eyeheartsansa, on 20 March 2012 - 03:18 PM, said:
They crucified innocent slave children to send a message; in her eyes they were all equally guilty.
You say "they"---but the whole point is that Dany never had any idea who
crucified innocent slave children. Jorah Mormont committed a crime by selling slaves; does that mean that the Manderlys, the Umbers, or even the rest of the Mormont family, can be considered guilty of selling slaves, because Jorah was? Of course not. Gregor Clegane raped and murdered Elia of Dorne. So does that mean Gawen Westerling, Addam Marbrand, and every other Lannister bannerman is equally guilty of raping and murdering Elia of Dorne? Of course not. One person's particular crime isn't magically extended to every member of that person's social class. Dany tells herself it's "just" to crucify these people in retribution for those children. But then she completely fails to make sure she's punishing the actual person/people that committed this crime.
And before someone claims that Dany's act was justified because she was simply punishing these people for the crime of being slavers . . . no
. Dany marries a slaver and gives another slaver the authority to torture a group of her subjects. Notice how she refuses to punish a slave master for raping a slave woman because "there was no rape" at the time, since slavery was legal
and that woman was the slave owner's property at the time of the rape. If being a Great Master was inherently a crime in Dany's eyes, she'd have actually punished all of the Great Masters in some
way simply for the act of having owned slaves. She never did. And it never occurred to her to do so.
She was trying to make a symbolic gesture, but she did it at the expense of dispensing actual justice.
eyeheartsansa, on 20 March 2012 - 03:26 PM, said:
How would she have gone about determining individual guilt, exactly? Whom would she summon for jury duty? Who are the prosecuting and defense attourneys and how can we be sure they aren't bought and paid for as well? There is no concept of a modern judiciary system; no 'innocent until proven guilty.'
Ask the (former) slaves. They'd know who gave that order, who owned the slaves that were crucified, who actually took part in nailing those children up.
One of the reasons Gendry (and others) like Beric Dondarrion is because he actually holds trials. They're not exactly fabulous trials, but they're more than Dany's ever done. And Beric's band had far less resources to work with than Queen Daenerys did.
The main issue, for me, is that we see all of this through Dany's eyes, and it never
seems to occur to her to hold each person accountable for his or her own individual actions. The principles of "justice" she espouses, that she tries to apply to the people she controls, are haphazard, inherently contradictory, and frequently hypocritical. And as she never seems to realize this, how could readers logically expect her to change her methods in the future? I think GRRM very intentionally pitted Dany against a group of people that he knew readers would see as two-dimensional. But what happens when she starts trying this stuff with people like Tyrion, Arya, Jon, and all of the other people in Westeros, those that readers see as three-dimensional? I don't think we're meant to just assume that all of the terrible things she does are inherently confined to Essos, but that in Westeros she won't do these things.