Spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones season 8 episode 5.
After watching Daenerys Targaryen snap in the latest Game of Thrones episode and burn all the innocent and surrendered people in King’s Landing, there is a vocal outcry online about the consistency of her character arc. But it’s easy to cherry pick moments in her eight-season journey to back up the ending you hoped she would have, and ignore the events that lead to her breaking point.
Dany’s narrative has been lined with evidence that she could succumb to this fate, so let’s walk it back and pay attention.
— Game of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) April 12, 2015
From the beginning, Daenerys has been self-righteous and vengeful about her family’s right to the throne. She begrudges those who conspired to murder her father, even though her father was murdered to stop him from burning an entire city of innocent people.
It seems that blood lineage and birth right has always trumped the deaths of thousands of innocents. Dany’s obsession with her ‘right’ to rule eclipsed rational thought and actions, time and time again. Check your entitlement boo.
Obviously most of us rooted for Dany back in the early seasons when our Khaleesi was on a mission to free all the slaves of the South. She was the Breaker of chains, and the freed people called her Mhysa and loved her for it.
But fans who are now citing these early seasons as evidence that Dany’s recent actions don’t add up with her character arc are contradicting themselves. This was where she started, and as she journeyed North she became more ruthless, she showed less mercy, lost her loved ones and inevitably lost the thing she thrived on – people’s love.
As she moved through the South, claiming cities, she executed thousands. Without knowing anything about their cultures or thinking through her plan past killing half the people and freeing the other half, Dany burned people and imposed her ruling plenty of times before – why would she not do it again?
It’s always been her advisors keeping Dany away from her darkest instincts, and they’ve failed to convince her to show mercy plenty of times before.
— Jennifer (@Jeloreous101) May 13, 2019
By episode five, her closest advisors (and friends) are dead. Her boyfriend won’t love her anymore because they are related. She discovered in Winterfell that the people North of the Narrow Sea won’t love her.
When Sansa won’t play nice, Dany tells Jon that, “She doesn’t need to respect me, but I am her queen… If she can’t respect me…”
It sounds like Dany would gladly kill Sansa the same way she will steamroll anyone she believes won’t embrace her as their ruler.
“Feeling cute, might execute your family later” pic.twitter.com/fWh6SjWkys
— “I’ll cheat on the carebear” Jones (@NotSoNewlywedPC) April 15, 2019
So when Daenerys won King’s Landing, she could then only face the fact that the people would never love her. Dany wants love, but she couldn’t get that from these people, so she retaliated. She’s consumed with grief and anger at everything she’s lost, including the dream of being the people’s beloved leader.
Now she will rule with fear, because if it came down to love she knows that Jon Snow would take the crown that she believes is rightfully hers.
emilia defending dany till the very end THANK YOU she really is the only person who gets her character pic.twitter.com/DmfsFW2eky
— nads (@emiliasclcrke) May 13, 2019
Dany cracking and burning the city she’s fought to won makes sense with her Game of Thrones character arc, and believing otherwise is just clinging to the Dany we first met in early seasons. But by nature of character arcs, she developed. Just because we don’t like what she became doesn’t mean it’s wrong.