Sunday was Season Eight’s penultimate episode of Game of Thrones. True to tradition, it did not disappoint in terms of crazy, action packed adventure. However, many viewers were upset about the recent characterization about Daenerys Targaryen going full on “Mad Queen.” Have they not been watching the same show as I have? Let’s see what it means for all the crazy theories that have been floating around!

Predictions Come True?

Last week, I wrote an article on why I think Sansa is going to rule on the Iron Throne by the end of the season. Among my points, I believed Daenerys was gong to kill Cersei as part of a Mad Queen take down for Missandei, who sadly died two episodes ago. This has come true.

After ravaging King’s Landing, there is no where for Daenerys to go but down. As long as Jon Snow is living, Daenerys is not going to keep her grip on the Iron Throne. It has been hinted since season 1 that Daenerys would ultimately end up going crazy like her father, but as long as she has the right advisers surrounding her, she would be fine. Well, now most of them are dead, or probably about to die. Daenerys is full on Mad Queen now.

Many viewers are shocked and saddened to see the “benevolent” Daenerys go so far in trying to take the Iron Throne. She even killed innocent civilians after the surrendering bells had rung. I ask again, are we even watching the same show? Daenerys has been hinted at going Mad Queen since season 1. She is not the benevolent, under dog queen who should take the throne. In Season 4, she killed 163 slavers and let them be crucified along the streets. She proudly watch her brother get murdered at the hands of Khal Drogo. These are not the acts of a well-balanced and benevolent queen.

George R. R. Martin Approved?

There were a lot of naysayers about this episode and season 8 in general, including actor Kit Harrington. However, the episode might actually be true to George R.R. Martin’s planned ending for the books.

Speaking with Rolling Stone, Martin confirmed he spoke with Benioff and Weiss regarding how the show would end.

“Well, to a degree. I mean, I think … the major points of the ending will be things that I told them, you know, five or six years ago,” he said. “But there may also be changes, and there’ll be a lot added.”

“Major points” is awfully vague, but I assume plot points like Cersei’s death, Daenerys’ Mad Queen takeover, and Jon’s parentage being leaked out are big enough to warrant a conversation. The books that have yet to be published by Martin may take a different route, but will still probably come to the same ending as the HBO show. One common criticism about season 7 and 8 is that they are a total departure of Martin’s plot and the screenwriter’s don’t do the characters justice compared to the season with backing source material. But now we know that Benioff and Weiss have incorporated Martin’s ideas into this last season. And if it has the George R.R Martin stamp of approval, is it really that bad?

In fact one Reddit user made it clear how “The Bells” stayed true to Martin’s vision for Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire.

U/sam1405 said:

That was it. That was the scouring of the shire that GRRM intended to end with. Some of it didn’t make complete sense because the way we got there was very different to how the books will get there, but that was GRRM’s ending for sure. Although he will likely change it now (that’s assuming he ever finishes the books).

The Northmen who we assumed as the good guys are rapists. The unsullied who we assumed are the liberators kill unarmed people. Danerys who we assumed would be free of the curse of Targaryen genes is a mad queen. Cleganebowl results in Sandor dying by (a fall into) fire, his worst fear. GRRM wasn’t subverting our expectations like D&D tried to in the rest of season 8, but he did want to twist a knife into our guts with a cruel reminder that in the world of ice and fire, there are no good guys and bad guys.

Episode 5 may be inconsistent with the rest of season 8, but that’s because the show writers didn’t follow all the steps in getting there. But as a book reader I’m convinced that generally speaking that was how George wanted this story to end. GRRM himself stated the show’s ending will be pretty damn similar to his own based on everything he told D&D.

Personally, I liked “The Bells.” Now, I’m not one to really hate on movies or TV shows, but I really liked it. The episode finally confirmed one of my long-standing theories and is going to set up the finale quite nicely. Going into Sunday, we truly have no idea who will end up on the Iron Throne, which is the whole point of the show, right? While there is a chance Daenerys could just keep King’s Landing for herself, too many characters stand in her way to be the permanent ruler of Westeros.

Looking Ahead

There are less than four days until the end of Game of Thrones. While the final trailer was incredibly vague, there are still some theories floating around about what will happen.

It focuses one long, antagonizing shot on Arya. She was last seen riding away on a lone white horse. Did you figure it out what that means? As one helpful Twitter user points out, Death of the Four Horsemen rides a pale stallion. It’s possible Arya is now Death. After killing Death personified (the Night King), she has taken the mantle of being Death herself. And it looks highly likely that she might be the one to kill Daenerys. To add to this idea, the woman and her little girl, who saved Arya, ended up dying. The little girl died clutching a white horse figurine.

It’s all but confirmed that Arya is going to kill Mad Queen Daenerys. That is if Martha’s and Varys’ poison doesn’t kill Daenerys first. I just hope Game of Thrones doesn’t disappoint next week.

What was your favorite part of the week’s episode? Do you think Daenerys is going to die? Let us know in the comments!

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