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Kajjo

Daenerys: Analysis of psychology and foreshadowing

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1 hour ago, Roza Ahai said:

I think here is a parallel between Aeries burning Starks ( farther & son) and Dany burning Tarlys. 

There certainly is. Aerys tortures a father and son to death in a sick mockery of justice while Dany executes a father and son who willingly joined a murderous usurper in openly fighting against her after they refuse repeated offers of clemency. 

One of those is the actions of an insane, bloodthirsty monarch. One of them is not. Foreshadowing my ass. 

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6 hours ago, Arakan said:

I would agree that she has a very dominant narcissistic personality trait. Stronger than the psychopathic/sociopathic trait. She is absolutely not self-reflective and believes her own hype. She would never consider herself „bad“ of course. Therefore I said more Hitler than Stalin ;)  

Cercei in the TV show (not the books) on the other hand, yes she is a narcissist, but actually much less than a  superficial understanding of the term might led one to believe. She is actually quite self-aware, able to self-reflect. She simply doesn’t give a shit. She is a very functional psychopath and a functional machiavellist. Cercei in the books is completely different of course, total different psychology. Book Cercei is the least self-aware person in all of Westeros. 

I can’t argue with the fact that show Dany can hardly be seen questioning herself, however this is a quality of leadership. Given the stakes she might be repressing this does not make one psychopath.

Cersei is more interesting especially when compared to Joffrey as both were sadistic but I’ve always felt that Cersei is traumatized and delusional and not a psychopath unlike her son who rapidly developed some serious personality disorder.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/13/2019 at 6:19 AM, tallTale said:

Daeny has only used her dragons to attack military targets and political targets, she has never been bloodthirsty to the point that she would willingly slaughter helpless civilians. There are many tangible instances of proof to substantiate this. She actually chains her dragons away at one point for an accidental kill an of a civilian.

Not true.

She threatened to burn Qarth if they did not let her in.

In S6, ep9, her plan re. the fighting at Meereen was to 'crucify the Masters, burn their fleets, and return their cities to the dirt'.  At least 3 cities - Astaphor, Yunkai, and Volantis.   That would mean slaughtering helpless civilians in their thousands.  Hundreds of thousands. Tyrion proposes an alteranate plan, which she ends up following.  But she was quite willing to destroy those cities.

 

Edited by Tywin Tytosson

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Kajjo said:

She wanted to burn some Essos cities down before. In S2 she even announced to burn down and destroy enemies' cities, surely including women and children.

And did she? Did she? No. She didn't even gather and burn the slavers of Meereen, even though that would have made ruling the city way easier.

Seems to me that you confuse foreshadowing with character progression. Foreshadowing may show where the character will end up, but you need to get that character there in a consistent manner.

For example, Anakin's overall fall to the Dark Side was not executed very well, but the individual actions stemmed one from another. He became the guy who choked his pregnant wife and nearly killed his best friend as a progression - or degeneration - from slaughtering the younglings, and that came from slaughtering the Tusken children, and THAT would have been wildly out of character if not for the rage induced by his mother's death. 

Never, ever before, had Dany slaughtered innocents, that is out of character for her. She shouldn't have without a prompt, just like Anakin would never have imagined himself slaughtering children prior Schmi's demise. It might even make sense if she could be dissuaded from burning KL as a ruthless battle strategy, there would have been basis for that. But burning the people at the moment of her victory? Nah, that made no sense for her character.

Edited by Ygrain

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Ultimately this discussion here is totally fruitless. It follows the same pattern as any discussion about Dany in the last 19 years. Those who want will will always find „justifications“ to „explain“ and rationalize Dany‘s behavior. This will never change. The same will happen with the butchery and slaughter of KL. Soon enough there will be arguments (they are actually already here) that she simply wasn’t herself, that she suffered a quick burst of PTSD, you name it. We just have to look at real world figures. For decades after WW2 many Germans still refused to acknowledge the evil that was Hitler, first they ignored the atrocities, when that wasn’t any longer possible, they tried to put the blame on his lackeys and subordinates and only after decades the majority came to acknowledge that it was Hitler all along. And still you have many many nutjobs in the world who believe that „Hitler had a point“. The same pattern goes for Stalin or Mao. 

Many users on this forum follow the same psychological pattern. First denial, than justification, soon enough (but we already have this) talk will be about „bad advisors“ who „pushed her“ in the wrong direction. 

The human mind and how it deals with cognitive dissonance is a fascinating thing. 

For those with an objective, unbiased mind the path Dany took was clear as daylight since Astapor. Since 2000. 

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This may have been mentioned already, but it looks like Dany is going to be the “Walter White” character George had hoped to write.

I guess you could look at Dany’s heel turn as the ultimate trope subversion, and a reminder why we did away with functional monarchies. The show already did this with Stannis, but it shows that there is no such thing as a human messiah, and that you really need to be a narcissist to believe you are one. Book Dany hasn’t reached that point just yet - she still has self doubt - but once you begin to believe that you’re a god among men, you’ve already lost.

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6 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

“Walter White”

You're going to have to explain this to me, since he started writing Danny 15 years before Breaking Bad even existed.

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Posted (edited)

The progression is fairly clear, TBH.

  • Indifference to her crappy brother being killed in a very brutal fashion.
  • Burning a very evil witch (Was she though? She was taking a revenge on her rapist. MMD just did what Sansa did to Ramsay. EDIT: To clarify: Figurative rapist of her town and her folks. I know she was not raped by Drogo directly.)
  • Threatening to burn a city unless they let her in.
  • Burning a very evil warlock.
  • Leaving her evil handmaiden and evil sugardaddy to die in a locked vault.
  • Reneging on a deal, burning a cartoonish villain and releasing her new army to eradicate a social class. But hey, they were slavers (all of them? Narrative does not care).
  • Going "eye for eye" by crucifying random members of a social class, not caring if they were the ones responsible for the atrocity she wanted to avenge.
  • Feeding a random member of a social class to dragons.
  • Noteworthy: When one of "hers" had to be executed, did she roast him alive? No, she went the way of quick beheading.
  • Threatening to destroy not one, but three cities with all that entails. Worse yet, knowing full well these cities would be also full of slaves and (as she learned while trying to rule Mereen) non-slavers.

 

The progression is subtle, going from burning cartoonish villains to brutally executing people who she saw as her enemies just because of their social class, without caring about their guilt or lack thereof. What's the next step? Either snapping out of it, ceasing to be a dragon... Or fully embracing it. Both would be surprising plot twists, and she might have decided to leave the dragon behind if she felt loved same way the freshly liberated slaves loved and adored her. But free people of Westeros are not the same as slaves. They are also not the same as Dothraki awed by her unburtness and dragon - they are wary of dragons and people who are a bit too fire-happy. So... Fear it is.

 

It was not a "180° turn". She just came to a junction where she could go 90°either way.

 

Edited by Runaway Penguin

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3 minutes ago, Runaway Penguin said:

The progression is fairly clear, TBH.

  • Indifference to her crappy brother being killed in a very brutal fashion.
  • Burning a very evil witch (Was she though? She was taking a revenge on her rapist. MMD just did what Sansa did to Ramsay.)
  • Threatening to burn a city unless they let her in.
  • Burning a very evil warlock.
  • Leaving her evil handmaiden and evil sugardaddy to die in a locked vault.
  • Reneging on a deal, burning a cartoonish villain and releasing her new army to eradicate a social class. But hey, they were slavers (all of them? Narrative does not care).
  • Going "eye for eye" by crucifying random members of a social class, not caring if they were the ones responsible for the atrocity she wanted to avenge.
  • Feeding a random member of a social class to dragons.
  • Noteworthy: When one of "hers" had to be executed, did she roast him alive? No, she went the way of quick beheading.
  • Threatening to destroy not one, but three cities with all that entails. Worse yet, knowing full well these cities would be also full of slaves and (as she learned while trying to rule Mereen) non-slavers.

 

The progression is subtle, going from burning cartoonish villains to brutally executing people who she saw as her enemies just because of their social class, without caring about their guilt or lack thereof. What's the next step? Either snapping out of it, ceasing to be a dragon... Or fully embracing it. Both would be surprising plot twists, and she might have decided to leave the dragon behind if she felt loved same way the freshly liberated slaves loved and adored her. But free people of Westeros are not the same as slaves. They are also not the same as Dothraki awed by her unburtness and dragon - they are wary of dragons and people who are a bit too fire-happy. So... Fear it is.

 

Yes. 

Oh Jesus how I remember the vilification of MMD over all those years. Just because she dared to oppose our grand leader Dany. MMD, a woman who was raped multiple times, who saw the utter destruction of her peaceful community, the murder, butchery, rape and enslavement of thousands of peaceful people. 

This woman was a hero. In all those years there was no greater injustice in any fandom in the world than the vilification of that woman by Dany fans. 

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2 hours ago, Ygrain said:

And did she?

She would have! She would have acted violently, if her advisers had not talked her out of it again and again. Now she does not listen anymore and there she is.

Also, violence was all that worked in achieving her goals so far. Most of the advice to restrain mad her fail her goals. They portrayed that very fine.

2 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Never, ever before, had Dany slaughtered innocents, that is out of character for her.

No, it is not out of character, because she had exactly that ideas before. She wanted to destroy cities and burn them down. That would of course also violate innocent people. Fire and blood was always what she wanted to do, what is ingrained in her personality. See the truth to this!

2 hours ago, Ygrain said:

But burning the people at the moment of her victory? Nah, that made no sense for her character

Well, it does for me and I have followed the series very closely. She felt void, goal somehow achieved, but not what she really was brainwashed into. Please stop arguing with reason for madness. She snapped. She finally "decided" to let it be fear. 

35 minutes ago, Arakan said:

For those with an objective, unbiased mind the path Dany took was clear as daylight since Astapor. Since 2000. 

Full acknowledgment. That's the way it simply is. Just the Dany fanboys don't want to see it and some other just didn't pay enough attention.

30 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

but it shows that there is no such thing as a human messiah, and that you really need to be a narcissist to believe you are one.

That is an interesting point. Yes, you are right and this is a valid point to make for GRRM as moral of the story.

He got it right with Jon Snow, too, not the über-figure but with limitations and faults. It would be really, really nice if this story has no super hero, no simple solution for it all. 

17 minutes ago, Runaway Penguin said:

The progression is subtle, going from burning cartoonish villains to brutally executing people who she saw as her enemies just because of their social class, without caring about their guilt or lack thereof. What's the next step? Either snapping out of it, ceasing to be a dragon... Or fully embracing it. Both would be surprising plot twists, and she might have decided to leave the dragon behind if she felt loved same way the freshly liberated slaves loved and adored her. But free people of Westeros are not the same as slaves. They are also not the same as Dothraki awed by her unburtness and dragon - they are wary of dragons and people who are a bit too fire-happy. So... Fear it is.

Very nicely summarised. Thank you!

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28 minutes ago, Regular John Umber said:

You're going to have to explain this to me, since he started writing Danny 15 years before Breaking Bad even existed.

I haven’t watched Breaking Bad, but GRRM is apparently a big fan, and there was an interview a while back where he said he hopes to write a character who has a similar complicated fall from grace.

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1 minute ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

I haven’t watched Breaking Bad, but GRRM is apparently a big fan, and there was an interview a while back where he said he hopes to write a character who has a similar complicated fall from grace.

 

 Oh sure, I get that. It's just, you know, the 15 year thing...

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32 minutes ago, Kajjo said:

She snapped. She finally "decided" to let it be fear

She did so at a moment when there was no reason for her to snap, that's the whole point. People were fearing her already, and they were surrendering.

 

33 minutes ago, Kajjo said:

No, it is not out of character, because she had exactly that ideas before. She wanted to destroy cities and burn them down

Sigh. If she went for "let it burn" as a chosen method of dealing with KL, Tywin style, fine. There was a setup for that.

BTW, there is a difference between a threat and actually doing the deed. Just saying.

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7 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

She did so at a moment when there was no reason for her to snap

We explained the psychology of this void moment over and over. It makes sense to me. We need to agree to disagree. 

8 minutes ago, Ygrain said:

If she went for "let it burn" as a chosen method of dealing with KL, Tywin style, fine. There was a setup for that.

Exactly, so what is your point? She probably came to the decision after the kissing scene, "let it be fear then".

This is a mixture of "let it be fear" and freaking out because of the void feelings.

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My final thoughts on this topic. A little bit meta. 

The outcry across the Internet is huge. One of the most beloved, most admired characters of GOT and ASOIAF seemingly went „mad“. She butchered, for all of us to see, tens of thousands of women and children. Not out of „military necessity“, the enemy had already surrendered, but out of reasons which are discussed in other places here on this forum. For many this is a huge disservice for a beloved, “badass“ „feminist“ hero. For others like me this is just the logical culmination of the path she had taken since 2000, since the release of ASOS. Well, be it as it be. 

I have to thank GRRM for this very important deconstruction. And no one will convince me that GRRM won’t play this out in similar fashion in the books. There is no rational reason to assume that the KL genocide (yes we have to call it this) was a show invention. This is GRRM all along. 

And we ALL should be thankful to him because he teaches us a very important lesson. A lesson humankind so often forgets. Don’t be blended by „great“ leaders. Don’t be blended by their supposed grandiosity, by their rhetoric of being the „chosen one“, by their supposed „strength“. 

I sympathize with the feelings of many Dany fans. I really do. They are confronted with a massive massive cognitive dissonance. This is hurtful. But only when we reach our own limits and grow beyond them we really learn. 

We are all fascinated (at least) by those „grand leaders“, often we admire them, even love them. And we try our best to ignore their dark sides, their psychopathic and sociopathic and narcissistic personality traits. Their fanatism. The list is long. From Alexander „the Great“ to Charles“lemagne“ to Ghengis Khan to Napoleon to Hitler to Stalin. Not all of them are admired, at least not openly, but even this is not a given. Stalin gets more and more rehabilitated and even Hitler still has millions upon millions of admirers in all parts of the world, for their own reasons. 

Leaders like Trump (admired by millions of Americans) or Putin (who is admired by millions of Germans) show us that even in the „information age“ we are not immune to falling into the traps. Charisma is a dangerous dangerous thing. 

And therefore, once again, thank you GRRM for holding the mirror right in our faces and confronting us with our own dark desires. 

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@Arakan

Well written. Additional lesson I would say, is "Who does unusually bad things to bad people will sooner or later do it to the good ones as well, if left unchecked". There is a fascination with "antiheroes" who brutally murder the "deserving", but... You can see the same in every dictatorship that is run by any ideology. It may start with drastic punishment for the thieves and traitors, but soon enough everyone who does not cheer enthusiastically enough is a traitor. So... Beware those who promise to go out of their way to torture and murder the "deserving" because ultimately it may be you.

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3 minutes ago, Runaway Penguin said:

@Arakan

Well written. Additional lesson I would say, is "Who does unusually bad things to bad people will sooner or later do it to the good ones as well, if left unchecked". There is a fascination with "antiheroes" who brutally murder the "deserving", but... You can see the same in every dictatorship that is run by any ideology. It may start with drastic punishment for the thieves and traitors, but soon enough everyone who does not cheer enthusiastically enough is a traitor. So... Beware those who promise to go out of their way to torture and murder the "deserving" because ultimately it may be you.

Absolutely true. There are some historical figures who were delusional from the get go (Hitler) but many started with so called „good intentions”...in the end they were all self-serving narcissists. 

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2 hours ago, Arakan said:

Yes. 

Oh Jesus how I remember the vilification of MMD over all those years. Just because she dared to oppose our grand leader Dany. MMD, a woman who was raped multiple times, who saw the utter destruction of her peaceful community, the murder, butchery, rape and enslavement of thousands of peaceful people. 

This woman was a hero. In all those years there was no greater injustice in any fandom in the world than the vilification of that woman by Dany fans. 

Completely agree, and imagine if Rhaego had lived. 

I wonder if she knew the dragons would hatch? 

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On 5/13/2019 at 4:58 AM, Kajjo said:

This is not about reason, but about snapping. My goodness.

She does not see individual children (she would care about) but she is in a rage, destroying a city that will never love her.

Think about real-world shooting rampages in the US. So many relatives report "he would never shoot children" but they did. Colleagues, school children, whatever. This is exactly what happens when people freak out. There is no reason. All the victims are just substitutes for what people hate, are frustrated about, are desperate of.

So, it wasn’t an allegory for climate change, but an allegory for mass shootings instead! I joke, I kid. Sorry. Couldn’t pass that one up.

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14 minutes ago, Runaway Penguin said:

@Arakan

Well written. Additional lesson I would say, is "Who does unusually bad things to bad people will sooner or later do it to the good ones as well, if left unchecked". There is a fascination with "antiheroes" who brutally murder the "deserving", but... You can see the same in every dictatorship that is run by any ideology. It may start with drastic punishment for the thieves and traitors, but soon enough everyone who does not cheer enthusiastically enough is a traitor. So... Beware those who promise to go out of their way to torture and murder the "deserving" because ultimately it may be you.

With the rise of authoritarianism around the world, these are great ppints to keep in mind. "Oh, it can't happen here!" Oh yes it can. 

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