May 15, 2019
Monday morning was challenging for Dre Campbell. The 35-year-old Tacoma, Washington, resident and longtime fantasy buff had just witnessed one of his favorite Game of Thrones characters take a turn for the worst. Daenerys Targaryen—long destined to be a hero, a brave leader who would save Westeros from a vicious cycle of violence—transformed into the Mad Queen and burned thousands of innocent citizens alive. But maybe worst of all, Campbell needed to delicately explain all of this to his 6-year-old daughter, Khaleesi.
In 2012, Campbell and his then-wife binge-watched the show during the latter half of her pregnancy. Inspired by the Mother of Dragons, the two decided to name their daughter Khaleesi, the Dothraki word for “queen” and one of Dany’s many titles. “What I liked about [Game of Thrones’] Khaleesi is that she was strong,” Campbell says. “No matter what happened to her, she always found a way to survive and come out on top.” As his daughter Khaleesi has grown up, Campbell has given her updates on her namesake’s latest accomplishments—which made their Monday-morning commute to school somewhat awkward.
“I said that she used her dragon to kill a lot of innocent people,” Campbell says. “Khaleesi was like, ‘Wow. Oh, that’s kind of scary.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah. That’s not you, though.’”