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Johan Wehtje

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  1. Johan Wehtje

    GoT and Feminism: What Happens Now?

    I am very leery of fiction trying to satisfy the political aspirations of identity politics, it strikes me as a recipe for sterile totalitarian art where characters are just motifs for types, or situations that encourage the writing of Mary Sues to satisfy identity quotas, and any character flaws are scrutinised mercilessly for the possibility that they reflect some or other ideological shortcoming on the part of the writer - misogyny, racism or homophobia. All that said Dany as a character was so thoroughly vandalised and so stupidly it becomes really hard not see a certain malevolence behind it. But never attrribute to malice etc. Dany was almost certainly heading for a tragic hero arc, it would be out of keeping with everything we know about the storytelling of GRRM for hers to be in the end a simple tale of triumph and Disney ending. And there was plenty of material to be build such a narrative on , her sense of destiny beyond just claiming her birthright would only have been sharpened with the knowledge that it is not really her birthright after all. And from what we learned in Mereen, as well as from the High Sparrow and Brothers without Banners there was plenty of material to ignite a vicious social conflict which she could have set off. Such an arc, with her attempts to reshape society becoming ever more autocratic, could have satisfyingly led to a tragic end similar to what we saw in Ep 6 without completely trashing the character. But when instead a character just goes genocidally crazy after 8 seasons of being really resilient to the point that her death is just euthanising someone who is incurably insane , and this transformation occurs in what seems to be a single morning, and is attributed to genetic susceptibility you are on shaky ground as far as tropes about women wielding power being especially susceptible to insanity.
  2. Johan Wehtje

    Who was Daenerys turned into?

    No Actions really do talk louder. Not only that but we literally see her discuss and accept that she shouldn't burn cities. As for the speeches at Quarth or later when she returns to Mereen you will notice that they are either when she is with her khalisaar or when she has spent time with the Dothraki. She imbibed a fair bit of Dothraki culture which is why she was accepted as Khlaeesi over all. Between the Targareyen propensity for Fire and Blood language and Dothraki talk about exulting in conquest bloodcurdling talk to your enemies is completely standard in the world she lives in without anyone thinking you are going mad. And you can't have 8 seasons of a character being measured, and listening to advisors, and being flexible and having uncommon concern for innocent life and then do a 180 on all those traits and then tell us it was all foreshadowed by a couple of speeches similar to ones that many other characters make. And of course - foreshadowing is not the same as character development.!
  3. Johan Wehtje

    West of Westeros: The Voyages of A. Stark

    Well yes why not, but at the same time Yarra strikes me as the sort of person who would give Arya a boat precisely because she threatened to cut er throat for threatening her brother. As in "I like your spunk"
  4. Johan Wehtje

    [Spoilers] Episode 806 Discussion

    Agree with this. A longer season, a more evenly pitched battle for KL (Cersei is like the queen of wildfire, even back in S2 it was originally her idea, so why not even the odds here with it) and the tragedy of Danys victory being hollow playing out over time, and her autocratic streak running headlong into westerosi opposition, that would have been a proper tragedy. As you say the scene with Dany and Jon should have been Shakespearean - and I did cry for Dany, but mostly because the writers had so horribly screwed her, and not because through a series of completely understandable but tragic decisions she had arrived at point where Jon had to kill her or say, lose Sansa, or see the kingdom wracked by another horrible war. But instead he was just euthanising someone who had, pretty much inexplicably, gone completely crazy with only a tenuous connection to reality. The character had already died 45 minutes and 24 seconds into The Bells, and it took about 3 seconds.
  5. Johan Wehtje

    West of Westeros: The Voyages of A. Stark

    Well hopefully Yarra gave a her a good crew.
  6. Any ideas for the adventures our favorite Ninja has beyond the western sea. Considering how closely Westeros-Essos tracks Afro-Eurasia but with a Supersized UK I think a super continent like Americas needs to be at the other side. Or should it be like the Voyages of Odysseus? With a world even more fantastical.
  7. Was that winter, that's been coming for a decade, over in a no time at all. And the idea that Jon survives the wrath of Dothraki and Unsullied, who a scene ago were shown rapturously worshipping Dany is absurd. Which reminds me - where were the Dothraki ? Off to Naath too ?
  8. Johan Wehtje

    [Spoilers] Episode 806 Discussion

    But that's the thing - there isn't a moral equivalence - not really in our world (which is why we cheered) and most definitely not in the world of GOT. Surely it is not hard to see that overthrowing what was going on in Astapor is not only not connected to, but diametrically the opposite of doing the lawnmower with Dragonfire on a city packed with the refugees of a continent? It's holding Dany to the moral standards of pacifism in a world where such a concept is completely alien. It's the sort of thing that does help clarify how bankrupt pacifism can be if it is seriously argued that the right and sane thing to do in Astapor, when you have the power to change it is to leave it just the way it is. The "first they came for" shctick only works here if you honestly think that "first they came for the slavers" is a sentence that ends with then they came for everyone.
  9. Johan Wehtje

    [Spoilers] Episode 806 Discussion

    It was not very clearly described in show but the arrangement in Mereen sounded more like a republic than Athenian demos. A Republic with a temporary dictator. This was a very successful form historically, from Mediterranean city states - Roman, Pheoneican and Greek to Italian and German and Baltic States in the high middle ages and Rennaissance to the Dutch Republic.
  10. This. Saying that her bloodcurdling speeches prefigure madness is also to create a special condition for Dany that does not apply to anyone else. The world we have been watching is one where there is not much of a line between vengeance and justice - if you want justice seek your own vengeance. Arya has been on a killing spree for 3 seasons and isn't seen as some monster. Varys himself gives Olenna and the sand snakes the blood and fire speech. Talking rampage talk to Dothraki is just knowing your audience. What does make Dany unique is that she is the only character at all that displays any real concern for the people, Tyrion might be decent, Jon also - but Tyrion regards commoners as a bit of an abstraction and with a certain distaste, and lets face it Jon mostly wants the wild lings help in the fight against the NK. Dany is unique that from the freeing of the lamb people slaves onwards she actually is prepared to make sacrifices in her crusade for the oppressed, her story is a 4 season detour in which liberates millions. Also her violence has been very discrete and generally been preceded by negotiation. Add to that the fact that we have most of the in worlds most honourable and smartest characters all coming to the same conclusion about her for 7 seasons and it really is a rug pull with a couple of weak allusions to ambiguous foreshadowing to try and justify it. Nothing in the characters actual behaviour and choices over the preceding seasons justify it.
  11. I and quite a few others have already posted the link to this: To which I don't have much to add other than to simply repeat what is there - we have Dany repeatedly in situations where she could be indiscriminate and she instead discriminates. And she simply has not been shown as crazy or psychologically fragile over the last 8 seasons until this episode.
  12. Johan Wehtje

    [Spoilers] Episode 806 Discussion

    Historically elective Kingships with the franchise restricted to high nobles were pretty disastrous. In general they resulted in sutuations where the nobility ran roughshod over the commoners and weak states. The Holy Roman Empire, Poland and Hungary are all examples. Danys policies in Slavers Bay were more likely to result in something workable. Democracy but with a circuit breaker.
  13. Johan Wehtje

    [Spoilers] Episode 806 Discussion

    Given the givens the ending was not too bad - but what they had to do to Dany, and by extension Varys and Tyrion to get there remains unforgivable. Just to forestall the critics who think that the controversy over Dany is because her fans wanted her to have some kind of Disney arc are fighting a straw man. There might be some people who wanted that but all of the criticism that I have seen fully accepts that Dany was going to be a tragic hero, but fault what happened as completely breaking with the character and incidentally burning much pf the rest of cast in the process. And the attempt in this episode to have Tyrion ventriloquise the writers ret-conned justification with the idiocy about how the Mereenese crucifixions or bonfire of the Khals logically leads to methodically burning a city and it's inhabitants after it had surrendered just reinforces the sour taste this season leaves. A triumphant Dany, backed by fanatics, with limitless power and filled with a mission that requires the revolutionary remaking of society was always going to take a dark turn. But it should have played as tragedy - and needed time - at least half a season - to properly play out in a way that was true to character. Instead we got this bombastic nonsense, where Dany is preternaturally aware and figures out exactly what happened at the beginning of episode 5 and has turned into a gibbering madwoman barely connected to reality in the course of maybe a day or so. This is Morning cartoon stuff.
  14. Johan Wehtje

    [Spoilers] Episode 806 Discussion

    West of Westeros is the spin off they need to make.
  15. Johan Wehtje

    [Spoilers] Episode 806 Discussion

    Benioff and Weiss make an attempt to put a narrative justification for Dany's action in Tyrions mouth with the stuff about the slavers, the Mereenese nobles and the Khals. And it just made me even more angry about the face heel turn they inflicted on Dany. To try and justify the character turn as if these examples foreshadowed what happened next is to add an absurd moral equivalence to the steaming pile that they they have made of this season. Just to take the liberation of Astapor as an example - the orders where extremely specific, harm no child, only attack the masters. It seriously is not anything like the burning of a city after it's surrender - which of course the characters in world knew - Tyrion and Varys joined after most of these acts and had no problem until an episode ago, when suddenly Varys is required to worry about a mad Queen. This is ret conning and for all the incredible cinematography and acting and productions values the end became hollow because how spectaculalry they messed up both the NK story and Dany's arc.