The Fall of Daenerys Targaryen – a Video Essay

Daenerys looking at throne

In my latest video essay, I look back over Daenerys Targaryen’s 8 season arc and break down why her tragic fall didn’t feel earned to me and how, in some glorious parallel universe where I was in the writer’s room, it might have been done differently.

So, what do you think? How do you feel about Daenerys Targaryen’s arc? Tell us below.

418 responses

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    1. I can’t even remember who now, but someone recently wrote an essay mentioning Aiden Gillen’s Mayor Carcetti from The Wire as the best example of how to do it right and I was super-excited because that’s exactly who I think of as well. His down-turn was disappointing because I loved him and wanted him to do right, but still satisfying to watch and worked perfectly in-universe. Win as an idealist, but then you make a thousand little compromises, no sudden shift, no dramatic Hitler moment, but before you know it and without even realizing it, you’ve become the very thing you sought to destroy. And he had plausible excuses for every step of the way, reasons why he had to do it to accomplish even more good that he never actually accomplishes.

      They arguable started to do this with Dany in Meereen, but after season five, when they’d basically abandoned the machinations and politics for nonstop all-out war, it wasn’t really in the cards any more. You can’t turn someone into a bad ruler if you don’t show people ruling at all any more. Show nothing but battles and war criminal is the only avenue you have.

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    2. I agree in general with the sentiments. A villain turn for the character this late given everything that character represented does come across as very cynical.

      Although, I do think there was more there regarding her inability to allow Westeros to choose and her need to be right than given credit for.

      When I first saw it I too interpreted her decision as something completely irrational.

      But i read some articles on people who snap like she did and there is actually a whole series of mental beliefs that buildup up in them before they snap. It is not a completely random thing. Generally the person is getting angrier and angrier about something until it all explodes.

      And we do see Dany’s anger build before this moment and a lot of it at the end of the day seems tied to feeling rejected not just by Jon but by Westeros, being unable to let go of her dream and sense of destiny of building a better world and so deciding to use fire and blood to get what she wants.

      She even elaborates an ideology that supports slaughtering innocents in 804 and 805 which she returns to in 806. Namely that these people did not revolt against Cersei and were responsible and more importantly that her mercy was being used against her and thus becoming a hindrance to her greater goals.

      So was it really irrational what she did given those beliefs? Burning KL to ensure no one would ever challenge her claim again and to ensure that no one would ever doubt her resolve or use mercy against her and stop her from building the world she wants to build seems like it was something she thought.

      So all in all I do think there is a greater throughline between MMD and The Bells than given credit for once I read how there is a whole thought process to go along with the emotional component involved when people snap.

      But overall agree on the general idea that its a deeply cynical story that is gross in the context of her being killed by her male lover as well as the poor execution.

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    3. A well thought and well written/produced video essay.

      I only wonder if trying to boil down a character for Hamartia as a single element seems a wrong approach for a story that is so strongly ‘shades of gray’.

      I didn’t see Dany as ‘mad’ at the show’s end. I saw it as a compilation of powerlust, identity crisis and on some odd level naivete (exactly how were Dothraki and Unsullied going to live in Westeros?).

      Those who shaped Dany’s identity, barring Jorah and Barristan, were less than good. I was never in camp Dany, and for the most part, always saw her arc and actions leading toward something that was truly Fire and Blood once she crossed the Narrow sea – it made sense to me. She was a conqueror obsessed with the Throne (ring), hence melting.

      Yes, the show depiction was the worst of shorthand, but I believe the overall major bullet point regarding our perception of a ‘turn’ for Dany will be part of the book ending. Were we kidding ourselves all along? Were Targaryens truly ‘mad’, or were they just Conqueror’s that utilized Fire and Blood to any ends they deemed necessary? Maybe it was never a good thing to be in admiration of those methods.

      I’m also not sure why this debate only goes toward Dany. Jon to me, is just as confused as she is/was about identity, purpose and use of power. He just had better mentors as is mentioned *several* times in the story. I actually expected Jon to go off a bit as well once learning the truth, but to me, it comes down for all of these characters to the foundation that shaped them.

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    4. TheFourEyedRaven:

      Those who shaped Dany’s identity, barringJorah and Barristan, were less than good.I was never in camp Dany, and for the most part, always saw her arc and actions leading toward something that was truly Fire and Blood once she crossed the Narrow sea – it made sense to me.She was a conqueror obsessed with the Throne (ring), hence melting.

      Yes, the show depiction was the worst of shorthand, but I believe the overall major bullet point regarding our perception of a ‘turn’ for Dany will be part of thebook ending.Were we kidding ourselves all along? Were Targaryens truly ‘mad’, or were they just Conqueror’s that utilized Fire and Blood to any ends they deemed necessary? Maybe it was never a good thing to be in admiration of those methods.

      There are many problems with Dany’s show characterization, and to be fair some of the changes make her turn less surprising than it would be in the books in my opinion. In the show she is more violent and quicker to use force to get what she wants. They also gave her advisors who she defers to quite often, and made her less politically savvy and diplomatic. In the books, her desire for power is continually linked to her need to help those who cannot protect themselves, not power for power’s sake. She is much more clever and tactful as well, coming up with many brilliant strategies on her own and rejecting the terrible advice she is given. So I’m not sure how much you can attribute her fall (should it happen in the books) to failure of her mentors to rein her in or make her a better person.

      I think the biggest problem with the show is that there was never a concrete reason for why she did what she did. They try to frame it as madness, or grief and isolation, or frustrated anger, or just the ultimate ruthless tactic to get what she wants. I understand appreciating shades of gray, but the characterization was all over the place – the cast, crew, and fandom can’t even agree on what happened with her.

      I’m sure the book can get there in a more coherent way, but given how much Dany has suffered and sacrificed trying to be a good queen and to change oppressed people’s lives for the better, I completely agree with Petra that this ending is cynical and disheartening no matter how it happens.

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    5. Thanks so much Petra. I love your Ironborn alternate plot idea.

      I agree with you on your points. I wrote in other posts that I had a problem with explaining Dany’s actions with the idea that she want “crazy”. I won’t write my whole post again, but I agree that angry is not the same as saying she’s crazy. I thought she made the decision to rule by fear. It wasn’t because of a mental health issue. It was actually calculated that she had to make a terrifying lethal statement. In her mind, the next generation can receive mercy, but now people needed to fear her in order for her to rule. She decided that she could not rule by love. I didn’t see her “snapping”. She never agreed to Tyrian’s “Bells” request. She listened to him but never even nodded in partial agreement. I saw her as planning to do maximum damage to cement her rule by fear.

      I do agree with you that this is really a different Dany from the other seasons. If only the North would have been more welcoming and Jon would have embraced his true Targ (and been OK with dating his aunt), then Dany wouldn’t have felt so isolated and could have ruled by Love… I think that’s what D&D were going for, but I didn’t find it believable that the North not welcoming her would have made that much difference to her. I also didn’t think that Jon rejecting her would have made that much difference to the old Dany either. Just remember her speech with Tyrion about that she just wanted to “get on with it” when she had to tell Daario she was leaving him, and he was staying in Meereen. . I saw her making “decisions” throughout as you said, such as burning the Tarlys. Some were not great decisions. I can think of the burning of KL as a decision (as I wrote above), but I agree that it was a leap too far for her character.

      Thanks again for your essay.

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    6. Dany was a visionary killed by the idiots (Jon and Tyrion) around her.
      “The world we need can’t be built by men loyal to the world we have” – That’s basically the definition of insanity. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
      “It’s not easy to see something that’s never been before”. Jon did see that the Wildlings and the Night’s Watch must fight together. That had never been before. The idiots at Castle Black thought otherwise and killed him. Tough, looking from Olli’s perspective, how can he allow an alliance with the ones that massacred his family. So with heavy heart, he stabbed Jon.
      I think what we saw in Kings Landing with Dany is from “Olli’s” POV.
      I personally wait for Dany’s point of view in the books.

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    7. I agree that Dany’s arc is imperfectly handled, and that there was a definite need for better framing of her decision to sack King’s Landing–but I think you’re under-examining the buildup to that decision, which essentially does a lot of what you talk about wanting it to do in the second half of this essay. Dany has a powerful sense of her own righteousness, and what we see her doing in this season is doubling down on that at every turn. The more it’s threatened, by Jon’s parentage, Sansa’s intransigence, and the brutal deaths of the people she loves and who died following her, the more she doubles down.
      The decision to torch the city is portrayed as emotional–but that isn’t the same thing as irrational or crazy. I think the best analogy is actually Jon’s decision to charge Ramsey back in BoB, although that one was much better written. We know exactly what he chose and why, whereas they were trying so hard to protect the twist that they underwrote Dany’s decision. There are a number or rational reasons, from Dany’s perspective, to attack.
      You’re right in that the attack on the civilians feels too brutal, too fast. It makes it feel like a heel turn, even though it really isn’t. Like you said, Dany has been killing those she frames as her “enemies” brutally since Mirri Maz Durr. She’s killed people out of “necessity” since the Tarlys. Those who are her enemies deserve ugly deaths, and that definition has slowly expanded every year until it included entire cities.
      Look, Dany’s not any more “mad” in this season than Drogo was back in the first season. The closest she gets to being genuinely out of touch with reality is when she claims to have “liberated” KL, but even then when Jon points out that children are dead outside, she doesn’t deny it, she just claims it’s “necessary.” And if she’s thinking of conquering the world, the same argument for torching KL can be made as was made for nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki: kill X number of people now so you don’t have to kill XX number of people later.
      Basically, I think you’re isolating the two ideas that Dany is “mad,” as in emotional (like everyone else on the show) and a megalomaniac, and that she’s a colonial conqueror, when really they’re working together.

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    8. Another nice video essay, I agree with a lot of what you said and the Ironborn scenario is interesting because while I don’t think there’s ever a good reason for Dany to mass execute like that, if they’re still raping and raiding and doing all that stuff when Dany told Yara to cut it out, it falls more into what she’s done before — rather than just going off on a surrendered city.

      And I agree on the framing choices — before Season 8, the show framed Dany’s choices as triumphant — maybe with a few seeds of “Hmm…” sprinkled here and there but I don’t think it was enough. And yeah, Dany was right to be angry at things like her allies be obliterated. That’s not madness…

      But I still feel I will always have difficulty with this because Dany has never before gone after the innocent. I felt that was a defining trait of hers so Dany’s descent into villainy will never truly sit quite right with me. But maybe I was blind to a lot of it. Maybe I prioritized some lines (“The blood of my enemies, not the blood of innocents”) and scenes (Dany giving water to a crucified slave) over Dany stating she will burn cities to the ground and the Khal Drogo ‘Stallion that Mounts the World’ scene.

      As for the lover killing lover trope, maybe it’s an odd trope in general? I did feel the tragedy of it but even when it’s gender-flipped (BtVS’s Buffy kills Angel to save the world in nearly the same way and goes into self-exile; The 100’s Clarke kills Finn while hugging him to save her people from getting demolished by the grounders) — yeah.

      TheFourEyedRaven: I’m also not sure why this debate only goes toward Dany. Jon to me, is just as confused as she is/was about identity, purpose and use of power. He just had better mentors as is mentioned *several* times in the story. I actually expected Jon to go off a bit as well once learning the truth, but to me, it comes down for all of these characters to the foundation that shaped them.

      I totally agree that the foundations of these characters shaped them and they did face the same struggles. They are paralleled quite a bit. And you’re not wrong that Jon had many more better mentors.

      But I think a fundamental difference is that they’re different characters who utilize different methods. Dany is a conqueror, Jon is a negotiator. But they do have similar goals: they both want to make the world a better place but they go about it very differently and see themselves very differently.

      Dany doesn’t really doubt the rightness of her decisions and believes her decisions are the right ones for everyone, that her worldview is correct for everyone, and she believes she will save the world. Jon is in a near-constant state of doubt, questions what the right thing even is, doesn’t believe he is owed, and doesn’t believe he is special. He will absolutely enforce his authority as Lord Commander/king and expects his orders to be obeyed, 100%, but he doesn’t demand anyone to believe in his views or his morality, just that they carry out his orders.

      There are many, many parallels in the stories of Jon and Dany — they do face the same challenges but in different, sometimes opposite ways. They are both confused about a lot of the same things — yet, I don’t think purpose is a source of confusion for either of them. Jon’s purpose was made clear by the second season/book (to protect the realm). Dany felt her purpose was to bring justice to the world and reclaim her family’s throne.

      I think both do struggle with how to use their power when they get into positions of authority — but in different ways. Dany is trying to bring peace to the city of Meereen and spends much of book 5 (understandably) frustrated with the compromises she has to make for the sake of peace. She gets absolutely fed up with the moral injustices she has to grin and bear and ends up resolving herself to fire and blood, “dragons plant no trees.”

      In book 2, when Jon objects to the Night’s Watch overlooking Craster’s moral depravity, Jeor responds, “Your heart is noble, Jon, but learn a lesson here. We cannot set the world to rights. That is not our purpose. The Night’s Watch has other wars to fight,” and Jon agrees in this thoughts, “Other wars. Yes. I must remember.” But when Jon gets to book 5, he… fails this, he is conflicted over how to use his power and ends up doing two opposite things at once: he does everything he can think of to prepare the realm against the Others but he also uses his power to help individuals in danger (Stannis, Arya, Alys) — severely compromising both the Night’s Watch neutrality and everything he’s done to prepare the realm for defense against the Others. And this directly leads to Jon’s downfall in which he publicly throws the Night’s Watch neutrality out the window and resolves to take out a monster himself — even though he knows how badly this will be viewed — getting himself shanked.

      So I don’t think the same debate applies to both Dany and Jon because while their stories are closely paralleled, they are different characters, they both want to do what’s right but go about it differently, and use different methods.

      Adam Feldman wrote great essays analysing the arcs of Dany and Jon (and Tyrion and Dorne) that speak to a lot of this. I do think Jon being brought up in a more stable environment and with Ned Stark as his father gave Jon better tools from the beginning. Dany had no such luck, she grew up in far more difficult circumstances than Jon. Jon did face terrible stigma over things that weren’t his fault but he knew the love of a family, Dany had the title but she never knew the love of a family — or her family. Had Dany grown up in the circumstances that Jon did, maybe she would have had better tools from the outset?

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    9. Loved every second of Dany’s arc from start to finish. I did not think her going mad was rushed and it was an amazing season and finale. The Dany stans on twitter are out in full force and seemed to have turned mad as well. The majority of them attack me and anyone else who enjoyed Dany’s arc and this season. They are honestly the most aggressive and worst stans I have ever encountered. Thank you David and Dan for a marvelous 8 seasons.

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    10. Iul,

      I don’t think conquering the world via fire and blood to unite them all under her sole power with herself being the only one who decides what’s good is… visionary 🙂 It’s really more of the same– it’s (I hate to say it because I’m still grieving over Dark Dany) continuing the same system as before. An oppressive regime dependent on fear — submit or die.

      But I am interested in Dany’s POV on this if we ever see the books again.

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    11. If you think some plot point is cynical you can’t judge it objectively IMO.

      Support that Daenerys had in the story and in the fandom shows why tyrants in real world have support. Endless chain of excuses and victim blaming.

      She killed Hidzdar’s innocent father and forced him to marry her. Only one example.

      She smiled when Drogo promised her rapes and killings in Westeros.

      Drogo was a monster and she killed a woman that stoped him and tried to save millions.

      She was always unstable person and people find excuses for her becase she is charismatic. Just like with every other dictator in real world.

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    12. Adrianacandle,

      Let’s ask the people in Essos. Maybe they can give us an indication on how their world was before and after Dany.
      I know, we can’t ask the people of Kings Landing. But let’s ask Jon and Tyrion ’cause, after Dany being “the biggest threat to the people” she became, in only a few weeks, “it doesn’t feel right; ask me again in 10 years”.
      And yes Jon Snow, I defend Dany much more than you, although she saved your life many times. I would have definitely asked Dany why did she burn the city after the armies surrendered? The children she burned weren’t a weapon used against her anymore. She had managed to win the battle by burning all the scorpions and killing only soldiers. And yes Jon, you should never kill the one who saved your life. No matter what! It should not be you the one that does it, even if it needs to be done.

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    13. Thank you for a great essay, Petra.

      Just like you, I have never been particularly invested in Dany’s character. To me, she was a cartoonish hero operating in a cartoonish environment and fighting against cartoonish villains, but I was pretty much OK with that. I saw her as an archetypical helper-maid and her Essosi story as a filler which served the only purpose: she had to amass forces in order to the hero’s aid when required. Again, I was pretty much OK with that.

      What we saw later was intended as a helper-maid going rogue, in other words, they tried to shoehorn Dany into the Medea trope. However, the proper execution of the Medea trope requires the hero to wrong the helper-maid in a big way. And in this case, the hero Jon-Aegon was built so, that he couldn’t wrong Dany under any circumstances. He was just too loyal. Therefore, the showrunners had to force and bend every storyline they had to wrong the helper-maid somehow, and that resulted in the destruction of every single character they had: the Starks were turned into a band of jackals, the Lannisters into idiots, etc.

      The worst thing happened to Dany: it was implied that she went crazy over losing Jon as a sex partner, which is not only ridiculous but also offensive. I mean love is not only about sex, right?

      So, all in all, D&D presented themselves as a pair misogynist idiots (I’ve never thought I call anyone that, they deserve it), and worse of all I’m afraid GRRM will have the same problem because the idea is clearly his and there’s no way to make this twist even believable. Jon having problems with incest just rings false, because avunculate marriages have never been a taboo.

      So, my main question now is why: why would anyone in a sane state of mind come up with such a nonsensical and completely unnecessary twist? It’s not like the story was short of drama or suspense. Quite on the contrary: introducing Dany as a new villain destroyed the entire Cersei’s plot and what was left of the story as a whole. So, IDK what to think of GRRM: he is clearly a deconstructivist who simply hates heroes and the classical heroic myth. But to me, he also looks like a pretty malevolent sadist, who really finds pleasure in breaking the hearts of his readers. Sorry, if I’m too harsh but that’s how it looks: there’s no bigger truth or any other legit reason for destroying Dany’s character like that.

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    14. It’s the single most depressing and frustrating turn in the entire series .. any series for that matter.
      I’m so put off by it I don’t even know if I want to read the books anymore.. although book Dany is a lot more complex.

      Season 7 Dany did not match up with Season 8 post episode 3 Dany at all for me.

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    15. Iul,

      Essos isn’t Westeros though. The places Dany freed in Essos hailed Dany as a liberator while Westeros didn’t need (or want) Dany to save them. Slavery’s not a thing in Westeros.

      Westeros does have a feudal order but Dany’s plan of conquest is just as oppressive — only she gets to choose what’s good for everybody else, nobody else does, and if they don’t submit, they die. That’s a pretty scary world… so I wouldn’t call it visionary.

      Yes, Dany saved Jon’s life… but that doesn’t give Dany a free pass to go genocidal on King’s Landing — and intend on doing it more to the rest of the world in her quest to ‘liberate’ them (what does she need to liberate Winterfell from? Winterfell’s already under her rule). Jon did plead for Dany to change her path but Dany was resolved — she truly felt this was the right way to do things (I think Dany would fall under the Well-Intentioned Extremist trope), but she was instituting the very same system she sought to break (“They don’t get to choose.”) And I’m sure Jon would agree that he wished he wasn’t the one who had to kill her.

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    16. Iul,

      Essos isn’t Westeros though. The places Dany freed in Essos hailed Dany as a liberator while Westeros didn’t need (or want) Dany to save them. Slavery’s not a thing in Westeros. And Dany wasn’t proposing a purge by fire when she won those places in Essos 😉

      Westeros does have a feudal order, which isn’t a fair system of government, but Dany’s plan of conquest is just as oppressive — only she gets to choose what’s good for everybody else, nobody else does, and if they don’t submit, they die. That’s a pretty scary world… so I wouldn’t call it visionary.

      Yes, Dany saved Jon’s life… but that doesn’t give Dany a free pass to go genocidal on King’s Landing and to keep on doing it more to the rest of the world in her quest to ‘liberate’ them (what does she need to liberate Winterfell from? Winterfell’s already under her rule). Jon did plead for Dany to change her plan of action to allow for mercy, not kill all those who oppose her, ask about what other people want, but Dany was resolved — she truly felt this was the right way to do things (I think Dany would fall under the Well-Intentioned Extremist trope), but she was instituting the very same system she sought to break (“They don’t get to choose.”) I wish it wasn’t Jon who had to do it and I’m sure Jon wishes it wasn’t him either.

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    17. Inga,

      I’m not sure how exactly it’s an unnecessary or illogical twist, you may argue about the execution but to say there haven’t been any type of foreshadowing for it it’s honestly just blatantly lying, i don’t think Martin or David and Dan had the intention to make her a villain just because, i also object to you calling them mysoginistic just because you don’t agree with a plot point, so i guess we are just going to ignore all the strong women that have been in the series so far and are still alive just because of one chatacter’s fate ?

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    18. i mean i understand that they try to go with the
      “those who deserves power are the ones who doesnt seek it”

      but most of the time,in real life, “go after what you want , fight as much as you can and you will achieve it” is more logical.

      thats what i hoped from Daenerys arc.
      i know, maybe i didnt pay atenttion to the whole show. i think its just sad that literally everyone who goes after the throne is dead.

      no one come to it with good intention and its just sucks. its almost like this show have no good moral story in chasing your dream. (except if its about revenge)

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    19. Adrianacandle,

      You did not pay attention to some things.
      Dany united the Dothraki.
      Dany abolished slavery in what used to be Slaver’s bay.
      And in Winterfell she crucially helped, with huge costs to her, solve another type of a problem. Basically, she focused on the biggest problem of Westeros leaving aside everything else. The problems were of different types.
      Along the way, she saved especially Jon’s life many times.
      It was not only her that knew what is good. Jon did to, in her words: “you do, you’ve always known”. – No longer “you know nothing” :D.
      Jon doesn’t know Valyrian, so he had no idea what Dany said in her speech. Tyrion’s Valyrian is rubbish also. See episode 5…
      Jon should not have killed her! He was influenced by assumptions. And we know that with George Martin, things are never what they seem. See Robert’s Rebellion, Rhaegar and Lyana, The War of the 5 Kings, Tyrion’s trial, Jon’s execution and dare I say, Dany’s execution.

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    20. Jack Nabble,

      I haven’t seen any strong women in the series: I don’t consider female characters empowered through violence as “strong”, but that’s another issue. Every single female character was destroyed: Sansa was turned into a selfish schemer and oathbreaker, Arya into a bitch who uses her social status to break the hearts of low-born boys, Brienne was f**ked in every sense, etc. OK, male characters were destroyed, as well. So, maybe the writers are not misogynists: they hate everyone equally, LOL.

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    21. Jack Nabble,

      As for “foreshadowing”, Tyrion was “foreshadowed” to kill Cersei: he talked about that so many times, even in Ep 802, and he had a good reason. Instead, he ended up trying to arrange Cersei’s escape. Where is the logic, LOL?

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    22. Iul,

      I know what you’re referencing but my point remains the system Dany wants to implement is just as oppressive and absolutist as the one she sought to destroy. One sole ruler, one who decides what is good, and one who will force people into compliance or they’ll become part of the purge.

      :Dany united the Dothraki.
      Dany abolished slavery in what used to be Slaver’s bay.

      Yeah, she did and she did some incredible things in Essos for slavery and liberation — The slaves and common people Essos needed her in this way. But again, Essos is not Westeros. There’s no slavery in Westeros. They didn’t have the same need for Dany in Westeros.

      And in Winterfell she crucially helped, with huge costs to her, solve another type of a problem. Basically, she focused on the biggest problem of Westeros leaving aside everything else.

      Absolutely, and Dany did a good thing there. Yet, this is her war too and the North is now her kingdom. Moreoever, it doesn’t give Dany a pass to do what she did and what she was planning to do to the rest of the world (the newly defined ‘liberate’).

      It was not only her that knew what is good. Jon did to, in her words: “you do, you’ve always known”. – No longer “you know nothing” :D.

      That was very sweet, somebody finally telling Jon he might know something 😉 And I do think Dany really loved Jon. But Dany still didn’t accept what he said about Tyrion or his pleas for her to show mercy so I’m not sure what say Jon would end up having in her new world.

      Along the way, she saved especially Jon’s life many times.

      She saved his group during the wight hunt in 706 and saved Jon from wights in 803, totally 100% and she was very good to do that! And Jon gave her a kingdom and followed through on his pledge to help her take the Iron Throne — but in a battle scenario, not in a massacre civilians after they’ve surrendered scenario. But again, none of this is a pass for genocide or continuing to conquer the rest of the world by fire or blood to unite under her sole rule with her as the only one who gets to make choices for everyone. She’s not breaking the wheel, she’s becoming the wheel all by herself.

      Jon doesn’t know Valyrian, so he had no idea what Dany said in her speech.

      I think ‘Winterfell’ and ‘Vinterfell’ are similar enough to give Jon a bit of pause during Dany’s “Blood alone moves the wheels of history!!” speech 😉 But no, he couldn’t understand what was being said.

      While Tyrion’s Valyrian is shit, it was enough to understand that Dany wasn’t done, she would continue to ‘liberate’ in the way she ‘liberated’ the charred people of King’s Landing from Cersei, and wasn’t wrong that Dany would do whatever needed to be done to achieve her utopia — which isn’t a world that much different from the world before, only that it would be achieved with much more death from above.

      Dany did defend her actions to Jon as necessary and refused notions of mercy. She showed no remorse for her actions and was certain this is how they get to a new world. Based on this and Dany’s speech, I’m not sure what assumptions Tyrion was making here? We know from her speech that she intended to continue on with ‘liberation’ (like how she ‘liberated’ King’s Landing), even in places with no slavery and didn’t need liberation — and only to be united under another absolutist ruler.

      So I don’t see how the system Dany was wanting to institute in 806 is any different from the system under Cersei and all the oppressive rulers that came before.

      I always thought that Dany would be more like she was in Meereen — making efforts to win the people’s approval with compromise and trying to understand them instead of forcing them to comply via fear of death and fire. But Dany’s Meereen rule wasn’t what she stated was the plan in 806. And well, Jon can’t just let Dany burn the world…

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    23. Petra, I can’t watch just now but once I can watch a video I’m going to look into your video. I’m very excited for it.

      Adam,

      I agree, as much as I liked and expected this ending for Dany, the build-up from previous seasons is not done right. Dany should have been where she was at the beginning of season 8 already at the end of season 6. And where she was at the beginning of 8×04 should have been where she was mentally at the end of season 7.

      mau,

      I agree with you, dictators always have big support because the dictator is freeing them from the ones oppressing them before, which after the dictator are the one being oppressed. Sometimes it’s a literal oppression (like in slaver’s bay) or sometimes it’s blaming a group for the mess you as a people are in. (like what is happening a lot lately). And after a while everyone fear the leader.

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    24. Iul,

      quoting Stannis: A good act does not wash out the bad, nor a bad act the good. Each should have its own reward.

      Dany should get praise for her time in Mereen. But she also should get the reward she deserve for killing half a million of people in a single day. Death is the reward she deserve, or facing a cell for her whole life (the later option couldn’t be given to her).

      Just before she stated she is going to liberate the whole world the way she liberated KL, by burning the non-believers in her cause. In my eyes Jon did right, yes she saved him, yes he loves her, but that horror shouldn’t be happening twice in another city.

      Inga,

      I agree with you that they destroyed Cersei’s character a bit with it. I loved that end scene but maybe it would have been better if she would have stayed strong and face death the old Cersei way. But there was one problem, she was pregnant. Which I think should have been omitted. Yes Jaime wouldn’t probably have gone back to Cersei but why not let him die trying to save the people of KL instead of going after a pregnant Cersei. Or let everything the same with Cersei and Jaime, the pregnancy but instead of letting them both die in episode 5, they should at least let Cersei survive. Let Dany execute a pregnant woman, I think that would have made it more clear how far Dany was willing to go. And after that execution Tyrion could throw the pin towards Dany.

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    25. Adrianacandle,

      But calling Dany oppressive is not exactly right. We don’t know much about how he ruled the Slavers Bay, but still, in Astapor she established some council which then was overthrown, in Meereen she arranged that people could “choose their own leaders”. That’s basically the same what democratic NATO countries do in our world and if someone calls it oppressive, well… it’s definitely the worst type of oppression one can get.

      And when it comes to Westeros, one should remember that until very recently conquest was perfectly legit. It was called “ius bellum” and it was pretty fair: everyone was entitled to conquest and everyone was entitled to a defense. So, it’s pretty hypocritical to demand that Dany adheres to the norms of our modern world, especially considering that our modern world still tolerates conquerers and continuously seeks to “reset” relations with them.

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    26. Inga,

      I’m not calling her rule in Essos or Meereen oppressive, I’m calling what she wanted to do in 806 oppressive.

      Yes, conquest in the Westerosi world is absolutely legit but Dany already won King’s Landing by the time she decided to burn its populace, there was no need to do what she did.

      I don’t think I’m trying to hold Dany to modern standards (democracy would take a LONG time to implement) but I am trying to hold Dany to her own words pre-805. Dany, herself, was saying she wanted to free the world from tyrants and break the wheel to free people from oppression but what Dany wanted to do in 806 doesn’t follow this line of thought at all because Dany, herself, is becoming the tyrant. She is the only power, nobody else gets to choose, she will take lands whether or not the people want her. I mean, this isn’t breaking the wheel or freeing the people from oppression, they’ll still be oppressed. Under her system, they still don’t have a voice or have people representing their voice — only Dany has the voice. And if they oppose her, they’ll get crushed.

      Which is pretty opposite to what Dany wanted to do before.

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    27. I love that someone who was acting completely entitled basically the whole series finally got what was coming to her. It sucks they didn’t take the time to flesh out the ending properly, but in the end, it’s just a TV show.

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    28. Adrianacandle,

      Many of you are making the mistake of taking the global view of the events. Focus on what Jon knew, on what Tyrion knew, on their own point of views.
      Dany said there will be a world of mercy. She said that we can’t hide behind small mercies, taking about Tyrion’s continuous fails and betrayals as her hand. She never had any intention of killing Tyrion! Pay attention! She never ordered Grey Worm to kill Tyrion. That is why Tyrion is alive later in the episode. She never would have ordered Tyrion’s death. It was just Tyrion’s assumption that she would. If she wanted someone dead, “Dracarys”. She even killed that bold guy in Meereen, although all the people shouted not to. What she did to Tyrion and to Jaime was applying Tyrion’s advice from before burning the Tarlys. “Nothing scrubs bold notions from a man’s head than a few weeks in a dark cell”.
      Dany also said that “the world we need can’t be built by men loyal to the world we had”. She’s taking about Tyrion. That’s also the definition of insanity.
      Like I said before, George is the master of false history. We had 6 seasons of Jon being a basterd and Ned being unfaithful. It had to be true. Only… It was not!
      Now, for sure Dany was a tiran that would have burned and liberated the whole world. Only that is against everything we know of her (like it was in the case of Ned Stark – being unfaithful was not his way). “It doesn’t feel right”. That would also be masterful writing; having the same ending, but presented in the show from Tyrion and Jon’s POV, and in the books from Dany’s POV.
      The clues are there that Dany was not a tiran and that she would not have liberated the world by burning it. Just like the clues were there that Ned Stark made a conscious sacrifice. I am certain Dany also made a conscious sacrifice, (“she took a knife in the heart for her people”). I wait now for Dany’s POV in the books to confirm what I already know.

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    29. Inga,

      I see you’re trying to paint your bizarre evaluations of the characters as a factual thing, i think i’m done here, there is no point arguing with someone like this, the moment i read they turned Arya into a bitch because she turned down Gendry, completely ignoring blatant character arc and motivations, i stopped wasting my time with the rest of it because it’s most likely just as garbage anyway. If you actually have reasonable and competent arguments i will be happy to continue debating but i doubt it .

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    30. Iul,

      It would also be a bit naive of us to think that George did not keep at least a huge reveal for his books. The one I described above would definitely be worthy.

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    31. Iul: Many of you are making the mistake of taking the global view of the events.

      I’m not sure what you mean here? I’m going off of what the show has depicted, the character’s dialogues, and only that.

      Focus on what Jon knew, on what Tyrion knew, on their own point of views.

      Tyrion understood Dany’s speech to the point where he described it and I can’t see any of what he said that contradicted Dany’s speech or her words to Jon afterward. As for Jon, Dany made her intentions clear to him. She felt all of her actions were necessary to build her new world, justified the needless burning of civilians, and rejected showing mercy to Tyrion and the prisoners of King’s Landing. As to what other people think of her rule, “They don’t get to choose.”

      Dany said there will be a world of mercy. She said that we can’t hide behind small mercies, taking about Tyrion’s continuous fails and betrayals as her hand.

      After all the death and ‘liberation’, after showing no mercy, after doing what Dany feels is “necessary”, as she thought burning a surrendered King’s Landing was “necessary” in which she “liberated” the people by killing them, after there is nobody left to disagree with her. I mean, that was my impression…

      As for, “we can’t hide behind small mercies” — well, that’s not exactly a small mercy. It’s sparing people’s lives. Jon was also referring to sparing the Lannister soldiers who surrendered themselves to Dany, even before the bells rang. They dropped their swords before the bells rang. Mercy would have been a pretty powerful thing here.

      She never had any intention of killing Tyrion! Pay attention! She never ordered Grey Worm to kill Tyrion. That is why Tyrion is alive later in the episode. She never would have ordered Tyrion’s death. It was just Tyrion’s assumption that she would.

      I don’t know about that ^^;;; And Tyrion was in prison, awaiting his fate… Dany herself says she doesn’t keep prisoners.

      Dany also said that “the world we need can’t be built by men loyal to the world we had”. She’s taking about Tyrion. That’s also the definition of insanity.

      But Dany isn’t doing anything different with the world except that she’ll be the one to rule it and she’ll be the only one to make choices. But this is the same system as before — one power, one to decide what is good and right (“one ring to rule them all…” ;D), and she stated an intention to “liberate” the rest of the world as she did King’s Landing. This doesn’t seem different than what came before. I’m struggling to see the “new” or “better” in this.

      As for Tyrion, Tyrion seemed pretty open to Dany’s rule before Dany went and massacred a city full of people. He was opposed to the killing civilians, which I think is reasonable but Tyrion believed in Dany’s vision before Dany went dark.

      That said, in retrospect, maybe it would have been the best if Dany just went and took the Red Keep in 704. Cersei didn’t have her meat shield yet and maybe Drogon could just poke his head into Cersei’s favourite wine drinking window and snap her up 😉 But, really, perhaps Dany could have given a 24-hour warning for civilians of the Red Keep to pack up and get to the outer parts of the city before attack. Especially considering the beginning of the battle in 805, there appeared to be a way to take the city with minimal casualties.

      Now, for sure Dany was a tiran that would have burned and liberated the whole world. Only that is against everything we know of her (like it was in the case of Ned Stark – being unfaithful was not his way). “It doesn’t feel right”. That would also be masterful writing; having the same ending, but presented in the show from Tyrion and Jon’s POV, and in the books from Dany’s POV.

      I do agree 806 Dany didn’t sound like the Dany of before but as for another twist, her speech being “not what it seems,” this is the end of the show. Any twist they may have been preparing was not shown or indicated. Dany herself stated her plans clearly and plainly. Nothing Dany did contradicted any of Tyrion’s words. The reason Jon (and Tyrion) felt killing Dany wasn’t right because Jon loved Dany and Dany loved Jon, it will never feel right. Killing somebody at all should never feel right, especially a loved one and somebody you believed in. And the same with Tyrion, who really truly believed in Dany’s vision before the massacre of KL.

      So I don’t think there was anything more to this twist. We got the twist. Unfortunately, it was Dany goes Dark. I don’t think there was a third one on top of that or we’d be in for Daenerys Inception — which would be cool, but it’s the end of the show. I don’t think that’s what they were going for.

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    32. I fall firmly in the “Dany had an undeserved and unfulfilling end” camp. And it was so unearned, so tangential and so rushed that it resulted in me not giving a crap about what happened next, and to those other characters like Cersei and Jaime who were similarly cheated.

      But the more I reflect the more it’s clear to me that Dany wasn’t mad. Her acts weren’t a culmination of her grief and her anger.

      She was driven by her bloodlust for the Iron Throne and her sense of entitlement to rule Westeros according to her worldview and standards. All because since season 1 she had been groomed by everyone (chiefly herself) to believe that it was her right and her destiny. It was neither. Recall Daarios advice about Queens and butchers- there are many other examples.

      We need to remember that whilst she was a largely benevolent and likeable character, one that most (myself included) rooted for, she also had a dark side, with pretty horrifying impulses. She burned those that got in her way, who didn’t agree with her worldview and (finally) who stood in the way of her getting what she was seemingly entitled to. She’s not insane, or grief stricken in the finale because the innocent citizens weren’t innocent in her eyes. Just like the slave soldiers on the Yunkaii boats and most of the Lannister army who were merely following orders in S7. They were (horrifying) collateral damage.

      GRRM has often talked about the fact that his characters are rarely pure evil or divinely good. But often good people do bad (very bad) things and vice versa. This is simply a very extreme and overly rushed example of this conflict of human nature.

      Of course it will have much more time to unfold logically in the books- and we are already seeing signs in ADWD that she is running out of fucks to give. But the showrunners screwed up big time, and we all agree the season was rushed, which was the main reason these jarring plot lines simply didn’t work.

      A final point: I disagree about Jon not fulfilling his destiny. He killed his Nissa Nissa and forged lightbringer (Drogon) who destroyed the forces of darkness (symbolised by the Iron Throne). Just as Dany fulfilled her prophecy; she passed under the shadow at the end, to touch the light.

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    33. Apollo:
      But the more I reflect the more it’s clear to me that Dany wasn’t mad. Her acts weren’t a culmination of her grief and her anger.

      She was driven by her bloodlust for the Iron Throne and her sense of entitlement to rule Westeros according to her worldview and standards. All because since season 1 she had been groomed by everyone (chiefly herself) to believe that it was her right and her destiny. It was neither. Recall Daarios advice about Queens and butchers- there are many other examples.

      We need to remember that whilst she was a largely benevolent and likeable character, one that most (myself included) rooted for, she also had a dark side, with pretty horrifying impulses. She burned those that got in her way, who didn’t agree with her worldview and (finally) who stood in the way of her getting what she was seemingly entitled to. She’s not insane, or grief stricken in the finale because the innocent citizens weren’t innocent in her eyes. Just like the slave soldiers on the Yunkaii boats and most of the Lannister army who were merely following orders in S7. They were (horrifying) collateral damage.

      GRRM has often talked about the fact that his characters are rarely pure evil or divinely good. But often good people do bad (very bad) things and vice versa. This is simply a very extreme and overly rushed example of this conflict of human nature.

      Of course it will have much more time to unfold logically in the books- and we are already seeing signs in ADWD that she is running out of fucks to give.But the showrunners screwed up big time, and we all agree the season was rushed, which was the main reason these jarring plot lines simply didn’t work.

      A final point: I disagree about Jon not fulfilling his destiny. He killed his Nissa Nissa and forged lightbringer (Drogon) who destroyed the forces of darkness (symbolised by the Iron Throne).Just as Dany fulfilled her prophecy; she passed under the shadow at the end, to touch the light.

      Agree with this. I already had the feeling in season 3 that they were white-washing Dany too much and that it will bring problems later on. But how on earth couldn’t they do that. Dany was one of their characters that brought in the viewers with their teasers of her being the hero of the story. Having her much darker like in the books already in season 3 would probably have diminish the amount of viewers (and money), so they went for a more heroic character in the show, and I think they wanted to give us a twist a la red wedding, but I think it would have been better if it wouldn’t have been a twist but already an big option before season 8 started. Not the option I had, that I felt it was going there, but really that it was already 80% there. Not the 30/40% of 7×07 but already 80% in 7×07

      Didn’t think of that. Pretty smart interpretation of that prophecy.

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    34. kevin1989,

      Thanks! 😊 And as for the prophecy, I seem to recall another lightbringer legend:

      “Lightbringer was able to boil the blood of a monster when Azor Ahai thrust the sword through the belly of the beast. After steam poured from the beast’s mouth and its eyes melted, its body burst into flame”..

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    35. Im just sad that there is no do over.
      We will never bring this incredible cast and crew back to give this show the ending it deserved.

      Its clear to me now that Danys story really was meant to be the hear of The Game of Thrones, and not sticking the landing on her arc meant not sticking the landing on the show overall.

      Emilia did her best though in the end.

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    36. Brandon,

      Daenerys is no more entitled than any other noble in the series — her desire to reassume the throne of Westeros after her family was deposed is functionally no different from the Starks’ desire to resume control of the North after their family was deposed midway through the series. But the Starks’ war was framed entirely in heroic terms — no scenes of the Bolton footsoldiers showing them just as regular Joes, no discussion of civilians of what have you, no angsting about how mad Sansa was for delighting in seeing Ramsay torn apart by dogs, etc. It’s a complete double standard in the show’s presentation.

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    37. Inga,

      If u really think about it, Tyrion Lannister may have been the most utterly decimated character of all.
      It happened slowly, over seasons 6-8,
      but it was thorough and complete.

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    38. Jack Bauer 24:
      Loved every second of Dany’s arc from start to finish. I did not think her going mad was rushed and it was an amazing season and finale. The Dany stans on twitter are out in full force and seemed to have turned mad as well. The majority of them attack me and anyone else who enjoyed Dany’s arc and this season. They are honestly the most aggressive and worst stans I have ever encountered. Thank you David and Dan for a marvelous 8 seasons.

      Keep on keeping on, JB! Ignore the whingers coming out of the woodwork to attack you.

      I don’t know why people criticize Dany’s turn to the dark side as “rushed.” Her fire and blood instinct was right there in our faces at the beginning of S6e9, during the Masters’ bombardment of Mereen:

      Dany: “Shall we begin?”
      Tyrion: “Do we have a plan?”
      Dany: “I will crucify the Masters. I will set their fleets afire, kill every last one of their soldiers, and return their cities to the dirt. That is my plan. You don’t approve?”
      Tyrion: “You once told me you knew what your father was. Did you know his plans for King’s Landing when the Lannister armies were at his gates? Probably not. Well, he told my brother and Jaime told me. He had caches of wildfire hidden under the Red Keep, the Guildhalls, the Sept of Baelor, all the major thoroughfares. He would have burned every one of his citizens. The loyal ones and the traitors. Every man, woman, and child. That’s why Jaime killed him.”
      Dany: “This is entirely different.”
      Tyrion: “You’re talking about destroying cities.It’s not entirely different. I’d like to suggest an alternate approach.”

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    39. I already said this for another article:
      Danerys locked two people in a vault to slowly starve to death, she crucified innocent men, she fed an innocent man to her dragons, used fire as a means to execute people, just like her father, burned Dickon Tarly alive for no reason, Daario called her a conqueror instead of a ruler, and threatened to burn down Astapor and Yunkai as punishment for them attacking Mereen. And that’s not even including how she sacrificed one of her children to save the King in the North, yet the northerners were never grateful, only received fear from the people of Westeros rather than love, lost Jorah, Missandei, and Rhaegal, discovered the man who she loved had a better claim to the throne, Sansa attempting to usurp her, Varys’s betrayal, her declaring the people of King’s Landing not innocent. I mean, what more do you want?

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    40. Apollo:
      Of course it will have much more time to unfold logically in the books- and we are already seeing signs in ADWD that she is running out of fucks to give.But the showrunners screwed up big time, and we all agree the season was rushed, which was the main reason these jarring plot lines simply didn’t work.

      No, I didn’t find season 8 rushed at all. Season 8 was certainly faster paced than the previous seasons, so I understand why people think it was rushed, but it wasn’t. An example of a rushed storyline would be the Winterfell plot last season. It was rushed because it started in episode 4 and ended in episode 7. That wasn’t enough time to properly build it up and end. That’s why it was jarring when Arya and Sansa were hugging and reconciling in episode 4 and then were at each other’s throats in episode 5. Season 8, on the other hand, was able to avoid being rushed. There were only two storylines in season 8, the war against the dead and the war against Cersei. If either of these storylines had only just begun in season 8, if we’ve never even heard of a White Walker before they popped up, then it would have been rushed, but thankfully, that wasn’t the case. Both of these storylines had already been built up from previous seasons. All season 8 had to do was end it.

      As for Martin, you have a lot more faith in him than I do, especially after he screwed up AFFC and ADWD so badly. He’s lost the ability to write a compelling story and compelling characters and there is absolutely no guarantee he’ll be able to stick the landing. There is a little hope that Martin may turn his story around, but the odds are stacked against him.

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    41. Ten Bears,

      I agree completely. People seemed to have forgotten that Danerys threatened to massacre the cities of Astapor and Yunkai very similarly to how she massacred King’s Landing.

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    42. Honestly, George is full of it with the claim that his character are rarely all bad or all good. Between Joffrey, Ramsay, Gregor Clegane, Meryn Trant, Walder Frey, Craster, every ruler in Essos who isn’t Dany, he has plenty of purely bad characters with no obvious redeeming traits or reason to sympathize with them at all.

      What he doesn’t have is many purely good characters. Maybe just Brienne.

      Which belies how cynical he really is. He’s unwilling to write classic heroes because it feels too fantastic to him and not real enough, but he is all too happy to fill his world with cruel, malicious cartoon villains with little if any motivation aside from making other people suffer.

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    43. I went the opposite way with my feelings towards Dany than Petra did. Dany was actually one of my favourites from the get-go, but around season 5 she started to drop off, and I just couldn’t get behind her growing ego and entitlement. That isn’t to say I didn’t find her an interesting character, because I still do, but my attachment to her waned and I no longer found myself rooting for her.

      That being said, I do definitely sympathize with people who were really rooting for her and loved her character, because that must be hard to see her fall into villainy like that. I dunno.. for me it worked for the most part. Although I do like Petra’s claim that there could have been a stronger through-line in her arc that led to her destruction of King’s Landing (particularly her indifference towards killing all the innocent people). I think a stronger focus on Dany’s willingness to sacrifice innocent lives if they don’t bow to her cause throughout more of her arc might have made her eventual heel-turn a bit more believable for some..?

      Then again, there are surely many who would refuse to accept Dany-gone-bad under any circumstances (unless it was a very slow burn over the course of the series).

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    44. Thank you so much for this video Petra. I agree 100%.

      I particularly appreciate the degree you went into describing mental illness and how unfair anyone who claimed that “Dany obviously went mad” was treating those with actual mental illness. “Mad” is not a diagnosis! Aerys had schizophrenia or some type of psychosis/schizoaffective disorder. He was “mad”. What is Dany’s madness? Being angry? Having a temper tantrum? Having a warped sense of justice (some can say she was delusional, but her actions pointed much more toward naivety than psychotic delusions)?

      It just felt incredibly offensive to me coming from some experience in people with mental health issues.

      Anyway, that was my rant. I agree with your other points too.

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    45. Adrianacandle,

      Sure, from the moment Dany was turned into a Trotski in a skirt, she had to go: even Stalin wouldn’t argue with that, LOL. My problem is that there was no proper setup for her to turn into a Trotski in a skirt. First and foremost, communist ideas were absolutely alien to the environment the character was operating in: it was like equipping Dany with a machine gun along with dragons. Secondly, the show and even the books implied that she achieved abolition relatively peacefully, without turning the Slaver’s Bay into a bloodbath. In other words, she was established as a genius who managed to keep a slave revolt in control. Anyone who has ever been involved in a revolution (and I was) knows how hard it is. So, how can anyone who passed such an impossible test fail several episodes later and without any good reason? It’s like drowning an Olympic champion in swimming in a puddle: it’s an incredibly bad writing.
      And last but not the least: what was the very point of making Dany an abolitionist? As I have said, the concept was alien to the medieval setup, so the only reason I can see: it was a shortcut to establish Dany as a hero, especially for the American audience. And what was the point of establishing Dany as a hero, if they planned to turn her into a villain at the last moment? IDN, but pranking is the best thing that comes to mind. So, it’s not just bad writing, it’s a dishonest writing. It’s a blatant lie especially considering that GOT was marketed as an adult version of LOTR with a promise of a bittersweet ending and Aragorn’s tax policy. And I hate lies and that’s the fundamental point of my criticism.

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    46. I liked Daenerys’ arc until the penultimate episode. She had lost her most loyal friends. She was angry and envious. She wanted power. She wanted revenge. A villain, indeed, but not a madwoman. At least, not a complete lunatic like Aerys in his last days.

      While watching the episode ‘The Bells’ I had the impression that the decision of attacking the civilians was deliberated. Daenerys wanted to instill fear and to punish the people in King’s Landing for supposedly supporting Cersei.

      In the series finale, however, Daenerys was acting completely delusional and it seemed to me that her madness came out of nowhere. She had always been ruthless and cruel when punishing his enemies, but these two things are different from pure madness.

      I wouldn’t say the conclusion for her storyline was unsatisfying, although I definitely think it could have been better executed. Overall, I think the character lacked nuance and ambiguity in the final moments.

      Now, from my perspective as a viewer (considering that Game of Thrones is a fiction work and not real life):

      While Daenerys was in Essos, I had no problems when she was seeking revenge against those who wronged her or when she was punishing the slavers masters. Most of those characters weren’t portrayed as sympathetic. The story was being told according to Dany’s POV. The writers wanted us to team up with her and to care about her, even if we questioned some of her actions and motivations. This is similar to Michael Corleone decimating the other Four Families in the final act of The Godfather, or Arya fulfilling her revenge and executing the Freys a few episodes earlier.

      Later, after arriving in Westeros, Daenerys started to have conflicts with characters we cared about, like Jaime, Bronn, and even the Tarlys. As well as the enemies she had in Essos, none of this people were completely bad or good, but we followed their POVs and we knew their struggles. Dany didn’t become a darker character in the last two seasons, but the context changed and their enemies became sympathetic to us. This is similar to Michael killing Fredo in The Godfather II, or Tyrion killing his own father and Shae in season 4 finale.

      At the end, Dany was a villain who also happened to have military power (the Unsullied and the Dothraki) and weapons of mass destruction (the dragons). However, she wasn’t worse than Cersei or Arya or Tyrion. The difference is that she had more power and resources.

      Finally, I can buy the idea of Dany being the (pen)ultimate villain of the show. What I can’t buy is Tyrion, who was Daenerys’ main advisor and who sacrificed Varys one episode earlier, acting as the moral compass of the show in the finale. If the intention was to depict him as a hypocrite, it worked. If the intention was to depict him as a good guy, it failed.

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    47. I finally had a chance to watch. Thank you so much, Petra. Beautifully done. You’ve given me lots to think about and sleep on.

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    48. Adrianacandle,

      I really enjoy this you know…
      “They don’t get to chose” are the same words Jon said to Tyrion when the discussion was about Sansa, that she doesn’t want Dany to be queen; Jon: “She doesn’t get to choose”.

      Tyrion was in prison awaiting his fate. Dany never keeps prisoners.
      Tyrion thinks he is on death row. But he is wrong, again. Just as he was in the past 2 seasons. And he is not wrong only about that, he is also wrong in his interpretation of Dany’s speech. Dany never keeps prisoners. So why is Tyrion in prison ? Because he advised her too in season 7 episode 5: “nothing scrubs bold notions from a man’s head like a few weeks in a dark cell”.
      And the bold notions were scrubbed! Dany, in Tyrion’s eyes, after a few weeks in a dark cell, changed from “the biggest threat to the people now” to “ask me again in 10 years” if murdering her was right.
      It’s just like when you kill the Night King and after a few weeks, well…ask me again in 10 years if killing him was right. If Dany was the biggest threat to the people, why is there a doubt (in Tyrion’s head) that killing her was right ? There is no doubt about killing the Night King, is it ? It’s because she was not the biggest threat!
      It is so obvious!
      The show is telling us that there is more to it than what we saw on the surface.

      As for the failure of the new Westeros arrangement, that is even more obvious.
      Sansa got to rule the North by perfectly applying Littlefinger’s “chaos is a ladder policy”.
      Tyrion wrongly decides that the problem in Westeros was family succession for the throne. Very wrong Tyrion!
      There were so many kings that did not become kings because they were the rightful heirs, but because they had the biggest military power. Recently, see only Robert Baratheon and later, Renly Baratheon who was not the heir, but had the armies to be king.
      So the problem is that the power is all in one place and for life, and those who don’t agree with it and have military power, start wars to get it.

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    49. Apollo,

      Of course it will have much more time to unfold logically in the books- and we are already seeing signs in ADWD that she is running out of fucks to give.But the showrunners screwed up big time, and we all agree the season was rushed, which was the main reason these jarring plot lines simply didn’t work.

      I really dislike that current tendency in the fandom to state some things as fact which are not facts.

      I know a lot of people, including me, who did not find the season rushed, who did not have a problem with the pacing or with Dany’s arc and so on.

      But a lot of these people are not as active in the internet GoT fandom. Or they were, like me, but are so annoyed by the ongoing repeating of the same arguments (rushed, illogical, bad writing…) that they are no longer participating in the fandom as much as before.

      And there is another tendency in the fandom which I find quite strange and puts me off to stay in that fandom and wording my positive impression of season 8:
      After the last episode a lot of people in another forum were quite ok with the end but after watching and reading all the heated articles, “reviews” and watching the angry videos what went wrong with this season or could have been better they started to hate the season. It happened within days and was really fascinating but also worrying.

      And this has now started also at WatchersontheWall, shortly after end of season 8 the comments were quite balanced and a lot of people were fine with the end or Dany’s arc or the pacing or they had only minor quibbles but appreciated the overall season. Now the comments are getting more negative and repetitive and less people who liked the season are writing here than some weeks ago.

      That is sad because there will be the impression that everyone “agrees” in the end that the season was rushed, bad written, illogical and so on. But that does not mean that that is the reality, the people who did not have a problem with these points, will have just moved on or will find it to tiring to argue about that again and again.

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    50. Inga:
      And last but not the least: what was the very point of making Dany an abolitionist? As I have said, the concept was alien to the medieval setup, so the only reason I can see: it was a shortcut to establish Dany as a hero, especially for the American audience. And what was the point of establishing Dany as a hero, if they planned to turn her into a villain at the last moment? IDN, but pranking is the best thing that comes to mind. So, it’s not just bad writing, it’s a dishonest writing. It’s a blatant lie especially considering that GOT was marketed as an adult version of LOTR with a promise of a bittersweet ending and Aragorn’s tax policy. And I hate lies and that’s the fundamental point of my criticism.

      I definitely feel like there’s a lot of bait-and-switching in George’s writing, and after a while, it gets to be a bit much. It’s why I totally stopped watching something like Orphan Black by the final season.

      But the final point really bugs me right now and is going to if this is really the end we get, no matter how better executed it is. Even if the plot developments feel much more organic rather than forced in the books, we get promised for decades a story where we explore what heroes are supposed to do after they fight the big battles and everything calms down and they just have to rule, and instead one of our heroes gets exiled and the other get killed and we end up with an all-knowing wizard god on the throne. That isn’t answering what Aragorn’s tax policy is. It’s just evading the question. Taking humans out of the equation and putting an all-knowing magical being on the throne is not an option that can inform real-world issues.

      It’s hardly exploring the question to just send Aragorn back north to become a ranger again and making Gandalf king instead.

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    51. Pointy End:

      I particularly appreciate the degree you went into describing mental illness and how unfair anyone who claimed that “Dany obviously went mad” was treating those with actual mental illness. “Mad” is not a diagnosis! Aerys had schizophrenia or some type of psychosis/schizoaffective disorder. He was “mad”. What is Dany’s madness? Being angry? Having a temper tantrum? Having a warped sense of justice (some can say she was delusional, but her actions pointed much more toward naivety than psychotic delusions)?

      I don’t think it’s fair to put that on viewers. The show was clearly trying to depict her as mad. From the isolation and wild hair to the fact that she quite literally burns them all, we were meant to think of Aerys. And having her stand on the steps of a ruined castle, an entire city burned to the ground with near a million corpses littering the streets, ash falling from the sky, congratulating herself on liberating all of those corpses and announcing she wants to do the same to the rest of the world, that looks an awful lot like psychotic delusion, putting aside that they quite intentionally shot it to look like Hitler in Triump of the Will.

      I could almost be talked into the “this was a calculate Hiroshima-like military decision” camp before the finale happened, but Truman didn’t climb the steps of Hiroshima city hall the next day hailing himself for all the good he did for Hiroshima.

      And the scenes with Jon. Starting with Jon refusing to have sex with her being the final straw is bad enough, but then her last moments are spent begging him to take her back while refusing to acknowledge or seemingly not even realizing how much destruction she actually caused. Granted, that makes her look less mentally ill and more like someone gave the nuclear codes to a 12 year-old who doesn’t understand the difference between war and a video game.

      But that isn’t what happened. This wasn’t a drone operator pushing a button from another continent. Dragons don’t kill at a distance. She spent hours combing every single street with a giant flamethrower, setting crowds of screaming women and children on fire, deliberating targeting them and perfectly able to see what she is doing as these people would only have been maybe a hundred feet from her as they melted in agony. So why the look of “What me? What did I do?” When Jon walks into the throne room trying to get an explanation out of her, any excuse to go on supporting her?

      This is maybe the principal failure of the entire Daenerys arc, that it will never be clear why she even did it, what she was thinking. The writers, director, actress, and viewers don’t even seem to be on the same page. We don’t see this with other atrocities. We know exactly why Tywin put King’s Landing to the sword. We can have an honest discussion about the merits and evils of doing so because we know exactly what he wanted to achieve, exactly what he did achieve, and exactly the cost. And he knew those things, too.

      Compare her arc with Stannis. Every step of the way, every horrible decision he makes, every sacrifice of morality he makes in his attempt to take the throne, we see one side of the argument made by Davos and the other made by Melisandre, and we see Stannis grapple with it and come to a decision. We know why he does what he does and so does he. To the very end, he is perfectly clear-eyed about what he did, why he did it, and why he felt it was necessary. And he wasn’t wrong about the stakes. The Army of the Dead was coming and every single person in Westeros would have died if the land was run by the Boltons and Lannisters when it happened. He was only wrong that he would be the one to stop it.

      It would have been nice to get that with Daenerys and the only reason I can think we didn’t is because the writers at the end prioritized shock over all else. They had to preserve the surprise, keep us thinking that maybe she’ll actually take the city bloodlessly right up until the very second she could have but decides not to. But just like with the Stark kids conspiring against Littlefinger entirely offscreen to preserve the suspense over whether Sansa was really going to execute Arya, we do both the characters and the audience a disservice. The writers lose confidence in the ability of the plot alone to compel people to keep watching and turn instead to obfuscated storytelling techniques.

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    52. Inga,

      What would have happened if Tyrion wasn’t in Merreen in 6×09? Yes Dany would have turned Astapor and Yunkaii to the dirt. It was Tyrion’s plan that made Dany’s way of dealing with things in season 6 and 7 into a more peaceful resolution. Wasn’t Tyrion in season 6 or 7 by Dany’s side she would have turned Fire and Blood there.

      Same way before, she had Jorah and Barristan keeping her worse impulses in check. And even with that she did evil things, it started even in season 1. The burning of MMD that wasn’t a heroic act, that was pure evil without evil a slight of good in it. It was also a very self-centered action, that her lose of her husband and yes her baby weight more then the loss that MMD went through, with the multiple dead (her village was unarmed), raping and making slaves.

      Or did we forget 1×07 where she looked happy and with awe when drogo spoke about turning cities in westeros to the dirt, raping the woman and making their children slaves. She didn’t go: Drogo that’s bad. No she was aspired that Drogo would do that for her, turning cities to the dirt, raping and making slaves. Drogo was nothing more then a means to an end for her to gain power, at first that power was protection against her brother, later on it was the throne.

      Season 2 she locked 2 people into a vault to starve to death, that’s Cersei kind of torture that she performed there, but cersei is evil for doing it, and Dany had the right to do that?

      And look at DWD the book, she even stated she wanted to go away from Mereen, to her new adventure because she was bored. She was bored with protecting the slaves she freed.

      And you state that Dany was portrait as a Hero, not to me, I didn’t forget her misdeeds with MMD and locking people away into a vault, the way she looked at the end of 1×06 when her brother died, that was some dangerous look, not a sane person look that way, even when her brother was the biggest dick in the world to her. It’s still you’re brother, and a sane person would probably want him death, but dare not to look at it till the moment it’s done. (especially if you read the books where Dany stated that Viserys was a good man to her until the quest for the throne started, and that’s why one dragon was named after him)

      Season 3 her freeing of the slaves was also a personal thing for her, as explained by her thoughts in the books. She saw something there that she lived. She was sold as a slave. Her quest to free them was fueled with her own history and memories.

      But we could go on about every single detail but neither of us is going to change our minds, and that’s ok for me Dany is not the saint and hero some make her out to be. Agree to disagree.

      But this Dany debate remember me of NCW back in the days, was between season 1 and 2, or season 2 and 3 can’t remember. But the question was which character he wants on the throne, and which he doesn’t want on the throne, and he stated that he didn’t want Dany on the throne because she would be the most dangerous one, he talked about the dragons, not perse about her character. Can somebody know when did was, it was some question interview about the show of every major character. It was the season “choose your side”

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    53. Iul,

      There’s a difference between not getting to choose your King or Queen (Jon bowed to Dany) and letting the civilians not choosing what to think, having a slightly different opinion then me, you are dead. And you can all you want saying that is not true, she utter that words herself to Jon. She stated that everyone not sharing her worldview 100% is a dead man walking.

      If Dany really wanted to break the wheel she wouldn’t have gone on the quest for the IT to sit on it, her breaking the wheel was, destroying every power with only herself being the one executing that power. If she really wanted to make a better world she would have made sure the power is being divided more. Not having a central power deciding everything but having more people executing that power together.

      And people saying that she didn’t want to destroy cities, and burning innocence to liberate the world, did forget Jon Dany scene in the final. Dany’s speech and more over forget the notion of the words Dany used. In the past (and under Bran) it’s called “Master of ships” dany appointed Grey worm “Master of War”, why appoint a master of war if you’re not going to wage war?

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    54. Iul,

      I really enjoy this you know…

      I’m glad! Me too 🙂

      “They don’t get to chose” are the same words Jon said to Tyrion when the discussion was about Sansa, that she doesn’t want Dany to be queen; Jon: “She doesn’t get to choose”.

      And I think there’s sort of a strange irony about that because when Daenerys tells Jon, “They don’t get to choose,” I think that was the tipping point for Jon, what forced him to realize what Daenerys had now become and tore the last remnants of hope from his eyes. He realizes that nobody else gets a say, nobody else gets to protest Dany’s worldview that she will force the world to comply with.

      And in the context of Daenerys saying, “They don’t get to choose,” because she knows what is good — on the heels of her needlessly burning the men, women, and children of King’s Landing to the ground — … yikes! 🙂 And in response to Jon’s question, “What about everyone else? All the other people who think they know what’s good?” and Dany rejects this, it’s pretty scary in the context of her “burn the disbelievers” stance.

      So I think this is what pulled the wool of denial from Jon’s eyes that he had for somebody he loved and believed in. He didn’t want to believe Dany had become this person, that it was a mistake, that she’d stop, that it was over. I think Jon will always love the girl still there inside Dany but the Delusional Dragon Queen has now overtaken her.

      As for Sansa, well… I mean, it’s not up to Sansa to decide for Jon that he will be king over Dany against Jon’s wishes when Jon already said no to the crown. Sansa gets to voice her concerns… but that’s different from going against Jon’s wishes and pressing his unwanted claim over Dany’s when Jon already stated, for the 10000th time this season, “I don’t want it.” Especially when that could potentially start a civil war.

      Tyrion thinks he is on death row. But he is wrong, again. Just as he was in the past 2 seasons. And he is not wrong only about that, he is also wrong in his interpretation of Dany’s speech. Dany never keeps prisoners. So why is Tyrion in prison ? Because he advised her too in season 7 episode 5: “nothing scrubs bold notions from a man’s head like a few weeks in a dark cell”.
      And the bold notions were scrubbed! Dany, in Tyrion’s eyes, after a few weeks in a dark cell, changed from “the biggest threat to the people now” to “ask me again in 10 years” if murdering her was right.

      I think that’s an interesting interpretation but I don’t think that’s what the show was going for. 705 Dany rejected Tyrion’s remark and told him, “I’m not here to put men in chains,” in reference to a cell.

      I’m not sure how Tyrion misinterpreted Dany’s speech?

      * He warned Jon that Daenerys was not done fighting. Daenerys tells her forces the war is not over. Tyrion tells Jon, “She liberated the people of Slaver’s Bay. She liberated the people of King’s Landing. And she’ll go on liberating until the people of the world are free and she rules them all.” Daenerys says they “liberated” the people of King’s Landing and will continue to “liberate” all the people of the world.

      *Tyrion says, “And she grows more powerful and more sure that she is good and right. She believes her destiny is to build a better world for everyone. If you believed that if you truly believed it, wouldn’t you kill whoever stood between you and paradise?” Daenerys echoes this when she tells Jon her actions in King’s Landing and executions of Lannister forces who surrendered to her are necessary build a better world and that she knows what is good.

      And based on this, Tyrion isn’t wrong that Daenerys has now become the people’s greatest threat. She thinks liberation from a tyrant means mass slaughter by fire, she thinks the old world and its people need to be purged to build a new world, she doesn’t realized that she has replaced Cersei as the new tyrant — she has become the people’s greatest threat. Dany isn’t mad… but she has fallen entirely into the realm of delusion. She really, truly believes her mass slaughter of King’s Landing means she liberated them from Cersei. I guess, in a way, she did. They’re dead.

      It’s just like when you kill the Night King and after a few weeks, well…ask me again in 10 years if killing him was right. If Dany was the biggest threat to the people, why is there a doubt (in Tyrion’s head) that killing her was right ? There is no doubt about killing the Night King, is it ? It’s because she was not the biggest threat!
      It is so obvious!
      The show is telling us that there is more to it than what we saw on the surface.

      I think Tyrion is saying that because he loved Daenerys, Daenerys was the first thing he really believed in in a long, long time. He truly thought Daenerys was the one to build a better world and then he witnesses her burning down a city she already won for no purpose. And to protect the people from more “liberation”, he pushed Jon to kill her. As I said before, killing somebody will never feel right, especially one you loved and believed in. And it shouldn’t.

      Even if it’s something is the right thing, it may not always feel right. For example, Jon was haunted and conflicted over leaving Ygritte (“wrong to love her, wrong to leave her”) even though he had to stay loyal to the Night’s Watch to protect the realm and that’s just one example of Jon’s inner conflicts. And it led to Ygritte’s death because when Jon returned to the Watch and alerted them to Mance’s upcoming attack, it put Jon on the side battling Mance’s attack on the Wall. Jon was fighting against the forces Ygritte was in, he might end up killing somebody he loved protecting the realm. And I think killing Daenerys is another example of this. It will never feel right, Jon will be eternally haunted by these things.

      As for the failure of the new Westeros arrangement, that is even more obvious.
      Sansa got to rule the North by perfectly applying Littlefinger’s “chaos is a ladder policy”.

      Maybe, but Sansa was chosen by her people and those people are still allowed to speak up without fear she’ll have them executed. The feudal society is unfair, it is. But what Daenerys is proposing isn’t much better, she’s forcing her rulership on others — whether they want her or not, she won’t be chosen. That is conquest but it’s not breaking the wheel. It’s more of the same. Dany isn’t doing anything differently, except she wants to conquer the whole world and rule them all, be the only power, be the only voice, nobody else gets a say — and it’s even worse, considering what she just did and what she thinks “liberation” means now.

      Tyrion wrongly decides that the problem in Westeros was family succession for the throne. Very wrong Tyrion!

      Well, Cersei, Joffrey, and Aerys both became monarchs through the birthright system and they were all cruel tyrants. So I think Tyrion has a point there. Just because somebody was born with the right name and the right blood doesn’t mean they’ll make a good ruler.

      There were so many kings that did not become kings because they were the rightful heirs, but because they had the biggest military power. Recently, see only Robert Baratheon and later, Renly Baratheon who was not the heir, but had the armies to be king.

      Sure, and if Dany just took the Red Keep and didn’t burn an entire city down that had just surrendered to her, I would have zero problem! But … she burned an entire city of people down for no reason and worse: shows no remorse, and justifies it as the right and necessary thing to do. She sees it as liberating the people and the way to build her better world, not realizing she’s become worse than the tyrants who came before. If somebody protests, that somebody gets purged.

      So the problem is that the power is all in one place and for life, and those who don’t agree with it and have military power, start wars to get it.

      And that’s what Dany is doing. She wants to be the only power for all the world. What military could oppose her? She has a dragon, she’ll just set them all on fire like she did the GC and KL 🙂

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    55. JessicafromMunich,

      Just don’t go away, you have the right to say your opinion, and the more positive people come forward and the more diverse the opinions are the better, then we have lots to talk about.

      Adam,
      Personally I would have liked it better if we saw a scene with grey worm and Dany where they made up that plan, that we really though it was about to happen, later on Tyrion put on his best to tell the bells plan, we think Dany goes on with it but made it clear that if they fear her she will give fear to them and once it happen we could have been like she told us this was her plan, and only Tyrion changed her mind not herself.

      And another big problem is for me everything happening before, it started back in season 2 already, where her action’s were put into a more brighter light then her book counter part. For me it would have been better if we had dany from 8×01 already in 6×10 once sailing to westeros. Having season 7 ending with her character that we saw in 8×04 part 1 in the north. That way we could have had 5 episodes to have her change from what we saw at part 2 of episode 4 till the end of episode 5. I think that would have made more sense.

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    56. Inga,

      I can’t entirely disagree with you. I largely agree with Petra’s video essay here and I’ve been (I think) pretty vocal about my sadness over this turn of events for Dany. I was so, so, so sure Dany wouldn’t become a villain. When people said this is where she was headed, I rolled my eyes at my laptop and kept scrolling (I’m sorry to you all!!). I was willing to bet my hair — the only thing I’ve done right in my life because I really did grow my hair well — that we’d never get Mad Queen Dany (okay, Dark Dany because I think Petra has a point about madness in her essay). Oh, wow, I was so sure. So sure. And now I’m reflecting on all my life’s decisions 😉 But I was sure. I didn’t see it coming

      So I’m probably the wrong person to address why they did this. Others here and around the internet have made some compelling points that this was coming but I’m not sure I entirely agree. My heart is still a flattened pancake from that twist and kind of to the extent where Dany has become sort of two different characters for me XD;; But I think those are good questions for D&D and GRRM, if they ever address them.

      As to the rest, all I can say is that I think ASOIAF draws from history but it’s not history. It’s still a fictional fantasy world with dragons, resurrection, prophecy, magic wolves, wargs, etc. I had a brief obsession with Lady Jane Grey and then Mary I because the Bloody Mary mirror ghost ritual has scarred me since I was 11 (and I still can’t sleep in a room with mirrors because what if she finally comes after me and Anne summoned her in grade 6??? F*ck!!), I’ve watched TV series and movies… but that’s really it. However, I think, when it boils down to it, ASOIAF is inspired by history but is not history and still involves a lot of fantastical and oddly progressive elements in some cases. It’s still a story written by a modern author for a modern audience.

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    57. this is how I looked at Dany’s arc:

      https://www.businessinsider.nl/game-of-thrones-daenerys-mad-queen-foreshadowing-2019-5/?international=true&r=US

      great article of businessinsider. You can clearly see the small changed made per season in his essay, and that every season has a little change. (problem with season 8 is the lack of multiple character arcs, meaning that everything moves faster in season 8 because there’s more time per character per episode. Look at Dany in 8×01 and 8×02 had more screentime then she normally have per season)

      You also see small hints that D&D gave us, symbolic hints.

      And there’s a comparison with Viserys season 1 and Dany season 8, how they felt.

      And now I’m off to see petra’s video.

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    58. Wow Petra, thank you for this video essay! It’s amazing and well articulated. I too think the writers should have built upon Dany’s sense of entitlement and moral compass as her “hamartia” to navigate us through her descent into villainy. As I watched Dany’s turn, I compared it more to the Greek hero’s tragedy: hubris.

      You brought up a key word that I too thought of in reframing Dany’s past actions and that was using current characters to “recontextualise” her character. I felt the writers should have done this in Season 7. While you brought up Yara, I really wish the writers utilised Missandei and Greyworm more. The writers could have used these characters to recontextualise Dany’s past actions and her more “Conqueror” traits as villainous and questionable. One opportunity would have been the Jon-Missandei-Davos scene in seaoson 7. They could have really expanded that dialogue to include how Daenerys freed Missandei and other slaves. Then use Jon and Davos to really explore this decision and reframe Dany’s actions as villainous.

      Also, I think one of the many downsides of lacking a diverse writing team are the sexist undertones when dealing with trauma and madness (insert the hilarious “penis” watermark here), which you conveyed so well. Even now, I still wouldn’t call Dany “mad” in the sense that Aerys was. My own tinfoil theory is that whatever mental illness Aerys had was exacerbated by someone poisoning him with Basilisk blood to truly drive him into madness/evil territory.

      Also, I think people take for granted that Dany’s human child was going to be the stallion who mounts the world. I think MMD fulfilled this prophecy in killing the child by making way for the birth of the True stallion who mounts the world (literally): the dragons/Drogon.

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    59. Petra’s video:
      For me the ending for me the ending of Dany is where it should have been, but as Petra stated I agree that they should have just use one trope. Yes Aerys was “Mad”, but Dany wasn’t that, I think her burning KL to the ground because of grief doesn’t sit well either with me. For me it’s more that she deluded herself because she got dragons (from the gods in her mind), that gave her the notion that it’s her destiny to bring her kind of freedom to the world. She sets on the quest to the Iron Throne with the notion it’s her destiny combined with her destiny to establish freedom around the world. So she will liberate everything that doesn’t follow her world view. Her delusion becomes bigger the closer we go to the endgame.
      At the same time she learned that close as season 2 that she is on her own, that nobody is to be trusted not even one of her closest advisor (Doreah), that’s the beginning of paranoia. Which later is confirmed again once she learned of Jorah’s misdeeds in season 1. Later on when Tyrion fails to give good advise and she thinks he is conspiring with his family. In season 8 it’s even more there when Jon’s truth comes out (Which even her paranoia was half right, Sansa couldn’t be trusted). And Varys conspired against her back.
      At the same time Dany is one of the best strategical character in the saga, her way of dealing with Astapor in 3×04 is prove of that. It’s also combined with manipulation. She can manipulate (in her mind and most of the time it is that, for the greater good).

      I think her turn should just be, that she deluded herself into thinking she was the one send by the gods to for fill the destiny for the greater good. Everyone that gets in her way is in fact getting in her way to get to paradise on the world, meaning they are evil, no matter if they are soldiers or civilians not agreeing with her view of paradise. But because of the many betrayals she sees enemies everywhere. The people of KL were evil because they didn’t want to follow her to paradise. Meaning that the 3 themes of Dany would have been implemented in the endgame: The greater good, paranoia (which has started in the books also with the 3 betrayals), and destiny to get to the greater good.

      So I don’t think the grief part should have been in it. It could have been portrait the way that the grief made it so that she will not listen to others anymore except grey worm, but then they should have had more scenes where she was being influenced by grey worm to take her destiny in action now.

      now I’m off to watch the video further.

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    60. Petra, your analysis creates some very strong negative emotions in me, I really don’t like it nor agree with the most of it. I will try to get past that and explain why.
      First of all, I think we can mostly agree on the whole finale being rushed and filled with numerous plotholes. That being said, I think you slightly contradict yourself when you first admit that Dany has done wrong/mean things, but then try to defend her saying “she has just tried to defend others from the sort of abuse she had suffered”.
      No, she hasn’t. Hizdahr zo Loraq’s father and her other murders without proper trial even pre-season 8 are enough of a testimony for that. She might have tried to save others “from her own perspective”, but objectively said – no, she didn’t. That is the important point being raised and that is what is being shown – if you put too much power for too much time into hands of one individual, he or she is very likely to get corrupt and more importantly, commit a lot of crimes in the name of the greater good while also believing that good is all he or she does.

      The entire rant of “what is this supposed to show us, that ambition is wrong? that it is wrong trying to help people? etc etc” is, for me, artificial / unnecessary / a great example of misunderstanding. Note that Sansa’s ambition is not criticized, au contraire. What I think Dany’s character shows us is that it is wrong to have ambition of helping people without actually thinking things through, at all costs, and with pretending that a good intention can justify all possible means***. Helping people, after all, wasn’t Dany’s primary motivation. Conquest was.

      In order to make such point, the nature of Dany’s true reason to “burn them all” is actually NOT important (You can have plausible explanations for both her acting out of thirst for blood – which she had shown on multiple previous occasions – or her being just simply calculating and crushing any future resistence. Which one it is eventually doesn’t matter). Though, of course it would have helped a great deal had they elaborated a bit more on that point.

      Your analysis makes me very, very sad, because it proves that what I think was Martin’s PROBABLY MOST IMPORTANT POINT OF THE WHOLE SAGA… is misunderstood, waved away and ignored, for the “reason” of “oh boy why is all this so cynical all of a sudden” by a big part of the audience. (Are we talking about the same show that gave us the Red wedding? Oh come on guys!)

      The point is that “oh I was just trying to help” is no actual excuse when you f*ck up. When individuals with power do questionable things in the name of creating a better world, anybody might catch him/herself blindly cheering with other sheeps, until the moment it is too late and it is her/his head that gets sacrificed on the greater good’s altar. You might get sacrificed even AFTER you have saved the world fighting together against its biggest monsters. The world can, in fact, be destroyed by the very people without whose help it would have already been destroyed. And yet this critique is by no means aimed against ambition as such, or against helping people as such.

      In my opinion, Daenerys’s ending is the BEST thing about the show’s finale – because it has more actual meaning than all other character’s combined (perhaps with the exception of Jon).

      ***I don’t want to get too political, but if you take into account Martin’s pacifism and his stance on topics like the Vietnam war, is it really so difficult to deduce, which current country with major power could Dany be a perfect allegory of? Hint: the not entirely democratic countries are just kinda too obvious. Try again.

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    61. Firstly, let me say THANK YOU SO MUCH for speaking about mental illness and it’s cavalier portrayal in our culture and media. Of everything you have said, your statements on how they turned ‘madness’ into the usual trope of of-course-they’re-murderers is so important and so true. As the mother of someone with schizoaffective disorder, who is a beautiful, wonderful soul suffering from a brain disorder, not a moral failure, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you. Thank you.

      As for the rest, again – thank you – for putting into words what so many of us have struggled to say. We are bombarded left and right for trying to say all the things you’ve said beautifully. We’re called whiners and idiots and complainers for trying to convey our sense of wrongness for how Dany’s death was portrayed. And as you showed us, it’s not just one thing. It’s lots of things.

      I appreciate your work on this so much. As a female fan of this show and this story, thank you. As the mother of a daughter with a mental illness, thank you. As a human being who connected with Dany’s driving need to right injustice, thank you. As a fellow woman sees the world as it is…. THANK. YOU.

      I wish I was going to Con this year just so I could give you a hug and tell you thank you in person.

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    62. Watch a next part:

      First I say that I agree with Petra 99%. I most of the time hate when videorecaps are on youtube, but this one I liked. Petra does an amazing Job.

      And I fully with Petra. Dany’s actions were always rational. We can discuss that her crucifying the masters was irrational, but it wasn’t she had days (how long is that walking that many miles?) to think about it. Yes she reacted irrational (angry) to Barristan but that wasn’t because her action was irrational, but because he didn’t look at the greater good like she did.

      And as for better way to portrait that the people of KL betraying the Greater good, and betraying Dany would have been if Dany knew the people of KL celebrated/ cheered for the king/queen currently in place. The show has Cersei, so that’s not really a realistic way to go. That’s why I’m still convinced (as stated already 10 times or more) that in the books Griff will be the one sitting in KL the moment Dany attacks. She already had a vision of him being cheered on by the people of KL, and that vision refer to him as the mummer’s farce, meaning somebody who doesn’t belong there to for fill her destiny. It would have made more sense that way if the people of KL really embraced the current queen/king. What do you think Petra?

      Now off to watch the iron island bit.

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    63. Adrianacandle,

      “I think Tyrion is saying that because he loved Daenerys, Daenerys was the first thing he really believed in in a long, long time. He truly thought Daenerys was the one to build a better world and then he witnesses her burning down a city she already won for no purpose. And to protect the people from more “liberation”, he pushed Jon to kill her. As I said before, killing somebody will never feel right, especially one you loved and believed in. And it shouldn’t.”

      He should have said: “It was right Jon, it feels wrong to me also, but it was right.”

      “Maybe, but Sansa was chosen by her people and those people are still allowed to speak up without fear she’ll have them executed. The feudal society is unfair, it is. But what Daenerys is proposing isn’t much better, she’s forcing her rulership on others — whether they want her or not, she won’t be chosen. That is conquest but it’s not breaking the wheel. It’s more of the same. Dany isn’t doing anything differently, except she wants to conquer the whole world and rule them all, be the only power, be the only voice, nobody else gets a say — and it’s even worse, considering what she just did and what she thinks “liberation” means now.”

      Dany was chosen. Jon, as king in the North, chose her.
      Nobody gets a say ? She listened to more than 200 people a day in audience in Meereen. What is that scene’s meaning ?

      “But … she burned an entire city of people down for no reason and worse: shows no remorse, and justifies it as the right and necessary thing to do.”

      The show did not tell us the reason ! The idiot Jon Snow when she said “Cersei used them as a weapon against me”, he should have replied: the battle was already won. The children you burned were no longer Cersei’s weapon against you. You’ve managed to win by just destroying the scorpions and killing the soldiers.
      The show is not answering this question (it’s the answer we are all waiting for), but hints that killing Dany was not right.

      “Well, Cersei, Joffrey, and Aerys both became monarchs through the birthright system and they were all cruel tyrants. So I think Tyrion has a point there. Just because somebody was born with the right name and the right blood doesn’t mean they’ll make a good ruler.”

      Cersei became queen by military force. She chose violence.
      Actually, ironically, if we followed the birthright, Jon should have been king.
      But that is not the problem – birthright!
      Tyrion is loyal to the world they had, as Dany correctly mentioned. Let’s not forget what a disaster he made in Meereen while Dany was missing. And he continued making mistake after mistake afterwards. I am still surprised how sharp Dany was thinking, being steps in front of everyone else strategy wise.

      Anyway, why did Dany burn the city when she already had won ? She was not crazy or mad, or sick. We don’t know. Jon did not know why and that’s an extra reason why he shouldn’t have killed her.

      My answer on why she did it would be something similar to the movie The Imitation Game, or even some events in Chernobyl. But I am waiting anxiously for her POV in the books. I’m quite sure it will come. Also for the books, what the hell was Jaqen H’ghar doing in King’s Landing ? – But that’s just me…

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    64. and I finished the video. And I have to say that I agree with the Iron Island part. I think if we had more budget and 2 more episode they could have had an episode between 4 and 5 where Dany destroys the Iron Island the way Petra described. We could have seen that in a smaller scale battle a la Spoils of War combined with stormborn. could be told in 10 minutes max. What if they had made episode 4 end there. and 5 about going south further. Having the same things happening in 5 that happened in episode 8×04 part 2, going south, Varys conspiring against Dany’s back, having the beginning of 5 in it, Varys death, Jon finally arriving but he doesn’t know about what happen at the Iron Islands. (rheagal could have died at the battle in the north giving that more death for our heroes). Dany claiming she will give fear to KL, her moments at the iron island told her that civilians are just as bad as the one holding the power, because in the iron island they followed their way of life. Having episode 5 end with Dany stating she will go down on KL with fear. Missandei could also have died in the north in the crypts else why not let her live.

      Episode 6 could have been what the battle was, except we see a scene before that Dany talks with grey worm like she gives orders to him, but we don’t hear it. Jon asked what is was about, Dany stated that’s not his concern. He should get ready to forfill Tyrions plan with the bells. Having it follow the same as the show, except this time we see it as a rational action, a remake of what happened the episode before, only now these are innocent people.

      Episode 7 could have been what 6 was.

      What do you think Petra?

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    65. Iul,

      He should have said: “It was right Jon, it feels wrong to me also, but it was right.”

      Well, no, because if you’re conflicted, you’re probably not going to say that it’s right because the very essence of being conflicted is you’re torn. And, as I tried to explain before with another example, the right thing doesn’t always feel right. Especially killing somebody you love to save many. That will always always suck and never feel right.

      Dany was chosen. Jon, as king in the North, chose her.
      Nobody gets a say ? She listened to more than 200 people a day in audience in Meereen. What is that scene’s meaning ?

      Dany was chosen by Jon for the North, true! But the rest of Westeros didn’t choose her, and nor did the rest of the world that she wants to conquer.

      The Pre-805/806 Dany listened to 200 people in a day, back in Meereen. Based what she said and did in 805 and 806, she’s no longer willing to do this. The Dany of before also said she didn’t want to be the queen of ashes and is now justifying burning down an entire city. She said didn’t want to hurt civilians, so she held back on attacking the Red Keep. Dany only wanted the blood of enemies, not innocents. However, Dany defied all of this in 805 and 806 and did the exact opposite.

      The show did not tell us the reason ! The idiot Jon Snow when she said “Cersei used them as a weapon against me”, he should have replied: the battle was already won. The children you burned were no longer Cersei’s weapon against you. You’ve managed to win by just destroying the scorpions and killing the soldiers.
      The show is not answering this question (it’s the answer we are all waiting for), but hints that killing Dany was not right.

      Well, it sort of did but it was poorly built up (in my opinion). Dany felt these actions were necessary to build her new world, she wants to purge the old one to build a new one. Dany claimed Cersei tried to use her mercy against her but Dany didn’t let her. Dany felt her actions were justified. I’m not sure what answer Jon would get here when Dany has already answered why she went after innocents (“she used their innocence as a weapon against me, she thought it would cripple me,” “it was necessary”, “because I know what is good”, “the world we need won’t be built by men loyal to the world we have”). Jon pleaded for Dany to show mercy to the people of King’s Landing, he begged for her to show the people they made a mistake about her, that she’s not this person. Yet, Dany still sees nothing wrong with what she did. She rejects these notions. She does believe what she did was necessary.

      And while I know you think Tyrion misinterpreted Dany’s speech (although, I’m not sure how), the show tried to give an answer in the form of Tyrion’s words to Jon, namely that the more victories Dany accumulates, the more she believes in her own rightness and goodness. And Dany echoes this in her scene with Jon, that she knows what is good.

      I didn’t like this turn either, I didn’t see it coming, but this is the story the show is telling. I don’t think there’s another hidden narrative here. I think this is the story.

      Petra made a good comparison with Morgana’s arc in the 2008 series Merlin. Morgana started out as this good-hearted character, very empathetic, on the side of the heroes who suddenly, mid-way in the series, goes dark (because I think she learned Uther was her father?? I need to rewatch the series, that may not be why), and becomes the exact opposite of everything she was before. And that was the story, and I think this is the story. I don’t think there’s any Danyception going on here with a third twist. I think Dark Dany being fully realized as the villain was the twist.

      Cersei became queen by military force. She chose violence.

      On this, I could be wrong, but I believe Cersei also became queen because Tommen died and Cersei was the queen regent.

      Actually, ironically, if we followed the birthright, Jon should have been king.
      But that is not the problem – birthright!

      Well… it is a problem. No matter who is the rightful heir to whatever — Jon, Dany, Sansa, Robb, Yara, Theon, Sam, etc. — deciding based on having the right name and blood is a pretty shaky basis because you don’t know what kind of ruler you’ll get. It’s not based on merit but by being born to the right (married) parents with the right family name.

      Tyrion is loyal to the world they had, as Dany correctly mentioned. Let’s not forget what a disaster he made in Meereen while Dany was missing. And he continued making mistake after mistake afterwards. I am still surprised how sharp Dany was thinking, being steps in front of everyone else strategy wise.

      Dany didn’t refer to Tyrion in that quote you’re referring to and nothing (to me) indicates she’s talking about him. I think she’s talking about the people who won’t submit to her worldview. Whatever mistakes Tyrion made, and Tyrion made many, Tyrion wanted change in the world and in the system. And he thought Dany would bring that change, that’s why he agreed to be her hand. However, when she slaughtered a city, that’s why he threw his pin on the ground. Tyrion doesn’t want cruel rulers like his sister on the throne. Tyrion opposed Cersei. The conflict with Tyrion was because he still loved his family. They weren’t good for ruling Westeros but Tyrion still loved Jaime.

      But Tyrion wanted change in Westeros and thought Dany would bring it. I thought so too.

      Anyway, why did Dany burn the city when she already had won ? She was not crazy or mad, or sick. We don’t know. Jon did not know why and that’s an extra reason why he shouldn’t have killed her.

      I think the show tried (tried!) to answer this. Both in-universe with Tyrion’s speech and Inside the Episode for 805 in which they specifically address why we see this side of Dany and what made her do this. It is ultimately up to the viewer to accept this or not, I don’t like it, but there it is, there’s the answer the show gave. And Dany gave her reasoning to Jon plainly and clearly. I don’t think there’s another story hidden here.

      I agree Dany isn’t mad. But I think by 806, she was delusional. And again, I don’t think this turn was well-done, for the reasons Petra explains in her video.

      D&D, for however much we may fault them, didn’t sign up to write the end of Game of Thrones. They signed up to adapt books but GRRM’s books for this part of the series don’t exist so they’re going off of a bare-bones outline. Whatever holes we see in the story logic are (I believe) a lot to do with D&D having a lot less to work with in these later seasons. That’s not the only problem but I think it’s part of the problem.

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    66. Adrianacandle,

      I am quite sure there is more under the surface, for all the reasons I’ve mentioned. For me it makes sense. I’ve watched only Dany’s story (I’ve edited it myself) may times. I almost know it by heart… There is hidden greatness there, and I am sure they went for the hidden greatness and not for the obvious, terrible, meaningless, “Dany tried to do good but ended up doing bad” or “don’t be a tiran” or “Targaryen madness” or any other stupidity.

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    67. Iul:
      Adrianacandle,

      I am quite sure there is more under the surface, for all the reasons I’ve mentioned. For me it makes sense. I’ve watched only Dany’s story (I’ve edited it myself) may times. I almost know it by heart… There is hidden greatness there, and I am sure they went for the hidden greatness and not for the obvious, terrible, meaningless, “Dany tried to do good but ended up doing bad” or “don’t be a tiran” or “Targaryen madness” or any other stupidity.

      Do you genuinely believe Dany had any noble hidden motive to kill more innocent people than any other character in the show? Because if she hadn’t (and she hadn’t), “she tried to do good but ended up doing bad” is exactly what happened.
      And it is not stupid at all – the proof residing in the fact that so many people invest their hopes in a character, get those hopes betrayed by the said character, but still keep being in denial of such a thing actually happening. People need to learn this lesson again and again, that’s what is the deep hidden thing behind Dany and that’s why it is not stupid, but actually brilliant.

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    68. JessicafromMunich,

      I couldn’t have said it better myself. I enjoy reading other opinions on characters and their motivations or theories, but sometimes I really have to weed through a bunch of redundant negativity to find something worthwhile. While I knew beforehand that this season would have mixed opinions (everyone has different favorite characters and not all of them will get the ideal ending they want) it feels like the internet has a way of swaying opinions. *Not with everyone* but certainly with many. Most people I knew who loved it aren’t as heavily involved on fan sites and forums. They may read an article or two about it being rushed etc, but would simply disagree and move on. When it comes to commenting it’s like the saying about how angry customers are more likely to leave a review.

      On the other hand, the very few I knew in person who didn’t like it were constantly online over it, reading all those “angry customer reviews.” One that stands out is my co-worker. My best example with him is he binged the series all the way to season 7 without consulting the internet on how everyone else felt. The result? He enjoyed the Sand Snakes and was surprised so many hated that storyline. Enter season 8, anything reddit says he agrees with. Ironically even backtracking how he liked The Long Night after reading more posts on others not liking it. I pointed out he liked the Sand Snakes and told him to read up on what everyone else thought of them. He finally agreed that he would have probably have been swayed had he been online during his season 5 watch. I wouldn’t have even cared what his opinion was except for the fact that he would pester me each morning over the fact that I enjoyed season 8. C’mon dude, just leave me be, I’m not even starting the conversations either.

      I know this doesn’t mean every case is like this, but it does prove a pretty good point for myself anyway. People are fine to dislike something but to attack someone because they aren’t apart of the echo chamber is just childish. Anyway, just thought I’d chime in to say you’re not alone. People like us do exist 🙂

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    69. JessicafromMunich,

      This is true for BOTH sides of the argument though, not just the ones who didn’t like the ending.

      There are plenty of people who loved the ending that posted here and still post here.

      Yes, I’ve seen people say that the ending was rushed and it should be taken as fact However, I’ve also seen people say that the end was NOT rushed and it should be taken as fact.

      There’s always going to be extreme opinions on both sides of the argument that cannot discuss things rationally or respectfully. It’s either “you agree with me or you’re an idiot” for a lot of them. Don’t let them get to you.

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    70. Mr Derp:
      JessicafromMunich,
      However, I’ve also seen people say that the end was NOT rushed and it should be taken as fact.

      I admit to being guilty of this. When I commented, I was trying to speak only for myself, but looking over my post, I see now I chose my words unwisely and came out sounding objective rather than subjective. Apologies to all.

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    71. Iul:
      Adrianacandle,

      I am quite sure there is more under the surface, for all the reasons I’ve mentioned. For me it makes sense. I’ve watched only Dany’s story (I’ve edited it myself) may times. I almost know it by heart… There is hidden greatness there, and I am sure they went for the hidden greatness and not for the obvious, terrible, meaningless, “Dany tried to do good but ended up doing bad” or “don’t be a tiran” or “Targaryen madness” or any other stupidity.

      I think we’re all entitled to our theories but I think the story was presented to us as-is, no hidden twist, nothing hidden under the surface — not in the end game (like, even I’m still a bit in denial over it, there’s a big part of me that can’t believe this is the end of Game of Thrones, that this is how it ends). I just can’t see any good reason why Dany would do this — unless King’s Landing turned out to be full of hologram simulations! Sims! Yes, Dany is just a 21st-century girl just playing Sims 😉 (Here!! ‘What is the worst thing you’ve ever done in The Sims series?’ – fun read!!) But in all seriousness, I would have preferred for this series to end another way. I’m not happy about the Dark Dany turn, I can’t really get on board with the idea of King Bran, and I have some other problems that I won’t get into now.

      While I know there are a number of people who can pull up lines and scenes that foreshadow this turn and Petra made a good case here with Mirri Maz Duur, it’s something I never saw before and I never thought Dany would be the villain. But I was wrong.

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    72. I’m just simply done with getting into much discussion with people about what they didn’t like and am mostly skimming or skipping complaints about it. I’ve already written what I liked, what I didn’t care for and elements left out that I think would have been very good. It’s been a month now already though and it is what it is.

      I’m ready to move on so I’d like to know if anything has been decided on the direction of the site. Hibberd posted an article yesterday stating that filming has started on the prequel pilot… https://ew.com/tv/2019/06/18/game-of-thrones-prequel-filming/

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    73. “And there is another tendency in the fandom which I find quite strange and puts me off to stay in that fandom and wording my positive impression of season 8:
      After the last episode a lot of people in another forum were quite ok with the end but after watching and reading all the heated articles, “reviews” and watching the angry videos what went wrong with this season or could have been better they started to hate the season. It happened within days and was really fascinating but also worrying.

      And this has now started also at WatchersontheWall,”

      JessicafromMunich,

      With respect, that statement is simply untrue. There was a LOT of criticism levelled at the show on these threads during the entire season and particularly over the last 3 episodes. And I’m pretty sure the majority of comments were not positive. There was a gradual shift in viewpoint after the Long night (although I personally felt that episode was a masterpiece), but that’s because there were many reasons to question some of what happened on screen.

      If you didn’t think the storyline was rushed, that’s fine- and your opinion is just as valid. But pretty much everyone I have spoken with were frustrated and baffled by the pacing and the plot holes- though they still enjoyed the show overall (as did I).

      The media (whilst far from impartial, but still representative) was awash with reports of the poor reception the finale received- and most reviews were also calling into question many of the flaws.

      To be clear, I do think that’s very sad in itself. I love this show, and it’s truly heartbreaking that it fell at the very last hurdle.

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    74. trarecar,

      I wish you were going to Con too!!!

      My mother is a paranoid schizophrenic (highly functioning in the world at large, so I’m the only person still living who has any idea how deeply delusional she is), I’ve battled profound depression since puberty, and several other members of my family, my daughter included, have been diagnosed and/or treated for mental illness. To say I’m disheartened by the treatment of Daenerys’s final descent into darkness would be to put it very mildly. To resort to long-used and damaging tropes—in this day and age, after so much research has been done and with so many resources available for consultation—was, on D&D’s part, breathtakingly ignorant at best, uncaring and lazy at worst. /end rant

      P.S.: To those who loved the season and are disheartened by many of the negative reactions, I would beseech you to a) not pay any attention to trolls and commenters just trying to stir s**t up (a minority on WotW, thanks to our wonderful mods), and b) consider some of the reasons, such as the treatment of mental illness, which really put some of us off. Without belaboring the point, suffice it to say that I’ve been in a number of relationships, with both friends and romantic partners, where it was painfully difficult, sometimes to the detriment of the relationship itself, to explain my own, my mother’s, or my daughter’s mental illness, or the impact that it had on all our lives. In all of these cases, their understanding of mental illness had been informed by the culture at large—including pop culture—not by any research into the subject. So yes, it does matter how it’s presented. /end rant for real this time

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    75. Gfx,

      I’m one of the people who’s been seriously disappointed with S7 and S8, and I purposely stay off of any fan pages other than this one because I don’t want my own first reactions to become even *more* negative by wallowing in the proverbial mire. To respond to your excellent comment, I’ll quote an article I read just yesterday:

      “Studies show that if you come to the group with an opinion that most people in the group share, the whole group will end up with a decision that is way more extreme/pronounced than that original opinion. The fact that there is a majority seems to push people into a more extreme version of their thoughts.”

      The most insidious and harmful way in which this sort of groupthink works is in our politics, where—in the U.S., at least, with its deeply flawed two-party system—the end result of fifty years of post-Southern Strategy development has been 1) the shift to the far right in the GOP and 2) the most extreme political polarization seen in this country since well before my parents’ time.

      Well, I’ve gone waaayyy off-topic and need to get back to my planned comment about Yara Greyjoy… 😂🦑

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    76. Wolfish,

      Well said! I was the same way about avoiding other sites too. This site also is the most civil in conversation which I really appreciate.

      That article definitely hits the nail on the head, especially as someone living in the US. I really hope something changes by the time my kids grow up.

      Hopefully the books will give you a more satisfying build up and ending 🙂 I’m usually a book purist so I’m also looking forward to it when it comes (fingers crossed!) I need to finish the last two books first.

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    77. Adrianacandle,

      I see the hidden greatness. It is true, it took me 3 views of the final 2 episodes. But it is there. There are many links to connect to get there. I say it is hidden because… it’s not easy to see. Dam! Here I am quoting her again. I had a 2 hour session with my father in law, going line by line in different episodes. It’s as clear as daylight.
      To help a bit, please answer for yourselves 2 questions regarding Jon:
      1. Why he HAD to die?
      2. Why he HAD to come back?
      What’s that have to do with Dany’s story?
      Everything!
      Small hint: if you follow Jon and Dany’s stories carefully, you will see that Jon is a leader and Dany is a ruler. Start from there.

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    78. As someone who loved the ending, especially Dany becoming the final Big Bad, I believe this video misses a few key points of the story.

      The video shows Tyrion mentioning to Dany that she’d lost her temper, but then doesn’t show Tyrion’s previously having to talk Dany down from torching Astapor and Yunka’i. By the time she’s internally debating whether to torch King’s Landing, he no longer has her trust, so he can’t save that city from her.

      The video also hand-waves the colonialist (or even imperialist) imagery of a white person ‘liberating’ dark-skinned persons so those persons can non-consensually live under her absolute rule. (Does anyone believe the Targs are lily-white by accident? Or that her ‘grateful’ followers are darker-skinned for no reason? All of it is supposed to make the audience squirm.)

      Amanda Marcotte has an excellent post about “The Bells” which explores Dany’s narcissistic need to have her subjects love or even worship her. The people of Westeros were never slaves, and they don’t even need her to liberate them from Cersei, who was going to be starved out anyway. This is another reason for her decision to rule them by force and fear.

      The story’s concern about mental illness was also true to the Dark Age setting. Insanity (at least as defined back then) seems to have been something of an occupational hazard for monarchs, and inbreeding may have played a role. In the story, it’s supposed to cause the audience to question whether Dany has the mental ability to rule long-term, since her father did not. (It also was something of a red herring, as she died young.)

      Petra’s bit about the Iron Islands, to introduce moral ambiguity to Dany’s torching, also misses the point. There is supposed to be no doubt her mass murder is totally irrational EXCEPT as a way to rule by fear over people who don’t love her. Dany even explicitly chooses fear when Jon (a native and champion of Westeros who’s never been anywhere else) can’t love her.

      Dany’s reveal as a tragic heroine also serves two other story points. Jon’s final choice was always going to be love or duty, and Cersei loved King’s Landing. (Other than the initial trip to Winterfell, she never left the capital.) Because of love vs. duty, Jon has another woman he loves die in his arms; because of Cersei’s total failure as “Protector if the Realm,” she can do nothing but stand and watch helplessly as King’s Landing all burns down around her.

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    79. Adam,

      Hey Adam!
      Just wanted to tell you that even though I don’t always concur with everything you say, I’ve really enjoyed reading your well-reasoned, well-written commentaries.

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    80. Iul,

      I don’t think I’ll come to see what you see because I truly think we were given the full story they were telling. I try to subscribe to that medical philosophy, “If you hear hooves, assume it’s horses, not zebras.” I know this is fiction and writers are the ones determining the logic (as opposed to biology) so zebras are more likely in fiction than medicine because the writer decides when and if there’s going to be a zebra instead of a horse — but I don’t think there are any unrevealed zebras here in the end game or we would have already seen it.

      However, I’m curious to see where you’re going with this so let’s do it! 🙂

      1. Why he HAD to die?

      I think the story needed a way to release Jon from his Night’s Watch vows for one purpose or another. In the show, I think it was so Jon could become King in the North and have the power to unite the living against the dead. The North would heed their king’s call to arms here and Dany would agree to meet with a king because Dany wants the seven kingdoms (and I’d say she was looking for a marriage alliance too but the show was kind of like, “Pfft, nevermind about that!”) and a king has one of those kingdoms.

      2. Why he HAD to come back?

      I think it was so Jon could fulfill his purpose, whether it was assigned by the Lord of Light (who brought Jon back), the Old Gods, or some other mystical force, and I think that purpose was to defend the realms of humanity. Jon managed to bring together the forces need to defeat the army of the dead coming for all of the living and later, it seems he was meant to… (and I think you might disagree with this) stopthesecondthreattothepeoplethethreatfromtheeast (I’m sorry!! This really does make me sad!)

      What’s that have to do with Dany’s story? Everything!

      I could agree with that, definitely. I think Dany and Jon’s stories are meant to parallel each other strongly, I think they are a ying and yang, I think their stories are meant to become entangled, and I think their love story is meant to end in doom. As for what your two questions have to do with Dany’s story, I think it’s meant for Jon to (I’m sorry again) stopthesecondthreattothepeoplethethreatfromtheeast.

      Small hint: if you follow Jon and Dany’s stories carefully, you will see that Jon is a leader and Dany is a ruler. Start from there.

      I am really curious to see where you’re going with this. I think both Dany and Jon are leaders, but a different kind. I always saw Dany as the conqueror and Jon as more of a unifier, kind of like Mance. But I’m game to see where you take this :)!

      I may be late in my next reply because it’s a busy busy day tomorrow but I’ll get back to you ASAP 🙂

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    81. Adrianacandle,

      Jon Snow and everything he represented had to die.
      Aegon Targaryen and everything he represents had to be reborn.

      Jon is on a quest to learn how to lead. And he becomes a leader. Only a leader. He would do anything to lead. That’s his tragedy! That’s why he got killed.

      Dany is a ruler. Her quest is to learn how to rule. An she does. She is the best at it. Her tragedy is that she will do anything to rule, even if she is not able to lead. That’s why she got killed.

      Aegon Targaryen represents the truth. The truth of a false history that dominated Westeros. That truth needed to be revealed. And it was… in the show.

      Dany’s truth also needs to be revealed. The truth of why she burned KL. The false history we have now needs to be destroyed by the truth. And it will be… in the books.

      An arrangement like this between only D&D and George makes sense to me. You reveal Jon’s truth in the show, I reveal Dany’s truth in the books. (The books stop when Jon gets killed you know…). You present Dany’s death from Jon’s POV – which they did. But how do we do that ? Well, you make her SEEM MAD – in everyone else’s eyes. But you leave enough evidence she was not. I will do it from Dany’s POV.

      Now, there are more clues left in the show about Dany’s truth, than there were in the books about Jon’s truth (Ned Stark being unfaithful, Rhaegar kidnapping and raping Lyanna and so on).

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    82. Iul,

      Jon Snow and everything he represented had to die.
      Aegon Targaryen and everything he represents had to be reborn.

      I’m not sure how true this is because Jon’s purpose was made clear to him by season two — defend the realms of people from threats facing humanity — and this purpose didn’t change after Jon was brought back. After a period of, “I don’t want to fight,” Jon re-dedicated himself to the same purpose of defending Westeros against the dead. Likewise, Jon continued to uphold the values he had before: the values Ned taught him, the values his mentors taught him, the ways of the North, the ways of the Starks. The only Targaryen thing Jon did was ride a dragon.

      Jon is on a quest to learn how to lead. And he becomes a leader. Only a leader. He would do anything to lead. That’s his tragedy! That’s why he got killed.

      I don’t think this is quite true either. Jon wouldn’t do anything to lead. That’s not why (or how) he became Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Jon was put into that position but didn’t even run for it. And I also don’t think this is Jon’s tragedy. During his tenure as Lord Commander, Jon found the position miserable, isolating, and longed to be in a position where he could just hang out with his friends again.

      As to why he was killed, in the show, it wasn’t because Jon would do anything to lead, it was because, in the show, Jon made peace with the wildlings and brought them south of the Wall, which some people really, really, really disagreed with. In the books, allying with the wildlings and wanting to save them from the Others was a big part of the reason why a faction of Jon’s officers opposed him so vehemently but Jon was also killed because he was trying to accomplish two opposing things at once — he needed to prepare the defense of the Wall against the Others but he was also trying to set “the world to rights” (help Stannis fight a monster, help Arya escape a monster, help Alys escape two assholes and give her the means to reclaim her home — but these things weren’t done for leadership/power purposes). The latter compromised the Night’s Watch neutrality, risked the peace Jon had built, and resulted in the Pink Letter — which caused Jon to publicly throw his neutrality out the window and he was knifed.

      Dany is a ruler. Her quest is to learn how to rule. An she does. She is the best at it. Her tragedy is that she will do anything to rule, even if she is not able to lead. That’s why she got killed.

      I don’t know if Dany is best at ruling. I think she (and Jon and others) have a lot to learn there. I think her tragedy ended up being her want for the Iron Throne but it was more than that: she was killed because she didn’t just want to rule, she wanted to “liberate” the world the way she did King’s Landing and kill all those who didn’t share her worldview to be the only power in the world, even the places she already had (Winterfell, Dorne).

      Aegon Targaryen represents the truth. The truth of a false history that dominated Westeros. That truth needed to be revealed. And it was… in the show.

      Well, only Sansa, Arya, Tyrion, Sam, Bran, and Varys knew. It was not made known to the realm and Jon didn’t want for the realm to know. Plus, nothing came out of it except being a cause for Dany’s descent. Jon still ended up back to where he was at the beginning of the series.

      Dany’s truth also needs to be revealed. The truth of why she burned KL. The false history we have now needs to be destroyed by the truth. And it will be… in the books.

      Well, I don’t think there’s any good reason to burn down King’s Landing after she already won the battle, nor do I think there’s any good reason to continue this course of action until she had the whole world though.

      You present Dany’s death from Jon’s POV – which they did. But how do we do that ? Well, you make her SEEM MAD – in everyone else’s eyes. But you leave enough evidence she was not. I will do it from Dany’s POV.

      Dany wasn’t mad though, she seemed clear as a bell — I do think she was delusional though. Dany was sincerely convinced this was the way to a better world, purging it to unite it under her sole power, but Dany doesn’t seem to realize that in using these methods to eliminate a tyrant and “free” the people, she’s become the new tyrant. I think there was, in retrospect, some basis for this (“They can live in my new world or die in my old one”) and she seemed unhappy that the people of King’s Landing didn’t rise up against Cersei as the slaves did against the masters. However, I don’t think this turn was that well built-up — perhaps partly because D&D didn’t have the books to work with as they did before.

      I was shocked Dany went off on civilians, the kind of people Dany once swore to protect, because she’s never done that before. However, Dany said why she did it — she wouldn’t let Cersei use her mercy against her. Again, this has a delusional bent because Cersei was using a meat shield in the Red Keep, not the whole of the city, and Dany already won the city so she didn’t need to do what she did. However, D&D addressed her reasons for doing what she did so I don’t think this is meant to be ambiguous.

      I just can’t imagine any hidden noble or good reason for Dany’s actions or for what she wanted to continue to do. I’m sorry :/

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    83. Wolfish,

      So may great ponts!
      Yes, the treatment of “insanity” in the show was something that infuriated me too. However, as a historian, I don’t quite agree with the examples Petra picked to illustrate her point. First of all, medieval society was perfectly capable of seeing the difference between mental failure and moral failure. Take Charles VI of France: he was broken by the burden of ruling and trying to be a good king and descended into an extreme depression but he never descended into violence (he killed 4 knights when he snapped but I have a strong feeling that the eyewitnesses of that event didn’t tell the whole truth; to me it looks that there might have been an assassination attempt or at least something that made poor Charles VI think that his peers had been trying to assassinate him); anyway, after that Charles VI descended into passivity, not violence, and was treated with compassion at least by some part of his court. Meanwhile, the cases of Catherine Bartory or Ivan the Terrible were clear moral failures and were perceived as such. Although it’s worth to mention that Ivan the Terrible is still glorified in Russia: Stalin called him his “Teacher” and from what I gather, the current Russian establishment helmed by Putin shares his opinion, which in turn leads to respective politic choices and decisions. So, you see: the wrong “hero” and/or the failure to handle the fundamental concepts of heroes and villains in a proper way can destroy the morality of an entire country and nation and bring a lot of suffering to others.

      Which brings me back to Dany. You see, the way the writers presented Dany’s snap into her moral failure is very similar to how the West tends to explain the current wave of terrorism or Putin’s behavior: some poor guy just hasn’t received enough love and respect (BTW, that’s exactly how Putin explains his behavior himself). And worst of all, the writing reveals the fundamental misunderstanding of such behavior and it’s true causes. They tried to write Dany as a delusional terrorist but they got everything wrong: terrorism doesn’t occur like that at the eleventh of the story. In short, the ideology or the worldview that justifies the rule of terror comes first and long before a person snaps into terrorism. And the thing that comes the second is a group of peers who share this ideology and strengthen it. In other words, a person must spend quite a long time in an isolated bubble and brainwash all the traditional morals, before he or she becomes capable of burning cities and killing women and children. In other words, if they wanted to tell the story properly, Dany should have started with killing Drogo and proceeded with the rest of the Dothraki save-hunters. Only after that, she could move to kill slave-masters and then all the riches and then all the men and women and children. Moreover, they should have skipped her romance with Jon, because no matter how far a person is gone into self-delusionment, love is a power which effectively forces acceptance of a different point of view (we saw that with Jon and Ygritte).

      Instead, Dany was written as a very open-minded person who continuously changed and re-adjusted her world-view promptly reacting to everything that was happening around her. First, she accepted her role as a Khaleesi as it gave her power to protect herself and help others. Then she realized that the Dothraki ways were not good and moved towards liberating the salves and ruling them after realizing that liberation alone cannot solve the problem. When she came to Westeros, she also made a rather fast shift from confronting a comfortable monster Cersei to confronting the true threat of the AOTD. In other words, she was a learner, she never lived in an isolated bubble, and she had the most diverse entourage one could think of: the Dothraki, the former slaves, the knights of Westeros from Jorah to Jon Snow. That entourage alone should have been enough to prevent self-delusionment, but Dany also had a strong moral spine in terms that she was adamant to help the downtrodden without harming the innocent. Her answer to “the eternal Russian question” on whether the happiness of all mankind is worth a tear of a single child was a clear and unconditional “NO”. So, everyone who didn’t see Dany’s snap coming still has their heart and common sense in the right place.

      As for the writers, sorry, but they have to rethink their perceptions, before trying to spoon-feed the global audience with their delusional ideas. And if they really whitewashed their villain-to-be intentionally for the sake of getting higher viewership and more money as Kevin has implied, that’s not only an idiotism: that’s a crime. And the audience has every right to seek justice in every possible way.

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    84. Gah, major typo fix again!! Sorry all!! One line is meant to read:

      *As to why he was killed, it wasn’t because Jon would do anything to lead, it was because, in the show[…]

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    85. * Another typo fix in my above post! Quote correction: “They can live in my new world or die in their old one.”

      Inga: Instead, Dany was written as a very open-minded person who continuously changed and re-adjusted her world-view promptly reacting to everything that was happening around her. First, she accepted her role as a Khaleesi as it gave her power to protect herself and help others. Then she realized that the Dothraki ways were not good and moved towards liberating the salves and ruling them after realizing that liberation alone cannot solve the problem. When she came to Westeros, she also made a rather fast shift from confronting a comfortable monster Cersei to confronting the true threat of the AOTD. In other words, she was a learner, she never lived in an isolated bubble, and she had the most diverse entourage one could think of: the Dothraki, the former slaves, the knights of Westeros from Jorah to Jon Snow. That entourage alone should have been enough to prevent self-delusionment, but Dany also had a strong moral spine in terms that she was adamant to help the downtrodden without harming the innocent. Her answer to “the eternal Russian question” on whether the happiness of all mankind is worth a tear of a single child was a clear and unconditional “NO”. So, everyone who didn’t see Dany’s snap coming still has their heart and common sense in the right place.

      I think this is why Dany’s turn for me was so shocking and sudden. I’m trying to see other people’s points (and I think they have some valid points) that all of this wasn’t totally out of the blue and to some extent, I agree. At the same time, you’re articulating some of the reasons why I never saw this coming, why it feels like Dany pre-805 and Dany 805/806 are two different characters to me. So I’m experiencing that inner conflict, I’m super divided, and I don’t know how to reconcile these two Danys.

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    86. Iul,

      It’s a it too complicated for me. I would like you to make your point more clearly, because, based on what you have written before, I think I might agree with you at least partly.

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    87. Iul:
      Adrianacandle,

      I see the hidden greatness. It is true, it took me 3 views of the final 2 episodes. But it is there. There are many links to connect to get there. I say it is hidden because… it’s not easy to see. Dam! Here I am quoting her again. I had a 2 hour session with my father in law, going line by line in different episodes. It’s as clear as daylight.
      To help a bit, please answer for yourselves 2 questions regarding Jon:
      1. Why he HAD to die?
      2. Why he HAD to come back?
      What’s that have to do with Dany’s story?
      Everything!
      Small hint: if you follow Jon and Dany’s stories carefully, you will see that Jon is a leader and Dany is a ruler. Start from there.

      1. So he could leave the night’s watch.
      2. So he could unite everyone to defeat the WW and the NK (And probably ending the tyrant Dany)
      3. see point 2. WW and defeating her

      Jon you’re right, dany not. As Daario stated to dany: You’re not a queen, you’re a conqueror. Dany is a very bad ruler, especially in the books. She gets already tired of being queen in her first year there. she wants to move on. She is not a person that will sit in one place her whole life and a ruler needs to do that.

      And as of Dany being good or bad. It’s simple, it doesn’t matter what her motivations are. She killed half a million or more people in just a single day. She killed more innocent people in one day then Cersei and her father did combined. She did worse then her father the Mad King. It doesn’t matter what her intentions were in the end, it matters what her actions were. And in KL she acted like a tyrant and she became one. She wants to bend the world to her rule(s). And I’m still baffled that people try to justify killing half a million people or more (It’s probably more towards 1 million the whole city I didn’t see a single civilian in the final when Dany was there alive, only that one dude not far away from death. Tyrion also stated she slaughtered a city)

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    88. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving Brianne As Lord Commander of the Kingsguard,

      Agree, but I think the point Petra tried to make is, that the way it’s portrait, the choice to prioritize shock-value over character development had made this ending feel unearned. Look for instance at breaking Bad, we all know why Walter is the bad guy in the end, and we saw that happening since season 2, and the changes weren’t based on shock-value, in the beginning of the episode we saw already where the ending went to, and that wasn’t bad. With Dany, they played a lot with our feeling, will she do it, yes or no and they tried to make it a shock-value. So you’re right that it was always there and that this ending is where it was going always, but they whitewash every moment in her storyline to much until the end. Where they showed us Dany’s demise in a shocking way.

      Look at for instance the Red Wedding. It may feel like this was the same kind of shock that they show us in the bells. But it wasn’t. The Red Wedding build up that end moment for 10/15 minutes. The door closes and we already knew there that our heroes were fucked, we didn’t know how severe that fucking was, we all felt that something was off, but couldn’t place it yet, and once it happened we were, we should have known that Walder would do such a thing (With the help of Tywin).
      With the bells they tried to ease our minds first with she is not going to do it, and later on she does do it. they valued the shockvalue more then the dramatic effect they showed us for instance with the Red wedding where the tension keeps building up for minutes (with the bells it was couple of seconds).

      I also think afterwards that it would have been more logical if Dany just killed everyone between her and the Red Keep, destroy the red keep first and only after that she goes back to the rest of KL because she is already in that “I give them fear rush”. It does in fact make little sense that she first kill the civilians by the 10000 and only after that going after Cersei.

      Still I think the bells is one of the finest episodes of GoT. The change of Dany, the emotion of Jon, Arya, Sandor, Tyrion, Cersei and Jaime was just amazing. But I agree that that one minute that Dany turned (or more went on with her first plan that she told Jon earlier in the episode) was a bit off and could have been handled better (and I think Miguel saw that problem)

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    89. kevin1989: But I agree that that one minute that Dany turned (or more went on with her first plan that she told Jon earlier in the episode) was a bit off and could have been handled better (and I think Miguel saw that problem)

      I agree that it could have been handled better but I believe Dany’s Plan A was to attack the Red Keep and target Cersei in a battle situation rather than burn down all of King’s Landing (even the parts far far far away from Cersei) after the city already surrendered. Because by the time Dany went on her rampage, there was no conflict anymore. One’s a harsh, but legitimate way, to take the throne via conquest. The other’s just needless genocide.

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    90. Inga,

      Great post, but just a feeling that I have. Dany in the books is already more darker with her thoughts in book 5 then she was in season 7 of the show. They did the same thing with Tyrion, in the show he is only talking about revenge for just 3 episodes, after that he let go of that. In the books he is still trying to get means to Cersei’s end. He still talks about destroying Cersei and seeking means to that end.

      I also think they pushed themselves into a corner by having devided the season the way they did. It made sure that there wasn’t room for more scenes in episode 3 till 6. They could have made themselves so much easier if they divided the story more. Not every episodes needs a big bang. Look for instance at BB that had an awesome ending. Episode 13 and 14 were both very excited episodes, episode 15 was a slow burner episode, just one episode before the big final was an action-less episode, only character build. And 16 was the big final. That slow burn episode needed to be there on it’s own, it was it’s own story, it didn’t matter that the action was broken there. Same with GoT, they didn’t need to have a big moment in every episode. Like episode 4, would it have matter if that episode was only the after party of the WW defeat with maybe 1 or 2 scenes of Cersei at that same time? For me that would have been a perfect quiet episode before the next big chapter to start. D&D felt like it needed a big ending with Dany that couldn’t wait for the next episode. And I think that’s also where a big problem lies, they wanted to have a big bang every single episode, and like most of the time, that fire back.

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    91. Part of the problem I have with the argument that Dany burning KL was foreshadowed properly because she threatened to burn cities to the ground before is that other people have done the same thing, but no one cared when they said it. People say things out of anger all the time that they don’t mean. Take Tyrion for example.

      “I saved you. I saved this city and all your worthless lives. I should have let Stannis kill you all.

      Do you wish to confess?

      Yes, Father. I’m guilty. Guilty. Is that what you want to hear?

      You admit you poisoned the king?

      No, of that I’m innocent. I’m guilty of a far more monstrous crime. I am guilty of being a dwarf.

      You are not on trial for being a dwarf.

      Oh, yes, I am. I’ve been on trial for that my entire life.

      Have you nothing to say in your defense?

      Nothing but this– I did not do it. I did not kill Joffrey, but I wish that I had. Watching your vicious bastard die gave me more relief than 1,000 lying whores. I wish I was the monster you think I am. I wish I had enough poison for the whole pack of you. I would gladly give my life to watch you all swallow it.”

      So, should we have foreseen Tyrion as the Mad Imp? Afterall, he did threaten to kill everyone in KL because of how ungrateful they were to him, right?.

      As others have noted, I think the writers were much more interested in shock value than coherent storytelling and it blew up in their faces in the end. Just my opinion, of course. I know plenty of people were fine with the way things went down.

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    92. Adrianacandle: I agree that it could have been handled better but I believe Dany’s Plan A was to attack the Red Keep and target Cersei in a battle situation rather than burn down all of King’s Landing (even the parts far far far away from Cersei) after the city already surrendered. Because by the time Dany went on her rampage, there was no conflict anymore. One’s a harsh, but legitimate way, to take the throne via conquest. The other’s just needless genocide.

      True, that’s why I think it would have made more sense if:
      1. She attack the Red Keep first, her original plan. And only after that keeps on killing innocents in her “fear rage”
      2. That plan of Petra being included in an episode before, instead of the death of Missandei a more logical ending of episode 4 would have been the burning of the Iron Islands by Dany’s hand. It would have given her the first time she acted like that on a smaller scale. I think a in-between part was missing: we had the burning of the tarly’s then the burning of KL. having a moment in between would have been needed.

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    93. kevin1989,

      Yes, but even so, I have trouble with Dany going after innocents because Dany has never wanted to bring harm to them before. AnnOther made the point in another thread that even before, Dany was the one deciding who the innocent and downtrodden were and I can see that. I can also see that in Dany’s 805 conversation with Tyrion, she wasn’t happy that the people of King’s Landing weren’t rising up against Cersei. But to me, that’s not enough for Dany to go after men, women, and children. The children especially. The writers tried to provide a reason for it, so I don’t think this was meant to be a mystery as to why, but I have trouble with it.

      In hindsight, I think it would have been better if Dany took the Red Keep pre-meat shield in 704. If she gave the civilians 24 hrs warning to get on out of there before she’d attack. It’d also give Cersei 24 hrs to prepare a defense (and I guess this would give Cersei, herself, warning to get on out of there too but maybe Dany could work with that?) but Dany still had three healthy dragons at that point, one of whom took out the whole GC and all of King’s Landing (although, the strength of each dragon seems to vary depending on plot and I wonder why Dany didn’t ignite Euron on fire when she divebombed him on Drogon after he killed Rhaegal).

      But yeah, I prefer Petra’s idea of going after the Iron Islands because how she explained the idea has a more of a logic behind it rather than what ended up happening on the show.

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    94. Iul,

      Ignore my earlier post. I can partly agree with what you in terms that the writers (both GRRM and D&D) might have tried to make that kind of a statement. However, they absolutely failed to do that (at least for me). And I don’t think that Jon was building as a leader and Dany as a ruler: in fact, this whole thing of leader vs ruler seems cringy for me; leading and ruling is pretty much the same; no-one can lead without ruling and no-one can rule without leading.

      I can agree that Jon represented the truth (and honesty), the problem is that nothing good came out of this truth neither to him as a person nor to the others: it’s legit to assume that if not of that truth, Jon & Dany would have married and ruled together and most probably made Westeros a better place. Instead, the truth was used as a destructive element that destroyed both of them and turned Westeros into a feast for crows/ravens and jackals.

      So, what’s the moral here? Don’t tell truth or try to be honest like Jon Snow: nothing good will come out of that. Don’t try to make the world a better place like Dany: you will end up as a mass murderer and be betrayed with a kiss. Be like Cersei: you may not live forever (no-one does) but at least you will die in your lover’s arms and the audience will pity you as a victim. And yes, being ruled by an inhuman Big Brother is the best thing that can possibly happen to mankind.

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    95. Inga: So, what’s the moral here? Don’t tell truth or try to be honest like Jon Snow: nothing good will come out of that. Don’t try to make the world a better place like Dany: you will end up as a mass murderer and be betrayed with a kiss. Be like Cersei: you may not live forever (no-one does) but at least you will die in your lover’s arms and the audience will pity you as a victim. And yes, being ruled by an inhuman Big Brother is the best thing that can possibly happen to mankind.

      I don’t normally agree with the majority of your posts, but I kind of like this one. I’m also kind of struggling with what I’m supposed to take away from all of this in the end too.

      Right now, it just seems like they were trying to tell me the obvious, which is that power corrupts. A story that has been told many, many times before.

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    96. HayashiM,

      You wrote: “I don’t want to get too political, but if you take into account Martin’s pacifism and his stance on topics like the Vietnam war, is it really so difficult to deduce, which current country with major power could Dany be a perfect allegory of? Hint: the not entirely democratic countries are just kinda too obvious. Try again.”

      I was thinking whether I should answer this, but “someones must start telling the truth”. The truth about the anti-Vietnam war movement is that it was organized and heavily financed by the Soviet GRU and all those well-intended pacifists were either fools or straightforward traitors. It’s also worth to mention that thousands of Vietnamese who put their trust in the US as an ally had to die screaming, because of this stupidity. Unfortunately, it seems that the American left learned nothing from that story; so, if Putin and his gang really proceed with their newest crazy plan to break a new civil war in US over the establishment of an independent state of Alabama, I’m affraid I might be watching it with popcorns.

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    97. Iul,

      Inga’s post made me wonder if I was perhaps being too literal and not fully understanding your meaning. If this is the case, please feel free to clarify (if you like) what I might be misunderstanding 🙂

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    98. I don’t know why Dany burned the city after the battle was won. All those stupid reasons – I don’t buy any of them… Let me break ’em down:
      “He was no dragon. Fire cannot kill a dragon.” – She allowed the killing of Viserys. Read the books, you will see her feelings in those moments. Clear as a whistle.
      “Dany smiled while Drogo threatened the stone houses and the men in the Iron Suits.” – Well, the men in the iron suits are soldiers. The soldiers of the king who had her to be killed just because she existed. Well, about that, see S07E02 the dialog with Varys. I think there is nothing more to add. Moving on…
      “She named Drogon after Drogo “Swift as the wind he rides. His enemies will cower before him, and their wives will weep tears of blood.” Well, it’s not HIS enemies, it’s HER enemies. She makes the decisions. Drogon, when on his own, actually burned down the Iron Throne. Oh, and does it also say that Drogon will save everyone Beyond the Wall ? Or was that Dany…
      “I am the dragon’s daughter. And I swear to you that who would harm you will die screaming.” Are you kidding me ? Mirri Maz Duur killed her husband. What the hell are we talking about here?
      “We will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground.” Her people were dying and the guys in Qarth turned them away. You know what, actually, forget about my people. Please let us die out here in the Garden of Bones.
      “I am Daenerys Stormborn of the blood of Old Valyria, and I will take what is mine — with fire and blood, I will take it.” Birthright – They’ve destroyed her family. She grew up with those stories. Of course she thought it was her responsibility to avenge them. She changed her mind later. But I’ll get to that.
      “The gods flip a coin” – Targaryen madness. Yes, I know. “Our queen’s nature is fire and blood”. Tyrion, she is guilty of being a Targaryen as much as you are of being a dwarf.
      “Dany turns on former friends after they betray her” – Well, they are not friends after they betray her, right? And she later forgave so many betrayals, especially Jorah and Tyrion.
      The Yunkai events: “But it did serve to remind viewers that Dany could slaughter people and draw blood from any city at any time, if she so chose.” – You know what, forget about your slaves. I can’t use violence to free them. I will go somewhere where slavery will be abolished nicely. – People can be delusional.
      “Daario gave Daenerys a red flower, which he described as “beautiful but poisonous”. You have to know the land you want to rule. That’s what that scene meant. That is why the flowers are given TO Dany. You know, Dany this beautiful poisonous Red flower is you. Here have it. Just think about how poisonous you are…
      “I will answer injustice with justice.” – She showed mercy many times and she gave justice many times. It is actually great how Dany managed to balance the two.
      “They can live in my new world, or they can die in their old one.” Well yes. People died as slaves in that old world, so it would be horrible if they would live in her new world. Damn ! I actually enjoy this.
      “The Mad King gave his enemies the justice he thought they deserved”. Dany learns to be careful not to pass to the other side of the border. After that, she says: “Forget about the bloody border, I’ll do what I want”. She actually never forget these words about her father.
      “Daenerys has seemed to genuinely enjoy watching her enemies burn.” Actually you should greve your enemies, even cry for them.
      “A Targaryen alone in the world is a terrible thing”. Dany could not take it anymore. She was alone and could not handle this feeling. In what season ?
      “All rulers are either butchers or meat”. Yes. Dany is definitely no meat, so she for sure is a butcher. Always has been. Or was she ?
      “One day, your great city will return to the dirt”. Clear. Dany conquered Meereen to return it to the dirt. It is so obvious…
      “Dosh Khaleen – Dany takes great pleasure in killing her enemies and using fire to solve her problems”. Like I said, you must feel sad for your enemies. Also, she should have used fire to create problems for her.
      “You weren’t made to sit on a chair in a palace”. Dany actually agreed with this one. She did not sit on the Iron Throne because……. she did want to.
      “Bran’s vision illustrated the true cruelty of the Mad King” – Like I said, she is guilty of being a Targaryen and Tyrion of being a dwarf.
      “Dany (…) also went on demonstrate her willingness to ignore his (Tyrion’s) peaceful counsel.” Yes. That is true. She should have followed Tyrion’s counsel. Meereen looked great under Tyrion’s peaceful reign. Guys, this is fun!
      “If you ever betray me, I’ll burn you alive”. If you betray me, I’ll name you my hand.
      “Be a dragon”. “They won’t obey you unless they fear you”. Let me add one from our friend King Bobby B. “Do you think it’s honor that’s keeping the peace? It’s fear, fear and blood”. Guys, that’s Westeros. We had 7 seasons to see it. Dany had a few months.
      “Enough with the clever plans. I have three large dragons.” She should not have used the Dragons. The clever plans were working.
      “Bend the knee and join me. Together, we will leave the world a better place than we found it. Or refuse and die.” Well, if you refuse to leave the world a better place, I (Dany) have no problem with it. I do agree that burning Dickon Tarly was a mistake. Dany realizes it too. That is why she takes Tyrion’s advice and places him in a dark cell, to scrub those bold notions out of his head. It did work.
      “Which war was won without deceit and mass murder?” All of them Dany, Ohh! You know nothing Daenerys Targaryen!
      “Sansa’s distrust of Dany throughout the final season was a major clue to viewers”. Sansa had good reasons not to trust Dany. After all, you sacrifice loved ones, a lot of your armies, almost lose a dragon, but immediately after that, you should accept a declaration of independence of the territory you’ve just saved. That’s fair. Totally fair.
      “It appears Daenerys has maintained some respect for her father and brother.” That is why she ignores every advice and orders the murdering of Jaime Lannister. And regarding her family, she should feel disgrace at least.
      “Dany expresses her jealousy of Jon”. She correctly sees that Jon is loved in Winterfell. She said that she can’t be loved, mostly because of her family’s history. But Jon is smart, he loves and supports her. Oh wait, he can’t anymore because he is her nephew and that in Westeros is a disgrace. Except it was not. Let’s assume he has his own personal reasons to reject marrying her. This is the argument for Dany burning KL ?
      “I’m here to free the world from tyrants. That is my destiny. And I will serve it, no matter the cost.” You were doing a great job at it until now. I should not free the world from tyrants.
      “They should know who to blame when the sky falls down upon them.” They should blame themselves Dany, and blame Cersei of course. The gates were opened. Nobody left the city. Everybody came inside the military target: women, children from all over the Crown Lands. But wait, did Dany somehow manage to win the war without killing a single stupid “innocent” ? So Dany found a solution even to that problem ? Well, Yes.

      But why did she burn KL after she’d won the war ?
      We will find out in the books, where I expect Dany’s POV.

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    99. Ten Bears,

      I appreciate your humor and your love for ASNAWP, but objectively Arya’s character was destroyed as much as Dany’s. She was shown to be ungrateful (she understood that the North needed Dany’s dragons but refused to show any gratitude when she provided them); abusive (look what she did to Gendry); and worst of all delusional (she called Dany a killer conveniently forgetting that she herself baked Frey sons into pies and fed them to their father). And now she lost Sandor. So, by the rules the show set, Arya should turn into a mass murderer, too: she has magical power which equals to dragons; she can change faces and kill anyone she wishes, she lost her best friend and left her family, so, there’s nobody to stop her, and she’s self-righteous, etc. And the fact that she doesn’t want glory doesn’t help: she likes killing for the sake of killing – for the sake of power it makes her feel. So, once again: the decision to shoehorn Dany into the role of a mass murders made every other protagonist look like a villain or at least as a potential villain, too.

      And BTW, there’s nothing wrong to seek glory; in fact, this is one of the best motivations because every exchange must be fair, and often glory is the only payment a society can offer to someone who chose to be a hero against all odds (and mostly only after death).

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    100. Iul,

      But why did she burn KL after she’d won the war ?
      We will find out in the books, where I expect Dany’s POV.

      The reasons for Dany’s turn might be … lame… (I think that’s YMMV) for lack of a better word and a viewer totally doesn’t have to accept them but at the end of the day, reasons were still given by the show and by the writers. The showrunners gave their reasons, as did Dany in her scene with Jon, in-universe motivations were also described by Tyrion in his speech (though I understand you think Tyrion misinterpreted Dany’s speech). I definitely have trouble with these reasons but reasons were given, which is why I don’t think it was meant to be ambiguous.

      Iul: Let’s assume he has his own personal reasons to reject marrying her. This is the argument for Dany burning KL ?

      Jon refusing to have sex with his auntie girlfriend isn’t a good reason for Dany to do what she did, no!! 😅😅😅That’s a solid yikes! As for marriage, this was unfortunately never discussed between the two characters (I say it’s unfortunate because it could have solved a few problems Dany was facing). But even without this reason, it’s not the only reason given. The reasons the showrunners gave were:

      Benioff: If circumstances had been different, I don’t think this side of Dany ever would’ve come out. If Varys hadn’t betrayed her, if Cersei hadn’t executed Missandei, if Jon hadn’t told her the truth. Like, if all of these things had happened in any different way, then I don’t think we’d be seeing this side of Daenerys Targaryen.

      Weiss: I don’t think she decided ahead of time that she was… going to do what she did. And then she sees the Red Keep, which is, to her, the home that her family built when they first came over to this country 300 years ago. It’s in that moment, on the walls of King’s Landing, where she’s looking at that symbol of everything that was taken from her, when she makes the decision to– to make this personal.

      You can take that for what you will but because the writers do address it and tried to motivate it, that’s why I don’t think it’s meant to be ambiguous. Poorly done, maybe, (but that’s only my opinion!!) but I don’t think it’s intended to be a mystery.

      That said, I am interested in the story you’re proposing. I don’t think it’s this story but if you ever wrote it as a story, I’d love to see! 🙂 💖

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    101. Iul,

      Great points. I absolutely love this analysis, the only problem: I wouldn’t put any trust in the books. GRRM made wrong decisions before and, considering where the things are going, there’s no way he can make Dany’s snap believable and consistent with her character.

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    102. Adrianacandle,

      The motivation Weiss provided made me wonder whether I have problems with understanding English, or the showrunners have problems with understanding the logic. So, there’s something that represents your family’s legacy which was taken from you and you take it back. And then you put all that legacy on fire… Someone, please, explain to me the meaning of “personal” because nothing I find in the dictionary explains this nonsense.

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    103. Iul:
      Adrianacandle,

      Marriage was discussed. That “is that all I am to you, your Queen?” or“be with me!” means her being open to marry him. At least that’s how I see it.

      Well, “Is that all I am to you? Your queen?” isn’t, “Will you marry me?” or a discussion of the pros and cons of marriage between them, if they can make it work. There was no discussion in this scene. It seems, to me, this scene was the second time Jon and Dany started making out before Jon remembers, “Whoops! You’re my aunt, can’t!” but not a discussion of marriage.

      And I do think there were good reasons for each side to accept a marital alliance, had they discussed it. Aside from their feelings for each other, and even with Jon’s Incest Issues, Dany has reason to accept because it prevents people from pushing Jon’s claim over hers, and she would have an additional connection to the North via marriage to a Northerner and one of Stark blood. For Jon, marriage could prevent people from using him as a pawn against Dany and could prevent civil war between their claims.

      As for, “Be with me,” that was after Dany became a threat to the realm so to me, it really wasn’t the same situation anymore.

      But a discussion of marriage has to involve discussing marriage — why/why not, etc.

      The motivation Weiss provided made me wonder whether I have problems with understanding English, or the showrunners have problems with understanding the logic. So, there’s something that represents your family’s legacy which was taken from you and you take it back. And then you put all that legacy on fire… Someone, please, explain to me the meaning of “personal” because nothing I find in the dictionary explains this nonsense.

      I might be misunderstanding but I believe what D&D were trying to get at was Dany seeing the Red Keep as a symbol as everything that was taken from her, resulting in the life she had to endure (exile, on the run from assassins) was the last straw for her after a series of losses and being blindsided by that she’s no longer the first in line to her family’s dynasty so something inside imploded and she just let KL have it.

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    104. Inga,

      I think he will make Dany “take a knife in the heart for her people”. Then, use Quaithe (a shadow binder) to help her “pass beneath the shadow” of death. Only then Dany will touch the light of her true quest. To make sure the Targaryen family does not die together with her.

      Maybe it’s a bit too poetic. But I know that Spring comes when the snow melts; or when ice and fire come together. It is only a dream of spring thought… Jon dreams of spring (being together with Dany), and them he opens his eyes, and there she is; “Strong and new and fierce”.

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    105. Iul,

      Exactly. Dany did everything a woman can do to demonstrate that she wanted to marry Jon and share the power with him both before he revealed his parentage and after. And Jon’s sudden refusal to continue their relationship was no more motivated than Dany burning KL. The rules are simple: “if a man touches a woman intimately he has to marry her or be fed to dogs” (that’s a quote of one of the medieval statute of my country, LOL). So, considering that avunculate marriage has never been a taboo in Westeros (or our real world), Jon goes into a can of “Pedigree Pal” along with Ramsay Bolton. That’s what the showrunners did to the character which was an embodiment of honor, LOL.

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    106. Inga,

      I think it was clear Dany wanted to be with Jon but if Dany wanted to marry him (and I don’t think she’d be opposed at all), why didn’t she use the word ‘marriage’? And then they could discuss it? If Jon had refused this proposal, yes, I would agree he would have been rejecting marriage.

      At the time Dany and Jon got together, neither knew they were related. I don’t think it’s unreasonable that somebody may need some time to get over the news that their girlfriend is also their aunt — and their dad is their uncle and their aunt is their mother and their siblings are their cousins and their girlfriend’s brother is their father, etc. etc. I’m not sure if Ned raised the kids with the same culture as Dany was raised in where this level of incest is comfortable for her. Ned’s parents were related, but way more distantly. Beron and Lorra Royce were the great grandparents of Ned’s father Rickard while Beron and Lorra were the grandparents of Ned’s mother Lyarra.

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    107. Inga,

      Like Danerys, Arya was going down a really dark path, but she was pulled back by Sandor. She, ultimately, was able to fight her dark impulses and gave up on her revenge so she could actually start living her life. Unfortunately, Danerys wasn’t able to do the same. Also, the White Walkers were coming after everyone, Danerys included. That was her fight as well, so Arya didn’t owe her anything.

      I don’t even know what you’re talking about with Gendry. All Arya did was stay true to herself and decided to live life on her own terms. She didn’t want to be tied down as the lady of Storm’s End and she let him down very gently. She did nothing wrong.

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    108. Iul,

      In my understanding, the best way Dany could “take the knife in the heart for her people” was accepting Jon as the legitimate heir of the House Targarian and helping him take the throne. IMO, that would have been much more in-character for her than the nonsensical burning of KL. Maybe, it could have worked, had she burned KL for Jon like Mossador killed the arrested Son of the Harpy thinking that he was acting in his queen’s interests. But I don’t think GRRM is going this way: he simply wants to write Dany as a delusional tyrant without understanding what a delusional tyrant is.

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    109. Inga,

      Excellent analysis!

      Slightly OT: My understanding is that Vlad the Impaler is still thought of highly by many Romanians, as Ivan the Terrible is by many Russians. True?

      In the last week or two someone (I wish I could remember who!) made a wonderful comment about how differently Daenerys will be remembered in Essos and Westeros—as abolitionist vs. mass murderer.

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    110. Young Dragon,

      Daenerys was equally pulled back by Jorah as late as in Ep 802. So, if Dany burned KL three episodes later, Arya is supposed to start murdering the crew of the ship she boarded in a fortnight or so.
      BTW, I’m not saying it makes any sense, I’m saying it’s the rule the show has established.

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    111. Inga,

      Uh, no. Just because one character relapses doesn’t mean another character has to.

      And you still haven’t explained what Arya did to Gendry.

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    112. Wolfish,

      Well, I’m not quite sure about how exactly the Romanians perceive Vlad the Dragon-son (that’s how “Dracula” should translate, and it’s because his father was a member of the Order of the Dragon established by the future Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund when he was still King of Bohemia). But one way or another, the Romanians have some legit reasons to respect Vlad Tepes: he really tried to defend the interests of Wallachia which was really caught in a dreadful situation back at that time. Meanwhile, Ivan the Terrible… well, don’t let me start. And the main thing is that Ivan the Terrible is not glorified for what he did for the realm (like taking Kazan), he’s glorified for Oprichnina and other similar things: it’s like glorifying Henry VIII for beheading his wives…

      But I might be going too far into my favorite subject. Just wanted to make a point that heroes the specific society glorifies have a tremendous influence on that society in terms of morals, perceptions and even practical decisions the said society or its individual members make in critical moments. Therefore, every storyteller should be extra-careful when developing heroes (no matter historic or fictional) and avoid any moral ambiguity or controversy.

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    113. kevin1989:

      And as of Dany being good or bad. It’s simple, it doesn’t matter what her motivations are. She killed half a million or more people in just a single day. She killed more innocent people in one day then Cersei and her father did combined. She did worse then her father the Mad King. It doesn’t matter what her intentions were in the end, it matters what her actions were. And in KL she acted like a tyrant and she became one. She wants to bend the world to her rule(s). And I’m still baffled that people try to justify killing half a million people or more (It’s probably more towards 1 million the whole city I didn’t see a single civilian in the final when Dany was there alive, only that one dude not far away from death. Tyrion also stated she slaughtered a city)

      Take a bow.

      I will repeat myself, the fact that so many people try to justify Dany’s crimes and then complain that “oh no, is this yet another message of power corrupting people, how stupid”, than that’s the proof that the said message is necessary and brilliant.

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    114. Mr Derp,

      There’s a huge difference between Dany and Tyrion there:
      1. Tyrion was just accused of murder, he reacted out of anger where Dany many times stated she burn cities to the dirt when she was rational. (For instance 5×09 she was very rational towards Hizdahr)
      2. Tyrion stated it one time when he was accused of murder, Dany stated it multiple times through out the course of the series.

      You can’t compare the 2, a better comparison would have been Cersei who stated multiple times that she will destroy cities for her children.

      Adrianacandle,

      Agee, and there is where I think the books will differ. We all know that she needs to destroy KL for instance the house of the undying we got a vision of a destroyed KL. (We though back then that it was the WW), we saw it in visions from Bran. So no matter what, for consistencies Dany needs to destroy KL like she did (or else the WW needed to go there).

      But I think in the books Dany will first do her worst impulses in a smaller scale. I think this will be done already in Merreen.

      This was too big of a change. I think with more time we could have gone there more naturally that would have felt more earned.

      Episode 1 Same as what we saw except the stupid Bronn plotline and instead seeing Yara taking back the Iron Island at the end of the episode.
      Episode 2 Cersei and Euron gets word of this, Cersei orders Euron to get the Iron Islands back because they belong to her kingdoms and once he comes back they will marry. We get Jaimes trial and the first preperations of the big war with the WW to come and Theon returning to WF. The episode ends with Euron destroying Yara for good or Yara destroys Euron. But I think storywise it makes more sense if Euron wins, he is far more likely to return their raping-culture, but it all depends do we want to good or bad guys to win. Jon learns the truth about his parentage.
      3. The last night before the attack of the WW. Same as the show. At the same time, Euron or Yara who ever won the battle at the Iron Island shows us that the rape culture is back. We also see Cersei having interactions with her prisoners. She has taken Bronn captive. We also get more information about the WW past and prophecies. Episode end with the WW at their doorstep.
      4. Same as episode 8×03 but instead the episode ends the moment we think the WW have won. the moment Dracarys failed. The moment they enter into WF. We skip the part where Arya in the library to the next episode. (50/55 minutes ca)
      5. The episode start with Bran being in the past getting a certain information about the NK, that it’s not Azor Ahai who stopped him, we see a glymps of Arya’s knife in the past. Then we see Arya in the library. The rest is the same as the last 20 minutes of episode 8×03. We get more action in the crypts. Sansa saves someone with the knife she got from Arya. We see Rheagal defending Jon when he got attacked by Vyserion. Jon gets away toward the NK. We see the NK killing some people fleeing before he got to Bran. At Bran Jon comes to the saving after Theon is dead. He kills a WW, Jorah and Dany are also going there, they are surrounded. Jorah protects Dany against a WW, we see wights moving through the godswoods surrounding a figure we don’t know is Arya but we see them attack her, the wights drop once Jorah kills a WW (or Jon), Jorah is attacked again this time he is killed. Jon is about to get killed by the NK. we see some leaves moving from the godswood. Arya ends the NK. The episode ends how 8×03 ended.
      6. What was part 1 of 8×04 also Dany urging Jon not to tell his family. We see Dany getting news about the betrayal of the Iron Islands. Euron arrives back at Cersei with a 80% of his army. Cersei release Bronn and gets the assignment to kill her brothers. Jon tells the truth to his family, where Sansa made the claim like she did in episode 4 that Dany dangereous. then we see the iron islands where Dany putting the whole island aflame a la spoils of war. The season ends with a big cliffhanger about Dany’s turn to which she is going. They could give us a cliffhanger as in season 1, but now the couple of survivors of the Iron Island bow to her in fear.

      Less budget then what we got, but more depth I think.

      Season 9(or 8b):
      Episode 1: Part 2 of episode 4 with everyone in WF. The opening sequence is Dany returning to WF. Brienne, Jaime as a couple more fleshed out. Sansa telling Tyrion the truth is in the opening episode of this season(part). Tyrion and Jaime are being attacked by Bronn. He wants his castle. Dany order everyone to go south just like in episode 4. The episode ends with Dany leaving south and Cersei having a plan, we see her castle being prepared by scorpions and the people of KL cheering for Cersei.
      Episode 2: We see Tyrion and Varys talking about Dany like in 8×04. They arrive safe and sound at White harbor. There’s talk that Rheagal is still too wounded of his battle in the north by Dany to Missandei with a personal chat with Missandei. Everyone is going to sleep. We see white harbor being ambushed at night by Euron’s man. He did a sneak attack by killing Rheagal while he was sleeping. They destroyed a big portion of Dany’s boat, not all because of logistics. Drogon wakes up, kill Euron’s man with the help of Dany. Euron is not there. Where could he be? We find out his man waited with the attack more then an hour so he could be far away with dear Missandei.
      Episode 3: Missandei is delivered to Cersei. Thrown into a dark cell. Cersei Missandei
      Everyone is leaving Winterfell now like in episode 8×04, Jon Arya Jaime etc. We see their journey south. Missandei is killed like the show around 2/3 of the episode while the people of KL cheered for it. the episode ends with everyone arriving at dragonstone like the beginning of 8×05. Varys is being killed. Dany states she will go with fear, like she did at the Iron Islands.
      Episode 4: Battle of the Bells. Part 2 of episode 8×05
      Episode 5: The Defeat of Dany Part 1 of episode 8×06
      Episode 6: What comes after.

      I think this would have been better.

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    115. Inga,

      Young Dragon,

      It was the randomness of it all that was jarring. You have Daenerys who from the show’s very beginning was carrying the world on her shoulders (being the last scion of an ancient and awe inspiring house after Viserys’s death), was responsible for hundreds or thousands of people under her protection or rule, had a clear moral compass (she was ruthless towards her enemies but also not hurting innocents was her core belief) and who was for the most part (until mid-season 8) doing a more or less fine job everything considered. She was a character with ambition to rule but she was also a savior of the world (against the dead) and her stated agenda is to be a benevolent ruler and make the world a better place. And then she throws it all out of the window for reasons that after all the discussions on this site and everywhere else are still not clear. She snapped because of her bad genes, she was abandoned by her lover, corrupted by power, made a rational decision to rule through absolute fear? No one can tell. The character who had the most impact on people’s lives was disposed of in such an unceremonious way.
      And now compare her arc to, for example, Arya’s. Arya is the epitome of individualism in the show. She, like Daenerys, pursued her goals (her revenge after all those who wronged her family) ruthlessly, but also without indiscriminate killing of innocents (sparing the Frey women and children). So it could have gone either way for her, but only a pep talk from the Hound when she was on the verge of killing the last person on her list was enough to restore her on the path of righteousness and earn her what was presented as a happy ending. Unlike Daenerys, she was never in the position to lead, to have people’s lives depending on her. It was always only about her or her immediate family. She is the only character in the show who was offered not the choice between duty and love or honour and love, but both duty and love (marrying Gendry and taking the responsibility of becoming the lady of Strom’s End, because, let’s face it, it would actually be her responsibility to rule the Stormlands and make decisions that would affect the lives of her subjects for better or worse given her temperament and Gendry’s probable and, at least initial, lack of skills) as opposed to self indulgence. She unmistakably chose the latter by “sailing west” and becoming what – the harbringer of Westerosi style conquistadores?
      So, is it more rewarding to have no ideals, no ambition to change the world for the better and just be your provincial selfish little self? It seems to be the message. It was presented so that characters who worked most to remake and save the world (Jon and Daenerys) were rewarded with death and heartbreak, while those who chose status quo or turned down any responsibility were granted satisfaction and happiness.

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    116. HayashiM: Take a bow.

      I will repeat myself, the fact that so many people try to justify Dany’s crimes and then complain that “oh no, is this yet another message of power corrupting people, how stupid”, than that’s the proof that the said message is necessary and brilliant.

      The majority of people with a level head are not trying to justify Dany’s actions. There is no justification for it.

      Most of the people that have made their feelings known that they were disappointed are saying that the way the show got there didn’t work for them. There’s a huge difference there.

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    117. Iul,

      I’m not even going to react to these points. You just bend and twist everything that article showed to make excuses for every bad thing Dany did. You even tried to justify her words where she talked about murdering half a million of people in just a day, just so Dany wouldn’t be put into a bad light. And when you saw that that article was right about certain points you acted sarcastically to the fullest to let it feel like Dany was in the right there. I have no intentions of debating when there can’t be even answered normally to the points that are given, or are only reacting to the part that can make your point (many times half of the sentence that was said and writen) but omit the rest of that sentence.

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    118. kevin1989: There’s a huge difference between Dany and Tyrion there:
      1. Tyrion was just accused of murder, he reacted out of anger where Dany many times stated she burn cities to the dirt when she was rational. (For instance 5×09 she was very rational towards Hizdahr)
      2. Tyrion stated it one time when he was accused of murder, Dany stated it multiple times through out the course of the series.

      You can’t compare the 2, a better comparison would have been Cersei who stated multiple times that she will destroy cities for her children.

      You missed my point and, actually, you kind of made my point at the same time. What I said was that a number of people are saying that the foreshadowing of Dany going “mad” was done well and it was there the whole time because she previously said that she would burn cities to the ground. However, when other people do it, it’s completely disregarded as gibberish or he/she didn’t really mean it. You just did the same thing in your post to me by explaining Tyrion’s statement away while highlighting Dany. If we take all of these statements at face value then the current Hand of the King is going to go mad now any moment.

      This is just one of the reasons why I don’t agree that the foreshadowing was sufficient for Dany’s heel transition to work.

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    119. Milutin,

      Yes, Danerys has done some very good things, but she’s done plenty of bad things. She’s made some very impulsive decisions, and despite your claim, innocents died. Some of the masters she crucified were innocent of the crime she was crucifying them for and she fed an innocent man to her dragons when she thought the masters of Mereen were behind the Sons of the Harpy. And let’s not forget that she was about to burn Astapor and Yunkai to the ground as punishment for their soldiers attacking Mereen. I mean, didn’t that raise any red flags for you? It sure did for me. So no, burning down King’s Landing was not random, all the signs were there.

      It was not Arya’s duty to become a lady. Arya was beholden to no one but herself and was under no obligation to accept Gendry’s proposal. She’s living the life she always wanted and if that makes her selfish, then a lot of the other characters are selfish. Sansa wanted to be queen, Sam wanted to be a maester, Tyrion wanted to be Hand, Brienne and Pod wanted to be knights, Sandor wanted to kill his brother etc. Arya’s no more selfish than any of them.

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    120. Inga:
      HayashiM,

      You wrote: “I don’t want to get too political, but if you take into account Martin’s pacifism and his stance on topics like the Vietnam war, is it really so difficult to deduce, which current country with major power could Dany be a perfect allegory of? Hint: the not entirely democratic countries are just kinda too obvious. Try again.”

      I was thinking whether I should answer this, but “someones must start telling the truth”. The truth about the anti-Vietnam war movement is that it was organized and heavily financed by the Soviet GRU and all those well-intended pacifists were either fools or straightforward traitors. It’s also worth to mention that thousands of Vietnamese who put their trust in the US as an ally had to die screaming, because of this stupidity. Unfortunately, it seems that the American left learned nothing from that story; so, if Putin and his gang really proceed with their newest crazy plan to break a new civil war in US over the establishment of an independent state of Alabama, I’m affraid I might be watching it with popcorns.

      I have only mentioned Vietnam as the possible influence on Martin’s worldview – I am sure there are many people more knowledgeable about both these topics.
      I wrote this aiming at more or less current events, not Vietnam.

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    121. Iul,

      You really think that’s the way the story goes in the books?
      Even when Dany turning tyrant was already confirmed to be the third big shock the showrunners had heard from George?
      Even when Emilia confirmed she got multiple notes in the past when she needed to tell certain scenes differently then she though she needed to act, much darker then she expected that scene to be, because D&D knew something about her character (Which they got from George himself)

      Dany will end the same way in the books as the show. As the last villain. It’s also already in the outline of George’s letter to his publisher before publishing his books. Westeros faces 3 evils: The war of 5 kings, the invasion of the east, and the invasion of the north.

      Dany will not be a hero in the books, she will as the show be the ultimate villain of the saga.

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    122. Mr Derp,

      The difference is that Danerys actually has the means to do what she says and Tyrion does not. With 3 dragons and an army of Unsullied and Dothraki, when she says, “I will crucify the masters, kill all the soldiers, and lay their cities to the dirt” combined with all the ruthless acts she’s already committed, it’s much, much easier to take her seriously.

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    123. Young Dragon:
      Mr Derp,

      The difference is that Danerys actually has the means to do what she says and Tyrion does not. With 3 dragons and an army of Unsullied and Dothraki, when she says, “I will crucify the masters, kill all the soldiers, and lay their cities to the dirt” combined with all the ruthless acts she’s already committed, it’s much, much easier to take her seriously.

      Tyrion killed how many people with wildfire?

      He also said that he wanted to poison them all. Surely, Tyrion Lannister, during the reign of the Lannisters, had plenty of means to do what he wanted with the common folk. There are millions of ways to commit mass murder other than using a dragon. Just ask Cersei.

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    124. Mr Derp,

      Tyrion doesn’t have wildfire anymore. Nor does he have access to enough poison to kill an entire city. Besides, he was a prisoner at the time, so it was easy not to take him seriously.

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    125. kevin1989,

      Thanks for sharing with me, kevin! 🙂

      And I do feel that having access to Dany’s POV in the books, if we ever approach a time when these books come out, will help out a lot. I don’t think it’s ever going to feel good to me, Dany was one of my faves, I’m heartbroken by this and she got me into the story during a hard time in my life. But I think having Dany’s POV will help.

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    126. Wolfish: He rode two.

      #sorrynotsorry
      #feelinglikeateenager
      #whereisdaario

      no, you didn’t. hahahaha XDXD

      He went to dragonstone for dragonglass, but came home with yeah you know 😉

      HayashiM,

      Agree, but I think that’s human, we all look at our own interests, what make the lives of ourselves, and our love ones more important then that’s far away from or beds. I even see myself doing that sometimes that I look at how things are in my country without knowing how things are at the other side of the world. But how could I? And we also have a notion to pay more attention of the people that don’t have it as good as we have and can’t defend themselves, we see that with how we react with for instance something happen with children and animals, but if that same thing happen to an adult we can let in go more easily.
      That’s what also happened here. Dany saved the people of Essos from slavery. People who couldn’t defend themselves, she did good by saving them. (which she did she is a hero there), that weight more to people then the people she killed in KL because those people had it better to begin with, they had their jobs, food etc.

      Look even at the world now, America bombed a lot of middle eastern countries. In the eyes of many people in the west America is bringing freedom to the middle east. If you ask that same question to somebody from the middle east how they look at America, they don’t see it as bringing freedom. They see America as the one bombing their country to bits.

      I’m not going into which side is right or wrong, that’s not the place. I merely wanted to state that one thing can looked at 2 ways, one side can look at it as the way to go, the other look at it with horror.

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    127. Adrianacandle,

      You see, I can’t imagine Jon & Dany not discussing marriage when they were on the boat together for like two weeks. Jon’s “How about my queen?” already sounded like a proposal especially you remember the look he gave to Dany in “Beyond the Wall”. Dany ran away, but in the Dragonpit she kind of understood how serious he had been. So, she warned him again that she couldn’t have children, to which Jon responded “unreliable source of information” and appeared on the doorstep of her bedroom at the first opportunity. It that wasn’t a proposal from Jon’s side, IDK what could be.

      The only question we may have is why Jon & Dany didn’t marry right on the boat. But the answer is also obvious. Jon had a family, so it’s legit to assume that both of them wanted that family to be present at the wedding. But then Sansa started staring daggers and inculpating Jon for loving Dany instead of congratulating him for winning the bride with the largest dowry in the realm, so the marriage had to be postponed.

      And we also should keep in mind that Dany considered herself barren. So, it’s legit to assume that she wanted to conceive first just to be sure, etc.

      Anyway, IMO the only reason why Jon & Dany never talked about marriage on the screen s that the showrunners simply couldn’t write such conversation so, that Jon could refuse it. The advantages were simply way too obvious. So, the only thing they could do was to make Jon disgusted about “incest”. It was bad and a totally unbelievable solution but it was the only thing they had (and that’s the fundamental problem with GRRM’s outline).

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    128. Mr Derp: The majority of people with a level head are not trying to justify Dany’s actions.There is no justification for it.

      Most of the people that have made their feelings known that they were disappointed are saying that the way the show got there didn’t work for them.There’s a huge difference there.

      To be honest, the intended recipient of these words was rather Iul, who in my opinion does try to justify Dany while searching for some of her “hidden greatness”, being in denial of the fact that evil!Dany is book canon as well (if Martin lives long enough to publish that).

      I would say that for my tastes there were way too many logic defying moments in the S0803 to S0806 episodes. It could have been done better, in a more coherent and generally “working” way. I think I understand the disappointment of many and partly share it.

      In the same time I still find the endgame’s arcs and ideas (not necessarily the precise execution) quite satisfactory and I am willing to overlook some of D&D’s missteps because of that. Of course, a couple more of episodes would have helped, but overall I find that a lot of fans exaggerate their disappointment, because they are just not willing to cooperate enough with the storytelling.

      To give a concrete example, I will once again quote Petra’s questioning of “what the heck was the point of Dany’s arc?”. For me personally, that point is crystal clear. I respect it might not be for others, but I still consider Petra’s propositions (“all ambition is wrong? Helping others is wrong?”) as overexaggereted artificial anger that really cannot be intended seriously and is missplaced even as some sort of irony.

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    129. Mr Derp,

      read back this comment section, I can’t remember which one said it, but they stated that in the books we find out what that greater good Dany was talking about in season 6 was about. That the burning of KL and episode 6 was shown through the eyes of Jon and that in the books we will find out what was beneath the surface of her actions in episode 5 and 6, that person stated that her actions in KL was meant for the greater good of the world but that we didn’t get to witness that because Jon killed her. And that’s where I reacted to that people were trying to give an excuse to Dany’s action in episode 5 because it was done to make the world better, and that we in the books will find out what that better is.

      So I stated that killing half a million people is no excuse to bring your own version of the greater good to the world.

      Mr Derp,

      True, the heel turn could have been done better and should have had more smaller build up to that moment. We had the forshadowing in season 1 till 7 that was maybe 25% of where we got. And season 8 till episode 4 it was maybe at 40% and then we got to the full 100% in just one episode. If we got at least a couple of smaller build ups to for instance 60 and 80% it would have made more sense I agree.

      And to go back to the comparison, it’s a non-valid comparison in my book. Tyrion stated it in anger, to relieve himself of that anger, he was mad that the people he saved put him to death. When he calmed down he did 4 seasons to do everything to restore peace to Westeros. He did first go to Dany to make sure Cersei is removed so a just ruler could sit on the throne. After Dany went to westeros he did everything to calm her down. Dany didn’t state those statements in anger, she said it when she was calm and rational. She also stated it many times, more then you can count on 1 hand.
      If somebody stated something multiple times with a calm mind it’s a good foreshadow that that person will go that route in the end.

      Look at it with kids, how many kids don’t react angry at their parents, saying words like: Wish you were dead. Wish you were gone forever. I wish I was never born in this family etc. Because they were angry because for instance they are being bullied at school and need to vent it somewhere, or home is not that safe of a place. If a child say that with anger most of the time you can count on it that after the problem has been solved (bullying their anger issues etc) the child most of the time say that he is sorry and lived to have a good relationship with his parents. But if you have a child that states 10x a year calmly that he will murder you, well I think you have a big problem.

      The way those words were outed and the content, and how many times make a big difference. We all have stated things we wish we could take back after we said it because we didn’t mean it. But if you meant it you will state it many times after your first time.

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    130. Inga,

      You see, I can’t imagine Jon & Dany not discussing marriage when they were on the boat together for like two weeks. Jon’s “How about my queen?” already sounded like a proposal especially you remember the look he gave to Dany in “Beyond the Wall”. Dany ran away, but in the Dragonpit she kind of understood how serious he had been. So, she warned him again that she couldn’t have children, to which Jon responded “unreliable source of information” and appeared on the doorstep of her bedroom at the first opportunity. It that wasn’t a proposal from Jon’s side, IDK what could be.

      For me, a proposal of marriage would need to directly reference marriage — any suggestion of an official union between the two as husband and wife — which we didn’t see so as I can’t really count those interactions (or off-screen speculation) as a marriage proposal or discussing marriage.

      And I think it should have happened, I think the both of them should have sat down and at least broached the topic because marriage wouldn’t just be because they love each other, it would be politically advantageous (especially after the parentage reveal because this would solve the issue of claims — the one Dany wants and the one Jon doesn’t want and it’d stave off a potential civil war if the truth ever got out).

      The advantages were simply way too obvious.

      I largely agree this is why the writers didn’t have Jon and Dany at least discuss the topic, that it would have taken away too many problems and it would have taken away a reason from fulfilling the Dark Dany turn. Jon may continue to have difficulty with incest, I think that’ll take some time to get over (and the whole identity stuff/mixed up family tree) but I think he’d do it. At the very least, nobody could use his claim against Dany’s if they were married.

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    131. Young Dragon,

      I wasn’t comparing Arya to Sansa, Sam or Tyrion but with Daenerys. And I know that every character is allowed to pursue his/her own goals. My post was about what the show was trying to convey to the audience by framing the endings of character arcs in such a way.

      By comparing the characters of Arya and Daenerys who both had shades of grey up to the penultimate episode only for their arcs to take completely different directions in the last episode and a half just emphasized how random and unearned Daenerys’s fall was. Since it was carried out in such a sloppy way it seems the only intention was to make a twist for the sake of twist. And if you do something like that to one of the two protagonists of the story and pretty much ruin the other protagonist’s arc (Jon’s) by relegating him to become a mere tool to drive Daenerys towards the path of destruction (in the words of GRRM himself Jon and Daenerys are the ones this story was actually all about) then it has the effect of putting an explosive device in the foundation of the story and ruins other arcs as well and puts them all into a less flattering perspective as I tried to show with giving another, probably unpopular, take on Arya’s character arc.

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    132. Milutin,

      Exactly. And Arya doesn’t even sail West of Westeros to do something “good” for the sake of the realm, like discover new trade routes. It’s just pointless vagabonding, it’s back into the wildness/nature, as Russians say it “Mother, born me back.” In other words, it’s a pure individualism and infantilism: no duties, no responsibility, no goals, just hanging out. But it might be how Western leftists understand happiness now: as an endless childhood. And it’s really disgusting.

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    133. Milutin,

      But that’s not how characters work. Yes, Danerys and Arya were heading down similar dark paths, but the fact that one was able to pull back and another wasn’t doesn’t make it random. Some people can come back, some can’t, that’s life. Dany’s turn was more earned than the Red Wedding, as there was a lot more set up. Some people closed their eyes to the sick and depraved acts that Danerys committed and the innocent people she killed or threatened, but I wasn’t one of them. Her threatening to burning down Astapor and Yunkai and her burning down King’s Landing were very similar circumstances. What exactly was going through your mind when she was calmly discussing massacring entire cities?

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    134. For me if I want to give what GoT is trying to say (which I think not every story needs a message to be told to the fans, just tell the story): That you never should follow somebody blindly when it comes to power. Convert it to the real world. Never put your full trust into a political figure/party. Every political person/ party with power behind them can falter into something bad, and if they do don’t follow them blindly. but stop following them. And I think that’s a very good message to tell.

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    135. kevin1989: no, you didn’t. hahahaha XDXD

      He went to dragonstone for dragonglass, but came home with yeah you know 😉

      HayashiM,

      Agree, but I think that’s human, we all look at our own interests, what make the lives of ourselves, and our love ones more important then that’s far away from or beds. I even see myself doing that sometimes that I look at how things are in my country without knowing how things are at the other side of the world. But how could I? And we also have a notion to pay more attention of the people that don’t have it as good as we have and can’t defend themselves, we see that with how we react with for instance something happen with children and animals, but if that same thing happen to an adult we can let in go more easily.
      That’s what also happened here. Dany saved the people of Essos from slavery. People who couldn’t defend themselves, she did good by saving them. (which she did she is a hero there), that weight more to people then the people she killed in KL because those people had it better to begin with, they had their jobs, food etc.

      Look even at the world now, America bombed a lot of middle eastern countries. In the eyes of many people in the west America is bringing freedom to the middle east. If you ask that same question to somebody from the middle east how they look at America, they don’t see it as bringing freedom. They see America as the one bombing their country to bits.

      I’m not going into which side is right or wrong, that’s not the place. I merely wanted to state that one thing can looked at 2 ways, one side can look at it as the way to go, the other look at it with horror.

      Of course, a lot of things are human. I am 100% certain I am guilty of many things I myself criticise here, that’s the problem with criticism 🙂
      As for Dany saving slaves / America bringing freedom to the middle East, that’s the precise point I have been trying to make, thanks. Though I agree, this is not the place to discuss politics, I only wanted to raise the point that such a comparision could be made.
      I have one objection for Dany’s heroism though – from the moment she, in full awareness, muders her first master who was in fact innocent and whom she might have spared, she stops being a hero to me. I can understand killing ennemies in a war, but not murdering suspects without proper trial. From that moment on, Dany is in my eyes someone, “whose contribution should be recognized and valued, but who in the same time cannot and must not be trusted with ruling anything or anyone”. From that moment, she’s a wildcard who could do literally anything, who has heroic qualities, but who is not a 100% hero anymore.
      I understand that for many people, the slavers just had it coming, but I don’t agree. I understand everyone makes mistakes, but this one is just too big and can foreshadow pretty much anything coming from Dany’s part later on.

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    136. Anyway, IMO the only reason why Jon & Dany never talked about marriage on the screen s that the showrunners simply couldn’t write such conversation so, that Jon could refuse it. The advantages were simply way too obvious. So, the only thing they could do was to make Jon disgusted about “incest”. It was bad and a totally unbelievable solution but it was the only thing they had (and that’s the fundamental problem with GRRM’s outline).

      This lies in the core of my dissatisfaction with Season 8. There was a more believable and less convoluted direction Jon and Daenerys’s relationship could have gone from the very beginning. Instead a different path was chosen while the logical solution – marriage was there hanging like an elephant in the room no one even thought to discuss. And I am not here complaining because I didn’t get a happy ending. Something could still happen to one or both of them. They could’ve died, fall apart later and end up with a really bittersweet ending, but the logical step of marriage had to be taken with all the foreshadowing from season 7. But if you didn’t want to go with it you couldn’t mention it at all because, as you said there was no way realistically to brought it up and then to not go through with it.

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    137. kevin1989,

      This pretty much sums up all I have been trying to express here. Many people think that’s a cheap message. I think it’s great because of how universal it is and because of the extent many people get caught off guard with it, not really suspecting anything until it is delivered – which makes its point even more relevant. Thanks.

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    138. Young Dragon,

      We obviously have very different opinions about this. Imo, Daenerys’s ending was unearned for me and we can only agree to disagree.

      And if we are taking high moral stands, what was going through your head when Arya killed Walder Frey’s sons, butchered the bodies and put them in a pie?

      And after everything, she got a happy ending. That’s my biggest misgiving here, the randomness and inconsistency of it all – grey characters receiving extremely black or extremely white endings

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    139. Inga,

      What the hell? Having sex with someone doesn’t mean they have to marry them. I mean, Gendry had been with other girls before Arya and didn’t marry any of them. Was that ok to you?

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    140. Young Dragon:
      Mr Derp,

      Tyrion doesn’t have wildfire anymore. Nor does he have access to enough poison to kill an entire city. Besides, he was a prisoner at the time, so it was easy not to take him seriously.

      Dany’s dragons weren’t capable of lighting fire yet when Dany told the 13 that she would burn their city to the ground though.

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    141. kevin1989,

      Sorry, but you don’t get a point. It boils down to “the eternal Russian question” about whether the happiness of all mankind is worth sacrificing one innocent child. Several characters were asked this question in the show: Stannis said “yes”, Davos and Jon sad “no”, Dany also said “no”, until it became “yes” for no good reason.
      I do agree that there were a number of ways to write Dany as a villain, but the way they did it demonstrates their disrespect to this question as such. The transition from “no” to “yes” should have been explored respectively and thoroughly with no other plot else distracting the viewers’ attention, because it is IMPORTANT. Instead, they turned it into a cheap jump-scare and unfortunately it speaks volumes of their own morals.

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    142. Regarding these marriage discussions: I consider the marriage point quite irrelevant, because, as Arya spoon feeds us – as long as there is a perceived threat to Dany, the threat won’t live for long. And Jon is bound to become such a threat. Even if Jon and Dany do get married, I can’t see Dany as being able to see him as equal. The marriage wouldn’t have changed anything
      – either Jon marries Dany, then he still has the precisely same choice to make later on and (in my opinion) still makes the same right choice.
      – or Jon refuses (more likely), which probably means the battle plays out the same with Jon getting executed by Dany after its end, with no one (ok, perhaps Arya) left to get rid of the tyrant. Which I frankly don’t think would have been any better or more “justified” ending.

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    143. Young Dragon,

      Yes, every character you mentioned was selfish and therefore undeserving any respect, except Sam who abandoned his dream to become a maester and Brienne and Pod who simply remained true to their wows.

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    144. Mr Derp,

      Because of all other arguments on the topic of why Dany’s and Tyrion’s threats aren’t the same, you picking this one point is very petty and biased. Tyrion was owed while being abused during a false trial, and, as has been already pointed out and you simply refuse to acknowledge I am afraid, Tyrion has only done this once.
      Yunkai didn’t owe Dany anything. True, she might have been desperate at some point of her threats, but the overall problem is repetitive behaviour and clinging on her threats.

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    145. HayashiM:
      Mr Derp,

      Because of all other arguments on the topic of why Dany’s and Tyrion’s threats aren’t the same, you picking this one point is very petty and biased. Tyrion was owed while being abused during a false trial, and, as has been already pointed out and you simply refuse to acknowledge I am afraid, Tyrion has only done this once.
      Yunkai didn’t owe Dany anything. True, she might have been desperate at some point of her threats, but the overall problem is repetitive behaviour and clinging on her threats.

      Petty and biased? Dude, you’re steering this conversation to an ugly place. Don’t start up with the personal attacks. I’m not even a Dany fan.

      Bottom line is that the Dany heel turn would’ve worked much better for me if Dany didn’t decide to torch all of KL unprovoked. That’s where the show lost me. Otherwise, I thought “The Bells” was a terrific episode.

      She definitely has a history of doing controversial things when provoked due to her sense of entitlement, but not once she got what she wanted.

      I would’ve preferred a situation where she was losing the battle and the ONLY way she could win it was to burn KL to the ground in the process. It would’ve felt more organic and natural to the character we’ve seen for the last 8 seasons. The fact that she burned them all after she already won was just bizarre, IMO, and made the whole thing feel like shock for the sake of shock. They went for shock value over believable storytelling, IMO.

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    146. Milutin,

      As I said, Arya was heading down a very dark path, but was able to come back into the light.

      In this show, good people die, bad people die, grey people die. If it was truly consistent, there would be no one left. There is no systematic formula that says all characters that fall into the same category have to have the same ending, that’s nonsensical and that’s not how any story works.

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    147. Mr Derp,

      No, that was a hollow threat that the Thirteen saw through right away. Her threat to burn down Astapor and Yunkai was not hollow at all.

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    148. HayashiM,

      But Jon distancing himself and not reciprocating her feeling was presented as the main trigger for Daenerys’s act to burn the entire city (“It’s fear then” or something like that). If she was married happily it would’ve been prevented (this is show’s argument, not mine just writing it down feels insulting to Daenerys’s character).

      Furthermore, if they were married who would you be rising against to put whom on the throne? It’s their throne, they are already on it, they have a drogon(s), they could say we rule equally, all talk about one being before the other is treason. Who would have the legitimate cause to rise against them? Successfull rebellions need to have at least some justification to succeed. There would be none here.

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    149. Inga:
      kevin1989,

      Sorry, but you don’t get a point. It boils down to “the eternal Russian question” about whether the happiness of all mankind is worth sacrificing one innocent child. Several characters were asked this question in the show: Stannis said “yes”, Davos and Jon sad “no”, Dany also said “no”, until it became “yes” for no good reason.
      I do agree that there were a number of ways to write Dany as a villain, but the way they did it demonstrates their disrespect to this question as such. The transition from “no” to “yes” should have been explored respectively and thoroughly with no other plot else distracting the viewers’ attention, because it is IMPORTANT. Instead, they turned it into a cheap jump-scare and unfortunately it speaks volumes of their own morals.

      No one is 100% white, but I think it is you who doesn’t get the full point. Dany did lock her dragons having seen the bones of a dead child, yes. But she has answered a very similar question of “am I willing to kill innocents just because I can” with a yes, alredy with the slavers. Yes, she does have some sort of a moral compass, she is willing to listen, she tries to rectify her mistakes… But only to some point.
      Turning Dany’s final answer into a “yes” doesn’t come up all of sudden, as she has already answered “yes” to very similar questions on multiple prior occasions.
      Also, “other plot else distracting the viewers’ attention” is why it is so brilliant, because in real life, nothing is so clear, without other distractions. In this way, many people experience a cognitive dissonance and try to reason about the story and the entire experience is much stronger. If the message is spoon fed, the audience is much more likely to learn nothing and forget about the whole thing even quicker than they will with the way it’s been eventually done.
      The shock and disbelief is, in this case, the most important part of the message.

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    150. Inga,

      Agree with you half. As stated before I also think they should have transit Dany’s turn better. It went from 25 at the end of season 7 to 40 at the end of 8×04 to 100% in episode 5. To compare it to Walter white, he changed over the course of the series better, he was already at 30% bad at the end of season 2, at season 3 he was already at 50% at the end of season 4 he was at 80% and the last 20% was the last season. I don’t say that they should have followed the precise way to Dany’s turn with every season 10% because Dany got more screentime in season 7 and 8 compared to the rest of the series. But they could have at least have her over the 50% at the end of season 6. And the other 50% in season 7 and 8.

      So I agree that they could have done it much better, and instead of shock value they could also have a single episode dedicated to Dany turn from 40 to 70 and one the rest. It all depends on how it was portrait. Personally (as you already noticed) I’m more declined to go with Dany though of it before with rational thoughts, because for me that’s more Dany, yes she can react a bit impulsive when she is angry but it’s always fueled with her rational though she had before. Instead of having it about grief. It could be grief but then they should have first attacked the Red Keep and after that the rest. But then episode 6 doesn’t make sense because there she is rational. Yes deluded but her thoughts are not filled with grief etc.

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    151. Young Dragon,

      “Slay the masters, slay the soldiers, slay every man who holds a whip, but harm no child. Strike the chains off of every slave you see!” I recall her saying that in Astapor, but I don’t recall her saying she’ll kill everyone, man, woman, and child like she actually followed through with in KL. Did she say that in Astapor?

      When you refer to Yunkai, this is the city that called Dany “Mhysa” for liberating them, yes? And didn’t Dany threaten them with burning the city after they already threatened her? I think pretty much anyone would react similarly to Dany in that moment.

      Look, I get what you’re saying and I’m certainly not one of those people who didn’t see anything troubling with Dany coming throughout the show. In fact, I recall during season 6 I was on here saying how troubling it was that Dany wanted to free everyone in Essos, but at the same time wanted to conquer Westeros and make them her loyal subjects. Like I said previously, I just didn’t think she would kill thousands of innocent people AFTER she already got what she wanted. It obviously worked for others, but made no logical sense to me. I enjoy hearing opposite viewpoints as long as everything remains civil and respectful.

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    152. Young Dragon,

      You’re twisting my words. I was against extremely white (light, happy) and extremely black (ruinous, destructive) endings. There’s a whole pallette of shades of grey in between. I never said I wanted the same formula endings. I wanted the whole season to be more nuanced and more carefully and intelligently written including the endings of character arcs.

      Again we can only agree to disagree and I think we’ll start running in circles so I won’t be continuing this discussion any more.

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    153. Mr Derp,

      I’m talking about season 6 when she said she would burn those cities to the ground after Yunkai and Astapor soldiers attacked Mereen. “I’m going to crucify the masters, kill all the soldiers, and lay their cities in the dirt.”

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    154. Mr Derp,

      I think for me if they went with a more straight forward storytelling it would have been better for me. If they had Dany tell for instance Grey worm that she will go that route because of reasons, for instance her only option is fear and the people betrayed her by choosing Cersei. The foreshadow was there and a lot of it. But her trigger for better word, was not the trigger I expected with Dany. I expected her turn to be because she felt entitled combined with not being admired like a savior by the people of KL. And going after her destiny no matter the cost. And they portrait it that till the first 20 minutes of 8×05. With Jon: So it will be fear. Made it clear that she though about it rationally. But at the moment itself it was irrational instead of rational.

      I went with it because I always felt Dany was going that route of episode 8×06 and I always felt she was the one to destroy KL not the NK. But I expected her action to be rational.

      So I agree with you about that her turn itself could have been improved a lot. I only disagree with if people say it’s out of character.

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    155. Mr Derp: Petty and biased?Dude, you’re steering this conversation to an ugly place.Don’t start up with the personal attacks.I’m not even a Dany fan.

      Bottom line is that the Dany heel turn would’ve worked much better for me if Dany didn’t decide to torch all of KL unprovoked.That’s where the show lost me.Otherwise, I thought “The Bells” was a terrific episode.

      She definitely has a history of doing controversial things when provoked due to her sense of entitlement, but not once she got what she wanted.

      I would’ve preferred a situation where she was losing the battle and the ONLY way she could win it was to burn KL to the ground in the process.It would’ve felt more organic and natural to the character we’ve seen for the last 8 seasons.The fact that she burned them all after she already won was just bizarre, IMO, and made the whole thing feel like shock for the sake of shock.They went for shock value over believable storytelling, IMO.

      I don’t mean to offend you, my apologies. Yet when there are so many differences pointed out to you in a context, you choose an isolated case and present is as an argument… and this argument doesn’t work if you consider the entire context that has just been presented, then I feel that as a foul. “Petty” was the closest expression I could find.

      It is true that the case of “having to burn the entire King’s Landing to turn the war over” is what I had been actually expecting at the time I first watched the episode. But such scenario would eventually weaken the point Martin is IMO trying to make, while this shock is not pure shock value only, because the shock does IMO strengthen the said point.

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    156. HayashiM,

      You set an impossible standard. Sure, no-one should be killed without a trial, but there was no proper judicial system in the GOT universe. People made justice themselves as well as they could. Take Arya and the Freys: she killed them all without even trying to weight the extent of their guilt. But were they all equally guilty? From what we know, old Walder was a tyrant, his sons and grandsons had little to no choice. So, it’s legit to assume that at least some of the mail Freys found no joy in the Red Wedding. It’s also legit to assume that at least some of the female Freys did: for instance, Walda was very happy to be married to Roose Bolton. Nevertheless, Arya didn’t go into details: men = guilty, women = innocent. Just as simple as that.

      And when it comes to slavers Dany crucified, it was a very similar judgment based on the group identity and I wouldn’t say that it was all that wrong. Hizdahr said his father was against the crucifiction of the slave children, but he did nothing to prevent it – at least he didn’t do enough. So, he was guilty of taking part in the system which committed this crime. But more importantly, Dany learned the lesson: she wanted to give a fair trial to the Son of the Harpy, etc.

      So, again: we have double standards, we have every protagonist of the story killing their foes indiscriminately, but only Dany is forced into a contrived heel-turn. So, why Dany and not Jon or Arya or Brienne or Davos? IMO, Davos breaking bad would have been even more “entertaining”, LOL.

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    157. Young Dragon:
      Mr Derp,

      I’m talking about season 6 when she said she would burn those cities to the ground after Yunkai and Astapor soldiers attacked Mereen. “I’m going to crucify the masters, kill all the soldiers, and lay their cities in the dirt.”

      Didn’t she say that because the slavers re-instituted slavery after she left? I honestly don’t remember.

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    158. Milutin,

      Arya killing the Freys is dark, I’ll give you that. However, the show has always been very clear and up-front about how compassionate she ultimately is deep down. She is capable of some very brutal acts against those who have truly wronged her and her family, but she’s never “lost it”. And she’s certainly not the only good person one who has killed someone in a brutal way.

      Brienne, for example, with the Stark solider at the end of season 2 (“Two quick deaths?” And then she slowly drives her sword into his stomach or crotch). Sansa feeding Ramsay to his dogs when she could easily have just had him beheaded or hung (and Jon must have known about this as well).

      To me, Arya’s revenge has always been a manifestation of her pain. It was never about idealism or gaining power or proving a point. It was, in a sense, a survival mechanism that drove her to keep going and to keep living as opposed to collapsing into despair.

      I don’t think the story needs to be so binary in a way that says if you kill someone in a brutal way, you inevitably get a bad/sad ending. What matters, with Arya in particular, is that she had enough goodness and strength in her to pull herself away from that dark path. To me, Arya sparing the life of Lady Crane at great risk to her own and then leaving the FM speaks volumes to her inner strength and resolve to do the right thing.

      That being said, I fully expected Arya to get a more bittersweet ending than she did, and I wouldn’t have been against it if it did go in that direction. I was pretty convinced that she would be forced to sail west for one reason or another as opposed to the more optimistic way it ended up happening.

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    159. Young Dragon,

      Having sex with someone doesn’t mean they have to marry them?

      Sorry, Young Dragon, but you go into “Pedigree” in my eyes, LOL.

      On a serious note, it’s true that nowadays marriage has been completely depreciated and everyone is having sex with everyone and then feels abandoned and depressed. But Westeros is based on medieval morals and medieval morals were fair and clear: anyone who doesn’t want to marry after sex goes into dog food, because sex is marriage. Period.

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    160. HayashiM,

      Whatever point Martin is trying to make with this ending is certainly having a much more profound affect on you than me.

      Right now, the ending is telling the same story that’s been told a thousand times before it. The pursuit of power corrupts. I didn’t need 8 seasons to figure that out.

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    161. Mr Derp,

      All I remember is Tyrion giving her an update on Mereen’s growth, Danerys saying, “Shall we begin?” and then Tyrion asking for her plan. That was here response.

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    162. Milutin:
      HayashiM,

      But Jon distancing himself and not reciprocating her feeling was presented as the main trigger for Daenerys’s act to burn the entire city (“It’s fear then” or something like that). If she was married happily it would’ve been prevented (this is show’s argument, not mine just writing it downfeels insulting to Daenerys’s character).

      Furthermore, if they were married who would you be rising against to put whom on the throne? It’s their throne, they are already on it, they have a drogon(s), they could say we rule equally, all talk about one being before the other is treason. Who would have the legitimate cause to rise against them? Successfull rebellions need to have at least some justification to succeed. There would be none here.

      That is what I wanted to happen all the time prior to season 8. But that was not a possible scenario, definitely not after Dany’s first reaction to Jon’s parentage was “OMG I might not get to be the queen after all.”
      In other words, even if married, they would have never been equals. Yes, the King’s Landings’s population might have been saved, but Dany’s moral compass remains slightly off anyway. There is no way she would have accepted Jon’s corrections in a good way, because unlike with all her other advisors, 1. Jon should be her equal, which she couldn’t bear, and 2. Jon would have to correct her very very often. Eventually, a tragedy is still bound to happen.
      In yet another words, notice that Dany offers – maybe – marriage, but definitely not a common rule. And with her immoral prior decisions, there is no way this marriage would have worked out, even if she wasn’t triggered by that one particular last straw.

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    163. Mr Derp,

      Back then she wasn’t that entitled, dark etc as she is now. She changed because of her experience, her experience of betrayal (by close friends brother the man that fed her and her brother), she also learned that her dragons give her the power to get what she wants, she also learned that by being kind she will be defeated very easily, it almost got her killed in 5×09. But when she show power, killing MMD, killing the Khals, she got praise and people bowed to her.
      Thank you for given me this lesson, xaro Xhoan daxos. *While putting him alive into a vault* she learned a lesson there, and she executed that lesson. her lessons put her in a darker place every time.

      That is complete the opposite of Jon. His lessons were about love, if Dany and Jon would have switched and Dany would have been raised by Ned and Dany with Viserys, the roles would be reversed. Only difference is that I think Dany would be a strong woman like Arya but in politcal way (maybe more margerey) while Jon would have not survived without love.

      She felt how it was that the people of Merreen took their own freedom and choose Dany as their savior and queen. The people of KL didn’t want Dany who was on a quest of freeing the world of tyrant. It is not a deal breaker but it was a small part that helped.

      Her feeling of destiny.

      And Cersei pushed her worst impulses above, I think she expected it to make Dany lose the battle, but it made her more deliberate to win.

      And many characters changed throughout the course of the show, that’s called character building, where Dany changed from savior to oppressor. Sansa changed from naive to manipulator (only one with better reasons then LF and Cersei). Jaime changed from a man who pushed a boy out of a window, a man without honor and remorse, to a person with a lot of honor and too much remorse. Jon changed from somebody who want to lead to one who dislike it. And I can call a lot of characters which changed a lot through out the course of the show.

      But I still agree, it could have handled much much better. Because even I who expected it, was torn what the real reason was.

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    164. HayashiM,

      Sorry, but I can’t by this cheesy spoon-feeding especially from the hands of such a self-delusional and self-righteous person Arya was made into. Everything I saw on the screen until Ep 804 screamed that Dany was willing to share power with Jon and even saw him as more competent: “If I had listened to you, everything would have been different” etc.

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    165. Inga: So, what’s the moral here? […] Don’t try to make the world a better place like Dany

      Yes, I could take this moral, if it actually includes “like Dany”, ie, don’t decide to make the world a better place according to your own standards and by killing all those you think are baddies. Confusing revenge and justice (crucifying the masters) and, most of all, endorsing “Kill the Masters” was already a bad omen for me. Maybe because it reminded me of a popular song during the French Revolution (roughly saying “we’ll hang all the aristocrats”). You say you are an historian, I don’t have to explain what the Terror was. It made me very cautious towards Dany, wondering whether she would learn or not and would amend this dangerous trait. And the show never gave me the impression she changed on this point (she listened to counsellers, but never really looked convinced at heart. At least, that was my impression, even before the Bells).
      Likewise, justifying conquest by the mission of bringing progress to other populations is the core of Western colonialism discourses in the XIXth century. And of other imperialist stances — lots of people around the world resent US foreign policies on this very stance; and some would even agree they did a great job in the Middle East: they managed to make a Cersei-like dictator almost look like a nice guy compared to what came next thanks to their “liberation”. Though, yes, like Dany, they did good things before, like being crucial to defeating Hitler.

      Now, if you take “like Dany” off, you have “Don’t try to make the world a better place”, and I don’t think that’s what the show says. The last image is Jon going North, followed by wildling kids that would have died without him. He certainly made the world a better place for the wildlings – other downtrodden salvages. He listened to them, he learned from them, he considered them his equals though not always agreeing with them, he fought with them, not for them. He didn’t do it for glory or worship or to gain power, he did the opposite: he used the power he gained to do it. (Happy some gods resurrected him, they may not all be assholes, Davos!).

      So, “Try to make the world a better place like Jon” is a moral I could go with. I don’t find it cynical.

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    166. Mr Derp,

      I forget one thing, about her words about turning Yunkaii to the dirt, if that was so normal in that situation, why did Tyrion try to change her mind instead of just let it happen? If it was normal that she would turn Yunkaii into the dirt because the masters attacked Merreen, surely that wouldn’t have been a problem?

      Or should Dany have thought about the innocent people in Yunkaii at that moment?

      Inga,
      As for Arya: For me I was glad Walder have biten the dust back then. but at the same time I was afraid Arya would become a psychopath. I even was on Sansa’s side in season 7 because I was somehow scared that Arya really became a psychopath. And I think once Arya was back, seeing her family again she saw what she’s become. And tried to change back to how she was. That’s also something Dany is missing, true unconditional love, she have that of Jorah but he died. The dothraki admire her, same as the unsullied. Missandei probably loves her but not the way Arya’s family does love her.
      Dany: I think the biggest difference is that Arya killed them but not torture them, still bad and I almost lost faith in Arya in season 7. But Dany chooses not to have that option even when Barristan pressed that. If Dany would just have executed those man no one would have had a problem with that, as you stated she acted how she felt the punishment felt should be. But why not choosing death as the punishment, why choose a punishment of suffering for days?

      Davos breaking bad, I’m up for that. What if he turned into a grammar corrector (or how do you call that in English) he already started that in the final.

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    167. Milutin,

      I’m dissatisfied too with Arya’s ending, and I would have been happier with the ending that Maisie Williams herself envisioned for Arya: killing Cersei even if it meant getting killed herself.

      I don’t think her ending is random, though; it’s the result of a conscious decision on GRRM’s part to give [relatively] happy endings to certain characters (possibly his favorites?) such as the remaining Starks and Tyrion. That’s why Arya can be redeemed from her desire for revenge, while Dany can’t. Tyrion takes revenge on his father and his former lover but still gets a happy ending, while Sandor takes revenge on his brother and dies in the process.

      I’m certainly not happy with that decision, and it’s simply weakened and cheapened the story’s overall ending for me. I feel that the story devolved into a simplistic fairy tale/morality tale in which the good guys and bad guys are clearly delineated, and the bad guys die while the good guys are rewarded in various ways. More ambiguous characters such as Jaime, Littlefinger, even Margaery, no longer exist. And a formerly grey character like Dany is made to kill hundreds of innocents so that there can no longer be any doubt that she’s a villain and will have to go.

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    168. Inga,

      Sorry, but no. You’re letting your personal beliefs cloud your morality. Having sex without marriage doesn’t make Arya a bad person.

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    169. Mr Derp,

      One of the main problems is that we have never had a POV from KL. Our best representative of KL smallfolk was Gendry… but he hated the Lannisters and was pretty positive about Dany (and fanboying Jon). Other events (riots in S2, Cersei’s walk of shame, etc.) also pointed out that KL smallfolk hated the Lannisters and especially Cersei. So, why didn’t they revolt?
      The only reason I can see is that the showrunners had to shoehorn Dany into the mass-murder plot.

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    170. Inga,

      If that’s true, LF was in fact a marriage-arranger. Lot’s of marriage he made happen. Only problem was that the woman were married to a lot of man, and even Olivar was married to a lot of man.

      You made a wrong point there, in westeros you don’t have to marry after having sex. Lot’s of characters are having sex without marrying, and even whore houses exist.

      What is true in westeros is that if you don’t have sex the marriage is not consummated and you are not yet married in the eyes of the gods.

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    171. kevin1989,

      Westeros faces 3 evils: The war of 5 kings, the invasion of the east, and the invasion of the north.

      Dany will not be a hero in the books, she will as the show be the ultimate villain of the saga.

      If Westeros faces 3 evils that means Westeros is good.
      Dany is already a villain for Qarth, Astapor, Yunkai and Meereen.
      It looks like you have everything figured out. Can I ask then why the name is “A song of ice and fire”? Why it is a song? Why it is of Ice and Fire?
      I also have an easier one: Why is the name of the book “A dance with dragons” What dance?

      Dany may become evil in the books also. Did you consider the possibility of her being a necessary evil?

      The Targaryen Dynasty was not destroyed by the doom of Valyria, but it will be destroyed by the last 2 Targaryens, after taking them through hell and back, they end up loving each other, but can’t be together because they are 2 Targaryens. Oh, I forgot, in the end. he killes her and everything she represented.
      I am anxious to read the upcoming Fire and Blood part 2. I really want to know the complete history of this family of morons.

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    172. Young Dragon:
      Mr Derp,

      All I remember is Tyrion giving her an update on Mereen’s growth, Danerys saying, “Shall we begin?” and then Tyrion asking for her plan. That was here response.

      Aren’t you talking about the end of season 7 episode 1, which is a different scene? They show up at Dragonstone and Dany simply says “shall we begin” and then the episode ends with no further dialog?

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    173. Inga:
      Mr Derp,

      One of the main problems is that we have never had a POV from KL. Our best representative of KL smallfolk was Gendry… but he hated the Lannisters and was pretty positive about Dany (and fanboying Jon). Other events (riots in S2, Cersei’s walk of shame, etc.) also pointed out that KL smallfolk hated the Lannisters and especially Cersei. So, why didn’t they revolt?
      The only reason I can see is that the showrunners had to shoehorn Dany into the mass-murder plot.

      Part of the problem is that the citizens of KL are shown in completely different lights depending on what the writers want to convey per episode.

      They’re generally seen as unhappy, rape-happy and ready to revolt in the first couple of seasons. Euron says in season 7 that they just like to see severed heads.

      However, specifically for the Bells episode, the citizens are shown in the best possible light. They’re all innocent little kids and hard working, responsible adults.

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    174. HayashiM,

      IDK, which country you are from, but I’m from Lithuania, and when we had our revolution in 1988-1991 we managed to do it almost without bloodshed. And entire Eastern Europe managed to go through that turmoil almost without bloodshed. Even Russian managed to make it through that turmoil almost without bloodshed (although later it reverted back to old habits). You know why? Quoting Vladimir Vysotsky “We must have been reading the right books”. But the books we have been reading were very different from the morally abiquos crap GOT has presented.

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    175. Inga,

      I must say that Arya’s pie is a very good and valid point.
      I personally do have a big problem with the collective guilt. In my view, Hizdahr’s father is comparable to a Walder’s son who was forced to break bread with his other sons, didn’t personally kill anyone, but didn’t warn anyone either (we can’t tell for sure such a son exists, but it is not impossible). In my opinion such a person doesn’t deserve to die – otherwise Europe would have almost become a deserted area after WW2. I don’t think you can plausibly condemn any single German just because he didn’t try to get rid of Hitler all by himself. You can only acknowledge those who tried to.

      I accept that I might have set a bit of excessively high standard.

      However, it is Dany and Dany only who claims “I will answer injustice with justice”. Arya doesn’t aspire to become a ruler or a judge, she goes after her revenge and she possibly missteps once, but it is not a repetitive pattern (notice that she did refuse to kill innocents during her training in Braavos) influencing thousands of her subjects. On the other hand, Dany does so. When you present justice as your (possibly most important) ambition, then I don’t think that a fair trial is too much to ask, even inside the universe.

      As you have mentionned, Dany does to try learn her lessons later on. But in my eyes, her losing that battle is not an impossible thing to imagine.

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    176. Mr Derp,

      That Mereen was on the rise, commerce had returned to the markets, that the masters couldn’t let Mereen succeed, because a successful city without masters proves no one needs a master.

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    177. Iul,

      With Westeros facing 3 evils, Martin clearly meant the people there. The common folk.

      And the story is called a son(g) of Ice and Fire because Jon is the Son of Ice and Fire. And The 2 biggest evils is Ice and Fire. The 2 extremes. Where Jon is the combination of it.
      A Song is another word for story. As stated above, it is about Jon facing the treat of Ice and treat of fire.
      A dance in the books of George as in a dance of dragons/ Dance of the dragons, and was stated in the books and show was about the war of 2 Targaryens against each other. Aegon II against Rhaenyra. It’s called that I think (which can’t be know now) because it’s forshadowed that there will be a war with the 3 dragons alive. Dany/Jon/Feagon. So dance is another word for war.

      What necessary evil is there about “killing half a milion of people”? I really want to know that answer.
      What necessary evil is there with “liberating the world by killing all that don’t follow your worldview”?
      I don’t know but even me and my partner shared a very different and opposite worldview on many fronts and we still can live together happily. So how is turning everyone into a single “wordview” helping the world? Isn’t it supposed to be the direct opposite, making sure that everyone can express their own kind of worldview as long as it’s not hurting others, and not stopping freedom of others? Isn’t it if Dany wanted to make a better world she would have devided the power more under more people, so the people get more to say, instead of destroying the wheel controlled by many families to be under her own sole power?

      The only necessary evil Dany portrait was that in the end after her evil deeds in Kings Landing, they are trying to look at better ways, where more people have more to say. A Westeros version of choosing a president. It reminded me of the beginning of America, where the common folk of a certain area put their faith into one man who voted for them, that man decided who would become president. Only after years and years the people got to vote for themselves. They didn’t even have a say in which governor was elected in their area at the beginning.

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    178. Lunaselene:
      Milutin,
      I’m dissatisfied too with Arya’s ending, and I would have been happier with the ending that Maisie Williams herself envisioned for Arya: killing Cersei even if it meant getting killed herself.

      I don’t think we can take Maisie too literally here. I think she just really wanted a scene with Lena (who wouldn’t?), and it would have been amazing had the two characters shared a scene together (especially for Cersei’s reaction at seeing Arya alive and well). However, practically every interview I’ve ever seen/read by Maisie where Arya’s ending comes up, she’s very much wanted Arya to survive and for her to let go of her anger and violence. I remember back in season 6 or so that she admitted to trying to bribe George and D&D to keep her alive. She’s also called her ending “beautiful” and “perfect” a number of times as well, so.. who knows. Actors say stuff.. 🙂

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    179. Young Dragon:
      Mr Derp,

      That Mereen was on the rise, commerce had returned to the markets, that the masters couldn’t let Mereen succeed, because a successful city without masters proves no one needs a master.

      This was also in the middle of the Battle of Meereen too, right? When the Masters are torpedoing the Meereen pyramid with fire bombs trying to kill her. When she says “burn their cities to the ground” I think she’s referring to the ways of the Masters moreso than being literal, but obviously it’s never good to threaten to burn cities.

      Yes, she’s said horrible things out of anger…when provoked. Similar to what everyday people do on a daily basis. However, she was never provoked to burn KL down to the ground in episode 8 x 5, yet she went ahead with it anyway, unprovoked. That’s the inconsistency I’m talking about.

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    180. Mr Derp,

      Aren’t we all enjoying that and working hard. We work and watch GoT with all the severe heads.

      And in a city of 1 million it isn’t far of that there are people who work hard, and there are people enjoying severed heads. We didn’t see 1 milion people enjoying Cersei’s walk of shame, I think even less then 100.000 were there to watch it happen.

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    181. Mr Derp,

      First part, then why did Tyrion tried to reason with her and change Dany’s plan in 6×09? Maybe because he was afraid that she would do it? and if she could do it, isn’t that a sign of a bad ruler? Wouldn’t a good ruler keep their emotion in check without having the option to burn cities to the ground? I can see it as a last result as she did with Tyrions plan, destroy them kill the masters, let the news roll, that all who go against her will be dealt with. After 6×09 they didn’t dare to go after Merreen again, without burning a city down with a good plan of Tyrion.

      As for provoking: When was she provoked when she told Hizdahr in 5×09 that his city will be turned to the dirt in the future and maybe she will be the one doing it? He didn’t even provoke her there, nobody did, but still she saw that option on the table.

      As for the people of KL, they did provoke her. They chose Cersei over her. They called Cersei their queen. They acted scared instead of with love to Dany, in which she multiple time stated that if she can’t have love, she will have fear. And of course the reason that D&D gave them (Which I personally didn’t like as a good reason)

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    182. Young Dragon,

      To me, Dany’s “plan” sounded like trolling or maybe even testing Tyrion. She immediately said “You don’t approve” and asked for his opinion. And after he suggested “an alternate approach” (although he was shitting his pants in fear) she started listening to him and appointed him Hand. Her own explanation was that Tyrion was both KIND and RUTHLESS when necessary.

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    183. Mr Derp,
      I don’t know what you mean by she wasn’t provoked in episode 5. She was provoked to burn King’s Landing when Cersei killed Rhaegal and Missandei near the end of episode 4, she just carried it out in episode 5. How is that any different to her threatening to burn down Astapor and Yunkai. Unlike you, I saw her threat as 100% serious.

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    184. Inga:
      HayashiM,

      IDK, which country you are from, but I’m from Lithuania, and when we had our revolution in 1988-1991 we managed to do it almost without bloodshed. And entire Eastern Europe managed to go through that turmoil almost without bloodshed. Even Russian managed to make it through that turmoil almost without bloodshed (although later it reverted back to old habits). You know why? Quoting Vladimir Vysotsky “We must have been reading the right books”. But the books we have been reading were very different from the morally abiquos crap GOT has presented.

      Oh, I am from Czechia, greetings 🙂 Hopefully I might have some idea of what you are talking about.
      I don’t think your country (as in Lithuania) nor my country have ever tried to be the world’s policemen. We also have our own quite recent experience with undemocratic regimes. That’s why I think we don’t need the “don’t ever fully trust anyone who claims to be willing to save the world, don’t let them kill anyone they want just because they say so” lesson that much as others might.
      I think that morally ambiguous stories like GoT are a good thing. One has to think about them more than about stories where everything is 100% clear. The real world isn’t clear like that. If I may quote Mr. Vysotsky as well, “of course the Truth shall eventually win, but only under the condition of being able to wear the Lie’s pants” (excuse me if my translation is wrong, I only know the Czech version so there could be some linguistic discrepancy).

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    185. Young Dragon:
      Mr Derp,
      I don’t know what you mean by she wasn’t provoked in episode 5. She was provoked to burn King’s Landing when Cersei killed Rhaegal and Missandei near the end of episode 4, she just carried it out in episode 5. How is that any different to her threatening to burn down Astapor and Yunkai. Unlike you, I saw her threat as 100% serious.

      So then, logically, she should’ve went straight for Cersei and the Red Keep, not the common folk. Again, how was she provoked to burn the common folk?

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    186. Inga,

      This is precisely why episode 5 was never going to work for some of you, no matter how they wrote it. Every time they had Danerys commit a dark act or make a horrifying threat, you made excuses for her. The person deserved it, she was provoked, she was having a bad day, she didn’t mean it, etc. I was surprised so many of you were shocked by Dany’s turn, but now I completely understand.

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    187. Mr Derp,

      Because she blamed them for Cersei still being in power. I thought it was clever to compare Dany’s conquest in Essos to her ongoing conquest in Westeros. In Mereen, the slaves freed themselves, and if the people of King’s Landing had overthrown Cersei and given Danerys their love and support instead, Missandei and Rhaegal would still be alive. There’s a reason Danerys proclaimed that the people of King’s Landing were no longer innocent.

      Regardless, I could throw the same argument back at you:
      But then, logically, she should have only killed the masters and soldiers who were attacking Mereen and leave the innocent people in their cities alone. How was she provoked to massacre their cities?

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    188. Mr Derp,

      I think it would also had made more sense of she went straight for the red keep and only afterwards that she would stay in rage mode, adrenaline pumping.

      And one thing I found out of place with the turn is that looking at the past. Danys dark heel is anger. She acts dark because of anger with are already fueled with her rational thoughts about the problem at hand. Look at the the crusifying of the masters. She had the time to think about it. She was rational about that the masters deserve punishment. Probably she would have gone with a clean death first. But then the masters mocked her with the champion of mereen. And she saw the slave children which made her angry. Anger is her dark heel when it comes to emotions. Not sadness grief etc, anger.

      Until episode 8×05 grief and sadness was always her light heel. She always was the most sympathetic when she was griefing of sad. Like in episode 8×03. The grief of jorah didn’t turn her into a killing machine in winterfell. In fact she tried to loosen up.

      Then episode 4 ended she was angry. More angry as ever. Shit is going to hit the fan. Hide your kids in kl dany is coming. But then they waited 2 weeks till she attacked. Her anger turned into grief. She stopped eating but she didn’t stop fighting? That doesn’t make sense. If somebody is still fighting for a throne they are still fighting to live so they eat.

      So how did her grief heel changed from light to dark. Was that a mistake of the writers or did we missed something. But that couldn’t be it because then they should have shown us those 2 weeks where we saw that happen.

      Then we are back in episode 6 she is very rational. This behavior is normal if she would have rage killed them out of anger. But out of grief a normal response would we guilt.

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    189. kevin1989: then why did Tyrion tried to reason with her and change Dany’s plan in 6×09? Maybe because he was afraid that she would do it? and if she could do it, isn’t that a sign of a bad ruler?

      Lol, I have never argued that Dany was a good ruler, so I don’t know where that came from. And I never said that I didn’t realize the show was trying to show Dany’s actions as controversial. As I’ve said MANY times previously, I’m not arguing that Dany did bad things. I’m arguing that the way the show went about Dany’s heel turn was not convincing to me.

      They spent the last 2 seasons showing us that Tyrion was scared to death of Dany using dragons, which is strange considering that, of all people, Tyrion chose to support “The Mother of Dragons” to become Queen. He never had a problem with the dragons being used in Essos, but the moment they got to Westeros he tried to neutralize the one advantage that Dany had over her enemies…..the dragons. If he was so afraid of her using dragons then he shouldn’t have tried to help her become queen in the first place.

      kevin1989: As for provoking: When was she provoked when she told Hizdahr in 5×09 that his city will be turned to the dirt in the future and maybe she will be the one doing it? He didn’t even provoke her there, nobody did, but still she saw that option on the table.

      Honestly, the mere presence of that fool Hizdahr would be enough to provoke anyone, lol. Perhaps you’re right, it wasn’t a specific provocation, but those two were having
      a serious verbal sparring session that entire time. Hizdahr sid something about returning to the dirt and Dany responded in kind.

      kevin1989: As for the people of KL, they did provoke her. They chose Cersei over her. They called Cersei their queen. They acted scared instead of with love to Dany, in which she multiple time stated that if she can’t have love, she will have fear. And of course the reason that D&D gave them (Which I personally didn’t like as a good reason)

      Well you and I are finally in agreement about something!
        

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    190. Young Dragon:
      Mr Derp,

      Because she blamed them for Cersei still being in power. I thought it was clever to compare Dany’s conquest in Essos to her ongoing conquest in Westeros.In Mereen, the slaves freed themselves, and if the people of King’s Landing had overthrown Cersei and given Danerys their love and support instead, Missandei and Rhaegal would still be alive. There’s a reason Danerys proclaimed that the people of King’s Landing were no longer innocent.

      Regardless, I could throw the same argument back at you:
      But then, logically, she should have only killed the masters and soldiers who were attacking Mereen and leave the innocent people in their cities alone. How was she provoked to massacre their cities?

      She didn’t massacre innocent people in Meereen, Yunkai, or Astapor or destroy those cities. What cities are you talking about?

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    191. kevin1989,

      I wouldn’t say Arya didn’t torture her victims: feeding sons to the father… I can’t even find the right English word for that. And culturally it has always been considered like the worst thing that can ever happen to anyone (it’s a re-occurring theme in many tales). And in general, all the more prominent female protagonists in the show were torturing their victims. That was something I disliked because I don’t believe that girls’ power lies in violence but I accepted it as a rule of the game. So, now when one of these female protagonists was shown to turn into a mass murderer, how can anyone assume that others won’t? Arya received a pep-talk from Sandor? Dany received the same from Jorah. Where’s the difference? I can see none. And Sansa hasn’t received any pep-talk at all.

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    192. Mr Derp,

      She threatened to, until Tyrion talked her out of it. It shows she was capable of massacring innocent people before she even arrived in Westeros.

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    193. Young Dragon: In Mereen, the slaves freed themselves, and if the people of King’s Landing had overthrown Cersei and given Danerys their love and support instead, Missandei and Rhaegal would still be alive. There’s a reason Danerys proclaimed that the people of King’s Landing were no longer innocent.

      Dany was counseled previously that the people of KL don’t care about the politics of the noble families. They just want a summer that never ends. She should NOT have been surprised that the citizens of KL didn’t enthusiastically support her to overthrow Cersei. The writers threw that in there to make the heel turn more convincing, which, in turn, made it less convincing to me.

      Also, there was no PR campaign or attempt to win the people of KL over by Dany’s side. At the very least, in Meereen she made it clear to the slaves that she was specifically there to liberate them. She didn’t lay any of the necessary groundwork in KL that she did in Essos.

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    194. Young Dragon:
      Mr Derp,

      She threatened to, until Tyrion talked her out of it. It shows she was capable of massacring innocent people before she even arrived in Westeros.

      Not Yunkai. She had a plan the entire time. Actually, she kept the plan from her advisors and it worked out quite well. I get what you are trying to say though.

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    195. AnnOther,

      Oh, sure, Dany was portrayed as a communist, but not every communist is a lost soal to mankind. As someone who has grown up in the Soviet Union, I saw a lot of communists who still managed to make the right choices when it mattered. And Dany had every trait to be that type of a communist. Period.

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    196. Mr Derp: I would’ve preferred a situation where she was losing the battle and the ONLY way she could win it was to burn KL to the ground in the process.

      While watching the show, when the bell plan was presented, I expected that it would fail (= they would surrender but nobody would manage to ring the bells quickly enough) and Dany would enact her plan and burn the city to the ground. And then it took some time for the bells to ring, so I thought I had been right, and felt Dany was expecting it the bells not to ring, and somehow even desiring to display her power. Untill the bells rang…

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    197. Mr Derp,

      True hizdahr zo anoying. (still great actor)

      Inga,

      It come back to the basics to who the woman are. Arya is still a woman that learned as a child to love and get loved. It’s not so far fetched that she will go back to that place because she learned what that was. Same as sansa. With dany that love was always combined with power. Drogo showed his loved by showing power against her brother and by taking the seven kingdoms. Her brother only showed loved to be taken place of him using her for his own goals of power. The people she freed loved her because she used her power to free them. Her love was always coming with a price of power. Where with Arya that wasn’t the case. That’s why the iron throne is so important for her. It’s how she always got gratutute from a place of power so everything pulls her towards that. As for Arya she got the most love the moment she let go of that.

      Mr Derp,

      That’s why for me the books will probably have a better change then the show. Dany already saw a vision of Griff being embraced as a king and showed the love he got from the people. But she also finds out that he is probably a fake, not the real Aegon. She already got visions that he needs to be stopped and cannot be trusted. I think that will lead to a more natural demise of dany. It’s not only that in the books the people will not choose dany and won’t take their freedom. It’s that they chose a fake king as their beloved king that is being treated like aragorn at the end of rotk. Which I think will be a normal reaction that the people in the books let that even know to Dany. They don’t want her for their queen (renly talking to stannis. They don’t want you for their king).

      I think it made little sense because cersei wouldn’t be a queen that the people would embrace after what they though of her. Griff and Arianne would.

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    198. Mr Derp,

      That was before she was worshipped in Essos, before the slaves called her Mysa and the Breaker of Chains. That was also before Cersei took the throne, when Tyrion counseled Danerys that the people of King’s Landing will overthrow Cersei for her.

      I agree with you on the PR, though. Maybe they thought Cersei would treat the people horribly enough that they would beg anyone to replace her. Still, they could have done more to win the support of the lords and the smallfolk.

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    199. Mr Derp,

      I’m talking about when Mereen was being attacked by the masters of Yunkai and Astapor. She said her plan was to “lay their cities to the dirt.”

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    200. Inga:
      AnnOther,

      Oh, sure, Dany was portrayed as a communist, but not every communist is a lost soal to mankind. As someone who has grown up in the Soviet Union, I saw a lot of communists who still managed to make the right choices when it mattered. And Dany had every trait to be that type of a communist. Period.

      I don’t think she was portrayed as a communist in particular, but as a conglomerate of human leaders/groups that justify their conquest by “liberating” or “bettering” people (be they Communists, Anti-communists, Colonizers, …) and that define groups as ennemies to be eradicated or are ok with it, even as a moto (be they Masters, Aristocrats, Jews, Slavers, Intellectuals, Believers in a wrong god, or whatever). And what I saw in the show is, yes, she might have been convinced into taking good decisions, but that never was her natural tendency, and she several times came to the conclusions that she succeed better doing things her way than listening to others. In short, she better dispenses with books.
      I’ll leave the discussion here, because we have very different perceptions of various aspects of the show, you seem to have a very strong conviction that you are right – and I have a busy week.

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    201. Inga,

      Okay, I just have to.

      Will there, in the fullness of time, on any topic in the history of topics, be your post that doesn’t mention a Russian stealing your favorite toy and how said abominable act is further proof of evil lurking behind every Russian street corner?

      Unless you’re Rachel Maddow. Then I could kinda understand it. You’re not though… are you?!

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    202. AnnOther,

      But then there would be no convincing motive for Jon to kill her and since the showrunners clearly had that moment in their list of bullet points that needed to be checked they had to make Daenerys irredemably bad which in turn they weren’t able to pull off in a satisfying way and so we’re back at the beginning.

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    203. kevin1989,

      You kind of forgot about Cersei. Not important, maybe…

      It’s called a song because of the rhythm. It implies constancy and repetition…of 2 major conflicts, on and on: Life vs Death and Human’s hunger for power.
      What do you do with a song ? You Dance. An yes, dance is a symbol for war. So you constantly have these 2 wars.

      The fake Aegon’s purpose in the books is to prove to Dany that her quest for the 7 kingdoms is fake. She should focus on the true quest with the true Aegon. The battle life vs death; not only for humans in general, but the death of the Targaryen family. She will fight death in general and the death of her family with the true Aegon.

      I’ve said I don’t know why Dany burned the city AFTER she’d won the war. That is important! She did it after, so it was not to win the war. To imply that she will continue killing brainlessly, is exactly like the assumptions (fake history) we had with Ned having a bastard…we later found out it was not true.

      Aegon the Conqueror thought that having one power (one king, one kingdom – united) would stop the human’s continuous fight for power. He did it trough fear only. He was right, for a time. Maybe Dany thought that if she takes it upon herself to eliminate the weapon of innocence (civilians, women, children), no one will ever use that anymore as a weapon in a war. Maybe she considered that a weakness that a ruler can’t afford. And that would be partially true. No one would have ever used the innocent as a weapon, ’cause it would not have worked.
      A terrible truth the history of the 7 kingdoms thought us is that fear keeps the peace. That never changes.

      I am curious how Martin will approach this in the books. Like I said, I look forward for Dany’s POV on these events – most likely the burning of KL will happen in the books also.

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    204. Mr Fixit,

      First of all, a country is something more than “a favorite toy”. Secondly, where did I spoke against Russians? Maybe, when I mentioned glorification of Ivan the Terrible as a source of many Russian problems? But the thought is not mine: it belongs to Russian historians (I think it was first brought up by Eduard Radzinski, though now it’s hard to tell). Anyway, the Russian is a nation that produces shit but also fundamental moral greatness. Eventually the later will prevail: at least I hope so as do my many Russian friends and colleagues. Peace and no offence intended.

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    205. AnnOther,

      Well, Dany’s message was straightforwardly communist. But I do agree that she is an amalgamation of all kinds of zealots. And that said, to me, her snap would have worked much better had it been due to religious zeal: at least that would have been more in line with the medieval setup. In general, we can agree to disagree. I’m just saying that Dany shoehorned into her mad queen’s such so brutally that it destroyed the entire logic of the story. Things that should have happened under normal circumstances (like King’s Landing revolting against the hated Lannisters or the North showing her well-deserved gratitude) couldn’t happen simply because Dany had to become a mass murderer. And therefore, turning her into a mass murderer feels so very undeserved and unjust. Plus, there’s that other issue of unfair marketing.

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    206. I see the Daenerys posts always spark the most comments :). And I can’t help but notice almost everybody is right here, almost every point of view is a valid point of view,even if contradictory, which means at least the show runners got what they wanted, the show will be talked about and debated for many years to come 🙂

      That said, I have mixed feelings about her character development. Now, I loved the last episode and I was baffled by ep 4 and 5. The ones that saw Dany as “evil” do have a point, she did kill her wrongdoers, she did threaten across seasons to burn and lay waste and destroy. The ones who stand by Dany are also right, she was merciful, locked her dragons when it was suspected they burned a child, protected the the weak, there are events that show her merciful and maternal towards her subjects in the books etc, etc. One could argue that she was counciled to act like this and she was prevented to awake her inner dragon by ser Barristan, Jorah, Missandei, Tyrion. So all these pov just reveal a very complex character, which should be a good thing, right?

      Well I think there are several problems here. First of all there is the pace. The last season was rushed to hell, almost everyone could agree on this. Not enough time for character development, resulting in poor dialogue, and what is Got with bad dialogue? Second, lack of source material. My belief is the showrunnes started writing this from the end backwards and a lot of characters ended behaving strangely just to get to this end.Varys? Euron? He was so better written in the past seasons. Rhaegal’death? I agree to the symbolism of him being killed by Euron but that scene doesn’t have much sense even in a fantasy world. I loved the ending anyway.
      Third, strong directors with very different filming approaches. Nutter and Sapochnick are amazing filmmakers but have a very different style. Nutter is the shakespearian filmmaker, he is amazing with intimate scenes and impending feel of doom. Sapochnick is the flamboyant one, using action elements and color structure almost to the point of symbolism. Maybe in such a short and rushed finale, one director could have made a bit more coherence? Of course that would have been very hard to do. I also find D&D directed the last episode really well.

      Maybe the problems that erupted in the finale were problems planted in the first seasons and we didn’t quite notice and when they exploded in the last season, because it was inevitable, it left a lot of people puzzled. GoT wanted to be a melange of too many genres I believe, and it was bound to turn against them at one point. I liked the fact that they chose to end it as a fantasy.
      I still think Danny’s fall could have been made more believable. I am also aware that psychologically and sociologicaly it is very difficult for people to accept the idea that a woman can become a mass murderer. In our collective consciousness a female is the archetype of the maternal figure, nurturing and protective.

      The controversy will remain:why did she kill tens of thousands AFTER the city surrendered? Problematic script? Reason to make the show debatable for years? Not enough coherence across seasons ? Nihilism, any character that becomes loved by audience has to fall? Brilliant twist of events, we were shown alot of her good side and only hinted and the havoc she could lay?Symbolism, she lost almost everyone she loved, was betrayed (the betrayal of Jon still is a bit problematic to me), so her fury and her son’s fury over losing his brothers merged into one and Daenerys became the dragon? Maybe in the books we will see the sacking of KL from her pov and that will clear things a bit. Or maybe it will not.

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    207. Milutin,

      Yes, there were many ways to provoke Dany to do what she did. For instance, she could have been shown trying to organize a revolt in KL, as she did in Meereen, and Cersei could have caught the organizers (say Gendry and Davos) and executed them instead of Missandei, and the crowds could have been shown to cheer. However, in such a case, Jon wouldn’t have had a motive to kill Dany. So, it’s not only about poor execution: the very bullet-points of the plot are incompatible with one another.

      Besides that, we have already had a story of a relatively good person descending into a despicable moral failure and losing everything. I mean Stannis and his story was really great and believable and tragic. But what’s the point of repeating the same story over and over again with the same result? The audience has already got the point that putting abstract over real is the wrong solution and, if there is a repetition, by every rule of storytelling, the storytellers should provide their version of the right solution. Instead, they gave us a farse…

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    208. Ser Pounce,

      It is not only AFTER the city surrendered.
      Her tactic was to clearly avoid any civilians (“innocents”) being murdered. She did not do it to win the war. She made sure she’d win the war with as less civilians casualties as possible. This shows a well planned attack.
      So, AFTER she made sure of as less civilians casualties as possible she stops. For me, that stop is a contemplating moment, in which she thought of many things.
      But for sure! She was not delusional, or mad, or could not take it anymore or any other stupid reasons that makes no sense.
      If she decided she has to inspire fear, well she kind of already did that. She’d won the war on her own, basically.
      That moment for me leads me to believe she said “Ok, I have to do this!” I am very curious of the reason, just as I was curious why did Ned Stark fathered a bastard during Robert’s Rebellion. And he had a damn good reason to do what he did.
      POV is the key here. Ep. 6 was clearly shot from the POV of Jon and Tyrion. We see Dany through their eyes.
      I want to see Dany’s perspective, to hear Dany’s thoughts.

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    209. Iul,

      Well, “a song” may be a metaphor for many things but mostly it stands in for harmony, cause music is more than a random collection of notes. Also, the song often is a metaphor of truth: you can’t drop words from the song, it won’t ring. But from what we see, the Song of Ice and Fire ends in a jarring dissonance. And the only lesson we can learn from that is that “tropes” should be respected and that a hubris-driven attempt to subvert them is a recipe of disaster.

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    210. Iul,

      I think you are right, the war was already won with little casualties, fear was already installed, the people were horrified by the sight of the dragon on the city walls. After the contemplating moment we don’t see her face anymore. We just see the dragon pouring fire. Everything we see form there on is from Arya’s stand point. And Jon’s.

      But if we don’t get her POV, if Martin doesn’t manage to finish the books, if this is all we get, then my suspicion remains. And my increasing belief is that the show runners wanted this to remain in the history of television. And they had to do something dramatic in order for that to happen. I mean, yes, GoT had already been there in the previous seasons. But, in time CGI will improve, brilliant actors will always take risks, great filmmakers will always exist, at one point something bigger than GoT will be made. But no-one, absolutely no-one will risk making something equivalent to “the Bells” 🙂 . And even in 30 years people who will watch the whole show, and there will be people watching it despite the bashing on imdb and x amount of petitions, and will get to this finale will still be debating and arguing about exactly what you stated above. I mean, it is enough to see the amount of comments on this post compared to other posts here.

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    211. Ser Pounce,

      Yeah, the reason can be shock value.
      I have solid arguments to believe it is more likely point of view interpretation.
      The books are all from POV. The downside is that it limits the view point. If you have Ned Stark’s beheading from Arya’s POV, that’s it. You can’t go back and present it again from another character’s POV. Other characters can later reflect on what they’ve felt in that moment, but that is all.
      With Dany now, I see a great opportunity to have her look a tyrant in the eyes of Jon and Tyrion. And have her POV come later as a revelation.
      If we’d seen Jon’s murder from Olli’s POV, I’m sure you have to kill the guy that made an alliance with the ones who massacred your family and also broke his vows.

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    212. Iul: If we’d seen Jon’s murder from Olli’s POV, I’m sure you have to kill the guy that made an alliance with the ones who massacred your family and also broke his vows.

      Saving the wildlings is not against the Night’s Watch vows — the wildlings are part of humanity, for which the Wall was built to protect. Additionally, Olly was condemning an entire people to death, no matter who they were or what they had done, because another group of wildlings killed his family. Olly had already killed Ygritte, who killed Olly’s parents.

      Olly’s anger was understandable (and we got his POV, we know why Olly did what he did, we saw the wildlings attack and kill the people of his village) — a group of wildlings killed Olly’s family and now Jon was wanting to save all wildlings. However, the desire for vengeance still doesn’t justify condemning the thousands of other wildlings to death because of it. As I understand it, Olly was part of the Night’s Watch, which means you must put aside all blood ties and desire to avenge loved ones (which is why it would have been illegal if Jon had ridden to Robb’s side, why it was illegal for Jon to try and save Arya in the books, which is why Aemon couldn’t do a thing when his own family was slaughtered, etc.)

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    213. Mr Derp,

      That would have been cool, seeing so many direwolves at once fight against an undead dragon — although, I agree, I’ve had enough dead direwolves for a while.

      I also think Sapochnik’s instinct to be a lot more ruthless in that battle was correct because aside from Jorah, Lyanna, Theon, and Edd (were there others?), the Army of the Dead didn’t make much impact at all. It made it look like a threat that could be taken care of in one night if you had the right stuff with minimal casualties.

      Brightness issues aside, I felt it was a beautifully done battle but the impact of the threat itself was sort of like (to quote a semi-obscure reference, Sarah Michelle Gellar upon winning her 1994 Daytime Emmy ;D), “Well, that was anticlimactic.”

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    214. Adrianacandle,

      Lol, yes, I generally agree. If I had to pick my favorite episode for season 8, it would probably be “The Long Night”, despite the negative reviews. I liked the episode, but I also agree that the AOTD had minimal impact, and that was disappointing, considering this confrontation was built up so much for 7 and a half seasons. I compare it to hours of foreplay that ended with nothing more than a handshake or something. Basically, a big production that ultimately went nowhere.

      The AOTD really turned out to be nothing more than a plot device to thin out Dany’s advisors and dragons. That’s pretty much season 8 in a nutshell.

      We all knew that Edd, Theon and Jorah’s day were numbered. Seeing them die was no surprise. It actually would’ve been surprising if they DIDN’T die. Lyanna’s death was a little bit shocking for me. I didn’t think they’d kill her off, but they did, and she went out in spectacular fashion. Other than that, there really were no shocking deaths and at no time did I really ever feel like the main characters were in danger of dying.

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    215. Mr Derp,

      Oh yes, I completely agree with everything you said. And the episode itself, I thought it was really well done — I think Alt Shift X made the point where he said he couldn’t believe this was a TV show (in a good way), not so long ago, this stuff would be inconceivable on television. And watching the episode, I couldn’t believe I was watching a TV series. The way Melisandre light up the weapons of the Dothraki and how that looked from a distance, the dragons strafing the wights, the lighting of the trenches, dragons above the clouds in a moonlit sky, the music playing as the Night King faced off against Theon to confront Bran — so many things.

      But I concur about the minimal impact of the AOTD. Also, it looks like Cersei was right not to get involved — she didn’t suffer any losses from helping them out, the south remained untouched and unaffected (just another crazy Northern story), and the numbers of her enemies were thinned out.

      And I agree it was clear Jorah, Theon, and Edd were all going to die. The other characters had stuff to resolve while the end of the storylines for those three was clear so it didn’t have the “WTF???” impact. But it would have been more impactful if a main WITH unfinished business perished in this battle. Although, I’m sure that would have resulted in backlash as well.

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    216. Iul,

      Upon reflection, in regard to what you’re saying, I think a good example of POV vs. POV would be Bowen Marsh’s POV vs. Jon’s POV in ADWD, as explained here in which both sides really do have a point and one side kills the other side because they don’t understand the other’s POV and truly believe this is their only choice (Bowen absolutely didn’t want to kill Jon).

      I still can’t think of any good reason for Dany deliberately doing what she did/was planning to do (and I hate that her arc went that way, hate it!) but I think, with Petra’s suggestion of going after the Iron Islands (or if some sort of mistake occurred and Dany wasn’t responsible for the massacre, like they saw her accidentally setting off caches of wildfire and everything was mistaken in the context of her doing this deliberately), I could see a POV vs. POV thing there.

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    217. Adrianacandle,

      My edit before the edit timer ran out didn’t take so I wanted to add it in here (sorry about that, all! I keep doing this…)

      *[…]and one side kills the other side because they don’t understand the other’s POV and truly believe this is their only choice (Bowen absolutely didn’t want to kill Jon) — and a case can be made that it is their only choice. Jon made decisions compromising the Watch’s neutrality, provoking the wrath of the Boltons, and the decisions on this front (to aid Stannis, to rescue his sister, to help Alys) resulted in the Pink Letter, spelling doom for the Watch (the article itself goes into how the Pink Letter confirms all of Bowen’s worst fears). In contrast, Olly killing Jon won’t bring his family back or unsave the wildlings, who are still part of the realms of men.

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    218. Adrianacandle,

      I personally think the writers realized that they didn’t have any surprise deaths after writing the first script for episode 3 and subsequently decided to look at the roster of characters to see who else they could kill whose death would be impactful for the audience, but not change the story for the last few episodes. That’s probably when they decided to have Lyanna die. Just my opinion, of course.

      IMO, the writers changed a number of things midstream in the last two seasons. For example, Lena said they filmed a miscarriage scene with Cersei for season 7, but decided against including it after filming it. That means they originally were going to have Cersei not be pregnant by the time season 8 came around. However, as we saw, she was clearly pregnant right up until her death in episode 5. Something changed. My gut tells me that D&D originally had different ideas for the way Cersei, Jaime, and Brienne’s stories would end, but changed them between seasons. I could be wrong, of course.

      Same goes for all the foreshadowing of Dany possibly getting pregnant. They teased it for so long, but there was literally no mention of pregnancy in the final season at all. IMO, this was a plot device that D&D were originally going to include, but decided against it between seasons. I could be wrong, of course. Maybe it was all just supposed to be misdirection in the end, which, to me, is rather pointless.

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    219. Adrianacandle,

      Dany is responsible. Jon addresses this. “Have you been down there, have you seen? Children burned!”
      Dany answers: “I tried to make peace with Cersei, she used their innocence as a weapon against me, she thought it would cripple me”. Except the idiot Jon Snow changes the subject to “and Tyrion?”. It’s like he accepts her explanation. Which is even more idiotic, because the battle was won by Dany without killing the innocent. And if Jon accepts this, why does he kill her?
      So looking now (as far as I can) from Dany’s POV, she only killed Cersei’s weapons:
      The scorpions, the golden company, the Lannister soldiers and the innocent. Basically, the entire city was Cersei’s weapon against Dany.
      Aegon saw the entire Harrenhal as Harren the Black’s weapon against him, and it was, Jon saw the entire Winterfell and all the families that supported Ramsey (actively, on the field) as a weapon against him, and they were, Arya saw the entire house Frey as an enemy for her family, (well, at least some of them) and they were.
      So, the military target was King’s Landing the city. Everyone in KL was free not to be there. And that was actually true. There is no slavery in KL and the gates were widely opened.

      So the discussion basically resumes to: Dany did not accept the surrender. She tried all options to avoid war, but as soon as it got to war, there was no more surrender.

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    220. Mr Derp,

      agree, I felt a lot of those things were changed. I remember the lads leaks about Cersei’s miscarriage happening in season 7 but I wonder if that was taken out because if Cersei hadn’t been pregnant, maybe Tyrion wouldn’t be so adamant about saving his sister as well as Jaime?

      And I was so so so sure Dany was going to get pregnant. I wasn’t over the moon about the prospect of a Jon/Dany baby, I think characters can get kind of dopey when they procreate (a little like people IRL but that’s understandable ;D) and go a little “anything for my baby!!” (again, understandable but… yeah). But I was sure that would have happened — with the millions of Season 7 references to Dany’s fertility and then none at all in Season 8.

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    221. Iul,

      Dany answers: “I tried to make peace with Cersei, she used their innocence as a weapon against me, she thought it would cripple me”. Except the idiot Jon Snow changes the subject to “and Tyrion?”. It’s like he accepts her explanation. Which is even more idiotic, because the battle was won by Dany without killing the innocent. And if Jon accepts this, why does he kill her?

      I don’t think Jon is accepting this, he’s looking for explanations re:the Lannister prisoners, dead innocents, and Tyrion, and Dany’s giving her reasons. Jon never says, “Oh, I see, that’s cool!” in any of this. He doesn’t even nod in acceptance. Jon wants to a reason for why Dany burned innocents, he wants a reason for why she’s imprisoning Tyrion when Tyrion objected to Dany slaughtering a city.

      And Dany explained why she felt her slaughter of innocents was necessary, she explained why she can’t forgive Tyrion.

      Basically, the entire city was Cersei’s weapon against Dany.

      No…. the Red Keep was Cersei’s weapon, as seen lovely infographic 😉

      King’s Landing is a big place. Cersei’s people shield was only in place in the Red Keep. Plus, as you say, Dany already won the battle before she did a one-sided re-enactment of The Purge.

      Jon saw the entire Winterfell and all the families that supported Ramsey (actively, on the field) as a weapon against him

      Well, no. Jon and Sansa saw the Boltons and their supporters as enemies, not as weapons, and Jon forgave the families who supported the Boltons. Also, Jon fought armed, prepared soldiers on the battlefield, not surrendered civilians.

      When Dany fought the Lannisters on the battlefield, I supported (and defend) that. However, killing a bunch of unarmed civilians who aren’t fighting a battle, especially when those same people surrendered is a far cry from fighting soldiers on the battlefield.

      Arya saw the entire house Frey as an enemy for her family, (well, at least some of them)

      That was dark, I give you that. However, Arya was going after people who were actually responsible for what she was killing them for (I’m not over the moon about it and I struggle to justify it in a moral sense but this is not what Dany was doing) is not the same as going a city full of people who surrendered.

      So, the military target was King’s Landing the city. Everyone in KL was free not to be there. And that was actually true. There is no slavery in KL and the gates were widely opened.

      The Red Keep was the military target, there was no need to include all of a surrendered city in her demolition plans, especially parts of the city nowhere Cersei, who held the city, who the people were afraid to rise up in protest against.

      All of Dany’s plans prior had to been to attack the Red Keep, not the entire city — and the people of King’s Landing received no warning. They didn’t know Dany was going to burn them all after they surrendered.

      So the discussion basically resumes to: Dany did not accept the surrender. She tried all options to avoid war, but as soon as it got to war, there was no more surrender.

      But…. Dany already won the war before she burned down the city… She was able to win the city with minimal loss. However, according to the show runners, that last thread inside Dany broke when she looked at the Red Keep and she went off on the population.

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    222. I’m a supporter of series 8 as is – it was a good and fitting finale. In an odd way, the fact that folks protested the Dany nemesis ending – proves that it was right. How so? The clues were always there that demons lurked within the dragon queen. Her hypnotic appeal brought many characters under its spell, and many viewers. We forgave her the violent excesses because her ideology seemed so pure and righteous. And that’s exactly the point. The Dany manifesto was so compelling that millions of us were drawn in. The road to hell was paved with good intentions. Many saw a social justice warrior and were willing to allow or forgive her anything.

      But not Varys, or Tyrion, or Jon Snow. And neither, in fact, Jaime Lannister. The entire series began and ended with the Jaime Lannister conundrum. He was the king-slayer, right? He suffered under that stigma, which became a bitter root that produced a corrosive cynicism in Jaime (“the things we do for love”). And yet we discover that he killed the Targaryen king only to avert destruction of Kings Landing by fire. Ironically Jaime dies when the holocaust he had prevented by his regicide is fulfilled by Dany Targaryen, and unlike Jaime, Jon Snow is too late in betraying loyalty to a monarch to avert disaster.

      Series 8 episodes such as the battle with the dead at Winterfell are outstanding epics rivalling anything in Lord of the Rings. The effective use of darkness, cloud and confusion add to a bone-chilling atmosphere. The series feints at certain end scenes which never unfold (we all know that Arya is going to kill Cersei, right?), and thus escapes predictability and serves up rewarding surprises right to the end. The deaths of Cersei and Jaime, alone, consummated their mutual retreat from a world that had damaged them beyond repair. GOT is a brilliantly moving and illuminating drama poignantly illucidating the human condition: series 8 was the right ending as well as spectacular filmcraft.

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    223. Adrianacandle: agree, I felt a lot of those things were changed. I remember the lads leaks about Cersei’s miscarriage happening in season 7 but I wonder if that was taken out because if Cersei hadn’t been pregnant, maybe Tyrion wouldn’t be so adamant about saving his sister as well as Jaime?

      That’s another thing. Cersei never actually told Tyrion she was pregnant. She simply refused to drink the wine that Tyrion offered her, and that was all Tyrion needed to deduce that Cersei was pregnant.

      However, we see her in season 8 drinking wine while she’s still pregnant.

      That doesn’t make sense.

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    224. Adrianacandle,

      Ugh, another edit to my post.

      *However, Arya was going after people who were actually responsible for what she was killing them for but that is not the same as going a city full of people who surrendered.

      (I’m removing ‘I’m not over the moon about it and I struggle to justify it in a moral sense’ because I was thinking of something else and was re-arranging parts of my post. But I do agree this action was dark and vengeance doesn’t really undo the action in the first place so it’s a tricky thing.)

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    225. Mr Derp,

      Oh, yikes, that’s true. I never made that connection.

      Sigh. I always want to avoid bashing the show, there are so many people who work hard on it, but it’s just one hole like this after another.

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    226. Mr Derp,

      Adrianacandle,

      I agree with your comments. Certain things that were heavily foreshadowed in previous seasons just came to nothing when Jon and Daenerys’s arcs are concerned.

      The way the end of season 7 played out, it was pretty safe to guess that the issue of pregnancy will arise with all the foreshadowing mentioned in your posts.

      The issue of marriage should’ve at least been given a serious discussion by characters in Season 8. It turned out to be a mute point. Daenerys left Daario at the end of Season 6 to be free to enter a marriage that could solidify her rule. So she was aware then that by being a foreigner she might need a Westerosi husband to become closer to the lands she wanted to rule. But suddenly she is surprised in Season 8 that nobody likes her?!

      The huge secret whose reveal for the audience was placed strategically in the end of two consecutive seasons 6 and 7 about Jon’s parentage and him being the son of two ancient and magical houses Targaryen and Stark, of ice and fire, the Prince that was Promised, came to nothing as well. It was most blatant, for instance, regarding the defeat of the Night King which should’ve been Jon instead of Arya.

      The most fatal casualty of the direction the last season took was imo everything connected to House Targaryen and its legacy. Nothing came of Jon being a Targaryen for Jon himself. It was meant to serve as a means for Daenerys’s demise. Even him riding a dragon was never connected to him being a Targaryen. I guess it was done so that a whole plot point could be made later of Daenerys asking him to keep his parentage secret.

      What makes me sad is that with Daenerys’s death and destruction she brought and Jon’s banishment north of the Wall, the Targaryens will die out with their legacy completely ruined. Most of the Westerosi lore, besides the first Long Night, is connected to House Targaryen. It is the house GRRM has dedicated a series of short novellas (“Dunk ans Egg”), the only house he is writing a detailed history of (“Fire and Blood”) with so many complex and captivating characters, now all leading to this unceremonious end.

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    227. Wolfish,

      Yes, you are mostly correct, a Romanian can confirm you that. The history books we were taught from when we were children depicted Vlad Drăculea( Vlad Dracu ‘s son, his father was a member of the Dragon Order) as a cruel but just ruler, who only impaled his enemies, so the “bad people”. Actually he was as merciless as any other medieval ruler. He did try his best to protect Valachia. But he is not seen so highly, imagine here in Romania the word “dracu” is a curse word and it is not polite to be used 🙂

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    228. Milutin: The huge secret whose reveal for the audience was placed strategically in the end of two consecutive seasons 6 and 7 about Jon’s parentage and him being the son of two ancient and magical houses Targaryen and Stark, of ice and fire, the Prince that was Promised, came to nothing as well. It was most blatant, for instance, regarding the defeat of the Night King which should’ve been Jon instead of Arya.

      I personally had no issue with Arya killing the NK, but I do agree that Jon’s parentage reveal turned out to be nothing more in the end than yet another plot device to push Dany into “mad” territory.

      I put mad in quotes because it still isn’t clear if Dany even went mad or not. I don’t think she did though. She seemed to be pretty well aware and in control of her actions.

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    229. That brings up another inconsistency though. Right before she burned KL, she said that she was resigned to rule by fear. However, the explanation that I’ve consistently been given as to why Dany decided to torch KL UNPROVOKED was because the common people didn’t immediately embrace her.

      Uh, ok? I thought she was already resigned to ruling by fear? So, shouldn’t she have been ok with the citizens of KL being afraid of her? Derp!

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    230. Milutin,

      Totally, I agree 100%, those are my thoughts exactly.

      And regarding the marriage situation, yes, I think it should have at least been given some serious discussion too (pros and cons). Even acknowledging the arguments against, as some commenters have made here, I think those arguments could have also been made in-universe (beyond “Jon doesn’t want to marry his aunt” and “she’s too strong for him” — okay, then stop making Jon as whipped as a lemon meringue topping, writers 😉). Moreover, it would have been nice for Jon and Dany to have this discussion themselves.

      But I think it merits a good discussion. There are good reasons for a marriage beyond modern motivations (love) — it would join claims, prevents people from pitting one against the other, is a solution to Dany’s fears. As to against, maybe Sansa would fear Daenerys wouldn’t treat Jon as an equal and thus, wouldn’t be game for Dany becoming her sister-in-law with a marital connection to the North and could voice that argument. And stuff can always still go wrong in a marriage.

      But yeah… 🙁 What could have been…

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    231. Mr Derp,

      Yeah… the writers seemed to try to give a lot of reasons but some of them do conflict with one another. And none of them are that convincing to me.

      I got the impression that when Dany was all, “Then let it be fear,” she was resolved to her Plan A of attacking Cersei’s people-shielded Red Keep, not all of King’s Landing. I mean, there’d still be many civilians who’d die but at least that would make more (admittedly brutal) sense than, “Hey, that street over there on the far reaches of King’s Landing suburbia still hasn’t been torched! Better get on over there!” on a surrendered city. Like…?

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    232. I am sorry, I cannot seem to find who addressed this issue above, there are a lot of messages and from the phone is really difficult to find them, because the page keeps loading.
      Someone said above that Jon shouldn’t have had a problem marrying Daenerys since avuncular marriages were not a problem in Westeros.
      Actually this was a major problem in the North. Why? The North is the only place mostly inhabited by the descendants of the First Men. They have kept their customs and religion even after the Andal invasion. They were seen as strange and barbaric by the people from the South.
      The religion the First Men followed was that of the Old Gods of the Forrest, a religion that was taught to them by the Children of the Forest. The rest of the continent followed the Faith of the Seven.

      The Old Gods religion prohibited , among others, incest and kingslaying. And bastardy I believe. Here is where Jon’s turmoil is coming form.

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    233. Ser Pounce,

      That was my impression too. I know Ned’s parents were related… but pretty distantly. Beron and Lorra Royce were the great grandparents of Ned’s father Rickard while Beron and Lorra were the grandparents of Ned’s mother Lyarra. What kind of cousin does that make Rickard and Lyarra? I should look up a cousin chart… 🙂

      Found it! I think this means Ned’s parents are first cousins once removed?

      I also remember, when Jon asked if Ygritte and Longspear were ever together at that point, Ygritte was appalled. She explained to Jon, “He’s of my village. You know nothing, Jon Snow. A true man steals a woman from afar, t’ strengthen the clan. Women who bed brothers or fathers or clan kin offend the gods, and are cursed with weak and sickly children. Even monsters.” And I believe the wildlings observe the Old Gods.

      (Disclaimer: on a real life note, as I know this is a circumstance for real people, I don’t agree with the notion that people born of incest or of ‘bad blood’ are doomed to be monsters or ‘less-than’. I know there are genetic issues at play but I think Ygritte’s views are harsh.)

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    234. Mr Derp: That’s another thing.Cersei never actually told Tyrion she was pregnant.She simply refused to drink the wine that Tyrion offered her, and that was all Tyrion needed to deduce that Cersei was pregnant.

      However, we see her in season 8 drinking wine while she’s still pregnant.

      That doesn’t make sense.

      I assumed Tyrion figured out Cersei was pregnant the same way Jaime did–when she placed her hand over her abdomen. Tyrion stared at that hand for a moment before stating as fact that she was pregnant. There was no way they would know about fetal alcohol syndrome in the world of GoT. Qyburn aside, there wasn’t a whole lot of medical research taking place.

      The idea that they edited out the miscarriage in order to set up the scene where Tyrion frees Jaime in order that his brother might escape with Cersei and their unborn child makes perfect sense, though. Until Cersei said she didn’t want the baby to die, I wasn’t sure she was still, or ever had been, pregnant.

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    235. Just a quick comment before returning to work.

      Ser Pounce: And my increasing belief is that the show runners wanted this to remain in the history of television. And they had to do something dramatic in order for that to happen.

      the showrunners, or the director:
      https://www.indiewire.com/2019/06/game-of-thrones-sapochnik-the-bells-1202150977/

      Iul: “I tried to make peace with Cersei, she used their innocence as a weapon against me, she thought it would cripple me”.

      One could also see things like that: Dany has “a good heart” and a dragon heart. Though the show made the characters older, they are still in a period where they are building up. In the past, she tried to concile both, not often successfully (free the slaves through fire and blood was, to some extent, her main success, esp. in the show where they downplayed the mess that entailed). Multiple times before, there’s been this feeling that this good heart weakens her, exposes her, while fire and blood brings her success. Caging her dragons because of her good heart weakened her, Drogon’s fire saved the day. Now, she’s at her lowest: politically and personally isolated (the more so she kept and kept playing the unapproachable Rightful Queen), weakened by her love for Jon, and with only Drogon left. Yes, having a good heart, especially when you also want power, is hard and can get you killed (Ned, Jon, you win or you die, …). The show also downplayed her fear: ‘I must not look back or I’m lost’). So now she’s trapped in her Dragon Queen role. She does decide to stop listening to her good heart, to succeed not only to win the battle in KL (she has won) but to define and assert herself. (Are you a sheep? No, you’re a dragon. Be a dragon. Sheep are despicable. I won’t be afraid or hurt anylonger). Somehow, her burning KL is her burning her own good heart and fear.

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    236. ice Hunter: I assumed Tyrion figured out Cersei was pregnant the same way Jaime did–when she placed her hand over her abdomen

      I think you might be right about that. It’s been a while since I’ve watched that scene.

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    237. Adrianacandle,

      The Red Keep was the military target,

      No. King’s Landing had it’s harbour filled with Euron’s fleet, had it’s outside walls manned an filled with scorpions. King’s Landing had outside the city walls the golden company. The streets of King’s Landing were filled with Lannister soldiers. Also, the Red Keep had Cersei, Lannister soldiers and some civilians.
      Cersei’s tactics were clear. First, I need to kill the Dragon. After that, first line of protection was outside the city: the fleet and the golden company. Second line, the city walls. Third line, all the city except the Red Keep. Fourth line, the Red Keep walls… and so on till the castle itself.
      King’s Landing had armies everywhere and had it’s perimeter protected by scorpions and the golden company. It was fully Dany’s military target. The picture should be edited with everything I listed above.
      Dany did not accept the surrender.

      No sane civilian, in his right mind, remains in a city that has armies camped outside; especially with the gates open. Even worse, if you leave in the villages around KL and the armies had already passed your unprotected village, you take your child and your wife and go in the city under assault? What? What?
      I’m sorry, but Dany is not the crazy delusional here.
      Dany kind of mentioned everything I’ve described above in the dialog with Tyrion from Ep.5.
      “If you hear them ringing the bells, call of the attack”.
      I think Dany was thinking: “they should surrender before I start the attack. After that, the sky will fall”.

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    238. Ser Pounce,

      You see, the issue of the avunculate marriage is yet another case where GRRM’s world-building went completely off the rails. It’s like the Ironborn being dependent on driftwood but having a fleet instead of sailing in seal-skin canoes.

      In general, marital practices go as follows: humans just like other mammals seek partners from as far as possible; however, if a human community is small and isolated, incest becomes unavoidable. Therefore, if the wildlings live in clans and those clans hate one another and their total number is about 100 thousand, they have no other way but to embrace marriage and interbreeding between relatives. Same with the nobility, which is a closed community, too. According to GRRM, there are no more than several dozens of the top rank noble houses in the North and the overall Westerosi nobility amounts to several hundred. Therefore, they should have been intermarrying criss-cross for centuries, just like European nobility and royalty did.

      But even that aside, Jon was shown to be quite flexible. He was capable of abandoning old inefficient rules and establishing new ones reflecting the true priorities he was able to recognize. And sometimes he even bent rules for someone like Sam because again he was capable to see what matters. Therefore, a character like him should have decided that keeping faith to the women he slept with is a more important duty, than adhering to some rather murky concept of soft incest and would have found plenty of good reasons to marry her (which he apparently wanted): after all, if he accepted his identity as a Targaryen, he had to accept everything that came with it and she wasn’t his sister, just an aunt who looked more like a cousin.

      So, this is GRRM’s problem which stems from his desire to shoehorn Dany into the position of Richard III whom he adores (and for no good reason IMO). However, any historian can say that had Richard won Bosworth Field, he would have acquired the papal dispense to marry Elisabeth of York with an ease (had he wanted it).

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    239. AnnOther,

      Thank you for the article, I haven’t read it before! Sapochnik has a valid point of view. I was shocked hearing people before season 8 aired saying they can’t wait to see more rape and destruction! And when they had it the same people were shocked and appaled. I wrote in a post above that maybe just one director for this season would have made things a bit less confusing. Nutter and Sapochnik are very strong directors with different filming approaches. The idea not to cut to Dany after Missandei’s beheading would have been teriffic and it would have increased the emotional impact for the beginning of ep 5.It would have been more believable if the audience was left to imagine her state of mind. Anyway, your argument below puts some logic into Dany’ s motivations and actions, I like it.

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    240. Iul,

      No. King’s Landing had it’s harbour filled with Euron’s fleet, had it’s outside walls manned an filled with scorpions. King’s Landing had outside the city walls the golden company. The streets of King’s Landing were filled with Lannister soldiers. Also, the Red Keep had Cersei, Lannister soldiers and some civilians.
      Cersei’s tactics were clear. First, I need to kill the Dragon. After that, first line of protection was outside the city: the fleet and the golden company. Second line, the city walls. Third line, all the city except the Red Keep. Fourth line, the Red Keep walls… and so on till the castle itself.
      King’s Landing had armies everywhere and had it’s perimeter protected by scorpions and the golden company. It was fully Dany’s military target. The picture should be edited with everything I listed above.
      Dany did not accept the surrender.

      Because a city is going to keep all of its openings defended, defenses will be stationed at all gates, on the walls, and in the harbour (which is right by the Red Keep), whatever the target. I think the GC was at the Iron Gate (if I’m wrong on that, please anyone, correct me), which is not that far off from the Red Keep and is the shortest land route to the castle.

      But it’d be pretty inefficient to make the whole giant city of King’s Landing the military target — instead of where the person of interest (Cersei) is.

      And Dany herself identifies both Cersei and the Red Keep as the target — Cersei’s there, Cersei is the one Dany wants to defeat, defeating Cersei is how Dany takes the city. It’s the target Dany herself mentions: in 704 (“I’m going to fly [my dragons] to the Red Keep. My enemies are in the Red Keep”), in 804 when Dany/Tyrion/Varys discuss the castle, “That is why Cersei is bringing them into the Red Keep” (which is what Cersei is doing), and Dany identifies Cersei as the target numerous times, including when she says she wants to rip Cersei out “root and stem” — and Cersei’s there, in the Red Keep.

      And I’m not the one who made that picture 🙂 Yet, it doesn’t make sense why Dany went on and on and on strafing every street in King’s Landing, even the ones nowhere near where Cersei was located. In the Red Keep. What does Dany gain by strafing these parts of the city, after she’s already won the city? She doesn’t need to kill Cersei, she doesn’t need to do any of what she did post-surrender.

      Had Dany attacked the Red Keep prior to surrender, had she killed the people used as Cersei’s meat shield, then there could be a defense for that. That’d be a conquest.

      Also, I don’t recall these being Cersei’s tactics — do you have an episode/transcript I can reference? I know the people-shield tactic but I could be missing something.

      No sane civilian, in his right mind, remains in a city that has armies camped outside; especially with the gates open. Even worse, if you leave in the villages around KL and the armies had already passed your unprotected village, you take your child and you wife and go in the city under assault? What? What?

      How can a peasant just pick up and leave from a surrounded city? They’re peasants, they’re already scraping to get by. Their jobs are in King’s Landing, their homes, their livelihood — which is already hard enough. They don’t have safe havens to flee to.

      I’m sorry, but Dany is not the crazy delusional here.

      Re-defining liberation to mean “kill”, believing she rescued the population of King’s Landing from the grip of a tyrant by slaughtering them all, intending it to do it all over the world (including the places already under her rule — Winterfell, Dorne — and places without slavery), and massacring a city after surrender doesn’t speak to a reality-oriented mind. It supports the conclusion that Dany has become delusional.

      “If you hear them ringing the bells, call of the attack”.
      I think Dany was thinking: “they should surrender before I start the attack. After that, the sky will fall”.

      Well, nothing like this was ever said on screen. At best, it’s speculation as to what was going on in Dany’s mind. Either way, attacking a surrendered city doesn’t make sense. There was no need to do it.

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    241. Inga,

      All these points are valid, form the medieval history perspective. But GoT tried to mix very different genres who are structurally incompatible. They chose to end it as a fantasy. If you analyse and I see you already did that, whenever magic appears, medieval history gets screwed. You can’t have realism with dragons and magic trees and people raising from the dead! Medieval history is too complex for this story, this is a fundamentally Tolkien inspired story, no matter how much Martin loves history, no matter how much he likes, I believe, Shakespeare ‘s Richard. In this fantasy realm, where Northeners listen to whispering magical trees, where elf inspired creatures teach men the rhythm of nature, the magical raised from the dead character of Jon Snow abides these rules. Rules that existed since before the magical creature Bran the Builder created House Stark.
      Jon felt shame and guilt for being a bastard, even by no fault of his own. He eventually committed incest and, for a debatable greater good, queenslaying. He was the archetypal hero, always choosing morals over happiness,always renouncing himself. There are numerous examples and people here who read a lot more than I did and watched the show a lot more than I did can give. According to the religion he grew up in, incest was not an option. No matter what happened on Earth in prehistoric, Ancient or Medieval era. This does not mean I do not agree everything could have been better written, though.

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    242. Adrianacandle,

      *How can a peasant just pick up and leave? They’re peasants, they’re already scraping to get by. Their jobs are in King’s Landing, their homes, their livelihood — which is already hard enough. They don’t have safe havens to flee to.

      (Removed ‘from a surrounded city’ because the city wasn’t surrounded. The Unsullied/Dothraki/Northern forces all met the Golden Company/Lannister forces at one gate, which I think was the Iron Gate but I’m not sure).

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    243. Adrianacandle,

      I think they are second degree cousins, but I might be wrong. I am a disaster at understanding cousin degrees. I think Ned and Catelyn were 4th degree cousins??

      Yes, most of the free folk worshipped the Old Gods, and the ones who wed their clan kin were thought to be offending the gods.

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    244. Ser Pounce,

      From that chart, I think (think!) they are first cousins once removed because Rickard’s great grandparents were Beron and Lorra, while they were Lyarra’s grandparents. Had they been Lyarra’s great grandparents as well, I think that would make them second cousins. If they were Rickard’s grandparents instead of great grandparents, then they’d be first cousins instead of first cousins once removed.

      I feel cousins are complicated…

      Agh, I feel like that scene in Mean Girls!!! (He is your cousin/Yeah, but he’s my first cousin./Right./So you have your cousins… and then you have your first cousins… then you have your second cousins…/No, honey.)

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    245. Ser Pounce,

      Wait, were Ned and Cat fourth cousins?? That’s not close but based on my new knowledge of cousin-mapping (!!!), that’d mean they’d have a great-great-great grandparent in common! … I think?

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    246. Adrianacandle,

      “If you hear them ringing the bells, call of the attack”.
      It’s what Tyrion tells Dany in episode 5.

      “I’m sorry, but Dany is not the crazy delusional here.”

      I mean in the dialog with Tyrion from episode 5.

      Dany killed everyone within the perimeter defined by the enemy’s armies. No person in her right mind should have been there if they wanted to avoid conflict. The gates were opened (not like Tyrion is assuming that they are afraid of Cersei – I did not see anyone trying to leave; any sane person would at least try to leave the city) and Dany gave enough time for the city to be liberated of civilians. She actually mentions it.

      As for her speech in episode 6, I’ve stated my opinion. They are Tyrion’s assumptions.

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    247. Iul,

      “If you hear them ringing the bells, call of the attack”.
      It’s what Tyrion tells Dany in episode 5.

      “I’m sorry, but Dany is not the crazy delusional here.”

      I mean in the dialog with Tyrion from episode 5.

      Alright — but I’m not sure why that makes Tyrion crazy or delusional? The city did surrender.

      Dany killed everyone within the perimeter defined by the enemy’s armies.

      She killed nearly a whole city’s populace after they surrendered. Dany had won that city already so there was no need for her to go off of them.

      No person in her right mind should have been there if they wanted to avoid conflict. The gates were opened (not like Tyrion is assuming that they are afraid of Cersei – I did not see anyone trying to leave; any sane person would at least try to leave the city) and Dany gave enough time for the city to be liberated of civilians. She actually mentions it.

      But they are afraid of Cersei, Cersei’s a tyrant, she’s oppressing them. That’s why Dany says she wants to save them. Cersei rules by fear. She can have anyone who opposes her rule killed. Peasants are easy to kill. They’re sacks of liquid and bone dressed in rags.

      But again, the smallfolk don’t typically have safe havens to go to — where would they go? How would they get there? What protected areas could they find? Where would they get food, water, shelter from the elements? How would they live? They’d need money and resources to flee.

      As for her speech in episode 6, I’ve stated my opinion. They are Tyrion’s assumptions.

      Yes, and I still can’t see anything Tyrion was wrong about based on what we saw Dany say on screen :/

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    248. Adrianacandle:
      Ser Pounce,

      From that chart, I think (think!) they are first cousins once removed because Rickard’s great grandparents were Beron and Lorra, while they were Lyarra’s grandparents. Had they been Lyarra’s great grandparents as well, I think that would make them second cousins. If they were Rickard’s grandparents instead of great grandparents, then they’d be first cousins instead of first cousins once removed.

      I feel cousins are complicated…

      Agh, I feel like that scene in Mean Girls!!! (He is your cousin/Yeah, but he’s my first cousin./Right./So you have your cousins… and then you have your first cousins… then you have your second cousins…/No, honey.)

      God, I forgot about this movie, seems like I saw it ages ago! Very funny scene!

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    249. Ser Pounce,

      Oh, it’s is confusing!! I had to go over it several times! Cousins are confusing, just like my life’s guide Mean Girls demonstrates! 😉

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    250. Reflecting on my own suggestion that Dany attack the Red Keep in 704 and give the smallfolk of the Red Keep 24-hour warning, I guess that wouldn’t work because I, myself, can’t think of how or where the smallfolk would go since it would take resources the smallfolk wouldn’t have… Unless others have ideas? Well, I suppose the more well-off people of the Red Keep could vacate.

      Iul,

      I’m sorry for another comment. When you say,

      and Dany gave enough time for the city to be liberated of civilians. She actually mentions it.

      What do you mean? I know Dany was unhappy the smallfolk didn’t rise up against Cersei but I can’t remember Dany mentioning that she’s given enough time for the smallfolk to vacate?

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    251. Ser Pounce,

      On the page, there is the link to the podcast of the full interview; it’s around 2 hours, and I didn’t understand everything (English is not my native language), but what I understood was very interesting. And, yes, having less directors would probably have been great (it was D&D’s first idea, but was not eventually compatible with planning constraints). There are 3 parts (The Gift and Hardhome / BoB / Long Night & The Bells); you get to understand several shooting decisions, and how complicated the whole process is.
      Happy you enjoyed my post!

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    252. Mr Derp,

      I sit here smugly, pretty much sated by the conclusion, because I only predicted one thing and wanted another:

      (a) Sandor conquers his fear of fire to save his Wolf Girl or Little Bird; and
      (b) Sandor would be the one to turn Arya away from her sport-killing/vengeance trail.

      While I didn’t quite get the fulfillment of my prediction (a), my wish (b) did come true.

      And I could not have asked for a better final Sandor & Arya scene.

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    253. Phil Salmon,

      In an odd way, the fact that folks protested the Dany nemesis ending – proves that it was right. How so? The clues were always there that demons lurked within the dragon queen. Her hypnotic appeal brought many characters under its spell, and many viewers. We forgave her the violent excesses because her ideology seemed so pure and righteous. And that’s exactly the point. The Dany manifesto was so compelling that millions of us were drawn in. The road to hell was paved with good intentions. Many saw a social justice warrior and were willing to allow or forgive her anything.

      Thank you for writing this! I would add that I overlooked why Dany was attacking the cities of Slaver’s Bay. It wasn’t to end slavery, but so she could take resources needed for her conquest of Westeros. Slavery still exists in Volantis, and she could have sacked Volantis for the resources as well. But she wound up in Slaver’s Bay because she’d come by way of Qarth from the Red Waste. We were so blinded by her ending slavery that we forgot why she was even there in the first place, and that answer wasn’t pretty.

      On another topic, comparisons of Dany to Arya, in the scene where Arya poisoned the Frey men, her speech made it clear she’d carefully invited only those Frey men who’d taken part in the Red Wedding. She took active measures to prevent the women from drinking the poisoned wine. The Red Wedding was a violation of guest right; Bran’s story about the Rat King makes this clear. The Red Wedding was also a revolt by Walder Frey against his liege lord — Frey was bannerman to House Tully — and therefore his death was justified also by feudal rules.

      Game of Thrones kept us entertained for eight great seasons, then ended perfectly. All Hail Bran The Broken!

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    254. Adrianacandle,

      What do you mean? I know Dany was unhappy the smallfolk didn’t rise up against Cersei but I can’t remember Dany mentioning that she’s given enough time for the smallfolk to vacate?

      She didn’t specifically mention. But we can analyze… Terms of surrender were discussed before Missandei’s execution. After that, Dany blames the people of KL for not leaving the city. Tyrion doesn’t say “you didn’t give them enough time”, he said “they are afraid”. So… no matter how much more time passed, the situation would have been the same.

      Then Tyrion asks Dany to accept their surrender if she hears the bells ringing.

      But again, in Dany’s eyes, terms of surrender we’re discussed and the people had enough time to leave the city. And, to be fair, no one even tried to leave KL. They were actually doing the opposite by coming inside KL, from all over the Crown Lands. So, after the attack started, there was no more surrender. Not in Dany’s eyes.

      That for me is way more logical than any “official” inside the episode explanation I have seen.

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    255. Adrianacandle,

      I’ve just thought of an interesting parallel between Dany and Jon.
      See the scene when Jon beheads Janos Slynt (former commander of the city watch of Kings Landing).
      Janos had time to obey Jon’s command.
      The smaalfolk had time to liberate the city.

      “My Lord please Mercy ! Mercy ! I’ll go, I will.”
      Bells ringing… and ringing…

      “Please, I’m afraid, I’ve always been afraid…”
      Tyrion: They’re afraid, you can’t expect them to be heroes!

      Jon grabs Longclaw, makes the exact same face Dany does during the bells scene.
      Dany “grabs” Drogon, makes the exact same face Jon does right before he:

      Swings Longclaw and beheads Janos Slynt.
      Dany rides Drogon and beheads… sorry, burns Kings Landing.

      Maybe we will see this video edit on youtube soon…

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    256. Iul,
      Adrianacandle,

      In a way, I do agree with you. One of the first things my grandma taught me: if there’s ever a war, grab your children and run to the countryside; on foot, if necessary.

      In general, during medieval warfare, running into the woods was a popular survival strategy. The wildness provides a better chance of survival: people can fish and hunt and do some gathering, etc. It’s a safer place than a city or a castle under siege. People go behind the walls only when they hope to defend said walls which also implies that all those men (and even women) who flocked into KL should have armed themselves with kitchen knives and sticks and made a stand against Dany’s army similarly as the people of the North took the stand against the AOTD. The problem is that the smallfolk of KL had no reason to stand for Cersei: from all we know, they hated her.

      So, this is just another example where the setup goes against logic for the sole reason of shoehorning a character somewhere where it doesn’t belong. Yes, we are desperate to make sense out of this nonsense, because we have invested so much into this story and we don’t want our investment to be in vain: that’s how the human mind works. However, errare humanum est, SED PERSEVERARE DIABOLICUM. Sometimes bad writing is just bad writing, nothing more.

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    257. Ser Pounce,

      No, Jon is not an archetypical hero; he is a loser. An archetypical hero is supposed to solve the problem he or she is challenged with. Solving the problem lies at the core of any heroic myth. Jon’s problem was to accommodate duty with love – something everyone does three times per day. But instead of coming up with the solution fit for his specific circumstances Jon ends up in a closed circle of unsolvable problems the same as the story itself. So, he’s just a wasted hero in a wasted story (and the same can be said about all other heroes or protagonists).

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    258. Iul,

      Swings Longclaw and beheads Janos Slynt.
      Dany rides Drogon and beheads… sorry, burns Kings Landing.

      Except the big difference here is — one was an individualized execution for actions that man knowingly and voluntarily committed. And that man was given two audible, clearly-spoken chances to accept. And Janos Slynt knew the punishment for refusal but refused his commander’s order because he felt he was too good for what Jon was ordering him to do, thought Jon had zero authority over him because Jon was a bastard, and believed Jon wouldn’t do jacksh!t to him — until the last minute when he saw Jon unsheathing his sword.

      In contrast, the other was genocide. A mass slaughter of fearful men, women, and children who — as far as Dany knows — did nothing wrong and were massacred because something inside Dany broke. They didn’t commit a single action against Dany, they didn’t refuse any clear orders. They were under Cersei’s law. Rising up against Cersei breaks the law. And most importantly, failing to rise up against a tyrant or flee their homes aren’t crimes.

      In contrast to Janos Slynt, the people of King’s Landing didn’t refuse to rise up against Cersei because they thought they were too good for Dany. They were scared as hell. An unarmed, untrained peasant rising up against a tyrant and her armed, trained soldiers risked a) immediate death b) imprisonment or c) imprisonment and execution.

      Meanwhile, Janos Slynt — a trained ex-noble — accepting Jon’s command didn’t put Janos Slynt’s life at risk. He refused command over a fort because he thought he was too good for it and didn’t want the tedious task of rebuilding it, though he was being given men and equipment.

      She didn’t specifically mention. But we can analyze… Terms of surrender were discussed before Missandei’s execution. After that, Dany blames the people of KL for not leaving the city. Tyrion doesn’t say “you didn’t give them enough time”, he said “they are afraid”. So… no matter how much more time passed, the situation would have been the same.

      Then Tyrion asks Dany to accept their surrender if she hears the bells ringing.

      But again, in Dany’s eyes, terms of surrender we’re discussed and the people had enough time to leave the city. And, to be fair, no one even tried to leave KL. They were actually doing the opposite by coming inside KL, from all over the Crown Lands. So, after the attack started, there was no more surrender. Not in Dany’s eyes.

      That for me is way more logical than any “official” inside the episode explanation I have seen.

      I think this is speculation at best because this wasn’t what was said or indicated on screen, or supported in interviews by the cast and crew. The civilians did try to save themselves from war — they cried for surrender and some accepted Cersei’s offer of protection in the Red Keep, believed to be the safest place in King’s Landing (but which happened to be the target — but the people of King’s Landing don’t know that. They only know what they’re told and Cersei was offering them protection from an attack on their city within another set of guarded walls).

      I don’t think it’s fair to blame them for their own slaughter because they failed to leave their homes. And leaving home for longer than a day takes resources, knowledge of the land, courage. They’d also have to get by Cersei’s forces.

      This feels uncomfortably like justifying Dany’s mass slaughter of an entire people. Because they failed to leave their homes. Nothing justifies Dany’s mass slaughter and there was no reason for it. Those people did nothing to her, they refused no direct order, they were under Cersei’s law. They were smallfolk trying to survive and were in a terrible position — caught between a tyrant and forces threatening their home. Dany’s genocide was a horrific crime, through and through. The people of King’s Landing aren’t to blame for her decision.

      Here’s an alternative approach — why didn’t Dany provide some sort of safe haven for the people of King’s Landing to flee to? “Guys, I’m going to attack but I want to protect you. You can come here, here, and here.” Dany says she wants to save the people from a tyrant, maybe she could have given them a place to flee King’s Landing to. Perhaps she could have gotten the message out via Varys and his little birds pre-execution.

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    259. Inga,

      Maybe but those people would still have to leave their homes to go into the wilderness and they would need protection from the elements, protection from other people looking for that same shelter, and knowledge of that land. They’d need to know what food could be gathered, what berries were poisonous, how to defend against wildlife, the places they could sleep, how to fish, how to hunt, they’d need tools for this. And they’d have to get by Cersei’s forces.

      Regardless, I don’t think they are to blame for their own deaths when Dany decided to massacre them all after the city surrendered. I think this argument would be better if Dany was only doing what was necessary to get to the Red Keep. If, when she was burning the Red Keep, any civilians caught in the crossfire between Dany and Cersei were killed.

      However, Dany had no reason to massacre the population as she had already won the city.

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    260. Iul,

      I accidentally deleted this in my original post:

      Jon’s execution of Janos Slynt is most comparable to Dany’s execution of Mossador. Both were individualized executions for actions they voluntarily committed with knowledge of the consequence. Both Slynt and Mossador knowingly and willingly defied direct commands from their commander/queen. Both begged for mercy at the end.

      However, an execution of an individual specifically for their actions is not comparable to a mass slaughter of men, women, and children.

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    261. Holy Toledo. Petra, just wanted to praise your wonderful and dead-on video. I’ve gone over and over and over this ad nauseam.
      My comment: It does indeed fail…and why are so many fans’ ideas better than the actual final episodes? (Additionally, Cersei is the one with reason to be triggered by bells; Dany could’ve been framed by her, or Bran. That would’ve made sense and been horrifically tragic. My expectations were entirely too high.)
      At least that Iron Islands plot would’ve made SOME sense and followed more logically from her storyline since S1. There was no need to turn her into a mad queen at all. I thought it would be a cheap, unfair, unfulfilling, lame trick to pull on such an awesome character. For the first half of the season I remained unafraid, laughing the notion off. Then they began forcing it with their big ogre-hands and I just groooooaaaaannned. Now we knew where it was going, and all that was left was to grit your teeth and watch like >8-| I couldn’t understand why the idgits of KL didn’t flee, or why Team Dany didn’t call for evacuation.

      I’ve loved and rooted for Dany since the first season. Loved her relationship with Drogo. Was she, or he, or their culture perfect? Hardly, but they were still relatively easy people to pull for. I can only view her mad-queen transformation as…grief-induced incest-baby Targaryenitis setting in? Yeah, that’s about the measure of it. Because the last episode-and-a-half saw a delusional person in her place. Brand-new concepts were introduced–instead of ruling Westeros and earning her subjects’ love, she wanted to keep crusading and conquering and “liberating” everybody in the world (regardless of whom was actually in need of it?) Her normal self was sane enough not to expect revolts against Cersei; she knew the people weren’t actual slaves who might be able to turn and kill their masters given the opportunity. She knew she’d have to demonstrate that she was there to show them what a benevolent, compassionate ruler looked like, and give everyone a better life. She was more than aware that they weren’t awaiting their Targaryen savior and drinking secret toasts to her health. I didn’t expect a happy ending; there was a fair chance she’d die somehow, and an even better chance she wouldn’t end up ruling. But the ending she was given just blew, and I don’t hold her accountable for her irrational actions.

      When Emilia gave that quote about “what Daenerys is,” I thought, “Wow, if the ‘mad queen’ theory is true then she kind of just gave it away? Naw, that could mean anything. Right? Of course that’s where everyone’s gonna go, but that CAN’T be what happens, or there’s no way she’d have said that! She’s trying to throw people off the scent! Awesome!” Man, if only. She just couldn’t keep her feelings in. ;; If this HAS been George’s planned end all along, well…Idk, maybe it would’ve flown better in the past…nowadays making one of your most heroic and high-minded female characters turn out to just be “crazy” and too unstable to handle power, such that she needs to be cast down and replaced by sane men…I mean, that isn’t a great look, is it?

      Within the context of her situations, I understood and supported most of her actions along the way. Typically it was “I’d have likely done the same in her position,” or “Yeah well, y’know what, I’d probably share that impulse!” There was always a “blood of my enemies not of innocents” caveat, backed up consistently by all the mercy and kindness and justice and slave-freeing, which doesn’t jive with the cruel KL massacre. Always an implication of aiming for the rotten people and their structures.
      Words are wind. She could be naive or desperate or blustery or enraged or whatever, I wasn’t about to hold her of all people to an unfair standard. Until I saw her becoming someone who’d deliberately target a ton of civilians who, so far as we know, hadn’t so much as said boo to her, seemingly for fun and BEFORE the person she was dethroning, I wasn’t going to buy it. Not as a natural progression, anyway. I guess I have to accept it as incest-baby insanity triggered by various recent factors, in which case I don’t hold it against her, but do think it a lousy decision for a wonderful character the audience was intentionally led to love and idolize. I’d at least want to better see her transition into this nutso tyrant rather than hear it from other people.
      Ruthlessness with your enemies, especially when you’re clearly in the right, tends to be necessary. Before the last few episodes she had no delusions about who her enemies were. Dickon made his own dumb choice; as D&D said, he and his dad stubbornly managed to find the “lose” in a win-win situation. And even the most ruthless leaders would be stupid to go on unwise, indiscriminate, non-strategic destruction sprees. No further demonstration of her power was needed. That was the first time I recall there being no reasoning, no details to make it even somewhat understandable, and evidently no regret. It was like winning a trophy you’d spent years training for just to immediately melt it down and slaughter the whole audience (ignoring your evil, defeated, undoubtedly confused rival who was the arrogant sadist all along.)

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    262. Iul,

      Forget about Cersei? killing half a million people is a necessary evil to dethrone Cersei? I think the people were more free and alive under the rule of Cersei then under the rule of Daenerys.

      True about song, as I said a story, and songs are stories. But what have that to do with Dany being good and a necessary evil? It doesn’t even made a point about that.

      FAegon: We know that Dany had a vision about him being the mummer’s farce and that she has been warned of him. (still wondering who is warning her, I have a feeling it’s not a entity of good but rather evil). She will not let it slide that FAegon sits on the throne, especially when her vision states he is being welcomed with open arms by her people. It also make sense that that’s the reason why she will turn on the people. That she somehow will warn them about him not being the true Aegon, and she is the true daughter of Aerys. Also it make sense if he is a fake she won’t believe the story about Jon being the son of Rheagar. It’s also possible that Griff is in fact the true Aegon but that the one giving Dany visions is the great other and not the lord of light.

      About the assumption that she will continue of a killing spree is not just that I think that, it’s uttered from Dany’s own mouths when Jon asked her what she will do to the people not believing in her worldview. They need to die was her answer (with other words). That was the reason why Jon killed her. Probably in her mind she is right, but her actions are wrong, you can never force your worldview onto others with the fear of dead. That’s why in civil countries we don’t kill or jail people for voting for the losing party. The winning parties maybe not liking that they didn’t have 100% of the people behind them but forcing other’s to follow your worldview without freedom of choosing it and decline it and live is evil. And wasn’t it confirmed that showDany did in fact become a Tyrant by D&D and others working on the show?

      And comparing a uncle to lie about the son of his sister to protect that boy from the current king is something else then killing half a million of people because they don’t want to follow your greater good.

      Fear never kept the peace in Westeros, it always lead to rebellions and more deaths. Or the people living in fear their whole lives, that is not peace, that’s a horrible way of life.

      And me too, I’m very interesting in Dany’s chapters in the last 2 books. Some don’t like the turn of events that happened in 8×05 but for me I like stories like that, the tragic fall of characters. Walter White remains one of my favorite characters on television because of that. His “”breaking bad” was just amazing to watch. Same with Dany knowing that this is where it’s going is for me more interesting to read her chapters in the books.How will her decline further in book 6 and 7. And how will it parallel some other characters like Theon and Jaime who went the other way. It’s also something that happen in real life. Look for instance at the people from your schooltime and look at them now. People who had no prospect of a future can have much success later in life and working hard when before they were lazy. Or the ones that had the most prospect failed and become lazy. Or kindest classmate became the most selfish person later in life or visa versa. people change, our character stay the same, if we had a temper that stays, if we are emotional that stays but our way of living changes a lot.

      That’s why it’s not out of question that Dany can become a tyrant when she first started out the opposite, her experiences made it that way. For instance ending of season 2, Xaro learned her a lesson of not trusting anyone, betrayal is everywhere even from the ones that acted like your friend before. And she learned how she will execute the punishment. Season 3 she learned another lesson, to be cunning and manipulating her enemy (for the greater good), and show your power to end them, and show your strength as a savior. She learned a great deal, but her lessons turned her into a person that she wouldn’t have liked at the beginning of season 1.

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    263. Adrianacandle,

      Sure, I’m not trying to excuse this holocaust of KL. It’s just that for me fools, who shy form decision-making, deserve less compassion than those who make conscious choices. I’m here with Dante: “The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.”

      Anyway, I just wanted to point how contrived and silly this whole plot was: not only Dany, not only every other named character but even red-shirts were forced to act against logic and common sense. In a more or less normal world, most of the better-to-do KL folk would have fled to other cities and towns and the countryside as soon as Dany landed in Dragonstone, whereas the remaining ones (at least some fraction of them) would have tried to organize a rebellion simply for the sake of securing personal interests.

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    264. Inga,

      I won’t justify the choices D&D made here because some of them — yikes — and I’d have preferred they ended the story (namely Dany’s arc) in just about any other way than this.

      But the people of King’s Landing weren’t neutral: they were afraid. I don’t think it’s immoral to succumb to fear, it’s not brave, but it’s not immoral. It just is.

      What moral crisis are you referring to in regard to this situation that the people of KL were facing?

      And they had some crappy, crappy choices and all were life-risking. People die when they rebel, people die fleeing the city. They’d have to be well-prepared to survive a stay in the wilderness — against other people seeking the same thing they are (food, shelter, protection), against threats from wildlife (insects, animals, weather). They couldn’t know Dany was going to do what she did after the Lannister forces surrendered (followed by their own), they weren’t issued any sort of warning. And a kitchen knife or a stick is nothing compared to a fully armored, trained soldier who could kill them just like that.

      Plus, the people of King’s Landing don’t have access to information. They aren’t educated, they can’t read, they have no access to what’s really going on, they have no access to information, they don’t know Dany. They are only able to go off of what they’re told. Some people are naturally smarter than others, braver than others, more resourceful than others — but I don’t think that not being so is immoral.

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    265. Mr Derp,

      True that! How amazing would it have been to see a whole pack of dire wolves (presumably lead by Nymeria) fighting? That being said, it likely ended up being cut because it would have been extremely difficult to pull off, and may not have looked as amazing as we imagine it. Oh well..

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    266. Inga,

      Jon is build like the archetypal hero, he doesn’t function as one because Martin’s ideas were to demythify the classical characters. Jon is a hero in the sense he is binding people together, long time enemies, houses that were long time in quarrel. His purpose was to unite. He did always choose duty over love, much more than we do it three times a day because we don’t fight undead ice creatures and don’t have to stabb our boyfriends/girlfriends in the heart. And we don’t ride dragons. And we most surely didn’t die yet. He was built like a hero but his story goes opposite to that of the mythological hero, he is sacrificing everything he has for a greater good and he gets to be the most unhappy character of all. He gets no reward. His journey is demythified.
      In the end, if you want to see this as a complete disaster, it is most likely that, a complete disaster and failure. Some want to see it as a masterpiece and it is just that, a masterpiece. And they all have arguments in favour of one or the other. It can be anything, that s the magic of this show. D&D got what they wanted.

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    267. On the page, there is the link to the podcast of the full interview; it’s around 2 hours, and I didn’t understand everything (English is not my native language), but what I understood was very interesting. And, yes, having less directors would probably have been great (it was D&D’s first idea, but was not eventually compatible with planning constraints). There are 3 parts (The Gift and Hardhome / BoB / Long Night & The Bells); you get to understand several shooting decisions, and how complicated the whole process is.
      Happy you enjoyed my post!

      I can’t seem to find the link to the full interview. Are you sure it was on the same page?

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    268. Ser Pounce,

      Well, we can agree it call a masterpiece or at least an iconic piece of deconstructivism; but deconstructivism has proved itself to be a failure so many times, that it’s just pew.

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    269. Adrianacandle,

      Well, to me, succumbing to fear is immoral, because once it happens it may end in a very dark place: those who succumb risk to be involved in all kinds of crimes, including crimes against humanity (and that’s based on personal and family experience, it’s not just from the books). But it’s a different story that has never been addressed in GOT, unfortunately.

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    270. Inga,

      I think some actions spurred by fear are certainly immoral (lashing out in harmful ways to others, violence, participating in a crime, etc.) but not things like failing to fight back against people who are hurting you, failing to rebel against oppressors, or failing to flee your home and livelihood. I don’t think it’s heroic or villainous but I don’t think these are wrong.

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    271. Inga,

      I was thinking just now as I lost myself counting horse hairs one by one (only to lose count and start all over again, sigh), I think — as a truce — what we can agree on is a disappointment in how some of these stories in GoT concluded and how contrived some elements were to make it happen. I’m still partly in denial about the whole thing, that part of me can’t believe how it went down.

      I don’t want to overly bash a show people worked so hard on (I think the cast & crew did an amazing job but I think the writing was … yeah), I don’t want to take away anybody else’s excitement or satisfaction, but I’m sad over it. I think it could have been so much more, with all of the great things they set up.

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    272. Adrianacandle,

      Yes, the only good thing about GOT is that it has exposed deconstructivism and the whole “subverting expectations” crap especially in the juxtaposition of the incredible success of “Chernobyl” which at its core was a reinstatement of a classical heroic myth and even better 99% based on the real-life heroism contrary to someone’s nihilistic fantasies. Hopefully, this will teach the entertainment industry a lesson or two. And if you haven’t watched the series yet, I highly recommend you. They are really helping me to get through GOT depression.

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    273. Inga,

      I actually just finished that series two minutes ago! Yeah, wow. Good good series. Also terrifying. I just started rewatching it!

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    274. Ser Pounce,

      Yes, I listenef to it from there. But I had to pause, and it disappeared. Found it again after re-googling “IndieWire podcast Miguel Sapochnik” and got to the same link. About mid text, an ugly horizontal bar with Black and White stripes, I mistook it with an ad, first 🙂 Didn’t try from my phone, only computer.

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    275. Ser Pounce,

      It’s to the right of MS’s picture, midtext. (the stripes are two shades of grey, sorry, not black and white). If it doesn’t appear, maybe you can try from here:
      https://soundcloud.com/user-445966404

      PS: I agree with you on Jon. Though he may be a failed *fantasy-hero*, I also think he is a successful hero in the moral/philosophical sense of Albert Camus. But I couldn’t discuss it in English, so, I’ll leave it as a random thought.

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    276. AnnOther,

      I don’t think that this parallel is acurate: Camus’ heroes are challenged by opressive and abusive system, therefore maintainance of personal moral integrity becomes an undisputable victory for them.

      Meanwhile, Jon’s moral integrity serves as a mean for the system to establish itself. Jon ends up as a messed-up pawn in the hands of lesser people and that is as a moral failure too.

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    277. Adrianacandle,

      Glad you liked “Chernobyl”. I hope it helps you to understand where my belief in the personal responsibility of every “small” man, woman and child comes from. I also recommend you podcasts with Greg Mazin (they are on Youtube): they carry tons of information about the creative process as well as actual events.

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    278. Inga,

      It is a great series! And I’ll definitely seek out that podcast! Maybe my dad would be interested — he is a scientist himself 🙂 Who forces scientific explanations on me, no matter what 🙁

      I knew what you might have been referring to previously, I had been thinking about that myself, and I agree with you to an extent — some actions resulting from succumbing to fear in some cases are knowingly wrong. Yet, I still think things like (in the case of the smallfolk of King’s Landing and in other cases like this) failing to fight back against people who are hurting you, failing to rebel against oppressors, or failing to flee your home and livelihood are still not wrong. I’m guessing you might be talking about

      Legasov’s decision to give a false testimony in Vienna vs. his later decision to tell the truth in the city of Chernobyl. Legasov was a highly educated man who knew exactly what he was directly risking for countless other lives by not coming forward with the truth of crucial information that was hidden — he was risking another Chernobyl accident. Meanwhile, there were no such hidden truths or conspiracies in the case of King’s Landing smallfolk — all of the info was out there in the open and nobody was hiding or lying about any info that could change the immediate future of events and save countless lives for generations. Now, if Dany had pre-arranged this attack and one individual in KL knew it was coming, I’d think that would be a comparable situation and would agree that the moral thing for that individual to do would be to speak out to save the lives of their fellow citizens.

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    279. I’m a bit late in the game, but I have many thoughts about this resolution, one of my disappointments with season 8, and I would like to share them here, even if I doesn’t have much to add (I will divide the post in two parts, because it’s too long):
      In first place, we are trying to understand if Daenerys burning an entire city after the surrender of that city itself makes sense or not in the light of the story told in the prior 71 episodes. However, Dany’s attitude was so massive that this discussion almost doesn’t even matter. That single action turned Daenerys into a monster, the worst person that ever set foot in Westeros. The decision to start burning King’s Landing was monstrous. But the decision to never stop it was equally or even more horrible. The seconds before the fire sets loose are the last thing we see of Daenerys in “The Bells”. After that, she burns the city to the very end and we never see her again. So she never thinks to stop what she’s doing, even for a glimpse, in spite of the suffering she’s imposing and witnessing. It’s like she isn’t a human being anymore. Just death from above.
      We see her again in the last episode. She looks like a dragon in the most Disney-esque moment of GoT and, after that, she gives a speech about “liberating” the world, framed like one of Hitler’s. We already knew she had done the vilest thing ever in “The Bells”, but, even in “The Iron Throne”, GoT tries too hard showing Dany as 100% evil. There’s no more room to nuance or subtlety in Daenerys arc. We already knew that Daenerys was doomed, but her character goes straight to the pantheon of one-dimensional villains.
      Even in the last scene with Jon, she continues to say awful things until her death. She acts like she had done the most normal thing in the world. The shallowness of Daenerys statements is however masked by Emilia and Kit’s performances, Ramin’s music and Drogon.
      After 62 episodes on screen, Daenerys, one of the main characters (I would say the second most important character, after Jon), ends this story, praised since the beginning for the supposedly complexity of its characters, as a generic villain that needs to be put down. The talk about world domination is worthy of some 007 villain. When she was in the height of his power, in the end of season 6, she has never thought about assaulting any Essosi city on her way to Westeros. She was only focused in becoming queen of Westeros. Why did she started to talk about conquering the world in a time that she only has one dragon and her army is severely depleted?
      I believe all the viewers who take GoT seriously thought Jon was right in killing Daenerys. I did as well, and Daenerys was the character I cared more about along the series. Jon was understandably conflicted. The viewers? Not at all. There wasn’t great dramatic stakes from the audience’s point of view.
      Looking back, we are trying to understand what Daenerys did have in mind when she decided to burn King’s Landing. The best answer that I can find is that she got delusional or mad or enraged, or a bit of a mix of all of it, although we’ve never seen any deep portrayal of madness in this universe, as stated in Petra’s video.
      I don’t think that she did burn the city to make a political statement. If she did, I think it was a particularly dumb move. When she decided to burn the city instead of flying to the Red Keep (a decision that would be bad, because she was disrespecting the battle plan and causing needless colateral casualties, but a thousand times more in character), she did give time to Cersei to escape. It was Cersei that caused all her pain with Missandei and Rhaegal. Oddly, Cersei watched the city burn by the window long enough to throw away her chances of escaping. I don’t also think that it was a convincing way to impose fear on the rest of Westerosi people. The people of King’s Landing saw a dragon rider that decided to burn them all for apparently no reason, in their point of view. The rest of Westerosi people will feel like they have nothing to lose in opposing Daenerys: if we don’t oppose her, she can kill us all; if we oppose her, she’ll certainly kill us all. In that context, it makes sense that Westerosi people opposes Daenerys with everything they have after seeing KL burns. If it was a cold, calculated rational decision, why Daenerys has those signs of suffering, even some kind of mental breakdown, in her face, just before starting to incinerate the city?
      It could be only rage for the successive losses she has experienced, but she burns King’s Landing methodically and accurately, street by street. If it was only rage, I think she would start burning the city, but not end it. At some point, she would be aware of the pain she was inflicting. Then she would feel some remorse and would stop the murder.
      The “madness” hypothesis is plausible. There are various hints in “The bells”: Varys conversation with Jon and that succession of lines about Targaryen madness in the “Previously on” (I view the need to put those words in that segment as a proof of the insecurity of the writers about doing this turn). The problem with madness is that is an uninteresting conclusion to her arc. A story in which a charismatic woman who wants to make the world a better place succumbs to madness for some genetic determinism isn’t that great. Furthermore, it only serves to reinforce a stereotype about a family: in the show, we knew Aerys was mad, that Viserys was stupid, cruel and could be also mad and that Aemon was a good person. If Daenerys is mad too, this family almost doesn’t have anything good about them. I find that specially odd, because the Targaryens are the family with most detailed lore by GRRM. If the main Targaryen character created by the author is just mad, why people should waste their time reading, for example, Fire and Blood, a book centered on a mad family?
      Weighing all these factors, I would say that Daenerys felt enraged when the bells started to ring and, after that, kind of decided to give up on what she was always trying to do and put in his head the delusional idea of achieving a lasting peace through very violent means throughout the world. She felt tired and gave up, basically.

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    280. I would like to talk about the reasons behind the burning of King’s Landing after surrender. I see two possible explanations for the decision:
      1 – They knew from George R.R. Martin that Daenerys would burn King’s Landing (it’s yet to be known if this is the exact context: burn the population after surrender)
      2 – It would be the only case where Jon killing Daenerys would be believable, and not out of character for Jon (it seems certain that GRRM planned Jon killing Daenerys as endgame). If this is the case, Jon should have been written differently: he should be more resolved to confront Dany, even if she didn’t do something so bad in comparison to what happened in King’s Landing.

      If it’s option 1, working in the same context shown in the series (it’s possible that GRRM’s plan for King’s Landing destruction involves a sequence of actions from various characters, Daenerys being one of them), these are the possible explanations I envision:
      1 – The anti-war views of GRRM. It’s possible that his stance against armed conflicts motivated him to create this character as a statement that waging war to achieve your goals, even if they are noble, is wrong. GRRM is a writer that likes to shock the reader (I have no problems with it, if there’s groundwork and a story purpose to it). Maybe he wants to do this exact heel turn (burning KL after surrender) to slap the readers who want Daenerys to succeed or believe she is able to materialize her vision of a better problem. However, I see a great problem with the idea: in this scenario, Daenerys feels less like a character that belongs organically to a epic fantasy tale and more like a statement device: a statement that it’s never good to achieve goals through force, even if there’s a claim to better a society where many of its members have so few rights and conditions to thrive and it’s preferable doing nothing. The author is entitled to his views about politics, society and war, but those have to be shown through characters consistent and plausible behavior.
      I read that Slaver’s Bay wasn’t in the original outline of ASOIAF. Under this “Daenerys as an anti-war statement” idea, that makes sense. In hindsight, the Slaver’s Bay feels like filler, like a pause while Dany awaits for her dragons to grow and burn Westeros. If she had only taken Astapor with Unsullied, decided to wait there until she can fly in a dragon and, after that, just united the Dothraki, before sailing to Westeros, the story of Daenerys, a character destined to burn a city and kill thousands of people, would be the same. Many of her scenes feel like they doesn’t matter, after what she did in King’s Landing. That’s a disheartening thought. Even Ramin Djawadi’s wonderful pieces for the character appear to be lessened today. Although great in its own, many of his tracks doesn’t connect very well to her overarching story.
      I also think there were scenes with a much more powerful anti-war echo than Daenerys just burning thousands of people, in an action that resembles more a serial killer than war: Arya with the prisoners in Harrenhal, in season 2, and the journey of Arya and the Hound through the Riverlands in season 4.

      2 – Subvert Tolkien. GRRM often speaks about him in interviews. He says he loves LOTR. But he’s also very critical of Tolkien’s work. One of the examples is Gandalf’s return. He says that he should remain dead after his fall in Khazad-Dum. I think we can see in ASOIAF a parallel between Gandalf and Ned Stark, the mentor to his children. We all know what happened to Ned Stark. There’s also other parallels between LOTR and ASOIAF: Jon/Aragorn, Jon/Frodo, Sam/Sam. “The Iron Throne” seeks deliberately “Return of the king” vibes. And Daenerys? It’s possible there are similarities with LOTR characters, in the angle of pursuit of power. Is she Saruman, a powerful character that is constantly seeking power and ends corrupted? Even their lieutenants names are alike (Grey Worm/Grima Wormtongue). Is she an degenerated version of Galadriel? In that case, the Targaryens, and Valyrians in general, could be viewed as an attempt by Martin to criticize or even mock those idyllic creatures of Tolkien, viewed in higher regard than men. I’m not sure of these parallels.
      There are more signs of LOTR in GoT and ASOIAF. The “threat from the East” in the original outline of the story doesn’t come from nowhere. The problem is that this “threat” is made of people in ASOIAF. The ethnocentric undertones of LOTR are even more evident in that “Triumph of the will” scene – Dothraki and Unsullied are portrayed as a foreign mass that that only wants to kill people everywhere. Westeros is obviously the central place in this story, but these ideas of the “Threat to the North” and “Threat to the East” almost paint Westeros as a united and fair place about to fall victim from these evils that come from outside. But that isn’t entirely true to the story was told. When the Threat from the North crosses the wall, the Westeros isn’t a continent where all its population unite to fight it. Instead, a part of Westeros is left alone by many other parts of the continent and aided by the Threat from the East.
      After Daenerys burns King’s Landing, there’s also the unpleasant implication that many people with despicable morals were right about killing her and the baby in the season 1 (it seems that Ned Stark was wrong for one last time, even in his grave) or about rejecting her for being foreign (Randyll Tarly) – I don’t agree with it, because Daenerys belonged to a family that was in Westeros for almost 300 years and wanted to take back their seat of power. If we adopt medieval nobility mindset, I think that’s a pretty normal understandable goal, being power hungry or not (for me, Daenerys was much more driven for the idea of destiny than power for the sake of power. With her dragons, she already was the most powerful person in the show).

      3 – A magical unbalance. After the end of White Walkers, Fire was much more present in the world than Ice. I thought that unbalance could be one of the reasons for Daenerys erratic behaviour in episodes 4 and 5, leading her to burn KL. However, I don’t think that’s true. If it were, Drogon should have died in the last episode. After the extinction of the White Walkers, the dragons would go extinct, as well. Furthermore, the Valyrians had dragons before and the White Walkers weren’t noticed then.

      In the end, I think that Daenerys was a lost opportunity to what could have been one of the greatest tragic television characters ever. After the show has ended, Bryan Cogman, in a interview to Entertainment Weekly, referred to Dany as a “tragic hero” and not as a “villain”. I would like to consider Daenerys a tragic hero, but I don’t agree with the definition. All her good actions before were obliterated by the burning of King’s Landing. A murder of that caliber is enough to erase every good action that she has done before. They don’t matter anymore. I also don’t think she’s tragic, because she chose to do that, but she didn’t have to. She wasn’t with her back against the wall. She had won. Daenerys could be tragic if she had taken the city, tried to rule, but with increasingly conflicts between the people of King’s Landing and the Dothraki, for the cultural and lifestyle differences. She had started to fail more and more, to goes darker and darker. The other characters and the audience would view her as a rising threat, but we could understand her views and her decisions until her demise. In my point of view, her downfall should be portrayed that way. It wasn’t. I feel too the legacy of the character is kinda ruined. I mean, what person in his right mind want to celebrate a mass murderer as a part of GoT? After being responsible for a good part of its popularity and its merchandising sales, the character was relegated from the forefront to the backyard. It’s like she was only good to make an anti-war statement and for marketing purposes.

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    281. It’s been a great topic. I really enjoyed this.
      Strong ideas can’t be changed. We should not try. I personally am pissed at Jon Snow for being an idiot in pretty much the entire season 8, if Dany had to die in her tragic quest to rule, it should not have been Jon the one to kill her. He listened to anyone else a lot more than to Dany.
      Well, what can you do; an idiot is an idiot…
      Now about Dany, she is not dead, not to me. Actually, none of the characters are dead. We remember them all.
      Death is forgiving or being forgotten.
      Life is to remember or being remembered.

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    282. Petra’s nicely video edited stream of consciousness about the injustice of Danaerys’ fate is way too complicated. For me at least. As I mentioned in a previous comment, the symbology of Dany was just too compelling as everything progressive politics and social justice warrior millennialism thirsts for – female empowerment, breaking of oppressive power structures. So much so that even the carbon footprint of her dragons can be forgiven. (Although my personal suspicion is that the dragons were a species that had evolved a way to harness nuclear power but that’s an aside). Outrage at the death with dishonour of such an icon is very understandable.

      If Game of Thrones was anything it was realistic about messy and chaotic human lives and power politics. It soared beyond the simplistic formulae of Lord of the Rings and often broke rules, as real life also does. Things happened because they could, not because they should. The Rosetta Stone that is key to understanding everything in GOT was a simple quotation from Cersei:
      “In the game of thrones you win you die”.

      In such a game a momentary mistake is enough to cause one to fall and lose everything. Think of Oberyn at the end of his duel with the mountain. Daenerys had won – so it seemed, with Kings Landing in ashes. But the game was not over and it’s primordial rules were still in operation. She made the mistake of making herself an obstacle in the way of what her peers wanted – an end to war and conquest and the setting up of a peaceful new order. In like manner Winston Churchill fell from power at the end of WW2 because those that followed, supported and even loved him, while they appreciated the military victory that he served up, did not share his insatiable desire for warfare seemingly for its own sake, but wanted peace. To cry for endless war when the people want peace is not a formula for political success, which requires sensing what both the people and power-brokers want, moment by moment, and not to go on fighting yesterday’s wars.

      Victory and realisation of ones dreams can itself be a severe test of wisdom and character. Dany failed this test and the result was tragic – but not irrational in the context of the very dangerous game of thrones.

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    283. Tiago,

      Thank you for your points: great as always.

      The main issue I have with this allegedly “anti-war” statement is that GRRM (and D&D) absolutely failed to provide any feasible alternative to war. Had Daenerys given up her claim and married Jon and adopted Cersei’s child, that would have been an anti-war statement. Instead, we’ve got gibberish blabbing that Cersei couldn’t be negotiated with but Dany was still “bad” for wanting to take out this destructive hooligan by force. And as the statement itself was lame, they decided to strengthen it by forcing Dany to commit mass-murder for no reason at all. The worst thing of all is that such “pacifism” and perception schemes often affect real-life political decisions and people die in thousands because of them.

      As for Dany as a “tragic hero” arc, the only way to realize it was to use Medea’s archetype. However, it would have required real treason from the side of Jon, and he is written so, that treason would be completely out of character. IDK, maybe, GRRM plans to write everything onto some fatal misunderstanding, but still, it will be repetitive, because some fatal misunderstanding should already be involved in Robert’s Rebellion and we already have a “tragic hero” in Stannis. Anyway, ar for the show, if Dany was supposed to be set onto Medea’s arc, she should have acted differently in Ep 806: she should have put Jon in chains or something instead of offering him to rule together with her. But in general, I absolutely hate interpreting Dany as a “tragic hero” because it has more to do with excusing school-shooting and other forms of terrorism, than with actual Dany (at least with the one who was built in 70 episodes).

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    284. Adrianacandle,

      Sure, when you are in a position of power you absolutely must take into consideration that the oppressed you intend to liberate might not be able to revolt by themselves. However, Dany did exactly that: when she wanted the slaves of Meereen to revolt she sent them Grey Worm with a bunch of the Unsullied and weapons.

      And if not of the stupid idea of shoehorning her into a mass-murderer role, she would have done the same in KL. She had Gendry and Gendry was very much on her side, especially after she legitimized him. So, what should Gendry have done knowing that his queen is marching on his city? Right: he would have asked for his queen’s permission to organize a revolt; he would have returned home and tried to persuade all his friends and acquaintances to open the gate for her. Moreover, it was his moral obligation to try to do everything in his power to do so, because otherwise, he would have had to march on his own city himself and potentially kill some of his friends and acquaintances with his own hand. If we accept the nonsense the showrunners fed to us, we have to accept that Gendry committed a moral failure as much as Dany. The same can be said about Davos who was marching through the streets of his childhood city with a sword in his hand, despite being the best talker in Westeros.
      It’s just that the characters are not culpable for their creators going mad.

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    285. AnnOther,

      I found it, thank you! Tried from my phone and it worked. I never thought of it, but it’s a valid idea and a good point, Jon Snow has traits of Camus’ humanism. Wish he had more clever lines in the past season but he is an introverted character and in the books you can read his PoV but on film you only have the actor’s facial expressions and his actions. It’s very difficult to materialise on screen some of Martin’s characters, close to impossible I would argue. Kit did a great job. I will go back again to my idea that more episodes and one main directing mind would have solved three quarters of the problem.

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    286. OK, I have a question for all the great minds on this fandom. Has anyone tried or had the time to rewatch all the seasons after the show ended? I can’t find the time for now and I am very curious about some aspects. If anyone of you managed to do this, to watch all the episodes chronologically, has your opinion on the ending changed in any way? Do you feel it’s more/less earned, more/less omogen, coherent, structured, complex? I am curious how the finale, especially Danny’s arc looks when put into perspective.

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    287. Inga,

      First, I think this is a really interesting debate, Inga, and I really appreciate you taking the time to explain your view to me. You are making me think and consider things in a perspective I hadn’t considered before. I think we’re destined to remain at an impasse but I think I can (well, as best as I am able) see where you’re coming from 🙂 I wish there was a way to discuss this at a coffee shop or cafe or something!

      Sure, when you are in a position of power you absolutely must take into consideration that the oppressed you intend to liberate might not be able to revolt by themselves. However, Dany did exactly that: when she wanted the slaves of Meereen to revolt she sent them Grey Worm with a bunch of the Unsullied and weapons.

      Agreed!

      But for me, I think one must consider whether or not they want to be liberated by you as well.

      In regard to Gendry and Dany, I don’t think Gendry or Davos have done anything on the same level as Dany’s moral failure in massacring a surrendered city. In part because I don’t think it’s a moral obligation to organize a revolt (I think this is a place where we might have to call an agree-to-disagree truce). Even if I did agree they were morally obligated to start a revolt, I still don’t think that’s on the same level as Dany committing genocide and making plans to conquer the world — whether the places of the world like it or not — to place under her sole rule, in which only she makes the choices, and to purge all the non-believers. But I also don’t think they are on Dany’s level of moral failure because Gendry and Davos didn’t know what Dany was going to do. According to the showrunners, Dany didn’t even know what Dany was going to do. They knew Dany wanted to march on the city in battle but they didn’t know Dany was going to slaughter a city after she’d already won the battle.

      At best, they knew of Dany’s Plan A (well, Davos and the rest of Dany’s war council knew). Dany wanted to take the Red Keep, where Cersei was. Her plan A does make an (albeit brutal) sense — target the tyrant she wants to remove via battle, remove tyrant as efficiently as possible with minimal casualties. And if Dany was still acting like the Dany of before (in my view of her), maybe she could provide a safe place for residents of the Red Keep to flee to and perhaps get this message out via Gendry, Davos, or Varys’s little birds (pre-treason Varys, that is).

      Yet, you do pose an interesting scenario for Gendry and Davos, two natives of King’s Landing (and who also were among the smallfolk class). If Gendry and Davos were to work together to organize a revolt, how would the citizens of King’s Landing react? What if Dany was able to arm them? What if Dany was able to sell her ideas of a (pre-805) better world to them? I do wonder if Gendry and Davos together would have been able to start an uprising against Cersei. That would have been pretty cool.

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    288. Ser Pounce,

      I think those are nice questions! I’m interested in this too. I haven’t been able to do it because my heart is still a pancake and even the prospect of rewatching the series from the beginning — knowing what will happen — makes me want to crawl under a duvet with an entire box of Lucky Charms and cry. But I’d love to know people’s thoughts.

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    289. Tensor the Mage, Who Finds A Really Long Story Feels Better With A Great Ending,

      Yes about Arya, someone else here has commented that the Hound saved her from her nihilistic kill Bill / kill Cersei quest and set her on a more positive path. So she indeed provides a counter-example to Daenerys. The Frey’s denouement was one of GOT’s superb scenes, including the initial confusion at seeing Lord Frey talking to the assembly after he had been killed. Except it wasn’t him.

      Bran the broken was a triumph of the show also. His identity and role was original and powerful in its non-violence. A refreshing departure from so many fictional heroes. Watching the Long Night episode where they battled and seemed to be losing to the Night King and white walkers, my daughter was frustrated by Bran’s inactivity, just “sitting there like a potato” – we all half expected his eyes to turn white and some devastating ruin to descend on the dead legions. Yet what Bran represented was not a deus ex machina through physical force; but rather, the power of just seeing, knowing and not forgetting.

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    290. Ser Pounce,

      I haven’t rewatched the whole series since the end, and probably won’t for some time because I want to let it sit for awhile. I rewatched seasons 1 – 7 leading up to season 8 though, and I’ve watched all the episodes of season 8 four times each (and I’ve watched the whole series up to season 7 at least 4 times). I just don’t want to overdose on it, which is why I’m going to let it sit for awhile before doing a full rewatch, but I can say that I am looking forward to it. I also highly doubt my opinion of it will change much after a full rewatch.

      That being said, I have reflected on the finale and the story as a whole these past weeks, and discussed it at length with family and friends, and my opinion on it has only improved over time. I loved where the story ended, and how most all of the main character arcs wrapped up. How it got there for some is still a basis for some criticism, and I wish the final two seasons could have fleshed out some important storylines better, and explored more with some characters’ arcs that had some real potential for very interesting scenes/moments.

      My hope is that over time, at least some people who really hated or were disappointed with the ending at first, come to appreciate it more when viewed as a whole and free from the raw emotions that were there around the time of the finale.

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    291. Enharmony1625,

      My hope is that over time, at least some people who really hated or were disappointed with the ending at first, come to appreciate it more when viewed as a whole and free from the raw emotions that were there around the time of the finale.

      I agree. This is not my favourite season by a long shot; it did suffer from being rushed and contained too many non-resolutions of emotional situations that would have clarified or satisfied audiences. It is somewhat a victim of its own success. But honestly, the conversation over Season 8 is being largely dominated by juveniles. The inmates have taken over the asylum…for now. For all the accusations of botched character arcs, wrong Endgame choices, and poor dialogue, and ‘subverted expectations’ that actually had been set up, I liked every episode except for quibbles. I believe in a few months or a year, when the adults take back the assessment of GoT, the show’s ratings and reputation will be rehabilitated. It is still a masterpiece, despite some gaffes of the final 2-3 seasons. And I hope it does well at the Emmys.

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