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AlaerysTargaryen

If Dany becomes mad, it will cement the idea that all westerosi queens in their own right are unworthy.

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I'm probably a cynic but I tend to think that emotion plays a bigger part in most peoples' thinking that reason - otherwise actual history would surely be different, let alone fantasy history.

In the books, Rhaenyra and Aegon 11 were as bad as each other (and neither was as bad as Maegor) but after the Dance the rules were changed to make it even harder for women to rule Westeros. I think that's a realistic depiction of sexism  rather than endorsement by the author. However I can't help feeling that while one mad queen may be unfortunate, two mad queens starts to look like a pattern, overkill, bad writing, etc.

In the context of the show, it would be easier to accept Jon as a viable alternative if they hadn't portrayed him as dumb and incompetent while failing upwards. Even in the latest episode, he was being praised for managing to stick his arse on a dragon's back for five minutes in front of the woman who walked into the fire to birth three dragons, raised and tamed them. Based on the spoilers, it seems this isn't being used to critique sexist assumptions about the capability of women rulers but as a prelude to the Mad Queen.

I always expected that Dany's story would take a darker turn as she had to face the human cost of claiming a throne and what the words Fire and Blood really mean. I just didn't think that would be her final act. I thought that she would turn her righteous anger and fire against the would-be enslavers of all humanity and at least have an heroic end. Instead, the show has made the war for the dawn a damp squib and spoilers have suggested that Dany will be put down like some mad bitch by a man that she loved and trusted. I don't think you can blame people for feeling that would be a terrible ending for the main female protagonist. Maybe, the show will prove the spoilers wrong. I hope so. 

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On 5/9/2019 at 2:29 AM, Rose of Red Lake said:

You said there were no queens worthy to contrast to Dany and Cersei. Asha is a POV character. That's not minor. Does she not have enough protagonist points? This critique that there are no variations among the female rulers is getting oddly specific now. They have to be worthy queens who WANT the Iron Throne? Okay, that's clearly not going to happen because it ruins the theme. The Iron Throne is the ring of power. It will corrupt people regardless of gender. 

Now if you really want a worthy queen who is thematically linked to Cersei, there is Sansa. She, just like Jon, is working as a queen without the title. She at one time wanted to be Queen of the Seven Kingdoms - not for power, but to live out a fairy tale. She's not going to be lusting after the Iron Throne, which is why you should really drop that criteria. She and Asha are excellent foils/contrast to Cersei and Dany. Arianne could be added in there too depending on her TWOW developments. 

People just don't understand that Dany is a conqueror first. That is her instinct. She ruled in Essos quite well when she locked her dragons up. The moment she rode Drogon in the fighting pits, that was her turn away from ruling where she had to use her brain.  She began to rely on dragons as a quick fix to solve problems. She began to accept rule by fear. 

These characters didn't pop out of nowhere. If they act a certain way, or their actions are framed a certain way, it's because somebody wrote them that way. They didn't have to frame her ambition as a negative, and they didn't have to write her downfall with a collection of sexist tropes.

Asha isn't a foil to Cersei, nor is she one to Dany. She is a minor character not thematically linked to them in that way, having no ambitions for the IT. This is obviously a relevant detail because this whole thread is about what the show is saying about women who seek that role.

Similarly Sansa was never a contender for the IT. She is a foil to Cersei, in that she uses her scheming with the betterment of her people in mind, but we can't interpret this as 'good Queen' vs 'bad Queen' unless the show ends with Sansa on the throne in her own right (extremely unlikely).

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3 hours ago, Wall Flower said:

However I can't help feeling that while one mad queen may be unfortunate, two mad queens starts to look like a pattern, overkill, bad writing, etc.

In the context of the show, it would be easier to accept Jon as a viable alternative if they hadn't portrayed him as dumb and incompetent while failing upwards. Even in the latest episode, he was being praised for managing to stick his arse on a dragon's back for five minutes in front of the woman who walked into the fire to birth three dragons, raised and tamed them.

Very well put. Even if the North doesnt trust her how come she doesnt deserve praise for doing so much more than Jon ? At least Tormund who is a wilding is used to earrior women shouldve said something more. She is a living miracle who brought dragons into the world, and the North gave her no thanks no courtesy. If she becomes mad in 2 eps and her story mixed with mad Queen Cersei, it will be a horreundous legacy.

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46 minutes ago, AlaerysTargaryen said:

If she becomes mad in 2 eps and her story mixed with mad Queen Cersei, it will be a horreundous legacy.

Yupp, it really would be...

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So why is that damn throne so important anyways, she already sacrificed half her army and a dragon to save the people, now she wants to roast them because of one hateful servant girl and they are not even guilty of her death just stand in a way.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, OldGimletEye said:

It seems to me the crux of the argument here is:
1. Many people, whether they live in Westeros or in the real world, are very bad at inductive reasoning. These types of people would actually be willing to make a strong statement about the state of things based on exactly three data points.
2. Accordingly, because many people are bad at inductive reasoning either Cersei or Dany should have been made to look like a good ruler, regardless of the fact that people who are not bad at inductive reasoning wouldn't find three data points very convincing as evidence of anything.
Reasonable people would not be willing to bet the farm on about three data points. In particular, reasonable people wouldn't make statements about the capabilities of female rulers being worse, on average, than male rulers, knowing the high failure rate of male rulers, with just three examples. Those who would do so are basically engaging in confirmation bias.
Sure it might have been realistic to have had Queen in Westeros who ruled well. But, the fact that did not happen, doesn't really move the ball in the direction that there is some insidious bias in the story because neither Cersei, nor Dany turn out to be very effective rulers. Particularly when you consider that the three men that preceded them were all failures as rulers. The fact is that good rulers seem to be the exception in Westeros and not the rule. The fact there have been more good male monarchs in Westeros than female ones is the result of the law of large numbers.

No, actually, that's not the crux of the argument in the original post at all.

We have, on this show, witnessed four male rulers (Aerys only in flashbacks and recounted memories). Each was bad, all four of them, and all for various different reasons.

There have only been two female monarchs (Dany is already a monarch, just not THE monarch in Westeros yet). Both are also bad, but for the SAME reason. They're overly emotional, unable to control their reactions, and mentally unstable.

And the solution to all of this, we're being told now, is another male ruler.

Edited by Wildling Queen

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50 minutes ago, Wildling Queen said:

And the solution to all of this, we're being told now, is another male ruler.

The solution would be democracy but this is not the story.

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2 hours ago, Wildling Queen said:

No, actually, that's not the crux of the argument in the original post at all.

So the argument all along has been that it's not the fact that three female rulers failed per se, but it is because they all failed for the same reasons?

 

2 hours ago, Wildling Queen said:

We have, on this show, witnessed four male rulers (Aerys only in flashbacks and recounted memories). Each was bad, all four of them, and all for various different reasons.

Well I don't know, it would seem that both Joffrey and Aerys were crazy and mentally unstable.

 

2 hours ago, Wildling Queen said:

There have only been two female monarchs (Dany is already a monarch, just not THE monarch in Westeros yet). Both are also bad, but for the SAME reason. They're overly emotional, unable to control their reactions, and mentally unstable.

Are Cersei's main negatives really being "over emotional and mentally unstable"? Or is it because she is vindictive, cruel and utterly ruthless? 

2 hours ago, Wildling Queen said:

And the solution to all of this, we're being told now, is another male ruler.

Well the solution is a competent ruler. But, Jon may not exactly fit the bill. He's not portrayed as being the sharpest tool in the shed. In fact, D&D have pretty much said he's about as smart as a box of rocks. Interestingly enough, that's a trait shared by Bobby B.

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2 minutes ago, Larger than Average Finger said:

When I see a plot by D&D basically jumping up and down spinning a huge sign that says "Mad Queen this way" it seems a pretty safe bet that at the last second, they will have a "surprise" and she won't be.

I wish you're right...
Sadly, I don't think you are....

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1 minute ago, Larger than Average Finger said:

When I see a plot by D&D basically jumping up and down spinning a huge sign that says "Mad Queen this way" it seems a pretty safe bet that at the last second, they will have a "surprise" and she won't be.

That's kind of what I'm thinking, but I'm not real super-confident about it.

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Sigh. This "woke" bs is really annoying.

Why do people think it's only female rulers who went mad with power? Did you forget Joffrey and Aerys? Did you forget that Stannis burned his daughter alive, Tywin orchestrated the massacred at the RW - all in pursuit of power. Not to mention countless terrible kings of the Targaryen dynasty. The point is power corrupts people, regardless of their gender. Dany and Cersei allowed themselves to be corrupted by power, and that's on them, like it was for men like Joffrey, Aerys or Stannis. They made their bed, now they need to lay on it. 

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2 minutes ago, Larger than Average Finger said:

When I see a plot by D&D basically jumping up and down spinning a huge sign that says "Mad Queen this way" it seems a pretty safe bet that at the last second, they will have a "surprise" and she won't be.

It's possible.  But they only have 2 eps left one of which includes another battle.  So, chances are that Dany will go mad/evil because there isn't much time left and the show has never been that much more misdirection.  Mel said Stannis would betray everyone and he did.  Mel said she'd die in Westeros and she did.  Brienne said she'd kill Stannis and she did. 

When the show has characters commenting on things that aren't really "in" the story, or where they want a short cut like Sansa being super smart, Jon and Dany in love or now Dany being unstable...that is their idea of storytelling.

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1 minute ago, Wholala17 said:

Sigh. This "woke" bs is really annoying.

Why do people think it's only female rulers who went mad with power? Did you forget Joffrey and Aerys? Did you forget that Stannis burned his daughter alive, Tywin orchestrated the massacred at the RW - all in pursuit of power. Not to mention countless terrible kings of the Targaryen dynasty. The point is power corrupts people, regardless of their gender. Dany and Cersei allowed themselves to be corrupted by power, and that's on them, like it was for men like Joffrey, Aerys or Stannis. They made their bed, now they need to lay on it. 

Aerys wasn't a screen character, I know he was on screen for a few secs during Brans vision, We have characters testifying as to his mental state. The writers didn't illustrate adequately that Aerys had become a mad king and at one point had been perceived as being a good ruler, but there is a huge difference between having built Dany's character up as a hero becoming an evil genocidal Tyrant to Joffrey being a contemptuous, obnoxious little brat amplified when he became king as him being a vicious and cruel ruler. The only explanation for Dany becoming a cruel Tyrant would be her developing paranoid schizophrenia and even then it would have to be painstakingly illustrated over a number of seasons not over the span of two episodes. If they do follow through with the mad Queen narrative then they will be betraying the premise of the show that every character is planted in consistent behaviour and motivation. If they now have Dany murdering the innocent where she has fought to break them free of the chains of slavery then that will be an abrupt and inexplicable right turn. At this point the only negative attributes associated with Daenerys is she is ambitious and relentless, perhaps even ruthless  in her pursuit of the ironthrone, those aren't elements of madness or Tyranny per se.

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I can see  Dany going slowly mad once she gets to Westeros and no more adoring followers, but it's something that would need a long, meticulous set up.  Much more so than anything that has been seen in the books so far, let alone trying to do it in 2-3 episodes, which is insane. 

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1 hour ago, OldGimletEye said:

So the argument all along has been that it's not the fact that three female rulers failed per se, but it is because they all failed for the same reasons?

 

Well I don't know, it would seem that both Joffrey and Aerys were crazy and mentally unstable.

 

Are Cersei's main negatives really being "over emotional and mentally unstable"? Or is it because she is vindictive, cruel and utterly ruthless? 

Well the solution is a competent ruler. But, Jon may not exactly fit the bill. He's not portrayed as being the sharpest tool in the shed. In fact, D&D have pretty much said he's about as smart as a box of rocks. Interestingly enough, that's a trait shared by Bobby B.

Yes, that's been the argument all along. It's also what I said when I responded to it. Yes, Joffrey was a psychopath and Aerys was just mad, but Robert wasn't. He was just a simpleton taken down by a scheming woman. And Tommen could have actually been a good king eventually with the right guidance, but darn those scheming women who took him down.

Do you see a pattern here?

Cersei's main negatives are that she's unable to control her own need for petty revenge. Her emotions get the best of her and lead her to failure. Daenerys is being painted the same way.

I don't need Daenerys to be successful because she's a woman. If she were unable to take the Iron Throne because the people of Westeros couldn't accept her as an outsider, that would have made sense to me. But another female who's just too emotionally unstable to rule? Yeah, not a fan of that storyline.

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3 hours ago, TwiceBorn said:

The solution would be democracy but this is not the story.

I agree. That's another theoretical lens with which to analyze the text of the show, as a political statement against monarchy.

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3 minutes ago, Wildling Queen said:

Yes, that's been the argument all along. It's also what I said when I responded to it. Yes, Joffrey was a psychopath and Aerys was just mad, but Robert wasn't. He was just a simpleton taken down by a scheming woman. And Tommen could have actually been a good king eventually with the right guidance, but darn those scheming women who took him down.

Do you see a pattern here?

Cersei's main negatives are that she's unable to control her own need for petty revenge. Her emotions get the best of her and lead her to failure. Daenerys is being painted the same way.

I don't need Daenerys to be successful because she's a woman. If she were unable to take the Iron Throne because the people of Westeros couldn't accept her as an outsider, that would have made sense to me. But another female who's just too emotionally unstable to rule? Yeah, not a fan of that storyline.

I’ve never liked the mad dany theory and will be pissed if the show actually takes it in that direction. 

Dany would be much better served by demonstrating that she’s fit to rule not only because of her bloodline, but because she’s an intelligent, skilled leader. Instead, they have her burning people on the battlefield and terrifying the populace. 

Same with Cersei. I get why they’re doing what they’re doing with her, but given her backstory of wanting to be accepted on the same level as her brothers, it’s a shame she’s just made a vindictive murderer. 

They could have made her character much more nuanced. 

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3 minutes ago, The_Spanish_Inquisition said:

I’ve never liked the mad dany theory and will be pissed if the show actually takes it in that direction. 

Dany would be much better served by demonstrating that she’s fit to rule not only because of her bloodline, but because she’s an intelligent, skilled leader. Instead, they have her burning people on the battlefield and terrifying the populace. 

Same with Cersei. I get why they’re doing what they’re doing with her, but given her backstory of wanting to be accepted on the same level as her brothers, it’s a shame she’s just made a vindictive murderer. 

They could have made her character much more nuanced. 

1

I'm hoping for what the poster above said, that there will be a shift away from this, a surprise twist. After all, Daenerys has been painted as terribly paranoid when she lashes out at Tyrion and Varys this season and last season. It turns out she was right: it didn't take much for Varys to start plotting her murder and Tyrion to know about it and not tell her, even as her loyal advisor.

What I'd love to see is the show make the characteristics Dany has displayed - characteristics like the quest for equality and toppling imperialists and acceptance - the basis for WHY she'd be a good leader. I'm afraid they're already moving away from that, though. Instead, it's a case of "I'm gonna free all these people if I gotta kill them to do it!"

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14 hours ago, Hodor the Articulate said:

These characters didn't pop out of nowhere. If they act a certain way, or their actions are framed a certain way, it's because somebody wrote them that way. They didn't have to frame her ambition as a negative, and they didn't have to write her downfall with a collection of sexist tropes.

Asha isn't a foil to Cersei, nor is she one to Dany. She is a minor character not thematically linked to them in that way, having no ambitions for the IT. This is obviously a relevant detail because this whole thread is about what the show is saying about women who seek that role.

Similarly Sansa was never a contender for the IT. She is a foil to Cersei, in that she uses her scheming with the betterment of her people in mind, but we can't interpret this as 'good Queen' vs 'bad Queen' unless the show ends with Sansa on the throne in her own right (extremely unlikely).

I still think your standard of comparison is problematic, and goes against the larger themes of the pursuit of power through the #1 symbol of domination and conquest, the Iron Throne. If women want to pursue that they'll face the same fate as men. They'll be portrayed as violent, ruthless, narcissistic, and dead. "The game" is also a theme that drives women into bottomless morally bankrupt power plays if they want to win, so if you want a "good queen" to "win" and still be "good" this is impossible. This is the rules of the game he created. Women can still have ambition on other ways, but you're metric for "good queen" is to perpetuate a dynasty built on fire and blood, which absolutely needs to end. 

You seem to be uninterested in comparing women in the story, it's either Iron Throne or bust. That seems disingenuous. Asha is interesting because she could be the only elected queen in this story, and that absolutely is a foil to Cersei. She's a mirror character to Dany because she comes from a culture that practices "fire and sword" but she doesn't lose touch with her human side. Wherever Sansa ends up, she should have been next in line after Robb died, and should have inherited his title as Queen. Because she didn't get that (which is sadly a realistic scenario) that leaves her out of your analysis? She's acting as queen in the north in all but name, as she is the only one defending Northern independence and keeping it together at Winterfell. It's kind of a discriminatory to dismiss her like that. 

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