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Kajjo

Daenerys: Analysis of psychology and foreshadowing

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4 hours ago, starklover said:

its very believable. you also forgot two of her "kids" and two of her friends dying in front of her. she also brainwashed by her brother.

Thank you. And yes, she lost the two dragons as well and she was brought up with this stupid nonsense about Westeros waiting for Targaryens to rule again, the wrong birthright and the wannabe-King/Queen delusion.

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3 hours ago, Gertrude said:

OK, I ask you to consider this.

I saw someone postulate a more believable scene. Rhaegal is still alive to begin the battle. Jon is not allowed to ride because she doesn't trust him. During the opening dragon salvo, Rhaegal is taken down by one of the scorpions on the wall. The people in the city cheer. This gives her a direct reason to snap and take out all of her frustrations and disappointments on the people of the city.

Yeah, that would have been totally believable, and it would still be an evil act that she would have to answer for.

3 hours ago, Gertrude said:

I think that makes it more believable and understandable. I'm not arguing that the foreshadowing and build up wasn't there. The previously on made sure to show she was on the edge, mixing dragon talk with Jorah saying she had a gentle heart, etc. Good and bad - she has a choice to make which side to give into. Having her attack a surrendered city is lazy writing. That's my complaint. If she went directly for the Red Keep - sure, I could have gotten behind that. Perhaps she accidentally sets off wildfire while doing so and that sets off a chain reaction that spirals out of control. At that point, we're still not entirely sure what her decision was, but next episode can tell us how she reacts to that and what direction she takes it.

Dany deciding that the innocent citizens of KL need to die because she is lonely and hurt is just lazy. That's all.

There is some buildup, but for such a profound character change, absolutely insufficient.

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2 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

but for such a profound character change

There was no profound change. My goodness, stop it. It was all there, all the time.

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26 minutes ago, Kajjo said:

There was no profound change. My goodness, stop it. It was all there, all the time.

Did you even read my response? We're not arguing that it wasn't there. We're arguing that the writing pretty much took the easy way out and gave us just enough to get there without taking the time to actually tell a good story. That's what we want - a good story. D&D have written some great scenes and dialog in the past. They can do it if they want. They aren't doing that anymore so this powerful story is falling flat. Are we not allowed to dislike that aspect of the show?

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Posted (edited)

At the end of the day, this is a massive failure on the part of the writers (specifically D&D).

 

On top of what everybody else has repeated again and again, I'd say Dany also has evidence to believe that if she gains the throne, she will immediately be betrayed and deposed.  Every Westerosi she's met so far has betrayed her...why would it stop once she had an even higher profile?

 

But going back to my first sentence, Book!Dany was always headed this way.  She gets considerably more ruthless with each book and her ADWD arc is entirely about trying to learn to rule instead of conquer and how it goes against her nature.  She fails, her dragons stop growing, her targ heritage even rebels against her with dragon dreams and desires for blood and fire.  By the end of ADWD she's clearly on the path of carnage.

 

The showrunners wanted her to stay likable too long.  They showed flashes of this behaviour and then immediately reverted her character growth to make her sweet again.  They've done this weird one step forward, two steps back sort of character development with tons of characters (none more obvious than Jaime).

 

But they wanted to match Goerge's ending and Dany didn't feel like she'd taken a dark enough turn.  What to do?  You can tell they had no idea how to get her into the mental state she needed to be in, so they threw every possible reason they could think of into the mix (spurned by a lover, children die, betrayed by a child, friends murdered, political schemes and betrayal, mean girl bullying, etc) and then in the 'previously on' segment, they overlayed every bit of dialog from 7 seasons related to targs going mad, as if to suggest she was 'mad' since birth and they were too dumb to show it.  It's very clear they threw every idea they had at it, but knew it still didn't add up.  "We gave her 12 reasons to go 'mad', plus...you know...God flipped a coin earlier" is the flimsiest writing I can imagine for something like this.  It is not a convincing argument.

 

I like this arc for Dany.  The execution was unfortunate (they did do a lot to her in the limited screentime though...still wasn't enough).

 

This post is already quite long, but I also wanted to point out that Tyrion is a BIG part of why this fell flat.  Most fans don't like Tyrion's dark turn in the books, but it's clear that he will play a huge role in pushing Dany to kill everybody.  He hates Cersei, loves dragons and hates the people of King's Landing since their treatment of him at his trial.  The show made the same mistake of wanting to keep him kind so he could continue to be a fan favourite.  This only weakened the obvious external forces to Dany burning everybody.  Instead of her advisors egging her on, we have them trying to temper her aggression non-stop.

Edited by Wingednosering

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3 hours ago, Kajjo said:

There was no profound change. My goodness, stop it. It was all there, all the time.

If it was there, there wouldn't be an internet exploding with "OMG, they destroyed Dany".

What was there and what she did is about as related as a couple of sparkles and a blazing city. The former can lead to the latter but a sizeable portion in between is missing. The execution of Dany's downfall fell short, and it fell short because it failed to convey what the hell it was that made her go fire and blood at THAT particular moment when she was actually winning. Yes, she had shown ruthlessness before. Yes, she was emotionally at a bad place. But back at Astapor, she protected even the slavers' wives and children, whereas now she burns her own subjects, women and children. The ones she had fought to protect from the Night King. If that does not qualify as a profound change, I really don't know what else might.

If the people had been cheering at her loss(es). If they had booed when she tried to talk to them. If they had mocked her, rejected her... But no, now she burns cities because she wants to burn cities. 

3 minutes ago, Wingednosering said:

But going back to my first sentence, Book!Dany was always headed this way.  She gets considerably more ruthless with each book and her ADWD arc is entirely about trying to learn to rule instead of conquer and how it goes against her nature.  She fails, her dragons stop growing, her targ heritage even rebels against her with dragon dreams and desires for blood and fire.  By the end of ADWD she's clearly on the path of carnage.

Agreed, and I wouldn't be surprised in the least if the first thing Book!Dany does when she comes back is burn Meereen because she's bloody fed up with it and her best efforts had been spat on (and I hope Vis is toast, too)

3 minutes ago, Wingednosering said:

The showrunners wanted her to stay likable too long.  They showed flashes of this behaviour and then immediately reverted her character growth to make her sweet again.  They've done this weird one step forward, two steps back sort of character development with tons of characters (none more obvious than Jaime).

Yep. She became more bitchy and entitled ever since she got back to Westeros but that was it.

3 minutes ago, Wingednosering said:

But they wanted to match Goerge's ending and Dany didn't feel like she'd taken a dark enough turn.  What to do?  You can tell they had no idea how to get her into the mental state she needed to be in, so they threw every possible reason they could think of into the mix (spurned by a lover, children die, betrayed by a child, friends murdered, political schemes and betrayal, mean girl bullying, etc) and then in the 'previously on' segment, they overlayed every bit of dialog from 7 seasons related to targs going mad, as if to suggest she was 'mad' since birth and they were too dumb to show it.  It's very clear they threw every idea they had at it, but knew it still didn't add up.

That bit about Targaryen madness was excessive, one doesn't need to suffer from a family baggage to break down under emotional stress. With all the components they threw in, all it took was to time and connect the shit properly. Drop the stupid "forgotten fleet" subplot, send in an assassin after Dany and let Missandei take a shot for her. When Dany arrives at KL, let her and Rhaegal destroy the fleet but then Rhaegal is shot and goes down (with or without Jon), to the cheering of the citizens. Dany goes bersek, burns the ballistas and a part of the city, the bells start ringing for surrender. She pauses in her attack, turns to look at Rhaegal's corpse floating on the water (Jon's survival unknown), decides to continue. Crystal clear why she did it, and it is still inexcusable.

 

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The Targs are a normal family. Nobody would have thought Dany is doomed to go crazy either in the book or in the show, both in and out of universe, if not for the dumb "Targaryens are either mad or brilliant" family train GRRM gave them which is hammered home all the time. So this "psychological analysis" is a waste of time.

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40 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

If it was there, there wouldn't be an internet exploding with "OMG, they destroyed Dany".

Well, the common fanboys are not a suitable measure for serious storylines. Of course there were so many fanboy of Dany and all of them are devastated that their homely Hollywood-soap happy ending was canceled. They simply paid no attention to the show.

Yes, it is a bit rushed, I agree. But the foreshadowing was there and whoever paid attention could predict it. There was discussion about this since YEARS. Be honest about it. These theories are not new. They have several valid arguments since many seasons.

3 hours ago, Gertrude said:

We're arguing that the writing pretty much took the easy way out and gave us just enough to get there without taking the time to actually tell a good story.

I agree with that mostly.

3 hours ago, Gertrude said:

so this powerful story is falling flat. Are we not allowed to dislike that aspect of the show?

Of course you are. Whine about it. I even agree to a certain degree. I see the shortcomings as well. I don't like being told instead of being shown. They should have taken 10 episodes times for more dialogues, more emotions and more storytelling.

But please don't say no one could expect or predict Daenerys freaking out. That was to be expected. Even with the storytelling they did. From S1 to S8. Who paid attention, could predict it.

The story itself is not bad, the outcome not bad, just the telling is rushed and suboptimal.

30 minutes ago, David Selig said:

The Targs are a normal family.

They are full of incest and not much is normal about them. It is believable that multiple incidents of incest leads to some sort of impairment, here madness. It's a phantasy world and I can easily buy into that. 

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5 hours ago, Kajjo said:

There was no profound change. My goodness, stop it. It was all there, all the time.

Remember that other thread, where you kept saying there was a ton of foreshadowing? And I kept asking for one example of foreshadowing that she would kill lots of people for no reason at all?

I'm still asking.

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5 hours ago, Kajjo said:

Thank you. And yes, she lost the two dragons as well and she was brought up with this stupid nonsense about Westeros waiting for Targaryens to rule again, the wrong birthright and the wannabe-King/Queen delusion.

She accepted that Westeros is not waiting for the Targaryens a long time ago. 

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Dany going mad wasn't a surprise in that Varys story line made it obvious they were going to force this plot line in.  

The show presents us with Varys suggesting that Dany has suddenly inherited her father and brother’s mental illness, with no prior symptoms. What has she done to suggest she is any more "mad" now than when Varys supported her last season?  

Everything that is being retroactively pointed to as "evidence" happened well before Varys started expressing these concerns.  Varys being retroactively correct doesn't mean his suspicions were logical at the time.  The show forced the plot line in and didn't really care if they built up to it in any meaningful way.  Varys suggests that he knows Dany is going to burn everything down, but why?  It was reasonable to expect she might kill some innocents as collateral damage, but not actively trying to kill them.  Then Dany easily destroys all of King's Landing's defenses with virtually no civilian casualties, making her advisers' caution against doing this when she first arrived in Westeros and still had 3 dragons and no defending ballistas look even more foolish.

If anything Varys betrayal made Dany being paranoid of her terrible advisers more justified than ever.  What has Tyrion or Varys done that has actually been intelligent advice?  

Tyrion created the stupid plan to go capture a wight that almost killed Jon and lost Dany a dragon.  Tyrion convinced Dany to trust Cersei.  They convinced Dany to split her forces and sail to Dragonstone, "forgetting about" the Iron Fleet.  Tyrion and Varys promised they could create support for Dany and crumble Cersei's support among the other lords of the realm and they have not.  Tyrion has been a saintly moron since the show ran out of book material.  He deserved to be removed from his position several mistakes ago.

Remember Dany locked up all of her dragons for months because one of them accidentally killed ONE child while hunting for food. You can't even call what she did blood lust when she stopped burning things for several minutes and just sat there perched on Drogon and then started attacking after the surrender was official. The only purpose of that being to show that she is evil now, nothing grey about this action.  It's a story line that could be done in a convincing and satisfying way, but what the show did was not that way.

 

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16 hours ago, Nudu said:

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

We can´t assume it was 'for nothing', as we don´t know her thinkings and strategy. Massacring civilians is as old as humans and i don´t get people´s surprise here at all.

There are literally hundreds of examples but the Persian invasion of Delhi in March 1739 comes to mind, not to mention the very same nuclear bombings in Japan (arguably for 'nothing' also);

Quote

 

On the morning of 22 March, the Shah rode out in full armour and took a seat at the Sunehri Masjid of Roshan-ud-dowla near the Kotwali Chabutra in the middle of Chandni Chowk. He then, to the accompaniment of the rolling of drums and the blaring of trumpets, unsheathed his great battle sword in a grand flourish to the great and loud acclaim and wild cheers of the Afsharid troops present. This was the signal to start the onslaught and carnage. Almost immediately, the fully armed Afsharid army of occupation turned their swords and guns on to the unarmed and defenceless civilians in the city. The Afsharid soldiers were given full licence to do as they pleased and promised a share of the wealth as the city was plundered.

Areas of Delhi such as Chandni Chowk and Dariba Kalan, Fatehpuri, Faiz Bazar, Hauz Kazi, Johri Bazar and the Lahori, Ajmeri and Kabuli gates, all of which were densely populated by both Hindus and Muslims, were soon covered with corpses. Muslims, like Hindus, resorted to killing their women, children and themselves rather than submit to the Afsharid soldiers.

In the words of the Tazkira:

"Here and there some opposition was offered, but in most places people were butchered unresistingly. The Persians laid violent hands on everything and everybody. For a long time, streets remained strewn with corpses, as the walks of a garden with dead leaves and flowers. The town was reduced to ashes."

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Hodor's Dragon said:

there was a ton of foreshadowing

There was. There is. 

  • We were told that Viserys brainwashed her into believing Westerosi are waiting and hoping for them, that he has birthright, that their House is intended to rule again. 
  • She is callous to the death of her brother Viserys in S1. Not turning away, but watching it coldly. The obsession to retake the Iron throne gets hold on her.
  • Burning the witch alive and relish her cries in S1.
  • Her cruel speech including "destroy those who have wronged me. We will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground. Turn us away and we will burn you first." as early as in S2E4.
  • Crucifixing more than hundred slave masters without trial.
  • Whatever she achieves, it's always by force and brutality, not by diplomacy or good ruling. Violence is her first, not last resort.
  • Daario comments "you are are good conquerer, not a good ruler".
  • In S6 she wanted to burn down Essos cities in rage and revenge for their unthankfulness. Tyrion barely talked her out of it.
  • Frying the both Tarlys in S7.
  • Lonesomeness in S8E4 wake feast scene. 

S8E5 built up to her breaking point nicely. Please note that she is not mad all the time. She just has a tendency, a potential to snap, to be callous, to break. If things had turned out differently, e.g. Missandei not beheaded, Jon affectionately loving her, Varys not betraying her, she might not have broken. Particularly, if the Northerners had appreciated her deeds more and hailed her.

 

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14 minutes ago, OttoVonBismarck said:

She accepted that Westeros is not waiting for the Targaryens a long time ago. 

She suffered dearly at the wake feast that everony adored Jon and none hailed her. She was alone and lonesome. She got frustrated and angry there.

In the E5 kissing scene she finally decides that "Let it be fear" is the way to go if love doesn't work after all. 

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Just now, Kajjo said:

There was. There is. 

  • We were told that Viserys brainwashed her into believing Westerosi are waiting and hoping for them, that he has birthright, that their House is intended to rule again. 
  • She is callous to the death of her brother Viserys in S1. Not turning away, but watching it coldly. The obsession to retake the Iron throne gets hold on her.
  • Burning the witch alive and relish her cries in S1.
  • Her cruel speech including "destroy those who have wronged me. We will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground. Turn us away and we will burn you first." as early as in S2E4.
  • Crucifixing more than hundred slave masters without trial.
  • Whatever she achieves, it's always by force and brutality, not by diplomacy or good ruling. Violence is her first, not last resort.
  • Daario comments "you are are good conquerer, not a good ruler".
  • In S6 she wanted to burn down Essos cities in rage and revenge for their unthankfulness. Tyrion barely talked her out of it.
  • Frying the both Tarlys in S7.
  • Lonesomeness in S8E4 wake feast scene. 

S8E5 built up to her breaking point nicely. Please note that she is not mad all the time. She just has a tendency, a potential to snap, to be callous, to break. If things had turned out differently, e.g. Missandei not beheaded, Jon affectionately loving her, Varys not betraying her, she might not have broken. Particularly, if the Northerners had appreciated her deeds more and hailed her.

 

Very well put. In fact i am begining to consider Danny one of the better built characters out of GoT, when all things pointed the opposite.

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1 minute ago, Empress Sansa said:

Very well put. In fact i am begining to consider Danny one of the better built characters out of GoT, when all things pointed the opposite.

There is much more foreshadowing but I haven't had the time to collect all myself. 

Daenerys' arc is great and well built up. By the way, this is not DD's work, but GRRM's. That is, most probably, why it is so good and consistent throughout 8 seasons. 

 

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Just now, Kajjo said:

There was. There is. 

  • We were told that Viserys brainwashed her into believing Westerosi are waiting and hoping for them, that he has birthright, that their House is intended to rule again. 
  • She is callous to the death of her brother Viserys in S1. Not turning away, but watching it coldly. The obsession to retake the Iron throne gets hold on her.
  • Burning the witch alive and relish her cries in S1.
  • Her cruel speech including "destroy those who have wronged me. We will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground. Turn us away and we will burn you first." as early as in S2E4.
  • Crucifixing more than hundred slave masters without trial.
  • Whatever she achieves, it's always by force and brutality, not by diplomacy or good ruling. Violence is her first, not last resort.
  • Daario comments "you are are good conquerer, not a good ruler".
  • In S6 she wanted to burn down Essos cities in rage and revenge for their unthankfulness. Tyrion barely talked her out of it.
  • Frying the both Tarlys in S7.
  • Lonesomeness in S8E4 wake feast scene. 

S8E5 built up to her breaking point nicely. Please note that she is not mad all the time. She just has a tendency, a potential to snap, to be callous, to break. If things had turned out differently, e.g. Missandei not beheaded, Jon affectionately loving her, Varys not betraying her, she might not have broken. Particularly, if the Northerners had appreciated her deeds more and hailed her.

 

None of those are anywhere close to killing people for no reason. That's what I asked for. 

There was foreshadowing that she might start to lose it one day, but that never even happened. She storms, she blusters, then she makes good decisions, or at the worst her decisions were questionable. There were plenty of ways to write her across the gap between where she was 2 episodes and where she suddenly got to without being false to the story as it stood. They just didn't do that work and what they wound up with put the lie to what had gone before.

There was nothing, NOTHING that foreshadowed sudden slaughter of innocents that gained her nothing. That wasn't just crazy, it was stupid. Daenerys has never been crazy. She has never been stupid. She has never snapped. Suddenly she does all 3 at the very end of the story. Horseshit.

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1 hour ago, Ygrain said:

If it was there, there wouldn't be an internet exploding with "OMG, they destroyed Dany".

"The internet" has a lot of varied reactions so I dont think that's proof anything.

Unless someone wants to conduct an unbiased poll, all we can give are anecdotal reactions.

I knew she would do something like this, I was just wrong about the location. I thought it would be at Winterfell. I wrote series of essays on it earlier this year. I read Fire and Blood, read GRRM's interviews, her chapters, re-watched her development on the show, and read D&D's statements on her to be certain of where this was going, but I dont think the average person needed to do that? They could always fall back on the fantasy trope - dragons are eventually going to do something really, really fucked up.

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7 minutes ago, Hodor's Dragon said:

None of those are anywhere close to killing people for no reason. That's what I asked for. 

The quote "and burn cities to the ground" is very close and surely included everyone there, with men, women and children. Don't evade this S2 quote, please. There it was, her violent streak, her burning down everything.

And again, she snapped. That is not about pure reason but about freaking out. You really don't want to see that sometime a situation can break a person? Are there no rampages or suicides in your part of the world? Get real.

10 minutes ago, Hodor's Dragon said:

There was nothing, NOTHING that foreshadowed sudden slaughter of innocents that gained her nothing.

"I have no love. In have only fear." --" So, let it be fear."

 

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Kajjo said:

There was. There is. 

  • We were told that Viserys brainwashed her into believing Westerosi are waiting and hoping for them, that he has birthright, that their House is intended to rule again. 
  • She is callous to the death of her brother Viserys in S1. Not turning away, but watching it coldly. The obsession to retake the Iron throne gets hold on her.
  • Burning the witch alive and relish her cries in S1.
  • Her cruel speech including "destroy those who have wronged me. We will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground. Turn us away and we will burn you first." as early as in S2E4.
  • Crucifixing more than hundred slave masters without trial.
  • Whatever she achieves, it's always by force and brutality, not by diplomacy or good ruling. Violence is her first, not last resort.
  • Daario comments "you are are good conquerer, not a good ruler".
  • In S6 she wanted to burn down Essos cities in rage and revenge for their unthankfulness. Tyrion barely talked her out of it.
  • Frying the both Tarlys in S7.
  • Lonesomeness in S8E4 wake feast scene. 

S8E5 built up to her breaking point nicely. Please note that she is not mad all the time. She just has a tendency, a potential to snap, to be callous, to break. If things had turned out differently, e.g. Missandei not beheaded, Jon affectionately loving her, Varys not betraying her, she might not have broken. Particularly, if the Northerners had appreciated her deeds more and hailed her.

 

I'd add:-

1. Feeding a nobleman to her dragons to frighten the others

2. Forcing Hizdhar to marry her, at the same time as belittling him

3. Going into a meeting with the Dothraki Khals with the intention of burning them alive (Jorah and Daario barred the door behind her) and then doing so

4. Her pep talk to the Dothraki riders afterwards, about tearing down the stone houses and killing the men in their iron suits

5. Cutting off Daario as if he meant nothing to her

6.  Giving the Tarlys' soldiers the choice of turn or burn

7. Wanting to raze the Red Keep, and being talked out of by Tyrion, only to find out that the attack on Casterly Rock was pointless.

8.  Her speech to Jon Snow about "faith in myself".

The cruel, ruthless, approach has worked, so far, when she's adopted it.  The merciful, restrained, approach, not so much.

Most of her victims, in earlier series, were either arseholes or people we didn't care about.  Now, they're people we care about more.  

 

Edited by SeanF

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