Moiraine Sedai

Breaking the Wheel

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That phrase came up again last night.  We do not know the exact details but we can look at Dany's great accomplishments at the Bay of Dragons to get an idea.

Dany is the most capable among the current rulers of Westeros.   Breaking the Wheel means empowering the common folk and the best way to do this is to give them the right to own land and property.  Daenerys will use the same philosophy that she used to help the slaves in the east.  Those former slaves now have more liberty, can own property, and enjoy more rights than the small folk of Westeros.  By rights, I mean they can vote to choose their own leaders.  They are free from enslavement.  Consider how monumental of a change that was.  The former slaves of slaver's bay are now better off than the commoners of Westeros.  Meereen is strong (according to Tyrion Lannister) and the economy has expanded by allowing more people and more classes to own wealth-building property.  All that, thanks to Daenerys and her dragons.  That is the single greatest reform that we know of in the story.  

Obviously, Dany will have to be in a position of strength to put these changes in place and it will take time.  It took a long time in Meereen.  The lords and the ladies of Westeros will have to give up some of their lands.  The reform will take a long time but only Daenerys can do it.  That is the reason why Daenerys will survive.  She has a vision and she still has a major role to play in the future.  She has proven that she can and she has improved the lives of millions of people.  The Free People of the Bay of Dragons now enjoy their freedom and future generations will no longer be enslaved because Daenerys Targaryen ended the slave trade.

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Nothing in the show has shown us or told us that the former slaves in Meereen have any rights denied to the smallfolk of Westeros—except for the right to sell themselves back into slavery for a year at a time, which they begged Dany for, and she gave it to them.

In fact, they seem to have fewer rights. For example, in Westeros, at least in some cases, people have the right to judgment by their Lord or by the Faith, and even the right to appeal from their Lord to their Lord's liege (although in practice I doubt anyone ever gets to exercise that last bit). And that judgment, although it's far from a real common law system, is at least in principle based on precedents that people could conceivably know about (although it's far from a real common law system). In Meereen, the only judgment is by Dany, and it's entirely on her own whims.

The show hasn't shown us or told us that the former slaves are better off, either. We saw streets full of beggars, prostitutes, and servants who'd willingly sold themselves back into slavery. Some of them looked as well off as the beggars, prostitutes, and servants of King's Landing, but that hardly proves they're prosperous.

And that was even before Dany disappeared and the economy completely collapsed and people were starving in the streets.

You say that "I mean they can vote to choose their own leaders", but that isn't true at all. Dany left a council behind to figure out a new system of government. We have no idea what that council is going to come up with. You seem to be assuming they'll invent modern representative democracy because that's just such an obviously good idea that would occur to any idiot. But it's not. It didn't occur to anyone until a few philosophers started toying with the idea in the 17th century, and it was another 100 years before anyone figured out how to actually implement it. These are uneducated former slaves, maybe with a few nice-guy former slavers tossed in. They don't have any Enlightenment or Renaissance philosophy, any notion of human rights, any tradition of rule of law, any historical examples like Athens or Rome to look back on… there's just no way they're going to invent modern representative democracy.

If you want to know what they're likely to invent, look at the books. She did exactly the same thing in book!Astapor, and what they got was a butcher seizing power from the council, the butcher-king being assassinated, a civil war between even more unsavory candidates, and finally people digging up the king's body because a corpse was better than any of their other options, after which they all died of starvation, disease, or invasion.

One last thing: "the best way to do this is to give them the right to own land and property". Really? So if you just give people the right to own land, even though they have no assets to pay for it, and there may not even be any process that would allow them to buy it if they did, that will suddenly make them free, and able to compete with their former owners? Even the most idealistic right-libertarian zealot would call this extremely naive.

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For some reason I recall us having this exact same discussion recently on either the Ep 05 or general forum.  I'm with @falcotron on this one.  I like the idea of a different system replacing the feudal one and in the real world I support local and limited government with an empowered citizenry, but Daenerys is an impatient tyrant to me who hasn't articulated a coherent plan for what "breaking the wheel" looks like.  I hope she does it but I don't believe she will.

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1 hour ago, Lucius Lovejoy said:

For some reason I recall us having this exact same discussion recently on either the Ep 05 or general forum.  I'm with @falcotron on this one.  I like the idea of a different system replacing the feudal one and in the real world I support local and limited government with an empowered citizenry, but Daenerys is an impatient tyrant to me who hasn't articulated a coherent plan for what "breaking the wheel" looks like.  I hope she does it but I don't believe she will.

Well, there's an argument that a tyrannical absolute monarchy is one way to get to democracy. It's the French model—pull all the power to the center, and people are forced to go from blaming their local Lord and wishing the King would do something about it to blaming the King and realizing there's nobody but themselves to do something about it. But somehow, I don't think that's what Dany is planning.

And really, if you want an accidental transition to democracy, Cersei may be a better bet, via the Scandinavian model. The people with all the power spend all their time fighting wars and completely neglecting rule to the point where the people are forced to build institutions from the level of village mayors up. If everyone in the Stormlands hasn't starved to death or been enslaved by local warlords, they may be halfway to becoming Iceland already. :)

Anyway, assuming Dany really does want to create a better system, Tyrion's line about how it'll be hard work that may take more than a lifetime is the smartest thing anyone's said on this show in years. (Not everything Tyrion said was as smart—e.g., getting institutions like the Citadel behind her is probably more important than picking the right heir before she's even taken the crown—but still, he deserves credit for pointing out the most important thing.)

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8 hours ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

That phrase came up again last night.  We do not know the exact details but we can look at Dany's great accomplishments at the Bay of Dragons to get an idea.

Dany is the most capable among the current rulers of Westeros.   Breaking the Wheel means empowering the common folk and the best way to do this is to give them the right to own land and property.  Daenerys will use the same philosophy that she used to help the slaves in the east.  Those former slaves now have more liberty, can own property, and enjoy more rights than the small folk of Westeros.  By rights, I mean they can vote to choose their own leaders.  They are free from enslavement.  Consider how monumental of a change that was.  The former slaves of slaver's bay are now better off than the commoners of Westeros.  Meereen is strong (according to Tyrion Lannister) and the economy has expanded by allowing more people and more classes to own wealth-building property.  All that, thanks to Daenerys and her dragons.  That is the single greatest reform that we know of in the story.  

Obviously, Dany will have to be in a position of strength to put these changes in place and it will take time.  It took a long time in Meereen.  The lords and the ladies of Westeros will have to give up some of their lands.  The reform will take a long time but only Daenerys can do it.  That is the reason why Daenerys will survive.  She has a vision and she still has a major role to play in the future.  She has proven that she can and she has improved the lives of millions of people.  The Free People of the Bay of Dragons now enjoy their freedom and future generations will no longer be enslaved because Daenerys Targaryen ended the slave trade.

I thought it was funny when Dany made reference to "breaking the wheel" after defeating the Lannister army, as if she assumed all of the soldiers understood what she meant by this.  She keeps saying she wants to do this, yet all of her actions indicate that she just wants a society where everyone bends the knee to her and she sits the Iron Throne.

By the way, I noticed your name is "Moiraine Sedai".  I picked up the Wheel of Time series after reading A Dance with Dragons and made it to about 200 pages through Crossroads of Twilight and then I just gave up.  I could not read another Elayne or Egwene chapter without wanting to throw the book across the room in frustration.  I heard the series gets better after this book, but I just couldn't do it anymore.  Was it well worth reading until the end? (Sorry, I know this question is completely off topic) 

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9 hours ago, Moiraine Sedai said:

That phrase came up again last night.  We do not know the exact details but we can look at Dany's great accomplishments at the Bay of Dragons to get an idea.

Dany is the most capable among the current rulers of Westeros.   Breaking the Wheel means empowering the common folk and the best way to do this is to give them the right to own land and property.  Daenerys will use the same philosophy that she used to help the slaves in the east.  Those former slaves now have more liberty, can own property, and enjoy more rights than the small folk of Westeros.  By rights, I mean they can vote to choose their own leaders.  They are free from enslavement.  Consider how monumental of a change that was.  The former slaves of slaver's bay are now better off than the commoners of Westeros.  Meereen is strong (according to Tyrion Lannister) and the economy has expanded by allowing more people and more classes to own wealth-building property.  All that, thanks to Daenerys and her dragons.  That is the single greatest reform that we know of in the story.  

Obviously, Dany will have to be in a position of strength to put these changes in place and it will take time.  It took a long time in Meereen.  The lords and the ladies of Westeros will have to give up some of their lands.  The reform will take a long time but only Daenerys can do it.  That is the reason why Daenerys will survive.  She has a vision and she still has a major role to play in the future.  She has proven that she can and she has improved the lives of millions of people.  The Free People of the Bay of Dragons now enjoy their freedom and future generations will no longer be enslaved because Daenerys Targaryen ended the slave trade.

Hey, great stuff, I enjoyed reading it all!

By the way, pretty ironic that "Moiraine Sedai" started a thread called "Breaking the Wheel."

HAR!

(I've read all of the Wheel of Time books, and loved them.  Fantastic series.  I give the edge to ASOIAF, but I'd rate Wheel of Time very high among fantasy fiction/sci-fi book series.  For anyone reading this who wants to give them a try, they are by Robert Jordan)

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It's clear to me that the lives of the majority of the people in what was once called Slaver's Bay are now much, much better after Daenerys got rid of slavery.  It really is beyond stupidity to say that their lives are not better now in comparison to when they were slaves to the masters.  

The  important question is "are the free people better off today than they were when they were the slaves of the masters?"  The answer is YES they are, thanks to Daenerys Targaryen.   Daenerys is the best hope for Westeros and she will most likely rule.

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So I'm assuming that the wheel to be broken is feudalism. Dany is not in the ideal position to do this. Feudalism is a really good way of administering a realm with very little taxation. 

If a ruler is going to change this they need an educated middle class to perform administration. This does not exist in Westeros. There are two examples of how to create an educated middle class from medieval europe. 

1. Westeros needs to become much better at trading with Essos and so create rich common men. This would require the development of fine produce such as cloth. Rich traders will educate children well & over a few generations there should be a group of educated administrators. Plus the taxation from trade should give funds to pay for their jobs.

2. A ruler makes a concious effort to give lesser nobility (those without large amounts of land) administration roles. You will send these men to administer the other kingdoms also. There will be kick back from lords who expect these tasks as their rights so a degree of force is also required. The adminstrators also need to be paid.

So in both cases we need a ruler with bags of cash & an army loyal to them alone. The Targareans only possessed KL and Dragonstone so not a basis for a large army or masses of funds. Dany would have to keep some of the other kingdoms, I think she'll find that very hard, her allies (like Tyrion) will be expecting these as reward for their support & she'll their support more in peacetime as her war machine powers down. We have seen how the Northern minor lords are very loyal to the Starks, they would not fight for Dany. She's only got a finite number of unsullied and the dothraki wont hang around once peace has been achieve. 

Of anyone I think Littlefinger would be the character most likely to be able to end feudalism. He has amassed some wealth, has control of a large agriculturally rich kingdom & a large armed force. He also would be forced to use lesser nobility as he would not be viewed well with the major lords. It would take a lot of cunning for this & show Littlefinger at least is lacking this.

One bonus for Westeros is the citidel, it would be a good vehicle for the spread of education to a middle class however you would need to open it up to traders or increase the size & attractiveness of the profession by making it a paid profession. This of course also needs bags of cash.

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I don't think Dany survives the series.

 

All the talk of succession, needing an heir, plus don't forget all the times Tyrion has warned her about "all it takes is one arrow, etc."  Heavy and thick foreshadowing.  

Plus Beric told Jon that they were both destined to live a life without joy.  Jon commented that they were the shield of the realms of men, and that they should find some solace in their duty.  

 

I think Dany dies next season, but probably not before producing a child.  Jon has to raise this child now as a bastard, probably keeping its true identity a secret as I'm sure even after victory they will still have enemies out there.  Jon comes full circle, basically becoming Ned Stark, whom he has mentioned on more than one occasion that he "was the finest man I ever knew."  Whether or not he claims the throne could go either way IMO.  But this is Jon's "life without joy," as he has lost the love of his life.  

 

It is the "bittersweet" ending that we were alluded to.  Jon survives to raise his child by himself, +/- the throne.  The "good guys" mostly win.  Dany's vision of a new world is never fully realized, but all of her accomplishments are not forgotten either.  I realize it's somewhat cliche but there are only 7 episodes left to go.  Whether or not the book follows this exactly, I have no clue.   

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Tyrion alluded to democracy in this episode, with the comment about choosing your own ruler. I think this idea will be accelerated quickly and clumsily and we will get some ridiculous ending involving a policital reset button that Dany or Tyrion or Jon wil hit. 

Bittersweet and clumsy. Best we can hope for?

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7 hours ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

It's clear to me that the lives of the majority of the people in what was once called Slaver's Bay are now much, much better after Daenerys got rid of slavery.  It really is beyond stupidity to say that their lives are not better now in comparison to when they were slaves to the masters.  

The  important question is "are the free people better off today than they were when they were the slaves of the masters?"  The answer is YES they are, thanks to Daenerys Targaryen.   Daenerys is the best hope for Westeros and she will most likely rule.

Agree on everything you wrote.  Daenerys brought needed change and fought to free the slaves.  The slaves are now free people.  They have Daenerys to thank for their freedom. 

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7 hours ago, RobertOfTheHouseBaratheon said:

1. Westeros needs to become much better at trading with Essos and so create rich common men. This would require the development of fine produce such as cloth. Rich traders will educate children well & over a few generations there should be a group of educated administrators. Plus the taxation from trade should give funds to pay for their jobs.

I mostly agree, except for one thing: Westeros isn't England or Holland, it's a huge country, spanning a continent the size of South America. Even France was big enough that it was mostly internal trade that drove much of their modernization.

But that being said, as long as all of the banks are overseas, most of the luxury goods are imported (except for agricultural stuff like Arbor wines), etc., they're not heading in the right direction to produce a bourgeois class, and more overseas trade is probably the easiest way to get there.

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Dany says that breaking the wheel means breaking the system of power that keeps the nobles on top and the smallfolk on bottom (or something of the like)

but at the same time...Dany has been questing for the IT because it's her birthright as she is a Targaryen and her father was King. She is very focused on that noble right being accepted to the point where she has denied critical alliances because people refuse to recognize the right of a foreign women they've never met to be their ruler.

So, if she holds her house and last name into such regard, how will the system of power ever change? Unless, of course, she herself is exempt from it.

Truly breaking the wheel would mean that House Targaryen is treated the same as the other houses she proposes needing to be crushed.

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2 hours ago, Pandean said:

Dany says that breaking the wheel means breaking the system of power that keeps the nobles on top and the smallfolk on bottom (or something of the like)

but at the same time...Dany has been questing for the IT because it's her birthright as she is a Targaryen and her father was King. She is very focused on that noble right being accepted to the point where she has denied critical alliances because people refuse to recognize the right of a foreign women they've never met to be their ruler.

So, if she holds her house and last name into such regard, how will the system of power ever change? Unless, of course, she herself is exempt from it.

Truly breaking the wheel would mean that House Targaryen is treated the same as the other houses she proposes needing to be crushed.

I think this is intentional in the story: Dany has two conflicting drives, and her whole story is about her figuring out how to deal with that.

And that's the point of her learning about R+L=J. Jon has a better birthright. Either she has to abandon her claim entirely in favor of a guy who can't win the throne (unless she hands it to him), shouldn't win the throne, and doesn't want to win the throne, or she'll have to realize that her birthright isn't the be-all and end-all of everything. It was the inspiration to get her started, but beyond that, it's nothing more than another claim, no different from, say, Renly's. It's not why she will be Queen, or why she should.

The reason she will be Queen is that she has dragons, she's just saved the realm so a lot of people love her, etc. And the reason she should be Queen is that she wants to make things better for the people, and has learned a lot of hard lessons that will help her accomplish that.

And once she's learned that, that's when she can, and should, win. Of course that's still just the beginning—breaking the wheel is still, as Tyrion said, a hard job that's probably going to take more than a lifetime—but she has to get to that point before she's even at the beginning.

I expect the books (if they're ever finished) to make this a lot more interesting. They've got fAegon's challenge, fAegon losing (with or without proof that he was fake), and then Jon instead of just Jon. And Jon's legitimacy may not be quite so open-and-shut. They've also got Dany's internal monologue, and 2000+ pages instead of just a few hours left. And they haven't gone with this simplistic "breaking the wheel" talk and then had to backtrack via Tyrion to explain that they realize it isn't that easy. But I think the show could do a decent job getting a compressed version of this across.

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3 minutes ago, falcotron said:

I think this is intentional in the story: Dany has two conflicting drives, and her whole story is about her figuring out how to deal with that.

And that's the point of her learning about R+L=J. Jon has a better birthright. Either she has to abandon her claim entirely in favor of a guy who can't win the throne (unless she hands it to him), shouldn't win the throne, and doesn't want to win the throne, or she'll have to realize that her birthright isn't the be-all and end-all of everything. It was the inspiration to get her started, but beyond that, it's nothing more than another claim, no different from, say, Renly's. It's not why she will be Queen, or why she should.

The reason she will be Queen is that she has dragons, she's just saved the realm so a lot of people love her, etc. And the reason she should be Queen is that she wants to make things better for the people, and has learned a lot of hard lessons that will help her accomplish that.

And once she's learned that, that's when she can, and should, win. Of course that's still just the beginning—breaking the wheel is still, as Tyrion said, a hard job that's probably going to take more than a lifetime—but she has to get to that point before she's even at the beginning.

I expect the books (if they're ever finished) to make this a lot more interesting. They've got fAegon's challenge, fAegon losing (with or without proof that he was fake), and then Jon instead of just Jon. And Jon's legitimacy may not be quite so open-and-shut. They've also got Dany's internal monologue, and 2000+ pages instead of just a few hours left. And they haven't gone with this simplistic "breaking the wheel" talk and then had to backtrack via Tyrion to explain that they realize it isn't that easy. But I think the show could do a decent job getting a compressed version of this across.

Yeah, that's a really good point.

Dany could definitely do good things for Westeros but she has a few conflicting things at this point, IMO. What I find interesting is she's really taken Olenna's "Be a dragon" words to heart, especially since Olenna was a lot more focused on revenge than having Dany rule the Seven Kingdom's with wisdom, peace, and prosperity (I think, anyway). Dany has to reconcile the whole "ruling is a right" vs "ruling is a duty".

I think she ultimately will do so and there's definitely the whole condenscing all the chapters into a TV show that makes this more simplicist and harder/

And my gods don't even say "if they're finished" I gotta think positive

On the bright side GRRM doesn't live anywhere near me so I won't have to worry about nearly runnning him over like me and my friend almost did Patrick Rothfuss

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11 hours ago, Widowmaker 811 said:

It's clear to me that the lives of the majority of the people in what was once called Slaver's Bay are now much, much better after Daenerys got rid of slavery.  It really is beyond stupidity to say that their lives are not better now in comparison to when they were slaves to the masters.  

The  important question is "are the free people better off today than they were when they were the slaves of the masters?"  The answer is YES they are, thanks to Daenerys Targaryen.   Daenerys is the best hope for Westeros and she will most likely rule.

Dany has a good record when it comes to helping people.  Destroying the slave trade was an epic achievement.  I trust whatever plans she has for Westeros. 

Slavery is the single greatest sin of man.  In our world and theirs.  Think of it as you would think of cancer.  What would you do if you had cancer?  You would treat it and do everything you can to get rid of it.  You may even try risky experimental treatments until you find one that worked.  But waiting around until a new treatment might come along is not the answer.  Not in slavery anyway.  That system was grounding people down and caused thousands to suffer abuse, torture, unjust punishment, and cruelty in the hands of their "masters".  I would disagree with those who would even counsel making moral concessions.  The master classes who resisted Dany's reforms do not deserve consideration. 

Dany has a lot of work to do.  I expect her to carry out her plans to break the wheel and change the system.  Her system won't be perfect but then again, even our current system in the real world (U.S.) is also imperfect.  We may not see the breaking of the wheel on the show but I am certain that we will see those changes slowly taking place in the books after the Others are pushed back.  Note that I am one of those who believe the show and the books will not come to the same ending.  The show will end as soon as the battle is done.  The books will go into detail as the reconstruction of Westeros begins and the new system is slowly and methodically put in place.  I find Dany a most interesting character and I can see her having a future long after the Others are pushed back.  She is very young in the books and I think she will actually outlive most of the other characters because she still has a mission.  She may even manage to find more dragon eggs.  More of those can help pass the changes that she wants to put in place.

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11 minutes ago, Pandean said:

What I find interesting is she's really taken Olenna's "Be a dragon" words to heart, especially since Olenna was a lot more focused on revenge than having Dany rule the Seven Kingdom's with wisdom, peace, and prosperity (I think, anyway). Dany has to reconcile the whole "ruling is a right" vs "ruling is a duty".

I really liked that they gave that like to Olenna. Post-explodey Olenna has lost everything she was fighting for, but she's still alive, so all she has left to go on is spite. If Dany had met her earlier, she could have learned a lot, but instead, Olenna gets the same line as book!Daario, to point her in the same direction, except that on the show it's much later, so that direction is backward instead of forward. (I may be giving the show too much credit because it's Diana Rigg, of course… but I think it's not all in my head.)

In ADwD, Dany thinks her struggle is between being a dragon and being a good Queen. Every one of her advisors represents one of those or the other, and she keeps learning that one side is wrong and swinging back to the other, and then thinking there must be some way to do both, to be enough of a dragon to win but also be a good Queen, but she doesn't know how. What she hasn't realized yet is that this is not the whole struggle, because even when she's thinking of being a good Queen, it's still about the fact that she's the rightful Queen, and therefore she will be a good one, rather than the other way around.

By the way, I'm sure it was a fun challenge for GRRM to figure out how to write a plotline around examining the medieval concepts around the Divine RIght of Kings for a readership who not only don't believe in it in real life, but have a hard time understand that anyone ever took it seriously at all, but at the same time accept it uncritically in fantasy stories.

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7 minutes ago, falcotron said:

I really liked that they gave that like to Olenna. Post-explodey Olenna has lost everything she was fighting for, but she's still alive, so all she has left to go on is spite. If Dany had met her earlier, she could have learned a lot, but instead, Olenna gets the same line as book!Daario, to point her in the same direction, except that on the show it's much later, so that direction is backward instead of forward. (I may be giving the show too much credit because it's Diana Rigg, of course… but I think it's not all in my head.)

In ADwD, Dany thinks her struggle is between being a dragon and being a good Queen. Every one of her advisors represents one of those or the other, and she keeps learning that one side is wrong and swinging back to the other, and then thinking there must be some way to do both, to be enough of a dragon to win but also be a good Queen, but she doesn't know how. What she hasn't realized yet is that this is not the whole struggle, because even when she's thinking of being a good Queen, it's still about the fact that she's the rightful Queen, and therefore she will be a good one, rather than the other way around.

By the way, I'm sure it was a fun challenge for GRRM to figure out how to write a plotline around examining the medieval concepts around the Divine RIght of Kings for a readership who not only don't believe in it in real life, but have a hard time understand that anyone ever took it seriously at all, but at the same time accept it uncritically in fantasy stories.

Good point: Dany could've learned a lot more from Olenna pre-explosion but Olenna does have nothing else but spite. I mean, she's the last Tyrell, it's not like she can have a kid, so the entire house dies with her. Can't blame her for being pissed and spiteful about it, though it does come with the side-effect of giving bad advice to Dany. (Diana Rigg is wonderful)

And that's true too. What's interesting in the ADwD is that fAgeon is described as someone who knows ruling is a duty not a right, but even he has a similar "I'm a Targaryen it's my right" mindset as Dany despite that. I think Dany's heart is ultimately in the right place but currently she's very conflicted about those things. And I mean, I don't blame her. Meereen isn't the easiest place to rule, especially for someone new to ruling.

Ohhh, that WOULD be fun. Writing high fantasy and epic fantasy in general allows you to explore so many things that other types of fantasy and fiction don't allow you to explore. Whether Divine Right, the history involved in whatever your society is, the mythos and creating systems of economics and castes and laws and ruling, geography, the ways that morals are so blurred and the things we take as truth are not known or believed in, the entirety of different mindsets depending on the social group....I could talk for hours about it.

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21 minutes ago, Here's Looking At You, Kid said:

Slavery is the single greatest sin of man.

This is dangerously oversimplified. Even without going Godwin, surely things like Pol Pot rounding up and shooting everyone with too much education are pretty great sins. And honestly, I think I'd rather live in Rome or Carthage than Germania Major, and I'd certainly rather live in Myr than post-Dany book!Astapor. And I think you would too. Focusing on slavery as the only evil that matters makes sense when you're living in, say, 18th century England, and many of the other great evils have been eradicated (or not yet invented). But doing the same thing in medieval times is how you get people in Westeros patting themselves on the back for not having slavery while living on the backs of serfs and not even seeing the problem with that.

Meanwhile, I don't get why so many people think they're supposed to pick a character in these books to become rabid fans of, blind themselves to any way in which their character is less than perfect, and then spend their lives spouting propaganda for that character instead of discussing the story. I don't see how you can even enjoy this series—books or show—if you try to see it that way. Dany is a deeply flawed character despite having a lot of admirable qualities and a lot of potential, and her actions have hurt many people along with helping many people, and there's a lot of risk in what she wants to do—including the risk that she may lose her internal struggles, not just the risk that she may be beaten. That's the whole reason her story is interesting in the first place. If you just want to see a good guy beat a bad guy so everyone lives happily ever after, what's wrong with Lord of the Rings?

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5 minutes ago, falcotron said:

This is dangerously oversimplified. Even without going Godwin, surely things like Pol Pot rounding up and shooting everyone with too much education are pretty great sins. And honestly, I think I'd rather live in Rome or Carthage than Germania Major, and I'd certainly rather live in Myr than post-Dany book!Astapor. And I think you would too. Focusing on slavery as the only evil that matters makes sense when you're living in, say, 18th century England, and many of the other great evils have been eradicated (or not yet invented). But doing the same thing in medieval times is how you get people in Westeros patting themselves on the back for not having slavery while living on the backs of serfs and not even seeing the problem with that.

Meanwhile, I don't get why so many people think they're supposed to pick a character in these books to become rabid fans of, blind themselves to any way in which their character is less than perfect, and then spend their lives spouting propaganda for that character instead of discussing the story. I don't see how you can even enjoy this series—books or show—if you try to see it that way. Dany is a deeply flawed character despite having a lot of admirable qualities and a lot of potential, and her actions have hurt many people along with helping many people, and there's a lot of risk in what she wants to do—including the risk that she may lose her internal struggles, not just the risk that she may be beaten. That's the whole reason her story is interesting in the first place. If you just want to see a good guy beat a bad guy so everyone lives happily ever after, what's wrong with Lord of the Rings?

:agree:

 

There's no button to like posts so I hope you don't mind me just saying that I really like and agree with this.

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