Daenerys Targaryen: Is the Khaleesi the Real Villain of Game of Thrones?!

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Well, we're just over one week away from the series finale of Game of Thrones.

The bad news, of course, is that in a few short days, we'll never again have another new episode of GoT to dissect, obsess over, and argue about.

Dany is Pissed

The good news is that after eight seasons of twists, turns, betrayals, and bloodshed, we'll finally get to find out who wins the battle for the Iron Throne.

From the very start, it was widely assumed that a fan favorite would emerge victorious in the end.

Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow/Aegon Targaryen were considered the frontrunners, of course, but if we were to bear witness to an unexpected chain of events that put Arya Stark or even Tyrion Lannister in the seat of power, that ending would likely be embraced by viewers, as well.

A Khaleesi Moment

Fortunately, George R.R. Martin and showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have never given a damn about what the fans want.

And to quote Theon Greyjoy's sadistic tormentor Ramsay Bolton, "if you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention."

Over the course of the past several episodes, we've seen Daenerys slowly stripped of just about everything meaningful in her life.

She lost another one of her dragons, as well as her best friend and confidant, Missandei, who was brutally executed right before her eyes.

Dany is Pissed

On top of that, she's now burdened with the knowledge that her lover and biggest supporter has revealed himself to be her nephew and the rightful heir to the throne she so covets.

Obviously, all of this has taken a tremendous toll on the Khaleesi, the Breaker of Chains, and the Bearer of About 17 Other Official Titles.

The change in her mindset has been so extreme that it's begun to manifest itself physically.

In "The Last of the Starks," Dany sneers and spits venomous responses to those who challenge her, often while wearing more red -- the official color of House Targaryen and its "Mad King" Aerys -- then we've ever seen her in before.

I Love Incest!

Her slow transformation from virtuous egalitarian to power-hungry despot-in-the-making has been masterfully portrayed by Emilia Clarke.

And now many fans are wondering where it's all headed.

Nothing about the show up to this point has pointed to a conclusion in which the good guys win and justice prevails.

Still, having been conditioned by decades of TV show storylines that played out along more crowd-pleasing arcs, we find ourselves expecting exactly that.

Dany in White

But what if, as Dany prepares to lead her troops into "the Last War" against Cersei Lannister and her assembled forces, she's not the one we should be rooting for?

That's not to say that Cersei has been a low-key hero all the while -- it's possible that there's no one we should be rooting for, or that a third party will emerge as the GoT's rightful protagonist.

But whatever the case, it seems increasingly clear that Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen is not the ruler that the long-suffering people of Westeros deserve.

Aunt and Nephew

Clarke stated this week that Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 5 is her favorite of the entire series.

(As with every episode this season, its title won't be revealed until the moment it premieres.)

That could mean we're in store for another epic military campaign on par with the Battle of Winterfell.

But it might also mean we're soon to bear witness to a tour de force performance as one of GoT's most beloved characters finally breaks bad.

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