Television has given us some amazing portrayals of Queens throughout the years, from Anne Boleyn in Showtime's historical series The Tudors to Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix's hit drama show The Crown.
However, not everything has to be based on real life. Television has given us many fictional queens who are just delightful to watch.
These monarchs might not be great to serve in real life, but their rises to power and their on-screen reigns are deliciously entertaining.
Here are my picks for the greatest fictional queen characters in television and what makes them so compelling.
7. Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen (House of the Dragon)
Rhaenyra Targaryen is one of the main characters in HBO's hit TV series House of the Dragon. She's the daughter of King Viserys I and declared heir to the Iron Throne.
Over the first season, we saw her grow from a strong-willed, independent teenager into a determined, smart woman who's ready to accept her birthright and rule the Seven Kingdoms.
However, when her father dies, her throne is usurped by her stepbrother, Aegon II. But that doesn't stop her from being crowned by her uncle-husband, Daemon Targaryen, which ultimately leads to a civil war for control of the Iron Throne.
In just one season, Rhaenyra made quite an impression with a character arc that showed how differently men and women in power are treated under a patriarchal society.
6. Marceline the Vampire Queen (Adventure Time)
Marceline the Vampire Queen is one of the main characters of Adventure Time. She's a fun-loving 1,000-year-old vampire who became the Vampire Queen after killing the previous King (prior to the start of the show).
She's a fan favorite, mostly for her powerful musical performances, her complex backstory involving the Ice King, and her romance with Princess Bubblegum, which opened the door for more LGBTQ+ representation in cartoons and TV shows.
5. Gabrielle the Amazon Queen (Xena: Warrior Princess)
Gabrielle the Amazon Queen is one of the main characters of Xena: Warrior Princess. Also known as the Battling Bard of Potidaea, Gabrielle was the best friend, traveling companion, and implied lover of Xena.
Over six seasons, she went from a naive farm girl to a fully formed warrior queen. She became queen over three separate Amazon tribes, yet each time she passed the crown to someone more qualified so that she could continue traveling with Xena.
In the end, after Xena's death, Gabrielle continued her fight for the greater good with Xena's soul by her side.
4. Margo Hanson, High King of Fillory (The Magicians)
Margo Hanson, High King of Fillory, is one of the main characters of The Magicians. She started as a typical mean girl, but evolved into a skilled and capable leader who earned the love of her people.
Margo is an intelligent and high-spirited magician who isn't afraid to speak her mind. Although initially portrayed as superficial, Margo is highly rational, pragmatic, and observant.
These characteristics allowed her to ascend to power despite the limitations imposed on her because of her gender.
When an election was called to elect a new leader, she was forced to step aside when it was suggested that the new leader should be male.
However, the people of Fillory picked her as a write-in candidate, allowing Margo to assume the throne and take the title of High King of Fillory—and in the process prove just how well-suited she was to rule.
3. Queen Margaery Tyrell (Game of Thrones)
Margaery Tyrell, Queen Consort of the Seven Kingdoms, is one of the many queens featured in Game of Thrones.
An expert player of the titular game of thrones, Margaery used her beauty and intelligence to outsmart those around her—and became queen to three separate kings throughout the series.
Margaery was a political force to be reckoned with. She was an expert at reading and manipulating people, which allowed her to reach her ultimate goal of becoming Queen.
Unlike other players in the game, however, Margaery understood the importance of the common folk. She was loved by the common people for her likable personality and charitable efforts, which granted her certain political powers that her competitors lacked.
Unfortunately, she failed to realize just how ruthless Cersei Lannister was willing to be to get her out of her way, leading to her tragic demise. She might have died playing the game of thrones, but no one played the game quite like her.
2. Queen Regina Mills (Once Upon a Time)
Queen Regina Mills is one of the main characters of Once Upon a Time. Also known as the Evil Queen, Regina started off the series as the main antagonist of the story, but in the end, she managed to become one of the most beloved heroes of the show.
Regina's character development throughout the seven seasons of the show is second to none. At the beginning, she was a ruthless villain who trapped the inhabitants of the Enchanted Forest with a Dark Curse.
But after years of relationships forged and lessons learned, she managed to get elected as the Good Queen of the United Realms by the same people she once trapped. Her redemption arc is a highlight of the series.
1. Queen Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones)
Queen Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen is one of the main characters of Game of Thrones.
Also known as the Mother of Dragons, the Breaker of Chains, the Khaleesi of Great Grass Sea, and many titles more, Daenerys is one of the most powerful and accomplished players of the titular game of thrones.
Throughout eight seasons, she used her intelligence, determination, and idealism to abolish slavery, inspire legions of people, and amass an army larger than the world has ever seen.
At the height of her power, she commanded the Unsullied, the Dothraki, the Second Sons, the Greyjoy fleet, the armies of Dorne, the Reach, and the North, and she had three fully grown dragons.
She went from being an abused young girl to the most powerful person in the world—and in the process, she gave us some of the most iconic scenes in the history of television.
Daenerys was the Queen Westeros deserved. As Varys put it, she was a ruler loved by millions, with a powerful army and the right family name. Sure, she had a mean temper—but only with her enemies.
Prior to season eight, she never used her dragons or her armies to hurt innocents. On the contrary, she cared deeply about her people and was one of the few to use her power to help others, which earned her the title of Mhysa (Mother).
It's a shame the creators ruined her arc in the name of "subverting expectations," but at least we'll always have seven seasons of character development and iconic scenes that prove Daenerys to be the most badass fictional queen of television.