Monday, May 13, 2019

Setting up the Dragon Queen's madness (the snap moment) better

Let’s help foreshadow Dany’s snap better by rewriting an old scene…

Remember when Dany executes Lord Tarly and his son in season seven?  Nothing Dany did was irrational or even out of line for a conquering queen.   Lord Tarly defied Dany to her face in front of her own men and Tarly’s.  Tarly refused to bend the knee after being clearly defeated and at the mercy of Dragons.  Her executing Tarly was mean, in a way, but also very justifiable.
Being mean, so you know, by executing a defiant enemy is not being crazy, or even showing signs of being crazy.  Dany had sane and practical reasons for her decision—even though it came off as mean of her at the time.  The Starks have executed people as well.  Was Ned Stark showing signs of madness by executing a deserter from the wall (who was clearly in fear of his life)?  Being mean and executing justice is what lords and ladies do.

Okay, let me show you what I mean by rewriting the previous scene ….

This time Lord Tarly, followed by his older son, does bend the knee.  He realizes he has totally lost and wants to spare his oldest son’s life (and the rest of his men), BUT… Dany decides to execute them anyway, because she just can’t trust them, she thinks they are Lannister men to the core, traitors to her family, and that they will plot against her later.  She won’t even spare Tarly’s son—even going against the wishes of her advisors like Tyrion.  Dany still has the ability to justify her actions, in a way, but the audience can tell something is off about her.

LOL, guys.  I'm crazy now!
We see hints of irrationality in Dany’s decision making; she’s being too paranoid and too vicious for no obvious reason.  And, more importantly her decision goes against the practical politics of winning hearts and minds to her cause.  Who’s gonna bend the knee to the dragon queen if she’s just gonna burn you anyway?

This is how you foreshadow madness and how you set up the snap (imo).  We have to see evidence of something being wrong with her, being irrational, not just being mean occasionally, but we need to understand there is something wrong there, something potentially emerging, and it needs to be revealed slowly over time.  So when Dany finally snaps, it feels deserved in a storytelling sense.

The way the snap was done in the show, it feels out of place, like there wasn't even a reason for Dany to be actually MAD at the moment, she had won the battle.  But apparently she just goes batshit crazy just because.

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