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Samwell Tarly stole the spotlight.

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3 minutes ago, LucyMormont said:

The situation with Danaerys and the Tarlys is different. They were her prisoners, they had surrendered, the battle was over, and they DID NOT commit any treason against her, they were just at opposite sides in a war between houses. She should have kept them prisoners. Killing them for not “bending the knee” to her was wrong, cruel,  and also politically a moronic move.

Amen. Fully agree.

3 minutes ago, LucyMormont said:

I think that it’s obvious by now that the path of Danaerys arch is going towards the mad queen resolution

I am afraid so. But you never know with DD.

3 minutes ago, LucyMormont said:

the Great Council in Westeros agreed that Targaryen girls aren’t born to rule, your brothers are who were born to rule. YOU was born to give heirs to one of them, or to give him allies through marriage with whatever house he wants to strenghen ties with

Ha-ha, yeah, nobody told her.

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, SeanF said:

It was worse than a crime, it was a blunder.  Dany will now discover that her actions have consequences, and that a man who her lover esteems is now an enemy, when he could have been a supporter.

That said, she handled the situation as well as she could.  She didn't offer condolences which would have been hypocritical, or start slagging off her victims, which would have been obnoxious.  She recognised at least that Sam needed to grieve for his family.

 

I suppose saying Dany killed two "traitors" sounds better than she killed two "political dissenters".

Using the term traitors sounds pretty Orwellian because one wonders which act of treason did they commit and were being executed for. In fact, it would seem they were executed for not being traitors. In particular I wonder what act of treason did Dickon ever commit?

Without getting into all the merits of Dany's decision to execute both Randyll and Dickon and her subsequent explanation of that affair to Sam, I just found the phrasing of the matter a bit odd, to say the least.

Edited by OldGimletEye

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Sam's been stealing scenes the entire series.  He's one of the only characters who I like much better on the show than in the books.  The show does a much better job of making him likable enough that you understand why all these other guys would want him around.  

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Posted (edited)

Given that the Army of the Dead is approaching, they all need to put their differences and acrimony towards each other aside, as Jon said "We need to win this war". 

But I sure as heck wouldn't want Dany on the throne at the end. She is exhibiting real lack of remorse and almost sociopathic cruelty. Compare her emotionless stare at a grieving Sam (her lover's best friend, let's remember) and Jaime's genuine contrition when looking at Bran at the end. 

Dany is a flawed idealist who is on the path to becoming something rather nefarious. Ideas, ultimately, matter more to her than the real people those ideas are meant to benefit. 'Breaking the wheel' is cute and all, just like invading countries in the name of 'democracy' and 'freedom' can seem justified at the start. But real people die as a result of idealistic crusades, real lives are decimated. 

As befits her increasingly unhinged mind, Dany no longer sees individual persons if they happen to harbour conceptions that differ from her own narrow point of view and agenda. The Tarlys were political prisoners who had surrendered. Any rational victor in battle would have either given them a trial and imprisonment or attempted to remonstrate with them. She did neither.

She is incapable of penitence, as was evidenced by her crucifixion of the Meerenese nobles back in season 4 - politically inane (since it led to the Son of the Harpy rebellion against her) and 'reign-of-terror' style brutality as well.

Dany, in essence, is Alden Pyle from Graham Greene's The Quiet American.

Edited by Krishtotter

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Krishtotter said:

Compare her emotionless stare at a grieving Sam (her lover's best friend, let's remember) and Jaime's genuine contrition when looking at Bran at the end. 

Well, that could simply be because one of them is a great actor and the other is not.  :lol:

Edited by briantw

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8 minutes ago, briantw said:

Well, that could simply be because one of them is a great actor and the other is not.  :lol:

Emilia is not a great actor but she can do 'tears' pretty well, as evidenced by her scene with Kit last season on the boat after her dragons had died. She was deliberately 'acting' in a cavalier, unfeeling way.

In Episode 1, Season 1 we were introduced to a smarmy, backstabbing Jaime Lannister who pushes a boy out of a tower window to cover up his incestuous relations with his sister. At that point, a thoroughly unlikeable villain. And, we were introduced at the same time to a beautiful young woman, Daenerys, at the mercy of her abusive brother and married off to a Dothraki warlord. An unabashed heroine to root for if there ever was one, a real "fantasy" princess. 

But in the intervening seasons, Jaime has grown as a character and his complex motives have become apparent. He has shown signs of contrition and moral progress. 

By contrast, ever since she crucified the slave-masters of Meeren, the morally idealistic "slave-liberating" Daenerys has begun to exhibit some deeply worrisome traits - supreme arrogance, a willingness to respond callously to anyone who disobeys her trust and a lack of emotion, for instance when she watched her brother Viserys (admittedly a total jerk, but still her brother) die by having his face burned off with melted gold in season 1, episode 6 or when she dismissed her longstanding lover Daario with the remark, "I felt nothing for him, just impatient to get on with it". 

This descent into Robespierre-style idealistic tyranny, reached a nadir last season when Dany burned the Tarlys - a father and son - to death, without first giving them a trial or attempting to remonstrate with by means of reason and discussion. She also threatened to burn Varys alive. And yet, Dany has still exhibited selflessness - for instance by finally allying herself with Jon's cause and making 'peace' with the machiavellian Cersei to fight the Night King, thus putting her lifelong ambitions for the throne on hold for the greater good of the people she intends to rule. 

And yet, the moral regression - of a kind - is still unmissable. 

By contrast, Jaime has rescued Brienne and evidenced genuine ethical qualities as the show has gone on. He is becoming more and more honourable with every season. 

In the first episode of season 8, this 'trend' for both characters was solidified. 

Dany was completely lacking in remorse or a shred of apparent empathy when she informed her lover Jon Snow's best friend, Samwell, that she had burned his father and brother to death. The manner in which she flipped, suddenly, from "nice" friendly Dany - talking about rewarding Sam for saving Jorah's life - into a look of cold, expressionless absence of feeling, actually chilled me to the bone. 

It was one of the most disturbing scenes I've ever yet watched, made worse by Sam's evident emotional distress.

Then, at the very end of the episode we come full-circle: just as season 1, episode 1 ended with "evil" Jaime chucking Bran out of a window, this episode ends with "contrite" Jaime looking at his former victim, now full-grown and disabled, with clear remorse for his sins. 

The contrast with Dany was stark. 

Is Jon Snow in love with a tyrannical sociopath-in-the-making, a person of originally pure motives and ideals who has lost her way? 

I am reminded of Graham Greene books The Quiet American and The Power and the Glory.

The former is set during the Vietnam war and the eponymous namesake of the story is an idealistic young American soldier, Alden Pyle, who is very much on the side of ‘democracy’, purporting to support increased freedom and human rights for the Vietnamese people and he rabidly opposes what he sees as the colonialism of the French and the soul-destroying Communism of the Vietminh suggesting that an American ‘Third Force’ is needed.

As the novel develops it becomes ever more apparent that ‘hero’ Pyle is not as heroic and charming as he started out, and our perception of him changes. Like the Americans he represents, Pyle’s obsession with democracy turns out to be an end in itself rather than a means to an end. The idea of freedom, to both Pyle and his country, becomes more important than guaranteeing freedom for the people themselves.

In reference to a bomb which he himself personally set off in a crowded high street Pyle says: “… They were only war casualties…It was a pity… They died in the right cause…They died for democracy …” The word ‘only’ is pivotal. Pyle denigrates the Vietnamese people, innocents whom he murdered senselessly, as mere casualties of war, human fodder whose deaths are regrettable but wholly justified in the cause of democracy. He does not consider the fact that one of the women he killed could have been his mother, that a child he killed could have been his son, as Fowler, another character, explains to him: “… Would you have said the same if it had been your old nurse with the blueberry pie?..He ignored my facile point …” To Pyle, the idea of a free and democratic Vietnam is far more important than the human beings who are intended to enjoy this future of liberation, as is evidenced by the words, “they died for democracy”. Fowler on the other hand sees the brutal reality and ignorance of such an imperialist disregard for basic human rights. He understands the truth that people can never be viewed as subordinate to ideas. Fowler captures this dilemma when he states: “… How many dead colonels justify a child’s or a trishaw driver’s death when you are building a national democratic front? …”

There is something of the horribly flawed idealist in Daenerys, like Alden Pyle, as she becomes more and more debased by her overwhelming lust for power - her single-minded conviction that she alone is the panacea for Westeros' woes, the great wheel-breaker who will set all aright and create a world of happiness. But is she losing sight entirely of the welfare of the subjects she’d originally sought to succour? She appears to have become obsessed with her own will and that one idea of ordering everything according to it.

  •  
Edited by Krishtotter

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12 hours ago, D-Shiznit said:

John Bradley was great, the character was a moron though. The NK is days away from laying waste to the North, and he chooses to introduce conflict into the alliance by pushing Jon to make his claim to the throne and confront Dany. The fact that he's seen the army of the dead and still choose to undermine the alliance is mind boggling.

Bran told him to, and Bran is a wizard or whatever. 

I hope we're given a reason why it's important Jon knew that instant. Maybe so he can be sure to ride the dragon in the coming battle. 

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5 hours ago, OldGimletEye said:

Leaving aside Randyll's rather complicated history with the IT, how does one get to the conclusion that Dickon was a "traitor" within the plain ordinary meaning of that term?

Only in the sense that Cersei is manifestly evil and doesn't deserve to sit on the throne. Any and all who serve her should be cast over the wall. 

But it's possible for both queens to be illegitimate. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, OldGimletEye said:

I suppose saying Dany killed two "traitors" sounds better than she killed two "political dissenters".

Using the term traitors sounds pretty Orwellian because one wonders which act of treason did they commit and were being executed for. In fact, it would seem they were executed for not being traitors. In particular I wonder what act of treason did Dickon ever commit?

Without getting into all the merits of Dany's decision to execute both Randyll and Dickon and her subsequent explanation of that affair to Sam, I just found the phrasing of the matter a bit odd, to say the least.

I'm convinced she'd institute a reign of terror if she ever got near the throne. 

My ‘model’ for comparing her is the historical Jacobin leader Maximillien Robespierre of French revolutionary fame.

Robespierre started out as an idealistic French lawyer from Arras. Under the repressive Ancien Regime , he stood up against capital punishment, for criminal justice reform, the rights of the poor to social welfare and against both slavery and wars of expansion. He dreamed of a day when this terrible monarchical regime would fall, to make way for a republic of virtue and fraternity. What’s not to love?

Mirabeau once said of Robespierre during the French Revolution, "This young man is dangerous. He believes everything he says ." So does Dany.

After the execution of the king, and his wife Marie-Antoinette, Robespierre was swept to power and immediately set about protecting the revolution from the " enemies of the people ". He declared: “ There are only two parties in France: the people and its enemies. We must exterminate those miserable villains who are eternally conspiring against the rights of man. . . . [W]e must exterminate all our enemies .” So does Dany talk.

This list of enemies started with the aristocrats. For Dany, it started with Meereneese nobles.

Our young lawyer encouraged the mobs of dispossessed people outside in the streets to take down the nobility through acts of extra-judicial justice. He incited them to action whenever political expediency called for it. Dany executes prisoners who have surrendered and burns hundreds of people alive with similar impunity. 

One historian notes of Robespierre that, "The justification of the massacres was that those killed were enemies of the republic, counterrevolutionaries who had conspired against that equality, justice, and reason whose realization would “establish the felicity of perhaps the entire human race.” Dany says the same. 

Robespierre was the exact type of reformer Tolkien had modelled Sauron on, as described in that September 1954 letter and elsewhere:

Quote

 

"At the beginning of the Second Age he [Sauron] was still beautiful to look at, or could still assume a beautiful visible shape – and was not indeed wholly evil, not unless all ‘reformers’ who want to hurry up with ‘reconstruction’ and ‘reorganization’ are wholly evil, even before pride and the lust to exert their will eat them up.

But many Elves listened to Sauron. He was still fair in that early time, and his motives and those of the Elves seemed to go partly together: the healing of the desolate lands. Sauron found their weak point in suggesting that, helping one another, they could make Western Middle-earth as beautiful as Valinor. It was really a veiled attack on the gods, an incitement to try and make a separate independent paradise.

He had gone the way of all tyrants: beginning well, at least on the level that while desiring to order all things according to his own wisdom he still at first considered the (economic) well-being of other inhabitants of the Earth. But he went further than human tyrants in pride and the lust for domination, being in origin an immortal (angelic) spirit.’…

… [H]is capability of corrupting other minds, and even engaging their service, was a residue from the fact that his original desire for ‘order’ had really envisaged the good estate (especially physical well-being) of his ‘subjects’."

 

 

Likewise, Robespierre was a man so incapable of compromising on his cherished ideal of a revolutionary republic of virtue, democracy, social equality and the popular will of the nebulously defined ‘French People’ that he intended to help, that he actually instituted a Reign of Terror in which thousands of innocent people were guillotined, in an attempt to bring about “progress”.

Dany, I believe, is heading the same way. Unfortunately - and the signs were there in the books written by GRRM. As one historian notes of Robespierre:

Quote

"Robespierre 's failure can be viewed as that of a man so narrow-minded in his views that eventually he cannot conceive of anything outside of them , a man so firmly convinced of his own absolute rightness that he cannot see the glaring errors he makes. It had grown inconceivable to him that anyone should oppose him successfully, and when someone did, the blow numbed him into inaction for a while. Although he started out with the best of motives, it came to the point where protection of the ideals for which he stood was everything to him, whereas protection of the people whom the ideals were originally to protect meant nothing."

 

That's Dany in a nutshell. And in his case, here is where it ended: 

Stanley Loomis writes that, in these September massacres, “the bloody work went on for five . . . days and nights…Cannibalism, disembowelment and acts of indescribable ferocity took place here. . . . . It has been loosely assumed . . . that most of the victims were aristocrats—an assumption that for some curious reason is often supposed to mitigate these crimes. Very few victims were, in fact, of the former nobility—less than thirty out of the fifteen hundred who were killed .”

Having secured the capital, Robespierre appointed commissioners to enforce the Revolution outside the capital and deal with the ever growing list of enemies. Norman Hampson notes in his biography of Robespierre that “ the revolutionary tribunal . . . had become an undiscriminating murder machine. . . . Imaginary . . . plots and absurd charges were everyday events .

In the Vendéan massacre, recounts Schama, “ Every atrocity the time could imagine was meted out to the defenseless population. Women were routinely raped, children killed, both mutilated. . . . At Gonnord . . . two hundred old people, along with mothers and children, [were forced] to kneel in front of a large pit they had dug; they were then shot so as to tumble into their own grave. . . . Thirty children and two women were buried alive when earth was shoveled onto the pit. "

If such is the case with real life idealistic dictators, I expect nothing less from Daenerys.

Edited by Krishtotter

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, darmody said:

Only in the sense that Cersei is manifestly evil and doesn't deserve to sit on the throne. Any and all who serve her should be cast over the wall. 

But it's possible for both queens to be illegitimate. 

I think that is an argument that perhaps they should have committed an act of treason, in this case treason being justified because of Cersei's cruelty and nuttery, rather than they were executed on the grounds of treason. But, perhaps, saying they were traitors sounds better, even if usage of that term, under the particular circumstances, stretches that word beyond its usual and understood meaning.

Edited by OldGimletEye

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Krishtotter said:

<snip>

An interesting post and I enjoyed reading the stuff about Sauron and Robespierre.

But, I'll just say Dany is a hard one to peg. While I have my issues with some of her actions, I'm not quite convinced she will go full blown nut job or crazy.

 

Edited by OldGimletEye

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26 minutes ago, darmody said:

Bran told him to, and Bran is a wizard or whatever. 

I hope we're given a reason why it's important Jon knew that instant. Maybe so he can be sure to ride the dragon in the coming battle. 

Bran can see past, present and future all at once. There's a reason why Sam had to tell Jon, and it had to be done right that minute. It was crucial to future events. 

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, OldGimletEye said:

An interesting post and I enjoyed reading the stuff about Sauron and Robespierre.

But, I'll just say Dany is a hard one to peg. While I have my issues with some of her actions, I'm not quite convinced she will go full blown nut job or crazy.

 

I used to be in that camp, indeed, I was a fan of her character and kept excusing her actions. 

But if you look back closely over the seasons and in the books, I think a strong case can be made that she is a Robespierran-style individual in the making. She's so like Robespierre I sometimes wonder if Martin has studied the French Revolutionary era. In 1794, Robespierre delivered a speech in which he declared:

"It has been said that terror is the principle of despotic government. ... The government of the revolution is liberty's despotism against tyranny… Society owes protection only to peaceable citizens. The only citizens in the Republic are the republicans… the royalists, the conspirators are only strangers or enemies."

I could honestly see Dany delivering such a speech: high-minded, reformist ideals that lose sight of the human beings they are meant to benefit and get caught up with paranoia over "traitors" who resist the grand vision.

Jon is made a king against his will, by gaining the trust of his people through his actions. He never wanted it, he was given it by others. Dany is, contrarily, both convinced that she should be queen and equally that her becoming so is the only way Westeros can be "saved" and that anyone who thinks otherwise is an enemy who should be burned without trial.

It's a dangerous attitude, a terrifying attitude. I would not want her getting within an inch of power.

Maybe she will show some change of heart again but the omens are not good.

Edited by Krishtotter

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1 hour ago, Krishtotter said:

...

It's a dangerous attitude, a terrifying attitude. I would not want her getting within an inch of power.

Maybe she will show some change of heart again but the omens are not good.

I couldn't agree more, and it's a sad thing because I really liked Danaerys  and kind of hate this character evolution for her. But the signs are there.

BTW, thank you for your posts, I enjoyed them very much, they are on point. 

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9 hours ago, Krishtotter said:

But I sure as heck wouldn't want Dany on the throne at the end

This won't happen. The Song of Ice and Fire is not about simplistically letting the Fire win, but about balance or quenching each other.

9 hours ago, Krishtotter said:

She is exhibiting real lack of remorse and almost sociopathic cruelty.

That's true and I sincerely hope that DD really want to portray this and not just have led us astray with a bad scripting.

9 hours ago, Krishtotter said:

to respond callously to anyone who disobeys her trust and a lack of emotion [...] when she dismissed her longstanding lover Daario with the remark, "I felt nothing for him, just impatient to get on with it". 

Very good example, so I hope DD do this deliberately. Daenerys has a lack of emotions and a tendency to callous cruelty.

9 hours ago, Krishtotter said:

Jaime has grown as a character and his complex motives have become apparent. He has shown signs of contrition and moral progress. 

Yes, the arc of Jamie is very good. We should note that killing the mad king was already back then a deed of morality, though. Jamie had it in him all his life.

I like your analysis of moral regression vs progression in Jamie and Daenerys, respectively.

9 hours ago, Ice Queen said:

Bran can see past, present and future all at once

We have no indication that Bran can see the future. He can greensee into past events and warg into animals for the present. That's how the show presented it. He has sort of a large library with videos of past events, but he does not know everything, because he cannot watch everything. He needs to select what he wants to see and as far as the show presented it, it needs "real time" to watch a scene. So evidently ha cannot watches everything.

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22 hours ago, D-Shiznit said:

John Bradley was great, the character was a moron though. The NK is days away from laying waste to the North, and he chooses to introduce conflict into the alliance by pushing Jon to make his claim to the throne and confront Dany. The fact that he's seen the army of the dead and still choose to undermine the alliance is mind boggling.

The character was no moron. He saw an obvious character flaw in Daenerys (her obsession for bent knees) and would prefer following a king who doesn't obsess over ruling but rather leads by example. Daenerys, on the other hand, managed to lose a dragon to the NK, greatly evening his odds of winning. Furthermore, now that Jon's 'tricked' Daenerys and her army into occupying the North, now would be a good time for him to gently reassert his leadership role and get the remaining Northern lords on board. What's Daenerys going to do, go back home? Honestly, if they can convince her of the validity of Jon's birth, she really has no leg to stand on and will probably concede. I'm thinking Howland Reed showing up, confirming Jon's ancestry as an eye witness to his birth, would suffice.

Also, kudos to the actor for a great performance.

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15 minutes ago, Kajjo said:

This won't happen. The Song of Ice and Fire is not about simplistically letting the Fire win, but about balance or quenching each other.

The Song of Ice and Fire isn't even about Dany. It's about Jon, who is a mix of Ice (Lyanna Stark) and Fire (Rhaegar Targaryen). Dany is in a supporting role. Jon's the Prince that was Promised, the Last Hero, Azor Ahai, etc. Jon's going to have to balance his mixed family, getting Sansa (ice) and Daenerys (fire), along with the armies they rule, to get along in order to defeat the Night King.

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2 minutes ago, Talking Hodor said:

The character was no moron.

Not at all. Sam is smart, warmhearted and reacts very believable and true to his character.

3 minutes ago, Talking Hodor said:

He saw an obvious character flaw in Daenerys (her obsession for bent knees) and would prefer following a king who doesn't obsess over ruling but rather leads by example

Yes, that's probably right, but I don't think that the Crypt of Winterfell scene was meant to express Sam's preference of an emperor.

Sam is in grief and has to convey one of the most important revelations. He is emotionally involved and he just quite straight-forwardly offers a plain and simple advice put into a questions: Would Daenerys do the same? 

Sam has all right to question Daenerys loyalty towards the realm and its people. The question makes a lot of sense.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Kajjo said:

We have no indication that Bran can see the future. 

Really?

"I'm waiting for an old friend."

That's all. 

Edit: Bloodraven, if I recall correctly, foresaw his own death. And didn't Bran see the destruction of the Sept of Baelor? 

Edited by Ice Queen

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1 minute ago, Talking Hodor said:

The Song of Ice and Fire isn't even about Dany. It's about Jon, who is a mix of Ice (Lyanna Stark) and Fire (Rhaegar Targaryen).

True. I wrote this already a lot of times here:

Jon Snow. His is the Song of Ice and Fire.

3 minutes ago, Talking Hodor said:

Jon's the Prince that was Promised

I am not so sure, but of course very much points into that direction. However, all this talk about "waking dragons from stone" and "prince is a gender-neutral term" makes me wonder, what role Daenerys really has. 

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