‘Game Of Thrones’ Creators Defend Season 8 And Explain Why Daenerys Become The Mad Queen

Joshua RogersJoshua Rogers in Entertainment, TV
Published 17.05.19

Game Of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss explain season 8 and Daenerys Targaryen becoming the Mad Queen

The latest season of Game Of Thrones must be one of the most divisive series in TV history.

You’ve got thousands signing a petition to get it rewritten by ‘competent writers’ (never going to happen), while others have resorted to making memes in order to vent their frustrations.

It’s not a bad way to channel your anger, to be fair.


Fans have been highly critical of the perceived ‘lazy writing’ and ‘poor character development’ in the series, referring mostly to Daenerys’ descent into madness.

She’s been a beacon of freedom and hope for eight seasons and now she’s killing millions of innocent civilians and burning King’s Landing to the ground. You think you know a person, eh?

The show’s creators, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, have been the target of much of this frustration, but now they’ve defended their decision to turn Dany into the Mad Queen, explaining why it was always bound to happen.

In a special behind-the-scenes film, Benioff said:

“She chose violence. A Targaryen choosing violence is a pretty terrifying thing.

“Even when you look back to season one and Khal Drogo gives the golden crown to Viserys, her reaction to watching her brother’s head melted off. There is something chilling about the way Dany has responded to the death of her enemies.


“And if circumstances would have been different, I don’t think this side of Dany would ever have come out – if Cersei hadn’t betrayed her, if she hadn’t killed Missandei, if Jon hadn’t told her the truth… If all these things had happened in a different way, I don’t think we would see this side of Daenerys Targaryen.”

Weiss then added: “I don’t think she decided ahead of time that she was going to do what she did. She sees the Red Keep, which is to her the home that her family built when they first came over to this country 300 years ago.

“It’s in that moment, on the walls of King’s Landing, when she’s looking at that symbol of everything that was taken from her, that she takes the decision to make this personal.”


Going on to explain why you couldn’t actually see Daenerys while Drogon was burning King’s Landing to the ground, Weiss said:

“We wanted her to be just death from above.

“As seen from the perspective of the people who are on the business end of that dragon.”

“In most large stories like this, it seems like there’s a tendency to focus on the heroic figures and not pay much attention to the people who may be suffering the repercussions of the decisions made by those heroic people.”

Fair enough.

I’m not hugely enamoured with the way Daenerys’ story arc has panned out this season, but you can’t say it’s come out of the blue.

I’ve enjoyed this season – although not as much as I expected – and all things considered I think it’s a decent way for the show to go out.


Someone was always going to be the fall guy when things inevitably took a turn for the worst in season 8, and it just so happens it was Daenerys.

People will get over it, and they’ll still watch the prequel series.

Images via HBO