A few thoughts on the finale of Game of Thrones.

Dany’s turn to the Mad Queen has been, to say the least controversial.  And while I’m not about to tell people they have to like the twist, I do take exception to the idea that it came out of nowhere.  This article from Entertainment Weekly points out some instances where the plot turn was foreshadowed, by showing Dany take a particularly lethal course of action against the advice of her allies.  I have seen some viewers dismiss these instances as foreshadowing Dany’s turn since “she was at war”, which feels like a somewhat flimsy argument..  She may have been at war, but her allies in the war urged her to make different choices, and she didn’t seem to care if the people she was taking out were actually “enemy combatants” or just innocents in the wrong place.

Honestly though, I think there is one other moment that foreshadowed Dany’s fate, that neither this article nor any other source seems to mention.  When we first meet Dany, she is completely powerless, forced to go along with her twisted brother’s plans to reclaim the iron Throne.  When she gains the power to choose her own path, she decides to remain on the path charted by her crazy brother.  And while her brother desperately believed he would be treated as a hero upon returning to Westeros, Dany knew better.  She knew there was no tortured populace desperately hoping for the Taregyrans to return and reclaim the throne, but she pushed ahead regardless, because she had the same obsession with the throne as her brother.

Personally, the story arc that really bothers me is the final fate of Jamie Lannister.  For most of the series, his arc seemed to be one of redemption, pulling him away from Cersei.  And there were a few different points where he seemed prepared to completely cut the cord, but he always ended up slinking back to her. 

The other plot point seeming to generate the most controversy is Bran becoming King.  I think to understand this, you need to consider a comment from George RR Martin that I remember reading some years ago, about how he got to the end of The Lord of The Rings and saw Aragorn being named King.  His reaction was to wonder if being a war hero really made Aragorn a clear choice to be a good king.  While many readers/viewers are conditioned to expect the big hero of the final battle to be named King as a reward, it makes sense that this series would go a different way.  That doesn’t necessarily make Bran a good choice, though he was one of the only characters who was prepared to put the good of the whole above his own desire for vengeance as shown by him accepting Jamie, so that’s a point in his favour.

On the other hand, I don’t know about Bran being able to hold the throne when his Kingdom has decided to leave the realm.  That might work for now, making him a safe neutral choice to rule, but I give it a couple years before people start seeing him as an outsider who doesn’t really know what the kingdom needs, and then a couple more years before they start viewing him as an occupier from a foreign kingdom who needs to be removed from power.  And once they get rid of him, I expect they would turn towards his sister.  So, yeah, I don’t have high hopes for the young Stark’s having long successful reigns.

Published by Andrew Clendening