Game of Thrones (opens in new tab) wrapped its eight-season run in May, and well, there are feelings. To put it very kindly, fans are split about whether the final season paid justice to the epic preceding it, with a lot of criticism directed toward one particular dragon-riding Khaleesi and her decision to lay King's Landing low in the pen-ultimate episode. Now, thanks to some concept art from 'The Art of Game of Thrones' (via Vanity Fair (opens in new tab)), we can name one more factor that apparently influenced Daenerys to do what she did, and it's in the shape of the Lannister lion house sigil.
Underneath the aforementioned concept art, you see the caption "Being able to see the Lannister lion in the window behind the throne was very important in this illustration." It's unclear why the showrunners decided not to include this bit in the episode, but it does provide some well-needed context to Daenerys' mindset. Her family built King's Landing during Aegon's Conquest and for centuries afterward, and now a murderous usurper sits on the throne.
In case you don't remember, or simply choose not to, episode five of Game of Thrones' eighth season saw Daenerys Targaryen take to the skies atop her last remaining dragon and burn Cersei Lannister's city to the ground. In doing so, the "Breaker of Chains" ended thousands of innocent lives in the most brutal, unforgiving fashion.
Naturally, there were fans who felt the move was out-of-character of Daenerys, even though her best friend and confidant had just been beheaded and one of her dragon's murdered, both at Cersei's orders. Daenerys had literally earned a title out of liberating slaves, and her lack of compassion for families living under Cersei's rule left fans feeling like her sudden transformation into the Mad Queen was undeserved. Hopefully this new detail gives disconcerted fans some closure now nearly six months after the finale.
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