Many crybabies online have been screaming because the show did not do exactly what they wanted it to do, saying it betrays the characters or is sexist and anti-feminist because it does bad things to women.
And I am sitting here, thinking “seriously?” The show is filled with flawed, morally ambiguous characters. That grey area was always the point of the show. That at the end there are no winners. Bad things happen to all kinds of people on this show. Have we forgotten what happened to Ned or Robb among many others? Nobody said the show mistreats it’s male characters when those things happened but as soon as any female characters get victimized, killed or turn dark it suddenly becomes an anti-women thing ? Give me a break.
A lot of haters now claim that the last episode completely ruined the characters of Jaime and Dany – because they obviously never paid any attention to the show. Jaime indeed never really cared about the innocent in the past. This dude crippled a kid with a smile. He killed Aerys because he had to choose between his loyalty to the Targayrens and his loyalty to his family. The whole point of his character that he did not care for anything except his family but then changed and came to care for others such as Brienne.
People went ballistic that he went back to Cersei in the end and said that it undid his character development. But it made perfect sense. He was addicted to Cersei and he knew she was about to die. More than he knew that she deserved it. When he and Cersei get buried at the end, Jaime is okay with that because he knows that not only is this the only way his addiction can end but this is what they both deserve. He knows that this is where it should end for them. And he hates himself for loving her, for being addicted to her because he changed and became a caring man who did love Brienne at the end. And he hates himself for being emotionally chained to Cersei. But he realizes that this is who he is and this is how it must end for him and her. That is the tragedy of his character. Did people really think he would just become a good guy, marry Brienne and have kids with her? This is Game of Thrones, people.
Which brings me to Dany? You can bet that the idea of her turning mad at the end is exactly what GRRM had in mind from the beginning. He told the writers about his imagined ending for the story and the characters and this is pretty much what her story was always going to be. And it is not the first time she has shown cruelty, that she has slaughtered people. And she is after all a Targaryen, born from incest. Insanity runs in their veins.
She was the great hero before because she was the self-styled white savior in a foreign land. She was a liberator in Essos and her enemies were people who we never really cared much about. We saw things only from her perspective – so of course she was the great breaker of chains and hero of women anywhere. She was loved and worshipped and all of that.
But Westeros isn’t Essos. Here she isn’t a liberator, she is a full on invader who wishes to take her throne by force. Dany literally said she is going to take the throne with “Fire and Blood” – that is even the official Targaryen mantra! I mean what do you think Aegon the Conqueror did when he came to Westeros with his three dragons? He burned the living hell out of the seven kingdoms to forcefully unite them under his rule. Danys entire claim on the throne is based on what Aegon did. Now that she is doing the same, people are somehow mad and shocked? This is the very basis of Targaryen rule.
And the writers explained very well why Dany snapped in that last episode. It is something the show has been building towards all season long actually. In Essos she was admired and beloved. But in Westeros she is only feared and denied that love. She is jealous as hell when she sees the people loving Jon or Sansa. She expected everyone to love her the way they did in Essos and is frustrated when they don’t in Westeros. And then she is losing all those who kept her from going off the deep end before. Jorah is dead, Missandei is dead, Varys betrayed her. Tyrion frustrates her. Then she feels betrayed by Jon. Everyone who has always kept her stable in the past is no longer at her side. Imagine what Dany would have done without the advice and voices of reason like Jorah or Missandei in the past. They are the ones who kept her stable.
And now they are all gone. She feels alone, unloved by the people, and has only fear on her side. And when she sees the Red Keep that is the ultimate reminder of everything she lost, on the life of suffering that was thrust upon her, the very catalyst of every bad thing that ever happened to her. A symbol of the rebellion that robbed her of the life of the beloved queen that she should have had. It all comes together in that moment and she snaps.
Because she is not some flawless goddess queen or Mary sue who can’t do wrong. She is not immune to emotional trauma, depression and the madness that can result from it. She is as flawed as every other human being and given enough pressure every human can eventually crack after a lifetime of loss or suffering.
In the end becoming the Mad Queen was always Danys destination if she pursues the path of power. She is not some kind of altruistic hero who wants to share power with the people or give each kingdom its freedom. She ALWAYS wanted to take her throne by violence and rule over everyone for their own good. She always wanted to be the Empress.
What happened last episode is about as in character as it gets. Because that tragedy of her becoming corrupted and undone by her quest for power is literally the entire point of the show and always has been.
“You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain” remember?
I am rather baffled by how many people never seemed to understand the show if they don’t understand this. Except people don’t understand this at all. Given the way TV shows have to spoon feed everything they would have needed years of Dany going slowly madder and madder before they understood it. Going insane might happen slowly, and it might happen in an instant. We knew Dany had PTSD, and we knew she was depressed so there should be minimal surprise at her suddenly snapping.
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