Why can’t Daenerys have children, what happened to Rhaego and what did Mirri do to khaleesi?
12 April 2019, 14:17 | Updated: 18 April 2019, 12:37
She may be the Mother of Dragons, but Daenerys apparently can't have human children.
After almost a two-year wait, hit HBO series Game of Thrones is back on our screens - but, sadly, for the last time ever.
In season 7, Daenerys Targaryen finally met the other contenders for the Iron Throne - including King of the North, Jon Snow. Learning that Dragonstone had a tonne of dragonglass, Snow travelled across the sea and came face-to-face with the Mother of Dragons.
After many broody glances at each other (honestly, you could cut the sexual tension with a knife) and battling the White Walkers together, Jon and Dany finally got it on.
Before they had sex, however, Daenerys feels like she should let Jon know that she can't have children. It was kind of shoe-horned in and a bit full on, considering they hadn't even done the deed yet, but we'll let that one slide. Beyond this exposition, we hadn't heard about Dany's infertility for many, many seasons - so why, pray tell, mention it now?
Well, fans have since been at work theorising over what this little exchange means - with the popular theory being that she's preggers with Jon's baby. If that is the case, that'd be pretty fucked up, as Daenerys is actually Jon's aunt (they don't know that yet).
But also, why does Daenerys think she can't have children? Here's a reminder on what went down in the early seasons to jog your memory. You're welcome.
Why can't Daenerys have children and who was Mirri?
In season 1, Daenerys' brother Viserys sold his sister to the Dothraki, in order to get them onboard as allies, to improve his chances of taking back the Iron Throne. Dany married Khal Drogo, the Dothraki leader, and eventually started to fall in love with him.
During combat with one of his warriors, Mago, Khal Drogo gets a minor wound to his chest. He manages to kill Mago though.
By that point, Daenerys is pregnant and asks Mirri Maz Duur (a woman from Essos who could perform blood magic) to help save him. Mirri agrees, but says in order to perform blood magic, she requires a blood sacrifice.
Qotho, Drogo's bloodrider, objects to the use of blood magic so Ser Jorah Mormont swiftly kills him. Mirri was then supposed to use Drogo's horse as a sacrifice, but when she begins chanting, Daenerys starts feeling sharp pains in her stomach and collapses, going into labour.
When she awakes, she learns that Khal Drogo has been left in a vegetative state by Mirri's blood magic, and she's lost her baby, Rhaego.
Dany then demands Mirri let her know when Drogo will return to his former self. Mirri replies with an ominous prophecy:
"When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east.
When the seas go dry and the mountains blow in the wind, like leaves."
The show omitted the last portion of what she said, but the books also included the lines:
When your womb quickens again and you bear a living child.
Then he will return, and not before."
Drogo dies and Dany orders Mirri to be burnt to death on his funeral pyre.
What happened to her baby Rhaego?
Rather than use the horse as a sacrifice as she was meant to, Mirri used Daenerys' unborn child. She was seeking vengeance after the Dothraki attacked her people.
Rhaego was severely deformed and covered in dragon-like scales. He also had a small stub of a tail and small wings.
What are the names of Daenerys' dragons?
The black dragon with red markings on which Daenerys rides is called Drogon, after her late husband Khal Drogo.
She then named the green and bronze dragon Rhaegal after her brother Rhaegar Targaryen.
Finally, Viserion, named after her other brother Viserys, is the one that got shot down by the White Walker in season 7.
What is the three-headed dragon theory?
While Daenerys was in the House of the Undying, the books say she had a vision of her brother Rhaegar saying "the dragon has three heads".
Dany, of course, has three dragons. The three-headed dragon is also her family's sigil, after her father Aegon took over Westeros with his two sisters, riding on the back of three dragons.
Many fans have speculated over the years that this may mean Dany is meant to have two others with her to ride on her dragons. Now we know that Jon Snow is actually a Targaryen, he is a possible candidate. In season 7, when Daenerys returns to Dragonstone on Drogon, the beast allows Snow to pet it, so there could be something to this theory.
The other theory is that Tyrion is not Tywin Lannister's son, but in fact son of Aerys Targaryen and Joanna Lannister. Tyrion was also allowed to pet the dragon, which changed his mind about having them locked up.
What has Daenerys said about her inability to have children?
Dany saw Mirri's prophecy as a curse, and believes she will never be able to give birth to human babies.
Instead, she considers her dragons to be her children.
When warlocks of Qarth steal her dragons, Jorah tries to convince her to leave them behind. She says: "They have my dragons — a mother does not flee without her children."
Jorah then replies: "They're not your children. I know they call you the Mother of Dragons and I know you love them but you didn't grow them in your womb and they didn't suckle at your breast."
"They are my children," Daenerys tells Jorah. "And they are the only children I will ever have."
While speaking to Jon Snow in season 7, Dany tells him: "The dragons are my children. They're the only children I'll ever have — do you understand?"
It is for this reason that losing Viserion to the White Walkers hurt all the more, as she feels extremely maternal and protective of them.