'Game of Thrones' Creators Explain Why Daenerys Snapped And Went Full Mad Queen
For many 'Game of Thrones' fans, the latest episode left them feeling uneasy. The seemingly sudden decision to overturn eight seasons of Daenerys' characterisation and have her go full Mad Queen felt like it went against everything the show had set up.
In a behind the scenes video released by HBO following the episode, showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss explained how they saw the dramatic shift in Dany.
First of all, things haven't been going well for the Mother of Dragons for a while. From Cersei's betrayal to Jon revealing his true identity, the double downer of losing Missandei and Rhaegal and Varys' betrayal, things have really been piling up against her.
"As far as she's concerned by this point, Jon has betrayed her by telling people about his true identity and also the fact that he's unable to return her affections," Benioff said in the clip.
The arrival at King's Landing seemed to culminate in her losing her sh*t and embracing her inner-Mad Queen.
"When she says 'let it be fear' she's resigning herself to the fact that she may have to get things done in a way that isn't pleasant and she may have to get things done in a way that is horrible to lots of people," Weiss added.
The showrunners also pointed out that, though the decision to make Dany turn dark could seem out-of-the-blue, the hints have been there all along, including her reactions to the many deaths of her enemies.
"I don't think she decided ahead of time that she was going to do what she did," Weiss added, "and then she sees the Red Keep which is to her, the home that her family first built when they came over to this country 300 years ago.
"It's in that moment, on the walls of King's Landing when she's looking at that symbol of everything that was taken from her... when she makes the decision to make this personal."
Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys, also spoke about the shift in character in cast commentary video.
"It's so natural for a person to retort to anger and so that's exactly where she goes," Clarke said.
"And it's there, it's always been there, it's what's drived [sic] her throughout everything."
Rather than "choking" the rising feeling of anger Dany feels, Clarke instead described the newly minted Mad Queen as living in that anger.
"It's this feeling you could call Targaryen craziness, you could give it all these names that it doesn't deserve because it is just grief. It's hurt. And she has this ability to make that hurt a little bit less for that minute," Clarke said.
Fans have also noticed that Dany's vision in the House of the Undying is now true: a destroyed Red Keep, covered in ash.
With just one episode to go before the entire series wraps up, we're expecting a few more twists before the end.
Check out the full Inside the Episode here.
Featured image: HBO.