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Madinxor

Possible explanation to "Dany gate"

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There might be an explanation to the logical dissonance a lot of viewers felt when Dany during episode 5 transitioned into madness. And this explanation starts with the firebombing of Dresden in 1945.

There have been some comparisons made between the real world firebombing of Dresden and the asoiaf burning of Kings Landing. The director of episode 5, Miguel Sapochnik have made the comparison at least once to my knowledge.

And the similarities are quite striking.

Both wars were “won” before the actual bombing started and neither the bombing of Dresden nor the burning of Kings Landing did serve a legitimate military purpose.

In the Dresden case it has been argued that the real reason for the bombing was to cause massive terror among the civilians and thus break the spirit of the German people in order to force an early German capitulation. This because the US and British feared that their ally Russia otherwise would grab to much of Germany before the war officially ended; which would secure a much better position in the negotiations in the aftermath of the war.

In the case of the Burning of Kings Landing Dany knows she is in a race for legitimacy to rule. Cersei was going to loose the “Last War”, everybody (except maybe Cersei) knew that. The question was rather who was going to rule the Iron Throne after Cersei was defeated.

Jon has the better ancestral claim and the love of the people. Dany has a weaker claim, but her claim is backed by dragon power. It could be argued that the indiscriminate burning of Kings Landing was a show of power by Dany in order to bolster her position. She might have wanted to drive home to the people opf Westeros that she alone defeated Cersei; and also what happens to those who oppose her.

The real-world reference of Dresden (if intended) becomes even more interesting when viewed in light of another asofai canon event, the sacking of Kings Landing during Roberts Rebellion.

Roberts Rebellion clearly had some real disturbing elements to it, but since the victor get to be the author - or at least the editor - of history, some dubious justifications for the rebellion (and the sacking of Kings Landing) were spun as undisputed facts of history. The abduction and raping of Lyanna Stark is a clear example, but perhaps there are more…. How about the Targaryen madness? Was the Mad King really mad, or just overthrown?

Maybe you can see where I’m going with this.

What if the last scene of game of Thrones is featuring old Sam (played by Martin himself of course) at his desk in the Citadel in Oldtown trying finish his masterpiece, The Song of Ice and Fire. What if Sam Tarly, the friend and confidant of House Stark, is the one delivering the story to us; with his spin and perspective.

Think about it.

Dany is obviously not going to win the game of thrones. She is clearly being portrayed as a mad regent, like her father before her.

What if the story we are told, the Song of Ice and Fire, is the winners spin of history in order to legitimize a new dynasty on the Iron Throne and the numerous atrocities committed to seize power. Dany might be vilified as part of an effort to consolidate power. Sam clearly doesn’t like Daenerys and is probably also an ally of the new ruling dynasty. He would likely have no problem with such a scheme. After all, it is for the good of the realm.  

This might explain the slight logical dissonance felt at least by me in Danys transition into madness. The hints of her madness were clearly there – even long before season 8 - but the actual “snap” came very sudden and the actions committed after her transition into madness don’t rhyme well with the earlier hinted behavior towards “madness”.

These hints, the killing of the Slave Masters, the burning of the Tarlys and Danys often aired wish to burn and destroy her enemies are not the actions of a merciful ruler, but they are not outlandish in any shape, way or form when put in a historical or asoiaf canon context. They don’t really hint towards madness as much as they hint towards a disregard for human life. A disregard shared by many other characters in the show, who has clearly not been portrayed as on the verge of madness.

No-one is claiming that Ned Stark was descending into madness when he executed a young man who fled for his life due to the reappearance of the White Walkers.

No-one is claiming that Theon was descending into madness when he murdered two innocent boys in order to claim that the Bran and Rickon Stark were dead.

No-one is claiming that Tywin was descending into madness when he planned and executed the Red Wedding.

No-one is claiming that Arya Stark was descending into madness when she baked a pie of the remains of Lord Frey’s sons and then fed it to him.   

The first time the show runners really did get out of their way to drive home a moral point and force an unambiguous opinion was with the burning of Kings Landing, why?

Might the explanation be found in the actual making of history. After all, history is written by the victors.

Too farfetched?

Spoiler

SPOILER EPISODE 5 SEASON 8

 

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It would make more sense, if this was meant to come across as an altered history, if we see how things actually played out but then afterwards see how the event is being spun.  For instance, if Dany didn't go mad but Jon supporters wanted her to come across that way, show her burning down the Red Keep as a show of force.  Then have Sansa receive a letter stating that Dany went mad and burned down all of King's Landing.  Maybe have it so the city didn't surrender until soon after she started her raid on the Red Keep, but have all of the accounts of the attack say that she started her raid after the enemy had already surrendered.

Ultimately if this was supposed to be an allegory of how history gets written by the victors it could have been shown as such, but that is not the point that this scene was supposed to have.  But then I'm not entirely sure what the point was, since any reasoning I could come up with seems to fall flat due to the build up (or lack thereof) to it.

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1 hour ago, Madinxor said:

What if the last scene of game of Thrones is featuring old Sam (played by Martin himself of course) at his desk in the Citadel in Oldtown trying finish his masterpiece, The Song of Ice and Fire. What if Sam Tarly, the friend and confidant of House Stark, is the one delivering the story to us; with his spin and perspective.

This theory is very old and Sam delivering the story is even probable. If they had time for it.

It is unlikely, however, that GRRM plays the role himself. That would be a big, positive surprise that kept secret.

1 hour ago, Madinxor said:

Both wars were “won” before the actual bombing started and neither the bombing of Dresden nor the burning of Kings Landing did serve a legitimate military purpose.

I like the comparison. We shouldn't carry this too far, but bombings and destruction after a battle is actually won has never been uncommon. 

1 hour ago, Madinxor said:

Might the explanation be found in the actual making of history. After all, history is written by the victors.

Could be. This is not unreasonable.

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I like the Dresden analogy.   

But I don't think ASOIAF is a false history, intended to portray Dany in a bad light to help legitimise someone else's claim to the throne.  I think it's very much "real".   Only in fairy stories are there good guys who defeat the bad guys and everyone lives happily ever after.  In the real world - as Dresden showed - the good guys can be just as evil as the bad guys.   The world is grey, not black and white.

And whilst the last dominoes fell rather quickly, Dany's descent has been foreshadowed for a long time.  She was never a "nice" person ;) 

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Interesting idea, but ...

First, terror-bombing was very much a thing practiced by all sides in WW2. And Dresden was a good 3 months of hard fighting, with many allied deaths in combat and much expenditure of financial resources, before the end. Nobody considered it pointless. They were trying to make the Germans surrender. The A-bomb at Nagasaki might be a better example, but that actually directly caused surrender.

Second, this is not the kind of story told by winners. It's not one-sided propaganda; in fact, there's quite a lot of propagandizing on Dany's behalf if you really look at it, not to mention quite a few of the winners' dirty little secrets told.

Assuming that's who wins, which is not a safe assumption at this point.

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Posted (edited)

I like the Dresden analogy (even though I think the Hiroshima nukes more fitting in this case). But I really believe this to be a case of madness pure and simple. Because she said that herself when Jon rejected her: "Is this all I am to you? Your Queen? If I cannot rule with love, then let it be fear" (quoting from memory).

This story is from Jon's perspective, not Sam.

What comes out very clearly here is her narcissistic personality (NPD), which needs love and adoration. The last time she felt that love was beyond the Narrow Sea, and then she still had Sir Jorah and Missandei. She had Jon for a while, her dragons. And then she lost everything in blink.

D&D said that as soon as she sees the Red Keep she is reminded of her ancestors and what has been taken away from her and that's why she destroys it all. Well, it would have made sense to attack only the Red Keep then, but she went for the whole city, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms. It's her response to the Seven Kingdoms: Fear in an attempt to "buy" their love (see previous speech to Jon) or loyalty. Her attack on the city was her punishment for a country who, despite her efforts, did not cherish nor love her.

NPD affected are quite charming people, loving too as long as they feel the admiration they crave more than anything. They literally flip when this is missing. Her magical nature (immune to fire) feeds her ego beyond measure. In this season she repeats again and again: "They don't love me here" (which, in her mind, is due to her). That and the loss of the only love that remains is the trigger of her descent into madness. 

Dany's journey is the reversed redemption path: from hero to villain and yes, this was there from the beginning, from the moment she started to taste the power that made her stronger.

Edited by Ranger Kragin

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Posted (edited)

The story isn't told by a third person, we're reading PoVs. So it could only be a fiction and not a book written based on historical events(in the world of aSoIaF). 

No one will finish the book and write "by Frodo & Bilbo Baggins" in a scene at the end :P

Edited by Quillon

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Madinxor said:

There might be an explanation to the logical dissonance a lot of viewers felt when Dany during episode 5 transitioned into madness. And this explanation starts with the firebombing of Dresden in 1945.

There have been some comparisons made between the real world firebombing of Dresden and the asoiaf burning of Kings Landing. The director of episode 5, Miguel Sapochnik have made the comparison at least once to my knowledge.

And the similarities are quite striking.

Both wars were “won” before the actual bombing started and neither the bombing of Dresden nor the burning of Kings Landing did serve a legitimate military purpose.

In the Dresden case it has been argued that the real reason for the bombing was to cause massive terror among the civilians and thus break the spirit of the German people in order to force an early German capitulation. This because the US and British feared that their ally Russia otherwise would grab to much of Germany before the war officially ended; which would secure a much better position in the negotiations in the aftermath of the war.

In the case of the Burning of Kings Landing Dany knows she is in a race for legitimacy to rule. Cersei was going to loose the “Last War”, everybody (except maybe Cersei) knew that. The question was rather who was going to rule the Iron Throne after Cersei was defeated.

Jon has the better ancestral claim and the love of the people. Dany has a weaker claim, but her claim is backed by dragon power. It could be argued that the indiscriminate burning of Kings Landing was a show of power by Dany in order to bolster her position. She might have wanted to drive home to the people opf Westeros that she alone defeated Cersei; and also what happens to those who oppose her.

The real-world reference of Dresden (if intended) becomes even more interesting when viewed in light of another asofai canon event, the sacking of Kings Landing during Roberts Rebellion.

Roberts Rebellion clearly had some real disturbing elements to it, but since the victor get to be the author - or at least the editor - of history, some dubious justifications for the rebellion (and the sacking of Kings Landing) were spun as undisputed facts of history. The abduction and raping of Lyanna Stark is a clear example, but perhaps there are more…. How about the Targaryen madness? Was the Mad King really mad, or just overthrown?

Maybe you can see where I’m going with this.

What if the last scene of game of Thrones is featuring old Sam (played by Martin himself of course) at his desk in the Citadel in Oldtown trying finish his masterpiece, The Song of Ice and Fire. What if Sam Tarly, the friend and confidant of House Stark, is the one delivering the story to us; with his spin and perspective.

Think about it.

Dany is obviously not going to win the game of thrones. She is clearly being portrayed as a mad regent, like her father before her.

What if the story we are told, the Song of Ice and Fire, is the winners spin of history in order to legitimize a new dynasty on the Iron Throne and the numerous atrocities committed to seize power. Dany might be vilified as part of an effort to consolidate power. Sam clearly doesn’t like Daenerys and is probably also an ally of the new ruling dynasty. He would likely have no problem with such a scheme. After all, it is for the good of the realm.  

This might explain the slight logical dissonance felt at least by me in Danys transition into madness. The hints of her madness were clearly there – even long before season 8 - but the actual “snap” came very sudden and the actions committed after her transition into madness don’t rhyme well with the earlier hinted behavior towards “madness”.

These hints, the killing of the Slave Masters, the burning of the Tarlys and Danys often aired wish to burn and destroy her enemies are not the actions of a merciful ruler, but they are not outlandish in any shape, way or form when put in a historical or asoiaf canon context. They don’t really hint towards madness as much as they hint towards a disregard for human life. A disregard shared by many other characters in the show, who has clearly not been portrayed as on the verge of madness.

No-one is claiming that Ned Stark was descending into madness when he executed a young man who fled for his life due to the reappearance of the White Walkers.

No-one is claiming that Theon was descending into madness when he murdered two innocent boys in order to claim that the Bran and Rickon Stark were dead.

No-one is claiming that Tywin was descending into madness when he planned and executed the Red Wedding.

No-one is claiming that Arya Stark was descending into madness when she baked a pie of the remains of Lord Frey’s sons and then fed it to him.   

The first time the show runners really did get out of their way to drive home a moral point and force an unambiguous opinion was with the burning of Kings Landing, why?

Might the explanation be found in the actual making of history. After all, history is written by the victors.

Too farfetched?

  Hide contents

SPOILER EPISODE 5 SEASON 8

 

Unfortunately yes, too farfetched. While they no doubt took inspiration from the bombing of Dresden, the idea that D&D would give such care and attention to a theme that extends in depth beyond 'People are shit and you should feel shit', 'You want the good girl, but you need the bad pussy' and 'Maybe it's all cocks in the end' is unfortunately infeasible.

Themes are for eighth grade book reports according to them. Just like how Dany kinda forgot about the iron fleet, D&D kinda forgot to establish the level of casual cruelty Dany was capable of. Because ruthlessness to your enemies and killing countless innocents to make an example are two very different personality traits.

Not that D&D know. It's been nothing but 'Oh, she's killing enemies that didn't surrender, Dany must be craaaaazy' while also propping up Arya as a loveable POV despite her casually threatening to flay Sansa's face last season.

In short: If you think D&D have been paying attention, you haven't been paying attention.

Edited by Beardy the Wildling

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3 hours ago, Bran the Shipper said:

Ultimately if this was supposed to be an allegory of how history gets written by the victors it could have been shown as such, but that is not the point that this scene was supposed to have.  But then I'm not entirely sure what the point was, since any reasoning I could come up with seems to fall flat due to the build up (or lack thereof) to it.

I agree, If it was the case there should have been more clues to this.

One could argue that the intro in itself is a clue to that the story is told from the Citadel, but this doesn't necessarily mean that the story is ultimately told from a third person point of view though. 

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3 hours ago, Kajjo said:

This theory is very old and Sam delivering the story is even probable. If they had time for it.

It is unlikely, however, that GRRM plays the role himself. That would be a big, positive surprise that kept secret.

Yes I know, It would be nice though. Especially if Sam made a reference to how he had procrastinated enough and really needed to finish the book/books.

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2 hours ago, Hodor's Dragon said:

Second, this is not the kind of story told by winners. It's not one-sided propaganda; in fact, there's quite a lot of propagandizing on Dany's behalf if you really look at it, not to mention quite a few of the winners' dirty little secrets told.

This is true. A propaganda piece would of course be way more one sided.

Maybe its more reasonable to think of Sam (if the go down the route of him being the author of the Song of Ice and Fire, which is far from certain) as trying to objectively tell the story, but failing miserable because of his feelings towards certain key players. The point here would be to create a parallel between the obviously subjective Sam and the audience. We, all the fans, clearly tend to forgive or pass judgement on the actions of the Shows characters based on our personal feelings towards the same characters. 

But that might be even more farfetched, and very hard to effectively convey to the audience. 

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2 hours ago, Ranger Kragin said:

I like the Dresden analogy (even though I think the Hiroshima nukes more fitting in this case). But I really believe this to be a case of madness pure and simple. Because she said that herself when Jon rejected her: "Is this all I am to you? Your Queen? If I cannot rule with love, then let it be fear" (quoting from memory).

This story is from Jon's perspective, not Sam.

What comes out very clearly here is her narcissistic personality (NPD), which needs love and adoration. The last time she felt that love was beyond the Narrow Sea, and then she still had Sir Jorah and Missandei. She had Jon for a while, her dragons. And then she lost everything in blink.

D&D said that as soon as she sees the Red Keep she is reminded of her ancestors and what has been taken away from her and that's why she destroys it all. Well, it would have made sense to attack only the Red Keep then, but she went for the whole city, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms. It's her response to the Seven Kingdoms: Fear in an attempt to "buy" their love (see previous speech to Jon) or loyalty. Her attack on the city was her punishment for a country who, despite her efforts, did not cherish nor love her.

NPD affected are quite charming people, loving too as long as they feel the admiration they crave more than anything. They literally flip when this is missing. Her magical nature (immune to fire) feeds her ego beyond measure. In this season she repeats again and again: "They don't love me here" (which, in her mind, is due to her). That and the loss of the only love that remains is the trigger of her descent into madness. 

Dany's journey is the reversed redemption path: from hero to villain and yes, this was there from the beginning, from the moment she started to taste the power that made her stronger.

I agree with this exactly.  I think you can see them telling this story the past 2 episodes when Dany gets all angry when Tormund is praising Jon in Winterfell and then when she begs Jon twice (once to keep his secrety identity and again to love her romantically).  She feels like she lost everyone who once loved her (her other dragons, Jorah, Missandei, Tyrion, and now Jon) despite sacrificing everything to save the North from the Others.  Once the bell rings and she sees that the people of King's Landing are not responding to her out of lover but fear she makes it very personal and says "ok, I'm gonna destroy this whole rotten city."

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I agree a bit with the Dresden analogy. But dont think this is a fictional history. I think there is a lot of confusion over what she says to Jon. She's not tripping out because he doesn't love her. The conversation isnt about them, she is talking about the people not loving her, the lords. Everyone, even her closest advisors are considering switching to Jon. She knows Sansa knows Jon's secret & likely is prepping 3 regions against her. Dany needs to send a message that keeps her supporters in line (with fear as she cant have love) & to make sure Sansa doesn't resist her control of the North. The surrender of Kings Landing is not enough, burning it down after surrendering though does send a message. In Dany's head she may even think she is preventing a long war against Jon, Sansa & the North. She does not need to be insane for this or this to be someone's bias view or Bran warging her.

It is brutal but there is some strategy to butchering the citizens. D&D cud have done with a Daario or someone giving this advice to make sure the audience understands but they like the twist. 

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Posted (edited)

If you take her character arc (badly written, granted) from Season 1 to Season 5 you see where she's going. I am rewatching the show from Season 1. She was just a scared girl then. But she gets stronger and learns how to use her husband to do what she wants. She commands her husband not to plunder and rape women of  other villages, but she rejoyces when Khal Drogo promises her that "He'll take the Iron Throne for her, he'll burn the stone houses to the ground and rape the Westeros women". It's all fine for her then. She feels the love. Just as much as when she eats the heart of the horse. She craves that admiration --she also works hard for it, granted.

Just look what Khal Drogo says. "She how strong she has become? That's my son in her giving the courage". He was right and wrong at the same time.  It was power, not his son in her womb, to give her strength. 

Each conquest (with fire and blood) adds a title to the Daenerys Targaryen, First of her name, Queen of the First men etc. etc. etc. This is a typical symptom of NPD: The megalomaniac self-perception of being superior, unique (which she is), associated with pompous status wich is given to her by her birthright.

Humility is something she lost along the way between Season 1 and 2. Then she is arrogant, she takes without paying (her army). It is not an invention of the last two seasons. It's there from season 1. The last 2 seasons were badly written and hurried. I totally agree with that.

Edited by Ranger Kragin

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18 hours ago, RobertOfTheHouseBaratheon said:

It is brutal but there is some strategy to butchering the citizens. D&D cud have done with a Daario or someone giving this advice to make sure the audience understands but they like the twist. 

Yes, I agree that such a strategy, however brutal it sounds to a 21 century viewer, in a historical context has been very effective way of projecting power. And I would be fine if Dany for those very reasons decided that Kings Landing needed to burn. That would have been perfectly in line with what have been shown about her character during previously episodes.

I would also consider such a decision sufficiently foreshadowed by her previous actions, but would – just like you suggested – maybe have had her discuss the idea with someone before the attack.

They don’t seem to go this route though…. They go for the Mad Queen routine and this I find a bit out of character. It’s the coin flip madness that I have a problem with. We have seen ruthlessness and even some cruelty from Dany, but no madness, none whatsoever.

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I think the real point is that Martin is a pacifist, and hates war period.  There is little doubt this part of the story is from him.  The path to get here will be longer and more nuanced, but this is his destination.

 

Could it be the Blitz bombings of London? Yep.

Could it be Dresden? For all the reasons above and more.

Could it be Nagasaki? Probably, Japan was not going to keep fighting after Hiroshima.

Could it be Japan's actions in occupied China and Korea?...

100,000 + Iraqi civilians died when an outside force eliminated their tyrant.

 

The point Martin is making is that if you use war to solve your issues, this is where it always ends.

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Posted (edited)

I don't see the problem like other people. I don't agree that her decision was clearly her being mad. She was grief stricken losing her Dragon and Missandei. Probably furious about the fact that she could have done this months ago when she still had three dragons and now still have three dragons. And angry at Cersei and her army.

But also she is angry at the reaction of the people to her in the future. It isn't all about today. Today she wins the war and the throne but sitting there looking down at the people she sees people that will turn against her, try to undermine her, promote Jon as the true heir. Ok, today those people just want to stay alive, but tomorrow they turn. She is looking at tomorrow and months down the line. She is not seeing their fear today, she is seeing their disrespect tomorrow. We are just observing the current image, she is looking at a different one.

Dany was clear about this for several episodes. I need power to rule fairly and justly. It is best to have that power through love as I did on Essos, but the only other way for power is fear. Burning a few thousand innocent victims is a great way to get that fear, no one dare speak against her because she has proven her ferociousness and might. She did offer to rule by love when she tried to get Jon be promise to let her be more than just his Queen, but he turned her incest request down. So without a united love partnership the only option was fear. SHE WAS VERY CLEAR ABOUT THIS.

In this light her decision, though brutal and vicious, was actually rational and the best path for her to get immediate respect. That's not madness, that is ruthless and un-empathetic but also logical. There is no reason why she wouldn't now, after getting total respect through fear, start enacting her plan to build a fairer world and eventually turn that power from fear-based to love-based. that is still a wide open story to be written if D&D wanted it that way.

Having said that D&D are probably using this to make out that the action is madness, she will become more mad and bloodthirsty and eventually have to be stopped. But I would claim I see anger and grief coupled with ruthlessness, nit necessarily madness here.

Edited by Pauld123

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Just a note: She did not try to gain love. She assumed she will automatically get it from everyone.

 

And yes, in her frame of reference it was logical. In Hitler's frame of reference Holocaust was logical. In Las Vegas shooter's reference his act also probably made sense. The jury is still out on whether they were "clinically" mad, but clearly they had few short circuits in their brain. Logical may not be the same as sane after all...

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4 minutes ago, Runaway Penguin said:

Just a note: She did not try to gain love. She assumed she will automatically get it from everyone.

 

 

This cancels all her season 8 arc. She should go for the Red Keep then and all love would come her way.  

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6 minutes ago, Runaway Penguin said:

Just a note: She did not try to gain love. She assumed she will automatically get it from everyone.

 

And yes, in her frame of reference it was logical. In Hitler's frame of reference Holocaust was logical. In Las Vegas shooter's reference his act also probably made sense. The jury is still out on whether they were "clinically" mad, but clearly they had few short circuits in their brain. Logical may not be the same as sane after all...

Was Hitler mad? as in clinically insane? I think that just because he carried out brutal murder doesn't allow you to make such a leap as to consider him insane.

Also the holocaust is a bad example because that was hatred of a race, nothing to do with subjugation and power. It wasn't a means to an end, it was just an end in itself. Similarly Las Vegas shooter didn't have an after-plan, killing for killing sake.  

Dany's decision was taken with an objective, subjugate through terror and then rule. Hitler didn't gas Jews so they would take them as their leader, he gassed them just to get rid of them. That's very different. 

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