Let’s just get this out of the way right now. Daenerys Targaryen is losing her mind. If you watched “The Last of the Starks,” you can see her desperately clinging to her identity as queen even as it’s slowly slipping away. Now that it’s been revealed that Jon is a trueborn Targaryen and Cersei keeps landing blows, Daenerys has started talking about destiny. And there she goes, riding a dragon of madness right into the sunset.
But let’s take a step back and look at an element of the show that doesn’t get quite as much attention, but can still be as meaningful as anything else – the costumes. Daenerys, in particular, has gone through an array of costumes (and hairstyles) signifying her station and her world view. The innocent pastels of her wedding day in Season 1 have given way to stronger and stronger ensembles leading up to her militaristic appearance in Season 7. And now we have a very interesting fashion choice in her red gloves.
Red, besides being one of the Targaryen colors, has lots of meaning when it’s paired with hands, (caught red-handed, for example). But Game of Thrones may be taking inspiration from the master of theater himself – William Shakespeare.
A Nod to Shakespeare
This isn’t the first time the show has pulled some plot points from Shakespeare. Remember the story of the “Rat Cook” that Bran told at the end of Season 3? It involved a cook in the Night’s Watch serving the king’s own son in a tasty pie and thereafter being cursed to eat his own children. At that point in the show, it makes the point that breaking “guest rite” is something the gods don’t forgive. Hello, Walder Frey. And Arya brought that curse down upon Walder himself at the end of Season 6. Baking someone’s offspring into a pie comes directly from the pages of Titus Andronicus.
So what do Daenerys’s gloves have to do with Shakespeare? She could be facing the fate of another of the playwright’s tragic characters – Lady Macbeth. In case you don’t know the story of the play, Lady Macbeth, along with her husband, murders the king. After that crime Lady Macbeth goes mad, thinking there is always blood on her hands that she can’t get off.
Daenerys has the opportunity to and very possibly might kill Jon Snow, who is the king by most of Westerosi standards. Covering her hands in symbolic blood through the use of red gloves might be a way for the showrunners to give us hints as to Daenerys’s declining state of mind and likelihood of her putting an end to the true threat to her “destiny.”