Jump to content
Tyrion1991

Dany the Mad Queen was a terrible idea

Recommended Posts

There’s a been a lot of half hearted defences of this story lately. Basically falling into “might have been good if given more time” and “well it was implied in earlier seasons ergo you can’t complain about it”.

 However it simply was never going to be a good choice of direction for the story. 

Firstly, it’s not actually an original or striking idea. There have been many, many stories in which a well meaning character goes mad with power. I mean this summer we’ll be seeing the second rendition of the Dark Phoenix saga. We have loads of evil superman tales like the Injustice game which dwell on “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. So the argument that had this been well done it would have been some ground breaking moment is simply not true. It’s as worn out a trope as any other. So this isn’t some sort of intellectual or cerebral story that I am just not comprehending.

An element of deception was used with the character. A lot of fantasy stories have a hero encounter some corrupting influence that pushes them towards a darker nature. Again, it’s not an original idea within fantasy. Almost always something they overcome. Frodo and the Ring. Rand al Thor and the Taint. Thomas in Magician with the dragon armour. It’s very common. However those stories are up front and present this as the case. You know that the character wrestles actively with the Daemons on their shoulders. Simply put this is not done with Daenerys until season 8 and by then our opinions have been too firmly established. What we see her do isn’t more violent than the other characters and there’s nothing to suggest she has an inner conflict and strives to be a good person. The show also heavily cast her actions as heroic both in the show and throughout its marketing. It’s not an accident people perceived her that way.

The turn relies upon fantasy tropes which we were promised would be jettisoned in the first season. I was told that we would be getting a Machiavellian world in which good people don’t get what they want for being good and being ruthless and pragmatic works. Take Robert Baratheon. He is a scathing satire on the idea of the reluctant King. A drunk, a buffoon and a man who has sent the Kingdom to ruin. Ned Stark, the noble intentions that end with him outplayed and out of his depth. This is a world away from the moral message of the ending. Instead we have the wicked power mad queen killed by the righteous man who chose duty over love. With a reluctant and wise King raised up to rule over a benevolent and peaceful realm. Jon getting to walk off into the sunset. It’s an absurd ending given the rules the show set itself in season 1.

The character was enormously popular and iconic. It’s not an accident that the show really played this up in its marketing and on the screen up until the final three episodes. This suggests that they themselves knew that if they had her do some of the more questionable things she does in the books: her paranoia, the usurpers dogs, her three betrayals, some of the punishments she performs in Mereen. The shows Dany is heavily sanitised. There’s a bit in Storm of Swords where she has the Unsullied cut the cocks off all the rapists and fill a pot that’s so heavy it took two men to carry. I know the character has detractors in the show and the books. Iam friends with quite a few of the scum. But a lot of people did think it was quite novel to have her be a powerful hero and very much interpreted her story in that light. To decide at the 11th hour to switch gears was never going to work because Dany has never been sold as a moral lesson on why power is bad. Had they tried to sell her on those grounds she would never have been as popular.

Also, there really aren’t that many female characters like Daenerys. If you read Wheel of Time or Stormlight Archive, any fantasy really, there’s a general preference to put them in weird or supporting roles. Shallan being a magical DND rogue for example, or have them do extremely boring monotonous soft power stuff like Egwene. Often it’s just random stuff like “find the weather flute”. Never mind that if the only other fantasy thing you saw was Lord of the Rings. Because of this, you can’t really say that, like with Superman, it’s an oversaturated story if Dany just ends up winning. As stated earlier, I ve already seen the Dark Phoenix saga and I don’t need to see it done badly again. However seeing this Dragon Queen rise from nothing to takeover a Kingdom; that’s novel. Having her be Malificent is not.

It would have been far more rewarding to see the character brought to the precipice and turn away. This was what I assumed they would do because, IMO, the character had no agency in those episodes as it was just a deluge of misery for her. As it stands they did probably the worst ending they could have done. As in WW killing everyone was preferable to that ending.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

There’s a been a lot of half hearted defences of this story lately. Basically falling into “might have been good if given more time” and “well it was implied in earlier seasons ergo you can’t complain about it”.

 However it simply was never going to be a good choice of direction for the story. 

Firstly, it’s not actually an original or striking idea. There have been many, many stories in which a well meaning character goes mad with power. I mean this summer we’ll be seeing the second rendition of the Dark Phoenix saga. We have loads of evil superman tales like the Injustice game which dwell on “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. So the argument that had this been well done it would have been some ground breaking moment is simply not true. It’s as worn out a trope as any other. So this isn’t some sort of intellectual or cerebral story that I am just not comprehending.

An element of deception was used with the character. A lot of fantasy stories have a hero encounter some corrupting influence that pushes them towards a darker nature. Again, it’s not an original idea within fantasy. Almost always something they overcome. Frodo and the Ring. Rand al Thor and the Taint. Thomas in Magician with the dragon armour. It’s very common. However those stories are up front and present this as the case. You know that the character wrestles actively with the Daemons on their shoulders. Simply put this is not done with Daenerys until season 8 and by then our opinions have been too firmly established. What we see her do isn’t more violent than the other characters and there’s nothing to suggest she has an inner conflict and strives to be a good person. The show also heavily cast her actions as heroic both in the show and throughout its marketing. It’s not an accident people perceived her that way.

The turn relies upon fantasy tropes which we were promised would be jettisoned in the first season. I was told that we would be getting a Machiavellian world in which good people don’t get what they want for being good and being ruthless and pragmatic works. Take Robert Baratheon. He is a scathing satire on the idea of the reluctant King. A drunk, a buffoon and a man who has sent the Kingdom to ruin. Ned Stark, the noble intentions that end with him outplayed and out of his depth. This is a world away from the moral message of the ending. Instead we have the wicked power mad queen killed by the righteous man who chose duty over love. With a reluctant and wise King raised up to rule over a benevolent and peaceful realm. Jon getting to walk off into the sunset. It’s an absurd ending given the rules the show set itself in season 1.

The character was enormously popular and iconic. It’s not an accident that the show really played this up in its marketing and on the screen up until the final three episodes. This suggests that they themselves knew that if they had her do some of the more questionable things she does in the books: her paranoia, the usurpers dogs, her three betrayals, some of the punishments she performs in Mereen. The shows Dany is heavily sanitised. There’s a bit in Storm of Swords where she has the Unsullied cut the cocks off all the rapists and fill a pot that’s so heavy it took two men to carry. I know the character has detractors in the show and the books. Iam friends with quite a few of the scum. But a lot of people did think it was quite novel to have her be a powerful hero and very much interpreted her story in that light. To decide at the 11th hour to switch gears was never going to work because Dany has never been sold as a moral lesson on why power is bad. Had they tried to sell her on those grounds she would never have been as popular.

Also, there really aren’t that many female characters like Daenerys. If you read Wheel of Time or Stormlight Archive, any fantasy really, there’s a general preference to put them in weird or supporting roles. Shallan being a magical DND rogue for example, or have them do extremely boring monotonous soft power stuff like Egwene. Often it’s just random stuff like “find the weather flute”. Never mind that if the only other fantasy thing you saw was Lord of the Rings. Because of this, you can’t really say that, like with Superman, it’s an oversaturated story if Dany just ends up winning. As stated earlier, I ve already seen the Dark Phoenix saga and I don’t need to see it done badly again. However seeing this Dragon Queen rise from nothing to takeover a Kingdom; that’s novel. Having her be Malificent is not.

It would have been far more rewarding to see the character brought to the precipice and turn away. This was what I assumed they would do because, IMO, the character had no agency in those episodes as it was just a deluge of misery for her. As it stands they did probably the worst ending they could have done. As in WW killing everyone was preferable to that ending.

Agreed. Sort of. However, I think that narratively, it made sense for her character to end on a tragic note. Much like it's already been pointed out, Dany's story has always been just her going up and up and up in power and resources. To have her just win/ get the IT could end up being a boring ending.

I always suspected that she would lose/die, but frankly, having her go mad is the worst narrative choice of all the "no happy ending" options.

It would have been better if she died a hero, in the Battle for the Dawn. It would have been better to have her realize she preferred ruling in Essos and since she gains no love in Westeros, have her go back and remain a queen of Slavers Bay. It would have been much better to have her destroy the Red Keep in anger directed at Cersei and have her kill innocents as collateral damage. And finally, it would have made a much, much better story, to have her blow up KL unintentionally - she goes for Red Keep, boom, wildfire does the rest. It would have achieved the same ending, but without her dumb heel turn. And it would have felt much more tragic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The idea isnt bad. The execution was bad.

 

In the books I believe Dany will be seen by Westerosi people as an invader and the people will love Fake Aegon the two of them will fight.

But I think it will be just like Tyrion is perceived as a demon monkey etc. WE the readers know this is not true and that he cares about the commonfolk. That is what I think will happen to Danny.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The George can probably make Dany’s fall work in the books, but yeah, as far as the show is concerned, it’s pretty baffling that they chose to have Dany become a villain in the second to last episode when there has been so little build up leading to this moment, and the show would have been better off if they had simply cut this plotline (and scaled down the game of thrones stuff), so that they could focus more on the White Walkers instead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Einheri said:

The George can probably make Dany’s fall work in the books, but yeah, as far as the show is concerned, it’s pretty baffling that they chose to have Dany become a villain in the second to last episode when there has been so little build up leading to this moment, and the show would have been better off if they had simply cut this plotline (and scaled down the game of thrones stuff), so that they could focus more on the White Walkers instead.

the show is called Game of Thrones... it's not for nothing... the throne storyline was always meant to be more important than the White Walkers. Also, as it has been demonstrated countless times, there was a lot of build up to this moment, and it was in line with what the show was about in the end: Birth right and ambitions are the worst reasons to be a ruler. Dany was meant to fail, because there was no good reason for her to win the throne. And her dying as a hero would have contradict the purpose of the story...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Einheri said:

The George can probably make Dany’s fall work in the books, but yeah, as far as the show is concerned, it’s pretty baffling that they chose to have Dany become a villain in the second to last episode when there has been so little build up leading to this moment, and the show would have been better off if they had simply cut this plotline (and scaled down the game of thrones stuff), so that they could focus more on the White Walkers instead.

Actually burning the Tarlys was part of that build up, but no one cared I guess, despite Tyrion's and Varys's reservations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

There’s a been a lot of half hearted defences of this story lately. Basically falling into “might have been good if given more time” and “well it was implied in earlier seasons ergo you can’t complain about it”.

 However it simply was never going to be a good choice of direction for the story. 

Firstly, it’s not actually an original or striking idea. There have been many, many stories in which a well meaning character goes mad with power. I mean this summer we’ll be seeing the second rendition of the Dark Phoenix saga. We have loads of evil superman tales like the Injustice game which dwell on “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. So the argument that had this been well done it would have been some ground breaking moment is simply not true. It’s as worn out a trope as any other. So this isn’t some sort of intellectual or cerebral story that I am just not comprehending.

An element of deception was used with the character. A lot of fantasy stories have a hero encounter some corrupting influence that pushes them towards a darker nature. Again, it’s not an original idea within fantasy. Almost always something they overcome. Frodo and the Ring. Rand al Thor and the Taint. Thomas in Magician with the dragon armour. It’s very common. However those stories are up front and present this as the case. You know that the character wrestles actively with the Daemons on their shoulders. Simply put this is not done with Daenerys until season 8 and by then our opinions have been too firmly established. What we see her do isn’t more violent than the other characters and there’s nothing to suggest she has an inner conflict and strives to be a good person. The show also heavily cast her actions as heroic both in the show and throughout its marketing. It’s not an accident people perceived her that way.

The turn relies upon fantasy tropes which we were promised would be jettisoned in the first season. I was told that we would be getting a Machiavellian world in which good people don’t get what they want for being good and being ruthless and pragmatic works. Take Robert Baratheon. He is a scathing satire on the idea of the reluctant King. A drunk, a buffoon and a man who has sent the Kingdom to ruin. Ned Stark, the noble intentions that end with him outplayed and out of his depth. This is a world away from the moral message of the ending. Instead we have the wicked power mad queen killed by the righteous man who chose duty over love. With a reluctant and wise King raised up to rule over a benevolent and peaceful realm. Jon getting to walk off into the sunset. It’s an absurd ending given the rules the show set itself in season 1.

The character was enormously popular and iconic. It’s not an accident that the show really played this up in its marketing and on the screen up until the final three episodes. This suggests that they themselves knew that if they had her do some of the more questionable things she does in the books: her paranoia, the usurpers dogs, her three betrayals, some of the punishments she performs in Mereen. The shows Dany is heavily sanitised. There’s a bit in Storm of Swords where she has the Unsullied cut the cocks off all the rapists and fill a pot that’s so heavy it took two men to carry. I know the character has detractors in the show and the books. Iam friends with quite a few of the scum. But a lot of people did think it was quite novel to have her be a powerful hero and very much interpreted her story in that light. To decide at the 11th hour to switch gears was never going to work because Dany has never been sold as a moral lesson on why power is bad. Had they tried to sell her on those grounds she would never have been as popular.

Also, there really aren’t that many female characters like Daenerys. If you read Wheel of Time or Stormlight Archive, any fantasy really, there’s a general preference to put them in weird or supporting roles. Shallan being a magical DND rogue for example, or have them do extremely boring monotonous soft power stuff like Egwene. Often it’s just random stuff like “find the weather flute”. Never mind that if the only other fantasy thing you saw was Lord of the Rings. Because of this, you can’t really say that, like with Superman, it’s an oversaturated story if Dany just ends up winning. As stated earlier, I ve already seen the Dark Phoenix saga and I don’t need to see it done badly again. However seeing this Dragon Queen rise from nothing to takeover a Kingdom; that’s novel. Having her be Malificent is not.

It would have been far more rewarding to see the character brought to the precipice and turn away. This was what I assumed they would do because, IMO, the character had no agency in those episodes as it was just a deluge of misery for her. As it stands they did probably the worst ending they could have done. As in WW killing everyone was preferable to that ending.

You may think it unoriginal, but there are far more stories where good character doesn't go mad with power. Also, Daenerys going mad with power is thematically appropriate - the Iron Throne is essentially Martin's version of Tolkien's One Ring, it is something that people obsess over, that gives them power but at the same time also corrupts them and eventually destroys them. And what had she been obsessing over for a long time? That's right - the Iron Throne. If there is a Gollum in ASoIaF, it is Daenerys (that being said, she is not the only Gollum around, just the most prominent).

I do agree that Mad Queen Daenerys was a terrible idea within the context of the show. And that is an issue: Dumb and Dumber couldn't handle morally gray(ing) character, it was black or white with them (notice how they made Stannis into Satan, Jon Snow into Saint, Cersei into Satan... it is a black and white world with them). So they made Daenerys into a hero, especially once they outran the books... but Mad Queen is the endgame, it was most likely provided by Martin himself, so they couldn't avoid it. And since they had no groundwork, they had to jump from SaintlyAngelDany to MadTyrantDany with no in-between, no logical path connecting two characters. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, beeeeeen said:

the show is called Game of Thrones... it's not for nothing... the throne storyline was always meant to be more important than the White Walkers. Also, as it has been demonstrated countless times, there was a lot of build up to this moment, and it was in line with what the show was about in the end: Birth right and ambitions are the worst reasons to be a ruler. Dany was meant to fail, because there was no good reason for her to win the throne. And her dying as a hero would have contradict the purpose of the story...

Yeah probably, after all Robert's decision to send assassins to kill Daenerys lead her to this path, yes she wanted to return to Westeros before, but she couldn't convince Khal Drogo and she wouldn't be determined enough to take that path without Robert's stupid decision to send an assassin to kill her. She would be a regular Khalesi at Essos and couldn't do anything on her own. She basically wanted revenge, like the Hound wanted, and they both get it but they both died at the end. And after that she returns where she started, to Drogo like she see in her vision in the House of Undying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The way the show did it was obviously dumb - I do think it could have been done in a satisfying way, but I think I agree with you that, even if it was done right, it still isn’t the most satisfying end for her character.

I think a better one would have been her struggling with her fire and blood side and, even occasionally giving into it in significant ways (although not as irredeemable as mass murder of innocents).  Then, she takes the throne in some way where she is mistakenly blamed for all sorts of evil (wild fire destroys most of KL is the easiest example that comes to mind, but there could be others), and because she had demonstrated more significant fire and blood tendencies in the past, it is believable that she committed this one.  Jon kills her only to subsequently realize that he was wrong.  Then, Jon reluctantly assumes the throne to effect the significant societal changes that Dany wanted to and does it to remember her and her legacy.  A much more bittersweet ending and one where changes in the governing structure of the realm could have been believed.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I guess it was a good idea if the only thought behind it was to create a stereotypical arch villain for the endgame that the audience didn't expect.

It was a terrible idea if they wanted to tell a story with fantasy ingredients that still feels like it's all about real people, and not stereotypes.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Vanadis said:

Well, I guess it was a good idea if the only thought behind it was to create a stereotypical arch villain for the endgame that the audience didn't expect.

It was a terrible idea if they wanted to tell a story with fantasy ingredients that still feels like it's all about real people, and not stereotypes.
 

if it was stereotypical she would have been the villain since the beginning and you would be happy with that...
The show is about how birthright and ambition are dangerous, and Dany was all about birthright and ambition

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Her genes were her downfall. 

Which is lazy plotting.

Lazy plotting, no moral to the story, nothing we can learn from her journey other than if your father was mad and burned people alive, then you should be careful to not let people around you betray you, or you'll eventually turn mad, too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, WeDoNotKneel_HailMance said:

Lazy plotting, no moral to the story, nothing we can learn from her journey other than if your father was mad and burned people alive, then you should be careful to not let people around you betray you, or you'll eventually turn mad, too. 

actually there is a lot to learn from her journey!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, beeeeeen said:

if it was stereotypical she would have been the villain since the beginning and you would be happy with that...
The show is about how birthright and ambition are dangerous, and Dany was all about birthright and ambition

In my humble opinion, the moment Tyrion had to give a long speech to explain to the viewers what had transpired and how we're supposed to feel about it was when I realized that this show is no longer about anything at all. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Vanadis said:

In my humble opinion, the moment Tyrion had to give a long speech to explain to the viewers what had transpired and how we're supposed to feel about it was when I realized that this show is no longer about anything at all. 

so basically when one of the main characters is telling you what the show is about, all you understand is "it's about nothing!"
....
i think you're a lost cause... there is no point trying to explain you, you don't want to understand anything...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, beeeeeen said:

However... are there a lot of stories where the good guy turn into a potato in the end? no? then it's probably what they should have done

That's exactly what they done IMHO…

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

There’s a been a lot of half hearted defences of this story lately.

Not half-heartedly -- full heartedly.

I cannot imagine any other ending for her story arc than turning into Mad Queen and dying. If you paid attention, this was clear from season 1 onwards. Daenerys was always depicted as instabile, power hungry and prone to violence. Die or bend was always her credo.

15 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

Basically falling into “might have been good if given more time” and “well it was implied in earlier seasons ergo you can’t complain about it”.

It's not just about foreshadowing, it is about how her character was depicted in all seasons, even the very good S1-S4.

15 hours ago, Tyrion1991 said:

 However it simply was never going to be a good choice of direction for the story. 

You don't like the story of GRRM. Fine. No one needs to like every novel. For me this ending was clear and it makes a lot of sense.

The Song of Ice and Fire is about the Stark children and how they overcome two major threats from ice (Others) and Fire (Daenerys' dragons). It is about how circumstances shape and imprint children and how a pack survives all hardships.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, beeeeeen said:

the show is called Game of Thrones... it's not for nothing... the throne storyline was always meant to be more important than the White Walkers.

The show may be called Game of Thrones, but it’s based on a book series called A Song of Ice and Fire, and as in the books, the threat of the White Walkers have been built up since the very start, and for several seasons now we’ve seen Kit Harrington and others try to make people understand that the petty squabbles of humans mean nothing when you have an apocalyptic threat breathing down your neck. To then have the White Walkers lose the first major battle after they’ve finally got past the Wall, so that we can go back to focusing on the petty human squabbles is not only extremely anticlimactic but also ruins what could have been an important message for the viewer.

Another reason why it was a mistake is that D&D are terrible writers who haven’t been able to deal with the political aspects of the show after they ran out of material from Martin/chose not to adopt most of his last two books.

Quote

Also, as it has been demonstrated countless times, there was a lot of build up to this moment,

Nothing I've seen on here have convinced that there didn't need to be more build up to explain why Dany would end up destroying an entire city and massacre thousands if not tens of thousands of innocent civilians.

Quote

and it was in line with what the show was about in the end: Birth right and ambitions are the worst reasons to be a ruler. Dany was meant to fail, because there was no good reason for her to win the throne. And her dying as a hero would have contradict the purpose of the story...

I can actually think of several worse reasons for wanting to be a ruler.

Also, I don't see why having Dany succeed or die a hero would contradict "the message of the story". I mean what is even "the message of the story"? If you use military might to force through societal changes you will succeed in Essos but fail in Westeros?

1 hour ago, RYShh said:

Actually burning the Tarlys was part of that build up, but no one cared I guess, despite Tyrion's and Varys's reservations.

Executing the Tarly’s for refusing to bend the knee or take the black would not be seen as a big deal in Planetos. That Tyrion and Varys are concerned over this is just another case of terrible writing.

Edited by Einheri

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×