*WARNING: Spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8*
A post on Reddit by user “nanoelite“, created almost a month before the first episode premiered, speculates that the show’s emphasis on murky morality means that both the Night King and Cersei are too obviously corrupted to serve as the finale’s major antagonists.
They instead propose Daenerys. She has certainly had her heroic moments – from seeking to abolish slavery to becoming a queen in a male-dominated world – but “from an ethical standpoint, she is completely bankrupt”.
Her world view may be just, but her means to enforce it is brutal, since she’s swift to punish disloyalty and takes issue with anyone who doesn’t embrace her as the saviour she sees herself as.
As “nanoelite” continues: “Daenerys is just more of the same, believing her way is the only way, refusing to compromise, and slaughtering dissidents, only she has dragons and a moral banner to rally armies behind. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and ultimate power will ultimately corrupt Daenerys.”
When Jon and Daenerys first meet, and he refuses to bend the knee because she is “more of the same”, she asks him not to judge her by the actions of her father – an idea she’s repeated throughout the series. However, in the world of Game of Thrones, that means we should probably do the exact opposite.
Season 8 has only revealed more of her brutality: she feels no remorse for executing Samwell Tarly’s father and brother because they didn’t pledge loyalty to her, she appears to threaten Sansa for not immediately trusting her, and is visibly displeased at the revelation of Jon’s claim to the Iron Throne.
Indeed, all roads lead to a conflict between our heroes. Or, at least, what we thought were our heroes.
Game of Thrones continues on Sunday in the US on HBO. UK viewers can see the latest episodes on Sky or NowTV.