Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 5 “The Bells” Recap

tyrion city on fire the bells

Hear the tolling of the bells—
Iron bells!
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!

Spoiler Note: This is our book reader’s recap, intended for those who have read the A Song of Ice and Fire series. The post and the comments section may contain spoilers from the novels, whether or not that material has appeared on the show yet. Because no, we are not all Unsullied now. If you have not read the books yet, we encourage you to check out our non-book-reader recap, by Oz of Thrones!

Sorry, just a big Poe fan, is all.

Photo courtesy of HBO.

I think Ned Stark would appreciate the irony that Varys turned out such an absolute honorable dumbass when it came to the Iron Throne. Tonight’s episode opens with Varys penning a letter about a rightful heir, just as Ned once did, and meeting with a little bird, who reminds us helpfully that the “greater the risk, the greater the reward.” It also reminds us that Varys is a bit of a creep for using children in dangerous positions, so we shouldn’t mourn him too much.

After last week’s brutal ending, Daenerys mourns and Varys plots. He sees madness in the toss of the Targaryen coin when it comes to the queen, and greatness for Jon. Seems like he should’ve been concerned about that years ago when she resorted to massive firepower as her first plan of attack most of the time, but okay. Jon resists the Spider’s attempts to rope him into making a move, while Tyrion spies on the pair of them in discussion. That’s not good news for them, as Tyrion informs the queen of Varys’ apparent betrayal. She isn’t pleased with her Hand’s performance once again. (She’s going to be even less pleased next episode, based on the results of this week, but one step at a time.)

Varys death The Bells

So, it’s the end of the road for a slippery fish. Tyrion owns up to his turning over of his old friend, when the time comes for the execution of Varys. I have to say, I was slightly disappointed they didn’t throw him into the water chained up- it would’ve been fabulous fodder for all the Varys-is-a-merman theorists. But no, it’s a fiery Dracarys end for the spymaster who survived so many rulers and twists of fate but couldn’t avoid Melisandre’s prophecy. Dany condemns him for his choice, and Drogon does the deed quickly. Jon and Tyrion don’t have the stomach for a Targ BBQ, clearly. Grey Worm don’t give a fuck, and I respect that.

Jon Snow Daenerys The Bells

Afterward, Dany shares with GW Missandei’s one possession brought from Essos- her slave collar. He tosses it into the fire where it belongs, and takes off when Jon pops in for another awkward auntie-nephew chat. Dany still struggles with the threat Jon presents as someone who is loved by the people of Westeros, while she is only feared. (I mean she isn’t wrong, but has she even tried?) Jon rejects Dany’s attempts to restart their thing because that’s how Targaryens swing anyhow but Jon is half-Stark and he can’t deal. Since he won’t get down, she’s gonna roll with the fear.

Reviewing their options for the battle ahead, Tyrion argues in favor of a more merciful approach again. Dany is resistant, but with persuasion, he presents his idea that if King’s Landing surrenders and rings the bells, they should call off the attack. (Hence the episode title.) It’s then we learn that Jaime Lannister was captured trying to cross Targaryen lines, because he’s just not stealthy. He’s Jaime fookin Lannister, after all.

At the walls of King’s Landing, people rush into the city, including a mother and daughter we’ll come to recognize. Tyrion and Jon come ashore near an encampment full of Northmen, with Davos waiting. That’s good news for Tyrion because he needs a favor from the Onion Knight- he needs to put him back in the smuggling business and not for aphrodisiac crabs.

Arya and the Hound are also heading into the city. It’s hot, it’s happening, it’s literally on fire: it’s King’s Landing.

Tyrion fully embraces pissing off his queen and throwing away his career by seeking out Jaime and freeing him to return to Cersei. (Incidentally I’m glad Jaime knows he’s the stupidest Lannister. Because tonight really proved it.) Tyrion provides his brother with an escape plan after driving home the point of how completely and utterly fucked Cersei is in Westeros. The two share a touching goodbye, knowing this is the end for them.

Pilou Asbaek Euron Greyjoy

The people of King’s Landing panic because the big dust-up’s coming but where are they going to go, honestly? Arya and the Hound hurry into the city. So does Jaime, slipping past the Golden Company before the doors shut and the battle begins. Jon, Davos and Tyrion ready themselves for the battle, while we spy the mother and child once again- they become the recognizable human faces for us among the chaos and death of King’s Landing.

Above, even Cersei is feeling the tension. On his ship, Euron is waiting.

And then he sees it- death from above. Daenerys on Drogon arrives and utterly destroys the Iron Fleet; Euron is thrown into the water. This time around she’s ready with maneuvers to evade the scorpions’ arrows, raining fire on the ships, the soldiers and the machinery that killed Rhaegal last week. It’s awesome to watch, if you just sit back and don’t think too much about it all. The effects really are gorgeous.

In front of the city walls, the two armies awkwardly face off in silence, waiting for the right moment to break into a fight- Grey Worm and his Unsullied and the Dothraki (yes, some of them live!) versus Harry Strickland and the Golden Company. It never happens because the walls are blasted from behind them, annihilating the Golden Company. The remains of them are crushed easily by the Unsullied and the Dothraki, who pour into the city and kick some Lannister ass.

Kit Harington Jacob Anderson Liam Cunningham The Bells

Daenerys and Drogon pour fire over the Lannister soldiers, melting away any resistance. And in Cersei’s eyes, there’s fear. She puts on a brave face for Qyburn with a hilarious amount of denial.

Jon, Grey Worm and Davos face down Lannister men, and these bros know they’re screwed. Faced with the might of this force and Dany’s firepower above, they drop their swords and surrender. Cersei watches. Daenerys holds.

And the bells sound out, with the tintinnabulation. Heck yeah they do!

But that’s not quite enough for Daenerys.

Daenerys Targaryen The Bells

Shaking, seething with rage, seeing the Red Keep where her family lived and died, she takes off, flying and destroying everything in her path. Everything beneath her and Drogon is scorched and turned to ash- innocent people running and screaming disappear in fire. Seeing the flames, Grey Worm sees it as a signal to carry on fighting (probably in his own grief and rage, I imagine) and their army resumes the battle. At a loss, Jon continues to fight.

Grey Worm cuts down countless men in the fight, while Drogon pours flame everywhere across King’s Landing. Cersei’s fear grows, and Tyrion’s horror. Innocents are killed all over the city without any rhyme or reason.

Now Daenerys come for the Red Keep.

Jaime Lannister dying The Bells

Euron crawls from the water near the keep, as Jaime nears the base. He challenges Jaime, while taunting him with having nailed the Queen.  (Shout-out to Lancel and Moon Boy? Denied!) The fight gets ugly fast- these two are brawlers, a one-handed knight and a pirate going at it. Jaime gets stabbed in the side, a probably-mortal wound, and Euron thinks he’s won, but he doesn’t give up easy.

Meanwhile, Qyburn finally convinces Cersei to retreat to Maegor’s Holdfast, now that every defense has fallen. Beyond, we see that wildfire is igniting throughout the city.

Jaime tries to grab a sword, but Euron shanks him again- fuuuuuck this hurts to watch. But Jaime succeeds, and guts Euron- that one’s gonna sting. He’s a Kingslayer once again. Goodbye, Eyeliner King. Even as he lays dying, he’s a cocky prick though, sighing, “I’m the man who killed Jaime Lannister.”

The Hound Arya Stark The Bells

They’ve gotten to the Red Keep but with it falling down around them, it’s a death trap. The Hound- Sandor Clegane- convinces Arya that it’s a fool’s game, this revenge thing. She’ll die if she goes up there, and revenge will just turn her into him. He heads up and she heads out to try and survive a city that’s falling apart.

The Keep is falling down on Cersei’s head as she makes her escape with the Mountain, Qyburn and the Queensguard. Sandor meets them on the steps and cuts through the red, okay, blackshirts. Qyburn tries to stop the Mountain from the distraction of CLEGANEBOWL but the hype cannot be denied- Qyburn is brushed aside with a GREGORSMASH! of the head. And Cersei tastefully makes her way out of the scene for the final confrontation between the two brothers. This fight ALSO gets ugly right away but mainly because Gregor is an ugly fucker when you knock off his mask.

Cersei makes her way down to the cellar where they keep the bigass dragon skulls (heyyyy remember when they pointedly added that to the opening credits this year) and runs into Jaime! She’s thrilled, he’s dying and all is forgiven, apparently, after she threatened to kill him when they last parted.

Cleganebowl is going not that great for Sandor, as he’s realizing just how inhuman his big brother really is now. He’s getting tossed and beaten down.

In the city streets, Arya wanders as aimlessly lost as when she was a little girl after “Baelor.” Even with all her training, she’s taking some hits. It’s amazing anyone is alive in this fiery shitstorm. She’s getting knocked into the ground in a stampede when the mother we saw before pulls her up and saves her from getting crushed by the crowd.

At the Keep, Gregor attempts to finish off the ‘Bowl with his trademark move, the Eyegouger™, but Sandor has some life left in him yet. He manages to stab his brother in HIS eye, knocking him back enough long enough for Sandor to muster his strength and take Gregor and himself off the Keep and down into the fire below. RIP Sandor 🙁 But rot in Westerosi seven hells, Mountain.

Arya Stark mother daughter The Bells

In the battle, Jon orders the men to fall back, because everything has gone to hell thanks to Dany abandoning the plan.

Arya wakes up covered in ash, but alive. But only if she keeps running as the walls fall down around her. She stumbles upon the mother and daughter again, huddled among a group of women and children. She encourages everyone to keep moving to stay alive, and pulls the mother/daughter team with her. It…doesn’t go well. They should’ve stayed in that hovel.

Cersei Jaime Lannister The Bells

Jaime and Cersei head for the escape route only to find it blocked by rubble. Whoops. She starts to finally melt down because of her baby. Jaime comforts her because I don’t know, that’s what he’s about now. Then the rubble falls, and I assume they’re dead, and I don’t really care, to be honest.

Arya Stark horse The BElls

It looks like it’s snowing in King’s Landing but it’s only ash, raining down on Arya as she wakes up again. On the ground are the blackened carcasses of the mother and child she tried to save.

A lovely pale horse, now splattered in blood, trots along. (I just know people will mock this but it doesn’t bother me. People survived; meh, why not a horse, death is random.)

Arya hitches a ride, because death rides a pale horse, and she needs a ride home after all.


Thoughts? Not Stray. Pretty Specific.

The Jaime Problem: Redemption is a not a straight line. People backslide, they leap forward, and they stumble hard. Jaime has always been a character who does terrible things, but his evolution has been purposeful. His handling in season 8 has been completely baffling. If the ultimate resolution was intended to be “He and Cersei are total soulmates and it’s pointless for him to try and be better,” then why bother with several seasons of him struggling over his own behavior? Looking at it from both book-reader perspective and at show content, it doesn’t make sense. It’s woefully inconsistent. Which leads to…

Valonqar: It was never a thing on the show. Maggy the Frog only made the “Younger and more beautiful queen” prophecy which we can assume is Daenerys, based on this conclusion. However it was always stated that the endings for major characters would remain the same-and Cersei and Jaime certainly qualify as such. So I was expecting something to happen which would tie into the Valonqar prophecy, whether it would be Tyrion, Jaime or a suprise contender. Nope. Just a pile of bricks. So that makes me doubt the frequent statements about this ending matching the books’ ultimate endings, at least when it comes to Cersei.

Six Is Not Enough:  I think this episode, with Dany’s snapping, really drove home the idea that six episodes for this year was not enough. I’m sure there are a host of real reasons for why it was six that we’ll never know, or we won’t know until someone writes a sexy scandalous tell-all. But they needed more time to show us Dany’ descent. I personally don’t have a problem with the “Mad Queen” idea. We’ve seen her burning people for years; it’s NOT a shock, people. For me it’s not about a genetic madness (though that’s on the table), but the fact that she’s lived a terribly difficult life, has been mistreated, handed the equivalent of a nuclear weapon with dragons, had her heart broken, been betrayed by her high-ranking employees which induces paranoia, and had her main emotional supports (Jorah and Missandei) killed horribly.  But we weren’t given enough time to watch Daenerys sink into this- her snapping so suddenly is bound to confuse and piss off a whole lot of people. If you spend seven years convincing everyone the sun shines out of someone’s ass, don’t be surprised they’re mad when you decide to tell them she’s lost it and is torching innocents. I feel like the time could also be at the root of Varys so suddenly betraying Dany after spending all this time helping her. It’s the time crunch that was the underlying problem. Given more time to see her descent, we would buy into it more, especially if this ending is what GRRM has planned for the novels.

Cleganebowl: This was fun! Enjoyed the callback to the Mountain vs the Viper, and Sandor going with fire was fitting. The Mountain smashing Qyburn made me laugh, which is sick, but whatever, he had it coming.

Chaos in the Streets: Funny I compared parts of “The Long Night” to Black Hawk Down. I was watching this and thinking, “Shit no, THIS looks like a visual reference to Black Hawk Down.” Which I guess makes sense, this episode has the same director and DOP as episode 3 (Sapochnik/Wagner). I dug the disorienting cinematography style of those scenes, from Arya’s running to the smoother fight moments with Grey Worm. The episode looked wonderful, whatever other issues I had with it.

Life: I appreciate that Arya ultimately rejected violence and chose to leave, even trying to save people. She’s lived a life based killing for the past several years. Sandor helped save her, with his final lesson. There’s still hope for Arya. Despite what some people think, she isn’t soulless. And she can go home again. People accuse Game of Thrones of glorifying violence (and we sure do love the sight of Dany burning KL), but George RR Martin always embeds a message that opposes violence in his stories; it’s at the heart of A Feast for Crows in particular, seeing the destruction of Westeros. It feels like Benioff and Weiss captured some of that here.

Sandor Clegane the Hound The Bells

RIP: Varys, Cersei Lannister, Jaime Lannister, Euron Greyjoy, Sandor Clegane/The Hound, Gregor Clegane/The Mountain, Qyburn, Harry Strickland, and 90% of King’s Landing!

Sue the Fury
Susan Miller, Editor in Chief of WatchersOnTheWall.com

754 Comments

  1. I LOVED everything about this episode but the Dany narrative. I just don’t think the show has telegraphed her descent to madness all that well. It feels very hollow. I would have appreciated her showing more bouts of madness outside of her burning folks.

    But aside from my gripes, I must commend the SFX team because the CGI and cinematography was gorgeous. This episode looked beautiful and it’ll be a crime for it not to win an Emmy in that regard. Sap did a great job with the direction. I will never get over his keen sense of point of view and knowing how to put the audience in the thick of the tension.

  2. Oh Tumblr is LOOOSING it over this episode. I mean I get it… Dany has always been one of my favorite characters, and what went down hurt.

    BUT. It has been set up since season 1. The seeds were there.

    And some people really have forgotten what show they are watching. “If you were expecting a happy ending you haven’t been paying attention”.

    People have forgotten this. This is not a happy ending. It is a tragedy with happy elements. Bittersweet.

  3. Also, I’m a little disappointed at how we never got to see a shot of Daenerys after she loses control. We only got flashes of Drogon wreaking havoc. That was a bit jarring to me because it made her seem disconnected from the conflict in which she was the main catalyst of. I was wondering when they were going to pan back to Dany but they never did. This narrative choice needed every bit of nuance and attention to sell it. But the only thing that did was Emilia’s brilliant performance.

    Not sure if I’m in the minority, but I had to let that grievance out.

  4. Edward:
    Also, I’m a little disappointed at how we never got to see a shot of Daenerys after she loses control. We only got flashes of Drogon wreaking havoc. That was a bit jarring to me because it made her seem disconnected from the conflict in which she was the main catalyst of. I was wondering when they were going to pan back to Dany but they never did. This narrative choice needed every bit of nuance and attention to sell it. But the only thing that did was Emilia’s brilliant performance.

    Not sure if I’m in the minority, but I had to let that grievance out.

    I actually had the opposite reaction to this. I like that the last time we see Daenerys’ face this episode is during her snap because from that point on she becomes a terrible force of nature best exemplified by the dragon. She *is* the dragon, awakened.

  5. Haven’t commented in a while, but just wanted to say this episode was amazing! Sure, the Dany stuff hurts… and I get people’s anger… but this is Game of Thrones. Ned Stark… the Red Wedding… the Red Viper… this isn’t the first time we’ve been down this road.

    Overall, I feel this season has been rushed. Last season, as well. I enjoyed the Long Night episode (amazing visuals, atmosphere, etc.) but was frustrated to see the Walkers and NK killed off so suddenly. Also confused about the whole Azor Ahai prophecy.

    But this episode was fantastic. Some of the best war footage I’ve ever seen on screen (including movies). Dany going mad is tragic, but to me it feels right. We’ve seen many hints and lots of foreshadowing over the years. Yes, it’s a little rushed, like everything else this season. But it felt true to GRRM and ASOIAF, in my opinion.

    Can’t believe there’s only one episode left! It’s been an amazing decade-long journey, since the show was first announced (I remember the Sean Bean casting announcement in 2009!). The show has had its ups and downs, and I think the writing in recent seasons has suffered a bit. But the backlash and hate this year is a silly overreaction. The show is still awesome, and I’ve enjoyed the ride. And what an epic ride it’s been.

  6. So we’ve finally reached the ending. I do believe this is GRRMs intended destination as well. I loved the episode except for Jaime vs Euron. I actually have the opposite belief, the show should have ended in season 7 with 10 episodes like Benioff and Weiss originally intended. Cut out the wight capture mission and you have enough to film a good cohesive season. It was also a mistake to rid Euron of his dragon horn as that could have made things much more palatable for everyone.

  7. Whilst it’s fairly well covered what a heartless, merciless bitch Daenerys can be at times, I agree this whole descent into madness trope was done far too haphazardly and rushed.
    They should have been dropping major clues right back to the beginning of season 7, and sowing the seeds of suspicion and doubt. Instead they turned her into this pretty little girl that claims to be so honourable and moral, build her up just so she can fall even further when she decides to go full dracarys on virtually everyone without any warning.

    On another note, I have this sneaking suspicion that Jamie and Cersei may still be alive, buried under the rubble. If they aren’t, I thought it was a bit of an anti-climactic demise for queen bitch of the universe.

    I think after Varys’ rather crispy despatch, Sansa needs to keep watching the skies, but I think it is her little sister that is going to give Dany her golden crown.

  8. Lars:

    BUT. It has been set up since season 1. The seeds were there.

    And the writers just dumped a whole lot of fertilizer on those seeds. I agree with Sue that we needed more time with Dany’s descent into madness. She unraveled in an episode, and she was hero an episode ago. The final season feels really rushed.

  9. Quinton O’Connor,

    That’s a decent response. And yes, I agree it had those implications. However, they spent so much time honing in on Cersei’s facials and reactions, and usually when Dany is on Drogon there’s no shortage of shots of her. So yeah, maybe it was just…. different. I still thought it was weird how we never got another sight of her at all though. If they were trying to showcase her “distance” from sanity then they surely accomplished that. It also felt weird because seeing Drogon indiscriminately burn King’s Landing, while horrifying, wore off faster because Dany is usually there to anchor the scene as well.

  10. Great recap, and I’m with you on all your thoughts. Jaime/time constraints etc.
    Still not over the Jaime thing.

    I cried when I saw Sandor’s affectionate head cup of Arya as he gave her that final “Don’t be me” lesson. Their relationship was one of the best things on this show. Taking care of her changed him. It was a beautiful arc and I’m just so grateful to Rory for giving this character life in such a perfect way.

    Arya is amazing this season. I want someone to make a cool video of all the times Arya has run in this series since season 1. Hint: It’s a lot.
    “Seriously there’s an outrageous amount of running involved.” (did anyone get that reference? Maisie was in that show too lol)

  11. They destroyed Jaime’s character. They destroyed Dany’s character.

    I have no more investment in the show. Will Dany surely do something similar in the books ? Yeah, probably.

    It’s been set up well enough that she might go mad. But you better believe it’ll make sense, if we ever read it.

    This was utter nonsense. The battle was easily won. The soldiers surrendered. And she just chose to destroy a city she plans to rule over and slaughter hundreds of thousands. For no damn reason at all. Why ? Why slaughter so many innocents ? It’s a completely nonsensical moment.

    Fuck.

    My expectations were low. They somehow managed to make it 100 times worse than I imagined.

    I’ll watch the last episode because I’ve made it this far, but as far as I’m concerned, we just witnessed the complete annihilation of the show. There is no point to anything. Just sheer nihilism and stupidity.

  12. Jack Bauer 24:
    Davos committing treason for Tyrion was the most jarring.

    The Hand of the Queen, who he just fought the Night King with, asked him for a favor, probably without giving him all the details. But then again, Davos has been known to save a life or two against orders before.
    Remember Gendry and all that rowing?

  13. This season definitely feels rushed, but I dont think I necessarily agree with the idea of Dani’s descent into madness. I feel like she definitely snapped and went off on kings landing but Dany’s first instincts are usually rash (fire and blood). But in the past she has always had a trusted advisor who would talk her down a different path. At this point all her advisors are either dead or betrayed her except Tyrion but he doesnt have her trust anymore because of his string of bad plays. So, yes the traumas she has suffered recently caused her to have an emotional break, but dont overlook the loss of everyone she trusts to talk her down.

  14. I’m quite sure there will be plenty of loathing and cries against this episode. I very much understand that the writing is below par with George’s. Having said that, I think this was my favorite episode on this season.
    Respectfully I disagree with the notion that Jaime’s arc was inconsistent. Had he stayed with Brienne to have beautiful giant babies, that would be inconsistent. He’s a troubled soul, he’s always been. He has good in him and a sense of nobility, but also he’s capable of vile actions. Those words he said in the last episode: “You think I’m a good man …”, those were very much true.
    In regard to prophecies: the unfulfilled prophecy is a trend. That most probably doesn’t come from D&D. I bet my money on George himself. He is a troll, if you haven’t seen it coming, that’s because you haven’t paid attention. All over his writings he has characters saying things about the past that we as readers take for true, just to be made aware time and again that history depends on who tells the story. He mocks us with unreliable sources that get contradicted down the line. And prophecies are the most unreliable of sources.
    Now, six is definitely not enough. The only slack that I’m willing to give D&D is that they tried to tie all the plot lines with too little time, which of course led to too many plot holes and a clear sense of lack of character development. The Danaerys plot rings quite likely and I’m down with the idea of mad Danaerys. Unfortunately, much more time would have been needed for that to work properly.
    However, as a stand alone episode, using my imagination to fill the gaps of those plot holes, this was a great episode, in my humble opinion.

  15. Jaime in the end didn’t have classical redeption arc. D&D and Cogman said that many times and still the fans didn’t want to listen. And I’m sure now many will be outraged. But it’s their fault. Just like they refused to believe that Night King is Death.

    As Olenna said – Cersei was the end of him. He is addicted to Cersei and no matter how hard he tried he always had to return.

  16. What was Varys referring to when he said to his little bird “we’ll try again after supper”?

  17. Loved the episode.

    Yes, with more episodes they could’ve improved the Mad Queen arc/turn for Daenerys. All in all her story is pretty tragic, started off as an innocent child, became a queen loved by the people but then things turned and now she’s a queen feared and hated by the people. I’m just sad and happy that Jorah died for this to be the way she handles his, Missandei’s, Viserion’s and Rhaegal’s deaths but at the same time he’s dead so he won’t have to know.

    Cleganebowl was amazing, definitely makes up for the lack of a Night King vs. Jon Snow fight that I really wanted to see even if Jon wasn’t going to win it. RIP Sandor, you foul-mouthed beautiful man!

    I found it a lil bit funny that the Master of Whispers died without making a sound. Still, RIP Varys, you tried your best.

    I feel like the end for Jaime and Cersei was pretty well done. They were trapped in the dungeons as they were trapped in this ever back and forth love for each other and then it all came crashing down. RIP Jaime and Cersei, you both made me hate you and love you kind of like how you loved/hated each other.

    Next week is going to be interesting.

  18. Reposting from the live thread:

    That was the greatest spectacle in TV history. I haven’t read the comments but I know how disappointed people are going to be in Jaime’s ruined character arc that we all imagined. Hopefully we get the books one day to see if it is at all similar. I was wrong about him, but the show was consistent in how he was portrayed. He never broke free from Cersei. It wasn’t the end I wanted for either character. But it didn’t ruin the overall story for me.

    What we all feared about the direction of Dany came to pass. I’m sorry to those who feel this isn’t consistent with her character or where she is headed in the books. But it’s clear now what the shock at the end was that GRRM told them about. Did they wait too long to show her start to crack? Probably. And that can be fairly criticized. The word ‘betrayal’ that Dany used brought me right back to the books and how often she wonders about the three betrayals, already bordering on paranoia. This decision probably ruined the series for a lot of people, but I respect the direction GRRM took the character and the story.

    Arya is the MVP of the series. She just is. I was more scared for her in this episode than I’ve ever been for any character while reading the books or watching the show. So I applaud D&D and Maisie for making me feel so strongly.

    Cleganebowl happened. And it ended as could have been expected. I know people don’t like the term ‘fan service’, but I use it to describe situations like this. I really feel like Sandor is never going to leave the Quiet Isle in the books. But I was thankful the show brought him back.

    With Dany alive and still having her nuke, things are still perilous for the Starks, of which I include Jon. They are the heart of this story for me and this episode only emboldened that feeling. I love Tyrion, but I loved Jaime too. I won’t weep if he dies. But the Starks? I’ll cry for days if any of them die. Well, maybe just hours for Sansa, but I’ll still cry.

  19. Sue! Right there with the re-cap when most needed. Arya! Survives, and will, most likely, make it back home. Jamie and Sandor! Fitting ends, and Jamie wasn’t worthy of Brienne after all, and he knew it. One can only hope she will come to recognize this eventually. After Missandei’s death I didn’t feel as emotionally invested in the last two episodes, but D&D changed my mind. This was most satisfactory. Looking forward to finale. Valar Doheris!

  20. Ser Tan of Victory:
    Jack Bauer 24,

    to get Dany to eat something.

    To eat something “after” dinner lol? Why not try “during” dinner. I took it as try and send a raven with his scrolls since they didn’t make it clear if he actually sent any out. I’m still not sure if he did?

  21. Jack Bauer 24:
    What was Varys referring to when he said to his little bird “we’ll try again after supper”?

    Didn’t he say “at supper”, I think he was trying to poison Daenerys through her food.

  22. Nick20,

    Maybe save a little of your disappointment for GRRM? It’s fair to criticize D&D. I certainly have. But there is never enough scorn for George by the people who are so utterly frustrated by them. He should have never sold the rights to the series before he finished it, or was at least on the final book. He promised D&D a blueprint and then didn’t deliver. They were left with no more books to adapt. Only the ending and the themes GRRM wanted to explore. From that point, they started with the ending and worked backwards, with the plot overtaking the characters and forcing them into boxes so they could reach the ending. Whereas before they were adapting books with characters and plot lines that GRRM could let grow on their own and blossom in ways even GRRM didn’t know while writing.

    D&D have been getting grief for years. But I do spare them some sympathy.

  23. Ser Nobody,

    yeah, I heard “at supper”. I hadn’t considered that he was trying to poison her, just that he was getting info from one of his little birds, and since this one worked in the kitchen she would know that Dany’s food was returned uneaten. I suppose that is possible though, just didnt see any evidence for it.

  24. Jack Bauer 24:
    What was Varys referring to when he said to his little bird “we’ll try again after supper”?

    He was trying to poison Dany. This was fairly obvious to me.

  25. OK, I’m definitely worried we may not get much “sweet” in the promised bittersweet ending.

  26. Director, actors, music and special effects 10/10

    Writing, pffft, I’ll leave this here:

  27. Tyrion Pimpslap: He was trying to poison Dany. This was fairly obvious to me.

    Ahh I read more subtitles wrong, thanks. So did he actually get any scrolls out?

  28. The episode was great. It was efficient in showing the brutality of war through Arya’s and Jon’s POVs. It was devastating to watch.

    The Jaime / Cersei stuff was kind of weird though (but the actors were amazing). Jaime was in love with Brienne one week ago and in this episode he seemed to forget everything. I think I should have missed some detail.

  29. Ahahahahah pure comedy, an epic one! LMAO
    10/10 for the laughs this episode in particular gave me, and the season in general. Thank you Dick&Dick! RIP GOT!

    Cersei and Jaime, the Rome and Juliet of the Seven Kingdoms, was a great romantic touch. Love it! LOL!

  30. I have no problem with Dany going mad, Jaime being with Cersei again, etc., etc. I even think that idea of “the initial apparently good guy turning mad and being the biggest villain just because people let him” is one of the book’s/show’s best points ever.
    But I only have two words for D&D:
    EXTRAORDINALLY RUSHED.
    This was the project of your lives. You chose to run away from it. I hope the disappointed fandom will haunt you for years. Shame.

  31. Azor Asshai,

    So this doesn’t qualify as near the very end? You could be right. D&D probably did know this was where Dany was going from the start. With Dany still alive with Drogon, I’m assuming bad shit is still going to happen in the finale.

  32. I was almost the opposite. I was legit tense and on my edge in the will she wont she burn the city moment. The rest was just ok and the hound showdown in particular was a little cgi heavy and I wouldve liked a more gritty grounded fight like hes had in the past. Not even a top 3 hound fight imo (Beric trial, chickens, brienne). That Euron shit was random even for him and ended up pointless. Ol Jaime even went into it assuming they were allies lol. I wouldve also liked Cersei to have acted like she at least knew her victory wasnt 100% guaranteed. To stand there until it was too late watching what was happening stunned…

    To call back my previous comments Tywin wouldve been ashamed of his children today, and my name now looks sad.

    Edward:
    I LOVED everything about this episode but the Dany narrative. I just don’t think the show has telegraphed her descent to madness all that well. It feels very hollow. I would have appreciated her showing more bouts of madness outside of her burning folks.

    But aside from my gripes, I must commend the SFX team because the CGI and cinematography was gorgeous. This episode looked beautiful and it’ll be a crime for it not to win an Emmy in that regard. Sap did a great job with the direction. I will never get over his keen sense of point of view and knowing how to put the audience in the thick of the tension.

  33. HayashiM,

    A project that GRRM sold and they pursued with the promise that George would finish the books. They signed up to adapt the books. They ran out of them and were left with just the ending. Because as we all know by now, George knows the ending, but he has no idea how he will get there. He’s a gardener, and the story and characters grow where they grow.

  34. Kinda stupid, that’s my initial reaction. Must be because of all the little things that felt rushed or out of line.

    I didn’t expect Daenerys to go full mad, that exceeded my expectations by far. At least it’ll make it easier for her fans to say goodbye.
    Why do the bad guys have to break down and cry at the end, while the good ones get glorious deaths and famous last words? That’s shallow.
    We learned that a dragon has unlimited supply of whatever makes it breath fire. They definitely don’t look that big on the outside.
    Cleganebowl happened… why? It lost meaning the moment Sandor helped Arya snap out of revenge mode and ultimately brought nothing. Jaime and Euron… what were they fighting for again? Both had better things to do.
    Are Jaime and Cersei dead yet? The guy showed amazing agility after suffering two mortal wounds ( eat your heart out, Arya ) , what’s a keep or two falling on them?
    Varys died… why? To fulfill a prophecy, or to make Tyrion look even more stupid than recently?
    At least Arya has a new list. A shortlist, but will do for the remaining episode. Still, after the NK, she should be deprived of more big kills. She also needs to keep in touch with her human side. Is the little bird in the kitchen still waiting for her chance? Maybe Varys will save the realms after all.
    Some time ago one of the directors said that the show is about the Stark children. At this point this looks like the biggest spoiler ever.
    Theory: if Jon makes it alive to the end of the next episode, his half Targness will remain a secret. Even Sansa will calculate that this is most profitable after the fireworks show we just witnessed.

  35. While there are numerous examples of Daenerys being ruthless with her enemies, this is also the person who locked up her dragons, her children, because they ate one kid. Going berserk and attacking a surrendering enemy, I can accept. Bringing down the Red Keep in a rage because none of this went the way that she imagined it would be, I can accept. What she thought she wanted was never really going to bring her what she needed and finally faced with that to flip out and destroy rather than reflect is within her character. But purposefully laying waste to the innocent population of the city is another thing entirely. So she either needs to be insane now, which isn’t interesting, or she was temporarily insane and won’t be able to live with herself, or I don’t buy it.

  36. This “Mad Queen” thing is a fan made term. Mad is a relative term. I just saw an angry, distraught young woman who couldn’t let the sins of past go. As Theon once said “I’ve gone too far to be anything else”.

    The North was against her, Kings Landing to all intents and purposes was against her. Her hand has betrayed her, her next closest advisor has committed treason. Her Lover has rejected her and could take the throne seemingly at any time, Her best friend is dead, her longest serving companion is Dead. She feels utterly alone and isolated. Her dream of the Iron throne has turned into a living nightmare.

    She will either regret what she did, Die for what she did, or live in denial and claim destiny.

    We all lash out once in a while.. unfortunately this person had a dragon.

    These character traits have been here since season 1 and have resurfaced throughout all the seasons. It isn’t rushed in my opinion, it is a 73 hour arc of a characters hopes and dreams crashing down around her.

    Poor Daenarys, poor everyone.

  37. Jack Bauer 24,

    Varys was trying to poison Dany but her depression had taken her appetite. Others have said that had Varys succeeded then thousands of innocent lives would have been saved. That’s how far Dany has fallen. Where her being assassinated would have been for the greater good…

  38. … it was terrible. I’ve never had my phone blow up after an episode with friends and family complaining.

    I ain’t even mad about Dany. But Jaime deserved better. Throwing out his characterization for that ending was a waste. Brienne deserved better. Now she just gets to be that unlovable ugly woman no matter what. Sandor deserved better. Cleganebowl is the worst type of fanservice and then he gets to die to the brother who traumatized him by his worst fear. Varys deserved better. He picked up the idiot ball and didn’t let go.

    Watching the post episode interview was cringeworthy. Sorry no one thinks Arya is gonna die, she literally has no dramatic tension in the story. Then you have to miraculously save her after doing absolutely nothing worthwhile.

    It didn’t even bother me in a satisfying way- that would have been great. Instead D&D just shat on anything good they’ve done.

  39. She is the foreign invader. With a weapon of mass destruction and an army of savages.

    Only Aegon Targaryen VI can save Westeros now!!

  40. HayashiM: But I only have two words for D&D:
    EXTRAORDINALLY RUSHED.

    This is the problem!
    Dany going “Mad” has been theorised for ages in the fandom community. It’s nothing new. It’s how they decided to portray Dany in the show for all these years – hyping her up and whitewashing her – and all of a sudden the switch.

    Jon’s entire story arc removed in 1 episode. Apparently his purpose coming back from death is to kill Dany, cause little Martha couldn’t do it. LOL! He is reduced to nothing. A character who says or does nothing. He’s moved around like a lifeless game piece serving some VS plot.

    Bran turned into a useless and pointless automaton.

    Jaime sleeps with Brienne (why? what was the point?) but one second after running after Cersei. Jaime who says to Tyrion “I never cared about the innocent people”. The same Jaime who also said this:

    Tell me, if your precious Renly commanded you to kill your own father and stand by while thousands of men women and children were burned alive, would you have done it? Would you have kept your oath then?

    🤔

    They butchered these characters. At the very least, they should’ve build this up with 10 episode in S7 and S8.

  41. Sacred Lime:
    This “Mad Queen” thing is a fan made term. Mad is a relative term. I just saw an angry, distraught young woman who couldn’t let the sins of past go. As Theon once said “I’ve gone too far to be anything else”.

    The North was against her, Kings Landing to all intents and purposes was against her. Her hand has betrayed her, her next closest advisor has committed treason. Her Lover has rejected her and could take the throne seemingly at any time, Her best friend is dead, her longest serving companion is Dead.She feels utterly alone and isolated. Her dream of the Iron throne has turned into a living nightmare.

    She will either regret what she did, Die for what she did, or live in denial and claim destiny.

    We all lash out once in a while.. unfortunately this person had a dragon.

    These character traits have been here since season 1 and have resurfaced throughout all the seasons. It isn’t rushed in my opinion, it is a 73 hour arc of a characters hopes and dreams crashing down around her.

    Poor Daenarys, poor everyone.

    I totally agree with you. Madness? No. Just a lonely, angry grieving young woman with a bad temper who feels she can’t trust anyone and just wants it to end. She is lost in her grief and anger and unfortunately there was no one there who had an emotional connection to her that could have stopped it. Jon, whom she loves, rejected her (understandable). Grey Worm is also lost in grief and anger. There is no one left. It is just a tragedy.

  42. Tyrion Pimpslap:
    HayashiM,

    A project that GRRM sold and they pursued with the promise that George would finish the books. They signed up to adapt the books. They ran out of them and were left with just the ending. Because as we all know by now, George knowsthe ending, but he has no idea how he will get there. He’s a gardener, and the story and characters grow where they grow.

    Well, no. Let me reiterate, it’s the speed that’s the problem. D&D had all the time in world and a reasonable budget. This is entirely their choice, so the blame falls entirely on their heads.

  43. Alba,

    I didn’t get the feeling he was serious but slipping behind his old facade to convince himself and tyrion he’s been shown to do that with edmure. He still did honorable things he fought at winter fall knighted Brienne etc but he decided to die with his most beloved

  44. Apparently Aaron Rodgers (the quarterback of my favourite NFL team, the Green Bay Packers) was in this episode at 49:36. I didn’t notice or know that :D.

  45. Too late. Need sleep. I look forward to catching back up tomorrow. I expect plenty of frustrated comments. It was inevitable. It’s just sad to see. I loved the episode for the cinematic marvel that it was. I respect where they went with Dany. Most agree things have been rushed. It sucks. But the magnifying glass held to the show now is ridiculous. The episode was magnificent, and that wasn’t only because of the director and actors.

    Oh well. The ink is dry. Many people’s opinions are already made up. One week and it’s over.

  46. Moon

    She was his twin, he loved her all his life or Brienne a woman he barely knew.

    He loved Brienne for her honour, she loved him for her perceived notion that he was a decent guy underneath and he was hot.

    As Jaime rightly pointed out he’s done a few decent things.. but mostly his a sh*t just like his sister.

  47. I personally wouldn’t say that Dany is mad, yes burning down the city was a terrible thing to do, but you can do terrible things without being mad. She felt lost, betrayed and alone. That city and the Throne embodied everything she’s strived for and everything she’s lost along the way. Her ancestors united the Seven Kingdoms and built the Red Keep & King’s Landing, along with the Iron Throne. She said she would break the wheel, and I’m actually expecting her to melt the Throne with Drogon’s fire in the next episode. In the vision she did walk away from the Throne after all.

    I’m not sure if she will survive the series, but I don’t think she will stay in Westeros if she does. I could see her flying away and living in some secluded place for the rest of her life. Maybe in the end we’ll see her being pregnant, so in the end she’ll have a family.

  48. “Burn them all”

    Everything in these past 2 episodes made perfect sense symbolically and realistically. Very people in this world truly understand how this world works and the nature of power. Allow this episode and the one before it to teach you. Love and Loyalty out-value everything. The nature of power is to Trend towards corruption, Always. The more violent any seeming solution is, the more evil action is impossible to avoid. Blood is one of the only guarantors of loyalty. Acquiring one’s freedom can seem to be the most noble purpose at times, but when things get crucial, those strongest in spirit will die to save those they care most about, despite the uneven sacrifice. Been waiting for this ending for 15 years and it is the most true to nature and character that I could have hoped for. Strong and natural. Jaime is the most inspirational character in fiction of all time. Time to continue doing everything I can in this world. Thank you George and D&D. I’m eternally grateful.

  49. Euron, Dany, tyrion, Jaime, Jon what a buch of joke characters they destroyed in the séries. And others too of course.

    Euron Just a dumbass with Dick jokes, easily manipulated by Cersei like an idiot, and a complete Full on the series with no true objective. A joke.

    Jaime a Dumb character in the series, so Dumb that even him and other characters say the same of him, a complete joke of a Arc since season 5, no objective to reach or any big role since there , Just a dog in circles and Just fails and a complete joke of an ending, bran made everyone think Jaime would be important for SOMETHING, but was Just to close his pathetic Arc in a pathetic way with a pathetic fight with a joke of a euron and a terrible death scene.

    Tiryon is a complete mess as his brother since season 5 , EVERYTHING he speaks for go wrong and
    Every time in such Dumb ways. Even his plan for Jaime and Cersei Goes wrong hahahaa, A Master mind to a complete idiot from nowhere. Fails after fails, another character butchered.

    – Dany had Hints that she can be weird sometimes, but not even close to what she did here, in the midlle of NOTHING with everyone surrended with their guards down she Just decide to do a massacre in the city,that makes no Sense at all, AT ALL, the weird things she did even If were wrong ,could have a discussion over her choices, not what she did in KL, that was complete insane and out of Her character that was in the show. Joke.

    Jon has a pile of shit in his brain since he resurrected, a complete suicidal character with Dumb choices over Dumb choices, fall for Ramsay trap like a kid, for the NK twice and saved for the plot armor twice, and Dumb plans and strategies for war always ,its Just a joke too.

    – Dany with ONE dragon did more damage than with the tree at the same time ever, and with a LOT of Scorpions in the Sea and walls , bronn ALONE and with ONE Scorpion did more. What a joke.

    – Another joke? The who Company??? A fart last longer than this 20.000 man? Hahahahah WHAT A JOKE.

    And If you think Jon plot armor is Crazy, aryas is out of this world, everyone in the city gets burned , or has buildings above them or were butchered by dothrakis but not Her, only for in the end finds a random horse and get out of the city. Hahaha, what a complete JOKE.

    Sandor ALONE kill 4 kingsguards in SECONDS like they were kids holding a sword for the First time, its so lame , and kills the last One too and the strongest pf them, even the moutain was more dificutty to kill than the NK , a 12.000 old mitological creature. Haha, nicely done quyburn you create the true Monster of the show, and by the way what a pathetic Frankenstein way to die, It was comical.

    The fight between euron and Jaime i and dont even have words for How horrible It was and everything about It, and after stabs Jaime can walk ALL castle and die standing like It was nothing hahaha, And can someone say to me what Davos is doing this season?? Make he do Dumb decisions as the Others characters at LEAST. What a waste of actor.

    I Just save as always the crew of production , CGI, soundtrack and actors.

    The wiriting since season 5 Is absolute horrible and Just gets worse Every season. Lame as hell.

  50. What a travesty. How any one can defend this …….. I don’t know. I will not be watch next week I know whats coming and it’s not bitter sweet.

  51. Are we sure Cersei is dead? I watched D&D on the after show and toward the end one of them said something in a weird way, referencing the moment when Jaime died (not Jaime and Cersei). Maybe it was nothing but it made me think twice.

  52. Part of a response I made to a comment by ACME on June 20, 2017:

    “Back to my favorite domestic canid, I’ve long thought that should Arya ever take what appears to be an irretrievable turn into darkness, the Hound might be the person who pulls her back. Her arc parallels his, in that both were drawn into warfare and killing at a young age and both subsequently developed a deeply questionable pleasure for killing. Arya is still descending into that arc, while the Hound is trying (fitfully, it must be granted) to come out of it. (He did express regret to Brother Ray about the things he’s done.) He has never told her so in so many words, but we know he cares for her—perhaps even loves her as a father or brother. While I think he would be proud of her ability to survive thus far, I also think it would distress him to see her descend into the same sort of nihilism in which he himself was trapped for so long.”

    I’m so glad I was right in this almost two years ago. Conversely, I’m heartbroken by the Hound’s death killing his brother, which I see as completely regressive in his character arc (as I noted in another thread yesterday).

    Great recap, Sue. I agree with you 100%.

  53. Thanks for this recap Sue! My two theories were shot to shit this episode: which were that the GC would abandon their contract with Cersei in favour of Jon/Dany and that the people of King’s Landing would be snuggled out via the underground tunnels. I have to wonder what the whole point was for the GC. My other can still happen which is that the Iron Throne will be destroyed (which could have already occurred during the destruction of KL). Also there’s something quite liberating about watching GoT when your favourite character already died 😅 Now my new theory is that Grey Worm retires to Naath to return Missandei’s body and decides to stay where he then becomes a butterfly expert giving tours around the island to tourists and describes the different butterfly species which inhabit Naath.

    Also, I’m not sure if I would describe Jaime’s storyline as one towards “redemption.” I don’t think he ever really “regressed” either because that would imply he completely moved on from Cersei and that was never the case. I know he has left Cersei in ASOIAF but I think even in the books, Jaime will return to her. As I mentioned after last week’s episode, even when separated both Jaime and Cersei POVs talk about how they entered this world together and they would leave it together. I expected them to die together in the show as well. It’s beautifully tragic.

    As for Arya, I mentioned in the previous post that I think there is something more to her survival as there seemed to be fantastical elements at play. She dodged collapsing buildings but also, very mysteriously, fire. When she left that mother and child when Drogon was coming she was indeed engulfed in flames and when she awoke again she was surrounded by ash and charred bodies yet her only injuries were the ones she physically suffered. Then there was a white horse waiting for her. Hmmmmm….

    Lastly I CANNOT believe Bronn is still freaking alive out there somewhere. I’m a bit irritated he made it to the final episode.

  54. The outrage is so annoying:

    1. Seeing a full grown dragon in action was great and shows you how the Targeryans originally conquered the 7 kingdoms. It really is a WMD.
    2. Why would Dany belive anything Tyrion says about the bells. Everything he has told her before has not worked out.
    3. Dany is went from liberator to full-on conqueror!

    I actually liked the way her arc has now gone.

  55. Redx:
    The outrage is so annoying:

    1. Seeing a full grown dragon in action was great and shows you how the Targeryans originally conquered the 7 kingdoms. It really is a WMD.
    2. Why would Dany belive anything Tyrion says about the bells. Everything he has told her before has not worked out.
    3. Dany is went from liberator to full-on conqueror!

    I actually liked the way her arc has now gone.

    It doesn’t matter what Tyrion says or what she believes. Once she starts burning civilians without seeing any soldiers, there’s no hope for her. She is actually worse then Cersei by now.
    Not that I mind this final development, I like it too. I just hate how they got to it.

  56. I think show-watchers will hate the episode more than OG book readers.When I read the books back in the 90’s I didn’t like Dany or Jamie that much.

    It’s the show, and Emilia/Nikolaj performances and charisma, that made us believe in Jamie’s “redemption” story, and Dany’s being more on the good side that on the bad side. We wanted to believe they were one of the good guys. So that part of the episode didn’t bother me.

    My main gripe with the show it’s Jon/Dany’s relationship. I didn’t buy them falling in love so fast, now falling out of love, or why can’t they be together for the good of the kingdom. I think it would be more believable if the reason he breaks up from her it’s her insanity, not her being her aunt.

    Also sad about the Valonqar being left out but they did skip the prophecy so…

    I agree the sesason feels rushed but it was always gonna be the case. Endings are always the hardest part of a story.

    Funny how people loved both show and books until season 4/book 3, then people got divided between those book readers that didnt like the show because it left too many things out, and show watchers that didn’t like the books because they were too long and added to much stuff (even long time readers praised the show for getting more to the point, specially after waiting so many years for book 6), and now at the very end looks like Martin is getting vindicated.

    Until he writes his ending that is, so I guess that’s why we’ll probably never get it 😛

  57. Oh also, Arya’s arc reminded me of the Count of Monte Cristo but she spent time in the House of Black and White rather than a prison. Also, she seemed to mirror Dany’s one-track mind but was focused on revenge rather than the Throne. Edmond Dantes abandonded his previous identity in order to enact a revenge plot and it consumed him and innocents were killed in his journey for revenge. However, before Arya could destroy herself in her own journey of revenge – she had someone to bring her back and remind her of who she is.

    Also, if Tywin Lannister were alive and had a dragon I expect he would have done exactly as Dany had done but where he would have been cold and calculating, Dany was emotional and it was a snap judgement (per the featurette on the HBO GoT website).

  58. Tyrion Pimpslap:
    Too late. Need sleep. I look forward to catching back up tomorrow. I expect plenty of frustrated comments. It was inevitable. It’s just sad to see. I loved the episode for the cinematic marvel that it was. I respect where they went with Dany. Most agree things have been rushed. It sucks. But the magnifying glass held to the show now is ridiculous. The episode was magnificent, and that wasn’t only because of the director and actors.

    Oh well. The ink is dry. Many people’s opinions are already made up. One week and it’s over.

    If it’s any consolation I agree with you.

  59. Sacred Lime,

    I wouldn’t say Jaime hardly knew Brienne, in fact he seems to be the one who understands her the most. That knighting scene was perfection.

    For Jaime to go from “I need to leave Cersei because she has become a stranger to me” and leave KL to fight in the north to this hot mess of “lol, what innocents? I need to go back to Cersei” is utter trash. There is no inbetween, a few moments of vague pondering and he’s off. This transition includes a visit from Bronn the hitman hired by Cersei.

    If they wanted to show him conflicted- of his love for Cersei and his slowly gained honor that Brienne (and the audience) sees- then have him go and commit a murder suicide with her. That would have been satisfying. Plus a great book nod.

  60. Lol:
    Lost ending is now a MASTERPICE .

    Close to this? A MASTERPICE.

    You should learn to control your frustrations, it tells more about you than about the show.

    It’s not the show that has a problem, it’s you if your response to it is this overreaction…you can see it, right?

    Sleep on it

  61. Thanks for the great recap Sue. I mirror a lot of your thoughts on this episode, especially your take on how having a few more episodes could have sold Dany’s turn to darkness much more compellingly and convincingly. I see now why Sapochnik called these three episodes a beginning, middle and end – they are the tragic tale of Dany’s fall from a would-be-saviour to a murderous conqueror taking out her wrath on innocent civilians – a million innocent civilians. I feel if they had gone for 10 episodes, we could have seen this develop more organically.

    I knew it was coming, all but her most ardent fans could it seems, but I wasn’t expecting it to be this bad. I had hoped she could pull herself back from the brink, but when those bells were ringing and she was sat staring with uncontrollable rage and emotion at the Red Keep, I knew that wasn’t going to happen. What I truly wasn’t expecting was for her to burn the whole city. It still feels very jarring for me in terms of her character development. Why burn the whole city? Why not go for the Red Keep where the tyrant she wishes to unseat was hiding? Why kill everyone? Including her own allies and armies who were in the city! It feels so clunky and forced. It seems like there should have been more build up with more signals that she could turn on the people she had come to save. The brief discussions she had last episode over the deaths of those 10,000 people sheltering in the Red Keep being a justifiable cost of war does not seem a natural build up to torching the city and killing a million people (after they had surrendered as well). I have always had mixed feelings over Dany and while I felt strongly that she would give in to her dark impulses, I am truly shocked at the extreme nature of her actions.

    The Sandor and Arya moment was very moving and I loved how they cut together the scenes of Sandor in the fight and Arya being thrown around by the city’s destruction. It was very cleverly done. I mirror those who thought Arya’s plot armour was a bit impenetrable in those scenes as I never actually feared for her life – that didn’t seem like her way to go – but it was still a beautiful set of scenes. I worry about her state of mind though. She had that wonderful moment of rejecting revenge and choosing life over revenge, but then she saw the utter hell and chaos inflicted on innocent people she was trying to save, which may drive her deeper into a quest for revenge, but with a different queen as the target. The white horse was an uplifting and hopeful moment for her, so maybe I’m worrying over nothing. For a moment, when I saw it, I thought she was going to flee on that horse and never look back; I thought that would be beautiful, but she’s in the preview staring at Dany in true FM assassin scoping out mode, so I really do fear for her. I hope she remembers Sandor’s last words to her. Maisie has been fabulous this season, a real joy to see her get to show off her range again as the past few seasons have been a bit robo-Arya-esque, which had made me lose interest in her character a bit, but this season is pulling me back in again.

    Jon – I am feeling most torn about Jon. Those of you who I regularly engage in discussion here with will know I am a huge Jon fan, but this season has been changing my opinion on him and also my expectations for him. The beginning of this episode had me drunkenly ranting at the screen to me husband about the frustrating change in Jon’s character over recent seasons. His seemingly-blind loyalty to Dany in those first few scenes was frustrating, as was his silent presence at Varys’ execution. I wish we had seen a discussion at least with he and Dany or he and Tyrion. It seems he is a mere bystander to the effects that the news of his heritage is having on other people. It seems that no one wants to know his feelings on the matter and truly, it seems like he has no feelings as he has been pretty radically demoted in terms of his centrality to the story. It’s not to say he should have remained a key player, because as many say, it’s an ensemble story, but it does feel jarring to have him go from being a key player in this story to someone who seems more a bystander. He has finally found out who his mother is, finally found out he is not a bastard, found out that his father was the Dragon Prince and yet do we get any scenes to explore how he feels about it? All we get is how his news affects Dany. I find it so unrewarding for all the years that I have rooted for him. He really does just seem like a puppet in other people’s stories. I am sincerely hoping that next episode he actually shows that he still has a strong mind of his own and even if it gets him killed, he stands up for what he believes in. I’m not actually too bothered by his role in the battle/slaughter as I feel that seeing his shock, shame and disgust at the unfolding of the battle was all we needed from him. This wasn’t his fight, it never was and I think it’s fitting we didn’t we much of him as soon as the battle started. This was Cersei/Dany/Arya’s moment and I feel they carried the show – quite rightly given what we know about all their arcs. Here’s hoping Jon is given a similarly satisfying role next episode.

    I am now so anxious about next week. I will need this week to recover from the numbness that last episode induced in me.

    I also need sleep. My mind was racing after the episode ended at 3:30am and didn’t get to sleep till 4:30am, only to be up at 6am to get my kids ready for school. I feel I need an epic sleep, a rewatch without all the wine and then to fully process the madness that was this episode. Hats off though to everyone involved, it was a truly visceral spectacle and I am in awe of everyone involved in this show.

  62. Quinton O’Connor: I actually had the opposite reaction to this. I like that the last time we see Daenerys’ face this episode is during her snap because from that point on she becomes a terrible force of nature best exemplified by the dragon. She *is* the dragon, awakened.

    100% what I thought. She became the Dragon Ollena wanted her to become… Only worst then expected

  63. Redx: 2. Why would Dany belive anything Tyrion says about the bells. Everything he has told her before has not worked out.

    LOL!
    She didn’t need to believe anybody. She saw them surrender. She was there. Watch the episode again. She didn’t “swtich” because she didn’t trust their surrender. She just switch cause “mad”, and went for vengence. Killing everybody, even risking her army. Except, totally ignoring the Red Keep. Luulz

  64. The execution of the story this entire season (and last) has been exceptionally poor, apart from the cinematography and music and a few very lovely scenes (such as Brienne’s knighting and several bits in the fight for the dawn).

    I’m fine with the mad queen notion just not with how badly it was done.

    The problem is not any particular plot point – anything can be made to feel correct if done properly – it’s the very very low quality writing in the absence of book source material. Everything has been off its axis for some time. Everything has been wrong. The characters not speaking with any authenticity, to the point they don’t even sound like themselves; unearned plot developments artlessly lobbed in with total disregard for pacing; too much time devoted to pointless conversations and important things glossed over or entirely left out. Expensive spectacle with the heart of the show gone.

    One of the best shows around has been completely butchered over the last few seasons and I’m furious. So much promise and build up squandered.

  65. Loved it!

    Also… the viewers guide has updated all of the characters we lost this episode to “deceased”, except for Cersei and Jaime. And as we know, the viewers guide is usually very accurate when it comes to “dead or not dead” situations in the show….

    Is Valonqar still on?

  66. Well that escalated.

    Dany will surely die next episode as punishment for her crimes but at the hands of who? Tyrion, Jon or Arya seem to be the only options? Whoever tries to kill her will likely die in the process as well.

    Arya clearly has the Lord of Light/Gods on her side, hence her survival and her timely horse delivery – but seriously how did she get same-day delivery in that shit storm of a war ! – so it would seem she’s going to kill either Dany or Dragon next time, maybe both.

    This all leaves either Jon as an unwilling ruler (if he’s not dead) or an abolition of the throne and the establishment of a new system. This episode gave us a reminder that the Dothraki have no place in Westeros as they rode down the street killing with smiles on their faces, expect them to be expelled once Dany is gone.

    Or maybe she goes into exile with the Dothraki? I presume she’ll be killed for it but what do you all think?

  67. I watch these episodes on my laptop and during adverts, flick over to Youtube, WotW, what have you. Last night was the first time I’ve been slow to flick back. It was like watching an approaching train wreck. The visuals were spectacular, and there were some truly beautiful, moving performances. But the writing’s become so uneven and awkward, I genuinely didn’t know if I wanted to get back to it. The last couple “Inside the Episode” vids have felt increasingly like D&D were trying to convince me of what they were doing instead of just going over key moments, and with decreasing success.

    The cast and crew clearly do their utmost to make every moment the best they can, and there were some truly standout moments. Arya was the perfect choice to guide us through KL & Maisie Williams is just an extraordinary young actress. Kit Harington did a wonderful job showing Jon’s reluctant resolve, then disbelief, then heartbreak. Nikolaj and Lena acted the living daylights out of what they were given to do and I absolutely felt for Jaime & Cersei in the end, something I never expected to do. The Lannister general surrendering to Jon and Grey Worm, the glint of his eyes through his helmet as he felt fear, then relief, then terror. The Hound with Arya, and then his desperate, hopeless showdown with his brother. Some great stuff in the midst of such heavy-handed, shallow story-telling.

    Dany’s black leather outfit was a brutal callback to Tywin, and her destruction of the city was insidiously done – street by street, person by person. If you can accept she’s fallen into madness and carnage (in the space of what, 1 episode?) this was definitely the way to show it. If D&D had spent even one scene explaining what the Red Keep symbolised to her, and how she is haunted by what was done to her family, I may have believed her actions here.

    Why they couldn’t give Jon a single line about Dany earning the people’s love, or recalling his S7 plea that she not be like all the other s*** rulers of the past, I don’t know. Nothing about building a better world than Cersei. Nothing about making their sacrifices against the Night King mean something. Nothing, just a devastated person reeling from a world that doesn’t love her, armed with a WMD.

    Am interested to see how they wrap this up. They’ve left enough seeds that we can probably predict, but I’ve also given up looking for resolution as there have been so many plots and characters just left to hang there, at the whims of some shock & awe-hungry plodding. I’ll watch because we’ve come too far not to see this through, but gods it feels hollow.

  68. Nick20,

    I’m with you. HBO should have donated all that money to the poor, instead of pouring that into this story. Because, it’s a bad story. A controversial protagonist type hero turning into a villain at the last minute? Seeds were always there? Really?
    First of all, I’ve seen heroes turning into villains, and that goes differently. Secondly, I’ve seen heroes not turning into villains despite of being tempted to, and if there’s a story worth of telling, that’s the one.
    Instead we get a nihilistic revelation that “all the people are c**ts, and the Sun is a f**king lamp”… I really pitty GRRM and D&D for not being able for not being able to discover anything better.
    The good thing, that it’s just a fiction: Dany is a fictional monster, people she burned are just fictional idiots who kept cramming into the city knowing it was about to come under siege, as if Robert’s Rebellion hadn’t taught them anything… So, should we care?
    Yes, we have invested time and money and emotions into a story that failed to deliver. The good thing: we can learn a lesson not to invest into unfinished stories, because the creators may pull trope subversion for the sake of trope subversion and claim that “art is not a democracy”.
    However, art is a democracy: sure, creators and create whatever they want, but it’s the audience who chooses what to read or watch. I guess I’ll watch the last episode for the sake of curiosity how far the crap can go, but my investment is gone. I’ll go for better stories: there are plenty of those in the real history of the real world.

  69. “Then the rubble falls, and I assume they’re dead, and I don’t really care, to be honest”.

    This line perfectly (and sadly), sums it up for me.

    Despite the amazing visuals (and this episode truly was outstanding in that regard), I found myself not giving a shit about these characters. Characters that I’ve loved, loathed, rooted for and backed. Not one of them.

    And all because the episode literally was full of holes. Holes almost as big as the gap in those goddamn city gates (seriously – they wouldn’t hold against a crowbar let alone a battering ram, but I’m gonna let that one slide).

    WTF was the point in HS and the GC? They simply weren’t required- they could’ve just conjured up 20,000 extra Lannister soldiers like they’ve clearly done with the Unsullied this week (and who seem to have multiplied voraciously and cocklessly in the finale teaser).

    Cleganebowl seemed forced IMO- but then I was never looking forward to it anyway. Still seemed fan-servicey as I expected it would.

    So Arya is hell bent on killing Cersei for years and all it takes is a patronising cheek squeeze from Sandor and off she skips? She just killed all the Freys and the bloody NK FF…offing Cersei is hardly going to take her any father down that path.

    Jaime- what happened here guys? Seriously? Stabbed by Euron (fitting cheesy end for a similarly cheesy character), and now after 8 seasons of Cersei being the villain, she’s a feeble victim who “doesn’t want to die”? Well she didn’t seem too scared or bothered up until now. Fine that they died to together but a pile of rocks? C’mon…

    Jon- what was his contribution to the episode? Now, this is not some entitled “Jon deserves to be the hero” shit, but he should’ve done something. Anything. I guess the enormity, shock and horror we were feeling was being seen through his eyes, but his presence also felt kinda unnecessary.

    So Tyrion’s thing now is fucking up and walking through piles of ash in a forlorn state. Nice arc for the man who will cast a large shadow. Actually- maybe this was his large shadow.

    And Dany. Now, I know there have been indications that Dany could possibly be a little unbalanced, but it was all simply too rushed. There was no descent into madness at all- she just plummeted into crazyville in the space of less than one episode.

    Even so. Even if we are to suspend belief, I will admit to being really sad to see this character turning this way- burning innocent citizens and kids all because things didn’t go her way. She’d lost everything before and didn’t go kaka, so for me this felt kinda illogical and truly tragic.

    I respect that this is likely GRRMs endgame, but I hated how they got there. And if I wanna lick my wounds and feel sad and angry for what happened to many of these characters that I’ve invested in for years, then I will.

  70. The show runners have gone mad and like in episode 3 where we have seen nearly all human die, in the next episode only half of the army is dead and it will be the same next week. Dany destroyed KL with all ememie and friends inside but next week most of them will be there again. You can stab Jamie 2 times with a 1 foot dagger, showing him near to death only to get up and walk around as if this has been just minor hurts. And of course Euron made it excatly to this spot where Jamie is, but no one else. Nice to see Drogon now can use his fire on the spot to kill Varys, although the flamses showed must have killed a lot more than only him. Destroying the Iron fleet and wall scorpions now was much too easy, making last weeks attack on the Dragons even more an awesome fail. The mountain killing Qburn as easy as a raw egg, then having a hard fight with his brother Sandor is again hard to believe it could happen this way.
    Then there has been absolutely no reason why suddenly Danny goes crazy and burns KL down to its grounds. OK, next week I bet it will not look that bad then, like Winterfell was nice and cleaned up already in no time after the battle.
    Bad to me was also Jon telling again I love you to Danny, but is not acting like he really does, now obviously all his love for her is gone.
    While I am fine with the general development of the story I hate how they presented it again, there are too much things that can not happen like they showed it. I loved GoT for having a really intelligent development in the first seasons but now it’s just another stupid show, like I said before, she burnt KL completly down with friends and ememies but next week most of at least the friends, unsullied, Dothraky, etc. will be there again. I think even the red keep with the iron throne will be in the show although we just saw the red keep completly destroyed.

  71. This is mythos folks, weird stuff happens. I personally hold with the theory that Dany is pregnant by Jon, doesn’t know it yet and it is the one thing that may save her or what’s left of the Targaryens.

    First and foremost: this episode more than any other establishes that spectacle on television is every bit as impressive as a theatrically released film. Long form story telling on film reached its zenith with GOT and this episode is the best example. In terms of depicting the sheer horror of urban warfare, D&D and the production team swung for the fence.

    There is so much to chew on about this episode that I suspect it will be the subject of doctoral dissertations for the next few years.

  72. Dany’s Targaryen nature was there for all to see throughout the series, this climax has been foreshadowed since episode 1. She’s not a Mad Queen, she’s a Targaryen, impetuous, entitled and self righteous, and she’s doing what many of her ancestors have done in the past.

    I wanted her to be a liberator not a destroyer but that’s not her, it never was.

  73. Che:

    All we get is how [Jon’s] news affects Dany. I find it so unrewarding for all the years that I have rooted for him. He really does just seem like a puppet in other people’s stories. I am sincerely hoping that next episode he actually shows that he still has a strong mind of his own and even if it gets him killed, he stands up for what he believes in.

    Indeed. I can understand how Jon isn’t always the flashiest, most loquacious of characters, but they’ve pretty soundly positioned him as a key player, with his moral centre at the heart. That they’re content to let him stand there passively is endlessly frustrating.

  74. I agree with the author of the article about the Jaime and time problems. I was hoping he would finally break free from Cersei (yes, my impression of that was based mostly on the books) and I’m kind of sad that it didn’t go this way on the show. I might be naive but I was really rooting for a redemption arc there. I thought he went to King’s Landing to personally kill Cersei himself, but nah, instead it was almost like some twisted TV version of Pierre & Luce by Romain Rolland… It’s a pity. However, the moment was certainly emotional for me.

    When it comes to Dany, I also agree that there wasn’t enough time to show her true colors gradually. There were many small signs during the whole show, I’m aware of that, but I’d argue they were too small for a common audience. Even for me her sudden and complete change during only 2 or 3 episodes is hard to believe (I don’t buy this “we kill all her of her closest friends and she’ll snap” narrative). I wish we hadn’t lost this strong female character like that (and with that being said, I never liked Dany in particular). It would deserve a number of extra episodes to make it believable. But I guess D&D had other preferences…

    There were many paradoxes and I’m still very disappointed about the whole season, but at least this episode wasn’t as horrible as the last one and for once I even felt with the characters. Also, it is kind of surprising that the leaked information from the script seems to be true so far. I didn’t want to know the ending but I probably know now, dammit. 😀

  75. I loved the dragon shadow over Kings landing.. like the Bran vision and a trailer? or was that shot in another season other than the Season 6 vision.

    I need Daenarys to walk into the destroyed throne room with ash raining down just like Season 2 house of the undying and I will be happy.

    What I love is I have no idea how it’s going to end!!!

  76. Dark Sister,

    I got that same feeling about Arya. I believe she did in fact die but was brought back to life by the LoL or whatever other magical entity is in play. At least, that is what they were alluding to with the sequence of events and makeup effect. Purpose being what though?

  77. ygritte,

    “As a rare or distinguished symbol, a white horse typically bears the hero- or god-figure in ceremonial roles or in triumph over negative forces.”

    I wonder if this is all about any last vestiges of Arya wanting to be a warrior, having seen the horrors of war close up and through the eyes of the innocent city folk. It could be that she has one last crucial act – maybe in tandem with Jon – or more simply that she’s had enough and will change her mind about Gendry’s proposal and decide she can actually achieve more via peace through “settling down” than whatever else she wanted to do. Not that I want the latter to happen particularly. I’ve always thought that Arya’s ending could be the most bittersweet of all.

    Since GRRM would be risking his marriage by just killing her off he may have had something quite twisted in mind…

  78. Contrary to many for me Jaime had the perfect ending but I am also coming from a different POV. After we got to know the truth about the killing of king aerys he was redeemed for me, in an unbelievable situation he did the only right thing, not out of greed or power, just because it was the right thing.

    For me there was always this one line with Jaime “we do not get to choose whom we love”. I am sure give a choice he would choose Brienne, he knows she is the better person bringing out the better traits in him. Them being together might have been him trying to choose, willing himself on a new path but it is futile, you don’t get to choose.

    That doesn’t takes away for me from the good stuff he did, helping Briene in her search, fighting for the living, but in the end the heart wants what the heart wants.

  79. I’m so confused about how the other “god” the one of many faces operates in this story and if it will come up at all in the last episode.

  80. Ser Not Appearing in this Series,

    I wonder that George would give this away to readers ahead of time, that one of his main characters is safe. Though if true, I hope he keeps his word to his wife 🙂 Wait, did he say that he promised her that, or just that she’d be mad if he killed off Arya?

  81. “It’s awesome to watch, if you just sit back and don’t think too much about it all.”
    That’s the heart of it – this episode was truly awesome to watch, spectacular.
    BUT this series grabbed us because it was a series you could think too much about.

    I agree completely the rush was a major problem, the flip from Dany at her most heroic fighting the army of the dead in Ep 3 to mad Dany burning Kingslanding was so hard that it gives the audience whiplash. Like Arya killing the Nightking, there were plenty of seeds there to sell it, but there wasn’t the narrative buildup to make it properly rewarding. In the end we don’t really know why she burned down Kingslanding, destroying with it the ultimate legacy of the Targaryen family itself. You can argue the death of Rhaegal and Missandrei shook her, but it was Jon telling Sansa, telling Tyrion, telling Varys telling the world, the sense of Jon betraying her. A sense of knowing if she wins it will taken from her, so if she’s not getting it no one will – but we shouldn’t have to guess that!!!

    I will say that Arya has been on her own redemption ark, rediscovering herself and recovering, finding her humanity, that has gone through from her decision to return to Winterfell rather than go straight to Kingslanding and her hooking up with Gendry, but again you need to join the dots from the narrative crumbs, they struggled to properly tell the story.

    BUT what they put on the screen was truly awesome – I loved the call back to the image of the dragon flying over Kingslanding. The visceral, convincingness of Kingslanding being sack, particularly the Red Keep being ripped to bits was extraordinary.

    But all I can say is bring on the Martin version – I feel it’s going to be a lot more profound, we’re going to see into Dany’s head and quite probably Jaime is going to kill Cersei, even as a mercy killing.

  82. ygritte:
    Dark Sister,

    I got that same feeling about Arya. I believe she did in fact die but was brought back to life by the LoL or whatever other magical entity is in play. At least, that is what they were alluding to with the sequence of events and makeup effect. Purpose being what though?

    It would be stunning and brilliant if Arya were indeed death, the pale horse – wow! But, I doubt it. Because, it would be subversive in an actually interesting way and that is not D&D.

  83. The episode was also a pay off to one of best lines in the show from jorah, there is a beast in every man and it steers when you put a sword into his hand, he knew, man, he knew. This is war. Somebody complained that quiburn did die like that w/o reason, well that is death for most involved in war.

    Re Jon doing nothing about varys. Well at that point in time he didn’t see somebody trying to prevent horrors to come, he did see a person conspiring, committing treason and trying somebody this person had sworn loyalty, basically like Alistair and his people did against him.

  84. I agree with youvon everything, esp. the part on Dany. As Emilia Clarke said, the lasting flavour in my mouth is really bitter. I am coming to terms with it, and the way her character was meant to develop, but that was so rushed that I don’t know whether suchca change in her is ever going to sink in. Yes, she has been burning the cities and people before, and I gues the turning point is when Jon rejects her. Now there is really nothing left for her there.

    For some reason, I am still hoping to see some kind of redemption from her part, at least before her very end, which we all assume is coming, but having just seen the preview of ep6, I am losing hope that it is going to happen. Sad really as she does not deserve to leave full mad!
    Jon can now go fulfill the PTWP prophecy and go north so we never see him again.
    You know nothing Jon Snow has never been more true!
    Heartbreaking really!

  85. While I’m disheartened by the turn this season has taken, I think the actors have all done such beautiful jobs. All of them, Emilia Clarke especially. I think they really brought it all. Lena Headey broke my heart and to see Cersei break like that…

    Che,

    Isabelle,

    Sadly, I’ve come to agree with this too. I wrote this big huge long post but I think it was too much to put out there. I’m so deflated and I feel so bad for feeling sad because it’s evident the sheer amount of work the cast and crew have put into this. If only seasons 7 & 8 could have been 10 episodes each, I feel that would have made all the difference in the world.

    That said, there are character moments I adore, the actors are doing such great jobs, this episode was beautifully directed, but there has been so much build-up left to the wayside and it feels for nothing. I just feel defeated.

  86. Marianne,

    I will only say one thing. I’m glad I read spoilers for this and last episode and had a few days to digest it so that I would not be hit with a crushing feeling of either disappointment or bewilderment all at once when it happens 🙂

  87. Eduardo:
    In regard to prophecies: the unfulfilled prophecy is a trend. That most probably doesn’t come from D&D. I bet my money on George himself. He is a troll, if you haven’t seen it coming, that’s because you haven’t paid attention. All over his writings he has characters saying things about the past that we as readers take for true, just to be made aware time and again that history depends on who tells the story. He mocks us with unreliable sources that get contradicted down the line. And prophecies are the most unreliable of sources.

    Entirely disagree. GRRM places theme, character, and dramatic structure first, and his prophecies come true. When people cite the various mentions of the danger of prophecy in the novels, it refers to how difficult it is for the characters to interpret prophecy in the moment, which is a trope as old as classical Greek drama.

    In the case of the valonqar prophecy, it’s delivered firsthand to Cersei by Maggy the the Frog, as the final part of a whole batch of prophecies, most of which have already come true. Just ignoring that at the end would be completely empty subversion, not subversion with purpose, which is what GRRM has always aimed for.

    At this point, I would say that D&D changed basically everything about Jaime and Cersei’s stories apart from that they both die at the end. Granted, much of that was long-evident (Cersei is not going to be the end boss in the books, bet on that, and she’s certainly not going to have the enormous run of contrived successes that the writers granted her to keep her around this long).

    Now, one thing that I’m sure is from GRRM, the looming endgame with Daenerys. But the delivery of it was completely botched. They didn’t earn this, at all, despite the best efforts of the “previously on…” guys to turn a bunch of random lines from the past into a “Dany goes mad” montage. One example of the poor buildup, a key trigger is evidently the death of Missandei, a character Dany hasn’t even spoken to all season, and I think only once in the last two seasons (talking about sex with Grey Worm).

    One the surely unintended ironies of how this episode was created is that it makes Tyrion and Varys’ two seasons of whining about attacking King’s Landing entirely hollow. Daenerys uses Drogon the way we knew she could from the Essosi seasons, as a precision-targeting weapon to lay waste to the enemy ships, fortifications, and armies, but with minimal damage to anything else noted. The mass civilian casualties only begin once Dany deliberately starts randomly slaughtering everybody. So if she hadn’t wasted two seasons listening to Tyrion and avoiding attacking the city, in which time all the stuff that the writers are saying drove her mad happened, she would have won.

    The production value of this episode was genuinely spectacular, though.

  88. About a decade ago, when I finally got around to understanding the process behind book adaptations and production, I finally gave myself the freedom to enjoy something without analyzation getting in the way. It’s served me pretty well. That being said, I had one disappointment…Jaime Lannister. I had hoped he had another motive for seeking Cersei. I rebelled against it a bit at first. When they went out together though, I thought “well, that’s fitting. They came in together.” Behind The Episode, D&D say the same thing. After watching a second time, it occurred to me that there are people who don’t make a full redemption arc. Those that do, tend to have more of a conscience, and at least levels of compassion. Not only is Jaime the “stupidest Lannister”, he still can’t muster compassion for innocent people. He can never complete the arc without it.

    I also thought it was poetic that Qyburn was killed by the monster he created.

    I didn’t care who killed Euron, as long as it was a painful death.

    I know Dany’s descent has been rushed. We would rather be eased into it. However, people do *snap*. Maybe there’s a seed they’ve tried to bury deep, but the right conditions bring it to the surface, regardless. Being traumatized by her brother from an early age may have started it all, without bringing genetics into it. Whatever the reasons, we now have a rage filled, coldly tyrannical queen…and that is unacceptable for the realm.

  89. My issues:

    I get Dany going Mad Queen. It’s in the books, its been built up for a while now and the clues have always been there. But to make her triggered over fricken bells and then zigzag burning everyone instead of going straight for Cersei for no sweet reason other than to show she’s a tyrant? Not necessary. Her burning the Tarlys, her burning Varys, her burning the surviving soldiers of KL like she did with Field of Fire 2.0 last season would have been enough for that.

    I get why Jaime would die in Cersei’s arms and the whole we came together we’ll die together situation. I get he couldn’t be redeemed, sometimes we can’t be. But the way they went about it cheapened his character. It wasn’t that he was an addict who couldn’t keep away from his addiction; he’s now a guy who was always loyal to Cersei but slept with a woman and played her (horribly, tragically unfair to Brienne) and said he ‘doesn’t care about innocents’ when he gave up his honour for the people of King’s Landing EVEN BEFORE THE SHOW BEGAN. Why did Bran bother saving him if that’s all his life was going to amount to? Why bother having him fight for the living? Why didn’t he just hightail it back to KL as soon as that fight was done – clearly he cares about nothing except his love for Cersei and ‘doesn’t care for innocents’. So why did he ride North?

    Him going back to save Cersei is perhaps true to his character. Him going back in this way, doing all he’s done this season regarding Brienne and the dialogues he said this season isn’t. His farce of a fight with Euron was not justice done to a character who should’ve gone out like a boss, even if it was with Cersei.

    Speaking of Cersei…do D&D really love her so much that they couldn’t give a horrific death? You can’t tell me that’s been the shows trajectory this whole time – we’ve seen villain after villain get poetic justice, dying exactly how they killed others. They even referred to Cersei’s love for poetic justice when she gave Bronn the crossbow. So in the end, the evilest tyrant is taken out by…rubble. Mmmkay.

    And now when Jon takes the throne, it’s not going to feel like he earned it because he’s a hero, because he saved the people of KL or because he’s done epic things. It’ll be because everyone else is undeserving and he’s really the only candidate they have.

    That’s heartbreaking. It’s not easy to write this show I’m sure, even less to make an ending that pleases people but it cannot be this difficult to write an ending that makes sense and follows on from what came before, rather than making it all seem pointless.

    We deserved an ending where we could rewatch the show multiple times and not feel like scenes from A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms or The Long Night were meaningless.

  90. Silent Sister:
    Not only is Jaime the “stupidest Lannister”, he still can’t muster compassion for innocent people.

    The writers evidently forgot the part where he saved the entire city of King’s Landing from destruction when they decided to write him as never caring much about them.

  91. Lars,

    “If you were expecting a happy ending you haven’t been paying attention”

    I apologize for singling you out but this quote is infuriating. It basically gets thrown out any time the show is critiqued. The quote hand waves the show’s lapses in logic to attack the critic’s motivations. As if the critic can’t accept what their own eyes see.

    The fact is, what the critic cannot accept is Sansa choosing to marry Ramsay for…reasons, Bran disappearing/appearing when convenient, or Euron being invisible and invincible (but only when needed). Or Daenerys melting a whole city but the writers making sure no credited cast are actually melted. This isn’t just a bunch of “nerds” raging on a show for kicks. There are deep chasms in character motivation that makes this numbingly “unhappy ending” the one thing it cannot afford to be; boring.

    I wasn’t mad Daenerys choose to do what she did, I was bored by it. We have seen that “madness” play out with every one of the show’s antagonists. As a storytelling tactic (“human bad do bad thing”) it’s really ineffective and, perhaps more damning, destroys any notion of suspension of disbelief. Why? Because the character’s fiber collapses on itself when you start to question the action.

    For example, Daenerys chooses to scare her new subjects. If that’s the play, you might wanna burn up that nephew of yours or that treasonous, moronic Hand. I am not upset Daenerys is “mad”, I am upset that she is still so incompetent at it.

  92. People don’t *snap* slowly, they *snap* suddenly when no-one expects it. But if you reconsider the past things you see there were little signs all along. So no, I don’t think it’s rushed. It’s because so much happened in a short time that she didn’t get the time to recover: Jorah, Rhaegal, Missandei, not being the heir…

  93. Moon:
    Sacred Lime,

    I wouldn’t say Jaime hardly knew Brienne, in fact he seems to be the one who understands her the most.That knighting scene was perfection.

    For Jaime to go from “I need to leave Cersei because she has become a stranger to me” and leave KL to fight in the north to this hot mess of “lol, what innocents?I need to go back to Cersei” is utter trash.There is no inbetween, a few moments ofvague pondering and he’s off.This transition includes a visit from Bronn the hitman hired by Cersei.

    If they wanted to show him conflicted- of his love for Cersei and his slowly gained honor that Brienne (and the audience) sees- then have him go and commit a murder suicide with her.That would have been satisfying.Plus a great book nod.

    This! I can’t stress this enough.

    If endgame was him dying with Cersei, there were a million ways to go about it. Have him leave Cersei after the Sept of Baelor and spend the entirety of season 7 wondering about her and deciding to go back. That would’ve given us a full season to understand that Jaime Lannister cannot be redeemed.

    Instead, we get as you say, a look of regret after sleeping with Brienne. Might I also add that when he finally saddles his horse to ride South and looks at Brienne for the final time, Brienne is naked. They slept together that night.

    Jaime has always been loyal to Cersei. He never cheated on her. So if he’s loved Cersei all along and loves Cersei still and realised this after sleeping with Brienne the first time, why did he cheat on Cersei? Why did he leave Cersei in the first place? Why did he go to fight for the living if he doesn’t care about all that and has no compassion as some have been suggesting?

    #Mess

  94. Sorry. There is nothing at all that could have sold this much of a turn to me. The girl who locked up her dragons after Drogon killed a single child indiscriminately slaughtering a city of a million people? Going for Cersei and the Red Keep and not caring that a few thousand innocents stand in the way I can see. Accepting too much collateral damage I can see. But specifically targeting civilians, on purpose, taking her time before even turning for Cersei, after they had surrendered? This is ridiculous. How can anyone say this was foreshadowed? Daenerys going too far was foreshadowed. Daenerys trying to do right but doing more harm than good was foreshadowed. Daenerys eventually becoming a not-so-benevolent ruler who executes insufficiently loyal lords was foreshadowed. Her becoming the worst person in the entire story and maybe the entire history of Westeros was not. Her killing more people than the Night King was not.

    What is the lesson here? Don’t inbreed and genetics is destiny? Mad King Aerys is the only person we’ve seen depicted at all who was willing to go to this length and that was at the end of his rope facing certain death and defeat after 20 years of people plotting against him causing a slow descent to madness. Even he wasn’t going to do something like this after already winning. Even Ramsay and Joffrey mostly targeted people who had actually plotted against them or posed some sort of threat. Ramsay didn’t just walk down to White Harbor and skin every person in the city for no reason.

    Daenerys is now a worse person than Ramsay Bolton. This is where she ends up? Seriously? This isn’t tragedy. Tragedy is a basically good person trying to do right but bringing about great harm and their own demise unintentionally. They could have made her into one of the more interesting and complex characters ever put to screen, a medieval Harry Truman wrestling against herself about the cost of victory. But they made her Hitler instead. Do we really need the point made that giving Hitler nukes is a bad idea? That ends up being the moral of this story?

  95. Scott,

    If Dany were truly honorable she would not have been hell bent on keeping her claim to the throne when she found out her nephew is alive and is the true heir and insisting he must keep secret his identity the rest of his life just like his father (Uncle Ned) had to. Of course we could empathize with her in finding it hard to do the right thing because we have seen what she’s gone through and how ingrained her idea has become in her mind of who and what she is. She’s a very flawed person. As are many in this story. But she happens to have literal madness in her genes which there were glimpses of from the moment she spaced while her brother died screaming. The madness might never have manifested had she not been gifted those weapons of mass destruction. Now I’m trying to remember, who gave her those eggs? Remember Davos saying “If your lord wants you to burn children he’s evil.” Dragons are fire made flesh, lord of light requiring burned sacrifice. Raised Jon to do what? It seems to be all the same “god” that fueled Dany and rezzed Jon. He needed both of them for destructive purpose it seems. Dany in KL and Jon (with Dany’s help) at WF. They are the ones who allowed NK to get dragon and take down the wall in the first place. Who knows, maybe the NK really wasn’t the true evil.

  96. Sorry for not having read the recap or all the comments, I just want to get in my fresh take.

    I bloody LOVED this episode. Yeah, it had its issues. (If destroying the Iron Fleet was that easy, why didn’t Dany do it last episode? Headscratch?)

    But the character moments we got. Oh wow!

    Arya and the Hound. She so intent on revenge, he grabbed her, his hand behind her head. Surrogate dad. He basically telling her it isn’t too late to turn back. And later we saw Arya, not as a badass super ninja assassin warrior princes but as a scared and horrified person, a still capable young woman facing overwhelming odds, just trying to survive and maybe save some with her To no avail.

    She saw the incinerated bodies of the mother and daughter she was trying to save. She cried for them. Her humanity is fully back. Then the pale horse.

    Next. Jaime.

    You all know I’m a huuuuge Jaime fan. For the complex character he is. I’ve always though he’d die with Cersei, even in the books (if/when they ever get published). The show gave a glimpse of hope, of what could’ve been, with Brienne. But is it not in character to try to save his twin, the girl, the woman he’s always loved.

    NCW said in interviews that his last scene is beautiful. And it was. Jaime literally coming to dead ends with Cersei. He knew they were going to die. He spent his last moments comforting Cersei, who was freaking out. He made her last moments more bearable. It was an act of love.

    The things I do for love.

    The things Dany does for not getting the love of the people. Or even her (former) lover.

    The former lover who, incidentally, has a stronger claim on what she views as hers. She burned King’s Landing because the people didn’t love her, like all those people in the slaver cities loved and adulated her. She was hailed as a liberator, a saviour, the common folk loved her. Not so in Westeros. Her self-identity came crashing down.

    I don’t doubt this is the way GRRM has been planning to go. I would criticise D&D for being a bit rushed, not properly setting up things, but they like surprise GOTCHA moments, that kind of writing.

    But Dany going all fire and blood isn’t exactly a surprise. It’s been set up since S1.

  97. I do think it’s funny that the wildfire buried throughout the city made an appearance, but was in comparison just a ‘so what?’ addition to the real destructive power of dragonfire.

  98. This is a disaster.

    I cannot have enough praise for the director and the technical team. The episode is visually stunning, whoever would have thought a few years back they would be able to pull something like this in a TV show. They did it. The music is also excellent for building scenes, so a plus goes to Djawadi, he learned from the best. The actors were top level. Sapochnik was also amazing in the intimate stories, showing chaos all around through Arya’s and that little girls eyes, making a connection between the story and its viewers.

    Now, regarding the story. It is a complete disaster. I do not have a favourite character so I wasn’t rooting for anybody. But I feel the script has insulted my intelligence. You can have Daenerys become insane, but after some realistic and well written build-up, not snapping when she hears the bells. I know the book is different but I am discussing the show here, the books are unfinished. Yes, she was ruthless and terrible on occasions, but, except Snow, who is build like the archetypal hero,so is almost every character in GoT , that’s what it was different in this show, characters had obsessions, lusts, they were sometimes vengeful. Nothing was black and white. You cannot build a character for so many years, while making efforts to whitewash her, showing her merciful and loyal, locking dragons because they were killing children, sacrificing a dragon and her army to fight the war in the North and then make a character snap at the sound of bells,killing a million (??) of civilians. I mean yes, you can do this but with some serious background. They tried to go shakespearian and they went ridiculous.

    If I would have watched just this episode without knowing anything about the story, I would have said it was a masterpiece. This is a mess of a writing instead.

    As for Jaime and Cersei, and the Romeo and Juliet type of romantic death, I won’t be saying more, it’s pointless..

    Needles to say more about the Unsullied and the Dothraki who keep multiplying faster than fleas.

    When someone is telling a story, for that sorry to be worth telling it has to be consistent with its core self. No matter how much you devert from the main thread you always have to go back to the nucleus. Otherwise it s just shape without form, shades without colour. It loses its point, becoming just a bunch of great chapters or scenes hanging in the air, with nothing to connect them. Those guys lost the story. M. Night Shyamalan made something similar after making a couple of intelligent movies he saw that people reacted positively to him making the famous twist towards the end. And started applying the twist to all of his movies and just went downwards after that, the films became ridiculous. It’s similar here. They sacrificed every rational and logical storytelling to the surprise shock. This is unforgivable.

    I am left with a bitter taste in my mouth.

  99. “Six Is Not Enough:
    Right after season 6 I felt I detected an air of impatience from Benioff and Weiss, as if ‘we wish to move on’. This season has a very rushed feel about it , elaborations that would smooth some of the story seem left out for expediency, not a budget thing. More seams showing this season than I have ever seen before.

  100. Dan and David wanted a Breaking Bad or Sopranos ending; with the fans debating if the final season is good or great. Wondered what make them think that. Everything but the writing is great, which is primarily their jobs.

    Love the recap, hope we get that sexy scandalous tell-all to learn why the rush to finish something; you spend 10 years working on, that you are going to be defined by.

  101. Leuf:
    While there are numerous examples of Daenerys being ruthless with her enemies, this is also the person who locked up her dragons, her children, because they ate one kid.Going berserk and attacking a surrendering enemy, I can accept.Bringing down the Red Keep in a rage because none of this went the way that she imagined it would be, I can accept.What she thought she wanted was never really going to bring her what she needed and finally faced with that to flip out and destroy rather than reflect is within her character. But purposefully laying waste to the innocent population of the city is another thing entirely.So she either needs to be insane now, which isn’t interesting, or she was temporarily insane and won’t be able to live with herself, or I don’t buy it.

    But you are ignoring all of her character development after locking the dragons up! It was never the love of the people that made Dany a ruler–it was the dragons. The whole scene with the tutor in Mereen. The rise of the SotH and the failure in Daznak’s. Tyrion having to deal with the slavers coming back at him while she was gone. She chose fear long before the scene with Jon last night. Even the stupid scene where Rhaegal dies makes more sense now. Holding back, showing mercy, has cost her everything in her eyes by the time she hears those bells in KL. She chooses fear like Cersei chooses violence. And there is no other choice for either of them. The path to power requires it.

  102. Calling Dany “mad” is not doing the character and what just happened justice, in my opinion. Insanity implies that she’s not in control or not fully responsible for her actions.

    She sat there on Drogon and waited. She waited for the bells; she waited for their surrender; she listened to them cry out in terror for her to stop.

    And then she decided their fear wasn’t good enough.

    Dany isn’t insane, she’s exceptionally entitled and always has been. She believes herself to be owed adoration and fealty. That is not to say she hasn’t earned any of her support, but ruling via fear has always been a hallmark of her leadership.

    Chalking this up to insanity is a disservice to both character and episode. She has done something horrific, and she did it because she wanted to.

  103. Chilli,

    Completely agree! I have re-watched the previous seasons back to back now and starting from Season 1, after Drogo gives her brother the golden crow, you see she already has the beginnings of her mental state. She doesn’t flinch an inch when Drogo pours the boiling gold on top of Viserys’ head. Then, with the Unsullied merchant, she burns him. Yeah, he was a douche, but still, she burns him and turns the Unsullied on the slavers. Again, they were terrible people, but was it really required to kill them? Even Jorah and Barristan Selmy had looks of fear on their faces. And throughout her tenure as “Queen” (I put it in quotes because she’s truly not the queen and she’s doing exactly as her predecessors have done which is take over forcefully cities and rule them as their ruler), she has laid a path of destruction, but trying to justify it as a means of freeing people. She further demonstrates her “Mad Queen” mentality when she crucifies the slavers, beheads a former slave for killing some Sons of the Harpy (who deserved it) and that turns the slaves against her, and eventually the penultimate show of her Mad Queeness when she burns Ranyll and Dickon Tarly. Every time she turns to do this, her Advisors (whether it was Jorah, Barristan and now Tyrian), she eventually doesn’t listen and let’s her anger (and her feeling of being privileged if not owed the throne) take over. No wonder the north and Westeros fear her. Even when she finds out the Jon is the rightful heir to the throne, she won’t give it up. And when she finds that Jon cannot return his love to her the way she wants, she chooses fear, rather than possibly trying to work together with him. In other words, she will not give up the throne because she feels she is owed that throne. I’m not dismissing what she went through (the torture, rape and abuse by her brother all her life, never having a true father figure other than possibly Jorah to guide her which even then, she refused to listen many time), but even when she had people guiding her, she eventually refused to listen and it has come back to bite her. She didn’t want to rule with fear at first, yet that’s what she did. So, as much as it might seem this story line was rushed, it started way back in Season 1, Episode 6 right when Viserys dies and just escalates from there. So I don’t believe it was rushed either. It’s just that there have been so many story lines with her and in the first viewing, I was behind her all the way. I think that was the goal until she executed the ex-slave for the murder of the Sons of the Harpy in their cells. The Tarly’s pretty much sealed her fate as another Mad Targaryen for me. Also, remember when she was adamant about Jon bending the knee? He eventually did for what he thought was the good of the North which it was. It brought her to fight the White Walkers which could have been a different story if she didn’t. Also, think of her introduction: “Queen Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lady of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, Lady of Dragonstone, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons.”

    That seems like a pretty braggart way of introducing herself. Whereas Jon was introduced as “He’s the King of the North.” Sweet, simple and to the point. She was using all those titles to instill fear into those she took over. Not much different than the Huns and other brutal dictators and savages in our own history.

    No, overall, her story line was fleshed out in great detail, but they wrote it in a way where we felt for her and sided with her. Look at Jamey Lannister. And last night, I even felt sorry for Cersei because she finally realized she lost the game and was losing her child. I believe she really did have a child, but months had passed so I have NO idea why she wasn’t showing. Plot hole right there, but still, I did feel bad for her. Not to say didn’t deserve it. Jamie in many ways was flawed and this was probably going to be how it was going to end. They were born together so they die together with their unborn child.

    So now, what happens? Does Arya become the Queen Killer? She saw what Daenyers did to everyone in King’s Landing. So many innocents killed by her wrath and selfishness. Should be a good finale. Can’t wait!

  104. Adrianacandle,

    I totally agree about Lena Headey’s acting. I hated Cersei at the end of last episode and had found her smugness over the last couple of seasons pretty infuriating to the point that I was just ready for her to die. Yet last night, when she was crying and when Jaime found her, I felt so sorry for her. It may be the sudden stark contrast of Cersei, who we know to be a horrible person who committed a terrible crime when she blew up the sept, suddenly shown to be the less evil of the two rivalling queens as Dany just torches the entire city, slaughtering a million people, that caught me by surprise and manipulated my emotions into making me more sympathetic for Cersei. My husband thought I was mad, but I was crying for her.

  105. I really enjoyed the episode I don’t view Dany as ‘mad’, I view her story as tragic and heart breaking and Emilia’s face played out all those emotions last night. It’s interesting to me how everyone around her has no problem with people dying when it suits their purposes. As if playing God by deciding who deserves to die and who doesn’t, as long as it suits your end purpose, makes you somehow a better person than Dany. I’m in no way excusing her actions but they all played a part in pushing her to her final destiny last night.

    Varys of all people should have known better than to betray her and scheme behind her back – he was there with Aery’s and knew what the outcome of that was. I’ve never bought his holier than thou BS – he only serves his own best interests so seeing him die was a good moment for me. It’s more evident in the books than in than in the show of course.

    Sansa should have kept her mouth shut, her obsession of power over the North put Jon in a dangerous position. If you love your ‘brother’, do you betray his secret as he is about to go off with a woman who you don’t trust – how does that help him? She has a big dragon in case you missed it Sansa!

    And Bran – Mr all knowing and all seeing – why was it so urgent to tell Jon who he was before all this played out? If Bran knows something – which he obviously does – is it worth the lives of thousands of innocents? Did he expect that Dany would just step aside and leave Westeros? Wouldn’t a better strategy to keep your mouth shut until after Cersei was defeated and support Dany so she doesn’t feel isolated and alone? The paternity reveal didn’t contribute anything to the NK battle given it was Arya that was the key player there so again what was the point? That’s the piece that’s missing for me that hopefully they address next week.

  106. RG,

    “I cried when I saw Sandor’s affectionate head cup of Arya as he gave her that final “Don’t be me” lesson. Their relationship was one of the best things on this show. Taking care of her changed him. It was a beautiful arc and I’m just so grateful to Rory for giving this character life in such a perfect way.”

    _______
    I sobbed too. Especially when she called him “Sandor” for the first time and said “Thank you.”

  107. Didnt the valonquar propechy say you will die with little brothers hands wrapped around your neck?

    Thats exactly what happened.

  108. I think the books will be even darker. All crowd pleasing moments were show-only. I think both Tyrion and Jon will be darker than they are in the show.

    I mean he has to make Jon darker for him to fall in love with Dany. If GRRM wants Dany to be “mad” for a long time, a not just in the end.

    And if Dany burns Meereen in the books, I could see her and Tyrion being two bitter and crazy villains that are coming to destroy Westeros.

    I think this is the reasony he can’t write new books. How to make all these things work? Plus he has even more storylines and characters in his books.

  109. Adam,

    They could have made her into one of the more interesting and complex characters ever put to screen, a medieval Harry Truman wrestling against herself about the cost of victory. But they made her Hitler instead. Do we really need the point made that giving Hitler nukes is a bad idea? That ends up being the moral of this story?

    ^this.

  110. talvikorppi,

    Great post! The rush to finish this series in six episodes leaves certain elements unfinished, particularly character motivations. Regardless, I enjoyed the episode overall.

    Sure – there was some silliness. The GC added nothing; just more bodies to be roasted. The fight between Euron and Jaime was unnecessary. At least Euron died as the clown he was throughout the series.

    Jaime was one of my favorite characters but I never imagined that his redemption arc would be completed. I recall Tywin’s instruction to him in S1: “be the man you were meant to be (paraphrasing).” I’m not sure that Jaime really knew the answer to that directive. I liked the character because he was conflicted and complicated. I never expected that, in the end, he would do what I wanted him to do: stay with Brienne and let Cersei suffer her fate alone.

    Having said that, I am annoyed that Cersei died with someone to comfort her. There are so many other characters that deserved comfort in the end and didn’t receive it.

    As for Dany…I can’t add anything to the discussion that has not already been said. While I am not surprised by her actions in this episode, I am saddened by them. She confirmed the worst fears of her supporters and detractors. That’s not what I want to see from any of these characters.

  111. TheKnightQueen,

    I don’t think Jon will want anything to do with any thrones. Even if he would have been fine with the idea before, it’s kind of too late now. He sees his beloved queen for what she is and what giving up (KITN) and denying (Iron throne) his rightful titles has cost. This will make him feel even more unworthy, due to what he’ll see as his poor judgement, if anything.

  112. Tycho Nestoris:
    Adam,

    ^this.

    But that IS the point! We are ALL Hitler with our own agendas. Most of us just don’t have the power. You saw her struggle already over the last 9 years. I’m interested to see the final episode and see whether the writers (GRRM and/or D&D) have any suggestions on a better path for humanity. I certainly don’t see one. It is very bleak.

  113. The one surprise I thought would happen is Yara showing up , to help battle the Iron Fleet, and her taking care of Euron … seems like a missed beat to me.

  114. mau,

    The books will never be finished. There is no way George will rush things half as much as D&D, so I can’t see how he can finish it with only two more books. It would have to be at least eight books in my opinion. In a way this is better for the ‘book purists’ because there is no way he can satisfy them (just like it was impossible for D&D), so they are free to imagine their own endings. Obviously not everything that happened in yesterday’s episode will happen in the books, but if they think that Dany will not burn Kings Landing they have not been paying attention.

  115. The Knight Queen & Moon

    I totally get where you are coming from, I think it could have been handled better with maybe only a few extra scenes.

    I can however buy the fact that he knew and loved Cersei all his life, and as much as he has changed for the better and maybe he understands Brienne and she understands him more than anyone, more than Cersei. Can he really bare the thought of his twin sister/lover and unborn child dying alone. I say alone because Jaime knows that Qyburn and Mountain don’t really care, not the way he does.

    So the question for him is whether he could live with the fact she is executed or killed on her own, does he now care so little for her and so much for Brienne that as a Lannister who grew up with Tywin as his father.. could he really sever all ties from her and not regret that decision for the rest of his life?

    The answer was no.. and I think I can live with that as a viewer. That’s not to say I don’t see it from your point of view.

  116. kathy,

    kathy:
    I really enjoyed the episode I don’t view Dany as ‘mad’, I view her story as tragic and heart breaking and Emilia’s face played out all those emotions last night.It’s interesting to me how everyone around her has no problem with people dying when it suits their purposes.As if playing God by deciding who deserves to die and who doesn’t, as long as it suits your end purpose, makes you somehow a better person than Dany.I’m in no way excusing her actions but they all played a part in pushing her to her final destiny last night.

    Varys of all people should have known better than to betray her and scheme behind her back – he was there with Aery’s and knew what the outcome of that was.I’ve never bought his holier than thou BS – he only serves his own best interests so seeing him die was a good moment for me.It’s more evident in the books than in than in the show of course.

    Sansa should have kept her mouth shut, her obsession of power over the North put Jon in a dangerous position.If you love your ‘brother’, do you betray his secret as he is about to go off with a woman who you don’t trust – how does that help him?She has a big dragon in case you missed it Sansa!

    And Bran – Mr all knowing and all seeing – why was it so urgent to tell Jon who he was before all this played out?If Bran knows something – which he obviously does – is it worth the lives ofthousands of innocents?Did he expect that Dany would just step aside and leave Westeros? Wouldn’t a better strategy to keep your mouth shut until after Cersei was defeated and support Dany so she doesn’t feel isolated and alone? Thepaternity reveal didn’t contribute anything to the NK battle given it was Arya that was the key player there so again what was the point?That’s the piece that’s missing for me that hopefully they address next week.

    Couldn’t disagree more.

    “It’s interesting to me how everyone around her has no problem with people dying when it suits their purposes” – well no one else has tried to kill a million of innocent people. Perhaps it would help if you clarified which purposes of other people were so unworthy of dying for.

    “I’m in no way excusing her actions but they all played a part in pushing her to her final destiny last night.” – she brought it on herself all alone. Had she been the saint she pretends to be, she would have supported Jon’s claim and she would have herself bent the knee / asked to go on ruling 50:50. Even better, she would have never asked Jon to bend his own knee.

    “Varys of all people should have known better than to betray her and scheme behind her back” – no again. Varys knows it would be hard to beat Cersei without Dany, but at the same time, he knows Dany mustn’t be allowed to rule anymore because she can’t do that. So he does the best thing he can – he schemes for what will come once he is not there. If he didn’t think it important, there would be no point in making the sacrifice and die, he knew he would have to pay eventually.

    Sansa did the right thing. Dany would never fully trusted Jon anyway and there is actually no other point in keeping Jon’s parentage a secret but Dany’s own power obsession. Dany had no business in asking of Jon the thing she did in the first place.

  117. Knight of the Walkers:
    mau,

    The books will never be finished. There is no way George will rush things half as much as D&D,

    Well he will either rush it or there will be no ending at all. I’m not sure even 8 books is enough, He needs to do a lot to go from the end of ADWD to where things are now at the end of S8.

  118. ygritte,

    I do wonder if Jon will decide to renounce all his claims to go back north and live with the Free Folk, not as their king but just another ordinary Joe. He can then meet up with Ghost again and pet him lavishly.

    And when this happens we can all scream in unison “Fan service!”

  119. Jaime’s dream on weirwood stump after leaving Harrenhal sort of predicts an underground doom for him, but in books he’s convinced the caverns are underneath Casterly Rock.

  120. Oh, and for the “Jon doesn’t want to be king so it is allright to ask him to keep his parentage a secret” argument, that’s false again.
    Jon did accept to become the KITN. If not for Dany, he would have accepted the Iron Throne as well. Before all this last season happened, that is.
    (To be clear, I don’t say this particularly is a bad writing. I only aim this at those who accuse Sansa and only want to admire Dany. She has 1-3 dragons. That’s all there is and ever was to her greatness.)

  121. I do agree with a lot of people and Sue that this did feel too rushed and would have been more convincing had there been maybe ten episodes rather than 6 but I don’t agree, on reflection that Dany suddenly snapped when she heard the bells. She has been going down that road since the start of episode one.

    She spent seven seasons utterly convinced of her absolute right to the Iron throne and that she would be everyone’s saviour. People had to accept her and had to appreciate her and woe betide them if they didn’t. She was extremely arrogant. She fought against her inner demons but when those who had the power to check her worst impulses were taken away – Jorah and Missandei – she became consumed with her sense of entitlement.

    She made no attempt to win over the northerners when she arrived in Winterfell when she was warned they would view her with suspicion. They were supposed to be grateful and you could see the inner fury when they weren’t. Her smug look when the northerners ran from her dragons as they marched into Winterfell said a lot. Power! That’s what she got off on.

    When Sansa asked her what would happen to the north, there was suddenly a change from the friendly Dany to a cold hard stare. No it’s mine. I want it ALL!!

    Then when she discovered Jon was actually the heir and she was not the true Queen of the 7K, she couldn’t handle it. Her love of Jon and knowing he didn’t want the throne was something she could handle.. others knowing was not, because she knew that her right to rule no longer existed and she would face opposition. Losing Jorah and Missandei and two of her dragons was too much to bear, but rather than unleashing that fury on her enemies alone, she quite calculating turned it on to about a million innocents instead. On and on and on, blasting and bombing them whilst going nowhere near the red keep.

    “Let it be fear” she said to Jon before she left Dragonstone. She was going to have “her” throne and make sure everyone would be too shit scared to ever oppose her in the future.

    That’s what Dany really is deep down, not mad, just a megalomaniac. Sad for her character she as could have been a great Queen had things been different.

  122. Tycho Nestoris: I apologize for singling you out but this quote is infuriating. It basically gets thrown out any time the show is critiqued. The quote hand waves the show’s lapses in logic to attack the critic’s motivations. As if the critic can’t accept what their own eyes see.

    This. Yes! Brilliant! Finally someone puts my feelings into words! Thank you.

  123. lucy,
    ygritte,
    Well Arya is a Faceless (Wo)Man and their magic is tied to Old Valyria as well and escaping the dragonlords so there are some connections, but you’re right. Not sure if D&D would go this deep. I mean I thought they forshadowed people escaping King’s Landing using the tunnels back in S2 but that didn’t happen so 🤷😂

  124. Ser Not Appearing in this Series:
    ygritte,

    I do wonder if Jon will decide to renounce all his claims to go back north and live with the Free Folk, not as their king but just another ordinary Joe. He can then meet up with Ghost again and pet him lavishly.

    And when this happens we can all scream in unison“Fan service!”

    I don’t think he will have so ‘happy’ an ending. Being with friends and his faithful wolf, free from responsibility (which he seems to have learned to hate), free from killing (you’d hope), free to marry and have children… I don’t see this for him sadly.

  125. I’ve always found Dany’s behavior and her sense of entitlement disturbing, the signs were there, its not something D&D decided to this season.

    Loved this episode, a lot to talk about, which maybe I’ll do later as predicted many people already hate it without giving it a chance, while I’m glad I’m enjoying it. it’s all over next week for good.

  126. ygritte,

    I do wonder if Jon will decide to renounce all his claims to go back north and live with the Free Folk, not as their king but just another ordinary Joe. He can then meet up with Ghost again and pet him lavishly.

    And when this happens we can all scream in unison “Fan service!”

    Che: I don’t think he will have so ‘happy’ an ending. Being with friends and his faithful wolf, free from responsibility (which he seems to have learned to hate), free from killing (you’d hope), free to marry and have children… I don’t see this for him sadly.

    OK how about …He can then meet up with Ghost again and pet him lavishly only to be surprised and killed by a fucking Thenn?
    😉

  127. Ashara D,

    see whether the writers (GRRM and/or D&D) have any suggestions on a better path for humanity.

    Can we get a “do over” on the tree hugging ice zombies? They seemed like a nice alternative in hindsight. Or hell maybe the Iron Bank can come collect and install a puppet.

    We are all Hitlers. I respectfully disagree. At least in terms of narrative fiction. Bilbo had that ring for how long and it never turned him this homicidal. Even Smeagol’s darkness was internally manifest. It’s not like he went back to the Shire to bend the hobbits to his will.

    I recognize that Varys’ idea of power is the truest one. Still, supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic fiery ceremony.

  128. It was actually Bran warging into Daenerys. Nothing personal, not for the greater good, just to get rid of Sansa’s whining about her.
    Btw how come the people in the city knew to ring the bells for surrender? It was discussed only outside the walls. That was a greater puzzle for me while watching than why is Daenerys doing whatever it is she did. ( And no, I’m not into filling the logical holes in a story with my own imagination. There are ppl paid for that, I’m just paying to watch. ) Not a big issue, ofc, just one of many.

  129. Best episode of the season by far. I was so glad to finally see someone kill Euron, crazy bastard. Jaime and Cersei dying together, I actually felt some pitty for them, it was sad, beautiful and poetic the way they died. And my girl Daeny, she lit it up, up, up, she lit it up, up, up she was on fire. I know a lot of “innocent” people got killed. But Jon has done his share of killing people too. I was reading book 5 last night and the Jon chapter where he kills Janos, yes Janos was an ass, but did he truly deserve to be beheaded? So I really don’t have a problem with Daeny burning up KL. The way I see it, she has said she wanted to “break the wheel”, well she did by completely destroying KL. There is nothing left to rule, just start over again, literally from the ground up. I still don’t think she is mad(crazy) just pissed as hell, and not going to let anyone run over her. Lady Olyenna told her “be a dragon” and that is what she had to do, to defeat Cersei.

  130. seenGhost?:
    It was actually Bran warging into Daenerys. Nothing personal, not for the greater good, just to get rid of Sansa’s whining about her.Btw how come the people in the city knew to ring the bells for surrender? It was discussed only outside the walls. That was a greater puzzle for me while watching than why is Daenerys doing whatever it is she did. ( And no, I’m not into filling the logical holes in a story with my own imagination. There are ppl paid for that, I’m just paying to watch. ) Not a big issue, ofc, just one of many.

    I think it was a standard King’s landing surrender signal. When Tyrion mentioned it to Dany, he spoke of it like it was common knowledge.

  131. Beginning to look like:
    “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die or it’s a draw!”

  132. HayashiM,

    That’s great to read, thank you! I have just had it with that quote and felt compelled to write something.

  133. Dany knew she would never be loved, but she could be feared. Sack Kings Landing now and secure power.. for the greater good.

    The population of Kings Landing would never accept her, even if they surrendered the city, they would mistrust her. She thinks Sansa in the North would continuously plot to remove her from power.

    At least this way people would think twice before challenging her. Very extreme on the people of Kings Landing, this kind of thing has happened throughout real life history.

    America dropped two nuclear bombs on innocent people and claimed it was for the greater good.. they are now super power who claim the morale high ground.

    Dany did the same thing in a much more conflicted emotional way, but she did what she said she was going to do… take the Iron Throne.

    I thought it was spectacular!!!

  134. Ser Not Appearing in this Series:
    ygritte,

    I do wonder if Jon will decide to renounce all his claims to go back north and live with the Free Folk, not as their king but just another ordinary Joe. He can then meet up with Ghost again and pet him lavishly.

    And when this happens we can all scream in unison“Fan service!”

    OK how about …He can then meet up with Ghost again and pet him lavishly only to be surprised andkilled by a fucking Thenn?
    😉

    Better 😂

  135. Sacred Lime,

    America dropped those bombs to force the Japanese to surrender when they had refused to do so. How does that compare to someone dropping bombs after the surrender when they achieved their goal? Very, different.

    Other than that I agree with your other points.

  136. Anyone paying attention knew that this would be a dark episode and the Mad Queen would have her day. Ragnarok in KL! A few points stood out:
    – I was surprised at how useless Jon was during the episode. Deer in the headlights, man. Your cousin is the ruler of ashes.
    – The respect between Arya and Sandor was quite touching…wish we had some more of that. Even Arya’s Faceless skills made no difference during the chaos…surprising.
    – Jaime’s faux redemption will be the topic of the ages. No need to blab further about it. Glad Cersei and him ended together. Brienne was a fantasy, Cersei was his reality.
    – Never was a fan of Cleganebowl but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Sandor has my respect many times over. THAT IS A GoT REDEMPTION ARC, FOLKS!
    – If you have ever been to Pompeii, you’d note a striking resemblance between the burned bodies in KL and the recovered remains of that doomed city
    – The GC was a joke as I knew it would be. Cersei’s investment was silly and worthless in the face of Targ chaos.
    – The scorpions were such a key threat….but with planning and strategizing, they could be overcome easily. Maybe too easily though…?
    – The atrocities of war with WMDs were quite apparent. The helplessness of the victims was quite jarring.
    – Varys was a non-factor a long time ago, his death was a few minutes wasted

    I enjoyed reading the many theories about this episode from the Disney fans, bleak realists, and the anti-fans. Many were quite fascinating. I still fear for both Jon and Dany…neither will rule, imho.

  137. After sleeping on it, I still stand by my opinion. The season needed a little more time. Not even that much, just some window into the head spaces of Jaime, Dany and Sansa so their motives are clear.

    Other than that, spectacular episode. War is hell. And the people who suffer the most are civilians and frontline soldiers. Normally in pop culture, Marvel and DC movies, alien invasion movies, disaster movies and the like, there’s death destruction on a mass scale, but the movies don’t make us really see and feel that. We’re just supposed to look at the cool explosions and be impressed by the heroes. We’re not supposed to care about the little. This episode was an indictment of action movie audiences as much is it is of the powerful people playing their games to get or keep power.

    No wonder people are mad.

  138. Team Targaryan:
    Ser Not Appearing in this Series,

    I think Jon is going to have some serious PTSD after all the battles he has been thru, so maybe going back to the free folk might be the best thing for him.

    I think you could be right. Fireside boozy nights with Tormund and his faithful dire wolf. Get yourself up to the real north Jon and get a shifty on. Eeeek! I’d rather like Sam and Gilly to join him. Gilly is a wilding after all and Sam is his bestie. Or am I wishing for too much lol

  139. Did anyone catch the connection of Varys trying to poison Daeny? When he was talking to his little bird, and she stated that Daeny won’t eat, and he had her ( his spy) working in the kitchens, he was trying to take Daeny out. I’m glad he went out the way he did. He kept trying to plant the seed of doubt in Tyrion, which I don’t think took, and when he tried it with Jon, well not happening there. No one in this show is without someone’s blood on their hands, but I don’t think Daney is crazy, she just has to do what is needed, and sadly like she said “let it be fear”, but I’m hoping for some redemption in the last episode.

  140. Hodors Bastard:
    Anyone paying attention knew that this would be a dark episode and the Mad Queen would have her day. Ragnarok in KL! A few points stood out:
    – I was surprised at how useless Jon was during the episode. Deer in the headlights, man. Your cousin is the ruler of ashes.
    – The respect between Arya and Sandor was quite touching…wish we had some more of that. Even Arya’s Faceless skills made no difference during the chaos…surprising.
    – Jaime’s faux redemption will be the topic of the ages. No need to blab further about it. Glad Cersei and him ended together. Brienne was a fantasy, Cersei was his reality.
    – Never was a fan of Cleganebowl but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Sandor has my respect many times over. THAT IS A GoT REDEMPTION ARC, FOLKS!
    – If you have ever been to Pompeii, you’d note a striking resemblance between the burned bodies in KL and the recovered remains of that doomed city
    – The GC was a joke as I knew it would be. Cersei investment was silly and worthless in the face of Targ chaos.
    – The scorpions were such a key threat….but with planning and strategizing, they could be overcome easily. Maybe too easily though…?
    – The atrocities of war with WMDs were quite apparent. The helplessness of the victims was quite jarring.
    – Varys was a non-factor a long time ago, his death was a few minutes wasted

    I enjoyed reading the many theories about this episode from the Disney fans, bleak realists, and the anti-fans. Many were quite fascinating. I still fear for both Jon and Dany…neither will rule, imho.

    I was personally pleased that Jon wasn’t more involved in the battle. You could see he had reservations at the beginning and then his profound relief when the Lannister soldiers threw down their swords and bells rang. He thought they had secured an relatively easy victory, but then all hell broke loose and he quite rightly did not join in in the slaughter. We see him go from shocked, to horrified, to ashamed (at being a part of it), to repulsed (by his own man trying to rape and pillage), to desperation at the end when he makes his forces retreat. I think this was a perfect way for Jon to be present, but not party to the terrible crimes against the people that Dany and her forces committed. There is even that poignant moment where Grey Worm hears Jon stop his men from joining the fighting after it resumes and he gives Jon a significant look – taking note, probably to discuss with Dany later if she needs any further evidence that Jon has ‘betrayed’ her. This was never Jon’s fight; this was never Jon’s war. What we can say for certain is he is horrified and it’s almost certain he will turn against Dany next episode.

    And D&D in the inside the episode said they wanted to choose someone the audience loves to follow through the destruction so that we constantly keep in mind the victims’ suffering – they wanted to keep the carnage from the perspective of the victims, but instead of following the flight for survival of characters we didn’t know, thy wanted to choose someone we loved. They chose Arya because she’s a much-loved character and she had the furthers journey to take – from the Red Keep back out to the gates. I don’t think her using any of her advanced skill set would have fitted the theme they were going for, which felt like it was sheer and utter carnage and survival instinct. I think the scenes of her running through the crumbling, burning city were so beautifully shot and really hit home the terrible plight of the Kings Landingers.

  141. Sorry, but a few months ago you had made an article with photos of Jon and Cersei looking out of a window.
    There were also directors.
    Is it possible that many scenes have been cut?
    Or is there a risk of a few backlashes?

  142. Azor Asshai:
    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    The third big surprise GRRM told them about is supposedly near the “very end”, in which case we haven’t seen it yet.

    Probably Jon killing Dany (which I’m assuming now is the Treason for Love in the books) Otherwise Jon is pretty pointless in the final three episodes?

  143. Random musings:

    Jon won’t kill Dany. Too expected. Same for Arya. If anything, I’d expect Dany to take out one or more of the Starks.

    Maybe Drogon could be neutralized via Bran warg.

    I won’t mind Dany feeding Sansa to Drogon.

    Dany obliterating KL reminded me of the story of Harrenhal. Dragons destroying that castle to finally end the first Targaryen conquest of Westeros.

    Why was golden company even in Season 8? They did nothing but add numbers to Cersei’s army. Could they have just used more of the endless supply of Lannister troops instead? I suppose they were included since they are in Dorne in the books. Maybe in the books there will be a three way alliance between Cersei, Euron, and (can’t remember his name, kid with Jon Connington).

    Still unclear to me why Jaime turned his redemption arc on a dime. Because Sansa said execute?

    Maybe the real Sansa died in season 5 and a FM has been impersonating her since. That could explain why she’s been so terrible in the last three seasons.

  144. Apollo,

    Well, Arya may have wished to kill queen Cersei, but she never had the least intention to sacrifice her own life for that. She knew that with her abilities she could kill Cersei whenever and wherever she pleased, there was no need to take any risks.

  145. Team Targaryan:
    Did anyone catch the connection of Varys trying to poison Daeny?When he was talking to his little bird, and she stated that Daeny won’t eat, and he had her ( his spy) working in the kitchens, he was trying to take Daeny out.I’m glad he went out the way he did. He kept trying to plant the seed of doubt in Tyrion, which I don’t think took, and when he tried it with Jon, well not happening there.No one in this show is without someone’s blood on their hands, but I don’t think Daney is crazy, she just has to do what is needed, and sadly like she said “let it be fear”, but I’m hoping for some redemption in the last episode.

    Knowing what Dany did, you still think Varys was wrong to turn on her and try to take her out before she could inflict the carnage she did last night? And let’s be clear on what she did: she mass-murdered 1 million people. 1 million people. She mass murdered the population of the biggest city in King’s Landing even after they had surrendered and she had won. This was not something that she needed to do to take the throne through fear – they are already afraid of her – this was more primal, emotional and vengeful. She had already won. Murdering the entire population of Kings Landing cannot be defended, it simply can’t.

    Varys saw what kind of Targaryen she was. He was trying to avert the slaughter of the innocents who have no champions but the ones who are brave enough to stand up to the tyrannical monsters of GRRM’s world and last night, sadly, Dany became one of them. Tyrion is going to spend the rest of his life, however long he has left, wracked with guilt that he was responsible for the death of one of his best friends (according to D&D), who saw their queen for what she was and could have avoided the deaths of 1 million innocent people.

  146. Ashara D: But that IS the point! We are ALL Hitler with our own agendas. Most of us just don’t have the power. You saw her struggle already over the last 9 years. I’m interested to see the final episode and see whether the writers (GRRM and/or D&D) have any suggestions on a better path for humanity. I certainly don’t see one. It is very bleak.

    How is that the point? Daenerys isn’t the first person to have a large army, the first person to have dragons, or the first person to have both. She is the first person to completely level a city of a million innocent people. She didn’t break “bad.” She broke the worst any person in the history of this planet has ever broken. That doesn’t tell us anyone could have done this. Countless people have had the opportunity to do this for millennia and none of them ever did. Only her. Every person on the show who has had any power at all has had to watch their friends die and be betrayed by those who were serving them. Zero of them reacted by murdering a million people who had nothing to do with it.

  147. Ok nut job Dany aside, Cersei has consistently been shown to be a truly brilliant mastermind when dealing with her enemies. Her ability to devise some clever scheme that helps her maintain the upper hand has been, well really it’s been her MO. But in this episode, facing probably the most significant threat to her position ever, all we have is her standing around weeping. From my perspective this felt really odd for this character; she really had a lot of reasons to pull out all the stops to survive, but there was no plan beyond the obvious. I guess the missing elephants really took the wind out of her sails?

  148. BOLD PREDICTION–

    There will be a montage of all the named characters, a kind of then and now thing, with the Green Day song Good Riddance (Time of your life) playing in the background

  149. Che: We see him go from shocked, to horrified, to ashamed (at being a part of it), to repulsed (by his own man trying to rape and pillage), to desperation at the end when he makes his forces retreat. I think this was a perfect way for Jon to be present, but not party to the terrible crimes against the people that Dany and her forces committed. There is even that poignant moment where Grey Worm hears Jon stop his men from joining the fighting after it resumes and he gives Jon a significant look – taking note, probably to discuss with Dany later if she needs any further evidence that Jon has ‘betrayed’ her. This was never Jon’s fight; this was never Jon’s war. What we can say for certain is he is horrified and it’s almost certain he will turn against Dany next episode.

    I can’t disagree with that at all. Well put! My only addition is that Jon will be tainted by the chaos simply because he sided with the foreign invader (usurper?). The tension between Dany and him will be insurmountable in the next episode, possibly leading the demise (or decay) of both. I’m still stunned by how the Mad Queen, in her quest for power supreme, has destroyed the city her ancestors built….a city that the Stark northerners always hated. Interesting irony there!

  150. Team Targaryan,

    There are many who have never read the books, heck there are some casual watchers at work who weren’t even aware of them. The show in and of itself needs to make sense not just assuming previous knowledge.

  151. mau:
    I think the books will be even darker. All crowd pleasing moments were show-only. I think both Tyrion and Jon will be darker than they are in the show.

    I mean he has to make Jon darker for him to fall in love with Dany. If GRRM wants Dany to be “mad” for a long time, a not just in the end.

    And if Dany burns Meereen in the books, I could see her and Tyrion being two bitter and crazy villains that are coming to destroy Westeros.

    I think this is the reasony he can’t write new books. How to make all these things work? Plus he has even more storylines and characters in his books.

    The way he’ll make Jon darker in the Books is that he’ll Warg into Ghost while Mel figures out a way to put his soul back into his body and he’ll acquire a bit of Ghost’s “Wolf nature”

  152. Dyanna

    I get you, Dany was in no way justified, from our point of view. From her point of view she sees it as justified, shes in a pretty strong position now. I wouldn’t go up against her. She has won (for now).

    I just meant history is littered with horrific events and depending on the point of view someone would have tried to justify it at some point.

    It isn’t as Black and White as “She is worse than Ramsey now” and some of the other comments I’ve read. If Ramsey had a dragon the whole of Westeros would have been in serious trouble.

    I feel sorry for her, because her life lead to this. I think on a few re-watches people who didn’t like it will enjoy it more.. less expectation on second viewing.

    The emotions she had while looking at the red keep, deciding to destroy the city… wow!! took my breath away!!

    “I’ve gone too far to be anything else”.

  153. Apollo,

    I respect that this is likely GRRMs endgame, but I hated how they got there. And if I wanna lick my wounds and feel sad and angry for what happened to many of these characters that I’ve invested in for years, then I will.

    I mean below is D&D’s quote on the topic. I think it’s fair to say that even if the “end” is the “same”, the journey will not be and that cannot be overstated. The context of the end (ie the journey) is, imo, as important to the ending as the “end” itself. And in fairness to D&D, GRRM literally has no budget constraints, or shooting logistics, and can use PoV narration etc. If GRRM wants ice spiders and glass candles and faceless men and wargs and Iron Banks and magic horns and battles at sea, his only limit is imagination.

    “So much of what we’re doing diverges from the books at this point. And while there are certain key elements that will be the same, we’re not going to talk so much about that — and I don’t think George is either. People are going to be very surprised when they read the books after the show. They’re quite divergent in so many respects for the remainder of the show.”

  154. Dyanna:
    I do agree with a lot of people and Sue that this did feel too rushed and would have been more convincing had there been maybe ten episodes rather than 6 but I don’t agree, on reflection that Dany suddenly snapped when she heard the bells. She has been going down that road since the start of episode one.

    She spent seven seasonsutterly convinced of her absolute right to the Iron throne and that she would be everyone’s saviour. People had to accept her and had to appreciate her and woe betide them if they didn’t. She was extremely arrogant. She fought against her inner demons but when those who had the power to check her worst impulses were taken away – Jorah and Missandei – she became consumed with her sense of entitlement.

    But again, countless people throughout the history and lore of Westeros and Essos have been down this path. Countless people have faced hardship and seen their friends murdered and been betrayed by their own advisers. Many of these people had dragons and armies. Many were kings and queens and conquerors. Many of them had inner demons and bad impulses. Some of them were just flat-out evil people with no hint of redemptive qualities.

    Zero of them murdered a million completely innocent people.

    There is no way to logically lead a character down a road that many people have been down yet lead to a place that no one else has ever ended up. What did they ever show us in this story to make us believe Daenerys is so uniquely evil that she could do the worst thing any person in her planet’s history has done?

  155. Scallone:
    Sorry, but a few months ago you had made an article with photos of Jon and Cersei looking out of a window.
    There were also directors.
    Is it possible that many scenes have been cut?
    Or is there a risk of a few backlashes?

    The “They filmed Fake Scenes” rumor must be true.

  156. Ser Not Appearing in this Series, Che,

    People love that wolf lol. I like dogs too of course but I mean, Ghost, or rather the lack of him, has been a sore spot for many. Pretty sure there were more Reddit memes for that direwolf after last episode when Jon didn’t say a proper goodbye, than any other content so I wouldn’t be surprised if Jon did shun any kingship and go north, as long as we get a reunion scene with Ghost, many will be perfectly happy with Jon’s ending 🙂

  157. Boojam,

    Thank you, I was hoping for some action between Yara and Euron, then with it ending Yara killing Euron, so I’m not sure what her purpose was in episode 1 if they are not going to bring her back at all. I was glad though that Euron did finally meet his end.

  158. Adam:

    Zero of them murdered a million completely innocent people.

    There is no way to logically lead a character down a road that many people have been down yet lead to a place that no one else has ever ended up.

    Well, Aegon the Conqueror, Maegor the Cruel and Aerys The Mad King didn’t murder “a million people” BUT they were murderers, all the same.

  159. Lol:
    Euron, Dany, tyrion,Jaime, Jon what a buch of joke characters they destroyed in the séries. And others too of course.

    Euron Just a dumbass with Dick jokes, easily manipulated by Cersei like an idiot, and a complete Full on the series with no true objective. A joke.

    Jaime a Dumb character in the series, so Dumb that even him and other characters say the same of him, a complete joke of a Arc since season 5, no objective to reach or any big role since there , Just a dog in circles and Just fails and a complete joke of an ending, bran made everyone think Jaime would be important for SOMETHING, but was Just to close his pathetic Arc in a pathetic way with a pathetic fight with a joke of a euron and a terrible death scene.

    Tiryon isa complete mess as his brother since season 5 , EVERYTHING he speaks for go wrong and
    Every time in such Dumb ways. Even his plan for Jaime and Cersei Goes wrong hahahaa, A Master mind to a complete idiot from nowhere. Fails after fails, another character butchered.

    – Dany had Hints that she can be weird sometimes, but not even close to what she did here, in the midlle of NOTHING with everyone surrended with their guards down she Just decide to do a massacre in the city,that makes no Sense at all, AT ALL, the weird things she did even If were wrong ,could have a discussion over her choices, not what she did in KL, that was complete insane and out of Her character that was in the show. Joke.

    Jon has a pile of shit in his brain since he resurrected, a complete suicidal character with Dumb choices over Dumb choices, fall for Ramsay trap like a kid, for the NK twice and saved for the plot armor twice, and Dumb plans and strategies for war always ,its Just a joke too.

    – Dany with ONE dragon did more damage than with the tree at the same time ever, and with a LOT of Scorpions in the Sea and walls , bronn ALONE and with ONE Scorpion did more. What a joke.

    – Another joke? The who Company??? A fart last longer than this 20.000 man? Hahahahah WHAT A JOKE.

    And If you think Jon plot armor is Crazy, aryas is out of this world, everyone in the city gets burned , or has buildings above them orwere butchered by dothrakis but not Her, only for in the end finds a random horse and get out of the city. Hahaha, what a complete JOKE.

    Sandor ALONE kill 4 kingsguards in SECONDS like they were kids holding a sword for the First time, its so lame , and kills the last One too and the strongest pf them, even the moutain was more dificutty to kill than the NK , a 12.000 old mitological creature. Haha, nicely done quyburn you create the true Monster of the show, and by the way what a pathetic Frankenstein way to die, It was comical.

    The fight between euron and Jaime i and dont even have words for How horrible It was and everything about It, and after stabs Jaime can walk ALL castle and die standing like It was nothing hahaha,And can someone say to me what Davos is doing this season?? Make he do Dumb decisions as the Others characters at LEAST. What a waste of actor.

    I Just save as always the crew of production , CGI, soundtrack and actors.

    The wiriting since season 5 Is absolute horrible and Just gets worse Every season. Lame as hell.

    may i help?

    have your eyes open when watching a tv-show! also, engage a dog or a canary that can english your rants!

    (for free)

  160. Biggest disappointment ever! Almost makes me wish I never watched this show. I will wait for the books and we shall see whether this ever was the ending.

    Reason no 1. If D&D are so smart as to put a line by Hound saying maybe Arya killing Cersei will save Dany’s armies, why not have Arya volunteer for the same in the Winterfell council. Or did Arya also have some inexplicably treasonous reason to not support Dany despite Dany actively participating in battle of Winterfell.
    Also: Such a lazy and convenient writing to not have Arya interact with Dany/Tyrion at Winterfell one on one because D&D don’t know how to make Arya interact without figuring out the intention of the other party.

    At that time, since Rhaegal and Missandei were alive, Dany would have agreed to stay back and give time for Smart Sansa to allow northern army to heal.

    Reason no 2: Dany wanting to travel on dragon with Sand snakes fleet(no scorpion in picture till then): counseled against by Tyrion. Result: Loss of one battle. Dany suggesting to show her true might and destroy just the red keep: counseled against it. Result: Cersei fills Kings Landing with million people(And I am pretty sure it was counseled by Tyrion).

    Reason no 3: Bran never bothers to tell Dany about Euron’s movement(ignoring the obvious height view error). So Bran wants Dany not to rule as well.

    Reason no 4: Jon doesn’t have the courage to tell the Northern army that Dany committed her force before he knelt because that’s a convenient way out. And how do you show family drama otherwise!

    Reason no 5: Tormund implies that no one apart from Jon could ride a dragon in front of Dany! After Dany saved him beyond the wall as well. Well, Dany had to be isolated right and Dragon riding had to be mentioned in Jon’s favour.

    Reason no 6: Varys tries to harm Dany in all ways possible. So the master of whisperers has no clue about any of Cersei’s strategies. How convenient! Could have so easily accepted that action as fear of his visions but no, how does that advance mad Dany.

    Reason no 7: Sansa just decides to hate Dany because North! Because she won it by so much toil and would have managed Winterfell just fine without Dany.

    Reason no. 8: Davos also betrays Dany at the end for no apparent reason.

    Reason no 9: Grey Worm is also mad. Maybe he was a secret Targ after all! Or only Dany’s followers go mad on death of their loved ones. They have no angry scale. Good or mad.

    Reason no 10: The person who cages her children for killing one innocent child decides to willfully kill innocent children. I would have accepted her burning red keep but everything in the way is too harsh .

    Reason no 11: Dany got Dothraki army without using Dragon. Conquered cities with few deaths. Allowed people to choose to serve her or go away unharmed. But after Tyrion and Varys! You know the answer.

    And Bells! I haven’t seen much worse than that.

    In short every character behaves out of character just to support the lazy writing of isolating Dany and portraying her as a mad queen. If this is good literature, I hope I stay away from good literature in future.

  161. In my thinking, Jaime has a clear redemption arc, an identity arc and a relationship arc. From an old post, I want to repeat my thinking about Jaime’s redemption arc.

    1. Jaime’s and Theon’s redemption arcs are different. Theon we meet as a good guy, then, he makes a mistake, he suffers, he feels remorse, then he will redeem himself by doing something great to compensate (I think). In Theon’s redemption arc, he is living through the arc himself and seeking redemption.

    2. Maybe the best measure of Jaime redemption arc is what percentage viewers hated him in S1 vs how many hated him up S8 episode 4. This not about time spent with the character, we spent time with Ramsay and Jon and I do not think many changed about Ramsay or Jon.

    3. In Jaime’s arc, it is the viewer or reader that GRRM is using to bear that arc in their opinions of Jaime. GRRM introduces Jaime as a bad guy and then he unveils him like an onion and tells us the back story. Jaime himself has regrets in his life (re Bran) but as a character he is not dominated by personal remorse. GRRM ensures that he is punished anyway with the loss of his hand and that event also starts the identity arc. (Jaime also confesses to Cat and they agree a plan to settle all debts by securing her daughters.) You notice Jaime only apologizes to Bran when he goes to Winterfell – he not moved by sorrow as Theon. GRRM challenges the reader/viewer to “redeem” him in our minds as we grow to understand him.

    4. The old post spoke about his identity arc (he doing things for love) and his duality both internal (inside Jaime) and external (with Cersei). I may come back to this later if I have time.

    5. His relationship arc is still a bit of a puzzle. He was strictly faithful to Cersei for years so that was clear and you could their relationship erode over time. Jaime was running on commitment only by the end. So think the pregnancy was a critical point for them. But then after he bedded Brienne after establishing an emotional connection with her since Season2. I knew it would happen but now I am not sure what to make of it. I am almost sorry he slept with her – for her sake. I really hope they do not make her end up pregnant as a consolation prize. Nor for goodness sake, write stories about him in the book that should be burnt up anyway.

  162. Thank, Sue, for the recap!

    Still trying to process this episode. Definitely got an ‘Apocalyse Now’ vibe, which is another very dark, cinematic example of the theme that there are no “good guys” in war. Everyone is a killer…which would make sense considering a lot of GRRM’s anti-war pacifism was a reaction to the senseless atrocities of the Vietnam War.

    Compression of the story to fit the hours they have left, continues to hurt the overall narrative. However, definitely think that even with more time to flesh out Dany’s (very Anakin Skywalker) turn to the dark side, many people would still have hated it. And maybe that’s the point.

    At some point or another, almost all of us have probably rooted for her….we’ve taken satisfaction in her burning the slave masters and Sons of the Harpy. We’ve cheered her destroying the Khals. We’ve LIKED her, at some point or the other. And now to see her turn that wrath indiscriminantly on the KL civilians, it makes us feel uncomfortably complicit in her actions, just as Jon and Arya did. It’s easy to say Cersei was “bad”, and that Dany was justified in removing her from the throne (for succession reasons, or because you just hate Cersei), but my take away has been that there is no justifiable war. Morale high ground is an illusion. Weapons of mass destruction cannot be controlled (see the wildfire, the WW,’s The Mountain, and the Dragons). The only way to win, is not to play.

  163. Jennyemelie,

    Weirdly, Dany’s attitude reminds me of Oswald Cobblepot (The Penguin) from “Gotham” which ended last month. Like Dany, Oswald wanted to be looked up to and loved as a mob leader, but he treated it like he was entitled to it, and would get angry when he didn’t get any attention when he supposedly did something good.

    mau,

    Not just Tyrion and Jon. I think all the other Starks will go dark too (Arya, Bran, Sansa) in the books.

    For me, Jaime’s, Shireen’s and Theon’s deaths hurt most of all.

  164. lucy,

    Lol tis true dat. Subversive AND interesting D&D? If only they had relied a bit more on the latter less the former.

  165. Sacred Lime:

    It isn’t as Black and White as “She is worse than Ramsey now” and some of the other comments I’ve read. If Ramsey had a dragon the whole of Westeros would have been in serious trouble.

    Why should we believe that? Ramsay had an army and a despot’s complete power in the North. When Lord Cerwyn refused to pay his taxes, he could have skinned the entire castle alive and no one could have stopped him. He didn’t do that. He skinned one man to make an example to the others. He was a sadistic evil maniac who reveled in torturing one person at a time, but we never had any indication he was capable of and willing to commit mass murder at anywhere near this scale. The population of King’s Landing is literally at least equal to the population of the entire North. Daenerys killed more people in under an hour than the White Walkers killed in 8 seasons. Not even the malevolent evil force of pure destruction for its own sake did as much damage as she did.

    You know who is an actual tragic figure? Leaf. She went too far in pursuing a justifiable end by questionable means and brought about death on a scale she didn’t intend, along with the extinction of her race. Daenerys is just another cartoon supervillain, except somehow worse than all the other ones who came before her.

  166. Sacred Lime,

    Daeny did pause while looking at the Red Keep. But I think she was just so overcome by all the loss that has befallen her in this short time, Missandi, Ser Jorah, Rhaegal, Jon rejecting her after she went to WF to help him fight. Really she should have gone after Cersei first, then the people of KL would not have suffered, and then gone to WF to help with the defeat of the NK. But the wrtiers didn’t go that route. It still would have made for great TV, but for whatever reason the writers want to take Daeny down this road. I don’t like it, b/c she has had to fight for everything in her life, and now to play her out this way seems cheap to the character. We still have one more episode to see how this plays out, but sadly I don’t think it will end well for her. She’s still my girl, I won’t give up on Daney.

  167. George: The way he’ll make Jon darker in the Books is that he’ll Warg into Ghost while Mel figures out a way to put his soul back into his body and he’ll acquire a bit of Ghost’s “Wolf nature”

    Yeah, but if all of them and dark, it would make books even more nihilistic than the show.

  168. Also, everyone to Dany, we would help in reducing your army and then wont fight for you. Maybe even pass your info to your enemies. Also, will conveniently ask you for help in wars. When you have only your one Dragon and Unsullied, we will call you mad to even use the Dragon and go to the extent of poisoning you. And please trust everybody surrenders on sounding bells when literally everyone you have known in Westeros wants to kill you and has betrayed you. Sounds cool! And then you yourself kill children.

  169. Ashara

    I respectfully disagree. Very few people are Hitlers. Moreover, moral people who are forced to deal with violence regularly develop sort of a mechanism of checks and balances and the whole “cultural discourse” goes about how much violence EXACTLY one is permitted or not permitted to use in a certain situation. In other words, warriors develop ethics.
    In this case, Dany who has been developed as a warrior of sorts and trained to use violence in reasonable amounts has been turned into an unhinged teenager who set her school on fire, because she has found a box of mathes (and because she had problems boyfriend and his snarky sisters).
    It’s not a charracter dvelopment, it’s not a story, it’s just cheap and lazy preaching that “violence is bad”.

  170. RG,

    Yes, the Jaime wrap-up was interesting to say the least. Very uneven.

    He ended up protecting someone he loved. She was his pregnant twin/wife so I suppose he did the decent thing. We have seen him do this for her before, for Tyrion, for Brienne, for Westeros.

    And we knew he was at high risk from the moment he left WF – as Brienne also knew.

  171. Arya’s Horse Ranch for Nintendo Switch! YAS! Now this is the Thrones tie-in I have always wanted.

    Ahem that fight with Euron was freakin’ random. Anyone else think it was weird and random? Just me…?

    I am also confused why Dany can just take out the entire Iron Fleet this episode but not the previous episode. Why is Drogon suddenly safe now?

    Cleganebowl was an actual Dark Souls boss. Also yes, I giggled when Qyburn bought it. Not sorry.

    But the main reaction from this episode – what the hell Dany. What the actual hell. You succeeded in making me feel sorry for Jon Snow, that’s how effed up that was.

  172. I thought this episode was breath-taking.

    Not good or bad, actually, but I was genuinely so stunned throughout almost all of it as the devastation just went on and on. I couldn’t even process, which I think was the point.

    NOW WHAT –

    Sansa is going to come to King’s Landing, I do believe that. There’s too much parallel – having to South for one Queen willingly and then coming South again for another Queen who might be even more scary, but now older and wiser. Dany is going to want the North to submit. They’ve seen what she can do, and she thinks the Starks are traitors now – much like Cersei.

    Dany blames Sansa for almost everything. You saw that in her explanation of Varys and what happened. “Sansa wanted this, she basically killed Varys.”

    I think the destruction obviously turns Jon and Arya. But I think a threat to Sansa, or Dany turning on the Starks, ordering them to submit vs. treason, is what will propel us to the end, whatever that is.

  173. I never thought Daenerys would do this. I’ve been following her for well over a decade. She was never even my favourite character. I never thought she was perfect. But I couldn’t process her flaming the city. She didn’t do it as collateral damage. Not a matter of Cersei bringing the smallfolk into the Red Keep as hostages. Not that she ‘needed’ to kill them to get to her military opponent.

    She just massacred them for no reason.

    I don’t know if there’s fault with the writing. I may just be too innocent and trusting a fan. I’m not judging the writing. But I didn’t expect this and I feel a bit broken.

  174. Che,

    Varys saw what kind of Targaryen she was.

    Ugh, I wish they gave us just a little more clarity about her instability! Even he supported her for quite a long time, until suddenly he didn’t support her anymore.

    Did anyone catch that little comment Varys made to Jon, after Jon insisted that Dany was his queen? About how they both knew that men really decide who rules….was that sexist AF or am I just misunderstanding that?

  175. Tyrion Pimpslap:
    Nick20,

    Maybe save a little of your disappointment for GRRM? It’s fair to criticize D&D. I certainly have. But there is never enough scorn for George by the people who are so utterly frustrated by them. He should have never sold the rights to the series before he finished it, or was at least on the final book. He promised D&D a blueprint and then didn’t deliver. They were left with no more books to adapt. Only the ending and the themes GRRM wanted to explore. From that point, they started with the ending and worked backwards, with the plot overtaking the characters and forcing them into boxes so they could reach the ending. Whereas before they were adapting books with characters and plot lines that GRRM could let grow on their own and blossom in ways even GRRM didn’t know while writing.

    D&D have been getting grief for years. But I do spare them some sympathy.

    D&D have no excuse. Yes, they ran out of source material. But that doesn’t give them a free pass to write as poorly as possible. I have disappointment with GRRM too, but it’s extremely minimal compared with my disappointment in the show.

  176. A lot of sites are speculating who kills Dany…..I want to know who gets to execute Greyworm. Put him down ffs

    I can understand why Dany did what she did, but she needs to get killed to

    What a great episode ! No happy ending !

  177. Che: Knowing what Dany did, you still think Varys was wrong to turn on her and try to take her out before she could inflict the carnage she did last night? And let’s be clear on what she did: she mass-murdered 1 million people. 1 million people. She mass murdered the population of the biggest city in King’s Landing even after they had surrendered and she had won. This was not something that she needed to do to take the throne through fear – they are already afraid of her – this was more primal, emotional and vengeful. She had already won. Murdering the entire population of Kings Landing cannot be defended, it simply can’t.

    Varys saw what kind of Targaryen she was. He was trying to avert the slaughter of the innocents who have no champions but the ones who are brave enough to stand up to the tyrannical monsters of GRRM’s world and last night, sadly, Dany became one of them. Tyrion is going to spend the rest of his life, however long he has left, wracked with guilt that he was responsible for the death of one of his best friends (according to D&D), who saw their queen for what she was and could have avoided the deaths of 1 million innocent people.

    Lots to agree with here.

    Tyrion and Jon should feel some angst about what happened.

    It would interesting to see Sansa put Tyrion on trial if she ends up as the leader.

  178. Che,

    Ugh, I hate that type of defense myself. Hindsight is 1000/1000. Could have/ should have.

    If you look at it like that, Bobby was totally right to assassinate her and Ned Stark was an asshole for both the execution of Will (when he was just rambling on about the Others and trying to warn everyone) and when he preached of not killing Dany.

    The future is not written you never know how it actually turns out. Varys COULD have been wrong and Dany could have been the merciful Targaryen in front of the surrendering city. Reminds me of a bad movie with an incredible idea: Minority Report.

  179. George: Well, Aegon the Conqueror, Maegor the Cruel and Aerys The Mad King didn’t murder “a million people” BUT they were murderers, all the same.

    Does scale mean nothing to anyone? Sure, every king and queen who has ever ruled had to murder people to get there. Like Bronn said, kill a few hundred and they make you a lord. Kill a few thousand and they make you king. What happens when you kill hundreds of thousands? I guess we don’t know because nobody has ever done it.

  180. The more I think about it, there’s a horrifying mirroring of what people do for love, or lack of thereof.

    NCW said in interviews that his last scene was beautiful. It was. As much as we hated Cersei, she died with someone who loved her, that someone calming her panic, reassuring and comforting her. Jaime’s last living moments were an act of love. However toxic and twisted and undeserved that love was. But he fulfilled the original strapline, the things I do for love.

    That Jaime was there at all was an another act of love. Tyrion released him in the hope that Jaime could (and would) make a difference. The Lannister brothers loved each other. Great acting from NCW and also Peter Dinklage in that scene. They knew it was goodbye.

    I, as a massive Jaime&Brienne shipper, might’ve wanted a different ending, but it never really was in the cards. Jaime was going to die with Cersei all along, and I’m glad it wasn’t Jaime killing Cersei, as predicted by many book and show fans, myself included. This way was better. Perfect Greek tragedy. Brienne being the good, beautiful life he maybe could’ve had, if not for his tragic flaw. Cersei, being the downfall, the death of him. It was very tragic and very satisfying. (Also, amazing acting from NCW and Lena Heady.)

    Now, let that sink in. And then consider Dany lost all her nearest and dearest. Even Jon/Aegon pulled away from her. The people in Westeros do not love her. She was used to love and adulation from the masses in Essos, but the Westerosi smallfolk just won’t love her. Her self-identitity as the adored, beloved liberator is shattered. Her self-identity as the rightful heir to the Iron Throne is shattered, by the man she loves. I think it was very telling she asked Jon to keep quiet about the secret so that other people wouldn’t try to take “what is mine“. No, Dany, it actually isn’t yours.

    Dany did what she did because she snapped. These people don’t love me, didn’t rise up in a rebellion against Cersei for me, like the Meereenese did. Even my boyfriend doesn’t really love me.

    The things I do for no love.

    Fear, vengeance, fire and blood. Is it worth it, worth a silly metal chair?

    Dany’s story is another tragedy. In the Greek tragedy way, a fatal flaw.

  181. Adam,

    Indeed, it’s like Hot Pie burning the Crossroad Inn after failing to get recognition for his gravy. Would have been more believable, cause you know Hot Pie has a Hitler in him, too. LMAO.
    Although to me it looks like Dany was developed more like a Stallin and the Night King like Hitler. At least, that’s how I imagine the western perspective. I hope I’m wrong.

  182. It was perfect. Gorgeous, beautiful, consistent with all that preceded, and true to human nature. Give someone a terrible weapon and there is a good chance that they will succumb to using it.

    The lure of vengeance, so irresistible to the Dragon Queen. And why not? She has saved Jon’s life at least twice, followed the piss-poor advice of Tyrion, saved the North without any thanks, suffered fools over and over, and warned everyone – and particularly Varys – that the consequence of betrayal is death. It was wrong to kill everyone, but deeply and disturbingly satisfying.

    And the music was so perfect, and the visuals of Drogo – artistry! The Sandor-Mountain battle with Drogo sweeping overhead, could it have been more beautiful?

    I suppose Dany will die next week, and frat boy Jon will take the throne – I hope not, but am so happy about this episode, it was so glorious, I can accept any ending, even a hackneyed one.

  183. EE,

    Same. I mean probably identical thinking down to she was never my fave character. I need to see the next ep. see how wrong I was when she justifies her horrifying action. Because if she’s not really insane, she probably will try to justify it when confronted. But will she believe her own self?

  184. I wouldn’t call myself a Dany hater, but I have been in the ‘Dany is the final villain’ camp for quite a while now, I didn’t think she’d have to go mad as such, but I have felt for a long time that she would do something to overstep the mark. I have never thought she was a competent ruler (still debatable), I have had many discussions about this, and I have been told that I am wrong many times, so I do feel some satisfaction in knowing that I read the signs correctly. As Daario said in season 6, she is a conquerer, that cemented her fate for me.

    The issue though, is the speed at which it happened, I did not expect to see her flip out and torch the whole city like that. I’m not sure that they laid the groundwork sufficiently for such a massacre. I have no doubt that something like this will go down in the book, but crucifying slavers is a far cry from burning civilians, I am very curious about how this will play out. She has always needed advisors to check her ‘fire and blood’ impulses but blimey, there is no coming back from what she did.

    From her point of view, the logic seemed to be ‘the slaves revolted, but the civilians of KL haven’t, so they have sided with Cersei and don’t deserve mercy’. She was freeing slaves in Essos, there are no slaves in Westeros, did she expect people to be happy to be conquered?

  185. talvikorppi:
    The more I think about it, there’s a horrifying mirroring of what people do for love, or lack of thereof.

    NCW said in interviews that his last scene was beautiful. It was. As much as we hated Cersei, she died with someone who loved her, that someone calming her panic, reassuring and comforting her. Jaime’s last living moments were an act of love. However toxic and twisted and undeserved that love was. But he fulfilled the original strapline, the things I do for love.

    That Jaime was there at all was an another act of love. Tyrion released him in the hope that Jaime could (and would) make a difference. The Lannister brothers loved each other. Great acting from NCW and also Peter Dinklage in that scene. They knew it was goodbye.

    I, as a massive Jaime&Brienne shipper, might’ve wanted a different ending, but it never really was in the cards. Jaime was going to die with Cersei all along, and I’m glad it wasn’t Jaime killing Cersei, as predicted by many book and show fans, myself included. This way was better. Perfect Greek tragedy. Brienne being the good, beautiful life he maybe could’ve had, if not for his tragic flaw. Cersei, being the downfall, the death of him. It was very tragic and very satisfying. (Also, amazing acting from NCW and Lena Heady.)

    Now, let that sink in. And then consider Dany lost all her nearest and dearest. Even Jon/Aegon pulled away from her. The people in Westeros do not love her. She was used to love and adulation from the masses in Essos, but the Westerosi smallfolk just won’t love her. Her self-identitity as the adored, beloved liberator is shattered. Her self-identity as the rightful heir to the Iron Throne is shattered, by the man she loves. I think it was very telling she asked Jon to keep quiet about the secret so that other people wouldn’t try to take “what is mine“.No, Dany, it actually isn’t yours.

    Dany did what she did because she snapped. These people don’t love me, didn’t rise up in a rebellion against Cersei for me, like the Meereenese did. Even my boyfriend doesn’t really love me.

    The things I do for no love.

    Fear, vengeance, fire and blood. Is it worth it, worth a silly metal chair?

    Dany’s story is another tragedy. In the Greek tragedy way, a fatal flaw.

    Lots to agree with here.

    I had hoped for a different, more life-affirming ending but I suppose this was satisfying in its own way.

  186. So that makes me doubt the frequent statements about this ending matching the books’ ultimate endings, at least when it comes to Cersei.

    I doubt too. I loved you mentioned Feast as a parallel with this ep, from the POV of the ordinary people who always bear the brunt of the war. Martin made the point earlier in the story and just as poignant.

  187. Lady MarMar:
    It was perfect.Gorgeous, beautiful, consistent with all that preceded, and true to human nature. Give someone a terrible weapon and there is a good chance that they will succumb to using it.

    How do people keep saying this? Daenerys isn’t the first person to have a dragon. Were all the others not humans? Is every other person in this story who has been betrayed and watched their friends killed and their families slaughtered and not reacted with mass murder not been human? It isn’t human nature to do something when only one human in the entire story has done it. Hell, even the Night King was given a dragon and didn’t do as much damage with it as Daenerys did! Cersei had all the wildfire in King’s Landing and only blew up the Sept that contained all of her enemies and didn’t go on to burn the rest of the city out of spite because they didn’t love her enough. Not only is that not a normal human reaction, let alone human nature, it’s not even a normal reaction for an actual evil person.

  188. I loved the episode, I thought it was a return to form for GoT, my favorite ep this season!

  189. Nick,

    Did anyone catch that little comment Varys made to Jon, after Jon insisted that Dany was his queen? About how they both knew that men really decide who rules….was that sexist AF or am I just misunderstanding that?

    This is a callback (book and show) and while it may, as a subtext, be sexist, Varys is not using it that way. I pasted the whole bit below because it’s such a great quote.

    “Oh, I think not,” Varys said, swirling the wine in his cup. “Power is a curious thing, my lord. Perchance you have considered the riddle I posed you that day in the inn?”

    “It has crossed my mind a time or two,” Tyrion admitted. “The king, the priest, the rich man—who lives and who dies? Who will the swordsman obey? It’s a riddle without an answer, or rather, too many answers. All depends on the man with the sword.”

    “And yet he is no one,” Varys said. “He has neither crown nor gold nor favor of the gods, only a piece of pointed steel.”

    “That piece of steel is the power of life and death.”

    “Just so… yet if it is the swordsmen who rule us in truth, why do we pretend our kings hold the power? Why should a strong man with a sword ever obey a child king like Joffrey, or a wine-sodden oaf like his father?”

    “Because these child kings and drunken oafs can call other strong men, with other swords.”

    “Then these other swordsmen have the true power. Or do they?” Varys smiled. “Some say knowledge is power. Some tell us that all power comes from the gods. Others say it derives from law. Yet that day on the steps of Baelor’s Sept, our godly High Septon and the lawful Queen Regent and your ever-so-knowledgeable servant were as powerless as any cobbler or cooper in the crowd. Who truly killed Eddard Stark, do you think? Joffrey, who gave the command? Ser Ilyn Payne, who swung the sword? Or… another?”

    Tyrion cocked his head sideways. “Did you mean to answer your damned riddle, or only to make my head ache worse?”

    Varys smiled. “Here, then. Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less.”

    “So power is a mummer’s trick?”

    “A shadow on the wall,” Varys murmured, “yet shadows can kill. And ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.”

    Tyrion smiled. “Lord Varys, I am growing strangely fond of you. I may kill you yet, but I think I’d feel sad about it.”

    “I will take that as high praise.”

  190. I have made a video edit from all the seasons with only Dany´s story. Before season 8, I´ve watched it about 4 times.
    I’ve also read only the Daenerys POV chapters from the books.

    I suggest everyone to do the same. I guarantee you will not regret it.

  191. ash:

    Ive seen this a couple of times now from posters;just a few days ago we commemorated the aniversary of The Holocaust.6 million Jews were murdered by one man who was able to convince sheep to follow him.Thats not to mention all the millions of others who died under his hands.And yet this was a civilized country with good people, but they did nothing. So yeah, been there done that.

    Yes, I am aware that in the real world, given industrial-scale weapons that can do the damage of a million dragons in minutes, actual people have done this. Typically at some distance, granted. Nobody in real history I know of has ever methodically swept through an entire city with a flamethrower until burning every person in it while personally pulling the trigger. But sure, real people have killed more people than Daenerys.

    That doesn’t change that nobody in her world has ever done it.

    Should maybe add she isn’t exactly finished. What are we supposed to believe happens with her as queen now? Exactly zero people are going to follow her. Unless she is stopped in the final episode, which I’m sure will happen, she has plenty of time to catch up to Stalin and Mao.

  192. I wonder, is Dany’s murderous rampage the final “oh shit” moment D&D have been talking about?

  193. WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    Before the episode aired, some were posting on Twitter they were excited to see Dany burn KL. Then they saw Dany burn KL. Be careful what you wish for.

    Mango,

    I think Jaime loved both women. He originally intended to stay with Brienne, but when he heard what Cersei did, he knew he and Tyrion would never be free of their sister. He also felt partly responsible for how Cersei turned out, and so he let Brienne go. Jaime was resigned to dying with her, as atonement for his sins.

  194. Inga:

    Indeed, it’s like Hot Pie burning the Crossroad Inn after failing to get recognition for his gravy. Would have been more believable, cause you know Hot Pie has a Hitler in him, too. LMAO.
    Although to me it looks like Dany was developed more like a Stallin and the Night King like Hitler. At least, that’s how I imagine the western perspective. I hope I’m wrong.

    Actually, I was just thinking the same thing. Daenerys is a lot like Stalin. He saved the world from Hitler, only to kill even more people anyway.

    Thanks George for telling us the story of a young gutsy Stalin struggling through adversity and long odds and rescuing civilization from darkness only to become history’s greatest mass murderer. A Stalin origin story is really what we needed out of the fantasy genre.

    All this time we thought he just wanted to know about Aragorn’s tax policy, to explore some of the difficulties of actually having to rule after defeating pure evil. What he really wanted was to explore the question what if Aragorn was actually a genocidal maniac who ended up being worse than Sauron?

  195. Johnny Utah:
    Random musings:

    Jon won’t kill Dany. Too expected. Same for Arya. If anything, I’d expect Dany to take out one or more of the Starks.

    Maybe Drogon could be neutralized via Bran warg.

    I won’t mind Dany feeding Sansa to Drogon.

    Dany obliteratingKL reminded me of the story of Harrenhal. Dragons destroying that castle to finally end the first Targaryen conquest of Westeros.

    Maybe in the books there will be a three way alliance between Cersei, Euron, and (can’t remember his name, kid with Jon Connington).

    That young kid, young Griff, is Aegon Targaryen, saved by Varys, who came back to Westeros with the GC to marry Daenerys and take the iron throne. There is no way he will build an allicance with Cersei.

  196. Iul,

    I have read Dany’s chapters several times. I do that every once in a while: pick a character and follow his story and POVs only.

    I am still hung up on the Dany who wouldn’t kill the children hostages in Meereen to bring her enemies to heel despite counselors advising her to take action. I am still hung up on her carrying for those with the bloody flux that were camped outside Meereen. I’m still hung up on her diplomatically accepting that marriage is the way to pacify the city she meant to rule. Compromise for the greater good is something she learns to do for years before she’ll travel to Westeros.

    It will be tougher I suppose to see Dany go nuts in the books since Martin chooses this ending for her.

    Because while he never shied away from portraying Targaryen madness in all his books and histories, he also wrote Dany as one who may be the one who’s not going to fall to that cruelty and / or disease to such a grand scale so far. I guess it will depend on his future books.

  197. Frank: That young kid, young Griff, is Aegon Targaryen, saved by Varys, who came back to Westeros with the GC to marry Daenerys and take the iron throne. There is no way he will build an allicance with Cersei.

    Is he though? 😉

  198. Adam:
    This isn’t tragedy. Tragedy is a basically good person trying to do right but bringing about great harm and their own demise unintentionally. They could have made her into one of the more interesting and complex characters ever put to screen, a medieval Harry Truman wrestling against herself about the cost of victory. But they made her Hitler instead. Do we really need the point made that giving Hitler nukes is a bad idea? That ends up being the moral of this story?

    I think the tragedy is for all those who couldn’t recognise that using violence was wrong when it was used against people they loathed, only to be swept by the storm. Both she and Stannis burned people alive, and the fandom was ok with these moments, even thrilled, until they burnt people they liked. She crucified random people without a trial, she fed a random Mereen master to her dragons to scare the others into submission, and people didn’t mind because they were slave owners, and she was a “liberator”. You can’t perpetrate that level of violence and come unscathed. The point is that the way to hell is paved with good intentions.

  199. HayashiM: Well, no. Let me reiterate, it’s the speed that’s the problem. D&D had all the time in world and a reasonable budget. This is entirely their choice, so the blame falls entirely on their heads.

    Did they have all the time in the world? Could they have kept this cast together another year or two? Possibly but Ive heard that it was going to be difficult given the rising profiles of the actors and all their new projects.

  200. Rocks fall. Everyone dies.

    Except Arya “Plot Armour” Stark, of course.

    Daenerys has gone full Viserys. Just imagine her big bro with a dragon and there you have it. “I want my crown!” Not entirely without foreshadowing. That’s what being a Beggar Queen does to you, I guess.

  201. I only wonder now how they can get rid of Drogon. What will the Dothraki and unsullied do when Jon kills Danny? It is a shame that it is now useless to rewatch the absolutely outstanding seasons 1-6, maybe seven is ok. But season 8 is embarassing for nearly all major characters in the show.
    I talked to George, the books are ready, but he signed to not release them before the show ended.

  202. I should add though, I am enjoying how the Fire in this story is just as deadly as the Ice. Probably more deadly.

    Varys was right. Sorcery is evil.

  203. Mango,

    You’re welcome. Some wanted more definite insight into Jaime’s mindset, but I liked it was left open to interpretation. It’s useful trying to make yourself feel better. 🙂

  204. Frank,

    Ty, is that you?!

    Can you call him back and ask him to go all Bells Dany and say “fuck it, I’ll release them on Tuesday?”

  205. I am incredibly disappointed by the direction that the writers took in this episode; I have felt some of the criticism aimed at the series so far was unnecessary but criticism of this episode feels more deserving.

    With the Varys storyline, it was certain they were going towards the mad queen storyline but the end result felt very out of character.
    We fully understand Cersei’s behaviour but the portrayal of Daenerys felt out of character. She has only ever targeted her enemies, Lannister soldiers and prisoners could be classed as fair game. Rhegal and Missandei deaths and paranoia regarding Jon might have had an effect but not to completely change her beliefs.

    They could have stayed faithful to the character and still achieved the same end result – Kings Landing is destroyed by Cersei refusing to admit defeat (let go of the iron throne) and a combination of dragon fire and wildfire. Despite trying to do the decent thing, Daenerys is branded as the mad queen who destroyed the capital.

    The Jamie and Euron confrontation was just silly. Euron should have been burnt alive by the dragon fire when his fleet was attacked, a fitting demise. Despite being mentioned on several occasions, the Iron Born were nowhere to be seen, a good naval battle however brief would have been welcomed and freed up Daenerys to attack the city.

    The Golden Company did very little and it would have been nice to have seen them in battle. Despite Jon apparently having the loyalty of his men, they didn’t seem to listen to him much in battle. I know there is years of northern resentment and adrenaline in battle but hardly the response to your leader.

    Was not sure what role Arya was supposed have had in the episode but thanks to Sue fully understand it now.

  206. It seems like people expect everything to telegraphed episodes in advance, otherwise they don’t think it’s realistic.

    But what happened here was pretty true to human nature.

    Often, people just completely lose it, without anyone else even so much as EXPECTING that they could go so far. How many times have you seen or read about someone doing something terrible and everyone’s like “That’s not what this person was like at all”.

    Same for Jaime. People don’t just easily change. They’re more likely to repeat and stay true to themselves.

    This wasn’t what many wanted for Dany or Jaime, but to say it was not realistic or in line with their personalities, well, then you’re simply wrong on both counts.

    So maybe you just need to accept that they both weren’t who you wanted them to be…

  207. TormundsWoman,

    I had a strange thought – maybe in the books it’s FAegon who does the KL burning? But since he’s not in the show they gave the arc to Dany? Maybe FAegon got ahold of one of Dany’s dragons and made it look like she did it, turning Westeros against her?

  208. Sacred Lime,

    Yes I get what you were trying to say now. There is a part of me that feels sorry for Dany as it need not have been this way. Unfortunately that is who she really is…..

  209. Is no one wondering why these “78” min episodes are actually falling short by 4-5 mins each week? What is that about? Small grievance I know, but one does wonder what that’s about?

  210. King in the North East,

    Fine but then why does Daenerys not kill Jon and Tyrion? Or Cersei for that matter? She about to go torch Winterfell too? And Dorne? And the Iron Islands? And the Wildlings? And the Braavosi Bankers she’s now indebted to? And if she does (burn those entities), it better work. There’s no one left who can stop her. So the writers need to finish the job.

  211. Adam,

    I haven’t read much of the histories and lore to be fair. So I can’t answer that. But why can’t someone commit an atrocity, the like of which has never been seen before?
    Che,

    Well put.

  212. Dane:
    Is no one wondering why these “78” min episodes are actually falling short by 4-5 mins each week? What is that about? Small grievance I know, but one does wonder what that’s about?

    I also thought it and to me it seems as if the credits at the end after showing the most important is turned up to 100x speed.

  213. I sometimes wonder how different the perception of this show would be if it were an original story by D&D. If these were D&D’s characters then the fanbase wouldn’t believe they have a better understanding of the way these characters are supposed to behave and where their story should go. D&D would be the “geniuses” behind the story rather than the “hacks” held in contempt by the fanbase.

    There would still be many disappointed by the direction of the story in the finale season but it surely would not be considered the disaster it is claimed to be by many.

    Yes, I know there are lots of non book readers who watch the show but if they are engaged in the fandom then their opinions are heavily influenced by the book readers who dominate the discourse about this show.

  214. Jack Bauer 24: To eat something “after” dinner lol? Why not try “during” dinner. I took it as try and send a raven with his scrolls since they didn’t make it clear if he actually sent any out. I’m still not sure if he did?

    He was trying to poison her.

    And I think the scrolls will become significant. Didn’t Sophie Turner say that she kept a scroll as a souvenir because it was important to her character’s story?

  215. Frank:
    I only wonder now how they can get rid of Drogon. What will the Dothraki and unsullied do when Jon kills Danny? It is a shame that it is now useless to rewatch the absolutely outstanding seasons 1-6, maybe seven is ok. But season 8 is embarassing for nearly all major characters in the show.
    I talked to George, the books are ready, but he signed to not release them before the show ended.

    How did that happen???

  216. IMO The Lord of Light resurrected the horse for Arya, and maybe even resurrected her three times (I think it was three times) when she faded out and probably should have died. Everyone around her was dead each time she awoke.

    I loved every part of this episode.

    If Tyrion doesn’t slink away on the skiff, I don’t know how he’ll escape Dany.

    I fear for Sansa and Winterfell.

    Jon and Arya are in serious danger.

  217. Adam: But specifically targeting civilians, on purpose, taking her time before even turning for Cersei, after they had surrendered? This is ridiculous. How can anyone say this was foreshadowed? Daenerys going too far was foreshadowed. Daenerys trying to do right but doing more harm than good was foreshadowed. Daenerys eventually becoming a not-so-benevolent ruler who executes insufficiently loyal lords was foreshadowed. Her becoming the worst person in the entire story and maybe the entire history of Westeros was not. Her killing more people than the Night King was not.

    This. You nailed it. Everything you said is spot on.

    I can’t believe people are trying to say that it was set up. There was literally no reason for her to become so crazy.

    As you say, she’s the worst person in the story, by body count, at least. She just slaughtered more innocent human beings than Cersei, the Night King, Ramsay, Tywin, and Joffrey combined.

    It’s pathetic and disgusting. I don’t think I’ll be able to rewatch the show. Dany’s scenes are ruined for me, knowing what she becomes, as are Jaime’s scenes, and anything related to the great distraction known as the White Walkers.

    The show has become pointless nihilism.

  218. Thank you for pointing these out. I think the writers for the show are cheating Daeny’s character if they are going to portray her as crazy. I don’t think she is mad. I think she was against a wall and the only way out was to fight, she just happened to have a dragon in order to do this. I don’t agree with her burning the citizens of KL, but I understand. She has lost all of those who had her back, she is mourning the death of another child, Rhagal, and learns that another one of her advisors has betrayed her, plus the man she loves. So I believe she did break the wheel by burning down the whole city, I just hope for maybe some kind of redemption in the last episode.

  219. EE,

    I assume they wanted the visual of KL being destroyed. As a Dany fan, I’m glad she’s done good in Essos and even in Westeros with regard to fighting against the AotD, making a pact with the Ironborn to discontinue reaving/raping, etc. I even still like that she got to experience love with Jon, but I assume she’s marked for death now. Ego is a hell of a thing, especially in a powerful leader, but she’s definitely not the only character in the show with both ego and an outsized amount of power. Assuming she dies next episode, I wonder how far the show will go with regard to changing things structurally regarding the balance of power between common people and the nobility. Dany was wrong not to learn to let go of hereditary rule, but none of the other noble houses in the story so far have learned that lesson either. More importantly to me, we haven’t seen much in the way of common people being able to leverage their power collectively over the ruling class (other than KL riots) and demand accountability. There was a hint of that during the High Sparrow storyline (e.g. his conversations with Cersei and Olenna), but once he controlled Tommen, even he sought to use the monarchy as a way to maintain control. I also wonder how I’ll feel regarding the defeat of the AotD after the show is over. For me, if there aren’t enough “lessons learned” by the end, then the sacrifices of the Northern Alliance will seem mostly for nought. Also, after having viewed episodes 4 and 5, I wish Theon had gone with Yara instead of fighting at Winterfell. Hope Drogon is able to go back to Valyria at the end and thrive and Greyworm and the Unsullied live to return to Essos.

  220. Some more thoughts on Jaime and his arc..

    I appreciate that even though he didn’t get his “heroic” moment of killing Cersei, we did see so much of his good side this season. From his knighting Brienne and his respect/love for her, to his love for his brother, and even (in a somewhat twisted way) his comforting his dying sister (awful as she is) and admitting his own shortcomings, Jaime is a wonderfully complex and interesting character. He’s someone whose good parts benefitted those around him (Tyrion and Brienne) but couldn’t save himself.

  221. Good to know the books are ready. I’m in book 5 now. I hope he doesn’t take Daeny to the point the show has though.

  222. Adam: All this time we thought he just wanted to know about Aragorn’s tax policy, to explore some of the difficulties of actually having to rule after defeating pure evil. What he really wanted was to explore the question what if Aragorn was actually a genocidal maniac who ended up being worse than Sauron?

    Daenerys isn’t Aragorn. Aragorn is the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, The King in the North, and True heir to the Iron Throne. Aragorn is The Prince Who Was Promised; a man who came back from the dead, who kept his word come what may, with both good results and now, disastrous ones; thereby enabling a woman with no valid claim to the Iron Throne to burn King’s Landing and kills tens of thousands of innocent people for no damned good reason at all.

    Because honour has limits past which it serves no purpose. As Ser Jaime Lannister showed them all 20 years before when he became the Kingslayer, there is a time where a true knight must sacrifice his honour for the greater good. Jon didn’t do that — LOOK at the results of the honourable choice.

    Jon, Tyrion and Arya have choices to make next episode. But really, we all know that Daenerys is gong to die. The only question is whether she will kill one or more of Jon, Tyrion and Arya before she does.

    All Hail King Gendry Baratheon, First of His Name (titles, titles) and Queen Sansa Baratheon. That’s your “winner”. The losers? At this point? That would appear to be everybody.

  223. Julia: I think the tragedy is for all those who couldn’t recognise that using violence was wrong when it was used against people they loathed, only to be swept by the storm. Both she and Stannis burned people alive, and the fandom was ok with these moments, even thrilled, until they burnt people they liked. She crucified random people without a trial, she fed a random Mereen master to her dragons to scare the others into submission, and people didn’t mind because they were slave owners, and she was a “liberator”. You can’t perpetrate that level of violence and come unscathed. The point is that the way to hell is paved with good intentions.

    No, I was never okay with what she did in Slaver’s Bay. The crucifixion of the masters was wrong, as was feeding a guy to her dragons, and many other things she did.

    But there is a huge, glaring difference between those instances and what we just saw. In those cases Dany was serving what she thought of as justice.

    She was following her very strong sense of right and wrong. She went too far, and was unnecessarily cruel, but who was she directing that cruelty towards ? Slavers.

    She was doing it because she felt morally justified. She had a motive, and an understandable one. Her justice was too extreme and at times indiscriminate. But that was a feature of her inexperience and hotheadedness. The way she saw it, she was punishing horrible people in a way that fit their crimes.

    This is totally different. It is the deliberate, methodical, and entirely unnecessary slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

    She went from having a slightly extreme sense of justice to being the worst person in the history of Westeros. She killed more people than the Night King.

    She did something worse than anything Cersei has ever done. She burned a city after having won, easily, unlike her father who was going to burn it after realizing he was doomed.

    This was not earned, in the slightest. Dany is the biggest monster in the show now. It’s disgusting.

    I feel terrible for Emilia Clarke, no wonder she was worried. They turned what could have been an understandably tragic hero into a genocidal maniac.

  224. Emily:
    Rocks fall. Everyone dies.

    Except Arya “Plot Armour” Stark, of course.

    Hot Pie: “I’m like you, Arry. I’m a survivor.”

    Lady Crane: “If my soup didn’t kill you, nothing will.”

    ASNAWP 4ever!

  225. About this last episode …
    Dany is embracing the dark side.
    Kingslanding has been destroyed like her ancestors did it with Harrenhal.
    The Golden Company now should be known as the Red-Shirt Company.

  226. Nick20,

    It’s pathetic and disgusting. I don’t think I’ll be able to rewatch the show. Dany’s scenes are ruined for me, knowing what she becomes, as are Jaime’s scenes, and anything related to the great distraction known as the White Walkers

    The end of Dany’s arc is extremely disappointing for me. I was a bit surprised at how depressing I found the end of Jaime’s and the Hound’s arcs. I was somewhat indifferent to Jaime by Season 8 after starting the show hating him and liked how he developed when with Brienne. I thought the Hound was a bit of a jerk, but I liked how he found it in himself to look out for Arya. The chances of me rewatching the show will depend on how the last episode is handled…

  227. ShameShameShame:
    IMO The Lord of Light resurrected the horse for Arya, and maybe even resurrected her three times (I think it was three times) when she faded out and probably should have died.Everyone around her was dead each time she awoke.

    I’m going to pay more attention to this as well as the horse on rewatch. I’m not against this idea!

  228. TormundsWoman:
    Che,

    Ugh,I hate that type of defense myself. Hindsight is 1000/1000. Could have/ should have.

    If you look at it like that, Bobby was totally right to assassinate her and Ned Stark was an asshole for both the execution of Will (when he was just rambling on about the Others and trying to warn everyone) and when he preached of not killing Dany.

    The future is not written you never know how it actually turns out. Varys COULD have been wrong and Dany could have been the merciful Targaryen in front of the surrendering city. Reminds me of a bad movie with an incredible idea: Minority Report.

    He may have been wrong. Some of us here were hoping/wondering if she might come back from the brink, so certainly, in-world characters must have been hoping/praying for the same thing. One thing was certain, Dany was talking, earnestly, about killing 10,000 innocent civilians as an acceptable cost to her getting into power quicker. That quicker part is relevant, because if they’d stuck to the siege, far fewer people would have died when the people of the city turned on Cersei – as Tyrion stated, they turned on Joffrey when they were starving, they would have done the same with Cersei. Some argue that a siege where the population are starving is equally as morally questionable as roasting 10,000 people (or even 1 million as was the case in the end) alive, but for me personally, it seems a lot less of an evil act to stage a siege than burn cities with dragons.

    Varys has served an awful lot of kings and watched as Dany’s father descended into madness. It is highly likely that he saw the same signs in Dany herself and he decided to act, not because he had a sci-fi plot device that allowed him to accuse Dany of mass murder before she committed it, but because he quite rightly saw the signs in her that she was about to commit an atrocity.

    Would Varys killing Dany by poisoning have been an honourable thing to do? No, of course it wouldn’t. Should he have been caught and executed for treason and murder? In the world of Westeros, yes he should. Would it have been fair to Dany to kill her before she killed those million innocent people? No, it wouldn’t. However, if you look at his motives, they really were rather honest to the very end. He is one of the few champions of the Westeros small folk (of whom 1 million of them have just died shortly after losing their champion) and though his methods are highly dishonourable, treacherous and morally wrong, he could have prevented the greatest atrocity Westeros has ever seen because whether you want to rule out his belief that Dany was about to commit murder as hindsight or not, he gave his life for the belief that Dany was not fit to rule and would commit horrible crimes against the people of Westeros. I stand by my view that he knew what type of Targaryen Dany was.

  229. Missandei got what she asked for. The gentlest creature in the story had her final wish granted. I loved how you could see when Dany had that choice point, the bells were ringing; and yet all the BS that she had had to endure just pushed her into the awful beauty of burning it all. It was massively satisfying and inevitable.

    Too bad Khal Drogo died – wouldn’t he have been a perfect partner at this juncture for Dany, the Bringer of Fire and Death?

    The future as seen by Dany in the House of the Undying has come true.

    Dany doesn’t need any army, if she has Drogon. If Drogon is killed, oh, please no! That would be a terrible twist. I like the idea in a prior comment that Bran will warg into him and neutralize him, forcing peace to the country. But, I hope that a clutch of dragon eggs is under WF. In my imagination, there always will be dragons.

    If Dany can’t rule, then no Targaryen should rule, and that includes Jon. I am assuming he will in the end, but I am still holding out hope that he dies soon or goes north to be with Ghost. I am so super tired of him, he would be such a terrible ruler, such a bad king of the north already. Such a cliche ending, if he survives and rules – and if he sticks to what he says, and refuses to rule, I will actually like him again. Or at least tolerate him.

    But, regardless of next week’s show, the series has been so excellent, and the books are so fun, and now we have the prequel to look forward to!

  230. I like your Lord of LIght theory, I kept wondering why she was still alive. But I’m concerned she might kill Daney. Someone pointed out that in a biblical reference death rides a pale white horse, can’t help but wonder if this is symbolism the writers are using for Arya to kill Daeny. Also, at times in the show, Arya would say “I’m going to kill the Queen”, at that time we all knew it to be Cersei, but now that meaning might have changed. I hope that doesn’t happen though, maybe her and Jon can put aside their issues, and rule together, not as husband/wife but as Targaryans.

  231. Nick20: Yes, become.

    ASOIAF has a point to it, and is not nihilistic. On the contrary.

    Really? And you know this? From reading book 7?

    Hello, time traveler! Welcome to 2019! I hope the future is a good place to be.

  232. I think a lot of people don’t like to acknowledge how hard this story is to bring to life. Try to imagine how much harder it becomes once you go beyond the current source material. Of course the writing isn’t going to be as good. All they had to work with the last few seasons was an outline instead of completed books, and GRRM also stopped writing episodes. Now imagine how much harder it becomes when the network gives you a limited number of episodes to finish the story. George knew what he was getting himself into when he sold the rights, and he has even personally taken blame for not finishing fast enough.

    I do not envy them at all for having to finish the story on their own. I personally enjoy the paths they’ve been taking to get to George’s ending. Last night’s episode was beautiful and devastating, and I do believe this is how George wanted it to happen.

    As for the people that have been saying “Worst episode ever! The show is completely ruined now and I’m done with it!” every single week. Just follow through and stop watching. At this point, you’re only watching to find more things to whinge about. I’m sure there are better ways to spend your time than acting like you know the story better than the author/showrunners.

  233. Steel_Wind,

    But really, we all know that Daenerys is gong to die.

    How could they justify Daenerys being killed and make it believable? Is she just going to let her guard down and get stabbed? She has a dragon, an army, and the city. Who and how can she be killed that it will have any semblance of connection to the episode we just watched?

    Does Bran warg Drogon and kill her? That just substitutes Bran for Daenerys as the villain with strange motivations.

    Does Arya use a face? again? (hard pass).

    I can’t believe Daenerys allows Jon, Davos, Tyrion, and Arya walk out of that dumpster fire. The first scene of next week better be her searching them out to kill otherwise she is the dumbest character on this show by a long margin. Even Ned would have known better to fall for the same trick over and over again. The whole premise of that last ep was that Daenerys wasn’t using diplomacy any more. So she better kill that pesky nephew and his friends before Scooby and Shaggy accidentally stab her with some valyrian steel.

  234. Che: if you look at his motives, they really were rather honest to the very end. He is one of the few champions of the Westeros small folk

    Yes.

    #teamVarys

    One of the only characters in the show to ever show any concern for us regular folks.

    We shall never see his like again…

  235. And can we all raise a cup to Maisie Willams’s acting.

    From the cocky assassin, through that hearttbraking scene with the Hound…Sandor, to Arya seeing the horrors of war.

    Her travelling through the horror of war. Showing her humanity. She cried when she saw the mother and daughter she’d tried to save burned to a crisp by her brother’s/cousins’s girlfriend – isn’t a good thing.

    There’s no way she’s in Dany’s court afrter this (if she ever was). But what will her beloved brother/cousin Jon do?

    Jon was horrified. Tried to stop the horror, so relieved when the bells rang. And to see his former gf then go all fire and blood to impound the horror.

    Dany needs taken out (thank gods we have Arya!) because there’s no alternative. Jon and Tyrion and all the lords of the realm serving her out of fear – as she wished. That’s no way to rule. And she could rain dragonfire on Winterfell to take out Sansa. Never mind the “collateral damage”. The dragon has been awoken. You might not love me but I can make you regret it.

    Jaime: Things I do for love.
    Dany: Things I do for no love.

    It’s tragic for both. They could’ve been so much better.

    At least Jaime’s last moments were an act of love. He comforted the distraught woman he loved.

    I loved the visuals how Jaime got to Cersei , the map room (Arya and Sandor also had their final scene in that map room). Tried to find a way. Realised they’re gonna die, so concentrated on comforting, saving Cersei. The things I do for love. Misguided, toxic love, to be sure, but for him it was love, to try to smuggle her out. Exept it all ended up in dead ends.

  236. About the whole “arc” thing and Journeys for the characters in Game of Thrones.

    I know that many people prefer to view the journey of the characters as an “arc”. A movement from Point A to B, and the path they took to get there. From Good to Evil, from Evil to Good.

    Respectfully, you aren’t “getting it”. THERE IS NO “ARC”. That’s George’s message. When you begin to look at the act a person does, depending on where you start and when you stop, the human mind strives to see an arc, a progression; an ascent or descent. It’s all bullshit though. It’s an incomplete sample. It’s a lie.

    George’s message is that good people can do evil things. And evil people are not entirely evil. They have reasons for what they do and may still have redeeming qualities. Whet they do at a particular point in time, good or evil, is a choice. To judge them fully, you have to view the entirety of their lives.

    So no, Jaime Lannister’s story does NOT begin with him pushing a 10 year-old boy out a window. Our view of him starts there, but reality is different. Jaime starts as teenage boy who has sex with his sister. He is the most talented swordsman in the Seven Kingdoms. He only wants to be a knight. He gets his wish from Aerys, but is made a member of the Kingsguard so as to punish Tywin Lannister.

    Jaime keeps his honour as a member of the KG, right up to the end, when the Mad King and his Hand try to burn KL to the ground. Jaime won’t permit it. He sacrifices his honour to stop this act of mass murder.

    He BEGINS as the “good guy”. He sacrifices all to save innocents. “So many oaths, it’s not possible to keep them all. It’s too much.” He moves back to be the secret lover and father, kills to protect his secret and sister, kills again in an attempt to escape, loses his hand, etc..

    It’s not an arc. It’s not a journey from one place to another. There are choices Jaime makes throughout his life at different times for different reasons. He’s not “trying” to be good; he’s not “trying” to be evil. He is making choices at a particular point in time for reasons that at the time he made them, made sense to him at the time. When we judge him, we have to look at the overall context of his life.

    There is no arc. There is only then and now.

  237. ShameShameShame:
    IMO The Lord of Light resurrected the horse for Arya, and maybe even resurrected her three times (I think it was three times) when she faded out and probably should have died.Everyone around her was dead each time she awoke.

    I loved every part of this episode.

    If Tyrion doesn’t slink away on the skiff, I don’t know how he’ll escape Dany.

    I fear for Sansa and Winterfell.

    Jon and Arya are in serious danger.

    I think given everything we have been shown in this show, the Lord of Light needs one of his servants to resurrect people. We have never been shown that he can do so on his own – his magic/power has always worked through humans.

    I also think that if Arya was being resurrected by the Lord of Light, it would be made pretty damn clear. She survived because this was not her time to die in the grand scheme of the plot, but the writers wanted a character we care about to be our point of view on the ground – to put it crassly: Plot Armour.

    Arya is already magical/special enough without turning her into even more of a ‘chosen one’ character. From what we know of him, I doubt that George is writing a story with a superhero child/young woman saving the day, being blessed by the gods and sitting on a throne at the end (as some feel is likely to happen). I worry that Arya is going to have quite an unpleasant time next episode. I worry that she might not escape Dany’s wrath if she goes for her.

  238. Fronklan,

    The Golden Company now should be known as the Red-Shirt Company.

    I nearly laughed at loud at how fast Harry Strickland went down. I was like – “what’s the point of this dude?” while he was running from the Unsullied. Some other head scratchers for me were Jaime and Euron’s fight. It seemed sort of random to me as was Euron’s dying line ‘I’m the man who killed Jaime Lannister.’ The loss of accuracy of the Scorpions in episode 5 seemed to be a HUGE contrast with their precision/accuracy in taking down Rhaegal in episode 4. Wasn’t sure how to interpret Greyworm deciding to burn Missandei’s slave collar. The look on his face seemed resolute, but I’m not sure if he burned the collar to represent burning away the last vestiges of Missandei’s enslavement or the connection to his humanity that she represented.

  239. I too feel that the buildup was rushed, but in the end, I think it goes like this. Varys sent off Jon’s true lineage to the lords of Westeros, but they arrive too late to save the Capitol, but not too late to fight for Jon against Danny. Somehow Drogon is killed, as are most of Danny’s army. Danny survives, only to be judged by her former lover and nephew. Ned’s words will then ring true. “He who casts the sentence, must swing the sword”, which Jon does, then abdicates the “throne” to Tyrion or Sansa, and heads north, reunites with Ghost, and heads off alone to never be seen again, the LAST Targaryan.

    Bitter sweet indeed. That is the whole point, Jon IS the song of fire and ice. Half Dragon, half Wolf. Half summer, half Winter Always alone, and always a odds with himself to find out who he really is, and then not wanting to know. Bound by honor, and a code. he can never be truly happy for long, only fleeting moments. He was brought back to defeat the great Other, which was not the Night King like we all thought, but Danny. Every woman he has ever loved has died first his mom giving birth, then Ygrette, and finally Danny. Jon is the classic tragic hero.

  240. Sanrya,

    You put it very well, but in fact the pacifist movement against the Vietnam War was heavily funded and supported by the Soviets and there were many fake news involved. Just saying.

  241. About the scorpions.

    The two times we saw a dragon get taken out they were caught off guard.

    When they’re prepared, a scorpion doesn’t do shit. We’ve seen them easily dodge projectiles if they know they’re incoming.

    I imagine it’s easy to take out a fighter jet with a missile, IF the pilot doesn’t realize he’s being targeted. Otherwise, you’re in for a hell of a fight and I would not stake my money on you getting out alive.

  242. There are only a few possibilities left for endgame, keeping in mind that the Lord of Light kept Arya alive/possibly resurrected her several times and even resurrected a horse for her. She still has a major purpose.

    Dany on the throne. Jon won’t survive if so. It’s possible. I could totes see her going on a rampage or ordering troops to destroy Winterfell, the Citadel, wherever.

    If Dany dies, then Jon on the throne – frankly no. IMO it’s Jon’s Targ blood that will keep him OFF the throne, voluntarily. He never wanted to father a bastard, but now he certainly won’t want to father a Targ or further the Targ line. Self-exile to the North, or even worse, asking Arya for a mercy kill.

    This leaves the throne unoccupied.

    So the only question is whether Gendry becomes King on the IT, or just one of the Lords/Ladies creating new city-states. The North wants independence as do the Iron Islands. Dorne has a new Prince. The Reach, the Riverlands, the Vale, all will be fine figuring it out.

    ETA on the topic of whether Dany’s choice to burn the city. She’s mad as a hatter but it’s also obvious Cersei had her own plans that probably involved burning the city. There were caches of wildfire, obviously Cersei would have used them to her advantage, innocent people be damned.

  243. Steel_Wind,

    Without character arcs, knowing where they started and seeing how they have changed (or not as is the case with a static character arc), characters in stories would be wildly unpredictable, plot-serving devices that never engage a reader because they don’t seem believable.

    Every character in GRRM’s writing and in GOT has had an arc – an internal journey of change (in most chases) as the story has progressed. Just because people have misread where these arcs are going to end up, because they tend to defy the typical choices authors make for there characters, that doesn’t mean that the concept of a character arc is a myth.

  244. Flora Linden:
    TormundsWoman,

    I had a strange thought – maybe in the books it’s FAegon who does the KL burning? But since he’s not in the show they gave the arc to Dany? Maybe FAegon got ahold of one of Dany’s dragons and made it look like she did it, turning Westeros against her?

    Nah. This is George’s Third WTF moment. Except that in the books it’ll be Fake Aegon who’s King, not Cersei. KL is Dany’s Third Fire of the “Three Fires you will light” prophecy and I think Jon in the 6th episode will be Dany’s Third Treason (The “Three Treasons you will know” prophecy)

  245. https://youtu.be/9K7c0jXkaGc

    Trailer to the documentary that will air the weekend after the finale!! Hilariously, it features a sobbing Kit at the table read while Sophie smiles at him. She has teased him about it in interviews and now it’s great to actually see it. 😂😂

  246. Che,

    You can stand by your view all you want, who am I to say you can’t who is anyone here to say any different, but you are wrong according to Varys himself. He admitted that didn’t know where the coin fell with Dany. So according to the character himself he didn’t really know what kind of Targaryen he was. And that’s him saying it not me.

    I think he was just not willing to take one risk more, not willing to gamble anymore. But it was as Sue said a bit late for that.

  247. Che:
    Steel_Wind,

    Without character arcs, knowing where they started and seeing how they have changed (or not as is the case with a static character arc), characters in stories would be wildly unpredictable, plot-serving devices that never engage a reader because they don’t seem believable.

    Every character in GRRM’s writing and in GOT has had an arc – an internal journey of change (in most chases) as the story has progressed. Just because people have misread where these arcs are going to end up, because they tend to defy the typical choices authors make for there characters, that doesn’t mean that the concept of a character arc is a myth.

    I think that what he was trying to say is that an arc doesn’t necessarily mean that a character will change.

    I think he’s right in pointing out that sometimes, characters don’t change (at least not in the way you’d expect them to).

  248. TormundsWoman: You can stand by your view all you want, who am I to say you can’t who is anyone here to say any different, but you are wrong according to Varys himself. He admitted that didn’t know where the coin fell with Dany. So according to the character himself he didn’t really know what kind of Targaryen he was. And that’s him saying it not me.

    He didn’t ‘know’, but he reasonably suspected it and recognized the dangerous path she was on.

    You can’t ‘know’ until after she’s done it.

  249. Flora Linden,

    Why you do me like that Flora?!?! why give me this lifeline at all??? Don’t you have any pity on me? On us? LOL

    I think that would be an incredible consolidation that would change the meaning of broad strokes though. I hate to be on the same side of the fence as all these naysayers and book fan haters above. (There are some, and I see you, don’t worry :p ) But I think this time this is where Martin leads.

    I do believe that fAegon and the Dornish will take down some KL parts because Martin said that the Sand Snakes WILL wreak havoc in KL but fAegon getting hold of a Dragon? Not sure I see it.

    (for the record it would be AWESOME though. Fingers crossed Dany does the right thing in the books!)

  250. “Stop your whinging” the Hound, LOL. I thought this episode was fantastic. My heart was in my throat, expecting who knows what to happen. This season has had some elements of disappointment, but the overall season has been an exciting and heart wrenching ride. I’ve never been so emotionally invested in fictional characters before and last nights episode on most points did not disappoint. Are there things I would have done differently, sure. Are there places the writers are taking the characters to that I dont’ understand, yes. So I hope in the last episode it clears up a lot of questions. Jaime and Cersei dying together worked for me, it was sad and beautiful at the same time. The Hound and his brother, I was on the edge of my seat, for a moment I thought the Mountain was going to win. Daeny burning up Eurons ships and breaking thru the wall of KL, that’s my girl. But burning up the people, that’s not who Daeny really is deep down, so I’m not sure what the writers are trying to do with her character, I’m still with her though. So overall parts worked and other parts just don’t add up, but I’m here til the end.

  251. King in the North East,

    #teamVarys

    One of the only characters in the show to ever show any concern for us regular folks.

    He certainly had no qualms about sending that little girl into danger at the beginning of the episode.

  252. Nick20,

    Maybe the point of it all is that when leaders willfully ignore obvious facts, whole societies suffer the consequences. In that regard, Cersei is 100% to blame. She should have seen what was coming. Instead she prodded Dany into a known response. She still clung to her hubris as she could see the battlements & the Iron Fleet in flames. Woe to the human race as our own leaders willfully ignore the obvious perils that beg for reasoned responses.

  253. krupke:
    King in the North East,

    He certainly had no qualms about sending that little girl into danger at the beginning of the episode.

    True, but I think he’s assuming people wouldn’t just kill a child. I don’t think he’s wrong.

    And ultimately he’s just asking her to send a scroll.

    It’s like saying you’re endangering the mailman by giving him a sensitive letter to send.

    If someone kills the mailman, is that really your fault? Or is it the fault of the person doing the killing.

    Point is, anyone willing to murder a child to get their point across… isn’t a good guy.

  254. Tyrion Pimpslap,

    It’s the day after….I felt Dany went “all fear” with her attack and not “all mad queen”. I thought the show was clear that she decided since she couldn’t rule with love, she needed to rule with fear. It was horrid to watch the destruction from the point of view of the people on the street, and that was the point.

    So where do we go from here? I do agree with you that Ayra was the MVP this year, but her plot armor even for me was extremely high this episode. ShameShameShame commented about the Lord of Light helping her revive three times, and I’m going to have to go with that theory. I’m not sure what the last scene meant or if it was a callback to the books, but the scene with Arya and the white horse was visually stunning as she trotted out safely. I honestly thought that could have been the last we saw of Arya this season until I saw her in the promo. I thought her arc could have been over that she chose humanity instead of revenge and trotted away from the hell that just happened and kept galloping. But it looks to me that she will have a big part to play in the finale. I think her assassin skills may be needed one more time. I think many theorize Jon will have to do the final deed against Dany though.

    Do I wish they had gone a different direction with Dany? Of course. I was hoping she would be pregnant with Jon’s child and they could actually rule together, but that’s not this world. I’m hoping Varys’ scrolls make their way out to key places so Jon has some help. It doesn’t look great for him with Drogon and the Unsullied on Dany’s side. Perhaps the lord of light will fly in on his own dragon from Valyria. It’s possible other dragons were born out there. Or perhaps a more likely scenario would be for Bran to actually help out this season and Warg into Drogon. I would like that decision. Otherwise, it’s hard for me to think how anyone could defeat Dany while Drogon is on her side.

    I’m still in shock over the losses of Jaime and Sandor in particular. I was hoping Arya would help out Sandor in the Cleganebowl, but I do like how they went with Sandor giving Arya his last lesson. This time it wasn’t all about cruelty being the only way to survive. Arya chose humanity and was trying to help the people instead of just trying to survive. That was the only uplifting part of the episode for me that gave me some hope.

  255. TormundsWoman:
    Che,

    You can stand by your view all you want, who am I to say you can’t who is anyone here to say any different, but you are wrong according to Varys himself. He admitted that didn’t know where the coin fell with Dany. So according to the character himself he didn’t really know what kind of Targaryen he was. And that’s him saying it not me.

    I think he was just not willing to take one risk more, not willing to gamble anymore. But it was as Sue said a bit late for that.

    I’m not sure that what Varys tentatively tells Jon in his first treasonous discussion with him is any reflection on what he really thinks of Dany. He isn’t going to bring up treason with Jon, who he doesn’t know well, for the first time and outright say what he thinks of Dany.

    When he is about to be executed, he says “I hope I am wrong.” This suggests that he had made ups his mind on what type of person Dany was. If he hadn’t decided yet, his last line surely would have reflected that? “I just couldn’t take the risk.” or something similar.

    In the end, it doesn’t matter. It wouldn’t have been a very gripping story if Varys had succeeded in poisoning Dany and managed to sit Jon on the throne with no strife without the horrifying, yet gripping, nuking of Kings Landing. I just disagree that Varys didn’t know who Dany really was by the point he died for his beliefs that he was saving the realm from her.

  256. Inga,

    Actually, a LOT of the anti-Vietnam war, pacifist movement, was the product of the young people of the time, revolting against being drafted/conscripted into fighting in an (unjust to their minds) war in which they had no desire to fight. This has actually been mirrored in the show several times (smallfolk fighting other peoples’ wars).

  257. King in the North East,

    True, but I think he’s assuming people wouldn’t just kill a child.

    Why would he assume that? He knows himself what’s done to children on Planetos (e.g. his own mutilation when he was a child). She said she was worried that she was being watched and he decided the risk was worth it….

  258. This is an interesting point. Jaime does give way to honor to do the right thing at his own cost, yet Jon uses honor as a shield not matter the cost to others. Jaime lets love rule and his actions are fueled by it, where Jon on the other hand chooses duty over love at the cost of Yigrett, Daeny, and the citizens of KL. It would be a good discussion of a character study between these two, Jon and Jaime.

  259. Che:
    Steel_Wind,

    Without character arcs, knowing where they started and seeing how they have changed (or not as is the case with a static character arc), characters in stories would be wildly unpredictable, plot-serving devices that never engage a reader because they don’t seem believable.

    Every character in GRRM’s writing and in GOT has had an arc – an internal journey of change (in most chases) as the story has progressed. Just because people have misread where these arcs are going to end up, because they tend to defy the typical choices authors make for there characters, that doesn’t mean that the concept of a character arc is a myth.

    Lots to agree with here.

  260. Che: Just because people have misread where these arcs are going to end up, because they tend to defy the typical choices authors make for there characters, that doesn’t mean that the concept of a character arc is a myth.

    The belief in character arcs as part of literary criticism arises out of the artificial construct of the story — any story. The story has a beginning, middle and end. Because it is a fictional story, it’s a contrivance, so we believe the author is telling us a tale of a character with an arc, a progression from Point A to B.

    But George’s message is that narrative device is wrong when it comes to judging actual real, live people. Actual real people don’t have an arc. . George is trying to escape from literary devices and cliches in ASoIaF. That approach is not just about twisting tropes and having unexpected results for the helluva it.

    It’s about looking at people making choices, at the time they made them, for the complicated reasons that they made them. Only with an omniscient eye, seeing the whole of their lives, can you even attempt to pass judgment.

    Because real people in the real world don’t have arcs. They only have a then and a now.

    If you are trying to examine these characters using literary tools premised upon tradition narrative motives and goals, you miss George’s point. He is using fantasy to tell us the truth about the Human Condition. And his truth is that real people don’t have an arc. Arcs are an artificial construct. Real people only have a past and a now. They aren’t even aware they have a well defined future in the way that a reader or viewer does. The future is tomorrow and some vague hopes for future dreams and druthers.

    So to judge a real person using an “arc” as an analytical tool is certain to fail. You and I do not have an arc Che. We have a then and a now. George is trying to write epic fantasy from the grimmest and grittiest of approaches where his characters do not have arcs. They have a then and a now and reasons that made sense at the time.

    That is the point about the Human Condition GRRM is trying to make.

  261. For me this season and all the previous season they don’t make sense at all!
    Maybe the previous they made sense but this is one Oh Gosh what a joke!
    From season 1 until now Jon and Dany were destined to be “The prince that was promised” and be great,I didn’t see in this last season!
    Everybody believe in them,they were claimed to be the saviour for everybody,I didn’t see it!
    What the point in the season 7 to make Jon and Dany fall in love with one another and than in this season they love story it’s over like birthday candle,what terrible writing !
    The Night King was supposed to be killed off by both Jon and Dany,what a joke!
    I have read numerous fan fiction that were better writing and interested than this garbage!
    I was imagining a different ending as Jon be old seats on Iron throne as king with his son or daughter by his side,while Daenerys she died in childbirth,this was for me a bitter ending!
    In the end I already know who will seat in Iron throne,what a joke!
    I will not miss at all this season,or me Game of thrones end with season 7!

  262. King in the North East: I think that what he was trying to say is that an arc doesn’t necessarily mean that a character will change.

    I think he’s right in pointing out that sometimes, characters don’t change (at least not in the way you’d expect them to).

    But these are still character arcs. They’re called static arcs (though you couldn’t describe Jaime as a static arc because he did change throughout the story and then ended up in a similar place to where he was at the beginning, that is still an arc). Getting frustrated with the terminology doesn’t help further the discussion and ends up creating even more confusion.

  263. Moon:
    … it was terrible.I’ve never had my phone blow up after an episode with friends and family complaining.

    I ain’t even mad about Dany.But Jaime deserved better.Throwing out his characterization for that ending was a waste.Brienne deserved better.Now she just gets to be that unlovable ugly woman no matter what. Sandor deserved better.Cleganebowl is the worst type of fanservice and then he gets to die to the brother who traumatized him by his worst fear.Varys deserved better.He picked up the idiot ball and didn’t let go.

    Watching the post episode interview was cringeworthy.Sorry no one thinks Arya is gonna die, she literally has no dramatic tension in the story.Then you have to miraculously save her after doing absolutely nothing worthwhile.

    It didn’t even bother me in a satisfying way- that would have been great.Instead D&D just shat on anything good they’ve done.

    Damn. Totally this. I heard big complaints too. And Dany, well, it was coming. But not in an instant. Purely poor plotting for shock value. Jaime, no real redemption. None either for the Hound, he made his own case for himself in making it to Arya; therefore, he just committed suicide. And I don’t think that would happen with book!Hound. They re-traumatized him all over, seemed to have planned that for years. Terrible thought.

    And Arya and the horse. All it lacked was the one big horn.

    I see why the actors were so uncharacteristically un-confident about this season. It has sucked. I never hoped for even middling material, but I did not anticipate it would be totally nonsensical, exist for pure spectacle and has not tried to finish on a good note.

  264. Enharmony1625:
    Some more thoughts on Jaime and his arc..

    I appreciate that even though he didn’t get his “heroic” moment of killing Cersei, we did see so much of his good side this season. From his knighting Brienne and his respect/love for her, to his love for his brother, and even (in a somewhat twisted way) his comforting his dying sister (awful as she is) and admitting his own shortcomings, Jaime is a wonderfully complex and interesting character. He’s someone whose good parts benefitted those around him (Tyrion and Brienne) but couldn’t save himself.

    Lots to agree here.

  265. King in the North East,

    Yes well, if you follow the thread you’re responding to you’ll see that was my point all along. You cannot “know” for sure and Che believes Varys knew and more than that: he knew he knew so that he was justified in preemptively trying to poison Dany. As I said, Bobby was just as justified in that case. Think how good of a king Bobby was actually compared to Cersei or Dany!

    I’m not particularly fond of these “late last minute knowings” myself but to each his own.

  266. Before Jon found out he was half Targaryan/Stark, him and Daeny seems to balance each other out. I would like to see them put aside their issues and rule together, as Targaryan’s not husband/wife. I’m still hoping for Daeny. I’m sure if she dies, then Drogon will die too, they are way too connected to live without each other, but if Drogon does die in this last episode, I will be just heartbroken.

  267. Tycho Nestoris,

    Maybe Jon has finally learned to lie? Dany gave him a lecture in the dragonpit when he couldn’t lie to Cersei. It might be a way to save his neck temporarily, giving them all enough time to take her out.

    talvikorppi,

    Thanks for bringing up the map room, I thought it was significant that the floor split with massive cracks. Possibly meaning the 7 Kingdoms will fracture after this and Iron Throne will be no more.

  268. I’ll have to catch up on the comments later so I’ll probably repeat several things others have written. It’s always a ton of reading on Monday morning. 🙂

    Right now I will say that I’m on board with Sue’s “pretty specific” thoughts.
    Jaime, Cersei, Brienne, and Valonqar:
    At least Jaime killed Euron. That’s a plus. The rest of his actions felt like an erasing of every bit of growth that he appeared to be making throughout the series to the culmination of his ‘coupling’ with Brienne. Suddenly he’s right back to “the only thing that matters is Us,” and doesn’t give a shit about Brienne.

    I wrote last night that I believe Cersei/Lena was given too honorable of a death. People have been wanting her to ‘eat it’ in various ways since the beginning and often described in methods that are rather gruesome. Instead of any of that they turned everything on its head in the final minutes and tried to make her a character deserving sympathy. I didn’t have any for her. Several times during the series Jaime and Cersei mentioned burning the city to the ground themselves if anyone stood in their way or got between them. Maybe having them die in that manner is a consolation even though they didn’t start the fire.

    I described Jaime’s actions as an erasing of his growth, which is essentially an erasing of his entire story arc and right back to where he was near the beginning. I believed there was no way he was abandoning Brienne for Cersei because, well, of what I just wrote. I figured he’d see her one last time at least. Nobody will know exactly what happened to Jaime. Tyrion will be able to guess perhaps but nobody else knew what his plan was before going in, not even Jaime apparently. Where does this leave Brienne now and what are her thoughts about Jaime? To her he was an honorable man that knighted her and she loved him, but as soon as he slept with her he was, “okay, well, see ya later,” left her and died with Cersei. Nice.

    Unless the Valonar prophesy just disappears in the books I also don’t know how Jaime and Cersei can have the same ending. Maybe George’s ending plans are so vague that all he could tell them is that they both die in the collapsing Red Keep.

    Daenerys:
    I agree that the step from where Daenerys was to THAT was too large. A lot of people are saying that the foreshadowing was there. It is true that there were signs of her taking extreme measures and the show even added in a couple extra things while it covered book material. Still, none of what she had done can explain how she went from the good that she’s tried to do for people to purposely frying every civilian she saw in the city. Yes, everything up to the bells ringing was in line and expected. I’d have even accepted her flying to the Red Keep following the bells ringing and destroying it, Cersei and not carrying about other casualties within. THAT amount might have been a level of insane that was foreshadowed enough.

    Varys:
    His betrayal and treason was quickly extinguished eh. So what exactly did he do or achieve? He was going to or did send out ravens with the word that Jon is Aegon? At the time of doing so I’m wondering how that matters to most of Westeros. Nobody knows Jon in the south. Those that have heard of him just thought he was Ned Stark’s bastard. Everyone in the south has been told that Ned was a traitor. Finding out the truth they would know/think AeJon is also a Targaryen, which they’re afraid of, and raised by a northern traitor. Hmm…

    Cleganebowl:
    I was never one that desired this. My imaginations always pictured a regular fight with spectators. I tried to jazz it up with some ideas but it was still too large men clanging swords. What they did was better and more visually stunning. The outcome was sad but it was well done.

    Jon, Davos, Tyrion:
    I guess we can say these three are second-guessing their allegiance. As Mr Derp wrote last night, Jon should have slept with her and maybe a million people wouldn’t have died. I AM NOT excited to see Sansa’s “I told you so” face.

    ASNAWP:
    Can she just become a Lady now please, or take Gendry and sail away. She’s been covered with blood, guts, mud, dust, smoke, ash, bits of stone, shards of ice crystals, singed by fire and dragonfire, knocked silly and unconscious, fallen down stairs, jumped over walls on to roofs, been bashed through doors… She needs a rest!! Big props to Maisie! They weren’t kidding when they told her she needed to be ready for action.

  269. krupke:
    King in the North East,

    Why would he assume that?He knows himself what’s done to children on Planetos (e.g. his own mutilation when he was a child).She said she was worried that she was being watched and he decided the risk was worth it….

    Well, when there’s potentially thousands of children’s lives on the line, yes, it may have been worth it.

    And I need to note that, as far as we know, Varys is dead and the child is still alive.

    He was also 100% right about Dany and he was 100% right on no one killing the child.

  270. I liked everything about the episode except the Jaime/Euron segment. I have no idea why Benioff and Weiss were so hell bent on making Euron a cartoon Jack Sparrow, but they really succeeded. Even at the bitter end he was still a mustache twirling cartoon. I half expected him to tie Jaime to some railroad tracks.

  271. TormundsWoman:
    King in the North East,

    Yes well, if you follow the thread you’re responding to you’ll see that was my point all along. You cannot “know” for sure and Che believes Varys knew and more than that: he knew he knew so that he was justified in preemptively trying to poison Dany. As I said, Bobby was just as justified in that case. Think how good of a king Bobby was actually compared to Cersei or Dany!

    I’m not particularly fond of these “late last minute knowings” myself but to each his own.

    Yeah, but you don’t have to ‘know’ something in order for you to see or recognize a likely potential outcome.

    All Varys is doing is going off of what he does know, applying that to the current situation and then determining where it would’ve likely gone.

    That’s not unreasonable.

    His suspicions were entirely justified and he did what he did because, if he was right, the consequences would have been terrible.

    And they were.

  272. Lars,

    And some people really have forgotten what show they are watching. “If you were expecting a happy ending you haven’t been paying attention”.

    ^ This!

  273. Steel_Wind: The belief in character arcs as part of literary criticism arises out of the artificial construct of the story — any story. The story has a beginning, middle and end. Because it is a fictional story, it’s a contrivance, so we believe the author is telling us a tale of a character with an arc, a progression from Point A to B.

    But George’s message is that narrative device is wrong when it comes to judging actual real, live people. Actual real people don’t have an arc. .George is trying to escape from literary devices and cliches in ASoIaF. That approach is not just about twisting tropes and having unexpected results for the helluva it..

    It’s about looking at people making choices, at the time they made them, for the complicated reasons that they made them. Only with an omniscient eye, seeing the whole of their lives, can you even attempt to pass judgment.

    Because real people in the real world don’t have arcs. They only have a then and a now.

    If you are trying to examine these characters using literary tools premised upon tradition narrative motives and goals, you miss George’s point. He is using fantasy to tell us the truth about the Human Condition.And his truth is that real people don’t have an arc.Arcs are an artificial construct. They have a past and a now. They aren’t even aware they have a well defined future in the way that a reader or viewer does. The future is tomorrow and some vague hopes for future dreams and druthers.

    So to judge a real person using an “arc” as an analytical tool is certain to fail. You and I do not have an arc Che. We have a then and a now.George is trying to write epic fantasy from the grimmest and grittiest of approaches where his characters do not have arcs. They have a then and a now and reasons that made sense at the time.

    That is the point about the Human Condition GRRM is trying to make.

    Of course real people have arcs. They may not last the span of a story, rather, a life time, but everyone is constantly evolving based on external factors (plot points in a story) in their lives.

    Character arcs aren’t literary devices, they are a part of the very fabric of a story along with the plot. The character arcs work in tandem with the plot – one is the internal journey of change (or no change – static arcs) and plot is the external factors of the story (the events happening). They have to rely on each other as the characters are affected by the events going on around them and they in turn affect the events through their choices and actions, which feed off their evolution throughout the story. George is trying to write a more realistic story in which his characters behave in a more human way, but that doesn’t mean his characters haven’t been on internal journeys across the course of the story.

    All of the main characters have been own internal journeys as well as being pawns in the events of the story. You and I are on an internal journey of a lifetime, ones affected by things happening around us, shaping us, making us who we are.

    George’s characters may not fit neatly into the established arcs that are common throughout fiction (i.e. redemptive arc, fall, growth, change etc.), but to say that they are not on an internal journey, that their evolution isn’t being shaped by the events around them, is simply not true.

  274. Finally an end to this is in sight! I can have my Sunday nights back and no more Monday hangovers!

  275. TormundsWoman,

    I’m sorry, just throwing strange stuff out there to distract from the TV shellshock! 🙂

    I’m glad you find the speculation entertaining at least.

    And, there’s still the final episode, there could still be hope Dany makes things right. . .maybe.

  276. Tycho Nestoris,

    Jon could easily kill Dany. He is pretty much the only person that she allows to get close to her other than Tyrion and her trust in Tyrion is gone, so I don’t think Tyrion could do it.

    She never has any guards around when it’s just herself and Jon. Besides, Jon is capable of killing her and then killing any guards that might come after him, IMO.

  277. Re-posting here as I think it is relevant.

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    Steel_Wind,

    If there is a king or queen in the end, I would hope it is one of the big 3 characters. Ones that GRRM spent the most time telling their story. Sansa is borderline. While it would fit her storyline, she still lags far behind Jon,Tyrion, and Daenerys in total chapters/screen time. Gendry isn’t even worth discussing. Sorry, but him winding up as king would be dissatisfying for me.

    *ahem*

    I caution you that D&D have brought Gendry back after an absence of three seasons for absolutely no discernible reason at all. Moreover, they told the actor he would be brought back many seasons later, too. They knew where they were going and Gendry had to be in it.

    Gendry has not done anything story wise of any moment to date. Anybody could have been a smith. Any wilding could have run back to the Wall. And while, yes, not every character could have had sex with Arya — if she really wanted to hook up on her last night on earth, Podrick Payne could have easily be employed for that task, a few scenes written in to make it believable and there you go.

    There is a reason that the show runners not only brought Gendry back — but KNEW they would have to bring him back years before they did so, too.

    I am sorry if that deconstruction is too “meta” for you, but I am quite certain that “dissatisfaction” as you put it is less than a week away for you.

    Next week, by episode’s end It will be Gendry on the Throne with Sansa as his Queen — and likely Tyrion as Gendry’s Hand (perhaps not; it is true that Tyrion might die).

    Gendry has already told us that he does not know how to use a fork. The implication is that the REAL ruler of the Seven Kingdoms will be Sansa and Tyrion, and so the Seven Kingdoms will be well served. Gendry will “reign” — in the sense that he will do as he is told by those who are far better qualified than him to actually govern. Gendry reigns; Sansa rules.

    And of course, it means that we end up right where Ned and King Robert intended in Episode 1. The Houses of Baratheon and Stark would be joined – and so they will be. Just not in the way that either patriarch originally envisioned.

  278. King in the North East,

    I wasn’t here to convince you that Varys was a traitor and and asshole and a would be murderer (which he was according to me, which obviously is not much). But you seem determined that people simply must see it your way when it comes to Varys.

    I do not and never will, because I believe the good part in characters tends to triumph especially if we see them evolve and make the right choice time and again before, in different circumstances. And while I have been proven wrong many times when reading books, I still refuse to cheer on preemptively stopping crimes that never happen at the time the character takes the action by committing a crime. Red Wedding for example was just that and I never agreed with Tywin’s point of view when he killed 1000 to spare 10,000. I always thought an actual crime has to occur before you punish the crime.

    Now you can shake hands with Che and we can all move on! I think the subject goes nowhere.

  279. Okay this morning I’m still not over Jaime-but thinking about a few things.

    Arya on a pale horse. So much symbolism.
    She is the hero. And I think there have been signs that she was going to be for a long time. Particularly how she was constantly under the supervision of mentors and guardians-rough and deadly though they were.

    Also Nymeria led her people to safety after the Valyria attacked the Rhoyne with dragons. So seeing Arya attempting-though not quite succeeding-to get that group of people to safety was absolutely a nod to that for me.

    Remember what Tywin Lannister did to the Reynes of Castamere? He buried them alive and blocked off all escape routes (oh he also diverted streams so they drowned-but you get the point). So his children being buried alive is a nod to that I think.
    I still hate it. She tortured people and had them raped for fun, blew up a sept, caused the death of countless people we cared about-arguably caused or created the circumstances that led to the death of all her children-and Lena did such a good job acting like a lost, frightened girl afraid of death that I almost felt sorry for her.
    But I wish she’d gotten to speak. I wish she’d had some moment of awareness or something. The blood on her hands was too subtle for me.

    Jaime saying he didn’t care about the people was kind of a low blow though. Did I mention I’m still not over it?

    Emilia managed to convey a lot staring at the Red Keep as the bells rang, but I almost wish we’d been able to hear all those voices in her head at that moment, instead of in the intro.

    And I’m also still just befuddled about what’s happened to Jon. Jon fights for the friends and family and people he loves. He said he loved Dany but he looked down and away and didn’t approach her. He pulled away and didn’t explain that they were family and she wasn’t alone.
    Honestly, he’s never been completely comfortable around her, and they don’t give him enough dialogue to explain that. Also he didn’t get as mad at Varys for talking treason as he did at LF for saying he loved Sansa.
    Jon has always been my guy-a genuine hero who I always thought would make the best leader-but he’s just been so ambivalent this season. Like he’s just the prop people are fighting over, and it kind of ticks me off. Not sure where they’re going with that.

    The things we left behind:
    The voice in the flames
    Jaime’s redemption
    Sandor’s visions
    Cersei’s comeuppance
    Any hope of this ending well

    BTW Bran saw all of this. Did he want this to happen? A little head’s up would have been nice.

    Crazy wish for last episode that I know is pointless:
    Sure I’m happy Sandor went out like a boss for a lifetime revenge plan after telling Arya not to be like him.
    BUT-in my dreams he’ll wake up, one-eyed like Beric from the rubble, because “whatever it is, it’s still got plans for Sandor Clegane”

  280. Squirrel:
    Was i the only one who thought that Mother would turn up to be the waif?

    Hopefully you were because the waif IS DEAD! Her face could be used, but she’s dead. Of course they’ve taken liberties with just about everything, but still, that would be dumb/pointless.

  281. Mr Derp,

    Why on earth would Daenerys let Jon live after this episode? Much less allow him to be close enough to kill her? GW even saw Jon disobey the sacking orders. If she allows Jon to live, or worse, be close to her, then she is quite dumb. She even says that Jon betrayed her BEFORE she nukes the city. If she still trusts Jon then I don’t even know what to do with show’s logic.

  282. Yeah, I could nitpick about some things, like, how was it so easy fot Dany/Drogont to take out the Iron Fleet this week when it was difficult, well nigh impossible last week.

    Ho hum. I’m not gonna “hate” the show for such inconsistencies.

    This episode was brilliant. Probably one of the best the show has ever done. The horror of war, the horror of the game of thrones.

    Notice how Arya and Jon were shown to see Dany’s atrocities, shaken to the core by them. A time for wolves, methinks.

  283. GOT feels like “Dynasty” now.. with all the mad women… Maybe Alexis could show up in the last episode and sit on the iron throne?

  284. TormundsWoman: I still refuse to cheer on preemptively stopping crimes that never happen at the time the character takes the action by committing a crime.

    Yeah… so you think there’s no point in trying to prevent the likely murder of tens, possibly hundreds of thousands of innocent people by deposing of a ruler?

    You’re very right, I can’t agree with that. At all.

  285. Clob,

    I never thought of that.

    It pours crap on the knighting if Jaime really turned out to be a bit of nothing. Poor Brienne.

  286. Rygar: Finally an end to this is in sight! I can have my Sunday nights back and no more Monday hangovers!

    I took next Monday off from work. I’m going to need it.

  287. Adam,

    Well, frankly speaking, there were similar cases both in the Middle Ages and Antiquity: for instance, the Mongol conquest was equally brutal. But Genghis Khan never saugh to be a breaker of chains. The only group of mass murderers who saw themselves as “breakers of chains” were the followers of Karl Marx. So, IDK but now ASOIAF really looks like a story conceived by a disilluzioned marxist after reading GULAG Achipelago:)
    Sorry, just couldn’t help. LOL: Great Blindness and its consequences.

  288. TormundsWoman,

    Look at it like this:

    Someone you know takes out a gun and says “I’m going outside to kill all of my enemies, no matter who gets in my way! It is my destiny.”

    According to you, the time to take action would be AFTER they had done it.

  289. I am incredibly impressed with Emilia’s range sitting atop Drogon. I’ve never been overly impressed but they way her face shifted. Wow. Dany is lost. She’s hopeless. It was painful to watch even if signs have been there all along.

    The absolute highlight over the past few episodes has been Maisie Williams. She has always impressed, even when her plot got slow. It really does feel now that all of it lead up to this. This is amazing character development. D&D did so right by her. Her struggle through the streets, most of it without a word, was just amazing. Plot armor or not, that sequence delivered in a huge way.
    The final moment between Sandor and Arya was another perfect moment. I loved that he showed, in the end, that he really did want to protect her. That he knew his mission also meant his end but he refused to let her follow suit. He feared for her and not himself. Woah. That so good.

    Maisie deserves an Emmy. I hate award shows but she has been so solid.

  290. Tycho Nestoris:
    Mr Derp,

    Why on earth would Daenerys let Jon live after this episode? Much less allow him to be close enough to kill her? GW even saw Jon disobey the sacking orders. If she allows Jon to live, or worse, be close to her, then she is quite dumb. She even says that Jon betrayed her BEFORE she nukes the city. If she still trusts Jon then I don’t even know what to do with show’s logic.

    Tycho Nestoris: Why on earth would Daenerys let Jon live after this episode?

    This is Planetos, not Earth 😉

    Tycho Nestoris: If she still trusts Jon then I don’t even know what to do with show’s logic.

    Hey blame the writing, not me.

    How do you think Dany’s story ends?

    Yes, she felt that Jon betrayed her and still had a conversation ALONE with him.. Derp.

  291. King in the North East: True, but I think he’s assuming people wouldn’t just kill a child. I don’t think he’s wrong.

    And ultimately he’s just asking her to send a scroll.

    Is he just asking her to send the scrolls? At minimum he has her watching Dany and with the talk about kitchens and trying again at dinner, isn’t the implication that he’s having her try to poison Dany?

    I thought him leaving the rings in the cup was probably a payment to the girl for trying her best, but also now wondering if it isn’t hope on his part that the girl will keep trying even after he’s executed.

  292. On second thought maybe I shouldnt drink and watch, I didnt even realize the Hound and Cersei died. I just thought he pushed Baby Greg off the wall and Cersei ducked under some rubble with Jay.

  293. King in the North East,

    Excuse me? I don’t need you to get behind on anything. You’re the one who jumped into a conversation looking to be right(?)

    Dany didn’t plan to burn the city. They had a plan of attack everyone agreed on. Bells were the sign of surrender, they were to stop the attack as soon as they heard the sound. Varys “knew” she was going to murder the innocent people was a guess 50% guess at best. Just like me waking in the street and getting hit by a car. Apparently he was the only one character who thought that.

    So no, at the time Varys planned to dispose of her she committed and planned no crime. But carry on.

  294. Haven’t read through the comments yet, so not sure if this has been said yet, but.. I really enjoyed the conversation the Hound/Arya had, essentially him telling her “turn back, revenge is not worth all of this pain/suffering”.. I though it was interesting as that seems the same lesson Jon/Tyrion and Co. were trying to get Dany to understand. Arya got it (understood) and Dany did not. Just thought it was an interesting comparison.

  295. I’m still overwhelmed by that episode. I’ll be watching it several more times over the course of the week while I hang out her and avoid most of the rest of the Internet, but for now, my top 5 highlights …

    1. CleganeBowl – People have been crying “Get Hype!” for so long that I felt like the memefication of it overtook the true narrative significance of what it would mean to see Sandor Clegane and Gregor Clegane face one another in a grand battle to the death. Nevertheless, once it became clear that it was inevitable, I was looking forward to it … and what we got surpassed all of my expectations. That haunting, majestic shot of the Hound ascending the stairs to face the Mountain as the Red Keep crumbles around them and King’s Landing burns in the background … it quite literally took my breath away. One of the best in the entire series. The fight itself was appropriately gruesome, brutal, and ugly … and yet felt classically beautiful in the scope of its impact and tragedy. And that final shot of the two of them going into the fire together … My God.

    2. Jaime and Cersei die together – It never could have happened any other way. Jaime and Cersei have been two of my favorite characters in this story, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Lena Headey have been two of my favorite actors. And they were INCREDIBLE in their final moments together (Lena, especially … I don’t know if she’ll win her long-overdue Emmy this year, but Good God does she deserve it). I don’t care about the niceties of the valonqar prophecy – though in many ways, I believe it actually was fulfilled. I love the visual of the Red Keep falling down on them. It’s an iconic symbol of power in this world, and so much of what Cersei and Jaime have done in their lives, together and apart, has been tied up in those walls – the things that they’ve done for power, for their children, for each other, for the realm … and yes, for love. I thought everything about it worked, and that image of the Lannister twins holding one another, leaving the world together just as they came into it, was perfect.

    3. Arya and the Pale Mare – OK, I don’t know if it was actually a mare, but regardless, the symbolic nature of that idea is just too good to pass up. That sequence was so beautiful and ethereal that I’ve seen some people wondering if it was actually a dream, a manifestation of Arya’s dying mind as she departed this world. Obviously it’s not, but I see the appeal of that theory because the scene really did feel like it transcended reality in the best possible way.

    Arya’s had my favorite arc of any character this season … from killing the literal manifestation of Death to finally rediscovering her humanity and choosing life as death rains down around her – I’ve just loved everything about it. All hail Maisie Williams – I really believe that she’s delivering her best work ever.

    4. Tyrion and Jaime say farewell – This scene was such a beautiful, tragic reflection of the Season 4 scene where Jaime freed Tyrion. At that time, the two brother thought that might be their final goodbye. This time, they know it. When Tyrion broke down talking about how he never would have survived his childhood without Jaime, and the way he clung to him like he never wanted to let go, even though he knew that he had too … I broke down as well. Peter Dinklage, man. I know he’s won three Emmys for this role, but it somehow still feels like he’s underappreciated.

    5. Dany and Jon by the fire – This scene tore my heart out … and that’s why it was so good. I wanted so, so badly for Jon and Dany to be happy together, and I held on to that hope tightly with every ounce of strength I could muster … and this was the moment that my grip finally broke and I felt it all falling away. When Dany said the words “All right, then … let it be fear,” – I felt my spine freeze and my stomach sink through the floor. I don’t know if I’ve ever been more terrified or more heartbroken at any point watching this show.

  296. Sanrya:

    At some point or another, almost all of us have probably rooted for her….we’ve taken satisfaction in her burning the slave masters and Sons of the Harpy. We’ve cheered her destroying the Khals. We’ve LIKED her, at some point or the other. And now to see her turn that wrath indiscriminantly on the KL civilians, it makes us feel uncomfortably complicit in her actions, just as Jon and Arya did. It’s easy to say Cersei was “bad”, and that Dany was justified in removing her from the throne (for succession reasons, or because you just hate Cersei), but my take away has been that there is no justifiable war. Morale high ground is an illusion. Weapons of mass destruction cannot be controlled (see the wildfire, the WW,’s The Mountain, and the Dragons). The only way to win, is not to play.

    THIS exactly this. when she was doing something that WE wanted her to do she was our girl. When she stepped out of the building after burning the Khals it was the “Yaaas Queen” heard round the world.

    now think for a moment. If she had not went “mad” queen…but instead flew directly to the red keep..stared down Cersie and said “Dracarys” every one of us would have been cheering…Cersie would have had a dramatic end..Dany would be the “hero” and all would be well in the fandom.

    And but for a few “small” things we may have gotten that. If Jorah was still there to bring her back from the edge. If her best friend had not been executed right in front of her..if her lover had not told her his true identity..if she had not lost another of her children..if the North had shown her an ounce of at least gratitude (if not respect) for the helping them defeat the NK..she has always walked that fine line ever since season 1..its not hard to see how all these happening in a short time set her off.

    You F’d up Westeros. You woke the Dragon. And as far as she is concerned you will ALL pay the price.

  297. Flora Linden,

    I don’t know what would make things right? What do you think it would be right? I wonder if she’d go mad now seeing the consequences of her actions. They say she didn’t go literally mad (the actors and Benioff and Weiss) so maybe she retained the ability to feel remorse and shame? Not sure. Will see next week.

    PS. I do love speculation 🙂

  298. Mr Derp,

    Queen of the Ashes.

    I was literally going to write Planetos but was afraid I’d be labeled a nerd. Thank you for proving that assumption wrong. And I def don’t blame you : )

  299. Tycho Nestoris:
    Mr Derp,

    Why on earth would Daenerys let Jon live after this episode? Much less allow him to be close enough to kill her? GW even saw Jon disobey the sacking orders. If she allows Jon to live, or worse, be close to her, then she is quite dumb. She even says that Jon betrayed her BEFORE she nukes the city. If she still trusts Jon then I don’t even know what to do with show’s logic.

    Yes, she says that Jon betrayed her earlier in the episode, and then proceeded to have a private conversation with him afterwords just before the battle without any guards around. Derp! I can see if happening again. It’s not like every writing decision lately has made 100% sense. It can and will happen again. D&D prefer drama over common sense.

    Sorry for repeating myself, but my first post got stuck in moderation purgatory.

    So you think the story ends with Dany still on the throne?

  300. Steel_Wind,

    If Gendry sits on the throne at the end of episode 6 (or more relevantly, at the end of the final book), George had better be prepared to write a long and detailed account of the civil war that followed his coronation.

    The lords of Westeros, who conveniently get forgotten about, but in truth, there are hundreds of them and exceedingly prejudiced and proud, are not very unlikely to accept a bastard as their new king. Especially a bastard with nothing to actually prove his father’s identity (such as being acknowledged by Robert). In their pride and arrogance, they just wouldn’t accept a man who claims to be the unrecognised bastard son of Robert Baratheon and a peasant woman from Fleabottom. Everything we know about them says they wouldn’t accept it; there is a high probability that either immediately or in the near future there would be another civil war when the high lords of Westeros get tired of being ruled by someone they feel is so beneath them (and who has no proof of his claim).

    That’s not to say it definitely won’t happen, but if it does, I expect a lengthy appendix at the end of A Dream of Spring. I expect one anyway, as GRRM’s now famous ‘Aragorn’s tax policy’ quote is with regards to what sort of a ruler Aragorn turned out to be (just because he was a good man, that didn’t make him a good king).

  301. I see people saying Dany killed a million people. Not that it makes a difference, but I don’t think the show meant for her to kill literally every person in the city. By the way the characters spoke leading up to and during the episode, it was really closer to 10 thousand than 1 million.

    I know this doesn’t change the fact that she did it after the surrender. But I don’t think they intended to show that she killed literally everyone.

    I am completely understanding of people being utterly devastated at the actions of Dany and feeling the show went too far. The common reaction among the critics seems to be the character development was unearned. I would say the extent to which she snapped was probably unearned. There really is no going back from that. No amount of remorse can make up for it.

    I have trouble seeing a bittersweet ending from this. There is no happiness that is possible for Jon. None. I don’t see how he winds up as king. The Targaryen name is tarnished forever, and the only way one of them could rule and maintain power now is through fear. And even then, one dragon alone won’t be able to prevent an eventual uprising.

  302. TormundsWoman:
    King in the North East,

    Excuse me? I don’t need you to get behind on anything. You’re the one who jumped into a conversation looking to be right(?)

    Dany didn’t plan to burn the city. They had a plan of attack everyone agreed on. Bells were the sign of surrender, they were to stop the attack as soon as they heard the sound. Varys “knew” she was going to murder the innocent people was a guess 50% guess at best. Just like me waking in the street and getting hit by a car. Apparently he was the only one character who thought that.

    So no, at the time Varys planned to dispose of her she committed and planned no crime. But carry on.

    A 50% guess at best. 🤨

    I’m guessing you missed the scenes where she clearly said she wouldn’t take innocents into account. Both here and in the previous episode.

    Even so, you think a 50% chance is acceptable when we’re talking about a hundred thousand or more innocents lives? You think any reasonable leader is going to sign off on a mission with a 50% chance of massive civilian casualties?

    Yeah, sure. Varys’ best course of action was to do absolutely nothing after she’d explicitly told him she was planning to do these things, knowing full well this isn’t the first time she had to be talked out of burning cities.

    And this time… she clearly wasn’t going to listen to anyone telling her what to do.

    So you carry on as well.

  303. krupke,

    Replying to King in the North East
    #teamVarys
    “One of the only characters in the show to ever show any concern for us regular folks.”

    He certainly had no qualms about sending that little girl into danger at the beginning of the episode.

    Varys’ getting that scroll out of Winterfell was “for the realm” — his North Star for which there needed to be many sacrificial pawns.

  304. Too many people have been cutting Daenarys the Entitled way too much slack for way too long. I guess pretty blonde white girls can get away with anything.

    All along, Mad Dany has been a spoiled brat with a sense of entitlement a mile long, who thinks that just because she is who she is, a land and a people that she’s never seen belong to her.

    Whenever she’s had power, she’s used it tyrannically; she has destroyed everything she’s touched. It would be a sorry day for Westeros if ever the likes of her should ascend to the Sword Throne, the which the Old Gods forfend.

  305. TormundsWoman,

    Watch only Dany’s story in the TV series and you will have the same conclusion. I’ve watched it so many times, I almost know it by heart. Also, show Dany is less a spoiled brat than books Dany.

  306. Tyrion Pimpslap,

    True, once word reaches Westeros that Jon is the true king, and is another Targaryen, I doubt that he’ll be embraced like he could’ve been prior to the scorching of KL.

    He’d be so much better off going back up North. I hope that’s the route he takes.

    Leave the political backstabbing and squabbling to Sansa.

  307. Tycho Nestoris,

    While I 100% agree with you…it’s probably going to happen. I don’t see much other purpose for the scene earlier in the episode where Greyworm is with Dany and Jon enters the room, and Dany tells Greyworm it’s alright, to leave them be.

    That was some not so subtle, heavy handed foreshadowing of Dany allowing herself alone in a room with Jon even against her own guard’s wishes. Though again, I agree with you it would not make much sense for Dany to allow this to happen again, I am guessing they won’t care about that logic and it will happen again.

  308. Jack Bauer 24,

    Davos has committed treason before and against a ruler he truly was invested in/was faithful to (Stannis). He committed no treason towards Jon and he is the one he follows. Davos listened to someone he finds to be a rational man (Tyrion) and likely found his plea for help reasonable. Davos has always considered his own morality when making decisions, he’s guided by that as much as by his desire to follow a good leader.

  309. Mango,

    Jaime knew he wasn’t making it out alive of KL. He just told people – even Cersei – what they wanted to hear. It didn’t matter anymore to him what he said.

  310. Watched again and have revised a few opinions. Still love the cinematography and music – OUTSTANDING.

    Overall I have no problem with the way the story is ending.

    I just have a huge problem how we got here. I was worried this would happen when D&D announced Confederate (they were already mentally moving on), and HBO announced the final timeline. We went from a deep character-driven show with meandering twists and turns and backstory and context, to a full-throttle finish.

    I think GGRM’s version will make a lot more sense and fill in the blanks. The problem is, now we’ve been spoiled so it won’t be nearly as captivating to me.

    On second watch, it became clear that the first time around I was just looking for ways to not call Dany crazy. But you all were right, she went full-on Mad Queen. This wasn’t anger and loneliness and “fed-up” Dany. I might have bought that she “snapped” if she had just headed to the Red Keep and destroyed it. But she went systematically row-by-row destroying all the homes and killing millions. There’s no coming back from that kind of irredeemable slaughter. She needs to be put in a straight jacket and locked away.

    Still surprised Cercei didn’t have anything clever planned. Lena deserved a more epic end. And I’m sorry, I still have whiplash from Jaime the Great flipping back to Jaime the Simpering Fool. I don’t mind him sliding backwards, it was the speed and abruptness that was so weird.

    And then Arya. She is the bright light in this mess. Maisie’s acting was remarkable and her relationship with Sandor was perfect.

    I did find myself wishing that she would happen upon Jon, give him a hand up on the back of her horse, and say, “Let’s go home, this isn’t us.”

  311. Rygar,

    God rest the souls of that poor family… and pussy’s half price for the next 15 minutes.

    Perfect.

  312. Mr Derp,

    Re: Queen of Ashes

    I do. For no other reason than if someone kills her, IMO, it will make very little sense. I mean she just torched everything and said she’d rule through fear. Who can stop her?

    Asha’s ships are fodder.
    Jon cannot be trusted to get close enough. His dragon dead.
    Tyrion is marked man.
    The Iron Bank is non existent.
    The WW are defeated.
    Sansa has no method to kill her.
    Bronn with his little bow? That would at least be kind of funny in a cheesy way.

    I guess Arya or Bran but those endings (a FM assassination and warg assassination, respectively) destroy Daenerys’ story. IMO it would breed even more questions about the story than there already are. Specifically, why Arya rejected being a FM in the a previous episode and why Bran would let Daenerys get this far without any kind of warning.

    Am I forgetting someone? Quaithe was breifly in the show but is long gone. The Red Priestess from Mereen was cut. The Alchemist was cut.

    At this point let the mad tyrant sit the throne until she becomes her paranoid father (20-30 years should be enough) and let this whole mess start again.

  313. Tyrion Pimpslap:
    I see people saying Dany killed a million people. Not that it makes a difference, but I don’t think the show meant for her to kill literally every person in the city. By the way the characters spoke leading up to and during the episode, it was really closer to 10 thousand than 1 million.

    I know this doesn’t change the fact that she did it after the surrender. But I don’t think they intended to show that she killed literally everyone.

    I am completely understanding of people being utterly devastated at the actions of Dany and feeling the show went too far. The common reaction among the critics seems to be the character development was unearned. I would say the extent to which she snapped was probably unearned. There really is no going back from that. No amount of remorse can make up for it.

    I have trouble seeing a bittersweet ending from this. There is no happiness that is possible for Jon. None. I don’t see how he winds up as king. The Targaryen name is tarnished forever, and the only way one of them could rule and maintain power now is through fear. And even then, one dragon alone won’t be able to prevent an eventual uprising.

    The 10,000 people was an estimate of how many civilians were sheltering in the Red Keep because at the time, the concern was that Dany would burn the Red Keep to get to Cersei (I don’t think anyone on Dany’s council foresaw her being capable of burning the entire city). We saw the whole city burning and we saw Arya frequently being the only one to make it out of the bombardment. That obviously doesn’t mean every single of the 1 million residents of Kings Landing died, but from the way the attack was shown in the episode, it looked like the majority of people were dying. So 1 million is rounding up – is there any difference though between say 700,000 and 1 million people? Another factor is that people were pouring in from the countryside to seek shelter in King’s Landing, so there were more than a million people there at the time and most died.

  314. Tycho Nestoris: At this point let the mad tyrant sit the throne until she becomes her paranoid father (20-30 years should be enough) and let this whole mess start again.

    I could see it going a number of different ways, but this ending just kind of sounds bitter with no sweet mixed in to balance out the flavor. Who knows though? I have a hard time believing that Jon would allow Dany to stay on the throne knowing he helped get her there in the first place, so she better kill him fast if thats what she’s going to do.

    Also, if Dany stays on the throne then that pretty much means every other character besides Greyworm is screwed. Dany will never let Winterfell continue to exist. She’d rip out the Starks root and stem after all that’s happened.

  315. So was I only imagining that it was (the actual) Ilyn Payne who Cersei had on the wall to perform Missandei’s beheading last week?
    Even if that wasn’t him then, I’m pretty sure that Ilyn Payne is still the only (live) person on Arya’s “Kill list”. (Maisie Williams tweeted who was left on the list in mid-April, though “Ilyn” was autocorrected to “Liam” – and apparently “Liam Payne” is a Pop music star -Group: “One Direction”- and there was some amusement.)

    So, Was there an “on stage” death of Ser Ilyn Payne (the tongue-less) that I just missed this week? Completing deaths for all those from Arya’s list?
    Or maybe he is just going to be forgotten in this rush to the end – especially now that Arya has been set on a new path through The Hound’s guidance and examples?

    A guess, in a show with 8 seasons of loose strings in its’ weave, this is a pretty small loose string to quibble over at this point, probably.

  316. I completely agree, Jaime’s actions this season have been mind boggling. I was convinced he was going back to kill Cersei… I’m disappointed he took two steps forward to becoming a better person then backslid all the way to Cersei. Again! So frustrating.

    Arya and Sandor was heartbreaking and my favorite moment. He went out in glorious Cleganebowl fashion though so it’s not surprising how it ended. He will always be my favorite character. May the hype rest in peace

  317. Mr Derp: I could see it going a number of different ways, but this ending just kind of sounds bitter with no sweet mixed in to balance out the flavor.Who knows though?I have a hard time believing that Jon would allow Dany to stay on the throne knowing he helped get her there in the first place, so she better kill him fast if thats what she’s going to do.

    Also, if Dany stays on the throne then that pretty much means every other character besides Greyworm is screwed.Dany will never let Winterfell continue to exist.She’d rip out the Starks root and stem after all that’s happened.

    I am hoping for a three-pronged attack to oust Dany. Arya takes out Greyworm, Dany’s seemingly only bodyguard, Tyrion takes out Drogon and Jon takes out Dany.

    Nothing I want ever actually happens in this show, so this definitely won’t happen, but it’s nice to theorise while we still have the luxury to do so.

  318. Che: Nothing I want ever actually happens in this show, so this definitely won’t happen, but it’s nice to theorise while we still have the luxury to do so.

    So true. Same for me. This is the very last week to theorize, so let it all out now while there’s still time!

  319. I’m kind of stumped why George would call this “bittersweet”. It seems a lot closer to nihilistic. I question if some of the character arcs (like Jorah) mean anything and there’s no real coming back from this event for Westeros. This would take decades to get over and even attempt to rebuild some sense of life.

    Seems like a pretty nihilistic ending to me. What’s the theme of the story? History repeats, runs a cyclical circle, and then you die?

  320. Adam,

    It’s good to find someone, who’s thinking along the same lines, but if GRRM really tried to pass Dany for Josif Visarionovich, it’s even worse. Cause it’s the wrong story: Hitler was a monster of Stalin’s making – his “Icebreaker”, as Viktor Suvorov has rightfully labelled him. It’s known. There’s plenty of proof. By that rule the others should have been the product of the LoL or something. Could have been a proper twist.

    But still, Dany was a wrong charracter for the role. She was build up like a person with a tender heart, although with bad upbringing. She was a dragon, but we were told that dragons a reasonable beings who could tell a friend from foe; they were shown to be loyal and protective. And now she has been turned into a villain, like because she lost a sextoy. After all Jon offered her love – a brotherly love, which might have been even more reliable than a romantic one (though I’ve never got why an avuncular marriage was suddenly turned into a no-no issue angainst all the rules of the Medieval European history). So, if Dany had such a vulnerable psyche, how could she actually recover after Drogo’s death? How could she endure all that she endured? It’s not even a tragedy – it’s a farce. It’s worse than Disney Star Wars.

  321. I always enjoy watching re-watches of older episodes, but honestly, I don’t know how much I’ll enjoy older episodes now that most of the ending has played out.

    The white walker threat was such a letdown in the end. Watching any scenes involving them from seasons 1-7 will just make me realize how utterly pointless it all was in the end.

    Watching Dany from seasons 1-7 will be interesting, but I’m going to have a hard time seeing a person capable of purposefully murdering tens of thousands of innocent civilians. There was foreshadowing of her going too far with some things, but there just wasn’t anything there to suggest she’d be capable of the worst of war atrocities.

  322. orange: Seems like a pretty nihilistic ending to me. What’s the theme of the story? History repeats, runs a cyclical circle, and then you die?

    That’s one of the aspects I’m struggling with right now too. What am I supposed to take from this story that isn’t simply stating the obvious that history repeats itself?

    I actually prefer Mark Twain’s line about history. “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.”

  323. Mr Derp,

    Yes. There is nothing bittersweet about Dany ruling in the end. If that happens, the Starks and Tyrion and every other character people love are dead. I’d argue there’s already no chance of any sweetness, but GRRM feels otherwise.

    At this point, Bran has to have a major role in bringing down Dany. As does Arya. Jon may deal the final blow, but there should be no way he is able to get in that position without Bran and Arya nullifying Drogon and GreyWorm/any guards.

    Seven Hells, this shit is sad!

  324. ThisGirlHasNoName: Still surprised Cercei didn’t have anything clever planned. Lena deserved a more epic end.

    Apparently her entire plan was to rely on the scorpions to take out the last dragon and then the threat would be essentially over. You could tell she lost almost all hope when Qyburn told her all of the scorpions were destroyed. That was all she had.

    A lot of people seemed to be expecting something to be done with wildfire. I did notice a couple of green fire flares/explosions mixed in with Drogon’s flame runs. I figured that was maybe a little Easter egg – fire hitting a small hidden stash of wildfire here and there.

  325. HayashiM,

    I hope not. Jeesh, people need to grow up. It is a fcking show. Take your disappointment and swallow it or develop some talent and create something better.

  326. So I think Ellaria gets murdered and then the new Prince of Dorne starts a new war in the finale.

  327. DireLaboradors,

    The actor (Wilko Johnson) was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The good news is he is now apparently cancer free. The character unfortunately, did not get a proper send off. And considering that Wilko was literally facing death, that’s prob for the best imo.

  328. Clob,

    I guess when Qyburn said they “have other plans for the Targaryen girl”, the plan was just, “yea, we’re going to just use a bunch scorpions”.

  329. It is possible that D&D, much like they did with the Red Wedding, are capable of making things far worse than GRRM intended. What Dany did after the surrender seems like something D&D would add just to make things worse. I wish they wouldn’t have went that far, but it seems as though it was important for Jon to see and be used to push him in the direction he seems to be headed.

  330. keltia,

    Varys’ getting that scroll out of Winterfell was “for the realm” — his North Star for which there needed to be many sacrificial pawns.

    Yep…many sacrificial pawns.

  331. The thing that frustrates me so much is that the major fumbles of the season could have been either edited out or changed to make them less egregious. I find it hard to believe that no one challenged D&D on their BS. Cogman? Casey Bloys @ HBO? is this what they all wanted to see??

    For me it went south last week, ep 4. So many characters acting too stupid beyond belief. Edit out Gendry’s ridiculous proposal and no to Braime sex would have majorly improved the episode for me.

    I can say I kind of get what they might have been going for with this ep – juxtaposing the “mad queens” and why is it right for us to hate Cersei and root against her when we’ve been rooting for Dany all along, who is just as mad, if not moreso? I mean how many of us cheered our faces off during the Loot Train Battle?

    The sack of the city could have been accomplished with The Golden Company breaking their contract (like every book reader or book reader-adjacent assumed they would) and then Dany would still be somewhat of a heroine.

    This is why the coffee cup caused such a ruckus last week. It wasn’t the coffee cup ffs, it was the complete inattention to detail showed by how many people who saw that scene before it was released? It’s a metaphor or something…

    Would love to see the group texts amongst the cast after they read the scripts. Kind of loving how they are all feeling free to grumble themselves a bit after seeing the audience reaction. Did we deserve better as viewers? Maybe. Did they deserve better as the actors embodying these characters for years? Hell yes they did.

  332. Nick20,

    My thoughts exactly! I would add the character of Jon Snow who was also ruined this season. Completely useless! He just repeats that he doesn’t want the throne that Daenerys is his Queen and breaks away from kissing her.

    Now amount of money thrown in for the special effects and stuning visual can compensate for the show becoming a shell of its former self. No plot, no meaningful dialogues, no emotional impact and drama from character interactions.

    I’ve loved this show for years but since Episode 3 and especially Episode 4 there is only disappointment.

  333. Laura,

    Nikolaj and Peter seemed to be the most enthusiastic about the ending. Emilia and Kit, not so much. It’s hard to believe Emilia never would have been clued into where her character was headed.

  334. anyone notice Dany call Greyworm by his real name? Torgo Nudho? Symbolism that he is more human now, affected by emotion and not 100% unsullied? He let his anger get the better of him as he began fighting which is not supposed to be a trait of the unsullied.

  335. The Varys betrayal felt very organic for me, however his execution lacked something. Jon and Tyrion were too cool with it and it seemed to pass without any sorrow. The guy literally tried to save thousands of innocents and was roasted alive for it.

    Cleganebowl felt like fan service to me but was well done.

    Jamie and Cersei was sad to see, both have been excellently portrayed and I was sad to lose them. I never saw either as out right evil or hated them as I did Joffrey/Ramsey etc. Jamie as stated was at least partially a good person but he was an addict, and like many he got clean for a while before relapsing again this feels organic to the story.

    Jon, Arya, Tyrion are probably my three favourite characters, I loved the realisation that they were not fighting for the good guys as the battle or carnage plays out. Tyrion and Jon made huge mistakes backing Dany which they will need to rectify next episode and I feel sure they will. I just fear she may roast Tyrion before Jon or Arya kill her.

    We saw the dark side of Dany and Grey Worm and both need to die next week. Let’s hope Jon and Arya can provide us with the sweet part of the ending. That look from Greyworm to Jon looked like foreshadowing to me, I can see them facing off.

  336. Julia,

    Yes, way to hell is paved with good intentions. But it doesn’t go like this: it’s step by step, one compromise with onw conscience after another, it’s about accepting way too much of collateral damage. And we haven’t got a way to hell paved with good intentions type story – not in Dany’s case: it was just a sudden and a rather unmotivated snap. A way to hell paved with good intentions could now count like Jon’s and especially Tyrion’s story, but that’s also lame beyond lame, because both of them had reasons to believe in her and both remained true.

  337. huntermac87,

    She just started speaking Valyrian when Jon was around. She no longer trusted him. It wasn’t about calling GW by his real name, as she simply used the Valyrian translation of Grey Worm.

  338. krupke:
    King in the North East,

    So, it was okay for him to risk that child’s life for the “greater good?”

    Risk: very unlikely death of one child

    vs

    Risk: very likely death of 10 000 or more children. (and that’s just counting the ones in the Red Keep, not including the citizens outside in the city she also burned)

    I don’t know, what do you think?

  339. I must say it was a pretty great episode after all. I posted on the open chat link that I was pissed. I didn’t understand why I was pissed, but having rewatched and then read this recap (Thank you!) I now know my disquiet comes from the rushed feeling of these last episodes. But it was certainly a spectacle!

    But damn…..

  340. I wonder if HBO greenlighting a prequel/spinoff is a good idea now. Will enough viewers be so turned off by next week’s grand finale that very few will bother with the prequel? I think HBO might need to consider this possibility.

  341. Mango,

    No, I’ve never been Dany’s fan. My favourite was Sam and I routed for Jon. But this “twist” butchers Jon’s character even more than Dany’s. Same for Tyrion…

    OK, I admit that you were right, and I was in denial, but that doesn’t change the fact that the creators (both GRRM and D&D) simply decided to tell a bad story and in a lame way.

  342. Flora Linden:
    Mango,

    Jaime knew he wasn’t making it out alive of KL. He just told people – even Cersei – what they wanted to hear. It didn’t matter anymore to him what he said.

    Yes, I know he said “only about us” – he was just saying something that has always comforted her.

    But the rest of the words could be revised to something else. That is what you have writers to do.

  343. King in the North East,

    The recurring theme of risking lives/killing to save many is absolutely still in play. We’ve even seen how sparing a life can backfire.

    MMD was happy to be rid of TPTWP in utero… now he will burn no cities, now his Khalasar will trample no nations into dust.

    And Dany is working with the same twisted logic now by calling her madness “mercy” towards future generations.

    This will def come back to bite them all in the arse. We haven’t seen the last of mercy-killings.

  344. elli:
    Was the white horse that Arya found Harry Strickland’s horse?

    They may have reused the same horse for the scene but it couldn’t/shouldn’t have been the same one. Harry’s was thrown and killed when Drogon blew the gates out. At least it sure looked dead. His was also wearing a saddle and the one Arya rode was not. I’m assuming it was one of the Dothraki horses because of that.

  345. Inga:
    Mango,

    No, I’ve never been Dany’s fan. My favourite was Sam and I routed for Jon. But this “twist” butchers Jon’s character even more than Dany’s. Same for Tyrion…

    OK, I admit that you were right, and I was in denial, but that doesn’t change the fact that the creators (both GRRM and D&D) simply decided to tell a bad story and in a lame way.

    I think that things have turned out looking dark and hopeless. It is such a missed opportunity as there were so many better stories they could have told.

  346. Flora Linden,

    Why would they axe it? It’s not the same characters or even the same showrunners. HBO would be foolish to not try and milk this cash cow for all it is worth.

  347. Rygar,

    Robert with killer abs. Nice!

    Tyrion Pimpslap,
    True, but some could think, “Why bother, what happens later sucks anyway, it doesn’t matter in the end.” And a network/studio milking a franchise doesn’t tend to have great results down the line. *cough*Disney Star Wars*cough*

  348. Rygar:
    Flora Linden,

    If the prequel is about young Ned and Robert then it might have a following.I would love to see Zach Effron as a young Robert.

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

  349. Mr Derp,

    This all goes back to GRRM and Season 5. The show simply did not have the detailed blue print for a lot of characters.

    Varys’ whole story gets attached to Daenerys (something that seems unlikely in the book, at least that early). I’ll add here that there is one released chapter (officially) from Winds and it’s from Daenery’s most trusted advisor. A man the show killed in an alley like a dog (yes still bitter).

    Davos gets attached to Jon, which I thought was well done even if I wanted to see the show’s vision of Skagos.

    Asha and then Theon get attached to Daenerys rather than Stannis. I don’t think this change worked well at all.

    Euron and then the Golden Company get attached to Cersei. No way does this happen imo, at least not as neatly as the show.

    Sam gets reattached to Jon and Bran. Just on sheer distance this seems unlikely to happen in Winds.

    Sansa picking up Jayne Poole’s story is just silly imo. Again, there’s odd logistics at play here.

    Jaime and Breanne likely never make it to the North for WW battles.

    I think the Roose/Ramsay situation plays out in the inverse manner (Book Roose would def be first to stab. In the books Ramsay is not nearly as clever as show Ramsay). I say this because I think Book Roose lasts longer than Show Ramsay.

    Finally, the Riverlands are a tinder box in the book and the show really just glossed over that with Arya killing Walder Frey. There are so many factions there in hiding, it’s really remarkable.

    I am sure there’s countless more I left out. These small ripples get bigger and bigger. I understand why changes and cuts were made but I also get why actors felt their characters were unjustly clipped (Barristan especially!).

  350. Tryptych,

    Why do people always resort to sexist low blows to criticize her? Dany isn’t a ‘bitch’. She’s flawed, like the majority of characters in this series, and her going ham wasn’t surprising. I keep seeing the same thinking for every morally complicated female character who isn’t stuck in a tower brushing her hair while the men die for nothing. I’m really tired of the underhanded misogyny in the fan base.

  351. King in the North East,

    Sorry, but people don’t just completely lose it often. Give me one historical example of a ruler who lost it in a similar way after taking the stance of “the breaker of chains” and having a sressful but relatively successful ruling record.

  352. Sansa, Arya, Jon, Tyrion now all have a reason to kill Dany. I guess Bran might want to as well, but his reason isn’t clear to me at the moment. Which one will do it? Or will Dany remain on top and will we then be treated to a “oh lord of light, what have I done” redemption arc? I think it’s all on the table! My least fav is the Dany redemption arc, so I’m going with that just so I won’t be disappointed if it’s wrong. If it IS the redemption arc, then please let Sansa be one of the Major Character Deaths for betraying Jon’s trust…I’ll take it as a satisfying enough concession, as silly as a redemption arc for burning KL would be 🙂

  353. Clob,

    Same horse. Lord of Light.

    The little girl had a toy white horse, burned to a crisp when she was.

  354. Adam

    This and hundred times this! In the end, Daenerys turned out to be worse than the Night King and Cersei combined. I don’t see how anyone can defend this writing choice!

    It seems that Tyrion and Varys brought this on by their constant whining that Daenerys is as mad as her father. It worked as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Had they supported her in burning the Red Keep and just the Red Keep in s07e04 when she was confident and surrounded by allies, the population of King’s Landing would ring this infamous bell and all this destruction could’ve been avoided.

  355. TormundsWoman:
    Rygar,

    Lol I can see it happening though. Sansa is the new LF.

    Lord Fossoway? I doubt it. Sansa is more like a male version of David Lee Roth. No wait, that is Dany.

  356. Wow I’m speechless. I saw it coming and was in shock when it happened, how it was shown to us was just horrifying. I think I never experience so much adrenaline in my body when watching a show then with this episode.

    10/10 for me. As for that some say the story doesn’t make sense I disagree fully.

    – Dany going Mad: The signs were there, she become isolated. Felt betrayed by Jon the one (of 2 as she stated last episode) she fully trusted. Nobody is there to hold down her urges, only tyrion and she listen to him at first. She went the civil route.
    She should have try to ensure the people she was there to save them. I think it would have been better if she waited outside the walls to calm down.
    Now to why I don’t think her snapping was that out of character and realistic, Mad king started as a good person, who was kind to the people, helped them. At one moment he snapped, just out of the blue and changed in what he become, the mad king. Some think it’s bran but I think that’s unlikely. I think the answer is simple which I come to my second point: Adrealine.
    We all have those moments that we stay in a angry mood, rage etc because adrealine is pumping through our veins. And that’s what you saw with Dany, Adrealine that didn’t went down. her “The usurper sits in my family’s house” didn’t go down and only fueled her adrealine level more. It was a circle that happened.
    And wasn’t there a study that links adrealine with mood changes how some people change all of a sudden.

    Jaime: I think it is more that he couldn’t forgive himself even when the rest did forgive him. He saw himself with Brienne, a woman who is good, who he will probably change into a toxic person. I think him leaving Brienne is more to do with him saving Brienne in his mind. Cersei is the one for him because he didn’t deserve someone better than Cersei. (which I think he does deserve).

    volanqar: I think that the volanqar is not in the show because the volanqar is maybe fake Aegon that is left out of the show. I think it’s possible fake Aegon will take Dany’s route in the books and he will be reason Dany snaps.

    Cersei: Damn why did I cry when she died. Her last words haunts me. That she doesn’t want her die because of her child. And I’m wondering if Cersei would have let her emotion of Tommen’s loss through her when he died instead of putting it away and just be emotionless, if she would have go the route she went. I don’t think she would have.

    As for more episodes: Yes I agree, but I think the script of this episode is as perfect as perfect could be. For me there’s not a single bit that was bad for me in this episode. Do I think they should have have more episode to let the story breath more. Yes, I think 2 episodes more would have upgraded both the WW and Dany/Cersei storyline, maybe second part of 4 and beginning of 5 could have functioned as one episode and the second part of 5 as the other one. But will not go into that right now, maybe later this week.

    But I will thank D&D, MS, the cast for this episode. And that they make me feel sad for Cersei is something that stands out for me that the episode was brilliant.

    MVP: Can’t choose, but Emilia Clarke and Lena Heady were both brilliant in this episode. Both should win an Emmy.

  357. Clearly, Dany has her own “agency” here. Remember that word. She was not mad. She chose to do this, impulsively, out of rage, and without remorse.
    She may be mad now. This act may have driven her somewhere truly mad. We shall see next episode. But going in/ she had options, and made a choice. The bells were ringing. I thought for a second she would just b line for the red keep and burn that down. That may have provided a good end for Cersei’s reign, and set up a just but fair precedent for her rule. The Dany/Jon “conflict” would still have to be sorted next wk- he didn’t need her burning all of KL to make his decision about her. Having her take this approach would have made for a more complex resolution. No it’s all about- who’s gonna kill the new mad queen.

    I don’t know. As a spectacle, like ep 3, I enjoyed watching. It was tense. But I am pretty disappointed.

    I don’t think I’ll be able to watch Dany’s story with any sympathy again, knowing how it ends. I feel like I will loathe all of her scenes. I feel like- I don’t know about a series rewatch anytime soon.

    I’m not blaming anyone. DND, GRRM. Whatever. I just feel pretty disappointed.

  358. D&D rushed to get to the only thing GRRM told them about, the ending. They mentioned that they have had the final episode mapped out scene-by-scene for years and years. We’ll see how it turns out. My biggest fear for the show has mostly come true. The rushed nature of the last two seasons and the prioritizing of plot over character has damaged the ending for a ton of people. My only solace is that I believe this is GRRM’s ending. So while we may never get to read it, perhaps there will be enough in TWOW to set it up.

  359. Inga:
    King in the North East,

    Sorry, but people don’t just completely lose it often. Give me one historical example of a ruler who lost it in a similar way after taking the stance of “the breaker of chains” and having a sressful but relatively successful ruling record.

    One example? Just one?
    Nearly EVERY ruler we now recognize as evil started out with good intentions.

    Just think of ANY person you historically think of as evil, and take a look at what they did before they went too far.

    Of course the good intentions never made the history books, just like they shouldn’t for Dany.

    I think Dany cared about being a just ruler. But she just cares about being a ruler more.

    She’s been threatening to burn cities since season two, so come on, be real. So she’s clearly always had it in the back of her head. And even now, she still thinks she’s doing the right thing.

  360. I want to see Brienne in a Thor, Engame situation next episode, playing cyvass with Pod. Drunk, hopeless, no longer giving an F about Honor.

    Nihilism. Sounds exhausting.

  361. Imagine how great the Hound vs the Mountain would have been if it was Conan Stevens instead of that guy. Oh well. Is what it is.

  362. “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.” – Daenerys Targaryen, S06E09

    Anyone who didn’t see this coming either hasn’t been paying attention or has deliberately ignored what the show has been telling them for seasons.

    And it does amuse me that on the one hand I saw a load of people after last episode saying, “I hope she just burns the whole lot of them now” and on the other hand we now have people (many of them the same) saying, “This is so unearned. She would never kill innocents”.

    I won’t lie. The execution has been somewhat lacking, in my opinion, mainly due to the condensed nature of this final season. And I think Dany’s downfall would’ve been better served if Jon’s input had been less passive.

    But the level of shock and disbelief I’ve seen towards this turn of events is just tragically short-sighted and blinkered. And anyone clinging to the possibility that GRRM won’t do the same are beyond help at this point.

  363. What was Dany’s line to Jon? “Is that all I am to you?”

    Wrong choice of words, Dany!

    Whaaa whaaaaaaaa.

    From a guy who brought you the screen name, Sister Kisser.

  364. Inga: Sorry, but people don’t just completely lose it often.

    Also, you’re implying that you realize it’s something that does happen. Just not often.

  365. Nick20:
    They destroyed Jaime’s character. They destroyed Dany’s character.

    I have no more investment in the show. Will Dany surely do something similar in the books ? Yeah, probably.

    It’s been set up well enough that she might go mad. But you better believe it’ll make sense, if we ever read it.

    This was utter nonsense. The battle was easily won. The soldiers surrendered. And she just chose to destroy a city she plans to rule over and slaughter hundreds of thousands. For no damn reason at all. Why ? Why slaughter so many innocents ? It’s a completely nonsensical moment.

    Fuck.

    My expectations were low. They somehow managed to make it 100 times worse than I imagined.

    I’ll watch the last episode because I’ve made it this far, but as far as I’m concerned, we just witnessed the complete annihilation of the show. There is no point to anything. Just sheer nihilism and stupidity.

    Jaime was destroyed when the cast the guy with a big nose.

  366. Does anyone know where Jon’s camp was? Surely they can’t have been camped under the walls of Kings Landing? Although… logic was flushed down the toilet some time ago I guess I shouldn’t be surprised 🧐

  367. Edward,

    There was enough outside burning people that showed her madness in my honest opinion.
    1×06 the way she looked when Viserys was killed. Yes it was a horrible man. But even Cersei couldn’t kill Tyrion. And even in the books she told that Viserys was good to her before his quest for the throne.
    2×10: Locking 2 into a room, to starve to dead.
    5×05: Feeding one to her dragon, she way she talked there scared me.
    6×04: Her face when she burned the calls, it was not just revenge and justice her face said that she liked that feeling of power.
    8×04: How she talked to Jon.

    Just some highlines.

    Personally I think Dany is well written and interesting character. Her snapping is not only her genes, the coin that landed. But also the cumulative of things happening before. Her not getting love in westeros (but she got in Essos) (resentment), the starks going against her, Jon telling his sisters which let to Varys trying to put Jon on the throne (which made it clear she was right), her advisers dying, Cersei taunting her. I think if even one of these things didn’t happen, she wouldn’t have gone that far.

    I though it made perfectly sense.

    Edward,

    Still have episode 6 for that. I think we will see her changed look. And I think Emilia can bring that home. She was just brilliant. How she put every facet of Dany to the screen, her changes etc.

    And yes we need all grievance, grievance for Dany, for the people of KL, for Jon (damn that weight on his shoulders, the though: I should have taken the crown then these people would be alive.), I even grieve for Jaime and Cersei even Cersei damn it.

  368. Rygar,

    Oh God Ry you nailed that one after all dude wrote Running with the Devil.

    I found the simple life ain’t so simple
    When I jumped out, on that road
    I got no love, no love you’d call real
    Ain’t got nobody, waitin’ at home

    No love, got nobody and she’s running with the devil. Dany in a nutshell.

  369. I couldn’t agree more. I too, felt sympathy for Cersei/Jaime dying, serious kudos to both actors. This episode, IMO was the best of Season 8, so far. My heart still breaks and roots for Daeny. She is in such a dark place now, but I don’t believe she’s mad, just totally alone. And again, Emila Clark, omg, she was brilliant in this episode. did things go the way I would have liked, no, but D&D have given us a trill ride that I have not, physically, and emotionally experienced with any other show. I truly hope Daeny will get some redemption in the last show, but I fear that is hoping for too much. But, she’s my girl, I will always be on her side.

  370. I am so glad Jaime didnt try and have sex with Cersei again when she probably didnt want it. Couldnt deal with the fandom backlash again.

  371. RavenMad4GoT: grew back

    The photo people are obsessing over is a still photo taken on the set for promo purposes; it’s not from the show. This happens every year.

  372. “Ask not for whom the bells toll, because they toll for thee.”

    John Donne was a bit of a rake in his younger days in the 16th century, wrote outrageous love poetry. Turned religious in his older days, wrote outrageous religious poetry and sermons. The above quote is from a sermon. Every human killed diminishes humanity, diminishes you. Ernest Hemingway took part of that quote as the title of his famous book, for a reason.

  373. Lex,

    Agree 100%. This episode was just a master piece, no not the long night is film history, this episode is.

    Nick20,

    Why did all the tyrants in the world snap? Maybe began as good leaders and ended as tyrants. If you can answer that you can answer why Dany went that route.

    And is it so strange if you saved the city just minutes ago in a peaceful way, and the people react to you in terror which gives you an very unpleasant emotion (and give her the sense she was right, fear is the only way), the emotion of Jon which still lingers, you can’t shake that off in just a minute. And then she is standing there still rushed with adrenaline with all those thoughts flashing through her mind (adrenaline make it even that it’s fast, so every though is maybe quarter of the time), and then she sees the red keep, her family that lived that, all the stories, thinking about Cersei sitting there peacefully. It make perfect sense, especially if you combine emotion with adrenaline).

    mau,

    Oh but it was a redemption arc in a sense, he redeemed himself, but it went a step sadder. Where Theon could die with the feeling that he was a good men, Jaime’s hate for himself begin to fester again.
    And for me if somebody hates himself it means one thing, their moral compass is good. Somebody evil will just justify their bad behavior and go on with it.

    And on the other hand, Cersei is pregnant. Don’t you think a father’s duty is to protect you’re child? For me it made sense. And his death is sad for me.

  374. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

    I think therein lies the rub. Reading it, fleshed out in all its thousands of pages, will be more satisfying.

    I feel like so many of the problems are not issues with plot, but issues with pacing. These two seasons have been too rushed to flush it all out in a way that feels coherent and justifiable, despite the clues along the way.

    It’s not just tht Dany’s temperament hasn’t been foreshadowed all along. We’ve all known she could go either way. She’s always been teetering. That’s no surprise. However, showing us that Dany had several options other than burning an entire city to kill one queen. The city, and the realm, at that point, was hers already.

    Who is ever going to get behind her? I imagine very few audience members are now going to support Dany or suggest that just because there were so many little hints along the way, she’s justified in this decision. She’s gone from a “gray” character most viewers could sympathize with to some degree, to the classic evil queen with no redeeming qualities.

    What’s left of Jorah is rolling in the wind.

  375. Nick20,

    You know, it looks like it’s a rather common trend nowadays to preach that people just snap or that violence just happens. It’s like, no-one is really interested in reasons anymore: you simply get some gotcha moment (I hope I’ve spelled it correctly), then you express your deep concern, lit a candle to the innocent civillians and go back onto your comfortable sofa. You don’t have to carry moral responsibility, you don’t have to scrutinize your actions, you don’t have to pic sides, cause every hero is just a villain in disguise and violence is bad, etc. I assume it’s a rather comfortable position for those, who can afford it, but still I feel like I was lucky to have a different experience.

  376. kevin1989: 1×06 the way she looked when Viserys was killed. Yes it was a horrible man. But even Cersei couldn’t kill Tyrion. And even in the books she told that Viserys was good to her before his quest for the throne.
    2×10: Locking 2 into a room, to starve to dead.
    5×05: Feeding one to her dragon, she way she talked there scared me.
    6×04: Her face when she burned the calls, it was not just revenge and justice her face said that she liked that feeling of power.
    8×04: How she talked to Jon.

    I’ll add a few.

    1×08 She smiles when Drogo vows to murder the citizens of Westeros and rape innocent women.
    1×10 She burned Mirri for exacting revenge because the Dothraki had killed and raped her people.
    2×04 She threatens to burn Qarth
    5×05 Kills an innocent by burning
    5×09 Talks about returning Mereen to the dirt
    6×09 She threatens to burn Astapor, Yunkai and Mereen until Tyrion talks her out of it.
    7×02 After Jon tells her about his parents, her first reaction: what about the throne?
    7×04 Makes it clear she doesn’t care about taking innocent lives.

  377. Tyrion Pimpslap:
    HayashiM,

    A project that GRRM sold and they pursued with the promise that George would finish the books. They signed up to adapt the books. They ran out of them and were left with just the ending. Because as we all know by now, George knowsthe ending, but he has no idea how he will get there. He’s a gardener, and the story and characters grow where they grow.

    I don’t believe they were left with just the ending because they spent days with GRRM talking things through in Santa Fe. From what I can tell they got a fair chunk of winds of winter because George later released sample chapters which appeared in S6 and we know Hodor and Shireen moments will also come. I am certain they also got all the core arcs of the main characters like Jon becoming king in the North but got very little on the secondary characters as GRRM had not decided what to do with them.

  378. Tyrion Pimpslap: The rushed nature of the last two seasons and the prioritizing of plot over character has damaged the ending for a ton of people.

    This. The plot is fine. I just don’t feel a deep connection to how we’ve gotten where we are.

    Last season I didn’t buy Jon and Dany’s “love story” because it felt awkward and rushed and even forced. Maybe because we already knew about Jon’s parentage? Perhaps if Dany had landed in Westeros before we found out for sure about R+L=J and they’d already fallen for each other, the love story would feel a lot more real and a lot more tragic.

    Without buying into their love story, it’s hard for me to understand Jon’s total capitulation of his own sense of self for her. I do believe that he doesn’t want the throne – that feels authentic and real. But the whole “I love you you’re my queen” stuff feels hollow. I just don’t believe that either of them are so torn up over not being together.

  379. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

    Quoting something she said about her enemies in Essos doesn’t speak to or foreshadow indiscriminately burning both the enemy and the people she hoped to rule in KL. That’s where people get confused; there’s a distinct difference between using your weapon in a battle (which makes sense) and using your weapon to clear out a subjugated population crying for surrender (which makes “sense” only if you’ve been shown to hate people in general).

  380. Inga:
    Nick20,

    You know, it looks like it’s a rather common trend nowadays to preach that people just snap or that violence just happens. It’s like, no-one is really interested in reasons anymore: you simply get some gotcha moment (I hope I’ve spelled it correctly), then you express your deep concern, lit a candle to the innocent civillians and go back onto your comfortable sofa. You don’t have to carry moral responsibility, you don’t have to scrutinize your actions, you don’t have to pic sides, cause every hero is just a villain in disguise and violence is bad, etc. I assume it’s a rather comfortable position for those, who can afford it, but still I feel like I was lucky to have a different experience.

    How occupied are you with coming up with reasons for why people on the news have done horrible things?

    Most of us are considering and debating the very reasons you say we don’t care about.

    You’re the one who’s saying those reasons aren’t real.

  381. Actually, if the show had allowed the dragons to remain more wild, like in S4, it would be more believable that Tyrion and Varys argue against using them, instead of this precision fighter. Then, once Daenerys decides to unleash Drogon, he gets into steam and no way she can stop him anymore (so it’s still her decision to burn KL, but more nuanced) I will try to look at the episode this way. In a way, she kind of flew to the Red Keep (no bells ringing there), but Drogon started to breathe fire on the way. Call me a delusional fan 😉

  382. King in the North East: 7×02 After Jon tells her about his parents, her first reaction: what about the throne?
    7×04 Makes it clear she doesn’t care about taking innocent lives.

    I meant 8×02 and 8×04 respectively.

  383. “But we weren’t given enough time to watch Daenerys sink into this- her snapping so suddenly is bound to confuse and piss off a whole lot of people.”

    Completely agree!!

  384. kevin1989: And on the other hand, Cersei is pregnant.

    I think Cersei lied about the pregnancy. She used that to manipulate her brothers and Euron, and stuck with that lie till the end. (Although her fear was real.)

  385. ShameShameShame:
    Clob,

    Same horse.Lord of Light.

    The little girl had a toy white horse, burned to a crisp when she was.

    Uh no, I’m not going with any of “the horse was a magical gift” stuff or that Arya died and was brought back either. If it was Harry’s horse brought back to life then someone had to remove the saddle and change the bit rings from gold to silver. I just think the whole thing was done for dramatic effect and nothing more.

  386. ps. for the people saying the story is rushed, yes it’s true it should have breathe more between episode 3 and 5 maybe 5 should have been 6. But 1. that’s not the fault of this episode so why blame this episode? and 2. We only have one storyline at the moment so we couldn’t just fill in some magical scenes to fill in the screentime. That could happen in the past and in which happened. There’s a reason why for instance Robb and Cat weren’t in 3×08 and that scene was in 3×07. A trick that can’t be done now because of lack of quantity.

    Sacred Lime,

    Perfectly explained.

    Chilli,

    True, a snap is more like the signs were there, the requirements (the personality) and at one moment somebody snaps and is changed big time in just one second.

  387. Edward,

    Actually the mad Dany is by far the clearest of them all. It even started in S1 when she nodded towards Drogo to “crown” her brother. Then the maesters in Mereen (no doubt they deserved it), that was brutal. Most horrible the people she locked into the vault of Valerien steel in that other desert city and all the past 2 seasons. There are YouTube-videos over 1h long only showing mad-references for Dany with kills, executes and horrible orders from her.
    We’ve just ignored it because she always “did it for the good thing”.

    But there were enough details for years now that she ain’t now tameable dragon but a wild one.

  388. LC:
    “But we weren’t given enough time to watch Daenerys sink into this- her snapping so suddenly is bound to confuse and piss off a whole lot of people.”

    Completely agree!!

    Emilia sold it for me.

    (In addition to the 8 seasons of hints that she had that side to her)

  389. Danny will go on with executions. Tyrion, this is fine for Jon, some other all fine for Jon as all others two, he loves her and does not want to be the king. Then it comes to Sansa to be executed, but Jon finally cannot hold back longer, kills Greyworm and then Dany. While dieting Dannny says, oh no, I am pregnant, you killed your son. Then Jon reopens the night watch. Some folks elect a new king, Bran repairs the wall and Jon discovers a new WW symbol, stumbles into a Dragonglass Dagger and his eyes turn blue.
    Isn’t that sweet?

  390. Ten Bears:
    RG,

    “I cried when I saw Sandor’s affectionate head cup of Arya as he gave her that final “Don’t be me” lesson. Their relationship was one of the best things on this show. Taking care of her changed him. It was a beautiful arc and I’m just so grateful to Rory for giving this character life in such a perfect way.”

    _______I sobbed too. Especially when she called him “Sandor” for the first time and said “Thank you.”

    He cared for her like a father cared for his child. I think Ned will thank Sandor for protecting his little girl.

    Ryan: Ten Bears

    True, and prophecy’s tend to be not completely straightforward. And maybe the way the witch saw her future it looked that way.

    But what if it’s even worse (personally I hope they don’t do this), I read that they weren’t including in the dead list. what if they survived, and that Jaime will strangle Cersei not in hate, but in love. So that she doesn’t suffer for days.

  391. Um where were the other Kingsguard protecting the Queen? D&D truly suck Xaro Xhoan Ducksauce.

  392. MadQueen:
    , stumbles into a Dragonglass Dagger and his eyes turn blue.
    Isn’t that sweet?

    I also think the show is ending with someone, maybe really Jon, reopening his eyes that turned blue. Just to give us a last LOL.

  393. To KITNE:

    We can also blame Jorah for giving her the idea she would be loved in Westeros (he did, but that doesn’t mean the others do). Before proving herself, this is not far off from what Viserys thought.

    His conversation with her about the sack of KL is quite telling in S3. And afterwards she unleashed on Astapor. In KL she put everyone on Cersei’s side.

    Btw, I think Sansa likes to argue in public to test how much someone reacts like Joffrey. I am wondering if she will continue to do so (to Tyrion she implied he’s too afraid)

  394. Che: But these are still character arcs. They’re called static arcs (though you couldn’t describe Jaime as a static arc because he did change throughout the story and then ended up in a similar place to where he was at the beginning, that is still an arc). Getting frustrated with the terminology doesn’t help further the discussion and ends up creating even more confusion.

    This is called moving the goalposts They are still analytical tools used to break down and describe literary fiction. They describe art, not reality.

    Real people do things for real reasons. Sometimes it is based upon their past decisions and influences; however, they are often based overwhelmingly upon their present and immediate needs and goals. Usually, it’s even simpler than that: greed and stupidity lead to most conflicts in the real world. Throw in lust and you have 3/4 of everything explained. The rest, as varied as they may be, are outliers from those Big Three.

    Anyway, the omniscient reader/viewer sees a path of decisions taken over time and infers from those decisions a “character arc” to describe the fictional character’s skills, morality, motives and goals in order to evaluate its progress/regression. It is a fictional contrivance. That is not the way the real people make decisions. Sometimes they have sex with their sister because they want to. The want to become a knight because that’s what singers sing about and whom others admire. Sometimes, they might want to be a knight because that is what will keep them close to said sister. They keep their vow of loyalty as a knight in the face of unspeakable crimes (guilt) — and finally break it at another time when the crime is too monstrous (competing guit). They push a child out a window to save their love and children, and yet do other heroic things and act in a manner which puts altruism before self-interest.

    Real people are complicated and multi-facted.

    When we see these decisions from an omniscient viewpoint, we are able to see and judge a later decision and place it in a context that the person who was making that decision when they made it never had. We see an arc. But the person who is making that decision at the time does not. Real people do not have foreknowledge. There is no “future context” in any of our decisions — there is only the past and the now. That reality never, ever changes in the real world as it does in fiction.

    GRRM is trying to tell us that the idea of a character arc is a literary tool, but a false description to describe real people’s moral choices. People are always about the now. Consistency is not required.

  395. Sean C.,

    One the surely unintended ironies of how this episode was created is that it makes Tyrion and Varys’ two seasons of whining about attacking King’s Landing entirely hollow. Daenerys uses Drogon the way we knew she could from the Essosi seasons, as a precision-targeting weapon to lay waste to the enemy ships, fortifications, and armies, but with minimal damage to anything else noted. The mass civilian casualties only begin once Dany deliberately starts randomly slaughtering everybody. So if she hadn’t wasted two seasons listening to Tyrion and avoiding attacking the city, in which time all the stuff that the writers are saying drove her mad happened, she would have won.

    Interesting point. I think in my post-mortem for the show, the use of and believability of the strategies the characters used will not hold up well for certain storylines. Yes, burning the Red Keep from the get go was probably a better choice than the collective advice of Tyrion and Varys. Also, I’m still struck by the underutilization of Bran both during the AotD portion of the season as well as post Long Night planning for how to defeat Cersei. One of the key points of the series seems to be whether people can learn from the past. Bran literally said that he lives mostly in the past and has the ability to warg. Tyrion sat with him to discover what he’d been through in the first episode and it didn’t occur to him to try to utilize Bran’s knowledge? No one thought to ask him what was going on in KL or how the AotD had been defeated before? Also, they had a trained assassin/spy in the form of Arya. Why not ask her to do at least reconaissance in KL prior to any battle?

  396. In case any talented fan reads this comment, there should be a web-comic strip featuring dialogues between Arya and Sandor, as they ride together from Winterfell to King’s Landing. Trading stories, and trading insults, as only the two of them can.

  397. mau,

    Make sense, Tyrion is already darker in the books right now.

    mau: darker

    Book 30, still gardening. Dany finally arrived in Westeros on the age of 70.

    But in all seriousness, didn’t GRRM say he will not include anymore POV and that he will trim that in WoW.

    King in the North East,

    So true, I remember that I lost my shit sometimes and that was just words. If I had a dragon at my disposal at that moment, I would have probably use them and didn’t mind what happened to the people not involved in that conflict I was having. Luckily after an hour I cooled down and everything was fine.

    And another point that people need to think off: Why do you think in our real world to set off a nuclear bomb there need to be 2 keys inserted, 2 people need to give the ok. Because it’s human to lose you’re shit sometimes. I think there have been many occasions when maybe 1 of the 2 did want to use the nuke and the other stopped it.

  398. ThisGirlHasNoName: I think GGRM’s version will make a lot more sense and fill in the blanks. The problem is, now we’ve been spoiled so it won’t be nearly as captivating to me.

    How is GRRM going to get from Jon’s death to where we are now within two books while filling in any gaps? He would have to cover three seasons plus everything that has been left out. The books either have to rush even more than the show or there has to be more than seven books. He hasn’t got time to write more than seven at the pace he is writing. The books will either have an even more rushed ending or none at all.

  399. Tycho Nestoris,

    Maybe next week she will go on her quest against Winterfell?

    Nick20: Tycho

    Oh you read the books? Good give me a copy I’m ready for a good read.

    If not, don’t make assumptions how the books will end. We all know GRRM is all for bittersweet. And after watching 7 almost 8 seasons of GoT we all know his standard of sweet is much more depressed already than what we usually get. I think many shows and movies that we will call bittersweet is sweet for GRRM.

  400. nick,

    Even now you can’t simply accept that the repeated times she threatened to obliterate entire cities and slaughter people en masse, only to be talked back by her advisers, might have been a hint that things weren’t going to go well when it came time to besiege King’s Landing.

    I remember last season when she was threatening to torch the Red Keep, someone was arguing on here that she would simply make a surgical strike on Cersei’s bedroom with few casualties, even though the characters had already stated clearly that if the dragons were unleashed on King’s Landing tens of thousands would die.

    People have been actively ignoring or splitting hairs to justify everything that would foreshadow her brutality for years.

    And that was all before she became an emotional and psychological wreck, with all her friends dying, her “children” dying, her lover rejecting her, her advisers betraying her, her armies shrinking, her conquest failing…

    And now they want to disingenuously pretend that this all came out of nowhere.

  401. Steel_Wind,

    Regarding arcs, one Russian writer pointed out that life has no ach; however, the one who manages to turn life into an arc can sonsider oneself a hero. I guess I prefer this this principle rather than a mess of choices.

  402. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: But the level of shock and disbelief I’ve seen towards this turn of events is just tragically short-sighted and blinkered. And anyone clinging to the possibility that GRRM won’t do the same are beyond help at this point.

    I think that’s being fair.

    Look, it’s a show where fans have their favorites and sometimes they are in denial about what that character is and isn’t. To borrow a line from Jerry Maguire, some fans love Daenerys “for the women she almost is.”

    If your heroine betrayed your trust, you get angry with the writers. Insist the screenwriters have got it all wrong; somehow, GRRM has a different plan.

    And I think GRRM has wildy different plans for many characters, too. I just don’t think Daenerys ultimate end point is that far off in the show vs the book. She’s not winning the Iron Throne. While the reasons she will not might be different, in the page than on the soundstage — there are limited, believable points of departure given the characters and natural plot points in the tale.

    Arya could be very different. Sansa, too. But I think Daenerys’ is likely on track.

    Now: Imagine how PISSED OFF you would be today if you named your child Daenerys or Khalesi?!! That this is actually a real problem today is laughworthy.

    Maybe naming your daughter “Jennifer” or “Karen” is really not such a bad idea after all.

  403. Jon has been truthful to his personal values from the beginning. With the Nights Watch, with the Wildlings, with the executions for treason and his trip to Dragonstone. NOW he just sits back and lets Danny kill thousands of innocents when only he has the power to stop it. That was inconsistent at the most crucial moment of the story. I know this slaughter will be the reason that Danny dies but that could have been accomplished in more creative ways. I think she will order Drogon to kill Jon and the dragon will refuse. Arya will kill Danny and Grey Worm will kill Jon. Tyrion will be revealed as a Bastard Targaryen and remarry Sansa . ” The End”

  404. Tryptych:

    They should have been dropping major clues right back to the beginning of season 7, and sowing the seeds of suspicion and doubt.

    They have been giving us clues beginning in season 1 when Daenerys first burned someone alive.

    Personally, I first realized that they were actually going to take this route back in season 7 ep 3 when Jon first meets Daenerys in the throne room. As soon as he says he won’t bend the knee, the camera begins to so shoot her from an odd angle, from below and at first even a bit tilted. This immediately made me think they were trying to show with the slight “off” angles that Daenerys was also slightly “off”.

  405. King in the North East,

    Risk: very unlikely death of one child

    If he thought Dany was a monster there was no reason to think it was a low risk situation for the child. In fact, in the episode I think he said something along the lines of ‘the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward’.

  406. King in the North East,
    The thing is that a few of those things you guys list weren’t things she did or said in the books. So people should be given some leeway in questioning how much of the post-books material actions will be comparable to what George does with her. I at least was questioning what D&D did with her, wondering if some things were for dramatic entertainment more than plot itself. In my opinion, assuming now that George is going to have her go off the rails in his ending, he’s going to need to escalate her ‘mad’ actions far above what he’s done so far or it’s going to feel odd in the books too. He has to do a lot of it with her pov involved as well.

    I’d actually laugh if George finishes the books and the ending is not even close to the show, either on purpose from the start or he decides to change it based on reception of the show. 😉

  407. kevin1989: Why do you think in our real world to set off a nuclear bomb there need to be 2 keys inserted, 2 people need to give the ok. Because it’s human to lose you’re shit sometimes. I think there have been many occasions when maybe 1 of the 2 did want to use the nuke and the other stopped it.

    Good point.

  408. Lady MarMar,

    Terrible twist? The creature that killed 300.000 people (or more). The weapon that Dany can use to be the queen of the ashes. No it will be terrible if he lived. the dragons aren’t nice pets, the dragons are nuclear bomb that happened to be conscious.

    And they shouldn’t be alive. It only lead to destruction and fear.

    Steel_Wind,

    beautifully put.

    King in the North East,

    And don’t forget, Drogon was out in the open, growing, getting stronger. The other 2 were kept in cells, weren’t growing, they’re smaller and weaker. I think that Drogon’s skin is also much stronger because of that.

  409. krupke:
    King in the North East,

    If he thought Dany was a monster there was no reason to think it was a low risk situation for the child. In fact, in the episode I think he said something along the lines of ‘the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward’.

    That’s not the point I was making and you know it.

    Here it is again:

    King in the North East: Risk: very unlikely death of one child

    vs

    Risk: very likely death of 10 000 or more children. (and that’s just counting the ones in the Red Keep, not including the citizens outside in the city she also burned)

    I don’t know, what do you think?

  410. krupke:
    Sean C.,

    Interesting point. I think in my post-mortem for the show, the use of and believability of the strategies the characters used will not hold up well for certain storylines.Yes, burning the Red Keep from the get go was probably a better choice than the collective advice of Tyrion and Varys. Also,I’m still struck by the underutilization of Bran both during the AotD portion of the season as well as post Long Night planning for how to defeat Cersei.One of the key points of the series seems to be whether people can learn from the past.Bran literally said that he lives mostly in the past and has the ability to warg.Tyrion sat with him to discover what he’d been through in the first episode and it didn’t occur to him to try to utilize Bran’s knowledge?No one thought to ask him what was going on in KL or how the AotD had been defeated before? Also, they had a trained assassin/spy in the form of Arya.Why not ask her to do at least reconaissance in KL prior to any battle?

    Plot holes are rampant and have been for 2 seasons. It became a blockbuster TV show. Plenty of action, CGI, one-liners and dramatic scenes that do not advance the story. Good TV but not a genius story any longer.

  411. Ask not for whom the bell tolls, Dany
    It tolls for thee.

    I’m probably the gazillionth person to say that, lol.

    Arya sure has been practising her archery a lot throughout the series, beginning in S1 ep1, then with Anguy, then just before she left WF. Will she take out Daenerys with an arrow? Or should it be Jon? Or Tyrion (#ForVarys)?

    Personally, I’d like to see Brienne kill Daenerys just because I’m still all kinds of pissed about how Jaime left her. I’d like to take out my Brienne-anger vicariously through her actions. Although I’m sure she’ll contain her grief and act a whole lot more dignified than I have since Jaime left her, lol.

  412. Clob,

    Yes, I don’t disagree.

    If GRRM ever completes the books I’ll read them all to find out. But for the time being I’m going on the clues I’ve been presented with in the medium I’m commenting on.

    Though if he told them this was where the story was going to go in 2014, you can’t blame D&D for wanting to set it up quicker.

    In a tv show, you can’t get away with just a couple of minor hints you’ll clarify later in walls of text. A bit like the multitude of hints about Jon’s parentage that started popping up in season 5-7.

  413. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

    Dany going mad would’ve been a lot more believable for me if it happened as a result of Dany losing the battle. A last resort because she had no cards left to play.

    However, she already won, her enemies surrendered, and she still decided to go nuts anyway even though she already accomplished her goal. That’s why it felt forced to me. It just felt like D&D wanted to shock people at the expense of the character. She didn’t even go straight for the Red Keep. She took a detour and went out of her way to kill a bunch of innocent civilians on her way to the Red Keep.

    Just my opinion of course.

  414. Mr Derp: Dany going mad would’ve been a lot more believable for me if it happened as a result of Dany losing the battle. A last resort because she had no cards left to play.

    That’s actually what I thought was going to happen, initially.

  415. Ashara D: But that IS the point! We are ALL Hitler with our own agendas. Most of us just don’t have the power. You saw her struggle already over the last 9 years. I’m interested to see the final episode and see whether the writers (GRRM and/or D&D) have any suggestions on a better path for humanity. I certainly don’t see one. It is very bleak.

    This pretty much sums up my thoughts . Will the show end with the persistence of a overpowered monarchy/noble class ? If so, I’d almost rather the AotD had won.

  416. Tyrion Pimpslap: He was trying to poison Dany. This was fairly obvious to me.

    To me as well. I guess a lot of people missed the scene in episode 4, when Tyrion asked Varys, “What will happen to her?”, and the look Varys gives Tyrion in reply says it all. That’s why Tyrion then says, “Please don’t.”

  417. Inga:
    King in the North East,

    Sorry, but people don’t just completely lose it often. Give me one historical example of a ruler who lost it in a similar way after taking the stance of “the breaker of chains” and having a sressful but relatively successful ruling record.

    Inga,

    Easily. Look at the Byzantine emperor Justinian. He, along w/ his general Belisaurius, completed the reconquest of Rome and the western Roman empire. The great Hagia Sophia was built during his reign. He was responsible for re-writing the legal code.

    But if you look at the Nika riots and how close to death Justinian was, he decided to lock the doors of the Hippodrome while his enemies and tens of thousands of civilians were in there, and sent his guards in to slaughter every single one. Happy times.

  418. Tyrion Pimpslap,

    10.000 in the red keep itself. She burned 1/3 of KL if not more. At least 300.000 died. (at least that’s how interpreted it. I think we need to wait how many are there next week, it will probably mentioned.

    orange,

    We don’t know how next episode ends. If only Dany dies there, it’s still very bittersweet, Jon can be king, the Starks are save. Tyrion can continue his bloodline. And a new chapter begins for Westeros.

  419. I don’t see the books similar to the show. Sansa is still at the Eyrie, while a hand maid of Sansa is playing Arya and merry Ramsey. Ser Barristan is alive at Tyrion’s place in Meeren while Danny is still lost. Jon is dead, Bran in the cave. Stannis is preparing the attack on Winterfell, currently no way that mad as is the show. Manke Rider is alive, his baby with Sam and Gilli on the way to Oldtown., Aemon just died on the way. Jon Connington with Young Griff/Aegon Targaryen in Storms end, Arianne on her way to meet him. Prince Quentin of Dorne just died, Danny refused to marry him. Meeren is under attack and Tyrion with I think the Second sons or another company, hasn’t met Danny yet. Victarion is on his way to meet Danny with a Dragon Horn on Board. Euron is on the Iron Island. Arya is in Braavos. It would make most sense if KL is handled before they take care of the White Walkers with all this Setup.

  420. King in the North East,

    That’s not the point I was making and you know it.

    But that is my point. If Dany was not justified in using the projected results for future generations as a basis for her actions then to me neither was Varys’s reasoning in putting the girl in danger for a “big reward.”

  421. ShameShameShame,

    Maybe Jon has finally learned to lie?

    Did Daenerys also suffer amnesia? She better not fall for any Stark “honor” next week. Her naiveté should be long gone by now about the Starks, her Hand, and the Ironborn.

    orange,

    One of my favorite Show Only moments was Euron’s intro and how it played into the FM theory and the theory he killed Balon via the weather. It went off the rails from there.

    kevin1989,

    I sure hope she realizes this was just a warm up. She still has people (Jon, Sansa, Arya, Tyrion, Asha, Gendry) and entities (Iron Bank, Riverlands, Dorne) to roast. Shouldn’t be a problem for her though.

    I don’t see how Daenerys can be killed without her looking completely moronic.

    She has to know that Jon, Arya, Sansa, and Tyrion need to die (for whatever reason she didn’t cook 3 of them already when the excuse of war was available as well as treason for Tyrion). Then she has to take back her offer to Asha (that’s going to require another roasting) and make sure Gendry, Dorne, any others fall in line.

    She won with fire, she better rule with fire.

    Frank,
    Don’t forget Sam, Pate, Marwyn and Alleras 😉

  422. Inga,

    Most dictators and tyrant started of as the savior of the people. Is it so far fetched that they were that and something along the way changed that? And don’t forget real life didn’t have dragons. In the past we had armies (Which is not so fast with killing a million people at least not one person can kill so many in short time) and now we have nuclear weapons, which is more powerful but needs to be controlled by 2 people.

    So you can’t compare it with our history, in our history when people snapped, they could maybe slaughter a couple of 1000. A dragon has more firer rate so too speak. And I think this killing is tied with Adrenaline, so how long does an Adrenaline rush stay before it goes away. Maybe 15 minutes.

    So I don’t think you can see this as a snap where Dany stays in (yes she must because she did this, she went somewhere she can’t go back to), but more like adrenaline rush. Once the adrenaline left her body she stopped.

    Milutin,

    Maybe because she is? At least now. Not back then.

  423. krupke:
    King in the North East,

    But that is my point.If Dany was not justified in using the projectedresults for future generations as a basis for her actions then to me neither was Varys’s reasoning in putting the girl in danger for a “big reward.”

    There’s an obvious difference in scale here.

    That’s why it’s called a difficult choice. But it’s still 1 potential death vs 100 000+ potential deaths.

    And as I’ve said, it’s still the person DECIDING to kill the girl who would ultimately be responsible.

    In addition. If we can accept a little girl like Lyanna Mormont wanting to fight for what’s right, then maybe this little girl made that decision too.

    It’s honestly baffling to me. The person who wants to do the right thing and prevent slaughter is supposedly just as worse because he’s taking a risk?

    Come on…

  424. All I can say is wow.. that was an awesome episode. I appreciate that this season has been rushed.. I presume due to what they wanted to do vs budget, but to those saying that character arcs make no sense… you haven’t been watching closely enough. It was always my prediction that Dany would end up the Mad Queen. Her life story, of casual cruelty from her only family member, being sold to Drogo like an object and constantly belittled and ridiculed, has set this up from the beginning. She has a habit of resolving issues with violence and she always enacts revenge. Now, having lost her oldest advisors and having no moral lodestone, she has reverted to type… angry and vengeful. Add to this to her solid belief in her ‘right’ to the throne, which Cersei and now, in her mind, Jon are denying her and you have a perfect storm.
    Jaime’s arc also makes sense… nothing in life is perfect and straight forward. Yes, he loved Brienne, but he has loved Cersei all his life. He has forgiven her foibles and supported her choices. You can see that he wanted to break free, that he thought that his love for Brienne would be enough, but 40 years of Cersei overrode everything,
    I cried at the end for both Cersei and Jaime… with Tywin as a father they never stood a chance

  425. Frank,

    Well you’ll probably get to continue believing that is the case, sadly. Even though GRRM has said the show’s ending is very similar to his. Really, it all came down to Dany and Jon, as he told Alan Taylor in season 1. In the end, I think Dany’s story most closely resembles what will be in the books. But that is just my guess.

  426. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

    I think they think Dany talking about burning cities to the ground that started in season 1 was all in good intention. It very normal for a good leader to say thinks like that (sarcasm off)

    But now that we see her words come to play, the words she utter since the first season, somehow we see that those worlds are just horrible. And we need to look in the mirror that we though she was the hero we wanted. It’s like in our real world, when a tyrant goes from good to evil, the followers say that they didn’t saw it coming. And maybe that’s true because those leaders weren’t evil before that power. Or maybe we just “look at them through pink glasses” (a dutch saying when we don’t want to see somebody’s true nature, I know english have a saying of their own can’t come up with that saying)

    Flora Linden,

    Oh I think she is pregnant, why else was she scared Euron would find out. The script of 7×07 states that her pregnancy is real.

    And even if it was fake, does that change Jaime’s arc? No because Jaime believe she is pregnant.

    Leuf,

    Some things are easier to write, like battle of helms deep was just a couple of sentences in the books but a big portion of the movie. Same with Dany’s rampage, it could be shown in a chapter of 5 pages. For the show it needs to be shown for a very long time.

    Mr Derp,
    Barristan: “King Jaehaerys once told me that madness and greatness are two sides of the same coin. Every time a new Targaryen is born, he said, the gods toss the coin in the air and the world holds its breath to see how it will land.”

    Who says that coin lands at bird? It did not for Joffrey, Joffrey was a sweet child as Cersei stated, his evilness came later.

    Same with Aerys, Aerys started his life as a good man, a man of the people. Who reign the land peacefully and with lots of prosperity. Then the horror came, his lost 3 sons, his wife had stillborns and lots of miscarriage. He was held as a prisoner for half a year in Duskendale. (sound familiar losing people? somebody rising up to him or her?)

    And as stated in the books his change to madness was sudden, like a switch being turned. So how does it not make sense?

    That’s the problem with mental stuff (which I have some personal experience with), the signs are there before, but all of a sudden and that happen in a second something change in you, that happen when its in your genes, so this counts for mental illness that happens in one family). As for Dany it is a genetic mental illness, that means it can be surpessed when follow certain rules and never break them but if you break those rules it come out, and for dany that rule has been broken. Distrust of other + power.

    And if you don’t mind I don’t want to go into detail with my personal stuff, but if you want to know I will answer with a very short answer without too much details.

  427. Tyrion Pimpslap,

    yea i figured that out, it was weird that they translated everything to English subtitles BUT torgo which made it seem like a “different: name to me

  428. Frank,

    Yeah, you’re wrong. I went through all of this after episode 3. I don’t feel the need to argue it further. You live your truth, though. If it makes you feel better. There’s nothing wrong with that.

  429. Steel_Wind,

    I think this may be an argument about semantics. What I have learnt in my quest to get a better grip on narrative structure and plotting is that the character arcs are merely the internal journeys characters go on through the story (and if we compare that to real life, the internal evolution we go through in life as we are shaped by our experiences). I am not talking about set types of arcs (i.e. fallen hero, a growth arc. Etc). I am using the term to denote the internal development of a character (or person) based on what is going on in the story (or in their life).

    Every choice we make is shaped by who we are – we become who we are through the experiences we face, overcome, wear us down. In stories, the characters tend to change internally by the events of the story. That doesn’t mean they have to follow a set archetypal role, but it does mean they are changing as a result of what is happening to them and this does feed into their decision making process. The fact that it does is actually very good for cohesive, believable characters. If characters suddenly do something that seems totally at odds with their internal development through a story, if it seems like their motivations don’t fit with what we have been shown about a character, then it feels disjointed and it breaks the spell of immersion in the world the author is trying to create. Jon might decide that actually, he’s always wanted to see cities burn to the ground, and so he’d Totally going to be okay with Dany having just torched KL and while he’s at it, he’s going to hop right into bed with her again because why the hell not? Who cares about incest anyway? Would it be a convincing story that took this route? No, because we have been on a journey with Jon, not a physical one, but a journey through his developing and changing psyche. If he acted this way, we wouldn’t think – oh, that’s George, doing away with trapping, antiquated literary conventions. We would wonder why he was writing Jon so out of character and against what we know of his motivations when we haven’t seen anything in his arc to suggest he would behave that way. It’s the same in real life. People don’t just choose to become a knight or marry their sister on a whim – we have a lot less free will than we think we do and we are driven by what our experiences have shaped us to be.

    Like I said though, I feel this is a debate about semantics now.

  430. Mr Derp,

    Yes agreed. Last night I was trying to find any excuse for her behavior. “Snapping” would have been seeing the surrender and still going to destroy the Red Keep. But going row by row over the civilian homes was not just crazy, it was evil.

  431. Team Targaryan:
    but I don’t think Daney is crazy, she just has to do what is needed, and sadly like she said “let it be fear”, but I’m hoping for some redemption in the last episode.

    Yes, let’s applaud Dany for “doing what is needed”, coldly killing thousands (or was it tens of thousands?) of innocent people, her future subjects, AFTER THEY RANG THE BELLS FOR SURRENDER.

    And if by “redemption” you mean “death” for Dany then you just might be in luck, lol.

  432. Is there a video compilation yet of all the times Daenerys threatened to burn a city or kill everyone? I think she’s said it a lot, but she’s always been talked out of it. No one was on Drogon to talk her out of it.

    I was shocked, but as I think about it, there were lots of clues that she would be willing to kill a lot of people to prove her point.

    I hope Gendry is up in Winterfell making a scorpion or two.

  433. Mr Derp,

    I see what you’re saying, but I don’t think it works that way around because it leaves some ambiguity.

    Dany made the argument that they would be saving future generations from Cersei’s tyranny. And Varys and Tyrion both agreed that Cersei needed to be removed. So having Dany simply snap on the brink of defeat makes her actions more justifiable, when I don’t think there should be any doubt that this was an unforgivable choice that Daenerys actively made.

    And I believe it will be the case in the novels too. She is one of the twin threats to Westeros: ice and fire.

    I have no doubt that there will be greater depth and nuance in GRRM’s version and it’ll play out quite differently. And I would certainly suggest that the show version would’ve benefited from more time and build up in the final season itself.

    But if D&D had been reading these forums over the past couple of years they would’ve surely been wondering to themselves what more they could possibly do hint at this turn of events.

    When you’ve got people arguing the merits of burning people alive as a form of execution and vigorously denying every single parallel with the actions of more unsavoury characters, the task of selling the inevitable to an unwilling audience would appear impossible.

  434. krupke,

    Did you compare Varys putting himself and 1 girl in danger to better the future with Dany’s way by putting at least half a million to the torch? Big stretch, but if you justify it that way, I will let you. But I say a big no to that.

    And you really think the people still alive are safe and free with her?

    King in the North East,

    And there’s a reason why Varys burned the letter, and why he send that girl away. To protect that girl. He made sure he was the one that got all the blame.

    Frank,

    That’s what I said to my partner last week. Episode 5 Cersei. Episode 6 defeating Dany and the ending is finding out the WW treat remains but is contained by Bran.

    But still the magic to create WW is still active as long as the great other (their god) is alive.

  435. talvikorppi:
    The more I think about it, there’s a horrifying mirroring of what people do for love, or lack of thereof.

    NCW said in interviews that his last scene was beautiful. It was. As much as we hated Cersei, she died with someone who loved her, that someone calming her panic, reassuring and comforting her. Jaime’s last living moments were an act of love. However toxic and twisted and undeserved that love was. But he fulfilled the original strapline, the things I do for love.

    That Jaime was there at all was an another act of love. Tyrion released him in the hope that Jaime could (and would) make a difference. The Lannister brothers loved each other. Great acting from NCW and also Peter Dinklage in that scene. They knew it was goodbye.

    I, as a massive Jaime&Brienne shipper, might’ve wanted a different ending, but it never really was in the cards. Jaime was going to die with Cersei all along, and I’m glad it wasn’t Jaime killing Cersei, as predicted by many book and show fans, myself included. This way was better. Perfect Greek tragedy. Brienne being the good, beautiful life he maybe could’ve had, if not for his tragic flaw. Cersei, being the downfall, the death of him. It was very tragic and very satisfying. (Also, amazing acting from NCW and Lena Heady.)

    Now, let that sink in. And then consider Dany lost all her nearest and dearest. Even Jon/Aegon pulled away from her. The people in Westeros do not love her. She was used to love and adulation from the masses in Essos, but the Westerosi smallfolk just won’t love her. Her self-identitity as the adored, beloved liberator is shattered. Her self-identity as the rightful heir to the Iron Throne is shattered, by the man she loves. I think it was very telling she asked Jon to keep quiet about the secret so that other people wouldn’t try to take “what is mine“.No, Dany, it actually isn’t yours.

    Dany did what she did because she snapped. These people don’t love me, didn’t rise up in a rebellion against Cersei for me, like the Meereenese did. Even my boyfriend doesn’t really love me.

    The things I do for no love.

    Fear, vengeance, fire and blood. Is it worth it, worth a silly metal chair?

    Dany’s story is another tragedy. In the Greek tragedy way, a fatal flaw.

    I loved this! Thank you for the “No Dany, it actually isn’t yours” =)

  436. Mr Derp:
    Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

    Dany going mad would’ve been a lot more believable for me if it happened as a result of Dany losing the battle.A last resort because she had no cards left to play.

    I don’t think so, and really as long as she still has the dragon she hasn’t lost yet. So she can’t lose and then do that. I was afraid Cersei would nuke the city with wildfire once she lost, but she turned out to not be as much of a monster at heart as she appeared and Dany turned out to be much more of a monster than she appeared.

  437. talvikorppi:
    The more I think about it, there’s a horrifying mirroring of what people do for love, or lack of thereof.

    NCW said in interviews that his last scene was beautiful. It was. As much as we hated Cersei, she died with someone who loved her, that someone calming her panic, reassuring and comforting her. Jaime’s last living moments were an act of love. However toxic and twisted and undeserved that love was. But he fulfilled the original strapline, the things I do for love.

    That Jaime was there at all was an another act of love. Tyrion released him in the hope that Jaime could (and would) make a difference. The Lannister brothers loved each other. Great acting from NCW and also Peter Dinklage in that scene. They knew it was goodbye.

    I, as a massive Jaime&Brienne shipper, might’ve wanted a different ending, but it never really was in the cards. Jaime was going to die with Cersei all along, and I’m glad it wasn’t Jaime killing Cersei, as predicted by many book and show fans, myself included. This way was better. Perfect Greek tragedy. Brienne being the good, beautiful life he maybe could’ve had, if not for his tragic flaw. Cersei, being the downfall, the death of him. It was very tragic and very satisfying. (Also, amazing acting from NCW and Lena Heady.)

    Dany did what she did because she snapped. These people don’t love me, didn’t rise up in a rebellion against Cersei for me, like the Meereenese did. Even my boyfriend doesn’t really love me.

    The things I do for no love.

    Thank you for this. Your post has somehow made me feel just a tiny bit better about Jaime’s ending. Although I may have to read it over again following every viewing of this episode.

    Perhaps this episode should have been titled – The Things We Do For Love, and Lack Thereof

  438. I’ve watched it a second time now, and it was a lot better the second time. I was mad myself last night. I thought the Jamie-Cersei death was actually appropriate on take two. If I’m not mistaken GRRM once said that they were the real love story of the series, maybe I made that up, regardless I felt their death actually echoed The Doom of Valyria poem from S5 beautifully.

    I also get where Dany was coming from. She’s done this kind of thing before, this is just the first time people we have sympathy for have been on the receiving end of “Fire and Blood”. She’s got to die now of course, but much of what she said in the show was absolutely correct, about Sansa, Tyrion, Jon and Varys. She was not mad in that respect, she was seeing clearly. Jon WAS a moron to tell Sansa, Tyrion DID allow himself to be a pawn of Sansa, and Sansa WAS playing games.

    As others pointed out, she also gave Varys fair warning last season, she told him that if he schemed behind her back, she’d burn him alive, and he agreed. She gave Tyrion fair warning last night, he’s really got no one to blame but himself for the wrath coming his way. And man, Jon Snow really is an honorable fool as Bob once called Ned. If he didn’t want the throne, he needed to keep his mouth shut like Ned did. Dany acknowledged last night, she had one route to love in Westeros available, i.e. couple with Jon, and he couldn’t do it. Again, man up, if you actually care about the people, make that relationship work.

    Aunt or no Aunt, it’s a pretty good deal that to save the world all you have to do is bed down with Emilia Clarke. You truly no nothing Jon Snow. Lastly, Be a dragon, that’s what Olenna said, that’s what Dany did.

    P.S. Lena Headey, we shall never see her like again. What a performance.

  439. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: When you’ve got people arguing the merits of burning people alive as a form of execution and vigorously denying every single parallel with the actions of more unsavoury characters, the task of selling the inevitable to an unwilling audience would appear impossible.

    Absolutely.

    In fact, all of this has taught me a lot about how some people think.

  440. Brandon,

    Jon wasn’t a moron for telling Sansa. Dany was a moron for trying to deny Jon his birthright and keep the true heir to the throne in hiding.

    Maester Aemon renounced the Throne. Jon could have just renounced it too.

  441. Leuf,

    Cersei was a real monster when she didn’t let her emotions in. Cersei is maybe one of the few that logical made her evil and emotion redeemed her.

    Dany is the other way, logical she is very good, emotional evil.

  442. King in the North East,

    I respectfully disagree. I’m a professional medievist and, although I’m not that fluent in other periods, I know them well enough to say, that it’s just nonsense. First of all, very few of medieval rulers (let’s keep it to the Middle Ages, as it’s the setup of the show) had an intent of being “good”: most of them simply tried to stay on their thrones. Out of those, who had a vision and the sense of destiny (these were mostly the baptizers) – those were brutal, but they didn’t start as “breakers of chains”; in general, those were mostly rational people who saw the new religion as a way too boost their power. As for the “breakers of chains”, there were several leaders of successful wars/revolts against foreign invaders, but none of them intended to break all the chains: they led their own nations to victories and conquerred others without any conlfict of heart, because that was how it worked.

    Sure, in this case the closest historical prototype I an think of is Charls VI of France who snaped rather suddenly and killed 4 knights who were unfortunate to be around him at that moment. I think that’s why the episode is called “The Bells”. But in genral he wasn’t brutat: neither before, nor after the snap. In fact, even in his best days he was a rather week person who struggled to accomodate various fraction, and failed. Nothing like Dany. So, that’s why I struggle with this concept of a sudden snap. Especially considering, that to me it didn’t look like a sudden snap, but rather like a conscious decision enforced on a character, which couldn’t make such decision consciously.

  443. I thought the episode on point and fit the narrative they are telling this season. Did I like how things played out in the episode? Not all of them…but they made sense to me from a story/character perspective and of course the technical aspects are a still setting the standards it will be a long time before another show surpasses.

    Varys death: I actually found this to be one of the most sane things Dany did all episode. He WAS actively plotting against her and he knew what the punishment would be if he got caught. Treason=Death in GoT world…be it hanging, beheading…or Drogon. Vareys understood it, Tryion understood it and we have seen Jon himself execute men for far less.

    Jamie/Cersei Though the setting, the timing, even the way it happened was never how I pictured it I always knew they would die together. Jamie was never going to be “redeemed” because he never thought he had to be. Jamie was one of the most truthful characters in the show. He knew who and what he was (and who and what Cersei was) and did not try to hide it. Yes he apologized to Bran, but also said he would do it all again to serve his house and protect what was his. Even the “good” things he did (killing The Mad King, helping Tryion escape, joining the fight against NK) were done for his family. The only place Jamie would ever be if she was in danger is with his sister/lover/other half. They had to be together. Their story could not have ended any other way (and props to Lena..as bad,evil and hated as her character was I actually did feel for Cersei at the end, just a little bit)

    Dany from her VERY first scene this season we have seen this coming. Every episode has taken one more thing from her, has isolated her that much more. She has ALWAYS been on that edge and it should be no surprise she was finally pushed over it.
    Should we condone what she did? No
    Should we justify it? of course not
    Does it make sense that it happened? Very much so

    The shots of Jon and Tryion reacting with horror and disbelief and seeing the destruction of from the ground using Ayra as our POV was amazing. Loved the ending to “CleganeBowl”..was a fitting end for Sandor..he went out, but he took his brother with him

  444. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

    First of all, Dany’s threats in 609 sounded more like trolling. Secondly, she was easily talked to take “an alternate approach” – a limited violence, and that worked. And people don’t abandon approaches that work – they have to fail several times to be abandoned.

  445. Inga: most of them simply tried to stay on their thrones.

    And… isn’t that exactly what Daenerys has been doing these past few episodes?

    Okay, look at it like this.

    Maybe ‘snap’ is not the best term.

    There’s plenty of people who have bad thoughts or desires that they repress through most of their lives, otherwise living moral lives and doing moral things. But when circumstances conspire in such a way that the person eventually gets to a point where they just think “fuck it” and do the thing they always had in the back of their mind, then you get what you’re dealing with here.

    Just like with any person, you never REALLY know what goes on in their head. Well, the way I see it, Dany’s always had the desire to burn cities/people in her. She was just holding back (or being held back).

    Now she had no more reason to hold back. She ‘snapped’. I don’t take that to mean she was completely good and instantly turned completely bad. I take that to mean she just stopped caring and did the thing that, deep down, she always wanted to do.

    I find it hard to believe that, even in medieval times, there would be no examples of this because it’s basic human psychology: take away all of a person’s barriers and they will just do what they feel like. And if what they feel like doing is burning 100 000 people, that’s what they’ll do.

    I’ve personally SEEN this happen (on a much smaller scale) and I think, somewhere, you must realize these things DO actually happen.

  446. Inga:
    kevin1989,

    Which tyrants in the world snap EXACTLY?

    BobDole: Easily. Look at the Byzantine emperor Justinian. He, along w/ his general Belisaurius, completed the reconquest of Rome and the western Roman empire. The great Hagia Sophia was built during his reign. He was responsible for re-writing the legal code.

    But if you look at the Nika riots and how close to death Justinian was, he decided to lock the doors of the Hippodrome while his enemies and tens of thousands of civilians were in there, and sent his guards in to slaughter every single one. Happy times.

  447. Two things have enraged me and it’s getting harder to look past and enjoy this show.

    Jaime. Enough said, they fucked up that character arc so poorly and you can tell it’s because they loveeeee Lena so much. Here’s the thing, Lena and Cersei are not the same. It’s like watching Harry Potter over again and seeing Hermione getting all the lines because the writer loves her. They threw everything out the window with Jaime. There was no point for a story at all. They made him slip up several times throughout the years but this was the nail in the coffin. They included “He doesn’t care for the innocents”. in this episode. Well you should’ve have cut out his back story killing the mad king.

    Pacing. The story pacing is crap and we have no time to explore characters motivations anymore.

  448. BobDole,

    Yes, Justianian solved the problem in a very Byzantine (and Roman) way. And when did the Romans (Eastern or Western) presented themselves as “breakers of chains”? They were proud coquerors, they were bloody, but they never pretend or saugth to be something else.

  449. Daenerys is basically Aerys III, sadly. She followed her father’s path, Aerys II’s path, way faster tho.

    Aerys II, too, wasn’t bad at first. “He was generous, handsome and resolute, although somewhat quick to anger. He was also vain, proud, and changeable, traits that made him easy prey for lickspittles and flatterers. As he grew older, Aerys became increasingly jealous, suspicious and cruel, prone to furious outbursts.”

    We can say almost the same about Dany. She was generous, she still is, but isn’t she quick to anger too? Just a little… 😁
    She’s proud and changeable, isn’t she? And isn’t she jealous of Jon, just like her father was jealous of Tywin? Isn’t she suspicious about her court, her Hand, just like her father was? And cruel sometimes, and prone to furious outbursts…

    It’s sad to say, but she’s like her father. We saw it coming, we can’t deny it. To me, the final proof was when she burned Randyll and Dickon Tarly. I had the feeling she was going to become the Mad Queen…

    Oh, let me add that Aerys II suffered the death of many sons short after their birth. Dany lost most of her sons too. This alone can drive you crazy.

    She also spent most of her life fantasizing about her return to Westeros, taking back the throne, benevolently ruling the people, being loved by them… And then she realizes the people of Westeros don’t like her, they fear her. She realizes Jon is probably a better king and people naturally love him. She realizes Jon doesn’t love her anymore. She lost her dreams, her sons, her allies, her lover… I think she would have burned the whole continent if she could…

    They promised us a bittersweet ending and this is the bitter part, I think. This is so sad… Because we know Dany and we know her good part… It’s so sad to see her mad part prevail. I hoped Jon could prevent it, but he couldn’t. I still hope she’ll have a moment of sanity and fly away from Westeros, where she doesn’t belong… Enough bitter for me, I don’t want to see them fight… 😔

    Fly away, Dany! Go back to Meereen! Daario is waiting for you! 😁

  450. Frank:
    I only wonder now how they can get rid of Drogon.

    He is the major problem in the story all of a sudden, isn’t he?

    Well, if they want to write some real comedy… Daenerys rounds up everyone who’s not with her ( practically everyone but the Unsullied and the Dotraki ), then orders Drogon to burn Jon. Drogon looks at Jon, then back at her and pufff : ”Sorry, mom, but you are embarrassing me in front of my buds, making me burn castles and cities and ppl and all this shit… I like cousin Jon more now. Byes”. In the end Drogon sits on the throne and everyone who by chance survived lives happily ever after, or at least till some evil man funds a sequel to finish them all.

    Seriously, I still lay my hopes on the little bird we saw. They even made her a named character, was that for nothing?

    Btw, why would the Unsullied still stand by Daenerys, as shown in the preview? They chose to follow her because they perceived her to be a liberator and a fighter for what’s just ( which they somehow assumed from her cheating at trade and sacking a city ). All this turned to ashes, literally. Now they just mindlessly follow her, to kill time till the final credits? Oh, so there are still zombies in the show, good. Or are they imperial stormtroopers now? 🙂

  451. Che: I think it was a standard King’s landing surrender signal. When Tyrion mentioned it to Dany, he spoke of it like it was common knowledge.

    Nah, when Stannis arrived at KL, the bells were a call to arms. Varys (RIP) said they never announce anything good and he was so right.

    As Stalin is being brought again and again to the discussion, a certain quote from him seems fitting: ”The death of one person is a tragedy; the death of one million is a statistic.” The numbers tally almost perfectly.

    Suddenly I am happy with Jora’s death. He certainly didn’t deserved to see what happened.

  452. Inga,

    King in the North East,

    Just one example Inga and I think a simple google search will find more.

    Gaius Caligula (AD 12–41): Started his reign as a good leader, his leadership ended in horror. He saw himself as a god.

    Queen Ranavalona I of Madagascar (1828–61) Paranoia made her snap.

    Mary I of England, not a snap but one that started her life as a good person, helping the common folk. But when she was crowned she turned into the bloody Mary. (yes she is the one where that saying is coming from)

    And people tend to forget Dany had a dragon this episode, nobody in history had a dragon. Where in history when a king or queen snapped, they were taken out very fast before they could do any harm. Maybe 1000 were killed before another king rose and took his place (or her). Or people that helped the reign plotted their murder (like varys did).

    If Dany didn’t have a dragon and be more historical accurate. The unsulied would have been the one doing the killing. Meaning that a lot less would have died when dany came to her senses. That’s what happened in history.

    As for snapping, I would advice you too look into that. It’s not uncommon for people just too snap abruptly. Luckily they don’t have dragons, and most of the time no armys.

    Here is a paper from harvard where they talked about good leaders, it is focussed on business but thinking behind it is also for world leaders.

    https://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/why-leaders-lose-their-way

    – This creates a deep desire to keep it going, often driven by desires to overcome narcissistic wounds from childhood. Many times, this desire is so strong that leaders breach the ethical standards that previously governed their conduct, which can be bizarre and even illegal.
    – When leaders focus on external gratification instead of inner satisfaction, they lose their grounding. Often they reject the honest critic who speaks truth to power. Instead, they surround themselves with sycophants who tell them what they want to hear. Over time, they are unable to engage in honest dialogue; others learn not to confront them with reality.
    – Many leaders get to the top by imposing their will on others, even destroying people standing in their way. When they reach the top, they may be paranoid that others are trying to knock them off their pedestal. Sometimes they develop an impostor complex, caused by deep insecurities that they aren’t good enough and may be unmasked.
    – Or they look for scapegoats to blame for their problems.
    – “When one takes a position of leadership, there is a very real danger of getting caught up in the hype surrounding that status … Surround yourselves with people who will be honest with you about how you really are and what you are becoming, and then make them promise to not hold back… from telling you the truth.”

  453. Sam,

    You clearly didn’t understand that sentence. He did cared for the citizens of KL that’s why he made that choice.

    Last episode he made clear that he still haven’t forgive himself for what he has done. He hates himself. He thinks he is as low as Cersei is. He said that to Tyrion because that’s easier to just put the label “Man who doesn’t care” than to live with the burden and emotion of self-loathing.

  454. Dear GRRM,
    I don’t think “bittersweet” means what you think it means.
    Love,
    Me

  455. I think the worst thing about how they concluded Jaime’s storyline is just how pointless his character growth seemed. They had a character universally hated in the beginning, then slowly moved him into someone you could root for, could understand why he d