A few days ago, a client and I got talking about Game of Thrones. It’s not an unusual topic for us. Lily* absolutely adores the show, and thanks to her suggestion that I watch it, I’ve become pretty obsessed with it myself.
As we speak about possible future plot lines, I notice that her eyes repeatedly light up when she mentions Daenerys Targaryen.
“You like Daenerys a lot, don’t you?”
“Yeah, I do. I think she’s my favourite character.”
“What do you like about her?”
“Well…” She sits back in the sofa, looking thoughtful. “Do you remember the first time we met Daenerys?”
“Before her wedding to Drogo, right?”
“Yeah… A woman’s preparing a bath for her, and her brother walks in with Daenerys’ wedding veil. During the whole scene, Daenerys looks like she’s stoned or something; she stares, says nothing, and she moves really slowly. She doesn’t even react when her brother undresses her and touches her boob! She just stands there.”
“Yes, I remember. It was like her body didn’t belong to her.”
“Exactly! When we met her, she was fragile and shapeless. She wasn’t an exciting character. Kind of like Sansa, but much less annoying!”
“Oh God, Sansa! Right, I get you.”
“So, she marries into this tribe of savages and it’s scary. I mean, do you remember the wedding??”
“Vaguely – it was filmed at the Azure Window, no?”
“Yeah, yeah! There were people fighting and one guy was sliced open and his guts fell out. And there were snakes and naked women and stuff. It was chaos!”
“Yes, I remember… She was freaked out.”
“And then she had to have sex with Drogo and she cried! I mean, it was kinda more like rape than sex.”
“Yes, it was terrible for her.”
“Anyway… later, this really important scene happens in Daenarys’ story.”
“Which one was that?”
“It’s when she asks a Dothraki woman how she can please Drogo. And this woman teaches her how to be in control with Drogo when they have sex.”
“Oh yes! That talk empowered her.”
“Exactly, she was in control when she had sex with Drogo the next time and he loved it!”
I nod emphatically.
“That scene was like a pivotal moment for Daenerys. From then on she starts to learn their language, she begins giving commands, she even eats the horse’s heart!”
“Oh my God,” I cringe, “I’d forgotten about that!”
“She became so bad ass! I mean, remember when she was trapped in that magical tower and she had the option to live forever with the souls of Drogo and her baby after they’d died? She chose not to. She chose to live without them, even though that meant losing them forever.”
“So, is it this transformation that you like about Daenerys? The way she went from being so fragile to becoming empowered and resilient?”
“Yes.” She reflects.
“I’m curious, Lil,” I say, “How are you like Daenerys?”
“I’m not like Daenerys!” She smiles bashfully.
“I think you are… but I’m curious to see how you see yourself like her first.”
Lily’s quiet for a while.
“I guess I’m kind of like Daenerys.”
“Tell me how.” I challenge her a little more.
“Well… I used to be vacant and not present… I used to wander around allowing people to push me into places without making decisions about where I wanted to be. And I ended up in some really scary situations.”
“Yes, I remember.”
“But I guess I’m smart like Daenerys too.”
“Well, even though Daenerys was in a really bad situation, she didn’t let life knock her down. She sought guidance from other women and from Jorah, and slowly, she embraced her role as Khaleesi.”
Lily pauses thoughtfully.
“I think I kinda do the same… I don’t let life beat me down, even when things get really bad. I seek guidance, you know? I learn how to cope and adapt.”
“Yes, you do.” I smile, remembering well the challenges Lily has faced.
“I’ve learned to say “no” to people who try to take advantage of me. I set goals for myself and I work towards them.”
“You are resilient and empowered, like Daenerys.” I say.
“Yeah, I am, aren’t I?” Her eyes smile at mine. “Maybe one day, I’ll free slaves and be a loving leader.”
“I have no doubt you will, Lil.”
How about you?
Most of the time, we don’t notice how our favourite fictional characters reflect aspects of who we are or who we want to become. Yet, asking ourselves what we admire about these people is a light-hearted and enjoyable way to understand ourselves better. This exercise can shed light on our values and goals. So, now it’s your turn 🙂
- Who is one of your favourite fictional characters?
- What’s their story?
- How are you like them?
*Name has been changed for client confidentiality.
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