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Game of Thrones historical links: Daenerys Targaryen

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Game of Thrones was full of links to real history. Who was Daenerys Targaryen initially based on from English history?

While much of this is based on the TV series, there are some mentions of things that have happened and may happen (based on George R.R. Martin’s hints) in the books. I will warn you now that there may be spoilers for those who haven’t watched all the way to the end of season four and those who have not read the books.

And yes, this was initially written during the wait for Game of Thrones Season 5*. It doesn’t go past that much, but I will discuss the ending.

I’m going to bring some posts about other characters. Again, they’ll be older posts that were originally posted elsewhere but those sites have since closed down.

How Daenerys’s story is very much like Henry VII

At the start of the series, Daenerys has been exiled from a country that she believes her family should rule. The initial part is about her brother, who believes he should be king. He marries his sister off to Khal Drogo to gain an army, but things go horribly wrong. In the end, he gets a golden crown but not quite the one he expected. Daenerys is left as the last of her line, and the one to rally an army together to get her throne back.

Now, the start of Henry VII’s life is not the same. However, he was exiled to France and did have a claim to the English throne (albeit a weak one). He, with the help from his Uncle Jasper in France and mother Margaret Beaufort in England he was able to build an army that would take on Richard III.

It is the building of the army while in exile that gives me the impression that Henry VII is the historical inspiration for Game of Thrones’ Daenerys.

Gaining a mentor during exile

Henry Tudor had his uncle as a mentor the whole time. In fact, from looking into the history of the first Tudor king, I get the feeling like Jasper Tudor was more like a father to the young boy. He looked up to him, respected him, and took his guidance. His uncle was also rewarded for his loyalty and help later on.

Daenerys has found a similar mentor in Game of Thrones. Well, she had until she found out he was initially a Westeros spy in her camp. Right at the start, Jorah Mormont came to help the young Targaryen build her army and gave her insight into a country that she didn’t really know except through stories. Over time, he became like a father to her and would have been rewarded once she gained the Iron Throne.

Unlike Jasper, the story takes a negative twist as Jorah has now been kicked out of Dany’s council because he was initially passing messages to Westeros. That was rectified before the end.

How did Game of Thrones end?

The end of Game of Thrones brought us more connection to Henry VII’s real life. He would win at the Battle of Bosworth. Dany won the Battle of King’s Landing. The battles definitely did not work out the same way. In fact, Season 5 brought us the Battle of Bosworth to our screens with the Battle of the Bastards.

Dany’s ending was also very different to Henry VII’s ending. He lived as King of England until his death and his son Henry VIII took over. He wasn’t killed by his lover. In fact, Henry VII didn’t have a lover and potential co-ruler until he won the Battle of Bosworth.

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