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kjl473

What if Daenerys is just being coldly rational? Lessons from the Russian Revolution of 1917

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Posted (edited)

I am starting to wonder if Dany went mad at all.  After watching episode 5 the first time it is hard not to conclude that Dany has become the mad queen.  Then I watched the scenes between Tyrion and Jon and Dany and Jon in episode 6 several times.  I had heard these exact conversations before almost word for word in writings of the intellectual world as they slowly came to realize that the dream of the Russian Revolution of 1917 had failed and that they had been duped by their hopes and dreams into supporting Stalin for years, blindly ignoring the evidence in front of them.
I have always been struck that Dany is the representative of revolutionary power in this story of how power corrupts.  Her arc is that of the young idealistic proto-revolutionary coming to embrace the harsh realities of what a revolution truly is.  I spent a great deal of time over the past 2 years reading on the Russian revolution for the centennial.  I read their letters and speeches from when they were young and idealistic students, exiles paranoid that their inner circles contain informers, and hardened revolutionaries.
The conclusion I am reaching is that Dany's action is not madness at all.  It is the logical and rational conclusion reached by a student of any revolution which is to end in an Earthly paradise.  Back in the council meeting in episode 4 at Winterfell Tyrion asks Dany point blank "We aren't going to destroy KL right?"  For 3 seconds there is silence as she just stares at him and says nothing.  Then as Varys steers the conversation elsewhere the shot goes back to her calmly looking at Tyrion.   She never answers the question.  Looking at that scene I think she has already thought everything through and has made up her mind.  After that point the third most common line after "You are my queen" and "I don't want it" is multiple characters all saying "You do know what she is going to do?"
Like the Bolsheviks Dany sees herself as the vanguard of the revolution.  She is going to bring the people to class consciousness ("woke" is the modern term).  In doing so they will bring about the revolution and a paradise will be created where there is no class inequality.  Like the Bolsheviks she knows that many innocent people will be killed in the revolution.  The "science" of history shows that it is not avoidable.  Like the peasants of the Soviet Union the people of KL can not be brought to class consciousness till their society is utterly destroyed.  Lenin and the Bolsheviks knew what they would unleash when they created the artificial class of "kulak" peasant and started dekulakisation.  They were also certain that history would vindicate them once the worldly paradise was created.  When we last see Dany in episode 5 before she burns KL it could be not that she is going mad but that she she is trying to steel herself.  She is at the final test of a revolutionary.  Her humanity tells her that she can not do what her intellect and ideology tells her must be done.  Take another look at the 3 phases her face goes through in that last close up of her.  


Compare Dany's speech to Karl Marx's:

 

Quote

While the democratic petty bourgeois want to bring the revolution to an end as quickly as possible, achieving at most the aims already mentioned, it is our interest and our task to make the revolution permanent until all the more or less propertied classes have been driven from their ruling positions, until the proletariat has conquered state power and until the association of the proletarians has progressed sufficiently far – not only in one country but in all the leading countries of the world – that competition between the proletarians of these countries ceases and at least the decisive forces of production are concentrated in the hands of the workers...


...Their battle-cry must be: The Permanent Revolution.


Here are some quotes of Vladimir Lenin to compare with Dany's actions:

 

Quote

"About three million must be regarded as middle peasants, while barely two million consist of kulaks, rich peasants, grain profiteers... Ruthless war on the kulaks! Death to them! … [Class struggle entails] ruthless suppression of the kulaks, those bloodsuckers, vampires, plunderers of the people and profiteers, who batten on famine."

"Disarmament is the ideal of socialism. There will be no wars in socialist society; consequently, disarmament will be achieved. But whoever expects that socialism will be achieved without a social revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat is not a socialist. Dictatorship is state power based directly on violence. And in the twentieth century — as in the age of civilisation generally — violence means neither a fist nor a club, but troops. To put disarmament in the programme is tantamount to making the general declaration: We are opposed to the use of arms. There is as little Marxism in this as there would be if we were to say: We are opposed to violence!"
"He who accepts the class struggle cannot fail to accept civil wars, which in every class society are the natural, and under certain conditions inevitable, continuation, development and intensification of the class struggle… To repudiate civil war, or to forget about it, is to fall into extreme opportunism and renounce the socialist revolution."
"Any army which does not train to use all the weapons, all the means and methods of warfare that the enemy possesses, or may possess, is behaving in an unwise or even criminal manner. This applies to politics even more than it does to the art of war."
"To carry on a war for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie, a war which is a hundred times more difficult, protracted and complex than the most stubborn of ordinary wars between states, and to renounce in advance any change of tack, or any utilisation of a conflict of interests (even if temporary) among one's enemies, or any conciliation or compromise with possible allies (even if they are temporary, unstable, vacillating or conditional allies) — is that not ridiculous in the extreme?"

Edited by kjl473
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17 hours ago, kjl473 said:

I am starting to wonder if Dany went mad at all.  After watching episode 5 the first time it is hard not to conclude that Dany has become the mad queen.  Then I watched the scenes between Tyrion and Jon and Dany and Jon in episode 6 several times.  I had heard these exact conversations before almost word for word in writings of the intellectual world as they slowly came to realize that the dream of the Russian Revolution of 1917 had failed and that they had been duped by their hopes and dreams into supporting Stalin for years, blindly ignoring the evidence in front of them.
I have always been struck that Dany is the representative of revolutionary power in this story of how power corrupts.  Her arc is that of the young idealistic proto-revolutionary coming to embrace the harsh realities of what a revolution truly is.  I spent a great deal of time over the past 2 years reading on the Russian revolution for the centennial.  I read their letters and speeches from when they were young and idealistic students, exiles paranoid that their inner circles contain informers, and hardened revolutionaries.
The conclusion I am reaching is that Dany's action is not madness at all.  It is the logical and rational conclusion reached by a student of any revolution which is to end in an Earthly paradise.  Back in the council meeting in episode 4 at Winterfell Tyrion asks Dany point blank "We aren't going to destroy KL right?"  For 3 seconds there is silence as she just stares at him and says nothing.  Then as Varys steers the conversation elsewhere the shot goes back to her calmly looking at Tyrion.   She never answers the question.  Looking at that scene I think she has already thought everything through and has made up her mind.  After that point the third most common line after "You are my queen" and "I don't want it" is multiple characters all saying "You do know what she is going to do?"
Like the Bolsheviks Dany sees herself as the vanguard of the revolution.  She is going to bring the people to class consciousness ("woke" is the modern term).  In doing so they will bring about the revolution and a paradise will be created where there is no class inequality.  Like the Bolsheviks she knows that many innocent people will be killed in the revolution.  The "science" of history shows that it is not avoidable.  Like the peasants of the Soviet Union the people of KL can not be brought to class consciousness till their society is utterly destroyed.  Lenin and the Bolsheviks knew what they would unleash when they created the artificial class of "kulak" peasant and started dekulakisation.  They were also certain that history would vindicate them once the worldly paradise was created.  When we last see Dany in episode 5 before she burns KL it could be not that she is going mad but that she she is trying to steel herself.  She is at the final test of a revolutionary.  Her humanity tells her that she can not do what her intellect and ideology tells her must be done.  Take another look at the 3 phases her face goes through in that last close up of her.  


Compare Dany's speech to Karl Marx's:

 


Here are some quotes of Vladimir Lenin to compare with Dany's actions:

 

I truly think Martin will be able to expand on the comparison, and eventual 'sameness', of the violence inherent to the dothraki as Daenerys' early understanding of leadership and any of the modern, more 'civilized' regimes.

His expansion on her methods, her beliefs and strategies, will then show the unwashed masses how the difference lies in sophistication, be it of theory or logistics. Which can, and will, lead to an enormously increased scale of human tragedy, suffering and horror, but still merely amounts to 'man with the bigger stick' mentality.

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Posted (edited)

Dany \ has several rationales in her head for invading Westeros, none of them actually revolutionary yet in the books. She wants to return to Westeros:

  • to reclaim her father's throne
  • because the blood of the dragon must not forget
  • to find a home
  • to kill the Usurper and his dogs
  • to do what Viserys could not
  • to claim (what she thinks is) her birth right

If Xaro is to be believed Dany has inverted the hierarchy and made the bourgeoisie the new peasants, suggesting burgeoning Stalinism of some kind.

 

Edited by Rose of Red Lake

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1 hour ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

If Xaro is to be believed Dany has inverted the hierarchy and made the bourgeoisie the new peasants, suggesting burgeoning Stalinism of some kind.

 

Stalinism would be the most likely example to be turned into a fictional character in a book warning that power corrupts but any Marxist-Leninist leader could be used.  There is Vladimir Lenin himself.  If you want a pretty boy cult figure you could say Che Guevara.  

It could also be any leader of any revolution at all which seeks to destroy the established order in order to bring about their dreams of creating an Earthly paradise.  The whole of recorded human history is a broken record of these millenarian  revolutions causing great destruction but failing to create the Earthly paradise.

 

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In looking though one of my references I came across a striking example of a mythologized caricature of Vladimir Lenin which takes him from sympathetic youth to revolutionary avenger.  It is a paraphrase of a 1926 book by Arosev titled 'On Vladamir Ilich'.  To me at least there appears to be a lot of Dany's character in this mythical VI Lenin story.

In the first[scene], two boys are having a race. The shorter, “light-haired” one, wins, and buys three birds in a cage. The boys go to a place called the Golden Crown to set them free, but one of the birds is sick and cannot fly. The tall boy is impatient, but the light-haired one cradles the bird in his hands, gives it water to drink, and insists on taking it to the bushes on the bank of the Volga, where it will be safe. “Now the tall one ran ahead because he wanted to get rid of the bird as quickly as possible, while the light-haired one lagged behind, blowing lightly on the bird and stroking it. He did not want to part with it.”

In the next scene, the light-haired little boy has become a ginger-haired university student “with the kind of brightness in his face that marks children who are developed beyond their years but have not lost their physical freshness.” After he and his comrades are arrested for staging a student demonstration, one of the students asks him what he is going to do now: “What am I going to do?” he said, squinting toward the corner of the cell. “What can I do? My path has been set for me by my older brother.” [Lenin’s older brother had been hanged for attempted regicide when Lenin was seventeen.]...

In one of the later episodes, a balding young man reads a book (Hauptmann’s The Weavers) to a circle of disciples. After the reading, he is approached by a worker named Grigoriev, who asks him many questions about meeting times and addresses. “For a moment, he looked hard at Grigoriev, as if trying to remember something deeply hidden. But Grigoriev could not look him in the eye. In the same way, Judas had not been able to look his teacher in the eyes at the last supper in Jerusalem, when the teacher said: ‘One of you will betray me.’”

In the next scene, a smiling, bald exile persuades a village storekeeper to take pity on a peasant who does not have enough money for an Easter present for his daughter. But when the peasant thanks him “from the bottom of his heart,” the exile suddenly stops smiling. “The more ‘kindness’ we show toward the small producer (e.g., to the peasant) in the practical part of our program,” he writes several months later, “the ‘more strictly’ must we treat these unreliable and double-faced social elements in the theoretical part of the program, without sacrificing one iota of our position. ‘If you adopt our position,’ we tell them, ‘you can count on “indulgence” of every kind, but if you don’t, well then, you’ve been warned! Under the “dictatorship,” we will say about you: “there is no point in wasting words where the use of power is required.”’”

In the final episodes, only one man is prepared to use power when it is required. The meaning of the light-haired boy’s Golden Crown has been revealed. Bukharin, Voronsky, and other Bolsheviks who grew up reading the Apocalypse, would have had no trouble recognizing Revelation 14: “I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one ‘like the son of man’ with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, ‘Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.’ So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.”

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

The things we do for love - Showpologists on defending bad writing.

Regardless of references to the Russian Revolution, the show clearly treats Daenerys as a two dimensional baddie (first order nazi rally, anyone?) for Jon to stab by show's end, so all your effort is unfortunately moot.

Stop trying to put lipstick on a pig.

Edited by Beardy the Wildling

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@Beardy the Wildling

To paraphrase off of Morgan Freeman's awesome recap?

I have hope. That even a few of the plot points, once written, will make a lick of sense. Though, compared to the shit sandwich, even midichlorian spontaneous pregnancy would be genius. Shit, @Ser Hedge, now I'm going to have to take a steel brush to my brain.

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Posted (edited)

Don't get me wrong.  All I am doing is taking the 3 monologues that episode 6 gives us to sum up what happened to Dany and working backward to try to fit it into a story arc that would make sense.  What actually came out in season 8 for Dany was disjointed and rushed.  It could entirely be the case that D&D just wanted to get to an ending and threw together a cheep turn her into Aannakin trick.  It could also be that Dany's ending is what GRRM wants but D&D didn't have a clue how to put it into action.  If it is the former then the last 2 books will go in a different direction.  If it is the later then Dany story arc could be fleshed out in the direction of Dany the revolutionary.

By the next book we should know in which way D&D's rushed ending failed in execution.  Heck it could be that GRRM knows the ending but can't figure out how to to get the characters there believably and that is why he has stalled out.

Edited by kjl473

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, It_spelt_Magalhaes said:

To paraphrase off of Morgan Freeman's awesome recap?

Morgan Freeman did a recap of S8? Holy shit, where can I find this?

Edited by Beardy the Wildling

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2 hours ago, Beardy the Wildling said:

Morgan Freeman did a recap of S8? Holy shit, where can I find this?

Whole series. Can't tell you exatly, I saw it on my sister's phone. Amazing stuff. 'Never have I cheered so much for the death of a child.' 'Should've burnt that crepy boy too'. To paraphrase. Best shit I've seen as 'critique'.

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