TV Game of Thrones - season 8

Themanbun

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Lena Headey been the best actress across the course of the series, but this season I would put up Iain Glen (if not just for that 'look' he gave the front lines in episode 3), the bloke who plays Varys or Emilia Clarke. Headey almost deserves it for this most recent episode, legit had me feeling sorry for Cersei.
 

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Clearly not everyone has the same opinion as you.

Her and Lena Headley have done some great work this season letting you inside their heads without dialogue
I wonder if they didnt show her in mad queen mode because she didnt have the acting abilities to pull it off. It would of been nice to see her facial expression whilst she was looking down at women and children and made the decision to burn them alive.
 

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^ Noted.

I do apologise to everyone here, I sincerely am not trying to spoil anyone, but clearly have fallen foul of what’s considered acceptable discussion of the range of possible outcomes.

And I do mean “possible outcomes”. I don’t know anything with even a shred of confidence, I just erred in using anything other than GoT source material with which to speculate.
Dont apologize. You didnt spoil anything. Mods dont know what spoilers are.
 

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I think a lot of the problems with the writing this season are the result of D&D making a conscious decision to come up with endings which haven't been predicted via internet fan theories. They seem determined to come up with surprises, and they've run into a lot of problems as a result.

The fan theories were written by people who have become deeply enmeshed in Westerosi lore and mythology. These people are intimately familiar with the characters, their histories, the events which have shaped them, their motivations, and their story arcs. These people have taken what they know, and have projected forward. We'd gotten to know these characters over the course of 7 seasons, and they were really well defined (thanks to the work of GRRM).

With so many fans, writing many theories, almost all of the plausible forward projections have been covered. Thus, in order to come up with something different and surprising, D&D have had to resort to the implausible...

In order to arrive at their implausible endings, they've thus had to ignore or abandon much which went before. In order to reach the end in just 6 episodes, they've had to make characters behave out of character, or rushed their motivational changes (primarily Dany's) to the extent that it just doesn't make a lot of sense.

Examples:
  • They spent whole season building the Azor Ahai mythology, only to ignore it completely when they finally killed the NK.
  • Arya's whole story arc has been about avenging the death of her father, only to abandon her quest at the last minute when The Hound gave his Sun Tzu speech.
  • Tyrion has transformed from the smartest man in Westeros to the dumbest, all in the name of moving the plot in implausible directions.
  • Jamie spends 5 seasons moving towards redemption, only to factory reset back to his S1 settings in the last 2 episodes for no reason.
  • Varys went from being a machiavellian plotter of the highest order, to a one dimensional bumbler who got roasted.
  • Dany has always had a cruel streak when it came to punishing her enemies, but she has always been about making life better for the common people she aimed to rule. Burning the city and its inhabitants, after the city had surrendered, just wasn't in her character - even allowing for her increasing sense of despair after losing or being betrayed by so many of her closest friends.
None of these make sense, other than the fact that D&D needed them to happen in order to achieve their "unexpected surprise" endings.
 
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I know it’s a huge point of conjecture but I buy the Mad Targaryen arc. She’s always had a propensity for disproportional cruelty towards those that she deemed as other. Sure, these people were repugnant slave owners, the Khals who wanted to subjugate her or individuals who betrayed her like Mirri Maz Durr, Viserys and Xaro etc. Season 7 showed her sheer bloody mindedness to force surrender, she effectively held Jon hostage when he articulated why he could not bend the knee and she burned the Tarlys alive for their open defiance of her.

All of her efforts to garner the love of the people have been in vain. She has suffered great loss, she feels alone, frustrated, rejected, taken advantage of and ill-advised. When these stubborn shits eventually bend the knee, she thinks no - I gave you plenty of chances for mercy, now it’s time for punishment.

I get why people are upset but overall I think her story fits pretty well with the GOT ethos of generally not having a strictly good or evil characters. Having circumstances test moral compasses and a good exposition of human failing in the powerful.
 

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I wonder if they didnt show her in mad queen mode because she didnt have the acting abilities to pull it off. It would of been nice to see her facial expression whilst she was looking down at women and children and made the decision to burn them alive.
I think it was a conscious decision to show it from the ground level and focus on the impact. If your focus is on Dany, there’s more of a chance you’ll sympathise with her than be disgusted with her actions.
 

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Bostonian

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I think it was a conscious decision to show it from the ground level and focus on the impact. If your focus is on Dany, there’s more of a chance you’ll sympathise with her than be disgusted with her actions.
That's what the writers indicated. To show how regular people are impacted by the actions of others.
 

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I think it was a conscious decision to show it from the ground level and focus on the impact. If your focus is on Dany, there’s more of a chance you’ll sympathise with her than be disgusted with her actions.
I get thats what they said. Its wrong and its a cop out.

The show has copped out of showing characters in extreme emotional situations this season that would of been quite rewarding to the viewer. We saw none of the immediate reactions and celebrations to defeating the white walkers or finding out Arya had won the day. Nor the reactions of arya and sansa to finding out who Jon is. Now we dont get to see how dany reacts to burning innocents. Ps. If they made us sympathisize with her even slightly whilst we watch her murder innocents then that would be an incredible piece of writng and directing. It would be oscar worthy. They have ridiculously high expectations of themselves if they think they could pull that off when they werent even trying to.

The red wedding and ned starks death were powerful because we saw the full emotional intensity of what happened. They didnt show that here. It wasnt just Danys reaction we missed. We didnt see jon snow or tyrion properly comprehending what Dany had done either. Jon was just focussed on the situation in front of him. I dont even remember seeing tyrion after she started burning people. Instead we saw the horror through Arya who has no emotional connection to Dany and would of felt no major sense of betrayal.

I would almost guarantee it (and this is a guess not spoiler) that next episode doesnt start where we just finished and starts a day or more later after emotions have died down. Just like after the fall of winterfell.
 

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I get thats what they said. Its wrong and its a cop out.

The show has copped out of showing characters in extreme emotional situations this season that would of been quite rewarding to the viewer. We saw none of the immediate reactions and celebrations to defeating the white walkers or finding out Arya had won the day. Nor the reactions of arya and sansa to finding out who Jon is. Now we dont get to see how dany reacts to burning innocents. Ps. If they made us sympathisize with her even slightly whilst we watch her murder innocents then that would be an incredible piece of writng and directing. It would be oscar worthy. They have ridiculously high expectations of themselves if they think they could pull that off when they werent even trying to.

The red wedding and ned starks death were powerful because we saw the full emotional intensity of what happened. They didnt show that here. It wasnt just Danys reaction we missed. We didnt see jon snow or tyrion properly comprehending what Dany had done either. Jon was just focussed on the situation in front of him. I dont even remember seeing tyrion after she started burning people. Instead we saw the horror through Arya who has no emotional connection to Dany and would of felt no major sense of betrayal.

I would almost guarantee it (and this is a guess not spoiler) that next episode doesnt start where we just finished and starts a day or more later after emotions have died down. Just like after the fall of winterfell.
Looks pretty immediate, the ash is still falling isn't it?
 

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Yes, it was wrapped up beautifully. Just because it wasn't what we wanted doesn't mean it wasn't done well.

Rob was doing a great job leading the northern army until he let love get in the way. He let the woman distract him from war, causing cracks in his relationship with the other northern lords. He broke an oath to marry one of the frays daughters. These 2 things combined to get him killed. Not sure how that isn't wrapping up an arc.

Quite different to 7 seasons of building up the fact that Jaime is a decent bloke, to just reset factory settings in his last episode. Or tyrion going from some genius tactician to an idiot as it helps things end quicker.
I could say the exact thing about Jaime. He spent 7 seasons building up that he is a good bloke but he always said or alluded that Cersei is and always will be his weakness and that got him killed. I thought it was a fair end for his character, Cersei on the other hand had a very average end imo.
 

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The Qyburn giving Cersei increasingly bad news shot the exact same way every time scenes with Cersei getting progressively more distressed was almost comedic in a way.
reminded me of the movie Downfall with the Russians closing in and Hitler in his bunker being told there were no reserves left
 

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I know it’s a huge point of conjecture but I buy the Mad Targaryen arc. She’s always had a propensity for disproportional cruelty towards those that she deemed as other. Sure, these people were repugnant slave owners, the Khals who wanted to subjugate her or individuals who betrayed her like Mirri Maz Durr, Viserys and Xaro etc. Season 7 showed her sheer bloody mindedness to force surrender, she effectively held Jon hostage when he articulated why he could not bend the knee and she burned the Tarlys alive for their open defiance of her.

All of her efforts to garner the love of the people have been in vain. She has suffered great loss, she feels alone, frustrated, rejected, taken advantage of and ill-advised. When these stubborn shits eventually bend the knee, she thinks no - I gave you plenty of chances for mercy, now it’s time for punishment.

I get why people are upset but overall I think her story fits pretty well with the GOT ethos of generally not having a strictly good or evil characters. Having circumstances test moral compasses and a good exposition of human failing in the powerful.
In itself, Dany going "Mad Targ" is kind of believable. The big issue is the speed with which it happened.

In ep #1 she's playing happy families with Jon, her support crew are all alive & kicking, and everything is good in her little world (albeit with the threat of the NK on the horizon). Jon has a truth bomb dropped on him at the end of the episode, but has no further interaction with Dany before the end of the episode.

In ep #2 Jon is starting to give her the cold shoulder, as he tries to figure out what to do with Sam's truth bomb. His true identity is revealed to Dany in the last seconds of the episode.

In ep #3 she loses Ser Friendzone, killed defending her from the wights.

In ep #4 she's starting to feel isolated. Jon is part of the north, and is at the heart of the post-battle celebrations. She feels sidelined. Jon then gives her the cold shoulder in the bedroom afterwards, further increasing her sense of isolation. Missandei gets all dramatic and loses her head, this visibly affects Dany's emotional state.

In ep #5 she discovers that she's been betrayed by Varys, after Tyrion shared a secret. They in turn found out because Jon told Sansa (OK - Bran told her). Dany had previously asked Jon not to tell them, but to his credit Jon didn't go behind her back - he openly told Dany that he was going to do this. She still sees it as a betrayal by the man she loves.

The combination of betrayal, cold shoulders from her lover, and the deaths of her closest friends, sent her over the edge. That's kind of believable, though it's debatable given that her desire to defend the innocent has been at the core of her character from the very beginning. The real issue is the speed with which she went over the edge. This would have been far more believable if it happend over 2 seasons, rather than the course of 3 episodes. Rushing her descent meant that it was more like the flicking of a switch, than an evolution of her character as she descended into madness.
 

MC Bad Genius

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In itself, Dany going "Mad Targ" is kind of believable. The big issue is the speed with which it happened.

In ep #1 she's playing happy families with Jon, her support crew are all alive & kicking, and everything is good in her little world (albeit with the threat of the NK on the horizon). Jon has a truth bomb dropped on him at the end of the episode, but has no further interaction with Dany before the end of the episode.

In ep #2 Jon is starting to give her the cold shoulder, as he tries to figure out what to do with Sam's truth bomb. His true identity is revealed to Dany in the last seconds of the episode.

In ep #3 she loses Ser Friendzone, killed defending her from the wights.

In ep #4 she's starting to feel isolated. Jon is part of the north, and is at the heart of the post-battle celebrations. She feels sidelined. Jon then gives her the cold shoulder in the bedroom afterwards, further increasing her sense of isolation. Missandei gets all dramatic and loses her head, this visibly affects Dany's emotional state.

In ep #5 she discovers that she's been betrayed by Varys, after Tyrion shared a secret. They in turn found out because Jon told Sansa (OK - Bran told her). Dany had previously asked Jon not to tell them, but to his credit Jon didn't go behind her back - he openly told Dany that he was going to do this. She still sees it as a betrayal by the man she loves.

The combination of betrayal, cold shoulders from her lover, and the deaths of her closest friends, sent her over the edge. That's kind of believable, though it's debatable given that her desire to defend the innocent has been at the core of her character from the very beginning. The real issue is the speed with which she went over the edge. This would have been far more believable if it happend over 2 seasons, rather than the course of 3 episodes. Rushing her descent meant that it was more like the flicking of a switch, than an evolution of her character as she descended into madness.
I think you're underplaying the sense she had of being an outsider in the first couple of episodes in Winterfell though. The people of the North are well-established of not trusting anyone outside themselves and it was pretty clear that Daenerys felt that quite keenly. Then, of course, knowing that the Lords were frustrated at Jon for bending the knee, when they'd all previously sworn allegiance to Jon himself, and Sansa's outright hostility towards her. It wasn't all happy families even at that point.
 
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In itself, Dany going "Mad Targ" is kind of believable. The big issue is the speed with which it happened.

In ep #1 she's playing happy families with Jon, her support crew are all alive & kicking, and everything is good in her little world (albeit with the threat of the NK on the horizon). Jon has a truth bomb dropped on him at the end of the episode, but has no further interaction with Dany before the end of the episode.

In ep #2 Jon is starting to give her the cold shoulder, as he tries to figure out what to do with Sam's truth bomb. His true identity is revealed to Dany in the last seconds of the episode.

In ep #3 she loses Ser Friendzone, killed defending her from the wights.

In ep #4 she's starting to feel isolated. Jon is part of the north, and is at the heart of the post-battle celebrations. She feels sidelined. Jon then gives her the cold shoulder in the bedroom afterwards, further increasing her sense of isolation. Missandei gets all dramatic and loses her head, this visibly affects Dany's emotional state.

In ep #5 she discovers that she's been betrayed by Varys, after Tyrion shared a secret. They in turn found out because Jon told Sansa (OK - Bran told her). Dany had previously asked Jon not to tell them, but to his credit Jon didn't go behind her back - he openly told Dany that he was going to do this. She still sees it as a betrayal by the man she loves.

The combination of betrayal, cold shoulders from her lover, and the deaths of her closest friends, sent her over the edge. That's kind of believable, though it's debatable given that her desire to defend the innocent has been at the core of her character from the very beginning. The real issue is the speed with which she went over the edge. This would have been far more believable if it happend over 2 seasons, rather than the course of 3 episodes. Rushing her descent meant that it was more like the flicking of a switch, than an evolution of her character as she descended into madness.
I agree that there have been general issues with pacing particularly in the past two seasons. That said, her advisors have been trying to talk her down from burning KL a few times in the past two seasons and even before that.

Slaver’s bay was easy, she could turn her brutality on the oppressive masters and offer the gen pop their freedom. The Seven Kingdoms are more ambiguous, she has her end goal in sight but keeps being frustrated by obstacles. I suppose I don’t even see it as a complete snap into madness just the aspects of her personality which desire to fulfil her destiny, sit the Iron Throne and break the wheel have usurped her desire to protect the innocent and win the love of the common people.

But yeah, as you said the crux of the debate is more or less the pacing of this character payoff.
 

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Ok, no theorising on what may happen here. Purely looking back at what has occurred...

Why would Dany expect the people of KL to rise up against Cersei as the slaves of Mereen did? Was it meant to be public knowledge that she blew up the Sept of Baelor (I think that’s what it was). It didn’t seem to me that the population were overly oppressed under Cersei, I guess maybe she was broke because of having to fund the Golden Company so there wasn’t a lot of money around for food, etc?

The thing is, I just don’t buy the transition from feeling alone, betrayed by individuals etc. to genocide and complete violation of Dany’s moral code. Those whom she burned because ostensibly they had been treasonous she could rationalize as the cost of war, even Jon admitted he’d executed traitors when defending the Wall etc. There was no reason to expect that Westeros, KL in particular would welcome her after her father tried to kill the entire population who were then saved by an (admittedly lambasted) Lannister. She was always going to have to take the Iron Throne by force, and then win the people over over the course of time as a fair and just ruler.

If anyone has seen the movie Se7en, then I would hold it up as an excellent example of
a character wrestling with the cognitive dissonance of potentially violating his moral code
in the finale. We saw none of that with Dany, just some resting bitchface. I feel like we needed to have Dany stretch her rationalisations over several increments, not just go from hella angry with individuals and feeling isolated to murdering innocents.
 

Agent93

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But yeah, as you said the crux of the debate is more or less the pacing of this character payoff.
It's the problem with the whole ending of the series. Apparently HBO said to the showrunners to take as much time as they wanted, but they've ignored this and jammed several events that could have served as episode climaxes into a single big long episode.

And the physics.
 
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