My thoughts on “Game of Thrones”

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My thoughts on “Game of Thrones”

Sami Severnak

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*SPOILERS: IF YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED THE SERIES IN ITS ENTIRETY AND PLAN TO DO SO, I RECOMMEND CLICKING OUT OF THIS PAGE *

As I am writing the first part of this article, the series finale of Game of Thrones less than 9 hours away. To say that I am losing my mind at the current moment is the understatement of the century. However, over the last week, I have seen so, SO many criticisms and thoughts on how Game of Thrones has played out up through S8E5 and I have decided to write down my thoughts on this as well.

One of the biggest criticisms I have seen is essentially how rushed certain story lines were rushed or cut short. However, well my opinion may be rather unpopular, I strongly disagree with the assessment that season 8 as well as season 7 were “poorly written”. Yes, I agree that the pace is incredibly fast, but skipping over how characters move from one place to the other and other unimportant details does not take away from the core of the story.

First of all, many are angry that Jaime Lannister’s character arc was cut short. Yet, in all honesty, it wasn’t at all. Throughout the entire series, it was made very clear that the only women he could possibly love is Cersei. No matter how far he went from King’s Landing, his ultimate goal was always to get back to Cersei. Yes, we have seen him go from a man that pushed a boy out of a window to someone we can actually tolerate, but he was always going to be with Cersei. In fact, his death of holding her as the Red Keep fell on top of them was foreshadowed aggressively in season 5 when Bronn asks him how he’d want to die and Jaime answers “In the arms of the one he loves.” He did just that. Were we disappointed when he left Brienne and went back to Cersei? Yes. But, it wasn’t the writers trying to be lazy at all. It made complete sense. When he was with Brienne, he realized he could only ever love one woman, the one woman that drove him to push a boy out of a window, invade Riverrun, and kill his own cousin. He said himself that he’d do it all again. If you ask me, it’d be terrible writing if he just went off with Brienne because that wouldn’t make any sense. It is not realistic that he would just abandon the one he has loved all his life because she angered him once. His character arc was never cut short; he ended up right where he was supposed to.

Interestingly enough, many are aggravated over how Cersei died. People say that a death of being crushed by a rock isn’t “epic” enough for an amazing antagonist such as Cersei. While I do agree that she is an incredible character and she deserves an equally eventful death, I believe that it was done in the best way possible. Throughout episode 5, Cersei watches as her world around her crumbles. Daenerys spends the majority of the episode lighting up King’s Landing, something Cersei watches from the Red Keep. First the walls go as well as the scorpion weapons. The bells are rung and Cersei knows it’s over. Yet, Daenerys keeps laying fire to King’s Landing and the Unsullied breach the walls of the Red Keep. Cersei, with the guidance of Jaime, goes to the bottom of the Red Keep, when they realize their exit is blocked. As Daenerys burns down the Red Keep, Cersei and Jaime become trapped underneath, dying in each others arms. This is the best death possible. Not only does burial of the exit symbolize the fact that Cersei is out of options, but the ENTIRETY OF Red Keep falling on top of them shows the end of the era. Cersei’s whole world came crashing down. OF COURSE SHE WOULD GET TRAPPED UNDER IT. It was incredibly satisfying, unlike how anticlimactic it would feel if, say, Arya cut her throat. Instead, viewers watched her beg for her life in a sense and die anyway, a perfect retribution for all of her horrible actions.

However, one of the most notable “disappointments” was how Daenerys Stormborn, of House Targaryen, First of her Name, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons, turned into the mad queen. Note: this is the criticism of S8 that gets me the most heated.

Many claim it happened too fast, that D&D corrupted a character terribly, or that it didn’t even make sense with Dany’s character. All of these are wrong.

Daenerys’ fall into madness has been completely foreshadowed since the beginning of the series. In season 1, she burned a witch alive. In season 2, she locked her ex-servant and one of the masters of Qarth into a vault and left them there to die. In season 3, she absolutely destroyed Astapor. In Season 4, she crucified the masters of Meereen. In season 7, she destroyed the military camp, burning thousands of men alive, and crisped up the Tarlys. The list goes on. She always claimed she is the one to bring justice to the world. How long before her idea of “justice” doesn’t aligned with reality? She is afflicted with a severe “Messiah complex.” As some point, she is going to think everyone is her enemy. Everyone loved her because she had some basic human empathy, but then again who says she really believed in freeing the slaves? Some people, including myself, believe she really only did it to gain popularity. What better way to get the loyalty of thousands of people than give them their “freedom”? Yet, it became more and more prevalent that as long as Dany was around, nobody was truly free. This was made especially in Season 7, when she told the Lannister that they could either pledge their loyalty or die. Is this really freedom? Dany has ALWAYS has elements of madness in her.

The second reason that it makes sense that she went mad is because of all the events that really pushed her into madness. Aside from the fact that she always had a temper, she also underwent many harsh events between season 7 and season 8. First of all, she sailed to Westeros, where she discovered that she was not warmly welcomed as she expected. Secondly, she got roped into the war against the dead, during which she lost her dragon and child, Visieron, who was later used against her in the Battle of Winterfell. She then learns that she is not the rightful heir to the throne and loses half of her army in the battle against the dead. Even after this, she still seems like she can keep her head up, given Jon doesn’t reveal the little secret that he is the true heir. He does, however, telling his family, which leads to Varys’ betrayal. In the meantime, Rhageal is killed by Euron AND Missandei is captured and beheaded by Cersei, all in the matter of a few days. OF COURSE SHE’D GO CRAZY. Honestly, if even one of those things happened to me, King’s Landing would be lit up, especially if my most trusted confidante screamed “DRACARYS” right before she lost her head.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Sami, even so, why did she roast tens of thousands of innocent people?” Well, as I specified before, though we wouldn’t consider the people from earlier in the series “innocent”, she was already on her way down a bad path. It was only a matter of time before she killed innocent people because she felt like she was the bringer of justice. But what justice, you might ask? Early in episode 5, she tells Jon that she will free future generations from tyrants. She doesn’t say anything about the current people of King’s Landing. Therefore, we can assume she believes they are tyrants. With that, things always seem to be very black and white for Dany. In her mind, people are either for her or against her and if they’re against her, they deserve to die. It is her advisors that tell her to offer mercy. She never conjures that idea on her own. Yet, in her mind, her advisors are wrong. Varys betrayed her and Tyrion has failed her time and time again. Therefore, she decides what they’ve been telling her to do all along is wrong and nobody deserves mercy, just death. Another factor that really demonstrates where her head is when she talks about Meereen. She talks about how she didn’t really free Meereen, but the people fought against the masters and freed themselves. She sees that the people of Westeros haven’t done the same and in her mind, this is a betrayal, and decides that they don’t deserve mercy, only death.

It’s also important to note that the Iron Throne is all Dany ever wanted and she’d do anything to make that happen, even if she doesn’t really have a good reason. In fact, when she first met Tyrion, he asks her why she wouldn’t just stay in Essos, considering all of the work she has done. She really doesn’t have a legitimate answer other than that it was “taken” from her. She just wants the throne and it’s made clear that her work in Essos is somewhat meaningless to her in comparison with sitting on the Iron Throne. Yes, she says that she “did not come to be queen of the ashes,” yet, she also realizes she doesn’t inspire loyalty or love in Westeros, only fear. She realizes that between everything that has happened to her and the fact that Jon has more legitimately loyalty than she can, she can only obtain the Iron Throne through fear, the same way her father did.

One interesting aspect that really foreshadows this moment was back in season 2, when Dany went into the House of the Undying. She walks into the throne room, but the room is blown off and there is what we now realize is ash falling down. This is the most aggressively foreshadowing to foreshadow anything. It is literally a depiction of the future; we just didn’t really know that yet. In one of the displays of what we now know is the future, she is reunited with Drogo. I believe this means Dany is going to die in the series finale. Obviously she has made too many enemies to even hope to stay alive and it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out.

Overall, it really saddens me to see how many people discredit the writers for their genius work. I truly believe the reason so many people have a problem with the show is because it made them uncomfortable and it wasn’t totally what they expected. So, they say it’s “bad writing”, but good writing isn’t predictable garbage that repeats itself. Thats why we watch Game of Thrones, because it isn’t predictable. So many people have died in ways that were surprising and made us grieve, but it wasn’t bad writing. It was fantastic. That is why this show has inspired 10 years of loyalty and fans such as my self writing almost two thousand word articles defending a single episode. I honestly cannot wait for the finale and I know I am going to absolutely loose my marbles tonight. I know it’s going to be excellent. All I wish is that the audience will give D&D the credit they deserve. They have honestly to god stayed true to the heart of Game of Thrones. In that spirit, we know that tonight is going to wreck us. After all, if you think this story has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.

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