Game of Thrones’ penultimate episode of Season 8 seemed to have ‘jumped the dragon.’ There were some unexpected moments, but Dany did have motive until logic jumped the tracks. But was it not the showrunners’ intent?
Caution: There are spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 5.
Game of Thrones’ “The Bells” aired last night and with, what I thought was, an unexpected twist in logic. I couldn’t help but to think that GoT really jumped the shark, or dragon, with the direction it took with the vengeful Targaryen. Dany had been bandying back and forth on whether or not to go scorch the earth at King’s Landing. Although, there’s a part of me that thinks that’s just how the realm of Westeros operates. Here are my thoughts on the decision-making process.
‘Last of the Starks’ provided motive for ‘The Bells’
A turn for the worst occurred when Daenerys Targaryen encountered the Iron Fleet headed by Euron Greyjoy. After taking out one of her dragons with a barrage of Scorpion-fed beefy arrows, I think that’s all that it would take to bring Dany closer to the tipping point. She was already feeling squeezed out of the Stark/Winterfell celebration post-Night King defeat and with Jon Snow spurning her physical advances at Dragonstone, it was just another nail in the coffin, citing that fear, not love, was the only driving motive in her cause now.
Add to that her paranoia involving a mistrust in her own aids including a thin-iced situation between Tyrion and Dany. Don’t forget Varys’ execution by dragon’s breath for his indiscretions, regardless of the lord thinking of the bigger picture, i.e. “The Realm.” You could tell things were getting seriously volatile as it seems her grip on the Iron Throne is easily slipping should a diplomatic/peaceful path be taken.
Motive turned to madness for no reason?
Game of Thrones has been an epic journey, but there are things that rub me the wrong way when it comes to the lack of logic in storytelling. Now, I’m not much for nitpicking plot holes ad nauseam, but this was quite glaring.
We were all in anticipation for Jaime Lannister making it to the bell tower for the purpose of signaling surrender. However, the soldiers themselves surrendered by dropping their arms. After the bell chimed, you could rest assured and relieved the battle was over and Dany reached her most desired goal. You were probably thinking, “that’s that.” Time to see Queen Cersei face a “Dracarys” death. A public execution this season to follow-up her season five shaming experience.
Enter Dany’s boiling or tipping point in this saga. After a supposedly happy ending and a surrender by the city guards, this is where I think logic went out the window. But if you’re wanting to give the show the benefit of the doubt, you could be intrigued on where David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are going with this. The Ringer mentioned a rather rushed Season 8 for Game of Thrones, so it would seem Episode 5 just perpetuates the haste, I would think.
The Mad Queen’s Season 8’s mad rush to chaos and confusion
There was sure confusion on Jon Snow’s face at Queen Dany’s sudden change of heart and raging out. With Benioff and Weiss on deck to take on the Star Wars franchise, you can’t help but see a Ben Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker likeness between the two. I’m referencing the first Lucasfilm prequel trilogy, and especially the ending of Revenge of the Sith in the saga. This kind of makes you wonder if their style will carry over on to Lucasfilm. But that’s for another article.
Not getting into too much detail, you could obviously see that Dany is embracing the deliberate collateral damage, throwing the baby out with the bathwater by burning the innocent civilians of King’s Landing. This was quite jaw-dropping as this was contradictory of her intended motives of turning Westeros into a better world. However, you could see in the past couple of episodes that her attitude was changing quite dramatically.
From what I gathered, I concur that this all does seem rushed. I’m guessing that the final episode will provide an epilogue of sorts or perhaps Jon Snow’s hand being forced to rule on the Iron Throne, provided that it’s still intact after Dany has ripped The Red Keep asunder.
A sense of Mr. Miyagi-ism as an intent by the showrunners
Game of Thrones’ first season had Cersei explaining how in the “Game of Thrones you either win or you die.” It seems that Episode 5 came full circle in this and I couldn’t help but to think that this is somehow influential via Karate Kid’s Mr. Miyagi. Yes, I am connecting some old 80s classic to the hit HBO series…go figure.
To quote him: Never put passion in front of principle, even if you win, you lose.
This is a resounding ah-ha or epiphany moment that seems to put this Miyagi-Know-Karate philosophy to the test. What happened during “The Bells” seems to be a resounding example of the Miyagi-ism. In fact, Dany put her passion in front of principle as she raged-out. Definitely not pro-Miyagi for sure.
She won, but at what cost? Was it worth it? Evil begets evil, does it not?
I could go The Dark Knight route where Harvey Dent says, “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain”. Dany did live all eight seasons, which leads us invariably between now and the series finale.
Although, there had been some fan outrage as shown by Too Fab series of constant memes and Twitter posts displaying their reactions. The thing is though, George R.R. Martin’s world of Game of Thrones is likely intended to be consistently dreary, dark, and with no happy endings. Even Littlefinger actor Aiden Gillen expressed as such via an Entertainment Tonight interview. It’s probably the sheer nature of his books and now the HBO hit series. So why complain?
That said, Jon is of a humble, good-hearted nature, so will he too do a surprising 180 just like his incestuous lover had or will he suffer the same fate as his adoptive father Eddard (Ned) Stark? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Game of Thrones series finale airs Sunday at 9/8c on HBO.