Monday, May 20, 2019

Blogger: Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen

This post contains spoilers on the final episode of the series.

The last season of Game of Thrones had several plot-holes, also, it was unclear to me why the last two seasons could not have the 10 episode format as the previous ones, as the biggest criticism was the fact that all felt a bit rushed. I, personally, did not mind that we got to wrap up things, and I liked far more things than the wider audience apparently... the petition to remake the last season for example might just be another addition to the fact that humanity IS fit for extinction. I feel like people's rage is really misplaced, looking around the world right now... not to mention that I read a wonderful article entitled "Our Obsession With Fan Theories Is Ruining Pop Culture", and I do find that this show fell victim to the same kind of expectations.

I did not care for Daenerys from the very beginning. It might be evil of me, but people with a god-like complex of believing that others owe them something because of their name is simply foreign to me. And this sentiment that I had was fueled by every scene where she went and served justice - much like a vigilante - believing that she was meant to do so. The reason why I decided to write this entry is because I cannot understand why people are upset over her story arc.

If you look at the whole series, every single character went from A to B. First, look at Jamie Lannister. You hated him, and you grew to respect him and love him, and even if you were mad at him for going to his death whilst saving the woman that caused him so much misery, you still understood why he did it. Second, the Hound, who at the beginning I am sure everyone would have been fine with seeing die, but then, he came back multiple times, and as grumpy and annoying as he was, we all rejoiced when he got his redemption story. Third would be Varys, I still remember the wonderful discussions he had with Littlefinger, where both seemed to have a hand in an evil much greater than the Night King at the beginning of the story. I do not believe anyone knew where Vary's character would lead us, but we grew to care for him as well, as his intentions were made clear and his motivation for deceiving rulers was to help the realm. My final examples would be both Sansa and Arya, whom I loved from the beginning, and just knew that they would outgrow themselves, only to become everyone else's favorite as well, following the pain they had to endure in this unjust land.

So what was the beginning and then the end for Daenerys?

She was the opposite. There are several characters in the show that remained either good or evil, but to me it made sense that if they can take someone from pure hatred and transform them into someone we care for, why couldn't we do the same the other way around? I find that the writer's intention were made abundantly clear in the scene where Jon is confronted by Sam and the beginning of season 8: he juxtaposes how Daeny handled the fate of two man who wouldn't bend the knee, opposed to what Jon would have done in the same situation. (We can bring up other executions in the story, but that is not really an argument as to who is a better ruler). It was a clear cut example of how one IS a just ruler, even if the other one isn't. (And to me it was a criticism on how perhaps previous rulers who executed others might have been wrong to do so...). This of course was enforced in the last episode, as Jon talked to Tyrion and he outlined how things would have been handled differently had he been the king. From then on I had no doubt that the ultimate evil would not be that of Cersei (or President Snow in The Hunger Games... I'll let you find the parallels on your own, but you'll see it is the same formula).

I, however, do not feel that Daeny going mad with power was rushed. Having talked about it for a bit with people, I have even come to the conclusion that perhaps I was the only one watching the show... and I do not mean to offend anyone with that, but the signs to me were clear, although I understand why some did not see them coming.

But to me some confusion also comes from the fact that people are calling her "mad". See, I do not think she is. A buzzfeed article wonderfully explains how foreshadowing is not the same as developing a character arc. And I agree with that, because the difference between the characters I mentioned above is this development: HOWEVER, had Daenerys truly have gone through the evil character arc NOBODY would have been surprised by the ending of the show. And when it comes to the script, the twist outweighs the logical development of a narrative and it always will.

My favorite sentence from the article (which you can read here!), is this: "She may have been heading this way since the start, but in the past two seasons the writers have not done the work to show us Daeny's internal conflict." ... THE WHOLE SERIES HAS NOT DONE MUCH TO SHOW US HER INTERNAL CONFLICT. After 6 years of waiting she finally came to Westeros and every single person I talked to expressed how they do not care at all about the adventures of the Targaryen girl beyond the sea, they want her to come and conquer! So she did come and conquer. And then people hated that too... *laughing*. I mean, I really do just want to write this entry to make my own peace with the story, as clearly I am unable to show others what I think was, overall, brilliant foreshadowing:

She watched calmly as her brother was brutally murdered at the hand of her husband. She killed slave owners, who the show made us hate, but they were no real enemies to her. She would not leave until a population bent the knee to her in a country that did not belong to her family in the history of kings, not once. She chained her children, which also yielded no result. Except for one of the three, that she let go free and kill whatever and whoever he wanted, although feeling bad about it, this story had no consequence either on her conscience. She killed Dothraki women to gain control over the men of the tribe. She pretended to befriend Sansa to gain power over her as well. To me, her killing the so called "innocents" was wonderful, because when you think about it... these people never rebelled against the kings and queens who have succeeded the Targaryens. To me it makes complete sense that this woman, who believes to be the wielder of justice could easily claim that her family was also betrayed by the people who never sought revenge on the killers of her mad father. Daenarys trusted a very few, since her trust was betrayed far too many times. As far as I can count, only Missandei and Greyworm never looked the other way. And thinking that everyone around you is betraying you and you are the victim, isn't a sign of madness, it is narcissism, which, having to grow up without parents and a sense of grandeur makes complete sense to me. And another example of it came when her subjects did not take to liking her immediately, and she questioned all, why don't they love me? Why cannot they see that I am good? She willingly took matters into her hands and did things according to her own moral compass. She repeatedly sought the approval of others, of the love of others, a certain kind of almost unhealthy obsession that only Jorah could actually give her. This is showcased clearly in how cold she behaved with all of those who questioned her, great examples would be the Stark sisters.

(And the definition of "snapping" comes from the fact that there are no signs beforehand... if she did indeed snap and became mad, any of the things in this season could have triggered her. Complaining about the lack of foreshadow in that department is stupid.)

To conclude...

So yes, not enough time. Yes, the final twist outweighed the linear progression. Yes, hints and foreshadowing are not enough for many, BUT in my opinion they cannot claim that this completely out of the box and unfounded. Finally, and I might get stoned for this, if you loved this character, you should have loved her through this. I for one felt respect for her as the end came, because I did feel like we got from A to B. Perhaps not in the same linear fashion as the other characters, but I believe there were far greater problems with the series... I do, however, find that Daenerys, so hellbent on destroying those who would or could betray her before they do so, dying by the hand of the one she forgave again because of her love, was cruel and kind at the same time. 

And that is all I have to say about her story. And Emilia Clarke did a great job with the script she got.
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I did enjoy this season, because I was watching it for pure pleasure and entertainment, and never really got into fan theories... But if I am here, these things were maddening: "Brandon the Broken?" first of all, WHEN HAS ANYONE EVER CALLED HIM THAT? And wasn't his name Brannon? Like no 'd'??? Or was just Jon Snow's speech impediment throughout the years? And I don't care that the Night King fell at Winterfell, but you cannot bring in this effing mythology and signs left with body parts if you won't explain it. DON'T make a prequel series, give me answers here! Also, where the f*ck did all these dothraki's come from?! Shouldn't they have died in the night? I am inclined to agree with Hank Green's theory, except nobody talks about it. And Ghost... nope. That one scene DID NOT make up for its storyline. This direwolf was a f*cking post-it from an assistant who really wanted to make sure that creators do not forget him, and that is exactly the same amount of effort that the writers put into it. Also, I loved the scene where the wild lings came through the tunnel, it's not like THERE IS A HUGE F*CKING HOLE JUST TEN METERS FROM IT. God... soooo stupid.

Whatever, it's finally over.
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It you are interested in my other posts on GOT, you can check them out here:

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