Last night’s episode of Game of Thrones has left many fans disappointed, especially when it comes to the treatment of Daenerys Targaryen.
There was a telling moment early on in The Bells, the second-last episode of the series, that set the tone.
When Varys (RIP) was trying to convince Jon Snow to lead as king, Jon, continuing to be loyal to Daenerys, said “She is our queen.”
Varys replied, “Men decide where power resides, whether or not they know it.”
After being portrayed throughout the series as a leader who can be brutal when required, but is usually fair and empathetic, the Mother of Dragons became crazed, desperate and nearing insanity, instructing her last remaining dragon to burn to death thousands of innocent people in King’s Landing, even though Cersei Lannister’s army had laid down their swords.
Viewers have been expecting shocks as the show nears to a close after eight seasons, but such a dramatic departure from the character of the leader we’ve come to know and respect left many, frankly, shook.
With just one episode left of Game of Thrones, it was disappointing to see Daenerys seems destined to be just like her father King Targaryen, ‘the Mad King’. It signals that the show’s writers have decided the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Through a feminist lens, it’s an especially disappointing result. Not only is Daenerys apparently incapable of being different from her father, but her manic episode was sparked after she discovered Jon Snow had betrayed her, and he began to pull away from her.
Sigh. According to the head writers of Game of Thrones – both men, let it be known – no matter how powerful and strong a leader a woman is, her destiny will always be decided by the men in her life. Most viewers, women especially, hoped for more.
After an entire series portraying powerful women, let’s hope the messages in The Bells are not the ones Game of Thrones leaves us with when the final episode airs next Monday.