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Kajjo

Daenerys: Analysis of psychology and foreshadowing

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Please let this thread NOT be another rave thread, but let us try to rationally, pragmatically analyse all foreshadowing to the recent events of E5 and discuss motives and psyche of Daenerys. We need a thread that does this soberly and clean.

Daenerys was portrayed as being on the verge throughout the whole show. No surprise here if you watched carefully. She was always emotional, sometimes warmhearted and supportive to the common people, sometimes exhibiting anger, fury and rage. Daenerys turning in to Mad Queen is not that unexpected after all the foreshadowing. I would like member here to collect references to foreshadowing in all seasons. Let us create a fine list of all quotes with season/episode/scene that showed us the "possible mad side" of Daenerys.

Secondly, what led Daenerys to snap? Let's discuss what made her freak out and decide to destroy King's Landing? In my opinion firstly she realised that the people do not love her and never will. Secondly, Jon cannot kiss her back, probably because of the aunt-nephew-issue and she realised that she will have no future with him. Jon loves her and she loves Jon, but they are unable to enjoy intimacy. She is utterly lonesome. She has no goal in life anymore. The people won't love and respect her, Jon will not be intimate with her, her advisers are worthless, she is not only on hew own, she is alone and lonely. There is nothing to gain anymore, not even by conquering King's Landing. She realises she won't be the Queen that free the people and is loved by her people. She understands no one will love her no matter how it turns out. She has no allies and Sansa is against her, all the Northerners are prone to hail Sansa. 

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I agree there was evidence all along. She would get that look in her eye of shutting out her feelings in order to do horrible things. She did it when she coldly watched Viserys die (yes, he was a twat and crossed the line). She did it in Qarth. She did it in Astapor taking a lot of pleasure in her bad faith trade deal - we didn't mind then because her opponent was a prime a**hole. Still it showed if she feels she is in the right, then anyone who disagrees deserves a horrible death. And of course the biggest red flag was the crucified Masters.

Her complete lack of feeling and remorse when burning Dickon was troubling. I could certainly understand Lord Tarly's execution but Dickon should have at least deserved a bit more reflection and consideration of options first.

 

All that said, it was still extremely surprising that she burned the city AFTER the bells were going and the soldiers had surrendered. That is very hard to understand in spite of everything. She could have just demanded Jon marry her anyway if she was worried about the love of the people. Yes, it would have been a sexless marriage, but she couldn't have kids anyway. That way at least she would have taken steps to earning the love of the people.

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I hope that I'm not out of subject. I starrted writing, going in your way, but I quickly realized that I wasn't. Still wanted to post it. So you'll excuse me...

To me the show never foreshadowed her as mad.

It showed a young girl (was she 13 in the books?) discovering the world, with on her -yet not mature- head, a heavy crown.

All the way, she got counselled and seeked advice, sometimes for the greater good, sometimes not. But as much as for her "nature" she wasn't mad, nor showing any sign of it.

She was -is- a teenager who tried to free common folk from the yoke of tyranny. Even if that did mean to burn those tyrants.

And here I want to stop briefly . 

Most of the foreshadowing people are referring to, is due to her having dragons and thus "burning". 

But try to analyze it from a medieval/fantastic point of view. An execution is an execution. 

The fact that it is fancier doesn't make it worst. Nor does it make the ruler "insane" 

If we really want to analyze it with our modern brains.

Dying burned alive is painful, but you die way quicker than thought, due to breathing CO2. So is it worse than hanging? probably not.

We could talk about the US and the use of napalm. Or nukes. 

Was it necessary? probably not. Were the order givers insane mad? definitely not. And those are only the most famous examples. 

-that wasn't brief after all-

All the "great rulers" of mankind had to resort to some kind of fear or ruthlness during conquest/ruling. And we acclaim them today in our history books for being geniuses etc. 

If some of you read it, Machiavel in his "The prince" details all they ways for a good prince to hold power. And most of those examples include being ruthless. Like killing all the ancient king's familly to let no option for a heir. Isn't that what Tywin did with the red weddings? 

And you can find there, a lot of examples that occured with Daenerys. But that weren't considered as madness by people like Machiavel, same ages same settings.

So if we take every decision where Daenerys used violence as a mean of repression. It was a reaction to a cause. Sons of the harpy slautering her people/advisor. 

But we can still find mistakes in her rule. And that is due to inexperience, youth, and other factors that I don't have in mind. (apart from advisors)

 

As for the second point.

To me, It is bad writing (and not only from D&D but even GRRM, yes I dare) , the showrunners did say after interviews "She is not her father, she is a good ruler etc" So it clearly shows that they weren't trying to build a vilain, nor a madwoman. Even though they were supposed to know the ending at that point.

so does losing the people you love enough to get you mad? I definitely think not. First because she was "used" to lose them on the long term. That helped build a strong woman. And then there's that whole, brutal and swift loss of her very close friends -Jorah Missandei and dragons -

But as a rapper said (yes I'm quoting Rythm and Poetry) we as human experience a lot of different human losses, and we don't actually die once, but we die everytime someone dear dies. But the result of that "dying a thousand time" is being reborn every single time...

I also want to add, that today's research is saying that madness isn't only hereditary, and that this thought is only the result of a stubborness in trying to prove it. -not negating the fact that mental characteristic do go through genes-

source

 

 

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Her last words talking to Jon were something along the lines of accepting that Westeros would never love her so she was all in on making them fear her instead. (Mission accomplished, your grace.) Daario was big on that philosophy too - "all rulers are either butchers or meat" and he is probably on her mind.

Also, the last time she was in Kings Landing Cersei played her for a mug and she is suspicious of Tyrion's motives. Not surprising that she would be a bit dubious about the surrender when she is so paranoid. 

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To me it is not so much "madness" as Otherness that drove Dany, and Grey Worm too. They suffered horrible losses recently, yes and were in deep grief which is a kind of temporary mental illness, yes. But more importantly they saw this as coming at the hands of people they did not love or relate to in any way on a human level. They felt it was ok to take revenge in this way (spear in the back of soldiers who surrendered by Grey Worm, and Dragonfire from Dany) because they could not humanize the people they were doing this too. For Dany the people of KL refused to recognize her rule and so were in the wrong, and they did not love her so she did not care about them. For Grey Worm, he is a soldier who went through dehumanizing training and is facing foreign people in a very foreign land. He doesn't care the least bit about them.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, The Red Waste said:

Her last words talking to Jon were something along the lines of accepting that Westeros would never love her so she was all in on making them fear her instead. (Mission accomplished, your grace.) Daario was big on that philosophy too - "all rulers are either butchers or meat" and he is probably on her mind.

Also, the last time she was in Kings Landing Cersei played her for a mug and she is suspicious of Tyrion's motives. Not surprising that she would be a bit dubious about the surrender when she is so paranoid. 

Yes, they needed a scene where she found out that Jaime was freed. That would have help solidly establish that she had no trust left in Tyrion, which is why she could not trust the surrender.

Edited by Hippocras

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2 minutes ago, Hippocras said:

To me it is not so much "madness" as Otherness that drove Dany, and Grey Worm too. They suffered horrible losses recently, yes and were in deep grief which is a kind of temporary mental illness, yes. But more importantly they saw this as coming at the hands of people they did not love or relate to in any way on a human level. They felt it was ok to take revenge in this way (spear in the back of soldiers who surrendered by Grey Worm, and Dragonfire from Dany) because they could not humanize the people they were doing this too. For Dany the people of KL refused to recognize her rule and so were in the wrong, and they did not love her so she did not care about them. For Grey Worm, he is a soldier who went through dehumanizing training and is facing foreign people in a very foreign land. He doesn't care the least bit about them.

This is why I don't get the whole mad queen plot.

I can understand her motive as a conqueror. And then again, she wouln't be mad after all she did. But as you said, looking for revenge. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Please evaluate this psychology analysis for her snapping:

Her frustration and desperation are so believable, Why people don't see it?

She just somehow won the battle. The opponent surrenders. She realizes there is nothing to gain anyway. All she fought for her whole life for nothing. Emptiness. Void.

The people won't love her anyway. Jon won't consummate their mutual love. Nothing to hope for anymore. Her goal in life achieved, having conquered King's Landing and absolutely nothing gained. She simply is at the end of her arc. Won but void. Wound't you snap?

Daenerys is not mad in herself. She snapped. And having the tendency to snap in such situations is a feature of the Targaryen ancestry. It is believable for a Targaryen to freak out in such a desperation. Daenerys was not mad all the time. She snapped just now. 

Grey Worm snaps, too, out of grief and bitterness, and continues fighting. Daenerys snaps on the back of a dragon. That makes the difference.

Edited by Kajjo

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1 minute ago, Targaryen Peas said:

This is why I don't get the whole mad queen plot.

I can understand her motive as a conqueror. And then again, she wouln't be mad after all she did. But as you said, looking for revenge. 

 

yes, but IMO the show established both that otherness in a major driver here (scenes with reaction to Grey Worm and Missandei for example) and that people call paranoia and fear "madness". I don't think Dany is off her rocker and I don't think the show is pretending she is.

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1 minute ago, Kajjo said:

Please evaluate this psychology analysis for her snapping:

Her frustration and desperation are so believable, Why people don't see it?

She just somehow won the battle. The opponent surrenders. She realizes there is nothing to gain anyway. All she fought for her whole life for nothing. Emptiness. Void.

The people won't love her anyway. Jon won't consummate their mutual love. Nothing to hope for anymore. Her goal in life achieved, having conquered King's Landing and absolutely nothing gained. She simply is at the end of her arc. Won but void. Wound't you snap?

I wouldn't. And a lot of conquerors wouldn't.

Consider it otherwise. 

A city full of conspirators, schemers, a city who destroyed her family's heritage. 

That killed probably the purest person she knew. Missandei.

Did they deserv the right to surrender? A lot would say no. 

And yes, the people didn't execute her. Yet, it is a whole. 

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28 minutes ago, Targaryen Peas said:

To me the show never foreshadowed her as mad.

Please see my post #8 and maybe re-evaluate your statement. This is not about her always having been mad. Not mad as in a medical condition. 

Daenerys snaps and her snapping in such a situation is believable because its a feature of her Targaryen ancestry. 

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2 minutes ago, Hippocras said:

yes, but IMO the show established both that otherness in a major driver here (scenes with reaction to Grey Worm and Missandei for example) and that people call paranoia and fear "madness". I don't think Dany is off her rocker and I don't think the show is pretending she is.

Nor do I.  Her worst characteristic (dealt with more subtly in the books) is self-righteous cruelty.  In her eyes, the people of Kings Landing are as guilty as Cersei was.  So, she took cruel revenge on them.

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Targaryen Peas said:

I wouldn't. And a lot of conquerors wouldn't.

 

See, I agree with you. I wouldn't maybe, maybe I would if there is nothing more to gain in life.

Some wouldn't, I agree. She does because she is a Targaryen and those tend to snap in such conditions. It's believable.

But please reply to the fact "she was not mad before, she just snapped in that moment".

Edited by Kajjo

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2 minutes ago, Kajjo said:

Please see my post #8 and maybe re-evaluate your statement. This is not about her always having been mad. Not mad as in a medical condition. 

Daenerys snaps and her snapping in such a situation is believable because its a feature of her Targaryen ancestry. 

She would never burn children without a reason. 

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I think I understand the whole "madness" but not ilness. But then that goes in direct contradiction with the Targaryen heritage.

It's either, she IS mentally ill, and then we can find an explanation in her heritage.

Or, she ISN'T mentally ill, and porbably just angry at the world, and KL precisely. But then you can't argue the Targaryen heritage. 

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1 minute ago, divica said:

She would never burn children without a reason. 

This is not about reason, but about snapping. My goodness.

She does not see individual children (she would care about) but she is in a rage, destroying a city that will never love her.

Think about real-world shooting rampages in the US. So many relatives report "he would never shoot children" but they did. Colleagues, school children, whatever. This is exactly what happens when people freak out. There is no reason. All the victims are just substitutes for what people hate, are frustrated about, are desperate of.

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3 minutes ago, Targaryen Peas said:

It's either, she IS mentally ill, and then we can find an explanation in her heritage.

Her medical condition is the ability to snap.

When she snaps, she is not rational anymore but on a rampage.

Very believable and easy to understand. Realistic. It happens.

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10 minutes ago, Kajjo said:

This is not about reason, but about snapping. My goodness.

She does not see individual children (she would care about) but she is in a rage, destroying a city that will never love her.

Think about real-world shooting rampages in the US. So many relatives report "he would never shoot children" but they did. Colleagues, school children, whatever. This is exactly what happens when people freak out. There is no reason. All the victims are just substitutes for what people hate, are frustrated about, are desperate of.

But she snaps because the city is surrending to her! 

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1 minute ago, Nudu said:

I can't believe Dany fans are defending her genociding an entire city for literally nothing.

I don't see much defense. I see more delusion and avoiding reality. Claiming the book will be different in such a fundamental part and attacking GRRM's storyline. 

This arc is great and the storyline phantastic. Like it or not.

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