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butterbumps!

Let’s Change the Conversation: Remapping Dany

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I think the thing that's problematic about this view for me is that we already know she's going to be important to the story, and that, as a powerful character with access to creatures unseen in Westeros for 150 years, she's going to have a dramatic impact on the situation in Westeros. So the "change" thing is a bit of a given, and doesn't seem to shed much light on the character.

I also think we need to consider Dany in terms of how she performs according to her values and her goals. We know that she values the possession of the Iron Throne, "avenging" her family, and bringing down the current rulers of Westeros. It would require a drastic character change for her to let go of these core parts of her identity and motives. Such a change is possible, and it would represent a focal point of her future arc. Dismissing the things that Dany tells us are important to her doesn't get us anything useful, in my view.

That looks bad for Westeros then, It's going to mean she will be an enemy of Stannis, of the Lannisters, of the Starks, the Tullys. Theoretically if Jon Snow is her uncle, she should be his ally. She's going to think Aegon is fake, whether he is or not, I presume, having the mummer's dragon info...which will put her in conflict almost certainly with Dorne.

That leaves her in conflict with almost everyone, everywhere. I certainly hope she abandons some of these notions when she gets to Westeros or she will burn it down and kill everyone by the time she gets the IT.

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Meh.

I’m fascinated so many people seem to see sense in this OP. I can’t understand it all.

Just another piece of Jon stanning and Dany bashing, but slightly more cunningly disguised than usual.

At the risk of giving this nonsensical accusation weight by responding, what exactly is your basis for that?

You called Dany a catalyst. A catalyst only speeds up a change/reaction that is already happening.

It can be used in the sense of an agent that provokes change, and that's the sense I'm using it. Not something that merely encourages momentum, but actually instigates.

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That leaves her in conflict with almost everyone, everywhere. I certainly hope she abandons some of these notions when she gets to Westeros or she will burn it down and kill everyone by the time she gets the IT.

I hope so too, and it's something I've been saying for a long time. That the best way she could show growth and worthiness as a leader would be through selfless service to the realm instead of worsening the situation in an already war-torn Westeros by blindly pursuing the throne.

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

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

Does it matter if its Westeros or Slaver's Bay? Nice try in trying to make a distinction, which really doesn't matter, given the context of the OP's thesis. But anyhow.

Yes, there was death and all kinds of horror in Slaver's Bay before Dany arrived. But, that in itself doesn't justify intervention, particularly if Dany is not willing to commit necessary time and resources to get the job done. If you are going to be an emancipator, then go all in, or go fucking home. Don't “dabble” part time.

You try to fix it, you own it. I think there has been additional death and suffering caused by Dany's half assed liberation campaign – death and suffering that really can't be justified given that it is likely that her entire liberation project will end in failure.

So, ok, maybe GRRM will give Dany a few lucky breaks and the whole Slaver's Bay thing will get resolved somewhat favorably. But just because she is able to pull the whole thing out of her ass at the last minute, doesn't inspire a lot of confidence. Nobody, nobody, in their right mind would have proceeded in Slaver's Bay the way Dany did.

Just imagine you are a person with reasonable military and political competence and your chief of staff says "well sir or ma'am were going to take about 8000 infantry troops into theater with no calvary or missile troop support and we have no fucking naval support either. Also, apparently, Slaver's Bay has no large internal economy and its entire export economy is slaves. Therefore, we better have some plan to feed them all, at least for a while. Also, just forgetting for a moment the resistance we are likely to see in Slaver's Bay itself, we are likely to see a military response from Volantis, Quarth, New Ghis, and the Dothraki. And, also, it is not likely we will achieve our objectives in Slaver's Bay in two years - our time line to invade Westeros. And, finally, we have no knowledge of the political situation within Astapor, Yunkai, or Mereen, so we have no idea of whether you could obtain any political support."

Then they ask, "should we proceed to Slaver's Bay?" Reasonable people would say “fuck no”.

But, hey, maybe trashing the next place and then throwing around some magic Dragon fairy dust will work.

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Very good OP and very good thread following, but I am amazed once again that Tyrion is not even considered as an alternative as a true game changer (sending Aegon to Westeros for instance) or even a potential good ruler? Let's see how effective the Danny / Tyrion pair will be in the next book...

Tyrion is the most overrated ruler in the history of everything. All he does is bitch about his daddy issues and try to fuck everything that will let him.

Barring that I highly doubt dany lets him in on helping her rule anything, hes a lannister and she is most likely not going to trust him.

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I certainly hope she abandons some of these notions when she gets to Westeros or she will burn it down and kill everyone by the time she gets the IT.

I doubt that would, happen. Tyrion's appearance is also to show Dany not all "ursurper's dogs" are "evil" in her sense.

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If Daenerys was all about advancing herself for personal gain, I think she would already be in Westeros. God knows she has had plenty of opportunities.

If you look at her reasons for taking Meereen, slavery doesn't actually figure into the top several she gives. She primarily talks about wanting to steal Meereen's food, and not wanting to wound her pride by leaving the city untaken. Rage against slavery and the actions of slavers are probably in her mind, but it's telling that she's not citing them when she has an opportunity to do just that.

Dany's opposition to slavery only seems to coincide with her need to get an army she couldn't afford, to take a throne in a land she's pretty much never seen. No, she hasn't left for Westeros yet, but key decisions were made for reasons that didn't hold up to the ideals she sometimes cites. It's more complicated than just her being opposed to slavery.

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"A Catalyst" - the conquer,as I've always imagined Dany to be; I don't see anything negative about the word used, rather, it is a very insightful summarisation of sorts.

Dany after all chose the path of fire and blood = destruction, but, before we see this as a bad thing, I'd like to remind that there's no growth without deconstruction and fundamental upheaval.

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I hope so too, and it's something I've been saying for a long time. That the best way she could show growth and worthiness as a leader would be through selfless service to the realm instead of worsening the situation in an already war-torn Westeros by blindly pursuing the throne.

I think she's going to end up in the Riverlands fighting the Others, isn't that what her dream of fighting the ice army suggests? How she comes to that place, physically and mentally...and who she may have destroyed along the way....I have no idea.

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Dany's opposition to slavery only seems to coincide with her need to get an army she couldn't afford, to take a throne in a land she's pretty much never seen. No, she hasn't left for Westeros yet, but key decisions were made for reasons that didn't hold up to the ideals she sometimes cites. It's more complicated than just her being opposed to slavery.

She started her fight against slavery when she saw how bad it was in Astapor. Initially she came there to get an army but after seeing the situation she decided to try and do something. So she didn't just oppose slavery to get a free army, the text never describes it that way.

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Dany after all chose the path of fore and blood = destruction, but, before we see this as a bad thing, I'd like to remind that there's no growth without deconstruction and fundamental upheaval.

I think it's important to keep in mind that people who generally engage in campaigns of conquest and sweeping change have agendas that go beyond the basic act of winning the war or ending the regime they're fighting against. Obtaining power is the first step in realizing a set of goals or policies according to a set of desires that spurred these people to action in the first place, so the aftermath is very important.

When failure and backsliding occur, it is often because the leaders of a resistance or conquest weren't equipped to deal with the fallout of their actions. Cleaning up from a disaster of this magnitude is a monumental task and it requires a generation of exceptional leaders to guide a society successfully in the wake of this kind of change. I think by simply dismissing Dany as an "agent of change" is assuming that someone will come along to right things or that the chaos that follows isn't important to the story.

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She started her fight against slavery when she saw how bad it was in Astapor. Initially she came there to get an army but after seeing the situation she decided to try and do something. So she didn't just oppose slavery to get a free army, the text never describes it that way.

She could never afford the army, the text tells us this. The only way she gets the army is the bait and switch she uses of selling the dragon which she knows will not work, she knows drogon will not obey the slavemasters, she never intends that they keep drogon, the whole thing is a sham. So, whether the text spells it out, it was clear to me what she intended and that was to steal the army, which she did. And having just stolen a slave army, the prudent thing to do is have them kill the masters...which she does....and gets more help by liberating the slaves. Tricky. LOL.

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I think she's going to end up in the Riverlands fighting the Others, isn't that what her dream of fighting the ice army suggests? How she comes to that place, physically and mentally...and who she may have destroyed along the way....I have no idea.

I agree that seems foreshadowed in the story, but whether her path is one of denial or self-discovery will be important to how she gets there.

She started her fight against slavery when she saw how bad it was in Astapor. Initially she came there to get an army but after seeing the situation she decided to try and do something. So she didn't just oppose slavery to get a free army, the text never describes it that way.

It seems a bit too convenient to her that her plotting to free the slaves of Astapor coincides with her need for an army she can't afford. She thinks about how she "must have them" and begins plotting to make a false deal with the slavers. What we don't see is any real understanding that, although free in name, the Unsullied have little choice but to follow her in the aftermath of Astapor. They're simply not prepared to take up lives of any other kind, so of course they're going to follow her.

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She could never afford the army, the text tells us this. The only way she gets the army is the bait and switch she uses of selling the dragon which she knows will not work, she knows drogon will not obey the slavemasters, she never intends that they keep drogon, the whole thing is a sham. So, whether the text spells it out, it was clear to me what she intended and that was to steal the army, which she did. And having just stolen a slave army, the prudent thing to do is have them kill the masters...which she does....and gets more help by liberating the slaves. Tricky. LOL.

No one says she didn't use bait and switch. The point is that the bait and switch technique doesn't mean she isn't opposed to slavery. There is enough textual evidence to show that Dany doesn't like slavery.

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No one says she didn't use bait and switch. The point is that the bait and switch technique doesn't mean she isn't opposed to slavery. There is enough textual evidence to show that Dany doesn't like slavery.

Her desire to possess the army at any cost, and the fact that this is the first real time she seems to have a problem with the practice of slavery seems a bit too convenient to me. Without the one, you don't get the other.

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It seems a bit too convenient to her that her plotting to free the slaves of Astapor coincides with her need for an army she can't afford. She thinks about how she "must have them" and begins plotting to make a false deal with the slavers. What we don't see is any real understanding that, although free in name, the Unsullied have little choice but to follow her in the aftermath of Astapor. They're simply not prepared to take up lives of any other kind, so of course they're going to follow her.

The unsullied don't have a completely free mindset, it would take time but they do have a higher degree of freedom than before. This is evident from some of them saying they are keeping their names because this is the day Dany "freed" them.

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Her desire to possess the army at any cost, and the fact that this is the first real time she seems to have a problem with the practice of slavery seems a bit too convenient to me. Without the one, you don't get the other.

This is wrong she shows she doesn't like slavery in AGOT. When Drogo dies the first thing she did was free all the slaves among the women and children. Even though they might not have anywhere to go, the fact she said it shows that she doesn't like it, she wouldn't gain anything by lying to the Dothraki that she doesn't like slavery.

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What we do know is that we have a war coming between the humans of Westeros and the Others. Dany's association with dragons seems to be an important factor in that war, although we're not sure exactly what role they'll play and how they'll be used. As a leader, she might get to the point where she has to make a choice to use her power to pursue her personal/familial goals or in the defense of the realm she wants to rule. I see that as a defining character moment for her, more than just an "agent of change."

I do agree with you here.

If you look at her reasons for taking Meereen, slavery doesn't actually figure into the top several she gives. She primarily talks about wanting to steal Meereen's food, and not wanting to wound her pride by leaving the city untaken. Rage against slavery and the actions of slavers are probably in her mind, but it's telling that she's not citing them when she has an opportunity to do just that.

Dany's opposition to slavery only seems to coincide with her need to get an army she couldn't afford, to take a throne in a land she's pretty much never seen. No, she hasn't left for Westeros yet, but key decisions were made for reasons that didn't hold up to the ideals she sometimes cites. It's more complicated than just her being opposed to slavery.

I agree, and I will also agree to disagree.

Dany did take Meereen for supplies, as it comes down to it. I think what I was communicating was that she stayed because of slavery, because she felt like she had a right to feed these people, and rule over them after she had decimated their form of trade and government. So that not only did she do what you suggested in Astapor, she also attempted to "deal with it" in Meereen, thereby learning a roughshod version of how to rule. It's not perfect, hell sometimes Dany does make piss poor decisions, based off her own rage or desires.

In reference to the Unsullied, you are correct that they know nothing of trade, or commerce, and pretty much must follow Daenerys, even though she did free them. But does Daenerys realize this? That is what I really wonder. Because that is the issue of consequence.'

ETA: to add to Good Queen Alysanne's post, even before that, Drogo was attacked by the member of his khalasar because Dany protected a slave from being raped.

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Tyrion is the most overrated ruler in the history of everything. All he does is bitch about his daddy issues and try to fuck everything that will let him.

Barring that I highly doubt dany lets him in on helping her rule anything, hes a lannister and she is most likely not going to trust him.

If you say so...

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No one says she didn't use bait and switch. The point is that the bait and switch technique doesn't mean she isn't opposed to slavery. There is enough textual evidence to show that Dany doesn't like slavery.

Kinda, sorta, sometimes, she is very inconsistent on slavery until she comes to Astapor where she needs the slave army that she can't afford, and so, she steals it, and then of course has to kill the masters, and as a side benefit, she frees the slaves. And then she's stuck with the unforeseen problem of what to do now.

She has certainly demonstrated awareness of slavery and oppression and lack of free will as something that she recognizes as bad, but, only sometimes. She was prepared for Drogo to rape, pillage and slave his way to Westeros on her behalf, she just "saved" some lamb women to make herself feel better.

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