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Leonardo

I thought Greyworm was justified

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1 hour ago, SeanF said:

I would not point to one thinker in particular, but would suggest that as a result of the Enlightenment in general, practices that had been considered reasonable, like treating civilians as being guilty for the decisions of their rulers, ceased to be considered reasonable.

I'm not sure why you think that did happen, or why you think that would happen.

The only thought that occurs to me is that the rise of literacy led to more people, of humbler background, passing judgment on the crimes of history and/or reading for themselves the gospel teachings that conflicted with the actions of leaders.  But this could hardly have happened unless the ideals being violated already existed.  And of course, the enlightenment gave rise to its own massacres.

And of course, even today, 70% of the US population approves of the atom bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

And of course, even today, you will find many many people on this forum justifying the idea of a generalized Frey massacre.

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

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40 minutes ago, Platypus Rex said:

I'm not sure why you think that did happen, or why you think that would happen.

The only thought that occurs to me is that the rise of literacy led to more people, of humbler background, passing judgment on the crimes of history and/or reading for themselves the gospel teachings that conflicted with the actions of leaders.  But this could hardly have happened unless the ideals being violated already existed.  And of course, the enlightenment gave rise to its own massacres.

And of course, even today, 70% of the US population approves of the atom bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

And of course, even today, you will find many many people on this forum justifying the idea of a generalized Frey massacre.

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

You make a lot of good points .

People have, as you implied earlier, argued over just war theories for centuries;  people like St. Augustine, and St. Thomas Acquinas argued that not only did the cause have to be just, but the war had to be waged in a just manner.  Unfortunately, the impact of such theories was limited.  I wouldn't say the impact was non-existent.  As the Dark Ages became the Middle Ages, so captured enemies were more likely to be held for ransom, rather than enslaved or killed.  It was generally accepted that opponents should be given the option of surrender, before the fighting began.  However, once the fighting had begun, it was entirely at the discretion of the victor to decide whether he would accept it.  

WRT attacks on cities, again, the general view was that they should be given the chance to surrender.  If they surrendered, the property of the inhabitants was at the disposal of the conquerors, but their lives were to be spared.  But, if they resisted, their lives were forfeit, and the city would be sacked.  If the inhabitants were believed to be especially reprehensible, like unrepentant heretics, their lives were forfeit  whether they surrendered or not.  By saying their lives were forfeit, I don't mean that every conqueror would slaughter all the inhabitants, but he and his men were entitled to slaughter those whom they chose.  The city could expect to be sacked, with widespread rape and looting, in addition to killing.  IMHO, that was the norm, up till the later 17th century.  Civilians who did not rise up against the city authorities were deemed to be as guilty as the city authorities themselves.  

So, I think Dany, and Grey Worm were applying the norms of the medieval and ancient worlds to Kings Landing.  The City was offered the chance to surrender, and Cersei executed Daenerys' best friend (and Grey Worm's lover) in response, a calculated "f+ck you".  Therefore, she sealed the city's fate.  The Lannisters tried to surrender after Dany had largely destroyed them militarily, and Dany had no intention of accepting such a surrender.  Worse, she had already judged the people of Kings Landing guilty, because of their refusal to oust Cersei,  and set about executing sentence on them, by fire.

It's horrible, but all very plausible to me.  And as you say, rulers of liberal democracies have been willing to rain fire on enemy civilians out of pure fury.  Why wouldn't Dany do the same?

 

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