It probably goes without saying, but this article will contain SPOILERS for last nights Game of Thrones finale. You have been warned!
Last night the character of Daenerys Targaryen met her end at the hands of Jon Snow in the finale of Game of Thrones. After all these years, the final villain of the show was none other than the Mother of Dragons herself and had Jon not killed her, who knows what horrors she would have unleashed in her name?
The turn of Dany from liberator to tyrant has been one discussed much already in this final season. I’ve said before and I’ll say again, that this character arc was one I enjoyed. What I didn’t enjoy was how quick the show rushed us through this arc by having such a short season of episodes. Now Emilia Clarke has spoken with EW about exactly what Daenerys is experiencing in this final season from her point of view.
“She genuinely starts with the best intentions and truly hopes there isn’t going to be something scuttling her greatest plans,” she says. “The problem is [the Starks] don’t like her and she sees it. She goes, ‘Okay, one chance.’ She gives them that chance and it doesn’t work and she’s too far to turn around. She’s made her bed, she’s laying in it. It’s done. And that’s the thing. I don’t think she realizes until it happens — the real effect of their reactions on her is: ‘I don’t give a s—t.’ This is my whole existence. Since birth! She literally was brought into this world going, ‘Run!’ These f—kers have f—ked everything up, and now it’s, ‘You’re our only hope.’ There’s so much she’s taken on in her duty in life to rectify, so much she’s seen and witnessed and been through and lost and suffered and hurt. Suddenly these people are turning around and saying, ‘We don’t accept you.’ But she’s too far down the line. She’s killed so many people already. I can’t turn this ship around. It’s too much. One by one, you see all these strings being cut. And there’s just this last thread she’s holding onto: There’s this boy. And she thinks, ‘He loves me, and I think that’s enough.’ But is it enough? Is it? And it’s just that hope and wishing that finally there is someone who accepts her for everything she is and … he f—king doesn’t.”
Yes, the seeds were there when you look back, and yes this change in Daenerys is believable on paper. The problem was the showrunners rushed to the end, and at times, for an arc like this, you have to take your sweet time. The audience needs to see these seeds grow slowly at first, so that instead of shock, we are filled with inevitable dread at what we KNOW must come now.
Finally, I’ll just say that I thought Clarke’s performance this season was excellent, especially in these last two episodes, I just wish Benioff and Weiss hadn’t been in such a rush to get onto their new Star Wars project. We could have literally had a whole season just devoted to the change in Dany.
What do you think of Clarke’s explanation of Dany’s arc, do you agree with her assessment, if not, why not? Shout about it in the usual place below.
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