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The character assassination of Daenerys

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Here we go again.

If people were trying to burn my own city to the ground, in breach of a treaty, (and Dany's detractors deliberately  omit that inconvenient fact) I'd contemplate paying them back in kind.  Critics of Daenerys treat the Yunkish and their allies as the wronged party in Season 6, episode 9.  The reverse is true.

War involves killing, or threatening to kill one's enemies and their leaders.  The Starks do it, the Tyrells do it, the Baratheons do it, and Daenerys does it.  She fits in to this world.

 

Edited by SeanF

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8 hours ago, SeanF said:

Here we go again.

If people were trying to burn my own city to the ground, in breach of a treaty, (and Dany's detractors deliberately  omit that inconvenient fact) I'd contemplate paying them back in kind.  Critics of Daenerys treat the Yunkish and their allies as the wronged party in Season 6, episode 9.  The reverse is true.

War involves killing, or threatening to kill one's enemies and their leaders.  The Starks do it, the Tyrells do it, the Baratheons do it, and Daenerys does it.  She fits in to this world.

 

Nobody is saying the Yunkish is the wronged party. That's an ad hominem argument that attempts to turn anyone who criticizes Daenerys into a slavery sympathizer.

What Daenerys wants to do is always unnecessary overkill, and involves the MOST amount of casualties, and is also the most harsh. You know who else went with the most harsh option? Joffrey. 

Tyrion had to tell her the obvious, you don't have to burn cities, we just have to attack their ships and threaten their leaders. 

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13 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Nobody is saying the Yunkish is the wronged party. That's an ad hominem argument that attempts to turn anyone who criticizes Daenerys into a slavery sympathizer.

What Daenerys wants to do is always unnecessary overkill, and involves the MOST amount of casualties, and is also the most harsh. You know who else went with the most harsh option? Joffrey. 

Tyrion had to tell her the obvious, you don't have to burn cities, we just have to attack their ships and threaten their leaders. 

Destroying the Red Keep at the start of Season 7, would have saved lives, overall.  Butchering the Wise Masters of Yunkai, as soon as they resumed slaving, would have saved lives, because they would not have attacked Meereen.  Sometimes, showing mercy to your enemies comes back to bite you.

Dany, as portrayed in the show, is someone who believes in an eye for an eye.

One of the contrasts between the show the books is that in the latter, it's usually Dany's advisors who advocate brutality, while she favours restraint.  And critics (and her advisors) tend to view her policy of conciliation in Meereen as rank stupidity.

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On 9/7/2019 at 12:43 AM, SeanF said:

It was bizarre that blowing up the Great Sept, and killing the High Sparrow, and loads of important nobles, had no consequences at all for Cersei.

Same here. She also blew up her own kin since uncle Kevan was one of those who got turned to ash in the wildfire. The Westerlands should have been hankering for restitution.

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Remember when being a Kinslayer meant something in this world, I mean only if you're Tyrion Lannister a known kinslayer to Jon's exile kinslayer to Cersi the Queen kinslayer, but dam that crazy Daeny. How long did it take that coin to flip and why is Jon immune?

On 9/11/2019 at 6:17 AM, Angel Eyes said:

Same here. She also blew up her own kin since uncle Kevan was one of those who got turned to ash in the wildfire. The Westerlands should have been hankering for restitution.

 

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On 9/2/2019 at 6:26 AM, SeanF said:

Prior to Episode 5, she never went after non-combatants.  She acted as a decent soldier would, until she went batshit.

That is not true.

She burned the slave master of Astapor, who was a non combatant.  She brought warfare to commerce and was always treacherous.

Edited by ummester

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13 hours ago, ummester said:

That is not true.

She burned the slave master of Astapor, who was a non combatant.  She brought warfare to commerce and was always treacherous.

I would view slave trading in the same light as piracy, so yes, these are combatants (but much worse than the average soldier).

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On 9/14/2019 at 3:29 PM, SeanF said:

I would view slave trading in the same light as piracy, so yes, these are combatants (but much worse than the average soldier).

You view with a modern lens. Slave trading is commerce, not war,  in the world of ASoIaF - even Tyrion noted slavery was not far removed from serfdom. And, even via our modern lenses, as I am sure GRRM wanted us to recognize by the comparison of slavery to serfdom, is either that far removed from usury or consumerism? All that bow to belief or social construct are slaves, in one way or another.

Also, piracy, is dependent on POV. Is a pirate a hero or a villain? Was Hitler? Is ANTIFA? Only time judges and, even then, it is subject to the POV of those who write it.

It still grieves me immensely that something which started so intelligently as GoTs finished so dumb. The whole point of Dany turning bad was to show the difference between righteousness and villainy is fine - which is something I am whole heatedly exploring in my own writings and something I am finding difficult to fully articulate. It is not easy to show how the well meaning can turn evil (reference both ANTIFA and Hitler) and still be embraced by the general readership/population.

Meh, I generally like the intellect on this forum and once enjoyed GoTs - but the world at large is going to hell in a hand basket and communicating with it on more than a local, face to face, level seems insane to me right now. NB this does not mean I do not find many of your posts intelligent SeanF - as many are.

 

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14 minutes ago, ummester said:

You view with a modern lens. Slave trading is commerce, not war,  in the world of ASoIaF - even Tyrion noted slavery was not far removed from serfdom. And, even via our modern lenses, as I am sure GRRM wanted us to recognize by the comparison of slavery to serfdom, is either that far removed from usury or consumerism? All that bow to belief or social construct are slaves, in one way or another.

Also, piracy, is dependent on POV. Is a pirate a hero or a villain? Was Hitler? Is ANTIFA? Only time judges and, even then, it is subject to the POV of those who write it.

It still grieves me immensely that something which started so intelligently as GoTs finished so dumb. The whole point of Dany turning bad was to show the difference between righteousness and villainy is fine - which is something I am whole heatedly exploring in my own writings and something I am finding difficult to fully articulate. It is not easy to show how the well meaning can turn evil (reference both ANTIFA and Hitler) and still be embraced by the general readership/population.

Meh, I generally like the intellect on this forum and once enjoyed GoTs - but the world at large is going to hell in a hand basket and communicating with it on more than a local, face to face, level seems insane to me right now. NB this does not mean I do not find many of your posts intelligent SeanF - as many are.

 

Thanks.

I think that it is perfectly fair to criticise many of the decisions Daenerys makes, during her anti-slavery campaign.  IMHO, the worst was to leave Astapor without any form of government that could enforce its own rules.

I don't get the impression, however, that Martin expects us to view fighting to end slavery as being anything other than morally right.  Slavers Bay is very much his version of Mordor.  It's not just that slavery exists there.  It's extremely wasteful and cruel (two thirds of the Unsullied die in training);  children are kept for rape, or to be thrown to wild animals, while spectators bet on the outcome. And, it's killing Essos.  Great cities are in gradual decline;  the Dothraki and pirates raid for slaves everywhere.  Even a Great Master could become a slave if he fell into debt, or was captured by pirates and his family refused to ransom him.

If it wasn't Daenerys who set the whole rotten system on fire, it would be someone else.  She's just the spark to the bonfire.

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On 9/25/2019 at 12:30 AM, SeanF said:

I don't get the impression, however, that Martin expects us to view fighting to end slavery as being anything other than morally right.  Slavers Bay is very much his version of Mordor.  It's not just that slavery exists there.  It's extremely wasteful and cruel (two thirds of the Unsullied die in training);  children are kept for rape, or to be thrown to wild animals, while spectators bet on the outcome. And, it's killing Essos.  Great cities are in gradual decline;  the Dothraki and pirates raid for slaves everywhere.  Even a Great Master could become a slave if he fell into debt, or was captured by pirates and his family refused to ransom him.

I always thought King's Landing was Martin's Mordor and Slavers Bay was an afterthought, written primarily to flesh out Danny's character.

I don't mean to be rude - but have you ever tried to write an epic 150000 word fantasy? I've tried my hand at 90k word horrors, thrillers and Sci Fis but, up until recently (forgetting pathetic juvenile efforts), have never really explored a densely created world, with a myriad of fictional cultures, languages, songs, histories etc - and tried to tie it all together in a narrative with contemporary social relevance. It's a fucking mental nightmare - but a challenge worth embracing, I feel.  Anyway, I think I have a modicum of experience to comment on what GRRM was trying to do and I do not think he meant Dany's adventures in Essos to become as expansive as they became - remember, he started with a planned three books, of which Dany's Essos experience would span possibly 1.

I am starting with the idea of 2 books - but at 100000k words am already having to employ immense re-organisation just to get the end of book 1 to land. It's really hard - like Orwell said, "Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand." Now try and focus that over 2, or 3, and you have some idea of what I think GRRM was trying to do. Note that I have a mental relationship with Martin similar to what I do with George Lucas - both incredibly inspirational and sadly disappointing at once. We are all only human, I realize, but perhaps I just expect my heroes, like Lucas and Martin, to be more - who knows? Perhaps all heroes disappoint, in the end. 

My hope aside, pragmatism causes me to realise that ASoIaF and GoTs went beyond GRRMs control. He literally lost the plot and, I believe, focused too hard on how to make Dany sympathetic (to increase the power of his ending) at the expense of a side culture he never intended to have any real relevance to the main plot. The main plot was always about Westeros and Jon (the rightful heir) being confronted by Dany (the righteous heir).  Rightful vs righteous is actually a good way to sum up ASoIaF.

Now, this is where modern politics interfere. In the 90s, when GRRM started writing, a righteous woman vs a rightful man made immense sense.  Today that is considered sexist, because the West has become en-strangled by horrid politics. Martin's plan could never land, in what the world became. Society has gone off the rails. Men and women are like Ying and Yang - equal but different. That difference implies men are more equipped to wield power overtly and women subversively, as it has ever been and as GRRMwas trying to express with ASoIaF - but now we have 1.5 generations convinced that there are no differences between the sexes at all, which is absolute BS. There have always been differences - men are inspired by the biology of women to build civilizations, not the other way around.

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On 9/28/2019 at 8:57 AM, ummester said:

I always thought King's Landing was Martin's Mordor and Slavers Bay was an afterthought, written primarily to flesh out Danny's character.

I agree. It feels like five year gap filler. The author has said he needed multiple POV's because he's writing the equivalent of WWII, and yet we have no POV from that region. Seems like slavery isnt really the main focus at all.

"WWII" must be about the rising threats, the Others in the North and Daenerys and her dragons in the East, similar to his statements on what ice and fire represent.

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12 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

I agree. It feels like five year gap filler. The author has said he needed multiple POV's because he's writing the equivalent of WWII, and yet we have no POV from that region. Seems like slavery isnt really the main focus at all.

"WWII" must be about the rising threats, the Others in the North and Daenerys and her dragons in the East, similar to his statements on what ice and fire represent.

WWII is no doubt the most reasonable starting point to base a modern mythology on. Lucas did it. GRRM did it. In part, I am also doing it. Society and culture are often shaped by the major wars that precede the zeitgeist. Take the improper but still impactful usage of the word fascist in our modern times - WWII is the precursor for this.

As I am writing in a similar ancient world setting (more Egyptian/Grecian/Roman than Medieval) to GRRM I can also see that slavery is not a thing onto itself - it is just a aspect of the setting. The politics of slavery therefore become irrelevant to the narrative, beyond showing perhaps which characters may err on the side of social progressive-ism (Dany) versus those which err towards a type of conservatism (Jon). NB - this should not be extrapolated to make sense in an entirely modern sense - it is more to show how the value cultural traditions effects a characters understanding of the world and reactions to it. Old Gods vs New - which is an idea I am extremely fond of.

As for the Others, the way the show presented them will always remain a massive letdown to me. Lets just say Dany was meant to be Hitler and the Others Stalin/communism - or vice versa - the show did not humanize the Others at all. The Others needed something to make us empathize with their motives beyond the leader being created to get human kind out of Westeros. As it stands, they are a contradictory mess. The saviors of magic in the world worship death, as does the little assassin that killed them - seriously, WTF!!!??? Where is the symbolism and meaning in that? How does it tie into the deeper meanings of the plot?

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Posted (edited)
On 10/5/2019 at 8:13 AM, ummester said:

As I am writing in a similar ancient world setting (more Egyptian/Grecian/Roman than Medieval) to GRRM I can also see that slavery is not a thing onto itself - it is just a aspect of the setting. The politics of slavery therefore become irrelevant to the narrative, beyond showing perhaps which characters may err on the side of social progressive-ism (Dany) versus those which err towards a type of conservatism (Jon). NB - this should not be extrapolated to make sense in an entirely modern sense - it is more to show how the value cultural traditions effects a characters understanding of the world and reactions to it. Old Gods vs New - which is an idea I am extremely fond of.

Yup, I agree it is just part of the setting, it is not a real moral crusade or the point of the whole story. It's not about "Dany the abolitionist," otherwise she would be staying in Meereen and making it her life's work. But we know she's not. So what is it really about? It's probably more complex than "dany good/slavers bad"

Edited by Rose of Red Lake

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On 10/8/2019 at 4:44 AM, Rose of Red Lake said:

Yup, I agree it is just part of the setting, it is not a real moral crusade or the point of the whole story. It's not about "Dany the abolitionist," otherwise she would be staying in Meereen and making it her life's work. But we know she's not. So what is it really about? It's probably more complex than "dany good/slavers bad"

It's definitely more complex - Dany is either a deep anti hero or a sympathetic villain - but that is exactly what makes the narrative so intriguing. GRRM recently came out and said he would have given the finale a lot more narrative build up (which I agree it surely needed). But he never negated it was exactly where the story was going all along.

The trouble is, as I have eluded to before in this thread, politics in the modern age have become incredibly binary (you are a globalist or a nationalist, there is no in between) so any nuance in either GoTs or AsoIaF would be totally lost on the mainstream. I think D&D were well aware of this when they crafted the ending and I also thing it is why GRRM (once considered very progressive) is now hiding away.

Edited by ummester

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Rightful v Righteous is fine.

Righteous becoming mad Nazi over 60 minutes is not.

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On 10/13/2019 at 8:17 AM, SeanF said:

Rightful v Righteous is fine.

Righteous becoming mad Nazi over 60 minutes is not.

Time is relative - even GRRM said he doesn't want people to stress about whether the time and distances are accurate to the expense of the narrative. If we had to speed Hitler up into 60 mins, righteous would fairly adequately cover it. no? Between the world order and anti German Jewish sentiment in the 30s, he saw himself as the righteous Savior of Germany and at least half of Germany saw him the same way, at that time.

NB, as always, I am not trying to say D&D are good story tellers, just that the story as a whole, as presented in season 8, does make an overarching (though poorly told) sense and that I think it is more modern politics than any kind of narrative appreciation that stops us seeing this.

Edited by ummester

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