- After eight seasons and 73 episodes, Game of Thrones came to an end Sunday night.
- In one of the saddest and most shocking moments in the finale, Jon Snow was forced to kill a major character.
- Here's everything you need to know about the pivotal moment and why Jon had to do what he did.
This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones' series finale.
After eight years, Game of Thrones has finally come to an end. It's not the ending that a lot fans were hoping for, but it's the ending we have (unless HBO gives in to that petition and rewrites the final season, which seems incredibly unlikely). In one of the saddest but most inevitable moments in the finale, Jon Snow took out Daenerys Targaryen after her descent into Mad Queen territory in the penultimate episode. Here's what you need to know about why Jon killed Dany in the Game of Thrones finale.
Why did Daenerys become the Mad Queen?
A lot went into Dany's ultimate downfall into Mad Queen territory, but a couple of events really pushed her over the edge. The most glaring was the murder of her BFF, Missandei, but a more subtle moment might have had an even more damning effect, psychologically. After the Battle of Winterfell, she makes a big show of legitimizing Gendry, only to sit back and watch Jon get praised and to see her gesture largely overlooked. This is the moment that cements for her that Jon will always be a huge threat. He's a threat to her rule without his blood claim and with it? It's enough to drive a woman mad.
Why did Jon Snow have to kill Daenerys Targaryen?
The short answer is: Because Tyrion said so.
The longer answer: Because she went mad and killed everyone in King's Landing and showed no sign that she was going to stop killing people. And because it was objectively the right thing to do.
Like the Stark he at least half is, Jon did the hard but right thing and kill Daenerys. He hugged her, told her she would always be his queen, and then stabbed her.
Could Daenerys have been redeemed after burning King's Landing?
Jon did try to give Dany one last chance to prove to him that she didn't need to be taken out in a permanent way. Before he gives her a final hug and stabs her to death, Jon asks Dany to pardon Tyrion, who she has sentenced to death for treason. She refuses and justifies her lack of mercy by saying it's necessary to build the perfect world she knows she can build. Jon realizes that Daenerys isn't going to back down and she'll just keep slaughtering innocents to build her "perfect" world.
Would Daenerys have made a good queen?
This one is easy: No, she would not. In the end, Daenerys was who she's always been—a captivating and inspiring leader with a misguided vision of the future and a tendency to get there with fire and blood.
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