On Daenerys Stormborn and Art Criticism at the Speed of Light

On Sunday night, May the 12th, twitter was alight with takes as hot as the fire pouring forth from Drogon’s maw. While I do think there are some valid criticisms of the pacing of the show this season, and the show-runners’ arbitrary choice of limiting their remaining time, I also am not so sure we should collectively decide the quality of a work by midnight after it airs and in a group project setting.

This sis especially the case when a lot of the criticism (besides the pacing) boiled down to willfully ignoring character traits and developments that have been present the whole time for a personal desired ending and view of how characters were changing.

Jamie is a good example of this in that yes he truly did love and care for Brienne, but he built his entire life around Cersei. That was telegraphed from season one, episode one.


Also present from season one is Daenerys’ desire to return “home” and claim her “birthright”. Her actions in Essos were not much different than what we saw Sunday night, but they happened to people and places who we felt deserved it, or more importantly, we had no connection to and cared nothing about.

You can also still like Dany. Liking complex characters is the heart of the show in some ways.

Defenses of the Khaleesi’s actions aside, I think we should hold out until the whole series is wrapped before we rush to judgments on whether or not the ball has been dropped regarding the show.

The Bells was one of the most beautifully shot, acted and executed episodes of television that has ever been committed to the screen, and I don’t think we should toss that away because a couple of characters that we liked didn’t turn out how we expected.