An Analysis of the Leadership of Daenerys Targaryen from the TV Show Game of Thrones

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This paper examines the Golden Circle, the Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act (OODA) Loop, and the Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely (SMART) Goals. The character of Daenerys Targaryen from the TV show Game of Thrones is studied in the analysis of these theories. Daenerys' story begins with the collapse of the Targaryen Dynasty, when she and her brother Viserys are sent into exile. Viserys, on the other hand, sells her to Khal Drogo of the Dothraki Horde, where she becomes the Khaleesi. The death of Khal Drogo culminates in the birth of three dragons earning Daenerys the title Mother of Dragons. After the birth of the dragons, Daenerys proceeds to the Slaver's Bay region where she acquires armies and liberates cities from the yoke of slavery. Her constant pursuit of the Iron Throne, encounters with the Sons of the Harpy, and renaming of the Slaver's Bay region showcase how she applies the three theories of leadership.

Keywords: OODA, SMART, Golden Circle, Slaver's Bay

The Mother of Dragons Breeds Loyalty:

An Analysis of the Leadership of Daenerys Targaryen from the TV Show Game of Thrones

Section 1. Introduction

One of the most influential works of fiction that have received a fanatical global following is the TV show Game of Thrones. Adapted from George R.R. Martin's novel series A Song of Ice and Fire, Game of Thrones is composed of a labyrinth of storylines and scores of characters that can be hard to follow. However, the TV show has surprised and captivated its fans through the development of underdog characters into leaders of notice. One of the underdog characters that the show has developed into a leader whose attributes can be emulated in the real world is Daenerys Targaryen.

When she is first introduced to the show, Daenerys is a young girl who lives with her brother Viserys, in exile, under the sanctuary of Magister Illyrio Mopatis. It is later revealed that the two Targaryen siblings are the children of the slain King of the seven kingdoms of Westeros, King Aerys II Targaryen "the Mad King" (Daenerys Targaryen, 2017). Daenerys' father was slain during the sack of Kings Landing, and his Iron Throne usurped by Robert Baratheon. Despite the difficulties of losing their father, mother Raella, and brother Rhaegar, Viserys treats Daenerys as a bargaining chip to recover the Iron Throne for himself (Jones, 2012). In fact, Viserys trades Daenerys to wed Khal Drogo in exchange for a fighting force of forty thousand men. Despite the challenges that Daenerys faced at the beginning of the show, her story intertwined with future events shape her into a leader who is loved and followed by many.

Daenerys' development into a leader is a slow process that sees her journey across the Red Waste and her occupation of the Slaver's Bay region. Furthermore, the effective abolition of slavery in Slaver's Bay depicts Daenerys as an effective leader (Seunarayan, 2016). Additionally, the conquest of the Slaver's Bay city-states with minimal bloodshed also indicates her military leadership prowess. All of Daenerys' achievements and development in leadership can be analyzed using various modern leadership theories. These theories include the Golden Circle, the OODA Loop, and the use of SMART Goals. The golden circle emphasizes the consideration of the why/purpose, then the indication of how after which, parties consider the what/action. The OODA loop involves various steps from which the acronym is derived. These steps include observation, orient, decide, and action. However, the SMART goal method involves the development of specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely goals. The use of these theories of leadership enabled Daenerys to acquire massive armies, followers, and eventually conquer the Slaver's Bay region. Nevertheless, one needs to understand Daenerys' history to fully witness how she applies the various leadership theories in her leadership.

Section 2. History

2.1 The Fall of the Targaryen Dynasty

To understand Daenerys' actions in an attempt to recapture the Iron Throne, one needs to analyze her family heritage and the events that forced her into exile. Whereas her ancestor King Aegon I (Aegon the Conqueror) unified all the seven kingdoms in the realm, Aerys' reign was erratic and resulted in an uprising. Aerys, Daenerys' father, was prone to burn people who opposed him alive hence, the name "Mad King." However, things escalated beyond reprieve when prince and heir to the Iron Throne Rhaegar Targaryen were viewed to have abducted Lyanna Stark of Winterfell. To complicate matters, Lyanna's hand in marriage had been promised to Robert of house Baratheon.

Consequently, Lyanna's brother Brandon protested the actions of Rhaegar to the King. However, Aerys reacted by arresting both Brandon and his father Rickard Stark and executed them. As a result, a revolt ensured which was led by Robert Baratheon, Eddard Stark, and their friend Jon Arryn which culminated in the sack of Kings Landing. Consequently, King Aerys and his son, crowned prince Rhaegar, were killed and the remaining Targaryen children, Viserys and Daenerys, fled into exile marking the end of the centuries-old Targaryen rule in Westeros. Despite their exile, the association with the Targaryen heritage through blood marked both Viserys and Daenerys as leaders, through royalty.

2.2 The Khaleesi

After Daenerys and Viserys were exiled, the latter developed his father's temperament and treated his sister as a pawn in his plans to regain the Iron Throne. As a result, Viserys sold his sister into marriage with Kahl Drogo of the Dothraki Horde for a promise of forty-thousand men to help him reclaim the Iron Throne in Westeros. From the marriage to Kahl Drogo, Daenerys earned her title as the Khaleesi of Drogo's Khalasar. Despite Daenerys' initial holdout regarding the marriage, she seeks advice from her new servant Doreah regarding ways to please her husband. Consequently, Daenerys earns Drogo's respect, favor, love, and loyalty as he views her as an equal.

Daenerys' development as a leader begins to take shape in her marriage to Khal Drogo, as the Khaleesi. First, she can turn her marriage as a source power and influence by earning the loyalty of Khal Drogo. Furthermore, as the Khaleesi, Daenerys learns how to bear one's actions as a leader when she defiantly watches as his brother is killed with molten gold. Daenerys' actions to earn the loyalty of her men are part of the reason why Viserys grew agitated and demanded the debt of forty-thousand men that he was owed (Harry, 2014). Moreover, Daenerys learns to care for her people through her stature as the Khaleesi, and she can advocate for better treatment of the prisoners captured by Drogo's Khalasar. All the leadership attributes of a caring leader who commands loyalty amplify as the TV show progresses.

2.3 The Birth of Dragons

During her marriage to Khal Drogo, Magister Illyrio Mopatis presents Daenerys with a gift of three dragon eggs. Despite the extinct state of dragons for one and a half centuries, the magister reckons that the dragon eggs are a befitting wedding gift to a Targaryen as the banner of House Targaryen is three dragon heads. However, the magister reveals that the dragon eggs have calcified with time and are thus, inviable. Although the Magister notes that the dragon eggs are inviable, he indicates that they are scarce and, therefore, very precious. Through the journeys with Khal Drogo's Khalasar, Daenerys uses the dragon eggs as ornaments in her tent. However, the death of her husband and son forces Daenerys to an action that would change her stature as a real contender to the Iron Throne.

During his fight with Mago, Khal Drogo is injured gravely, and Daenerys seeks the help Mirri Maz Duur magic to help save her husband. Nevertheless, Mirri turns Drogo into a shadow of his former self at the high cost of the deformation and death of Daenerys' unborn son. Mirri reveals her motives as revenge for what was done to her village despite Daenerys' actions to save her and other women from the brutality of the Khalasar. Through compassion, Daenerys smothers Drogo using a pillow. In the funeral pyre that she constructs for her husband, Daenerys places the three dragon eggs and ties Mirri Maz Duur to the pyre in revenge for her actions. To the surprise of her followers, Daenerys steps into the fire. After the fire had burned itself out, Daenerys is revealed to be alive and has three baby dragons perched on her body. This event effectively earns Daenerys, the title of "Mother of Dragons."

The birth of dragons and the subsequent journeys nature Daenerys into a more caring leader who is a pacesetter and opposes common dogma (Huhman, 2015). Moreover, her consideration of the dragons as her children enables Daenerys to develop compassion for other people and, she can put other people's needs before her own. Furthermore, her opposition to the dogma that her dragons are beasts and thus can be chained makes her abhor slavery which is the primary activity in the areas of Slaver's Bay. The hatching of Daenerys' dragons, therefore, shaped her as a compassionate but strong leader who commands loyalty among people.

2.4 Slaver's Bay

Although Slaver's Bay is relatively small compared to Westeros, Daenerys conquers the region and uses it as a litmus test for her leadership skills as she prepares to invade Westeros. Demographically, the Slaver's Bay region is mainly composed of three city-states namely Astapor, Yunkai, and Meereen. The main activity in the mentioned city-states is slavery, and the political organization is mainly dominated by the slave masters in the region. Daenerys begins her quest to conquer Slaver's Bay by acquiring all the Unsullied in the city of Astapor. By tricking the Masters in Astapor that she will give them a dragon, Daenerys acquires the whip that controls the Unsullied, frees them and later turns both the dragons and the Unsullied against the Masters. From this encounter, Daenerys is revealed to be developing into a clever and cunning leader.

After taking the city of Astapor and establishing her reign, Daenerys, and her newly acquired army heads out to conquer the other city-states. Since Meereen is the largest, Daenerys begins with conquering Yunkai, and she receives the aid of the Second Sons. At last, Daenerys takes her expanded army to the city-state of Meereen whose fall puts the entire region of Slaver's Bay under her command. Although Daenerys has been able to conquer the Slaver's Bay region, she is inept in matters of governance and, thus, decides to use the challenges she faces in the region to sharpen her leadership and governance skills in her preparation to Conquer Westeros and regain the Iron Throne. The leadership traits exhibited by Daenerys while she ruled the region of Slaver's Bay can be used by any political scientist or leader in any field to draw parallels of theories that examine the skills of a good leader.

Section 3. Theories

3.1 The Golden Circle

The Golden Circle theory shows that good leaders concentrate on their why which then drives their how and what (Clancy, O'Connor, & Dillon, 2010). In this leadership theory, leaders should articulate the purpose for their activities to enable other people to identify with them easily, seek their guidance, and consequently earn people's loyalty (Pemberton et al., 2012). After detailing the purpose of their cations, leaders proceed to outline how they will accomplish their desired events and what actions they would take to ensure they achieve the outlined events.

Analyzing the actions of Daenerys Targaryen in Slaver's bay, it is evident that she applies the theory of Golden Circle. First, the Khaleesi outlines ending slavery as her purpose to conquer Slaver's Bay. To articulate the purpose of ending slavery, Daenerys adopts the title "Breaker of Chains" which earns her fame and brings people to her side. Apart from ending slavery in the Slaver's Bay region, Daenerys is also aiming to retake her father's Iron Throne and conquer Westeros in the process. The cascade of events that occurs after Daenerys begins her campaign to conquer Slaver's Bay revolves around the two primary purposes of eliminating slavery and conquering Westeros.

Moreover, Daenerys outlines how she will end slavery in the Slaver's Bay region and retake the Iron Throne from the usurpers. To fulfill her purpose, Daenerys acquires armies that will facilitate various actions in the conquest. The Khaleesi begins by acquiring thousands of Unsullied from the masters in Astapor before expanding her army by joining it with the Second Sons. Furthermore, she brings the Dothraki into the ranks of her army and joins with Yara Greyjoy to build naval might. In addition to a large army and maritime power, Daenerys establishes that she will use her dragons to achieve her objectives. Apart from establishing military power over her enemies Daenerys also uses a good rapport with various parties in the different cities as a means to obtain her goals. Her treatment of the Unsullied and her interpreter, Misssandei, epitomizes how she regards all other freed slaves. Additionally, she is not afraid to take Tyrion Lannister and Varys into her court although she knows that they were involved in the killing of her father (Beveridge & Shan, 2016). All these measures establish how Daenerys attains her objectives.

After establishing how she was going to achieve various objectives, Daenerys goes ahead and acts through conquering the three city-states of Astapor, Yunkai, and Meereen. Furthermore, ousts the slave masters and becomes the leader in the Slaver's Bay region, and issues decree freeing all slaves and illegalizing slavery in the process. Additionally, Daenerys sails to Westeros to fulfill her aim of conquering it. Evidently, Daenerys applies the Golden Circle theory effectively in her efforts to establish her reign in the Slaver's Bay and the conquest of Westeros.

3.2 OODA Loop

Apart from the Golden Circle, the OODA Loop is another important theory that most leaders can emulate as they face various challenges in their organizations. In the OODA Loop, leaders Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act, hence, the acronym (Brehmer, 2005). The observation stage of the loop involves taking account of various factors in the environment and various problems that people face. Observation helps to inform leaders on how to orient their actions. In the Orientation stage, leaders consider which aspects of the target area, activity, or object their actions will influence. In the orientation stage, therefore, leaders consider cultural heritage and current practices in the affected community (Brehmer, 2005). After various leaders have oriented to areas that will be affected by their actions, they proceed to the next step in the Loop which is decision making. In the decision stage, leaders outline the course of action needed to solve various challenges. After the decision stage, leaders take action on the established course of action. After the action stage, the loop begins again at the observation stage.

An analysis of Daenerys' actions in the Slaver's Bay reveals that she effectively applied the OODA Loop to conquer and establish her reign. To begin with, Daenerys observed that oppression and slavery were the main environmental factor that affected a majority of people in Slaver's Bay. To solve the problem of slavery, Daenerys orients her outlook and actions towards fighting slavery. After orienting her actions towards slavery elimination, Daenerys decides by freeing all the Unsullied that she takes from the Masters. Furthermore, Daenerys takes action by conquering the cities in the Slaver's Bay and issuing decrees to free all slaves in the Slaver's Bay.

3.3 SMART Goals

Another leadership style that Daenerys Targaryen can be argued to have used in her conquest and reign over Slaver's Bay is the SMART Goals method. In this leadership method, leaders use Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely goals (Conzemius & O'Neill, 2009). Regarding specifics, effective leaders outline all details regarding the goals which they aim to achieve. Various parameters are established as means to measure and assess the outlined goals. Furthermore, the established goals should be achievable and realistic given the conditions in the environment. Additionally, the goals should be time specific regarding the period required to achieve the identified goals.

Daenerys Targaryen uses the SMART method in her decision making to achieve her long-term goal of conquering Westeros. First, she outlines specific goals of ending slavery and conquering Westeros as her motive for her actions. Furthermore, she can measure her goals through the number of people she has freed from slavery and her occupation of the Iron Throne. Additionally, the Targaryen Queen uses fewer actions such as the conquest of Slaver's Bay before Westeros, to make her goals more realistic and achievable. The Khaleesi also establishes various time frames for the different goals that she seeks to achieve. Daenerys begins with the conquest of lesser cities which culminates in the sack of Meereen. After the fall of Meereen, Daenerys uses it as her seat of power to enlighten her on various governance issues that she might face when she invades Westeros (Murphy, 2016). Furthermore, the Mother of Dragons waits until she has the requisite military force, alliances, and counsel to sail for Westeros.

Section 4. Analysis

4.1 Case Studies

Understanding why Daenerys uses various leadership theories in her quests is essential. To aid in this understanding, various cases are studied. These case studies include the relationship between Daenerys and the Iron Throne, peace with the Sons of Harpy, and the turning of Slaver's Bay into Dragon's Bay.

4.1.1 Daenerys and the Iron Throne: Daenerys' Why. While Daenerys was not the heir to the throne during the revolt against her father, the death of Rhaegar and Viserys left her as the only known Targaryen. The fact that her ancestors united the seven kingdoms in one rule under the Iron Throne gives her the right to claim the Iron Throne for herself. However, the occupation of the Iron Throne by Robert Baratheon and subsequently, House Lannister, presents Daenerys with difficult challenges in her attempts to retake the Iron Throne for her family. Furthermore, the Lannister family is known for its treachery and clever manipulation that enables them to stay in power for a long time (Clapton & Shepherd, 2017). This treachery resulted in Jamie Lannister, a trusted King's Guard, to slay King Aerys whereas, the Lannister armies stayed their hand until they were sure of the course of the war. Furthermore, the unstable reputation of the Targaryen kings which, culminated in the labeling of King Aerys, Daenerys' father, as the Mad King, presents Daenerys with special challenges regarding her acceptance as a queen among the people of Westeros (Daenerys Targaryen, n.d.). Additionally, Daenerys seeks to change the perception of her as a conqueror into a liberator. Moreover, Daenerys' growth in exile incapacitates her understanding of various dynamics in the political organization in Westeros.

In pursuit of her dream to retake the Iron Throne, Daenerys uses SMART Goals, OODA Loop, and the golden circle methods at different points as she continuously advances towards Westeros. First, she applies SMART Goals method as she patiently rears her dragons to be used as weapons after several years. Additionally, seeks to acquire the Unsullied first, before she goes ahead to sack various cities such as Yunkai and Mereen. Furthermore, Daenerys compromises on ruling Mereen and the entire Slaver's Bay region to understand various mechanics of what queens do- rule. Daenerys uses specific tasks to build up in the accomplishment of her long-term goal of retaking the Iron Throne.

Additionally, Daenerys utilizes the OODA Loop in her pursuit of the Iron Throne. First, Daenerys observes that retaking the Iron Throne will be not an easy fete as she faces numerous adversaries who have tried to have her killed since she was a child and, she is inexperienced in matters of governance. After making those observations, Daenerys as an active leader orients her actions with measures that will allow her to retake the Iron Throne. These measures include taking counsel from people who wronged her family and even herself such as Ser Jorah Mormont, Ser Barristan Selmy, Tyrion Lannister, Varys, and even Yara and Theon Greyjoy. These associations enable her to orient her actions towards understanding her enemies and the Political Dynamics of the seven kingdoms of Westeros. Furthermore, her choice to stay in Mereen and learn matters related to governance helps bring her pursuit of the Iron Throne into sharper focus. In fact, the treatment of former slaves who want to go into the service of their former masters helps orient her actions in the pursuit of the Iron Throne, not as a conqueror but as a liberator from the various forms of oppression that people face. Moreover, allowing the former slave to enter into a one-year contract with the former master articulates that her pursuit of the Iron Throne should be based on choices of those governed and not her wishes. After orienting her actions towards understanding her enemies, the political dynamics of Westeros, and orienting the form of governance that she required, she decides to sail across the narrow sea finally. Daenerys' actions are revealed when her armada is shown to be sailing towards Westeros.

Her application of the Golden Circle theory of leadership allows Daenerys to underpin all her actions towards the achievement of her purpose of reclaiming the Iron Throne for her family. This consideration of reclaiming the Iron Throne as her "why" drives Daenerys to seek methods in which to achieve her goal. These measures are her "how." The measures that Daenerys seeks include the building of a strong army with provisions of ships to sail them across the narrow sea, counsel, and education regarding Westeros, and building of alliances that will enable her reign on the Iron Throne to be successful. Consequently, Daenerys acquires the Unsullied, makes an alliance with the Second Sons, and gains allegiance of the Dothraki Horde to fight by her side. Furthermore, her acceptance of Tyrion Lannister and Varys into her service and alliances with the Ironborn, Dorne, and House Tyrell is another action that shows her "what." The application of the three theories of leadership has taken shape due to Daenerys' relationship with the Iron Throne which forces her to pursue the goal of reclaiming it.

4.1.2 Peace with the Sons of the Harpy: Learning to Compromise. As Daenerys continues her journey of learning on leadership matters, she comes to understand that compromise is part of governance. This lesson about compromise is evident through the interaction of Daenerys with the Sons of the Harpy. After Daenerys took Mereen and commenced her rule, an insurgent group opposed to her rule arose. The insurgents were mainly former slavers, and they wore golden masks which contained horned faces that looked like harpies hence, the name Sons of the Harpy. Whereas the insurgents had been operating for a period, the main incident occurred when one of the Sons of the Harpy killed an Unsullied by the name White Rat. As a result, conflict ensured between Daenerys' regime and the Sons of the Harpy.

As she begun to deal with the Sons of the Harpy, Daenerys tried to use force and intimidation through the public execution of the man culpable of killing White Rat. However, this action resulted in increased attacks on the Unsullied and other freed slaves. In her last show of force against the Sons of the Harpy, Daenerys brings the former slave masters to the catacombs and burns one of them alive using her dragons (Daenerys Targaryen, n.d.). Although the previous slave masters were shaken, Daenerys realized that show of force would not deter more attacks, so she chose to compromise with the Sons of the Harpy by marrying one of the former slave masters, Hizdahr zo Loraq, and reopening of the fighting pits but only for the freemen to fight. The compromise temporarily ended the attacks by the Sons of the Harpy, but they later attacked in a fighting pit, resulting in the death of collaborating former slave masters such as Hizdahr zo Loraq.

However, the interaction with the Sons of the Harpy revealed the maturity of Daenerys' leadership as she can apply the various leadership theories to solve the daily challenges facing her rule in Mereen (Abbasiyannejad & Supian, 2016). Most importantly, Daenerys can effectively apply the OODA Loop to mitigate the Sons of the Harpy crisis. Daenerys observes that her actions through the use of force to quash the insurrection only resulted to further attacks from the Sons of the Harpy. Consequently, she oriented her approach towards other diplomatic means and decided to marry one of the former slave owners. Furthermore, this move would lead to the inclusion of the former slave masters in her court. The ability to observe shortcomings in problem-solving methods and reorient actions towards improving problem-solving is the mark of a good leader. The ability by Daenerys to use the OODA Loop to solve the insurgency, thus, presents her as a good leader.

In addition to the use of the OODA Loop in solving the Sons of the Harpy insurgency problem, Daenerys effectively applies the Golden Circle theory of leadership. First, Daenerys identifies quashing the insurgency as her purpose in the situation. To determine how she was going to end the insurrection, Daenerys determines that use of force to deter the insurgency actions and inclusion of the former slave masters in her court were the course of action. After determining how she would achieve her goal of ending the Sons of the Harpy insurgency, Daenerys goes ahead to publicly execute those guilty of being members of the Sons of the Harpy. In addition to publicly executing the different guilty people, Daenerys takes some of the former slave masters to the catacombs and burns one of them alive using dragon fire from her dragons. Moreover, Daenerys includes one of the former slave masters into her court and even takes further action and decides to marry one of them. The means through which Daenerys addresses the problem of insurgency against her rule reveals that she has matured as a leader worth following.

Furthermore, Daenerys efficiently uses the SMART Goals method to solve the problem of insurrection. The use of a specific goal of marriage as diplomacy in resolving the insurgency by the Sons of the Harpy epitomizes her growth as a leader. Marriage is a specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely goal whereas, the general goal of diplomacy is vague and ambiguous. The decision to use marriage as diplomacy towards the Sons of the Harpy reveals that Daenerys is a capable and able leader who can quickly solve the more significant problem by application of specific tasks.

4.1.3 Turning Slaver's Bay into Dragon's Bay: A Crucial Stepping Stone. When Daenerys and her entourage sailed for the city of Astapor, the region was known as Slaver's Bay. The name Slaver's Bay was derived from the main activities of the city-states in the region. Whereas Astapor was known for the brutality and torture of young boys as they were trained to be slave soldiers known as the Unsullied, the City of Yunkai was famous for breeding sex slaves (Daenerys Targaryen, n.d.). In the city of Mereen, slavery was the staple activity, and the city was governed by the Slave Masters. Nevertheless, when the Khaleesi was departing the Slaver's Bay region to sail across the narrow sea towards Westeros, she renamed the area as Dragon's Bay. Despite the consideration that the renaming may be as a result of her conquest through the use of dragons, it can also be argued that this renaming is a strategic use of the different leadership methods. Whereas this argument is a little far-fetched, the analysis of the events in the bay provides evidence that the renaming was, in fact, a leadership masterstroke.

First, the renaming of the bay is the last step in the Golden Circle leadership method. The renaming of the bay is, therefore, Daenerys' "what" in her efforts to end slavery in Slaver's Bay region. While her purpose/why is ending slavery, Daenerys' "how" is changing perception regarding the acceptability of slavery in the region. Daenerys, therefore, renames the bay to change the perception regarding the activities and history of the region. This effective application of the Golden Circle leadership theory illustrates how Daenerys has grown into a strong and able leader capable of leading the seven kingdoms in Westeros.

Furthermore, the renaming of the Slaver's Bay into Dragon's bay can be viewed as a SMART goal on the part of Daenerys. The long-term goal that Daenerys aims to achieve in the Slaver's Bay region is effective governance through the abolition of oppression and slavery. To achieve this goal, Daenerys needs specific tasks that propel the region from the dark chasm of slavery. By renaming the region from Slaver's Bay to Dragon's Bay, the Mother of Dragons applies the SMART leadership method effectively. This renaming is easily achievable, specific in nature, time specific, and it changes the perception of the region. As a result of a change of perception, the renaming contributes significantly to the abolishment of slavery in the area.

Additionally, the renaming of Slaver's Bay to Dragon's bay is the last step of the OODA Loop. Daenerys observed the suffering resulting from the slavery form of governance such as the Walk of Punishment where Missandei informs her that the tortured and punished slaves have made minor mistakes. Furthermore, various boys are forced to become slave soldiers and their training is designed to break them into obedience. From these evils of slavery, Daenerys observed that the region needed a change in the form of governance. After making this observation, the Khaleesi oriented all her efforts in the region towards eradication of slavery. As a result, Daenerys decided to liberate all cities that practiced slavery from this oppression. This decision is made clear when Ser Jorah Mormont advises her that there is no reason to lay siege to the city of Yunkai, but Daenerys points out that the two hundred thousand slaves are two hundred thousand reasons for her to liberate the city before proceeding to Mereen. After deciding to fight against slavery in all cities in the region, Daenerys acts and the renaming the region is one of those actions that complete the OODA Loop. The renaming of the region presents a clean slate for the region thus allowing for the creation of new forms of governance. In fact, Daenerys is in support of democracy as she instructs Daario Naharis, the captain of the Second Sons to govern the region until the city-states chose their leaders (Cain, 2016, June 26).

Section 5. Conclusions

Evidently, Daenerys Targaryen has developed into a formidable leader in the TV Show Game of Thrones. Furthermore, her actions mainly in the Slaver's Bay region help illuminate on how leaders can easily apply the various leadership theories such as the Golden Circle, the OODA Loop, and the SMART Goals methods. The Golden Circle involves three steps where leaders consider their "why"/purpose, their "how," and eventually their "what"/action while the OODA Loop involves observation, orientation, decision, and action. On the other hand, the SMART Goals method involves the undertaking of tasks that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.

However, Daenerys' long-term motives are revealed to be the pursuit of the Iron Throne. It is revealed that Daenerys comes from an ancient Valyrian highborn dynasty of House Targaryen who had ruled the seven kingdoms in Westeros until a rebellion arose led by Robert Baratheon. The rebellion led to the death of King Aerys and his crown prince Rhaegar and the occupation of the iron throne by Robert Baratheon. As a result, Daenerys was raised in exile.

When she became of age, Daenerys' brother Viserys married her off to Khal Drogo of the Dothraki Horde making her a Khaleesi of Drogo's Khalasar. However, the death of her husband and subsequent birth of dragons gave her motivation to pursue the Iron Throne since she is the only known rightful heir to the Iron Throne. In her pursuit of the Iron Throne, Daenerys ends up in the region of Slaver's Bay which is prevalent with slavers. It is in this regio...

May 02, 2023


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