Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Game of Thrones Fans Agree on One Thing: This Is Happening Way Too Fast

We're all Mad Queens about how fast this is happening

Amanda Bell

WARNING: This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones' latest episode, "The Bells."

There are a lot of things Game of Thrones fans might disagree about right now, but the fact that the final season has been rushed to the point of being unrecognizable is not one of them.

No matter whether you're on board with the idea of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) transforming into a ruthless Mad Queen or not, the fact that she was a war hero just two weeks ago makes this part of her arc feel forced, incomplete, and unearned. Sure, we've heard many times how people were afraid she might one day become her father throughout the series, but this season began with her sacrificing almost everything to save people from certain doom, so her heel turn to slaughter innocents has been far too sudden and unexplored to feel authentic. The dizzying pace of her descent is a disservice to the character and the show, and the explanation she's just lonely now because her besties have all died doesn't help matters much at all.

After watching Daenerys' about-face unfold on "The Bells," social media erupted in a blaze of disdain for the whiplash-inducing character shift. Chief among the complaints is the fact that the Mad Queen premise might've actually worked and made sense for the character's end, had it been given the requisite time to percolate after the threat of the Night King was eliminated.

Game of Thrones' co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have made it very clear that HBO gave them the option to have as many episodes as they needed for the eighth and final season and that they made the decision to trim the show's final bow to just six episodes. Considering all that had to be accomplished in the final season, that decision has proven to be unwise.

Imagine a few additional character-exploring episodes like "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms," wherein Daenerys' inner turmoils could've been fleshed out, letting her sit with the deaths of Ser Jorah (Iain Glen) and Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and reflect upon the hostility of her new homefront. Instead of having her break bad on account of some surrender bells ringing in King's Landing (??), she'd get more time to really explore the depths of despair she feels about her so-called destiny feeling like a farce in the face of the ingratitude she's received and the distance growing between herself and Jon Snow (Kit Harington).

But all we get is her burning Lord Varys (Conleth Hill) just like she'd warned him she would, feeling dejected about a strained kiss from Jon, and, of course, the bells. Those dumb, dumb bells. A few more episodes could've really helped to sell this end, and instead here we are barreling into it without much regard for Dany's many redeeming qualities past.

Of course, there are some who would still take issue with the concept of this strong female lead becoming the kind of tyrant she always claimed to hate and believe it has a tacit tone of misogyny.

Others believe that perhaps the showrunners shouldn't have taken instruction from George R.R. Martin's ending plans at all, since the show's version of Daenerys has been different than what was on the page for the past seven and a half seasons.

However, almost everyone can get on board with the idea that if this had been a 10-episode season, with a few more hours devoted to watching Danaerys Targaryen slowly descend into the Mad Queen, this might have worked.

We'll see if next week's finale manages to piece this wreckage of a final season back together in any meaningful way.

The Game of Thrones series finale airs Sunday, May 19 at 9/8c on HBO.

Need HBO? Add it through Hulu or through Amazon.

PHOTOS:Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 5: "The Bells"

​Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones

Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones