NOTE: If you have somehow still not managed to see the Game of Thrones finale but plan to do so, this article contains significant spoilers.
The fact that a number of politicians are pretty upset over the GoT final season isn’t all that shocking. Almost everyone I’ve heard from didn’t care for it much. Neither did I, really. But a few of the female Democrats who have been speaking out about it seem to be fixated on the wrong thing. In particular, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez seem to be particularly bent out of shape when it comes to the storyline of Daenerys Targaryen and how that ended. (Free Beacon)
“I’m so pissed off,” Gillibrand said in a video taped for the left-wing viral news site NowThis. “I hated it. I hated the last three episodes. They destroyed Daenerys’s character in three episodes, and they destroyed Jon Snow’s character in three episodes.”
“I was particularly upset about how the writers treated the character of Khaleesi,” she added. “She came to power over many years and many struggles as the Breaker of Chains. She’s somebody who made sure the lowest income, the least empowered, could have a voice, and that was who she was … Why did the writers have to turn her into a Mad Queen? That was not part of who she was, and I get that she has a history … I thought it was cheap.”
Warren took essentially the same line of reasoning if you can call it that.
Warren, who wrote in April that Dany had been “my favorite” since Season 1 and “definitely doesn’t want to become her murderous father,” said she was willing to do an “allegiance shift” to Sansa Stark, the Lady of Winterfell in the North, after “Dany went nuts.” In the final episode, her younger brother Bran is crowned King and Lord of the Six Kingdoms, while the North splits off to become an independent kingdom with Sansa as its queen…
“I was disappointed,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “We need to get some feminist analysis up in HBO.”
They’re all rooting for the wrong character if that’s what’s driving their opinions. Did any of them actually watch all of the previous seasons? The Dragon Queen was hardly a saint, not that there were ever any truly good (versus evil) characters on the show that lasted more than a couple of episodes before losing their heads or being torn apart. (And yes, that includes Ned Stark.)
Just a couple of reminders about Khaleesi. She started off appearing weak and controlled by others, but as soon as she got a taste of independence she basically became a murderous tyrant. It was never enough to defeat her enemies and negotiate a peaceful transition of power. She just killed everyone. And once her dragons grew large enough to start fighting, one of her preferred methods of dispatching her opponents was by burning them alive.
Even some of the ostensibly not-so-bad people who were no danger to her weren’t safe. You should go and ask Samwell Tarly’s father and older brother how Daenerys treats people whose only offense is refusing to bend the knee. Oh, wait… that’s right. We can’t ask them because she had her dragon burn them to death while they stood before her in chains.
The Dragon Queen was a murderous tyrant long before they had her go all Mad Queen in episode 5. And most of the other female characters weren’t any purer. Arya started out nice enough, but once they put a sword in her hand she almost immediately turned into a sociopath. And don’t even get me started on Yara Greyjoy. She was an awesome character (one of my favorites) but she would also chop your arm off as soon as look at you. Sansa was arguably the least murderous of the female leads, but she was also something of a sponge, generally swept along by events rather than assuming leadership for herself.
So I wasn’t a big fan of the final season either, though it probably wasn’t nearly as bad as it might have been. The major problem with it was that the whole thing felt incredibly rushed. The writers were hustling to tie up loose plotlines that had been years in the making and suddenly shutting them down in a matter of minutes. HBO offered the showrunners plenty of money to do a full season and if they’d taken it perhaps they could have brought the story to a close more gracefully. But they didn’t, and here we are.