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Dany the Mad Queen was a terrible idea

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Techmaester said:

Clearly we should be concerned about the people who own slaves or facilitated the existence of a fundamentally broken system being oppressed by the tyrants who freed those slaves! 

A tyrant is anyone who breaks the existing system without regard for the people who currently rule it.   

"Mhysa is a master."

She didnt help any of the Unsullied transition out of slavery and she used them for her own personal vengeance quest on another continent in an expansionist power grab. So now these "freed men" get the glory of fighting and dying for Khaleesi Daenerys Stormborm, from Dragons Bay to Westeros, from Qarth and the Jade Sea. It's a fate they would have had anyway if they'd been bought.

"Westeros should be enough for any woman... but not for the dragon."

Dany doesnt break the cycle of history. She repeats it, on a bigger scale and in the most hypocritical way.

Edited by Rose of Red Lake

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21 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Plato said that citizens should be vigilant of tyrants because they would free slaves and use them as their own personal army. What a perfect way to gain loyalty, right? He also said that the only people who would follow a tyrant would be these freed slaves, exiles, and other paid mercenaries. Did GRRM read Plato when writing Daenerys? He certainly likes to pull from the Greeks.

That reflects as poorly on Plato as it does on the autocratic rulers of his day.  It was indeed common for autocrats to portray themselves as champions of the commons against oligarchs (eg Caesar) but that doesn't excuse the oligarchs.  Daenerys being someone like Caesar is a reasonable comparison, IMO, but that's a level of nuance that we don't get from this series.

 

29 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Well we got into that in the other thread, when I pointed out how she does look down on other races, but of course this would be from her POV so it would be distorted. She would never think of herself that way. Instead she refers to herself as the dragon and everyone else as silly, stupid, unattractive, superstitious, or uncivilized.  

And I dont know of any aristocrats who practice incest for magical blood purity so that only their family can use nuclear weapons.

Did you really think GRRM was going to normalize Targaryens in any form? They dont even want to be seen as normal, in universe. They want to be seen as exceptional. Dany even says this in S7.

Royal incest has not been that unusual throughout history.

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3 minutes ago, SeanF said:

That reflects as poorly on Plato as it does on the autocratic rulers of his day.  It was indeed common for autocrats to portray themselves as champions of the commons against oligarchs (eg Caesar) but that doesn't excuse the oligarchs.  Daenerys being someone like Caesar is a reasonable comparison, IMO, but that's a level of nuance that we don't get from this series.

Dany herself would be offended! Comparing the blood of the dragon to your workaday Caesar? How very dare. I'd say she's more like Caligula if she randomly picks people to execute. Philip and Alexander at least gave up on Sparta when they refused to kneel. Dany would probably barrel ahead and rule over their ashes. 

In the books, the amount of nuance you get isn't very interesting either. Basically, she doesnt like violence except when her dragons are involved. For instance, she's bothered by lions chasing dwarves but not bothered when her dragon burn innocent people alive 10 minutes later. The show and the books have her getting more comfortable with violence and conquering.

To make an accurate comparison on the incest, I think you'd need to give the Ptolemies a few flying nuclear weapons. Then of course, have the line end because incest for blood purity and hierarchy is fucked up no matter what universe you're in.

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15 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Dany herself would be offended! Comparing the blood of the dragon to your workaday Caesar? How very dare. I'd say she's more like Caligula if she randomly picks people to execute. Philip and Alexander at least gave up on Sparta when they refused to kneel. Dany would probably barrel ahead and rule over their ashes. 

In the books, the amount of nuance you get isn't very interesting either. Basically, she doesnt like violence except when her dragons are involved. For instance, she's bothered by lions chasing dwarves but not bothered when her dragon burn innocent people alive 10 minutes later. The show and the books have her getting more comfortable with violence and conquering.

To make an accurate comparison on the incest, I think you'd need to give the Ptolemies a few flying nuclear weapons. Then of course, have the line end because incest for blood purity and hierarchy is fucked up no matter what universe you're in.

Ceasar was as blue-blooded as Daenerys is.  It's just his family was a poor one (by noble standards).

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9 hours ago, Lord Stackspear said:

Ok, well here's another hypothetical to illustrate my point.  Let's say Ned was never beheaded, escaped King's Landing and got himself to Stannis Baratheon.  Ned rally's the North behind Stannis' cause because, well, for Ned, Stannis was the true heir to the IT - no, he had never been crowned king, but, to Ned, any man of honor who had pledged themselves to King Robert would get behind Stannis as their King.  Let's say they face off in a battle with some lords in the Reach or the Westerlands who have remained loyal to King Joffrey.  Ned and Stannis win, and ask the remaining lords to bend the knee and fight for Stannis or face the executioner's block (let's stipulate the lords in question have little hostage value and the allied Northern and Stormland forces appear to be close to securing victory).  Do you think Ned Stark would have any issue whatsoever with Stannis beheading lords in that situation? Let's even say it was Ned Stark and his forces alone and that Stannis' orders were to execute lords who refused to bend the knee to Stannis.  Do you think Ned Stark would have any issue beheading those lords with Ice just the way he did the Night's Watch deserter?  In Ned's eyes, Stannis is king because he is the heir - it wouldn't matter that Joffrey was sitting the throne - the lords had sworn loyalty to Robert Baratheon and Stannis was his heir, not Joffrey.

Dany is in essentially the same situation, just with a couple of extra kings in between.  I don't personally see a difference, and I think it is entirely consistent with the faux-medieval world of Westeros that the heir to a now-deposed and dead monarch would expect loyalty from the lords that previously pledged fealty to their predecessor and that anything less would be considered treason.    

Obviously, executing prisoners is not something Ned would prefer, he is the guy that gave chance to Cersei and her children to escape, that mercy caused all the trouble to Ned in the end.

Robb didn't execute Lannister prisoners, Ned wouldn't do as well. And if they did, he would certainly try to stop them from burning it.

Executing a deserter from Night's Watch is not the same with executing prisoners from a battle, soldiers are following their liege lords command, they are not committing treason because their commander telling them what to do, one way or another they would be traitors so there is no end to this, if they choose to follow Lannisters they are traitors for Stannis, but if they choose to follow Stannis they would be traitors for Lannisters, no matter what they do they would be traitors, but no one told that man to desert the Night's Watch, so you can't defend that deserter since no one asked him to do that.

Randyll is the same, he just followed the current Queen's command, if they didn't do that and joined Daenerys, then he would be a traitor according to Cersei, so he chose someone, executing him for following a command is too harsh, even if they still want to execute them then burning isn't the way, beheading is.

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4 hours ago, The One Who Kneels said:

No he plainly swore fealty to the Iron Throne. Cersei is not pretending to be Queen of the Rock and Reach. 

Greatjon could not have sworn any oaths to Robb at the time Robb threatened to hang him since Robb was not even Lord of Winterfell (Ned was still alive) yet. Lords aren't released from their oaths with an option to renew every time their feudal superiors die and are succeeded by their heirs. If you back one claimant and the other one crushes your army and takes you prisoner you are going to end up bending the knee to the other claimant or you will cease to be a lord one way or another. If you then reject one way you can cease to be lord (exile) you are going to end up going the other way (execution). 

Which is what she was doing until Dickon marched up and demanded to be allowed to be executed too. Then Tyrion tries to dissuade Dickon by pointing out how stupid this is but he refuses to reconsider, When Janos Slynt defied Jon Snow's orders did Jon just have him locked up in an ice cell until he rethought his actions? Of course not. He executed him even as Janos Slynt cried and begged for mercy and forgiveness. It is ridiculous and completely out of the norms that Westeros operates in to expect Daenerys to not execute lords who openly defy her rule and spurn any alternatives to execution. 

The Tarly incident was a total failure if it was supposed to be foreshadowing or another step on the progression into Mad Queen Daenerys. 

Greatjon swear fealty to House Stark and he accepted their leadership when he came to Winterfell. Robb was the head of House Stark at that moment since Ned was a prisoner.

Randyll or his son swear no fealty to House Targaryen, and they swear fealty to House Lannister when they decided to fight for Cersei. If they didn't, then they would be traitors for House Lannister, if you're a soldier one way or another you're becoming a traitor in a war so there is no end to this. 

Janos Slynt isn't the same example because no one told Slynt to disobey Jon's orders, he didn't have any choice but to obey Jon's command, Randyll on the other hand had two options choosing Cersei or choosing Daenerys, he chose Cersei, and swear fealty to her and fought for her,

Daenerys should take them as prisoners, like Robb was taking Lannister prisoners in the war, or at least she shouldn't burn them if they decided to execute them, beheading is the usual way for execution, not burning.

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[mod] Folks, can we please keep this civil. Remember we're here to have fun chatting about a TV series. If you find yourself getting upset, step away from the keyboard for a bit. Thanks. [/mod]

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, RYShh said:

Daenerys should take them as prisoners, like Robb was taking Lannister prisoners in the war, or at least she shouldn't burn them if they decided to execute them, beheading is the usual way for execution, not burning.

Keeping prisoners while you are in the field away from your bases is very constraining and even dangerous.

After the battle of Agincourt Henry V ordered the slaughter of thousand French prisoners. 

Btw, is Henry V known as "the mad King" anywhere? Nope.

Edited by Nowy Tends

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8 hours ago, CrypticWeirwood said:

They never made her "mad". That is not what they had her do, and the actress herself has repeatedly asked that we not call her that. It's insulting, stupid, and wrong. 

She let her cruelty get the best of her, which combined with her sense of entitlement, flash temper, and unthinking short-sightedness made her do brutal things. 

But she was never mad. Stop saying that.

But why should I expect civility from brutes who use insulting pet names for people they don't even know? Useless drivel from raging teenagers who need their mouths washed out with bleach.

It is insulting, but it is neither stupid nor wrong. Her progression was clearly meant to parallel other such characters in the show, and she always had that note of cruelty. Even within the show there were parallels to Aerys - remember Bran's vision? Paralleling Daenerys to the Mad King is quite obvious, especially after she went around burning entire King's Landing for absolutely no practical purpose. I would agree that she wasn't mad up until finale - she is, as you note, entitled, angry, self-centered, and cruel. But zig-zagging over entire King's Landing, burning her own troops? Sorry, but that has no logical basis at all. It is quite clear what scriptwriters intended, especially given how they jutapoxed her with Cersei.

It is not useless drivel, it is how she was portrayed in the show finale. You may not like how the show did it - I know I don't - but the end result is clear. You insulting people will not change that.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, RYShh said:

Obviously, executing prisoners is not something Ned would prefer, he is the guy that gave chance to Cersei and her children to escape, that mercy caused all the trouble to Ned in the end.

Robb didn't execute Lannister prisoners, Ned wouldn't do as well. And if they did, he would certainly try to stop them from burning it.

Executing a deserter from Night's Watch is not the same with executing prisoners from a battle, soldiers are following their liege lords command, they are not committing treason because their commander telling them what to do, one way or another they would be traitors so there is no end to this, if they choose to follow Lannisters they are traitors for Stannis, but if they choose to follow Stannis they would be traitors for Lannisters, no matter what they do they would be traitors, but no one told that man to desert the Night's Watch, so you can't defend that deserter since no one asked him to do that.

Randyll is the same, he just followed the current Queen's command, if they didn't do that and joined Daenerys, then he would be a traitor according to Cersei, so he chose someone, executing him for following a command is too harsh, even if they still want to execute them then burning isn't the way, beheading is.

Ned might not prefer it, but I don't think he would have any moral issue with it, particularly after offering them the chance to take the black.  Moreover, the Tarly's were not mere soldiers - they were lords who, if they had bent the knee, would have been able to spare countless more lives.  

But, I will admit this is debatable - it's not 100% clear just how moral or immoral Dany's execution of the Tarly's was in this fictional world.  But, I think that only further reinforces my main point - the execution of the Tarly's is simply not a good example to cite for Dany's madness/craziness development.  It doesn't demonstrate much, if anything, about her tendencies toward fire & blood.  It could have if told in a different fashion, but the way the show told it does not demonstrate some really poor lack of judgment, despite having Tyrion and Varys tell us it did (and, if you have to have other characters tell you it was bad, it's sort of a failure to tell the story in the first place).

 

Edited by Lord Stackspear
Typo

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1 hour ago, Techmaester said:

The Tarlys betrayed highgarden and killed the people in it.

Why is it even debatable if Dany executing them was warranted? Again massive double standard.

It is debateable, but that's the point.  Everything she has done, up to the point of incinerating Kings Landing, has been debateable.

I absolutely accept, she is not, despite her very sympathetic backstory, the flawless heroine that some people have assumed that she was.  She is brave, compassionate and loyal, but also arrogant, entitled and somewhat cruel.  However, her cruelty has never been out of the ordinary for the world which she is a part of. And, at no point, has she ever come close to torching thousands of civilians.  Nor is there any reason to think she would be so stupid to torch the most valuable plot of land in the world, unless there was a very pressing reason for it

The reason she gives to Jon, that Cersei was  using the civilians as hostages against her makes no sense.  It would make sense if she had simply restricted herself to attacking the Red Keep, killing hundreds of civilians in the process, but that would have meant she remained a vaguely sympathetic character.  So, she is specifically shown avoiding the Red Keep so as to burn civilians, for no reason that makes any military sense.  And, that is done simply to show that she is a complete monster who has to be put down.

As to the comparison that has been made by Emilia Clarke, with Lawrence of Arabia, he butchered some Turkish prisoners who had committed atrocities.  A debateable act.  This would be like him deciding to burn down Constantinople with all its inhabitants.

 

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I would respectfully suggest reading up on Alexander the Great. He offered cities a chance to bend the knee. If they did and agreed to pay taxes they were spared, allowed to keep their God’s, perhaps with new ones like Alexander, trade and made to be helenize. If not, rape, slaughter, enslavement and pillage was in store. Many places opened the gates.

As far as entitlement, Alexander was arguably illegitimate, but later made out that he was the son of Zeus. His hubris in battle ended up with him wounded because he was not as divine as believed. He also neglected to account for monsoon, dysentery, laying aside Greek customs, malaria, bad provisioning. Still, he did conquer a large area.

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1 hour ago, HoodedCrow said:

I would respectfully suggest reading up on Alexander the Great. He offered cities a chance to bend the knee. If they did and agreed to pay taxes they were spared, allowed to keep their God’s, perhaps with new ones like Alexander, trade and made to be helenize. If not, rape, slaughter, enslavement and pillage was in store. Many places opened the gates.

As far as entitlement, Alexander was arguably illegitimate, but later made out that he was the son of Zeus. His hubris in battle ended up with him wounded because he was not as divine as believed. He also neglected to account for monsoon, dysentery, laying aside Greek customs, malaria, bad provisioning. Still, he did conquer a large area.

Correct.  Generally, the reason for sacking a city that resists is to induce other cities to surrender.  Or alternatively, to destroy an important economic centre which cannot be held.

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6 hours ago, Aldarion said:

 I would agree that she wasn't mad up until finale - she is, as you note, entitled, angry, self-centered, and cruel. But zig-zagging over entire King's Landing, burning her own troops? Sorry, but that has no logical basis at all. It is quite clear what scriptwriters intended, especially given how they jutapoxed her with Cersei.

The actress has requested that we not refer to Dany as the Mad Queen.

Just because she did something that was awful doesn't mean she had a psychotic break. The wasn't crazy. She was grieving, frustrated, angry, hurt, and alone, and in that darkest moment she struck out and did something terrible.

That's a really bad thing, and maybe it was irrational, but it's only because she used a weapon of mass destruction instead of just punching someone when she was so upset that we are even having this conversation. 

If you kill someone in the heat of passion or the depths of despair, the courts will still find you guilty of the crime. You don't get to cop to an insanity defence.

When the actress says she doesn't want Dany to be called mad, we should recognize why a cheap cop-out that denies any agency to her character would bother her. Dangerous when angry is different from being insane because insane means no agency, no power over one's own actions or understanding of consequences. It dehumanizes her character. 

I can't blame her for not wanting that to happen. It's unfair to her as an actress. 

 

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22 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Correct.  Generally, the reason for sacking a city that resists is to induce other cities to surrender.  Or alternatively, to destroy an important economic centre which cannot be held.

If you're going to sack a city whether they surrende or or not, why would anyone ever surrender to you? 

It's like why Hardhome didn't surrender to the Others. What would be the point?

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I never really got the Lawrence of Arabia parallel, as her level of atrocity is many, many times anything he did or even contemplated.

I don't think she is supposed to be mentally ill, though, the 'mad queen' is an unfortunate, but handy short hand for what her real issues were, which is, entitlement, alienation, disappointment and anger.  

I still expect her story will work well in the books if they ever get to the point where she becomes unhinged and starts butchering people.

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I don't like that phrase either, but I'm kinda annoyed that the actress is trying to control the what fans say about this fictional character. Dany isn't real, people can call her whatever they want. It's also a double standard because people used that phrase for Cersei non-stop. Lena Heady defended her character but also didn't tell people what they could and couldn't say. Emilia should just offer her own interpretations of her character and not try to control the fans.

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3 hours ago, SeanF said:

As to the comparison that has been made by Emilia Clarke, with Lawrence of Arabia, he butchered some Turkish prisoners who had committed atrocities.  A debateable act.  This would be like him deciding to burn down Constantinople with all its inhabitants.

Targaryens are exceptional. You keep normalizing them as just your average conqueror and this is a mistake. GRRM writes them as extra compared to nobles in the story, extra compared to historical conquerors, and Daenerys is even extra compared to other Targaryens. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, CrypticWeirwood said:

If you're going to sack a city whether they surrende or or not, why would anyone ever surrender to you? 

It's like why Hardhome didn't surrender to the Others. What would be the point?

You sack cities that fail to surrender before fighting. It's not hard to understand, why would anyone not fight if there weren't consequences to fighting?

Destruction of Kings Landing was perfectly consistent from the perspective of being used as an example. I'd agree that it's not economically beneficial but the scorched Earth policy of killing every defender made complete sense regardless if it was consistent with our values. Even killing a nontrivial amount of non-combatant population makes sense within this lens. 

Edited by Techmaester

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