Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, the Breaker of Chains, the Scorned Lover.
Daenerys, was pretty much a ‘little bird’ herself until her brother Viserys was crowned the molten golden crown. Only with the Dothraki and as the Khaleesi of the great Khal Drogo did she come into her own and realize the taste of authority. However, it took supreme sacrifice, walking into the fire and practically dying with her dead husband that actually gave birth to the new, confident, fireproof Daenerys- the Unburnt and Mother of Dragons.
When she ruled over Meereen, and freed all the slaves, took on the masters, became ‘Mhysa’ to everyone on other side of the narrow sea, she felt the love of the common people and she thought that was her mission, her job, her ‘destiny’. In the matters of heart too, she was secure and confident. She loved Daario Naharis of the Second Sons and had to dump him at the behest of Tyrion. However, as she reveals later to Tyrion, it was as if she could not wait for it to get over with so she can move forward to fulfill her destiny and take the Iron Throne.
Right from Xaro, the merchant of Quarth, to Jorah Mormont and Daario Naaharis, she’s the one who’s been doing the dumping and on her terms and also they’ve always been lower than her in ranking and power.
With her eyes firmly on the prize, all she needed was to have someone curb her worst impulses. She is the true ruler, of Westeros and of her own heart too.
When she first met King of the North Jon Snow, she fell hard and fast- because he was the first one who did not bend down to her, came up as a fellow-king and survived. Her Dragons(children) love him (have not eaten him and he gets to pet one) and he’s not a bad looking bloke too. Add to the mix honesty, integrity, quiet brooding nature and he’s a catch. She’s in love with him and he’s her equal. They had a dragon-flying date and he is intimate with her the way others are not(he calls her ‘Dany’). And then the revelation that not only she is his aunt, but he could have a better claim at the Throne, whether he wants it or not. Although even such shocking revelations(to her) took a back seat until they were fighting a larger threat of the Night King.
However, now that the night king is dead, all the revelations resurface like dead fish in a polluted pond. Clearly Jon has issues with the whole ‘aunt’ business, even though for her it doesn’t matter much.
For Jon, he is in familiar territory, he can joke around, he is a friend and a leader to the people whose love comes from within. For Dany though, she’s never has such a friendly relationship with anyone in her life. Even Missandei has always kept a respectful distance. Dany’s always been the ‘Queen’ and a bit out of reach. No one can pat her back and call her names in jest.
In the progress of the plot she’s lost her only friend and lover in Jon. And not only is she losing him, but she also looks at him at a betrayer, because he goes and does the only thing she’s begged him not to do. He tells Sansa and Arya of his heritage and now it’s just short of common knowledge that Jon is the rightful heir and not her.
She knows that no matter what she does for the people of the realm or how much ever she fights, she will still have to prove her claim to these people. And more importantly she realizes people love a leader like Jon and Jon not loving her back is just the last nail in the coffin. So no matter what she does- she will never be able to win the love of these people, in-spite of all that she has done for this country.
Its just very very sad for our hero to go over to the dark side because of her own broken heart.
Therefore- fear is the only way. At any cost. Only then no one will question her authority and her claim.
When she takes King’s landing- it doesn’t matter to her when they surrender, because they can still harbor doubts in their minds later.
Jon, as usually men go, isn’t perceptive that way. He’s too self involved with his own ‘righteousness’ and integrity where he claims to love her as a queen. He didn’t even realize that he’s isolating her even more and therefore could never have anticipated that his constant rejection of the world’s most dangerous woman would end in such horror.
With no one to love, and no one that loves her- Dany gets that anxiety, panic and sense of loss resulting in an angry frenzy that actually ends up killing everyone.
It is very interesting to notice that just as Daenerys had underestimated Cercei initially- it was finally Cercei who grossly underestimated Dany. She would never have thought that Daenarys will actually kill millions of innocents to get to the throne. “So much for being breaker of chains” is what Cercei says- and she couldn’t have been more right.