First, let me begin by telling you how I had to light three candles and meditate twice as long before going to sleep last night. That’s how messed up that episode of Game of Thrones was last night. And not in a good “Red Wedding,” “Battle of the Bastards” sort of way. I mean a dumbass sort of way.
What’s meant to be a fiery, emotional, offering of retribution falls into the self-important trap of typical, boring storytelling. To be clear, you should be emotional about this. You should absolutely feel cheated by this, but even if you performed a perfectly objective analysis, you would see that GoT creators really messed up in an irrevocable, unforgiving way. Let’s get in to how:
**Warning: Spoilers on Spoilers Ahead**
The Mad Queen
This show has a woman problem. That should be common knowledge by now. It’s only exacerbated in episode 8×4 by justifying all of Sansa’s evolution or “strength” by her rape and physical abuse earlier in her story arc. Jessica Chastain said it best with the following:
Rape is not a tool to make a character stronger. A woman doesn’t need to be victimized in order to become a butterfly. The #littlebird was always a Phoenix. Her prevailing strength is solely because of her. And her alone.#GameOfThrones pic.twitter.com/TVIyt8LYxI
— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) May 7, 2019
They’ve been pushing the “mad queen” narrative for the last three episodes and it’s annoying and tragic on a number of levels. Not only does it make absolutely no sense given what we know about Dany, but it’s painfully stereotypical in its execution. Don’t get me wrong, Queen Dany caught ‘White Girl Savior Syndrome’ a long time ago, but to dispute her ability to lead in multiple scenes full of all men, contradicts the good faith the creators already built.
Arya, Brienne, and Danaerys were all characters treated above those left field narratives, proving their lovers, family members, and foes wrong when underestimated. That’s an amazing thing to show, but I mean damn, it’s like they have to do the same thing to their own writers now and that’s unacceptable. Syndrome and all, we still rooted for Dany and now she’s been reduced to an out of touch, misogynistic, character twist and that, my friends, is wack.
As Danaerys wreaks havoc over the burning city, we don’t even have the courtesy of seeing her face (and this perceived madness) during the assault. Instead we’re left to watch the intentionally gruesome deaths of people we honestly don’t even care about, except for that girl and her mom. They were ok.
Again, an esteemed antagonist gets a particularly flat ending. Forgive my callousness, but if there was ever a character death that required a triumphant, epic, gratifying end it was Cersei’s. Eight years of our emotional torment from this character and fans definitely deserved that kind of death, but alas she dies…in the arms of Jamie…by the collapse of the Red Keep. Even if she died in fear – an emotion contrary to her untouchable exterior – that character deserved better. Even Lena Headey wasn’t about that death. Nice one.
— Amir (@The_Timsar) May 13, 2019
You know how hard I wanted to slap the hell out of Jaime after he left Brienne like that? Is everyone taking stupid pills?? Poor Tyrion worked his butt off to give Jaime an escape, but he’s unable to get to Cersei because of Euron. This is where I really question the writers’ service to fans. Euron and Jaime actually killed themselves over the most meaningless, decidedly male, penis-swinging contest ever.
“I’m the man who killed Jaime Lannister.” Mofo, are you serious?! A) It cost you your life. B) It cost you your life and C) NOBODY SAW YOU DO IT. Both of those characters deserved better than that monumentally stupid sequence.
''I'm the one who killed Jaime Lannister'' lmao bitch jaime lannister killed jaime lannister by stupidity
— ariane.🦑 GOT SPOILERS (@Ipikaboo) May 13, 2019
Jaime did change. He was better than Cersei in both his promises and in his actions. You mean to tell me we developed this man for years, just to have that come tumbling down in the Red Keep?
I’m going to be real and say I always wanted Jon Snow to sit on the Iron throne. Even when we didn’t know he was a Targaryen, I was repping that guy hard. Now he seems poised to do just that (as soon as Arya kills Danaerys). It would be great except it comes at the expense of the unraveling of an esteemed female character and that. just. sucks. Even his character is reduced to a clueless puppet in attempts at making him the obvious good guy. No one cares that you don’t want the throne, Jon Snow!!!
— Emily Fisher (@emilykayfisher) May 13, 2019
Imagine you’re a quilter who spent SEVEN YEARS quilting the most detailed, colorful, shiny quilt of its time, just to make it to the last stitching and unravel the whole thing. That’s what watching this episode was like. We all knew this season wasn’t holding up to its predecessors, but this episode sealed it’s fate. The entire show is tarnished by a devastatingly lackluster end that neither lives up to it’s own standard of storytelling nor honors the commitment of its fans.