Daenerys had the makings of a true and just ruler for the Seven Kingdoms.

Ultimately, however, once it became clear that she was sliding down the hill into villainy, he was the one who helped to spearhead the conspiracy that led to Jon’s assassination. It’s safe to say that, had he not given Jon the nudge that he did, he might not have taken the fatal step to kill her.


From the moment that he appeared in the series, Varys showed that he was a skilled and masterful manipulator. However, he was also someone who genuinely had the well-being of the Seven Kingdoms in mind, which is why he decided to play such a prominent part in Daenerys’ invasion.

Unfortunately, he also began to realize what she was, and it was his decision to betray her that seemed to push her over the edge. When she ordered the execution of Varys by dragonfire, she effectively began her final slide into madness and despotism.

Cersei Lannister

Of all of the characters who appear in Game of Thrones, Cersei is arguably one of the most skilled at playing the deadly titular game. Unfortunately, she more than met her match with Daenerys, who was as determined to conquer the Seven Kingdoms as Cersei was to stay in control.

And, unfortunately, she played a key role in Daenerys’ downfall because she had Missandei beheaded on the very walls of King’s Landing. It was a horrific act, and it was one that Cersei would come to rue dearly.


Of course, it can’t be overlooked that arguably the biggest contributor to Dany’s downfall is Daenerys herself. Due to her traumatic upbringing and her own belief in her own unassailable rightness, she repeatedly showed that she was never going to be able to compromise with her enemies, even if doing so would and could prove useful to her career as a queen and a conqueror.

Ultimately, she proved how unable she was to break out of the prison that had been made for her from the very beginning of her story.


Euron was arguably one of the worst characters of Game of Thrones, lacking the kind of development that would have made him a truly fleshed out personality. Nevertheless, he still managed to play a key role in Daenerys’ downfall, particularly when he killed one of her dragons.

This was another key moment in her development as a character, as it seemingly convinced her that death and violence and blood were the only things that were going to allow her to be a queen.


Even in a series that was notorious for its bad familial relationships, that between Daenerys and Viserys was deeply dysfunctional. In fact, his abuse of her was one of the key aspects of her development as a character, and it sowed the seeds of who she would become later in her life.

In fact, it could be argued that if he hadn’t treated her as if she were nothing more than a disposable tool that could help him regain the throne, she could very well have become a much more functional and emotionally balanced person.

Grey Worm

Grey Worm was one of the best fighters in Game of Thrones, and he was also one of the few people that Daenerys knew that she could always count on. However, it was precisely his loyalty that inadvertently contributed to her eventual downfall.

Since she knew that she could always count on him to stand by her no matter what she did or how horrifically she acted, it also meant that she repeatedly felt justified in doing whatever she wanted, even if it was destructive and even if it contributed to her decline in the eyes of her subjects.

Mirri Maz Duur

Arguably one of the most influential characters is one who appeared relatively briefly. Since she was a key part of Drogo’s death, the priestess Mirri Maz Duur set the stage for everything that Daenerys was to become in the later seasons of the show.

Drogo’s death made Daenerys come to believe that she would always have to defend herself against the possibility of that kind of pain and loss. And, as a result, she finally snapped under all of the pressure, becoming the murderous tyrant she originally set out to defeat.

NEXT: 9 Best TV Shows To Watch On HBO Max This Month

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