Daenerys Targaeryan, Khaleesi, Mother of Dragons—whatever you call her, by any other name, she would still be as fierce. Game of Thrones’s Daenerys is one of the most inspiring and empowering characters on television. When we first met her, she was a frightened little girl, but soon enough, life turned her into an emboldened woman on a quest to take back what is rightfully hers. All along the way, she’s made a point of often declaring her own badassness to those around her. Here are 15 Daenerys Targaeryan quotes to light a fire in your soul.
“I am a Khaleesi of the Dothraki! I am the wife of the great Khal and I carry his son inside me! The next time you raise a hand to me will be the last time you have hands.”
Back in Season One, Daenerys used to get pushed around by her older brother, Viserys. He used to hit her, but she starts to give in to the fire in her belly, and in this satisfying scene where he hits her after she prepared lunch for him, she schooled him on his position in the world.
“He was no dragon. Fire cannot kill a dragon.”
After Khal Drogo pours molten gold on Viserys’ head and brutally kills him, Daenerys looks on in a stupor. But the only words that come out of her mouth are these, for she knows fire could not hurt her.
“I am Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, of the blood of Old Valyria. I am the dragon’s daughter, and I swear to you that those who would harm you will die screaming.”
Daenerys loves telling people who she is—and if you had all those cool things to say after your name, so would you. She doesn’ t always get the respect she wants after saying it, but I can’ t wait for the episode when she announces her many names, and all of Westeros bows to her.
“When my dragons are grown, we will take back what was stolen from me and destroy those who wronged me! We will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground!”
When Khaleesi arrives at Qarth, the 13 do not want to let her in without first seeing her dragons. She refuses, and they turn her away, dooming her to starvation. She delivers this badass threat, which, however inciting, does not impress them.
“They have my dragons. A mother does not flee without her children.
Daenerys’ dragons are captured in Qarth, and Ser Jorah begs Daenerys to flee lest they should hurt her as well. She informs him that those are her children, and by the prophecy, the only children she will ever have.
“You’re both here to advise me. I value your advice, but if you ever question me in front of strangers again, you’ll be advising someone else. Is that understood?”
Daenerys offers to trade Drogon for the unsullied, Ser Barristan and Ser Jorah undercut her, entreating her not to do so. Once they leave the negotiation, she reminds them that she’s boss.
“Yes. All men must die, but we are not men.”
Daenerys buys Missandei and asks her if she is willing to go into battle with her, and perhaps risk her life. Missandei answers, “Valar Morghulis,” (“All men must die”), and Daenerys reminds her that the saying doesn’ t exactly apply to them.
“Unsullied! Slay the masters, slay the soldiers, slay every man who holds a whip, but harm no child. Strike the chains off every slave you see!”
After Daenerys buys the unsullied, she orders them to turn on the slavers.
After Daenerys ‘sells’ Drogon to the slavemaster, she informs him, in Old Valyrian, that slaves cannot be sold. This old Valyrian term is a command to Drogon, telling him to burn the master.
“I did, but my dragons made no promises. And you threatened their mother.”
The representative from Yunkai comes to try to make a deal with Daenerys, but she refuses to leave Yunkai without freeing the slaves. When he threatens Daenerys, her dragons lash out at him. He tells her that he was promised safety, and she reminds him that her children have strong instincts to protect their mother.
“A man who fights for gold can’t afford to lose to a girl.”
When assessing whether the Second Sons should be hired, Ser Barristan tries to dissuade her. Once again, she wasn’t having it.
“People learn to love their chains.”
After Daenerys frees the slaves, she doesn’ t know whether or not the freedman will react in the long term. When she tells them their freedom is theirs, they shout, “Mhysa,”(mother) to show her their gratitude.
“I will answer injustice with justice.”
When it comes time to punish the slave owners, Ser Barristan tells Daenerys that sometimes it’ s better to answer injustice with mercy. She responds with the above quote, then proceeds to see them crucified.
“I will not let those I have freed slide back into chains. I will not sail back to Westeros—I will do what queens do. I will rule.”
After Daenerys frees the people, she realizes that if she leaves them behind, their country will fall into disarray. Rather than return to Westeros, she decides to stay where she is.
“Lannister, Targaryen, Baratheon, Stark, Tyrell they’re all just spokes on a wheel. This one’s on top, then that one’s on top, and on and on it spins crushing those on the ground. I’m not going to stop the wheel, I’m going to break the wheel.”
When Tyrion presents himself to Daenerys and offers his service, he tells her of all the enemies she’ll have to face, of how perhaps she should stay on that side of the sea and continue the good work she is doing. But he doesn’t know that Dany isn’t like those other dreamers—she’s going to burn this mother down.
Madina Papadopoulos is a New York-based freelance writer, author, and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow her adventures on Instagram and Twitter.