The acclaimed actor who plays Jaime Lannister has called the backlash ‘kinda silly.’ His comments mirror early sentiments by Sophie Turner, who has also defended the final season. You can read more about it here.
I’ve defended Season Eight in the past, and as a fan, I struggle with the pushback against the final season. Before I begin this blog post, it’s important to remember that fans aren’t always right, and neither are creators. I don’t believe fandom is a ‘toxic’ place, I think it’s wonderful. People are entitled to their opinions, and I believe that the backlash was unwarranted.
Season Eight of Game of Thrones was flawed. I wish more time was spent fleshing out plot points, that there was greater build-up to Bran’s ending and that the lighting was better. I’d also argue that Jaime Lannister deserved a better ending- even if it must be fatal. However, the biggest problem fans seem to have is Daenerys Targaryen- and how her dark turn was poorly done. I don’t think it was.
Daenerys- through the entirety of the show- made polarizing decision after the other. After all, we are talking about a character who burns people alive. The usual retort is that they (the people Daenerys is burning) are bad people who deserve a brutal ending. However, as Tyrion Lannister implies in the finale, violence is ultimately a slippery slope. You start off justifying one lethal action, and then you are justifying a whole lot more.
Make no mistake about it: people should never feel justified in their violence. Game of Thrones season eight demonstrates why that’s lethal. I understand why fans connected with Daenerys and were sympathetic towards her, but she was always walking down a dangerous path. And thus; her arc must end brutally.
I try not to bring real world politics into “Snowy Fictions” but in this case, I have no choice. I think people saw Daenerys Targaryen, and implemented their own angst and fury at the world. Fans saw a radical, young woman who hated slavery. This ‘breaker of chains’ dished out punishment to bad characters. Because of that, fans were blind to her flaws. They wanted Daenerys to be this fearless, almost-God like figure who rids the world of evil. But that’s not how this story goes.
To me, Daenerys represents the problems with radical violence, communism and revolutions. After all, the famous quote is that revolutions devour their own children. Look, I study Modern History. I’m familiar with the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution, as well as many blood spills in China and Latin America. They aren’t glorious, these are events where people were massacred. Because of that, it’s hard for me to not be cynical at a radical character.
I see Daenerys Targaryen, and I see an individual who’ll doom humanity to chaos. I’ve thought that ever since Season Four, where she crucified the masters of Meereen.
As for other complaints about Season Eight- I am more sympathetic. However, I believe Bran Stark becoming King of Westeros is entirely fitting. I also like that Sansa Stark is Queen In The North, and that the future is positive for Arya. The Starks may be seperated, but will forever be bound by shared values and experiences.
As I said earlier, season eight of Game of Thrones is not perfect. But it’s not a trainwreck, either.