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Kajjo

Daenerys: Analysis of psychology and foreshadowing

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14 minutes ago, Westerosi said:

I wholeheartedly agree. 

Exatly she has been a champion of the common people and now she does a 180 for no reason. There is no logic for this and it killed her character. It was purely for shock value and to make  her as unforgivable as possible

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9 minutes ago, Hoo said:

No it was not bad writing.  This absolutely had to happen and they did great.  

When the bell rang she stopped and contemplated.  It was not enough that the bell rang.  Perceptions had to changed, business as usual had to be changed where someone takes the throne and Westeros goes on about there merry life. 

Getting them and the viewer to understand there will never be another war was the point.

She could've taken the throne without the added destruction, and fkers would keep plotting for wars. And then in S9E5 she would've had to burn down Vale or some other place.

This was about bringing endgame to the screen and it had to be done.

And juxtaposing this event against a war waged to SAVE all these people from the White Walkers ads a bit of irony.  Perhaps she was pissed that so many of her people died to save a South that doesn't really care who rules them....?

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1 minute ago, tallTale said:

Well, she lost her husband and son and that didn’t push her to madness, but miss sandy dies and all bets are off ! 

Here's a running tally of everything Danaerys lost/is confronted with over this season:

  • Has to fight her child who was brought back from the dead
  • Watches nearly her entire Dothraki force who she brought all the way from their homeland evaporate
  • Loses her most trusted advisor and the only person who'd been with her from the start
  • Despite this sacrifice she is still distrusted and disliked by the North
  • Has her entire identity shattered by discovering the man she loves has a better claim than she does
  • It becomes obvious to her that her lover is the only Kingly person in the eyes of Westerosi people
  • Loses another one of her children
  • Has her remaining fleet shattered
  • Watches her dearest friend get executed
  • Is betrayed (in her eyes) by her only remaining allies when Jon, Tyrion, and Varys share Jon's parentage
  • Her Master of Whisperers plots treason against her
  • Her love rejects her
  • She finally wins the war for the Seven Kingdoms, but doesn't get what she wanted the whole time: the love of the people, recognizing it's Jon who's receiving this

And of course, all of this builds on losing Drogo, Viserion, and Vyserys in previous seasons. All of it amounted to failure in the end. It's compounding.

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38 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

The soldiers threw down their arms long before the bells were rung. She's already waiting at the city wall then. Then she shouts come to ring the bells. She waits and watches. Then the bells ring. She should expect by this time people coming out crying her name by Tyrion's reasoning. She doesn't. It's just the bells and silence otherwise. You see her face falter before we get her focus on the red keep and her face sets with anger again. It's in that faltering moment she realises that the people aren't Cersei's hostages as Tyrion reasoned. Then she becomes angry, as she focuses on the red keep. She sets off on Drogon, and then we get a shot of people running, fleeing before her, just verifying what she already knows in her heart ('they don't want her'), just like they didn't want her in the North. And she starts to burn the people fleeing.

that's a real Inside the Epsiode!

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Just now, Kobb said:

Here's a running tally of everything Danaerys lost/is confronted with over this season:

  • Has to fight her child who was brought back from the dead
  • Watches nearly her entire Dothraki force who she brought all the way from their homeland evaporate
  • Loses her most trusted advisor and the only person who'd been with her from the start
  • Despite this sacrifice she is still distrusted and disliked by the North
  • Has her entire identity shattered by discovering the man she loves has a better claim than she does
  • It becomes obvious to her that her lover is the only Kingly person in the eyes of Westerosi people
  • Loses another one of her children
  • Has her remaining fleet shattered
  • Watches her dearest friend get executed
  • Is betrayed (in her eyes) by her only remaining allies when Jon, Tyrion, and Varys share Jon's parentage
  • Her Master of Whisperers plots treason against her
  • Her love rejects her
  • She finally wins the war for the Seven Kingdoms, but doesn't get what she wanted the whole time: the love of the people, recognizing it's Jon who's receiving this

And of course, all of this builds on losing Drogo, Viserion, and Vyserys in previous seasons. All of it amounted to failure in the end. It's compounding.

She’s always dealt with hardships and difficult enemies and yet ended up stronger because of it. Until now because weak plot.

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2 hours ago, Kajjo said:

First of all, thank you very much for discussing so reasonable and thoughtfully, instead of all this whining, moaning and hating. I really appreciate your seriousness and your thoughts.

Right.

The Dany file:

Background:
Patient is from pathological family. Her parents were forced into incestuous marriage. Father strongly neurotic, developed obsessive-compulsive, paranoid and sadistic behaviors. Mother was a constant victim of mental, physical and sexual abuse. She died at childbirth which induced trauma upon brother (Viserys) and possibly results in survivor's guilt in patient.

Genetics:
The family has a strong and lasting genetic stain of mental instability, which culminated in her father. Both brothers displayed signs of mental problems: Rhaegar was estranged and obsessive, Viserys narcisstic and sadistic.

Childhood:
On the run and homeless ever since she was born. Mentally, physically and sexually assaulted by her own brother.

Adulthood:
Arranged marriage at very young age, forcefully consummated, induces a trauma. Creates coping mechanisms to deal with physical and mental traumas. Emotionally numb while witnessing her brother's violent demise. Husband dies in tragic circumstances which leads to miscarriage - inducing guilt. Abandoned, betrayed even by the people she trusted and befriended, humiliated, suffers from sexual objectification. Suffers staggering personal loses while fighting battles she can barely win - strengthening the feeling of isolation and survivor's guilt. Is drawn to people who share some of her experiences but cannot fully trust others, thus struggles in social life and personal relationships.

Diagnosis:

- Depression, anxiety, loneliness

- Impulsive, prone to mood swings

- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

- Increased probability of developing more acute symptoms: including paranoia, borderline personality disorder, narcissism perhaps even sociopathy. 

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The sloppy, confusing, lazy writing that has been in evidence throughout the last few seasons and reached new heights in this one means we cannot clearly strip out what exactly was intended and what was just (typically) bad execution with the Ds' penchant to go for the shocking. But let me try.

Who was to say the bells were not yet another trick? So, someone got into a belltower and rang a bell - so what? How does that make sure Cersei has agreed to stop fighting? So, I wouldn't make much of the bells going off. Totally irrelevant, really.

The repeat strafing of small folk on the other hand, I just do not get. Maybe she didn't see that a lot of Lannister soldiers had surrendered - fog of war, fine. Maybe, she didn't do enough to stop her troops from pillaging - unfortunately happens. Alexander the Great allowed Thebes to be sacked. But, coming back repeatedly to specifically burn fleeing smallfolk? That's more than just Blood & Fire - look I'm not Ned or Robb Stark, I've learnt how this game is played - business as usual conquering, but a complete ruination of the character's arc. Everything short of those repeat bomb runs to specifically take out what after a point was only smallfolk, with no soldiers taking cover amongst them, still fits into Dany the conqueror who wished she had listened to Olenna at the beginning of S7.

It's exactly these fire bomb runs after the Lannister troops had clearly been defeated that are completely at odds with Dany's arc in Essos.

 

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Just now, tallTale said:

She’s always dealt with hardships and difficult enemies and yet ended up stronger because of it. Until now because weak plot.

Until she failed. Her character has flaws and nuance, like every other one. Cersei has remained cold and calculating from the start, until she lost. Arya's been completely hell-bent on revenge, until she wasn't. Ser Gregor won every fight he was in, until he didn't. Silly to expect that because "welp she got through bad stuff before!" she must be able to process all of those things and not snap. That temper has always been there, and it got pushed to the extreme.

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13 minutes ago, Kobb said:

The show hasn't shown Danaerys go this far, but it has consistently shown she has a terrible temper and is quick to jump to irrational decisions when angry. It's the counsel of the wise people around her (Selmy, Jorah, Tyrion, Varys, Jon) that keeps her from doing this.

What we've never seen is Dany pushed this far. Nothing about this situation is typical, given everything she's been through recently. Sure, Dany has never been shown to murder civilians, but she's been shown to have a temper and this situation is clearly far more extreme than anything she's ever endured before. Of course her reaction also has to be unprecedented to properly match it.

From a character arc point-of-view it could have made sense, if Kings Landing wasn't surrendering to her. If the civilians had been attacking her forces or Cersei had used the bells as a part of a wild-fire trap against Daenerys' armies or something like that.

But she was winning. For once, her advisors had actually made a successful plan. The Iron Throne was within her grasp.

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3 minutes ago, Kobb said:

Until she failed. Her character has flaws and nuance, like every other one. Cersei has remained cold and calculating from the start, until she lost. Arya's been completely hell-bent on revenge, until she wasn't. Ser Gregor won every fight he was in, until he didn't. Silly to expect that because "welp she got through bad stuff before!" she must be able to process all of those things and not snap. That temper has always been there, and it got pushed to the extreme.

But she didn’t fail. The battle was over.

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2 minutes ago, Zumbs said:

The Iron Throne was within her grasp.

I think this is part of why she snapped. Sure, she won the throne, but that wasn't really what she wanted. She dreamed of the smallfolk with Targaryen banners exalting her return.

Quote

LLYRIO: It won’t be long now. Soon you will cross the Narrow Sea and take back your father’s throne. The people drink secret toasts to your health. They cry out for their true king.

She directly expressed to Jon just one episode ago how the people of Westeros don't look at her that way, only towards Jon. The Throne doesn't matter, what she wants is to be seen and wanted as the queen. Otherwise she's no better than Cersei. So when she takes the Iron Throne, but the people remain unstirred, she's completely exhausted her options and accepts the finality of it. There's nothing else she can do to earn the love of the people, she'll never achieve her goal and she snaps.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, tallTale said:

But she didn’t fail. The battle was over.

Her conversation with Jon last episode makes it clear her goal isn't a military victory -- that much is basically confirmed. She wants to be seen as queen like the Mhysa scenes in Meeren. Despite taking the Iron Throne and being successful in that sense, her failure is in coping with the fact that she'll never achieve her true goal of being a beloved queen in the eyes of the people. It's an internal failure I'm talking about, to recognize her temper/madness and choose a more peaceful path. As a certain writer might put it, the human heart in conflict with itself.

Edited by Kobb

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1 hour 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.

1. The smallfolk of King's Landing didn't defy her.

2. I'm not aware of any dialogue, scene or anything else that sent the message "Dany wants revenge against the residents of King's Landing." For what? Where do you get that?

3. When I say "reason," I mean "logical reason." Dany always acted with a logical reason. Even if your theory is correct and she torched KL for revenge, that's not when I mean when I talk about her and say she always acted with a reason. I this whole long damn story, she never killed anybody without a good, logical reason. Suddenly she loses her cherry on that about 800,000 times in 15 minutes? Not buying it.

It just so happens I have been reading a lot about Alexander the Great lately. For starters, he was about 1600 years before the historical period ASOIAF is based on, and although times hadn't changed that radically, they had changed somewhat and sacking/destroying cities was a little more looked down on by War of the Roses times.

Still, Alexander never burned cities down or put the entire population to the sword. Perhaps the closest he came was with Tyre, which delayed him for a long time with a very difficult siege. He executed about 20% of the population and packed about 75% of the remainder off into slavery. He spared several thousand citizens and soldiers who crammed themselves into a temple and claimed sancturary. He did not raze Tyre or any other cities I'm aware of.

When cities surrendered to him, he would cut a generous deal and usually leave the same people in charge, but reporting to him. When cities mounted a defense, he would negotiate and give pretty good terms if they surrendered. If he had to storm the walls or conduct a siege he would enact punishment, but it was often confined or primarily confined to the leaders. The more difficult it was for him to affect capture, the harsher would be his punitive measures.

You could probably fairly sum him up by saying he used ruthlessness and violence as tools, but his preference was to come to agreement. IOW, he believed in using carrots and sticks. He treated captured cities under his command fairly, and took steps to integrate them into a Hellenic government and way of life.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Zumbs said:

From a character arc point-of-view it could have made sense, if Kings Landing wasn't surrendering to her. If the civilians had been attacking her forces or Cersei had used the bells as a part of a wild-fire trap against Daenerys' armies or something like that.

But she was winning. For once, her advisors had actually made a successful plan. The Iron Throne was within her grasp.

No, that wouldn't work, because then people would justify and defend her decision, because they would see those civilians as her enemies and rebels.

Here we have a situation where she regards civilians as enemies, exactly because they surrender, but do not cheer her and instead flee her. It's incredibly twisted. But hey, even then still people try to defend it with "oh, maybe she knows it's a trick, a set-up". WTF cares whether Tyrion intended to trick her. You can clearly hear women shouting to ring the bells. You see soldiers laying down their arms. And people flee. She BURNS women and children fleeing in the street, away from her. That's their crime. That they're scared of her, and not of Cersei. 

Is there precedent for this warped interpretation by Dany, leading up to it? There certainly is in s8. It's set up in s1 with Illyrio. It's set up in Mereen, with the Mysha stuff (people made her feel loved, and she loved that). It's set up in Qarth in S2.

Edited by sweetsunray

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2 minutes ago, Kobb said:

Her conversation with Jon last episode makes it clear her goal isn't a military victory -- that much is basically confirmed. She wants to be seen as queen like the Mhysa scenes in Meeren. Despite taking the Iron Throne and being successful in that sense, her failure is in coping with the fact that she'll never achieve her true goal of being a beloved queen in the eyes of the people. It's an internal failure I'm talking about, to recognize her temper/madness and choose a more peaceful path. As a certain writer might put it, the human heart in conflict with itself.

So she kills everyone because she wasn't liked enough?

We were reminded constantly how much she did for the people of different cities, how she freed them and earned their respect and that's why they are following her to an entirely different continent. Why they trust her with their lives. But for the first time, she didn't do anything (yet) to earn respect of the people and so she snaps and murders them?

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

1. The smallfolk of King's Landing didn't defy her.

2. I'm not aware of any dialogue, scene or anything else that sent the message "Dany wants revenge against the residents of King's Landing." For what? Where do you get that?

3. When I say "reason," I mean "logical reason." Dany always acted with a logical reason. Even if your theory is correct and she torched KL for revenge, that's not when I mean when I talk about her and say she always acted with a reason. I this whole long damn story, she never killed anybody without a good, logical reason. Suddenly she loses her cherry on that about 800,000 times in 15 minutes? Not buying it.

It just so happens I have been reading a lot about Alexander the Great lately. For starters, he was about 1600 years before the historical period ASOIAF is based on, and although times hadn't changed that radically, they had changed somewhat and sacking/destroying cities was a little more looked down on by War of the Roses times.

Still, Alexander never burned cities down or put the entire population to the sword. Perhaps the closest he came was with Tyre, which delayed him for a long time with a very difficult siege. He executed about 20% of the population and packed about 75% of the remainder off into slavery. He spared several thousand citizens and soldiers who crammed themselves into a temple and claimed sancturary. He did not raze Tyre or any other cities I'm aware of.

When cities surrendered to him, he would cut a generous deal and usually leave the same people in charge, but reporting to him. When cities mounted a defense, he would negotiate and give pretty good terms if they surrendered. If he had to storm the walls or conduct a siege he would enact punishment, but it was often confined or primarily confined to the leaders. The more difficult it was for him to affect capture, the harsher would be his punitive measures.

You could probably fairly sum him up by saying he used ruthlessness and violence as tools, but his preference was to come to agreement. IOW, he believed in using carrots and sticks. He treated captured cities under his command fairly, and took steps to integrate them into a Hellenic government and way of life.

Actually, it is raised in the War Council, before the fight starts. .  Tyrion points out that she spared the Meereenese when she took the city.  She replies that, unlike the inhabitants of Kings Landing, they rose up in her favour.  Tyrion then urges her to accept that the inhabitants of Kings Landing were only following Cersei out of fear.  She pretended to agree, but her actions belied that.

WRT Alexander, he burned Thebes to the ground, and sold the survivors into slavery.  And, that was a *Greek* city.  But, yes, if Cersei had offered immediate surrender, she would not have sacked the city.  Instead, Cersei executed her best friend  in front of her, and sealed the city's fate.

 

Edited by SeanF

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8 minutes ago, Kobb said:

I think this is part of why she snapped. Sure, she won the throne, but that wasn't really what she wanted. She dreamed of the smallfolk with Targaryen banners exalting her return.

She directly expressed to Jon just one episode ago how the people of Westeros don't look at her that way, only towards Jon. The Throne doesn't matter, what she wants is to be seen and wanted as the queen. Otherwise she's no better than Cersei. So when she takes the Iron Throne, but the people remain unstirred, she's completely exhausted her options and accepts the finality of it. There's nothing else she can do to earn the love of the people, she'll never achieve her goal and she snaps.

Good finds :-)

Didn't she scold Jorah with Illyrios words in the second season, though? Implying that she had grown beyond it? Naturally, as you note, the experience of liberating Meeren could have gotten her hopes up. And even though she did save Westeros, it quickly became abundantly clear that no one was going to cheer her. Still, burning an entire city to the ground because its people aren't cheering the conquering army is crazy in a way that I don't find to be consistent with her character as we have seen it develop.

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2 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

No, that wouldn't work, because then people would justify and defense her decision, because they would see those civilians as her enemies and rebels.

That would be justifiable only to a degree, as it would put her on the same level with Joffrey and Cersei, and it would be the right missing link between her previous rash and harsh punishments - weaker and weaker justifications of punishments getting way out of proportion.

Plus, it would make the reactions of the other characters more interesting - if she has gone 100% dark side, what other options do the good guys have but to oppose her? Whereas, if there was some level of justification still possible, everyone needn't turn on her just yet.

2 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

Here we have a situation where she regards civilians as enemies, exactly because they surrender, but do not cheer her and instead flee her. It's incredibly twisted. But hey, even then still people try to defend it with "oh, maybe she knows it's a trick, a set-up". WTF cares whether Tyrion intended to trick her. You can clearly hear women shouting to ring the bells. You see soldiers laying down their arms. And people flee. She BURNS women and children fleeing in the street, away from her. That's their crime. That they're scared of her, and not of Cersei. 

If only that translated onto the screen.... were it written on-page, I suppose it would be very believable. Through a solely visual medium, not so much :-(

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5 minutes ago, Kobb said:

Her conversation with Jon last episode makes it clear her goal isn't a military victory -- that much is basically confirmed. She wants to be seen as queen like the Mhysa scenes in Meeren. Despite taking the Iron Throne and being successful in that sense, her failure is in coping with the fact that she'll never achieve her true goal of being a beloved queen in the eyes of the people. It's an internal failure I'm talking about, to recognize her temper/madness and choose a more peaceful path. As a certain writer might put it, the human heart in conflict with itself.

But this just opens a bigger can of worms: why isn't Daenerys beloved by King's Landing, at least in comparison to Cersei? Daenery's father was a monster but the smallfolk don't know he planned to burn them all. It was Cersei's father who brutally sacked their city. Daenerys didn't blow up the Sept of Baelor and murder hundreds (thousands?) of people including beloved Queen Margaery and the head of their religion. Daenerys didn't usurp the throne with zero claim. Daenerys doesn't have a zombie bodyguard who murders smallfolk for insulting her. Daenerys wasn't paraded naked through the streets. Daenerys isn't widely (and correctly) suspected of fucking her brother and producing illegitimate incest babies who triggered the War of the Five Kings. 

The people of King's Landing should've absolutely been pro-Daenerys (or at least vehemently anti-Cersei) they just aren't for no reason other than the writers wanted it that way. 

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