Daenerys Targaryen finally snapped! Yup, you know what we’re talking about…
In the second last episode of Game of Thrones ever, the normally calm and collected wannabe queen took Drogon and flew around King’s Landing, ‘Dracarys-ing’ Lannister soldiers, innocent civilians and buildings across the city, thereby becoming what we all feared she would become: The Mad Queen.
But frankly, the reasons for such a sharp turn in her character are still a tad bit unclear. The Northmen had the city and the Lannister army had surrendered, leaving their queen Cersei on her own. So really, Dany, was all that fiery fury necessary?
Well, according to co-creators David Benioff and DB Weiss, yes. And that’s because she no longer has anyone left. Jon Snow – the man Dany loves – betrayed her. Lord Varys – her trusted advisor – betrayed her. Jorah Mormont – a lifelong friend – is no longer alive and neither are two of her dragons – or her “children,” as she called them. It’s just Dany and Drogon against the world now and we saw that in Sunday’s episode.
“Daenerys has had really close friendships and advisors for her entire run on Game of Thrones but these people have either turned on her or died,” E News! quoted Benioff as saying in a behind-the-scenes video. “She’s very much alone now and that’s dangerous for someone who’s got so much power. So, at the very time when she needs guidance and those kind of close friendships and advice the most, everyone’s gone,” he adds.
“Jon is someone that Dany’s in love with but as far as she’s concerned, he betrayed her by telling people his true identity and also by being unable to return her affections at this point,” Benioff says. “I think that when she says, ‘Let it be fear,’ she’s resigning herself to the fact that she may have to get things done in a way that isn’t pleasant,” Weiss chimes in. “She chose violence. A Targaryen choosing violence is a pretty terrifying thing.”
We may not agree but for the showrunners, it was the perfect storm of circumstances to warrant her decision. “If things had been different, I don’t think this side of Dany ever would’ve come out. If Cersei hadn’t betrayed her, if Cersei hadn’t executed Missandei, if Jon hadn’t told her the truth…Like, if all of these things had happened in any different way, then I don’t think we’d be seeing this side of Daenerys Targaryen,” Benioff explained further.
Weiss believes Dany flipped the switched “so quickly” and that it was sparked by the sight of the Red Keep. “To her, it’s the home that her family built when they first came to Westeros 300 years ago,” he reveals. “It’s in that moment, on the walls of King’s Landing, where she’s looking at that symbol of everything that was taken from her, that she takes the decision to make this personal. We wanted her to be just death from above as seen from the perspective of the people who are on the business end of her dragon.”
Benioff and Weiss also say that they wanted to keep their sympathies “on the ground” because that’s where all the people actually paying the price for Dany’s decisions were. “There is a tendency to focus on the heroic figures and not pay attention to the people who may be suffering from the repercussions of the decisions made by these heroic people,” they explain.
The trailer for next week’s series finale features Dany surveying her kingdom. Could that mean there is peace in Westeros now? Guess we’ll find out this Sunday…
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