The Following Contains Spoilers for the Game of Thrones Finale.
As Game of Thrones comes to a close, the final season has left a remarkably bad taste in the mouths of fans. This, however, does not mean that we cannot learn from this show. In particular, the finale is a warning about power. To broadcast this warning, the show kills Daenerys, a character who once was a protagonist.
Jon Snow did Not Kill Daenerys
Even though Jon is the one who plunged the sword into Daenerys, he did not kill her. In truth, it was the Iron Throne that took her life. In this season, Daenerys becomes so power-hungry that she burns down an entire city, killing innocents in the pursuit of power. While she may have had good intentions, Daenerys became a villain at the end of the show. In spite of her argument of the murder of civilians being “necessary,” there is no justification for murder.
When Jon asks about the fate of the surviving people, Dany responds by saying “They don’t get to choose.” This is a common platitude of the state: you will live what I view to be your best life even if it kills you. Once one adopts such a mindset, they reach a point of no return. Their belief in their own omniscience negates any appeal to reason. At that point, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” becomes the moral of one’s story. Humanity is inclined to liberty. The attempt to suppress that is not only futile, but evil.
In a Game of Thrones, Everyone Loses
Daenerys represents every idealist dictator one can consider. While she believes that she has the all-seeing eye that will tell the world what the best path is, we all know she does not. Daenerys died in the pursuit of omnipotence. Her good intentions twisted due to the intoxicating power of the throne. Daenerys seized the throne and immediately became everything wrong with government. Through power, one does not have to consider reason, for they can create their own knowledge. They can destroy all who dissent. Every so-called noble cause leaves a trail of corpses once the state imposes the cause.
After Daenerys’s death, Drogon burns the Iron Throne. He knows that Jon did not kill her. It was the pursuit of power, and that throne represents the power she sought. While the final season of Game of Thrones disappointed many fans, there are lessons we all must learn in the show. Drogon realized the evil of the throne, so he destroyed it. The pursuit of freedom does not foster heroes. It discourages idol worship, but it unleashes the human spirit and enables prosperity. Freedom, not force, will make the world great.