Samuel Jackson begs to differ with you…

But even if we accept your theory about character development being the most important part of a story, D&D have completely ignored the central motivations of each character over the last two seasons, culminating in the visually pleasing but disappointing plot points of episode 5:

  1. Daenerys — nodded her head in agreement to Tyrion’s plea that she not destroy the city if the people surrender and they ring the bells. When the bells start ringing, and all the fighting has stopped, she turns into the Mad Queen for no reason.
  2. Jamie — his entire character arc has pointed him in the direction of redemption. In the books, Maggy the Frog prophesized that the Valonqar would end up strangling Cersei to death. Most people assumed this would be either Tyrion or Jamie. The show hinted throughout season 7 that Jamie had opened his eyes and given up his obsession with Cersei in his disdain for destroying the Sept of Baelor. He had sacrificed his honor as a knight to a higher principle by saving the people of Kings Landing from the Mad King, and suffered endlessly because of it. Now, his sister had become the Mad Queen. How does this character ignore his core principles and end up comforting his sister instead of killing her?
  3. Arya — her entire life has lead up to her completing the List by killing Cersei, but the Hound convinces her to give up her raison d’etre in about ten seconds.
  4. Davos (episode 3)— he lost the love of his life when the Red Woman burned Shireen Baratheon and vowed to kill her if she ever set foot in the North again. He just stands by and watches her go out on her own terms.
  5. Varys — he vowed to tell Daenerys to her face if he thought she was losing her way and becoming a tyrant like her father. Instead, he goes behind her back and gets executed by dragon fire.
  6. Tyrion (since season 7) — went from being the smartest man in the Seven Kingdoms to a complete idiot, compiling an incredible string of losses and bad decisions. The only thing he did that made sense for his character was to let his brother escape, hoping he could somehow get Cersei to leave King’s Landing with Jamie and save the city from destruction.
  7. Cersei — spent her life doing anything in her power to thwart Maggy the Frog’s prophesy and protect her children. In the end, she went from being the super scheming tyrant always a step ahead of her opponents to a one-dimensional dictator mouthing clichés like “my men will fight better than sellswords and defend the kingdom to the last man” and “the Red Keep has never fallen and it won’t fall today.” And this comes after Qyburn had already told her that the Iron Fleet was destroyed and all the scorpions were destroyed. She watched the dragon destroy everything with no resistance and never fled while she had the chance to save herself and her baby. Then she blubbers in Jamie’s arms about not wanting to let her baby die.

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Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at https://guttmanshapiro.com. Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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