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Kajjo

Daenerys: Analysis of psychology and foreshadowing

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3 hours ago, a girl knows nothing said:

I think you provide a very compelling analysis of Dany’s actions and thought processes in this episode, but I would like to offer an alternative perspective to Dany snapping and becoming the mad queen.

Rather than snapping, I think Dany made a conscious decision to start her rule with a healthy dose of fear. She does not have the love or acceptance of the people, her advisors are disloyal, and Jons parentage (and the people’s preference for him) threatens her claim. She does not think she is likely to solidify her position by demonstrating her goodness, so she decides to use fear to establish her rule instead. Her words to Jon sum this up nicely: Let it be fear.

She and Drogon had arguably already terrified the people and soldiers in KL simply by taking out the Golden Company, defenses, and Iron fleet. At the point when the bells start to ring, Dany had to make a choice: stop her attack and demonstrate her goodness and caring for the people, or burn the city and its inhabitants and demonstrate how ruthless and dangerous she can be (to discourage future dissent). She chose the latter I believe because in her experience she has found fear (and using fire/her dragon) to be highly effective in achieving her goals and gaining respect and recognition as a powerful leader. Although her previous acts that have been deemed harsh, cruel, or ruthless (burning the Tarlys, burning the Khals, feeding one of the Masters of Mereen to her dragons) served other explicit purposes, they also had an underlying purpose of inspiring fear and demonstrating her power.

Throughout the show Dany has struggled not between sanity and madness, but with her conflicting desires (desire to be loved and desire for power) and the type of ruler she would be. When she first started out on her quest for the throne, she thought ruling would be much simpler than it turned out to be - if you are good to your people they will be good to you in return. She had lofty ideals of making the world a better place and breaking the wheel. In Mereen she first started to realize that it would not be so simple - some people are going to oppose your rule because they disagree with you. She learned that she would have to make hard decisions and punish dissenters if she wanted to maintain her rule. She still wanted so badly to be a good leader whose people loved her for her goodness, but once she got to Westeros this dream really started to fall apart. Despite her efforts to protect the realm from the white walkers, she is not seen as a benevolent savior. She does not have the love of the people, and she is viewed as a mistrusted outsider. And now there is Jon, with the better claim to the throne, and better support from the people.

When the bells started to ring, she said goodbye to her old self (the one who would never harm innocent people) and her old ideals and decided to embrace her ruthless side instead. By doing so she demonstrates the extent of her power and the lengths she is willing to go to solidify her rule. She is not to be messed with, so bend the knee.

This actually makes sense and I agree, I think the problem is that D and D didn't sell it well. They rushed things and made that transformation happen over two episodes.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, snow is the man said:

Then why TARGET the civilians. Again her burning the red keep down after the surrender in a fit of range would have made some sense and showed how she had changed and gone mad since she was willing to kill all those people in order to kill cersei. Instead she targets the civilians first and then hits the red keep as an after thought.

 

Also while she often resorted to fire and blood it was usually to an "understandable"  degree. Not saying I agree with her on them but even though some were brutal they made sense. The masters she killed in mereeden was brutal but made sense. Her exiling jorah even after he helped her made sense. Her burning the tarly's was brutal but  made sense this was just stupid and over the top because they wanted to have her go completly evil and to have the shock value. No other reason and it made no sense.

This is where I think the author is making his point.  It's not understandable, and the fact that your enemies are worse than you isn't an excuse for brutal tactics. for murder without trial, for collective punishment, for burning your enemies alive.  I'm glad this is his theme with her story, the means are always important, and once you start down the path of brutality because your enemy is 'evil' it gets easier and easier to be brutal against enemies who are less and less awful, which is exactly what happened.   She started with a desire to do good, she attempted to do good, but eventually she resorted and reverted to fire and blood and seeing everyone who doesn't support her as her enemy.  

I don't think she's really gone 'mad' she's just gone full Machiavelli, if they won't love me, they will fear me.  That isn't crazy, by any means, tyrants throughout history have adhered to this rule. 

Edited by Cas Stark

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1 minute ago, Sigella said:

Burning Kings Landing is a pretty rational choice given Dany's experiences in Slavers Bay and acute grief. She conquered Mereen "softly"* and her rule there was crumbling up until she actually really defeated them with dragons and dothraki. I suppose how long it took for the defenders to ring the bells reminded her of the Sons of the Harpy and what kind of rule she had to look forward to not actually really defeating them.

While watching the moment they finally ring the bells my gut feeling was "its a trap" so its not out of the realm of possibility that Dany thought so as well.

It wasn't Dany who tried to hide behind a human shield after aggressively provoking the enemy. Being goaded into cruelty is dumb, but if you think your life is on the line most of us would use brutality out of survival instinct and not by choice.

 

I keep thinking this must be the cruelest act by any Targ ever. Maegor, Aegon tC and Aerys doesn't touch this death toll. But if you take a close look at them their notabie deeds have patterns:

-Aegon I; burns thousands of soldiers in the field of fire and war against Dorne (soldiers and civilians) for building his iron throne and revenge for Rhaenys.

 -Maegor the Cruel; mass-murdered the builders who built the Red Keep and burnt the Sept of Remembrance (hundreds of builders and thousands of pious soldiers) for secrecy and security.

-Aerys; torturing people (anyone he could make an excuse to burn; all of Kings Landing included) to enjoy sadism and pyromania.

-Dany: burning half** the population of Kings Landing (soldiers and human shield-civilians) to get the iron throne and get revenge for her child and best friends.

Its obvious that she pairs with Aegon rather the others. Remember he burned every castle in Dorne at least once after they killed Rhaenys. Their motivations are the exact same. Wants to rule Westeros and avenge death. If Aegon tC wasn't mad she isn't either. Not yet at least. 

Aerys and Maegor differ markedly by their pettiness. Massmurder over some secret tunnels or torture because you get off on it is both sillyshly petty. Aerys did burn some who plotted against him and Maegor had a strong military opposition in the Sept, 

 

I would agree that pursuing the rule under the given circumstances constitutes a really crazy choice but lust for power doesn't make someone crazy in a real sense.

*I'm not saying crucifying people is soft - but that sad story was a Nürnberg trial medieval-style. The people crucified had themselves ordered the crucifixion of a hundred children for crying out loud, it's one of a few rare moral exceptions when a horrible brutal way of justice isn't as bad as doing nothing like. Can't imagine anyone who wants crucifiers of children going unpunished and I can't honestly blame anyone who takes excessive action against such either.

**Or by show makers death-logic this season say 5%. Or maybe they will subvert out expectations :ack: and make like she killed all of them? Exact number is beside the point anyway, one murdered civilian is bad enough.

No it doesn't make her like aegon. Dorne didn't surrender to him and while he did do "extra" burning after his wife died he had already been doing it and they never surrendered. This made no sense and was even beyond aerys

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1 minute ago, Cas Stark said:

This is where I think the author is making his point.  It's not understandable, and the fact that your enemies are worse than you isn't an excuse for brutal tactics. for murder without trial, for collective punishment, for burning your enemies alive.  I'm glad this is his theme with her story, the means are always important, and once you start down the path of brutality because your enemy is 'evil' it gets easier and easier to be brutal against enemies who are less and less awful, which is exactly what happened.   She started with a desire to do go, she attempted to do good, but eventually she resorted and reverted to fire and blood and seeing everyone who doesn't support her as her enemy.  

I don't think she's really gone 'mad' she's just gone full Machiavelli, if they won't love me, they will fear me.  That isn't crazy, by any means, tyrants throughout history have adhered to this rule. 

But this idea would have worked if after they surrendered she burned the red keep and all the people inside in order to kill cersei and end the conflict. The problem is that burning KL is over the top and completly insane and evil.

If she knows targ history she knows that now there is no way she will be acepted as queen.

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Just now, divica said:

But this idea would have worked if after they surrendered she burned the red keep and all the people inside in order to kill cersei and end the conflict. The problem is that burning KL is over the top and completly insane and evil.

If she knows targ history she knows that now there is no way she will be acepted as queen.

Sure, but that isn't the story he's telling, he's telling the story of Dany's downfall. At least in the show she could have taken KL and Cersei by waiting her out, tell the people to send out the queen and no one is harmed, but that isn't the story he's telling either.  So, instead, she snaps, she vents her rage that Westeros doesn't love her, it makes absolute sense once you realize that her story has been a tragedy all along, not a heroes journey.

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9 minutes ago, snow is the man said:

It makes no sense. And yeah i have said this makes her worse then aerys since he had lost and was doing a mixture of "I'll take you all with me" and a "if I can't have it nobody can". Dany had won. The iron fleet was gone and the lannister soldiers had given up and the golden company was decimated.

If she had attacked the red keep after the surrender in order to kill cersei in a fit of rage at the cost of the human shields that would have made some sense. This was just stupid and completly out of character.

I feels like the whole objective of these last 3 eps is to make danny evil and mad enough that someone has to kill her. IT feels rushed and completly forced!

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1 minute ago, Cas Stark said:

Sure, but that isn't the story he's telling, he's telling the story of Dany's downfall. At least in the show she could have taken KL and Cersei by waiting her out, tell the people to send out the queen and no one is harmed, but that isn't the story he's telling either.  So, instead, she snaps, she vents her rage that Westeros doesn't love her, it makes absolute sense once you realize that her story has been a tragedy all along, not a heroes journey.

She vents her rage by killing thousands upon thousands of innocents! I don t think there is a character this evil and mad in the intire of asoiaf universe!

I don t particular like danny, but sudenly making her one of the worst people in the story's universe? That just doesn t make sense no matter how you try to sell it.

There are much better ways to show danny's downfall and still use the same themes… And if the end was her downfall then a lot of her story should be rewritten!

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3 minutes ago, Queen‍‍‍‍‍‍ Alysanne‍‍™ said:

 I think the problem is that D and D didn't sell it well. They rushed things and made that transformation happen over two episodes.

They're apparently borrowing some pages from Ruin Johnson's book. I don't have a problem with Dany going mad or evil per se but this was too abrupt. Her previous actions, ruthless and entitled as they were, are still a long shot from slaughtering civilians at the point when they are surrendering. If she felt she was losing, or had freshly suffered another blow (Drogon wounded, Jon seemingly dead etc.), I could perfectly see her going berserk, but even with all the trauma of not being loved while losing the loved ones, I still don't see how she got there.

It was not quite as bad as Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi, but close. The woman who once ordered women and children not be harmed ended up burning women and children because...?

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49 minutes ago, Kajjo said:

Personally, I believe the actress showed as snapping, showed us emotions up to the limit.

I guess the difficulty I'm having with the idea of her snapping is that there was no immediate stimulus for her to have such a marked emotional response. She achieved what she wanted by winning the battle almost effortlessly. Although I do suppose what you mentioned earlier - she achieves her goal and her success feels hollow - in addition to the culmination of recent events could have led to her snapping at that moment, especially since she was likely still full of adrenaline and fury from attacking the golden company, iron fleet, etc.

49 minutes ago, Kajjo said:

However, for this being a deliberate decision, it is strange that she not only destroyed parts of King's Landing and killed very many soldiers and some civilians, but no she clearly targets civilians and intentionally kills young children, mothers, common folk. This goes beyond instilling fears.

She definitely went to extremes to instill fear by targeting innocent people, but if that was her conscious aim, I think she was trying to go overboard. As I mentioned in an earlier post, a dragon is scary. Seeing a dragon in action destroying defenses, taking out armies and ships is scarier. But a dragon burning innocent people and reducing a city to ashes, and a queen who is willing to take those actions is the most terrifying. Using the decimated Kings Landing as an example of her dangerous power and potential for ruthlessness would certainly discourage future dissenters more than simply defeating Cersei's armies.

49 minutes ago, Kajjo said:

That would be a real extreme. I still tend to believe in a mixture of actually wanting to instill fear, but snapping and overdoing it. What do you think?

I can appreciate both perspectives - that she did snap and become the mad queen, or that she made a cold and calculating decision to become a brutal queen.

I am curious to find out how Dany's actions were perceived by the other characters (apart from their WTF expressions). Will they see her as irrational and crazy? Or as deliberately evil and malicious? It will be interesting to see how she is portrayed in the next episode, as well as the others' interpretations.

 

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2 minutes ago, a girl knows nothing said:

I can appreciate both perspectives - that she did snap and become the mad queen, or that she made a cold and calculating decision to become a brutal queen.

 

So can I. We agree.

2 minutes ago, a girl knows nothing said:

Will they see her as irrational and crazy? Or as deliberately evil and malicious? It will be interesting to see how she is portrayed in the next episode, as well as the others' interpretations.

I am looking forward very much now to the final episode.

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2 minutes ago, a girl knows nothing said:

I am curious to find out how Dany's actions were perceived by the other characters (apart from their WTF expressions). Will they see her as irrational and crazy? Or as deliberately evil and malicious? It will be interesting to see how she is portrayed in the next episode, as well as the others' interpretations.

 

I suppose it will also largely depend on her own response to her action - if she shows no remorse, no shame.... If the way she reacted, or rather didn't, when she told Sam what she had done to his father and brother, is anything to go by, I'm afraid the scales will point towards "evil".

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Her advisors constantly refrain her from fire and blood conquer, especially tyrion.

Since season 6 they are reminding her that she cant arrive setting everything on fire and needs to attract the love of people.

The needs to remind someone from this particularly tells us something.

In The books this happens a Lot of times.

 The foreshadowing need to be subtle somehow for the shocking surprise. Even in The books i think we will get more explanation after than before It happens.

 

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13 minutes ago, a girl knows nothing said:

I guess the difficulty I'm having with the idea of her snapping is that there was no immediate stimulus for her to have such a marked emotional response. She achieved what she wanted by winning the battle almost effortlessly. Although I do suppose what you mentioned earlier - she achieves her goal and her success feels hollow - in addition to the culmination of recent events could have led to her snapping at that moment, especially since she was likely still full of adrenaline and fury from attacking the golden company, iron fleet, etc.

 

Here's the thing, you may be projecting normal psychological profile onto Dany. Whereas she's inbred and from a line of murderous tyrants. This might not be the most psychologically healthy person. And after having been established that she has grown to hate Westeros as a whole, why not dole out collective punishment at that point? Again, if we're dealing with someone who may be prone to this type behavior due to genetics.

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3 hours ago, Hodor's Dragon said:

That thought process would be insane. When else did she see innocent people as guilty and harm them for no reason?

 

no other time because at no other point has her family been torn from their home and either killed or packed off to a foreign land so there is nothing to compare it to.

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1 minute ago, Cas Stark said:

This is where I think the author is making his point.  It's not understandable, and the fact that your enemies are worse than you isn't an excuse for brutal tactics. for murder without trial, for collective punishment, for burning your enemies alive.  I'm glad this is his theme with her story, the means are always important, and once you start down the path of brutality because your enemy is 'evil' it gets easier and easier to be brutal against enemies who are less and less awful, which is exactly what happened.   She started with a desire to do go, she attempted to do good, but eventually she resorted and reverted to fire and blood and seeing everyone who doesn't support her as her enemy.  

I don't think she's really gone 'mad' she's just gone full Machiavelli, if they won't love me, they will fear me.  That isn't crazy, by any means, tyrants throughout history have adhered to this rule. 

No no it doesn't. If she had burned down the red keep and the civilians in it she would have achieved that fear. This mad no sense and wasn't just "justifying" it because she had done brutal things before. This was " LOOK SHE IS MAD LOOK SHE IS KILLING ALL THOSE INNOCECNT PEOPLE"  The obvious point of this being stupid is her hitting the civilians first and THEN going after cersei in the red keep. I usually try to find excuses for the writers and show runners even when they do horrible things that make no sense.

 

I could understand jaime teleporting to kings landing so he could be with cersei because while the teleporting makes no sense I get why they did it and it makes sense for his character to do it. The mountain becoming unkillable or close to it. Sure I get it to a degree. However to completly ruin a character like this who is such a big character and do it like this..no the show runners should be kept away from all tv shows,movies,and books.

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47 minutes ago, divica said:

And the people in KL surrendered to her! they became her people!

The armies surrendered, and the people did not come out of their houses waving flags, cheering her home, nor lifting cups to toast her. Thereby proving they didn't want her as their queen. No Meesha.

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1 minute ago, sweetsunray said:

The armies surrendered, and the people did not come out of their houses waving flags, cheering her home, nor lifting cups to toast her. Thereby proving they didn't want her as their queen. No Meesha.

This is the important point that keeps getting glossed over. Dany won the battle but that's not what her goal was. It was her last chance and opportunity to finally be faced with the love she inspired in adventures before Westeros. What else can she do? In her view, she's saved the realm from certain death in the North and liberated King's Landing from a tyrant. Her war is won, but she doesn't have what she desires. There's nothing else she can do and the reality of that hits her and pushes her to the breaking point.

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1 hour ago, Hodor's Dragon said:

Harsh punishment: yes, she's done harsh punishment, but always for a reason.

Talked about razing cities, other harsh stuff? Yeah, she's used threats to get what she wanted.

What she has never done is kill people for no reason. That's the crux of the matter. She killed massive numbers of people, and made the rest of the city's population homeless with nowhere to go, and she did it for no reason other than "to be feared," which is an objective that could be achieved much more effectively by less destructive means.

That's a 180. It's the difference between good and evil, too, which is what makes it hard to swallow.

She did have a reason.  She wanted revenge on the people who had defied her.  You and I are in agreement that the Smallfolk of Kings Landing did not deserve to be the targets of her revenge, but she saw it differently.  And, nor is this a sign of madness. Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, Timur, Babur, would have done likewise, had they possessed a dragon.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Kobb said:

This is the important point that keeps getting glossed over. Dany won the battle but that's not what her goal was. It was her last chance and opportunity to finally be faced with the love she inspired in adventures before Westeros. What else can she do? In her view, she's saved the realm from certain death in the North and liberated King's Landing from a tyrant. Her war is won, but she doesn't have what she desires. There's nothing else she can do and the reality of that hits her and pushes her to the breaking point.

The people didn’t come out because they were understandably still scared shitless from the fighting. That has nothing to do with daeny snappinng. 

Edited by tallTale

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1 minute ago, SeanF said:

She did have a reason.  She wanted revenge on the people who had defied her.  You and I are in agreement that the Smallfolk of Kings Landing did not deserve to be the targets of her revenge, but she saw it differently.  And, nor is this a sign of madness. Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, Timur, Babur, would have done likewise, had they possessed a dragon.

Exactly.  People are acting like the idea of reducing a city to ruin as a conqueror is something they've never heard of, it's not 'mad' or 'insane' it makes her a tyrant, like many before her.  Her initial idealism has died, replaced with a love me or fear me attitude, she has erased shades grey for herself and now sees black and white.  

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