Season 8 episode 5 was honestly a mad one, if you don’t want spoilers I highly suggest you don’t read this blog post because there will be spoilers everywhere. Dany has finally lost the plot and people are generally shocked – which then shocks me. Personally I do agree that the writing for this show has gone severely downhill, and honestly it’s now equatable to fanfiction, but Dany was always going to go crazy. They’ve been foreshadowing her becoming the mad queen for a while now.
Yes she freed slaves, but look at the methods that she did this. She burned her enemies, crucified them, tortured them and rarely went with a trial. The one time she did, it was a trial to then burn the person – so why do people think she’s a just queen. I personally blame Tyrion and Jon (incest) Snow for that, they are the ones who have spent the past season claiming that Dany stands for a new world, a safe world, when in reality the only reason she didn’t burn cities to the ground before was because her impulses were controlled by her advisors #bringbackBarristanSelmy.
Let’s go back to season 1, before Dany had three powerful dragons, she burnt the witch alive who she deemed responsible for Khal Drogos death. Was she to blame? – Yes, but let’s focus on the fact that her first instinct was to burn her alive. Not cut her, or order her murder, or even exile – she went straight to incineration.
“I am Daenerys Stormborn, of House Targaryen, of the blood of Old Valyria – I am the Dragon’s Daughter. And I swear to you, that those who would harm you will die screaming”
The irony is that this was the only season where she was seen to be innocent. Since then she’s has a long career of burning her enemies. Her whole journey from Vaes Dothrak to Essos to Westoros was built on fire and blood.
In season 2 she also said this to her enemies in Qarth – “I am not your little princess. I am Daenerys Stormborn of the blood of old Valyria and I will take what is mine, with fire and blood I will take it” – so.. she’s true to her word I guess?
Sadly when she finally arrives in Westoros, she doesn’t spend time learning about the culture, the people or the families, she demands that families bend the knee, and if they didn’t she burnt them alive. Even Jon Snow, and he only wanted to save everyone from the night king, he honestly didn’t care about anything else. So after seeing this, why did we think that she would be better?
It’s to do with her white saviour plot of freeing slaves. She spent a significant amount of time freeing slaves and (failing) ruling over the freed cities. She almost convinced the world that she was good, but in her efforts to rule Mehreen she revealed that she does not know how to be a queen without burning her enemies. She failed to put systems in place to counteract the vacuum left by the end of the slave trade, she didn’t know how to deal with the nobles, and even when she left she didn’t show the people how to actually govern themselves. If it wasn’t for her advisors she probably would have burnt more people.
I will say one thing, she has never willingly burnt innocent people until the most recent episode, but that can easily be explained. She sees her dragons as her children and she’s lost two of them now, she’s also lost her best friend and advisory Misandei. She feels betrayed by everyone around her and is also grieving Jorah. She was bound to snap since she clearly doesn’t have anyone around her to cull her worst impulses, Grey Worm is in the same head space as her so they’re both just obsessed with violence against their enemies. It was super fucked up, but understandable from her perspective I guess.
If Game of Thrones wasn’t ending this season I feel like it would have worked better, since a lot of the plot points that are failing to reach us just needed time and better writing. Having Dany go from ‘saviour’ to ‘villain’ in the space of two episodes is just ridiculous. She was always foreshadowed as burning everything in her way, it was badly executed.