The final season of Game of Thrones saw Daenerys Targaryen transition from a ruler focused on liberating the downtrodden to a tyrant who burned innocent civilians alive in pursuit of power. This transformation led to Dany’s downfall in the show’s series finale, as Jon Snow felt it was his duty to kill her to prevent her from sitting on the Iron Throne.
But while fans were divided over her Mad Queen turn, Thrones seems to have long been dropping hints that Daenerys would never end up on the throne — even to Daenerys herself.
When Daenerys entered the House of the Undying to rescue her dragons from the Warlocks of Qarth in season 2, she experienced a series of mysterious visions that many fans theorized offered some major clues about what was to come. To refresh your memory, once inside the House, Daenerys found herself in a ruined version of the Red Keep throne room that was covered in what looked like either snow or ash. She walked toward the Iron Throne and reached out to touch it, but turned at the sound of her dragons’ cries and ended up on the far side of the Wall. She then entered a tent to find Khal Drogo waiting for her with a living, breathing version of their stillborn son, Rhaego.
As we now know, this scene almost perfectly mirrors what happened to Daenerys in the finale — in a metaphorical sense, at least. After burning down King’s Landing in Thrones‘ final penultimate episode, Daenerys entered the ash-covered throne room and walked up to the Iron Throne. This time, she actually did get to touch the throne. But before she could sit, she was distracted by Jon — a.k.a. Aegon Targaryen, a.k.a. the blood of the dragon — entering the room. Jon then killed her, effectively reuniting her with her dead husband and child.
“Immediately after that scene she is with Drogo and her baby,” one Reddit user commented on the similarities between the scenes. “It was there all along.”
Although Jon told Tyrion in the finale that there is no afterlife, Daenerys getting to see her dead family again nonetheless seems to symbolize that her quest for the Iron Throne would lead to her death.