At the end of Game of Thrones season eight, episode four, when Cersei asks Missandei to say her last words, she only hard a word say: “Dracarys.” It’s the High Valyrian word for “dragon fire,” and the word Daenerys uses to order her dragons to turn their flames on her enemies.
For Missandei, who was freed from slavery when Daenerys ordered her dragons to kill the slavers who held her way back in season three, the word is a symbol of freedom and synonymous with Daenerys’s rule. But for others, that Daenerys has made her rule synonymous with burning people is the biggest problem with it.
Much of the episode, titled “The Last of the Starks” is spent debating whether or not Daenerys is fit to be queen of the Seven Kingdoms. The Stark kids question whether she’s earned the North’s loyalty, and immediately start spreading the truth about Jon’s parentage. In one of the episode’s tense and most memorable scenes, where Varys and Tyrion had a fierce debate over whether to replace her with Jon.
Varys’s argument boils to down to if: A woman known for burning her enemies, clearly consumed by rage and passion, isn’t likely to make the wisest or most compassionate judgments. Would a queen whose fiercest followers use “dracarys” as their watchword really care for the ordinary people of the Seven Kingdoms?
Game of Thrones seems to be setting up Daenerys for a version of a common real-world problem, one in which successful revolutionaries turn out to be awful leaders.
“A Targaryen father and a Stark mother,” says Varys. “Jon is the one man alive who might be able to keep the North in the Seven Kingdoms.” Varys is right to not trust that she’ll be anything other than the tyrants she truly believes she’s destined to overthrow. She is showing every sign of megalomania. But she’s still not executing innocent women on the battlements of King’s Landing. Missandei’s death was really horrifying. Cersei is beyond redemption; as bad as Daenerys has gotten, I think she still means well.
Daenerys’s behavior in episode 4 proves her impulsive dragon charge; her desire to burn King’s landing before her advisors persuade her not to, her pleading with Jon about how the throne is hers and hers alone and sure suggests that she shouldn’t win this final war.
Arya is on her way to King’s Landing, presumably to kill Cersei, but is she the only one? Near the end of the hour, Jaime finds out about Cersei’s attack on Daenerys’ army, and decides to head south in pursuit. At first glance, the scene plays as though Jaime is returning to his sister’s side. There’s another reading to consider: Jaime is returning south because he now fully recognizes the extent of his sister’s evil, and plans to stop it and the Kingslayer going off on a mission to become the Queenslayer.
The dragon queen is surely going to burn kings landing and she wont see it coming, if that is the only thing she does it makes sense and cersei would really get what she desires.
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