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The Daenerys Targaryen Scene In Game Of Thrones That Went Too Far

Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) quickly became one of the most popular characters in "Game of Thrones" once audiences realized that she was ultimately going to bring her rage to Westeros in an attempt to oust the Lannisters from the seat of power, the Iron Throne (which Daenerys believes is her birthright). The show spends plenty of time developing her character in a way that made audiences feel incredibly sympathetic towards her cause, making this character one of the show's most beloved heroes.

Once she fully came into her own, commanding armies and fighting for justice, Daenerys was, indisputably, a brilliant and compelling character — and the addition of her three dragons only made fans invest in her quest even further. However, it's hard to deny that she gets a little lost as she tries to "liberate" Westeros from the Lannisters and their allies. After the war against the White Walkers had been won, there was genuinely no need for Daenerys to descend into villainy — as she did by the end of Season 8.

While it was obvious what producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff were trying to say about the allure that true power holds and how it easily corrupts people, this particular scene took things too far. Here's the moment fans turned against Daenerys in the final season of "Game of Thrones."

Burning King's Landing was Daenerys' worst moment in Game of Thrones

Okay, sure — Daenerys burned people alive using her dragons a number of times, but it's the intention behind the destruction of King's Landing that just takes things too far. After Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) rejects her because he discovers they're related — yikes — and she loses both her closest confidante Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and one of her two remaining dragons to Cersei's forces, she has lothing left to lose... which leads to the complete destruction of King's Landing in Season 8, Episode 5, "The Bells."

Let's face it: the Lannister forces are pretty much against Drogon (Daenerys' sole dragon) breathing fire and razing the city to the ground. However, in the end, it's Daenerys' choice to willingly burn probably thousands of innocent people — including innocents, women, and children — alive in the streets. The civilians' collective terror is truly felt throughout the episode, with a war happening on the ground and a fire-breathing dragon hovering in the sky. At this point, Daenerys is no longer a liberator — she's a tyrant, completely transformed into the Mad Queen like her father Aerys before her. It's a complete departure from — and betrayal of — the woman who was so dedicated to freeing slaves and "breaking the wheel" for the past 7 seasons; when faced with King's Landing, Daenerys kills thousands of people simply because she can.

As the battle rages, Jon is horrified by her actions when he sees the after-effects of Drogon's inferno breath, as the burnt bodies of men, women, and children litter the ground. It's only further hammered home that Dany is truly off the deep end when she announces in the Season Finale, "The Iron Throne," that she was planning to extend her wrath across the rest of the world. Jon ultimately faces an impossible choice and kills his queen, aunt, and lover right in front of the throne she wants so badly... which, honestly, was probably for the greater good.

Daenerys' transformation made no sense in Game of Thrones

In the aftermath of Daenerys' attack on King's Landing, several characters in the show were left utterly baffled — and fans were too. As the penultimate episode of a largely unpopular final season, the massacre in "The Bells" didn't exactly ring true to fans, who wondered when their beloved heroine became a tyrant overnight.

There's no question that Daenerys, a hot-blooded Targaryen with a family history of mental instability and massive dragons willing to do her bidding, made some troubling decisions throughout "Thrones," but she always seemed to favor justice over simple-minded vengeance. Whether she was allowing her husband, Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) to melt a molten golden crown onto her brother Viserys' (Harry Lloyd)'s head, killing crude and sexist Dothraki riders, or murdering slavers en masse, viewers could always be comforted that she was on the right side of justice... until the show's final season.

The creative minds behind "Game of Thrones" maintain that the Daenerys twist was planned all along, and when you take into account that Daenerys brutally murders two highborn Tarlys in Season 7 and Varys (Conleth Hill) in Season 8 for perceived slights, it might make a little bit of sense. However, the Daenerys that audiences fell for would never have killed innocents, and her actions in "The Bells" are yet another example of the final season's frequent character assassinations — which explains why Jon literally assassinates his queen in the series finale.

Emilia Clarke understands why fans were upset by Daenerys' big twist

Though Clarke initially defended the finale back in May of 2019, saying Daenerys' destruction was a "logical" route for the character to take, she has since reversed course. During a June 2021 chat with MTV News correspondent Josh Horowitz on his podcast, "Happy Sad Confused," as Horowitz revealed on Twitter, Clarke admitted that she completely gets why fans were upset at her character's abrupt — and violent — heel turn.

"I get why people were pissed," Clarke told Horowitz. "I totally get it."

"Me being the actor, you can't do justice to the character that you've poured your blood, sweat, and tears into for a decade without getting on the same page [with the creative decisions the team has made]," she continued. "So, like, I'm not going to be there being, like, 'Pfft! Fine, I'll do the scene, whatever.' You have to turn up. Because why? Because you're doing it for you, and you're doing it for her, and you're doing it for the show, and you're doing it for the storytelling."

Though Clarke said she did have some "autonomy" over Daenerys' character arc, when all was said and done, she just had to play what was given to her as truthfully as possible: "The editor decides what it looks like, and the writer decides what I'm saying. So you just gotta go in and try and give it as much truth and honesty ... and yourself as you possibly can."

Whether you want to relive Daenerys' best moments or yell through "The Bells" all over again, all of "Game of Thrones" is available to stream on HBO Max.