Daenerys Targaryen's downfall on 'Game of Thrones' aligns brilliantly with George R.R. Martin's beliefs about the troubling morals of war

Business Insider | 5/20/2019 | Kim Renfro, INSIDER
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Warning: Spoilers ahead for the series finale of HBO's "Game of Thrones."

With Daenerys Targaryen's rise to power and fall into violent destruction, George R.R. Martin crafted one of the most brilliant fantasy characters of all time.

Arc - Immorality - Violence - Warfare - Matter

Her arc is about the inherent immorality and violence of warfare, no matter how "good" a ruler's intentions are.

The final season of HBO's "Game of Thrones" brought Daenerys Targaryen, one of the show's long-admired protagonists, into unprecedented horrific territory when she burned hundreds of thousands of innocent people alive as she destroyed King's Landing.

End - Finale - Mother - Dragons - Jon

By the end of the finale, the Mother of Dragons was murdered by Jon Snow because he and Tyrion Lannister were troubled by her method of rule and plan for world power.

Though the manner in which the show brought this devastating character turn to life has many issues, it wasn't altogether a shock. George R.R. Martin, who wrote the novels "Game of Thrones" is based on, has written one of the most brilliant fantasy characters of all time in Daenerys Targaryen, layering in a message about the inherent immorality and violence of warfare no matter how "good" a ruler's intentions are.

Daenerys - Targaryen - Ascent - Power - Trick

We were always meant to be wary of Daenerys Targaryen's ascent to power. But the magic trick Martin, and by proxy "Game of Thrones," pulled off was crafting an empathetic heroine we were rooting for — even as cheering for her success meant cheering for the death of thousands.

Many fans have rightfully taken issue with the show's fast-paced portrayal of the Dragon Queen's choice. But almost everyone agrees that this troubling turn will happen in George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels, even if the circumstances around the narrative are different. After all, Martin told "Game of Thrones" showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss the broad strokes of his...
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