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Krishtotter

Remorseful Jaime, Unrepentant Dany

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Posted (edited)

Is it just me, or was the contrast between these two characters not utterly striking in this episode? It cannot be by coincidence. 

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. 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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I agree that Jaime has been undergoing a great change ever since he lost his hand, which I think culminated in his walking out on Cersei, and I also agree that Dany is arrogant and unrepentant about executing the Tarlys on the spot when they didn't bend the knee. She has a very dangerous side to her, which Tyrion tries to keep in check.

My interpretation of Jaime's expression was anxiousness about whether Bran remembers what happened (that hasn't become public knowledge), and knowing that if so, is day of reckoning has come.

So I wouldn't say the contrast is striking in this episode, so much as their story arcs over the last season has been.

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Posted (edited)

I also think that Dany is starting to lose it. She scares me in many scenes. Maybe the mad Targaryen is coming out.

Jon knowing the truth about his origin now, he will tell Dany and she will flip. 

I could even think that the point of the show was to finish off all with Targaryen blood, Dany and Jon now. Can't see a happy ending for them.

Meeting Brienne had an impact on Jaime. Also losing all his children.

EDIT: Having an afterthought... the romance between Dany and Jon was built for so long, it would be weird if it didn't last until one or both of them died. Or went mad...

Edited by Deminelle
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18 hours ago, Deminelle said:

I also think that Dany is starting to lose it. She scares me in many scenes. Maybe the mad Targaryen is coming out.

Jon knowing the truth about his origin now, he will tell Dany and she will flip. 

I could even think that the point of the show was to finish off all with Targaryen blood, Dany and Jon now. Can't see a happy ending for them.

Meeting Brienne had an impact on Jaime. Also losing all his children.

EDIT: Having an afterthought... the romance between Dany and Jon was built for so long, it would be weird if it didn't last until one or both of them died. Or went mad...

They only built it through a few scenes last season and the scene in the last episode.

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16 minutes ago, AryaNymeriaVisenya said:

They only built it through a few scenes last season and the scene in the last episode.

Jon and Daenerys met in S703. A season is roughly a year. 
Ergo they've known each other for more than 6 months. 
 

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I would love the show to have Jon walking away from Dany.  She is not good for his soul.  I exempt Jon from any Targaryen cleanse because his Stark blood tempered the Targaryen association.   Combine that with his basic solid upbringing (except for Cat) and Jon has ended up a decent man.   But Dany needs to go.

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Jamie has a lot to be remorseful for, but killing Aerys isn’t one of them, the one act he is most reviled for is one of the best things he ever did, I’m really interested to see how the next episode plays out with him and Dany meeting.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, lakin1013 said:

She is not good for his soul.  

Elaborate, please.

Dany has quite the temper and is impulsive, something we've seen Jon easily being able to...temper. :P
Jon on the flip side, seems to have found his spark again after meeting Dany.
(And he is still being able to focus on what's important, i.e. the Nightking)

If anything, Jon and Dany seem to be genuinely good for each other, at least for now.

Edited by MinscS2

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I don't think any decent guy should date a girl who literally has 2 human beings incinerated, burned alive, at her command.  I don't think any decent guy should date a girl who threatens his sister by telling her the dragons eat whatever they want.  With a slight smirk.  The way Dany told Sam that she had his brother and father killed did not, for me, show much, if any, true remorse.  Her first words, after finding out who Sam was, was to tell him that she offered his father his lands and title if he only did what she wanted.  Notice - her words were about her, first.

Dany is lovely and Jon believes the best of her. Their relationship is perfectly reasonable for two young, attractive people.  But the show is beginning to erode how pretty Dany is against the ugliness of her acts.

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2 hours ago, lakin1013 said:

I would love the show to have Jon walking away from Dany.  She is not good for his soul.  I exempt Jon from any Targaryen cleanse because his Stark blood tempered the Targaryen association.   Combine that with his basic solid upbringing (except for Cat) and Jon has ended up a decent man.   But Dany needs to go.

His soul?, he's not Angel :P.

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Posted (edited)

As I said on a different thread, even Cersei won the Tarlys and other Westerosi lords over to her cause by playing upon their fears of foreign conquest and whipping up their patriotism. She utilises soft machiavellian power, as well as brutality, where the circumstances demand it.

There was a clear attempt at convincing oratory and reasoned argumentation in that court scene last season where the Reach lords all attended, and she appealed for them to join with her against the Targareyn conqueror who feeds noblemen from Essos to her dragons.

But all Dany ever does, in contrast, is declare she is the Queen and demand that others show her both deference and obeisance. She never justifies the reasons 'why' they ought to serve her or appeals to them as free-thinking individuals in their own right, by persuasive arguments. If you don't bend the knee, then your condemned to being burned alive.

Her character is not that dissimilar now to Cersei and, indeed, arguably is starting to become the more disturbing and scary of the two, for instance by explicitly threatening Sansa - "dragons eat whatever they like", "if she can't respect me" - the 'sister' of her lover.

I'm beginning to think that Cersei had a point when she made that propaganda appeal, Army of the Dead on the March notwithstanding.

Cersei is cruel, sadistic and a tyrant of low cunning and guile. But Dany is becoming something even more frightening, precisely because she is arrogantly convinced of her own irreproachable rightness and the inherent wrongness of anyone who questions her.

Cersei is the devil you know - a machiavellian queen who makes little effort to hide the fact that her tactics are brutal and self-serving. Dany, however, cloaks her reprehensible crimes behind a veneer of righteous indignation and moral superiority.

Cersei is akin to the ruler of a mafia state or thuggish military junta, whereas Dany is akin to idealistic monsters like Stalin, Robespierre, Mao and Pol Pot, who use lofty visions of a nebulous greater good and twisted, inverted moral idealism to justify their abuse of power.

If Cersei is a criminal thug writ large, Dany is a terrifying ideologue.

Cersei delights in getting "vengeance" upon people, primarily, who have harmed either her or her children, or whom she perceives as threatening to do so - Ellaria had poisoned her beloved daughter, so Cersei poisons her daughter; Sister Unella had tormented and beaten Cersei to get her to confess, so Cersei tortures Sister Unella with the Mountain etc.

Dany, by contrast, burns alive nobles in Essos and Westeros for simply having doubts about her or for belonging to a certain political class by birth, in addition to the petty Cersei-style revenge for Drogo's death.

Edited by Krishtotter

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19 minutes ago, Krishtotter said:

Dany, by contrast, burns alive nobles in Essos and Westeros for simply having doubts about her or for belonging to a certain political class by birth

I must've missed something. Who are these nobles you're talking about? 

Surely you're not insinuating that Dany had Randall and Dickon killed only because they where having doubts about her or because they where born into lordships?

Her character is not that dissimilar now to Cersei and, indeed, arguably is starting to become the more disturbing and scary of the two



:lmao:

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, MinscS2 said:

I must've missed something. Who are these nobles you're talking about? 

Surely you're not insinuating that Dany had Randall and Dickon killed only because they where having doubts about her or because they where born into lordships?

 



:lmao:

 

The Meerenese nobles whom she crucified and gave to her dragons, without giving them a trial, simply because they belonged to a slave-holding class.

Much like the Bolsheviks did after the Russian Revolution with the aristocracy and nobility - extra judicial slaughter, no respect for human dignity, judged everyone belonging by birth to a certain political class as guilty of the crimes of the Tsardom.

It's a process of dehumanizing your enemies from being individuals into an amorphous, collective mass of "evil" - whether they be aristocrats, capitalists, Jews, Muslims or any other social group.

You may laugh, but many, many people have been won over by idealistic and charismatic sociopaths in real life fighting for "noble" humanistic causes whether that be democracy or communism, from Robespierre to Stalin.

Edited by Krishtotter

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Posted (edited)

Yes crucifying the masters was a stupid thing to do and one of her biggest mistake.
Collective punishment is never a good thing, and it highlighted the naive black and white worldview she had earlier in the series.

With that said, you are in a way defending slavery here, which is quite ironic when you try to compare Daenerys to Stalin and Mao.
It's not like the masters of Mereen where nice people by our standards. They where slave-owners. Granted, some nicer than others.

Edit: Meant collective punishment, not corporal punishment. 

 

 

Edited by MinscS2

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The underlying premise here is flawed as to why the two characters would have cause to be remorseful. Jaime is remorseful for, among other things, pushing a child out of a window to prevent discovery of his incestuous relationship with his sister. There is no indication that Jaime is remorseful for the types of thing Dany has done--brutally punishing wrongdoers or killing enemies. And why would he, considering that those sorts of things are almost universally accepted within the culture in which they both operate?

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, MinscS2 said:

Yes crucifying the masters was a stupid thing to do and one of her biggest mistake.
Corporal punishment is never a good thing, and it highlighted the naive black and white worldview she had earlier in the series.

With that said, you are in a way defending slavery here, which is quite ironic when you try to compare Daenerys to Stalin and Mao.
It's not like the masters of Mereen where nice people by our standards. They where slave-owners. Granted, some nicer than others.

 

 

I am in no sense defending slavery, anymore than I would defend the Russian Tsars, and their serfdom and absolutist rule that the Bolsheviks overthrew in the name of the universal liberty of the peasants from exploitation by the remnants of feudal lords and capitalist oppressors.

A noble ideal against a monstrous system like slavery, does not make criminal acts of corporate, extra-judicial violence against a whole class of people justifiable.

Two wrongs don't make a right.

 

 

Edited by Krishtotter

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Forlong the Fat said:

The underlying premise here is flawed as to why the two characters would have cause to be remorseful. Jaime is remorseful for, among other things, pushing a child out of a window to prevent discovery of his incestuous relationship with his sister. There is no indication that Jaime is remorseful for the types of thing Dany has done--brutally punishing wrongdoers or killing enemies. And why would he, considering that those sorts of things are almost universally accepted within the culture in which they both operate?

If they are universally accepted, then Barristan Selmy and Tyrion wouldn't have pleaded with her to desist and show mercy.

Cyrus the Great in ancient Persia was capable of conquering Babylon yet saw the wisdom in retaining it's aristocracy and winning it round so as to solidify his empire, with the loyalty of it's local elites having been allowed some self-rule and to retain their holdings unmolested.

What Daenerys did was both evil and rash by the standards of her contemporaries.

Edited by Krishtotter

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1 hour ago, Bittersweet Distractor said:

His soul?, he's not Angel :P.

He's certainly as broody as Captain Forehead

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1 hour ago, Krishtotter said:

As I said on a different thread, even Cersei won the Tarlys and other Westerosi lords over to her cause by playing upon their fears of foreign conquest and whipping up their patriotism. She utilises soft machiavellian power, as well as brutality, where the circumstances demand it.

There was a clear attempt at convincing oratory and reasoned argumentation in that court scene last season where the Reach lords all attended, and she appealed for them to join with her against the Targareyn conqueror who feeds noblemen from Essos to her dragons.

But all Dany ever does, in contrast, is declare she is the Queen and demand that others show her both deference and obeisance. She never justifies the reasons 'why' they ought to serve her or appeals to them as free-thinking individuals in their own right, by persuasive arguments. If you don't bend the knee, then your condemned to being burned alive.

Her character is not that dissimilar now to Cersei and, indeed, arguably is starting to become the more disturbing and scary of the two, for instance by explicitly threatening Sansa - "dragons eat whatever they like", "if she can't respect me" - the 'sister' of her lover.

I'm beginning to think that Cersei had a point when she made that propaganda appeal, Army of the Dead on the March notwithstanding.

Cersei is cruel, sadistic and a tyrant of low cunning and guile. But Dany is becoming something even more frightening, precisely because she is arrogantly convinced of her own irreproachable rightness and the inherent wrongness of anyone who questions her.

Cersei is the devil you know - a machiavellian queen who makes little effort to hide the fact that her tactics are brutal and self-serving. Dany, however, cloaks her reprehensible crimes behind a veneer of righteous indignation and moral superiority.

Cersei is akin to the ruler of a mafia state or thuggish military junta, whereas Dany is akin to idealistic monsters like Stalin, Robespierre, Mao and Pol Pot, who use lofty visions of a nebulous greater good and twisted, inverted moral idealism to justify their abuse of power.

If Cersei is a criminal thug writ large, Dany is a terrifying ideologue.

Cersei delights in getting "vengeance" upon people, primarily, who have harmed either her or her children, or whom she perceives as threatening to do so - Ellaria had poisoned her beloved daughter, so Cersei poisons her daughter; Sister Unella had tormented and beaten Cersei to get her to confess, so Cersei tortures Sister Unella with the Mountain etc.

Dany, by contrast, burns alive nobles in Essos and Westeros for simply having doubts about her or for belonging to a certain political class by birth, in addition to the petty Cersei-style revenge for Drogo's death.

Wow I really like and agree with this analysis. I have absolutely nothing to add to it but I wanted to say holy shit it's right on point IMO.

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2 minutes ago, Pandean said:

He's certainly as broody as Captain Forehead

:lmao: Less nancy boy hair gel though!.

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