The reason I didn’t write this earlier is because I’m ashamed to be writing about a TV show at all. But I liked Game of Thrones, and I cared about it for nearly a decade. I suppose that’s why it left a mark.
There will be spoilers.
So I guess—first things first—why am I mad?
Is it because the last season or two were bad? Sure, I guess that’s the easy path. The last season sucked, and they ruined everything. That’s a way to be done with it.
Soul is too strong a word here, but whatever.
Except it’s not. That doesn’t explain why this is still a splinter in my soul.
Let’s look at the deeper reasons. And let’s start with a capture of what went wrong.
It was too easy to defeat the Night King
It was too easy to defeat the White Walkers
Not nearly enough people died to make the final battle matter
Many characters didn’t receive proper treatment, e.g., Cersei should have had a death that matched her life
Those are bad, but the real problem was Daenerys. She is the reason I’m still mad about this goddamn show.
I’m mad that they soiled her character. And I’m mad that they didn’t realize they did it.
I keep hearing defenses from the TV show producers, and from GRRM, saying that the seeds were laid all along. That we should have seen it. That it went exactly as planned, according to a meticulous plan of character development.
Well, you know what? You’re right. You did show that she could go bad. You did show that she had it in her the whole time. And it was realistic.
But so what. Fuck you anyway. And here’s why.
You turned a character—loved by hundreds of millions of people around the world—into fucking Hitler.
And not a little bit, either. Like actual Hitler.
Uniforms. Mass death. Planned control of the world. The subjugation of any who resist. All of it.
People fucking named their kids Daenerys. She was a feminist icon. She was a goddamn hero.
She represented the light within darkness. She represented breaking away from destiny and being better than what we were supposed to be—from what others thought we would be.
But no, you had to honor the original idea and honor all those seeds you planted along the way. You had to see the full tree be born as it was planned from the beginning. That’s pure ego.
I get that nobody planned on it being as big as it was. And I get that it’s hard to change course on a story and production like that.
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Once you saw that the entire world wanted this girl to break the chain—to be better—to overcome. You could have found a better way. Hell, I could have. And thousands of people actually did.
There were tons of lines where she could have gone a little bad—and like Kamakasi’d her dragon into Cersei’s tower killing them both—or some other dramatic ending. She didn’t have to die as a saint.
That’s your answer?
Turn the one fucking beacon of hope—built over 10 years—into a genocidal murderer?
And then, to make the thing even worse, you mess up the execution on top of it.
Suddenly the White Walkers aren’t so bad after all. All the Dothraki die in an episode, but then turn out to be just fine. And so many characters get abysmal resolutions (Jaime, Brienne, etc.)
What we lost wasn’t just a show. What we lost was hope that a piece of art could actually be as good as it promised over a long period of time.
That’s the part that bothers me. It was a crime against hope.
Forget them doing Star Wars. I don’t want them directing AT&T commercials.
They turned Game of Thrones into Bill Cosby.
I know it’s overly dramatic to equate a TV show with Art, and that most people who are overly upset by this just need to get out more in terms of culture. But that’s kind of the point. I read plenty of real literature, and fantasy, and science fiction. The thing that was so upsetting was it seemed like they had crossed that threshold. It seemed like they had executed a 10/10 of true art, in a TV show lasting nearly 10 years. Again, it was the loss of that hope that was so annoying.