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[ADWD Spoilers] Regarding comments on Dany


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It worked in antiquity as long as it was used in moderation and free peasants/farmers/artisans outnumbered the slaves. Once Italy lost it's peasant class due to various Roman wars and attendant profiteering and switched to slave-based agriculture, it became unable to provide itself with grain within less than a generation and had to constantly import. Also, the vast majority of slaves was used so hard that they couldn't replenish themselves naturally and had to be constantly imported.

Don't be misled by the situation of the few favored, highly skilled slaves, those who were pampered and could even aspire to freedom and citizenship. Most of slaves in Imperial Rome were being worked to death within a decade or so.

We're not talking about Imperial rome.

First of all, not quite true. Second, so did Ned's good intentions.

Yes, Ned was also incredibly incompetent and everyone accuses him of such. Your point?

Your outline ignores the facts as presented in the text.

I disagree.

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I think Dany was horribly unbalanced this time around. I didn't mind her getting her dragons, or even her defying her odds to become what she is now even though I don't care for her character. But I really got annoyed with her and Daario this time around. I was hoping beyond hopes it was his head they threw when the court was going on. And it annoys me that they are still keeping him as a hostage.

If Dany was as dead as everyone would have believe he would have been the first to go being the closest, and therefore elminating one of the key hostages to keeping the peace. But that's just nitpicking.

Her dragons became more ferocious. Got it. But I think I would have spent more time trying to understand/train my number 1 weapon than lusting after some dyed douche and thinking of red doors. I know she is 16/17 but man. The only thing she gave her followers were a slow death. All that time to prevent a fight that happened anyway. Her dragon neglect just stemmed from laziness. Yeah it killed a child. But ferocious monsters don't usually take the time to diffrentiate between their food.

I am glad that she even admitted that her reasons for stopping was stemmed from selfishness and while I don't think it excuses her actions it's a step in the right direction. Albeit a small one. I hope Drogon roasts the Khal and his followers, but I know it's most likely going to end with her captured and him flying away.

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I have read the entire thread and found many points of view that I agree with and some not. I did not like Dany at all in ADWD for many of the reasons listed, I struggled with why did George write her like this? I finally accepted that he had 11 years to write this and so this is how he wanted to show her. Originally he was going to have a 5 year gap with AFFC & ADWD flashbacks to the 5 year gap. He had planned to have Dany spend the 5 year in Slaver’s Bay. He scrapped this and instead we see her spend 1 year making a lot of mistakes and appearing not to learn from them unless we are to take her musings in the last chapter as learning.

Why does George want us to see her as ineffectual as a leader. He had to know that we would hate seeing her this way with all of our expectations for her and the dragons to kick butt. I am sure that I cannot fathom all of his motives but firstly I think that he wants us to accept that she is not likely to make a good leader. Secondly, he wants us to see that she is not likely to play the games of thrones at all well. She does not listen to her current advisors. I cannot see her listening to a small council. Despite her good intentions, most of her decisions have caused untold misery and wasted untold lives.

I come down on the side of those who argue that her age should not be used as a crutch for her ineffectiveness and naivety. This is a medieval world. People started their adult lives early. They married at 12 or 13 and lived mostly until what we would consider middle age. Teenagers were a concept unknown until compulsory education that pushes adulthood well into the 20’s in western society’s modern day. An example is Ned and Robert in their late teens going to war with the Targs. By age 17 we should expect her to acting as an adult. She has certainly had some good advising first with Jorah and now Selmy.

So now I am wondering if there has been a plot change. We have been expecting her to swoop into Westeros and take the throne and then swoop to the wall and fry the Others. Perhaps this is not what will happen.

Before she even leaves Slaver’s Bay she needs to do something about the mess of the eminent war and all of the pestilence. She needs to connect with some or all of the people coming her way. She needs to decide if she will take council with any of them or use any of them. She needs to learn what the hell is actually going on in Westeros. She needs to learn to control her dragons. That’s a lot of things and learning. If she does go to Westeros I will be surprised if it is in AWOW.

I admit that I have struggled with the Dany story line for a variety of reasons but mainly because I see her as unfit to be the mother of the dragons. I want her to be like Neytri in Avatar who was astute about people, excellent with her flying dragon, compassionate, and a kick ass hands-on warrior, dedicated to saving her people. IMHO, Dany is none of these things. You could argue some of these like compassion but I do not see her as compassionate so much as having a mother complex. She wants to tell people how to live and she does not understand what their lives are all about.

So, if there has been a plot twist and we know how George loves to twist the characters and the plot, what might her new role be? Is she supposed to even go to Westeros? As she is, I do not want her to go there and lay more waste. I think George has given us other possibilities for dealing with the threat from the Others. It was the First Men and the Children who dealt successfully with them before. Nary a dragon in sight. Who’s to say it could not be done again? I would prefer speculation on what how Dany’s role may have changed.

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Daenerys reminds me oddly of Robb Stark in her political naivete. The naivete itself is not so bad and I always felt the teensiest bit of compassion for Robb. He went into a war he did not start for his father, and made some seriously naive mistakes that cost him and his family everything.

Daenerys, OTOH, started this war. It was a war of xenophobia. It was a war that never should have happened. She doesn't understand the culture and despises what little of it she understands. She caused a catastrophe of human suffering -- her, not the Great Masters, Daenerys herself. Because she thought her way was the right way, and she charged in with her arrogance. She is good at destruction, but not much else.

I'm done reading the book now and I'm in awe of just how bad she did. Why the hell did she marry Hizdahr after he gave her those days of peace? She should have hanged him. Why did she take child hostages if she didn't mean to do anything to them? A hostage's head should have been returned for the one that was sent to her court, but the hostages are only children so everyone feels hobbled. Why did she lock her dragons up instead of dealing with her problem? Why didn't she lure the nobility out of the pyramids and deal with them, instead of letting them hole up and plot against her? Why didn't she exercise more discretion with Daario? I don't see anything wrong with their affair and think she's taking too much heat for it, but she shouldn't be kissing him in public either. But most of all, why is she there?

There are other errors that are not so bad. Tyrion thinks that she should have poisoned the wells. A character says that she should have marched to Astapor. She mishandled her war, essentially, and that is a forgivable mistake for someone untrained in warfare. But why did she choose this war? She chose it, not the Easterners. They were fully in the right to want to be rid of this xenophobic, arrogant, foreign conqueror who is wreaking havoc and destruction on their lands based on her whims. Their actions are understandable and even justifiable, in large part. Hers, less so.

Something that struck me is when she tells Quentyn that she never had a maester. She was never trained to be a ruler, she wasn't even educated. This is pitiful. Illyrio says that she was expected to die with the Dothraki. Daenerys is the worst of the candidates for the Iron Throne and by now, I don't think her invasion is supposed to happen until the last book anyway. I could be happy seeing her save the world from the Others. But I don't want that girl to sit the Iron Throne and rule over yet another culture that she isn't part of and doesn't understand, and will probably hold in contempt too.

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Why the hell did she marry Hizdahr after he gave her those days of peace? She should have hanged him.

What would this have accomplished? Hizdahr was giving her peace. That's what Dany wanted. Hanging him would have started the murders again. One might ask why Hizdahr was able to stop the murders of course, but it's by no means certain that the only explanation is that he was the Harpy or in league with the Harpy.

The Harpy may simply have been satisfied with Hizdahr becoming Dany's consort. With Hizdahr as Dany's consort the sons of the Harpy may have believed that somebody who comes from and understands their culture and who would represent their interests with Dany would rise to a position of authority and power. This promise of their interests being better represented than before may have been enough for them to stop their campaign against Dany. This was the goal of Dany agreeing to the marriage in the first place after all.

Of course, the attempt on Dany's life suggests that there were still elements who weren't even satisfied with Hizdahr as her consort and wanted to get rid of her entirely. While this was always a possibility it was by no means a certainty and Dany, advised by some of her council, chose to try appeasement over butchery.

If she would have listened to others in her council and chosen butchery instead, this might have worked better, but we don't know this for sure either. It mightn't not have stopped the murders either if some people got away and would probably not have stopped all attempts to assassinate her in retaliation. It would certainly have alienated the Meereenese even further in any case.

And it would have made Dany a butcher queen, killing hundreds if not thousands, many of them probably innocents. And while there may be a few times when this can be necessary, Dany chose to try reconciliation and appeasement first. Let's see what she will do when she sees that this course of action hasn't worked as well as she had hoped.

Why did she take child hostages if she didn't mean to do anything to them?

It's called bluffing. Dany had already proven to be fairly ruthless when she got rid of the slavers of Astapor, when she deceived the Astapori on the field of battle and when she executed many of the masters of Meereen in retaliation for the murder of children when she was moving towards Meereen. With this sort of record she may have thought that the threat of retaliating against her hostages could work. Mind, I don't say it was a good or a bad idea but that was her probable reasoning.

But why did she choose this war? She chose it, not the Easterners. They were fully in the right to want to be rid of this xenophobic, arrogant, foreign conqueror who is wreaking havoc and destruction on their lands based on her whims. Their actions are understandable and even justifiable, in large part. Hers, less so.

Why is the slavers' attempt to preserve their culture with war more justified than Dany's attempt to change it? Note that those who oppose Dany are those who profit from slavery while many if not most of the slaves whom Dany freed don't seem to feel Dany has done them such a bad turn when she freed them. Why do you seemingly disregard the wishes of the exploited and disfranchised slaves? Note the message which is sent to Dany from the slaves of Volantis: “Tell her we are waiting. Tell her to come soon".

Clearly Dany, at 15 or so, didn't fully consider all the ramifications of her actions when she freed the slaves of Slaver's Bay. She was too optimistic, too naive, too inexperienced when she made no plans for the aftermath of her policies. That much is true and everybody is free to apportion some measure of blame for this to Dany.

But since then Dany has certainly tried to find ways to deal with the side effects which freeing the slaves caused. She has allowed people to sell themselves back into slavery when they feel they will be better off this way. She has also tried to establish trade contacts and create new trade goods to replace the slave trade. She has even tried to find an accommodation with the former masters of Meereen to her personal cost when she married one of their own. And she had made a deal with Yunkaii to end the war and prevent further bloodshed until Drogon broke it.

But I don't want that girl to sit the Iron Throne and rule over yet another culture that she isn't part of and doesn't understand, and will probably hold in contempt too.

I see no compelling reason to think that Dany will hold the westerosi culture in contempt similar to what she feels about slavery. Which aspect of westerosi culture is similarly contemptible as the atrocities which were committed in Astapor which triggered Dany's crusade in Slaver's Bay? In fact, her very contempt for slavery shows her westerosi sensibilities. In the East slavery is accepted or tolerated while in Westeros it's held in contempt by most. And while Dany has never really lived in Westeros, she has certainly heard a lot about it from Willem Darry and Viserys and others and from reading about it.

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I didn't mind the Daario stuff so much. She's a young girl. It happens.

I disliked her because of the Mereen foolishness. At one point she said that she was tired of war and that she wanted peace.

As far as I'm concerned her war hasn't started yet.

She kept calling them her people and her children, etc. My sentiment was who are they and what do they have to do with getting the Iron Throne?

& she actually said in her mind once that she might not want to win the Iron Throne. That was when I was done with her. What was the point of all that she went through to get to this point then?

She kept saying that she had to marry that Harpy guy. Who? Again, what does he have to do with getting the Iron Throne? How could he help her get it?

Maybe the next book will redeem her for me but at this stage I don't want her to get the throne. I do want her dragons to cook and eat Cersei though before she fails, (if she does).

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