Season 4, Episode 10: The Children
The Breaker of Chains puts chains on her dragons.
On paper, dragons are pretty much the most awesome weapon a person in the Seven Kingdoms could have in their arsenal. However, when left up to their own devices, they are temperamental, high-maintenance, and dangerous creatures that aren’t bound to the same social codes as their owners.
In this episode, Dany is approached by a devastated farmer who holds the charred remains of his daughter in his arms as he tells of how one of her dragons set the little girl on fire. Now, Dany probably considers herself a “free range” parent by current standards, so the thought of locking up her kids at home doesn’t appeal to her parental instincts. But when your kids start killing other kids, it kind of becomes indefensible to do nothing.
So, The Breaker of Chains was forced her to do something that went against everything she had stood for ever since she got to Slaver’s Bay: she would have to put the same shackles on her dragons that she had worked so hard to remove from the people of Mereen. We had finally found circumstances under which Dany’s hardline crusade against slavery could be bent. In this moment, she found it necessary to become like the slavers she had stricken down, albeit with much more innocent and justified motivations. Still, this would be one of the hard lessons Dany would learn as she ruled Mereen – that your beliefs on paper don’t always translate perfectly to the real world.