Queen of the Ashes

Lainey Posted by Lainey at May 15, 2019 20:05:25 May 15, 2019 20:05:25

HBO has only released two promotional photos from the final episode of the series. One of them is of a grim looking Tyrion, obviously traumatised af from what he’s just seen. Understandable. I hope in the episode we’ll also see him looking embarrassed, or at least a little sheepish, because he has thrown up airball after airball for the last two seasons, maybe more. This is just one of the reasons people are so confused, which is an understatement, by what we’ve been watching. We were introduced to this man as the greatest mind in Westeros – and he lived up to it until around season 5. And now? Now he can never seem to see what’s coming.

Perhaps, though, he’s been saving up his A game. Perhaps this is what they’ve been building towards – all those times Daenerys has told him to his face that he’s failed her (and she says this a LOT) was in service of them setting up his big shot: he might fail when he’s plotting for her, but he won’t fail when he’s plotting AGAINST her? 

Daenerys is the other photo that HBO released, a shot that we’ve already seen from the trailer for the final episode. It’s Dany the conqueror or, more appropriately, the Queen of the Ashes. That’s the VERY LOUD MESSAGE they’re sending with this visual, non? Here she is, fulfilling her destiny, accepting her destiny, even though so many of the show’s viewers are having a hard time with it. 

Sarah made the point in her piece about it on Monday: foreshadowing is not character development. Nobody is objecting to the fact that Daenerys has become the Mad Queen, it’s how we got here – because the last time she was in King’s Landing, she was calmly negotiating with Cersei a ceasefire so that they could all save humanity. She was willing to hit pause on her claim, add her armies and dragons to the resistance, to fight the army of the dead. That was literally just five episodes ago! 

Is Dany pissed that no one has shown enough gratitude? Of course. Is she enraged by the fact that no one seems to appreciate her? F-ck yeah. But give me more than 30 seconds of that. Her decision to go full fire happened in 30 seconds, as the bells tolled, and from a storytelling perspective, I don’t know if that’s enough of a payoff. If the showrunners, Benioff and Weiss, didn’t want to do a few more episodes (HBO was READY with the Iron Bank to give them whatever they wanted), couldn’t they have just spared 7 or 8 minutes of soldiers stabbing civilians to dedicate instead to some of Dany’s moral deterioration? It still, probably, wouldn’t have been enough but it would have been more true to why this show appealed to more people than just Transformers fans. 

So the finale, presumably, will be Daenerys Targaryen vs the World. And it feels like they’re setting it up for Arya to be the one to kill her. Where though? Are we staying in King’s Landing or are we heading back to Winterfell? At this point, I’d love it if Dany flies back North to Winterfell on Drogon to take out Sansa – because she’s going to have to kill everyone who knows about Jon’s identity – and Arya beats her there ON HORSEBACK, just for some closing time LOLs. The show’s absurd timelines have gotten so crazy…WHY NOT? 

While we’re doing crazy, let’s just go for broke: Arya puts on Cersei’s face to confront Daenerys, and Sansa comes in from the other side with Bronn’s crossbow, and now we have the bitch fight we’ve all be thirsting for. Are you telling me that’s any more over-the-top than the sh-t we’ve already seen? 

 

Photos:
HELEN SLOAN/ HBO

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