Game of Thrones: What Does ‘Dracarys’ Mean?
Warning: this article contains SPOILERS for Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 4!
Just because the Battle of Winterfell is over doesn’t mean the death count has stopped growing on Game of Thrones. Tonight’s episode culminated with the death of the mighty dragon Rhaegal and the tragic murder of Missandei of Naath, as she found herself the latest victim in Cersei’s cruel game. But before she died, Missandei had one parting word for Daenerys — “Dracarys” — and it’s one that holds great significance for the Mother of Dragons as she prepares for her next (and possibly final) battle.
The High Valyrian word “Dracarys” has become a sort of catchphrase for Dany. It literally means “dragonfire” and it’s the word she uses to command her dragons to breathe fire. But it means more than that in this epsiode.
Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss spoke about Missandei’s final word during the latest “Inside the Episode” segment. Weiss spoke to Dany’s raw emotional state, saying, “In some ways, the most important thing that happens to Daenerys in [Episode 4] is the death of her second dragon. Now she’s got one dragon, and that dragon presumably is just as vulnerable as Rhaegal was. So there’s this – the mourning of a child, which is very real to her, and then their best friend is taken. Dany knows that once Cersei has Missandei that she’s not going to see Missandei alive again.”
Weiss noted that Dany’s current plight mirrors where she was early in the series. “She’s really back where she was at the very beginning. Emotionally, she’s alone in the world, and she can’t really trust anybody.”
Though as Weiss pointed out, Dany has several key advantages she didn’t back then. “Unlike then, she’s extremely powerful, and unlike then, she’s filled with a rage that’s aimed at one person specifically.”
That feeds directly into Missandei’s final message to her queen. “Dracarys” is the command Dany gives to her dragons when she wants them to burn her enemies. That’s what Missandei hopes Dany will do now. “I think what’s probably echoing in Dany’s head in those final moments would be Missandei’s final words, said Benioff. “‘Dracarys’ is clearly meant for Dany. Missandei knows that her life is over, and she is saying, you know, ‘Light them up.'”
One of the key questions this episode raises, however, is whether Dany is truly a conquering hero or just another would-be ruler who cares nothing for the people she wishes to rule. It’s becoming clear that the pressure of losing two children and fighting the White Walkers and Cersei, all while knowing the truth about Jon’s parentage, is weighing her down. This episode even seems to draw parallels between Dany and her father, the Mad King Aerys II. Is Dany doomed to follow in her father’s footsteps? Would she be better off not heeding Missandei’s final words?
Let us know what you think of this dramatic shift for Daenerys in the comments below. And for more on tonight’s episode, read about why Jon made that dumb decision and why Dany is now losing the game of thrones.
Jesse is a mild-mannered writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter, or Kicksplode on MyIGN.
Source: Read Full Article