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GoT finale: Art imitates Life

Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t seen the finale for Game of Thrones, now would be the time to look away.

My predictions were only partly correct. Bronn did get Highgarden, Dany died, Sansa became a queen.

Drogon flew away. Bran said he would go looking for him from the comfort of his wheelchair. Very interesting. I wonder if Bran was involved in melting the iron throne?

Dany’s rise and fall is not all that surprising to some of us, especially those of us who grew up around fanatically devoted religious people. Tyrion explained it all in his conversation with Jon. We all cheered when Dany burned her enemies because they were evil people. She was doing good by freeing slaves and being a champion for the mistreated. But she began to believe that her definition of good was the only right one. And just like some American evangelicals, whose vision of paradise is the only one that matters, they will appoint the person who will get them closer to paradise and destroy anyone who gets in their way of bringing on a whole new world, even if that means violence without justice or mercy.

Like Alabama legislators and governor. Things are getting out of control. Even Pat Robertson thinks the anti-choice movement has gone too far.

Grey Worm executes prisoners of war. He is devoted to his queen and her demand for loyalty.

A person who should be exercising his right to hold others accountable is reluctant to challenge ordinary roles of authority. He doesn’t want to be seen as an usurper even if the realm is in danger. He’s finally pushed to do the only rational thing, his argument with Dany against fanaticism and violence failing completely.

The scene of Dany on the stairs of the Red Keep with dragon wings unfurling from her back was stunning. The enormous red on black Targaryen banner hanging from the battlements was framed in just the right way. The scene shot from behind her looked like it could have come from a Pathé news reel in 1930s showing the rise of fascism and triumph of the will.

As Tyrion says to Jon, his father, Tywin Lannister, was an evil man for sacking King’s Landing after Robert’s Rebellion. His sister Cersei was an evil and ruthless woman, beheading Missandei and blowing up the Sept of Baelor. But all the senseless deaths that Tywin and Cersei caused combined would not equal even half of the deaths that Dany has done in a single day.

Jeez, does that conversation feel familiar. How many of you have been Tyrion trying to appeal to the humanity and sense of rightness and values of someone you love and respect? To almost beg them to stand up for decency? How many times have they failed to defend their own honor because they listen to those who are minimizing the threat, fear being isolated from their peers or believe in the ultimate authority of an office even when they know it goes against everything they believe in?

Dany is not an ordinary tyrant. There’s nothing normal about her reign. Her armies are her disciples. She has a weapon of mass destruction. They are unquestioning in their fealty and loyalty, no matter the cost to their own integrity . They do what she says without question.

For the good.

And if others have differing opinions of what is good?

According to the new queen, no one else gets to choose.

There aren’t going to be elections.

*********************************

Say what you like about D&D’s writing of the last two seasons. They appear to have taken a threat seriously enough that they have subverted all of our expectations and likely put HBO squarely in the crosshairs of a controversy.

It was a bold move, the message couldn’t be clearer. They’re going to catch hell for it once the smoke clears.