The entire fanbase of Game of Thrones were certainly shocked this week to witness series protagonist Daenerys Targaryen embrace her civilian-burning heritage and turn to the dark side. While many online are debating whether or not her heel-turn descent into madness was warranted or not, examining the past may help us deduce what is yet to come.
There have been plenty of prophecies and visions throughout the show, but two in particular directly reference Daenerys’ actions in “The Bells.” The first was experienced by Daenerys herself back in season 2 and the second didn’t come until season 6 when Bran escaped the cave of the Three-Eyed Raven.
Let’s take a look at the first of the two visions: Daenerys
In the season 2 finale, “Valar Morghulis,” Daenerys enters the extremely creepy House of the Undying to retrieve her baby dragons from the clutches of the Warlocks of Qarth. While doing so, she enters a door and ends up walking through a series of impossible rooms that act as a sort of physical vision of things to come.
First, she enters a shattered throne room containing the Iron Throne covered in what appears to be snow, then she walks through the gate at Castle Black and beyond the Wall before entering a tent containing Khal Drogo and her unborn son, Rhaegon.
Watch for yourself:
Her vision is seen under a completely different light after the events of “The Bells.”
Originally, almost all of us were under the impression that the shattered throne room was covered in snow and that its destruction is what would happen if the yet-to-be-revealed Night King were to successfully breach the Wall and attack the Seven Kingdoms. However, if you pay attention to the scene, you might notice that Daenerys doesn’t actually appear to be cold until she leaves the throne room and walks beyond the Wall.
That’s because it isn’t snow in the destroyed throne room. It’s ash.
After setting King’s Landing and the Red Keep on fire, I’d be very surprised if the throne room doesn’t look exactly like Daenerys’ season 2 vision.
In the same vision, Daenerys approaches the Iron Throne and reaches out as if to grasp it. She stops after hearing the distant cries of her dragons and continues on her way. This may be foreshadowing her never sitting on the Iron Throne as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.
Bran’s vision in season 6’s “Blood of My Blood” similarly foretells Daenerys’ war crimes at King’s Landing. We just didn’t know it yet.
After Hodor heroically held the door for Meera and Bran to escape, Bran was left downloading all of history as Meera pulled his sled through the forest. We caught a ton of flashbacks and disjointed images: The Night King turning Craster’s baby into a white walker, Ned Stark’s beheading at the Sept of Baelor, the events of Hardhome, the Red Wedding, and more.
But there are two sequences in Bran’s vision that we had never seen until then.
The first is Aerys Targaryen, the Mad King, screaming “burn them all” to the off-screen pyromancer, as told by Jaime to Brienne in season 3, episode 5’s “Kissed by Fire.”
The second is the shadow of a massive dragon flying over the city of King’s Landing.
Like Daenerys’ visions, we originally assumed this would either be the Mother of Dragon’s supposedly peaceful arrival at King’s Landing, or a flashback to the height of the Targaryen dynasty when dragons lived in the city. Either way, if you had told us then that particular image would be Daenerys burning down the city and slaughtering tens of thousands of innocent civilians, I don’t think many of us would have quite believed you.
What’s most interesting and the real key to Bran’s visions is that the images of the screaming Mad King and the dragon over King’s Landing are directly juxtaposed with an image of Daenerys herself. Her emerging from the fire with her newborn dragons.
Bran was seeing Daenerys Targaryen’s destructive future before any of us thought to consider it.
You can watch Bran’s sequence for yourself: