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Areisius

Foreshadowing is not character development

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Posted (edited)

This guy breaks it down perfectly.

I love when he plays the clip of one of the show runners stating "she's not her father, she's not insane and she's not a sadist." 

He also brings up the fact that Ayra and Sansa have committed terrible acts as well: Ayra murdered Walder Frey's children, made them into a pies and served them to him. Sansa murdering Ramsey with is own dogs.

Edited by Areisius

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Posted (edited)

iT wAs ThErE fRoM tHe BeGiNnInG

I can guarantee that even if S8E05 had, say, Jon bringing Rhaegal back from the dead because of his new Night King powers that surfaced offscreen in Episode 4 (or something), these 'theorists' would claim it was foreshadowed from the beginning. It doesn't fucking matter about the content or the writing to them, all that matters is their precious sacred cow isn't seen for the idiocy it is.

Edited by Beardy the Wildling

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GRRM and D&D demonstrate that Danny is a despot. Showing her trick the slaveowners isn't 'foreshadowing', it is evidence of her character - she is treacherous and cannot be trusted. Danny murders people she doesn't need to countless times and people ignored that.

The business with the direwolves is foreshadowing. GRRM made it clear that the Baratheons would kill the Starks. The direwolf is killed by the antler of a deer. That is not character development. Stannis burning the idols is foreshadowing his murder of his daughter but is rather closer to character development because it is an act he chooses to take and a pretty consequential one.

Danny burning the slaveowner, Danny crucifying the slave owners, Danny burning the witch, those were all character development.

But like supporters of certain politicians, you just didn't want to see it.

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The thing that was "there from the beginning"--or at least by the end of season One--was that Dany was ambitious , emotionally distant, assertive, and sometimes cruel. She went on to be those things but moreso, and got a taste for burning her way out of trouble. That's about it. 

There was the possibility that she would lose control and be crueler than necessary. Or even go crazy, because any character could go crazy I guess. But what does that have to do with bells? I dunno. 

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Did you guys even watch the video? appears your just saying what's been said already.  I agree with him. Of course its been foreshadowed but that's not what were saying is wrong. It was clearly foreshadowed show and book. It's the bad writing. 

 

The ringer has a article where [email protected] say they were offered more time or a season if needed they said NO its not needed. 

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4 minutes ago, Grbauc said:

Did you guys even watch the video? appears your just saying what's been said already.  I agree with him. Of course its been foreshadowed but that's not what were saying is wrong. It was clearly foreshadowed show and book. It's the bad writing. 

 

The ringer has a article where [email protected] say they were offered more time or a season if needed they said NO its not needed. 

It wasn't just foreshadowed. Foreshadowing is allegories and prophecies.

Danny realized that she couldn't rule by love so she chose fear and burned the city so she could sit on the iron throne. There was no military necessity but she did it anyway.

She didn't go mad-queen. She showed us who she was all along - the wife of Khahl Drogo.

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I think the video very much encapsulated the feelings of those of us who expected more from the story of Daenerys' fall. But hey, like the resolution of the Others/White Walkers storyline, it's water under the bridge, now. Regardless of how we got here, this is where we are. Let's just hope that the finale is spectacular enough to make us forget the ride.

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He’s absolutely right. The show has not shown Dany to be paranoid and that she dances on the edge of madness. She isn’t constantly talking about her three betrayals or seeing visions. Simply being violent and wanting the throne aren’t the primary indicators Dany might go Mad Queen in the books. Up until season 8 she is consistently portrayed as a heroine who is ruthless but that’s just a quirk rather than something evil.

Also the show has done a complete 180 with regard to theme. Up until this point Danys actions have been shown as signs of strength and her becoming powerful as a good thing. Tyrion and Varys were perfectly happy with her in season 5. Then, in season 8 they suddenly turn around and start idolising “the stoic and reluctant king” depicting Dany wanting the throne as evil and her violence as indicative of madness. The show told people Dany was a hero for 7 seasons and then switched gears completely.

This reviewer makes the good point that Dany has no agency like Ned and Rob. She listens to her peaceful advisors and gets screwed. She tries limited amounts of violence on military targets and they plot against her. She takes the sacrifice of helping the Living and gets punished. The writers make her have one really bad day to destroy her. 

So I do think the execution is objectively bad. 

That said, because I came into the series because of Dany, I dislike the notion that the character will ultimately fail and fall into madness. Especially as a trite polemic against the pursuit of power and use of violence. I don’t understand Georges need to put emotionless stoicism on a pedestal. Being apathetic isn’t a virtue. Everybody wants to be powerful and doesn’t make everyone evil. 

I also deeply resent that she’s being used to further the tragedy of Jon and Tyrion’s arcs; who in the show I don’t care for at all. It shows that George really considers Dany be a supporting character who was always meant to die at Jon Snows hand so he could make some trite moral lecture.

Part of the problem is that there really aren’t that many characters like Dany in High Fantasy. I’ve read Wheel of Time, Stormlight, Wars of Light n Shadow and none of them quite manage to have such a central powerful female character. Stormlight and late WoT maybe if you squint come close. But really they tend to fall into the support character role or the authors (even female authors) insist on them doing inane plots like wandering the Riverlands, or finding the weather flute. Which is boring and believe me I have looked around for similar characters. Because of this, Danys not just another character like Ned or Rob Stark or Stannis where I really view them quite dispassionately with a very Machiavellian gaze. It was sad because Arya and Sansa reacted to their deaths rather than because I actually cared about them.

In other words the character is more important than whatever moralising on power, violence or tragedy the show runners are aiming for with Dany. If there were dozens of book series with copy paste Dany characters then I could certainly understand writers and authors wanting to vary things up; but I don’t think that relevant here.

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4 hours ago, hallam said:

It wasn't just foreshadowed. Foreshadowing is allegories and prophecies.

Danny realized that she couldn't rule by love so she chose fear and burned the city so she could sit on the iron throne. There was no military necessity but she did it anyway.

She didn't go mad-queen. She showed us who she was all along - the wife of Khahl Drogo.

She became the character we now see because she married someone? Surely not! :)

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31 minutes ago, Gendelsdottir said:

She became the character we now see because she married someone? Surely not! :)

I think it's more that she realised who and what she was among the Dothraki - someone who enjoys violence and is good at it.

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9 hours ago, SeanF said:

I think it's more that she realised who and what she was among the Dothraki - someone who enjoys violence and is good at it.

Exactly. Danny did exactly what Drogo would have.

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Oh my... 

okay, so the issue with Daenerys is not that she hasn’t proved herself to be cruel and autocratic or that this isn’t recognized as her character development. (I would not blame this on the Dothraki, because most of daenerys’s Character development in this direction happened while she was in qarth and slaver’s bay and meereen, far far away from the Dothraki - apart from the twenty or so people who followed her and lived by her rules not vice versa) This character arc is supported by the main events of her storyline, foreshadowing, etc. No arguing there. 

The issue is two other things.

One. That this is a character arc of madness. To interchangeably mix and match madness and autocratic cruelty in the game of thrones universe is objectively bad narrative because it presents the opportunity to label 8 out of 10 characters mad as well, based on their actions of cruelty and autocratic handling of conflicts. That was clearly not the goal here, Daenerys was aimed to be set apart as the one mad person, whereas it sort of just ends up being a Daenerys in Wonderland situation where all are mad anyway. So, and I have posted this in about five different threads, so forgive me for repeating myself, steps to define madness and present the defined traits in daenerys would have been crucial to make this storyline happen. 

Two. In the books, Daenerys has her own chapter which is not an objective lens on her actions. Don’t quote me on this, but Barristan is the only other POV from which we see Daenerys (I might be wrong about this). George is also a fan of the whole unreliable narrator business as a tool in his writing, so there’s no way telling what the common and general (aka “normal”) perception of Daenerys is. However. The show presents all the characters as the one outsider POV. We don’t see the burning of Astapor through Daenerys’ or Barristan’s lens, we see it through the camera lens. And if this camera lens, along with music, photography, directing, acting is telling me as the audience that what I see is something to be celebrated, it is again very very very bad narrative to quarter back 5-8 years later, take the script out of the context (of camerawork, acting, directing, music, photography) and tell me that it is madness. To make things worse, if you keep telling me for 8 years in every promotional interview that I am supposed to celebrate the badass actions of these strong female characters, you have null zero credibility when you try to convince me about the opposite. 

And that is my problem with Daenery’s turning mad. Not that she did. Not that she did now. Not that there weren’t clues to collect along. The inconsistency. And the plot holes. Not really plot holes, but characterization holes. 

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Posted (edited)

dany giving in the dark side, was meant to be served as a great shock, and the only built up to her case was from season 8 when she actually reaches winterfell and things start to crumble for her. 

At the last episode I think we can see how devastated she is of the losses and the betrayal, the death of her people and the loneliness she goes through. She buried Jorah showing a very emotional tender side. 

And when she turns to John and tells him “so it’s fear”, she is sad, very sad that her journey has brought her here where exactly she tried to avoid to be. 

Being an emotional wreck for her losses the betrayal she saw in people around her totally contradicts with the idea that there was any built up to her madness or foreshadowing. 

Because her actions were caused by suffering, not from cruelty. 

Or else they wouldn’t show her in that state where she is sad, and of course they wouldn’t have needed season 8  to create the reasoning of her downlfall. 

When she reaches her final destination she no longer cares. She has buried her people and two of her dragons. She got nothing for exchange. Even the way she dashes in, risking her life and her only dragon betrays her desperation and determination. For her its all or nothing. 

Because she has no people to trust with her life, traitors are around her and they won’t let her survive now that Jon’s secret has been shared. So she has to win. 

Her built up is her last season. And her final decision to burn KL is actually served as shock because up to the last moment she fights it. That’s why she agrees with Tyrion and the city surrender. 

But then as she sees the Red Keep, the symbol of her dynasty, she can’t really control her emotions anymore. She explodes and then it is her emotions that control her. 

At least that’s how I read the script and I don’t need to go 5 seasons back. 

Neither do I justify the writing but her sadness and desperation are overlooked. And a sadistic, absolutely cruel or mad person doesn’t feel bad, neither hurts inside. 

 

Edited by Nightwish

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20 hours ago, hallam said:

burned the city so she could sit on the iron throne

This is complete and utter nonsense.

She did not need to burn the city in order to sit the throne. She had already won. It was over. She would have been queen.

Burning the city was not necessary in the slightest. On the contrary, she has compromised her position. Now her reign will end before it begins.

People need to stop repeating this garbage about ruling through fear.

When you're hated to this extent, you don't last long. Committing a needless slaughter only made her power more brittle. People will want to remove her ASAP. Jon and Tyrion will turn on her. She doomed herself.

"People should neither think he is soft and easy to disobey, nor should they find him so cruel that he disgusts his society" - The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli.

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An article I read and had started a post on would clear up some of the talking past eachother in this thread.  The article is in the Scientific American and is about how the show changes from a sociological perspective of writing to a psychological one and the effect that has on the viewers' perspective of the characters.  I think the difference of perspective is what has been driving this thread, the general bad writing aside.

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17 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

I don’t understand Georges need to put emotionless stoicism on a pedestal. Being apathetic isn’t a virtue. Everybody wants to be powerful and doesn’t make everyone evil. 

In the books Jon is not shown as being apathetic. In fact, he is shown as someone who feels and cares very deeply for others. He loves his family deeply inspite of never truly being one of them. He can empathize with people who are very different from him. He’s also not shown to be lacking in desire. He wanted to be Lord of Winterfell when Stannis offers it to him but his honor and love for his family and father’s beliefs prevents him from accepting that which he dreamed of as a child.

As LC of the NW Jon tries hard to be dispassionate and keep his distance from his friends despite his desire to be one of them. So no, I don’t think Book!Jon is apathetic or emotionless. 

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5 hours ago, Nightwish said:

 

But then as she sees the Red Keep, the symbol of her dynasty, she can’t really control her emotions anymore. She explodes and then it is her emotions that control her

 

And in her emotional state she very methodically burns streets full of people, back and forth, as if she was mowing the lawn.

I agree with everything else you say up to this point. Then I have difficulty with understanding what exactly is happening with Dany. As other posters have said, there is a reason you do not see her face after the initial reaction. Is she screaming with rage.... for the next hour.  Maybe, but why burn civilians in your mad sad rage and not go for Cersei?

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2 hours ago, TimeKills said:

And in her emotional state she very methodically burns streets full of people, back and forth, as if she was mowing the lawn.

I agree with everything else you say up to this point. Then I have difficulty with understanding what exactly is happening with Dany. As other posters have said, there is a reason you do not see her face after the initial reaction. Is she screaming with rage.... for the next hour.  Maybe, but why burn civilians in your mad sad rage and not go for Cersei?

According to the Behind the Episode, it is an emotional reaction. A snap rather than something premeditated. The writers can’t be more dumb.

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On 5/18/2019 at 6:37 AM, hallam said:

Danny burning the slaveowner, Danny crucifying the slave owners, Danny burning the witch, those were all character development.

This is ruthlessness to the enemies. It has nothing to do with the mass murder of civilians.

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