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Rose of Red Lake

Daenerys & Slavery Thread I

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Starting a numbered thread for these since it comes up so often, and apologies to @Lord Varys for dominating his Aegon thread.

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Slaves and freedmen are not "gently born".  Gently born would be the class immediately below that of the Great Masters. Slave revolts were frequent, in the ancient world, pointing to real unhappiness with their status.  

If such slaves were "prized" though, it means there was already a slave trade going on among the these folks. They could have been slaves or nobles already; it's unclear. But the larger point is that Dany offered nothing in the way of a better life so they preferred slavery. That's not "slavery apologism," its just complicating stuff. 

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As to Penny, you'll recall that on an earlier thread, you argued that it was fine for Hizdahr to feed her and Tyrion to lions as a form of public entertainment.  That's the problem with being a slave.  Your life can be ended on a whim.

Yeah, When I said the fighting pits are similar to a Westerosi tourney or football game - I *totally* meant that Penny belongs in the belly of a lion. :rolleyes:

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You dislike Daenerys so much,  that you  try to find the good in anybody who fights her, however terrible such people might be.

You're exaggerating and using hyperbole to make a point. I'm focused on criticisms of Daenerys's motives and justifications. My post history isn't extolling the virtues of Kraznys, it's about Dany's dangers and inconsistencies. This really shouldnt be that big of a deal; the author listed her as the #2 threat to Westeros in the outline.

3 hours ago, SeanF said:

 You spend a lot of time justifying, mitigating, excusing, slavery because if Daenerys and her supporters don't like it - well, there must be something good to it. Don't be surprised if other posters call you out on it.

Hyperbole again. This always comes up whenever I point out how Daenerys isn't exactly anti-slavery, she's just pro-her. It's an uncomfortable truth that you don't want to examine. If she was anti-slavery she wouldn't have slapped a slave, burned a slave, been fine with slaves up until the moment she couldnt afford to buy them, been negotiable on slavery in Meereen, or choose the Iron Throne as more important than the cause of slavery.

3 hours ago, SeanF said:

The author does nothing in this story to suggest that slavery isn't so bad, or that slaves would rather be slaves than free.  Martin is not an apologist for slavery. In fact, he lays it on pretty thick, about just how awful Slavers Bay and Volantis are. 

He also writes about people clamoring to be sold, that Westerosi peasants are poorer fed than slaves, and has Penny wanting to be a slave. It's really not "slavery apologism" though. He just adds in complexities and doesn't allow a reader to stay secure in their thoughts for too long. It's not that big of a deal and people still know that slavery is wrong even if he adds in these bits.

3 hours ago, SeanF said:

You  present a false choice between "nukes"/genocide and appeasement, concluding that because nukes destroy, appeasement must be the better course of action.  You overlook that there are many other military choices.  JFK and LBJ used force, as well as negotiation, to bring about change. The problem in ADWD is that change has been going in one direction - from emancipation to unfreedom, not the other way around.   The original treaty she made with Yunkai prohibited them from practising slavery and slave trading.  The fact that the new peace treaty entitles them to do so is a move in the wrong direction.  The fact that they can bring slaves into Meereen, or set up a slave market on Meereenese territory is even more of a move in the wrong direction.

Nukes destroy excessively - this is non-negotiable. It is the weapon of scorched earth. They don't accurately target enemies like drones (and drones also cause civilian casualties anyway). There isn't anything in the author's statements that suggest that stubborn social problems were solved with nuclear weapons, in fact he calls it a threat to the human race, and fears them.

JFK and LBJ didn't nuke their own people or destroy their own cities. Please explain, how using dragons on her own people, will end slavery for generations to come, especially since we know that she's going to Westeros anyway (confirmed by the author).

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The original treaty she made with Yunkai prohibited them from practising slavery and slave trading.  The fact that the new peace treaty entitles them to do so is a move in the wrong direction.  The fact that they can bring slaves into Meereen, or set up a slave market on Meereenese territory is even more of a move in the wrong direction.

It's just pragmatism, considering the lack of resources she had. She's knew she couldn't to put out all of these fires she started, and decided to stick with Meereen. These points just sound silly - wanting Dany to DO IT ALL and solve slavery world wide, on a weekend. The peace was a stop-gap until Dany got more resources and helped her city prosper - and anyway it was what she wanted and what she agreed to, considering her constraints. They didn't set up a slave market "in Meereense territory" and if any slaves are coming in through the fighting pits, that's something she can fix through reform. Sure it would be great if Dany could you know, "ka-pow knock out all slavery instantly!" but it's not that kind of novel. So in the end, my guess is she'll use nukes and it will get her nowhere - right back where she started.

3 hours ago, SeanF said:

Yunkai, Qarth, New Ghis, and Volantis did not bring war because they foresaw that  Drogon would fly into Daznak's Pit and cause a stampede at some point in the future (an event that you wilfully misrepresent as a massacre that was planned by Daenerys).  They brought war because they know very well that a free Meereen is an existential threat to them. 

An existential threat to keep their slaves isnt quite why everyone is doing what they're doing. The Green Grace is giving a clue that it's not only ideological its fear of her. They think she's another Valyrian coming to enslave them. Just imagine how Dany looks. She's constantly giving them the impression that she's a person who wants to turn them into slaves and slaughter them in public because these are her actions. For all they know, the people in the crowd think, she did plan that as a massacre (in fact it's very similar to the one you wanted Daario to execute). She hasn't done much, to prove them otherwise. And this is why it starts to look like the U.S. vs. Iraq, in terms of violent escalation, and getting nowhere.

More than anything that scene showed that Drogon is just an albatross for her, who offers nothing but destruction. Whatever Qarth is doing, doesnt really matter - this is the more important theme.

Oh, and that Dany didn't care that she burnt those people.

3 hours ago, SeanF said:

That's what she would do, if her anti-slavery campaign was just a cynical ploy to recruit an army.  The plunder of Slavers Bay would enable her to hire thousands of mercenaries, over and above the Unsullied.  That she did not do this is evidence that she feels empathy towards, and responsibility for, these people.  

Her empathy only goes so far - this is why it's dangerous for readers to fall into this trap. I fell into it on first read and then realized that she stops short of actually giving up things that she wants. She's not giving up her quest for the throne. That's where her empathy ends.

Her empathy is waning the longer she stays there: "All her tears had been burned away."

As Barristan warned her - her heart is turning to brick (Stoneheart).

Case in point: She loses patience with the Meereense "great and small alike." That means she's not just angry at the former masters, she's angry at the freedmen too. I'm not surprised, since she has this patronizing child/adult relationship with them. 

The only time she seriously considered staying, was when she rejected Quentyn and decided to marry Hizdahr. That's why the marriage was significant because it indicated that Dany might never go to Westeros. But then, we know, that was a passing thought. She is not committed to staying there - she's more invested in her Westerosi cause, just like she's always been. 

The entire side-quest of Slavers Bay was an inability to confront her guilt for wanting to buy slaves in the first place. This is why her motto is "If I look back I'm lost." That's classic white saviorism. Just deflect, don't examine.

4 hours ago, SeanF said:

Now, if in TWOW, she does decide to leave the people to be re-enslaved, in pursuit of her claim to the Iron Throne, she'll deserve immense criticism.  All I can say at this stage is that that would be massively out of character, given the textual evidence so far. 

We know she's going to Westeros. And we know slavery will continue, if someone isn't there to keep it in check. She may even think "yay fixed it!!" in TWOW and then find out deep in ADOS that it's gone back to the way it was. At that point, she'll be too deeply invested in other stuff.

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10 minutes ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

But the larger point is that Dany offered nothing in the way of a better life so they preferred slavery

Uh no.  Daenerys Targaryen has no responsibility to "buy" the freedom of those slaves.  Those masters had no right to enslave them in the first place.  Those unfortunate humans were never the property of the slavers.  Taking away the stolen goods from a criminal does not mean the government has a responsibility to provide those burglars with equivalent goods in return.  Your logic falls very, very short.  Government authorities are not obligated to give drug dealers a Rolls-Royce when they confiscate those criminals' Lamborghinis. 

 

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14 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

 

Yeah, When I said the fighting pits are similar to a Westerosi tourney or football game - I *totally* meant that Penny belongs in the belly of a lion. :rolleyes:

 

1. What you said was "Hizdahr wanting to "murder" Penny and Tyrion is laughable. He's a showman trying to please a crowd."  Nurse was amazed to find that they came back alive.  Feeding dwarves to lions isn't really comparable to a football game or a tourney.

2. I'll believe that Daenerys is "nuking" her own people when I about read her doing it.  Not because it's part of your head canon.  As you well know, the 1993 outline diverges markedly from the published text.  Though I do note, that in that outline he expected her to make it to the end, and that the climax of the story is the fight against the Others.

3. The best evidence that Daenerys does not want to slaughter the Great Masters and turn them into slaves is that she's left them with their pyramids and their estates intact, and includes them in her councils (which as I've argued, is a bad idea). Yes, there were masters who lost out heavily when their slaves rose against them, and stole from them.  Some of them decided that Meereen had nothing more to offer them.  That's too bad.  Slaves are unlikely to be forgiving in that situation.  

This is the justification for the Slavers' war, given by Qavo Nogaris, the customs officer, in Ch. 22.

"The city thirsts for war." 

"Why?" wondered Tyrion. "Meereen is long leagues across the sea. How has this sweet child queen offended Old Volantis?" ....

"The best calumnies are spiced with truth," suggested Qavo, "but the girl's true sin cannot be denied. This arrogant child has taken it upon herself to smash the slave trade, but that traffic was never confined to Slaver's Bay. It was part of the sea of trade that spanned the world, and the dragon queen has clouded the water. Behind the Black Wall, lords of ancient blood sleep poorly, listening as their kitchen slaves sharpen their long knives. Slaves grow our food, clean our streets, teach our young. They guard our walls, row our galleys, fight our battles. And now when they look east, they see this young queen shining from afar, this breaker of chains. The Old Blood cannot suffer that. Poor men hate her too. Even the vilest beggar stands higher than a slave. This dragon queen would rob him of that consolation."  The Yunkish sent envoys to Volantis and the Dothraki, the moment she marched away from their city.

Victarion later takes on food and water at Volantis, to find the city's elite celebrating the prospect of killing the Dragon Queen, and returning laden with plunder.

The Sons of the Harpy mostly target freedmen who they think are getting above themselves, like harpists, and weavers, and people who wish to enter guilds.  That's not the behaviour of people who think they're acting in self-defence. 

When the Slavers recaptured Astapor, they slaughtered everyone, or drove them North, regardless of status. Again, that's not self-defence. They weren't trying to rescue Cleon's Unsullied, or the other formerly free people.

4. Daenerys has had plenty of opportunities to leave the freedmen in the lurch.  She could have done so at numerous points in A Storm of Swords.  She could have left when Xaro offered gave her the ships (as Ser Barristan wished).  She could have left when Qarth declared war, and the armies began to march on Meereen.  And, as you say, she could have left when Quentyn offered to marry her.  She will leave Essos, eventually.  We don't know at this stage, what the circumstances will be, what arrangements she will make for government and defence in her absence, and what Marwyn and Bennero will have told her about the Others (ultimately, a threat to Essos as well as Westeros).

5.  Tyrion notes that Yezzan's slaves are better fed and treated than some of the  peasants.  Indeed.  We know that some peasants are treated dreadfully by their lords.  That shows how badly such peasants are treated, not how well the slaves of Essos are treated. Tyrion also remarks that "Slaves were chattel, aye. They could be bought and sold, whipped and branded, used for carnal pleasure of their owners, bred to make more slaves."  Tyrion learns that he can be fed to lions at Yezzan's whim. Penny is a traumatised girl, who is terrified to make a run for it.  That doesn't mean she's content with her lot in life. 

6.  Daenerys was not anti-slavery in Illyrio's manse.  She had been brought up to see it as normal. She gradually came to see it as wrong, as part of her character development.  So, she freed the slaves of her khalasar.  So, she broke her bargain with Kraznys Mo Nakloz . So, she took 40,000 non-combatants under her wing.  So, she freed the slaves of Yunkai.  So, she freed the slaves of Meereen, and refused to pay compensation to their former masters. So, she called out Cleon as a slaver to Ghael.  That is pretty consistent.  She did let people sell themselves into slavery of their own volition  - and that was a bad decision;  the first of her bad compromises. One can't tell who is a willing seller and who is compelled.

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2 hours ago, SeanF said:

when I about read her doing it.  Not because it's part of your head canon.

It's soon to be text.

I dont know how "Dragons plant no trees" was ever thought to be good; Dany creating a flourishing, free society with that line.

Really folks?

That's basically saying, Fuck the Lorax, just chop 'em down. Fuck Tolkien too. Who needs trees. Who needs "the world," aka "life".

2 hours ago, SeanF said:

What you said was "Hizdahr wanting to "murder" Penny and Tyrion is laughable. He's a showman trying to please a crowd."  Nurse was amazed to find that they came back alive.  Feeding dwarves to lions isn't really comparable to a football game or a tourney.

YEAH, Hizdahr is basically like every investor in the sports business: "if these guys get a concussion and brain damaged for life, eh, at least I made money." He's a capitalist.

If Dany wants to ensure that the games are less violent, she could totally do that since he was you know... her husband and is willing to compromise?

"Hmmm, so you'd rather have people pay money to see dwarves run around fighting each OTHER, like in Westeros, and pay them to do it? Oh sure my queen, we can figure out how to sell that as a half-time show" $$

EASY FIX.

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5 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

It's soon to be text.

I dont know how "Dragons plant no trees" was ever thought to be good; Dany creating a flourishing, free society with that line.

Really folks?

That's basically saying, Fuck the Lorax, just chop 'em down. Fuck Tolkien too. Who needs trees. Who needs "the world," aka "life".

YEAH, Hizdahr is basically like every investor in the sports business: "if these guys get a concussion and brain damaged for life, eh, at least I made money." He's a capitalist.

If Dany wants to ensure that the games are less violent, she could totally do that since he was you know... her husband and is willing to compromise?

"Hmmm, so you'd rather have people pay money to see dwarves run around fighting each OTHER, like in Westeros, and pay them to do it? Oh sure my queen, we can figure out how to sell that as a half-time show" $$

EASY FIX.

You are deliberately downplaying the problematic aspects of the fighting pits. They are not like Westerosi tourneys, which while they can indeed be dangerous are not actually intended to end in death. The Mereenese fighting pits involve participants fighting to kill each other or being pitted against wild animals. An entire class of slaves was trained to fight and die for the entertainment of the crowd. 

The compromises Dany made with Yunkai are the reason that  slaves like Tyrion and Penny are included in the program and would have been pitted against lions in a brutally uneven contest if Dany hadn't intervened. I'm guessing that Penny's acceptance of her status as a slave would have evaporated pretty quickly once she saw lions bounding towards her.

Dany never wanted to open the fighting pits in the first place. She only agreed under strong persuasion from Hizdahr - the kind of compromise for peace that you have consistently advocated. Note that it was Dany who did the compromising not Hizdahr.

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Okay, which one would you rather be, a QB who gets sacked, or a slave about to be slaughtered as part of a violent show. It’s  a matter of degree, except for the deaths.

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7 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

It's soon to be text.

I dont know how "Dragons plant no trees" was ever thought to be good; Dany creating a flourishing, free society with that line.

Really folks?

That's basically saying, Fuck the Lorax, just chop 'em down. Fuck Tolkien too. Who needs trees. Who needs "the world," aka "life".

YEAH, Hizdahr is basically like every investor in the sports business: "if these guys get a concussion and brain damaged for life, eh, at least I made money." He's a capitalist.

If Dany wants to ensure that the games are less violent, she could totally do that since he was you know... her husband and is willing to compromise?

"Hmmm, so you'd rather have people pay money to see dwarves run around fighting each OTHER, like in Westeros, and pay them to do it? Oh sure my queen, we can figure out how to sell that as a half-time show" $$

EASY FIX.

You follow strange sports.

"Dwarf-eating is a contact sport, Daenerys."

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2 hours ago, Wall Flower said:

You are deliberately downplaying the problematic aspects of the fighting pits. They are not like Westerosi tourneys, which while they can indeed be dangerous are not actually intended to end in death. The Mereenese fighting pits involve participants fighting to kill each other or being pitted against wild animals. An entire class of slaves was trained to fight and die for the entertainment of the crowd. 

Hizdahr is willing to change things to please her. He calls off the lions at her request. Thats why the fighting pits were the perfect opportunity to work on reforms through politicking; it could have been a fantastic project and accomplishment for her. She's already married to the guy who owns them all. They already have people willing to fight for glory. They'd fight for gold too. But sure, burn it all down and dont even try.

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  Carried over from the Aegon as a king thread:

22 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

The slave who spit on her might beg to differ?

But even then, the jury is still out on "lives improved" especially if she bails.

Stalin fought Hitler; Stalin had devoted followers who called him "father" who thought he improved their lives; Stalin might have even believed it himself; but still Stalin was terrible tyrant who had ulterior motives and used revolution as a front to gain power for himself.

He spat on her after she told Astapor to defend itself. Rightly so, as she had stopped being a Mhysa at that point and was trying to fit in with the slavers. Other freedmen still see her as a mythic figure.

"Other slaves insisted that the guards were lying, that Daenerys Targaryen would never make peace with slavers. Mhysa, they called her. Someone told him that meant Mother. Soon the silver queen would come forth from her city, smash the Yunkai'i, and break their chains, they whispered to one another."

Claiming freeing slaves doesn't help them sure is something. Take it from someone who's been enslaved, how much they value freedom:

"How strange it is that anybody should believe any human being could be a slave, and yet be contented! I do not believe that there ever was a slave, who did not long for liberty. I know very well that slave-owners take a great deal of pains to make the people in the free states believe that the slaves are happy; but I know, likewise, that I was never acquainted with a slave, however well he was treated, who did not long to be free" -  James Bradley

20 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

There's a reason why I criticize Dany for using violence. It's because she's the only person in the book who can destroy entire cities very fast without having to think about it. I criticize her for using violence excessively and carelessly, and for falling back on it when it might not be necessary. 

As I said upthread, she has to strike a balance between being a fighter and not losing her humanity by becoming just as brutal as the slavers. A platform of eye-for-an-eye justice isn't necessary, ever. But it's especially dangerous when she has 3 nukes.

But in every instance you've brought up, violence has been necessary, not excessive.

20 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

The slave trade in Meereen though? No. She abandoned Astapor and Yunkai, those aren't her cities anymore. And, she didn't want to abolish the slave trade anyway:

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“The Yunkai’i resumed their slaving before I was two leagues from their city. Did I turn back? King Cleon begged me to join with him against them, and I turned a deaf ear to his pleas. I want no war with Yunkai. How many times must I say it? What promises do they require?”

It's odd to say she didn't meet a goal, when she didn't even want that goal to begin with?

She wanted the Harpy to stop killing freedmen in Meereen (which she achieved). She didn't want to end slavery everywhere.

The reason why slaves were at that event, was because the Yunkish were invited for a celebration of the peace that she signed. It's fragile but it's also an achievement that you see as failure. And now you see Dany using excessive violence as justified, when the text is asking "was it really?"

The slave markets were operating right outside Meereen's walls, and Meereenese are allowed to sell themselves in them. Tyrion and Penny were set to be eaten by lions. That the slave trade weren't technically physically taking place inside Meereen means bugger all.

That quote you pull is completely without context. We know Dany had been disgusted with slavery since the first book, and has been freeing every slave she comes across since then (until she settled in Meereen). She just didn't have a clear notion of abolishing the institution of slavery until she arrived in Meereen, and learnt that simply freeing existing slaves wasn't enough; that more slaves were being created as soon as she left the cities. Still, she had a vague sense of what had to be done, as she left a council to rule Astapor, expecting them to continue her ban on slavery. Clearly, her goal in Slavers Bay was abolition in one form or another.

20 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Similar to the ones that are made all over the world when problems are resolved through political means and not genocide. What FDR, LBJ, and JFK did for civil rights and social security involved (not excessive or brutal) enforcement, legal frameworks, and economic incentives. You can't use bombs every time a social group is discriminated against or someone needs medical care.

You're jumping a century ahead. We're not talking about civil rights, but abolition, which I believe was achieved through war in the US.

20 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Recognize, first, that the story is more complicated than what she believes. Not everyone wanted war with her - they were a diverse camp of people. They also fought against her because they thought she was going to enslave them like Cleon. She did little to convince them otherwise--that was why the marriage was so important. Second, if they are bringing war, realize that it's because of mistakes on both sides, that she also broke the guest right by slaughtering innocent people in the fighting pits during a peace celebration. And third, defend Meereen if she has to, but once the war is over she has to transition to rebuilding mode, she has to stay there for life. Aegon I did it; why can't she?

Marriage to Hizhdar ended murders by the Sons of the Harpy. Whether it placated Yunkai is questionable. They have every reason to destroy Dany, as they've been trying to do since she left Yunkai, because so long as she lives, slaves are emboldened. They agreed to peace terms but leave warships behind. They made sure they could resume warring given any pretext, which is exactly what they did after Dany disappeared.

And what about New Ghis, Mantarys, Qarth, Volantis, and the other slaver cities? What about the Dothraki, who were probably promised a sacking of Meereen? Just like Yunkish warships, Ghiscari legions still surround Meereen. Volantis are still on their way to Meereen, and have no reason to not take Meereen after pouring resources into raising armies.

You're imagining all you have to do is keep Yunkai at bay, and then wait for the olive trees. With so many enemies around, you'll be dead or forced to flee before the first bottle of olive oil is produced.

20 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Well you're kind of proving my point - look at how much Dany achieved without DRAGONS. That's the main issue. How unnecessary they are.

Also, you have to be both a fighter and a peacemaker. It goes hand in hand. I hate to bring Sansa and Arya into this but really, you have to be two sides of the same coin and them working together is what is needed. After the conquest of Meereen, Dany had to rebuild it and not go to constant war. And you want to criticize her for it and think that's weakness? Why?

Dany achieved something important with her marriage to Hizdahr. She didn't bend when it came to keeping Meereen free but she was flexible enough to know how to solve a problem without using dragons--that's commendable. We shouldn't be cheering her path to use dragons to solve her problems now, because its excessive and doubtful if she can even solve this problem and bring "freedom" to Essos, with dragons anyway.

If GRRM were to illustrate how nukes were effective for long-term change, it goes against his own statements in interviews.

GRRM's criticisms and praise for Jimmy Carter are lurking in the background here. While he didn't like how Jimmy Carter lacked the stomach for a fight, he also praised him for being a peacemaker at the Camp David accords. He says "Blessed are the Peacemakers" (x). And I think Adam Feldman had it right, that Dany achieved peace but decided war felt better. That's a bad turn.

So your plan for completely abolishing slavery in the region is... having Dany carry on what she was doing? I previously pointed out the flaws in this method, the biggest being that she was constantly conceding power and privileges back to the slavers, and getting nothing in return. So in continuing on that path, all you're really working towards is restoring slavery.

What do Sansa and Arya, who are not even in the same continent, let alone working together, have to do with anything?

20 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

It's a waste of time to focus so much about the slavers as the big bad. It's a distraction. Look at Dany...she's developing into that.

The plight of the oppressed is a distraction? OK.

20 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Missing unrepentant slave trader Jorah? He's a human trash can.

Interesting coming from someone who is advocating working with slavers.

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Are we really having this discussion? We can argue about Dany's methods all we want, cause like everybody she does make mistakes, but let's be clear, the goal to eradicate slavery is a good if not necessary one. We're going into the insanity that is the Lost Cause here

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1 minute ago, Alyn Oakenfist said:

Are we really having this discussion. We can argue about Dany's methods all we want, cause like everybody she does make mistakes, but let's be clear, the goal to eradicate slavery is a good if not necessary one. We're going into the insanity that is the lost cause here

It was never about slavery.  It was about Yunkish and Qartheen States' Rights.

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3 hours ago, SeanF said:

It was never about slavery.  It was about Yunkish and Qartheen States' Rights.

They were protecting against Northern Dany's aggression towards the Ghiscari way of life.

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8 hours ago, Hodor the Articulate said:

He spat on her after she told Astapor to defend itself. Rightly so, as she had stopped being a Mhysa at that point and was trying to fit in with the slavers. 

Wow, we see that completely differently, even down to what persona she was using at the time.

The whole time in Meereen she's trying to be "mhysa" because she's pausing after the conquests, and trying to rebuild a city:

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“Aegon the Conqueror brought fire and blood to Westeros, but afterward he gave them peace, prosperity, and justice. But all I have brought to Slaver’s Bay is death and ruin. I have been more khal than queen, smashing and plundering, then moving on.” (dragon)

She's trying to hold 1 city because she couldn't hold all 3 cities at the same time. So she settles down to rule to make sure she didn't create another Astapor by just "smashing, plundering, and moving on":

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But how can I rule seven kingdoms if I cannot rule a single city?” He had no answer to that. Dany turned away from them, to gaze out over the city once again. “My children need time to heal and learn (mhysa) My dragons need time to grow and test their wings. And I need the same. I will not let this city go the way of Astapor. I will not let the harpy of Yunkai chain up those I’ve freed all over again.” She turned back to look at their faces. “I will not march.”

She's given up on Astapor and Yunkai here, and rejecting constant war. That's the mhysa cult figure, the one who feeds people and tries to keep a city peaceful; not the one who brings death and destruction. 

The argument in her head at the end of this arc is between these two personas, it alternates between mhysa (I had to stay in Meereen/feed my people/heal and learn) and dragon (smashing/plundering/moving on/death/ruin). 

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Mother of dragons, Daenerys thought. Mother of monsters. What have I unleashed upon the world? A queen I am, but my throne is made of burned bones, and it rests on quicksand. Without dragons, how could she hope to hold Meereen, much less win back Westeros? I am the blood of the dragon, she thought. If they are monsters, so am I.

Dragons represent this no-win situation ^^. If she uses dragons, she's not exactly learning to rule or hold anything of value. At the same time she thinks she can't win without them. But the quicksand is that, in using them, what are you queen of? Ashes? Who did you save? (Mirri's words come back)

Everyone wants her to use her dragons but she doesn't. It isn't because she was "capitulating with slavers," it was because, they genuinely are the nuclear option. She knows that they are monsters who will destroy everything. That is the "price" of power that she realizes when she learns about Hazzeah.

8 hours ago, Hodor the Articulate said:

Claiming freeing slaves doesn't help them sure is something.

It doesnt help them to just walk up to them and say "you're free" and do nothing else to actually show them that. 

I have to laugh at Victarion, because it's hilarious shade on Dany. He "frees" slaves and then gives them no other options but to work for him on his boats. That's very similar to what Dany is doing, just not as overt.

8 hours ago, Hodor the Articulate said:

But in every instance you've brought up, violence has been necessary, not excessive.

Dragons are excessive, that's the point as I've shown above. And, coupled with the Dany that crucifies people randomly and whose empathy is waning, it's a road to mass murdersville. 

8 hours ago, Hodor the Articulate said:

That quote you pull is completely without context. We know Dany had been disgusted with slavery since the first book, and has been freeing every slave she comes across since then (until she settled in Meereen). She just didn't have a clear notion of abolishing the institution of slavery until she arrived in Meereen, and learnt that simply freeing existing slaves wasn't enough; that more slaves were being created as soon as she left the cities. Still, she had a vague sense of what had to be done, as she left a council to rule Astapor, expecting them to continue her ban on slavery. Clearly, her goal in Slavers Bay was abolition in one form or another.

Well, that's the issue, where does it end. Slavery is happening all over the world. She drew a line at Meereen's borders. That's prudence, unless she wants to play "World's Cop" and be everywhere at once.

She owned slaves, herself and had no problems with it. She isn't disgusted by Jorah when he says he sold slaves. She was willing to go with Jorah's plan to sell child bed slaves in Book 1. Real abolitionists wouldn't even be getting to that point.

It's also how she treats them. She doesn't treat Mirri, Eroeh, or her Dothraki handmaidens kindly. She knew about Unsullied before Astapor and when Jorah suggests she buy them, and she's fine with this. No abolitionist would harm slaves or ever seek to buy slaves in the first place.

That she stayed in Meereen, at all, was her chance at a redemption arc there.  It will be incomplete. She'll flub that. You have to imagine a situation when Dany is forced to choose (because every character is) - forced to choose between the Iron Throne or abolitionism. We know the answer. I don't think this is her life's work. 

8 hours ago, Hodor the Articulate said:

You're jumping a century ahead. We're not talking about civil rights, but abolition, which I believe was achieved through war in the US.

Abolition already happened in Meereen. This whole plot in Dance was the test to see if she could hold it, and keep it free. That involves reconstruction. Reconstruction isn't going to constant war. 

The U.S. ended slavery through a coalition of states, under a democratic government, under an elected president, using traditional force of arms, with a rule of law - not by an autocrat on the back of a flying nuke who was the "sole" decider for everyone's fate, who is by the way, ready to fuck off to another continent? Dany's solution to slavery in the U.S. would be to round up all white people, randomly execute them, burn cities, leave some sellswords in charge, leave for a new continent, repeat. Freeeeeedddeddddoommm!

8 hours ago, Hodor the Articulate said:

You're imagining all you have to do is keep Yunkai at bay, and then wait for the olive trees. With so many enemies around, you'll be dead or forced to flee before the first bottle of olive oil is produced.

No, I'm imagining a scenario where Dany loses her humanity the more she's at war. If she's on that path she's not a queen, just another conqueror, another Khal. That might be good in some cases for Essos, but not for Westeros. 

If I was there, there's a good chance I'd be dead by Dany saying "fuck it" and nuking the whole place.

8 hours ago, Hodor the Articulate said:

So your plan for completely abolishing slavery in the region is... having Dany carry on what she was doing? I previously pointed out the flaws in this method, the biggest being that she was constantly conceding power and privileges back to the slavers, and getting nothing in return. So in continuing on that path, all you're really working towards is restoring slavery.

No. That's not what I'm arguing. Peace in Meereen is definitely something she won - so I disagree that she got "nothing." Peace means the possibility for progress so long as Dany remains there, active and involved. The peace is simply a time for stabilization, and a test run for her to solve a problem without nukes. And those terms aren't something she has to accept forever. It wasn't even 24 hours old and she threw it away, returning to the "khal" persona that she was trying to avoid at the end of ASOS. This illustrates that she doesn't have what it takes to bring peace - to anyone. 

8 hours ago, Hodor the Articulate said:

What do Sansa and Arya, who are not even in the same continent, let alone working together, have to do with anything?

They represent this duality, in terms of the skills they're both learning. And if they worked together, they would be equally balanced, knowing when to use hard/soft power. In fact, all of the Starks have skills that balance this out. 

8 hours ago, Hodor the Articulate said:

The plight of the oppressed is a distraction? OK.

Well Dany certainly will act like it is a distraction to her, if she dips out.

But GRRM always said this story was about Westeros and anything else outside of that only matters for Westeros. So I dont think it's about superhero Dany, flying around the world to fight oppression wherever it lives. It's about how she develops into an antagonist/villain for Westeros.

8 hours ago, Hodor the Articulate said:

Interesting coming from someone who is advocating working with slavers.

The Meereense aren't slavers anymore, remember? They are just noble lords now. It might be important to try to work with a few of them - since that's training for what she'll have to do in Westeros.   

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Dany had to help the slaves.  It is a very important part of her character development.  Whoever wins at the end will have to deserve it.  Helping the slaves become free is just one of the many tasks she has to accomplish before the reward comes her way.  The practical story telling need to give the dragons time to grow and give her a good reason to stay put.  She is learning the limitations of military power.  We the readers are learning the injustice when one person owns another, which is one person having absolute power over another.  Slavery and Skinchanging give one person absolute power over another.  Dany will come out of Slaver's Bay knowing when to be hard and when to be soft.  

Nobody has ever tried to abolish slavery on this scale before.  Even somebody like Tywin Lannister will not know what to do.  A lot of this is untried and untested territory.  But Dany is a smart girl.  She will figure it out.  Just do not expect slavery to end and the rebuilding to happen overnight.  It is perhaps her destiny to build her own empire in Essos.  I am expecting her return after the matters are settled in Westeros.  

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5 hours ago, Quoth the raven, said:

Nobody has ever tried to abolish slavery on this scale before.  Even somebody like Tywin Lannister will not know what to do.  A lot of this is untried and untested territory.  But Dany is a smart girl.  She will figure it out.  Just do not expect slavery to end and the rebuilding to happen overnight.  It is perhaps her destiny to build her own empire in Essos.  I am expecting her return after the matters are settled in Westeros.  

Dany I see in her latest chapter has lost her patience - but as I have commented elsewhere, ending slavery, even just in Mereen, is a lifetime project.

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6 hours ago, Quoth the raven, said:

Dany had to help the slaves.  It is a very important part of her character development.  Whoever wins at the end will have to deserve it.  Helping the slaves become free is just one of the many tasks she has to accomplish before the reward comes her way.  The practical story telling need to give the dragons time to grow and give her a good reason to stay put.  She is learning the limitations of military power.  We the readers are learning the injustice when one person owns another, which is one person having absolute power over another.  Slavery and Skinchanging give one person absolute power over another.  Dany will come out of Slaver's Bay knowing when to be hard and when to be soft.  

Nobody has ever tried to abolish slavery on this scale before.  Even somebody like Tywin Lannister will not know what to do.  A lot of this is untried and untested territory.  But Dany is a smart girl.  She will figure it out.  Just do not expect slavery to end and the rebuilding to happen overnight.  It is perhaps her destiny to build her own empire in Essos.  I am expecting her return after the matters are settled in Westeros.  

 

1 hour ago, Aldarion said:

Dany I see in her latest chapter has lost her patience - but as I have commented elsewhere, ending slavery, even just in Mereen, is a lifetime project.

Indeed it is a lifetime project.  I also believe she will return to Meereen to continue the needed reforms.  Essos has no other leader who can accomplish such a thing.  Benerro is not the right leader for this job.  Neither is Daario.  I still think she will go to Westeros for a time and come back to Meereen to finally settle the score.

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The problem is Dany wants to win the hearts and minds of the masters and nobility and end slavery. She can't do both at once. She created a radical upheaval and there are those that are pushing back against it. There is no single gesture that's going to "fix" this situation in the short term short of murdering everyone that opposes her. 

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1 hour ago, Jeeves said:

Indeed it is a lifetime project.  I also believe she will return to Meereen to continue the needed reforms.  Essos has no other leader who can accomplish such a thing.  Benerro is not the right leader for this job.  Neither is Daario.  I still think she will go to Westeros for a time and come back to Meereen to finally settle the score.

Unlikely. She needs to choose: Meereen or Westeros. If she tries to sort out both, she will sort out neither.

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10 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

 

 

She owned slaves, herself and had no problems with it. She isn't disgusted by Jorah when he says he sold slaves. She was willing to go with Jorah's plan to sell child bed slaves in Book 1. Real abolitionists wouldn't even be getting to that point.

It's also how she treats them. She doesn't treat Mirri, Eroeh, or her Dothraki handmaidens kindly. She knew about Unsullied before Astapor and when Jorah suggests she buy them, and she's fine with this. No abolitionist would harm slaves or ever seek to buy slaves in the first place.

 

Daenerys was sold into the Khalasar, aged 13.   She had no choice in the matter, other than to take her own life, if she wished to escape that fate.   She's been taught by her brother that she is a "slut" and a "whore" and that her lot in life is to serve whichever man controls her.   Her status as Khaleesi is that of a privileged slave.  Her husband can kill her, beat her, sell her, give him to his blood riders if he wishes.  She cannot leave him, or leave the khalasar.  Her husband's word is law.   She was lucky that her husband came to love her, as a master might come to love a slave.  Her servants are also slaves. Her husband can kill them, beat them, sell them, or give them away.  They are in no sense, her property, any more than the servants of concubines in the Ottoman harem were their property.  At that point, she is not an abolitionist, and nor would one expect her to be.  She's lived in slave owning societies, and her status is no different to that of a slave, herself, albeit a high status slave. 

Funnily enough, lots of abolitionists in real life, like John Newton, William Wilberforce, Toussaint L'Ouverture, started their careers, thinking that slavery was legitimate, having been raised in slave-owning societies.   There is moral development.  To you, an abolitionist comes out of the womb an abolitionist.  Anyone else is no true abolitionist.  

She claimed slaves, like Mirri and Eroeh, in order to save them from being raped and murdered.  She was in no position to demand that they be set free.  By doing so, she incurred the anger of many Dothraki, and put herself in danger. She tried to harden her heart to the horrors that took place, and could not.   I imagine it's unprecedented among the Dothraki for a teenage bride to actually try to prevent atrocities from taking place. Her position is similar to that of Sansa, who tries to mitigate Joffrey's atrocities.  Both of them can only do small things, but doing small things is better than doing nothing.   She was in no position at all to demand that they be freed.  However, once she was in a position to free slaves, after Drogo's death, she did so, before stepping into the pyre.

WRT her handmaidens, she did things like holding Doreah as she was dying, when she was urged to abandon her;  translating Viserys' threats on behalf of Jhiqi, who was too terrified to translate them;  getting gifts for them;  comforting Missandei.  They enjoy the same standard of living as she does, and seem very fond of her. 

WRT Astapor she was tempted to buy the Unsullied.  On the one hand, she knew that it would be wrong to buy them, as Arstan pointed out to her.  On the other , she wanted an army, as Ser Jorah insisted.  She squared the circle by breaking her deal with Kraznys, the morally correct thing to do.

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8 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Wow, we see that completely differently, even down to what persona she was using at the time.

The whole time in Meereen she's trying to be "mhysa" because she's pausing after the conquests, and trying to rebuild a city:

Quote

“Aegon the Conqueror brought fire and blood to Westeros, but afterward he gave them peace, prosperity, and justice. But all I have brought to Slaver’s Bay is death and ruin. I have been more khal than queen, smashing and plundering, then moving on.” (dragon)

She's trying to hold 1 city because she couldn't hold all 3 cities at the same time. So she settles down to rule to make sure she didn't create another Astapor by just "smashing, plundering, and moving on":

Quote

But how can I rule seven kingdoms if I cannot rule a single city?” He had no answer to that. Dany turned away from them, to gaze out over the city once again. “My children need time to heal and learn (mhysa) My dragons need time to grow and test their wings. And I need the same. I will not let this city go the way of Astapor. I will not let the harpy of Yunkai chain up those I’ve freed all over again.” She turned back to look at their faces. “I will not march.”

She's given up on Astapor and Yunkai here, and rejecting constant war. That's the mhysa cult figure, the one who feeds people and tries to keep a city peaceful; not the one who brings death and destruction. 

The argument in her head at the end of this arc is between these two personas, it alternates between mhysa (I had to stay in Meereen/feed my people/heal and learn) and dragon (smashing/plundering/moving on/death/ruin). 

Quote

Mother of dragons, Daenerys thought. Mother of monsters. What have I unleashed upon the world? A queen I am, but my throne is made of burned bones, and it rests on quicksand. Without dragons, how could she hope to hold Meereen, much less win back Westeros? I am the blood of the dragon, she thought. If they are monsters, so am I.

Dragons represent this no-win situation ^^. If she uses dragons, she's not exactly learning to rule or hold anything of value. At the same time she thinks she can't win without them. But the quicksand is that, in using them, what are you queen of? Ashes? Who did you save? (Mirri's words come back)

Everyone wants her to use her dragons but she doesn't. It isn't because she was "capitulating with slavers," it was because, they genuinely are the nuclear option. She knows that they are monsters who will destroy everything. That is the "price" of power that she realizes when she learns about Hazzeah.

Dany was "Mhysa" of the freedmen, not the slavers.

"I am not your mother, she might have shouted, back, I am the mother of your slaves, of every boy who ever died upon these sands whilst you gorged on honeyed locusts."

In seeking "peace" in Meereen, she chains her dragons and dons a tokar, the garb of the Great Masters. She tosses the tokar aside when Drogon returns. I don't know how much more obvious the symbolism can get. In her last chapter, she even has a slaver whip, which she beats against her leg while she's trying to journey back to Meereen. She tries to use it to steer Drogon, and finds she has trouble controlling him. But when she realises what she must do next (not go back to her "floppy ears"), the whip is gone, and she guides him just fine.

Dragons symbolising mindless destruction is your own projection. In Dany's story, they are juxtaposed against slavery/slavers and stopping revolutions half way. We see the consequences of Dany's peace-seeking in the middle of war in the complete destruction of Astapor, the murdered freedmen, Groleo, and the continued enslavement of children. That was the price of putting away her dragons (and her inner dragon), and of not using all the power she had against her enemies. What she learns from her time in Meereen is that some types of "peace" generates just as much violence as war.

8 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

It doesnt help them to just walk up to them and say "you're free" and do nothing else to actually show them that. 

I have to laugh at Victarion, because it's hilarious shade on Dany. He "frees" slaves and then gives them no other options but to work for him on his boats. That's very similar to what Dany is doing, just not as overt.

Any profit gained from the freedmen's skills now goes directly the freedmen. They are largely happy to be free. Why are you downplaying this?

The Ironborn take thralls, so it's no surprise Victarion frees people from slavery but then forces them to work for him. It's a scene laughing at Victarion's skewed logic. Quite a stretch to claim it says anything about Dany.

8 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Dragons are excessive, that's the point as I've shown above. And, coupled with the Dany that crucifies people randomly and whose empathy is waning, it's a road to mass murdersville. 

Dany used her dragons one time - to free the Unsullied. Didn't seem excessive to me.

The crucifixions weren't random. They were retribution for the 168 crucified child slaves the GM taunted her with. If anything, it was too light a sentence. She wouldn't have had so much to deal with had she dealt with more of them early on.

8 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Well, that's the issue, where does it end. Slavery is happening all over the world. She drew a line at Meereen's borders. That's prudence, unless she wants to play "World's Cop" and be everywhere at once.

She owned slaves, herself and had no problems with it. She isn't disgusted by Jorah when he says he sold slaves. She was willing to go with Jorah's plan to sell child bed slaves in Book 1. Real abolitionists wouldn't even be getting to that point.

It's also how she treats them. She doesn't treat Mirri, Eroeh, or her Dothraki handmaidens kindly. She knew about Unsullied before Astapor and when Jorah suggests she buy them, and she's fine with this. No abolitionist would harm slaves or ever seek to buy slaves in the first place.

That she stayed in Meereen, at all, was her chance at a redemption arc there.  It will be incomplete. She'll flub that. You have to imagine a situation when Dany is forced to choose (because every character is) - forced to choose between the Iron Throne or abolitionism. We know the answer. I don't think this is her life's work.

So this is :bs: and contradictory to what's actually in the text. @SeanF has already addressed your absurd claim above and here, so I'll just quote him:

Your view that Daenerys doesn't actually care about slaves requires one to disregard pages of text.  She never had to free slaves before entering the pyre.  She never had to risk her life at Astapor.  She could have purchased a couple of thousand Unsullied, or got the lot in return for a small dragon.  She could have done as the Good Masters suggested;  sack a few cities and send them boys to be made into fresh Unsullied.  She could have driven away the 40,000 non-combatants that accompanied her, as Ser Jorah suggested.  She could have accepted a bribe from Yunkai to leave with the Unsullied.  She could have just looted Meereen, and the rest of Slavers Bay, and made out like a bandit.  That's what she would do, if her anti-slavery campaign was just a cynical ploy to recruit an army.  The plunder of Slavers Bay would enable her to hire thousands of mercenaries, over and above the Unsullied.  That she did not do this is evidence that she feels empathy towards, and responsibility for, these people.

8 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Abolition already happened in Meereen. This whole plot in Dance was the test to see if she could hold it, and keep it free. That involves reconstruction. Reconstruction isn't going to constant war. 

The U.S. ended slavery through a coalition of states, under a democratic government, under an elected president, using traditional force of arms, with a rule of law - not by an autocrat on the back of a flying nuke who was the "sole" decider for everyone's fate, who is by the way, ready to fuck off to another continent? Dany's solution to slavery in the U.S. would be to round up all white people, randomly execute them, burn cities, leave some sellswords in charge, leave for a new continent, repeat. Freeeeeedddeddddoommm!

I thought you said emancipation was meaningless if the lives of freedmen had not improved. What happened during Reconstruction, when Confederate elites were allowed to keep their power? The Black Codes. I'll bet Lincoln would have appreciated a dragon.

It's important to note that most of the US was in favor of abolishing slavery, whereas in Meereen, only Skahaz supports Dany (probably because his was a lesser House). Every other Great Master wants a restoration of slavery.

8 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

No, I'm imagining a scenario where Dany loses her humanity the more she's at war. If she's on that path she's not a queen, just another conqueror, another Khal. That might be good in some cases for Essos, but not for Westeros. 

If I was there, there's a good chance I'd be dead by Dany saying "fuck it" and nuking the whole place.

So you admit, you have no clue how to defend Meereen from Volantis and the Dothraki.

8 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

No. That's not what I'm arguing. Peace in Meereen is definitely something she won - so I disagree that she got "nothing." Peace means the possibility for progress so long as Dany remains there, active and involved. The peace is simply a time for stabilization, and a test run for her to solve a problem without nukes. And those terms aren't something she has to accept forever. It wasn't even 24 hours old and she threw it away, returning to the "khal" persona that she was trying to avoid at the end of ASOS. This illustrates that she doesn't have what it takes to bring peace - to anyone. 

Let's take a look at what the GM gained/Dany conceded:

  • a king who pushes the agenda of the slavers, and would rule Meereen should Dany be absent for any reason (hmm...)
  • Skahaz was replaced by Hizzy's cousin
  • fighting pits re-opened
  • Yunkai would be allowed to resume slaving in peace AND rebuild Astapor as a slave city AND be financially compensated for the slaves they lost AND be allowed to have slaves in supposedly slave-free Meereen AND still have a military presence, which could be used to negotiate more "peace" terms.

What did the GM have to give up to get all these generous terms? What great victory has Dany gotten won?

  • not killing freedmen.

Wow, great bargining. I'm sure she'll be able to negotiate a wage raise next, and all it'll take is the freedmen compensating their former masters for the things they stole, GM being allowed to raise a military, and maybe a slave or two for each GM - I mean, as long as they're only buying and not selling, right? Progress!

Who is enjoying this "peace" anyway? Certainly not the slaves in Yunkai or the new Astapor.

8 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

They represent this duality, in terms of the skills they're both learning. And if they worked together, they would be equally balanced, knowing when to use hard/soft power. In fact, all of the Starks have skills that balance this out. 

Are you proposing the Starks develop some sort of hivemind or fuse together like Transformers?

This is more just more meaningless buzzword-ing and conjecture, and you're completely arbitrary in what you consider acceptable hard power. Dragons are "too easy" (whatever that means) but magical stealth assassins are totally cool and realistic. Is your problem with dragons that they're capable of targetting multiple enemies at the same time?

8 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

Well Dany certainly will act like it is a distraction to her, if she dips out.

But GRRM always said this story was about Westeros and anything else outside of that only matters for Westeros. So I dont think it's about superhero Dany, flying around the world to fight oppression wherever it lives. It's about how she develops into an antagonist/villain for Westeros.

Because as we know, GRRM is huge slavery advocate. And he has definately not suffused his story with the suffering of the opressed at the hands of nobility. Nor are the Others a threat at all. No, the ultimate villain is the lady who freed slaves. She just wanted it too much, ya know?

8 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

The Meereense aren't slavers anymore, remember? They are just noble lords now. It might be important to try to work with a few of them - since that's training for what she'll have to do in Westeros.   

Well, Jorah isn't a slaver anymore either. I guess former slavers are only human trash cans if they're loyal to Dany. Or is it that he ruins your fantasy of no one liking Daenerys?

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