There’s no getting around it: Daenerys Targaryen has a pretty long history of burning people alive. Going back all the way to the end of Season 1 of Game of Thrones, when she tied Mirri Maz Duur to Khal Drogo’s funeral pyre, burned her alive, and officially became the Mother of Dragons, Dany has relied on fire to do a lot of her dirty work.
This has been a troubling trend in the show, given how her father, Aerys Targaryen II, was dubbed the Mad King and threatened to “burn them all” (them being the citizens of King’s Landing) using wildfire stores.
After Sunday’s episode, when Dany used Drogon and the Dothraki to take out the Lannister army, burning many soldiers -- likely including Noah Syndergaard! -- in the process, Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion argued on Talk the Thrones that this instance of burning was a little different than some from Dany’s past.
“I find what she just did actually way less concerning than going down into the catacombs in Meereen and burning a master just to prove a point,” Rubin said. “The one-on-one intimate nature of some of the burnings she’s done in the past, or has threatened to do, actually had way more harsh, like Mad Queen overtones. This is battle.”
Concepcion agreed that, though she took out a large number of people this time, it was more acceptable in war.
“It’s a dragon, my dude,” Concepcion said. “It’s like, you have a hammer. You gotta hit things with it. It’s a dragon, you gotta burn things with it. That’s just how it works.”
Disclosure: HBO is an initial investor in The Ringer.