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Daenerys: Analysis of psychology and foreshadowing

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1 hour ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

The comet had a ton of foreshadowing for this. The books even had a prophet saying everyone in KL will burn, with the comet in the background.

The comet was a comet. It was there to be interpreted by various people in various ways, as it was. It's not helpful in character analysis and did not foreshadow in any way that Daenerys would kill large numbers of people for no reason.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/13/2019 at 10:13 AM, GeorgeIAF said:

 

Executing enemy rulers who refused her orders. Jon executed that Janos Slynt for refusing his orders. Maybe we have another mad Targaryen! :rolleyes:   

Edited by tallTale

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It was always meant to be this way. It was GRRM’s plan all along, there isnt a Disney like finale to this series, Dany was set up to be the main antagonist from the beginning, we all hoped she will be a hero but in the end it was inevitable. The books will surely depict her descent into madness much much better than the show did, and probably Jon will be the TPTWP and she will be his Nissa Nissa, the show wasnt into prophecies too much and they probably changed Jon to Arya as the one who finished the war against the dead. 

In the books, Jon will fulfill the prophecy. It will be bittersweet. Probably more bitter than sweet.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Hodor's Dragon said:

The comet was a comet. It was there to be interpreted by various people in various ways, as it was. It's not helpful in character analysis and did not foreshadow in any way that Daenerys would kill large numbers of people for no reason.

The dragons hatch because Dany sees the comet as a "sign." Signs and vision-quests as the motive for a characters' actions would be fine in any other fantasy novel - but not this one. 

---

“Jhogo spied it first. “There,” he said in a hushed voice. Dany looked and saw it, low in the east. The first star was a comet, burning red. Bloodred; fire red; the dragon’s tail. She could not have asked for a stronger sign.
Dany took the torch from Aggo’s hand and thrust it between the logs.”  - Daenerys, AGOT

---

“In the streets, they call it the Red Messenger,” Varys said. “They say it comes as a herald before a king, to warn of fire and blood to follow.” -Tyrion, ACOK

---

“Corruption!” the man cried shrilly. “There is the warning! Behold the Father’s scourge!” He pointed at the fuzzy red wound in the sky. From this vantage, the distant castle on Aegon’s High Hill was directly behind him, with the comet hanging forebodingly over its towers. A clever choice of stage, Tyrion reflected.”

“He jabbed his bony finger back at comet and castle. “There comes the Harbinger! Cleanse yourselves, the gods cry out, lest ye be cleansed! Bathe in the wine of righteousness, or you shall be bathed in fire! Fire!”
Fire!” - Tyrion, ACOK

---

When Bran repeated that to Osha, she laughed aloud. “Your wolves have more wit than your maester,” the wildling woman said. “They know truths the grey man has forgotten.” The way she said it made him shiver, and when he asked what the comet meant, she answered, “Blood and fire, boy, and nothing sweet.”

…Old Nan…lived longer than any of them. “Dragons,” she said, lifting her head and sniffing. She was near blind and could not see the comet, yet she claimed she could smell it. “It be dragons, boy,” she insisted.  - Bran, ACOK

Edited by Rose of Red Lake

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7 hours ago, Kajjo said:

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.

That's not being on the verge of madness, that's being a human. Anyone would have demonstrated anger, fury and rage at some points in her shoes.

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2 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

The dragons hatch because Dany sees the comet as a "sign." Signs and vision-quests as the motive for a characters' actions would be fine in any other fantasy novel - but not this one. 

---

“Jhogo spied it first. “There,” he said in a hushed voice. Dany looked and saw it, low in the east. The first star was a comet, burning red. Bloodred; fire red; the dragon’s tail. She could not have asked for a stronger sign.
Dany took the torch from Aggo’s hand and thrust it between the logs.”  - Daenerys, AGOT

---

“In the streets, they call it the Red Messenger,” Varys said. “They say it comes as a herald before a king, to warn of fire and blood to follow.” -Tyrion, ACOK

---

“Corruption!” the man cried shrilly. “There is the warning! Behold the Father’s scourge!” He pointed at the fuzzy red wound in the sky. From this vantage, the distant castle on Aegon’s High Hill was directly behind him, with the comet hanging forebodingly over its towers. A clever choice of stage, Tyrion reflected.”

“He jabbed his bony finger back at comet and castle. “There comes the Harbinger! Cleanse yourselves, the gods cry out, lest ye be cleansed! Bathe in the wine of righteousness, or you shall be bathed in fire! Fire!”
Fire!” - Tyrion, ACOK

---

When Bran repeated that to Osha, she laughed aloud. “Your wolves have more wit than your maester,” the wildling woman said. “They know truths the grey man has forgotten.” The way she said it made him shiver, and when he asked what the comet meant, she answered, “Blood and fire, boy, and nothing sweet.”

…Old Nan…lived longer than any of them. “Dragons,” she said, lifting her head and sniffing. She was near blind and could not see the comet, yet she claimed she could smell it. “It be dragons, boy,” she insisted.  - Bran, ACOK

Things other people said about a comet is supposed to foreshadow that she would kill massive numbers of innocent people for no reason? Not following that in the slightest.

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1 hour ago, Brendan Hughes said:

 

And then stuff happened, she started to learn that when things got emotionally difficult and hard, when people seemed like they would yet again pretend to love her and be devoted to her .. only to turn on her or abandon her .... well .. what did she learn was best?  

It was often either destroy those who abandon her, or destroy the reason why they would abandon her, or finally, put a fear in them so great that, that they will not dare abandon her.

 

Other than the Iron Throne, what was a big driving force for Dany? It seemed she really, REALLY wanted people to love her, always, to be there for her, always, to never dismiss her, to never betray her, to never cause her any bad feelings really. It seemed almost black and white in that regard. 

However, there was and still is one thing that she really, really doesn't deal well with. Being Abandoned by those she loved. When she feels abandoned by them .. she turns on them pretty quick most times.

 

Your description sounds very much in line with borderline personality disorder. An intense need for acceptance accompanied by an intense fear of abandonment or betrayal, an an inability to see people other than fully good or fully bad. I wouldn't say she has it, but I have met people like her who will quickly turn on someone they perceive to have committed 'unforgivable' acts. I don't think she would have survived the scheming of Mereen if she truly had this disorder, but I think she has those tendencies. 

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Posted (edited)

Daeny lost her baby and husband at one point and didn’t go mad queen.

Those events and her control should tell you a lot about her as well. Reason number 100000 not to buy her sudden change.

Edited by tallTale

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10 minutes ago, Hodor's Dragon said:

Things other people said about a comet is supposed to foreshadow that she would kill massive numbers of innocent people for no reason? Not following that in the slightest.

Well, yes. Fire and blood - nothing sweet - you (inhabitants of KL) shall be bathed in fire. It's obvious.

Myself and others interpreted Azor Ahai as a prophecy twist, as a destroyer, not a savior. My post history clocks that.

What reinforced my view is that this also happened at the end of the Hobbit. A hero was prophesied to return and make the rivers run with gold but it was actually Smaug burning everything. 

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1 hour ago, hallam said:

I think this is right. But the other dimension here is that Dany wants revenge on Cersei and the Lannisters and she knows she won't get it if they bend the knee to her.

What Dany should have done at that point is turn Drogon round and let her armies evacuate the city round the Red keep. The Gold company would switch sides (having surrendered). The soldiers inside the red keep would probably open the gates and there would be no need even for a siege.

Problem for Danny is that she doesn't get her revenge and she probably doesn't get the throne either because everyone knows Jon is the true heir and he will end up in charge sooner or later.

This is pretty tragic because she can be loved and wanted- she just has to wait. I wish Jon had given her some advice instead of whimpering before her. I believe he is the one who could have prevented her from snapping, not just through true love, but good, loving advice. He would have been the best one to tell her you have to earn respect through patience and deeds. He was a bastard but won the respect of the Night's Watch (with one small exception!), the Wildlings, and the North. A conqueror brings war and isn't welcome, but in time will be accepted and even loved. I think Dany in earlier seasons could have easily won their love through her kindness, courtesy, and her youth and beauty wouldn't hurt either. 

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32 minutes ago, tallTale said:

Maximizing fear that is already maximized is not plausible. In the show, she snapped. , but the funny thing  is, the people might have loved her for not burning them and standing down her army. But again, we need a reason for stark-targ bowl.

A dragon is scary. Seeing a dragon in action, destroying defenses, taking out armies and a fleet of ships is even scarier. But a dragon killing innocent people and reducing an entire city to ashes, and a queen who is willing to take those actions? That is the most terrifying.

I agree, the tragedy of it all is that had she shown mercy, she might have gotten the love and gratitude of the people she spared (which she so desperately wanted). Like I said, I can appreciate the perspective that she just snapped, but the way I see it, she chose fear over love. 

It would have been interesting to see her facial expression while she was destroying the city. I wonder if she just had a cold hard look on her face, if she was crying, if she looked furious, if she looked insane...

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Posted (edited)

If Daenerys' descent into madness was made much more obvious, the ending would have been as predictible and anti-climatic as the Cleganbowl.

There were clues over the course of the series which point to the end. She first showed us that she might be bat shit crazy the moment she walked into Khal Drogo's funeral pyre. We just ignored the Reverend Jim Jonesiness of it all because she came out hot, naked and with three dragons.  The crucifixtion of masters and arbitrarily feeding a master lord to her dragons showed how she cruel she could be.  She burnt all the khals, all men who were no different than her husband, to take control of dothraki horde.  But then she did nothing to change the nature or culture of the dothraki.  They still slaughtered men, women and children in the end. The unsullied, with the exception of Grey Worm, were still a faceless and mindless army of robot soldiers doing the bidding of their queen.  In some ways, they were no different than the Mountain.

What held her in check was her advisors, and they mostly died off over time.

The burning of KL was over the top. Daenerys' dragon was always the ultimate weapon of mass destruction, the equivalent of a modern nuclear bomb.  And this episode showed the worst possible results of what could happen when the un-checked narcissist with the finger on the button gets upset or suffers a moment of low blood sugar after missing a couple of happy meals.

Edited by funpig

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1 hour ago, Hodor's Dragon said:

Still waiting for actual examples of this foreshadowing. What foreshadowed Daenerys killing large numbers of completely innocent people for no reason?

She doesn't see them as "completely innocent people".  She sees them as the people who sided with Cersei and are her enemies.  It's a horrible outlook, but one that many conquerors have displayed.

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Just now, SeanF said:

She doesn't see them as "completely innocent people".  She sees them as the people who sided with Cersei and are her enemies.  It's a horrible outlook, but one that many conquerors have displayed.

It's a 180 on her prior character. 

Regardless of "completely innocent" or not, what is very clear is that she has never hurt people for no reason.

Or "to be feared" as the only reason. That's kinda dumb, in fact. It's easy to make people fear you when you're a queen with a dragon. But it makes no sense for the fear to be random, i.e., you get toasted whether you're a good boy or a bad boy. You can make punishments harsh, you can do what Tywin did and extend it to the entire family. That makes people not just fear you but want to act on your behalf. Barbecuing random people just makes everybody want to avoid you.

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1 minute ago, Hodor's Dragon said:

It's a 180 on her prior character. 

Regardless of "completely innocent" or not, what is very clear is that she has never hurt people for no reason.

Or "to be feared" as the only reason. That's kinda dumb, in fact. It's easy to make people fear you when you're a queen with a dragon. But it makes no sense for the fear to be random, i.e., you get toasted whether you're a good boy or a bad boy. You can make punishments harsh, you can do what Tywin did and extend it to the entire family. That makes people not just fear you but want to act on your behalf. Barbecuing random people just makes everybody want to avoid you.

She realized prior on DS that the people of Westeros would never love her, they would just fear her. She embraced fear. 

She used fear a lot in Essos and that was her impulse for decisions when she was ruling. 

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5 minutes ago, funpig said:

If Daenerys' descent into madness was made much more obvious, the ending would have been as predictible and anti-climatic as the Cleganbowl.

There were clues over the course of the series which point to the end. She first showed us that she might be bat shit crazy the moment she walked into Khal Drogo's funeral pyre.

In the books she had a dream. That wasn't in the show, but you have to presume she had a reason for doing it. It was magic, and it worked. That's not insanity, it's just fantasy. 

<snip>

The crucifixtion of masters and arbitrarily feeding a master lord to her dragons showed how she cruel she could be. 

Both of those acts were done for political reasons and were meant to be limited and proportionate.

She burnt all the khals, all men who were no different than her husband, to take control of dothraki horde. 

They were about to kill her. They had made her a slave. She did what she needed to do to get free.

But then she did nothing to change the nature or culture of the dothraki.  They still slaughtered men, women and children in the end.

Wrong. She forbade them to rape and pillage, and they obeyed. Right up until last night when she did a 180 on everything.

The unsullied, with the exception of Grey Worm, were still a faceless and mindless army of robot soldiers doing the bidding of their queen.  In some ways, they were no different than the Mountain.

They were there voluntarily. What are you trying to say about Daenerys here?

None of this foreshadows her killing massive numbers of people for no reason.

 

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1 hour ago, Hodor's Dragon said:

This doesn't make sense. She was raised by a Westerosi with Westerosi customs to speak the common tongue eloquently. The people who were utterly foreign to her were the slaves of Slaver's Bay who she sacrificed so much to elevate.

Ahem. Not really, no. As a child she lived with Ser Derry, yes. But that was the only Westerosi she knew, and he died when she was quite young. After that she hopped from free city to free city with ZERO contact with anyone from Westeros. At all. Yes, she speaks the common tongue but knows virtually nothing else of Westeros.

Yes, the Slaver's Bay people were utterly foreign. But once she got back to Westeros she learned that home wasn't home at all, and Westerosi were foreign to her as well.

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4 minutes ago, Hodor's Dragon said:

It's a 180 on her prior character. 

Regardless of "completely innocent" or not, what is very clear is that she has never hurt people for no reason.

Or "to be feared" as the only reason. That's kinda dumb, in fact. It's easy to make people fear you when you're a queen with a dragon. But it makes no sense for the fear to be random, i.e., you get toasted whether you're a good boy or a bad boy. You can make punishments harsh, you can do what Tywin did and extend it to the entire family. That makes people not just fear you but want to act on your behalf. Barbecuing random people just makes everybody want to avoid you.

It's not 180 degrees on her previous character. It's probably about 45 degrees on her previous character.  Veering off in a worse direction, rather than doing a U-Turn.

1. She kills her enemies horribly, from Season 1 onwards.   By burning them alive, locking them in a vault to stave, or crucifying them.

2. Some of those enemies may be innocent (like Hizdahr's father) or potentially innocent (like the nobleman who was fed to Drogon) or have some justification for their actions (like the Tarlys, or Mirri Maz Duur).  Most of her victims, though, have been arseholes (like Kraznys), or people we don't care about (eg random bystanders at Astapor).  Now, we see what happens when she uses her methods against people who are not arseholes.

3. She has frequently spoken of razing cities to the ground, (eg her pep-talk to the Dothraki after she killed the Khals) or her discussions with Tyrion at Meereen, and her advisors in Season 7 and 8.  She believes in collective punishment.  Up until now, she has been dissuaded.  And the upshot of being dissuaded from brining fire and blood to Kings Landing at the outset was that she lost two dragons, a large proportion of her armed forces, and her best friend.  She's lost out from playing nice.  Whereas she's always won in the past, by bringing fire and blood to her enemies.  She's run out of patience with bad advisers.

4. She's survived numerous assassination attempts, and has suffered  from traitors.  Doreah, Varys, Jorah (later forgiven) and (she fears) Jon and Tyrion have betrayed her.  Now is the time to instil a bit of terror in her subjects, and those who are close to her.

5. She's seen that in Westeros, she's viewed with indifference ranging to hostility.  If she can't be loved, then she'll be feared.  She realises that it's better to be feared than to be loved - but she overlooks the part about not being hated. 

Could this all have been better executed?  Yes, I think so.  But, I don't think her decision to burn part of Kings Landing has just arrived out of nowhere.

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1 hour ago, Hodor's Dragon said:

That's not a foreshadowing that Daenerys will kill innocent people. That ash could've been from a girl scout weenie roast for all we know.

32 minutes ago, SeanF said:

She doesn't see them as "completely innocent people".  She sees them as the people who sided with Cersei and are her enemies.  It's a horrible outlook, but one that many conquerors have displayed.

Look what the US did in Iraq. A million people died because a group of politicians decided they wanted to perform a demonstration of US power. See 'shock and awe'.

That is exactly what the books and the show are about. The planet is facing a global warming crisis and the likes of GWB and Saddam and Putin are playing petty power games. It is also what the Hunger Games are all about. Or did people miss the fact that General Coin was named after the COunter-INsurgency strategy?

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