Writers need to stop trying to outsmart their audiences (WARNING: Very long post! Spoilers for a variety of media inside!)

FliXFantatier

Master of the Reality Stone
Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,184
Los Angeles
Back in the day I felt bad for the Wachowskis who were probably trying very hard to complete the Matrix trilogy in a novel way that was not predicted by the millions of fan theories.
They failed to satisfy...
 

mbpm

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,216
Back in the day I felt bad for the Wachowskis who were probably trying very hard to complete the Matrix trilogy in a novel way that was not predicted by the millions of fan theories.
They failed to satisfy...
They're a good example too. To their credit, they followed their vision. It was unsatisfying for many but its clearly their own.
 

ckareset

Member
Feb 2, 2018
2,857
It wasn't out of nowhere. Dany over the last 2 seasons has pretty openly indicated that she wanted to go into Kings Landing guns blazing. Then she finally got her chance and felt cheated out of it.

Plus, as a reminder, as early as season 2 Dany was openly touting stuff like "When my dragons are grown… we will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground" and "I will take what is mine with fire and blood". Dany destroying Kings Landing sure seems like it was always in her mind.
Dany turns seems like DD and GRRM knew day 1.

I don't think DD were trying to subvert expectations or shock value, they just rushed and condensed her final turn to madness cause they want to work on something else
 

Sephzilla

Herald of Stoptimus Crime
Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,817
Dany turns seems like DD and GRRM knew day 1.

I don't think DD were trying to subvert expectations or shock value, they just rushed and condensed her final turn to madness cause they want to work on something else
Yup, the problem with Dany's heel turn wasn't that it was subversion or shock value stuff it was just rushed (like everything else this season)
 
Oct 28, 2017
4,010
Well, except for caging her dragons for a season because they killed one shepherd's kid.

Regardless, I think it's incorrect to say that "this is who Dany was all along" because it's quite clear the show wants you to believe she's now crazy, which she wasn't before.
Crazy is not the cannon explanation, not even by the writers. They say it was due to a feeling of abject loneliness and a desire for revenge (idiotic). Crazy is the explanation of fans who fully bought into Dany being a benevolent hero because it's the only way to reconcile how you believe she was with what she is now while both remain true. I don't think the show wants you to believe this at all -- again, the writers have provided a different explanation -- rather, the show has simply failed to, in any way, convey a proper logical reasoning for what she's done. You have to take a leap of faith to get to any rational explanation.

But there is a way to reconcile her action with her past. You just have to realize that you (general you) were wrong about Dany in the past. When you believed that she was a benevolent hero who cared for the little people, you were wrong. She performed benevolent actions for narcissistic purposes.

I'm not saying Dany is all bad. She did, as you pointed out, lock away her dragons. But when she did so, she didn't need them. I'd not say that single acts should be given as comprehensive evidence of anything. Rather, as a whole, an especially in consideration of the previous episode, the idea that she was only benevolent when it furthered her interests and mainly that she is full of rage and lust for power fits the vast majority of her actions. Her being a benevolent hero does not, and that's true even without last week's episode.
 

Dary

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,708
The English Wilderness
The whole reason something some simple as a Disney action RPG got so crushed under convoluted bullshit is Tetsuya Nomura's belief that unexpected twists make for good writing, while people figuring out where things are going in advance is terrible...
 

Ralemont

Member
Jan 3, 2018
1,824
Crazy is not the cannon explanation, not even by the writers. They say it was due to a feeling of abject loneliness and a desire for revenge (idiotic). Crazy is the explanation of fans who fully bought into Dany being a benevolent hero because it's the only way to reconcile how you believe she was with what she is now while both remain true. I don't think the show wants you to believe this at all -- again, the writers have provided a different explanation -- rather, the show has simply failed to, in any way, convey a proper logical reasoning for what she's done. You have to take a leap of faith to get to any rational explanation.

But there is a way to reconcile her action with her past. You just have to realize that you (general you) were wrong about Dany in the past. When you believed that she was a benevolent hero who cared for the little people, you were wrong. She performed benevolent actions for narcissistic purposes.

I'm not saying Dany is all bad. She did, as you pointed out, lock away her dragons. But when she did so, she didn't need them. I'd not say that single acts should be given as comprehensive evidence of anything. Rather, as a whole, an especially in consideration of the previous episode, the idea that she was only benevolent when it furthered her interests and mainly that she is full of rage and lust for power fits the vast majority of her actions. Her being a benevolent hero does not, and that's true even without last week's episode.
I haven't seen the inside the episode as I never watch them as they always come off like idiots, so if that's really the explanation they use in it fair enough, but I'd argue the episodes this season (and last) have explicitly and implicitly drawn many direct parallels to the Mad King while referencing Targ madness in general, so formalistically I'd have to say crazy is still the best explanation.

That's not to say seeds weren't sewn throughout the show that she had the potential to fall to the dark side as it were, but even those seeds aren't enough to explain massacre of civilians after the battle was already won.

So yeah, crazy's all I got there.
 
Jan 3, 2018
397
I fundamentally believe that The Last Jedi is not a movie trying to subvert your expectations and is not a movie trying to outsmart its audience. But it is a movie with a very specific vision of Star Wars and what Star Wars can be, and unfortunately, that will result in the catastrophic alienation of everyone with a different perspective. There is a version of The Last Jedi that makes more of an effort to please the entire audience, one that I would likely enjoy too. But we didn't get that version, and I think I'm glad we didn't.
Regardless of what circumstances it was written in, TLJ totally plays out like a movie written by someone trying to outsmart some Episode 8 subreddit.
 

Zen

Member
Nov 1, 2017
3,061
Exactly, people that are going "Dany was mad all along" ignore that even in the last episode she went crazy because genetics, they even spelled it out loud, whatever previous personality she had in the show doesn't matter, she suddenly snapped because "Targaryens"
I think saying 'mad all along' is a misrepresentation of what the argument actually is. Not mad as insane and crazy, it's her ruthlessness and her desire for the iron throne and above that vengeance for past perceived wrongs to her family namesake. She hokds those at her very core more so than her love for her people and desire to do good in the world. If she valued them that much she would not have set sail for Westeros.
 
Oct 28, 2017
4,010
I haven't seen the inside the episode as I never watch them as they always come off like idiots, so if that's really the explanation they use in it fair enough, but I'd argue the episodes this season (and last) have explicitly and implicitly drawn many direct parallels to the Mad King while referencing Targ madness in general, so formalistically I'd have to say crazy is still the best explanation.

That's not to say seeds weren't sewn throughout the show that she had the potential to fall to the dark side as it were, but even those seeds aren't enough to explain massacre of civilians after the battle was already won.

So yeah, crazy's all I got there.
Dany has suggested killing everyone in a city or in a class indiscriminately on multiple occasions. When she is angry, she makes snap decisions that are often extremely violent. None of these past outbursts, and there are at least five or so major ones, are inconsistent with killing everyone in King's Landing.

There are references to the Mad King, but again I'd blame that more on poor writing confusing the issue than it being an actual explanation. It's not supposed to be, in any event, by the writers' own words.

P.S., I fully agree -- I hate those behind the scenes thing. This was the first I've watched in years simply because I was hoping for some kind of explanation for what I'd seen. I was not satisfied on any level regarding any event.
 

Kalentan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,976
On the contrary, movies always try to kill the bad guy every single time. Killing thanos early pushed the movie to the most boring plot to bring the gems back causing paradoxes everycorner.

Leaving thanos alive would lead to a different, complex writing buuuut since we dont have Adam warlock or any other holder who would lend the gems easily the writing was down to "no more gems go for other gems"
There is no paradoxes in Endgame.
 

Spinluck

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
5,635
Florida
On the contrary, movies always try to kill the bad guy every single time. Killing thanos early pushed the movie to the most boring plot to bring the gems back causing paradoxes everycorner.

Leaving thanos alive would lead to a different, complex writing buuuut since we dont have Adam warlock or any other holder who would lend the gems easily the writing was down to "no more gems go for other gems"
Yeah I'm sure introducing Adam Warlock in Endgame would've been a brilliant move to tie the knot on a decade long story.
 

NameUser

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,103
I think the Dany turn should’ve been subverted. Not for shock value, just because it’s more powerful. They should’ve shown her getting to the edge of madness, then just had her say, “Fuck this. I don’t want to be the Queen,” then just had her bounce. Showing that she could be better than the other Targaryens who went made. But nope—some folks are destined to be savages!!

That, or they should’ve taken more episodes to show her going bad.
 

Skyball Paint

Member
Nov 12, 2017
807
The part about Game of Thrones also explains why it’s completely reasonable to be critical of the new trilogy’s non-explanation of Snoke.
As it stands, his inclusion in the story goes against causality.
 

El Bombastico

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
7,668
I think the Dany turn should’ve been subverted. Not for shock value, just because it’s more powerful. They should’ve shown her getting to the edge of madness, then just had her say, “Fuck this. I don’t want to be the Queen,” then just had her bounce.
That's basically what happened book version of the fighting pits scene in ADWD.
 

Figboy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,118
Los Angeles, CA
Beautiful OP, and I read it all (except for the Westworld section, as I haven't started Season 2 of that yet). I'm at work, so I can't contribute my 2 cents in detail, but I agree with so much of what you said concerning the other examples in the OP.
 

Parthenios

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
2,913
I think I read a piece last year saying something similar in regards to Disney's animated films, that they were being eaten up by trying to subvert tropes (that Disney themselves created).
 

Metal B

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,116
What many writers and show makers sometimes forget, that there is being in the moment and suspension of disbelief. Even so people figure out in which direction a story moves, they are still invested in the outcome. We know, the hero will save the day in a lighthearted action movie, but if he struggles in one scend, we still are excited.
Otherwise we couldn't enjoy a rewatch of a story.
 

Aexact

Member
Oct 30, 2017
835
That’s a fascinating take on the mysteries of Lost. I’ve always heard that Lost was the precursor to lengthy buildups to mysteries that cannot provide a satisfying conclusion but the mysteries not as things to be answered and as things to explore character is an interesting one. I’ve only seen season 1 so I’m not sure how this works out for them, but it seems worthwhile.

The Westworld case seems to be the most directly, as an example of modern shows influenced by social media. A show with big twists may generate more discussion than a slow burn but the initial dopamine hit returns will diminish eventually until meaningless big twists become passé and boring. It’s just not as straightforward to talk about a character’s emotional progression casually though.
 

DoubleTake

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,445
GOT spoilers...

I agree with everything you wrote but this:



Having just finished a full rewatch of the series a couple weeks ago, I can confidently say that you're right about one thing: GRRM did a fantastic job tricking everyone into believing what the characters thought about themselves. As early as Season 1 when she burns the witch alive, Dany has exhibited a nearly uncontrollable and irrational rage. As early as Season 1 when she tells Drogo to get her the throne, she has exhibited a narcissistic attitude wherein she deserves the love and adoration of the people by virtue of her birthright alone.

Dany has never shown that she cares about the common people. Yes, she cares greatly about freeing the slaves -- she was a slave once and the slaves adore her for it. Yes, she is enraged when the masters crucify the children. Dany and her advisors attribute this care and rage to her desire to protect everyone. They describe her as someone who is caring and benevolent. GRRM tricks the audience by telling one plausible explanation and so no one notices when they are shown an alternative, plausible explanation. Dany is not benevolent and caring, she believes she deserves the throne over all others and she believes her authority should not be questioned. She will happily kill anyone and did massacre people by the 1000's simply because they dare to take a different point of view.

So when Dany gets to Kings Landing, she is there to punish those who would not stand behind her. If the people went into the city to flee her, they did not believe in her and therefore deserve to die in her mind. And so she kills them.

Now don't get me wrong, the post-episode behind the scenes illustrates that the showrunners/writers had no idea what they were doing or why, but the action itself is supported by Dany's character and actions from the very beginning. We know GRRM gave the writers a brief version of what he expected to happen to the characters. Presumably, Dany obliterating Kings Landing with innocents inside was one of those things. The writers followed orders, but they failed to understand why. Thus, what should have been another Red Wedding-calibur shock followed by revelation that we'd missed everything the whole time instead fell flat and appeared to be wholly inconsistent.

So the writers did fail us here. But the actual action was not the problem -- it was the reason why.
To add, GRRM is responsible for Dany developing this way, D&D simply failed to execute on it to where the doubt in people's minds that she was really benevolent or narcissistic would take hold. What we get is some people piece it together easily enough, some can see the direction but want more buildup, and a lot of people are left completely shocked because they were allowed to completely believe Dany was just a well meaning savior all along.
Crazy is not the cannon explanation, not even by the writers. They say it was due to a feeling of abject loneliness and a desire for revenge (idiotic). Crazy is the explanation of fans who fully bought into Dany being a benevolent hero because it's the only way to reconcile how you believe she was with what she is now while both remain true. I don't think the show wants you to believe this at all -- again, the writers have provided a different explanation -- rather, the show has simply failed to, in any way, convey a proper logical reasoning for what she's done. You have to take a leap of faith to get to any rational explanation.

But there is a way to reconcile her action with her past. You just have to realize that you (general you) were wrong about Dany in the past. When you believed that she was a benevolent hero who cared for the little people, you were wrong. She performed benevolent actions for narcissistic purposes.

I'm not saying Dany is all bad. She did, as you pointed out, lock away her dragons. But when she did so, she didn't need them. I'd not say that single acts should be given as comprehensive evidence of anything. Rather, as a whole, an especially in consideration of the previous episode, the idea that she was only benevolent when it furthered her interests and mainly that she is full of rage and lust for power fits the vast majority of her actions. Her being a benevolent hero does not, and that's true even without last week's episode.
Couldnt say it any better than this concerning the Dany turn. She was always had this potential in her and it was very subtly seeded across the series. Almost too subtly. And then they rushed through the payoff because they wanted to get to Star Wars.
 

Mariachi507

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,327
Saw the thread title, and was immediately thought "we're fucked"; but thankfully the OP is better than the title gives credit.

I do appreciate the post and many of the points you make although I feel there is a disconnect between them and your main point. You say you don't think TLJ subverted expectations but then acknowledge the ways it does posting examples of how it did so contrasted with what the fans probably expected. A defender of the recent GoT episode could basically use the same approach to support it while using your examples for TLJ to explain why it fails from a storytelling standpoint. Just to note: I don't believe it does.

If I could offer a rebuttal to your topic it would be to let creators write what they want. You're assuming that the negative examples you bring up happened just for shock value when the possibility does exist that they felt it was the appropriate way to go with the story they were telling. Storytelling does not need to be boxed in.

OK, be real with me. Does this thread exist just so you can say you didn't like where Game of Thrones ended up?
 

KingK

Member
Oct 27, 2017
598
Indianapolis
GOT spoilers...

I agree with everything you wrote but this:



Having just finished a full rewatch of the series a couple weeks ago, I can confidently say that you're right about one thing: GRRM did a fantastic job tricking everyone into believing what the characters thought about themselves. As early as Season 1 when she burns the witch alive, Dany has exhibited a nearly uncontrollable and irrational rage. As early as Season 1 when she tells Drogo to get her the throne, she has exhibited a narcissistic attitude wherein she deserves the love and adoration of the people by virtue of her birthright alone.

Dany has never shown that she cares about the common people. Yes, she cares greatly about freeing the slaves -- she was a slave once and the slaves adore her for it. Yes, she is enraged when the masters crucify the children. Dany and her advisors attribute this care and rage to her desire to protect everyone. They describe her as someone who is caring and benevolent. GRRM tricks the audience by telling one plausible explanation and so no one notices when they are shown an alternative, plausible explanation. Dany is not benevolent and caring, she believes she deserves the throne over all others and she believes her authority should not be questioned. She will happily kill anyone and did massacre people by the 1000's simply because they dare to take a different point of view.

So when Dany gets to Kings Landing, she is there to punish those who would not stand behind her. If the people went into the city to flee her, they did not believe in her and therefore deserve to die in her mind. And so she kills them.

Now don't get me wrong, the post-episode behind the scenes illustrates that the showrunners/writers had no idea what they were doing or why, but the action itself is supported by Dany's character and actions from the very beginning. We know GRRM gave the writers a brief version of what he expected to happen to the characters. Presumably, Dany obliterating Kings Landing with innocents inside was one of those things. The writers followed orders, but they failed to understand why. Thus, what should have been another Red Wedding-calibur shock followed by revelation that we'd missed everything the whole time instead fell flat and appeared to be wholly inconsistent.

So the writers did fail us here. But the actual action was not the problem -- it was the reason why.
Still catching up on season 8, but was spoiled on Dany's turn already.

But I agree with what you wrote. It was pretty clear in my mind from the books, especially after finishing Dance, that Dany was going to take a darker turn eventually. Her potentially tyrannical tendencies have been clear from the beginning. For years I've been expecting one of the most likely book endings to be Dany taking the throne, but somehow becoming just another "Mad Queen" by the end.

But yeah, the showrunners have been garbage about actually portraying this shit.
 

MCee

Member
Oct 28, 2017
78
Bay Area
The funniest thing about the GoT criticism on this forum is that the same people grilling the writing are some of the same one's praising the show in the casting thread and the Miguel Cinematography thread. People assume disliking the writing suddenly means they are saying nothing about the show is redeemable.

It's unfortunate because writing is where many want to connect with the show. It's the heart of it all and it's all a mess.
Exactly. People like myself who didn't have any huge issues with the writing until season 8 definitely didn't seek to be disappointed. The conclusions have just been unsatisfying and don't seem to tie threads weaved by previous seasons.

Just the fact that they wanted to reemphasize things within episodes themselves; like Melisandre looking at Arya and regurgitating her old vision; or Varys dropping the old flip a coin saying about Targaryens. Previous seasons were a bit more subtle and clever in my opinion.

I love the lore, love the cast, love most of the directing, especially Sapochnik but don't like how arcs are being concluded seemingly without taking the previous 7 seasons into account.
 

Loan Wolf

Member
Nov 9, 2017
974
Awesome read, would just say in general that writers need to avoid interacting with fans/fandom to stay true to their vision regardless of how predictable the story/character arcs may be.
 

RDreamer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,657
I really do hate that so much of modern culture, both writing and media consumption, seems to center on surprises and twists. It goes hand in hand with our spoiler culture. We think things are RUINED if we know a bit of it, so writers try to make sure everything is so surprising in some way.

The things I really hate is when they put characters in situations that they shouldn't live only to skip a scene and come back and somehow they're alive. Doing that too many times is just ridiculous. That's part of Game of Thrones problem this season and it was a huge problem on Walking Dead. It all feels so cheap.

That said, I feel bit guilty because I also fucking loved Westworld both season 1 and 2. Shows that go hard in the craziness I think are fine once in a while, but we do need shows that just focus on good storytelling. A good journey is refreshing once in a while.
 

Peleo

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,388
Breaking Bad ending was weak imo. using the nazis who Walt had happily used to do his dirty work as the last bosses to make him look good in comparison was tacky.

How it should have ended is his entire family getting taken out by the cartels and him having to live with that in isolation.

The only show that got it right ending was was the Shield. Vic escapes but has to live with his consequences from his colleagues and loses his family and any respect he had
How do you feel about the Sopranos ending?
 

a916

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,277
I'm not really sure how much of GOT S8 is "subverting expections" or "shock value" or downright running out of time and limiting themselves.

If it happens in the books and it's more fleshed out, is it still subverting expections/shock value?
 

Flipyap

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,211
Back in the day I felt bad for the Wachowskis who were probably trying very hard to complete the Matrix trilogy in a novel way that was not predicted by the millions of fan theories.
They failed to satisfy...
They've lost their way around the middle, but the ending was everything I didn't know I wanted. It was a smarter conclusion than the series seemed to deserve after the first movie ended with the "yo, I will smash that computer" tough guy posturing.
People weren't trying to outrun each other to be the first to post a "solution" to the story back in the day. There was only really one theory in circulation, and that's the "Matrix within the Matrix" nonsense, so I don't think the sisters had to worry about competing with their fanbase.
 

Budi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,531
Finland
Thanks for the thoughtful write-up, interesting read!

I don't usually spend much time thinking if something is predictable or not, because I don't read any fan theories or make up scenarios and conclusions in my own head. I don't start watching a movie or a TV-show wondering "will this happen", I just start watching with the mindset of "let's see what will happen". I'm all about the execution and most importantly that does it make sense. Do I understand why character behaves certain way in example. One recent thing where predictibality did bother me was Infinity War/End Game. Because the big ending to Infinity War was the snap, but after watching Infinity War I already knew all of them were coming back at End Game. So it hurt both movies for me. I couldn't feel anything about the Infinity War ending which was supposed to be emotional and maybe shocking, but why is it shocking when I know they're all fine. And End Game lacked tension because of that. So what was supposed to be big thing of the movies, just ruined it. But I definitely don't expect Shaymalan twists to all my media, I don't need to be surprised. But sometimes it can be really interesting and satisfying, especially if the surprise isn't just at the very end but takes the story or characters to new interesting directions.
 
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LL_Decitrig

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,431
Sunderland
Original poster, it really does seem as if you're obsessed with a few very popular television dramas. I think I counted two HBO shows there and one AMC show. Do please expand your range of viewing.
 

PSqueak

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,617
regarding "it was foreshadowed", i think overall something foreshadowed that comes to play feels much more satisfying than twists for the sake of twist.

Like, when Black Widow dies in exchange for the soul stone in endgame i felt like it was satisfying from a story telling point of view because the way the MCU had built hawkeye to that point led to that as the only logical solution: Clint, who lost his family loved Natasha (who he saw as his only remaning family) much more than Natasha loved him, therefore, you see Black Widow realized this and ultimately sacrificed herself. Seeing this on screen didn't "ruin" the moment, but enhanced it because it makes you go "yup, this is what the movie was building up to", so it feels like a reward for paying attention.
 

Budi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,531
Finland
Original poster, it really does seem as if you're obsessed with a few very popular television dramas. I think I counted two HBO shows there and one AMC show. Do please expand your range of viewing.
Hey, HBO has great variety of excellent shows. One doesn't need more than HBO subscription to fill all their TV show needs. Though admittedly HBO Nordic does have many of the best non-HBO originals too, so that might colour my opinion a bit. But for the best crime drama you go Wire, best comedy you go Curb Your Enthusiasm, best western you go Deadwood, best fantasy you go Game of Thrones and so on =P
 

Magnus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,284
I preface my comment with applause for a well-written OP. Thanks OP!

But then, I have to say: Yikes, that's quite the accusation against Nolan for Westworld season 2. I have to agree that I definitely found S2 occasionally incomprehensible, but is there anything more concrete to suggest that a subreddit actually got to him and inspired extra layers of mystery and confusion than were originally planned?
 

LL_Decitrig

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,431
Sunderland
Still watching Westworld 2. It's a rather tasty confection I save for occasional viewing. This is a show on which far more effort has been expended in the writing than most. I can happily zip through other shows but this is one I don't casually imbibe. As a software geek I love it.
 

Veelk

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,927
I'm not saying Dany is all bad. She did, as you pointed out, lock away her dragons. But when she did so, she didn't need them. I'd not say that single acts should be given as comprehensive evidence of anything. Rather, as a whole, an especially in consideration of the previous episode, the idea that she was only benevolent when it furthered her interests and mainly that she is full of rage and lust for power fits the vast majority of her actions. Her being a benevolent hero does not, and that's true even without last week's episode.
The only issue I have with your otherwise excellent analysis is that it tries to negate Dany's benevolence as being false or temporary, as if it were just a mask or something the real, malevolent Dany was just pretending to wear. That I don't think is true. When she does what she does in the books, her emotions are real and legitimate. She honestly does feel for the random peasants being killed and raped. She takes genuine offense at the idea of children being used for intimidation purposes. She does want freedom and better life for common people. What causes conflict in this is that implementing these benevolent intentions is not simple, easy, and can often backfire either due to honest mistakes or malicious scheming from enemies. Something as simple as trying to outlaw slave fighting, a brutal and exploitative industry, gets backdraft from not just people who directly benefit, but people who have this belief engrained in them that it's their right to beat someone (or be beaten) to death for fun and entertainment. One of the defining aspects of the series is that benevolent intentions and even actions that are actually beneficent do not translate to good things happening for you, so even when Dany does act the part of the Good Queen, bad things can still result from it.

The other point is her entitlement and imperialistic tendencies...I agree these are part of her character, but I feel simply saying that leaves an incomplete picture of her. Like, who in Westeros is a democrat? Who even in Essos believes in equality based social and governmental systems? Basically, wildlings and no one else. Characters all over are more or less unquestioning of the monarchical system. The closest example I can think of is when they elect the new leader of the Night's Watch, but that's only an election that takes place in their organization, they don't question why they need to have a king. So, yes, Dany is an imperialist. She believes the Iron Throne was stolen from her by treachery and that she is entitled to it back and if she had to burn the enemy to the ground, she sees it as the right thing to do. And, by the by, it's also not entirely fair to say that she just wants it out of personal greed or power hunger, with her backstory. Growing up, Viserys is the one who was obsessed with getting the throne back, with revenge, and he defined her life by it. And the idea of living in peace was something she entertained, once Viserys died. Then Robert sent an assassin after her, at which point she believed that her life will never stop being defined by her usurpers, so she sets out to get her throne back. The only time her life starts going her way is once she has power, because without it, she's just waiting to be raped by the next Khal that comes out on top.

None of this is to diminish that, yes, Dany is an imperialist and, yes, Dany does want power. But she wants power not just because power feels good in itself, but power is security. Power, she thinks, will be no longer having to fear the assassin's of the king. Power is getting back at the bastards who ruined her life by taking the throne in the first place.

And on that note, yes, Dany is also wrathful. When she thinks your a bad person, then you deserve to die and she relishes in being able to deliver that justice. The witch at the end of book 1 wasn't just some random lady that she picked out of the crowd. It was the woman who directly killed her husband and threw her life into disarray after it finally stablized into something happy (Which, btw, this witch only did because Khal Drogo destroyed her life and the slaughtered the lives of her people. Her last conversation with Dany was telling her how what she did was justice and she was happy to do it). She delighted in burning the faces off slave masters, but she did so because they were slaves. Maybe you believe that no one should take pleasure in the suffering of others and that's fine, but it's simply human nature take enjoyment of the suffering of those you deem evil. It's a very common occurance and one we see contemporarily all the time.


My point here isn't that Dany was actually really good and all her questionable actions are actually all morally justifiable. My point here is that she is was written in a complex way. GRRM didn't write a sociopath that hid her cruelty and sadism in some warped psychological trap, he wrote a complex character who is kind and cruel and well intentioned and spiteful and generous and entitled in various different ways, at different points in her life, for different reasons, which is what made her a great character. She couldn't be defined by any one thing nor could you not understand her actions, in all their varying extremes.


I'm not saying that there isn't a way in which you can write Dany deciding to make that decision in King's Landing, but it's on the job of the writers to not lose the complexity of the character in doing so. I believe if GRRM decides to keep the burning of King's Landing as a plot point, he will do this. That's what is wrong with all this, she just became abjectly evil for no reason whatsoever, simplifying her character to cartoonish evil proportions. And while I do think the points you bring up about her entitlement and wrathfulness and self-image of a liberator are very germaine to the analysis of her character, I think you're using them the wrong way if you're using them to recharacterize her as "No, look, she was evil all along!"

No, she was a complex character that you couldn't fit into a single good or evil, because she was both well intentioned and blind to her flaws, both knowingly wrathful and naively empathetic, both kind and cruel. That's whats so wonderful about the story GRRM tells, it's full of these super interesting and unique people that you can believe exist. Writing Dany the way they did destroys all that because they didn't write her as a complex person with warring desires and motivations, but as a homocidal psychopath waiting to be unleashed.
 

TheRed

Member
Oct 31, 2017
476
This Dark Age of writing in cinema will lead to a Renaissance of good writing when the next generation of writers take over! I hope, just hold on we can make it!
I did enjoy Breaking Bad and TLJ but would be totally with changing some of the silly parts out.
Game of Thrones has been a bummer but it's not only about them trying to subvert, it's just every direction they choose to go with the characters is rushed to the point of not being believable to their character.
 
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