“The Bells” Game Of Thrones was uncomfortable because Daenerys Targaryen was a little too close to home

 

[Includes Spoilers]

Like many of you out there, I have been waiting for the moment Cersei dies. Over the past few years, I have changed my preferred murder. It started as Sansa. I mean she does deserve to be the one who does Cersei in. Then I wanted Arya. The ultimate hero, as I wrote a couple of weeks ago. But recently I found myself wanting Jamie Lannister to kill his twin sister. For as horrible Jamie has been, he always had some redeeming quality. His love for his brother was one. Jamie felt worthy of a character arc that found him killing his sister and the mother of his 3 (maybe 4) children. Never did I want Daenerys Targaryen to kill Cersei and the rest of King’s Landing for that what it’s worth. But we often don’t get what we asked for.

I’m puzzled by “The Bells” which aired this past Sunday.  In many ways, the episode ended where the series started: with a mad leader. “The Bells” was hard to watch. Judging by social media, I wasn’t alone. But why was it so hard to watch? Game of Thrones is fiction. We have seen lots of bloodsheds. Children have been murdered before. What makes “The Bells” so different is that the blood is on the hands of one person, and one person only: Daenerys Targaryen.

For most of the series, Daenerys Targaryen or Khaleesi was our heroine. She had progressive beliefs about a woman’s role in her society. Always seemed to have morals on a show that lacked characters with morals. And she was a robust female role model for many young women and girls. According to the Guardian, the name Khaleesi was given to 560 girls in the U.S. last year. If you account for spelling variations, the total is around 3,500. For her part, Daenerys was supposed to avoid affliction and be better than her evil brother and “Mad King” father. She especially was not supposed to depend so much on a man that when he jilts her, she goes genocidal.

I wanted Ceresi to die. I kept waiting for it, and when it happened I was left feeling unsatisfied and pissed off. The purpose of the episode was to take over King’s Landing and kill Ceresi. And I wanted it. I wanted it so much that I was left feeling at the end of the episode that I was a big part of why all those innocent women and children died. I know I wasn’t the reason but bear with me for a second. There is something in each of us, that is very much so like Daenerys. We seek revenge often without thinking of the consequences. We let our emotions get our of control to the point of no turning back.

“The Bells” was uncomfortable because we can all identify with Daenerys. We wanted to take over King’s Landing, and we pushed her to do so. We all wanted Ceresi to die, and we all were thinking ride your damn dragon to the very window Ceresi has been at all season long and kill her. None of us were thinking of the consequences. Our emotions got in the way, and because of it, we had to sit through 30 plus excruciating minutes of sheer carnage and horror.

Daenerys is now a homicidal maniac. She represents the extreme of our most horrible characteristics. Where revenge and hate take over. And where we forget who we once were and what we once believed.

And yet, we are all left feeling like now we need to kill her, no matter the consequences.