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Rikard

Daenerys the Terrible?

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9 hours ago, Uilliam said:

The problem with 'the Bells' is that it does not portray the medieval way of thinking, which probably comes across as skewered morality to modern audiences. The stark reality of a city being sacked was brilliantly captured in 'Blackwater,' but in 'The Bells' we get a weird mix of gritty realism and Disney villainy. The nuance of Danaerys was thrown out the window...so what you get is Disney's Maleficent turning into the big, black dragon and the audience shocked by Danaerys' terrible evil. People now speak of Danaerys as if she's the spawn of Satan, no better than Putin or Bush during the Iraq war. Which she isn't, but the lack of 'humanity' was par the course of warfare back is. And as a matter of fact, civilian warfare is still standard practice even today...though you wouldn't know it by the egregiously heavy handed reactions people are having to Danaerys' sacking of Kings Landing.

I think that's correct.  There are however two points (and they relate to bad plotting, not medieval warfare).

1. Sacking a city, indeed burning it to the ground, should be an act of policy.  So, if for example, Dany had decided that the Lannisters and all their relatives had to be eliminated root and stem, she might have reduced Casterly Rock and Lannisport to melted slag.  That is horrible, but it destroys an enemy so completely that that enemy can never threaten you again.  

Here, she's destroying her own ancestors' city, the place she's always wanted to own, for reasons.  

2. It's not yet been established in the series that she is Genghis Khan, or Timur the Lame.  The show previously went to lengths to portray her deliberately ordering restraint, when she took a city.  Had we been given scenes previously of her consigning women and children to the flames, when a city fell, this would all appear less jarring.

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16 hours ago, Rikard said:

So long as Jon was Warden of the North, Sansa could not revolt; while he would be well positioned to shield Sansa from Dany’s demands. He had merely to be nice to her.

Well, we agree that Tyrion manipulated Jon to kill Daenerys. Tyrion used the fact that Jon's sisters Sansa and Arya were in danger.

And that is the point were we disagree: Daenerys very clearly threatened Winterfell (and meant Sansa) in her victory speech. I don't think that Jon could have protected Sansa or Winterfell if Sansa would nove have truly smitted herself to Daenerys. And Jon himself has no real interest in submitting Winterfell to the violence he has witnessed in King's Landing.

Jon had to decide between his sisters and Daenerys and made a choice. I consider his choice to be fine. Daenerys would have brought a lot of death and violence over Westeros.

15 hours ago, cyberdirectorfreedom said:

"Joffrey, when your enemies defy you, you must serve them steel and fire. When they go to their knees, however, you must help them back to their feet. Elsewise no man will ever bend the knee to you." - Tywin Lannister

A very fine advice of a very strategy-wise man. 

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1 hour ago, Kajjo said:

And that is the point were we disagree: Daenerys very clearly threatened Winterfell (and meant Sansa) in her victory speech.

Does Jon speak High Valyrian?   How would he have understood anything about a direct threat from Dany toward Winterfell (meaning Sansa) from that?  Because I felt like nobody but the Unsullied would've understood a word of her youth rally speech.

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2 hours ago, dannyk65 said:

Does Jon speak High Valyrian?   How would he have understood anything about a direct threat from Dany toward Winterfell (meaning Sansa) from that?  Because I felt like nobody but the Unsullied would've understood a word of her youth rally speech.

For that one we can surely blame Tyrion, even if by his own admission his Valyrian is a bit nostril.  Notice how as Dany was spelling out her jihadist mission statement to her troops, Tyrion was drinking to eat the skull keeper!  Even after morghulis Cersei’s bittersweet spirits still caused Tyrion’s nasal drinking and gnoming things to Aegon Jon’s zombie’s brains about Dany.

What I'm still trying to figure out is how all those Dorkthraki screamers mangled to learn Valyrian so quickly. Hidden heliotropes, you think?

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Kajjo said:

 ... Daenerys very clearly threatened Winterfell (and meant Sansa) in her victory speech. I don't think that Jon could have protected Sansa or Winterfell if Sansa would nove have truly smitted herself to Daenerys. And Jon himself has no real interest in submitting Winterfell to the violence he has witnessed in King's Landing.

Jon had to decide between his sisters and Daenerys and made a choice. I consider his choice to be fine. Daenerys would have brought a lot of death and violence over Westeros.

 

Dany’s reference to Dorne and Winterfell in her victory speech is open to interpretation. The new lord of Dorne had earlier sworn allegiance to the Targaryen cause as had Jon for the North. They were no threat to Dany’s rule. Rather it was a pledge that she would defend all the Seven Kingdoms against any threat, from north to south. Unsaid was that many suitable targets for her brand of fire and blood warfare existed outside Westeros, back in Essos. The Unsullied and particularly the Dothraki got the message. This is the sane Dany interpretation. To say that she was declaring war on her own, hard won provinces is the mad Dany interpretation. 

Sansa, as Lady of Winterfell, would ordinarily have no say in the matter. Northern independence ended with Jon’s oath to Dany. It could only be restored by Dany or her successor. Sansa realized that any revolt against Dany would fail. But with Bran elected she had merely to ask. Perhaps he granted her request knowing that the North could not survive on its own and Sansa’s ambition to become Queen would lead to her death. More tree than man, Bran was no longer concerned with familial bonds. He took the long view.

As for Arya, Cersei was dead, her list complete. She may have disliked Dany and her methods, but she would refrain from doing anything that would further compromise Jon. She was smart enough to realize that assassinating Dany would not bring peace but more war among the competing claimants. Even if Jon could be persuaded to make his claim, as he had for Commander of the Night’s Watch, it would likely end as badly. This was another thing the showrunners got wrong. After Dany’s death the real kingmakers were not the members of the Great Council but Dany’s army. Grey Worm was the clear choice. Alternatively he may have demurred and fought on behalf of some other contender for an enormous price. This was the Roman model, with the Praetorian Guard deciding such matters. 
 

Edited by Rikard
grammar

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3 hours ago, dannyk65 said:

Does Jon speak High Valyrian?   How would he have understood anything about a direct threat from Dany toward Winterfell (meaning Sansa) from that?  Because I felt like nobody but the Unsullied would've understood a word of her youth rally speech.

Good catch. I just thought he read the subtitles.

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22 hours ago, Techmaester said:

I think it would be pretty effective at stopping future civilians from letting their leaders drag them into a war instead of relinquishing rule.

Civilians don't have a choice.

22 hours ago, Techmaester said:

 I'm not saying it's the ideal action but there obviously needs to be severe consequences to prevent other rulers from pulling a Cersei.

Rulers wouldn't care as they wont be punished. They can always escape. Plus punishment as a deterrent rarely works.

22 hours ago, Techmaester said:

If I was Jon I would be pretty ambivalent to them burning considering the history. 

Jon did, most rational people would.

22 hours ago, Techmaester said:

Like I wrote before I'm not sure why anyone cares - chivalrous war is a fantasy that didn't exist, are we going to turn on our protagonists because of collateral damage ignoring everything else she did?

There is a big spectrum between chivalry and cruelty. 

To the bolded, yes.

22 hours ago, Techmaester said:

Guess I am true believer. I don't think anyone could have thought she wouldn't need to commit a degree of mass violence to rule. I always knew she would and I was OK with it because I liked her and agreed with her ideals.

I'm not judging you personally, but this line of thinking is called fanaticism.

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22 hours ago, Rikard said:

A surrender must be accepted.  Even conceding that ringing bells constitutes unconditional surrender (I don't and neither did Tyrion at the Battle of the Blackwater) the defenders failed to immediately lay down their weapons. Apparently they hadn't gotten the word. Nor had Dany agreed to such an arrangement when Tyrion proposed it. Specifically the defenders were to ring the bells AND open the gates. The time to surrender is before the attack begins, not after the gates have been breached. Cersei's response to Dany's terms of surrender was to execute a hostage. That's usually considered pretty definitive. Cersei's orders to her soldiers were to fight to the end, buying time for her escape. What happened was entirely Cersei's responsibility. Razing a city which refuses terms has always been consistent with the laws and customs of war, even today when killing civilians is called collateral damage.        

So in this scenario, Dany is just as terrible as Cersei?

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Apoplexy said:

Civilians don't have a choice.

Rulers wouldn't care as they wont be punished. They can always escape. Plus punishment as a deterrent rarely works.

Jon did, most rational people would.

There is a big spectrum between chivalry and cruelty. 

To the bolded, yes.

I'm not judging you personally, but this line of thinking is called fanaticism.

They could have entered open rebellion but they didn't. Cersei didn't escape exactly because Dany choose a path of complete destruction so it would seem effective. Obviously we disagree on what Jons priorities should be but I think after someone had seen as much as he had seen, mass killing would be par for the course. I have never seen or heard of ruler killed by their generals for being too ruthless against an enemy - certainly not during pre-industrial society.

Dramatic social change, including change in leadership such as in Westeros will always require mass violence, I don't think it's fanaticism to put faith in a leader with demonstrated success even if that success comes with violence. Basically I think Danys successes far outweigh her failures, Kings Landing burning was not that significant when considering the span of her reign and the spectrum of feats she had accomplished(regardless of if it came with fire and blood or not).  

 

Edited by Techmaester

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9 minutes ago, Techmaester said:

They could have entered open rebellion but they didn't. Cersei didn't escape exactly because Dany choose a path of complete destruction so it would seem effective. Obviously we disagree on what Jons priorities should be but I think after someone had seen as much as he had seen, mass killing would be par for the course. I have never seen or heard of ruler killed by their generals for being too ruthless against an enemy - certainly not during pre-industrial society.

 

Maybe none of the rulers were killed, but I can name quite a few who probably should've been.

11 minutes ago, Techmaester said:

Dramatic social change, including change in leadership such as in Westeros will always require mass violence, I don't think it's fanaticism to put faith in a leader with demonstrated success even if that success comes with violence. 

The violence was committed against people with no agency. So yes, following someone who does that blindly is fanaticism imo.

13 minutes ago, Techmaester said:

Basically I think Danys successes far outweigh her failures, Kings Landing burning was not that significant when considering the span of her reign and the spectrum of feats she had accomplished(regardless of if it came with fire and blood or not).  

I disagree. She failed miserably in Westeros. And wouldve continued her rampage had she not been stopped (as portrayed in the show).

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Posted (edited)
On 5/31/2019 at 10:05 PM, Rikard said:

In Episode 5’s “The Game Revealed”, VFX Producer Steve Kullback says the destruction of King’s Landing was “heavily inspired” by the WWII bombing of Dresden. This warrants some examination. Dresden had a pre-war population of 642,000. By 1945 over 100,000 refugees had fled there. It was one of the few German cities largely untouched by the Allied bombing campaign. In 4 raids between 13-15 February 1945, 1249 British and American aircraft dropped more than 3900 tons of high explosive and incendiary bombs on Dresden. The inner city was obliterated in a fire storm. An estimated 22,700 to 25,000 people died. It is still debated what if any military significance the city possessed. Churchill decried such bombings late in the war as “mere acts of terror and wanton destruction, however impressive”.  That is to say, terror is justified if there is some military advantage to be gained. Air Chief Marshal Arthur Harris specified exactly how much justification was needed, “I do not personally regard the whole of the remaining cities of Germany as worth the bones of one British Grenadier”.

As formidable as Drogon is portrayed it is hardly credible that he could have surpassed in a single sortie the death toll of RAF Bomber Command and the 8th USAAF at Dresden. (Or Hiroshima for that matter, when one plane with a 12 man crew and one bomb killed as many as 146,000 military and civilians.) Benioff and Weiss may think it serves the plot for Tyrion to throw around absurd numbers, I expect Martin to craft a more plausible account.

Regarding the listed conquerors, none died because of any moral outrage over his siege tactics. Caesar was killed because he was ambitious, not for killing a million Gauls. Phillip, a jealous lover. Attila, domestic violence. Murad, perhaps at the hands of a Serbian suicide squad. Alexander? Any number of theories but none relate to his sack of Tyre.      

 

Show clearly represented Daenerys deliberately destroying civilians and their residencies, and also soldiers after supposed sign for surrender. If the death toll is in tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands  it doesn't make less of a crime.

I don't like it how it is presented and sudden development and showrunners are mostly to blame for that, but it is clearly represented as atrocity in the show, and there isn't much justification for that. King's Landing from Wiki has around half a million people in the books, it may had more since Cersei deliberately gathered more civilians as her "tactic".

Show Drogon obviously has enormous destructive potential managing to  single-handedly wipe out Euron's Fleet, all Scorpions, Golden Company and still manage to destroy most of the city, also Wildfire stashes caused more harm and falling structures. His breath looks more like a Laser exploding things in the battle, which is also inconsistent with earlier situations.

Killing leaders for "moral outrage over his siege tactics" is really limited situation, there probably aren't many carbon examples of that , but we can't really be sure of motivations of all involved into those assassinations, some senators may have seen Ceasar as tyrant, Robespierre was beheaded after his terror policies have gone too far, German officers tried to assassinate Hitler, conspirators had different motivations , even though prevalent was trying to save Germany from failing leadership, some may have moral motivation.

Note that I don't consider Daenerys character in the book at least, as evil or close to Tyrant yet, even though I am not big fan or her or some decisions.I also feel that they poorly executed that plot in show.

Quoting Wikipedia , unfortunately I know little of the matter except for Tom Cruise eye patch movie, so sorry if it is incorrect:

 

Quote

While the main goal of the plotters was to remove Hitler from power, they did so for various reasons. The majority of the group behind the 20 July plot were conservative nationalists--idealists, but not necessarily of a democratic stripe.[12][13] Martin Borschat portrays their motivations to a matter of aristocratic resentment, writing that the plot was mainly carried out by conservative elites who were initially integrated by the Nazi government but during the war lost their influence and were concerned about regaining it.[14] Even so, the persons involved explained their opposition to Hitler as a matter of principled opposition to Nazi policies and actions. Tresckow was appalled at SS murders of Russian prisoners.[15] Likewise, Stauffenberg had already decided that Hitler must be removed after learning of SS murders of prisoners of war and of Jews.[16] Goerdler, who was to have been Chancellor of the government installed after the coup, had publicly opposed anti-Jewish policies from the first.[17] And long after hopes of any negotiated peace had faded, Tresckow stated: "The assassination must be attempted, coûte que coûte [whatever the cost]. [Then,] even if it fails, we must take action in Berlin. . . . [W]hat matters now is that the German resistance movement must take the plunge before the eyes of the world and of history. Compared to that, nothing else matters."[18]

 

 

Edited by Eltharion21

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Apoplexy said:

Maybe none of the rulers were killed, but I can name quite a few who probably should've been.

The violence was committed against people with no agency. So yes, following someone who does that blindly is fanaticism imo.

I disagree. She failed miserably in Westeros. And wouldve continued her rampage had she not been stopped (as portrayed in the show).

Violence committed against people who followed a leader to their own destruction. It's not nice but it's not a random act and could have been prevented by their own actions. I will repeat - you don't get to resist, lose and then surrender and not expect to die(particularly in medieval times). Particularly after your leader had just betrayed a prior agreement and publicly executed a hand of your enemy. If Dany went fire and blood from the very beginning she would be queen of Westeros right now so the extent she failed is the extent she rejected her heritage and attempted politics diplomacy.

When you think about it - what is the message? The message is, smash your enemies when given the first opportunity or they will screw with you later.      

Edited by Techmaester

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, Techmaester said:

Violence committed against people who followed a leader to their own destruction. It's not nice but it's not a random act and could have been prevented by their own actions. I will repeat - you don't get to resist, lose and then surrender and not expect to die(particularly in medieval times).

Nobody surrenders so that they can be killed once they've been disarmed instead of being killed in battle. That's just stupidity. You don't surrender if you expect to be murdered once you've surrendered. 

Edited by CrypticWeirwood

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1 hour ago, Techmaester said:

Violence committed against people who followed a leader to their own destruction. It's not nice but it's not a random act and could have been prevented by their own actions. I will repeat - you don't get to resist, lose and then surrender and not expect to die(particularly in medieval times). Particularly after your leader had just betrayed a prior agreement and publicly executed a hand of your enemy. If Dany went fire and blood from the very beginning she would be queen of Westeros right now so the extent she failed is the extent she rejected her heritage and attempted politics diplomacy.

When you think about it - what is the message? The message is, smash your enemies when given the first opportunity or they will screw with you later.      

I could make arguments for and against the bolded when it is solely a question of soldiers. But the people of KL are not the same as the Lannister army. Nothing justifies burning them alive.

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2 hours ago, Apoplexy said:

So in this scenario, Dany is just as terrible as Cersei?

Terrible in battle, certainly. A desirable trait for a conqueror. The difference is that Cersei fatally underestimated her opponent, and then sacrificed her soldiers and people to escape. 

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6 hours ago, Apoplexy said:

I could make arguments for and against the bolded when it is solely a question of soldiers. But the people of KL are not the same as the Lannister army. Nothing justifies burning them alive.

One could make an argument that if you know your leaders actions will result in you being burnt to a crisp, you're going to rebel and put their head on a spike on your own. 

The people of Kings Landing facilitated Cersei existence, failing to oppose her and went along with her plan. Jons own plan would have attempted to do the same thing as Dany but using starvation instead(and allowing Cersei's escape). War's a shitty business, you suffer the consequences of your leaders actions regardless of if you like it or not.  

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1 hour ago, Techmaester said:

One could make an argument that if you know your leaders actions will result in you being burnt to a crisp, you're going to rebel and put their head on a spike on your own. 

The people of Kings Landing facilitated Cersei existence, failing to oppose her and went along with her plan. Jons own plan would have attempted to do the same thing as Dany but using starvation instead(and allowing Cersei's escape). War's a shitty business, you suffer the consequences of your leaders actions regardless of if you like it or not.  

They didnt have a choice like that as Cersei brainwashed them all into thinking that Dany was a tyrant and come to burn them all. They got scared and they have bad memories of the Targaryen reign which doesn’t help matters. What’s comical is that she was right in the end and now the Targs have an even worse reputation than they did before. Even Aerys doesn’t hold a candle befor what Dany did. 

I don’t think you understand that despite all her flaws, Cersei was a good administrator and people were happy under her rule. Dany would do a worse job than her at ruling if you look at her shoddy handling of Meereen and Essos in general. 

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7 hours ago, Techmaester said:

One could make an argument that if you know your leaders actions will result in you being burnt to a crisp, you're going to rebel and put their head on a spike on your own. 

The people of Kings Landing facilitated Cersei existence, failing to oppose her and went along with her plan. Jons own plan would have attempted to do the same thing as Dany but using starvation instead(and allowing Cersei's escape). War's a shitty business, you suffer the consequences of your leaders actions regardless of if you like it or not.  

Daughter of Mad King arrives with horde of Dothraki, Ironborn, Dornish, Unsullied, Huge flying monsters , I doubt most of the Westerosi population which Southerners are largest part, would consider her liberator. Cersei, Aegon or Tyrells using fear to gather support isn't far fetched in the books though show implemented it poorly, with lacking focus on effect of Daenerys huge army on countryside.

White Walkers only reached to Winterfell so there isn't widespread knowledge of effort to stop them.

Tyrant's suffer consequences of their actions too, though in real world is too rare, their successors more often pay the price.

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What happens in S08E06 is that Daenerys loses her grip on herself: she knows she's won, then she threads on the brink between mercy and revenge... and decides she wants blood, basically initiatiating the slaughter of King's Landing. Her troops follow through.

The point D&D tried to make is that she had turned evil, became a tyrant like those she was supposed to fight and defeat in order to "break the wheel".

It was done badly (extremely so) and it ended up being a complete and utter betrayal of Dany's chracter.

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21 hours ago, Eltharion21 said:

Show clearly represented Daenerys deliberately destroying civilians and their residencies, and also soldiers after supposed sign for surrender. If the death toll is in tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands  it doesn't make less of a crime.

I don't like it how it is presented and sudden development and showrunners are mostly to blame for that, but it is clearly represented as atrocity in the show, and there isn't much justification for that. King's Landing from Wiki has around half a million people in the books, it may had more since Cersei deliberately gathered more civilians as her "tactic".

Show Drogon obviously has enormous destructive potential managing to  single-handedly wipe out Euron's Fleet, all Scorpions, Golden Company and still manage to destroy most of the city, also Wildfire stashes caused more harm and falling structures. His breath looks more like a Laser exploding things in the battle, which is also inconsistent with earlier situations.

Killing leaders for "moral outrage over his siege tactics" is really limited situation, there probably aren't many carbon examples of that , but we can't really be sure of motivations of all involved into those assassinations, some senators may have seen Ceasar as tyrant, Robespierre was beheaded after his terror policies have gone too far, German officers tried to assassinate Hitler, conspirators had different motivations , even though prevalent was trying to save Germany from failing leadership, some may have moral motivation.

Note that I don't consider Daenerys character in the book at least, as evil or close to Tyrant yet, even though I am not big fan or her or some decisions.I also feel that they poorly executed that plot in show.

 

My Dresden digression was meant to illustrate two points.

First, that a mass WWII bombing by nearly 1500 aircraft is a poor template for depicting the depredations of a single mythical creature striking at roof top level, who can be downed with a single well-placed scorpion bolt, albeit with an apparently endless supply of incendiary fluid. Godzilla, maybe. His 1954 star turn was “heavily inspired” by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Second, and more seriously, the use of Dresden as a model raises the question of moral equivalence. If Daenerys deserved to be put down like a rabid dog for targeting civilians, what of the thousands of airmen who crewed those American and British bombers, and their military and civilian leaders? Were they all war criminals, too? Does it make any difference if you see your victims up close or from several miles up? Whether the pilot is acting on her own within the rules of engagement or under direct orders? Remotely piloting or flying in the aircraft? If it’s a good war or a bad war? Be careful how you answer, your father or grandfather may have been one of those airmen. And not just in WWII, but also Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen. It’s not at all obvious.

Considering the 1944 plot, its members knew what Hitler was by 1934. The mass murder of Jews, Communists, Socialists, homosexuals, mentally handicapped and POWs, and the terror bombing of civilian targets disturbed some, but the immediate prospect of unconditional surrender to the vengeful Allies was intolerable to all. They wanted to negotiate a peace and salvage something from the wreckage. But it was far too late. 
 

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