Although it is not common in Westeros for women to receive training to wield a weapon, we have seen exceptions in the cases of Arya Stark, Yara Greyjoy, Brienne of Tarth and Meera Reed.

Having said that, I do not expect women like Cersei, Margaery or Sansa to have this inclination. I can't recall Daenerys Targaryen engaging herself with weapons in any of the 40 episodes of Game of Thrones.

Is there any evidence, direct or suggestive, that Daenerys inclines to learn to wield a weapon in any of the 5 ASOIAF books? Dragon riding and control doesn't count.

Information after ASOS can be put in spoiler tags.

  • 3
    If you are wondering if she will ever wield Lightbringer, the answer is of course that Lightbringer is not a sword: Dany drew from the fire her dragons, which will be her weapon once she learns to control them.
    – TLP
    Jun 19, 2014 at 10:34
  • Oh good, so she doesn't just leave them chained up in the catacombs.
    – Mkalafut
    Jun 19, 2014 at 20:18
  • 1
    Up until now [aDWD], Danny's weapons have been her bodily assets!
    – Möoz
    Nov 14, 2014 at 2:29

3 Answers 3


I have read all of the books and have not noticed any references to her studying armed combat.

I doubt it is something which she will take up because in order to become good enough to really make a difference one needs to train for years (I teach medieval combat so have a bit of an insight) and she simply does not have the time. The books mention how busy she is pretty much every day with her ruling duties.

Also, there is little need for her to fight. She has guards, an army and dragons and no one expects her to lead from the front as a combatant so they do not lose respect for her when she does not. Contrast this to Robert's leadership where his charisma was mainly based on his prowess as a warrior, if he avoided fighting his soldiers would have lost respect - Daenerys does not have this type of relationship with her followers.

  • 7
    Yes. Also, Daenerys was brought up in the style of the upper classes of Westeros, where it is not expected for women to fight. It is made clear Arya and Brienne are very unusual exceptions. The examples in the OP include the Iron Islands and marshlanders, which have different customs. An interesting question is whether Dothraki women learn combat. If so, then Daenerys might have learned from them during her marriage to Drogo, but I'm fairly sure this was not discussed in the books. Jun 19, 2014 at 8:50
  • Hmmm ... good point. I do not recall any mention of women fighting in the Dothraki battles but neither do I recall anyone saying they did not. Although I do not think she would have been there long enough to develop the physical attributes or skills to be a serious threat to a life long warrior even if she was receiving training.
    – Stefan
    Jun 19, 2014 at 9:03
  • 3
    The Dothraki treat women lower then horses so I doubt they would expect them to fight they seem more like slaves than anything. Jun 19, 2014 at 9:06
  • @RoyalCanadianBandit I think it's a little unclear if Targaryens are brought up in the style of the upper classes of Westeros or of Valyria -- for example, they expect to marry their siblings, which the Westerosi upper classes certainly do not (except perhaps for a couple of Lannisters...). Of course, it's likely that the upper classes of Westeros are heavily influenced by the Valyrians who ruled them for several centuries.
    – Mike Scott
    Jun 19, 2014 at 9:13
  • @MikeScott: Yes, incestuous marriage is an exception, but in general it seems the Targaryens lived in a similar fashion to the higher Westerosi nobility. Changes of custom run both ways; the Targaryens would have changed in the centuries after they conquered Westeros. I imagine Aegon the Conqueror's sisters knew how to swing a sword, but somewhere along the line that tradition stopped being passed down. Jun 19, 2014 at 15:22

Not yet... but perhaps she might learn once she returns back to Meereen in the books. Maybe Ser Barristan suggests her to do so, so that she can protect herself in case her guards are not able to stay on her side all the time... and trains her himself.

  • 5
    Hmm this argument doesn't seem very convincing
    – Edlothiad
    Sep 25, 2017 at 19:51
  • her life was on the line in the dragon pit...and it's been a while since i read the book, but isn't she with the dothraki or captured by the time... i might be confusing things with the show... and this might give her reason enough to start training in wielding a weapon... if not a sword, at least a weapon that would allow her to protect herself.
    – charu
    Sep 25, 2017 at 20:13

Dany did have to 'defend' herself from her abusive older brother, and she DID live among the Dothraki for many years. She commanded vast number of highly trained troops - and executed orders again and again as she personally oversaw combat. This constant, heavy exposure to weapons-use, techniques, attacks and defense would certainly ingrain the Dragon Queen with a huge amount of combat and military techniques.

There was an interesting university research study done years ago with "Learning Basketball shooting". One group actually each group was 'shown' basic basketball shooting techniques. Then: one group physically Practiced those techniques, shot baskets, and 'trained' again and again for a period of time. The other group just 'thought' about the skills they were shown for the same amount of time.

Both groups Improved...EXACTLY the SAME amount!!

So, Dany has plenty of exposure - and LOTS of thinking. Moreover, she HAS been shown Fighting in the HBO Series. She 'stood up' to her brother (more than once). She also 'confronted', Trapped - and 'Fought-and-Killed' ALL the Khals of the Dothraki. [As a trained Martial Arts instructor myself - I doubt I could come close to that - even if I was Immune to Fire)! She evaded/avoided their presumed attempts to defend themselves or attack her - while she was Killing them with Fire! That's a formidable example of combat tactics, face-to-face applied strategy and no small degree of skill.

Most poignantly, Dany is show FIGHTING an unending Horde of 'White Walkers' as they assail her and Jorah Mormont. Relentlessly they attack, and Dany evades and avoids each and every assault - coordinating of course with her advisor and friend Jorah (who wields the Valyrian sword: Heartsbane). Dany grabs a weapon too - apparently a 'Dragonglass' blade from a corpse. She defends herself with it - and even Kills one Walker that is attacking Jorah - actually SAVING him (for a few more rounds of combat at least).

Ultimately, she-and-Jorah fend off and kill-off the relentless Wights - buying time for Arya to kill the 'Night King'. While no 'martial expert' per se - Dany is certainly more capable than a sedentary non-combative untrained girl. Further, let us postulate that the 'Targaryen Race' is (apparently) different, more aggressive, more combat-capable than 'regular humans' - as evidenced by their long-military histories and take-over of there entire 'planet' of 'Fire and Ice'. ;)


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