Game of Thrones’ penultimate episode turned out to be even more cataclysmic than series loyalists could have imagined. Daenerys Targaryen intentionally unleashed “dracarys” upon thousands of innocents while storming King’s Landing on the way to taking out Cersei, and where the series concludes will depend upon how the remaining characters react to the apparently Mad Queen. We’ve all got our opinions about that, of course, but are you ready to defend yours in a fiery trial by conversational combat? Uproxx’s Kimberly Ricci and Jason Tabrys are very ready to do exactly that before turning the discussion over to you in the comments.
Kimberly: We can’t ignore the elephant in this room. The subject on everyone’s mind right now is Dany’s heel turn after the surrender bells rang at King’s Landing. I still feel conflicted, but I’m tiptoeing toward some understanding on what happened with Drogon. I don’t mean that in the sense of condoning the slaughter of innocents — do you take me for a monster? — but I accept the Mother of Dragons’ descent into madness. What still bugs, though, is that this transition could’ve been handled in a far less jarring manner, and one that remained true to the richness of GRRM’s character development for Dany. Look, we’ve had an entire series to get used to Cersei’s barbarism, but while Dany’s shown a propensity for violence and ruthlessness, this streak has always been couched in a “savior” persona, so it feels very “off” to see her acting out of vengeance. It’s a disservice, and I do worry about whether any further brutality from Dany will translate as two-dimensional in the finale.
Jason: I think that it’s time for me to retire the elephant references. There are no elephants coming to save us. And after what happened Sunday night, I’m glad to see that there were no elephants in King’s Landing, lest they be a part of the massacre. Now, onto matters of slightly larger import: I agree with most of what you said about Dany, though I honestly would have been fine with the heel turn had it not been so indiscriminate. If Dany goes after the tower and Cersei, taking it down and raining down brick and fire on the people, starting off a panic and maybe also setting off Cersei’s hidden supply of wildfire, then Dany’s journey would have had more nuance and it would have allowed characters like Tyrion and Jon a chance to make a choice about her. Now, there is no choice: she’s a full-on monster. Maybe that’s the difference between making 6 episodes and having 8 or 9 to play with. I don’t know. But I think a lot of people would feel better about an accidental massacre than what transpired Sunday (as visually stunning as it was, by the way). As for further acts of brutality from Dany, I guess I’m wondering who is left? Dany is the Queen of the Ash now. The likely unrepentant Queen of the Ash. I think we’ve seen the last epic fight on Game Of Thrones. Whatever comes next is going to be up close and personal.