Inspired by a good analysis on the subject:
This is a turning point for Dany. The book started with Dany finding out her dragon had killed the little girl Hazzea. The girl’s name haunted her throughout the book, so it’s immensely significant that her name has been forgotten now — in favor of the dragons. Dany’s vision seems to be saying that innocent little Meereenese girls aren’t your real children — the dragons are. The clear suggestion being that Dany needs to abandon or seriously reduce her concern for innocent life, in favor of using her own dragonpower to do what she wants.
As Apple Martini, stated Dany's storyline in Meereen with her being pitted against slavers was to build her up in the reader's mind as a hero before GRRM pulls the rug from under us as he is wont to do. In the 19th century, the "evil Arab" slave traders were the go to villains for the British, and so it comes to no surprise that GRRM would put slavers in opposition to Dany in her POV. Dany also benefits from not being conflict with other POVs in the book, but that will change when she starts the second Dance when she fights POV characters Arianne and JonCon.
The basic story of Anakin Skywalker is from a hero to villain. Anakin starts out as a compassionate human being with some issues, but his lust for power and unbridled passion or anger lead him down a dark path. he originally starts out fighting the Sith, but later ends up fighting the Rebe Alliance. Dany may be following a similar story as she suffers some of the shortcomings of Anakin: impatience and unbridled passion. Anakin Skywalker wants to save the life of the one he loves, and he becomes willing to sacrifice anything to achieve it, even innocents. After some soul-searching in the Dothraki Sea Dany comes to the conclusion of "dragons plant no trees", a reference to her planting olive trees, olvies being a symbol of peace. Instead it has been replaced with her house's words: fire and blood. She has decided that the easiest way to deal with issues of possible innocents getting harmed is simply to stop caring. The dragons are her children, and she is the Mother of Dragons, much like Anakin Skywalker becomes consumed by his title, Darth Vader.
Is the Dark Side stronger?
No, quicker, easier, more seductive.
Dany tried peace, but it proved to put a bitter taste in her mouth. She could have used Jon's saying: "A fair bargain leaves both sides unhappy, I’ve heard it said." She immediately starts sending envoys to the Yunkish sellswords and wanting to break the peace. It is easier for her to end the conflict by force rather than to compromise on a few things.
"Better to become a beggar than a slaver," Arstan said.
Barristan has been with Dany since the end of ACoK. In ASoS, he tried to convince her however he could from buying Unsullied, and throughout ASoS and ADwD he tried to steer her in what he felt was the right direction, including advising against reopening the fighting pits along with Missandei. Barristan, her white knight, plays a bit of Jimminy Cricket, her conscience.
He would give half his teeth for the chance to try his axe against the Kingslayer or the Knight of Flowers.
Jaime and Loras are both members of the KG, I think Victarion will fight Barristan and kill him. With Barristan dead, only Tyrion will be left to restrain Dany's temper, and I don't know if he will be as effective as Barristan.
The signs of Dany as a Potential Villain
After Meereen had fallen, Dany nailed up a like number of Great Masters . . . Yet some days she feared that she had not gone far enough.
These are her thoughts in relation to crucifying 163 people, and she later allows a wineseller's daughters to be tortured after hearing of Rylona Ree's death. She also allows the two men, one who is one of the Mother's Men, to avoid punishement for raping and killing a boy's mother in contrast to her swearing bloody vengeance to Mago and Jhaqo for raping and killing Eroeh, also pointed out by Apple I believe.
Now you've become the very thing you swore to destroy
"Either you die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."
With Stannis pressing his claim, Dany will eventually come into conflict with everyone's favorite family: the Starks. That is the red line for most readers, and she will go from protagonist to antagonist.
they [herons] all took to wing like they'd seen a dragon . . Cletus nocked an arrow to his string and brought one down. Tasted like duck, but not so greasy
He moved the catapult again, closed his hand around Tyrion's alabaster dragon, removed it from the board.
Tyrion's white dragon is removed from the board. The only white dragon I can think of is Viserion, and I think there is a chance Tyrion might ride him using the dragon horn, although I am completely unsure if that is possible for someone without Valyrian blood. I think the last three quotes possibly foreshadow Tyrion being killed while he is riding on Viserion in flight, possibly by a projectile launched at Viserion's wing. I think Viserion might survive, albeit with a broken wing, but Tyrion won't survive the fall. Either way Tyrion will be killed in battle.
Dany after suffering from the loss of her Hand (and possibly her husband) along with seeing one of her children, Viserion hurt, this will cut her deeper than Rylona Ree, and she will be quite angry. The Northmen would likely tell her that Rickon Stark, Ned's son, is their new king. In her anger and a desire for vengeance, I think Dany will decide to kill their new king, Rickon. Whether or not she knows he is only a child I don't know, but she will come close to breaking one of her own rules: the prohibition against the killing of children.
When the eunuch Varys told us that you were with child, Robert wanted you killed, but Lord Stark spoke against it. Rather than countenance the murder of children, he told Robert to find himself another Hand.
It is a bit ironic that Ned resigned his post over Robert's plan to kill Dany only to later have her coming to kill his son. Rickon will share several similarities with Dany before and after she fled Dragonstone:
- Dany lost her parents and her fondly remembered eldest brother, Rhaegar, was killed in war/ Rickon lost both his parents and his fondly remembered eldest brother, Robb, was died in war
- Dany was at Dragonstone, the ancestral seat of her family/Rickon will be at WF, the ancestral seat of his family
- Dany is believed to be the rightful Targaryen monarch, ignorant of Jon/ Rickon is believed to be the rightful KitN, but Robb's will says otherwise
- Rickon's direwolf is named Shaggydog/ Dany's quest to reclaim the IT is a shaggy dog story when R+L=J is revealed.
At some point Dany will eventually realize that somewhere along the way she had become what she hated, and stop short from killing Rickon.
Edited by Fire Eater, 24 October 2013 - 10:18 PM.