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18th May 2019

A deep dive on the Game of Thrones scene that proved to be massively important for Season 8

Paul Moore

A huge moment that led us to where we are.

As always, if you haven’t seen the most recent Game of Thrones episode, consider this to be your spoiler alert warning.

Now that the final episode of Game of Thrones is approaching, there are millions of ‘what if’ scenarios fans might be dwelling on.

What if the world knew that Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark were actually in love and were happily married

What if The Mad King hadn’t lost his mind?

What if Ned Stark never accepted Robert Baratheon’s request to be Hand of the King?

What if we had a few more seasons to wrap up the show?

Of course, they’re all hypothetical questions and the source of countless theories and rumours, but as the show reaches its conclusion, there’s one scene that has proven to be more telling than most, especially when viewed in the context of Daenerys’ descent into madness.

Of course, every event in the show is a domino colliding into the next one.

History, pain, vengeance, destiny, loyalty, family, and ambition are all colliding into each other, but in the aftermath of recent events, one moment looks even more important than before.

But what if the dominos stopped falling?

If you’re looking for an extremely detailed read on all the scenes and hints about Dany’s growing status as a villain, you can check that out here but one scene could prove to be a massive turning point in Game of Thrones history: the first meeting of Daenerys’ small council on Dragonstone.

Game of Thrones

Setting the scene

After Daenerys finally crossed The Narrow Sea and landed in Westeros, she assembled a meeting of her allies. There was Ellaria Sand – the leader in Dorne after she killed Prince Doran Martell with the help of her daughters, the Sand Snakes. Ellaria had a vendetta against the Lannisters following the death of her husband, Oberyn.

Yara Greyjoy was present too after she committed the Iron Fleet to Dany’s cause. In return, Daenerys would back her claim to the Salt Throne and promise to help her kill Euron Greyjoy.

Olenna Tyrell was also in the room; she wanted vengeance after Cersei killed her grandchildren, Margaery and Loras Tyrell. To complete the meeting, we had Tyrion, Grey Worm, Theon Greyjoy and Missandei.

Varys’ skills were instrumental in gathering Daenerys’ allies in Westeros and he was also present.

The topic was simple: what was the best way for Daenerys to take the Iron Throne? What unfolded was a moment when history and the future collided together.

Queen of the ashes

Yara: “If you want the Iron Throne, take it. We have an army, a fleet, and three dragons. We should hit King’s Landing now, hard, with everything we have. The city will fall within a day.”

Tyrion: “If we turn the dragons loose, tens of thousands will die in the firestorms.”

At this moment, Ellaria Sand and Tyrion have an argument about the nature of war, Ellaria’s decision to poison Myrcella (Tyrion’s niece), and Oberyn’s death.

Daenerys interjects and says: “I am not here to be queen of the ashes.”

Now, in the context of what we just saw in the last episode, that’s a startling change of heart but if the people in the room actually used Yara Greyjoy’s tactic, they could have been successful and avoided a host of casualties.

Dany later lost two dragons and large chunks of the Unusllied/Dothraki forces. At this time, Cersei didn’t have The Golden Company and Qyburn only had the one Scorpion missile launcher, that we know of at least.

“I choose fear”

After seeing the destruction of King’s Landing and Dany’s increasing paranoia that she’ll never be loved in Westeros quite like Jon is, this entire passage is incredibly loaded and ominous.

Olenna: “I can’t remember a queen who was better loved than my granddaughter. The common people loved her. The nobles loved her. And what is left of her now? Ashes. Commoners, nobles, they’re all just children, really. They won’t obey you unless they fear you.”

Daenerys: “I’m grateful to you, Lady Olenna, for your counsel. I’m grateful to all of you. But you have chosen to follow me. I will not attack King’s Landing. We will not attack King’s Landing.”

Fast forward to the most recent episode and Dany openly admitting that if she won’t be loved while occupying the Iron Throne, she’ll happily choose fear.

She also said that she wouldn’t attack King’s Landing with her dragons – twice. However, Olenna also told Daenerys that fear is the only way to bend people to her will.

Daenerys Mad Queen

The turning point

Why did Daenerys not just head straight to King’s Landing and take the throne? Why did we have all this bloodshed and death?

Well, here’s the pertinent passage.

Olenna: “Then how do you mean to take the Iron Throne? By asking nicely?”

Daenerys: “We will lay siege to the capital, surrounding the city on all sides. Cersei will have the Iron Throne, but no food for her army or the people.”

Tyrion: “But we won’t use Dothraki and Unsullied. Cersei will try to rally the lords of Westeros by appealing to their loyalty, their love for their country. If we besiege the city with foreigners, we prove her point. Our army should be Westerosi.”

Fast forward to the most recent episode. The Unsullied and the Northern armies are pillaging, looting, and raping the people of King’s Landing as their bloodlust negates all ideas of honour.

Tyrion’s plan to have Yara Greyjoy’s Iron Fleet ferry the Dornish army into King’s Landing, where they would besiege the capital with the Tyrells, spectacularly failed.

At this point, it should be noted that The North hadn’t pledged their support to Dany’s campaign – Jon was still in Winterfell and hadn’t bent the knee – but he was intent on heading to Dragonstone to convince Daenerys that the main war was against the Night King beyond The Wall. He wanted dragonglass and her dragons.

During this conversation between Dany’s council on Dragonstone, there’s no mention of having The North as an ally, or any mention of them at all. On this note, it’s fair to assume that Daenerys was prepared to take the Iron Throne without any help from or the approval of The North.

However, given the fact that the army of the dead was mobilising, it’s likely that Jon was always going to swear loyalty to Daenerys, provided he got the support of her forces in the upcoming war against the dead.

Love and peace

After the meeting adjourns, Daenerys asks for a private meeting with Olenna Tyrell. During this one-to-one conversation, the topic of supporting a ruler that you love, peace in Westeros, and the necessity of violence are all mentioned.

Ultimately, when it comes to the Iron Throne, Olenna states that war and death are inevitable.

Daenerys: “I realise you’re here out of hatred for Cersei and not love for me. But I swear to you, she will pay for what she’s done. And we will bring peace back to Westeros.”

Olenna: “Peace? Do you think that’s what we had under your father? Or his father? Or his? Peace never lasts, my dear.”

You don’t need love to have allies in war. Hatred will do.

“Be a dragon”

In the current season, it’s obvious that the relationship between Tyrion and Daenerys has deteriorated to the point that treason and paranoia are the norm.

In the scene referenced above, the Queen of Thorns strongly encouraged Dany to embrace her Targaryen heritage, ignore Tyrion’s advice, and take what she feels is hers with fire and blood.

Olenna: “Will you take a bit of advice from an old woman? He’s a clever man, your Hand. I’ve known a great many clever men. I’ve outlived them all. You know why? I ignored them. The lords of Westeros are sheep. Are you a sheep? No. You’re a dragon. Be a dragon.”

Sadly, for the people of King’sLanding, this advice proved to be fatal.

Take a look at 255 seconds that have proven to be seismic in the history of Game of Thrones.

Clip via Axhol3Rose