After spending the entire series fighting against tyrants, Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons seemed to become one. In a dragon-filled rage, she ignored the bells of King's Landing, which signaled the city's surrender, and went straight for the Red Keep, burning everything along the way.
As Benioff explained in GoT's "Inside the Episode" featurette, we saw this side of Dany all the way back in season one.
"Even when you look back to season one, when Kahl Drogo gives the golden crown to Viserys and her reaction to watching her brother's head melted off, he was a terrible brother -- so I don't think anyone out there was crying when Viserys died -- but there is something chilling about the way Dany has responded to the death of her enemies," he reasoned.
"And if circumstances had been different, I don't think this side of Dany ever would have come out. If Cersei hadn't betrayed her, if Cersei hadn't executed Missandei, if Jon hadn't told her the truth -- if all these things had happened in any different way, then I don't think we'd be seeing this side of Daenerys Targaryen," he added.
The beginning of the episode especially set the stage for what was to come.
"Dany's an incredibly strong person. She's also someone who has had really close friendships and close advisors for her entire run of this show. You look at those people who have been closest to her for such a long time, and almost all of them have either turned on her or died, and she's very much alone," Benioff recapped. "And that's a dangerous thing for someone who's got so much power, to feel that isolated. So at the very time when she needs guidance and those kind of close friendships the most, everyone's gone."
"Jon Snow is someone that she's fallen in love with," he noted, referencing the character's pulling away from Dany ahead of the war. "And as far as she's concerned by this point, Jon has betrayed her by telling people about his true identity, and also the fact that he's unable to return her affections at this point."
"I think that when she says, 'Let it be fear,' she's resigning herself to the fact that she may have to get things done in a way that isn't pleasant, and she may have to get things done in a way that is horrible to lots of people," Weiss explained, as Benioff confirmed Dany "chose violence."
According to Weiss, however, Dany didn't decide upon total and utter destruction until those bells were rung. "I don't think she decided ahead of time that she was going to do what she did. And then she sees the Red Keep, which is, to her, the home that her family built when they first came over to this country 300 years ago," he said. "It's in that moment on the walls of King's Landing, when she's looking at that symbol of everything that was taken from her, when she makes the decision to make this personal."
The Game of Thrones creators went on, explaining that Jon was 100 percent "in denial" of Dany's fate. And while things turned into a "moral free for all," with the good guys becoming the bad guys, it was always their intention to see Clegane Bowl come to life.
"We knew these two were going to die together and at each other's hands and we knew that the Hound's death had to be a death by fire," Weiss said of the pair's plunge into fiery destruction. As Weiss noted, the Hound's death had to be all about "his hatred of the person who put that fear [of fire] there in the first place."
Arya survived the episode, but Jaime and Cersei did not -- in a move that was also destined from the beginning of the series. "Jaime talked about dying in the arms of the woman he loved, and this is it," Benioff said.
"I think he knows that they belong together, they came into this world together, that they need to go out of this world together," Weiss surmised. "Jaime, by the end of episode five, has come to terms with who he really is, and he may not be happy with who he really, but he knows he's not. He knows what matters to him, and Cersei's what matters to him."
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