One of the directors of Game of Thrones, Miguel Sapochnik, has finally addressed the controversy surrounding the huge change in Daenerys character in the final episodes of the show.
Sapochnik, who directed the third and fifth episodes of the season has revealed to IndieWire that he never questioned Dany’s dark turn in the end.
Many fans questioned how Daenerys could do what she did in episode five, The Bells, after she had devoted herself to freeing slaves and protecting the innocent. But the director’s answer is simple: she had gone mad, just like her father.
“The way she has treated humans, and the conviction she has, means that conviction is eventually going to fall afoul.”
Sapochnik, who had hoped to also direct episode four but was unable to, said he didn’t want the audience to see Dany’s reaction to Missandei’s death until the opening of The Bells.
“We said, ‘You’ve never been like this,'” said Sapochnik. “It was this idea of us trying to piece her back together, but something’s broken.”
He added that Missandei’s death signalled the beginning of Dany’s descent into madness and he wanted the juxtaposition with Tyrion who had made a number of mistakes and was questioning everything.
“She’s not questioning herself anymore, which is the difference between somebody who, I think, has kind of lost their mind.”
“That’s part of what makes us human, is we question whether we’ve made the right decisions or not.”
During the episode, Dany agrees to stop her attack if the bells in the city ring to signify a surrender, however once she saw the Red Keep – the symbol of everything she’d ever lost – she couldn’t stop herself.
Sapochnik decided while shooting the episode not to cut back to Dany for an interesting reason.
“At that point, you don’t need to see her. We decided not to cut back to her. When she makes that decision, she and the dragon become one.”
“The destruction of King’s Landing, for me, has always been an audience participation event. You wanted this, you wanted this, you wanted this. Here. Is that really what you wanted?”
“I felt like there was this thing of this bloodthirstiness that exists in the fans, for revenge, for this payback that is personified by Dany. I just wanted to get to the core of what that actually means.”
“Because even though the characters that don’t exist in the end, what you’re looking for, as an audience member, is death and destruction. I wanted people to know how bad death and destruction can be in the safe environment they’re living in.”
He added that he wanted to draw your attention to the regular people who lived in the city.
“What I wanted to get to in King’s Landing was the idea that every single f***ing one of these characters matters. Not just the characters, but the extras, and the people you don’t know, and all the people you’ll never see, and never know about. They all matter.
“That’s maybe me, or maybe that’s Dan and David [Weiss and Benioff], I don’t know. But it was something that evolved out of the need, or my desire, to not just add to the equation of violence in television, but rather to at least propose, ‘Think about it.’”
So, does this change how you feel about the final episodes of the show?