Daenarys has been through a lot, but she polarized opinions on this episode.
Game of thrones is a patriarchal show, but thats okay. Its set in the old world where men were seen as authorities and women, forever seen as subordinate – however successful they were.
It’s both a function of the system and beliefs of the time. Daenerys is both a victim of her birth and decisions. But more importantly, while she might be lashing out irrationally as is peculiar to her forebears – most importantly her father, The Mad King, there is an unfairness to Daenerys’ story.
First, we can bicker over the watered down quality of Game of Thrones in its penultimate season, but we must realize it’s a scripted happening at its climax, thus certain weaknesses were inevitable. There was no way the show was going to satisfy us – it’s an age of conversation.
We should also understand that it’s the unification of multiple story arcs into one.
Secondly, regardless of said weaknesses, character development in the show is impeccable. The showrunners should be proud – the characters were tailored for the social media era to trigger conversations.
Now, back to Dany. All her life, she’d been told her destiny was to rule in some capacity. If you walked out of a fire, unburnt and with three dragons – not seen for a thousand years – you’ll start believing you are special too. It’s a function of what does or doesn’t obtain.
She rose from there and conquered a few kingdoms. She has a good heart, she’s been told she would never have kids, so her dragons took that space. Two of those dragons are dead – albeit owing to some careless, tactless actions from her.
Slight digression on Danys carelessness
The first rule of war is to never underestimate an enemy you have not met. The fifth is to never be outsmarted by an enemy that outsmarted you once.
First, she flew an unmanned dragon into a space she’d never been, against an army – of the dead – she’d never met, knowing fully that the enemy was created by diabolical means. She lost a dragon there.
The second dragon was lost by sheer stupidity. You underestimated Cersei once and got your behind handed to you on the eve of a battle against the greatest army ever only for you to make for Dragonstone when you knew that Cersei would be aware you were coming. The worst she could have done was send spies ahead.
We get it, her character development tells us that one of her flaws is that she’s too emotional and acts thoughtlessly.
The power of emotions over her means when all she’s fought for all her life starts falling apart; advisors betraying her, her hand betraying her, the man she loves – also her rival -pulling away when she’d lost everything, all hell was going to break lose. Caution was going to be fed to the wind.
Anyone who judges her is being slightly harsh and unrealistic. Granted, the infamous Targaryen fury is in her, but when you have the power and lost more that you ever should due to empathy, in that manner, you unleash all the pent up anger and she has a right to that.
The showrunners set her up, but as I noted earlier, it was to get conversations started and they have succeeded. Jon looks set to sit on the iron throne, but I wouldn’t fault Daenerys for a second. She could have attacked King’s Landing when she landed on Westeros, she didn’t. In the end, it’s just what it is.
As for Varys, he deserved what he got. Also, Tyrion is a terrible hand that gives terrible counsel.
Is Dany then a Mad Queen or a woman scorned?
She is both. The scorn led her to stop caring. As Maester Aemon Targaryen noted earlier in show, “A Targaryen alone in the world is a terrible thing.” This is a case to judge Dany with some rationality, but I do admit that she could have stopped when the bell rang.
Nevertheless, Dany is all of us; the human in us, when power becomes an asset. She wasn’t drunk on power, she used the power well, only to have it all look like it means nothing.
She has been losing since the show started; born on the sea after her mother escaped a war, married off to a brute as a teenager, fell in love with the brute, got pregnant, lost the brute, lost the baby, lost her dragons, lost her most trusted and got brandished a neurotic character, albeit without saying.
That’s too much for one person with a whole Dragon to boot. Dany is all of us.