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  #1151  
Old 01-24-2020, 04:43 PM
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She was a main character undergoing a critical turn. Whatever we got in terms of setup, it simply wasn’t enough. That’s an opinion, I’ll grant you.
If 8 seasons of set up wasn't enough, I don't know what would be.
  #1152  
Old 01-24-2020, 05:45 PM
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Foreshadowing is not the same thing as actually writing a coherent story, that's what it comes down to. You can "hint" all you want about something that might happen but you still have to write it in a realistic way. We got a highlight reel of Dany's heel turn, not a real story.
  #1153  
Old 01-24-2020, 10:00 PM
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Danaerys said:S2E4 “When my dragons are grown … we will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground.” S2E6 “I will take what is mine with fire and blood.” S6E6 "Will you kill my enemies in their iron suits and tear down their stone houses?” (to her Dothraki) Kibnvara, the prophet said in S6E5 "The dragons will purify nonbelievers by the thousands, burning their sins and flesh away."
So only one quote, back in series 2, that both implies killing non-combatants and is said by Dany.

Again, I'm not at all surprised she attacked king's landing, killing soldiers by the hundreds. But the part about her looking at the red keep with anger but figuring "Hey, we've got time; I want to go street by street killing civilians first" was not justified at all by the foreshadowing.

Let me also reiterate what I said upthread -- I have no problem with Dany being full-on evil in the end, and goin genocidin; my problem is in the execution. A little change like, say, having Rhaegal die during the attack would have made it more believable that she would utterly lose her cool (and would have made the sequence more enjoyable because we could still feel Drogon was under some degree of threat).
  #1154  
Old 01-25-2020, 10:15 PM
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Martin says books will have a different ending. Assuming he actually writes them and releases them.

https://www.indiewire.com/2020/01/ge...es-1202205570/
  #1155  
Old 01-25-2020, 10:39 PM
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So only one quote, back in series 2, that both implies killing non-combatants and is said by Dany.

Again, I'm not at all surprised she attacked king's landing, killing soldiers by the hundreds. But the part about her looking at the red keep with anger but figuring "Hey, we've got time; I want to go street by street killing civilians first" was not justified at all by the foreshadowing.

Let me also reiterate what I said upthread -- I have no problem with Dany being full-on evil in the end, and goin genocidin; my problem is in the execution. A little change like, say, having Rhaegal die during the attack would have made it more believable that she would utterly lose her cool (and would have made the sequence more enjoyable because we could still feel Drogon was under some degree of threat).
I guess you thought she was kidding when she explicitly said that she didn't consider the people of KL to be civilians or non-combatants. She directly said that every person in KL was a hostile enemy because the act of staying in KL was supporting Cersei.

This was not a hint in season 2; this is something she declared openly in season 8.
  #1156  
Old 01-26-2020, 01:11 AM
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I guess you thought she was kidding when she explicitly said that she didn't consider the people of KL to be civilians or non-combatants. She directly said that every person in KL was a hostile enemy because the act of staying in KL was supporting Cersei.

This was not a hint in season 2; this is something she declared openly in season 8.
And yet if she had said it in season 2, it would be a lot more convincing than the last minute "oh damn, we’ve only got one episode to go from her fighting alongside Jon and the Westerosi and coming as a liberator, to a bloodthirsty tyrant. We’d better throw in some lines to help set that up."

There should have been a continuum. Instead, what we got was thrown off a cliff with some lines shouted at us on the way down about how we should have seen this coming because of that one time our traveling companion stubbed a toe and said "Ouch, that hurt! I wish I could just throw myself off a cliff and put myself out of my misery already."

Last edited by ASL v2.0; 01-26-2020 at 01:14 AM.
  #1157  
Old 01-26-2020, 03:14 AM
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Was she not a bloodthirsty tyrant when crucifying the entire ruling class in whatever slave town that was? How about when she fed one of them at random to her dragons just to make a point?

Nope, nope, there was no setup at all, la la la I can't hear you!
  #1158  
Old 01-26-2020, 03:49 AM
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She was tyrannical the entire time. She had redeeming qualities - she wanted to free slaves, she didn't want the Dothraki to rape. She was fighting against people who did horrible things, and that's usually something heroes in stories do, so it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking she's a hero. The story is very much set up in such a way that she's a hero (just like Eddard Stark's story is set up so that he's the hero that saves the kingdom). But in both cases it's a subversion of the fantasy trope.

But she was always convinced that she was meant to rule, and she had no problem killing anyone who got in her way of that, and that is pretty much the definition of tyranical.

It's easy to root for her when she's fighting slavers. But she'd have been killing anyone that got in her way. Freeing the slaves and doing what good she did was always secondary to her coming into power and ruling.

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  #1159  
Old 01-26-2020, 06:14 AM
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could very well be the upset fans are making Martin change the ending. That way he can ride in on his white horse and save the day.

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  #1160  
Old 01-26-2020, 08:14 AM
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I doubt it, book Cersei is very clearly not being set up as the last big bad.
  #1161  
Old 01-26-2020, 08:43 AM
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The crappy writing and plotting in the last two seasons can't be fan-wanked away. The showrunners were very adept at adapting Martin's work. Left on their own, they just didn't measure up. The end.
  #1162  
Old 01-26-2020, 09:00 AM
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The crappy writing and plotting in the last two seasons can't be fan-wanked away. The showrunners were very adept at adapting Martin's work. Left on their own, they just didn't measure up. The end.
Yeah, pretty much. I think it shows even more clearly when it comes to Varys. He goes from being one of Daenerys' strongest supporters to plotting to murder her in pretty much five minutes, just because someone else happened to come along. Now, I can well believe he also betrays her in the books, but I would certainly hope Martin provides a better background for it, and a much better method. Seriously, his grand plan was to try to persuade the one person in Westeros who was 100% dependent on Daenerys' support against the Night's King to rebel against her, and he did so in full public view.
  #1163  
Old 01-26-2020, 09:17 AM
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Once again it comes down to the stuff they decided to cut away. Varys was in the Aegon camp, who is being set up as the real antagonist to Dany. Someone the people could actually get behind and support but she knows is fake.
  #1164  
Old 01-26-2020, 09:24 AM
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Was she not a bloodthirsty tyrant when crucifying the entire ruling class in whatever slave town that was? How about when she fed one of them at random to her dragons just to make a point?

Nope, nope, there was no setup at all, la la la I can't hear you!
But this is within the world of Westeros where even Ned Stark beheaded a guy because rules are rules, sansa had ramsey mauled to death, theon burned two children etc etc.
It's a vicious reality but within that reality, all the characters have reasons for doing what they're doing, and some degree of justification, at least to themselves.

Among the character progressions in the show, Danys was among the most disjoined IMO.
It felt a bit like Anakin killing the sand people being the set up for going completely bananas and killing the younglings. I can understand the anger that might drive someone to murder the people responsible for killing their mother, but it doesn't mean I can understand that person committing saber-infanticide the next.
  #1165  
Old 01-26-2020, 10:15 AM
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The crappy writing and plotting in the last two seasons can't be fan-wanked away. The showrunners were very adept at adapting Martin's work. Left on their own, they just didn't measure up. The end.
Boom, head shot!

They were excellent at cutting out GRRM's tendency to bloviate, overcomplicate and add superfluous details. They were absolutely TERRIBLE at telling any story on their own.
  #1166  
Old 01-26-2020, 10:31 AM
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To be fair GRRM is not exactly having much success in telling the end of his story either.
  #1167  
Old 01-26-2020, 10:34 AM
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It felt a bit like Anakin killing the sand people being the set up for going completely bananas and killing the younglings. I can understand the anger that might drive someone to murder the people responsible for killing their mother, but it doesn't mean I can understand that person committing saber-infanticide the next.
I thought the Anakin setup was clunky (like the rest of the prequels) but even it made more sense than Dany's turn. Because we don’t just see Anakin being willing to do horrible things to horrible people in the prequels (which is itself acharacteristic for a Jedi, and so does actually signal something significant when he does, as a break from sworn values, unlike Dany' killing of slave masters), we also see him (1) come under the influence of a powerful dark lord who preys upon his fears, (2) have strong fascist tendencies of his own (which he consistently offers up through clunky dialogue to those around him, not just as the occasional one-loner), and (3) he’s ultimately convinced that the Jedi (who haven’t favored him as much as he’d like) are betraying "The Republic" and must be wiped out Knights Templar style. Hmmm... I just realize that the massacre of the Jedi is actually a lot like the Friday the 13th round up of the Knights Templar.

GoT draws much influence from the War of the Roses, btw, to include various side shows against false pretenders to the throne and competing bloodlines. Henry Tudor was a fringe candidate for the throne, who lived in exile and whose father was killed early on in the wars. So I wouldn’t be at all shocked if Bran does become the King in the end through a similar process, but I think the way they voted him in because he had "the best story" (uh, LOL, no!) made no sense. But that’s neither here nor there.

Last edited by ASL v2.0; 01-26-2020 at 10:37 AM.
  #1168  
Old 01-26-2020, 10:43 AM
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"Bran has the best story" is possibly the dumbest idea ever, no doubt.

All I'm saying is that of the many, many, MANY problems with the final seasons, Dany's turn was one of the few things they got right. They laid the groundwork early, reinforced it multiple times through the years, came right out and explicitly added dialogue to help explain it to those who missed it just before the turn, and then followed through.

Everyone in KL is supporting Cersei nd therefore is a hostile combatant + I can't (tried and failed) rule in Westeros through love so I have to rule through fear = the obvious conclusion. She was establishing her rule through fear, and quite effectively at that. Only Jon could have stopped her, and he did.

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  #1169  
Old 01-29-2020, 02:18 PM
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So only one quote, back in series 2, that both implies killing non-combatants and is said by Dany.
You'd think that having a character explicitly say that they will burn cities to the ground in a context where they're clearly looking forward to it would be sufficient to establish that said character is willing to burn cities to the ground, but apparently not.
  #1170  
Old 01-30-2020, 12:00 AM
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You'd think that having a character explicitly say that they will burn cities to the ground in a context where they're clearly looking forward to it would be sufficient to establish that said character is willing to burn cities to the ground, but apparently not.
Again, back in season 2.
And after that, there was a well-written character progression towards her becoming compassionate and focusing on world-building.

Then in season 8 she flips out, and some people think the flip was well set up because of some quote once. But that's just not enough, that's not good writing.

And Danys state of mind was just one of my complaints about the Anakining, there are several others.
For example, not only is Drogon in God mode, but Dany knows he's in God mode, so she can take her time taking down all of the whole perimeter defences, then going street to street genocidin (remember that in past seasons even a hand-thrown spear was dangerous to dragons, but she apparently doesn't need to care about that now), before finally heading to the red keep.
It's a per peeve of mine. Plot armor is one thing, but characters behaving as if they know they have plot armor is another.

A better finish might be that Dany still has two dragons, and heads directly for the red keep. She kills cercei but in the process one dragon is killed. In a fit of rage and with no-one else to take it out on, she then goes around the city burning shit up until drogon is exhausted.
And this way, when Jon confronts her about what she's done, there's room in the portrayal for Dany to show some degree of regret, but to be past the point of no return and trying hard to justify to herself what she has done. i.e. keep some nuance there.
  #1171  
Old 01-30-2020, 01:34 AM
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some people think the flip was well set up because of some quote once
"some quote once" is the most perfect embodiment of "la la la I can't hear you" so thanks for that confirmation that you are just flat out ignoring the many examples we've offered.
  #1172  
Old 01-30-2020, 01:57 AM
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Was she not a bloodthirsty tyrant when crucifying the entire ruling class in whatever slave town that was? How about when she fed one of them at random to her dragons just to make a point?

Nope, nope, there was no setup at all, la la la I can't hear you!
That entire ruling class had crucified 125 children just to try and scare her. And yeah, not all of them “voted for it”, but so what? Even the best of them were still slavers. You think crucifying a bunch of child murdering slavers is sufficient to warn viewers that she might barbecue tens of thousands of innocent civilians - many of them children - for literally no reason at all just a couple of years later?

This is the problem with all the examples of Dany’s so-called “tyranny”. The victims all had it coming. Mirri Maz Duur? Had it coming. Xaro Xoan Daxos and Doreah? Had it coming. Pyat Pree? Had it coming. The slavers of Astapor who made the Unsullied kill babies as part of their training? Totally had it coming. You already know what I think about the child killing slavers of Meereen (by the way, did I mention the Meereen slaves were sex slaves?) The list goes on and on. The people she’s cruel to are monsters, people we as viewers can imagine ourselves being cruel to. The only possible exception is when she burned Randyll and Dickon Tarly, but even that wasn’t exactly out of keeping with how military commanders behaved in the Middle Ages, and it was undoubtedly nowhere near as bad as what Cersei would’ve done to Dany if Tarly had captured her.

And yeah, she talked a good game about burning cities to the ground. But she was pretty easily talked out of it as well, which suggested to me as a viewer that it was just that: talk.

It’s absurd to say these events successfully foreshadowed that she had it in her to burn tens of thousands of innocent children alive for no reason.

Last edited by Unreconstructed Man; 01-30-2020 at 01:58 AM.
  #1173  
Old 01-30-2020, 02:06 AM
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That's how the trope was subverted.

She was a tyrant all along. She was killing other people to expand her own power. But everyone who got in her way was evil and we were rooting against them, which is why her tyranical rise to power looked like a hero's journey. She was vanquishing bad guys, so she's the good guy.

But her own power and her own self proclaimed destiny to rule always came first. So while she looked like the good guy because she was facing other and worse tyrants, she was always out for her own power and would kill anyone who got in the way of that. It was consistent and repeated from the start.

Until the end, the people she was killing ruled over people who wanted to be free of them. So until the end, the interests of her future subjects and herself aligned. But what happened when they didn't? What happened when she wanted to take power in an area where the people did not want her to come and violently free them?

Now we see that she was a tyrant all along. We were just suckered into rooting for her because until the end her gaining more power and her making lives better for people lined up nicely. Until it didn't.

This is actually the only storyline of season 7-8 that makes good sense and is satisfying. You're just having trouble reconciling having rooted for her because she looked like the hero, so instead you think it's bad writing and a change out of nowhere. But there were literally hours worth of scenes setting this up. And it has been consistent from the start.

She didn't kill them "for no reason", she killed them because she decided that she could only rule by fear. She wanted to rule by love and inspiration and loyalty, but her whole story arc in the 7th and 8th seasons are how that didn't work out for her, and that she felt like fear was the only option she had left.

Last edited by SenorBeef; 01-30-2020 at 02:07 AM.
  #1174  
Old 01-30-2020, 02:14 AM
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So much time was spent in the series showing that she was a tyrant. And so much time was spent showing that she had good advisors around her that were able to talk her out of her worst impulses. And then her advisors were taken away - two through death, and the other through becoming discredited through a series of poor decisions and results. We have a lot of scenes in which she not only loses faith in Tyrion but starts to think doing the opposite of what he wants is the right path. And Jorah is gone entirely. And a large portion of season 7 and 8 are about how she's not inspiring loyalty among the westerosi and that if that doesn't work, she'll have to rule by fear. She even tries to marry Jon as a way of co-ruling to generate some organic support within Westeros. Everything she does to try to rule by loyalty and love failed. Every moderating influence against her worst tendencies was taken away from her.

Anyone who thinks this was a sudden character turn out of nowhere just wasn't paying attention at all.

Last edited by SenorBeef; 01-30-2020 at 02:15 AM.
  #1175  
Old 01-30-2020, 04:49 AM
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^This.^

I can't say I was pleased when the Three-eyed Raven gets to rule everybody (How come he's not part of a tree like his predecessor?) and I was pleased when the guy she bought the Unsullied from got toasted, but all through the preceeding seasons, I kept wondering if she was truly going to deserve the Iron Throne by deed rather than just birthright. She kept taking the dark path.

Actually, after Missandi's execution, I figured (hoped) Cersei would get a close up and personal taste of dragon fire instead of getting a castle dropped on top of her.

Last edited by DesertDog; 01-30-2020 at 04:50 AM.
  #1176  
Old 01-30-2020, 05:09 AM
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"some quote once" is the most perfect embodiment of "la la la I can't hear you" so thanks for that confirmation that you are just flat out ignoring the many examples we've offered.
The irony of you pulling one piece of one sentence out of my long response, to claim that I am the one not responding to the totally of the argument.
  #1177  
Old 01-30-2020, 05:35 AM
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everyone who got in her way was evil and we were rooting against them, which is why her tyranical rise to power looked like a hero's journey. She was vanquishing bad guys, so she's the good guy.
So said the Spider in the season 8 speech.

But you know some other people who killed lots of evil people who were rooting against them? Robb Stark, Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Jon Snow, Ned (I'm not sure if he got a chance to kill many people in season 1 but his character has killed plenty), as well as plenty of other characters that we would be surprised to see engage in deliberate genocide like Yara, Tormund, barristan selmy etc etc.

So killing enemies is not enough.

The throwaway lines are also not enough. For one thing because it would be trivial to find quotes of her being compassionate and wanting to reduce the people's suffering.
Yes, I know some will say "Many tyrants think what they are doing is for the greater good" but character development doesn't work like that. If the character is going to do something for the first time e.g. knowingly kill children, we need to see some change in them or a triggering event that logically leads to that behaviour.

Like I say, a few changes in season 8 and maybe 7 could have been enough to make it more believable and enjoyable.
  #1178  
Old 01-30-2020, 05:59 AM
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I didn't say killing enemies are enough. I'm saying the expansion of her own power - what she perceives as her birthright to rule - trumps all other considerations for her, including the lives of non-combatants, and pretty much any other considerations. The people you mentioned killed people when they found it necessary or just, or, in a few cases, simply through opportunity to gain something, but that doesn't mean they're tyrants. They weren't willing to do anything in order to advance their own power. Robb Stark, the closest comparison as a king himself, clearly would not have murdered innocents by the tens of thousands just to become more powerful himself. He wasn't a tyrant. She was.

As for "throwaway lines", it's ridiculous to call them that because she's been talking about how ruling the seven kingdoms is her birthright dozens of times from the start. Her initial reaction to almost any problem she had was violence - in some cases, she went through with it, in others, her advisors talked her down from it. But her feeling entitled to power through violence was there as soon as she started to gain some power and independence after Drogo's death.

And we had lots and lots of screen time devoted to explaining why she turned. Do you not remember all the time she spent over the last two seasons telling Tyrion he's a dipshit and he's losing her the war and she even wondered if he was sabotaging her because his appeal to less violent and less tyranical solutions to her problems kept backfiring, when the tyranical options probably would've worked? Do you not remember how it ate her up inside every time Westerosi people wouldn't bow down before her and love her and call for her to be queen? Or how much she resented Jon for having the love and devotion she craved? She even told him straight up - I can rule by love or fear, and if you marry me, we can rule together by love, and when he refuses her, she feels her only choice is fear. She lost her dragons, she lost her advisors and best friends, she was not beloved like she expected to be loved even after she played a pivotal role of saving Westeros from the Night King. She couldn't understand why the people of Westeros would continue to support the status quo and support Cersei and treated her like an outside invader, and if she couldn't win their devotion, she'd win them by fear. It's actually spelled out pretty explicitly several times.

There's a lot to criticize the second half of the show for - the worst offenders are how boring the whole Night King/long night story ended up going pretty much nowhere and Bran as King is a pretty wtf piece of nonsense - but Daenerys' turn is actually very choreographed, logical, set up from the start, and pretty good storytelling.

Last edited by SenorBeef; 01-30-2020 at 06:01 AM.
  #1179  
Old 01-30-2020, 06:20 AM
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First comic con was in NYC in 1964. The first person to buy a ticket was 16 year old Martin.
  #1180  
Old 01-30-2020, 09:10 AM
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...There's a lot to criticize the second half of the show for - the worst offenders are how boring the whole Night King/long night story ended up going pretty much nowhere and Bran as King is a pretty wtf piece of nonsense - but Daenerys' turn is actually very choreographed, logical, set up from the start, and pretty good storytelling.
I have to disagree. There was certainly plenty of reason to think she wasn't going to be a benign constitutional monarch, but ruthlessly laying waste to King's Landing after learning the city was surrendering just made no sense. Why destroy such a great asset? Why needlessly lend credence to her enemies' criticisms of her?
  #1181  
Old 01-30-2020, 09:17 AM
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This post in the original discussion thread describes why she felt she needed to send a stronger message than simply capturing the city. That thread has a lot of good discussion on this topic.
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Old 01-30-2020, 09:24 AM
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I read that, thanks, but still don't buy it.
  #1183  
Old 01-30-2020, 10:01 AM
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You don't buy that it makes sense? You're sticking by "it just makes no sense"?
  #1184  
Old 01-30-2020, 10:53 AM
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innocent civilians
People seem really hung up on this specific point despite it being completely wrong. To Dany, they were neither innocent nor were they civilians. To her they were enemy combatants. She said this explicitly, out loud.

You can't just toss it aside with a "she was just kidding." Her statements weren't "fake news."

One very consistent feature of Dany throughout the entire series was NOT that she cared about innocent civilians. She cared about slaves; particularly freeing them. The people of King's Landing weren't slaves. That means they had free will to choose who to follow, and they chose to follow Cersei. Thus, they were her mortal enemies. Of course she roasted them, every single one.

Last edited by Ellis Dee; 01-30-2020 at 10:55 AM.
  #1185  
Old 01-30-2020, 11:17 AM
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Absolutely -- even the children and babies were loyal followers of Cersei
  #1186  
Old 01-30-2020, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Ellis Dee View Post
People seem really hung up on this specific point despite it being completely wrong. To Dany, they were neither innocent nor were they civilians. To her they were enemy combatants. She said this explicitly, out loud.
That's what's so bizarre to me about this line of argument - you have a character who repeatedly states out loud with no indication that they're lying how and who she views enemies, that she plans to burn people and tear down cities, and that she will crush anyone who stands against her. But having a character clearly state out loud that they want to do X and believe person Y is an enemy apparently just isn't enough.

I'll say it again, S8 had a lot of issues, but the claim that Dany is acting out of character for doing things she has said, out loud, that she wants to do, treating enemies harshly like she has done for the entire series, and treating people that she has said, out loud, are enemies as enemies is not one of them.
  #1187  
Old 03-20-2020, 02:36 PM
Elendil's Heir is offline
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If there's any silver lining to this #$%^&! pandemic, it's that GRRM is writing again: https://people.com/tv/game-of-throne...us-distancing/
  #1188  
Old 03-20-2020, 04:32 PM
ISiddiqui is offline
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So the real ending is going to involve Dany dying of the dragonavirus?
  #1189  
Old 03-20-2020, 04:57 PM
Bijou Drains is offline
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He reminds me of Lucy and the football with Charlie Brown. Maybe after Charlie kicks the ball he will put out a new book.
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