Apple Martini, on 30 April 2012 - 09:51 AM, said:
She'll be an antagonist to the Big Mean People who don't immediately fall in line and kiss her ass.
I'm interested to hear Patrick's take- if it means that she is villainous from a character or group of character's point of view, or from the reader's, the distinction being a big difference to me (for example, Margaery is an antagonist to Cersei, at least in Cersei's mind, but the reader, or at least me, believes Marg to be kind of a "good guy").
I realize that this next part is going to be a bit of meta-analysis (and directed at no one). That said, I personally feel that we've invested so much time in the ins and outs of the NW and the Wall, and Northern history and legends (Bran's trek, the Nights King myth, Gorne and Gendel) for it to make logical sense that the dragons, which haven't developed at all beyond being instruments of destruction, to be the Occam's Razor to everything facing the North.
It will feel like an extraordinary let-down to me if the answer to ASOIAF is A. Targaryen's always win in the political realm, and B. Dragons trump all in the magical one. This would feel like an extraordinary let-down to me not because I have invested heavily in Jon, Stannis, Bran, the Starks in particular and other characters generally. But it's because I would find it disappointing in a series that has largely focused on how the Game of Thrones destroys the lives of the smallfolk, birthright is an idiotic form of government, and that magic is a "sword without a handle." Ergo, I would find an ending where ruling by birthright despite ability and fire magic's being the "right" one utterly against the implications of everything we've read.
That said, I can't see Dany being even remotely a hero unless she dissolves the kingdom and
destroys her dragons. FWIW, I don't think that Jon will end up polishing the throne either- I have a sneaking suspicion that Jon will discover the real reason (whatever it is) for the Long Night and self-sacrifice to that cause. While this should go in a separate thread, I've wondered if Jon and Arya might be some recapitulation of Nissa Nissa that might be requisite to restore balance in the world- instead of AA gaining incredible power through the sacrifice, his life must be taken to diffuse that power, or something thereof.