Why the "Mad Queen" plot twist on GOT breaks my heart
When I first heard Daenerys Targaryen's now infamous line, “I’m not going to stop the wheel. I’m going to break the wheel”, I was reminded of a quote from French philosopher, political activist, and feminist — Simone de Bouvier.
“The point is not for women simply to take power out of men’s hands, since that wouldn’t change anything about the world. It’s a question precisely of destroying that notion of power.”
This, to me, has always been Dany’s core motivation. I never saw her as a vicious Targaryen like her brother or her father. Her Targaryen blood, if anything, seemed to be simply an excuse (a tool, really) for her to rise up against her own oppressors and liberate the oppressed.
I guess I was wrong.
Listen, I’m a massive Game of Thrones fan but I haven’t read the books and I’m not going to pretend to remember everybody’s names and the whole history of Westeros. I’m also not going to pretend to know all the differences between the show and the books. But I felt compelled to talk about why I think this sudden turn of events on the show has struck such an unsettling chord for me and many other women out there. And it doesn’t have anything to do with the writing style.
This isn’t an article about good or bad writing.
I have a degree in screenwriting so we could easily go back and forth about pacing, character arcs, and foreshadowing, but there are plenty of other articles about that and it’s not why I felt compelled to write this.
I want to talk about Daenerys as the feminist icon she’s become over the last eight years and why, whether this was her intended fate all along or not, those of us who identified with her are heartbroken.