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Daenerys: Analysis of psychology and foreshadowing

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6 minutes ago, btfu806 said:

But for the first time, she didn't do anything (yet) to earn respect of the people and so she snaps and murders them?

In her eyes, she did everything for them. She came to Westeros seeing herself as a savior, promising to free them from tyranny yet they didn't rise up. She went North and sacrificed so much to fight the Night King in defense of the people. Then she freed them from the ultimate tyrant in Cersei Lannister, but they still didn't praise her like the Mereneese slaves did. Of course, we can argue to the merits of each of these cases and whether her motivations were so selfless, but it's pretty clear that this is how she sees it. She gave these people everything yet they refuse to show her love-the only thing she truly wants-so she snaps.

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, The One Who Kneels said:

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. 

Exactly. This idea that Daeny hates the KL's inhabitants because they aren't trying to kill armed Lannister soldiers while locked in the city gates makes no sense.

Edited by tallTale

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2 minutes ago, The One Who Kneels said:

why isn't Daenerys beloved by King's Landing, at least in comparison to Cersei?

Now that's a great question. I had major problems with Cersei just sitting the throne after she blows up Game of Thrones Vatican + Pope. I guess we're supposed to believe the people of King's Landing believe in Cersei's word that a "foreign whore" with an army of "savages" is coming to pillage them, which I guess ended up being warranted in a weird circular way. 

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1 minute ago, Ygrain said:

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.

I mean people = viewers in that paragraph, not characters.

 

2 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

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 :-(

I agree it's not an answer you come up with at first watch. I was galled with the "what happened previously" when they used that final facial expression of Dany, while using things said by people who influenced her in the past, including ending with Viserys's "wake the dragon". Something similar would have been very nice when Dany awaits the never coming cheers from civilians a self-perceived liberator expects. But we don't get that. And so we must puzzle it out. And of course D&D have a habbit of using facial expressions without dialogue to make viewers guess and a lot of it never pans out.

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3 minutes ago, The One Who Kneels said:

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. 

I agree that it's poor writing that Cersei faces no opposition.  At the very least, they could have shown her soldiers frightening the population into line.

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Just now, Kobb said:

In her eyes, she did everything for them. She came to Westeros seeing herself as a savior, promising to free them from tyranny yet they didn't rise up. She went North and sacrificed so much to fight the Night King in defense of the people. Then she freed them from the ultimate tyrant in Cersei Lannister, but they still didn't praise her like the Mereneese slaves did. Of course, we can argue to the merits of each of these cases and whether her motivations were so selfless, but it's pretty clear that this is how she sees it. She gave these people everything yet they refuse to show her love-the only thing she truly wants-so she snaps.

When did she address the commonfolk of KL to let them know that she was freeing them?

I agree with the NK, and that's why northerners are now following her south to fight her war. She did something for them, they do something for her.

I don't see at any point where you can say, she did something for the commonfolk of KL and them actually realize she did it or was a part of it.

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27 minutes ago, TwiceBorn said:

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. 

 

A masterful analysis of Daenerys' emotional stability as affected by her history.  But was it ever said in the show that Daenerys was homeless from birth?  In the books, she had a stable home (well, at least as much as any home with Viserys can be stable) with a kindly father-figure, until that foster-father died when Dany was six and she and Viserys were thrown out in the street by the servants.  

I definitely remember both in the books and in the show that Dany was emotionally numb while watching Viserys die horribly.  She also told Tyrion in season 6 that she felt nothing after dumping Daario, a man who had shared her bed and who had offered her service and love - even if Dany didn't love Daario that much, a normal person might have felt some regret that their time together had ended, or regret at having hurt him.  

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2 minutes ago, SeanF said:

I agree that it's poor writing that Cersei faces no opposition.  At the very least, they could have shown her soldiers frightening the population into line.

Agreed. I guess D&D thought it was enough with the Mountain killing some people talking shit in pubs in one scene (but I think that was before the blowing up of the sept). All we know is that she blew up the sept in the finale of s6. And then in S7 people of KL cheer the capture of Yara, and the Dornish prisoners.

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2 minutes ago, Kobb said:

Now that's a great question. I had major problems with Cersei just sitting the throne after she blows up Game of Thrones Vatican + Pope. I guess we're supposed to believe the people of King's Landing believe in Cersei's word that a "foreign whore" with an army of "savages" is coming to pillage them, which I guess ended up being warranted in a weird circular way. 

Yes and we're supposed to believe that Daenery's sudden descent into murderous madness made sense too but stuff like this is why I can't buy it. 

If you want Dany to breakdown because she realizes she'll never be loved in Westeros then you have to give the audience an actual reason why she'll never be loved in Westeros. 

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2 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

Agreed. I guess D&D thought it was enough with the Mountain killing some people talking shit in pubs in one scene (but I think that was before the blowing up of the sept). All we know is that she blew up the sept in the finale of s6. And then in S7 people of KL cheer the capture of Yara, and the Dornish prisoners.

Hard to believe it's the same city where The Shepherd got a mob big enough to kill literal dragons.

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1 minute ago, Kobb said:

Hard to believe it's the same city where The Shepherd got a mob big enough to kill literal dragons.

They were little dragons, chained in the dragonpit, no?

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2 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

I mean people = viewers in that paragraph, not characters.

Ah. Well, I guess that counts for us, too - no remorse, evil in my book. It's not like I expect characters to never fuck up or snap and do not just questionable but outright horrible stuff, but how they feel about it when they come to is the deal breaker for me.

 

2 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

I agree it's not an answer you come up with at first watch. I was galled with the "what happened previously" when they used that final facial expression of Dany, while using things said by people who influenced her in the past, including ending with Viserys's "wake the dragon". Something similar would have been very nice when Dany awaits the never coming cheers from civilians a self-perceived liberator expects. But we don't get that. And so we must puzzle it out. And of course D&D have a habbit of using facial expressions without dialogue to make viewers guess and a lot of it never pans out.

Come to think of it, I think the whole love-craving Dany would come off much better and clearer if they let her restrain herself but just barely, spare the city, sit the IT, and then see everyone respond with mistrust and/or open hostility to anything she does (plus seeing Jon again being able to connect to people). That would make her victory indeed hollow, instead of lashing out on panicking, terrified smallfolk when the battle is not yet fully over.

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Just now, The One Who Kneels said:

If you want Dany to breakdown because she realizes she'll never be loved in Westeros then you have to give the audience an actual reason why she'll never be loved in Westeros.

It's not that she'll actually never be loved, it's that she believes that which is an important difference. She's already expressed that that's in her head with the conversation with Jon in Winterfell, and she's signposted what her (admittedly unrealistic) standard for that is by comparing the Mereneese to the people of KL. I certainly don't think it's impossible she'd be loved, but that's a character flaw and what makes it so tragic.

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1 minute ago, Ygrain said:

Come to think of it, I think the whole love-craving Dany would come off much better and clearer if they let her restrain herself but just barely, spare the city, sit the IT, and then see everyone respond with mistrust and/or open hostility to anything she does (plus seeing Jon again being able to connect to people). That would make her victory indeed hollow, instead of lashing out on panicking, terrified smallfolk when the battle is not yet fully over.

Well, there probably are some survivors still out there... like half of the Dothraki survived mysteriously. Let's wait and see what she will do to them next episode.

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2 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

They were little dragons, chained in the dragonpit, no?

Dreamfyre was full-size, though all the dragons were chained. Just the fact they got (I believe) thousands in a mob is what I'm pointing out.

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37 minutes ago, Ser Hedge said:

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.

Cersei actually looked relieved when the bells rang, to my mind--but I'm the viewer and Daenerys wouldn't have known that, and it has occurred to me that she may use the bells next episode to accuse Tyrion of treason. Even though the bells really were a universal signal for surrender in the city, she may, in her paranoia, have feared the bells were a trap, and this was the trigger for her snapping. 

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1 minute ago, Kobb said:

It's not that she'll actually never be loved, it's that she believes that which is an important difference. She's already expressed that that's in her head with the conversation with Jon in Winterfell, and she's signposted what her (admittedly unrealistic) standard for that is by comparing the Mereneese to the people of KL. I certainly don't think it's impossible she'd be loved, but that's a character flaw and what makes it so tragic.

This.

It's not that KL-ers couldn't end up loving her. It only matters for Dany's actions to understand what she believes, what she expects, what she desires, and how obviously something happened to her internally to decide that burning people fleeing her is in her mind justified.

We all agree that she's not cruel to people, unless she believes they are her enemies or don't give what she feels she's entitled to. So, how did the people in KL fail her? How could they be her enemies? The answer lies in the preceding scenes - what she tells Jon she believes of the people in Westeros, what she explains as her view when debating KL citizens with Tyrion. And it's bad, really bad.

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1 minute ago, Kobb said:

It's not that she'll actually never be loved, it's that she believes that which is an important difference. She's already expressed that that's in her head with the conversation with Jon in Winterfell, and she's signposted what her (admittedly unrealistic) standard for that is by comparing the Mereneese to the people of KL. I certainly don't think it's impossible she'd be loved, but that's a character flaw and what makes it so tragic.

And at Meereen did she just randomly show up, blow up the walls and have people immediately cheer for her? Or did she address the city in person (she never tries to say a word at King's Landing) and send agents into the city to rally the slaves to revolt? Why wasn't this attempted here? There should've been plenty of people in King's Landing willing to move against Cersei with a friendly army camped outside the walls. 

Are we now supposed to believe that Dany is just stupid or forgot what happened previously? That she really thinks "Uh-oh its two minutes into my sudden violent arrival on a dragon and they aren't cheering better burn them all!?"

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For me its fairly simple and has been building since episode one. Dany has been building herself up and giving herself a reason to rule from the beginning and in her head the fantasy would ring true. Only it hasn't and to rub it in her face she has first hand accounts of the person it is true for.

1. Dany believed that her and her brother were the last of the Targs and when Viserys died then she became the last Targ on the planet. This tbf was true for a long time and in terms of going to the Targaryen dynasty she was the last true ruler and heir to the throne. That's a lot for a thirteen year old girl to have thrust on her but she believed her own hype and for seven series she's been building that to a climax.

2. She believed she was destined for the throne. Even when Viserys is talking about his destiny you can see Dany thinking its her destiny as well. Not exactly how Viserys planned it out but Dany took his fate and made it her own. Her whole tennage/adult life has been all about one thing and that is taking the throne.

3. She wanted to be a good leader, the type of leader everyone loved and she conned herself into thinking she was going to come to Westeros with droves of people backing her, wanting her to come and save them from the tyranny they have been subjected to. Dany was going to be the savior of Westeros and the people were going to love her. Early seasons she communicates this and her victories in Essos only helped create in her own mind that no matter the problem their would be a solution and that it would result in her on the iron throne, beloved by all, savior of Westeros.

All these things aren't about her though, they are about Jon. Jon is also one of the two last living Targs, he is the true heir to the throne. Jon doesn't want the throne but people want him on it, he is a hero and by being humble he has the backing of Westeros, something Dany has never had. Mostly its Jon the hero that grates on Dany, he has had no designs on what Dany wants yet he is there and more successful at it that Dany, he has the blood, the rights, the backing and the love of the people and...……. he doesn't want it. He doesn't want any of it.

She wants to be Jon, Jon doesn't want to be her and if she can't be Jon well then she'll take what she wants by brutality. I think that snapped her when she heard the bells ring. She wanted Cersei to fight so she could save Westoros like a dragon riding hero, when that was gone she took it anyway.

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29 minutes ago, SeanF said:

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.

 

You're right, I forgot about Thebes, that was his big example to the Greeks to leave Macedonia be while he went off to war against Persia. It fits in with the general pattern that he wanted to make it very clear about the distinction between cities that capitulated vs cities that resisted. Establishing that pattern came in very handy during his foreign wars.

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