A lot of Game of Thrones fans are reeling after Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) took a dark and brutal turn in season eight episode five.
In the penultimate episode of the show, the Mother of Dragons appeared to fulfil a long-standing theory that she could follow in her father’s footsteps and become the “Mad Queen”.
But boy, was it divisive.
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Despite bells of surrender ringing out from King’s Landing, Dany flew towards the Red Keep and burnt the place to ashes, killing hundreds of civilians as well as rival Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) and her brother/lover Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau).
Just like that, Daenerys became the primary villain as the series heads into the last ever episode.
Daenerys’ troubling transformation had been hinted at earlier in season eight, with the character becoming ever more isolated from her advisors.
However, fans were still shocked at how quickly this arc was resolved in episode five, with many criticising the show for rushing the story following seven seasons of character development.
“Ten years developing a strong, loving, and kind-hearted character just to ruin everything she stood for in one season,” @madisynnunan tweeted. “Daenerys Targaryen, you truly deserved better.”
ten years developing a strong, loving, and kind hearted character just to ruin everything she stood for in one season, daenerys targaryen you truly deserved better #gameofthrones pic.twitter.com/baRGdpTmRz— maddie (@madstargaryen) May 13, 2019
However, as another viewer pointed out, Daenerys’ previous promise that she would not become “Queen of the ashes” could be seen as telling.
So you all just going to act like you didn’t see this coming? Danys been whack from the start and you’re all fools if you didn’t think this was going to happen #GameofThrones pic.twitter.com/GMQdOKXPWf— clara maxwell (@claramaxwell99) May 13, 2019
But did she really have to zig zag through King’s Landing, killing innocent civilians?
“Even if Dany was pissed and wanted to destroy Cersei, why wouldn’t she just go straight to the Red Keep instead of zig zagging destruction through the city?” Jenna Guillaume wrote. “It makes no sense.”
Even if Dany was pissed and wanted to destroy Cersei why wouldn’t she just go straight to the Red Keep instead of zig zagging destruction through the city IT MAKES NO SENSE #GameofThrones— Jenna Guillaume (@JennaGuillaume) May 13, 2019
Whether Dany’s wave of destruction was foreshadowed or not, it’s hard to ignore the many fans who appear frustrated by the penultimate episode.
In S1E1, Jaime Lannister pushes Bran Stark out of a window. This is subtle foreshadowing by David Benioff and Dan Weiss for S8E5, where eight seasons of Jaime's character development are similarly thrown out the window. #GameOfThrones pic.twitter.com/OJjjxBaeY3— Piyadassi Alamgir 🐅 (@TheKingIsh_) May 13, 2019
Evidently there’s quite a big mess to clean up (literally and metaphorically) in next week’s final episode.
The trailer offers a glimpse of Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) wandering through an ashen King’s Landing – and they don’t look ready to accept the woman responsible for the destruction. This is going to be monumental.
The last ever episode of Game of Thrones airs on Monday on Sky Atlantic