Spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones, season 8 episode 5.
When Game of Thrones slowly evolved from TV series to cult phenomenon, it was because each character was built with a certain precision, nuance, and backstory.
While the essential ‘game’ of thrones was going on in Westeros the show birthed a champion across the Narrow Sea who emerged from the fire unscathed with three dragons by her side.
Daenerys was not only a symbolic Christ-figure who proved miracles could happen, she was also a people’s person who wanted to essentially empower the people.
From abolishing corruption in Qarth to ending slavery in Slaver’s Bay, Daenerys’ journey as a conqueror had been beyond glorious. And one that would make her the obvious choice for a ruler of a kingdom desperately in search of one.
All along her journey from the timid Dany to the fierce Khaleesi, we saw Daenerys as the true hero of this story.
A key turning point in her journey was when she freed the slaves of Yunkai and was crowned by the people as ‘Mhysa’ or mother. This moment not only furthered her quest of completely abolishing slavery, it also gave us hope that she will truly be a leader of the people as the just matriarch to her citizens.
Even her resolve to ‘break the wheel’ and not be a mere spoke on the wheel truly built her as a monarch who would think beyond herself and her dynasty and form a more people-friendly form of governance.
Episode 5 showed us how her quest for the throne tunnelled her vision to the extent that she has stopped caring about the citizens she once swore to protect from ruthless monarchs.
Several died tragic deaths this episode, but the worst fate was met by Dany’s once prized humanity.
It was heartbreaking to see a beloved character fall from glory so rapidly. Worse still was its steep plummet after the gradual buildup of her rise to power.
Despite starting on the right track, Dany followed in the footsteps of her father, the Mad King Aerys. Burning thousands of innocents and destroying the city despite their surrender.
Portrayed symbolically by how she towers over the citizens who can barely catch a glimpse of this figure with a God-complex, Dany is now too far gone.
She is barely visible to someone standing helplessly on the street, just as she cannot see them as significant beings anymore from the skies above. They are small and meaningless to her in her quest for power.
I was really rooting for Danny but after tonight our #MadQueen is coming, and it's going to be so sad to see her fall down because she fought a lot for gaining everything...— Laura Camila (@laura_c92) May 6, 2019
Moral of the episode: Listen the Stark girls! pic.twitter.com/IF907vFfIl
She might now sit pretty on whatever's left of the iron throne, but her new avatar is not sitting very well with everyone. In the truest essence of Game of Thrones, the show subverted everything we held dear.
Daenerys is now the final villain of Game of Thrones.
We weren’t expecting this and we’re truly sad to see this tragic conclusion of a character who was once so close to our hearts.