The Breaker of Chains Daenerys Targaryen in Epic Cosplay


Daenerys Targaryen is one of the main characters of George R. R. Martin’s novel series A Song of Ice and Fire and the phenomenal HBO adaptation, Game of Thrones. It could well be said that she is the fire in A Song of Ice and Fire. Daenerys’ is an ongoing story of coming of age, of gaining independence, confidence, agency, power, and the strength and moral conviction to not just be a leader, but to reclaim her birthright and be a queen.

Daenerys, a.k.a. Dany, is the only surviving child of King Aerys II Targaryen, who was usurped from the Iron Throne in Westeros during Robert’s Rebellion. Dany’s mother was sent away to safety on Dragonstone island before the sack of King’s Landing, and died giving birth to her during a great storm. Dany then lived in exile on the continent Essos with her older brother, Viserys. Desperate to reclaim the Iron Throne for himself, Viserys sells Dany into marriage to the Dothraki lord Khal Drogo, buying himself an army of Dothraki in the process. As Khal Drogo’s honored Khaleesi, Dany experiences a degree of power for the first time in her life. She begins to fall in love with Drogo and gains respect and admiration for the Dothraki people.

Dany becomes pregnant during the long trip across Essos to reach the Dothraki wise women known as the dosh khaleen. Once presented to the crones, Dany eats a whole, raw horse heart and the dosh khaleen prophesy that her son will be the Stallion Who Mounts the World, the “khal of khals” who will unite the Dothraki into a single horde. But as Dany grows from a young, timid girl to a proud wife and expectant mother, Viserys is taken with jealousy over how the Dorthraki have come to love her. After a failed attempt to steal the three dormant dragon eggs that were gifted to her at her wedding, Viserys gets drunk and draws his sword against Khal Drogo, threatening Dany and her unborn child. Drogo executes Viserys on the spot by pouring molten gold over his head. Daenerys notes that Viserys was not a true dragon – meaning not a true Targaryen – as fire cannot kill a dragon.


Any peace of mind that Dany earned from Viserys’ death was sadly short lived. Khal Drogo soon becomes ill from an infected wound. Hoping to save him, Dany makes a deal with a vengeful maegi, Mirri Maz Duur. The maegi sacrifices Dany’s unborn child and leaves Khal Drogo alive, but in a vegetative state. Though it breaks her heart to do so, Dany smothers Drogo rather than see him in such a pitiful state. Left with only her exiled advisor, Ser Jorah Mormont, and a handful of Dothraki, the young, heartbroken Khaleesi makes a great funeral pyre for Drogo, and, by either impulse or instinct – or both – adds her three dragon eggs to the pyre. She also ties the maegi to the pyre to be burned alive. Dany finds herself compulsively drawn to the raging flames of Drogo’s pyre and immerses herself in fire. Come morning, her small band of followers find that she is neither dead nor burned (except for her hair in the books). As a true Targaryen, the flames couldn’t hurt her. Perched on her shoulder and suckling at her breasts are three newly hatched dragons, the first dragons to be seen in over a century. Ser Jorah and the remaining Dothraki fall to their knees, proclaiming Daenerys as “The Mother of Dragons,” and their leader and queen.

Cosplayer Feoranna has beautifully captured some of these milestones in Daenerys’ life. Dany used to be cowed by her brother, but her time amongst the Dothraki gave her confidence, self respect, and the burgeoning skills of command. Feoranna’s decision to do nude and topless cosplay is very brave, and makes a really powerful and positive statement. Those not familiar with Game of Thrones should take note that in no way is Feoranna going for any kind of cheap thrills. The scenes she portrays are straight out of the books’ and show’s canon. What’s impressive here is that with only the bare minimum of costuming, Feoranna has poignantly captured Dany in moments of both strength and vulnerability. Here is a wonderful example that cosplay is more than just the costume. It’s about the love and understanding of a character. Feoranna gives us stunning moments of Daenerys coming into her own. The character has come a long way from the shy, young girl she once was, but at this point in the story, her journey toward the Iron Throne is just beginning. We hope to see Feoranna continue her cosplays of Daenerys Stormborn, of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, and Mother of Dragons as Daenerys, Breaker of Chains.



Photography by Cloud City Photography





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