As mentioned in the title above, this is my one and only post about Game of Thrones. Not that I don’t like Game of Thrones, I actually quite enjoy the long running HBO show about swords, dragons, and the occasional unnecessary orgy scene. I’ve even enjoyed the last couple seasons in all their problematic hurried writing to get it to the finish line flourish. However, since there is only one more episode left, I really don’t feel there is much for me to write about on it, but since this blog site states that I write about “Seahawks, Seattle sports, and other cool stuff,” I figured it was my blogger duty to write about this whole Game of Thrones thing at least once because it falls so squarely under the whole “other cool stuff” spectrum. And, well, that last episode called The Bells, right? That’s probably one worth writing a thing or two about, I would say.
Where to begin?
I know that since it aired last Sunday, there isn’t hardly a moment that I log onto Facebook where I don’t see a post, or article about it. If the writers and director did one thing fundamentally right with that episode, and that they put together an event that got a lot of folks talking about it. I know in my own Facebook posts, I wrote two condensed hot takes about it that stretched conversation for a few days now. I got into one semi spat with a friend over who we thought was the real central figure to the series, and I got into a bit of heated exchange with someone else over the moral implications of a main character’s decisive actions. These both stretched into days. And I’m not even counting all the other posts I’ve read, and articles folks have shared that I spent time gazing at.
That this episode stirred the pot is probably the understatement of the year, thus far. I’ve seen folks blasting the writing. I’ve read bits that pretty well state that the show has become a sexist fantasy land for white dudes that need to win. I’ve also seen posts and articles stating that nobody should have been surprised about the shocking event that transpired because the show had been foreshadowing it for quite sometime. I’ve read counter articles saying how great the episode was. I’ve seen people post how heartbroken they are, how miserable they feel, and I’ve even had one unique long exchange with someone saying how glad they were that You Know Who Did You Know What.
Well, I guess I’m here to say that all of the above can be true.
I know. That’s a cop out. But anyone who truly knows me knows that I am perfectly capable of giving a quality cop out answer, and I am not going to not give one here. Sometimes, cop outs hurt, but we need to hear them, or in this case, read them. So, all of the above can be true. Now, let’s deal with that.
Warning! For those who haven’t seen The Bells episode yet, major spoilers are rolling out here forth. Go Hawks.
So, Queen Daenerys Targaryen (aka Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains, Dany.. last nickname is kinda sweet) did a bad thing in The Bells. Instead of liberating tens of thousands of innocent men, women, and children during the Battle at Kings Landing, like she was pretty much swearing to do throughout the whole stretch of the show, she elected to murder them in cold blood, instead. Some would say hot blood because that look on her face moments before she did it was clearly a scowling look of hell bent fury anger, but I’m not so sure, and we will touch more on that later.
For many watching the show it was shocking to say the least, and for many of the shocked, it was also very upsetting. The reasons for being upset varied, but at least in the threads and articles I was following, “sexist lazy writing” seemed to be a thing that came up often. Personally, I think for those that feel that way about the writing, I can see that, and if that perspective is particularly held by a woman, I think it is one hundred percent wrong for anybody with a penis to make a counter argument, and if they do, their penis should be subject to dropping off into their pee stained underwear.
From my perspective, I sensed that this scenario was possibly going to happen for a few seasons now. I felt that there were enough hints along the way. Even more over, in this final season of episodes, I thought the writers were on a crack cocaine bender typing out the ridiculously obvious signals that Liberator Dany was about to turn into Tyrant Dany.
See, things hadn’t really gone young Queen Dany’s way after she landed on the shores of Westeros, poised to fulfill her destiny as the rightful ruler to sit on the Iron Throne, and liberate the oppressed masses. I mean sure, things started off great. She and her dragons kicked some opposition nobility’s butts here and there, and burnt them alive. She even met a really nice boy from the North who was pretty cute and masculine at the same time, but in that totally non threatening kind of way, you know, he could be firm and strong when you needed him to be, but also soft and tender.
So, anyway, this nice and hunky Jon Snow guy from up North convinced her that the real threat to Westeros wasn’t the evil queen of the South, but actually it was this immense Army of the Dead from, you know, the North that included giants, and thus, she decided to go up there and help him. And, frankly, why not? He’s a really nice guy, earnest, he’s cute, and he has a good point about that zombie army up North.. and, you know, maybe there is something there with him down the road. Who knows?
So, she heads North with Jon Snow to bring back one of the dead soldiers alive so that the evil queen of the South can see it for herself, and know for herself that she and Queen Dany need to work together to defeat them (I know. This is a lot to take in, but I only have this one post to cram this together, so I am just going to rush the writing a bit here. Yes. It’s lazy. I know). So up North there, they are joined by some other dudes that are going to confront the Army of the Dead, one really cool dude called the Hound, but he is straight up unseemly, so she doesn’t really notice him, and another old kinda ugly dude with a flaming sword who nobody remembers his name, and another dude who is essentially a big ginger-bearded goat f***er with a lot of personality. So she and them meet up with the Army of the Dead, and they fight, and it’s intense, and they get out of the North with one of the dead soldiers, but then she loses one of her Dragon children in the fight. Kind of a big emotional loss for her, and a big price for following along with the Jon guy’s ideas. But such as the cost for a Breaker of Chains set to take over the Throne one day and liberate the masses.
Fast forward, she heads South to show the Evil Queen the dead soldier dude, and dead soldier dude almost eats Evil Queen’s face off if it weren’t for the Hound holding him back (Hound is cool like that). So, Evil Queen decides to help Dany and Jon- no, not really, she just pretends- but good news is that Dany and Jon get naked together on the ship sailing back North and they do it. They have sex, and things are going great again because it was so sweet, and young hot people having sex is nice.
Until they get up North, and they fight the Army of the Dead without the supporting forces of the Evil Queen, and a lot of people die, and she looses her super close older male friend who was in love with her even though she couldn’t love him back in that way, and she felt really bad when he died because he died saving her, and then Jon finds out that he is actually secretly related to her, that she is, in fact, his auntie, and then he feels really bad about poking his auntie no matter how hot she is, and is acting all weird to her about it. So, things start to really turn south for her up there (pun intended). To make matters worse, she sees just how much the people of the North love Jon, and kind of don’t really give her the time of the day. I mean, they don’t really know her, and she has dragons, and her father was an insane murderous king, I think she probably needed to just give them time, but let’s be real; time is not something she had. Queen Dany Mother of Dragons don’t have time. She needed to get back down South and whoop ass on that lying, cheating, no good Evil Queen of the South with nice check bones.
So, Dany’s loosing patience, y’all. Now factor in the fact that little mister Jon Snow tells her the truth he learned, and now they are all freaky weird with each other. She tries to kiss him to make it all better, but Jon Snow goes all prudish on her, and doesn’t want to make out with his auntie anymore, and she frankly isn’t cool with that because she is a hot girl who has never ben turned down before, AND she is the QUEEN. Fact, she’s rather butt hurt about this, but makes him promise he won’t tell anyone the truth because, you know, he’s actually the male heir to the throne, has better entitlement because they’re all a bunch of misogynists in Westeros, and the people will want him because they all like him because, let’s face it; Jon Snow is the Robert Kennedy of Westeros. He’s now a threat.
So, again, things not going great for Queen Mother of Dragons. She’s even starting to feel competition and jealousy over her nephew/lover. Bet she didn’t see any of this coming when she first touched the shores of Westeros.
Then, on top of all that, when she gets back down South to confront the Evil Queen, she discovers that the Evil Queen had built this massive land and sea force armed with gigantic cross bows as they started firing on her with them, and ended up killing another one of her dragon children. Son of a biscuit if that just doesn’t make a liberating queen wanna murder a few folks. Now she’s down two dragon babies and only got one left. Motherf***ers.
Then on top of that, Evil Queen managed to capture her best female friend, and in a meeting to offer surrender to the Evil Queen before burning her alive, stupid Evil Queen decides to decapitate the best female friend right in front of her for all to see. Game is on. Queen Dany ain’t got time for any more miscues, or bad surprises. She is ready to kill.
But surprise, surprise. Jon Snow couldn’t keep his mouth shut, and told his not really sisters anymore about who he really is, and then one of the not really his sisters anymore started telling those around Queen Dany who Jon Snow really is. That’s another annoying problem. Next thing you know, some people started looking at the loose cannon ways of Queen Dany when she gets mad-like and burns people alive, then they looking at the nice guy Robert Kennedy quality of Jon Snow, and they start thinking “Damn, I dunno, maybe we should elect this Jon Snow the King instead.” Eventually, Queen Dany finds this out, and that’s just too much, and now she’s gotta start burning alive some subjects. She’s no longer playing. She’s just flat out killing now.
Then, the next day, she has her ground forces fight with Jon Snow at Kings Landing, but she pretty much does all the damage on her own riding her remaining dragon child, and burns all the gigantic cross bows up, along with their shooters, and then burns all the Evil Queen’s ground forces up, as well. Battle pretty much won, but then she just kind of hangs tight for a bit, and surveys the situation. She looks things over, and sees all these non soldier people running, you know, mothers and young children, dudes who don’t fight, and she sees them screaming and running because, you know, there’s a fucking dragon flying around burning everything.
Then, that’s when it happens. The whole fiery awful thing. She just pretty much says fuck it, and starts flying, and burning all the innocents. Evil Queen eventually dies. Unfortunately, so does the Hound, but at least it’s cool because he takes his asshole brother down with him. Some people, like Jon, and the short smart person who believed in her, all kind of freaked out because they thought she was the liberator of people not the mass murderer.. and then she goes and mass murders. So, like they just get the fuck out of there.
So, there we have it. All perfect summed up in all my rushed sloppy unearned writing.
Here’s my final take on all this. Game of Thrones has become a hot mess of writing the past few seasons because the dudes running the helm, David Benioff and DB Weiss have each one foot out the door ready to go work for Disney on a new Star Wars trilogy together. In short, they wanted to wrap this whole series up superfast, and the result is hyper rushed writing where the writing was once grounded in nuance for five seasons or more. Word as even come out recently that HBO was actually encouraging them to add more episodes into this final season, but they were like “nah, we kind of want to just finish this out and move along.”
I mean these dudes are Gen X film dorks. Can you blame them for wanting to jump ships to take over Star Wars for Disney? They are legitimately now living their childhood dreams. But the result is rushed writing that doesn’t feel like any dramatic shifts are ever fully earned. I’ve enjoyed these shows for what they are, but I have clearly sensed that with each episode in varying degrees for the last couple seasons.
I don’t know about the sexism accusations on all this turn with Daenerys Targaryen. I think clearly, they felt compelled that Jon Snow is the righteous idealized sort of servant soldier/king that people should feel that he should be King. A sort of Robert Kennedy type who is clearly with the people and for the people. They even wanted him to not desire the crown on any level, much like supposedly George Washington didn’t want to be made King of the US after the American Revolution. I think with Daenerys the arc has always been about birthright and that frankly leads to entitlement. Of course she wants to free the oppressed, and stop tyranny, she’s young and idealistic, and feels that she is in the best position to do that, but she also wanted that throne really badly.. because it should be hers. She’s the Rightful Queen.
Personally, I’m glad that Benioff and Weiss took her character to this place for blood thirty mass murder. She’s a monarch. This is what monarchs do. Go back all throughout history. Go back into Shakespeare’s London. I’m sure you will find a scenario or fifty when a knucklehead either looked at or sneezed at Queen Elizabeth the wrong way and it was pretty much off with his head.
Monarchs murder. That is what they do. That’s what they feel they have to do. If your life is not important to them, if it is not serving them, if you don’t bend a knee then, your life is worthless.
I had someone saying to me the other day that I was making this show too political in my comments, that it isn’t based on things that happen in this day and age. You think this doesn’t happen in this day and age? Well, just a few short months ago a certain crown prince of Saudi Arabia didn’t like what a Saudi journalist who was writing for the Washington Post was writing about him, and he ordered his murder, and the journalist was brutality butchered, chopped into pieces, and hauled off in plastic bags. Monarchs murder.
Queen Daenerys Mother of Dragons Breaker of Chains is a cold blooded murderer. She’s not a mad queen. She knew exactly what was at stake. She new that the people weren’t going to love her, not like Jon Snow, so she murdered them. She also knew full well that those who survived sure as hell weren’t going to rise up, and go support Jon Snow. Shoot, she was probably searching for Jon Snow to murder at the time, as well.
This is the right direction to take this story and finish out this show. I hope that Benioff and Weiss do it right, and Daenerys keeps that stupid inherently evil throne, and essentially stays what monarchs are, and that is ruthless oppressing tyrants.
Closing the show out like that will leave a mark. It will say something. It will show the continuation of the vicious cycle of the tyranny that the show began with, and just how inherently difficult it is to move away from that tyranny. Bitter for many, sure, but a mark none the less, and it will be grounded in truth with dragon, swords, and all.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
That’s why three co equal branches of government are so critically important. They keep the United States from becoming a place like Westeros where life, even the most innocent life, is totally disposable in the eyes of monarchy. Let’s hope and pray we hang onto those co equal branches. We don’t need to bend a knee to anyone.