Danielle Kelly says she would be Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones

Danielle Kelly (left) sees herself in Emilia Clarke
Danielle Kelly (left) sees herself in Emilia Clarke's Game of Thrones character Daenerys Targaryen (right). [Photos ONE Championship, HBO]

It’s not uncommon for TV fans to liken themselves to strong fictional characters, just ask Danielle Kelly.

The grappling phenom sees herself in Game of Thrones protagonist Daenerys Targaryen since both of them try to lead their subjects, in Kelly’s case her students, in their quest to achieve what they see as their purpose.

In an interview with ONE Championship, Kelly said she’s a fan of dragons and Targaryen being the Mother of Dragons resonated greatly with her.

Since the destined queen of Westeros, as Targaryen believes herself to be, is a strong female figure, Kelly quickly resonated with Emilia Clarke’s character.

Danielle Kelly said:

“I want to be Daenerys. I feel like we kind of like relate because I'm a coach, so I kind of lead a pack a little bit. With her, I guess she kind of came from nothing. If I remember correctly, she was trying to find herself or make her own team. As time went on, she was building a whole team for herself and was growing as a leader.”

When she’s not competing, Kelly is a diligent teacher traveling to different parts of the United States to impart her knowledge on the beautiful martial art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

She gained even more notoriety when she joined ONE Championship this past March and put on a stellar debut performance against the always dangerous Mei Yamaguchi in a submission grappling match.

Kelly added:

“I see myself being a leader as well. I also like dragons. So if I'm going to be in Game of Thrones, I want to ride a dragon. That will be really cool if I had a pet dragon. I just like her character. But I don't like how they ended it, making her the bad guy. I mean, I don't think that's how she was being at all. And she's a female. So it's really cool to see a female leader take a big part in the show. And she was helping others. I like to help people.”

Targaryen has three dragons in Game of Thrones, Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion. She’s also one of only two dragon riders in the show along with her nephew-turned-lover Jon Snow, with her choice of mount being Drogon. Snow, meanwhile, received Rhaegal.

Danielle Kelly may not be riding dragons to war, but she’s certainly dealt with her own battlefield in the mats and eventually inside the circle.


Danielle Kelly expresses her disappointment about the Game of Thrones finale

Game of Thrones was one of the television series that defined the 2010s with its compelling narrative and gripping warfare. It aired for eight seasons from 2011 to 2019, with the eighth splitting the fanbase in half.

While some were content with how the show ended, some didn’t like it one bit. One of those fans who was disappointed with the final episodes is Danielle Kelly.

The women’s atomweight grappler said in the same ONE Championship interview that the show’s runners botched not just the ending, but also the development of Jaime Lannister, who was played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

“I actually like Jaime Lannister, but [I think] they screwed up the ending really bad. I didn't like him and his sister [Cersei] during the early part of the show, because he was kind of like a bad guy. I think over time, he was changing,” said Danielle Kelly.

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Edited by Harvey Leonard