With Game of Thrones staring down a huge gauntlet of Emmy nominations for its whirlwind final season, fans are getting an official look at a pretty cool behind-the-scenes artifact from the show’s creative process: the full script for the series finale.
The script for “The Iron Throne” — the very last GoT episode — offers up plenty of insights into what writers and series creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff were thinking behind the scenes. And for all the fans still debating whether a sliver of good might’ve remained in Daenerys once she’d given herself over to the dragon-y dark side, it appears that Weiss and Benioff intended otherwise.
That means we can stop looking for any last-minute, Anakin Skywalker-style hints of absolution for the Mother of Dragons. In the writers’ minds, Daenerys had indeed become truly, irredeemably evil.
Fresh off burning King’s Landing to the ground, Daenerys comes off as the ultimate mad, bad queen in the background notes for the finale. In the description of the iconic scene in which Drogon spreads his menacing wings at the top of the ruined grand staircase, Weiss and Benioff even tapped a devilishly musical pop culture touchstone to set the mood:
“Drogon lands out of sight beyond the top of the stairs. Jon climbs the stairway. When he nears the top he sees Dany, already dismounted, walking towards him. For a moment, Drogon’s unfolding wings spread behind her back, an unsettling image. Her Satanic Majesty’s Request.”
Invoking the Prince of Darkness by way of the Rolling Stones' 1967 album Their Satanic Majesties Request definitely doesn’t seem to suggest there’s a dying light of goodness and mercy in Dany’s heart, and further notations grant her similarly little slack. When Jon stabs his would-be lover to death before the Iron Throne, the script offers no epiphany as the light fades: the scene is written from Jon’s point of view, and Dany simply dies. Jon “hopes for one last moment with her,” the script reads, “[b]ut her eyes are already glazing over. Winter has come to the Throne Room. Dany lies dead in his arms, Pieta-style, as the snow drifts down.”
That's of course a reference to Michelangelo's famous statue depicting Jesus and Mary, but the 44-page document is filled with lots of similar takeaways, including another fan theory-busting revelation about Drogon: he evidently had no idea that he was destroying anything especially significant when he melted the Iron Throne. Rather than pumping up the fiery moment for all its symbolism, the script simply describes the pointy chair as “just a dumb bystander caught up in the conflagration” of Drogon’s blind, superheated rage.
The Game of Thrones finale received one of the final season’s 32 Emmy nominations — this one for Outstanding Writing For a Drama Series — and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has the link to the episode’s full script ahead of this year’s Sept. 22 awards ceremony. Check out the script here, and compare its behind-the-scenes revelations with your own series-ending fan theories.