The script for the infamous Game of Thrones finale, ‘The Iron Throne’, appeared in full online this week in the run up to the Emmys. The final-ever episode of HBO’s fantasy epic, written and directed by showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, is nominated for an Outstanding Drama Series award. As such the full script was available to view online but has since been taken down due to fans’ criticism and mocking of some of the scripts revelations.
New details regarding some of the standout scenes of the already controversial episode put many creative decisions under scrutiny. So let’s take a look at what we learnt.
1. Daenerys is the devil
‘Jon climbs the stairway. When he nears the top he sees Dany, already dismounted, walking towards him. For a moment, Drogon’s unfolding wings spread behind her back, an unsettling image. Her Satanic Majesty’s Request’
Yep, you heard it Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) is Satan now. Whilst the massacre of King’s Landing is undoubtedly horrific the script ups the anti that Dany is now Satan himself personified – unquestionably evil and utterly dehumanised.
The imagery of this particular shot (see above) was one of the most praised talking points of the episode, and whilst visually gorgeous, the script reveals much darker connotations. Daenerys is the dragon, an ultimate angel of death and a walking monster.
Here, the show goes to epic proportions to display Daenerys as the last big boss, almost in comical Disney villain style. With her black dragon wings and her tight leather outfit she may as well go by Maleficent.
One of the interesting aspects of Game of Thrones was that there are no clear heroes and villains. Everyone has their own justifications for their actions, no matter how horrifying they may seem. Painting Daenerys in such a conventionally villainous manner does nothing more than cheaply tell us that she’s evil now, rather than subtly developing her character down a darker path.
2. Drogon did not intend to burn the Iron Throne
‘We look over Jon’s shoulder as the fire sweeps toward the throne — not the target of Drogon’s wrath, just a dumb bystander caught up in the conflagration’
Many theorised post-episode that Drogon intentionally burnt the Iron Throne, seeing it as the symbol of power which ultimately corrupted his mother, which was directly responsible for her demise rather than the fatal blow she received from Jon Snow (Kit Harington).
It would seem clear from this passage that Drogon does not possess a PhD in political science, and was merely blazing his anger throughout the Red Keep. Innocently aiming it at the throne, which symbolism was completely lost on him, making this scene seem utterly meaningless in retrospect.
3. Jon is suicidal
‘ Jon doesn’t flee. He has no interest in avoiding death; he has nothing left to live for. He stands and steps away from Dany’s body.’
‘Jon looks ragged. He hasn’t slept, hasn’t eaten, hasn’t bathed. He looks like a man who doesn’t care whether he lives or dies.’
Things don’t end particularly well for one Jon Snow. Whilst some fans were satisfied to see him return to The True North with his puppy, the true heir to the throne receives something far from a happy ending. These passages clearly express Jon’s grief at killing Daenerys, immediately after her demise and something which deeply effects him in the weeks and months after.
Here you can’t help but feel like the feminist icon that Daenerys Targaryen was for so many has been somewhat fridged. Killed in a lover’s embrace to get the audience to sympathise with the man-pain her lover has to experience at her death.
Multiple lines throughout the script emphasise Jon’s love for Daenerys is still present, making his action even more devastating for his character. One truly can’t help but feel that Jon’s ending was depressingly tragic, even as the final scene of him riding off into the forest beyond the wall gives us no insight whatsoever into his emotional state.
4. Yara is scared of Arya because Arya’s not like the other girls
‘Yara opens her mouth to respond but sees the look on Arya’s face. Yara is as tough as they come, but Arya — Arya’s different.’
Unfortunately, Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan) is largely absent from the final season. When she makes her final appearance it is at Tyrion’s trial at the Dragon Pit. Here she verbally declares her loyalty to the recently deceased Daenerys and demands that Jon Snow be punished accordingly for her murder. This prompts Arya (Maisie Williams) to threaten Yara. However, it would seem Yara is somewhat afraid to challenge her.
Whilst it’s no debate that Arya is fearless and dangerous, Yara has no knowledge of what Arya can do. It is somewhat more of a disservice to Yara’s under-served character, who has been surrounded by cut-throat men most of her life, to be scared of a teenage girl’s mouth. It’s also even more disheartening to see this interaction given both of their connections to Theon (Alfie Allen), who of course died defending Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright).
5. Jon and Sansa aren’t that bright
‘ARYA: What’s west of Westeros?
Jon and Sansa look at each other. They both failed geography’
Many light-hearted jokes and pop culture references are littered throughout previous Game of Thrones scripts. However, this one featured as the Stark siblings (cousins?) say their final goodbyes feels somewhat out of place given the sombre tone of the scene itself.
It also doesn’t work as Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Jon, as previous lord commander and rulers of the North, probably know more about geography than the average person. Either-way, its spawned a number of hysterical memes across social media.