SPOILERS for season 8 – episode 5.
This is some random text, just so stupid twitter doesn’t auto insert the spoilers in the paragraph below into my tweet. Hello, here are some of my thoughts on people’s reaction to Season 8, episode 5.
Is this enough?
Are you still going to insert the next paragraph into the tweet?
So I’m kind of going out of my mind watching everyone lose their shit about Dany burning Kings Landing. I’m hearing the words ‘character assassination’ and how much the show-runners have ‘ruined her character’ and I’m kinda blown away. This is OBVIOUSLY a book thing, something George told D&D about his plans for the books. It’s been foreshadowed in the books and the TV show for many seasons that Dany would maybe go this route.
- Stood with a look of pride and happiness on her face as her beloved barbarian husband proclaimed he was going to rape, pillage, enslave and burn Westeros so she could have her father’s ‘iron chair’.
- Stood there emotionless and calm while her brother was murdered by her husband. Admittedly he was abusive, but still a pretty sociopathic response.
- Burnt Mirri Maz Duur alive at a stake for doing absolutely nothing wrong (okay, this wasn’t made clear in the show, but she actually gave Drogo good medical assistance, which he then pulls out because it itches, and instead cakes mud in the wound which causes it to get infected. When Dany lost her baby, it was because Jorah took her into the tent where the blood magic was being performed, blood magic being carried out on Dany’s request) – She essentially burnt Mirri Maz Duur alive for not being sad that there wouldn’t be a ‘Stallion That Mounts the World’ that tramples cities to dust.
- In season 2, threatens to burn Qarth to the ground because they refused her entry. She said, AND I QUOTE: “When my dragons are grown, we will take back what was stolen from me and destroy those who have wronged me. We will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground.” Later talks to one of the 13 about ‘taking what is rightfully hers, with FIRE AND BLOOD‘
- Wiped out the entire noble class of Astapor by, yes, burning them alive.
- Nailed 163 people to stakes to die, with little concern for if those particular people were guilty of the crime she was punishing them for.
- Burnt nobles alive and fed them to her dragons because she had a vague (incorrect) notion that one or some of them MIGHT be funding an insurgency. Then right on the heels of that effectively forces one of them into a marriage.
- Burnt all the Khals alive
- Burnt Samwell Tarly’s brother and father alive, for the crime of ‘not bending the knee’.
So because we didn’t like the majority of these characters, or we were rightly appalled with the culture of slavery in their society so as to condemn them all by default, we overlook the fact that Dany has spent the majority of these 8 seasons burning people to death, and only sometimes with dragons. We’ve also been constantly reminded that every time a Targaryen is born, the gods flip a coin. 50/50. We’ve been constantly reminded of the Mad King, Dany’s father, was mad, wanting to ‘Burn them all’. We know that her brother, Viserys was mad, vain and obsessed with his birthright too.
Dany has become obsessed with prophecy and destiny for a long time, as Varys pointed out last episode, she’s been ruthless, power hungry, had a god complex, but she’s beautiful and strong and inspires love from those closest to her, who are blinded to her worst impulses while at the same time holding those impulses back, or justifying these impulses due to the victims of them being unsavoury enough for us not to mind them being burnt alive. Then she lost all those people who stopped her falling down that hole too far, and the demons are free to come out.
The Mad King wasn’t always mad either, he was a charming and popular young man, firm childhood friends with Tywin Lannister, and his madness only came later in life, in particular due to being captured by a rebel lord and imprisoned for 6 months until his rescue by Ser Barristan Selmy. Ater this, he became increasingly paranoid about those around him and seeing enemies and plots in every corner until it consumed him. Sound familiar? Targaryens aren’t born mad, but their madness manifests as they get older, and as Aerys was truly gone after his ordeal at Duskendale, Dany has seen two of her children die, lost all her closest friends whom she loved, found herself surrounded by strangers, filled with grief and anger, and she went nuts. Deal with it.
The possibility of Dany going off the deep end has been threaded through the story since season 1, but like those closest to her such as Jorah, you’ve been as blind to the monstrous side to her that’s been there all along. If you don’t like it, then that’s up to you, but don’t claim they have ‘ruined her character’, as this has been her destiny since day 1 and I’d put money on it playing out more or less the same in the books.
The fact that you called your kid Khaleesi is your own fault!