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Hodor's Dragon

Protagonist suddenly goes crazy in last chapter of epic

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4 minutes ago, Nightwish said:

Well ok, your problem solved. Please remember to accept everything as it comes and be happy about it. 

Don't worry about me! I started reading Martin's books 20 years ago. I accept everything, and pretty patient waiting for his books. I would be happy if he finishes the whole series.

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As for the thread title.

The protagonist going crazy in the last chapter of an epic is actually a superb idea in the right hands. Depending on how you write the protagonist's crazy (i.e. the result of trauma, a self-inflicted wound, a natural consequence of their fragility or dubiousness, or how one of their flaws and mistakes caused a negative chain reaction with massive blowback), it can be either tragic or bittersweet

In any case, it is a beautiful, thoughtful, realistic ending if handled properly.

No one with a brain that isn't being paid off can say that this has been handled properly.

If it is the result of trauma, they've done a poor job explaining why this latest string of traumatic events in Daenerys' long life of traumatic events set her off. They've also done absolutely nothing to explore the fact that she is traumatized not just sad, scared or angry. No sign of real instability...especially when you have characters on the show who are defined by their instability and inconsistence (i.e. Joffrey, Aerys II, Robert, etc.)

If it is a self-inflicted wound, where's the wound? What is the wound? When did she injure herself in such a way that she should completely lose her marbles?

If it is a natural consequence of who she is as someone fragile, someone unintelligent, or someone cruel who lacks compassion, why spend seasons puffing her up as a compassionate person who is good and strong.

If it is about how her mistakes and her flaws have caused a negative chain reaction that backfires, well....what are her mistakes? What has she done wrong that will have this whiplash effect that will make her truly mad? What flaws does she have that would warrant a mental breakdown? Her temper? Sure but has it been developed.

This is why it doesn't work.

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20 minutes ago, Jabar of House Titan said:

As for the thread title.

The protagonist going crazy in the last chapter of an epic is actually a superb idea in the right hands. <snip>

I agree, but there's one more word in the thread title and it's key.

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20 minutes ago, Hodor's Dragon said:

I agree, but there's one more word in the thread title and it's key.

Oops you're right. I'm sorry.

Suddenly.

Yeah, it'd be one thing if the protagonist just goes crazy in the last chapter. It'd be another thing for the protagonist to suddenly go crazy towards the end of the story and the deuteragonist, the tritagonist and all the other characters are left to try to figure out how, why and how to fix it; after all, they've just been a part of the protagonist's long journey for a while now. By the time we reach the end of the story, all of the other characters should care about him/her.

But it's a completely different thing for the protagonist to suddenly go crazy in the last chapter of an epic.

Like there's no time to even properly resolve that development with anything but a hollow, ending where either: 1) everyone dies, 2) the protagonist is tragically killed or locked away and nothing else really happens, 3) no one cares or notices and said crazy protagonist suffers offscreen in silence for the rest of their lives or 4) the protagonist kills everyone because of their crazy and they live crazily ever after

That's an automatic uphill battle and a black mark against you...so, you'd have to have done a damn near perfect job in making that development worthwhile, realistic and apparent long before the last chapter and making said last chapter meaningful and moving.

Of course, contrary to what many on this sight feel, the bold has not happened due to gross negligence and incompetence.

You can say Of Mice and Men does a incredible job of it...if it weren't for the fact that the protagonist didn't go crazy in the last chapter or even the second-to-last chapter.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/13/2019 at 1:33 AM, LearnToBeNoOne said:

This is not GRRM's Dany and it sure wasn't GRRM's Tyrion either and we could say that about a lot of the characters. D&D have definitely taken the foundations of GRRM's books and carved it into their world with their own characters and desires.

One of the cheapest episodes I've ever witnessed regardless of everything she's been through Dany knows her father and that's not the route she wanted to follow. This should not have been the outcome of her journey.

Rage doesn't always necessarily mean action, a lot of people say things out of anger yet it doesn't mean they will act up on it. The war was going to plan the fact she suddenly went Mad Queen is to give D&D motive for the possibility of her death as if she had won the war in a much cleaner way there would be no reason for her to die and it would require some actual writing from them.

Furthermore her not hearing the bells and burning KL would also requite writing and thought and some sort of organisation to this episode.

It just seems unnecessary, so I emphasise that it goes against her beliefs and everything she's pretty much done until now. This was not how the conclusion to her journey was meant to be and some argue that the signs were there, it still doesn't imo explain this episode. We can keep going around in circles but her making threats and her losing loved ones doesn't mean that she's unintelligent. She knows the people's support is paramount to her success and that she will not survive as Queen with fear alone. Yet what did she say to Jon? Let it be fear. She also knows that she can't just be Queen with her army and serving the people and being the change they needed was also part of the motivation to get on the IT as well as taking revenge for what happened to her family. Yet what did she do? Burned everything down. 

Where GRRM left her character in the book imo was a long way away from here imo, you couldn't rule out the possibility of her reaching this stage but one could argue she was on the route for greatness and would have proven many people wrong, even if there were mistakes on the way it would not have been this extreme. I'm really not convinced that GRRM's dreams for Dany was this, and if another book does arrive then this will all need to make sense.

There was no need for that hysteria and if it was going to lead to that then we needed a lot more build up and emphasis on her character and how her decline was beginning to show signs through detailed conversations and maybe some extreme actions. This is simply not what I expected to see.

This is going all over the place, I will get ready let the episode soak in and then come back to discuss further.

On a final point not only is this a cheap way for the series to prepare for its final episode but is also lazy and the lack of writing and quality is something that will not be forgotten.

You really summed up my own reaction perfectly. After reading yours I thought: well, now I don't need to write that, someone wrote it for me.

The real disappointment here is that it has soured me on the books, which I love. I think the outcome is in general close to GRRM's outline. Unfortunately, D&D did a very poor job of getting there. (I won't repeat what everyone else has said about D&D.) In the books it will take a lot of time and a lot of pages before the characters reach this point. In the books they still have to deal with the Others, about whom we know nothing. Their "long night" will not actually be one night, it will be 900 pages long.

In the books (ADWD) Dany is still in Essos with a lot of story line to get through before she gets to Westeros. And Drogon being big enough for her to ride changes everything.

First example that comes to mind: in the books, after Dany flies off from Mereen, she flies over the Dothraki on Drogon, then encounters them with Drogon. I daresay they don't just grab her, bind her hands and walk her back to camp without getting toasted by that BF DRAGON. Knowing that the Dothraki only respect strength, she calls out, "I am Danaerys Stormborn, Mother of Dragons etc. Who is khal? I challenge him." After torching a few guys she vaults back onto Drogon and asks: "Does anyone else wants to defy the Mother of Dragons?" In short, wielding dragon power will change her over time (about 1500 pages worth of time, I'd say). That's the curse of the Targaeryans.

But we don't have all this stuff - just favorite characters going bad or dying. Do I really want to plow through hundreds of pages just to get to this disappointing result, even if I get there more plausibly?

Edited by laurandy
fix typo

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Long term lurker who's feeling the need for some talk therapy. Couldn't agree more with the OP. It feels like the story has been deliberately sabotaged... the fake leaks were way better than this. After living with these characters and watching them struggle and grow over the years, what an absolute betrayal 

Dany's arc had already been ruined (same goes for Tyrion, Sansa, Jaime, Varys, Jon, Bran, for different reasons) but this is character assassination worthy of the Faceless Men

I remember reading a few of the Dany-will-go-crazy-and-be-the-main-antagonist threads years ago and being surprised that people were actually itching for this. The takeover of Meereen was a major source of debate I recall... She was accused of being a war-criminal cos there were probably innocent people killed too. To extend a Star Wars analogy someone used above (spoilers ahead if you haven't seen the saga): it's like calling Luke Skywalker a war-criminal cos there were thousands of innocent people who died on the original Death Star. But even if we read Dany's previous actions in the most negative possible light... Can you imagine Return of the Jedi ending like this: 

The Emperor: Fulfill your destiny, and take your father's place at my side

Luke: Erm... yeah, OK... But you gotta promise to turn the laser at Endor and kill all those fluffy little teddybears right now

Ok, this would certainly have subverted expectations and there was indeed some dramatic preparation for it if you'd squinted your eyes (‘His hate making him powerful. He was a sociopath all along and his lack of remorse at destroying the Death Star proves it. He flies off the handle so easily, especially when you threaten his loved ones. It's in his blood, considering who his father is. And the cave. Remember his failure at the cave!')

But C'monnnn! How monumentally egregious would that have been?! It would have made the whole saga feel like a protracted con and left the bitterest of bitter tastes in the mouth. The Last Jedi gave a vague approximation of what this might have felt like

And this is pretty much what GOT has opted for. I'm all for unexpected twists, but there's a point at which subverting expectations just becomes awful storytelling, and GOT has crossed that Rubicon in spectacular fashion. Ok, it was clearly never a Manichaean fairytale like Star Wars (though the extent to which it subverts tropes has been wildly exaggerated) but this isn't moral nuance or gritty realism or Greek Tragedy we're being offered, this is cardboard nihilism of the soap-opera kind, a fantasy version of the Christmas episode of Eastenders. All internal logic and character consistency have been chucked out the window. What a terrible shame 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/13/2019 at 9:26 AM, Hodor's Dragon said:

The Tarlys were rebels who refused to bend the knee. That's an automatic death penalty. Burning is how her family does death penalty.

Yeah, fam, it was a death penalty under the OLD ways--the very ways she claimed to want to destroy.  Tyrion got on Team Targaryen believing Daeny's line about her not being your typical Targaryen. "I'm not my father," was said by her more than once. Hell, I ignored the signs, too. I always thought "The Mad Queen" was a red herring theory. But looking back, bae was burning people left and right. since Season 1. Signs were always there she had the blood lust in her. I just wrote it off as justifiable (the witch in S1, Pyat Pree, the slave master, the khals, etc.) since the people she burned often did her dirty.

She saw the people of KL as doing her dirty for believing and "loving" Cersei--in addition to the other stressors going on in her life--bestie being beheaded being the straw that broke the dragon's back.

 

Edited by PetyrPunkinhead

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On 5/12/2019 at 9:52 PM, Hodor's Dragon said:

What a cheap, juvenile Fiction-Writing 101 trick that was to pull at the end of an epic story.

Nothing in this story set that up. Yeah, Daenerys doled out harsh punishment--from our perspective--a handful of times. But she always did it for a reason--a good reason, in fact. Every time.

Nothing set that up? Nothing could be further from the truth. It was everywhere.

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16 minutes ago, CrypticWeirwood said:

Nothing set that up? Nothing could be further from the truth. It was everywhere.

Of course it was; however, a growing consensus is that it was set up poorly, leaving superficial non-literate TV viewers confused. It's summed up in a quite hilarious meme I just saw from a link in another thread where Jorah makes it to episode 5 and goes, "Daenerys? I never liked her much anyway".

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2 hours ago, CrypticWeirwood said:

Nothing set that up? Nothing could be further from the truth. It was everywhere.

I'm not about to watch some long-assed BS on youtube, but I don't have to. Daenerys NEVER hurt ANYBODY for NO REASON. Suddenly she kills hundreds of thousands on  a whim. I call complete bullshit.

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On 5/13/2019 at 11:00 AM, Green Knight said:

Let’s not forget how she roasted Varys for betraying her with the heinous crime of - what? Oh yeah, trying to expose the truth that someone else actually has a better claim... :cool4:

Varys was actually trying to poison her.  The little bird was a girl in the kitchens.

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10 minutes ago, Hodor's Dragon said:

I'm not about to watch some long-assed BS on youtube, but I don't have to. Daenerys NEVER hurt ANYBODY for NO REASON. Suddenly she kills hundreds of thousands on  a whim. I call complete bullshit.

If you won't pay attention for a few minutes,  you'll never understand anything, will you now? Horses. Water. Drying of thirst. 

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On 5/13/2019 at 2:50 PM, StoneColdJorahMormont said:

I don't know exactly how much time passed since her arrival in Westeros so I cant judge how fast her descent was, but I think a mixture of paranoia, feeling alone, death of loved ones, losing her grip on what she felt was her purpose and birth right.. death of 2 of her children... is plenty to drive even the purist of people evil.

I agree that it was a pretty rapid decline however so much of the above did happen in 2 episodes, so if all these things can and needed to happen in 2 hours then I can certainly believe she could lose it in the same space of time.... the question is how long was 2 hours in our time in show time ?

Ok - first off suffering and grief is more likely to increase your empathy - not breed genocidal rage. And for 7 seasons that was how Dany worked as well. It is bitterness, a hyperbolic sense of greivance and (unfounded) Paranoia as well as a tendency to blame your troubles on others that helps mass murderers screw their nerves for killing.

WRT Dany being psychologically fragile again we have 7 seasons of her being broken down to almost nothing and suffering immense losses and trauma and always bounce back stronger, now we are to believe that at the very point where she sits victorious having vanquished the NK and Cersei and left with a city prostrate she embarks on a deliberate mass murder of the very people she has claimed have motivated her over her adult life? WTF!

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On 5/12/2019 at 10:46 PM, Jarl Halstein said:

I had a look at Twitter, people aren't exactly happy with this episode. So it's not just this forum. Which is good to know.

 

 

Ugh, just this image tells you everything you need to know about how they wrote Jon in this series. Second fiddle. I never cared much for him in the books either, but if he were crowned the new King in the North, he wouldn't accept it and then a chapter later "bend the knee." In the show he does that. He is SO ready to let other be in charge. 

The point remains, if Jon is supposed to be the hero, they should be staging their shots indicating this. Here he looks like a sidekick. A...real Davos, if you will.

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3 hours ago, Johan Wehtje said:

Ok - first off suffering and grief is more likely to increase your empathy - not breed genocidal rage. And for 7 seasons that was how Dany worked as well. It is bitterness, a hyperbolic sense of greivance and (unfounded) Paranoia as well as a tendency to blame your troubles on others that helps mass murderers screw their nerves for killing.

WRT Dany being psychologically fragile again we have 7 seasons of her being broken down to almost nothing and suffering immense losses and trauma and always bounce back stronger, now we are to believe that at the very point where she sits victorious having vanquished the NK and Cersei and left with a city prostrate she embarks on a deliberate mass murder of the very people she has claimed have motivated her over her adult life? WTF!

I guess the major difference was she always had others around her when she needed to bounce back to support her.. with each episode that list got shorter till she was left with a hand that constantly failed her, a eunuch that was plotting against her, a man she loved that couldn't lover back, and surrounded by people that didn't want her to be there.

It's a massive departure from her time across the sea where people treated her like s god and all those that were around her would have died for her and cared about her.

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1 minute ago, StoneColdJorahMormont said:

I guess the major difference was she always had others around her when she needed to bounce back to support her.. with each episode that list got shorter till she was left with a hand that constantly failed her, a eunuch that was plotting against her, a man she loved that couldn't lover back, and surrounded by people that didn't want her to be there.

It's a massive departure from her time across the sea where people treated her like s god and all those that were around her would have died for her and cared about her.

WRT to Tyrion - his arc has also been trashed in service of getting to the Mad Queen - as was Varys' arc, with him plotting against Dany behind her back when he promised that he would be open about his concerns. 

And the way in which the narrative employs a circular logic whereby Varys' betrayal makes Dany snapping more plausible whilst Varys is vindicated by Dany snapping.

Trying to make the Mad Queen twist plausible has meant all sorts of distortions and stupidities (Euron the super sailor one week, Euron the Admiral of Kindling the next. But I digress , to address your point - first off she still has significant numbers of her most fanatical followers left, and if the previews for episode 6 are anything to go by it looks like her Dothraki have respawned).

Jon is still loyal even if the incest thing is a bar. At the point just before she goes on her rampage she has arguably delivered Westeros from two great threats with much lower than expected costs, even if people don't love her there is the prospect of people coming round. And as for fear - surely all have to be awestruck at the short work she made of the last remaining opposing forces on the continent, destroying them and taking the city in less than an hour.

So the situation at the end of S1, before her dragons were born, or in Quarth when she was betrayed, or in Mereen after the Death of Semly and exile of Jorah, or during her abduction to Vaes Dothrak were all times where I would say the Psychological strain was at least as severe as the one she is undergoing now. And everytime before we have seen a character of great psychological resiliance with little sign of fragility.

But even if we allow that she is under enough strain to break down or go mad we still face the hurdle that her breakdown finds expression in probably the greatest mass murder in Westerosi history, rather than a crying Jag, or catatonic depression. Literally an act that entirely negates her primary arc over 8 seasons - the identity that had many of the prime characters cross continents to serve her. An act that negates her role in defeating the NK, another story rendered all but irrelevant so that D&D could deliver a shocking twist! 

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1 hour ago, Johan Wehtje said:

WRT to Tyrion - his arc has also been trashed in service of getting to the Mad Queen - as was Varys' arc, with him plotting against Dany behind her back when he promised that he would be open about his concerns. 

And the way in which the narrative employs a circular logic whereby Varys' betrayal makes Dany snapping more plausible whilst Varys is vindicated by Dany snapping.

Trying to make the Mad Queen twist plausible has meant all sorts of distortions and stupidities (Euron the super sailor one week, Euron the Admiral of Kindling the next. But I digress , to address your point - first off she still has significant numbers of her most fanatical followers left, and if the previews for episode 6 are anything to go by it looks like her Dothraki have respawned).

Jon is still loyal even if the incest thing is a bar. At the point just before she goes on her rampage she has arguably delivered Westeros from two great threats with much lower than expected costs, even if people don't love her there is the prospect of people coming round. And as for fear - surely all have to be awestruck at the short work she made of the last remaining opposing forces on the continent, destroying them and taking the city in less than an hour.

So the situation at the end of S1, before her dragons were born, or in Quarth when she was betrayed, or in Mereen after the Death of Semly and exile of Jorah, or during her abduction to Vaes Dothrak were all times where I would say the Psychological strain was at least as severe as the one she is undergoing now. And everytime before we have seen a character of great psychological resiliance with little sign of fragility.

But even if we allow that she is under enough strain to break down or go mad we still face the hurdle that her breakdown finds expression in probably the greatest mass murder in Westerosi history, rather than a crying Jag, or catatonic depression. Literally an act that entirely negates her primary arc over 8 seasons - the identity that had many of the prime characters cross continents to serve her. An act that negates her role in defeating the NK, another story rendered all but irrelevant so that D&D could deliver a shocking twist! 

I totally agree regarding Tyrion and Varys whether this is DnDs doing or GRRM had the same plans it made no sense, for Tyrion to go from one of the sharpest tools in the box to error after error just to help with the Dany going off the rails. Same can be said for Varys who up until recently always kept his cards close to his chest and would never have revealed his plans to anyone especially not Tyrion who was the hand of the Queen.

Another thing i'd like to throw in although it still doesn't help much with how fast she went off the rails is her age, i'm not saying children aren't capable of doing monstrous things but most serial killers/mass murderers are remembered fondly by those they grew up around and it is usually a shock for them when they find out that the sweet young boy/girl grew up to become...…. So this can be another way to explain why she reacted to said situation differently from how she handled it when she was back in Essos.

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9 hours ago, CrypticWeirwood said:

If you won't pay attention for a few minutes,  you'll never understand anything, will you now? Horses. Water. Drying of thirst. 

I've read the books 7 times and seen the show 5 times. I know what Daenerys did. If somebody wants to talk to me, I'll probably talk back but I'm not here to waste my time on youtube links.

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It's good that there are multiple protagonists in the show so it's not a problem for the some people who never liked Dany (such as myself). I never hated her but I never liked her either, she was too power hungry for my taste, and just because ''I am the last Targaryen bla bla'', and when she learns that someone has a better claim she tries to usurp the power from.

This is exactly what Daenarys was, a power hungry tyrant who can kill thousands just because she can. Saving slaves isn't because she is just nice, it also worked fine for her when she tried to usurp the power from the masters, and since her main goal was Westeros, she couldn't bring slaves to there, it was kind of political,

People probably would say ''But she went to North to save them'' it was because;

1- Gaining potential allies

2- If the northern threat is true, she really couldn't rule the Westeros against the army of the dead

I also believe that she went to save Jon and others just because she liked Jon and she can entertain herself like she did with Daario at Essos, she thought him more like a Westeros version of Daario, at some point Tyrion also mentioned that,

And then the WW are gone, she still doesn't care about the people in Westeros as Sansa corrected her by saying ''it's not just our people it's yours'' , as well as Arya said Jon shouldn't trust her, ok now you can say Sansa is corrupted but you can't say Arya is like Sansa too, she is nothing like Sansa yet even she said they shouldn't trust Dany.

Someone like Varys would never risk his life if Dany wasn't capable of doing this, he knew she could do that and he was right at the end of the day.

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On 5/15/2019 at 5:10 AM, laurandy said:

You really summed up my own reaction perfectly. After reading yours I thought: well, now I don't need to write that, someone wrote it for me.

I'm glad you feel the same way, it truly is a reflection of how disappointing this season has been. 

On 5/15/2019 at 5:10 AM, laurandy said:

The real disappointment here is that it has soured me on the books, which I love. I think the outcome is in general close to GRRM's outline. Unfortunately, D&D did a very poor job of getting there. (I won't repeat what everyone else has said about D&D.) In the books it will take a lot of time and a lot of pages before the characters reach this point. In the books they still have to deal with the Others, about whom we know nothing. Their "long night" will not actually be one night, it will be 900 pages long.

Exactly, the end point may be the same but the journey is what's most important. When it comes to GRRM we are on that journey with the characters involved whereas with D&D it's very instant with a lot of missing details. 

D&D will do whatever they want to regardless of whether it makes sense or not. 

At least we know when it comes to the Others in the books we will get a better understanding of them, it's yet to be covered in detail. In the series it was so rushed, a lot of build up to then just get them over and done with. 

On 5/15/2019 at 5:10 AM, laurandy said:

In the books (ADWD) Dany is still in Essos with a lot of story line to get through before she gets to Westeros. And Drogon being big enough for her to ride changes everything.

First example that comes to mind: in the books, after Dany flies off from Mereen, she flies over the Dothraki on Drogon, then encounters them with Drogon. I daresay they don't just grab her, bind her hands and walk her back to camp without getting toasted by that BF DRAGON. Knowing that the Dothraki only respect strength, she calls out, "I am Danaerys Stormborn, Mother of Dragons etc. Who is khal? I challenge him." After torching a few guys she vaults back onto Drogon and asks: "Does anyone else wants to defy the Mother of Dragons?" In short, wielding dragon power will change her over time (about 1500 pages worth of time, I'd say). That's the curse of the Targaeryans.

But we don't have all this stuff - just favorite characters going bad or dying. Do I really want to plow through hundreds of pages just to get to this disappointing result, even if I get there more plausibly?

I mean as much as there is foreshadowing and her demise seeming inevitable., it may not be as simple as defeating KL then burning everything. There may be some time on the throne or she may have to kill some people she loves herself. We may actually resonate with the idea or understand why she did what she did or why she ended up the way she did. It just can't be as simple as it is in the series. 

Of course there's a lack of motivation when you think that she will just be another Targaryen that has died due to some of the sterotypical things they are defined by. However I think it will be an interesting journey and we know GRRM can take us there. I look forward to it because I'm hopeful that it will make the series seem like a complete stranger. I get why you don't want to read pages on her downfall and that your expectations of her are different yet it may end up being that way or her loss may not be somebody else's gain.

We can't just let the series ruin it for us, the books (if they release) will have to revive that feeling that made us interested in the first place. Regardless of whether some outcomes remain the same, learning a lot more and understanding more character arcs will change everything. 

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