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Barristan the Bold


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On 7/15/2020 at 12:18 AM, Hodor the Articulate said:

I think releasing lions on Tyrion and Penny shows he'd be constantly pushing the line, testing the limits to see how much he can get away with. I don't trust him not to favor the Great Masters if left in charge, and I don't think Daenerys does either.

That would be pretty risky. How could he know Dany or someone else wouldn't eat it?

I wouldn't put it past Skahaz to remove some of his enemies during the chaos, since that's what he's been advocating since the start. But he can do that without holing up in Meereen. It didn't take much to convince Barristan to arrest Hizdahr, so I'm sure he could make up some pretext for rounding up or killing some of the other Great Masters. At worst, Barristan arrests him.

From Skahaz's viewpoint though, getting arrested is a decidedly BAD outcome. He joined Dany early on, hoping this would help him rise high in the new administration. He didn't join Dany out of conviction, he's an opportunist like Littlefinger. But it didn't pan out for him; he was even recently relieved from his post and is now unemployed. If he were now to be arrested, he would be unemployed and in jail. This is much worse than where he was before Dany came. He needs to turn this situation around, and the battle is likely going to be his only opportunity. If he waits and Dany's forces return to the city, he likely won't have another chance to seize power. The Volantenes will arrive within days and will sack the city if the gates are not opened. Skahaz doesn't want this to happen, so he will take control during the battle. He will very likely use Daario's idea of luring all the masters to one location and having the Brazen Beasts kill them all. After that, he closes the gates. The End. There is no way the army could retake Meereen in just a few days, so they'd be stuck outside with limited food and the pale mare all around. Skahaz meanwhile commands the only military presence in the city and crowns himself. He opens the gates for Volantis and restores slavery.

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  • 3 months later...

The whole Meereen plot makes more sense if one reads it backwards.

What I mean by this is that George Martin uses the Meereen plot as a means to reach a desired result in the story. So if you take that end result, then extrapolate backwards, you see why Dany makes the choices she does make in the Meereen storyline - and why the other characters do too.

George Martin's desired end result is Dany becoming mentally able to be an invader who is ruthlessly willing to use a barbarian army and firebreathing dragons to conquer Westeros.

In oder to get Dany into that mental state, George Martin had to find a good reason for her Dragon side to prevail over her Mhysa side. (He could of course have chosen to not give her a Mhysa side in the first place but that would have made Dany a less interesting character with no human heart in conflict with itself to speak of so the Mhysa side had to be included.)

Now how to get the Dragon side to win? Easy: The Dragon side wins by default if the Mhysa side fails. So George Martin chose to let the Mhysa side run its course and fail. Having the Mhysa side dominate and fail is what Meereen is all about:

- this is the reason, that Dany suddenly becomes all about peace in Meereen

- this is the reason Dany lets the slavers live (and thus enable them to plot against her)

- this is the reason, Dany believes the lies told to her

- this is the reason Dany agrees to capture her dragons and put them into a dungeon

- this is the reason Dany agrees to let herself be blackmailed into marrying a guy she doesn't love at all (and who doesn't love her)

- this is the reason Dany doesn't kill the hostages

- this is the reason Dany goes so far as to agree to reopen the fighting pits and have people die for entertainment against her better knowledge

- this is the reason Dany does not help Astapor against the Yunkish

- this is the reason the sons of the Harpy keep killing

- this is the reason why everything falls apart once Dany vanishes

- this is the reason why Barristan is forced to make decisions that further antagonize the slavers

END RESULT: When Dany returns, the peace her Mhysa side had been so busy to promote and made so many sacrifices for has utterly failed. George Martin let her go overboard with the Mhysa side in order to set her up for failure - and thus for her to have an understandable motivation to now go overboard the other way - with the Dragon side. And then onwards to Westeros.

Once one reads the chapters in that light everything makes sense.

Of course that everything in Meereen fails in the end - and that Dany goes fairly overboard with her compromises and her wish for peace - the fails anyway - is a little hard to read at times. Because, you know, failure is not all that nice really. But it all has a reason: It is to get Dany into her planned starting position.

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