Daenerys Targaryen Burns King’s Landing

Just kidding. It’s actually West Philadelphia, and it was actually a gang of Democratic Party officials including future Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell.


It was just around Mother’s Day in 1985 when the Philadelphia city government stuffed explosives into a satchel, flew a helicopter over a home on Osage Avenue in West Philadelphia, and dropped the bomb on top of it.

A massive fire blazed — and officials let it. Eleven people were killed, among them five children. More than 60 homes were razed, and a neighborhood was left in ruin.


I think about the Ossage Avenue massacre every once in awhile. It still shocks me.


On May 13, 1985, amid a 24-hour siege of the black liberation group’s headquarters at 6221 Osage Ave., Philadelphia police took the extreme measure of dropping C4 explosives onto the property from a Pennsylvania State Police helicopter. The incident stemmed from an armed protest of the incarceration of nine MOVE members, all of whom were sentenced in the 1978 murder of Philadelphia police officer James Ramp.

Five children were among the 11 people killed and the ensuing fire that engulfed the block is still considered the worst in Philadelphia’s history.


And speaking of Daenerys Targaryen has anybody noticed that all of the debate on social media about the destruction of King’s Landing centers on the destruction of her character arc, not on the people she killed?


Kind, tenacious, strong, compassionate, she was everything that the previous monarchs we’d seen (bullish Robert; sadistic Joffrey; naive Tommen and selfish Cersei) weren’t. In a show full of death and unpleasantness, Daenerys offered hope.


Well, it’s mostly because those people aren’t real, or even much of a fictional presence, but to most Americans people in Gaza and Yemen are no more real than some imaginary peasants in a CGI medieval castle. The only thing that really counts is whether or not “we” — we people in the global north — are good people or bad people, and whether or not the writers should have transformed a sexy feminist icon into a war criminal.

Then again, Game of Thrones actually has actually succeeded in provoking Americans into having a heated debate about whether or not our heroes should be bombing the faceless masses, and that can’t be a bad thing. Because now we know that while American enthusiastically support every war our government starts and don’t have a problem with bombing real people, we do have a problem with a fictional dragon queen bombing fictional people.

In a survey of more than 133,000 “Thrones” fans in Reddit’s popular r/gameofthrones community, 86% thought Dany’s actions weren’t justified when she burned King’s Landing to the ground.


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