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butterbumps!

Let’s Change the Conversation: Remapping Dany

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Oh bullshit.

LF isn't critiquing anything, he like Cersei wants to become the oppressor, not destroy it. He isn't looking to bring about social equality any more than Cersei is trying to institute reproductive freedom.

His record (and family history) says otherwise. Comparing Cersei and the Great One is a non-starter.

I'd rather have the Great One's form of critiquing than Daenerys'.

Sorry I don't see that at all. He hasn't lent a hand to a single person where there is no gain to himself, even Varys occasionally helps people with no guaranteed pay off. LF is not about any kind of progressive objective, he is about acquiring power for himself, that's it.

Which is irrelevant.

Euron does not do things without seeking to gain from them, neither does Stannis, neither does Aeron, neither does Doran (really), neither does Asha. Neither, arguably, does Jon. Or Daenerys. Pretty much every single agent of change does things for their own benefit. Shock horror.

If we're having a moratorium on Daenerys' atrocities/incompetence/hypocrisy, can I safely assume we're doing the same for the Great One? What about Stannis? Can we let him off betraying Ned and burning people alive now? Time to move on.

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I will translate this for DanCrappers:

It is evident enough that Dany is a failure as a ruler/administrator that it no longer really needs to be argued. Taking this abject failure as a given, let's switch gears to see what other role Dany might play aside from being a ruler, which she's shown she can't do. Maybe her real purpose is just to burn shit down and be chaotic while other people do the administering.

You couldn't keep civil for three bloody pages, could you?

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I will translate this for DanCrappers:

It is evident enough that Dany is a failure as a ruler/administrator that it no longer really needs to be argued. Taking this abject failure as a given, let's switch gears to see what other role Dany might play aside from being a ruler, which she's shown she can't do. Maybe her real purpose is just to burn shit down and be chaotic while other people do the administering.

So presumptuous. It is not a given, let the debate continue.

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His record (and family history) says otherwise. Comparing Cersei and the Great One is a non-starter.

I'd rather have the Great One's form of critiquing than Daenerys'.

Which is irrelevant.

Euron does not do things without seeking to gain from them, neither does Stannis, neither does Aeron, neither does Doran (really), neither does Asha. Neither, arguably, does Jon. Or Daenerys. Pretty much every single agent of change does things for their own benefit. Shock horror.

Euron is a sadistic freak.

Doran has many times shown mercy. What benefit do you think Jon got out of helping Sam? Or Satin? Dany, too, went to bat for the lamb people as well as you know, the 3 cities of slaves.

My point was not that other people also do things that benefit themselvs, I mean, DUH, it was that Littlefinger, in five books has NEVER, not once, helped another person for no gain. The only other people who fit that profile are absolute villans: Cersei, Ramsey, Joff...even Roose is, by his own standard, is kind to Arya.

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It might. But it certainly won't if you don't fight, see?

Here is the thing, I think one has to think very carefully about the disutility of the loss of life in the present against probability of successful reform multiplied by the greater utility of tomorrow. If the chances of reform are small, I think it is no great thing to cause mass and mindless destruction with no purpose.

At any rate, I recognize Westoros sucks with its sexism, classicism, rape, etc., but I don't trust Dany to be the one to change it, nor do I expect her to think very carefully about the various trade offs she will have to make.

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Good idea for a threat, but, as expected, the thread is quickly going to hell since repeating the same bashing for the 12376th time is so much fun apparently.


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Good idea for a threat, but, as expected, the thread is quickly going to hell since repeating the same bashing for the 12376th time is so much fun apparently.

One of the OP's claim is that Dany is a bad ruler = fact. Obviously some people would disagree with this premise/assertion.

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At any rate, I recognize Westoros sucks with its sexism, classicism, rape, etc., but I don't trust Dany to be the one to change it, nor do I expect her to think very carefully about the various trade offs she will have to make.

Dany's entire character arc to date has shown she's not good at this kind of analysis. The very core of her character is an assumption that she is due the queenship of Westeros, while she has done next to nothing to prepare herself for the task of ruling. As long as ruling remains her goal, we have to take it into account when discussing her actions and her role in the story, however much we might want her to give up on it. She hasn't learned the lesson yet.

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These things are still relevant, as they shed light on her motives, her likely courses of action, and her values. They very much inform her future as a character and her role in the story. I don't see that framing Dany's actions in a narrow way that excuses her from responsibility for what follows in her wake does anything useful for the character or for the analysis of the story. When some posters try to do this for other characters, they are rightly called out for it. So why is Dany different?

What exactly do you understand the OP to be about?

Because if you are thinking that I'm excusing her of responsibility or creating some system of "going easier" on her, then I think rereading the OP might be in order.

I'm reframing how I understand Dany's character, in her arc and in the larger context of ASOIAF. I'm not saying she's somehow right for the 163 or that her atrocities don't matter. But there's been 16,000,000 threads about that, the discussion of which never leads to an interesting or (imo) meaningful analysis of Dany.

As in, the conversation needs to change. She commits atrocities, she has humanitarian objectives, she has unfettered power, she's a terrible ruler, she's a compelling leader. Great. Now let's move on. Please.

ETA: Can we move the discussion of LF as a locomotive of progress here, please?

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I am a big believer in Jon Danny and Stannis coming together.i don't know if there the 3 heads of dragon.lol but I do believe they will work well together .i like all 3 characters an can see them defeating the others and bringing peace to westerns.

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Here is the thing, I think one has to think very carefully about the disutility of the loss of life in the present against probability of successful reform multiplied by the greater utility of tomorrow. If the chances of reform are small, I think it is no great thing to cause mass and mindless destruction with no purpose.

At any rate, I recognize Westoros sucks with its sexism, classicism, rape, etc., but I don't trust Dany to be the one to change it, nor do I expect her to think very carefully about the various trade offs she will have to make.

I'm sorry, I thought we were discussing Slaver's Bay?

The thing is, thousands are dying in SB anyway without Dany.

We'll take the Unsullied.

We'll assume that they have one new batch every year. Dany's batch is 8,600.

We're told that only one third of the boys survive training. Ergo, 17,200 boys died from Dany's batch.

Which means that the total number of boys who survived being cut (minus the number who were fed to dogs because they couldn't strangle their puppies) was 25,800.

We're assuming a ridiculously high rate of recovery from being cut: 50%. So we have the number of boys who died at 43,000.

Add in the 8,600 babies killed for the Unsullied to finish their training: 51,600.

That's for one batch of Unsullied in one city, and I'd like to point out that the usual survival rate from castration at a young age ranged from one in three (30%) to one in ten (10%).

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As in, the conversation needs to change. She commits atrocities, she has humanitarian objectives, she has unfettered power, she's a terrible ruler, she's a compelling leader. Great. Now let's move on. Please.

I'm contending there can't be any "moving on" because all of these things are very much open chapters in her character and in her conception of herself. Dany hasn't "moved on" and this is extremely significant for the future of the character and how she fits into the story. We can't just divorce her from her past and project arcs for her future based on the fact that she can do a lot of damage.

I'm genuinely curious what you're trying to "move on" to without taking her past and her motivations into account. Yes, she's primed to play a destructive role in the story, there's not a whole lot to do from there if we don't flesh out her future with information from her personality and her past.

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Euron is a sadistic freak.

Doran has many times shown mercy. What benefit do you think Jon got out of helping Sam? Or Satin? Dany, too, went to bat for the lamb people as well as you know, the 3 cities of slaves.

My point was not that other people also do things that benefit themselvs, I mean, DUH, it was that Littlefinger, in five books has NEVER, not once, helped another person for no gain. The only other people who fit that profile are absolute villans: Cersei, Ramsey, Joff...even Roose is, by his own standard, is kind to Arya.

So are Daenerys and Stannis at times. Not to mention Khal Drogo, whom Daenerys was more than happy to do pretty much as he wished as long as he got her to Westeros. It's an irrelevant point though. I'm not passing judgment on Euron's morality.

Re Doran, again, so what? From what I see, all the times Doran has shown mercy, it's been done as an act that will help to benefit him. Instead of executing Arianne's co-conspirators, he gave them all pretty easy let-offs. Why? Because it was, when it got down to it, in his best interests to do so.

I'll concede the Jon example (though I'd also counter by pointing out he held no real power at this point. Situations changes drastically when he actually becomes Lord Commander).

Dany went to bat for the Lamb People purely out of her own interests? Let's not pretend there wasn't a propaganda aspect going on there. Likewise in Slaver's Bay. In the meantime, what are the results of these so-called selfless actions? Astapor etc.

However, as I said before, this is all but irrelevant. How selfish an agent of change is or isn't is not the pertinent issue.

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Excellent work as always, butterbumps! I think your proposal that we view and understand Dany not as a ruler but as a catalyst of change is not only valid but absolutely essential to a full accounting of her character and role in the overall ice vs fire thematic framework of the novels. I do, however, take a rather more dim view of this role than perhaps you do.



Martin plays with cyclicality quite a bit, with Tyrion's line about dancing on the strings of those that came before him, Septon Meribald's speech, or Arianne's reference to House Toland's arms- a dragon eating its own tail. Westerosi history is thousands of years of the same social order and the same types of conflicts repeating endlessly (this technological and social stasis is so fantastical that it must be meaningful). The Long Night is once again impending, and Azor Ahai will come again. Bran repeats the Last Hero's journey, and Old Nan can't remember just which Brandon she's speaking with. It all comes around again, with timeless roles filled by marginally variable particulars.



It's in this light that the role of catalyst must be understood within your thematic 'ice and fire' framework. What positive value is there to a catalyst that produces only stasis? In this world, ice and fire, order and chaos appear to be locked in a dialectic that never synthesizes but instead merely ineluctably recycles antitheses. There is no lack for violent upheavals in Westeros, but for thousands of years they've merely reproduced the very same stagnant social order which so regularly produces violent upheavals.



Dany is this upheaval at it essence, I think you're absolutely correct about that. But is this a positive and necessary role if it's part of grim repetition of cold and ordered oppression followed by flares of chaotic violence? You're correct that the one is not more evil than the other, but neither is really positive and both are only necessary as they sustain one another. I think, ultimately, that this is the heart of the matter: violence, subtle or extreme, done indifferently or in passion, produces only itself over and over again.


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Dany's entire character arc to date has shown she's not good at this kind of analysis. The very core of her character is an assumption that she is due the queenship of Westeros, while she has done next to nothing to prepare herself for the task of ruling. As long as ruling remains her goal, we have to take it into account when discussing her actions and her role in the story, however much we might want her to give up on it. She hasn't learned the lesson yet.

Yep. You are right. Also, I am not opposed to using military force to achieve some political objectives. What I oppose is its mindless use and thinking that it is a tool that can solve all problems, when that is just not the case.

There are many things that even Dragons can't do, shocking as it maybe.

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So are Daenerys and Stannis at times. Not to mention Khal Drogo, whom Daenerys was more than happy to do pretty much as he wished as long as he got her to Westeros. It's an irrelevant point though. I'm not passing judgment on Euron's morality.

Re Doran, again, so what? From what I see, all the times Doran has shown mercy, it's been done as an act that will help to benefit him. Instead of executing Arianne's co-conspirators, he gave them all pretty easy let-offs. Why? Because it was, when it got down to it, in his best interests to do so.

I'll concede the Jon example (though I'd also counter by pointing out he held no real power at this point. Situations changes drastically when he actually becomes Lord Commander).

Dany went to bat for the Lamb People purely out of her own interests? Let's not pretend there wasn't a propaganda aspect going on there. Likewise in Slaver's Bay. In the meantime, what are the results of these so-called selfless actions? Astapor etc.

However, as I said before, this is all but irrelevant. How selfish an agent of change is or isn't is not the pertinent issue.

I would say you are obscuring that the truth of the text is as I stated it, in 5 books LF has never once shown mercy or done anything to help someone when it wasn't in his interest. Indeed, when all he had to do was tell his people to keep Jeyne Poole safe, he doesn't bother, so she's whipped and trained as a whore. Yeah, man of people, progressive change agent, LOL. We have seen him commit personal murder, create destruction out of personal animosity, and, as he himself has told us, just to throw people off his tracks. He is not a change agent. He is a greedy amoral POS, he's not attempting to change the system, he's gaming it for his own advantage.

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I'm genuinely curious what you're trying to "move on" to without taking her past and her motivations into account. Yes, she's primed to play a destructive role in the story, there's not a whole lot to do from there if we don't flesh out her future with information from her personality and her past.

Good heavens.

I'm 100% taking into account her past. The point is that in taking into account her past, I've consolidated these points into their takeaways, so that we're not still debating these things in their mind-numbingly overplayed specifics.

So by "move on" I am saying that let's not waste time arguing over the specifics of her actions (do we really need another blessed debate about the 163?), take account that she committed atrocities, and apply that to a broader picture.

I'm not sure why this is so appalling a concept.

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You couldn't keep civil for three bloody pages, could you?

Who am I being uncivil to, exactly? DanCrappers are my people. I was trying to explain that Bumps is taking Dany's failure as a ruler into account.

So presumptuous. It is not a given, let the debate continue.

But that's not what the OP presupposes. It's based on the conclusion that Dany is a terrible ruler and that her real role is being an agent of chaos.

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Good heavens.

I'm 100% taking into account her past. The point is that in taking into account her past, I've consolidated these points into their takeaways, so that we're not still debating these things in their mind-numbingly overplayed specifics.

So by "move on" I am saying that let's not waste time arguing over the specifics of her actions (do we really need another blessed debate about the 163?), take account that she committed atrocities, and apply that to a broader picture.

I'm not sure why this is so appalling a concept.

Because you're upsetting the status quo, trying to upturn a system almost as inertial as the Watch. Girl, where are you dragons?

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