Warning: As you may have guessed from the title, this post contains spoilers about last night’s episode of Game of Thrones.
Before last night’s episode of Game of Thrones, “The Bells,” 723 people in the United States had children named after a brave, complicated, beautiful, incesty-but-she-didn’t-know-it-at-first-to-be-fair ruler. By the end of last night’s episode, 723 people in the United States had children named after a woman who burned down a city full of innocent people shortly after trying to make out with her nephew (yikes).
According to data from the Social Security Administration, more than 4,500 babies were named after Game of Thrones characters in 2018. Of those, 560 were named Khaleesi (“Queen” in Dothraki, and one of Daenerys’ many, many titles) and 163 were named Daenerys. How did the parents of these children feel after seeing Daenerys raze King’s Landing?
To find out how one such mother felt about last night’s episode the Cut spoke to Katherine Acosta, the mother of 1-year-old Khaleesi, who she named after her favorite character, the Mother of Dragons.
What’s your daughter like? Is she like Khaleesi?
Yes I feel like she’s exactly like her. All she’s missing is her little army. Well not even, because the way my mom and my sister stand up for her, that’s her army. She’s just missing her dragons.
Why was Daenerys your favorite?
I think because she literally came from nothing. Yeah, she did have the Targaryan name, she did have a brother. But her father was killed, and the way her brother treated her was very horrible. She was given to Khal Drogo as his wife, but she ended up falling in love with him, losing her baby. She overcame everything everybody said she wouldn’t do. She had all these armies behind her, she had the respect of people. And in this new season everything’s changing.
How does her new character arc make you feel?
I’m still behind her. Even after last night’s episode, I’m still rooting for her. I don’t think she did anything wrong. I think she did what she had to do. She gave many options. She tells you, “Are you gonna bend the knee, or are you not?” So I don’t know why everybody’s acting surprised. She’s done this before. If you betray her, you don’t bend the knee, look what happens.
And this season she lost so much. She lost both dragons, two babies. She felt like she was losing the throne after finding out about Jon. She lost a lot of the Dothraki and the Unsullied in the Long Night. And I feel like everything was just adding up. And then for her to lose Missandei like that. And when Missandei said “Dracarys,” to me, it was “Burn all of this place down.” And for her to find out a couple of hours before that Jon betrayed her — and told his sisters, and then Sansa told Tyrion, and Tyrion told Varys, and I’m 100 percent sure that Varys sent ravens everywhere — for her, I feel like everything around her was crumbling down. She didn’t have her partner, Missandei. She and Grey Worm were fed up. They lost a lot helping others, and they were like, it’s up to us now. She said it a million times, she’s gonna get it through fire and blood.
After the episode, a lot of people kept tagging me on memes and being like, “How do you feel that Khaleesi has that name now that Daenerys did all of that?” I’m like, I don’t feel anything different. It’s not like she did it just ‘cause. If you watch the show, she had every right. How could you not see her side? You’re just seeing the people’s side. Those same people rooted and clapped when Ned [Stark] was killed.
So it doesn’t make a difference to me. I just wish they would have put a little bit more instead of so quickly making her look like the Mad King.
When are you going to let your daughter watch Game of Thrones?
As soon as she starts grasping shows. Well, she does. We watch Game of Thrones, and as soon as she hears the theme song, she automatically knows and she’ll sit down. I guess she knows that we stay quiet and sit down, so she does it too.
Last night, she watched until before Daenerys started burning, then she fell asleep. But she was watching right along with us. But I’m gonna buy the whole DVD set of all seasons, and I’m gonna let her watch it whenever she wants. I can’t wait until the day she understands so we can talk about it.