The GOT Gut Punch
The last Episode was an emotional gut punch. The moment Daenerys decides that the Bells are not enough of a surrender, that she is going to govern through fear, all is lost. For a moment, I actually thought she was going straight to the Red Keep, but as Arya’s everyman-journey through the streets of Kings Landing showed, Daenerys indiscriminately burned anything and anyone before eventually turning on the Red Keep. I had friends who compared this to 9/11. Ash. Destruction. Chaos.
Sure, you can argue that we saw this coming, but no viewer can be blamed for rooting for Daenerys. Her story was one of the coming hero, a story nearly completely independent of the rest of what was happening for the entirety of Game of Thrones until Tyrion reaches her court in Meereen. (Heck, that hasn’t even happened in the books yet, so you have five books where Daenerys is not interacting with any other significant character we have followed in the entire story.) That means something. We’ve spent so much time with her. We have seen the world through her eyes. We saw her become the Mother of Dragons and the Breaker of Chains. We saw her decide to learn to govern rather than hasten to the Iron Throne. We saw her defend the weak and recover from adversity. Popular culture now knows the term “Khaleesi”, FFS!
I hate that there is the cheap excuse of “well, she’s become one of those Mad Targaryens!” I figure if there was more time, we could have seen her isolation, her losses of people close to her, her anger … and see all that eat at her and transform her into the monster she became.
This is what is so great about Game of Thrones. We watch characters we hate (Jamie) and come to root for them. We watch characters we love (Ned, Missandei, etc.) fail or die. The transformation, be it sudden or slow, shows the nuance of the complexity of the human condition.
I hope there is some redemption in the series finale, if not for Daenerys, at least for Westeros.
Thanks for the great job you guys do. I enjoy your perspectives.
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