Recreation of Thrones followers weren’t pleased with Daenerys Targaryen’s “Mad Queen” arc, nevertheless it might have been mounted if it had solely had extra time to develop. The collection finale concluded with Jon Snow driving north into exile after stabbing Daenerys within the coronary heart, placing an finish to her fiery conquest. It is an ending that most likely seemed good on paper (or in George R.R. Martin’s define), however finally left lots of followers dissatisfied. Questioning the place all of it went unsuitable, followers and critics have pointed the finger at Recreation of Thrones’ creators/writers, David Benioff and Dan Weiss.
Benioff and Weiss made the choice to shortened the present’s ultimate two seasons from its standard ten episodes to seven, after which six. The ensuing seasons have been branded as rushed and contrived; a collection that when prided itself on intricate storylines, secrets and techniques, and historic parallels grew to become extra concern with hurriedly tying up free ends. Fan frustration with the ultimate season was renewed when Benioff and Weiss lately appeared on the Austin Movie Competition to reply questions concerning the present. They elaborated on their lack of expertise writing for tv, an preliminary pilot that by no means aired, and equated Recreation of Thrones’ manufacturing to that of “an costly movie faculty.” The Q&A begs the query: how might George R.R. Martin’s define, and in flip the present, have been dealt with in a different way?
The primary 4 seasons of Recreation of Thrones had been fairly devoted to George R.R. Martin’s A Track of Ice and Fireplace. The previous’s story caught up with its supply materials after which succeeded it. Shifting ahead, all Benioff and Weiss had as a reference was what Martin had instructed relating to the place the story was going. They had been then tasked with getting their characters from level A to level B in a method that felt natural. If this ever proved to be an issue, it was within the present’s ultimate season. Some characters made uncharacteristic selections (for instance, Tyrion hiding in a crypt from an enemy that’s recognized to convey the useless again to life), and have become a shadow of their former selves. Nonetheless, maybe no character suffered from the ultimate season’s missteps as a lot as Daenerys.
Whereas it’s straightforward to think about Dany going mad, the present does not appear to offer sufficient proof to assist her flip. At the start of her story she resides together with her abusive brother Viserys as a political refugee – the daughter of a “Mad King’ that was overthrown. Her father’s insanity was probably a results of generations of inbreeding (one thing the Targaryens are recognized for), and a preferred saying in Westeros is that “when a Targaryen is born, the gods flip a coin.” King Aerys II’s madness manifested itself in rage and paranoia, as he burned anybody and everybody who defied him. Whereas Dany adopts her father’s favourite type of punishment, she does not accomplish that recklessly (at first).
Dany’s circumstances will not be her fault. She was a baby throughout Robert’s Rebel, and after being left alone and in a international land, she places her physique and thoughts on the road to be able to rise from the ashes (if you’ll). We are supposed to sympathize together with her character from the beginning, given her sick remedy by her brother Viserys and her pressured marriage to Khal Drogo. When Drogo ultimately murders her brother, Dany is not saddened by his loss of life, and the viewers was cheering it on as nicely. Later within the present, Daenerys makes use of her unsullied military to free Meereen, crucifying 163 slavers for the 163 slaves that suffered the identical destiny by the hands of their masters. Although she might sound chilly in the direction of Viserys’ loss of life and inflicts nice struggling on the slavers, these punishments are framed as being justified by a criminal offense.
Daenerys reveals power as a ruler, drawing traces within the sand when she must. It’s only when she will get to Westeros that her selections grow to be much less pragmatic. The present’s ultimate seasons provide up moments that foreshadow Dany’s give up to Targaryen insanity, nevertheless it’s not all that overt. The primary occasion happens when she takes again Highgarden; the defeated Randyll and Dickon Tarly refuse to bend the knee, so Dany burns them alive (a lot to the dismay of Tyrion).
The next seven episodes try and persuade the viewers that Daenerys’ relationship together with her nephew, Jon Snow, the deaths of Jorah Mormont and Missandei play a pivotal position in her alienation. As Aemon Targaryen says in season 5: “A Targaryen alone on the earth is a horrible factor.” However in season 8, the thought of Daenerys being harmful and unstable is spoon-fed to the viewers by Varys and Tyrion earlier than she’s actually carried out something unsuitable. Even Varys’ fiery execution is justified, contemplating that he was plotting treason and making an attempt to have Daenerys poisoned.
On this method, we’re by no means utterly let in on Dany’s way of thinking or thought course of. Season Eight had a noticeably extra expressive efficiency from Emilia Clarke, however there was solely a lot she might do with the fabric she was given. Being instructed that Daenerys was dropping her thoughts as a substitute of truly being proven it left followers in disbelief when Dany determined to burn the whole lot of King’s Touchdown to the bottom for seemingly no cause. She zig-zags throughout each inch of town, seemingly ignoring Cersei and the Crimson Hold in favor of slaughtering harmless ladies and youngsters. The writers tried to elucidate Dany’s thought course of within the after-episode featurette, however that actually shouldn’t be vital if a narrative is instructed nicely.
Final month, the season Eight scripts of Recreation of Thrones grew to become accessible to learn on the Writers Guild Basis library in Los Angeles. These scripts revealed a handful of scenes that had been reduce from the season’s ultimate product. A few of these scenes would have higher developed Dany’s character and descent into insanity.
The primary most notable scene would’ve taken place in episode 4,” The Final of the Starks.” After defeating the Evening King and the military of the useless, everyone seems to be celebrating at Winterfell. In a deleted scene, Gray Worm and Missandei flirt on the feast, which Dany witnesses. One other scene was reduce during which Missandei pretends to be sick so she will be able to be a part of Gray Worm after Dany dismisses him. Within the wake of those moments, Dany’s later scenes with Jon Snow, when she learns his true id and he rejects their romantic relationship, would have been extra impactful. Seeing Dany alone, witnessing the love shared by two of her closest buddies, would have additional pushed house how alone she feels. Missandei’s loss of life would’ve then had a good higher impact on Dany’s psyche as she navigated her tumultuous relationship with Jon Snow.
The second scene that was trimmed down is between Jon and Dany after Varys’ execution for backing Jon’s declare in episode 5, “The Bells.” That change initially featured much more dialogue between the 2 characters; when Dany asks Jon if “that’s all I’m to you,” within the script he replies, “no.” The ensuing stage course is rather more ambivalent than what was proven within the precise episode. Regardless, tiny moments like this is able to have gone a great distance in the direction of making Daenerys’ descent extra convincing.
The ultimate scene that by no means made it to air exhibits Dany on Drogon after she makes the choice to bloodbath a metropolis. Though it comprises no dialogue, the scene would have contained a closeup of Dany as she stares on the exterior of the Crimson Hold. Seeing the Lannister lion sigil within the home windows as a substitute of her household’s Seven-Pointed Star is said by the script as a “image of the whole lot that has been taken from her” and one thing that “drives her to fury.”
Even incorporating these deleted scenes most likely would not have been sufficient to repair Daenerys’ unconvincing season Eight arc. Dany is a rational, sturdy, and type character for seven and a half seasons (arguably longer), and even with longer operating instances per episode, there merely wasn’t sufficient time to do justice to what might have been an unimaginable transformation. Daenerys’ “Mad Queen” arc is sadly only one main symptom of Benioff and Weiss’s determination to truncate Recreation of Thrones’ ultimate two seasons.
Even when season Eight consisted of the same old 10 episodes, issues might have higher… however not good. Daenerys’ transformation right into a monster wasn’t the one plotline that felt rushed. Had Recreation of Thrones additionally taken the time to correctly tackle the whole lot else – such because the White Walkers and Cersei’s downfall – there nonetheless might not have been sufficient time to do Dany’s arc justice. Recreation of Thrones actually wanted to begin establishing her flip extra earlier than season 8, or have one other season that may very well be totally given over to it.
George R.R. Martin has brazenly mentioned that he believes there was sufficient materials in his novels to warrant many extra seasons of the present, and the quantity of element in A Track of Ice and Fireplace makes the general narrative extra convincing. Hopefully the books at the very least will provide followers a story that does its characters justice; characters like Dany, who ended her journey in the identical place she started: alone on the earth.