Game of Thrones Ep. 8.5: ‘The Bells’ and the burning of the wheel

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SPOILERS for Game of Thrones Ep. 8.5: “The Bells.”

This episode could have been called so many things, and it could have done the same story in so many different ways. Several seasons ago, Daenerys told Tyrion that she would “break the wheel.” What she meant to say was that she would Burn The Wheel. The biggest losers from Season 8 have been David Benioff and Dan Weiss, as they have shown repeatedly that, if left to their own devices, they can’t write women and they don’t really give a f–k about giving any character any kind of justice. So, let’s begin… with only one episode left to go.

Dany is distraught in Dragonstone. After Missandei’s death, Dany and her crew went back to Dragonstone and she’s been licking her wounds. She hasn’t been eating, and she knows her advisors are plotting against her because they know about Jon Snow’s true identity. I actually liked that they gave Missandei’s death real meaning, and that Dany and Grey Worm were utterly torn up. It felt like Missandei’s spirit and her last word – “dracarys” – haunted this episode.

Jon Snow arrives in Dragonstone. Some critics will call him one-note and a giant dummy. But Jon loves Dany, he insists that she’s his queen, and the only thing he’s ever done against her is tell his sisters about his identity. Now, he doesn’t want to bone his auntie anymore, but he seems content to love her and support her without touching her. I felt like Jon was the only one really concerned about Dany as a person (as opposed to “as a leader”).

The Spider plots & dies. Varys seemed to be writing raven scrolls, right? We didn’t see the ravens, but we saw him writing about Jon Snow, etc. Dany decides to execute him. I… see her point, but how is it that Varys’ actions were worthy of execution but Tyrion’s were not? I wanted her execute Tyrion right then and there too. Tyrion has been worse than useless for two seasons now – he’s actively harmed Dany’s position in Westeros. He’s been a terrible advisor. Dany basically tells him that if he f–ks up one more time, she’ll kill him. She burned Varys. It felt like he got a decent character arc.

Arya & The Hound arrive outside Kings Landing. They booked it from Winterfell, eh? They made their way through Jon & Dany’s barracks and Arya was like “dudes, I’m going to kill Cersei, it’s fine” and they just made their way through.

Jaime is good at getting captured. Another full-circle moment from early in the show – Jaime gets captured by Stark forces yet again and is tied up in a tent. Tyrion only really gives a sh-t about his family and not Dany, so he gets to Jaime and sets him free and tells him to get Cersei out of the Red Keep and to take a boat far away. Jaime’s like “okay sure.” They have a nice moment together as brothers, but all I could think about was how Tyrion keeps on betraying Dany.

The Battle of Kings Landing. I think people were expecting more battle scenes. They didn’t get them. Again, Missandei’s final word haunted the show – Dany is no longer content to break the wheel, she wants to burn the f–king wheel down to ash. Tyrion tells Jon, when you hear the bells, that’s Team Lannister surrendering. Dany saddles up Drogon and she’s strategic – first she burns the Greyjoy fleet, then she takes out all the scorpion machines (the dragon-killers) on the towers, then she and Drogon burn the front line of the Golden Compass troops and burn through the Kings Landing gate. Jon, Grey Worm and Davos lead the troops into battle.

The Bells. Targaryen forces face off with Lannister forces/Golden Company peeps in what seems like… maybe one quarter of the way into Kings Landing? Dany lands Drogon and waits to see if there’s going to be any kind of surrender. There is – some of the Lannister forces throw down their weapons and suddenly the bells ring out. Dany is still mad. She’s still thinking about all of it – Be a Dragon, Missandei’s Dracarys, Burn the Wheel – and she decides that she does not accept the surrender. She and Drogon begin to set fire to all of it, street by street, making her way to the Red Keep. Jon’s like “but they surrendered?” and Grey Worm is like “RAGE STABS” and so Jon sort of follows Grey Worm, but Jon’s only killing soldiers and he’s trying to tell civilians to get down and protect themselves.

Cersei’s big dumb plan. From the way everything was written, I guess we were supposed to feel sorry for Cersei? I didn’t. This is the same bitch who blew up the High Sparrow, Margery and thousands of people just because she (Cersei) made a terrible error in judgment. This is the same bitch who beheaded Missandei just as a political move. This is the same bitch who lied about sending troops to help with the Long Night. Cersei poked the dragon, over and over again. And we’re supposed to feel sorry for Cersei when the dragon pokes back? Nope. Cersei made her strategic play to encase the Red Keep with civilians and expect her opponent to show more mercy and once again, it literally blew up in her face. After seeing that Dany wasn’t going to be merciful, Cersei is finally convinced by Qyburn to leave the Red Keep.

CleganeBowl. Arya and the Hound have made their way to the Red Keep and the Hound is like “I’m gonna kill my bro” and Arya’s like “I’m gonna kill the Queen!” And the Hound is like: Little Girl, please don’t be like me, please don’t live your life for revenge. It was like the spell was finally broken for Arya all of a sudden, right? Suddenly, she was back to just being Arya. She leaves the Red Keep, and the Hound stays. He finds his brother with Cersei and Qyburn, trying to escape. The Mountain kills Qyburn in a Peak Frankenstein’s Monster sort of way and Cersei is like “I’m outie” and so the CleganeBowl is on. It’s awful. They kill each other. We don’t need to go on and on about it.

The Lannister Gemini. Yeah, Jaime and Euron – who survived dragonfire, I guess – had a fight on the beach and Euron stabbed him a bunch of times but Jaime still got Euron. Jamie makes his way to the Keep and finds Cersei and he tries to execute Tyrion’s plan to get down to tunnels and escape. All of the possible escapes are just rubble now because Daenerys is burning all the sh-t to the ground. So Cersei and Jaime just hold each other as the basement caves in on them. That’s it – that’s the end of those two characters. Which is total bulls–t. Two of the most selfish f–king people on the show died being selfish, in each other’s arms.

Arya survives. Arya has made her way out into the streets, she’s trying to protect people but it’s not working and Dany’s still burning sh-t and on and on. Arya wakes up from what was probably a huge concussion and she finds a horse. She gets on the horse and rides away.

Do we stan a genocidal Mad Queen? I’m disgusted by how Daenerys’ decision-making was presented as a slaughter of innocents even after surrender. After years of sh-tty advice from Tyrion, maybe Dany finally just decided to be a f–king dragon and BURN THE WHEEL. If the lords and ladies of Westeros have a problem with that, she’s shown what she’s capable of, and she’ll burn them too. Dany didn’t go mad – she made a series of strategic decisions to burn Kings Landing, to slaughter and to rule by fear and awe. She did that only after she was shown that she couldn’t rule by honor, mercy, compassion and love. She would never be allowed to rule by mercy and compassion. So she burned them all.

Cambridges Newborough Beach

Cambridges Newborough Beach

Photos courtesy of HBO/Game of Thrones.

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245 Responses to “Game of Thrones Ep. 8.5: ‘The Bells’ and the burning of the wheel”

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  1. Nadia says:

    Eh? I think the writers wrote themselves into a corner and by wanting to get the season over with in 6 episodes they sacrificed meaningful story telling for horrendous dialogue, sweeping moments of idiocy, and a complete lack of nuance on any of the characters’ part.

    You can try to look for justification for Danys actions but to me it just screams of D&D’s inept laziness. They wanted a mad queen and they conjured her. For Jamie and Cersei to die in each other’s arms, for Arya to boomerang between heartless killer, and then to become a feeling little girl again whenever the plot calls for it , for Jon to blunder around without a sensible plan in place- it’s like a child writing the storylines using fat, primary colour, crayons.

    You’ve treated us bad D and D. Shame! Shame!

    • Angie says:

      Your commentary is spot on

      • Olenna says:

        Ditto.

      • Bella DuPont says:

        Shame indeed. The whole thing was so ridiculous that I didn’t even give a shit at any of the deaths.

        And when did Jon become this dickless zombie?! He’s not fit to take the iron throne, he just doesn’t have the kahunas for it.

        I didn’t even feel sorry for stupid dumb Arya who was so obsessed with her own status as a killing machine, that she left a good, hot man, regular sex and a loving family in search of more death. That is until she saw the **MOTHER** of all killing machines in action. It made her own death count seem trifling in comparison. I’m glad she came to her senses though.

        Cersei’s terror and disbelief before her death almost made Dany’s actions worth it. It’s a pity it was so quick though.

      • Megan says:

        I’d like a refund from HBO.

    • Gaby says:

      Right???

      Like, I have no problem at all if they wanted to make Dany mad all along. If they started showing bits through the seasons that she was fighting herself to be good but something always kind of slipped through. They could have built on that. But Dany literally lost her child and husband, and she still was kind. She lost her first dragon/child and still wanted to fight for the North. She lost Jorah, the only one who knew her her entire life and soldiered on. Th e lazy writing to jump like this to the mad queen narrative was so ridiculous.

      And not just there but throught the whole epi too. Why the fuck did Euron fought Jamie?? Why did we waste time on that? Why did Cersei get to die without people watching her be beheaded? How the hell there was a horse left for Arya?

      • Arpeggi says:

        @Gaby “But Dany literally lost her child and husband, and she still was kind”… Except she wasn’t. She burnt the witch once she realized her wish had turned against her. That was the 1st time she acted impulsively and without regards for the ways of the people she wanted to rule and it cost her her heir. She was always a bit mad and never exactly kind or good

      • Gaby says:

        Arpeggi, I meant that she showed kindness to others. She killed the one responsible but not inocents. She could have gone straight to the Red Keep last night and burn Cersei to ashes after the bells.

    • Lauren says:

      I agree.

    • Fallon says:

      We deserved better. Spot on!

    • ReginaGeorge says:

      Its been there the whole time..

      Fans of the show and books have talked about it for ages.

      Someone even posted the “receipts” and a timeline to make the point :

      https://www.reddit.com/r/gameofthrones/comments/bncw5f/spoilers_the_queen_of_ashes_theory_updated/

      • Erinn says:

        Agreed, RG. It’s been there the whole time, but I think so many people projected themselves onto Dany that they were able to write off the more nuanced signs for quite some time.

      • ReginaGeorge says:

        Yup. All the Dany fans for whatever reason just couldn’t admit she’s always been teetering and it’s was only because of her closest advisors that she was able to be talked out of her first instincts.

        Now that they are gone she’s just going full Targaryen.

      • Jenna says:

        It has been hinted in the books but it does not make sense in the show.

        I’m sorry, but I feel MQD stans often act like nobody’s ever heard of the theory. Almost everyone has heard of the theory! It just needs to be executed logically.

        It did not make sense in the show.
        https://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf/comments/bk7d1k/spoilers_extended_game_of_thrones_season_8/emn3oqh/

      • Erinn says:

        Jenna, I’m not sure that thread does anything to prove your point, honestly. I see some legitimate criticism in there that just goes completely ignored because it doesn’t fit into the OP’s narrative. She’s done horrible things, and people automatically jump to the “BUT MEN DID HORRIBLE THINGS!” argument when it still doesn’t make it right. Nobody is holding the men up for committing atrocities, and I see that argument bandied around EVERY recap post, but literally nobody praises the guys for doing awful crap. The problem is that for season after season everyone has written off Dany’s personality/instinct as being justifiable or just by willfully ignoring that her first instinct is to flatten anyone in her path.

        She’s had SUCH an entitled attitude throughout the show – none of this is new. Her wanted to decimate cities is nothing new. Her wanting to get to the throne by any means is nothing new. Her biggest downfall isn’t so much that she’s gone mad – it’s that she’s always been arrogant and entitled. She doesn’t think things through. And while she leans SO heavily on her dragons her actual job as a leader is awful. When your main weapon is dragons – and you depend on them so heavily, the kind of mismanaging of her resources has been abysmal. She lost TWO dragons over absolutely stupid moves. When that’s your main claim to fame, it really does nothing to prove yourself as a great leader when you can’t even manage 3 dragons properly. The redeeming factor of her being the queen is that she supposedly is ‘different’ than previous leaders because she wants to SAVE people. But when you’re going around incinerating everyone in your path, you kind of lose that argument.

      • Jenna says:

        It’s not in the slightest bit about men doing horrible things, it’s the double standards that MQD fans hold Dany to.

        “She’s had SUCH an entitled attitude throughout the show ” The problem is really with the show writing. Dany is much more entitled and smug in the show, true. But the show was written as if we were supposed to forgive and ignore that. Then they actually humanized her in Season 8 and had everybody turn against her, and the show was written as if we were supposed to realistically see her descend into madness.

        The comment points out that Dany’s descent into madness was forced by bad writing, even though it is inconsistent with how they have tried to portray her and the rules of the world.

        Dany may go mad in the books, but right now, in the show, it makes no sense.

      • RoyalBlue says:

        this Is who dany always was. From the first episode until now it was about the iron throne. When has she ever wavered from that vision. Never. And she will take it whatever the cost. No empathy for the masses. Burn them all just like her father. This is not something pulled out of the air. It has been there all along. Her brother was mad too and no doubt Jon has the Targaryen blood in him but his madness paralyses him apparently. He should just go back to being on the nights watch.

      • Jenna says:

        @RoyalBlue, sounds like you’ve read the leaks ;)

      • Jenns says:

        I’ve been critical of Dany. And we’ve all noted her issues throughout 8 seasons.

        But I’m struggling to understand the quick turn from “mad” to total evilness and cruelty.

      • Erinn says:

        I’ll happily agree that the writing wasn’t the best when it comes to women, but especially once they caught up to the books. But I also think this was an INCREDIBLY difficult series to turn into a tv show, because there’s SO much more detail and nuance in the books, and SO many characters that there’s just no way to have done everyone justice.

        And I understand the frustration, I really do. But I think that a lot of things that WERE hinted at early on didn’t seem like a big deal to most people because it’s the kind of show that you only really realize is as insane as it is as you progress. You don’t realize early on how much importance little snippets and seemingly throwaway scenes are going to hold later on because you just don’t have enough material to look over at that point. I’d really have liked to see Dany get to the brink of doing something like she did this episode and then have pulled back, but we didn’t get that. I think the overall time constraints and limited episodes are a huge problem when it comes to the character development. Hopefully George will get his shit together and start pumping out more books because I think a lot of the people who are upset now will get a lot more closure from the books.

        But at the same time – I think the ‘best’ villains are the ones where you can see the humanity in despite the horrible things they’re doing because it’s just so much more compelling.

      • snappyfish says:

        I disagree. Every time Daenerys did something there was a valid reason for it. My problem is D&D are massive misogynists in their writing. Once GRRM’s words were gone & they took over the story they wrote cliched stick figures. In the end the merciful becomes the villain because she is a woman. One of the reasons the books were so good was women were allowed to be the smarter, the stronger, the better & then enter the 2 idiots from HBO & they dismantled a great story in such a short time for expedience. Jon Snow is a good guy so he must rule, except he is dross at every thing he plans & he is a wooden character. So he will kill Daenerys and rule broken hearted in a boring cliche. If they have a Arya kill her then that is pandering. I’m not sure what is worse

      • RoyalBlue says:

        Jenny I have not read a leak and don’t ever. I just enjoy the analysis as if it were a book report.

      • Himmiefan says:

        Yeah, it’s been there. Dany needs to die. Team Arya!

      • IlsaLund says:

        Yes, Dany’s Madness has been foreshadowed since Season 1. No one disputes that. What is being disputed is that there hasn’t been the proper set up to get her where she is now—full blown mad queen. She’s been played as kind, heroic, etc with burn them all tendencies. Yeah, ok. But there hasn’t been the proper set up to show why things are happening as they are now. I think everyone could accept her as the mad queen if the story writing actually supported and showed how she got there.

      • Lilly (with the double-L) says:

        Thanks @ReginaGeorge, that’s a great thread and a great recap. The search wording for the slower, lighter dragon fight was so helpful too.

      • 10KTurtle says:

        My takeaway from those Reddit threads is Daenerys raging/burning on people who [to her mind] deserve it- not the innocent people [innocent to Daenerys], and definitely never children! That’s what didn’t make sense to me about King’s Landing- I always expected her to burn at least part of the city- she’d have to in the process of aiming at soldiers- but not just mowing down the fleeing peasants for spite. *That* was the part of her “madness” that didn’t make sense to me.
        Also, nothing about Jaime’s storyline goes together with anything else. Where’s Bronn? And I read the Reddit spoilers for the last episodes- boy they could not have been more wrong!

      • Megan says:

        @Royal blue – Jon should have stayed dead.

      • Susan says:

        As has been pointed out before, people seem to have a problem distinguishing foreshadowing from character development.

    • STRIPE says:

      Everything about this episode was lazy and dumb. It made no sense across the board.

      I would go so far as to say this is the worst episode ever.

      Disney gave D&D a contract for 3 Star Wars movies – if I were the Mouse, I might pay out that contract now and not giving the guys the reins to anything.

      • IlsaLund says:

        It’s really scary the damage that D&D could do to Star Wars. Their egos are so inflated now. Disney really should do a double take before they let them near Star Wars.

      • Himmiefan says:

        Well, Abrams and Disney have already done unspeakable things to Star Wars. Rogue One was excellent, but the rest? Abomination.

      • AryasMum says:

        I really dislike that D&D are being rewarded for ruining this show. HBO wanted a full ten episodes for this final season, but D&D were over the show and just wanted to get it over with. Disney should take note – they will probably do the same with Star Wars.

    • LadyMTL says:

      ITA with all of this, Nadia. It’s like the writers forgot what nuance even meant, never mind taking characters who’ve supposedly evolved over 7 seasons and however many in-show years and just wiped it all away. (I’m thinking of Jaime here in particular, but don’t get me started on Tyrion.)

      I was a huge fan of the show but this season has really disappointed me. I know they had to rush it in part because of how short it is, but still. Shame indeed.

    • Original T.C. says:

      +100000

      I will let the actors themself speak about what a cluster frack Season 8 was. I love the honesty, shade and sarcasm the throw at HBO

      GOT actors show disappointment at season 8
      https://youtu.be/EA7UQOYskas

    • SK says:

      Yes this mad rush to finish has really been the basis of so many problems for them the last two seasons. They took 2 seasons and 20 hours to cover one book and yet they’ve tried to cram two books worth of events into two abbreviated seasons. Why? I just don’t get it.

      Some of the favourite characters on the show were the plotters: Tyrion, Littlefinger, Varys and Cersei. Their stories have suffered enormously in this bombastic rush to the end. Tyrion has been turned into a moron to meet plot deadlines, Varys basically did nothing all season except a terrible bit of obvious treason the last two episodes, Cersei did almost nothing but look smug all season. When was the last great piece of dialogue or the last great speech?

      And they’ve ruined others too. They threw away seasons and seasons of character development for Jaime – all that growing, and he ended up right back where he started. What was the point? Jon has done nothing but run around chasing shadows (he’s actually a great character in the books). The Hound was redeemed and changed and then regressed back to his old original self. Bran is useless. I still haven’t forgotten the ridiculous sniping between Sansa and Arya last season.

      But ouf… Dany hurts the most. I get it, they’re turning the white knight, chosen one, saviour trope on its head. Sure, that works? And we should all examine why it was okay for her to murder POC like this in Essos and she was shown a hero, but now it’s white people in Westeros and it’s horrific. I get what they tried to do but they didn’t consider these optics. If handled with more subtlety and nuance and TIME, they could have done it well. Shown the flip side to her conquering ways. Shown a more gradual turn in her personality. Her father went mad very gradually – over years. Dany managed it in a few days.

      Also, the changing stakes and military strategy annoy me. I’m sorry; but the whole fricking point of having a castle/fortress/walled city is to keep your forces behind those walls and fight from an advantage behind them. And two battles in a row the defending force has idiotically put their forces out in front of the castle so it’s basically equivalent of a battle in the field which negates their advantage. Why??? The ballistas managed to take out a flying dragon last episode from rocking ships (which somehow the dragons didn’t see from their aerial POV); but this time many more of them, including from more solid positions and waaaaaay closer, couldn’t get in one shot? There appear to be no spies or scouts working for these armies. Euron survives that blast, swims that massive distance in heavy leather, and manages to arrive at the exact same hidden cove as Jaime at the exact same time? Sure. 🙄

      I really hope he finishes the books. And I really hope they didn’t destroy a strong female character only to bring her down with “crazy emotional woman” tropes and a man taking over in the end. My vote? Dany and Jon die taking each other out. Or Jon tries to take out Drogon/Dany and she/Grey Worm take him out instead; and then Arya takes Dany out. Either way, they both need to go – as does Drogon. Arya survives and walks away to go hang with Sansa and Gendry or to be an adventurer or whatever. Tyrion starts a democracy and retires from politics because he’s lost his knack for it completely.

      • MoxRox says:

        Apparently the beats in the show are the same in the book. The route is slightly different but basically what we saw on TV this last season will be in the final two books. D&D don’t have the outline any more, but all these outcomes with the remaining women characters being psycho and the men characters being either redeemed or good–that has GRRM written all over him. Look at him–he would write that kind of ending. Not shocking at all that this is the end result.

    • Isabelle says:

      To be fair GOT of dialogue has always been basic and bad. You don’t always see it because of the storyline being good it hides the very bad dialogue. GOT has never Shakespeare.

    • Veronica S. says:

      My favorite is where they’re saying her reaction to Viserys’s death foretold her madness back in season 1. Because apparently refusing to intervene in the execution of the brother who molested and assaulted you through childhood, sold you into sexual slavery to a warlord, and then threatened to kill you and your unborn child in front of your husband is somehow immoral. The only legitimate response to the rape and abuse of men is to be thankful that it made you stronger, ala Sansa. And I’m sure now that she’ll be queen in the North because our narrative will be sure to celebrate her willingness to embrace the assault of her body and person as character development.

      Literally nauseating, the absolute hatred of these writers for women.

      • MoxRox says:

        100% agree with this. Couldn’t have been said better.

      • MoxRox says:

        And not only that but word for word said that he would let all the Khal and their horses rape her if it meant he could be king. But Dany is mad for letting him die. Disgusting.

    • Nikki says:

      I agree with you, because all the character development meant NOTHING. Jaime realizing how evil Cersei’s influence has been on him, but he runs back only to save her? (We didn’t even get to see her definitely squished; pretty anticlimactic after years of her villainy!) . As you said, Arya acted out of character, Jaime out of character, and Jon maybe a bit out of character. Pretty disappointing writing.

    • Tigerlily says:

      Agree this season has been a disappointment but I still watch it and still enjoy the episodes. It’s just difficult knowing that it could be so much better. It kind of reminds me of how I felt in season 5 when suddenly Stannis is the ahole who burns his daughter alive in a huge break away from “book Stannis”. I was like What? What! In the book Stannis marches off to battle and tells his troops that if he dies in battle they must fight to put his daughter on the throne. Curious to see how he ends in the books though D &D say they ran the show treatment by George.

      I can see where there are glimpses of Dany possibly being the “mad queen” but I don’t really see a definite character arc/development? Why isn’t Cersei a “mad queen” but somehow more acceptable? Then all of Jaime’s character development arc over last few seasons goes out the window (kind of like Bran?) & he rushes off to Cersei….big eye roll. Also Tyrion has been disappointing (telling on Varys) & Jon….OMG….he turned into a useless piece of furniture. It’s been a frustrating season & I will be eagerly getting the book that is currently a work in progress…when/if it is complete. As for Arya killing Dany, I think in the book Dany had “violet” eyes and seems to have blue eyes in the show…..so could be I guess. Doesn’t seem like Season 8 Jon Snow has the balls to kill Dany.

    • Noway says:

      Sorry I disagree, I think it did make sense that she went a bit mad. It was hinted all the way through. I’m guessing a lot of you were also upset when the red wedding came too, even though that was pretty much straight from the book. Don’t worry just cause you don’t like it now doesn’t mean you won’t like it later.

      Also, if you are going to go mad with power, dealing with the dead, your best confidants dying, finding out the guy you love is really your nephew and has a better claim to throne than you do, plus people love and honor him and somehow he also defied death. Yes that seems like enough to drive you nuts. My only thing was I kind of wanted Cersei to die a bit more violently, but I do kind of get that too. It was kind of appropriate, but there is a theory Cersei isn’t dead. We will have to see next week.

  2. Gil says:

    I can see why people are pissed off at this plot twist; it wasn’t properly done, the writing is bs. As we say in my country it was written with the buttocks but it totally makes sense. We knew Dany was going Mad Queen several seasons ago (Bran’s visions). Season eight is too short to properly develop this idea of Dany going mad. By the way, people who named their kids Daenerys might regretted it now (゚∀゚)

    • Char says:

      I’m Ok with the idea of presenting Daenerys as the Mad Queen, but they should’ve worked better on it, cause so far she seems pissed and furious. The burning of innocents was horrible, but let’s face it, if a man did it, as it was done before, people wouldn’t be calling them “mad”.

      • Beetlejuice says:

        Her father was literally called the mad king for trying to burn them all.

      • Gaby says:

        You mean like the “Mad King”?

      • Turtledove says:

        I agree with this, Char. I STILL don’t see that Dany “went mad”. They show her burning all those innocents, which, sure, isn’t exactly sane…but that seemed more of an ANGRY, Dickish move than mad. She hears the bells, makes a rage face…and takes off with Drogon, destroying everything. I read that as “Cersei doesn’t get to surrender, I am still super pissed about Missandei”. Hell, actual madness might actually be preferable.

      • Alissa says:

        wasn’t her father called Mad and killed specifically because of his plan to burn King’s landing?

    • Gaby says:

      Like I said above, I don’t even think it was a real plot twist, everyone knew that it was coming to this, but the problem is that they spent at least 6 seasons showing Dany to be merciful, and just, to now in 3 episodes write a handful of scenes where she makes weird faces and looks, to full on burning an entire town who had surrendered. I have no problem with her going crazy, if it had been done the right way.

      Look at Theon’s arc for exemple: he was an ass but a friend at first, then he was an idiot, then we all hated him, then we were glad he was captured and tortured, then we started to pity him, then we started to want to help him, then we started to root for him, and lastly we cried for him. 8 seasons of character development.
      Dany could have started beloved and end up being a villain if they had done it right, but they rushed with every plot line and she was reduced to mad.

      • Isabelle says:

        She has merciful moments but in no way was she merciful person, she hung people from post and it was made clear not all of the people she hung were true slaveholders. It has been leading to last night since S1….where she smirked when melted gold was poured on her brothers head….was OK raiding the village but oh she got upset when they didn’t do it correctly. Threatened to annihilate (destroy everything) if they didn’t bow to her. Fans watching back if they watch back will now be able to see the pattern.

    • gingersnaps says:

      Haha. I have an acquaintance who just named his newborn daughter Daenerys, it’s the second middle name so I guess the child has two other choices if she doesn’t want to be called as Daenerys.

      • Arpeggi says:

        I’ve known ppl who called their sons Anakin around when the Star Wars prequels came out and I didn’t understand it. I was like: “You know he turns out horrible, right?”

        I’ve heard of some ppl calling their daughter Arya and felt also uncomfortable: yes, she’s badass, but not anything I’d wish for a kid. But yeah, at least wait until the end of the story to decide?!

  3. phaedra says:

    GOT is such a dumpster fire this season. Dany was angry mad but not crazy mad. The writers are crazy mad.

    • Abby says:

      and now,i am darn mad they did us,the viewers,so bad.it was just horrendous

    • Beetlejuice says:

      She’d been going crazy mad for seasons. Dany stans were just blinded to that. (However yes the writing these last 2 seasons has been crap – I used to blame it on Emilia and Kits acting I now think it was the poor dialogue they got lumped with)

  4. Léna says:

    My friends who are loving this season told me I was too much involved in the show because I was pissed every week at the scenario lol but I’m so disappointed

    • Lilly (with the double-L) says:

      Ha ha. I don’t tell my friends they’re too involved, but I’m on the side of mostly loving it and it’s fun to read many POV. Any show that can bring so much discussion with so many people and a thing for me to obsess about every week is really welcome for me.

  5. Angie says:

    Disappointing episode and disappointing season. Maybe I just expected too much and nothing can match that kind of hype. I don’t agree with any defense of Dany at this point, but I do agree they’ve destroyed her character. Nothing anyone does makes a lot of sense anymore.

  6. kryw says:

    Can I just say that… Calling (portraying) a woman mad/crazy/hysterical/out of her mind etc etc etc is an age old tactic of dismissing her point of view – herself. What we were shown is no doubt The Mad Queen going batshit crazy mad (check her Nazi uniform in preview to ep6, as well as the Unsullied in fearfully geometric formation), but what I’ve seen was… rage, vengeance, grief, hurt… Emotions, not insanity.
    Mental health. Add it to the list of topics D&D should never try to tackle. Next to survivors of abuse (Hi Sansa-not-little-bird-anymore!) and race (Hi Missandei-still-nothing-but-a-supplement-to-white-woman’s-story!)

    • Ennie says:

      The unsullied always have been like that. It’s showing she’s in control, that they are totally hers. She’s always been ruthless when going for retaliation. That black guy who wanted to steal her dragons and was left locked to die, her brother, most of her enemies. It is not the executions at the beginning, but her non chalant attitude about them. I know she’s mat war, but her justice is one sided, not showing if she heard the arguments on the other side much. She dis bot let Jon Snow get closer, she looked for physical closeness, but kept at bay his opinions. She was not listening anymore after Jorah died.

  7. Jo says:

    Thank you. This has been the first well written review and accurate summation I have read. The idea that a woman has to be crazy to make the hard decisions and act on them herself – as most people seem to be saying – is just silly. We do it everyday or as needed irl

    • Alissa says:

      I don’t understand how anyone is commending her decision to continue to burn the place down after they surrendered. That’s not making a hard decision, that’s being a total jerk. it seems fairly clear to me that they have shown bits and pieces of her going math this whole time, people just liked it because they liked her killing characters they didn’t like.

      • Lolo says:

        Yeah when you are indiscriminately burning innocent civilians who have already surrendered and are running for their lives you don’t get to call that “emotions”. That’s slaughter and there’s no excuse for it. A man does it and he’s allowed to be called mad but a woman does it and we have to call it something else because…feelings? What?!?

      • Cindy says:

        @Lolo

        I agree – the fact people are defending her actions is honestly preoccupying to me. That was, literally, the most arbitrary and destructive genocide this show has ever seen. If your “emotions” lead you to burn an entire city to the ground *knowing* they have surrendered, “mad” is the tamest thing we can call you.

      • Noway says:

        Not saying this show is a bastion for feminism, but the idea “you can’t be a female ruler without being mad” is not the the point. The “mad” part for Danerys has to do with her family. Her father was the mad king who did a lot of the same things. Supposedly her family inbred too much and went a bit nuts. It’s not anything to do with her being female. I mean her brother seemed far crazier on the tv show than she ever was, even with the burning of the city.

    • Isabelle says:

      Targaryens are supposed to be crazy. The show has pretty much almost every season consistently talk about the Targaryens are destructive and mad crazy. One of the reasons she is the last one.

  8. Stormyshay says:

    Complete and total garbage. I feel like this season is so bad it is going to detract from the overall love people had for the show. Now when I think of this show I will remember this crap season. Ugh

  9. Digital Unicorn says:

    Not surprised by this episode, its been obvious since the first ep this season that they were setting it up for a Jon/Dany showdown over the throne, casting a woman as the mad murdering Monarch with the pathetic white man mopping up after her. Jon has always been a whiny b!tch.

    Its obvs that Dany is going to return to the North to deal with Sansa and force them into submission in the same way she did in KL. But will Jon and Arya get back to Winterfell in time to save Sansa’s ass? Hopefully Bran and his 3 eyes have prepped for this.

    Varys’s last throw of the dice is to make Jon King regardless if he wants to but will he survive the battle with Dany to come? Will Jon become the next Jamie – Queenslayer? And who did Varys send those ravens to? What has he setup against Dany? There are strong rumours online that the Night King returns in the final episode.

    I hope Dany burns Tyrion, he’s become such as useless tool. Maybe Drogon can burn the lazy hack showrunners as well. The actors have hinted at how disappointing this season will be and they were right.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      And yes in the books and series its been long hinted at that Dany would go down the same path as her father but the plot was rushed and was just a lazy hackjob.

  10. virginfangirls says:

    I read the first 2 books, which were so detailed with so many characters I often had to look to the back of the book of kingdom and character descriptions to remind me. I binge watched GOT from season 1 til now. just recently . Even watching the show I was sometimes confused who the characters where because there was so much going on, & I loved that about the show. And often the show would leave me & my daughter with our chins on the floor screaming holy shit. But that’s all disappeared. I can watch now while also on my phone, barely even paying attention. And the events that should be draw dropping leave me with little feeling one way or the other.

  11. Chef Grace says:

    Final episode;
    Everyone goes to Disney Land.
    The End.

  12. boz says:

    It bugs me the way the writers threw away the character development of Danearys, Jaime, and Arya over a few shoddily written episodes. What was Jamie’s redemption all for? Why would Danearys mindlessly slaughter innocents after years of freeing them? I can accept she’s would ignore the truce, but only to destroy the Red Keep and Cersei inside it. What was the purpose Arya’s time in Braavos? I really wanted her to kill Jaime and use his face to kill Cersei. Here’s hoping George R R Martin finishes the series and gives us better.

    • Erinn says:

      “Why would Danearys mindlessly slaughter innocents after years of freeing them?”

      Season 2 episode 4:
      “When my dragons are grown, we will take back what was stolen from me and destroy those who have wronged me. We will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground.”

      Dany has ALWAYS been big on the burn now, ask questions later. She has NEVER had an issue with the idea of burning down EVERYTHING – not just the evil.

      • boz says:

        Eh. I agree there’s always been a push / pull inside her, but the rapidity of the shift toward madness was underdeveloped this season, like so much else.

      • Erinn says:

        I’m still completely baffled at why they did two short seasons for the last two. It really was such a dumb decision. All I can think of is budget stuff? They needed to do a lot of CGI type stuff, and if they drug it out over more episodes they’d end up extending the cost?

        If anything, they should have done ten episodes with some episodes being extra long – not shorter seasons.

      • boz says:

        @Erinn Totally agree. 7 and 8 should have been 10 episodes each to give the storytelling room to breath. The reason could have been budgetary due to the CGI, but I wonder if HBO was holding the purse strings all that tightly on their biggest show ever.

        I think the showrunners were done. It was noticeable these last few seasons how the storytelling accelerated once they ran out of Martin’s books and words.

      • Linn says:

        @Erinn

        HBO wanted 10 episodes for the last two seasons but D&D refused, judging that 6 episodes would be enough to bring GoT to a close. D&D clearly lost interest some time ago and were just trying to get it over with.

      • Noway says:

        I don’t think Danerys is mad, more like a lapse into madness by extreme events. I think D&D kind of said this that Danerys hears the bells and looks and momentarily decides to burn the city down cause she can’t trust anyone. I wonder if she will seem mad at the final or if the pull will be she will seem more normal and have a bit of regret about what she did. It could be interesting.

  13. Tiffany27 says:

    Drogon, where was this energy last week? Like really, why did Rhaegal die?

    • Mgsota says:

      That’s what I said to my daughter. One dragon burnt the city down but the other two were lost so easily. Ugh.

    • Turtledove says:

      LOL. Tiffany27, I wondered the same thing. Why were the scorpions enough to thwart Dany on Drogon last week…but this week, she is able to take them all out no problem???

    • broodytrudy says:

      My favorite thing about this episode is how fire can literally explode stone now. Hilarious!

      • Lady D says:

        Kinetic energy.

      • Jennifer says:

        Back in an earlier season, when Arya and Gendry and Hot Pie were all captured by Lannister forces and were walking through Harrenhal, Arya tells them that dragonfire is capable of melting stone.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Exactly. Must not have had their Wheaties. And all the ballistas were simultaneously inoperable.

    • Ennie says:

      Rhaegal had to die because Logically Jon could not have been able to stop Dany. If he had been riding the green dragon, he would’ve tried to stop her, or tried to communicate with her. It made her more lonely, one child less, less loved, less safe and secure.

    • Isabelle says:

      He was pissssssed last night. Hardly anyone talking about how angry Drogon was last night. pissssssed.

    • FHMom says:

      For over 2 weeks now it’s been bothering me that Dani didn’t burn Eurons fleet when they were ambushed. I mean, what was the point of bringing the dragons if she didn’t intend to use them? She could have wiped them out and then the loss of Rhaegal wouldn’t have been in vain. It made no sense.

  14. Alyse says:

    Visually it was a stunning episode with some touching moments. Tyrion and Jamie saying goodbye was sweet (it was a betrayal of Dani but they are family and he was aiming for the greater good) and Arya and the Hound. She called him Sandor for the 1st time and thanked him too.

    I don’t really know what to say about Cersei. Even forgetting about prophesy which the show runners clearly want us to…she should have been killed by someone she hurt – there were various people who could have sought justice and made her suffer. She was evil and I don’t think we’re meant to feel sorry for her. Jamie’s character arc…what was the point?!

    Dani is essentially a tyrant now. She’s always been capable of cold brutality but she still showed humanity and had reasons for her murders. I guess the show are trying to say she has nothing else to live for and other people have done this to her? It’s all too fast. I don’t think she’s a mad queen though, I think she’s a ruthless conqueror and has no one she can trust to talk her down now.

    I enjoyed Arya deciding to live and stay Arya Stark, although the decision was a bit quick. I’m so glad she’s survived although I think she’s clearly going to try and kill Dany now after seeing all the destruction she caused first hand. Jon or Arya for the kill.

  15. ReginaGeorge says:

    Varys’s death was the one that was the most heartbreaking for me. His best friend, who’s butt he saved, ratted him out when he was right all along. Tyrion is gonna live to regret that. But it looks like Varys last act was to send out a bunch of scrolls with the truth. Hopefully the Citadel got one.

    Qyburn’s death was the most ironic. Killed by his own creation.

    Hounds death was sad, but inevitable. There aren’t many ways to kill an undead freak and come back from that. Also poetic. All this time fearing fire and he jumps into it to kill his brother.

    I knew that the love /hate relationship Jaime had for Cersei was going to be the thing that brought him back to die with her. She had lost, was carrying his child and facing certain death. He knew he was fatally wounded too. His ending is the most complex.
    Although he tried to move on and be “good” Jaime, his past actions would have always come back to haunt him. Like Theon, no matter how far they’d come along, they had to die because of all the terrible things they did in the past. Cersei was his family, the love of his life (for better or for worse) and his twin sister. They came into this world together and they ultimately had to die together. Had he killed her knowing she had already accepted her defeat and fate, it would have made him look worse, imo.

    As for Dany, I knew it. I was in denial hoping she’d see the light, but she went full Anakin/Vader. I can’t say I totally blame her. She was feeling alone and unloved and had just lost all of her closest friends. And I don’t think she ever processed any of their deaths properly. She’s been stewing in anger and paranoia and her last words to Jon about ruling with fear after him pushing her away, again came to fruition and she was like “eff these people.”
    I’ll leave this here for anyone who still needs convincing this was coming all along:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/gameofthrones/comments/bncw5f/spoilers_the_queen_of_ashes_theory_updated/

    Other than that, the episode for me gave me a bit of PTSD because as a native NYer who experienced 9/11 first hand, it had this possibly unintentional 9/11 vibe. Seeing people walking around shell-shocked and full of soot after an aerial attack of fire and destruction and the loss of innocent lives. It took me back there.

    • sunny says:

      This is a great response. They have been setting Daenerys up as a possible mad queen for like 4 seasons. She has been consistently portrayed as a conqueror who struggles with ruling and her first instinct is violence as opposed to compromising. Mareen plot anyone? However, my issue with this violence isn’t that it happened but the speed at which her madness escalated. They had a bunch of terrible things happen between late season 7 and now to trigger her but I wish we had a 10-episode season so we could see the scale escalate instead of going from some disturbing tendencies to full genocide in 2 episodes. That felt lazy.

      As to Jaime’s plot, yet is threw away so much character growth but his character to me has always felt like he wavers between wanting redemption and not giving a damn. It is wildly frustrating that he was so loyal to Cersei after she could only love the reflection of herself in him. I just wish the writers had Jaime show a little more internal conflict about his choices here instead of being 1000% Ride or Die. I am also hella angry that he took his relationship with Brienne to the next level right before this. Was that suppose to make us feel that his death was extra wasteful.

      Tyrion- has been making dumb decisions for years now. Can we talk about that? For all his supposed brilliance his plans and instincts have been wrong more times that they have been right.

      Jon- I totally get why he wasn’t feeling getting it on with his aunt. He hasn’t since he learned she was his aunt. Also between everyone in his life that he trusts warning him about her(Arya, Sanasa, Sam, creepy Bran) you could tell he was wary.

      Poor Varys. He was always loyal to the people above all else and he went down doing what he thought was best for them.

      Ultimately I don’t think Jon will rule but dissolve the 7 kingdoms and give each area its independence and then go to live beyond the wall.

      • ReginaGeorge says:

        Sunny,

        ITA with your entire statement, including how a 10 episode season would have made everything gel together much better.

        Tyrion, imo had given Cersei the benefit of the doubt because despite who she is, he’s always had an affinity for trying to fix “broken things”. He tells us this while he is in a cell awaiting trail by combat and he and Jaime talk of cousin “smash the beetles” Oren lol. He’s always seen a redeemable side to her as has Jaimie. And they are family and its hard to break from toxic family members sometimes.

      • Linn says:

        Poor Varys. He was always loyal to the people above all else and he went down doing what he thought was best for them.

        People always say that and yet, he wanted to give the Army of Dothraki to Viserys to help him become King. How is that best for the people?

      • AryasMum says:

        I liked Varys, but for all of his talk of caring for the common people, he only showed it this episode. He only left the Lannisters because he would have been caught helping Tyrion after Tywin’s death was discovered. He was nakedly ambitious before he became mother earth. His spying was to help him politically, not to help the starving.

        Dany told him what she would do if he betrayed her.

      • PlayItAgain says:

        Agreed. If Jon ends up killing Dany, I think he’ll exile himself to the far north with Tormund and Ghost. If Arya kills her, then Jon may end up ruling, but as a council sort of thing.

        The thing about Dany that has always made me wary of her is the “break the wheel” thing. People took that as some kind of neat thing, but what it always meant was “break the wheel so no one can threaten me once I’m on the throne.” Her vision of this wonderful, peaceful world always rested on her being in absolute control. So, how does that make her any better than any other ruler? That always confused me. She’s always had “burn them all” tendencies. I don’t know why people are shocked that she’s gone that way.

        Frankly, she’ll probably try to kill Jon in the last episode, if someone doesn’t kill her first.

    • Lady D says:

      “Had he killed her knowing she had already accepted her defeat and fate, it would have made him look worse, imo.
      It’s what she deserved though. She was completely evil and the catalyst for the destruction of KL. She got a quick death with the one she loved most. Not justice. Not even close.

      • ReginaGeorge says:

        I agree her death could have been more satisfying. But she also died cowering and crying that she wanted to live. And she died knowing she pretty much sentenced her unborn baby to death because of her pride. And Tyrions words came true.

        “A day will come when you think yourself safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you’ll know the debt is paid.” .

      • AryasMum says:

        I thought he was going to mercifully snap her neck while standing on the map. The prophecy would have proven true, but he would be killing her because he wouldn’t live to protect her.

      • Yennefer of Vengerberg says:

        Yes, well, ‘deserve’ and ‘justice’ got nothing to do with it. I’m glad she got to die the way she did. Loved, but ultimately by the consequences of her own decisions.

    • Birdix says:

      That’s exactly where my mind went with all that ash too. (I lived downtown and my husband worked in the world financial building.) I get it—they’re illustrating the fear/terror she needs to rule, but it bothered me that they so clearly borrowed that imagery for entertainment.

    • Minxx says:

      @reginageorge. Thank you for this post, I totally agree with everything. And I also had a 9/11 flashback.

  16. Jenns says:

    Instead of talking about Dany’s rapid descent into madness, I’d rather talk about white bro descent into mediocrity. Because, from what I see, everyone except the writers are giving 110%. The acting, the music, the costumes, the set design, the directing has been amazing. And they all deserve better than this mess.

    I know that no one wanted to be in this position. But there are plenty of writers out there who would’ve accepted the challenge and given this story and it’s characters the ending it deserved. But instead, D&D decided to half-a** it and this what we’re left with.

    • Lightpurple says:

      The music last night was phenomenal.

      • broodytrudy says:

        I’m stanning Ramin Djwadai so hard. That light of the seven mixed with rains of castamere at the end credits was INCREDIBLE

      • Jenns says:

        Ramin is the series MVP for me.

      • Lady D says:

        I mentioned last night that I really hope they put out a CD of Thrones themes. I could listen to Ramin for hours.

      • Isabelle says:

        Anyone catch how Rain of Castamere was intertwined with some of the other music…like light of seven? Just beautiful.

      • FHMom says:

        The music this whole season ha s even the high point for me. It add emotion to a story not playing out well.

    • Seán says:

      I know Emilia gets an awful lot of flack for her acting but I feel she’s been really killing it this season. They’ve allowed to show her emotion again…I’m just sad that she has to play this mess of poor writing and character assassination.

    • AryasMum says:

      Although I hated the cheap symbolism of Dany’s costume. Pure white when she was killing the AOTD, then solid black when she was suddenly the evil queen. Give me a break.

      • Kerfuffles says:

        I don’t think that was symbolism. I think it was just camouflage. She was wearing white in the North because she was fighting against a snowy backdrop. She was wearing black in the South because there was no snow.

        Not everything that happens on the show is a plot against Dany.

      • Jenns says:

        It wasn’t solid black. It was the Targaryn colors of red and black. Michele Clapton talked about how she’s been incorporating more red into Dany’s costume when she came to Westeros. Even the white coat had red on it.

  17. Deanna says:

    Jaime’s character arc was a complete 360. I don’t understand why they even bothered sending him North, considering he wasn’t valuable in the battle and didn’t have a significant relationship with Brienne in the end.

    I’m annoyed at myself for getting invested in these characters.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      I have come to the conclusion that the only reason the writers sent Jamie to the North was to pop Brienne’s cherry and put an end to the Brienne/Tormond shipping.

      I can’t believe they tried to redeem Cersei in the end – what a cop out.

      • Mgsota says:

        I’m so pissed that Cersei got the lame ass death she did in the arms of Jamie. And I was so wrong about him too. Ughhhhhh. I think we ALL were expecting something more from her death…something brutal. She was horrible from episode 1 and she deserved so much worse. The writers robbed us of that.
        Tyrion and Jamie’s goodbye made me tear up. But I feel so bad for Peter Dinklage, he’s probably so pissed the writers have destroyed his character and made him a useless dumbass.
        I just don’t even know what to say…the writers have destroyed a beloved show so many were invested in for years and waited for for years…to end like this?? It’s shocking.

      • Ennie says:

        Tyrion has not had much of a developent since getting to Essos in the books, hopefully it will get better.

      • FHMom says:

        Why even make Jamie and Brienne happen? I thought Jamie was going to kill Cersei. I can’t believe after his redemption story arc they made him reunite with Cersei. Wtf was the point?

    • broodytrudy says:

      I actually think Jaime is the only character they’ve done decent by. The entire point of Jaime’s character is the idea of redemption. Does saving the millions of people in King’s Landing from being burned by King Aerys make up for the awful things he’s done and continues to do? He’s always been about Cersei, two abusers abusing each other in the same relationship. He did all that he could in the riverlands to get back to her. He went north to fight for all of the living, including her. He went back to her because he cares about saving her and his baby. He was always going to do that, and if not had been crushed by the red keep (which was excellent symbolism i thought), he likely would have killed her at one point. He was broken by her relationship to her, and couldn’t stop.

      The big question for Jaime is does the order of events, heroic or otherwise, determine how he should be viewed? Had he saved Kings Landing at the end, instead of when he killed Aerys, would we be having the same discussion? What if he had killed Cersei, who had surrendered at that point? Jaime has paid for his sins time and time again, from being labeled a kinglsayer and scorned by people he truly cares about (regardless of his banter with Tyrion), captured, lost his sword hand and nearly died. He’s always been complex. He’s always been morally grey (and arguably much more likeable in the books).

      D&D forked a lot up this season, but i don’t think Jaime’s arc was one of them.

      • Erinn says:

        Jamie was always someone really interesting to me. I know there’s the whole twin thing with he and Cersei… but it’s almost like within him there are two different people at war. He has the capability of doing great things… but the self destructive tendencies in equal amounts. And no matter how much good he does, he always ends up pulled to the wrong side again. Which – I think is probably an extra nod to the duality of the twin thing.

  18. Scal says:

    Apparently this week the magic arrows take a long time to reload when last week they were semi automatic. And they only fire one at a time and the dragon can dodge them.

    They were obvious that the bells were clearly going to ring and Dany was going to ignore it. Tyrion only brought it up 3 times in 30 minutes. At that point Dany had chosen fear since she was isolated and al alone. She lnew Cersei was smugly looking on-expecting weakness and expecting her to stop the second that surrender happened. And then everything that’s happened goes through Danys brain and she’s just like ‘nope’ burn this to the ground. Cersei and her people should be punished. Do I think the writers communicated that well? Nope. All I got to see was random peasants burn for 45 minutes to say mad quee Hahaha!

    Cersei-who was supposed to be the big bad bigger than the night king-dies weeping in her brothers arms as the ceiling collapsed was underwhelming. The tragic music and the fact they want me to feel sorry for her and Jaime was infuriating. What a lazy and boring way for those characters to end.

  19. Monicack says:

    This was like the next to last phrase in the whisper game.

  20. Mia4s says:

    Remember when this show used to have a sense of distance and time and travelling between Winterfell and Kings Lansing took like, weeks? If you do the math on this shouldn’t Cersi’s baby have been 47 or so? 😂

    Oof. So sloppy, rushed, and unsatisfying.

    As far as these showrunners doing the next Star Wars movies? Well I’m certainly looking forward to……the two Disney+ series from the director of Iron man and one of the showrunners of “The Americans”. 😏

  21. Helena says:

    Have we all been watching the same show?
    This is my fav episode of the show ever. So many people complaining about poor writing are just unhappy that things didn’t go their way.

    I love how Cersei got a meek, wimpy death – a lot of the biggest tyrants in history from Iddi Amin to Hitler died relatively quiet deaths compared to the chaos they wreaked in life. Perfect ending with her brother – from the womb to the tomb.

    - Re: Mad Dany lets not forget:
    Dany burned the witch in the first season, burned the house of the undying
    burned slaver’s bay
    burned Astapor
    crucified the Masters of Meereen
    burned the Dothraki and the wagon train. Her arc is not a shift in gears she’s been lighting people up since season 1. She finally listened to Olenna and became a DRAGON.

    - Re: Dany killing innocent people. It is WAR and war is a bloody business. People die. I think because we (in the first world) are insulated from war we forget that. However plenty of innocent Afghanis and Iraqis are (still) being killed in the name of WAR. It is as it is. Death comes as it comes.

    I feel for D&D – they’ve done an amazing job so far, but with a show this big, that reaches so many and a passionate fanbase they would be damned regardless of how they wrapped it up. Even if they had 20 more seasons some people would still complain. Tis human nature.

    • ReginaGeorge says:

      I knew Dany stans were gonna be pissed this morning. This has been foreshadowed for a looongg time. It’s not a new concept.

      It’s like Anakin Skywalkers turn to Tha dark side. Or the line from Batman. You either die a hero, or live long enough to become a villain.

      Pycelle during S1 reminisces about Aerys and how he was once a charming and good ruler until his paranoia started getting to him. A lot of people start out with good intentions until they don’t.

      • Mia4s says:

        “Anakin Skywalkers”

        I was all for a mad Queen ending but this comparison is even more apt than you think. Both turns were unsatisfying. A few hints and then they turned because the writers needed them to turnrightnowrightnowhurryup!!! Although I guess on the bright side Anakin’s turn didn’t require fridging the only Black woman of note in the universe. Good lord.

        Oh I should point out that all the spoilers floating around have been correct. So I know how the Iron Throne resolves…

        AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

        Oh you think people are upset now?! 😏

      • Jenna says:

        Why do you think people are pissed? Because it was not properly foreshadowed in the show, but shoved in.

        I don’t get why fans of the Mad Queen theory act like nobody else has ever heard of the theory before. Everyone knows the theory, but it has to be executed logically…

        https://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf/comments/bk7d1k/spoilers_extended_game_of_thrones_season_8/emn3oqh/

    • Jenns says:

      I actually like how Cersi and Jaime went out. The Lannisters are a f**ked up, co-dependent family right to the very end. They were never going to turn on each other.

    • sunny says:

      I loved Cersei’s death because it defied viewer expectations. I do wish that the writers hadn’t tried to make us feel sympathetic for her though. I found her sympathetic villain at first but since she blew up the Sept, I have been rooting for her demise.

      As for Danny, this has been foreshadowed for a long time. Again, the speed of the escalation is why it doesn’t work. She is a conqueror and not a ruler. I do think the writers could have done more to sell the story in this episode. Show more of her reactions.

      • Jess says:

        Cersei’s face as the Sept blew up still makes me feel ill, lol. She was so brilliantly evil and I wanted to watch her die slowly for all the chaos and pain she caused, but the more I think about it the more I realize what they did for her is more shocking. I’m trying to see it as one of those beloved GOT jaw dropping moments that I never expected instead of lazy writing. If this show taught us anything it’s that we can’t always get what we want with these characters.

      • AryasMum says:

        I never found Cersei sympathetic. She goaded Jaime to kill Bran in the very first episode. “He saw us!” Jaime gets all the blame, but Cersei was right there with him.

    • Steph says:

      Lol, I dont even know about good writing and I could tell the writing was crap. The dialogue this season was so cringey. I was embarrassed by it. Arya’s arc two seasons ago didn’t make sense. Dorne was crap. All the actors have been lowkey complaining, GRRW end in bad terms with D&D. I haven’t read the books but I guess after all this and will

    • Isabelle says:

      The burning of the witch was huge. Her village was raped RAPED and she did her ritual to punish them. Dany then burns her alive. Dany was only merciful when it benefited her and they were submissive to her. Her mercy only extended to how far they could bow to her and if they fully followed her. Dany became the “slaveholder” with a light hand.

      • AryasMum says:

        It was fine with me that the witch killed Drogo. She did not need to murder Dany’s baby and then smirk while she tells her the child was a deformed monster. That’s why Dany killed her and I was cheering. Dany stopped the raping by claiming all the women as hers.

      • Isabelle says:

        For what, for them to starve later in the desert and die? She attained them like cattle and then discarded them or left them behind easy as a flip of a hand. Claimed a lot the women only for them to meet an equally worse fate.

  22. Eleonor says:

    Sansa will end on th Iron throne.

    • Patty says:

      I doubt that, it would be totally silly and make no sense. I have a feeling there won’t be a throne.

      For everyone saying the signs were there about Dany, I disagree. She’s never been about killing people just because. Also, After last night, I’m like what was the point. Dany and Drogon could have done this at the end of season six, during season seven, or last week.

      Maybe that’s why Dany burned the city to the ground. She was probably mad that it was so easy and was thinking about all the unnecessary lost she suffered listening to Tyrion. She should have taken the Red Keep in the first place just like she planned.

      • ds says:

        I also have a feeling there will be no throne to sit on. Not now anyway. Which is great. Even if they do end up giving Dany a Mad Queen exit – she does in a way burn the wheel as is said here. Meaning a clean slate. Seeing someone on the new throne is a new story, for someone else to tell. I kind of like that. New history in the making that we are not to witness now. I’d be happy with that ending.

      • Mrs.Krabapple says:

        Yeah I get the feeling it was frustration over repeated losing because of Tyrion’s bad advice. Dany should have executed him long ago because its clear he’s advising her with Lannister interests in mind. At least Varys wanted to help others. And so did Dany. But the show punishes people like that in favor of schemers like Tyrion, Sansa, Bronn, etc. So Westeros will go on as always, with the game playing and backstabbing (because Jon will never want the throne after this). So what was it all for? Nothing. Thanks for 8 seasons just to end up with more of the same houses fighting each other. Oh, and Sansa should be executed for treason, but of course she wont be. The show tells us she’s just soooo smart now. What a waste of 8 years.

    • Isabelle says:

      I think there is a big possibility that is true. Especially if Jon dies next episode.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      If she survives, judging from the last episode clip Dany ain’t done burning and fighting. I think Dany is going to turn on the North; Jon broke his vow to her and Sansa broke her vow to Jon and Dany wants payback. She’s going to burn the whole kingdom.

      Arya has not finished being a girl yet and I think a certain dragon Queen just got added to her list. Next week its a showdown between Dany and the remaining Starks (fire and ice). I wonder why Jon sent Tormond away, I think he was sent to Greywater, the home of the Reeds for backup for Winterfell.

      My take on who dies next week is: Tyrion (he sees what Dany is now – either she kills him or he tries to kill her), Dany, Greyworm, Jon, and Arya (trying or taking out Dany).

      Survivors: Sansa, Bran, Sam, Gendry, Bronn, Tormond, Brienne. My money is on Sansa being Queen on a NEW Westeros throne.

  23. IlsaLund says:

    D&D should be burned by dragon fire for what they’ve done to GOT. In their haste to exit the show and move on, they’ve tarnished the show’s legacy. This season is not how a show of GOT caliber should end. My only issue with what Dany did was she should have gone straight to the Red Keep and burned it down instead of destroying all of King’s Landing.

    Cersei’s death was unsatisfactory..reminded me of how Voldemort died at the end of the Harry Potter movies. I was like WTF? That’s it? After all the crazy this b$@%h did, this is her end.

    The only satisfying thing from this episode was seeing Qyburn get his just due. I thought they were actually gonna let him live.

    • DP says:

      I agree. I think she would have gone straight for the Red keep. Or maybe burned a path for her soldiers to follow.
      Maybe if they didn’t find Cersei in the red keep, she might have started burning the city looking for her or trying to get her to come out. They did it backwards though and it wasn’t believable to me. .

    • broodytrudy says:

      Cersei’s death made so much sense. She was literally crushed by the weight of the Red Keep, and all it stood for. Her bad decisions, her hate, her love for power. She has always been trapped there, by her family, by her children, by her own refusal to submit. I thought it was incredible that it’s where the Lannisters end. Everything they’ve worked for, “you’re joy will turn to ashes in your mouth and you’ll know the debt is paid”.

    • Kelly says:

      Another one thinking that Cersei’s death made sense. Cersei’s always been a terrible person who has made awful and bad decisions. She went out in a way that wasn’t glorious or heroic – she died crushed by the weight of rubble she created.

  24. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I thought it was spectacular! I loved it, and I hated it. It’s the episode that would’ve rocked my world had I arrived at it slowly and methodically. I don’t think this episode was earned properly. Daeny breaking bad was great, we saw it coming, but a quickie shot of her haunted facade at the castle and some drama atop her dragon while contemplating the red keep does not a mad queen make. This final transformation, rooted from the beginning, needed some final cultivation. So did everyone’s plot. Varys’s death gave me whiplash. Cersei’s death was ridiculously unfulfilling. They die in each other’s arms, bah, I wanted so much more suffering from her lol. Darth Clegane was cool enough and dying by fire was poetic, but I wanted more time. Watching Arya’s reception of the dragon Queen’s wrath made sense and all, but did it have to be so obvious? Again, more time! Truncating should’ve been off the table. The episode had great entertainment, I surely enjoyed it, but the writers hadn’t earned it.

    • Nona says:

      I’m with you. The episode took my breath away! I accepted where the writers were taking Dany a while back, so that was no surprise for me. I just embraced it and let the visuals sweep me away. That scene of Varys’ death, with Drogon materializing from behind Dany? Gorgeous. I cried for Varys. Damn, he died well. And I was rooting like hell when Drogon burst out of the gate and blew all those soldiers away … I was all for the killing. Then the city surrenders and there’s more killing and suddenly, it’s not so great anymore. Suddenly, the horrors of war are right there in your face. I actually thought that was brilliant. To turn your emotions upside down like that. To go from cheering recklessly for death to the sickening confirmation that war is horrible, even when your side is winning.

      • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

        Yeah Varys felt like a bulleted memo. Pigeon wire…check. Little bird…check. Tattletale Tyrion…check. Dragonfire…check. Drogon close-ups should always be on tap however. Can’t get enough of that.

  25. Mike says:

    They are really telegraphing the ending here. Dany goes mad. Jon Kills her regretfully. Jon is encouraged to be the king but he refuses. Jon goes back to Winterfell and Sansa takes the Iron Throne. I never even watched the series and I can tell how it is going to end. Poor writing and a betrayal of the people who have lived and died with this show for 8 years,

    • elle says:

      I never listen to the commentary following the show because D&D are such insufferable smugholes, but I didn’t skip fast enough after “The Last of the Starks.” D&D both pronounced Missandei, “Miss-ahn-DAY,” while the characters in the show itself call her “Miss-AHN-day.” I was torn between thinking they don’t even know the d@mn characters or that they were doing the insider nickname thing. Regardless, it annoyed me.

  26. Christo says:

    My gripe isn’t necessarily Dany’s arc, but, like so many others think, the abrupt, narrative necessity to make her crazy is just so shoddy. Maybe I could have processed her path from A to B if it had been…well…developed.

    It also bugs me that we are constantly faced with the crazy woman narrative time and time again. It is as if they completely lobotomized the sensibilities that Dany has developed over the past 7 years. Apparently, the only way to develop is to be r@ped and tortured to the point that the only thing you can evoke is the sublime, unemotional, PTSD “chill” of Sansa.

    • Ennie says:

      I think there were good female characters and some good female /behind the throne rulers, such as the Tyrell Grandma, and as a ruler that crazy sister of Cat, was not too bad, shame that she was fixated on Little finger. There are also plenty of lousy rulers and of blood hungry or mediocre ones. Of course it is a male- centric things, with few female contenders as it is based on medieval history. Dany wanted a home, and at home one is loved. She was not like Cersei, who could care less about being liked, but everyone distrusted her. She lost her best advisers, or the ones she trusted more, so she was alone with her treason paranoia. She should’ve stayed in Essos for a longer time.

  27. Lizzie says:

    not only was the writing completely lazy but i felt like it was extremely bloody and unpleasantly brutal in a way that no other episodes have been. worse than the red wedding. even in the battle of the bastards, which i was sore afterwards from clenching my teeth the whole time, you viewed the brutality from jon’s point of view. i guess that was the point of this episode but it isn’t really the point of the show up until this point. i don’t know. the writers going full character assassination when a few minutes of good dialogue could have better linked some these forced, weak stretches to the plot is just really annoying. other shows of this magnitude of fandom have ended in a much more thoughtful way. i understand that no one can be satisfied but what would satisfy me is that someone made an effort. it seems like they didn’t write a thing and just spent all this HBO money making die hard: 6 – dragon farts.

    • Ennie says:

      I can’t imagine how bloody WW I was. Millions died without medical help, bleeding in muddy trenches. Cities have been bombed ti the ground, almis entire ethnicities, cultures have been wiped out via bombs or other means of execution throughout history.
      This is a medieval setting, Drogon is a mass murder weapon. They were not excessive, I think. As someone already said, GRRM is criticising war.
      We did not see the terrible wars of the many kings in earlier seasons because they did not have enough money to portray them.

  28. SM says:

    Wow. Passing killing of entire city and it’s population as a strategic decision is root of all evil. In a non fictional world it has been used very effectively during the WWII. The majority of Jewish people in Europe was exterminated due to strategic decision to provide the natural resources for the “higher race” among other things.
    I am not invested in these characters as most people, since I am just watching the last season with my husband for sports and haven’t watched any of the prior seasons but it seems like the idea is to tell a story not only about the play for power but to assess who is worthy of the ultimate political power – the throne. Seems to me that Cersei was a tyrant ruler and seems to me that Danny is also this way, ultimately her decision to burn the entire kingdom is fuels by her realisation she is not the one with the right to throne, which as I understand goes to Jon Snow. By that extension, if the resolution of the show is to entertain the idea of a ruler worth of the throne, it is Jon Snow who has the right to claim the throne but seems to be the only one who is not hungry for that kind of power. There is a saying that the ones worthy of power are the one’s who do not want it. May be a decision that male writers have came up with because the story could be written in the opposite way as in Jon, upon learning who he is, could have because a hungry snake also unworthy of the throne. So yeah, I get the anger which comes from the idea that a woman is denied the power only because she is acting in a way men see women act: competitive, emotional and ultimately destructive. but at this point there is no other option and no way back as I see it. There can be no resolution to the story if Danny takes the throne she is at this point a bitch who killed thousands of people just because she (just like Cersei) made a terrible error in judgment.

    • Lady D says:

      I think the death toll with be in the hundreds of thousands. There’s a million people packed into a little plot of land the size of Monaco.

  29. Reeta Skeeter says:

    I was so absolutely irritated by the way they killed Cersei. I’m actually angry. She was one of the most brilliantly written and complex characters, and they left her at the end crying?

  30. DP says:

    I really don’t think Dany would have purposely been killing the innocents on the streets… I think she would have gone straight for the red keep or maybe burned the path for the unsullied to follow. Maybe innocents would have been caught in the crossfire, but I don’t think she would have gone street by street killing women and children.
    Yes, she been burning people since the beginning but they’ve been Slave masters, soldiers, people who have wronged her, and her enemies.
    I think she would have led her troops to capture Cersei so she could behead her. Now I think John will die killing Dany. Then SANSA will rule. :(

  31. Jenna says:

    Yes, there is a way for Dany to go mad. But it has to be LOGICAL and follow her CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT, otherwise it is just throwing bait to all the fanboys who have been lusting for her to go mad from a combination of edginess and misogyny.

    The books have had pretty logical, solid, consistent character development so far. If it happens in the books, I suspect it will happen much better.

    Here is a great analysis on why Dany’s madness feels forced:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf/comments/bk7d1k/spoilers_extended_game_of_thrones_season_8/emn3oqh/

  32. grabbyhands says:

    About the only good that seems to have come from this is the almost total agreement amongst fans about condemning this episode (and season, really) as being the absolute worst. Not that it will stop D&D from justifying their lazy ass writing, but hopefully it will make Disney reconsider letting them anywhere near the SW franchise.

  33. Becks1 says:

    Alright, once again, I’m going to comment before reading the other posts.

    I thought the episode was a cop out. The only thing about it that I liked was the Cleganebowl. It was vicious and brutal but we always knew it was going to be, we knew that the Hound wouldn’t survive, so I liked how he made sure he took his brother with him.

    We have spent years talking about who was going to kill Cersei, and how she would die, and in the end she dies in Jamie’s arms as the walls cave in. Like….what a cop out. I thought at least Jamie was going to kill her so that it would be over with quickly, or something. but no.

    I said to my husband that I thought it was a well done episode in terms of the filming, the scenes with Arya in the streets were really well done, etc but there was not really any tension in it. Maybe I’ve just stopped caring? But I was actually bored at some points. Oh look, Dany is burning everything. Oh look, Jon is running around the battle with a panicked look on his face.

    Anyway, I think D&D have done a huge disservice to this show with this last season. we deserved to see a “better” death for Cersei. There should have been some justice in terms of how she died.

    I don’t know. Not a fan. I guess we’ll see what happens next week.

    • Ennie says:

      I think they were mostly using her character to show the suffering of the small folk, and hoe she is turning her back to vengeance, helping or trying to help the survivors.

    • Steph says:

      Completely agree with you. I was actually sad that I didn’t care about the characters anymore, even my mom who is a huge fan was so angry about Cersei. We just want to get over the Last episode and be done with the is crap fest lol

    • Jess says:

      The only thing I’m truly pissed about is Cersei’s death, she did not deserve to die in Jamie’s arms. Everyone wanted to see her go out in a spectacular and gruesome way, I think what they chose is actually more shocking.

      I expected Dany to “burn them all”, it was not surprising at all, disappointing yes. I don’t think the writers were being misogynists with making her go mad, I think they followed the author’s direction but it’s definitely rushed and crappy writing in getting us here.

    • ds says:

      Regarding Jon- I always feel like he has some bad case of PTSP in the middle of the fight. It’s always that moment when he stops and just stares at something and goes blank. And he’s their big warrior and protector. I get what they’re trying to show but I was like – again? Rly bro?

  34. Omelette says:

    Jaime’s character arc makes absolutely no sense if he’s not the one to kill Cersei. Their dynamic is so incredibly fucked up, how could this possibly end with a tearful tragic lovers’ death in the sept? What a total waste.

    I get the arguments on both sides re: foreshadowing Dany’s madness or not, but I really HATE the idea the “family curse” that turns you into a murderous psychopath like your daddy just because (note that Jon doesn’t seem to be suffering from it even though he’s a Targ too, but whatever). What the hell was the point of her trying to go beyond that and be a good ruler? What was her whole story even FOR if it just ends with her doing exactly the same thing as her father did, or what her cruel abusive brother would’ve done? Again, a complete waste of character development. I don’t know if GRRM or D&D are to blame for this but the mind boggles at the laziness of the writing.

    • sunny says:

      I think it is also about choices. Dany was raised a Targ and because of her story and evolution relied on her dragons for power and safety in an insecure world. Despite knowing her family history, violence has been shown to be one of her warring instincts. Family isn’t destiny but it can teach us lessons about ourselves.

      Jon may have Targ blood but has always looked like and was raised a Stark. The lessons he learned were very different. And he hasn’t had the amazingly powerful dragons as a backup so he views how to handle situations very differently.

      As to Dany as a ruler, I think we were always supposed to get that she was going to be a villain when they set her up as someone much more suited to conquering than the actual day to day admin of ruling. It is an especially noticeable contract to how they depict Sansa.

      • insertpunhere says:

        I totally agree about Jon being a Stark. I was just talking about it with my sister last night, and I think, regardless of what we know about Jon’s biological parents, he is Ned Stark’s son. He is a man who does what he believes to be the right thing, even if the choice is hard. That doesn’t mean I agree with his choices, but I think that’s how they’ve positioned the characters since day 1, when we saw Ned execute the man who left the Night’s Watch. I think Jon spent so much of his childhood wanting to be recognized as a Stark that he became more like Ned than his cousins did (with the exception perhaps of Robb).

        Some of Jon’s greatest mistakes can be linked to that unwillingness to behave in a manner he thinks is wrong. I don’t necessarily think he’s a good ruler, but I think he’s supposed to be a good (if unbending) man.

        I think you also have to look at the impact of trauma. Jon may have been treated as a bastard, but he had a safe and stable home as a child. Catelynn mostly ignored him, Sansa was maybe mean, but the majority of people at Winterfell loved him even if they saw him as second class. Looking at Dany, she grew up running from place to place, losing people and things one by one, and never knowing what’s going to happen. She was physically and emotionally abused by her brother, her only remaining family member, and she loved him and feared him. She gets sold into marriage as a young teen…some people come through those things and become functional adults, but a lot of people don’t. The way I’ve heard it phrased is “biology loads the gun, but environment pulls the trigger.”

        My biggest issue with Dany becoming the Mad Queen is the same complaint I’ve had with Game of Thrones since basically the beginning: the writer’s room suffers (obviously) from a lack of women. There was a way to write a nuanced, gradual, understandable transition to madness, but instead, they ended up making her look hysterical because they tried to push through too much plot at once.

      • IlsaLund says:

        @insertpunhere
        “There was a way to write a nuanced, gradual, understandable transition to madness, but instead, they ended up making her look hysterical because they tried to push through too much plot at once.”

        ^Exactly this. No one has a problem with the foreshadowing about Dany being the mad queen, but it was rushed at the end to make her become the mad queen. The things that happened to her (losing her dragons, Missandai, etc) were not enough to push her into insanity/madness. Piss her off big time, sure, but madness?

      • insertpunhere says:

        @IlsaLund: I think some people do have a problem with Dany going mad at all, but I think the majority of fans are where you’re at, that the writing doesn’t support the character changes we’re seeing.

        It’s not just Dany that’s been done wrong at this point, although I think it’s particularly telling with female characters. Do I believe Sansa could become the Lady of Winterfell and Warden of the North in her own right? Absolutely; I think her experiences as well as the way her parents raised her prepared her for that. Do I think they’ve shown a gradual change to someone capable of that kind of important adult role? Not a chance. Do I believe Arya could renounce vengeance? 100% (and it’s my dream because Arya has been my favorite from Day 1. My cat is named Arya for her ninja-like qualities), but I just don’t think they gave us a gradual enough switch.

        People don’t just change overnight, and D&D are so eager to get on to their next project that they want to rush us into believing. It’s crazy because the first few seasons were so slow, at points too slow, and now we’re warp speeding through resolution for all the characters’ problems.

  35. Ennie says:

    I don’t think it was misogyny per se. The seeds were planted when it was first mentioned the flipping of the coin every time a Targaryen was born, ( although ai don’t know if there have been female targaryens going mad or just men) If Jon ends up with a hand on the throne, I don’t think he’ll marry. He won’t want to continue the possibility of this going on again.
    Other men became tyrants and horrible kings, her own brother was off, the little sh*t that was killed at his wedding, the Baratheon fat king, Aerys, I think there are very fee examples of good rulers, let alone kings in the show; so it’s not good that there were no examples of good female ruling on Westeros. I dislike how it seemingly it was sudden with her not allowing the city to surrender in the show, but in the books, especially the latest, Dany was having some weird circumstances which can be added to her mind not being sound, too much suffering and all that. Add to that that profecy were she was going to be betrayed 3 times, she is too stocked on what was predicted for her family and what prophecies told.

  36. Patty says:

    Not going to lie though, I enjoyed the hell out of watching Drogon torch King’s Landing block by block. The ending was totally rushed but it’s actually fitting. All that shit was built by Dany’s ancestors because they had dragons. It’s fitting that she’d destroy it with hers. I hope the rest of the seven kingdoms follow and then we get a full reset back to over 300 years ago and then let the remaining players fight it out.

  37. broodytrudy says:

    I thought the Jaime/Cersei arc was incredible, and the only thing that would have made me happier would have been for Jaime to have to set fire to King’s Landing himself. The symbolism there is fantastic, and satisfying (for many reasons I’ve posted above).

    Varys trying to poison Dany like an amateur though. Ha. They did his character dirty. The rest of the episode was trash but we’ve come to expect that.

  38. Texas says:

    Yeah. All this. Except, in the books, Dany is supposed to go mad. I know they are yet to be written, but that is her story. The coin toss. I don’t blame Dany. I think it is sad how alone she ended. But I can see where she is coming from and how she got there. Dany was always ruthless when betrayed. People were killed brutally and she felt nothing. Always. Sometimes innocents or at least the less guilty. From the moment when her brother got the golden crown – to the people she killed in The vault – to the masters. On and on. When she was crossed, she was ruthless. So this IS her character arc.

    Yes, we LOVED her which is why this is all the more painful. But this story is not Wonder Woman or a superhero movie. It is real ( yes, I just said that 😂😂). Real in it’s unreal world.

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Dany wanted the throne. Had she gotten love, it could have been very different. But she had no one. Also, as a ruler, she would have been her way or the highway.

  39. Loretta says:

    What a horrible episode! They destroyed the characters and all their arc in very few episodes. A shame.
    Mad Dany could also be fine but with a development and not in two episodes. More than crazy she is suffering and hasn’t had the opportunity to mourn: she has lost Jorah, Missandei, many of her soldiers to help the North without ever receiving a thank you,the love with Jon is now impossible and therefore she is practically alone . It’s heartbreaking as well as the usual cliché: women who turn power or are crazy or are witches while men (in this case Jon) are innocent heroes.
    They ruined the show, I don’t think I’ll ever see it again.
    The only beautiful thing in all this crap is the acting of Emilia Clarke. I never thought she could be so good and instead she gave a phenomenal performance throughout this season. A jewel to look.

    • ChillyWilly says:

      Yes Emilia is SO good. I am not mad that Dany went off the rails but I am pissed that Cersei got to die in Jamie’s arms. Very unsatisfying. I didn’t like much about this episode.

    • AryasMum says:

      Emelia stepped up her acting this episode. While waiting for the bells and even a few seconds after, she was just shaking while controlling Drogon. I felt her indecision and her realization that she should stop. She had deliberately only killed the Iron Fleet, the scorpions, and the enemies. She tried to stop herself after the bells rang, but vengeance won out in that moment. I didn’t see madness I saw wrath.

  40. Texas says:

    Also, I don’t get all the criticism. Why do people love to hate? As if they could do even an iota better? This season has been brilliant. Armchair critics get on my last nerve.

  41. Lucy says:

    The whole episode I was like “don’t you F*CKING dare die on me, Arya. NOT TODAY, GIRL.”

    • Patty says:

      I was totally the opposite, I like Arya but the plot armor was strong and in full effect last night. There’s no way she should have survived all that. Of course, at this point, I’ve realized the ending is going to be lame and I’d almost rather see Dany and Drogon just destroy everything. But I’m petty like that.

      This episode did highlight just how different the show and book are. GRRM has always said his top five characters (when it comes to importance) are: Jon, Tyrion, Dany, Arya, and Bran. It’s obvious the showrunners on the other hand have three faves: Tyrion, Cersei, and Sansa and I think the plot the last few years have suffered because of it.

      • Ennie says:

        She should’ve been at least cooked, if not burned. If there was a pool, a well or something it would’ been much better.

      • AryasMum says:

        Clearly I love Arya, but I was rolling my eyes when the magical white horse showed up. At first I thought it was a dying hallucination.

  42. Katie says:

    Y I K E S at “stan a genocidal Mad Queen”. You can be mad at the way D&D wrote Dany’s character arc without half-heartedly excusing the slaughter of civilians.

    • Patty says:

      Agreed. It’s a fictional TV show. No real people were harmed during the filming of the show.

  43. Nona says:

    I’m one of the few who loved this episode. Yes, yes, yes, there are glaring plot holes and dumb character moves, but it swept me away. My biggest complaint actually happened earlier this season. Dany is furious that anyone knows about Jon’s claim to the throne, yet she legitimatized Gendry. That’s a really stupid move, politically speaking. In a medieval world, you don’t legitimate the son of a recent king when you’re trying to secure the throne for yourself. For all her anger about Jon, she’s the one who just gave the people another choice. It makes me wonder what the writers have in store for Gendry …

    • Lady D says:

      That was such a random move from her. Why, out of the blue, would she call out Gendry and then make him lord of something? What did he do in the battle that worthy of such an honour? I can see her rewarding Arya for her part in the battle, but Gendry?

  44. Valiantly Varnished says:

    I stopped watching after episode 5. I was done. And I’m especially done with not only how Dany has been written but also the fact that her decisions are being portrayed as “mad.”. Sis is ANGRY. She did the right thing helping the North fight the Night King and she’s been betrayed by everyone around her – including Jon who she loved. I’m Team Dany. Sorry not sorry.

  45. msd says:

    People saying Dany burning KL is ‘character assassination’ are doing my head in right now. I get that if you are emotionally invested in her this episode is pretty soul crushing but what show have you been watching? The show made you root for a tyrant, in the end, and that’s pretty damn challenging but she’s been on the edge of this for years. It’s not unearned in the show and it’s not something she wouldn’t do just because you’re upset and didn’t want this for her. Her downfall is not anti-women either. Sansa is going to rule the North, Yara is going to rule the Iron Islands, Brienne and Arya are positive, powerful women etc. That’s a leap forward but it’s not full equality because that’s unrealistic. Ditto democracy – we ain’t getting that in Westeros. The show is anti-war and anti-tyrant; and that’s absolutely GRRM. Dany is the focus because she got where she is thanks to mothering a nuke, essentially, and like Stannis before her she possesses an unshakable belief that the Iron Throne is hers.

    Also, this review is confused. Tyrion released Jaime so that he would ring the bells immediately, then he got Dany to agree that they would stop fighting when the bells rang. It went to hell because the gates shut and Dany didn’t want surrender but it wasn’t just about his family at all.

  46. Isa says:

    You know, if it had been a choice of innocent people or the iron throne I would’ve understood her descent into madness. The thing is, she was riding a dragon and could’ve flown over to kill Cersei at any point, but decided to kill innocents instead. If they would’ve put her in a situation she had to choose then yea, Dany would pick the iron throne over the innocent people any day.

  47. Ennie says:

    MSD and ISA, I agree.

  48. Case says:

    I don’t even watch this show and I’m appalled that they had Jamie die alongside his sister instead of killing her. WTH.

    • Original T.C. says:

      If you are a book fan, you made the right decision not to watch the series. I now deeply regret ever watching it. They killed off the magic, the puzzles and were like yo, you stupid GOT book readers who have spent years and countless hours thinking about these books, making art work, loving the fantasy and all the grey characters: F-you”. The White Walkers are just cheap icicles and a side piece and mean crap-po-po. Who built the wall, Jon’s prophecies, the Targaryen’s special ability to ride dragon’s, Bran’s whatever were meaningless! You got punk’d!!

      I have fallen out of love with GOT and don’t care if GRRM writes the books now. I don’t care about Robert’s Rebellion or the expanded universe. The series is apparently just about rich people fighting each other for power, I can read millions of fiction and nonfiction about that. It’s not fantasy.

      • AryasMum says:

        And in the end, Jon’s denial of the peen turned Dany into a scorned woman who burned them all.

  49. CES says:

    I was utterly disappointed with the episode. I knew Dany was going to go mad, but to see her destroy KL was senseless. The only part I enjoyed of the episode was Cleganebowl, which I feel was well done, and to see the fear in Cersei’s face when she realized she had lost. I have been wanting to see Cersei die for a while now and her death was disappointing. I was hoping Jaime would do it finally or Arya or someone. Anyone. The way it went down just seemed very lazy on the writer’s part.

    So with that we finally know who Arya’s green eyes are.

  50. Tpoe says:

    That was a full on heel turn by the mad queen. To me it looks like she is fulfilling her destiny and I won’t be the least bit surprised if she tries (maybe succeeds) to have Jon killed next episode. She’s the big bad now folks and I think that was the intended end point of this whole story all along

  51. CatWomen says:

    GoT is still overall the best Series I’ve ever seen. It’s ironic we are complaining about rushing when for years especially with Danny I was crazy how many seasons was it gonna take for her to get to Westeros and impatient with the pace. As for Danny “going mad’ it depends on your POV watching this because I talked to my daughter in 2015 about Danny and she told me she didn’t like her and basically called her the Villain and I thought that was strange, but maybe the arch is clearer to those who were turned off by Danny’s arrogance.

  52. Isabelle says:

    I fear for Tyrion next episode. Last Lannister and he portrayed Dany after she warned him straight out. Do think they may go there and Tyrion may die. There was so much foreshadowing in the last episode to it.

  53. bobafelty says:

    They had so many options to make her go Mad Queen without making it such a plot device.

    What if she heard the bells, and in her arrogance still went to blow up JUST the keep and Cersei? And accidentally lit up the green wildfire stuff stored throughout the city? So Dany tried to protect the people and do the right thing, had one moment of selfish behavior to go after Cersei for revenge, and it cost her everything? She suddenly realizes the people will never believe she didn’t mean to light them up on purpose, will only be ruled by fear, and has a complete identity crisis….and goes mad from guilt/grief/anger over how her plans accidentally backfired on her. Same outcome in the end, but more true to her as an actual person, not just some nutjob.

    Instead she’s just pissed the people didn’t immediately love her, so she roasted them. wut?

  54. M.A.F. says:

    As others have pointed out Dany’s madness was always there. It was just a slow burn with better writing. How she treated Meereen was your clue folks. Her burning the Tarly’s another. This short season and the lack of detail writing/dialogue didn’t help. Great face acting but that can’t carry the show. This short season was always going to be problematic.

    I didn’t care for how they ended Cersei. They made her look sympathetic but that could be down to Lena Headey’s acting. Jon was useless as always. Why mention the Golden Company if all they were going to do was stand there. And the freaking CleganeBowl was nothing but fan service.

    What I loved was the music. Once again Ramin Djawadi came through.

    • Yennefer of Vengerberg says:

      Lena was truly golden. For some reason while I’ve never thought her a poor actress, she’s always rubbed me wrong in some way, could never put a finger on it. But Lena’s finally won me over. Her Cersei was so vulnerable in the end. Cersei’s suffered too by the virtue of being a noblewoman in Westeros. Raped repeatedly, diminished, sold. Cersei’s monstrous, but honestly I can’t force myself to expect the oppressed to be better people than their oppressors. Plenty of kings in the past who were no better than Cersei and the history remembers them as ‘meh but tolerable’ kings. Even good kings if they had good PR.

      I hate how they threw away 8 seasons of Jaime’s arc, but if I ignore that, I like it that Cersei got to die loved, even if it was toxic love. God knows her father never loved her, the world never loved her, and her husband she was married to by her father did not love her. Not one person besides Jaime has ever loved her (Show!Tyrion not withstanding. By rights Tyrion should genuinely hate her. What the hell) or even liked her since girlhood (and yes I know her killing her friend when she was a girl, at least in the books).

  55. snowqueenM says:

    Although I find it personally disappointing, I don’t have any real objection to Dany turning into the Mad Queen, and I don’t think it’s necessarily misogynistic to show a character like Dany take a turn for the dark side. The whole point of the show is that power and war change people into monsters (of varying degrees). That’s the show, and it’s what happened to many, many other characters. Dany is hardly unique in this arc, but the heel-face-turn reveal is that a lot of people ended up rooting for a tyrant. It’s an interesting commentary on how tyrants are made: they rarely see themselves as the villain and sometimes it’s a slow evolution from oppressed victim to the actual oppressor.

    Could it have been executed better? Probably. But here we are. Dany was never going to be a Girl Power Pinterest meme. This isn’t a Disney movie. People were banking on the fact that Dany was Cersei’s foil, but turns out they’re birds of a very similar feather. Maybe Arya or Sansa was really Dany’s foil all along?

  56. Dina says:

    Shame on Dan and David, shame on GRRM, shame on HBO for allowing this abomination of beautiful stories and characters. In this time and age to be allowed to get away with this kind of writing….i’m offended as a woman, as a mother of daughters, as a lover of intelligent writing. I’m offended for all minorities, LGBT communities, victims of rape, abuse, family violence. I m so mad, disappointed and hurt. Women in power are crazy emotional b***** an only great white misogynistic men can save us.

    • MB says:

      Umm, what?
      In this show, the men in leadership positions have been portrayed as absolutely awful, with only one or two exceptions. Now you’re mad that one woman in a leadership position is also awful? Its not sexist, its just consistent.

  57. Dina says:

    Shame on Dan and David, shame on GRRM, shame on HBO for allowing this abomination of beautiful stories and characters. In this time and age to be allowed to get away with this kind of writing….i’m offended as a woman, as a mother of daughters, as a lover of intelligent writing. I’m offended for all minorities, LGBT communities, victims of abuse. I m so mad, disappointed and hurt. Women in power are crazy emotional b***** an only great white misogynistic men can save us.

  58. Veronica S. says:

    I’ve divorced myself entirely from this show at this point, but I have to say, I feel sorry for everyone who invested years of their life into this series. It’s the definition of utterly vile and wretchedly poor storytelling, and I hope D&D’s careers go down in flames with it.

  59. Lady D says:

    If you get the chance, watch the online video of Emilia at the Houston Rockets basketball game Friday night. The team’s mascot recognizes and bends the knee to her, courtside. She laughed so hard she was almost crying. It’s a really cute video if you can find it.

  60. Andrea says:

    The actor who played Jaime is a faithful book reader and has been arguing with the writers since season 4. He felt Jaime was far more detached from Cersei than portrayed on TV. I wonder if he loathed his character’s ending?

    I just got way too invested in Jaime’s character arc over the past few years and am now thoroughly disappointed. All those subtle hints with Brienne over the years was him dipping his toe in the good life all to say nope, I can’t. Yes, people in the real world are like that and yes, Game of thrones was famous for killing off favorites, but I feel the writing was wasted on him. Theon got a far better arc than Jaime in the end. I am not sure there is anyone left to root for. I wanted good to prevail and most of the remaining characters are weak or mad so I feel saddened today. GRRM should have finished the books! I hope Outlander fares better than this.

    • AryasMum says:

      I had to give up on Outlander. Claire was nearly raped every episode, along with a knife held to her bare nipple. Then Jamie’s rape being filmed erotically, almost sensually (along with the author’s excitement about that episode). I tried to hang on, but I just couldn’t stand Claire’s treatment of Frank. Then learning that Brianna was the next up to be raped . . .

  61. Sparker says:

    Amen. Fear and awe is a totally valid strategic decision when you’re riding a dragon.

  62. Andrea says:

    I also fear Bronn is useless now and his character was wasted also. Cersei is dead, Jaime is dead, they’ll be no point in him coming back to Tyrion and asking for High Garden. As others stated, I fear one of my other favorites Tyrion will be dead next episode too. Jon, I could care less about at this point. He has been a shell ever since he got resurrected. I am not sure if he is as weak in the books ( does anyone know?) But his character has come across as weaker in every episode I have seen him in. If he had died by the NK, i’d have been ok with it honestly.

    • Starkiller says:

      He’s not. They absolutely ruined him in the show. He’s one of the best characters in the books.

  63. bobafelty says:

    Well, at least Dexter now has company.

  64. Tiff says:

    I hate how they treated Jamie’s character. For him to act as if he doesn’t care about the “innocents” when he literally became the Kingslayer and put aside his honor -as important to him as Cersei- to save those innocents is ridiculous. Also, Maggie the frog predicted Cersei would be strangled by her younger brother. They shouldn’t have died in each other’s arms, Jamie should have killed her! Soooo stupid!!!! I also hate what they did to Tyrion’s character- making him really really dumb all of a sudden and the Jamie Euron fight made absolutely no sense. The Hound and the Mountain fight was disappointing as well. I feel like D&D don’t actually know these characters at all.

    Also- to the other article with Varys, his and Littlefinger’s characters were wasted! From the beginning those two have been pulling all the strings behind the scenes and for them to get caught and killed the ways they were doesn’t fit he characters. They should have died poisoning each other while trying to get as much info as possible

    • ReginaGeorge says:

      But Jaime has always let people think that about him. The only person he admitted the truth to was Brienne so him trying to play himself off as uncaring is in character.

      As for Cersei, oddly enough the show omitted the Valonqar part of the prophecy. But she died suffocating under the ashes that at least one of her brothers aided in happening. While I also first thought Jamie would end her, she was also carrying his child and knew they had no where to go so I wasn’t surprised that his last moments were spent comforting her as death closed in on both. .

  65. Smalltowngirl says:

    One of the big differences between Jon and Dany is that he has a whole other blood line. Dany is pure Targeryen, the result of generations of inbreeding, while Jon has an entire other blood line to draw from.

    Cersei is my favorite character and I am still bitterly disappointed with her ending. I fully expected Jamie to kill her and then kill himself, kill her to end her madness and then kill himself becuase he couldn’t handle what he had done, but for them to both die becuase of a rock slide? It feels like a let down.

  66. Patty says:

    At this point the best way to end the show would be for Dany to kill everyone. Everyone. Five of the seven great houses are already done for, why not make it seven for seven. Go big or go home. But the show won’t have the balls to go there. This episode was totally like the Scouring of The Shire on steriods. I’d be truly disappointed if the show simply ended with a new person on the Iron Throne and more of the same. It’s time to break up the seven kingdoms once and for all.

    Also, Dany should have listened to Olena Tyrell from the start. She should have just destroyed the Red Keep like she planned on. Tyrion and Varys were giving so much bad advice. Let’s do a siege (newsflash, people tend to die of starvation during siege), let’s bargain with Cersei (newsflash, people tend to die when they try to bargain with or reason with Cersei).

    But they’ll wuss out and just kill Dany (and probably Drogon) in the next episode and it probably will end with more of the same. Same shit, different day.

    Also, as a book reader, book Dany is less of a “tyrant” than show Dany, so I don’t think the she’s going to go mad has been foretold and the build-up was a real letdown.

    Also, not all Targaryen’s went mad. Arys was truly mad and his descent was well documented. He was hearing voices, having hallucinations, burned people for fun – then usually raped his wife afterward.

    • msd says:

      Disagree strongly about the books and Dany. By the end of ADWD she embraces “fire and blood” and you can see the shift in her. Two books ahead, if GRRM ever writes it, she’s going to be what we’re seeing on the show endgame. There is absolutely no way D&D would choose this dark ending for the two ‘heroes’, their instincts are far more crowd pleasing. This is not coming from them in any way.

  67. ReginaGeorge says:

    I agree with whoever said that the people who are most angry about this episode are the people who were trolled by GRRM into rooting for a tyrant this entire time. With a divided fandom, this sure was not a crowd pleaser,

  68. Skeptical says:

    I mean, it’s like the writers never watched any previous seasons?

    Jon DOES NOT love Dany.

    Dany is not mad, she’s stupid. After she blew out the sword catapults she needed to get straight to the Red Keep and liberate King’s Landing instead of personally gratuitously barbecuing the entire place.

    Uh, Jaime’s character arch makes no sense now. Cersei’s ignominious death was a real wasted opportunity dramatically or IS she dead?

    • HK9 says:

      Yes!!!! I couldn’t understand why she didn’t go BBQ Cersei first. I too hope Cersei isn’t dead so Aya or Sansa can murder her.

  69. Lady Keller says:

    My guess for the ending. Bran wakes up from his coma and it was all just a dream.

  70. Jessica says:

    dany was one of the most complex and powerful female characters on television. she deserved a compelling “descent into madness macbeth plot” but instead got a, “bitches be crazy” plot.

    shame!

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      The issue was that her descent into the madness of her family was always there, bubbling under the surface but the lazy hack writers decided to cram a plot that should have lasted at least a season into about 2 episodes. TBF to Emilia she is giving it her all with the acting, given the hack job of a script/plot she and the others have been given.

      • Patty says:

        Also, I’d like to point out that being a Targaryen was never a sign that one was doomed to go mad. In fact, there were more non-mad Targaryen’s, than there ever were mad ones. So it does feel cheap to use some throwaway lines from the book/show to be like — it was destined to happen because really it wasn’t. Book readers will know that the only Targ who was truly mad was Aerys. Dany also could have turned out like King Aegon V who the lords hated because he gave rights and land to the peasants. At this point, I wish she would go full on Aegon the Conqueror and wreck more stuff.

    • Skeptical says:

      Regardless of what you think about Dany, what her role should be or how much you’d like to see a nuanced study of a woman fighting for power, this episode has ended any options for her development.

      Her character was gratuitously cruel to innocents. It was sickening even by GOT standards. Whatever forces may have shaped her damaged persona, her actions at this point are irredeemable in even the most forgiving historical/fantasy context.

      • Sarah B says:

        I really wish that they showed her face as she burned the innocents of Kings Landing. The overhead shots and shots from street level kind of took Dany out of it.

  71. Monsy says:

    “Dany didn’t go mad – she made a series of strategic decisions to burn Kings Landing, to slaughter and to rule by fear and awe”WOW
    Pinochet would be proud.

    • Patty says:

      Eh. This is a fictional tv show, based on a fantasy book series that will never be completed. People understand that it’s not real life.

  72. May says:

    “but how is it that Varys’ actions were worthy of execution but Tyrion’s were not?”
    Because he was trying to have her poisoned. Re watch the conversation he had with the little girl from the kitchen.

  73. MariaS says:

    @Kaiser: Varys was killed because in addition to the scrolls he was poised to send out he tried to poison Dany. That conversation with the little girl from the kitchen? His advice to “try again later” when she tells him that Dany’s not eating? And then her telling him that she thinks the soldiers are watching her? yeah, Varys was caught trying to poison Dany so it’s really not shocking that she executed him. And now Tyrion sees that Varys was absolutely right in trying to stop Dany from taking the Iron Throne.

  74. rose says:

    I haven’t seen it yet, but a lot of unhappy people I see. I hope the show doesn’t limp to the finishing line.

  75. Sparkly says:

    They’ve taken an awesome show with brilliant characters and burned it all to the ground. This last season has ruined the show. I can’t believe what they’ve done to Tyrion’s character, and Grey Worm was raised to be the ultimate soldier and served with such honor — now he’s suddenly revenge-attacking unarmed people who surrendered? That upset me even more that Dany, whose descent into madness could have made sense and been awesomely complex but was instead shoe-horned in and boiled down to Scorned Woman Who Could Have Been Saved By Hero-Peen.

    Cersei’s death was so incredibly disappointing. I’m not a book fan, so I can’t speak to the Azor Ahai prophecy with any actual understanding, but surely GRRM is not dropping Chekhov’s prophecies just to have D&D handwave it all away because they can’t be bothered to put out a quality product without his hand-holding.

  76. geekychick says:

    You’re presenting genocide as normal part of war. it’s not. it never was. Genocide is never ok, not even in a fictional tv seires. not even in the past. Charlemagne killed 10000 Saxons and is remembered by that massacre to this day, and that was 1200years ago.