Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Daenerys Targaryan: Part 1

     And now it's time for our favorite true queen of Westeros: Daenerys Targaryan!

     She may be the dragon's daughter but she doesn't know it yet. Just look at that face! Would you believe we see this exact same expression when she realizes FIRE CANNOT KILL A DRAGON? Let's keep that in mind, shall we?

     In Dany's first appearance, she wears a simple, diaphanous lavender gown with her hair down. She wears no jewelry or adornments or, for that matter, shoes. This particular gown is almost an exact match for the gown that Mhaegen (young prostitute and mother of one of Robert Baratheon's numerous children) wears in her first appearance. Shae and Roz also wear versions of this dress. A notable difference are the bands over her shoulders, symbolic of restraints. Just as the dress Cersei wears at the end of this episode is representative of her sexual power, Dany's dress in this scene is largely about her lack of control over her own fate and even her own body. Both the dress and Dany herself are almost invisible. Lest we forget, this is the scene in which her older brother informs her that he is going to marry her to Khal Drogo, a man she has never met, and instructs her to put on an even more see-through dress while creepily pawing at her body.

Seriously, Viserys, have you never heard of lining?

Ohhh, we are gonna enjoy it when that smile gets burned off his face.

     In the next scene, Dany puts on the dress Viserys instructed her to wear. She is exposed, literally and figuratively to a group of strangers. Her creepy brother is using her body as a bargaining chip in his gambit to reclaim the Iron Throne. It is, however, worth noting that even though this lavender dress is even more invisible than the last one, Dany herself is brighter and more vivid in this scene. Also important: the two dragon pins on her shoulders (Viserys only has one) and the two small braids in her hair. We cannot stress this enough: braids are important.

     And now it's time for the big wedding! Doesn't Dany look excited and happy to be there?
     Dany's hair is still loose and flowing here, but this is the first hint of intricacy in the styling of her braids - note the metal clips that call to the armored aspects of her attire.

Hey look, Dragon Eggs! I wonder if those will be important later.

     The halter is a woven metallic, contrasting with her wedding dress, another pale and floaty dress that makes her recede into the background, even as she's the center of the celebrations. She is wearing her Targaryan pendent in her bodice, and her armbands finish the illusion of armament. She is in a princess fantasy version of armor, even as Daenerys (a true princess) sits through her less-than-fairytale wedding. She is wearing a ring in this scene that we don't see again. It could be a Targaryan relic, or even just a reference to a more western type of marriage. The halter and armbands continue the motif of restraints in her early clothing.

     She's so young and obviously terrified, but her bravery is evident even now as she walks toward her new husband's gift to her,  a white horse (continuing this theme of the wrong type of Disney wedding). Oh Dany, we can't wait until you realize your power and we can worry about you less than we do right now.

     Take a good look at this dress you guys. Not only is it a beautiful dress and interesting within its current scene, just you wait. There's more in store for this particular gown.

     This scene was a lot less problematic in the books. There was hair braiding. It was nice. (And then the writing staff of Game of Thrones decided to change it to a rape scene because... why?)

     And here Dany is a while later, depressed and back in her first dress, fading into the background:

    Dany may have married a Khal, but she's a Khaleesi in name only. She has not yet realized her power.

     This is Dany's first real scene as a member of the Khalasar. This is the most covered up we've seen her thus far. She doesn't fade into the background here; instead she melds with the trappings of her adopted culture, dressed in the earth tones of a Dothraki woman. The cut and style of the dress in halfway between the drapey gowns she's been wearing thus far and the more functional clothes of a Khaleesi. (We also think it is slightly reminiscent of Jedi robes.)

     It is in this dress that we see Dany initiate her first loving, consensual sexual encounter with Drogo. And even though it's a sex scene, this is still the most covered-up we've seen Dany thus far.

Well someone's started taking control of her life and is looking more at home.


     By episode three, Dany has truly started to come into her own as a Khaleesi. She wears a functional outfit; halter top, trousers, boots, split skirt and riding gloves in deep earth tones. She looks at home in the saddle and in the Khalasar. (Especially in comparison to her brother, who clings to his Westerosi clothes almost as hard as he clings to his delusions of grandeur.) Her braids are also more numerous, and thicker than they have ever been. The only remnant of her Westerosi clothing and heritage is the dragon pin she wears on the front of her shirt.

Not a Queen. A Khaleesi.

"Yeah, Viserys, turns out I'm in charge here. We're gonna get back on our horses, and you can walk."

     However, her transition to powerful Khaleesi is not totally complete. This outfit exposes some of her stomach, which makes her look somewhat younger than she might otherwise. And while we are completely in favor of awesome warrior women with bare midriffs (we grew up in the nineties, can you tell?) we do believe that the style reads as somewhat young/adolescent.

Boob what?

     Dany is wearing this outfit, and having her hair braided when Irri tells her that she is pregnant. This pregnancy secures her position within the Dothraki, the mother of the Stallion who will Mount the World. News of her pregnancy also makes her a threat in the eyes of Robert Baratheon's council. A plot to poison her is afoot, and while we're on Team Khaleesi, Ned Stark was wrong: they should've taken her out at this point: it was their only chance, and now she's a comin'.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, just found the blog, and I love it.

    I did want to offer an answer to your question as to why the marriage consummation was changed.

    IMO, while the initial consummation is portrayed as consensual, we also know from the books, that the following weeks were not. She was hurt from riding and repeatedly asked Drogo to hold off and he refused. Since that was skipped in the show, I think that portraying the initial consummation as rape, helped demonstrate that Dany had no power yet.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.