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Utopia Talk / Politics / Game of Thrones: The Audition 2
Sat May 18 09:20:08

I have seen the argument that Dany was "rationally" burning KL to send a message of what happens to anyone that defies her rule been offered elsewhere.

The problem is that's completely incongruous with her character. As I understand it, Book Dany does have some dark thoughts that suggest she might be capable of unspeakably horrific acts in the pursuit of power, but those moments have been largely absent from the TV show. TV Dany is shown to have a significantly empathetic side and has - always - had a huge problem with burning innocent women and children.

-What was Jorah's explanation for why they were seeking to purchase the Unsullied in Season 3? Because they'd be the one army that WOULDN'T engage in indiscriminate rape and slaughter when they attempted to conquer Westeros.

-What happened when Drogon burned a child in Season 4? She locked away the OTHER two dragons in a dungeon for two full seasons, permanently stunting their growth in the process.

-Hell, what was Dany's motivation for sticking around in Slaver's Bay even after she had gained the necessary resources to march on Westeros? She wanted to liberate the downtrodden from the bounds of their tyrannical masters, to the point that that goal took priority over her own pursuit of the Iron Throne.

Is Dany capable of sending a terrible message in the interest of getting people to bend the knee? Sure. If she had, say, held a public display of burning surrendered Lannister soldiers or members of KL's aristocracy, I would have bought that; that would be well within her character's arc while still conveying the message that she may be following the Mad King in his foosteps.

Instead, she suddenly decided at the 11th hour that her message should be sent via committing an act of industrial-scale genocide, innocents dying along with all the rest. And once she started, she KEPT going, for like a full goddamn half hour. Sorry, but I don't see anything in her story that suggests that as a realistic decision for her to make.
Sat May 18 09:41:36
And that's not to say that it would have been impossible for Dany to end up deciding to burn KL, whether out of a calculated decision or just out of pure rage, but that wasn't properly set up for the audience. For us to buy her descent into cold cruelty, we needed to see more - more dialogue that sets her frame of mind, and more scenes showing how losing everyone in her circle has changed her. We barely even got a single reaction when Rhaegal died FFS. That's where the sloppy writing and rushed pacing hurts.
Sat May 18 10:14:14
As long as they don’t put Sansa on the throne I’m content. I would like to see Danearys or Tyrion on the throne.

I think Tyrion would be the best king.

Danearys = would be a dictator, a butcher
Jon = doesn’t want it, and he wouldn’t suit either. He should go back to the north.
Sansa = just no

So, Tyrion it is. He is clearly da best.
Sat May 18 12:37:38
Not a Dany fanboy, but nothing she has done is out of the norm. Hopefully those who survived Tywin's sack in living memory weren't dumb enough to hole up in the same city under siege.
Sat May 18 13:45:35

We've seen TV Danaerys be willing to kill innocents (granted not children) so far. It's not something she seeks out or has needed to do.

There was a conversation about the 160 masters she crucified where it was pointed out they weren't all guilty, and she did something to the effect that their participation in the system made it acceptable.

I think she was deadly serious in the speech about mercy for future generations.

She's convinced only she is the right person to rule and prevent tyrants (yes, she is one herself, but she's a narcissist).

The threat comes from the people (not just lanisters) preferring cuddly, but idiotic and ineffective, Jon.

Everyone needs to know she will have no compunction burning and killing everythingn and anything that stands against her.

We had the dialogue. We've had the character points. We've just read Danny wrong.

The reason she said she was staying Mehreen was in part to learn how to rule. What in the end happened there? She played liberal and to Tyrions and Varys advice and it all got utterly fucked up. And then she managed to take over the Dothraki by being a ruthless badass, and basically gave up on slavers bay.

Also, there's a very good frame analysis showing the echoes of Vicerys reaction to realising the Dothraki liked Danny and Danny realising in EP 4 that she's becoming Vicerys to Jon.

There's a lot pointing to this development. She hasn't been a bleeding heart for a while, and she's seen that trying to change the world with liberal policies just results in people assuming you are weak.

And she's not going to end up like Vicerys.

There was no sudden descent to buy. Instead, why do you think she would have learned nothing from the series of catastrophes that had befallen those around her and her own plans when she tried to rule with mercy.

The pivotal point I think is waaay back when the sons of the Harpy tried to kill her in the amphitheatre.

Cherub Cow
Sat May 18 21:27:50
[Paramount]: "So, Tyrion it is. He is clearly da best."

The problem there is that he's a dwarf. People wouldn't follow him. He's a good advisor, but not a good leader.

[Pillz@Seb]: "You're right she had made up her mind - outside the walls of kings landing days or weeks before she followed through."

Not true. She had *not* made up her mind about scorching King's Landing. If that wasn't obvious from her facial expression changes on the dragon, it was made explicit with the writer's explanation after the show. But from the show: she may have hinted that she *wanted* to burn it all, but she also had given herself the restraint to know when to stop. She lost that restraint in the *moment* that she was looking at the Red Keep — it was *not* a plan for her to continue her attack. That was rage.

[Rugian]: "Sorry, but I don't see anything in her story that suggests that as a realistic decision for her to make."

Pay attention, then? ;)
Danny may not have outright ordered the killing of women and children before this, but she has been committing war crimes since the beginning. It is not a surprise that she would have no problem burning the Westeros peasants who watched her family murdered (peasants that she hasn't thought of positively her entire life), and rage has a way of making people indiscriminate when they kill.
Sun May 19 05:27:43
I'm struck, having spent about ten minutes watching the inane drivel that is the featurette that the supposed ceators sound very vague and undecided about anything.

They keep taking things like "I think Danny X"

*Think*? Why this odd qualification from show runners that ought to definitively decide such things.

It would be really interesting to understand what level of detail GM gave them.

E.g. was it "Danny defeats the iron fleet, lets in her armies, they surrender but she goes on a rampage" and the stuff he hasn't quite worked out yet is the precise motivations needed to explain this shift; or is it "Danny burns they bulk of the city down", or even just "they take kings landing".

My guess is it's the first - what actually happens is pretty well detailed in his mind, the hard part is setting up precisely how and why.

In any cade think it's an open invitation to set aside their intentions and consider what they actually achieved.


"But from the show: she may have hinted that she *wanted* to burn it all, but she also had given herself the restraint to know when to stop. She lost that restraint in the *moment* that she was looking at the Red Keep — it"

Or, alternatively, as we know she doesn't actually enjoy burning people, she wants a better world, but she's prepared to do terrible things on the basis that any horror is paid off over long enough time. Yes, Danny has gone narcissist-undergrad-utilitarian. And how could she not, stones, fire, dragon etc.

So she's sitting there, and hears people calling for the bells to be rung. She waits in apprehension - but she's not waiting fearing they wont be rung - she's really hoping that they won't be rung, then she will be able to put the oncoming atrocity at least partly onto cercies and the defenders stubborness. Then the bells ring. She looks down and sees Jon and realises that they are surrendering to him. And like the whole way he got credit for "riding the dragon" etc. at Winterfell, this is as bad as her worst fears. She's going to have to butcher people.

She's furious. It's all gone wrong. This wasn't how it was supposed to be.
She turns to the red keep - her rage is at Cercie. If she'd surrendered earlier, this wouldn't be necessary.

It also explains the not eating seclusion for days better. She's been wrestling with her conscience about what she's got to do to win, because of the lack of good followers; rather than having an extended moping about Melisandre and Raegon (which she did not over jora and Vicerion).

Cherub Cow
Sun May 19 06:01:54
Yeah, she didn’t plan it. You are outright wrong to think otherwise.
Sun May 19 07:23:25
Rewatching the bells scene... Jon is going to get into a fight with a very angry Grey worm and kill him.

Maybe it'll be tyrion who gets Dany after all. If anyone can follow through with Varys's plan it'd be him. Plus I wouldn't put it past Varys to have a contingency in place to get tyrion to do it after he's dead (due to tyrion feeling guilty and seeing increasingly worse signs in Dany).

Cant wait to be disappointed!
Sun May 19 07:42:24
CC's insistence on relying on the vague stated intention of the show runners who CC also criticise is awfully pedestrian.

Thank God we don't have to listen to CCs take on Blade Runner. No doubt it would be a one line quote from Ridley Scott.

Sun May 19 09:51:27
The After the Show features by themselves prove how absolutely off the rails this show has gone. Anyone still claiming GoT is a good quality show after "Dany kind of forgot about the Iron Fleet" should be banned from having any critical opinions on TV or movies.


I think the fact that we're debating Dany's motivations in the first place is in and of itself a bad sign. The reason why she decided to nuke KL should have been well established for the audience prior to the act itself, and the fact that it wasn't undermines our ability to accept her decisions as being within her character.

I imagine we'll get an explanation of what was going through her head tonight, but by that point it won't matter - her character has already been ruined in the eyes of a huge amount of people, and an after-the-fact justification isn't going to fix that.

Also, I think we as viewers tend to look too hard to justify a GoT character's sudden heel turn whenever the writers fuck them up. Remember all of the people insisting that Jaime was going to King's Landing to kill Cersei or get her to surrender? Turns out, nope, he was going back to her because the writers decided that eight seasons' worth of development means nothing, and we were fools to think otherwise. I'm guessing the same thing is going to end up happening here.

Moreover, I DON'T believe that the ground was sufficiently established for her to go mad in the first place. Like I've said, Book Dany may be a different situation, but TV Dany, who says things like "the blood of my enemies, not of innocents" and "I'm not here to murder" is fundamentally a good person with some bad but limited impulses. If you want to run down the list of all of the "evidence" of her inherent tendency to madness:

-She watches her brother, who treated her like absolute shit for years and just threatened to murder her child, die

-She executes the witch who fucked up her husband and killed her baby

-Faced with the real possibility of starving to death, she threatens to destroy Qarth after the Thirteen refuses to help her

-She sentences Xaro, who fucked her over, and her former handmaiden, who betrayed her and murdered Irini, to death

-She crucifies the Masters of Meereen, who she sees as the perpetrators of an unspeakable horror upon a massive group of people

-She feeds one of those same Masters to her dragons

-Kills the Dothraki leadership as

-She briefly floats the idea of nuking the cities of Slaver's Bay, before realizing that that would have no military value whatsoever

All of these examples suggest that she is capable of pronouncing death onto others and that she is more than happy to do so against her enemies when warranted. Feel free to tell me which of these suggest that she's capable of murdering hundreds of thousands of innocents, including women and children, who have already made an explicit act of surrender to her.

If the ambush at the Fighting Pits had fundamentally changed her outlook on bathing in the blood of innocents, we didn't see that at the time. Literally the only indication we got beforehand was the one scene with Tyrion where she's talking about "future generations blah blah blah."

Again, Dany going mad IS a conceivable arc for her, and it would have been a great twist to the story if it had been properly set up. The tragedy here isn't that she went mad, it's that the poor writing and rushed pacing made it so that moment wasn't truly earned.
Sun May 19 09:52:42

I hope one day the checks from HBO stop coming in and we finally get your real thoughts on this show. Until then, the constant defenses of a programme that is objectively ruined are getting tiring.
Sun May 19 10:45:41

I think you are wrongly reading her moral purpose as her fixed North, not the iron throne.

When the two are in conflict, iron throne wins.

Let's look a Mehreen. She stays, she says, to learn to rule. She tries to ride two horses: power and justice to individuals. It fails, and she's forced to pursue a just society through bloody and fairly indescriminate means.

Where does this lead her? Her squeamishness over one child leads her to lock up two dragons, leaving her weak. Her enemies see the restraint as weaknes, nearly killing her in the amphitheatre. From there she ends up powerless, but rescues herself through her own wit and powers. She returns to find Tyrion and Varys have entered into a deal with the other cities, which again, is seen as weakness and she's betrayed. She burns the fleet.

At this point, agree decides to go to Westeros. I.e. her learning has concluded - all liberal attempts to reform society have failed. Who does she leave in charge? That notorious bleeding heart Daario.

After this, she's constantly demanding knees be bent and taking about taking what's hers by fire and blood.

Go back to the crucifixion, it is pointed out that many will only be tangentially guilty by participating in the system. She doesn't care.

It's only a small step to see the civilian population of kings landing as similarly complicit. She talks about burning them when they are mistakenly resisting her as being merciful to future generations. It's only an incremental step to see them dying as a warning and this preventing future deaths as eggs necessarily broken to make the ommlette.

She didn't snap - this isn't irrational - this is what Tywin might have done (though to different ends).

We've had three seasons setting up "power corrupts.".

Renzo Marquez
Sun May 19 10:52:55
Ghey Worm will be walking Jon in front of Drogon to be executed after a plot to assassinate Dany is uncovered. Bran will roll up, get out of his wheelchair, cripwalk up, stab Ghey Worm in the back with the catspaw blade, and say "you have no dick LOL".

Drogon, trying to contain his laughter, will inadvertently explode killing all of the Dothraki and Unsullied as well as Dany.

Showrunners will then have someone (favorites are Tyrion and/or Bronn) rape Arya in the closing scene to subvert our expectations.
Sun May 19 11:35:22
Come on. You can not say she'd a good person.

She has dedicated her life to conquering an entire continent. And went about conquering some of essos to get it done.

Jon in particular but also tyrion present themselves diplomatically as sincere and interested in reaching the least unpleasant results possible for everyone.

Dany has always (but increasingly) been a my way or fire and brimstone kind of person. She enjoys when people turn down or double cross it because over time her initial thoughts are towards violence.

Jon for instance hasn't thought violently out of impulse about pretty much anyone but the white walkers. He didn't even really have any animosity towards the boltons until Rickon's death.

Dany is not mad. But she is not good. She's much more like Cersie than her father, but both fulfill the role of 'mad queen' because of the fanatic disdain for him (aerys) in westros. 'hes literally hitler', basically.

Anyways, the series is overwhelming about the starks, and Jon is clearly the story's protagonist at this point. Dany introduced the idea of a targaryan king to the story but she's not the right choice (aemon, rhaegar being examples of two targaryan that should have been/didn't get the chance to be good kings). Pretty sure this is a round about way of just demonstrating that Luke is vaders son and Luke restored balance to the force so it's okay that Vader murdered countless millions.

Why would Grey worm even be one of the three shot callers? By themselves there are barely a couple thousand unsullied left. The only thing keeping the dothraki In check and allied with them is Dany.
Sun May 19 12:58:56

I think she regrets violence - her reaction to the dragons eating a child of a shepherd - but not enough to restrain her anymore.

And the events have shown her violence work,and compromises rarely do.

And it's much easier to reconcile a desire for justice to make justice for individuals subordinate to justice systemically, and justice systemically dependent on you and you alone ruling.

Is she good like Jon is good, like Ned is good or Tyrion? No. But these guys are all proven incompetent: they lose battles, get executed etc.

Is she like Cercie? No. I think unlike her, she's not as cruel.

Sun May 19 13:22:40
Dany has always shown that she has a ruthless side to her. She watches her brother die and coldly remarks that he wasn't a true dragon. she burns the witch alive in season 1, even after knowing she only poisoned drogo after drogo had his men kill everyone the witch knew and rape her over and over. she threatens to destroy qarth if they turn her away. she has every man killed in astapor when she betrays the slavers to get her army of unsullied. she collects a masters and cruxifies them in retribution for the kids who got murdered, but when told that she also killed some slave owners who had wanted to stop the children from dying, she doesn't really care. she feeds former slave owners to her dragons indiscriminately because she thinks they are tied to the sons of the harpy but really has no evidence to it. burns the tarly's because they refuse to bow to her, despite her having captured them as POWs. She consistently has said she will burn cities to the ground if she must to win the iron throne.

(also keep in mind, stannis burned mance alive because mance wouldnt kneel to stannis and Jon shot mance with an arrow as mercy).

Dany has always been ruthless and it was people around her who would temper her into giving mercy. But now we see what dany does when those same people are either dead or she doesn't trust them.

We have been shown many times this season where Dany either outright questions Tyrion's loyalty or watches him as he sides with his brother/family while she is clearly shown to be more and more isolated.

Ultimately Dany is a foreigner and will never command the respect or love that someone like Jon gets and so she decided the only way she will be able to rule is through total fear. So she destroyed a major city, now anyone who would ever consider rebelling will have to look at how Dany completely destroyed a major city and a major army that was totally prepared to fight her.
Sun May 19 13:25:24
Ruthless != dropping nukes after a surrender. That's madness.
Sun May 19 13:36:42
Maybe she doesn’t care anymore. So she decided to kill everyone.
Sun May 19 13:53:59
So Dany has a potent force multiplier. Cities get sacked all the time, with civilians raped and slaughtered wholesale.
Sun May 19 16:07:38

There are numerous examples in world history.

You know how the rape of nanking happened?
The Japanese commanders realised they won through shock and awe, but also realised they couldn't deal with 300k prisoners of war - the surrendered forces represented an ongoing threat. So they began executing them. The Chinese soldiers started trying to hide amoung civilians; so the Japanese started killing any fighting age men. And things rapidly accelerated.

Sure, the city surrendered. But, if the loss of Westeros decide they want Jon, what's she going to do? And with winter coming.

Burning one city now seems relatively rational.

After all, the original Targaryeans never defeated Dorne. And she's only got one dragon, and an army to feed. She can't afford mercy if be the Westerosi decide to call her bluff. She needs to show how far she will go now, not after weeks of stalling.
Sun May 19 20:05:13
Alright, let’s do it one last time
Cherub Cow
Sun May 19 20:58:13
[Seb]: "CC's insistence on relying on the vague stated intention of the show runners who CC also criticise is awfully pedestrian."

It's interesting that Seb thinks that I've criticized the show-runners (I've been a supporter. To date, I can't even think of times when I've said that the show runners have blundered...), but even if I had (and not just easy criticisms like the continuity issue with King's Landing brought up in the other thread, which might just be the fault of the effects team), it's also interesting that he thinks that criticizing the show runners means that a person must also dismiss the stated intentions of the show runners.. hmm... A logical person might realize that a person can criticize the show runners while also accepting the explanations of the show runners (e.g., disagreeing with their writing, even while accepting the meaning of the writing). That's a simple thought for people who are not retarded.

On the subject of Danny and pre-planning:

People with fair emotional intelligence are able to see a person's facial expressions and determine from those expressions what state of emotion that person is experiencing. People with autism or Asperger syndrome often struggle with the same task.

When a person with fair emotional intelligence saw Danny before she burned King's Landing, they saw the following: Danny is upset but careful after having strategically disabled the King's Landing anti-dragon defenses. She lands her dragon and sits in wait, remembering that Tyrion advised her to give the people and/or Cersei a chance to ring the bells to signal surrender. A *lot* of time passes. She is taking the advice. She's shown on screen, angry, but reserved, willing to let more time pass to give the people a chance. The bells ring. Danny is shown. She has a look of surprise at first ("They really surrendered!"), which turns into a look like she knows what she must do (accept the surrender), but something *new* is boiling within her. The music starts dropping octaves into something dark. Danny shows signs of an old hurt, some pain and injustice that she's experienced at her core for too long — something she's long struggled to bear with her practiced, Queen's stoicism, but she is fighting to control it until she seems to say in her mind, "No, I do not accept your surrender." In a rage she takes control of Drogon and begins her flight, unleashing the hurt that she's been feeling.

When an autistic person tries to rationalize the same thing, they cannot do so with the presented facial expressions (they cannot read them), so they just invent narratives from factual clues — clues which were also woven with emotion and which they thus could also not correctly reconcile.

Since Seb is autistic or has Asperger syndrome, when he saw Danny sinking into an unplanned rage, it didn't make sense to him ("[What are emotions?]," Seb might think). "[I do not understand emotions, so — in my autistic mind — people do not have moments when their emotions overpower their logic and reason! Thus, Danny must have *planned* to burn the peasants regardless of what happened! I am unable to see her hurt, so I can only recall the words of her strategies. Her words *must* have planned for this very scenario!]"

In short, Seb is fucking retarded.

[Rugian]: "The reason why she decided to nuke KL should have been well established for the audience prior to the act itself, and the fact that it wasn't undermines our ability to accept her decisions as being within her character."

This may be a matter of audience participation. They *did* establish it for the audience — *if* you were paying attention. Not all shows have to spoon-feed developments to their audiences.

[Rugian]: "Remember all of the people insisting that Jaime was going to King's Landing to kill Cersei or get her to surrender? Turns out, nope, he was going back to her because the writers decided that eight seasons' worth of development means nothing, and we were fools to think otherwise."

I think Jaime's turn makes more sense as fuel for complaints, but still it doesn't deserve all of them. His development *was* meaningful (i.e., does not "[mean] nothing"), but he was always shown struggling with his conscience versus his unconditional love for Cersei. That was his battle. Audiences (myself included) *wanted* to believe that Jaime's time with Brienne meant that his conscience was ready to finally win that battle, but that does not mean the victory of his conscience was a guarantee. People do not always win the struggle to become their better selves. *If* Cersei had done something monstrous, then *maybe* (or *likely*?) Jaime would finally have allowed his conscience to win, but Danny took that choice from him. Cersei was in trouble and fearful at the end, giving Jaime every reason to want to comfort her and be with her. That is his continuity — eight seasons' worth of loving Cersei, even as he tried to become something else.

[Rugian]: "Feel free to tell me which of these suggest that she's capable of murdering hundreds of thousands of innocents, including women and children, who have already made an explicit act of surrender to her."


[Rugian]: "-She crucifies the Masters of Meereen, who she sees as the perpetrators of an unspeakable horror upon a massive group of people"

The masters of Meereen all surrendered to her. They were defenseless against her and her army. She put them to death to balance the scales **as she saw those scales**. It was only after meeting with the actual *people* that she had affected with her callous and vengeful act that she learned how completely fucked up it was. She had killed good masters and bad masters alike. She had killed masters with families, masters who had freed their slaves and were paying them, masters whose slaves missed them and wanted to avenge them. When she gave the order to crucify them, she couldn't be bothered to learn these consequences. She had to be *advised* to learn of those consequences after the fact. Who was advising her before King's Landing? Timid Tyrion and...? Oh yeah, no one.

Take away a person's sense of consequences, take away conscience (no advisors, no conscience), let that person see how powerful she can be when totally unchecked with an ultimate weapon at her command, and now you see whether or not that person has a natural disposition towards good or a simple want of power.

Looks like obaminated gave more good examples..

[Rugian]: "I hope one day the checks from HBO stop coming in and we finally get your real thoughts on this show. Until then, the constant defenses of a programme that is objectively ruined are getting tiring."

I'll complain when they make obvious mistakes, but it would be dishonest of me to pretend that these outcomes were just some flagrant bad writing decisions. I debated with TC a couple of seasons ago, but most of his complaints were directly from him not even realizing who he was talking about or not remembering things that characters had done. Should I have rolled over for that kind of argument?

Danny's character supported her decisions. Jaime's did too. In *bad* writing, "good" characters are always improving towards something that we can value and love, but in *truthful* writing we have the "Myth of Superman" — the reality wherein people try to better themselves but more often than not remain pieces of shit who will serve their basest impulses over any supposed higher ideal. I think GoT has always favored truthful writing.

Anyways, it's an hour into the new episode, so I'm off to start watching.
Tue May 28 07:32:41
So I had a crazy theory about Dani:

What if she was pregnant from Jonaegon back at the end of season 7? It would have been, by my complete guestimation, about ~2 months from the time they fucked to the sacking if Kings landing, enough time for Dani to realize she's with child. And she's likely only got one potential source for said child, Jon. In this frame, taking a dragon to Kings landing would literally be about protecting future generations: her child. She sees all the potential pain, turmoil leaving a Cersei alive could bring, she sees all the troubles that SHE experienced due to that city and wanted to keep her child from experiencing it. So, destroy the city.

It would further explain her "you and me are the only people who get to decide what's right" bit when talking with Jon. A mother and father raising the dragon princess.

But I also recall something in this show about infertility and it might have been about Dani. /Shrug
Tue May 28 07:47:54
Dany is infertile
Tue May 28 08:31:31
CC is confused in that she does not appreciate that the emotions expressed through facial expressions do not necessarily convey the motivations for those emotions.

As already set out, Danerys could be waiting for the bells for her own peace of mind, confident they will not ring this excusing her in her own mind of what will come.

When they bells do ring, the rage is at cercei for having now forced her to do something she loathes on a moral level but feels is nevertheless required. Whereas previously she had externalised culpability on the victims for following Cercie, now it's all on Cercei.

The expressions and emotions are not in doubt. The motivation is.

A very typical behaviour of Asperger's is an attempt to apply rigid logic to things that are ambiguous and may actually be indeterminable.

Tue May 28 08:34:31

Could work.


Well, we think so. But then,dragoneggs need magic Targaryean voodoo to hatch abs we have two Targaryean parents here so...
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