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Ser Hedge

Which Targaryen did GRRM intend Dany to take after? [Book Spoilers]

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This thread speculates about Dany's arc in the books, using reasonable evidence from the episode 'The Bells' of the show.

A quick remark on the show

Firstly, it's indeed very difficult to extricate the intended story being told from the wreckage of the show's writing

Yes, the visuals are good, a lot of people did put in good work and we did like the characters in the show upto a point, or maybe even now, in large part due to nostalgia from the time the show was good due to the source material, including the best lines which were verbatim from the books. The efforts of actors like Charles Dance and Rose Leslie are still reflected in a way when we see other show characters from their arc, though the writers seem to be doing their best to destroy that. And the child actors were extremely charismatic too, so we try to stick with their adult versions to the extent possible, though that mostly came apart this season.

Dany's Book Arc in Essos

As a second remark, I like Dany in the books (along with several other characters) and at the same time I'm completely ok with Dany embarking on a Fire & Blood arc. She is descended from Dragonlords of old Valyria, the genes being sought to be kept intact through means we all know, and through nurture to some extent [if you don't like the nature argument] ie from the time Aenar moved his household from Valyria to Dragonstone all the way down to Viserys, family lore has been passed on.

Dany did initially grow in a different direction, her experience as a refugee impacting her and she takes on the role of Mhysa. However, the books are getting to the point where she is about to decide that a half-way house between Mhysa and Fire & Blood is going to get her and hers killed. Trying to save the Lamb people got Drogo and her unborn son killed and left her a refugee in the red waste. Trying to reconcile Masters and Freedmen in Mereen gets her to a point where her husband  (another marriage she didn't want) is openly shouting out to have her Dragon killed (in the Books) and again leaves her alone in the wastelands of Essos, starving and bleeding. The upcoming experience with the Dothraki in the books is not going be to easy. She will likely have to resort to Fire just to survive (and that's what she has done in the show).

Dany in Westeros

Coming to my main point, I'm certain GRRM's excellent writing will progress this naturally.  There is also going to be a lot of misconception about her when she lands in Westeros. Arianne's speculation in the sample TWOW chapter foreshadows this I think. The good that Dany tried to do for ordinary people was in lands far away, while all kinds of propaganda has been put out by slavers and out of Volantis, which sailors are more likely to pick up and bring back to Westeros.  

When Dany lands in Westeros or meets Tyrion before that in Essos, she is going to become aware of Illyrio's duplicity in keeping fAegon a secret and using Viserys and Dany to procure fAegon additional allies in the form of first the Dothraki (and when that fails, the Dragons - that's why Groleo is sent over). The Lords in Westeros opposed to the Lannister-Tyrell alliance (itself fraying) are likely to have declared for Aegon at this point, who will play up his devotion for the seven (He rides with a Septa besides him at the head of the column to Griffin's Roost). The GC are also largely Westerosi descended and not complete strangers. You can easily see Dany not gaining many supporters with her army of Unsullied, maybe Dothraki, Essosi sellswords and possibly Ironborn (the same ones who have been ravaging the Reach).

The Targaryens in the book Fire & Blood

Now, I'm interested which Targaryen from Fire and Blood 1 she will come to resemble the most. Since she is clearly bonded to a Dragon as a rider now (which I think is a completely different relationship from being their 'parent'/carer), this will have influenced her personality as well. From FaB we know that Aenys became less of a whiny, needy child once he was presented with a hatchling. IIRC that there was an improvement in his oldest daughter Rhaena after she received her hatchling. For that reason, I don't think Dragon-less Targaryens after the Dance are a good comparison.

From pre-Dance Targaryens, Maegor is going to be the first comparison you might think of if you think the show was accurate in her depiction of deliberately targeting small folk when there was no military value in strafing them repeatedly. But then this is the same show where in one episode an entire army had been wiped out, but exactly half of it re-appears in the next episode. I think the books will be more nuanced in that a lot of small folk will get torched because she decides to fight a full on war (when other options are available), with collateral damage having to be accepted to achieve her goal.

My choice for personality comparison from FaB is Rhaena. Dany has undergone similar trauma and betrayals, but unlike in Rhaena's case, there is no one to keep her in check really. 

What do you think?

 

Edited by Ser Hedge
Typos

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On 15 May 2019 at 10:35 AM, Ser Hedge said:

This thread speculates about Dany's arc in the books, using reasonable evidence from the episode 'The Bells' of the show.

A quick remark on the show

Firstly, it's indeed very difficult to extricate the intended story being told from the wreckage of the show's writing

Yes, the visuals are good, a lot of people did put in good work and we did like the characters in the show upto a point, or maybe even now, in large part due to nostalgia from the time the show was good due to the source material, including the best lines which were verbatim from the books. The efforts of actors like Charles Dance and Rose Leslie are still reflected in a way when we see other show characters from their arc, though the writers seem to be doing their best to destroy that. And the child actors were extremely charismatic too, so we try to stick with their adult versions to the extent possible, though that mostly came apart this season.

Dany's Book Arc in Essos

As a second remark, I like Dany in the books (along with several other characters) and at the same time I'm completely ok with Dany embarking on a Fire & Blood arc. She is descended from Dragonlords of old Valyria, the genes being sought to be kept intact through means we all know, and through nurture to some extent [if you don't like the nature argument] ie from the time Aenar moved his household from Valyria to Dragonstone all the way down to Viserys, family lore has been passed on.

Dany did initially grow in a different direction, her experience as a refugee impacting her and she takes on the role of Mhysa. However, the books are getting to the point where she is about to decide that a half-way house between Mhysa and Fire & Blood is going to get her and hers killed. Trying to save the Lamb people got Drogo and her unborn son killed and left her a refugee in the red waste. Trying to reconcile Masters and Freedmen in Mereen gets her to a point where her husband  (another marriage she didn't want) is openly shouting out to have her Dragon killed (in the Books) and again leaves her alone in the wastelands of Essos, starving and bleeding. The upcoming experience with the Dothraki in the books is not going be to easy. She will likely have to resort to Fire just to survive (and that's what she has done in the show).

Dany in Westeros

Coming to my main point, I'm certain GRRM's excellent writing will progress this naturally.  There is also going to be a lot of misconception about her when she lands in Westeros. Arianne's speculation in the sample TWOW chapter foreshadows this I think. The good that Dany tried to do for ordinary people was in lands far away, while all kinds of propaganda has been put out by slavers and out of Volantis, which sailors are more likely to pick up and bring back to Westeros.  

When Dany lands in Westeros or meets Tyrion before that in Essos, she is going to become aware of Illyrio's duplicity in keeping fAegon a secret and using Viserys and Dany to procure fAegon additional allies in the form of first the Dothraki (and when that fails, the Dragons - that's why Groleo is sent over). The Lords in Westeros opposed to the Lannister-Tyrell alliance (itself fraying) are likely to have declared for Aegon at this point, who will play up his devotion for the seven (He rides with a Septa besides him at the head of the column to Griffin's Roost). The GC are also largely Westerosi descended and not complete strangers. You can easily see Dany not gaining many supporters with her army of Unsullied, maybe Dothraki, Essosi sellswords and possibly Ironborn (the same ones who have been ravaging the Reach).

The Targaryens in the book Fire & Blood

Now, I'm interested which Targaryen from Fire and Blood 1 she will come to resemble the most. Since she is clearly bonded to a Dragon as a rider now (which I think is a completely different relationship from being their 'parent'/carer), this will have influenced her personality as well. From FaB we know that Aenys became less of a whiny, needy child once he was presented with a hatchling. IIRC that there was an improvement in his oldest daughter Rhaena after she received her hatchling. For that reason, I don't think Dragon-less Targaryens after the Dance are a good comparison.

From pre-Dance Targaryens, Maegor is going to be the first comparison you might think of if you think the show was accurate in her depiction of deliberately targeting small folk when there was no military value in strafing them repeatedly. But then this is the same show where in one episode an entire army had been wiped out, but exactly half of it re-appears in the next episode. I think the books will be more nuanced in that a lot of small folk will get torched because she decides to fight a full on war (when other options are available), with collateral damage having to be accepted to achieve her goal.

My choice for personality comparison from FaB is Rhaena. Dany has undergone similar trauma and betrayals, but unlike in Rhaena's case, there is no one to keep her in check really. 

What do you think?

 

She will combine the qualities of Egg and Visenya.

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3 hours ago, SeanF said:

She will combine the qualities of Egg and Visenya.

That's a good one, I had forgotten about Visenya! Yes, Dany before she became a Dragon Rider has resembled Egg, in a way 50% of her genes are directly from Egg (yes I'm sure genetics are way more complicated than that, but Egg and Betha Blackwood are her only great-grandparents after all)

Now that she has become a Rider, albeit initially only with an Aerea-level of control, but obviously that is set to change now, Visenya is a pretty good template of what we could come to expect.

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I'd always thought that it would be a bit of Aegon The Conqueror, although after conquering, she seems to have a harder time than him establishing 'rule.'  Then again, she doesn't have two other helpers that are also family.  I don't doubt that something may happen that looks mad, bad, sad in the books with Dany, but I doubt it's the hit us over the head thing of D&D slaughter after Connington's Bells.  I did always take her ADWD time in the Dothraki Sea to mean she would return as more of a Conqueror than ruler, perhaps.  It depends if those visions meant it's time to cut bait in Essos and go to Westeros or not.  Also, I do think there is a chance that her Burn Them All might actually be more related to the slave cities, book wise, than Westeros?  Maybe?  It's a hard thing to guess with still how far there is to go in the books and how stupid the show's story of SHOCK AND AWE instead of character development, where it's all leading.  I do suspect that she will seem a combo of Aegon The Conqueror and maybe a few other Targs as well. 

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2 hours ago, AryaNymeriaVisenya said:

Rhaenyra would seem to be an obvious one, down to the monstrous child

Definitely agree with this. Especially if GRRM is gonna have a Dance of the Dragons 2.0 between Dany and Faegon in the books.

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1 hour ago, Adam_Up_Bxtch said:

Definitely agree with this. Especially if GRRM is gonna have a Dance of the Dragons 2.0 between Dany and Faegon in the books.

We'll never get the books.  But GRRM is adamant there are two to go, despite the glacial pace of the released chapters from TWOW and the admission that Dany won't get to Westeros until the very end of TWOW or not at all.

So that basically means in ADOS Dany needs to arrive in Westeros, deal with (f)Aegon, meet and fall in love with Jon, deal with the Others, go insane and burn King's Landing and whatever happens at the end.

The House of the Undying would suggest she has to deal with the Mummer's (Varys) Dragon so that would seem to suggest their paths will cross (although I like the idea of (f)Aegon turning into a complete non-event and being crushed before Dany even arrives), but with so much story to tell in one book we aren't going to have a massive portion of it devoted to a second Dance.  My guess is that Dany deals with him extremely quickly.  It would be the sort of trick GRRM would want to pull.  Build something up and then just have it end before it even got going.

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Since this is in a show forum, her "break the wheel" manifesto reminds me of Egg's attempts to reform feudalism.

Her diversion North to help the Starks and the Nights Watch was a bit like Alysanne's attitude to helping the Watch.  

But her burning of KL was straight out of Maegor or Aemond One Eye's playbook.  

 

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On 5/17/2019 at 3:12 AM, SeanF said:

She will combine the qualities of Egg and Visenya.

I agree.

Aegon V and Visenya.

I would also add a bit of Daenys the Dreamer, Daeron the Young Dragon, Maegor the Cruel, Alysanne the Good and Rhaenyra the Realm's Delight into that cocktail.

22 hours ago, Lady Fevre Dream said:

I'd always thought that it would be a bit of Aegon The Conqueror, although after conquering, she seems to have a harder time than him establishing 'rule.'  Then again, she doesn't have two other helpers that are also family.  I don't doubt that something may happen that looks mad, bad, sad in the books with Dany, but I doubt it's the hit us over the head thing of D&D slaughter after Connington's Bells.  I did always take her ADWD time in the Dothraki Sea to mean she would return as more of a Conqueror than ruler, perhaps.  It depends if those visions meant it's time to cut bait in Essos and go to Westeros or not.  Also, I do think there is a chance that her Burn Them All might actually be more related to the slave cities, book wise, than Westeros?  Maybe?  It's a hard thing to guess with still how far there is to go in the books and how stupid the show's story of SHOCK AND AWE instead of character development, where it's all leading.  I do suspect that she will seem a combo of Aegon The Conqueror and maybe a few other Targs as well. 

I agree.

If Daenerys is going to be destroying any cities out of pure rage, it's going to be in Essos. It's either going to be Qarth, Volantis, Norvos or Astapor. She's not going to destroy Meereen.

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Honestly I don’t mind Daenerys going Genghis Khan. This is supposed to be a grounded fantasy series based on the Middle Ages. Sacking cities and offering no quarter was common. Restraining your troops was enormously difficult. I cannot understand why every character is so taken aback by her actions. In the books I think all the characters will have a lot more blood on their hands.

Having read the Horus Heresy books I have no issue rooting for characters who are demonstrably worse than anything Dany objectively did on episode 5. But they are doing this to set up Jon stabbing her and to write her ignominiously out of the story. Which is why I don’t like it.

Danys crime is that she’s depicted as making an irrational decision. She is presented with a clear choice for mercy and has no reason to take her ire on the innocent people. I don’t honestly have an issue with her dragging the Lannister soldiers out and making a pyramid out of their skulls. I think it’s quite telling that the show runners wanted her not simply set off the wildfire carelessly or kill civilians as collateral damage. 

I think Daenerys in the books would make it extremely clear what the conditions for a surrender would look like and what the consequences of defiance would be. Honestly if she had told the people of Kings Landing she would do that they might have offered her Cersei’s head on a pike.

I think she’s most like Maegor the Cruel. Powerful and ruthless rather than weak like her father. 

Personally I’d prefer that to Jon stabbing her. Let her take Westeros but be a monstrous tyrant. That would be a tragedy. I don’t see how killing her releases her from her past crimes and that more to do with Jon seeking atonement for another of his screw ups. In fact it’s probably this which rankles me the most. It’s that she’s become a supporting character in Jon’s story who is going to die ignominiously.

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On 5/17/2019 at 6:57 PM, AryaNymeriaVisenya said:

Rhaenyra would seem to be an obvious one, down to the monstrous child

In terms of the paranoia and suspicion, as well as the Dance parallel, yes. But Rhaenyra also became (or was all along) very indecisive and was probably a coward as well. When the Dragonpit was attacked, she did nothing, when flying out on Syrax was the only thing that could have saved the Dragons. Yes, Syrax was downed by the mob in the end, but that was because being riderless the dragon was taking the wrong decisions attacking the mob with tooth and claw rather than breathing down fire from above. To me, her failing to do anything about the Dragons in the Dragonpit was the moment she should have effectively lost the war. It was just a strong sense of northern and riverlands honour that had the lads and Cregan continue the struggle on behalf of her son. If Aegon II had not been crippled and in constant pain, and just half-way competent he would not have been assasinated and should have held on with the support of the Baratheon and Hightower forces.

Anyway, can't see Show. Dany watch dragons bring slaughtered when she has Drogon by her side. Of course, left to our venerable showrunners, she will fly from the Red Keep towards the Dragonpit on Rhaenys' hill, but in the next shot will be burning Baelor's Sept on Visenya's hill while the Dragonpit slaughter continues :lmao:

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13 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Honestly I don’t mind Daenerys going Genghis Khan. This is supposed to be a grounded fantasy series based on the Middle Ages. Sacking cities and offering no quarter was common. Restraining your troops was enormously difficult. I cannot understand why every character is so taken aback by her actions. In the books I think all the characters will have a lot more blood on their hands.

Having read the Horus Heresy books I have no issue rooting for characters who are demonstrably worse than anything Dany objectively did on episode 5. But they are doing this to set up Jon stabbing her and to write her ignominiously out of the story. Which is why I don’t like it.

Danys crime is that she’s depicted as making an irrational decision. She is presented with a clear choice for mercy and has no reason to take her ire on the innocent people. I don’t honestly have an issue with her dragging the Lannister soldiers out and making a pyramid out of their skulls. I think it’s quite telling that the show runners wanted her not simply set off the wildfire carelessly or kill civilians as collateral damage. 

I think Daenerys in the books would make it extremely clear what the conditions for a surrender would look like and what the consequences of defiance would be. Honestly if she had told the people of Kings Landing she would do that they might have offered her Cersei’s head on a pike.

I think she’s most like Maegor the Cruel. Powerful and ruthless rather than weak like her father. 

Personally I’d prefer that to Jon stabbing her. Let her take Westeros but be a monstrous tyrant. That would be a tragedy. I don’t see how killing her releases her from her past crimes and that more to do with Jon seeking atonement for another of his screw ups. In fact it’s probably this which rankles me the most. It’s that she’s become a supporting character in Jon’s story who is going to die ignominiously.

Those are good points.  The behaviour of her army suggests that most of her followers consider it entirely justified to murder, pillage, and burn their way through the city.  She did what many medieval commanders would have done to a city that executed that commander's best friend, when called upon to surrender.  But that, in turn, would make it hard to justify using the massacre as a pretext for killing her.

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I don’t really think she’s like Visenya to be honest, Visenya was a great warrior, she was also far more competent at ruling and leading and wisely chose to avoid war and violence when there were diplomatic solutions( her actions at The Eyrie for example).

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1 hour ago, Bittersweet Distractor said:

I don’t really think she’s like Visenya to be honest, Visenya was a great warrior, she was also far more competent at ruling and leading and wisely chose to avoid war and violence when there were diplomatic solutions( her actions at The Eyrie for example).

True, but she and Aegon unleashed fire and blood in Dorne for years after Rhaenys' death. She also advised her stepson/nephew Aenys to deal with the early rebellions under his rule much more harshly - Aenys was too weak for sure. Finally, she helped her son Maegor seize the throne from Aenys' children and supported his rule. She seems a much harsher character later in her life, even allowing for an unreliable/biased narrator. I do agree her take over of the Vale was very smooth, and she was likely more complex than what we know about her.

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50 minutes ago, Ser Hedge said:

True, but she and Aegon unleashed fire and blood in Dorne for years after Rhaenys' death. She also advised her stepson/nephew Aenys to deal with the early rebellions under his rule much more harshly - Aenys was too weak for sure. Finally, she helped her son Maegor seize the throne from Aenys' children and supported his rule. She seems a much harsher character later in her life, even allowing for an unreliable/biased narrator. I do agree her take over of the Vale was very smooth, and she was likely more complex than what we know about her.

She was tough and harsh for sure, but definately not prone to madness or paranoia from how I've read the books, she's one of the most interesting historical characters in the series to me, more so than Aegon in some ways.

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