Games of Thrones has been breaking television records and making headlines since the eighth season debuted back in April. After all, audiences across the world are invested in this story and want to see it end in grand fashion.
But even though the show’s more popular than ever, controversial storytelling has split both critics and fans. Each week seems to bring a new problem to the forefront that creates further division amongst viewers. However, the most divisive moment appears to have come from the most recent episode, aptly titled “The Bells,” which saw Daenerys embrace her inner Targaryen and turn to the dark side.
Instead of calling off the invasion of King’s Landing when the bells sounded, which signaled the surrender of the Lannister Army, the Dragon Queen chose to rain fire and destruction down upon the citizens of the capital of the Seven Kingdoms, thus completing her turn into the “Mad Queen.”
Many have taken issue with this, believing that it undid seasons worth of character development for Dany, someone who’s always been portrayed as fair and just. It also wasted the deaths of several of the most important characters, not the least of which was Queen Cersei, the longest tenured villain of the series.
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Online backlash has been swift and fierce since the airing, but now, mere days from the finale, the Mother of Dragons herself has spoken about the contentious decision. During a recent interview, Emilia Clarke provided some insight, stating that:
Every single thing that’s led her to this point, and there she is alone. We’ve all got this part of us that goes, ‘I’m going to put that chocolate cake down, I’m going to walk away.’ We can’t be getting into these moral conundrums all the time. I’m not saying chocolate cake is a moral conundrum — eat as much f–ng cake as you want — but those things that you wrestle within yourself.
This paints a picture of a woman at odds with herself, who wants to do the right thing, but can’t fight her true nature any longer. The actress and everyone else involved are standing by the choice, but the detractors are still as vocal as ever, with some even calling for a remake of this final season.
Regardless, everyone and their mother will likely still tune in to the Game of Thrones finale this Sunday to find out if the Mad Queen will finally sit the Iron Throne or not.