'Game of Thrones' fully leaned into a popular theory about Daenerys, and fans are severely disappointed

HBODaenerys Targaryen burned King’s Landing down.
  • Warning: Spoilers ahead for “Game of Thrones” season eight, episode five, “The Bells.”
  • Daenerys Targaryen and her army destroyed King’s Landing on the penultimate episode of the HBO series.
  • A number of key characters were also killed off during Sunday’s episode.
  • Visit INSIDER.com for more stories.

Daenerys Targaryen flew into King’s Landing and burned the city to the ground during Sunday’s episode of “Game of Thrones,” titled “The Bells.”

Tyrion Lannister, her hand, tried to prevent a full-out war and told both Dany and Jon that should the city ring the bells signifying a surrender that Dany’s army would fall back. But upon hearing the bells, Dany proceeded to destroy even more of the city, and her army continued to kill Lannister soldiers and civilians.

Dany refusing to hold back after the city’s surrender leaned into the Mad Queen theory that has surrounded her character, and fans were severely disappointed with how it played out onscreen.

Some said it dispelled her character growth from season one

Others said it was predictable

For some fans, evidence that Dany would become a “Mad Queen” came from her seeking vengeance on those who have wronged her. The fact that her own father, King Aerys II, was called the Mad King after he became paranoid and started killing people also didn’t hurt the theory. But after the second episode of the eighth season, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” some fans believed Dany would ultimately be a hero.

As INSIDER’s Kim Renfro wrote, “Instead of Daenerys becoming an ‘evil’ queen, it’s much more plausible that the show has set her up as a tragic hero. Her entangled desires for both the Iron Throne and loving relationships are working against each other, and perhaps the cost will be her life.”

Read more: ‘Game of Thrones’ keeps adding fuel to a popular ‘Evil Daenerys’ fan theory, but her path forward is more complicated

Drogon burning game of thrones season eightHBODany destroys King’s Landing.

Dany grew to love Jon Snow and that love could’ve possibly prevented her from her destructive path. But as she proved on Sunday’s episode, that love wasn’t enough.

She knows Jon betrayed her and told his siblings about his true Targaryen bloodline, and Dany is fearful for her claim on the throne. After confronting him about it, she tells him, “I don’t have love here. I only have fear.”

Jon tells her he loves her but pulls away during a kiss.

“All right, then,” she says. “Let it be fear.”

Fans will learn if she takes her place on the Iron Throne during next week’s series finale.

“Game of Thrones” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.

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