Jon Snow was the closest thing to a classically-heroic figure in “Game of Thrones,” but it became increasingly clear in later seasons that Daenerys was the one who would be the true game changer in the power politics of King’s Landing and Westeros. Once she finally crossed the seas with her armies of the Unsullied, the Dothraki, and her three giant dragons, it seemed, everything would be upended.
Unfortunately, the final season of the show undid all the goodwill Dany had earned over the years by unexpectedly turning her into a villain. After a long, winding road to get to King’s Landing (which included having two of her dragon children die) Dany decided she’d had enough. In a stunningly brutal display in “The Bells” (Season 8, Episode 5), Dany used her final dragon to burn all of King’s Landing, incinerating untold numbers of innocent civilians.
The scene became possibly the most notorious moment in all of “Game of Thrones,” leading fans to decry Season 8 as the worst of the entire series. At least Martin has offered some hope that his (still unpublished) final “Game of Thrones” novels might offer fans a better ending.
“That made it a little strange because now the show was ahead of me and the show was going in somewhat different directions,” Martin explained to WTTW Chicago in 2021. “I’m still working on the book, but you’ll see my ending when that comes out.”