Jump to content


Photo

Daenerys's Blackest Sin, Will she Suffer for It?


  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
549 replies to this topic

#1 Petyr Patter

Petyr Patter

    Council Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,303 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 11:32 AM

Sin is a very broad term, but I'm thinking of the one thing Daenerys did that I cannot forget nor forgive. Perhaps intentionally on the part of the author, it was also her moment of greatest triumph: when she walked into a burning pyre and hatched three dragons. Yet, the price of that miracle was blood, paid by Mirri Maz Duur.

Now, Daenerys did not just kill Mirri, she tied her to Drago's funeral pyre and burned her to death. She died screaming. Daenerys justifies this horrible end for the as justice for the Mirri's “betrayal.” I put betrayal in quotation because Dany clearly lied to herself more than Mirri did. Read carefully the exchange below, where Daenerys agrees to let Mirri save Drago using bloodmagic.

“But it is hard, lady, and dark. Some would say that death is cleaner.”
...
“Do it,” Dany blurted. She must not be afraid; she was the blood of the dragon. “Save him.”
“There is a price,” the godswife warned her.
“You’ll have gold, horses, whatever you like.”
“It is not a matter of gold or horses. This is bloodmagic, lady. Only death may pay for life.”
“Death?” Dany wrapped her arms around herself protectively, rocked back and forth on her heels. “My death?” She told herself she would die for him, if she must. She was the blood of the dragon, she would not be afraid. Her brother Rhaegar had died for the woman he loved.
“No,” Mirri Maz Duur promised. “Not your death, Khaleesi.”
Dany trembled with relief. “Do it.”


At that point, Daenerys doesn't care who “dies,” but is happy it isn't her. Also, what she is buying isn't made clear, except that Mirri hints that death would be better. On one hand, Mirri is clearly hoping Daenerys buys the deal, but Mirri is also telling Daenerys that it won't be pleasant. We later find out the price was not a horse, but “Rhaego,” Daenerys's unborn child. Also, “life” for Drago was an infantile state devoid of emotion.

Yet, Mirri gives a very good defense for her actions.

“It was wrong of them to burn my temple,” the heavy, flat-nosed woman said placidly. “That angered the Great Shepherd.”
...
“The stallion who mounts the world will burn no cities now. His khalasar shall trample no nations into dust.”
“I spoke for you,” she[Daenerys] said, anguished. “I saved you.”
“Saved me?” The Lhazareen woman spat. “Three riders had taken me, not as a man takes a woman but from behind, as a dog takes a bitch. The fourth was in me when you rode past. How then did you save me? I saw my god’s house burn, where I had healed good men beyond counting. My home they burned as well, and in the street I saw piles of heads. I saw the head of a baker who made my bread. I saw the head of a boy I had saved from deadeye fever, only three moons past. I heard children crying as the riders drove them off with their whips. Tell me again what you saved.”
“Your life.”
Mirri Maz Duur laughed cruelly. “Look to your khal and see what life is worth, when all the rest is gone.”


The Dothraki sack of her city strikes me as a combination of the Red Wedding, the Saltpans, and Harrenhal. What makes it worse, is it was just Dothraki being Dothraki. Destroy, pillage, rape, enslave, and ride to get between tasks. While I certainly won't condone the death of a neonate... I understand. A woman has lost everything, been brutalized, and continues to live as a slave. The man responsible is soon to have a son prophecized to do it to the world!

So, she not only takes revenge for her slaughter people, but prevents more of the same. All the while giving Daenerys exactly what she said she would.

What lesson does Daenerys take home? To be careful what you ask for? That the Dothraki are a cruel people? That blood magic is dangerous and should not be used? That a few kindnesses don't repay a mountain of death and suffering? That all men must die? No, she learns she can use blood magic to wake her stone dragon eggs. And who better than the witch who just “betrayed” her? And she succeeds.

In some ways, I'm willing to cut Daenerys some understanding. She was very young, and had just watched half her world die or ride away. Yet, I still cannot forgive nor forget. She burned a rape victim to death because her dangerous blood magic which everyone, including Mirri, said was a bad idea, turned out to be a really bad idea.

And to get to the point of this topic, I don't think George Martin wrote those events to let Daenerys off the hook either. Yet, I cannot recall ever reading any sort of guilt or remorse from her perspective. She continues to think of Mirri as a “betrayal.” Instead, she got 3 rings of power dragons. So, in the next two books, will Daenerys suffer an appropriate karmic retribution for Mirri's death?

For one, I cannot help but notice the “Mage,” archmaester Marwyn, taught Mirri at some point in the past. It could just be a throwaway line to introduce Marwyn long before he would actually appear. Or, it could be an important plot point. If Marwyn does reach Daenerys, how will he react to learn his former pupil was burned to death? Admittedly, we have no reason to think Marwyn is a “good guy” who cares about the people in his life in lieu of pursuing macabre knowledge. Yet, it is a possible avenue where Dany “pays” for her great sin.

Alternatively, maybe the price is already being paid. Even if Mirri Maz Duur had king's blood in her veins, one life for three dragons strikes me as to good a deal. Instead, perhaps Mirri was merely the “horse” for this ritual, providing a component to let the actual “exchange” take place. Before she screamed, she sang. Was she singing, or casting another spell?

Now, assuming Daenerys is still alive and not a R'hollor resurrected wight, who else died? And for that matter, who would Mirri use to pay “death for life”? Actually, the ritual with Drogo and Rhaegor might better be described as fate for fate. Drogo was in the process of dying, while Rhaegar was soon going to be born. Both are 'alive' before the ritual. However, at the completion of the ritual, Drogo remained alive and Rahegar showed evidence of having never lived.

So, maybe fate for fate. Who dies so Dany might have 3 dragons? The Dothraki sea is drying. Did Mirri use the ritual to give Dany what she thought she wanted, while destroying the culture that destroyed Mirri's home?

Well, I'm out of ideas. Anyone else have thoughts?

#2 I S**t Gold

I S**t Gold

    Squire

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 178 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 12:26 PM

I always thought the God's in ASOIAF were pretty keen on sacrifice, and I always thought Dany was rewarded when she sacrificed Mirri with the birth of three dragons. I don't see her being punished for that at all. That's not to say bad things won't happen to her. It just won't be down to Mirri.
Bearing in mind that this woman took everything she loved from her, then I think Dany's reaction is understandable, if extreme. Her kid in particular, that was horrible, gruesome shit. Dany is something of an innocent, if she had her way she wouldn't have been with the khalasar in the first place, and her baby definitely is. Mirri is pretty evil in my opinion, even if she does shame you with her point about the trauma she suffered, I don't think this is the first time she's dabbled in magic like this, she's too good at it.

#3 Lord Bronn Stokeworth

Lord Bronn Stokeworth

    Will Do Anything For Gold

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,931 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 01:20 PM

I always thought the God's in ASOIAF were pretty keen on sacrifice, and I always thought Dany was rewarded when she sacrificed Mirri with the birth of three dragons. I don't see her being punished for that at all. That's not to say bad things won't happen to her. It just won't be down to Mirri.
Bearing in mind that this woman took everything she loved from her, then I think Dany's reaction is understandable, if extreme. Her kid in particular, that was horrible, gruesome shit. Dany is something of an innocent, if she had her way she wouldn't have been with the khalasar in the first place, and her baby definitely is. Mirri is pretty evil in my opinion, even if she does shame you with her point about the trauma she suffered, I don't think this is the first time she's dabbled in magic like this, she's too good at it.


So, Dany doing something horrific because Mirri took everything away from her, but not vice versa?

I see the situation as this: people doing utterly horrific things to each other for entirely sympathetic reasons.

#4 Mountain Tribesman

Mountain Tribesman

    Sellsword

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 120 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 02:19 PM

Mirri betrayed the woman who did everything in her power to put an end to the atrocities the Dothraki were committing against her Lamp Men. She deserved to burn.

#5 Ser Greg of House House

Ser Greg of House House

    Also known as Ser Greg the Healer, Lord of Plainsboro Teaching H

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,944 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 02:22 PM

“A rich woman came, whose husband and sons had died defending the city walls. During the sack she had fled to her brother in fear. When she returned, she found her house had been turned into a brothel. The whores had bedecked themselves in her jewels and clothes. She wanted her house back, and her jewels…Dany granted her the jewels, but ruled the house was lost when she abandoned it.”

Dany will never get Westeros.


But she also tortured children, so... I don't know which was her darkest sin. She's sinned a lot.

#6 Minsc

Minsc

    and Boo the miniature giant space hamster.

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,980 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 02:24 PM

Mirri betrayed the woman who did everything in her power to put an end to the atrocities the Dothraki were committing against her Lamp Men. She deserved to burn.


Dany also pushed Drogo into committing to going to Westeros, thus creating a need for him to take a large number of slaves that he could sell to afford the ships to transport them to Westeros.

Also, Dany didn't put a limit to the price she was willing to pay thus can she honestly complain when her blind agreement turns against her?

#7 RoamingRonin

RoamingRonin

    Slayer of Lies

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,574 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 02:28 PM

Sin is a very broad term, but I'm thinking of the one thing Daenerys did that I cannot forget nor forgive. Perhaps intentionally on the part of the author, it was also her moment of greatest triumph: when she walked into a burning pyre and hatched three dragons. Yet, the price of that miracle was blood, paid by Mirri Maz Duur.

Now, Daenerys did not just kill Mirri, she tied her to Drago's funeral pyre and burned her to death. She died screaming. Daenerys justifies this horrible end for the as justice for the Mirri's “betrayal.” I put betrayal in quotation because Dany clearly lied to herself more than Mirri did. Read carefully the exchange below, where Daenerys agrees to let Mirri save Drago using bloodmagic.


Dany burned Mirri after the maegi unknowingly educated her on death-for-life law of equivalent exchange. Dany did not burn Mirri as justice for her dead husband and child. It was not punishment for Mirri's crimes.

"You will not hear me scream."
"... it's not your screams I want. Only your life."

Sidenote:
Who cares Mirri suffered and died screaming? I'm starting to think people don't understand the point of death by fire.

#8 SkaggCannibal

SkaggCannibal

    Council Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,449 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 02:32 PM

You can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs. And you can't blame Dany for burning the witch that took away her husband, her unborn child and her entire future. Good riddance Mirri, you ungrateful bitch.

#9 TheMysteriousOne

TheMysteriousOne

    Stan of Daenerys

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,869 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 02:36 PM

Mirri is the most sympathetic character who has gone against Dany in the entire series, so far. I don't think that she deserved to be burnt to death for her crimes. However, I sympathize far more with Dany than with Mirri, because of the fact that Dany had just gained the only true family and love that she had ever had, and due to MMD, and arguably herself, she lost everything. I don't think it's fair to say that Dany didn't care who died as long as she didn't because she clearly says that she would die for Drogo in her mind.

I don't think that Dany's going to 'suffer' for this act, although it can be argued that she already is.

#10 The Storm King

The Storm King

    Landed Knight

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 476 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 02:39 PM

for me her blackest sin was boring me by hanging around in slavers bay /bang.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':bang:' />

#11 Lady Lea

Lady Lea

    Fabulous, but evil

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,206 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 02:39 PM

“A rich woman came, whose husband and sons had died defending the city walls. During the sack she had fled to her brother in fear. When she returned, she found her house had been turned into a brothel. The whores had bedecked themselves in her jewels and clothes. She wanted her house back, and her jewels…Dany granted her the jewels, but ruled the house was lost when she abandoned it.”

Dany will never get Westeros.



This again...

That woman wanted Dany to just give her her house back. Dany isn't trying to arrive in Westeros expecting that Tommen will get up from the Iron Throne and say "sorry miss, just keeping it warm for you".

She's going to TAKE IT back.

#12 Minsc

Minsc

    and Boo the miniature giant space hamster.

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,980 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 02:40 PM

Mirri is the most sympathetic character who has gone against Dany in the entire series, so far.


Isn't she basically the only sympathetic one? As you have to admit almost everyone in Slaver's Bay are terribly written characters that motives and actions seem more akin to 90s comic book attempting to be "gritty" and "adult."

#13 Lord Bronn Stokeworth

Lord Bronn Stokeworth

    Will Do Anything For Gold

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,931 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 02:45 PM

You can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs. And you can't blame Dany for burning the witch that took away her husband, her unborn child and her entire future. Good riddance Mirri, you ungrateful bitch.


By that logic, you can't blame Mirri for trying to destroy the people who murdered everyone she loved and cared about because the warlord's wife thought she was doing a good thing by stopping her third rape of the day by making her her personal slave.

#14 Minsc

Minsc

    and Boo the miniature giant space hamster.

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,980 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 02:49 PM

By that logic, you can't blame Mirri for trying to destroy the people who murdered everyone she loved and cared about because the warlord's wife thought she was doing a good thing by stopping her third rape of the day by making her her personal slave.


Honestly, Khal Drogo is probably as big of monster as figures like Gregor Clegane or Tywin Lannister that I don't feel sympathy when he was killed.

#15 Plume

Plume

    Sellsword

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 94 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 04:03 PM

Mirri Maz Duur and her entourage DID warn her how dangerous it was. She even said that death is cleaner, yet Dany didn't listen. When the outcome didn't please her, she kills the woman?

She holds Mirri responsible for a CHOICE she made. She gave Mirri the opportunity for revenge.

At least I wish Dany asked Mirri if it would harm her child or something.

#16 SeanF

SeanF

    Council Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,877 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 04:21 PM

IMO, Martin wants us to sympathise with both Daenerys and Mirri. There's no right or wrong answer here.

It proves just how viciously cruel Dany can be, though.

#17 RoamingRonin

RoamingRonin

    Slayer of Lies

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,574 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 04:23 PM

Mirri Maz Duur and her entourage DID warn her how dangerous it was. She even said that death is cleaner, yet Dany didn't listen. When the outcome didn't please her, she kills the woman?

She holds Mirri responsible for a CHOICE she made. She gave Mirri the opportunity for revenge.

At least I wish Dany asked Mirri if it would harm her child or something.


Dany acknowledges she understood exactly what she was doing when she offered to bring Drogo back. Dany knew it meant the life of her child. She was upset that it didn't work as she expected it to. Mirri leads Dany to believe if she sacrifices Rhaego then Drogo will be returned to her, good as new.

Dany wasn't mad until she saw Drogo was catatonic. Then Mirri goes on to mock her with her little riddle and saunters off.

#18 SeanF

SeanF

    Council Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,877 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 04:28 PM

Dany's blackest sin, in general, is self-righteous cruelty. She likes to see people suffer, if she thinks that they deserve to suffer.

#19 Leap

Leap

    Social Justice Prole

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,050 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 04:31 PM

Put simply;

Daenerys lost a child. It's arguable that Drogo deserved death for his crimes, and had she killed him I would probably have sympathised with Dany, but understood that it was, in terms of karma, justice.

Nothing gave Mirri the right to sacrifice the unborn child, though. Her argument is flawed in that it justifies her actions based on what she thinks he would have done... even though the child is obviously innocent of any crime.

So far as the ethics of Daenerys burning Mirri to death go, who's to say she hasn't already suffered some sort of karmic retribution? As far as I'm aware her Khalasar suffered immensely in the desert immediately following the pyre.

#20 The Crow's Third Eye

The Crow's Third Eye

    Servant of the Weirtree

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,089 posts

Posted 26 September 2013 - 04:32 PM

Mirri Maz Duur and her entourage DID warn her how dangerous it was. She even said that death is cleaner, yet Dany didn't listen. When the outcome didn't please her, she kills the woman?

She holds Mirri responsible for a CHOICE she made. She gave Mirri the opportunity for revenge.

At least I wish Dany asked Mirri if it would harm her child or something.

People seem to forget that Dany is essentially a young girl (unless they are talking about her liaisons with Daario but let's not get into that.) She has just seen her husband, the only person who holds 40,000 screaming Dothraki in check, fall from his horse, dying.
She knows that it means either death or a life spent in Vaes Dothrak. Imagine you were in this position and Mirri Maz Daur, a woman you BELIEVE you have saved/helped and who THANKS Dany for saving her, comes along and offers a way. Despite her warnings, you are going to take this option. Dany has grown to love Drogo, she wants him to live and this is the most feasible option. What MMD did will always remain to me a sickening act akin to the RW, because she betrayed the trust of a woman who saved her.
I do not find the woman sympathetic at all. I was damn near dancing when I read what Dany does to her!



*and calm* Sorry, that's only my opinion I realise! /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /> feel free to criticise but I am not trying to be hostile there!