This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones. Consider yourself warned.
Last night's episode of Game of Thrones was almost as dizzying as the Battle of Winterfell—though at least everyone could see the fighting this time around. Jon Snow and the troops from the North, including what was left of the Dothraki and the Unsullied, arrived in King's Landing to battle with Cersei and her armies. Of course, they were also accompanied by Daenerys Targaryen and her lone remaining dragon, Drogon.
The city felt the full power of Dracarys, or dragonfire, as Dany burned down building after building, including many innocent citizens. (You'll remember that just before she was beheaded last week, Missandei's final word to her queen was "dracarys," seemingly a message to Dany that she should hold nothing back.)
Is Dany fully the Mad Queen now? Some would argue that is still up for debate, even given her actions in the latest episode. We have only one more episode for all to be resolved in Westeros, but the signs that the Mother of Dragons might go mad, like her father before her, have been there all along.
Let's break them all down.
"All I have is fear"
When Dany utters this quote early on in last night's episode, she's sitting by the fire—hinting at what is soon to come. If that's not serious foreshadowing, we don't know what is.
We all know there are hidden messages everywhere in Game of Thrones, including the hairstyles. When Dany and Jon speak in this latest episode, her usually meticulous braids are messy and unkempt—perhaps to signify her current mental state?
Her reaction to her brother's death
When we first meet Daenerys way back in season one, she's under the thumb of her brother, Viserys, who forces her to marry Khal Drogo. But as the Khaleesi, she begins to find her voice and her power. When Khal eventually kills Viserys (with a "crown" of molten gold), Dany is eerily calm as she says, "He is not a dragon. Fire cannot kill a dragon."
Her Red Keep vision
A Twitter user smartly recalled Dany's Red Keep vision from season two, when we all thought the flakes from the sky might be snow. Now they seem to have been a sign of the ash that would fall across King's Landing.
Her decision to feed her dragons with enemies in Meereen
In season five Dany first shows she's not afraid to use her dragons to destroy her enemies outside of battle as she lets them burn leaders in Meereen and eat them. Tyrion is able to convince her to not go any further with her plans to kill all the Masters.
Burning the Khals
In season six the Khaleesi is once again reunited with the Dothraki, but on less-than-friendly terms. Eventually the army bends to her will, but only after she burns all the Khals in their hut and emerges from the fire unscathed.
Burning the Tarlys
In season seven Randyll and Dickon Tarly refuse to bend the knee to Daenerys. Her response to those who dissent? Burn them alive with dragon fire. I'm starting to see a pattern here...
These are all signs that point to Dany's future. Add in the recent deaths of Jorah and Missandei, along with the shock of learning about Jon's true parentage—and claim to the Iron Throne—and you can see where Daenerys' rage comes from. The show's cocreator David Benioff offered further commentary on her motivations in the after-show special. "Dany's an incredibly strong person. She's also someone who has had really close friendships and close advisers for her entire run of this show. You look at those people who have been closest to her for such a long time, and almost all of them have either turned on her or died, and she's very much alone," he said. "And that's a dangerous thing for someone who's got so much power, to feel that isolated. So at the very time when she needs guidance and those kind of close friendships the most, everyone's gone."
"And if circumstances had been different, I don't think this side of Dany ever would have come out," Benioff added. "If Cersei hadn't betrayed her, if Cersei hadn't executed Missandei, if Jon hadn't told her the truth—if all these things had happened in any different way, then I don't think we'd be seeing this side of Daenerys Targaryen."
"I think that when she says, 'Let it be fear,' she's resigning herself to the fact that she may have to get things done in a way that isn't pleasant, and she may have to get things done in a way that is horrible to lots of people," co-showrunner DB Weiss said.
"I don't think she decided ahead of time that she was going to do what she did. And then she sees the Red Keep, which is, to her, the home that her family built when they first came over to this country 300 years ago," he continued. "It's in that moment on the walls of King's Landing, when she's looking at that symbol of everything that was taken from her, when she makes the decision to make this personal."
Just one more week until we find out the repercussions of all that fire. Is it Sunday yet?
Originally Appeared on Glamour