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Great analysis on why this feels like such a betrayal of Dany’s character

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1 minute ago, rustythesmith said:

I've presented the sympathetic position of the Astapori slaver as well as I can. I've shown you that you would be a slaver too if you were born into his situation. <snip>

Cheers to you for your efforts, but I am sorry to inform you that if your mission is to get me to agree that the slave-owners and the Breaker of Chains are "both gray," you have failed utterly.

Yes, Daenerys is a hero for all she did to free the slaves, the sacrifices, the effort, the persistence. Sure, she made mistakes along the way (especially on the TV show, less but still some in the books), but she was dealing with a very, very difficult situatoin as best she could. She left the Bay of Dragons a better place than when she found it Slaver's Bay, and I feel quite qualified to make that judgment call. 

Don't forget she also inspired the commoners of an entire continent, if the anecdotal evidence we have heard is true.

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24 minutes ago, Hodor's Dragon said:

Cut the politics, please. I find what you are saying offensive, I'm quite certain that any "facts" you would cite come from right-wing publications, and most importantly this is not the place to argue it. 

you're "offended" because i know more than you? lol k.

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6 minutes ago, Hodor's Dragon said:

Cheers to you for your efforts, but I am sorry to inform you that if your mission is to get me to agree that the slave-owners and the Breaker of Chains are "both gray," you have failed utterly.

Yes, Daenerys is a hero for all she did to free the slaves, the sacrifices, the effort, the persistence. Sure, she made mistakes along the way (especially on the TV show, less but still some in the books), but she was dealing with a very, very difficult situatoin as best she could. She left the Bay of Dragons a better place than when she found it Slaver's Bay, and I feel quite qualified to make that judgment call. 

Don't forget she also inspired the commoners of an entire continent, if the anecdotal evidence we have heard is true.

People who condone 'sharp questioning' of young girls and who perpetrate collective punishment, especially something like crucifixion, on civilians are grey.  They may be lighter grey than their enemies.  But they are still grey. 

If slaver's bay is better, it is only marginally so, everyone in Astapor is dead, I can't remember Yunkai, but I think most everyone there is dead too, Meereen is beset by plague and shortages so much so that people are selling themselves back into slavery, which Dany is taking a cut of, in the books. This isn't a success.  Everyone died but I freed them is not a good outcome in the real world.

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Remember, slavery was a thousands-of-years-old practice in Slavers' Bay. It was an ongoing tragedy and apparently unbreakable. 

Now it is gone and does not appear likely to return. Sure, there's some rebuilding to do, but Daenerys accomplished something that appeared impossible, and created hope for vast numbers of people who had no hope before, not even the hope that their descendants would one day live a better life.

If that's not hero's work right there, I don't know what is. "Sharp questioning" of a couple of semi-innocents is not even a drop in the bucket by comparison and doesn't undo it or make it a "gray" accomplishment.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

People who condone 'sharp questioning' of young girls and who perpetrate collective punishment, especially something like crucifixion, on civilians are grey.  They may be lighter grey than their enemies.  But they are still grey.

people who still support danaerys are exhausting to listen to. as if she deserves a standing ovation for acknowledging that slavery is bad while we ignore the fact that she is consistently arrogant and hypocritical in her condonations for wholesale slaughter and whining about it's muh birthright. first she executes every master in astapori because one of them was kind of a douche, then tortures and murders masters in mereen despite the pleas that not all of their slaves were treated poorly, then executes a slave for having the audacity of killing a master without her permission. her storyline got boring and repetetive a long time ago. let's just all ignore the fact that she comes from a bloodline of inbred morons who have a 50/50 chance of going full retard. but hey, dragons u guys!

Edited by the red god

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2 minutes ago, the red god said:

people who still support danaerys are exhausting to listen to. as if she deserves a standing ovation for acknowledging that slavery is bad while we ignore the fact that she is consistently arrogant and hypocritical in her condonations for wholesale slaughter and whining about it's muh birthright. first she executes every master in astapori because one of them was kind of a douche, then tortures and murders masters in mereen despite the pleas that not all of their slaves were treated poorly, then executes a slave for having the audacity of killing a master without her permission. her storyline got boring and repetetive a long time ago.

I used to hang out on this forum a lot. There was a lot of this kind of nonsense on here then. I think it's not quite as bad now, but still, jeez louise is this ever over the top, the parts of it that make sense, anyway.

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2 minutes ago, the red god said:

people who still support danaerys are exhausting to listen to. as if she deserves a standing ovation for acknowledging that slavery is bad while we ignore the fact that she is consistently arrogant and hypocritical in her condonations for wholesale slaughter and whining about it's muh birthright. first she executes every master in astapori because one of them was kind of a douche, then tortures and murders masters in mereen despite the pleas that not all of their slaves were treated poorly, then executes a slave for having the audacity of killing a master without her permission. her storyline got boring and repetetive a long time ago.

Not liking her storyline is fine & obviously your opinion. TBH it's not my favorite either. 

Executes every master because one was kind of a douche? That's hilarious. 

I don't see anyone acting like she deserves a standing ovation but only trying to show her killing the slavers was not an outrageous thing to do. The way I see things it's the people trying to insist she's evil incarnate that are exhausting - even to the point that they will defend the murdering, torturing, slavers. 

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Posted (edited)
53 minutes ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

You are arguing something that I never disagreed with. I never said animal lives were more valuable than humans.

You strongly implied it here:

Quote

To be fair it's not much different than loving your dog. Have you ever seen people with no kids with their dog? That dog is literally a child to them. Hell, I have kids & I love my dog dearly. I don't think she treats them like they are more valuable than human lives but as valuable as human lives. It's not odd for her to be heartbroken or feel vengeful after someone has murdered someone she loves. If someone murdered my dog I would feel pretty damn vengeful also. Of course, thankfully for the would-be murderer, I don't have a fire breathing dragon to reign hell down on them - if I did I wouldn't - but it might cross my mind.

To summarize how I interpret your points here, you're implying that Dany's actions are justified because her situation is sympathetic. If that isn't what you're implying then I don't know why else you might have brought it up as a point.

I disagree for two reasons. One is that everyone doesn't love their pets irrationally. As much as I love my dogs, I would not choose their lives over the life of another human being when pressed. Another reason is that everyone's situation is ultimately sympathetic. There are limitations to how much sympathy people can afford to extend to one another because time and resources are limited. Therefore actions are not necessarily justified by virtue of being sympathetic. For example, a school shooter is sympathetic, but we still need to lock him up to make sure he doesn't do it again

Quote

If you knew me you would know I don't dodge any dilemma and was pointing out your argument about it being very clear cut because one entity is a dragon & the other is a human is weak.

My point is not that Dany is bad for valuing her dragon's lives over human lives. My intent was to demonstrate that the value judgement is relative to the person making the judgement. Dany might value her dragon's lives higher than a slaver's family's lives, and the slaver would likely value his and his family's lives higher than the dragon's lives.

I think the purpose of GRRM having written this entire story form a limited first-person point of view is to draw attention to the relativistic nature of moral judgements. And the purpose of drawing attention the relativity of moral judgements is to highlight that we all have a moral responsibility to take one another's positions and perspectives into our calculations for moral judgements.

It seems to me that the reason show watchers feel blindsided by Dany's turn toward a darker shade of grey is due to one of three things, or perhaps a combination of them:

1. The show's failure to adequately represent the positions and perspectives of the people Dany has harmed unduly.

I think the show has done a pretty good job of this actually. For example, in Meereeen, slaves beg to be sold back into slavery because they prefer slavery to the freedom to starve to death that Dany has inflicted upon them.

2. The show's failure to adequately illustrate the premises that would provide the viewer with the interpretive tools to discover that Dany has, in fact, produced more undue suffering in the world than she has alleviated.

I think the show has done a bad job of this because, for example, the revenges of characters like Sansa and Arya haven't cycled around to take its toll on them. Most of Ned's philosophy has been left out of the S1 script.

3. The viewer's failure to take the positions and perspectives of the people Dany has harmed seriously.

I think this is the majority of what is going on. People have been making excuses for Dany's brutality since season 1, myself included. But that's kind of the point of it all.

Edited by rustythesmith

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15 minutes ago, Hodor's Dragon said:

Remember, slavery was a thousands-of-years-old practice in Slavers' Bay. It was an ongoing tragedy and apparently unbreakable. 

Now it is gone and does not appear likely to return. Sure, there's some rebuilding to do, but Daenerys accomplished something that appeared impossible, and created hope for vast numbers of people who had no hope before, not even the hope that their descendants would one day live a better life.

If that's not hero's work right there, I don't know what is. "Sharp questioning" of a couple of semi-innocents is not even a drop in the bucket by comparison and doesn't undo it or make it a "gray" accomplishment.

She condones torture, perpetrates genocide against the Astapor elites, and institutes collective punishment for the Meereen elites.   If you don't see that this is grey, and is not erased because her goals are laudatory, I can't help you.   The road to hell is paved with people who ignore the means because they agree with the end goal.

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7 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

She condones torture, perpetrates genocide against the Astapor elites, and institutes collective punishment for the Meereen elites.   If you don't see that this is grey, and is not erased because her goals are laudatory, I can't help you.   The road to hell is paved with people who ignore the means because they agree with the end goal.

A lot of your wording is quite argumentative, and frankly I don't see it as an attempt to make a fair argument, only a slanted one.

But I'm not going to take the time to set the record straight in exhaustive detail. What I will say is that in every instance Daenerys was dealing with extraordinarily difficult circumstances and making the best of it she could. She made mistakes, and they were influenced by her temper, but nothing she did was out-of-character for a ruler in this milieu and isn't within a million miles of offsetting the good she did, or at least attempted to do.

Let me go back to the points in my last post, which you all but completely ignored in favor of raining semi- to in-accurate invective on Daenerys: 

Slavery had been going on for thousands of years. Countless people were born, lived their lives and died in a cloudy, barely-human existence, pawns of their owners, subject to their whims, including sexual, including sadistic, whims. Those who weren't slaves lived morally compromised lives--the slave-owners we actually saw were mostly evil little men with shriveled souls.

Almost anything is worth doing to take a chance at breaking that system which, being thousands of years old, is apparently never going to break itself. Crucifying 63 slave masters as symbolic retribution for crucifying 63 innocent children is nothing if it enhances the chance at that accomplishment. Do I think it was the right thing to do? No, I don't. But do I think it was shocking? No, I don't think that, either. Do I think it holds significant weight in the balance against Daenerys' overall accomplishments there? Not even close.

Finally, let's talk about the word "gray." I reject what I rejected in this thread: using that word to describe Daenerys and the slave owners, together.  I am not down with lumping them together, whatever rhetorical device you use.

If you want to talk about Daenery's tactics, by themselves, I don't reject the use of the word "gray" there. She made mistakes in dealing with the impossible situation she was going after head-on, and some of the mistakes hurt innocent people. But if the alternative was just letting the system go on, then give me Daenerys and her mistakes every damned time.

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48 minutes ago, Hodor's Dragon said:

Cheers to you for your efforts, but I am sorry to inform you that if your mission is to get me to agree that the slave-owners and the Breaker of Chains are "both gray," you have failed utterly.

Yes, Daenerys is a hero for all she did to free the slaves, the sacrifices, the effort, the persistence. Sure, she made mistakes along the way (especially on the TV show, less but still some in the books), but she was dealing with a very, very difficult situatoin as best she could. She left the Bay of Dragons a better place than when she found it Slaver's Bay, and I feel quite qualified to make that judgment call. 

Don't forget she also inspired the commoners of an entire continent, if the anecdotal evidence we have heard is true.

You seem to be making up fantasies about what is happening in Slaver's Bay after Dany flew the coop. The show hasn't made any reference to the goings on of Slaver's Bay after Dany left, as far as I know. You also don't seem to have freed yourself from the limitations of Dany's point-of-view. There are many scenes throughout Slaver's Bay that demonstrate that Dany is causing more harm than good for the city and the region as a whole.

The first two cities she "liberated" are in ruins and have reverted back to slavery by sheer necessity. It turns out that people would rather be slaves than starve to death, than to die of sickness and war.

There was a massive group of slaves that she freed from those cities. That group followed her to Meereen because they had nowhere else to go where they wouldn't immediately fall back into slavery. The only safe place for them was in the wake of Dany's conquest, but it turns out that wasn't a safe place for them either. Dany couldn't feed them or protect them and they all died of sickness and war.

But their blood isn't on Dany's hands, right? She freed them! She did her job. If they die of starvation or war after they've been freed, well, that isn't Dany's problem. And that's exactly how Dany comes to terms with what she has done. She tells herself that she didn't do anything wrong and blames everyone else for not immediately and peacefully changing their deepest beliefs and values to match her own.

In terms of storytelling, why do you think it might be important to exclude the health of Slaver's Bay, or lack thereof, from the viewer's eyes after Dany has made her exit from Slaver's Bay?

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Surely the situation in the Bay of Dragons is uncertain, although she left it relatively at peace, slave-free, and under the watch of the Second Sons.

It may well all unravel, to awful effect, but it's hard to imagine the previous situation returning. If nothing else, Daenerys has given the slaves and commoners a sense of their own power, and her name is a watchword all over Essos.

What you're missing, in my view, is that there was really nothing to lose. It was a completely horrendous situation before she arrived, and apparently permanent. It was worth risking tens or even hundreds of thousands of lives, and complete economic disruption, even for decades, to take a chance at abolishing that situation.

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It is not slavery free.  Astapor is in ruins and almost everyone is dead, Yunkai has returned to slavery and the people in and around Meereen are selling themselves back into slavery so they don't die of starvation and exposure.

Yes there were the hundreds of thousands of innocent lives to lose.  When you upend an entire economy and culture with no plan or means of fixing it, having good intentions and wanting 'freedom' isn't good enough.  

But, having been in these Dany is great because: abolition conversations before, they always go nowhere.  Either there is a naive belief that being anti slavery itself is a shield against any atrocity, or it's just Dany fans who won't see her criticized.

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18 hours ago, Lyanna<3Rhaegar said:

The show has butchered everything. But the reason I think I feel so blindsided by Dany is that there was no decent into or turn toward darkness but a plummet. She jumped off the cliff with little to no warning. Yes she has done some bad things, yes she is hot headed. But never would she have suggested burning a city of innocent people to the ground. I posted in another thread that had she not mentioned wanting to fry KL BEFORE Rhaegal & Missandei were killed it may have felt more natural. It's understandable for her to be upset in that situation, to be grief stricken & distraught & say some things she may not really mean. It would never be ok for her to actually burn KL but if she said it & listened to her advisors when they talked to her about it - that's a very human reaction IMO. 

I think a lot of people have a selective memory about this... possibly because they were heavily invested in "Dany the saviour" or "Dany the underdog" portrayal that they didn't take it seriously at the time..... She actually did precisely what you don't recall her doing.

Like here:

 

And again here:


Or...

(which... fair enough, Fire and Blood might not be the only methods she's planning on using... but 'taking' with 'fire and blood' is a slight departure from being a bringer of Peace.)

 

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2 minutes ago, Figdoni said:

I think a lot of people have a selective memory about this... possibly because they were heavily invested in "Dany the saviour" or "Dany the underdog" portrayal that they didn't take it seriously at the time..... She actually did precisely what you don't recall her doing.

Like here:

 

And again here:


Or...

(which... fair enough, Fire and Blood might not be the only methods she's planning on using... but 'taking' with 'fire and blood' is a slight departure from being a bringer of Peace.)

 

We had Varys, Tyrion, Missy extolling her virtues for years.  And Jon has been doing the same for 2 seasons.  That is in addition to the countless Dany burns the bad guys #badass moments of the show.

So, her suddenly being viewed as unstable by all these people who have been her supporters is poor storytelling.  

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6 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

We had Varys, Tyrion, Missy extolling her virtues for years.  And Jon has been doing the same for 2 seasons.  That is in addition to the countless Dany burns the bad guys #badass moments of the show.

So, her suddenly being viewed as unstable by all these people who have been her supporters is poor storytelling.  

It's great storytelling. It's a demonstration of how people mistakenly equate good intentions with good results and then come to regret it later. If you study history that's precisely how the worst leaders came to power. Everyone believes in them at first and then the king starts abusing his power and burning people alive. But nobody wants to speak up because we're all complicit and afraid of being burned alive ourselves. That's exactly the situation Tyrion and Varys are in. The only difference is that Varys told Dany to her face that she was failing, just as he promised he would. But still she wouldn't change.

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4 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

So, her suddenly being viewed as unstable by all these people who have been her supporters is poor storytelling.  

I think it's just fine storytelling. Her followers prove nothing. They can be blinded by a charismatic leader who slowly becomes paranoid the more power she accumulates. Not like that's ever happened in history?

Tyrion definitely feared her in that S6 scene, and Sansa says point blank "you're afraid of her." 

@Figdoni don't forget the time she told Hizdahr she'd return his city to the dirt. @Juligen should get credit for putting these together as well in her "queen of ashes" theory.

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In the show, my understanding is that the slavers' army was completely defeated, and the Bay of Dragons was there for Daario to occupy. That's a bit of pollyanna-ish outcome, and I don't expect things to wrap up so neatly in the books. Even in the show, again, things may well turn south.

But again, There was nothing in that miserable region worth saving and any risk was better than the status quo. Daenerys took it on and made every decision in good faith. That's my definition of a hero.

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3 minutes ago, rustythesmith said:

It's great storytelling. It's a demonstration of how people mistakenly equate good intentions with good results and then come to regret it later. If you study history that's precisely how the worst leaders came to power. Everyone believes in them at first and then the king starts abusing his power and burning people alive. But nobody wants to speak up because we're all complicit and afraid of being burned alive ourselves. That's exactly the situation Tyrion and Varys are in. The only difference is that Varys told Dany to her face that she was failing, just as he promised he would. But still she wouldn't change.

There is nothing wrong with the story itself, but I can't agree that the storytelling on the show has been anything but awful.  Such an abrupt change in her key advisors in the space of 1 or 2 episodes is poor.

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

We had Varys, Tyrion, Missy extolling her virtues for years.  And Jon has been doing the same for 2 seasons.  That is in addition to the countless Dany burns the bad guys #badass moments of the show.

So, her suddenly being viewed as unstable by all these people who have been her supporters is poor storytelling.  

So you would take a characters opinion of another character ahead of what is shown before your eyes?

I actually think its great storytelling, to be showing the audience this side of her so very clearly and so very blatantly, yet still manage to deflect fans from recognising this streak even exists because it's been embedded amongst some positive traits. One could argue that GRRM is making that a teachable moment about what people choose to see in the leaders they follow, to not have their judgements clouded. 

The dark side of Dany has simply always been there... these clips illustrate it thoroughly... and it probably hasn't even gotten any worse. What has gotten worse is her willingness to listen to others, her paranoia.... and her compassion and temperance is waning the more angry she gets...


 

Edited by Figdoni

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