Game of thrones season 8, episode 5: why Daenerys becomes dark makes sense

After the fourth episode on Sunday game of Thrones season eight, "Last of the Starks", it seems clear that Daenerys Targaryen is going to a dark place in the last chapters of the show.

Dany began the episode of mourning for the loss of one of his closest advisers (Jorah Mormont) and ended up losing another (Missandei). In the middle, he lost one of his "sons" (Rhaegal the dragon), and his ostensible allies began to express serious doubts about his aptitude as ruler and even his "mental state" (in the words of Varys). And it seems that she is willing to challenge her advisers and rain down a serious destruction at King's Landing in the fifth episode this weekend.

Whether Dany ends up with the "crazy queen" or simply accumulates a high body count, it's already a controversial turn for one of the game of ThronesThe most sympathetic and admirable protagonists; my colleague Alex Abad-Santos, for example, has criticized him harshly.

But in my opinion, this turnaround is inevitable. It has been widely announced throughout several seasons of the television program (although the execution of the eighth season has been quite clumsy), and is based on the report of George R. R. Martin. A song of ice and fire Novels, it seems to be what Martin planned all along.

I wrote while the fifth season was broadcast (in 2015) and again during the sixth season (in 2016) that I thought game of ThronesThe showrunners laid the groundwork for Dany to become the final antagonist of the series, at least in some way. And although you still have to deal with Cersei Lannister, Dany stays in the dark and seems more likely than ever after "The Last of the Starks".

Here's why I've thought for a long time that this was the end of the showrunners & # 39; and Martin's.

Daenerys has always been capable of great compbadion and great violence.

It has been difficult for many to imagine Dany breaking badly because it has been one of game of ThronesMost moral figures. Where most of the other characters have ignored the exploitation and abuse of the less powerful, Dany has really tried to do something about it. She went on a search of several stations to end slavery, after all. And in general, its history has been empowering and inspiring.

But the great power that his dragons give him also gives him the capacity for great violence, and the leaders David Benioff and D.B. Weiss has often raised the possibility that she could go too far. "As the sphere of their empathy widens, so does the scope of their cruelty," Weiss said in 2013, in a segment "Inside the episode" of the third season.

For example, when Dany seized the city of Meereen during the episode of the fourth season "Oathkeeper", she was so angry about the crucifixion of slave children of Meereenese that she ordered an equal number of captured nobles to be crucified. What began as a joyous and happy liberation scene swerved rapidly, even with the music turning dark and twisted and screams of pain ringing when Dany ignored the urgings of his advisors to take a more merciful path and, instead, pursued violent executions , or, as she puts it, "justice". (As I wrote at the time, I thought this was "a microcosm of where your story is going").

Similarly, in the fifth season "Kill the Boy," after the Meereenese insurgency attacked its advisers, Dany demanded that the leaders of all the city's large families be brought to her. She chose one of them, apparently at random, and had him burn to death by one of his dragons, while watching.

Since game of Thrones season five, episode five, "Kill the Boy."

"Who is innocent?" He asked his other prisoners. "Maybe all of you are, maybe none of you is, maybe I should let the dragons decide.

More recently, in season seven of "Eastwatch," Dany burned to death the beloved brother of Samwell Tarly and the not-so-loved father after they refused to kneel before her. game of Thrones He insisted that this moment was important when he mentioned it again during the premiere of the eighth season, when Sam learned what Dany had done.

There is a similar anticipation in Martin's books. "Madness and greatness are two sides of the same coin," says one character, who describes the Targaryen family. And because Dany is a point of view character, we have access to her thoughts as she struggles to resist her temptations to unleash retaliatory violence. At a given moment, she implies that her only fear is herself. She is afraid of what she could do.

The fact that Dany has achieved great and admirable things does not mean that he can not finally give in to his worst impulses. And turning a sympathetic and sympathetic character into essentially a villain who must be defeated is a cruel turn suitable for the creator of the Red Wedding.

But game of ThronesThe execution of this spin leaves much to be desired.

Despite all this, I agree with many of Alex's criticisms about how game of Thrones He has handled this turn of events.

At the end of season seven, Dany made the decision to move away from his pursuit of the Iron Throne, to focus on saving humanity from the White Walkers. She devoted herself wholeheartedly to that effort, and although she did not deal the fatal blow, her armies and dragons were clearly crucial in helping her win alive at the Battle of Winterfell.

However, in the next episode, all the main characters came to a sudden consensus that Dany is dangerous and unfit to govern. Sansa told Tyrion: "You're afraid of him," and he had trouble answering. Varys asked Tyrion if he thought Jon or Dany would be the best rulers, and Tyrion could not answer, before Varys launched a betrayal and said, "I'm worried about his mental state."

But has Dany done enough to cause that drastic turn?

The reason presented in "The Last of the Starks" was that Dany wants to attack the King's Landing and remove Cersei Lannister from power. Tyrion and Varys, astute pragmatists advising a conquering queen, expressed deep moral misgivings about this plan. But his indecision is not convincing, since several past game of Thrones the characters have expected to take the King's Landing by force without being portrayed as moral monsters. (Similarly, when Jon Snow was hanging an insubordinate member of the Night's Watch, that was not presented as a sign of his lack of testimony as a leader or his "dark side," but rather of his ability.) .

Obviously, burning the city completely would be a much more frightening act, but if Dany is only talking about taking her with her armies, it is difficult to understand why this is so out of bounds, considering what else we have seen in the world of the show. Dany has not only conquered several cities before, but Cersei is also a tyrant, one who has mbadacred civilians and has even attacked Dany first.

In fact, Lili Loofbourow wrote in Slate that with "The Last of the Starks" game of Thrones "He has finally admitted that he prefers Jon to Dany," which suggests, convincingly, that the new anti-Dany consensus is that runners put their thumb on the scale, rather than an organic twist to the plot and characters of the Program.

It seems more plausible that Dany's true heel spin is still to come, as show runners stacked the tragedy after the tragedy of their last Sunday in a pretty hard effort to break it. ("Dracarys," advised Missandei in her last word.) But when so many characters turn against Dany so suddenly, Benioff and Weiss seem to have jumped the gun, trying to reach the outcome that Martin seems to have told them is coming without finding a convincing path there. .

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