After watching episode 5, I can tell you “Mad Queen” was everything but foreshadowed. Daenerys’ story took a complete 180 degree turn in a span of two episodes and I will gladly explain how I feel about it.
Let’s begin with a simple fact: Daenerys Targaryen murdered thousands of innocent women and children in King’s Landing after ignoring the sound of surrender bells.
Can we justify her actions? No.Was it a wrong thing to do? Yes.Is it forgivable? No.Does she deserve to die? Yes, because there’s no other way to finish her story.
But to explain why her actions were out-of-character, let’s go back to season 1. While with the khalasar, Daenerys witnesses several women about to be raped and immediately requests Drogo’s men to stop. They don’t want to listen to her, so she claims them all.
“I have claimed many daughters this day… so they cannot be mounted.””It pleases me to keep them safe.”
This is one of the first scenes of Daenerys where she truly puts the innocent lives first. She pays the ultimate price for her actions, and loses her husband and unborn son.
In season three, we see Daenerys breaking a rule once again. She asks Jorah to give her his water.
“Khaleesi, this man has been sentenced to death.” She ignores him and offers a crucified, dying slave some water.
While she’s negotiating the price of the Unsullied with Kraznys mo Nakloz, Daenerys keeps looking up at the slaves and flashes a slight smile at a young girl, ignoring what he’s saying because she understands him and doesn’t need Missandei’s help.
“I offered water to one of the slaves dying on the walk of punishment, do you know what he said to me? Let me die.”
“Slay the masters, slay the soldiers, slay every man who holds a whip, but harm no child. Strike the chains off every slave you see.” Drogon burns Kraznys mo Nakloz, and Astapor is free.
Now, you know, as a big fan of Daenerys, just from these two scenes I would say she’s ruthless when it comes to her enemies. She might have behaved irrationally sometimes, but one thing she never did, was harm an innocent.
Moving forward, we have a situation with Yunkai. Daenerys again postpones her mission because she hears innocent people are suffering.
Jorah: We don’t need Yunkai, Khaleesi. Taking the city will not bring you any closer to Westeros or the Iron Throne.
Dany: How many slaves are there in Yunkai?
Jorah: 200,000. If not more.
Dany: Then we have 200,000 reasons to take the city.
Because of her decision, Dany gains a new name. Mhysa. A mother.
Again, no innocents harmed. Her journey continues and she is met with quite an unbearable sight. A crucified child.
Ser Barristan: I’ll tell our men to ride ahead and bury them. You don’t need to see this.
Dany: You will not do such thing. I will see each and every one of their faces. Remove her collar before you bury her.
While in Meereen, Drogon steals some sheep and the poor shepherd talks to Daenerys. She thanks the man for his hardship, and offers to pay him three times more the value. The man is thankful, and Dany smiles. Then she talks to Jorah, and explains why she ordered every master executed.
“The Masters tear babies from their mother’s arms, they mutilate little boys by the thousands, they train little girls in the art of pleasuring old men, they treat men like beasts.”
Then we have a scene which hurts me the most, because what Daenerys did in episode 5, casts a big, ugly shadow on her actions in this episode. Drogon burned an innocent child alive, and Daenerys completely lost it. One innocent child, and she put her own children in chains.
“I don’t want another child’s bones dropped at my feet.”
Does anyone see where I’m going with this? Daenerys has been losing people since season 1. But she never aimed her anger towards the innocents. Children, especially. She was executing people left and right, no one’s denying that. But children? Women? And her conversation with her new allies in season 7. Mind you, just a few episodes before she massacred people of King’s Landing.
Yara: We have an army, a fleet and three dragons. We should hit King’s Landing now. Hard. With everything we have. The city will fall within a day.
Dany: I am not here to be queen of the ashes.
Dany: I am grateful to all of you. But you have chosen to follow me. I will not attack King’s Landing. We will not attack King’s Landing.
You can tell me Daenerys is ruthless. You can tell me that sometimes she does something without thinking. Hell, you can even tell me that she was slowly going down the “mad queen” path. But this? She was on a fucking dragon. She destroyed the scorpions. The surrender bells were ringing. Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing was stopping her from flying straight to the Red Keep. But the writers needed more material to work with on their story. Why have her fly to the red keep, when she can jump from a building to building and burn everything on her way? Do you see how easily a character’s arc is destroyed for the sake of a shock value? This is why people are pissed.
We would accept her burning the Lannister army and the Golden Company after they surrendered. Cersei was her target, her army was the target. Instead, they erased the only characteristic Daenerys has kept since season 1, and that’s protecting the innocent people. One life, or 200,000. She would always stand up for them. And the only explanation D&D gave was that she saw the Red Keep, and it reminded her of everything she had lost. While the man who was directly responsible for that loss, was pardoned. By her. She has a flying dragon, but for some reason the common people on the ground were in her way. That’s how you know the writers were running out of material, and started writing impossible and unnecessary scenes just to further push the mad queen agenda and finish the story.