Staying in Meereen:
Daenerys has been judged rather harshly for staying in Meereen, and rather unnecessarily IMO. When she took Meereen, she initially planned to stay there for a short time. She needed to feed "her people" (her Unsullied, sellswords and freedmen) and allow them time to grow stronger. She planned to stay there for a short time, but that time increased for many reasons:
1) She decided that if "her people" stayed in Meereen that bit longer, that they might learn and grow stronger and live a peaceful life for a time before she would take them to Westeros.
2) Similarly, she decided that if her dragons had time to grow bigger and stronger that she might arrive in Westeros on dragon back, with three dragons that she could use as formidable weapons in the war to come.
3) She felt that all she was doing in Slaver's Bay was sacking cities, and leaving nought but death and destruction in her wake. Had she decided to leave for Westeros, she likely would have lost a lot of her sword on the long journey, and the many freedmen who chose to stay would likely have been enslaved again.
4) She saw it as an opportunity to "test her wings", if you will. She thought that if she were to stay in Meereen for a time and rule, she might do a better job as Queen when/if she took Westeros.
Viserion, Rhaegal and Drogon:
Not so long after taking Meereen, Dany began to lose control over her dragons. It was not much a problem, until she was presented with the bones of a child that Drogon had supposedly killed and eaten. That is another issue up for debate, whether or not Drogon really had killed this girl, but let's just go with Dany's assumption that he had.
Now, it is perfectly understandable that Dany would begin to worry that the other two dragons would begin to feast on humans too, and so she had them imprisoned. While this was not the best course of action, and resulted in the dragons becoming rather angry, it was all Dany could really do, although that is open to discussion.
Daario and Hizdahr:
Dany has been heavily criticized for her choice to bed Daario and marry Hizdahr, but should she really be judged for this?
Yes, I shall admit, Dany did place far too much trust in him and was far too public with her relationship with him. Many argue that she was foolish to ever bed him in the first place, as he was "beneath her" and did not truly care for her.
Whether or not he cared for her, Daenerys was clearly attracted to him, as he was to her. She was a Queen, perfectly entitled to a consort and though in the Seven Kingdoms such behaviour would have been heavily frowned upon, this is Essos. Yes, their relationship was fuel to the gossips of Meereen but they both found happiness, however brief, in one another so it wasn't really a bad thing (however arrogant, self-centred and generally annoying Daario's character was).
To this day I have not encountered even one person who actually liked Hizdahr, if any even do. But this post is not about Hizdahr's character, but to reason with those who would question/dislike his marriage to Dany why it was necessary:
The Sons of the Harpy would murder her Unsullied and freedmen at night, and they only continued to grow bolder and murder greater numbers and more often. They did so, because they viewed Daenerys as a foreigner and resented her ending the slave trade and taking/ruling their city. By marrying Hizdahr, she would provide a peace. The Sons of the Harpy would stop attacking her people, and the shadow war may finally end.
This also later resulted in Yunkai ending their war (though tensions were high and the war resumed soon enough), in a way, with Dany, on the condition that she agrees to sack/take no more cities and free no more slaves.
The Ruling of Meereen:
One of the main things that posters criticize Dany over was her ruling of Meereen. These following points are my effort to defend her actions:
1) Daenerys did not have to stay in Meereen, but she did. One of the reasons that she chose to say, is so that she might rule the city. She wanted to better the lives of all living there, and give them a peaceful reign.
2) She may have made a few mistakes during her reign, but this was really not her own fault. She was under a lot of pressure, and this stress was made even greater when the Song of the Harpy continued to rage their shadow war, cutting down her people bloodily and promising a gruesome fate for any that supported her. She tried to stop them numerous times. Initially, she attempted to sweeten the deal, but eventually had to take hostages.
3) Despite already having been forced/sold into a marriage in her youth, Daenerys married Hizdahr zo Loraq. Did she marry him for his fair appearance or for her love of him? Certainly not, for she could barely stand the man. No, she married him for Meereen. She married him so that the Sons of the Harpy would end their shadow war and that peace might be allowed in Meereen.
Her Possible Ruling of Westeros:
It is popular opinion on the forums that Daenerys would be a terrible Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, because of what happened in Meereen. Now, I am not saying that she will take the Throne, restore peace to Westeros and everyone will live happily ever after, because I do not honestly believe that. She may make it to Westeros, but only be Queen in the South. She may die, she may never make it to Westeros, or she may choose to take more cities in Essos.
These following points are merely the reasons that I disagree with the belief that she would be a terrible Queen of Westeros:
1) When she arrived in Meereen, she was a "savage" of Westeros, a foreigner. The Ghiscari resented her blatant disregard for their "custom" of slaving, and especially resented her rule as she was a stranger to them, whispered to be no more than a "horse lord’s whore."
In Westeros, she is Daenerys of House Targaryen. Targaryen, the House that forged the Seven Kingdoms into one and ruled over Westeros for nearly 300 years. The Targaryens are well known to both babes and old men of the Seven Kingdoms, and as good old Bob took the Throne by Rights of Conquest, they would not fault Dany for retaking her family Throne by Rights of Conquest.
2) As I have already said, Dany was not welcome in Meereen. She was resented, shunned, and the Ghiscari outright challenged her rule.
In Westeros, a Great House (Martell) has already sent their eldest male to wed her and help her retake the Kingdoms. The Martells are not the only ones who would welcome the return of the dragons, I do not doubt. The Targs may have the taint of madness in them, but many still remember the good Targaryens, those who were nothing but good for the Kingdoms. Many and more would still be loyal to the Targs and let’s face it, not many are very pleased with Tommen sitting the Iron Throne, since those who rule in his name changed by the day thanks to Cersei.
3) Daenerys tried her best to be a good Queen in Meereen, but how well can you rule when all but few of your subjects despise you and plot to murder you?
Daenerys possesses many things that a Queen should have; compassion, capability to learn, a resolute personality, she is both bold and strong and she believes in fairness and justice.
As I have already stated, many in Westeros would welcome her. With the right council and Hand, she would be an excellent Queen of Westeros, at least IMO.
Edited by Lyanna Wildheart, 07 July 2013 - 09:41 AM.