I get what you're saying, but my hang up is that all of that stuff was just normal behavior in the GoT universe, so it was not perceived as red flag stuff for the future. I did not think the story was trying to make a saint of Dany, someone so pure as to be above killing people, just someone with the intention to rule Westeros in a just way. And with the Lannisters in charge, that was a pretty low bar.ghostrunner wrote:I'm not going to say they sold it, but for every altruistic thing Dany did, she did some pretty awful stuff to people, not all of whom were evil. Every time she's had to put someone to death it's been death after some kind of torture. Burning alive is pretty nasty - that's as much as a few minutes of agony before death. Crucifying the masters - they mostly have it coming, but it's inarguably torturing someone to death. She burned an innocent man in Mereen for Jorah's death to make him an example to others. Buried Xaro and Doreah alive, which is probably the worst. That's anywhere from 1 day to a week of either suffocation or starvation, and who knows what people will do to each other in that situation. A leader trying to inspire goodness in people should maybe think about the effects of those decisions a bit more. In most of those situations she was counseled to be merciful and chose the crueler option. You can say it's to send a message, but that doesn't apply in all those cases. I think she clearly was portrayed as getting off on her power to do and threaten those kinds of actions. She rules by fear and love both.
She's many times threatened to burn cities to the ground - Qarth directly, and the Slavers Bay cities when speaking to Tyrion. That means basically what she did to Kings Landing. And she had to be repeatedly advised not to raze the city before she did it. I don't think you can argue the tyrannical aspects haven't been there.
Recently, she's lost Jorah, Missandei, her ships and half of her troops. I think that's all meant to have pushed her, along with Jon spurning her.
I think it also showed in how she treated Sansa's objections - that seemed to me like more than just disagreement.
I don't think they sold it in the moment, but I see why they might have thought they did on paper. The main problem is we never clearly saw how each of these things affected her and how they pushed her to what she did. They didn't give her time to develop that twist in her character. I do think Emilia Clarke delivered on everything she was asked to do this season, she just wasn't given enough.
I heard a radio guy describe GoT at its best by saying the key events were both "surprising and inevitable." Surprising in that you didn't see them coming, and inevitable because it felt like it couldn't have been any other way. Think Ned's execution, the Red Wedding, Geoffrey's death, Tywins death, Hodor, etc.
The Dany turn was just felt so contrived by contrast.
I would have liked to see Dany not go berserk and take Cersei prisoner. The final episode could have then gone a lot of different directions. Cersei's trial and execution? Maybe Dany spares her and sends her into exhile with Jamie. Maybe Jamie frees Cersei, who kills Dany, only to be killed by Jamie or Tyrion, leaving the throne open for Jon or even Bran if that's what they wanted.
Point is, if you are going to kill off one of the show's primary heroines, at least make the audience care.