May 19, 2019

From Gerald R. Lucas

The series finale of Game of Thrones was tonight, and despite the issues with the last couple of seasons, I really enjoyed it. I was thinking Daenerys was a tragic figure, but I think she died without ever knowing her own flaw. What was that flaw? Well, it could have been genetics, or a Sophoclean fate, but we all know that holds no water. She had a messiah complex, driven it seems by a sort of malignant narcissism that makes her form of goodness delusional.

Another link to Greek — almost — tragedy is Drogon taking her body away at the end. I can’t help but think of Medea using Helios’ chariot pulled by dragons to escape the consequences of her actions at the end of Euripides pseudo-tragedy. Where did Drogon take her? It’s almost like an angel carrying away a hero to heaven. Also, my favorite image in the finale was the first time we see Daenerys, and Drogon’s taking off in the background: it looks as if Dany is turning into a dragon — all black and spreading her wings like a gargoyle. I think, too, that this is another nod to Sophocles: while we might not judge a dragon in a human oral sense by its actions, this does not excuse the mother of dragons from hers.

I liked the extended dénouement of the series, as the business of the Six Kingdoms resumes. Arya leaving Westeros alludes to Frodo’s leaving Middle Earth, and it seems that Jon, too, has left with his new wildling family. Bittersweet, for sure. Did Sansa look happy? She seems almost as reluctant as Bran to be a monarch. Here is that fate again showing its head, yet here its a moral choice based on the needs of the people. Tragedy, after all, seems to be a genre of politics. What is the game of thrones if it’s not political?

Maybe I’ll have more to write over the next couple of days.