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HeadlessHenchman

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  1. HeadlessHenchman

    People's reaction to Dany turning Mad Queen says something about us as humans

    I think there's some justification for Dany not seeing the inhabitants of KL as "her own civilian populace". In that moment atop Drogon, as a result of their refusal (from her POV) to help usurp Cersei, she sees them as part of the problem. She sacrificed everything to get to here. They didn't lift a finger. They could have liberated themselves from Cersei's tyranny (again from Dany's POV) with her backing. But they didn't. Why? Hatred for Dany and her ambitions?
  2. HeadlessHenchman

    People's reaction to Dany turning Mad Queen says something about us as humans

    Just to be clear. That's not my take. It's almost the opposite. It's a libertarian take not a socialist one. Dany is chaos. Chaos is change. Change can be good. Change can be bad. But consider the fact that status quo isn't all that awesome if you're not a lord with a birth right, change is justified. And that change is not systemic. It is personal. Chaos creates the opportunity for people to make new choices. Choices that leads to change. Through Tyrion, Dany gave the people of King's Landing a warning and a opportunity to change. A choice. With an outside force ready to aid, they could have toppled the Lannister reign. They chose not to. They preferred that someone else made all the sacrifices on their behalf. One can argue perspective. One can point to ignorance of cultural differences. But in a world where people in general are mere pawns in other people's game of power, one should be respected for trying to topple that system. This is 100% a TV series take and one I decided to explore in order to come to terms with a season that left me feeling a bit betrayed. Doesn't mean it holds up to scrutiny. It's clearly NOT how I was supposed to interpret things. Thanks for participating in my therapy :-)
  3. HeadlessHenchman

    People's reaction to Dany turning Mad Queen says something about us as humans

    She risked her only remaining child and herself so that all of them would be alive when it was time to surrender. Drogon made the city surrender. Not Jon, the unsullied and the northmen. We saw what happened when the street fights erupted. If we take the long night into account, she basically ensured that they were still breathing in the first place. Had all those people who were not slaves cared for their own liberation, they could have risen up and toppled Cersei. They didn't. They either preferred continuing on as subservient pawns to be used and abused - effectively blocking progress for generations to come - or they just preferred that someone else risked everything to liberate them. Innocent? Hmmm... Doesn't excuse what she did, but the full Hitler treatment was not warranted given the mission she was on. She was trying to break the wheel. Not just replace the dudes driving the cart.
  4. HeadlessHenchman

    People's reaction to Dany turning Mad Queen says something about us as humans

    One does not have to be indifferent of human life in order to decide to take it. Lots of it. What one does need (at least) is the capacity to not value a specific life over another life. Current life over future life. Or life that is close compared to life that is further away. I don't think the American leadership was indifferent when the decision to drop those nukes was made. What they hoped was that x mostly innocent lives lost here and now would stop x+1 mostly innocent lives from suffering later. Their care for the z+1 won. Good/bad/crazy? Different question. When heinous acts are committed, the horror is easy to note. It's happening right there and then. But as previously stated in this thread, the (possibly) resulting benefits might take decades to fully materialize. I find Genghis Khan an interesting parallel to Dany. Everyone knows him as a ruthless barbarian. And based on what I've read, he most definitely was. Man, the things one can read about the tactics the Mongolians sometimes used. But, and here's where my gripe with the way D&D ended Dany's arc lies, Genghis Khan ALSO ended much suffering, changed so many things for the better and probably raised the quality of life for many generations to come. Yet his legacy is that of a war-mongering tyrant. By going full Hitler in the treatment of Dany, nothing remains of all the the good intentions, noble acts and beneficial change she had already caused and might have caused in the future. Dany always led from the front making sacrifices every step of they way. That is not the trademark of a sociopathic demagouge. It might be of a misguided, isolated, over-powerful liberator enslaved by her own legacy high on her own juice and trapped between cultures - but not a cynical mass murderer. Like Anakin ultimately got a sliver of redemption and nice final paragraph in the book go his life, D&D should have done more to thank the pre-KL torching Dany for all that she had done. Leaving Jon and Tyrion in doubt as to whether they had done the right thing or not was something, but not enough. Imho. Thanks for responding and thanks for helping me explore these thoughts further.
  5. HeadlessHenchman

    People's reaction to Dany turning Mad Queen says something about us as humans

    100% It's clearly not how D&D wanted us to interpret Dany's motives and it's a thematically tough theme to sell even without a rushed season. So I think they shot themselves in the foot by hinting at this somewhat redeeming motive and then still erased her earned legacy. Best example I can think of is s8 e6 when Grey Worm tells Jon that the Lannister men are free and chose to fight for Cersei. So they deserve to die. If you buy that they did indeed choose it (and to an extent they did) then yes, warring without dire consequences is not going to stop people from warring - if they can choose not to. Jon argues for mercy because form his POV they are not really free men. They are bound to the Lannister line. Had Grey Worm acted and reasoned the same way had the lion commander had a simple coat and a chain around his neck? This conversation serves a purpose even if what I suggest is nonsense but I like to think that perhaps it is residue from George's likely far more multifaceted ending. It helps me cope :-)
  6. HeadlessHenchman

    People's reaction to Dany turning Mad Queen says something about us as humans

    I guess I would argue that to the extent it is a flawed and possibly impossible strategy it is not perhaps not so because the person trying that strategy will become corrupted by power but rather because of the weakness of of man. In general we simply do not have what it takes to see genuine change through. It's dangerous to make real world comparisons but the Arab spring might perhaps work as a recent equivalent. Status Quo is comforting. The fact that the French Revolution only paid off way later imho only strengthens the need for legacy of those who started it (but erred and failed along the way) to be protected. "No anything Daenerys may achieve will not survive her death." If she can't change the mindset of the oppressed (through fear or otherwise) then no. What she's done dies with her. I think that's the lesson she learned in Slaver's Bay. Conquering and liberating wasn't enough.
  7. HeadlessHenchman

    Why Did the Show Turn on Jon?

    I think by far the biggest injustice done to Jon's character (and I agree with a lot of the other things mentioned in this thread) was to rob him of the only thing I think he truly wanted once Dany was dead and most definitely deserved. To choose himself for once. Throughout the series and all the way to the end he was the champion of duty. The hero of making choices he didn't want to make. Do this, Jon. Do that, Jon. Swear here, kneel there. Carry this burden, accept this fate. He made so many decisions that went against his personal wants and after he made a final one to (from the show's perspective) save the world, his path was chosen for him. Burn. Sure, going up north was likely high up on his wish list but he didn't get to decide it himself. That is such a insidious ending to his arc. Although the comments around the "alternative ending" scenes suggest that he will indeed carry out his duty at the night's watch, I choose to interpret the last shot as him saying: "F* it, I'm going with the wildlings. And I'm keeping the coat. You owe me."
  8. HeadlessHenchman

    People's reaction to Dany turning Mad Queen says something about us as humans

    Long time book and series fan, first time poster. So please accept my apologies if I break forum ethos right off the bat. I think there is one interesting justification for Dany's actions that was hinted at in season 8 but wasn't explored (which gives hope that it might be a George thing that D & D didn't want to skip entirely). I've not seen it addressed anywhere, really. Not even in the excellent article linked above. Both Dany And Grey Worm state clearly that they consider the people and soldiers of King's Landing to be free. Coming from genuine sold-and-shackled slave backgrounds this is understandable. Westeros oppression is more subtle. Now, if we assume for a second that Dany's genuine ambition is indeed to "break the wheel" and rid the world of oppression, she needs the backing of the oppressed. History has taught us that the only way for freedom and change to stick is if the those who are being liberated are actively engaged in their own liberation. Only when the oppressed are able to free themselves (when given the opportunity) will that freedom last. This is what the unsullied did. For example. They got the opportunity and they took it. The people of King's Landing, seen in this light, are part of the problem. They are not innocent because they are not shackled. They can rise up and topple this feudalistic system that reduces most of them to pawns in an eternal game of power among the lords. Yet they don't. Even when the opportunity arises when a friendly(from Dany's POV) force arrives to back them up. Dany says that she's doing what's she's doing for the sake of generations to come. She's playing the looooong game. To do that, she has to change the mentality of the small folk. Given what she's seeing, due to this oppression related culture clash between Essos and Westeros, "just" taking out Cersei is pointless. Winning the iron throne is pointless if all the peasants beggars and lord-serving nobodies she wants to help aren't in on it. If all they will be looking for is another hand to feed from, she made all her sacrifices for nothing. So she makes a statement. Rise up out of the gutters and fight or become an example for others so that they will. Rule through fear for the betterment of all. It's an insane burden to carry, but it's a play that can potentially work. Sure, the above doesn't justify firebombing children and maybe, the way the show set everything up, Dany had to die. But I don't think she deserved the full Hitler treatment. She tried something. She wanted to achieve something glorious and wonderful. Did she lose her way a bit? Yes. Did she misstep? Yes. But she deserved a legacy for what she did right and what she tried to do right. This was my second biggest issue with the how the series wrapped up. She and her earned legacy was tossed upon the scrap heap of history while the lords and ladies of Westeros carried on, pretending something had actually changed. Way too cynical in a world that is way too cynical already. Thanks for reading this. Shows and book series like GoT AsoIaF are amazing. I was so messed up by some of the choices D&D made I had to start writing continuation fan fiction as therapy! :-) /HH
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