And at the end of the very bizarre Episode Four of Season Eight, we find the leaders of Daenerys' army standing outside the gates of King's Landing to attempt to broker a surrender with Cersei Lannister. But something looked off. Now, Game of Thrones fans on Reddit have pinpointed exactly what feels wrong about King's Landing in Season Eight compared to what we've seen in previous seasons.
Hmmm yes, it certainly does look different.
Here are two descriptions of King's Landing from George R.R. Martin's Fire & Blood, which describe the topography and architecture of King's Landing:
Many assume, wrongly, that the reign of King Aegon I Targaryen began on the day he landed at the mouth of the Blackwater Rush, beneath the three hills where the city of King’s Landing would eventually stand.
His Grace ordered the construction of a ring of walls about King’s Landing, as high and strong as those that protected Oldtown and Lannisport. The task of building them was conferred upon Grand Maester Gawen and Ser Osmund Strong, the Hand of the King. To honor the Seven, Aegon decreed that the city would have seven gates, each defended by a massive gatehouse and defensive towers.
Then, as the Game of Thrones wiki describes:
The city covers the north shore of the Blackwater Rush and covers three tall hills, named after Aegon and his two sisters, Visenya and Rhaenys. Aegon's High Hill, surmounted by the Red Keep, the royal castle located in the south-eastern corner of the city, overlooks the bay directly, whilst Visenya's Hill to the west is crowned by the marble-walled Great Sept of Baelorand its seven crystal towers. The Hill of Rhaenys in the north is capped by the collapsed ruins of the Dragonpit dome, its bronze doors shut for a century and a half since the last dragon died.
George R.R. Martin's source material makes the description of King's Landing very clear. It's built upon a number of hills and surrounded by wooded forest area. And that's exactly what we see in the earlier seasons. Those photos on the left above show King's Landing as a sprawling city built upon the hills and surrounded closely by trees. Then, suddenly in Season Eight, those photos on the right show King's Landing built on some empty, flat wasteland.
It's a bizarre change for the final season. And it's possible that the showrunners thought fans would either not notice or not care. Or, perhaps it was an artistic choice to visually give King's Landing the feel of desperation under Cersei's rule. Either way, it didn't work. Instead, this just seems like yet another choice that completely insults the Game of Thrones source material and its audience.
For more stories like this, including celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter.