Warning! All the fiery spoilers for the series finale of Game of Thrones!
After reigning fire down on King’s Landing in the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones, it was only a matter of time before the Mother of Dragons met her end. But even after the destruction she brings the innocent women, children, and men of Westeros, we can’t help but feel like the death of Daenerys Targaryen is sorely anti-climatic, especially considering how fiercely she lived.
In the series finale titled “The Iron Throne” Daenerys’s forces continue to cut out any loyalists to Cersei. Jon vows to talk to Daenerys about the tyrannical courses of action her men are taking in her name, but before he gets a chance to, the Mother of Dragon comes out to give a speech to her waiting army. She praises the Dothraki for fulfilling their promises to her of killing her enemies and giving her the Seven Kingdoms. She gives Grey Worm the title of Master of War, giving him command over all of her forces. To the Unsullied, she lauds them as former slaves who are now liberators, boasting that they have liberated the people of King’s Landing “from the grip of a tyrant.”
And then she drops the bomb that sends shivers down the spine of anyone quickly realizing where this speech is going – Daenerys announces that the war isn’t over yet and that they won’t be laying down their spears until people all over the world are liberated.
“Women, men, and children have suffered too long beneath the wheel,” she cries out to her forces. “Will you break the wheel with me?”
Her speech excites the troops, who still believe in their queen whether her allies from Westeros do or not. Before she returns to her base in the Red Keep, Daenerys commands for Tyrion to be taken prisoner for treason (after freeing Jaime before the siege of King’s Landing). All the while, Jon watches in stunned shock, which makes sense when you remember that he doesn’t actually understand anything she just said since he doesn’t speak Valryian or Dothraki. But after a conversation with Tyrion, Jon gets pretty clued in to what exactly Deanerys was throwing down for her soldiers to pick up. The last Lannister warns Jon that Daenerys will not stop her brand of tyranny in the name of liberation.
“Varys was right, I was wrong. Our queen’s nature is fire and blood,” he tells the younger man. “Everywhere she goes, evil men die, and we cheer her for it. And she grows more powerful and more sure that she is good and right.”
Seemingly attempting to find some use for himself, Jon seeks out Daenerys and begs her to end the madness and show mercy. But Daenerys isn’t interested in hiding behind “small mercies.” To her, it’s all necessary. “I tried to make peace with Cersei,” she tells Jon, referring to her offering Cersei the chance for surrender before the former queen killed Missendai. “She tried to use their innocence against me. She thought it would cripple me.” She goes on to urge Jon to understand that everything she is doing is to forge a new world, a better world. A world that has no place for the men that followed the likes of Cersei Lannister. “We can’t hide behind small mercies. The world we need won’t be loyal to the world we have,” she says. “It’s not easy to see something that’s never been before. A good world.”
But when Jon asks his aunt about the other people who believe they also know what is good, Daenerys shows her teeth and tells him “they don’t get to choose.” It’s as she’s asking him to break the wheel with her and convincing him to join her that Jon pulls her close enough to stab her through the chest. Daenerys Stormborn, Mother of Dragons and Breaker of Chains, dies because she let the man she loved close enough to betray her. Honestly, we hate to see it!
Not only is the death extremely disappointing, but it’s also anti-climatic as hell for someone depicted as the biggest threat to Westeros after the Night King and Cersei “blow up everyone and their mother with wildfire” Lannister. You’re telling me, after Jon pulled away from her before, she believes he’ll bend to her will after watching her burn thousands of innocent people? That she was so desperate for him to join her that she didn’t notice him unsheathing his dagger and lifting his arm to plunge it into her chest? Yes, love and adoration is part of the parcel she’s yearned for as much as the throne, but really? I would have taken Arya Faceless Manning her way into the Red Keep and killing Daenerys over this ending any day!
Daenerys’s death rattle seemingly alerts Drogon that sh*t just went down and he flies into the room to rage at his cousin(?). Drogon proceeds to melt the Iron Throne in his anguish, seemingly destroying the symbol of power that led to the death of his brothers and his mother alike. He then carries Daenerys’s lifeless body away with him somewhere unknown – maybe back to Essos where the people who truly loved her can mourn her in peace.