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Would the Essos Storyline be more interesting if the Villains had more Depth?


Craving Peaches

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19 hours ago, SeanF said:

That really is not "just a matter of opinion."

The is-ought gap is unbridgeable, so it's always going to be a matter of opinion.

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from the crucifixion of the children that Meereenese territory extends at least 163 down the coast.

Crucifying a child along a road does not establish that the territory belonged to Meereen rather than Yunkai, even if the Yunkish were going to respect the new Meereenese regime as having the same boundaries with them as the old one.

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3. You're the one trying to argue that a peace between two beligerent parties is real, once they cease hostilities


Correct.

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notwithstanding that one of them (unknown to the other) has engaged a very powerful third party as its proxy to attack the other.

Volantis is not a "proxy" obeying the commands of Yunkai as if it had a puppet regime. It is an independent city state with its own politics, which has been invited to join Yunkai as a coalition.

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The Yunkish envoys will have had plenty of time to return home, and to report on the outcome of their negotiations

According to https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZsY3lcDDtTdBWp1Gx6mfkdtZT6-Gk0kdTGeSC_Dj7WM/ peace with Yunkai was signed on 7/2 of the year 300. The very next day Dany flew away on Drogon from the fighting pit where Yurkhaz died, and this destabilized the peace agreement. On 5/1 of that year Volantis was having its elections and planning for war while Tyrion was there. There's roughly two months between Tyrion being in Volantis to Meereen, which is significantly longer than the amount of time since the peace agreement was signed. According to @Werthead at this old thread the distance from Volantis to Meereen is 1650 miles and per https://www.worldanvil.com/w/got-rewritten/a/travel one could travel 170 miles a day by sea if travelling all day & night, perhaps half that if just by day. That means that after signing the agreement one should expect a ship to take 19 days to arrive in Volantis if it were dispatched right away, and another 19 days for any reply sent by Volantis to arrive. But instead the timeline above has the Battle of Meereen at 7/19.

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 4.  Why would it be a dissenter who attempted to poison Daenerys?  The obvious move for the slavers is to take her out, and for Hizdahr to become sole ruler.

Dany on Drogon takes herself literally out of Meereen, and this does not fix the conflict between the sides. Instead the unstable leadership in Meereen makes the peace more fragile, particularly so once Hizdahr is also removed from power. It has been noted that the rotating command among the slaver army makes them both incompetent and thinly characterized, but that instability of leadership is also one of the things that makes peace difficult. Yurkhaz & Yezzan had both favored a peace agreement, but after they die that breaks down.

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5.  Astapor was not treated as a rogue state

Correct, and not treated as such by ANYBODY prior to Dany.

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6. I really don't see the distinction between slave traders who provoke warfare and piracy in order to get their raw material, pirates who capture people and sell them to slave-traders, and slave-trading pirates.

You don't, and yet the real world polities which declared pirates (but not slave-sellers) to be enemies of humanity did. Of course those polities themselves often made war against other polities to obtain land & subjects, so the mere making of war for gain could not be a criteria for them. When one state makes war upon another state, it is at war with that specific other state and not all of humanity. When a state charters privateers to attack the ships of its specific enemy state, those privateers are also not enemies of humanity but a specific state. If a peace agreement is reached between those states, those privateers can be told they have to stop. But pirates are not privateers, they are not acting as agents of any state's foreign policy, they are simply out for themselves and will play on anyone who crosses their path. This gives all other states, not just ones that happen to be at war with a specific enemy, a reason to want pirates crushed.

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It wasn't the theft of goods on the high seas that motivated them to attack.

Certainly it provides such a motivation. More recently the coast of Somalia has become infested with former fishermen turned pirates seizing cargo ships. They sell back the hostages they take for ransom, but there's no prospect of claiming these shipping crews as slaves to man ships. The international community does not shrug because it's just money & cargo being lost, instead they act to suppress the pirates. Blackbeard the Pirate wasn't regarded as an enemy who needed to be hunted down because of slavery (which was legally practiced by the states hunting him), but because he was a pirate.

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The USA fought a civil war over the matter.

That war was a civil war, because the US was a single polity. There was no question of going to war with Brazil because they still had slavery. Even while Lincoln was President and presiding over the war he insisted that his priority was the Union, and if he could preserve that while freeing no slaves he would do so.

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In-universe, Braavos fought a war against Pentos to end slavery.

That's a bilateral agreement between two city-states. Not one such state being regarded as an enemy of humanity.

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Likewise for Jon, it's not a difficult ethical choice (incidentally, Nights Watch neutrality is a tradition.  It is not a part of any vow).

Of course it was a difficult choice for Jon: in the very first book Maester Aemon tells him what a difficult choice it was for him to choose his NW vows over his loyalty to his family during Robert's Rebellion now that Jon's family is in rebellion against Joffrey. Jon's friends convinced him to return to the NW back then.

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The difficulty lies in the fact that doing the right thing is very dangerous, and may cost both men their lives.

I will acknowledge there is a difference between risking your own life vs the lives of others. But also, the more responsibility one has the less cavalierly one can risk one's life without there being fallout on others. See Ned agreeing to confess not only to be sent to the NW rather than executed but also on behalf of his daughters.

19 hours ago, SeanF said:

2. @Ranhas already explained what GRRM meant.

How consistent is that explanation with Adam Feldman writing like "one of Sauron's emissaries"? Wouldn't GRRM have to misunderstand his own work in order to endorse a fundamentally wrong analysis as having gotten it right? Again, I'm not saying one needs to believe in EVERYTHING in those essays, but when there are multiple essays about the (real) choice of peace, how can the essays as a whole seem correct and get GRRM's intentions "perfectly"?

16 hours ago, Oana_Mika said:

But the majority wanted war. And the peace depending on him, whom was very sick, it's clear that is not going to last.

The peace agreement was not initially made with Yezzan as leader, but instead Yurkhaz. The death of Yurkhaz (which was certainly not forseeable in advance) makes peace more difficult, but the next leader in line persisting in supporting peace even after that suffices to show that the peace was real. He would not bother taking such a stance if they hadn't actually wanted the deal in the first place.

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You made a comparison between the slaves wanting Danenerys to fight against the yunkish with the yunkish wanting to go to war against Dany but Yezzan stopping them. Ergo, you implied that the slaves who want Dany to fight against their opressors instead of making peace with them are just bad as the slavers who want to crush Dany and the freedmen (ex-slaves)

I didn't say anything about good or bad. I said it was a parallel because it is. Tywin being pressured to return to the Westerlands when it's raided is a parallel to Robb being pressured to return to the North when the Ironborn attack it. This isn't a normative statement, just an observation both sides have to deal with some of the same things to maintain support among their bannermen.

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But if you read that quote, you'll see that they do more than "not giving assistance".

What is the quote and what is the agreement?

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Because it shows how the character is and what she wants vs what she needs to do.

And what it shows is that the character wastes time making agreements with disingenuous people that are just going to be reversed later?

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she chose war because it felt better, ignoring that what the character really wanted was peace (as I showed you in my previous replies)

I don't think it's quite that contradictory. Dany made a peace deal because, like Yurkhaz & Yezzan, she genuinely did prefer that to war (as Feldman writes "Part of Dany genuinely does want peace, and wants to sacrifice a great deal to protect innocent life"). At the same time, she found aspects of this very unpleasant. Peace, the right thing in her eyes, was not necessarily easy. When she flies away she is effectively abandoning those people she wanted peace FOR, and when she decides a dragon plants no trees she is turning her back on what she'd done before.

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so war could not possibly feel better to her when all she was trying to do is to avoid it.

If an addict tries to avoid temptation for a long time, would that prove that it cannot feel better to them when they are using? And please don't respond with something silly like I'm accusing Dany of being an addict.

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She did not like the peace because she hated to see her freed men being exploited (being hired at such low wages that most of them could scarcely afford to eat

That's unpleasant, but also not something she can necessarily expect to be fixed by war. When she flies away, that doesn't cause everyone's wages to go up, it just means she's not looking at it anymore.

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I want to show you this observation (which is not mine) regarding how Adam Feldman views Dany and Jon's arc :

That link says we should discount GRRM's approval of the Blot because it was only reported by @Ran, whom they call "a notoriously racist, misogynistic third party". It also says "Jon is not a soft, pure, one-sidedly sweet boy before meeting Melisandre, as Feldman implies", without EVER quoting Feldman actually saying any such thing. Of course when you infer something much dumber than what someone else actually said you can produce an incorrect conclusion. I just infer that person who wrote what I quoted is unreliable on the subject of what Feldman actually wrote.

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so how exactly can he draw the conclusion that Jon “keeps trying to be a hero” while Dany “rejects her values”?

Jon breaks his vows by attempting to march against Bolton, Dany simply leaves the city and then thinks to herself that dragons plant no trees. None of this is to deny some good things she did before she left, but she's not going to be doing that once she's gone.

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I put that in quotes not as in quoting him.

Who are you quoting then? Certainly not him, though you should do so if you want to actually analyze what he wrote.

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If they are unreasonable to take a life from one of their hostages

This is consistent with how they were known to behave prior to the deal: they treated the burned tokar as Dany's responsibility because it was her dragon, they continue to treat the dragons as the responsibility of the ruler of Meereen. And the hostages were SPECIFICALLY to guarantee to safety of their leaders while in Meereen. Groleo as a Pentoshi who is really just an agent of Illyrio is the least socially connected of the hostages, and is thus the least valuable as an exchange for the most valuable Yunkai. It's also consistent with Don Corleone's reasoning when making a deal with rivals:
"I'm a superstitious man, and if some unlucky accident should befall Michael - if he is to be shot in the head by a police officer, or be found hung dead in a jail cell... or if he should be struck by a bolt of lightning - then I'm going to blame some of the people in this room; and then I do not forgive. But with said, I pledge - on the souls of my grandchildren - that I will not be the one to break the peace that we have made today."

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then they just wanted an excuse.

They could have killed other hostages, like Daario or Hero, actual military leaders sworn to Dany who would fight against them if they could. What we hear from their camp is genuine disagreement over whether they should abandon the peace after the events of the pit, and while killing Groleo pushes things further toward war it doesn't outright end things as Hizdahr is given actual conditions for peace.

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It shows that they only care for their kind : the slavers.

Hizdahr no longer owns slaves, from the Yunkish POV he's the husband of Dany who now commands the Unsullied and has responsibility for the dragons. If they were treating Dany's disappearance as a total regime change, then they could just kill the remaining hostages rather than use them to make demands of Hizdahr.

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That's why Dany marrying him was part of the deal.

The deal with the Green Grace (who is likely also the Harpy) in Meereen, not with the Yunkai.

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And Dany being presumed dead, does not mean her people vanished or that they don't deserve to get the same kind of reassurement that the yunkish don't mean to butcher them all for whatever presumable offense Dany made against them.

That's part of the point of what's going on. Hizdahr is now being treated as in charge of those people, and demands are being made of him to ensure the safety of the people he's responsible for.

15 hours ago, Oana_Mika said:

Yezzan died so he can't hold them back anymore (so the peace was not genuine if it only depended on one obese old man whom is very sick and very likely to die soon)

The agreement was made not only prior to the death of Yezzan, but also Yurkhaz (and Dany leaving the city). Yezzan not being alive to hold them back at the end of the story once Dany is gone is a separate issue from the peace being real BEFORE that, when Dany was actually having to choose between peace & war.

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To me, the peace was clearly unsjut and fragile.

I will set justice aside and agree it was fragile, as it did break down. But being fragile doesn't mean it wasn't real, and part of what's breaking it is Dany's absence.

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they think it's fine. No problem.

I never said either of those things.

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they would just have wanted to chat.

No, not just a "chat". A big part of the point Feldman was making was that the choice of peace was difficult for Dany because she was giving things up, not just having to "chat".

13 hours ago, Oana_Mika said:

Yezzan was just one of many other yunkish nobles.

He was the one with the most support.

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This is why I think they were just biding time because Yezzan being so sick it was just a matter of time until he died.

What was Yezzan doing trying to keep the peace? Why bother?

@SeanF I added the wrong post to a multiquote so I'll have to add this in manually:

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That was  surmise on the Shavepate's part.  He was not privy to the discussions of the Yunkish lords.

And what we see from Tyrion's POV, embedded amongst those forces, is that Yezzan really had been a force for peace whose death changed the politics of the coalition.

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The Yunkish lords can't say "nothing to do with us", when the Volantenes arrive.

They don't have to. They never had any obligation to reveal their prior communications with other cities.

12 hours ago, SeanF said:

Would Hizdahr, the Green Grace, Reznak & co. take that offer?  They'd grab it with both hands.

Easier said than done with the Unsullied, who have the most military power inside Meereen.

12 hours ago, SeanF said:

There are risks for the Meereenese masters, but the advantage is that if they succeed, they need never worry about a slave uprising again.

How does that work? Is this Zamyatin's "We" where brain-surgery has made disobedience impossible? An uprising is possible as long as there are slaves.

11 hours ago, Oana_Mika said:
If Yunkai was so genuine with their peace offer how would they pay their sell swords then, since they promised them slaves from Meereen (i.e. to enslave Dany's people) ?

I don't think they get that pay if they don't fight (which is why the mercenaries are more uniformly in favor of fighting).

5 hours ago, csuszka1948 said:

This means he was paid in gold in his contract (not by promises of slaves) and hoped to gain additional riches by sacking the city,

I don't think we know the actual terms of his contract, just that he doesn't get enough absent a sack of the city for him to be satisfied.

4 hours ago, SeanF said:

a lull in hostilities enables them to rest and recuperate and obtain food.

It's not like they started fighting Meereen but took a break. They showed up, and then negotiated instead of fighting off the bat. It's a siege without rams or siege towers, so they were already sitting around.

4 hours ago, csuszka1948 said:

Notice that there is no 'slaver coalition' assembled against Braavos.

Or against Westeros, which also prohibits slavery. The characters in this world do not regard it as so implausible for different legal systems to exist at the same time in different places.

1 hour ago, csuszka1948 said:

a non-slaver city which very actively discourages slavery, blocks slave trade and attacks or at least cuts ties with slaver cities.

Braavos does actively discourage slavery and seizes the ships of slavers that come by, but they also aren't at war with Slaver's Bay.

1 hour ago, Daeron the Daring said:

Essos storyline would be more interesting if Essos was in Westeros.

Get on that, George. Continental drift can happen at the speed of magic!

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5 hours ago, csuszka1948 said:

Besides, hiding the wife of the son of the Warden of the North is going to cause huge problems if the Boltons win and will be rightfully viewed as violating the vow of the Night's Watch.

Nothing about protecting your "sister" from her rapist is a violation of your Night's Watch vows.

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13 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

The is-ought gap is unbridgeable, so it's always going to be a matter of opinion.

Crucifying a child along a road does not establish that the territory belonged to Meereen rather than Yunkai, even if the Yunkish were going to respect the new Meereenese regime as having the same boundaries with them as the old one.


Correct.

Volantis is not a "proxy" obeying the commands of Yunkai as if it had a puppet regime. It is an independent city state with its own politics, which has been invited to join Yunkai as a coalition.

According to https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZsY3lcDDtTdBWp1Gx6mfkdtZT6-Gk0kdTGeSC_Dj7WM/ peace with Yunkai was signed on 7/2 of the year 300. The very next day Dany flew away on Drogon from the fighting pit where Yurkhaz died, and this destabilized the peace agreement. On 5/1 of that year Volantis was having its elections and planning for war while Tyrion was there. There's roughly two months between Tyrion being in Volantis to Meereen, which is significantly longer than the amount of time since the peace agreement was signed. According to @Werthead at this old thread the distance from Volantis to Meereen is 1650 miles and per https://www.worldanvil.com/w/got-rewritten/a/travel one could travel 170 miles a day by sea if travelling all day & night, perhaps half that if just by day. That means that after signing the agreement one should expect a ship to take 19 days to arrive in Volantis if it were dispatched right away, and another 19 days for any reply sent by Volantis to arrive. But instead the timeline above has the Battle of Meereen at 7/19.

Dany on Drogon takes herself literally out of Meereen, and this does not fix the conflict between the sides. Instead the unstable leadership in Meereen makes the peace more fragile, particularly so once Hizdahr is also removed from power. It has been noted that the rotating command among the slaver army makes them both incompetent and thinly characterized, but that instability of leadership is also one of the things that makes peace difficult. Yurkhaz & Yezzan had both favored a peace agreement, but after they die that breaks down.

Correct, and not treated as such by ANYBODY prior to Dany.

You don't, and yet the real world polities which declared pirates (but not slave-sellers) to be enemies of humanity did. Of course those polities themselves often made war against other polities to obtain land & subjects, so the mere making of war for gain could not be a criteria for them. When one state makes war upon another state, it is at war with that specific other state and not all of humanity. When a state charters privateers to attack the ships of its specific enemy state, those privateers are also not enemies of humanity but a specific state. If a peace agreement is reached between those states, those privateers can be told they have to stop. But pirates are not privateers, they are not acting as agents of any state's foreign policy, they are simply out for themselves and will play on anyone who crosses their path. This gives all other states, not just ones that happen to be at war with a specific enemy, a reason to want pirates crushed.

Certainly it provides such a motivation. More recently the coast of Somalia has become infested with former fishermen turned pirates seizing cargo ships. They sell back the hostages they take for ransom, but there's no prospect of claiming these shipping crews as slaves to man ships. The international community does not shrug because it's just money & cargo being lost, instead they act to suppress the pirates. Blackbeard the Pirate wasn't regarded as an enemy who needed to be hunted down because of slavery (which was legally practiced by the states hunting him), but because he was a pirate.

That war was a civil war, because the US was a single polity. There was no question of going to war with Brazil because they still had slavery. Even while Lincoln was President and presiding over the war he insisted that his priority was the Union, and if he could preserve that while freeing no slaves he would do so.

That's a bilateral agreement between two city-states. Not one such state being regarded as an enemy of humanity.

Of course it was a difficult choice for Jon: in the very first book Maester Aemon tells him what a difficult choice it was for him to choose his NW vows over his loyalty to his family during Robert's Rebellion now that Jon's family is in rebellion against Joffrey. Jon's friends convinced him to return to the NW back then.

I will acknowledge there is a difference between risking your own life vs the lives of others. But also, the more responsibility one has the less cavalierly one can risk one's life without there being fallout on others. See Ned agreeing to confess not only to be sent to the NW rather than executed but also on behalf of his daughters.

How consistent is that explanation with Adam Feldman writing like "one of Sauron's emissaries"? Wouldn't GRRM have to misunderstand his own work in order to endorse a fundamentally wrong analysis as having gotten it right? Again, I'm not saying one needs to believe in EVERYTHING in those essays, but when there are multiple essays about the (real) choice of peace, how can the essays as a whole seem correct and get GRRM's intentions "perfectly"?

The peace agreement was not initially made with Yezzan as leader, but instead Yurkhaz. The death of Yurkhaz (which was certainly not forseeable in advance) makes peace more difficult, but the next leader in line persisting in supporting peace even after that suffices to show that the peace was real. He would not bother taking such a stance if they hadn't actually wanted the deal in the first place.

I didn't say anything about good or bad. I said it was a parallel because it is. Tywin being pressured to return to the Westerlands when it's raided is a parallel to Robb being pressured to return to the North when the Ironborn attack it. This isn't a normative statement, just an observation both sides have to deal with some of the same things to maintain support among their bannermen.

What is the quote and what is the agreement?

And what it shows is that the character wastes time making agreements with disingenuous people that are just going to be reversed later?

I don't think it's quite that contradictory. Dany made a peace deal because, like Yurkhaz & Yezzan, she genuinely did prefer that to war (as Feldman writes "Part of Dany genuinely does want peace, and wants to sacrifice a great deal to protect innocent life"). At the same time, she found aspects of this very unpleasant. Peace, the right thing in her eyes, was not necessarily easy. When she flies away she is effectively abandoning those people she wanted peace FOR, and when she decides a dragon plants no trees she is turning her back on what she'd done before.

If an addict tries to avoid temptation for a long time, would that prove that it cannot feel better to them when they are using? And please don't respond with something silly like I'm accusing Dany of being an addict.

That's unpleasant, but also not something she can necessarily expect to be fixed by war. When she flies away, that doesn't cause everyone's wages to go up, it just means she's not looking at it anymore.

That link says we should discount GRRM's approval of the Blot because it was only reported by @Ran, whom they call "a notoriously racist, misogynistic third party". It also says "Jon is not a soft, pure, one-sidedly sweet boy before meeting Melisandre, as Feldman implies", without EVER quoting Feldman actually saying any such thing. Of course when you infer something much dumber than what someone else actually said you can produce an incorrect conclusion. I just infer that person who wrote what I quoted is unreliable on the subject of what Feldman actually wrote.

Jon breaks his vows by attempting to march against Bolton, Dany simply leaves the city and then thinks to herself that dragons plant no trees. None of this is to deny some good things she did before she left, but she's not going to be doing that once she's gone.

Who are you quoting then? Certainly not him, though you should do so if you want to actually analyze what he wrote.

This is consistent with how they were known to behave prior to the deal: they treated the burned tokar as Dany's responsibility because it was her dragon, they continue to treat the dragons as the responsibility of the ruler of Meereen. And the hostages were SPECIFICALLY to guarantee to safety of their leaders while in Meereen. Groleo as a Pentoshi who is really just an agent of Illyrio is the least socially connected of the hostages, and is thus the least valuable as an exchange for the most valuable Yunkai. It's also consistent with Don Corleone's reasoning when making a deal with rivals:
"I'm a superstitious man, and if some unlucky accident should befall Michael - if he is to be shot in the head by a police officer, or be found hung dead in a jail cell... or if he should be struck by a bolt of lightning - then I'm going to blame some of the people in this room; and then I do not forgive. But with said, I pledge - on the souls of my grandchildren - that I will not be the one to break the peace that we have made today."

They could have killed other hostages, like Daario or Hero, actual military leaders sworn to Dany who would fight against them if they could. What we hear from their camp is genuine disagreement over whether they should abandon the peace after the events of the pit, and while killing Groleo pushes things further toward war it doesn't outright end things as Hizdahr is given actual conditions for peace.

Hizdahr no longer owns slaves, from the Yunkish POV he's the husband of Dany who now commands the Unsullied and has responsibility for the dragons. If they were treating Dany's disappearance as a total regime change, then they could just kill the remaining hostages rather than use them to make demands of Hizdahr.

The deal with the Green Grace (who is likely also the Harpy) in Meereen, not with the Yunkai.

That's part of the point of what's going on. Hizdahr is now being treated as in charge of those people, and demands are being made of him to ensure the safety of the people he's responsible for.

The agreement was made not only prior to the death of Yezzan, but also Yurkhaz (and Dany leaving the city). Yezzan not being alive to hold them back at the end of the story once Dany is gone is a separate issue from the peace being real BEFORE that, when Dany was actually having to choose between peace & war.

I will set justice aside and agree it was fragile, as it did break down. But being fragile doesn't mean it wasn't real, and part of what's breaking it is Dany's absence.

I never said either of those things.

No, not just a "chat". A big part of the point Feldman was making was that the choice of peace was difficult for Dany because she was giving things up, not just having to "chat".

He was the one with the most support.

What was Yezzan doing trying to keep the peace? Why bother?

@SeanF I added the wrong post to a multiquote so I'll have to add this in manually:

And what we see from Tyrion's POV, embedded amongst those forces, is that Yezzan really had been a force for peace whose death changed the politics of the coalition.

They don't have to. They never had any obligation to reveal their prior communications with other cities.

Easier said than done with the Unsullied, who have the most military power inside Meereen.

How does that work? Is this Zamyatin's "We" where brain-surgery has made disobedience impossible? An uprising is possible as long as there are slaves.

I don't think they get that pay if they don't fight (which is why the mercenaries are more uniformly in favor of fighting).

I don't think we know the actual terms of his contract, just that he doesn't get enough absent a sack of the city for him to be satisfied.

It's not like they started fighting Meereen but took a break. They showed up, and then negotiated instead of fighting off the bat. It's a siege without rams or siege towers, so they were already sitting around.

Or against Westeros, which also prohibits slavery. The characters in this world do not regard it as so implausible for different legal systems to exist at the same time in different places.

Braavos does actively discourage slavery and seizes the ships of slavers that come by, but they also aren't at war with Slaver's Bay.

Get on that, George. Continental drift can happen at the speed of magic!

1.  What I don't take from these books is that it's "just a matter of opinion", that slavery,  or slave-trading is unjust, any more than it's "just a matter of opinion" that Tywin's campaign of mass murder and mass rape in the Riverlands is unjust, or that Ramsay Bolton's habit of hunting young women for sport is unjust.

The Ghiscari elite take the very worst behaviours of their Westerosi counterparts, and then they institutionalise them.  Any treaty that grants them the right to do so, has to be unjust.

2. I cannot positively prove that Yunkish territory does not extend to the gates of Meereen, because it's hard to prove a negative, but it is highly unlikely.  The text mentions estates and mines belonging to Meereenese masters, outside the city. Their control of the River extends for 150 miles.  Their burned olive groves lay to the South of the city.  Meereen has a hinterland, and indeed, a city of maybe 500,000 people could not survive without a very large hinterland.

3. Astapor.  If you want to quote me, quote me correctly, not selectively.  

What I wrote was this:  

 Astapor was not treated as a rogue state, because (a) its neighbours were slave states and (b) its victims (the Lhazareen and defeated Dothraki tribes) were unable to fight back.  If Lhazar had a powerful military, they would have squashed Astapor like a bug, rather than tolerate the theft of their children.

I don't think it should be controversial that trading in slaves fuels warfare in neighbouring states, and piracy on the high seas.  That's clear in real life, and clear in the text. The Lhazareen are raided by the Dothraki who drive the captives to Slavers Bay in return for "gifts".  Tyrion is captured by pirates looking for people that they can sell to the Ghiscari.

Nor should it be controversial that if the victims were sufficiently militarily powerful to fight back, they would do.

4.  Volantis is an ally which Yunkai has persuaded to attack Meereen.  We don't know the terms of the deal that Yunkai struck with Volantis.  But, according to your timeline, there is ample time for the Yunkish envoys to have dispatched messages to their masters, to inform them of the outcome of these negotiations.  

There is no true peace where Party A has persuaded Party B to attack party C, even if Party A has ceased direct hostilities with Party C.  The criminal law treats incitement to commit an attack upon someone in similar fashion to actually carrying out the attack.  So do governments.

If the UK signed a treaty with France to end a war, while simultaneously, French envoys struck a bargain with Spain for the latter to attack the UK, of course the British would treat it as a resumption of war with France.

What the Yunkish have done is to strike one bargain with Daenerys, for “peace”, while striking another bargain with Volantis, to destroy Free Meereen.  That is the very essence of negotiating in bad faith.

You’d be on stronger ground if the Yunkish envoys had been turned down by Volantis.

5.  In the nineteenth century, the Royal Navy, and US Navy seizing hundreds of slave ships on the high seas, and the former attacked slave-trading bases.  I'm just not seeing this big distinction, between pirates and slave-traders, that you see.  Slave-trading requires the kidnap of people, both on the high seas, and on land. 

When the British and other European powers were themselves slave-traders, they treated slave-traders and pirates differently, which was a fine piece of sophistry on their part.  When they ceased the trade, they treated them similarly.

If you want Chapter and Verse, for the treatment of the slave trade as the equivalent of piracy, in Courts of Mixed Commission, there is The Slave Trade and the Origins of International Human Rights Law, Jenny S. Martinez (Oxford:  OUP, 2012), Ch. 6.

6.  The war between Braavos and Pentos was (so far as we know) fought over slavery.  Braavos is willing to attack a slave-trading neighbour for ideological reasons, and force them to end the practice (even though later, they will secretly resume it).  What even Braavos cannot do is mount a miltary campaign thousands of miles away, to force the Ghiscari masters to change their ways.

But, given that Astapor under the Good Masters was the in-universe equivalent of Jasenovac, and given that they were willing to fight a neighbour that practised a less nasty form of slavery, one can be pretty sure they would have attacked Astapor if they could.  Especially if Astapor had been a neighbour, and Braavosi children were being seized to be made into Unsullied.

7.  My comment on Feldman's essays was made because they are fundamentally lacking in humanity, IMHO.  They ignore the rights and interests of slaves and freedmen, treat those fighting to uphold slavery, and those fighting to end it, as morally equivalent, and analyse the Meereenese plot as Dany making sacrifices for peace, rather than innocent people being sacrificed for peace.

"Part of Dany genuinely does want peace, and wants to sacrifice a great deal to protect innocent life"

Innocent life is being sacrificed to protect innocent life.  Adam Feldman just doesn't get that.  He thinks Dany wages war just because she enjoys it, and gets aroused by it (his final chapter explicitly frames Dany's choice, between war and peace, as one between having good sex with Daario, and unsatisfying sex with Hizdahr.)

8.  It's interesting to cite Vito Corleone, because of course, in both book and film, that peace was a sham.  Corleone knew very well that his son would exact vengeance for the attempt on his life, and the murder of Sonny.  And Barzini was absolutely determined to kill Michael, as soon as his father was dead.

And, in terms of mafia logic that makes perfect sense.  No boss is ever going to forgive the murder of his son, and an attempt on his life, and the rival boss knows that perfectly well.  Michael beat Barzini to the draw.

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27 minutes ago, GZ Bloodraven said:

Nothing about protecting your "sister" from her rapist is a violation of your Night's Watch vows.

It is indeed worth repeating the Nights Watch vow.  "The Nights Watch takes no part" is nowhere mentioned.

Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.

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6 minutes ago, SeanF said:

1.  What I don't take from these books is that it's "just a matter of opinion", that slavery,  or slave-trading is unjust, any more than it's "just a matter of opinion" that Tywin's campaign of mass murder and mass rape in the Riverlands is unjust, or that Ramsay Bolton's habit of hunting young women for sport is unjust.

 

I have a sort of grand unified theory of this that combines the Ghiscari and Tywin in the same mental frame; the Ghiscari position is only possible by in-situ liquidation of the Valerian Freehold's accumulated centuries of civilizational capital- the Essos hearlands is being cored out and they are part of a process that ends in coastal enclaves fed from Westeros and an interior that will envy Late Medieval Northern England or Croatia. They may style themselves as Grandees, secretly think of themselves as criminal fences, but they are reaction bacteria destined to be eliminated by the very changes they make their environment. For Tywin (and the Boltons), well, Winter is Coming, it's going to be a bad one, and all these people are going to starve anyway- burn whatever, get a lock on the Kingdom's governance (or in the Bolton's case, add another geothermal wellspring survivor enclave). The rest really doesn't matter, they'd have had to be amicably disposed of at a later date anyways.

 

Same kind of scavenger.

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5 minutes ago, illrede said:

I have a sort of grand unified theory of this that combines the Ghiscari and Tywin in the same mental frame; the Ghiscari position is only possible by in-situ liquidation of the Valerian Freehold's accumulated centuries of civilizational capital- the Essos hearlands is being cored out and they are part of a process that ends in coastal enclaves fed from Westeros and an interior that will envy Late Medieval Northern England or Croatia. They may style themselves as Grandees, secretly think of themselves as criminal fences, but they are reaction bacteria destined to be eliminated by the very changes they make their environment. For Tywin (and the Boltons), well, Winter is Coming, it's going to be a bad one, and all these people are going to starve anyway- burn whatever, get a lock on the Kingdom's governance (or in the Bolton's case, add another geothermal wellspring survivor enclave). The rest really doesn't matter, they'd have had to be amicably disposed of at a later date anyways.

 

Same kind of scavenger.

Quite so.  But, I’d say the process was started by the Valyrians, eg their obliteration of the cultured Rhoynish civilisation.

The interior of Western Essos is being made into the equivalent of the world of Mad Max, due to endless slave-hunting, fuelled by demand from the coastal elites.

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7 hours ago, csuszka1948 said:

However, this may have involved freeing her and Mance himself being caught/recognized during the attempt.

Not from Jon's perspective as he was going by Melisandre's vision where Arya was struggling alone in the Wilderness.

7 hours ago, csuszka1948 said:

After all, who knows if Arya successfully fleeing in a dying horse alone (this is all what Melisandre claimed to see) is not the result of Jon's action to send Mance for her? 

Well no one but Jon at that point didn't know Melisandre's dodgy track record of interpreting visions.

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8 hours ago, csuszka1948 said:

No, in Jon's case it is absolutely not clear what is the right thing to do, it is a case of choosing between two evils - the danger to Arya&evil of Ramsay or the evil of the Others, and he prioritizes the former. If he goes to war against Ramsay with an army of wildlings, he potentially causes the doom of humanity.

He took up his role as Commander of Night's Watch, so he is not just playing with his own life (like Davos), but with all men of the Night's Watch. Despite this, he approved sending Mance Rayder, the supposedly dead leader of the wildlings to free Arya, and risked that he is discovered and gets Jon (and subsequently the Night's Watch) into conflict with the Boltons, who were (at that moment) in a better position than Stannis to win the northern conflict. 

Freeing Arya does not jeopardise the fight against the Others, and nor does Jon nor anyone else frame the moral conflict in such terms.

For him, the moral conflict is between rescuing his sister, and adhering to his obligation (as he sees it) to remain neutral between warring parties.

For his enemies, it's simply about not wanting to get on the wrong side of the Lannisters and Boltons, as well as a healthy degree of bigotry towards the Free Folk.

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3 hours ago, GZ Bloodraven said:

Nothing about protecting your "sister" from her rapist is a violation of your Night's Watch vows.

It is. His job is protecting the realms of men (from the Others), and (potentially) getting into conflict with the Boltons over helping in 'kidnapping' Ramsay's wife goes against the interests of the realms of men. 

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1 hour ago, SeanF said:

Freeing Arya does not jeopardise the fight against the Others, and nor does Jon nor anyone else frame the moral conflict in such terms.

It does. It invites open conflict with the Boltons - who at the moment seem likely to defeat Stannis - and risks a war between the Watch and the North, draining further manpower. 

1 hour ago, SeanF said:

For him, the moral conflict is between rescuing his sister, and adhering to his obligation (as he sees it) to remain neutral between warring parties.

For his enemies, it's simply about not wanting to get on the wrong side of the Lannisters and Boltons, as well as a healthy degree of bigotry towards the Free Folk.

Well, Jon holds the same amount of hate towards the Boltons that his opposition holds towards the wildlings and it is completely understandable in both cases. Jon's main enemy in his heart are the Boltons and Lannisters, who killed and betrayed his birth family, while the main enemy of his opposition in their hearts are the wildlings, who the Watch was fighting against for thousands of years and who looted, kidnapped and raped women and killed  many of their friends and sworn brothers. The Weeper is just as big monster as Ramsay and Jon still wants him to pass.

However, both enemies can serve as help against the Others. Jon is mostly ignoring the first and his opposition is if ignoring the second.

 

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12 minutes ago, csuszka1948 said:

It does. It invites open conflict with the Boltons - who at the moment seem likely to defeat Stannis - and risks a war between the Watch and the North, draining further manpower. 

Well, Jon holds the same amount of hate towards the Boltons that his opposition holds towards the wildlings and it is completely understandable in both cases. Jon's main enemy in his heart are the Boltons and Lannisters, who killed and betrayed his birth family, while the main enemy of his opposition in their hearts are the wildlings, who the Watch was fighting against for thousands of years and who looted, kidnapped and raped women and killed  many of their friends and sworn brothers. The Weeper is just as big monster as Ramsay and Jon still wants him to pass.

However, both enemies can serve as help against the Others. Jon is mostly ignoring the first and his opposition is if ignoring the second.

 

I certainly don’t think the Boltons and Lannisters would be any sort of help against the Others. Stannis, on the other hand, would be.

The Watch lost its moral bearings.  It was so fixated with the wildlings that it was wiling to ally with the Others, via Craster.

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Just now, SeanF said:

I certainly don’t think the Boltons and Lannisters would be any sort of help against the Others. Stannis, on the other hand, would be.

The Watch lost its moral bearings.  It was so fixated with the wildlings that it was wiling to ally with the Others, via Craster.

Many Northerners and even Roose Bolton would be perfectly willing to ally against the Others if they knew about their existence and the risk they posed, if only for self-preservation.

You are right that the Lannisters may not believe it or would ignore it and Stannis is better, because he already believes in their existence and the risk they pose. That's why I can overlook Jon giving advice to Stannis.

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1 hour ago, csuszka1948 said:

It does. It invites open conflict with the Boltons - who at the moment seem likely to defeat Stannis - and risks a war between the Watch and the North, draining further manpower. 

Do they seem likely to defeat him? Stannis has a sizeable army, many of whom are veterans, and support from a number of Northern houses. Jon and Stannis may not know that Manderly is plotting to betray the Boltons and side with Stannis, but they can tell that the Bolton coalition is fragile. The Cerwyns, Lockes and Manderlys hate them. The Karstarks have outwardly abandoned them. The Umbers are openly split and the Mormonts aren't cooperating. The Glovers are backing Stannis.

Obviously the Pink Letter changes things, if true. But at that point Ramsay is threatening to attack the Watch anyway (unless they comply with his impossible terms) so Jon has no choice.

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4 hours ago, SeanF said:

Quite so.  But, I’d say the process was started by the Valyrians, eg their obliteration of the cultured Rhoynish civilisation.

The interior of Western Essos is being made into the equivalent of the world of Mad Max, due to endless slave-hunting, fuelled by demand from the coastal elites.

Yeah then they collapsed and the dothraki seem.to have hollowed out the centre west.

Agree Its clearly  a dangerous destructive cycle as eventualy (as we saw) dothraki infighting can sometimes produce a single khal drogo type who had dreams of sacking major cities thus continuing the extermination of major settled peoples from the century of blood! 

We know the kingdoms of sanori and omber seem.to be slowly worn down too

The slaver pirates fleets and bases  are a different matter as we read there are periodic fleets sent to clean them out l

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22 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

What is the quote and what is the agreement?

You can scroll back and look. But it shows Yunkai attacking Meereen. So there is no agreement anymore

22 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

And what it shows is that the character wastes time making agreements with disingenuous people that are just going to be reversed later?

I would not call it a "waste of time" because at least she bought time to strenghten her defenses, to make allies and to train her people.

Quote

I don't think it's quite that contradictory. Dany made a peace deal because, like Yurkhaz & Yezzan, she genuinely did prefer that to war (as Feldman writes "Part of Dany genuinely does want peace, and wants to sacrifice a great deal to protect innocent life"). At the same time, she found aspects of this very unpleasant. Peace, the right thing in her eyes, was not necessarily easy. When she flies away she is effectively abandoning those people she wanted peace FOR, and when she decides a dragon plants no trees she is turning her back on what she'd done before.

He ignored that "dragons plant no trees" comes right after she says she wanted "to laugh,to rest,to plant trees and see them grow" so he is wrong in painting her like an war addict, like the comparison you made in your replies. Also, this is tied with her wishing to go home. So her rejecting SLAVER'S PEACE does not mean she does not value innocent life anymore. We see her wanting to cry because she can't remember Hazzea's name so she does care. Hazzea is also linked with her chaining her dragons so all this is just her chosing war over PEACE WITH SLAVERS (which is not a parangon of what one should follow) and going home. And she does not abandon her people because her people are the slaves, who want her not to make peace with the slavers.

22 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

That's unpleasant, but also not something she can necessarily expect to be fixed by war. When she flies away, that doesn't cause everyone's wages to go up, it just means she's not looking at it anymore.

You are really being disingenuous. She clearly hates everything unjust regarding this peace, not just them being paied very low. And no, her flying away on Drogon does not cause everyone's wages to go up. She just saves many other people from getting killed.

22 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

That link says we should discount GRRM's approval of the Blot because it was only reported by @Ran, whom they call "a notoriously racist, misogynistic third party". It also says "Jon is not a soft, pure, one-sidedly sweet boy before meeting Melisandre, as Feldman implies", without EVER quoting Feldman actually saying any such thing. Of course when you infer something much dumber than what someone else actually said you can produce an incorrect conclusion. I just infer that person who wrote what I quoted is unreliable on the subject of what Feldman actually wrote.

That post had a link in which you can see why that statement and I did not quote that person, I quoted the person below because I liked the observation regarding how Adam wrote about Jon and Dany essays. That's why I actually posted just that part and it DID had what Adam wrote and it showed the double standards. So you not agreeing that Adam views Jon as a soft, pure, one-sidedly sweet boy before meeting Melisandre does not matter.  And that person whom you seem to be upset with because she does not quote him, tells why Adam views Jon this way: because he puts much of the blame on Mel. And it also has a link to Adam's Jon essays and that person actually quotes him on what he wrote and explains her views on the essays. Wether you agree or not is another matter but the fact is that he admitted both Jon and Dany not liking the "peace" because they let injustices happen and framed Jon as good in braking said peace, while Dany is apparently becoming uncaring of human life as she does the same thing.

 

22 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Jon breaks his vows by attempting to march against Bolton, Dany simply leaves the city and then thinks to herself that dragons plant no trees. None of this is to deny some good things she did before she left, but she's not going to be doing that once she's gone.

So both chose war. That is the difference? And that she is not going to do any more good things it's just your projection. Nothing that can be proved with quotes, because we actually don't have the books. And Dany does not simply leaves the city. She tamed a dragon FFS and saved many lives by getting him out of there. She also isn't going on vacations. And btw, "dragons plant no trees" is Jorah's answer. Yes, it's her projection of Jorah, but as I don't take seriously Viserys calling her a traitor and a whore, I also don't take this quote as being definitve for Dany and it certainly does not mean not caring for innocents anymore.

22 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

Who are you quoting then? Certainly not him, though you should do so if you want to actually analyze what he wrote.

Quotes are not put only to quote someone. I put crazy genes in quotes not because I was quoting him or anybody, but because it seems ridiculous to me to reduce Daenerys decision at violent impulses.

22 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

The deal with the Green Grace (who is likely also the Harpy) in Meereen, not with the Yunkai.

The deal was also with Yunkai

"Ah, there is the thorn in the bower, my queen," said Hizdahr zo Loraq. "Sad to say, Yunkai has no faith in your promises. They keep plucking the same string on the harp, about some envoy that your dragons set on fire."
"Only his tokar was burned," said Dany scornfully.
"Be that as it may, they do not trust you. The men of New Ghis feel the same. Words are wind, as you yourself have so oft said. No words of yours will secure this peace for Meereen. Your foes require deeds. They would see us wed, and they would see me crowned as king, to rule beside you."
 
22 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

That's part of the point of what's going on. Hizdahr is now being treated as in charge of those people, and demands are being made of him to ensure the safety of the people he's responsible for.

Hizdahr is treated as one of their own. That's why they wanted to see Dany wed with him as part of the peace deal and released his family, but none of Dany's people.

22 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

No, not just a "chat". A big part of the point Feldman was making was that the choice of peace was difficult for Dany because she was giving things up, not just having to "chat"

Adam Feldman thought that letting injustice happen for the sake o peace is good (and I wonder why then he thinks that the peace with Boltons was bad), which I disagree and ignored that Volantis wants war with Dany, that's why Qavo tells Tyrion that the Old Blood can not suffer their slaves looking up to Daenerys, to have hope for a revolution.

22 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

He was the one with the most support.

And he was also very sick so that only tells that once he dies things will probably change, as it happened.

22 hours ago, FictionIsntReal said:

What was Yezzan doing trying to keep the peace? Why bother?

Fine then. The peace was at best fragile and not worth of sustaining because it allowed injustices happen and prioritized the lives of slavers over the slaves.

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I mean not all of Dany’s villains are idiots, just the ones in the third book. If anything Dany herself is an idiot in the first book; first for taking way too long to see her brother for the monster that he is and second for letting a slave prisoner heal her husband and not his loyal trained healers. 

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Just now, sifth said:

for letting a slave prisoner heal her husband and not his loyal trained healers. 

 

"Stop it," Dany said angrily. "She is mine. I will not have her harmed."
Khal Drogo grunted. "The arrow must come out, Qotho."
"Yes, Great Rider," Mirri Maz Duur answered, touching her bruised face. "And your breast must be washed and sewn, lest the wound fester." (AGOT, Daenerys VII)

 

So is Drogo who decides to let Mirri help him, not Dany.

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16 hours ago, SeanF said:

Innocent life is being sacrificed to protect innocent life.  Adam Feldman just doesn't get that.  He thinks Dany wages war just because she enjoys it, and gets aroused by it (his final chapter explicitly frames Dany's choice, between war and peace, as one between having good sex with Daario, and unsatisfying sex with Hizdahr.)

She does choose peace because her people were slaughtered and because she is in general conciliatory. That's why she did not kill every master in Yunkai and Meereen. And in Meereen she tried to build a bridge between former slavers and slaves (which ofc is impossible because the former slavers had decided that if they can't have slaves anymore, they'll have the next best thing) and she voes to herself to be "the calamity that will change the slavers back into people". So she does not simply want to kill all the masters. Yunkai also makes things very difficult and as Barristan tells her, they can fight but probably won't win. That's why she agrees with their peace, which ultimately feels bitter because of the injustices she must allow to continue : slavery, the fighting pits (on which most probably will be her freedmen that will fight because they starve), etc. IDK how anyone can say this is a peace that is worth sustaining. Worth for whom? Not for the slaves. And this idea that Daenerys has completely tossed all her humanity in her last chapter because of a few lines is bogus. In those same lines she tells she wants "to laugh, to rest, to plant trees and see them grow" and she is sad that she can't remember Hazzea's name. This is not a person who has no concern for innocents. This just only shows that she ultimately chose war and saw the peace with the slavers not worthing. Also, Martin consistently through all 4 books in which she appears, has showed Dany concerned with the loss in her wars. Why would he toss all that? And as I said, this idea that she won't care anymore is just that, an idea because we don't have TWOW. Also, I want to say that if an author through 4 books shows a character caring for the loss in war and then in the 4th book throws a couple of lines and just shows the character not caring for that anymore, it's simply bad writing because in order to show a character making 180 degrees change, you have to show it gradually, not instantly and until now, I see Daenerys caring for how many people she loses in war.

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