Warning: Contains Spoilers For Game Of Thrones Season 8
I am aghast at the internet right now. This chapter did not come out of nowhere. Pace preference I presume can be argued, but I don’t have a problem with the speeding as slightly heightened world to move the momentum of the final season. People would also be deploring if they felt it was too slow. They have laid the thickly complex track towards these tours- for both Dany and Jaime and all other personas for the entirety of the show.
First and foremost Dany.
She has represented impulse, rash and poor option after poor choice for the entirety of the depict. I do think there was a believable develop to all those instants and a doubling up of all that grief and the enclose contextual, situational building and strengthening. Ultimately, it seemed to follow the long position of incidents that got her there as well as what her character’s foundational proclivities towards impulsiveness and push. I believe she wanted to help people in theory, but ultimately her ego and lust for ability got the better of her over duration and she didn’t understand concretely enough how to help people beyond her own image of herself as a savior. She more and more became obsessed with her own destiny while losing the real ability to grasp the larger picture. Likewise, if they had acquired it any more obvious than it already was it would have been trite and would have had no dramatic tension. It was still destroying even though I felt it coming, rightfully so.
First of all, it has been established that Dany isn’t a great queen or ruler- she is a conqueror. Essos maintained rising up against her until she burned them all too. She has solved all of her problems through pressure, might, and attack. “Shes never” once thought her way out of a problem or even regulated rightly or with the subtlety and thought it takes to actually govern. She was a good conqueror only because “shes had” dragons and she was a horrible sovereign, even in the short time she had to rule some people. Upending a slave culture without anything to replace it and allowing for a full takeover and societal unrest to rise up only before fleeing to “save” your next area and take its armies for your own is not good leadership. She has shown mercilessness, brutal avenge, and poor decision making- burning any foe alive( including the Tarley’s ), not enter into negotiations with the North, implementing Mossador, crucifying the masters, and utterly flailing in her response to the Sons of the Harpy, to call a few cases instances. The inability to learn how to rule or how to take care of a populace is coupled with entitlement. She doesn’t know how to rule and she doesn’t know the people of Westeros and she never genuinely cared to learn. She had all these wonderful advisors around her and instead of learning like Sansa, she just got more and more headstrong.
In periods of storytelling, this finish of her arc, fueled by all of the actions that brought us here also subverts the cliche of fortitude and savior-ism- something that the fan base of always seemed thrilled about. So here you go, and now you’re not here for it? Ned died, Catelyn and Robb were butchered without their retaliation, Tyrion literally strangled his lover, and 2 episodes ago we completely circumvented Jon being heroic to have Arya kill the Night King, but Dany succumbing to her worst motives is unrealistic? I don’t buy that it’s coming out of nowhere or devised- she has displayed a weakness towards the trap of ego and an obsession with her own destiny and impulsive proclivities ever since she began her jaunt as a leader.
Truly, likewise, I am confused as to what the follower base requires. Because it seems if it hadn’t taken this dark turn, devotees would have proclaimed that had gotten “soft”( which I also don’t find was most productive or constructive analysis ). What is it that this audience wants? Because I want an honest legend and I think this was an honest and accurate and coherent arc and storyline based on everything that has happened thus far.
It seems that everyone is perceiving that she solely proceeded haywire and seemingly “refused to hear the bells” and led postal. But I envisage the moment where she refuses the buzzers is really quite full and complex- and based on the fact that all trust of anyone and anything has fallen out beneath her feet. It’s a very real and slightly comprehensible instant from her point of view- in which she feels as though she can trust no one . Why would she trust that Cersei would surrender? I are aware of her thinking it’s a manoeuvre; it happened far faster than she expected and seems awesome from her point of view, and she knows Cersei to be full of ” captures” and to have nothing behind her word. Likewise, there aren’t any cell phones or megaphones and I don’t believe that she could actually see that the Lannisters had plummeted their swords from her vantage point. So she’s faced with an alarmingly confusing moment to the feels. This time is fitted with and justified by the line of acts preceding her to be able to trust no one and believe that Cersei is playing with her, which candidly would be understandable. It’s a result of Cersei’s mercilessness and lying, more than anything else. She never accepted or relied Tyrion in mean to tell me that if the buzzers resounding, they’ve surrendered. And to a degree,( in her mindset) rightfully so. In happening, it’s possible she even thinks that Tyrion disclosed her and laid a trap for her in cahoots with Cersei. This time is primal; filled with adrenaline, fury, heartache, and fear- which is why it’s a complex and full and tragic and human minute( frankly probably even historically reminiscent of several real human historical moments ). This minute of distrust is detected from every action that has ever happened and everyone who has ever divulged her, which at this point is quite honestly almost everyone she has ever known. In my judgment, it’s a believable and very real, heartbreaking moment.
Jaime Lannister’s character arc is not destroyed- it is completed.
People are complex and complicated and has always shown that. Jaime was always layered, Jaime ever had a profound weakness. And merely because he returns to his love doesn’t mean all the other actions he ever made don’t still exist. He remains complicated and human and that is honest to his storey and arc. Having Cersei and Jaime’s castle trap them and then fall in on them is beautiful and poetic and perfect.
I adored hearing Cersei vulnerable, it was beautiful and shaping. I don’t think you can chalk these two characters up to exclusively “good” or “evil” and I speculate enabling them to be human is very powerful. I do still think Cersei had to witness some truly destroying happenings for her, eg. the dissolution of her entire gift, ability and everything she held as meaningful; her entire home dropped in around her; her soldiers not fight for her; and the true consequences of her choices and how wrong she was. And you to have seen her react candidly and vulnerably to it. I didn’t need to see her penalized any more than that and I was glad that Jaime got to die in the arms of the woman he adoration. A aperture through the throat is trite for this woman, and I don’t think it would have carried much gratification. And yes, there was something imperfectly perfect that no one’ gets’ to kill Cersei- there’s something very clean and mundane about simple slaughter for Cersei. And ultimately, Jaime succumbing to his weakness is both real and sad; he would have subsisted if he had stayed in Winterfell, but instead, he very gets suppressed by his own folly. Jaime is complex and has always been; giving in to his weakness for his love is both very real and somehow strangely beautiful and tragic. He’s not the classic hero and he shouldn’t be. It seems right that the narrative is not clean or precisely as you’d reckon and that yes, it is real.
I am also so pleased that they spent so much time exhibition the actual victims of the world in this battle — no, the world is not clean and yes, the common people are normally the ones who suffer most from the prides of people that want to rule. shows the futility and repugnance of violence, lust for ability and ascendancy and that matters. It’s important and on point that we saw this battle from the floor, from those tolerating “the worlds largest”. They afforded a certain amount of terrifying justice to the common people in picture their tale and not having “its been” no significance violence from the vantage point of those in power only. I think it’s valuable storytelling to see the victims and the consequences of the people on the top playing games for ability and how ridiculous and shocking it is to the real people. There are real repercussions here- significances to mercilessness, selfishness, a passion for retribution; and the ridiculousness pride, ego and reactionary emotional responses with no impulse restrain or vision of the larger picture.
Then you get Cleganebowl.
What everyone always required and how could you ask for shootings more epic and beautiful? You get the Hound literally enraptured in his passion for avenge, tied to it eventually until his death. Overcoming his fear of flame for the one thing he was concerned about more- overcoming the person that laid that trauma within him. You get an eye for an eye- the futility and misfortune of retaliation, and eventually, serenity for the traumatized man.
Varys, the Master of Whisperers, comes full circle use his mutters to the attempt to do the right thing. Tyrion, far from” being stupid” is trying to play the game as best he can, while also navigating the very complicated web of interconnected relationships that he has at play. He is not perfect, but “hes still” trying desperately to reach for the right thing. And Jon is not” doing good-for-nothing” but reasonably struck with a variety of complicated feelings involving desire, sheer ruin, and tired. He, too, is( consistent to his attribute) to reach towards understanding how to do what’s best for everyone. The man never required any of this but still keeps fighting, give the man a shatter. And narratively, subverting his classic “hero” minutes in favor of letting the smaller, young girl Arya have them is wonderful in this final chapter and also pushes against the cliche of bravery, gender, and anticipation in a way that doesn’t feel forced, but honest to both Arya and Jon.
So many onlookers also seem to presume that George R.R. Martin would have done differently. First and foremost, he has been involved in this process and with David Benioff and DB Weiss the entire occasion and he has openly said his ending won’t be that different. Now, he may carry out some specifics differently, and as he has said, smaller reference arcs. But in terms of intent – it’s right on the money. The merged moral grey zone, the fullness of each human character being full of both good nor bad. George R.R. Martin has always said he’s been inspired by that Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn quote” the line dividing good and evil slice through the heart of every human being.” This is precisely the kind of story he would write and it has been foreshadowed and crafted to this point since Dany chose to execute Mossador instead of giving mercy and the person or persons of Meereen started hissing at her. She has not shown herself to be a good or skilled chairman to be able to truly recognize what the population she wants to lead truly needs above her own passion for power.
Dany was never the hero, and, like Cersei, her self-service and self-absorption is her downfall. The establish has been showing that humans’ obsession with dominance is unhealthy for years- and all those that actually, selflessly, have the intent of helping people( not for glorification but because it’s right and because they set others before themselves) they are the true heroes. This week displayed humans giving in to their weakness- Dany, Jaime, and the Hound alike- which, far from being designed or unfounded, is incredibly real and honest storytelling. Arcs don’t ever go in a straight line, and neither do humans. Narratives are complicated and messy, but( at least for me) the yarn still comes here.