The Real Reason Why Game Of Thrones Daenerys Sucks This Season
How Game of Thrones Season 8 writers destroyed this amazing character arc
There are plenty of Game Of Throne Spoilers in this Post of course. You are warned.
After Season 8 Episode 5 of Game of Thrones, there are currently two groups of people in the world.
Group 1 – Mad Daenerys came out of nowhere and what we saw couldn’t possibly be the Dany we know and love.
Group 2 – No no. Everything has been foreshadowed. YOU just weren’t paying attention to all those things she kept saying and doing.
Neither of these things matter to the overall point – This entire Season 8 of Game of Thrones has simply been bad lazy writing. Group 1, Just because you don’t LIKE the idea of an evil Danny doesn’t mean it’s impossible, and similarly Group 2, just because you can point to the odd reference in earlier seasons of her doing brutal actions, this “foreshadowing” does not mean she is suddenly an insane mad psychopath. Let us explore the horrible lazy writing of Season 8 Game of Thrones and why everything just feels so bad right now.
George is Not Involved in Season 8 of Game of Thrones
George RR Martin has come out and said that he in fact was not all that involved in Season 8. He states that he had a few conference calls, but hadn’t seen the final episodes and really had no role in this final season all. He HAS stated that he gave a rough outline to where the story should ended up several years ago now. So that means showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss KNEW for a while that Mad Queen Daenerys was the result of the story. Let us accept that part and move along.
Dany Was Always Going to Be a Mad Queen
Ok, so we have a character arc starting from innocent naive Danny back in the start Season 1 to ultimately end up as Mad queen Dany in Season 8. We watched Dany for over 8 years. She went through countless stories of the underdog whom rises again no matter what set back she faces. Get sold to crazy Dothraki husband? Seduce him and make him love you. True love husband and child gets killed? Rise from ashes with a bunch of Dragons. Danny constantly gets knocked down and steps back up to battle as a strong leader. It is part of the reason she is such a great character to watch, and also likely part of the reason that so many are not willing to accept her ultimate madness downfall.
Foreshadowing Does Not Make One An Instant Psychopath
There are many examples floating around of Dany being brutal in the past which many are pointing to as acceptable foreshadowing. Killing Mirri Maz Duur, Pyat Pree, Meereen’s nobles or the Tarlys. But these characters had harmed or were against Dany and therefore seen as ‘evil’, so the act of killing them seems justified or ‘good’ to us the audience. Yes, even if the idea of roasting your enemy alive is pretty brutal. Many characters in the show have been brutal though and none have “gone mad”. Brutal is a core part of Game of Thrones characters. Arya chopped up the Freys and fed them to their father. She also stabs out both of Ser Meryn Trants eyes. If Arya in Season 8 had suddenly ran around and murdered innocent women and children throughout Winterfell before the battle of the Night King, would people be saying “OOOooo that was foreshadowing! That was just Mad Assassin Arya!” No of course not and we shouldn’t be accepting it about Daenery’s character either.
Game Of Thrones Characters Do Brutal Things
Let us not forget the brutal acts of so many of our beloved characters. Theon’s multiple failed chopping the Winterfell master at arms head off, Stannis burning Shireen at the stake, Tyrion strangles Shae, Jamie pushing a child out of a window, or of course Sansa murdering Ramsey by dogs.The characters of Game of Thrones do brutal things, but it does not mean they are allowed to suddenly be psychopaths. These previous actions of their brutality would not simply just ‘make it ok’ if they suddenly went nutso on screen. Even the purely evil characters – Cersei, Ramsey, Joffrey – never destroyed an entire city of innocents, women, and children who have surrendered to them for no reason. There are also many examples of foreshadowing a good and just queen Daenerys, as there are examples of mad queen Daenerys.
Characters Suffer the Fates They Choose
Dany has been through a lot, so many want her to have a happy ending. But everyone should know that Game of Thrones promises no happy endings. This is partly what makes the show so great. The characters suffer the consequences of the poor decisions they make. The death of Ned Stark in season 1 was a shock felt around the globe. He was a lawful, good and much loved character. Same goes for the Red Wedding. The murder of noble Rob and fierce Catelyn Stark might be the most devastating moment in TV history. But at no point did people feel outraged about bad writing. There was no accusations about not acceptable arcs for the characters. Why is this? If you rewatch the seasons you can see that Ned, Rob and Catelyn had many decisions to make and did many things that ultimately caused their downfall. Ned telling Cersei he knew the children were not Robert’s kids? Trusting Joffrey and Littlefinger? We all know how foolish such things are now. Rob going back on a marriage deal with the Freys because of love? Love is not an acceptable reason to destroy house partnerships. Catelyn releasing Jamie Lannister? We watched the effects of these and other decisions these characters made that resulted in their tragic deaths. It makes “sense” that their deaths happened. We as an audience, are mad at Joffrey and Cersei, the Freys and the Boltons. We are annoyed at the foolishness of Ned, Rob and Catelyn for their multiple poor decision making. None of this had anything to do with good old foreshadowing. These characters are responsible for their deaths because of the DECISIONS they made. At no point are we calling out bad writers because even though we may not like it, everything well, makes sense.
None of this applies to Daenerys in Season 8.
Daenerys Can Not Win No Matter What She Does
She started at the end of Season 6 at a point of Ultimate Success. She’s coming to Westeros with her full army, all her advisors and 3 healthy grown dragons. As George had said the ending was Mad Queen Daenerys, and D&D had no writing to go by from George, they had to come up with a way for her to get there through Season 7 and Season 8. They did little in Season 7 in terms of Mad Queen at all. Season 7 consists of Jon and Dany getting together and she agrees to help the North. She does brutally kill the Tarlys, but they were guys we didn’t like already and they were against her. By the start of Season 8, we still love heroine Danny. We now have six quick episodes while ALSO dealing with the Night King threat to turn her into an evil mad queen. How will they accomplish that? By an ONGOING and helplessly pointless series of events that Daenerys has no say or control over. After each episode the Internet has been flooded with memes about “what was the point” or “this makes no sense”. Some examples…
Daenerys Trusts Her Advisors
Dany has a choice to help the people of the north or she could attack Kings Landing. She choose the helpful good answer and goes North. She loses a good portion of her friends and her army because of this action. Ultimately, she’s not even needed because it is Arya who kills old Mr “I’m not really a threat” Night King. This decision of her being a good person was ultimately a bad decision for her. If she didn’t go north, she would have been evil. She loses regardless of her decisions. This continues again and again throughout the Season. Next up her advisers. So many memes about how smart Tyrion was and suddenly every decision is a foolish one. Tyrion would never trust Cersei like this, yet he advises Daenerys to just do that. Dany trusts him which is what she is supposed to do. The right action. Yet of course this was horrible advice. Again, by Dany doing the right thing she is punished by the writers.
Daenerys Doesn’t Trust Her Advisors
When she makes her own decisions and burns the Tullys alive, She is shown to be the “mad and crazy queen”. Varys tells her she is acting foolish like he promised he would. She ignores him and when he then inevitably turns on her she then roasts him alive. “Conquering Westeros would be easy for you,” says Tyrion. “But you’re not here to be queen of the ashes. We can take the Seven Kingdoms without turning it into a slaughterhouse. If the great Houses support your claim against Cersei, the game is won.” Tyrion says in Season 7 Episode 2. Yet this is completely forgotten about after the Long Night battle. Sansa even states the fact, there is no rush. Let’s rest up and gather the troops. No, Dany just wants to rush back in there and kill everyone in King’s Landing ignoring everyone’s advice. She is wrong for listening to her advisors and wrong for ignoring them. Overall she just keeps losing. They need the plot points to happen in this season and they will make them happen even if they don’t make sense at all. Hide out in the crypts? The dead come to life. Hide out in your room instead? The dead would magically fall out of the closet in the room. Yes that makes no sense but we NEED the plot points to happen, regardless of the logic around them. The character have no say or choice. Crazy things keep happening so we can simply just move the story along. The whole season is this way again and again. Lazy Writing.
Take Away Everything She Loves As Quickly As Possible… Even If It Doesn’t Make Sense
Finally, the showrunners simply did everything they could to take away anything and everything that mattered to Dany in this season in some of the most unbelievable and dumbest situations possible. Let’s destroy half her army by making them charge into the darkness! Let’s make her land on the ground in the middle of a battle so Sir Friendzone will rush from nowhere to die saving her! Let’s have her dragon be killed in the air with 3 amazing sniper shots, even though the dragons EASILY should have been able to spot the Iron fleet well before that time! Let’s make her love Jon Snow, she’s done everything for, not accept her and reject her pleas and advances. Let’s have the ONLY person that they take prisoner (off screen of course) happens to be her BFF Missandei (even though we haven’t seen them talk or do any BFF things in about 4 seasons), so they could kill her in a brutal way! The writers are just giving her constant no win situations that she has no control over, so it is ‘acceptable’ that she turns into that mad queen we need her to be at the end of the season. When she has nothing left, the show keeps bringing up her good old mad Targaryen genes. “Every time a Targaryen is born, the gods toss a coin and the world holds its breath.” Nothing until this point in the show had acceptably shown Dany as being “mad”, brutal yes, but nothing shows her as mad.
The Tipping Point for Madness
Daenerys then finally in Season 8, Episode 5 has a decision to make. Her first real internal character decision without advisors in a long time. The city has surrendered. She has won. But alas, she is already crazy and is going to do the crazy thing by killing everyone. She chose fear. Kings Landing is all her enemies. Kill all the people. Ok. She mass murders the entire city and by doing so, she has by far done the worst thing any character on the show has done. It is such lazy writing to say – She must end up a mad queen, but we will spend ZERO time on the decisions she made to get her there. What decisions? Quick! Make her lose everything and therefore she needed and chooses fear to rule? That is acceptable for this amazing complicated character? She was genetically destined to be .. mad?
Final thought on Mad Queen Daenerys
Now yes there is a final episode, and maybe somehow this will all change, but I doubt it. I think we will need to wait for the books to see a better perspective on how this all came to be. Part of the benefit of the books is you get to see things written from a character perspective, so we can slowly watch her descent into madness through how she sees the world, becoming paranoid at those around her, making poor decisions and choosing bad choices. We must accept that TV show Daenerys was just destined to be mad, and so it is. In fact as I mentioned, most of the plot points of Season 8 don’t care about logic, reason or character decisions. There is no “how they got there”, just lazy “so it is” writing. I also don’t honestly think if we had more episodes in this season it would be better. The writers have known for at least 2+ ( likely longer) seasons where they were ending up and did very very little to get us there when they did not have George RR Martin’s writing direction. Overall, I really just wanted to get into words some of what I felt about why people are so upset at the character development of Daenerys, yet the other tragic deaths in the show were different. What do you think?