Beyond The Wall

Dany Unleashed Her Most Powerful Weapon in the Worst Way Possible on 'Game of Thrones'

drogon varys death dany
HBO
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After weeks of fans crying out for Daenerys Targaryen to figure out a way to use her dragons in massive battles, or at the very least not fly them into preventable death by massive spear, Dany obliged. She has one dragon left, and she's not going to leave King's Landing without echoing Missandei's last words and ordering Drogon to broil the capital on high for one hour, or until everything is black and crispy.

Before that can happen, though, Dany decided to embrace her inner Targaryen and order Varys' execution by dragonfire. Varys hasn't exactly been a kind and cuddly figure throughout Game of Thrones' eight-season run, but the Spider has certainly been a survivor. When Melisandre told him during Season 7, "I have to die in this strange country, just like you," we knew he wouldn't make it out of the series in one piece. But no one would have bet on his death coming at the hands of the queen he served, duplicitous though he may be.  

varys
RIP, Varys. | HBO

That was all before the previous four weeks strongly suggested Daenerys was heading toward her Mad Queen destiny, which has her turning into the violent, senseless killer she'd always proclaimed she wasn't. We all end up becoming our parents, though, right?!

Varys certainly didn't do himself any favors by aligning himself with Tyrion Lannister, who eventually betrayed the queen when he freed Jaime Lannister to allow him to chase after Cersei again. What a family. Sadly, Varys isn't quite as adept at avoiding death as Tyrion, nor is he as important to the story, so Game of Thrones bids Varys adieu. He opens the episode writing down Jon Snow's true parentage, which certainly isn't going to go over well with Dany. ESPECIALLY when Tyrion tells her that Varys plans on spreading the information around, even though it doesn't make all that much sense why he would do that before they take down King's Landing. 

Grey Worm pulls Varys out of his chamber, and the savvy political operator knows it's all over for him. Tyrion tells him he was the one who tattled to Dany, before saying an emotional goodbye to the guy he just, you know, got the death sentence. In a solemn night ceremony attended by Jon Snow, Daenerys sentences Varys to death and then gives the order: "Dracarys." 

It's a good thing she's finally decided to turn Drogon loose, but this probably isn't what Missandei had in mind. No, what Missandei had in mind is what happens over the course of the rest of the episode. Dany takes Drogon on the war path, destroying the Iron Fleet surprisingly easily -- almost as easily as Euron shot down Rhaegal. 

From there, Daenerys and Drogon take on the scorpions, those giant, spear-firing crossbows, which likewise crumbled rather quickly. But the real madness comes when the battle is won and the surrender bells start ringing. That's when something snaps inside Dany and she decides to embrace her inner Targaryen and start burning innocent civilians alive. Once the massacre begins and the episode stays with the people on the ground, showing their horror and pain, it's easy to see the cost of wielding such strength. Daenerys finally used her superior firepower, but it has brutal consequences. 

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Anthony Schneck is an entertainment editor at Thrillist. Follow him @AnthonySchneck.