They brutally cut off a key part in Dany’s story, just like Jon Snow did in the show’s final.
Game of Thrones has made significant departures from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books, particularly in the character arc of Daenerys Targaryen, and these changes have had a profound impact on her storyline and the controversial transformation from hero to Mad Queen in the eighth season of the show.
While the ending of Game of Thrones was bound to stir debate, many viewers found Daenerys’ abrupt change unsatisfying. Incorporating key details from the books and the Mother of Dragons’ vital plotlines, however, could have improved the transition.
Daenerys’ journey in Game of Thrones has been shaped in part by the prophecies that she has encountered.
Some, like her visions in the House of the Undying and her interactions with Quaithe, made it into the show, but still, the series only scratched the surface of these elements compared to the depth found in Martin’s books.
Expanding on Daenerys’ prophecies and visions, which reached a staggering 18 in A Clash of Kings, would have strengthened her character development. It would have solidified her unwavering belief in her destiny as the ruler of Westeros, which would have made her actions more understandable.
They would also have been an explanation for her growing paranoia and suspicion, especially after the loss of all her close allies. With this added depth, Dany’s descent into darkness would have been more emotionally resonant.
However, adapting the books’ perspective to convey Daenerys’ inner thoughts and emotions proved to be challenging. Her longing for home and her dreams of the Red Door, which Daenerys sometimes recalled in A Song of Ice and Fire as the place where she and her brother Viserys spent time growing up, were also central aspects that didn’t translate easily to screen.
Daenerys’ quest for the Iron Throne was never just about power; it was her way of finding a “home” and reconnecting with her lost family. Her strong desire for the house with the red door, her time with Willem Darry and her brother Viserys reflected her deep longing for the childhood she never had.
That’s why Game of Thrones’ omission of crucial elements from the books significantly affected Daenerys’ character arc. Including these crucial details would have added depth to her character and provided a more nuanced portrayal, potentially improving her transition to becoming the Mad Queen and further illuminating her inner lost child.
Because as R.R. Martin wrote, “All Daenerys wanted back was the big house with the red door, the lemon tree outside her window, the childhood she had never known.”