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Game of Thrones Showrunners Explain Daenerys’ Controversial Decision (But Not Well)

Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss explain Daenerys' move to torch the whole Red Keep, burning anyone in her way, in the latest episode of the fantastical series. Coming off of a string of personal losses in "The Last of Starks" that started with saying goodbye to Jorah and ended with the ruthless murder of Missandei, Dany wasn't in the best place when "The Bells" started. As if those weren't enough, she learned that Jon Snow blabbed about his true lineage despite her desperate plea to keep it to himself. From there, she's decided to take matters into her own hands in an effort to reinforce herself as the true Queen of Westeros.

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Dany began with mercilessly killing Lord Varys for treason as he backed up Jon's claim to the Iron Throne. But her biggest and most controversial moment came toward the latter half of the 80-minute episode when she decided to burn the whole Red Keep to the ground. This is despite the fact that the bell has been rung, signalling that Cersei is conceding. The remaining of the outing was pure carnage intercut with personal moments from other remaining characters like the much-clamored Cleganbowl, as well as Cersei and Jamie's reunion and eventual death. Despite a slew of discussion-worthy scenes, the talk of the town is Dany effectively becoming the Mad Queen with the public split in the middle about it.

Related: Game Of Thrones Season 8's Real Problem Is Everything That Came Before

Benioff and Weiss broke down the whole episode in the Game of Thrones' "Making Of" featurette posted on their official YouTube channel, and there, they explained their mindset in taking such a beloved character in this direction. Making sense of Dany's bold move, the creators cited out the personal tragedies she had to endure in the last couple of episodes, not to mention the betrayal from the person she loves the most. A mix of all that amplified by the view of the Red Keep, made her, apparently, snap.

"If circumstances had been different, I don't think this side of Dany ever would have come out. If Cersei hadn't betrayed her, if Cersei hadn't executed Missandei, if Jon hadn't told her the truth -- if all these things had happened in any different way, then I don't think we'd be seeing this side of Daenerys Targaryen."

“I don’t think she decided ahead of time that she was going to do what she did. And then she sees the Red Keep, which is, to her, the home that her family built when they first came over to this country 300 years ago. It’s in that moment, on the walls of King’s Landing, when she’s looking at that symbol of everything that was taken from her, when she makes the decision to make this personal.”

As mentioned, Dany's decision to burn the Red Keep has spawned countless debates online. Some understand the point of her move, with various foreshadowing all throughout the last seven seasons of Game of Thrones - as if the fact that she's a Targaryen was not enough indication. Meanwhile, there are others who aren't thrilled with this. Their argument is that this undoes all the character growth she's had in the show - from a naive bride to an effective conqueror, and almost all the time, her principle was to save the people from the tyrant rule of Cersei.

It's hard to argue, however, that this turn was not without any set-up. Even her mindset made sense considering that she knows that the only way she could rule is through fear, and burning the Red Keep certainly makes that point. The problem that many people have boils down to its execution. It felt rushed and unearned. The series spent a lot of time fleshing out her character, and suddenly everything she's been through and everything she was initially fighting for suddenly didn't matter anymore.

With fewer remaining characters leading to Game of Thrones series finale, the last episode will be able to focus on the major players of the show. If anything, the events of the series' penultimate outing makes a more interesting send-off. Having said all that, fans probably wouldn't have been mad if the show had an eight-episode final year to properly wrap up everything that has been set-up in the series.

More: Game of Thrones Montage of Cast Being Disappointed by Season 8

Source: Game of Thrones

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