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Why Daenerys is a better ruler and leader than Jon

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16 minutes ago, SeanF said:

You're missing the point that "reform, improve, build" are not the only tasks of a government.  That is  work for a government at peace.  But, Daenerys' government is not at peace.  It is embattled, from the point that Xaro leaves a bloody glove behind him.  Defence, winning wars, repelling foreign enemies are equally important.  To do that, you need to fight, with every means at your disposal.  I don't think Martin would be devoting so much of his text to the foreign invasion of Slavers Bay, to the fact that slavers consider free Meereen to be an existential threat, if he did not consider it important to the story.  This invasion is not a figment of the imaginations of Daenerys, Quentyn et al.

But making more war wasn't the point. He sets her up as learning to do something other than go to war. Therefore, Dany has to learn how to reform/improve/build. The test was to see if she could be better than Robert Baratheon, more than just a conqueror who is good at war. The blockade was removed after the reconciliation. Slavery was forbidden in Meereen and she held to that.

You can't get to peace just through war, and stop there. War-->then rebuilding. If she wants to follow this, she has to stay there and commit to rebuilding the city - and we know she's not. Now she's given up on the place and thinks its the Harpy's city, and is sick of the Meereense great and small alike. So back to doing something that teaches her nothing and improves her skills in ...nothing.

Dany can rebuild if she puts her mind to it, but she decided NOT to put her mind to it and chose endless war and a march further toward fascism.

Edited by Rose of Red Lake

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Just now, Rose of Red Lake said:

But making more war wasn't the point. He says she's learning to do something other than go to war. Therefore, Dany has to learn how to reform/improve/build. The test was to see if she could be better than Robert Baratheon, more than just a conqueror who is good at war. The blockade was removed after the reconciliation. Slavery was forbidden in Meereen and she held to that.

You can't get to peace just through war, and stop there. War-->then rebuilding. If she wants to follow this, she has to stay there and commit to rebuilding the city - and we know she's not. Now she's given up on the place and thinks its the Harpy's city, and is sick of the Meereense great and small alike. So back to doing something that teaches her nothing and improves her skills in ...nothing.

Dany can rebuild if she puts her mind to it, but she decided NOT to put her mind to it and chose endless war and a march further toward fascism.

The besieging army remained in situ, the Volantenes were on their way, most Yunkish lords were waiting for them to turn up, and Bloodbeard wants to sack the city.  There is a slave market just outside the walls and slaves are brought in and out of the city.  And, the ships can resume their blockade whenever they wish.

That is not “peace” as I would understand the term.  Rejecting it is in no sense “fascist”, a term you use simply to mean character you don’t like. 

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I don't know why, but it still surprises me the amount of people who think this is going to end in a battle of good versus evil in which nukes are used to completely destroy an entire species of othered beings.

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33 minutes ago, SeanF said:

The besieging army remained in situ, the Volantenes were on their way, most Yunkish lords were waiting for them to turn up, and Bloodbeard wants to sack the city.  There is a slave market just outside the walls and slaves are brought in and out of the city.  And, the ships can resume their blockade whenever they wish.

That is not “peace” as I would understand the term.  Rejecting it is in no sense “fascist”, a term you use simply to mean character you don’t like. 

I can't help but hearing overtones of fascism in your posts - it's like checking off boxes from Eco's 14 points. This is Box 9, Life is perpetual war, Life is Permanent Warfare, there must always be an enemy to fight, we will ultimately triumph if we just keep going to war. You've moved the goalposts to more war, so that " a free Meereen" is not enough. Nevermind that Dany is completely new to this place and is trying to rule without nukes for a period of time - it is not enough now?

Responding to murder with more murder won't get her anywhere - this is the issue over in Westeros, too. So what can she do? The author gave her a series of limitations, that she had to navigate.

War/conquest vs. ruling/rebuilding - the two different modes that Dany must master if she wants to succeed. Or she could just be good at killing, a Daario of the skies!

Edited by Rose of Red Lake

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On 1/2/2021 at 5:38 PM, Here's Looking At You, Kid said:

(It should be someone like James Fenimore Cooper to compose this reaction piece but I will do my best.) 

Daenerys Targaryen is a better ruler and leader than Jon Snow.  We are all familiar with their leadership styles.  There is enough information for us to pass judgment on who the better leader is.  I will start with Jon Snow.

Jon Snow

Jon is far from the worst leader in A Song of Ice and Fire.  He is actually capable most of the time.  His biggest strength as a leader is his ability to teach.  Jon was able to teach the other less-fortunate cadets the proper use of the sword in combat.  Yes, he was an arrogant and entitled fool when he arrived.  A little man to man talk with a seasoned man helped open his eyes.  Many of the fans praise Jon for protecting the craven cadet, Samwell Tarly.  It is a well-earned praise.  Samwell would have died from fright if Jon had not stepped in and helped. 

I have established that Jon Snow is basically an average guy who has had a good training in the fighting arts.  As a leader, he is usually capable of performing his job.  However, there problems beneath his exterior.  Many of the fans have already brought it up repeatedly.   Jon has a chip on his shoulders.  Push that chip and he goes ballistic.  He is guilty of attacking Ser Alliser Thorne, a superior officer.  He has anger management issues which culminated in the inappropriate way in which he judged two guilty men, Janos Slynt and Mance Rayder.  By every laws of the land, it should have been the deserter and turncloak, Mance Rayder, who was executed.  Matters went downhill from there.  He sent the deserter and turncloak to bring his sister to him at the Wall.  This is an act of war against Roose and Ramsay Bolton.  The Night's Watch should never, and never has until now, make war against the people of The Seven Kingdoms. 

I served in the military for the better part of my early adult life.  I have never been tested in the same way as Jon was with Arya.  I will say there are a lot of men who would do as Jon did.  They would forsake their duties, no matter how critical it is, to save their sisters.  But there are still more who would do their duties and accept that they cannot help their sisters.  For proof, you only have to look at those men who are in the business of rescuing and saving people and property.  Many men would rather be at home with their families during an emergency crisis but instead they stay at their posts and do their jobs.  I knew people who went to Kuwait while they had desperate families back home.  Parents battling cancer.  Wives struggling to raise handicapped children alone.  I could go on and on.  The point is, it is not unreasonable nor is it rare for people to do their jobs even when they have critical family concerns back home.  And those men who can't do this should never be in command.  It's fine for desk jockey to always sacrifice his duties for his families.  But that is not acceptable for a commander of an organization who has been tasked with the protection of the kingdom. 

Quorin Halfhand said something in book 2.  He said of Mance Rayder, he was the best and the worst of us.  He had trouble obeying.  Jon is very much like Mance Rayder.  In many ways, he is the ideal black brother.  But he is also the worst possible.  Jon is a man gifted with martial skills.  He is a smart young man who usually makes sound decisions.  I don't think his inability to judge and prioritize will matter much with the Wildlings.  To the Free Folk, whatever the strong man says is right is right.  Might makes right with the Wildlings.  Jon does not have to be fair, nor consistent.  Laws among the Wildlings are not as well-defined. 

Daenerys Targaryen

Princess Daenerys Targaryen began the story a scared and nervous young girl.  Forced to marry into an alien culture, she used her natural intelligence to thrive.  Courage, intelligence, and determination allowed her to adapt to the Dothraki culture.  She brought the dragons back from extinction.  She had the smarts and the courage to lead her khalasar beyond the Red Waste until they reached Vaes Tolorro.  This is nothing less than remarkable for a girl of her age.  She defeated the Undying in the Palace of Dust with the help of her dragon, Drogon.  Over and over, Daenerys has managed to use her intelligence and her cunning to outmaneuver her adversaries.  She has become a very good player of the game of thrones with her own style. 

Queen Daenerys has become the conqueror and the ruler of the slaver city of Meereen.  She knows what we know.  As humans, we have a responsibility to make laws and judge the guilty.  The Meereenese masters perpetrated the most heinous war crime in the entire saga so far.  This is many times more heinous than the Red Wedding in The Twins.  The masters crucified the children of their slaves and used them to decorate the road to the city.  This kind of crime cannot go unpunished.  To do so would be to deny justice to those children.  Allowing the Meereenese to bring forth the guilty is a modern concept of peers judging peers.  It is certainly preferable to the arbitrary trial of combat being practiced in Westeros.  She is facing an enemy who refuse to fight her troops in open combat.  And yet, she refused to execute her cup bearers.  This was a smart move.  Those children can be socialized and educated away from their slaver parents.  These children will be the foundation of a free Slaver's Bay. 

The situation in Meereen is very complicated.  Skahaz, Reznak, and Hizdahr are unreliable allies.  Daenerys has been warned to be careful by Quaithe.  Yet, she reacts with reason and caution.  A Cersei would have had them all killed.  But a good leader knows that you have to trust people.  Everything carries a risk.  One person cannot manage a city of the size of Meereen.  Jorah's betrayal is revealed.  Daenerys wisely did not kill the man and instead sent him into exile.  Daenerys is a reflective, thoughtful person.  Which is a good quality for someone who has to make decisions.  She has much to learn about ruling but her potential is without limits. 

My only issue with her rule happened when she gave up too much for the false peace with the Yunkai and the remaining masters.  Her decisions as ruler were otherwise sound.  Jon was not really a ruler but a commander.  I had issues with his election.  A deserter like him should not have been made commander. 

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10 hours ago, Rose of Red Lake said:

I can't help but hearing overtones of fascism in your posts - it's like checking off boxes from Eco's 14 points. This is Box 9, Life is perpetual war, Life is Permanent Warfare, there must always be an enemy to fight, we will ultimately triumph if we just keep going to war. You've moved the goalposts to more war, so that " a free Meereen" is not enough. Nevermind that Dany is completely new to this place and is trying to rule without nukes for a period of time - it is not enough now?

Responding to murder with more murder won't get her anywhere - this is the issue over in Westeros, too. So what can she do? The author gave her a series of limitations, that she had to navigate.

War/conquest vs. ruling/rebuilding - the two different modes that Dany must master if she wants to succeed. Or she could just be good at killing, a Daario of the skies!

Waging war does not usually equate to fascism.  There’s a time for peace, and a time for war.  The best rulers master both.  When foreign enemies are on your territory, that is a time for war.  Defence of one's own territory is not synonymous with fascism.

Edited by SeanF

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On 1/5/2021 at 6:30 AM, 300 H&H Magnum said:

Eddard ruled his lands easily because he was the top man at the North.  He inherited and ruled by right of his title.  He wasn't all that effective in the big city because  he was below Robert and the Lannisters. 

In other words, he actually needed skills in the big city.  Entitlement alone did not get the job done. 

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2 hours ago, James West said:

My only issue with her rule happened when she gave up too much for the false peace with the Yunkai and the remaining masters.  Her decisions as ruler were otherwise sound.  Jon was not really a ruler but a commander.  I had issues with his election.  A deserter like him should not have been made commander. 

I don't think that Jon really counts as a deserter since he came back of his own free will and was instrumental in saving the watch.

I think, In Slaver's Bay at least, Dany's taking the 'Neville Chamberlain' role, deceived into more and more compromises by her desire for peace when the other side are not acting in good faith. I mean the Green Grace is posing as a wise adviser while (IMO) leading a terrorist organisation to undermine Dany's goals and strike down attempts by freed slaves to better themselves. As you and Sean pointed out, there is a limit to the kind of honourable peace Dany could have with a slaver army at her door and more on the way.

For me, the question being asked by the books is when is the peace a just peace, when is the price of avoiding conflict too high. Jon Arryn could have handed over his wards to Aerys but that was too high a price so he rose in rebellion. Craster kept peace with the Others by sacrificing his own sons, and the Night's Watch looked away, but that likely only added to the power of the enemy that humanity will soon have to face.

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On 1/2/2021 at 5:38 PM, Here's Looking At You, Kid said:

(It should be someone like James Fenimore Cooper to compose this reaction piece but I will do my best.) 

Daenerys Targaryen is a better ruler and leader than Jon Snow.  We are all familiar with their leadership styles.  There is enough information for us to pass judgment on who the better leader is.  I will start with Jon Snow.

Jon Snow

Jon is far from the worst leader in A Song of Ice and Fire.  He is actually capable most of the time.  His biggest strength as a leader is his ability to teach.  Jon was able to teach the other less-fortunate cadets the proper use of the sword in combat.  Yes, he was an arrogant and entitled fool when he arrived.  A little man to man talk with a seasoned man helped open his eyes.  Many of the fans praise Jon for protecting the craven cadet, Samwell Tarly.  It is a well-earned praise.  Samwell would have died from fright if Jon had not stepped in and helped. 

I have established that Jon Snow is basically an average guy who has had a good training in the fighting arts.  As a leader, he is usually capable of performing his job.  However, there problems beneath his exterior.  Many of the fans have already brought it up repeatedly.   Jon has a chip on his shoulders.  Push that chip and he goes ballistic.  He is guilty of attacking Ser Alliser Thorne, a superior officer.  He has anger management issues which culminated in the inappropriate way in which he judged two guilty men, Janos Slynt and Mance Rayder.  By every laws of the land, it should have been the deserter and turncloak, Mance Rayder, who was executed.  Matters went downhill from there.  He sent the deserter and turncloak to bring his sister to him at the Wall.  This is an act of war against Roose and Ramsay Bolton.  The Night's Watch should never, and never has until now, make war against the people of The Seven Kingdoms. 

I served in the military for the better part of my early adult life.  I have never been tested in the same way as Jon was with Arya.  I will say there are a lot of men who would do as Jon did.  They would forsake their duties, no matter how critical it is, to save their sisters.  But there are still more who would do their duties and accept that they cannot help their sisters.  For proof, you only have to look at those men who are in the business of rescuing and saving people and property.  Many men would rather be at home with their families during an emergency crisis but instead they stay at their posts and do their jobs.  I knew people who went to Kuwait while they had desperate families back home.  Parents battling cancer.  Wives struggling to raise handicapped children alone.  I could go on and on.  The point is, it is not unreasonable nor is it rare for people to do their jobs even when they have critical family concerns back home.  And those men who can't do this should never be in command.  It's fine for desk jockey to always sacrifice his duties for his families.  But that is not acceptable for a commander of an organization who has been tasked with the protection of the kingdom. 

Quorin Halfhand said something in book 2.  He said of Mance Rayder, he was the best and the worst of us.  He had trouble obeying.  Jon is very much like Mance Rayder.  In many ways, he is the ideal black brother.  But he is also the worst possible.  Jon is a man gifted with martial skills.  He is a smart young man who usually makes sound decisions.  I don't think his inability to judge and prioritize will matter much with the Wildlings.  To the Free Folk, whatever the strong man says is right is right.  Might makes right with the Wildlings.  Jon does not have to be fair, nor consistent.  Laws among the Wildlings are not as well-defined. 

Daenerys Targaryen

Princess Daenerys Targaryen began the story a scared and nervous young girl.  Forced to marry into an alien culture, she used her natural intelligence to thrive.  Courage, intelligence, and determination allowed her to adapt to the Dothraki culture.  She brought the dragons back from extinction.  She had the smarts and the courage to lead her khalasar beyond the Red Waste until they reached Vaes Tolorro.  This is nothing less than remarkable for a girl of her age.  She defeated the Undying in the Palace of Dust with the help of her dragon, Drogon.  Over and over, Daenerys has managed to use her intelligence and her cunning to outmaneuver her adversaries.  She has become a very good player of the game of thrones with her own style. 

Queen Daenerys has become the conqueror and the ruler of the slaver city of Meereen.  She knows what we know.  As humans, we have a responsibility to make laws and judge the guilty.  The Meereenese masters perpetrated the most heinous war crime in the entire saga so far.  This is many times more heinous than the Red Wedding in The Twins.  The masters crucified the children of their slaves and used them to decorate the road to the city.  This kind of crime cannot go unpunished.  To do so would be to deny justice to those children.  Allowing the Meereenese to bring forth the guilty is a modern concept of peers judging peers.  It is certainly preferable to the arbitrary trial of combat being practiced in Westeros.  She is facing an enemy who refuse to fight her troops in open combat.  And yet, she refused to execute her cup bearers.  This was a smart move.  Those children can be socialized and educated away from their slaver parents.  These children will be the foundation of a free Slaver's Bay. 

The situation in Meereen is very complicated.  Skahaz, Reznak, and Hizdahr are unreliable allies.  Daenerys has been warned to be careful by Quaithe.  Yet, she reacts with reason and caution.  A Cersei would have had them all killed.  But a good leader knows that you have to trust people.  Everything carries a risk.  One person cannot manage a city of the size of Meereen.  Jorah's betrayal is revealed.  Daenerys wisely did not kill the man and instead sent him into exile.  Daenerys is a reflective, thoughtful person.  Which is a good quality for someone who has to make decisions.  She has much to learn about ruling but her potential is without limits. 

:agree:

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10 hours ago, Wall Flower said:

I don't think that Jon really counts as a deserter since he came back of his own free will and was instrumental in saving the watch.

I think, In Slaver's Bay at least, Dany's taking the 'Neville Chamberlain' role, deceived into more and more compromises by her desire for peace when the other side are not acting in good faith. I mean the Green Grace is posing as a wise adviser while (IMO) leading a terrorist organisation to undermine Dany's goals and strike down attempts by freed slaves to better themselves. As you and Sean pointed out, there is a limit to the kind of honourable peace Dany could have with a slaver army at her door and more on the way.

For me, the question being asked by the books is when is the peace a just peace, when is the price of avoiding conflict too high. Jon Arryn could have handed over his wards to Aerys but that was too high a price so he rose in rebellion. Craster kept peace with the Others by sacrificing his own sons, and the Night's Watch looked away, but that likely only added to the power of the enemy that humanity will soon have to face.

The Green Grace is at it right to the end, coming back with "just one more demand" from the Yunkish, that the dragons be destroyed.  Everything she (and Hizdahr) does is calculated to leave the freedmen increasingly at the mercy of their former masters. Thankfully, Skahaz, while having his own self-interested motivations, is clear-sighted enough to see through this.

In real life, if a foreign army were to occupy Kent, Sussex, and Surrey, I wouldn't be waiting for them to attack London, before concluding that they had hostile intent.

The people I respect are not the warmongers, and not the appeasers, but those who know when war is needed, and once they are committed, fight it whole-heartedly.

Edited by SeanF

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15 hours ago, James West said:

A deserter like him should not have been made commander. 

I know you and your many accounts have a blind irrational hate towards Jon, but come on! How is he a deserter? He did what he did because his commanding officer ordered him to, that's the opposite of desertion, and he did it to help the Watch, which it very successfully did. If it wasn't for him, they would've all died.

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Long time lurker first time poster here.

Excuse me but wasn’t Dany the one who destroyed Essos with no plans for the future? She wanted to take the Iron Throne and on her way there she wanted an army. She attacked the Masters of Astapor, where she arguably broke the guest right, and then she continued attacking the cities in Slaver's Bay. Her campaign in Slaver’s Bay and the devastation of those cities prove that she is a bad ruler but a good conqueror like Robert. But unlike Robert her success at conquering comes from the power of her dragons and armies and not her personal charisma.

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45 minutes ago, Lilac & Gooseberries said:

Long time lurker first time poster here.

Excuse me but wasn’t Dany the one who destroyed Essos with no plans for the future? She wanted to take the Iron Throne and on her way there she wanted an army. She attacked the Masters of Astapor, where she arguably broke the guest right, and then she continued attacking the cities in Slaver's Bay. Her campaign in Slaver’s Bay and the devastation of those cities prove that she is a bad ruler but a good conqueror like Robert. But unlike Robert her success at conquering comes from the power of her dragons and armies and not her personal charisma.

A bit of food for thought.

When was Essos “destroyed” in the books?

Do you think the Good Masters of Astapor are engaged in a legitimate business activity?

Do you think that the Masters of Slavers Bay are just rulers over their slaves?

Is it wrong for the slaves of Slavers Bay to side with Daenerys?

Is slavery something that is worth fighting against?

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18 minutes ago, SeanF said:

A bit of food for thought.

When was Essos “destroyed” in the books?

Do you think the Good Masters of Astapor are engaged in a legitimate business activity?

Do you think that the Masters of Slavers Bay are just rulers over their slaves?

Is it wrong for the slaves of Slavers Bay to side with Daenerys?

Is slavery something that is worth fighting against?

I do believe that slavery should had been abolished everywhere there is no question about that. I even believe that it’s better that she stayed in Slaver’s Bay to help the people rather than going straight to Westeros for her own vanity, even if it made me losing my interest for her POV later on. What I disagree with is the chaotic disorganised way she did it. At the end we see that former slaves sell themselves back into slavery to escape from Dany’s new way of life and I am not going to mention the other questionable or foolish things she did.

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1 minute ago, Lilac & Gooseberries said:

I do believe that slavery should had been abolished everywhere there is no question about that. I even believe that it’s better that she stayed in Slaver’s Bay to help the people rather than going straight to Westeros for her own vanity, even if it made me losing my interest for her POV later on. What I disagree with is the chaotic disorganised way she did it. At the end we see that former slaves sell themselves back into slavery to escape from Dany’s new way of life and I am not going to mention the other questionable or foolish things she did.

Has there ever been a servile war that went smoothly?

A small number of the “gently born” sold themselves.  We don’t see the vast majority wanting to return to that condition.  

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2 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Has there ever been a servile war that went smoothly?

I agree there wasn’t one that things happened in a tick. But from that to the whirlpool of chaos that she created there should be a middle ground. She could had stayed in one city create a sustainable system and then move to the next city. At least she tries to fix that when she decides to stay and help.

5 minutes ago, SeanF said:

A small number of the “gently born” sold themselves.  We don’t see the vast majority wanting to return to that condition.  

I agree with you on that one. But as Quentyn said what she left behind was hell or close enough. One thing that bothers me more about it, other than the fact that former slaves selling themselves back to slavery, is that she gets profit from that. For slavers to get profit from slave trading is in a way normal but from the saviour to get profit is a big no-no.

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3 minutes ago, Lilac & Gooseberries said:

I agree there wasn’t one that things happened in a tick. But from that to the whirlpool of chaos that she created there should be a middle ground. She could had stayed in one city create a sustainable system and then move to the next city. At least she tries to fix that when she decides to stay and help.

I agree with you on that one. But as Quentyn said what she left behind was hell or close enough. One thing that bothers me more about it, other than the fact that former slaves selling themselves back to slavery, is that she gets profit from that. For slavers to get profit from slave trading is in a way normal but from the saviour to get profit is a big no-no.

Chaos is what existed for most of the population from the get go, namely the slaves.

The hell that was left behind was caused by slavers fighting extremely savagely to reinstate their peculiar institution.  Daernys can certainly be blamed for her failure to realise just how savagely they would fight back, and for her failure to leave soldiers behind for the new council.

The self-sale of gently-born people from Meereen was a one-off.  She ought not to have allowed it, as it was open to abuse.  But, by the time A Dance with Dragons starts, there are no slaves for sale in Meereen, legally (there is illicit slave trading).

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1 hour ago, Lilac & Gooseberries said:

Long time lurker first time poster here.

Excuse me but wasn’t Dany the one who destroyed Essos with no plans for the future? She wanted to take the Iron Throne and on her way there she wanted an army. She attacked the Masters of Astapor, where she arguably broke the guest right, and then she continued attacking the cities in Slaver's Bay. Her campaign in Slaver’s Bay and the devastation of those cities prove that she is a bad ruler but a good conqueror like Robert. But unlike Robert her success at conquering comes from the power of her dragons and armies and not her personal charisma.

Slaver’s Bay was in a state of “destroyed” before Daenerys came along.  The people of Ghis destroyed themselves thousands of years ago.  When you have a minority enslaving the majority of the population, well, there is nothing to destroy.  That place had nothing but slavery.  To “destroy” that place is an opportunity for improvement.  Planning when thousands are dying each day while enslaved is not the way to go.  It is best to take the city and get on with reforms.  Daenerys did the right thing.  The Ghiscari masters are to blame because they refuse to let slavery end. It is their efforts to keep slavery in place that is the cause of the problem.  Progress towards a better society will be easier if the Ghiscari former masters would grow a heart, become moral, and accept the ending of slavery.  

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On 1/2/2021 at 5:38 PM, Here's Looking At You, Kid said:

(It should be someone like James Fenimore Cooper to compose this reaction piece but I will do my best.) 

Daenerys Targaryen is a better ruler and leader than Jon Snow.  We are all familiar with their leadership styles.  There is enough information for us to pass judgment on who the better leader is.  I will start with Jon Snow.

Jon Snow

Jon is far from the worst leader in A Song of Ice and Fire.  He is actually capable most of the time.  His biggest strength as a leader is his ability to teach.  Jon was able to teach the other less-fortunate cadets the proper use of the sword in combat.  Yes, he was an arrogant and entitled fool when he arrived.  A little man to man talk with a seasoned man helped open his eyes.  Many of the fans praise Jon for protecting the craven cadet, Samwell Tarly.  It is a well-earned praise.  Samwell would have died from fright if Jon had not stepped in and helped. 

I have established that Jon Snow is basically an average guy who has had a good training in the fighting arts.  As a leader, he is usually capable of performing his job.  However, there problems beneath his exterior.  Many of the fans have already brought it up repeatedly.   Jon has a chip on his shoulders.  Push that chip and he goes ballistic.  He is guilty of attacking Ser Alliser Thorne, a superior officer.  He has anger management issues which culminated in the inappropriate way in which he judged two guilty men, Janos Slynt and Mance Rayder.  By every laws of the land, it should have been the deserter and turncloak, Mance Rayder, who was executed.  Matters went downhill from there.  He sent the deserter and turncloak to bring his sister to him at the Wall.  This is an act of war against Roose and Ramsay Bolton.  The Night's Watch should never, and never has until now, make war against the people of The Seven Kingdoms. 

I served in the military for the better part of my early adult life.  I have never been tested in the same way as Jon was with Arya.  I will say there are a lot of men who would do as Jon did.  They would forsake their duties, no matter how critical it is, to save their sisters.  But there are still more who would do their duties and accept that they cannot help their sisters.  For proof, you only have to look at those men who are in the business of rescuing and saving people and property.  Many men would rather be at home with their families during an emergency crisis but instead they stay at their posts and do their jobs.  I knew people who went to Kuwait while they had desperate families back home.  Parents battling cancer.  Wives struggling to raise handicapped children alone.  I could go on and on.  The point is, it is not unreasonable nor is it rare for people to do their jobs even when they have critical family concerns back home.  And those men who can't do this should never be in command.  It's fine for desk jockey to always sacrifice his duties for his families.  But that is not acceptable for a commander of an organization who has been tasked with the protection of the kingdom. 

Quorin Halfhand said something in book 2.  He said of Mance Rayder, he was the best and the worst of us.  He had trouble obeying.  Jon is very much like Mance Rayder.  In many ways, he is the ideal black brother.  But he is also the worst possible.  Jon is a man gifted with martial skills.  He is a smart young man who usually makes sound decisions.  I don't think his inability to judge and prioritize will matter much with the Wildlings.  To the Free Folk, whatever the strong man says is right is right.  Might makes right with the Wildlings.  Jon does not have to be fair, nor consistent.  Laws among the Wildlings are not as well-defined. 

Daenerys Targaryen

Princess Daenerys Targaryen began the story a scared and nervous young girl.  Forced to marry into an alien culture, she used her natural intelligence to thrive.  Courage, intelligence, and determination allowed her to adapt to the Dothraki culture.  She brought the dragons back from extinction.  She had the smarts and the courage to lead her khalasar beyond the Red Waste until they reached Vaes Tolorro.  This is nothing less than remarkable for a girl of her age.  She defeated the Undying in the Palace of Dust with the help of her dragon, Drogon.  Over and over, Daenerys has managed to use her intelligence and her cunning to outmaneuver her adversaries.  She has become a very good player of the game of thrones with her own style. 

Queen Daenerys has become the conqueror and the ruler of the slaver city of Meereen.  She knows what we know.  As humans, we have a responsibility to make laws and judge the guilty.  The Meereenese masters perpetrated the most heinous war crime in the entire saga so far.  This is many times more heinous than the Red Wedding in The Twins.  The masters crucified the children of their slaves and used them to decorate the road to the city.  This kind of crime cannot go unpunished.  To do so would be to deny justice to those children.  Allowing the Meereenese to bring forth the guilty is a modern concept of peers judging peers.  It is certainly preferable to the arbitrary trial of combat being practiced in Westeros.  She is facing an enemy who refuse to fight her troops in open combat.  And yet, she refused to execute her cup bearers.  This was a smart move.  Those children can be socialized and educated away from their slaver parents.  These children will be the foundation of a free Slaver's Bay. 

The situation in Meereen is very complicated.  Skahaz, Reznak, and Hizdahr are unreliable allies.  Daenerys has been warned to be careful by Quaithe.  Yet, she reacts with reason and caution.  A Cersei would have had them all killed.  But a good leader knows that you have to trust people.  Everything carries a risk.  One person cannot manage a city of the size of Meereen.  Jorah's betrayal is revealed.  Daenerys wisely did not kill the man and instead sent him into exile.  Daenerys is a reflective, thoughtful person.  Which is a good quality for someone who has to make decisions.  She has much to learn about ruling but her potential is without limits. 

Agree.  Jon has some good qualities as a person but Daenerys will be better at ruling and governing.  

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4 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Chaos is what existed for most of the population from the get go, namely the slaves.

We agree on that. 

5 minutes ago, SeanF said:

The hell that was left behind was caused by slavers fighting extremely savagely to reinstate their peculiar institution.  Daernys can certainly be blamed for her failure to realise just how savagely they would fight back, and for her failure to leave soldiers behind for the new council.

We agree on that too. She should been able to foresee that people would fight back. After all her ambition was to fight back on people who wanted her family out. But she also fails because she doesn’t anticipate the evil the former slaves are able to do too.

11 minutes ago, SeanF said:

The self-sale of gently-born people from Meereen was a one-off.  She ought not to have allowed it, as it was open to abuse.  But, by the time A Dance with Dragons starts, there are no slaves for sale in Meereen, legally (there is illicit slave trading).

For me when she decided to have profit from people who sold themselves to slavery was really unacceptable. I used to like Dany but her actions made me to dislike her little by little.

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