SPOILERS for Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 5 "The Bells" are discussed below.
There is only one episode left of the television juggernaut Game of Thrones. In the penultimate episode, Daenerys Targaryen won the “Last War.” She came, she saw, conquered, and ultimately, she destroyed.
Daenerys heard the bells signaling the citizens of King’s Landing’s surrender. She still burnt everything and nearly everyone to the ground. She fulfilled her father’s desire to “burn them all.” Hence, becoming the Mad Queen.
Westeros now has a new tyrant at the helm. Did Game of Thrones set Daenerys up to die in the series finale? The burning of King's Landing certainly gave the other characters a motivation to put an end to her. As far as I can tell, Jon Snow, Arya Stark, Tyrion Lannister, and Davos Seaworth are the wild cards that exist to potentially take her down.
There is a major “if” attached. Daenerys still has the support of the Unsullied, the Dothraki, and her last surviving dragon. If anyone makes a move, it could mean certain death. What good is a hero, though, if they do not die trying? Let’s break down a few points.
Why Daenerys Could Die In The Series Finale
Daenerys Targaryen’s murderous rampage in King's Landing has led to the deaths of countless victims. With this heinous act, Game of Thrones has seemed to heavily imply that Daenerys could die for what she did. There is no coming back from her actions.
Daenerys is coming into the series finale seemingly unstoppable. For the few who remain, her existence could be something they consider ending before she scorches the rest of the world and places it under her rule. This could be a wake-up call to those who stood by her side. As well as a call to action.
There at least four people who should want to bring an end to Daenerys. What she has done is arguably Game of Thrones’ biggest throw-down-the-gauntlet moment. It marks a significant turning of the tide. The show’s heroes are being confronted with what to do with the unmistakable rise of a villain.
Game of Thrones has let other villains run a reign of terror for a while. Daenerys’ case is different. This is the last episode, ever. Jon Snow and Tyrion are likely facing their own executions. Jon for having his men fall back during the attack, and Tyrion for trying to help his siblings escape. It is either kill or be killed.
Who Could Make The Kill
Of the main characters, Tyrion, Jon Snow, Davos, Grey Worm, and Arya are all who remain in King’s Landing. Game of Thrones viewers can probably rule out Grey Worm. He seems incredibly unlikely to kill Daenerys. Davos is also a far off bet at this point. However, you would have never expected Arya to kill the Night King, so who knows.
If Jaime Lannister is somehow still alive as one fan theory suggests, you could count him in there too. He killed Daenerys’ father and has made an attempt on Daenerys before in Season 7. Could he go from Kingslayer to Queenslayer?
If he is alive, it is a possibility. He has had a disdain for Daenerys. If he survived and his beloved Cersei is dead that would only ramp him up more.
Now, if Jaime is dead, it is arguably between Tyrion, Jon Snow, and Arya to do the deed. All three have killed before and all have a motive to assassinate Daenerys. One of them has a recently vested interest and a prophecy behind them. The others have their own reasons and setups to do the act.
If Daenerys does not die, it is hard to imagine her not killing Jon Snow and Tyrion. Arya could escape, and Davos could get pardoned. In essence, it is either Daenerys dying or Game of Thrones kills off Jon Snow and Tyrion. A double death shocker would not be out of reach at this point. Let’s go down the track of who could kill Daenerys.
Who Could Make The Kill: Tyrion
Tyrion killed his treacherous ex-girlfriend and his father, Tywin. So, he has it in him to take a life. Tyrion can no longer deny that Daenerys is a Mad Queen. His face, as he walked through the rubble, seemed to bring that home. He has walked through the ashes of Daenerys’ death strike before in Season 7. He ended up sticking by her side, though.
The sight of innocent civilians and their children dead should be more than enough to break through to Tyrion. He has undoubtedly been afraid of what Daenerys can do for a while. Now, his worst fears have been realized. Will it be the tipping point that pushes him to take action?
To kill Daenerys, Tyrion would have to pull off something remarkable. He has no weapon that viewers are aware of. Unless he is keeping a dagger somewhere. Given the perilous times that would be wise.
Even if he does have a weapon, Tyrion would have to get past the Unsullied, the Dothraki, and Daenerys’ dragon to use it. Tyrion did prove he has a way with dragons, way back when. So, he does have that going for him.
Who Could Make The Kill: Jon
Jon Snow has killed many during battles, executions, etc. This is different for him. He has feelings for Daenerys. However, he also has feelings for humanity as a whole. Seeing what happened clearly horrified Jon and he took action, telling his men to fall back, and saving a woman by killing an attempted rapist.
Throughout Game of Thrones’ run, Jon has shown an ability to do what needs to get done. In the past, he has made the tough calls and carried them out. Not with malice. Instead, a sense of justice.
What Daenerys did is a war crime and could be seen as warranting execution. Jon could swing the sword and Daenerys may hesitate enough to give him an advantage. If he does make a move, it would be a “stark” departure from his behavior so far this season.
Game of Thrones has underutilized Jon’s fighting skills throughout the final installment. He saw a frustratingly limited amount of action in both the Battle of Winterfell and the so-called "Last War." Maybe the show has saved him up to have this big moment fighting everyone to get to Daenerys. That may be a stretch of the imagination.
Jon Snow has the tactical ability to get close to her. Again, it is all about how Daenerys’ presents herself to everyone. Jon does have one advantage Tyrion and Arya do not have. He has Targaryen blood.
Theoretically, he is the only one of the three who could deal with Daenerys’ dragon, although that could also be tricky. The last surviving dragon is not particularly fond of him. Jon rode Rhaegal, who has been killed.
Who Could Make The Kill: Arya
Then there is Arya. She recently killed the Night King, and wiped out House Frey, among many other kills. Game of Thrones went out of its way to show that she can blend in to crowds. Her ability to sneak up on people has been well established.
Those “no one” powers could also work on Daenerys’ dragon. There is another clue that Arya could be the one to kill Daenerys. Melisandre said that Arya would shut green eyes forever.
Arya did not go through with killing Cersei and guess who seems to have a set of green eyes? Daenerys “Stormborn” Targaryen. Game of Thrones has gone out of its way to show her in the light, and when they have, her eyes look pretty green. Look no further than this screenshot from Season 8, Episode 4 for proof:
The show has also gone out of its way to give a personal connection to why Arya would want to kill Daenerys. On Drogon, Daenerys murdered a little girl and her mother that Arya tried to save. It's personal.
There is something else too. Daenerys will probably want to “fire” Tyrion as her Hand and Jon Snow as her rival. The latter told his men to fall back. You can bet the new Queen of the Seven Kingdoms is going to have a problem with that. Arya would have a problem with Daenerys killing her brother and maybe even Tyrion too.
Who Should Make The Kill
Either Jon Snow or Tyrion should be the one to kill Daenerys, in my opinion. They are the ones that empowered her to do what she did. Most of the blame falls on Jon Snow. Hence, his need to rectify his actions.
Jon could have worked with Varys to assert his birthright and save everyone. He was the only one with the real power to get things done, and he did not.
That Daenerys felt she deserved the throne was enough of a warning flag. Still, Jon did not listen. By revealing his biological identity to Sansa and Arya, he has made both of his sisters targets.
They both know, and Daenerys would kill to keep their mouths shut. At this point, Jon may have to kill Daenerys to save his sisters. Sam and Bran are also at risk for that matter.
Varys’ arguments made logical sense. Why should a person that covets power so intensely get it? Nothing Varys said got through. Is it infatuation that got both Tyrion and Jon to look the other way? Jon refused Daenerys’ advances, but the damage was done.
Now that Jon and Tyrion have witnessed the devastation, they have to take action. They are both good men who sat by and did nothing. There is no justification for them to continue to walk this line and support Daenerys in the series finale. It is time for them to make sure that her reign is ended.
Tune in to find out if Daenerys dies and if so, by whose hand. Game of Thrones’ series finale airs May 19 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.