Dracarys: The Meaning Of Dany's Dragon Command In Game of Thrones Season 8
Burn them all.
Dracarys--it's a word we've heard Daenerys Targaryen utter numerous times over the course of Game of Thrones, dating back to the early seasons. The word reappears in Season 8, Episode 5 with some incredible fiery results, but Season 8, Episode 4 featured a particularly significant use of it when Missandei declares it in a major moment for the character. But what does it mean and, more importantly, what is the significance of it between her and Dany? We explore that below and dig into why it's so important, as there is potentially more meaning to it than you might first assume. It's one of multiple subtle callbacks to years-old moments, not unlike Arya's "That's not me."
If you're caught up with Season 8, check out our review of Episode 4, which explores some of the continued problems we think this season is suffering from. We also have a collection of Easter eggs and references that you might have missed, and not just the coffee cup that was in all the headlines this week. Looking ahead, there's also the theory of whether there could be more dragons in Westeros.
Game of Thrones Season 8 has only one episode left, and thus the show as a whole is almost over. Episode 4 dealt with the fallout of Episode 3's Battle of Winterfell. While a somewhat quiet episode in comparison, it wasn't without its developments. After tensions ran high (both political and bedroom related), Episode 4's conclusion was particularly tense, and one word may have defined what is still to come in the final episode of the series. Spoiler warning: The events of Episode 4 and Episode 5 are described below.
In the final moments of Episode 4, Missandei is precariously stood beside Cersei having been taken prisoner when Euron's fleet launches an ambush. Dany watches on as Tyrion attempts to negotiate for her life and Cersei's surrender. Unfortunately, his diplomacy fails and Cersei turns to Missandei and tells her to share any final words. Missandei looks to her queen below and declares "dracarys."
The word translates to "Dragonfire" in High Valyrian; it is the same word Dany uses to signal her dragons to fire upon her enemies. In this case, the word is a final utterance of allegiance and support to her queen, knowing full well it will be her last. It's not a far stretch to assume Missandei's last word may also be a call for Dany to destroy Cersei in the same way as she has the rest of her enemies.
The word also has some significance to the relationship between Missandei and Dany. The two first met when Missandei was still a slave who served as an interpreter to slave-trader Kraznys mo Nakloz of Astapor. Dany ultimately frees Missandei by ordering the enslaved Unsullied to turn on the slave-traders of Astapor. In the fray of the uprising, Dany turns to Kraznys and calmly says "dracarys." Upon hearing the instruction, her dragon Drogon breathes a ball of fire onto the slave-trader and reduces him to ashes. Missandei's choice of her final word is almost certainly a callback to this moment and Dany's impact on her life.
Or, you know, take it from the woman herself. After the episode aired, Nathalie Emmanuel, who portrays Missandei, tweeted, "Dracarys." She followed this up with her own personal translation, "Burn the bish."
“Dracarys”— Nathalie Emmanuel (@missnemmanuel) May 6, 2019
Aka “Burn the bish” ??— Nathalie Emmanuel (@missnemmanuel) May 6, 2019
Dany's terrifying dragon command also appears in an early pivotal moment that kicks off Episode 5: The Bells. After Dany learns of Varys' betrayal and attempt to change allegiances and support Jon, she takes her vengeance the best way a Targaryen knows how--by calming saying 'Dracarys' which instructs Drogon to blast Varys to smithereens.
For more on what's to come in the final episode of Game of Thrones, check out the preview trailer for Episode 6.