Emilia Clarke on Game of Thrones season 8 social media ban & different endings

Daenerys Beyond the Wall

The increased security measures imposed upon the cast have been news for a while. Notably, Liam Cunningham revealed just how well guarded the scripts are this time — just as it was with season seven, the scripts are only to be read in digital form, obtained through a two-step verification process, but now they can’t even read them off-set. Now, Emilia Clarke claims these efforts go much further than protecting the scripts.

In an extensive interview with The Telegraph, the actress discusses the downsides to her increasing fame, her other projects, how she was cast in Game of Thrones and, most interestingly, the way leaks are supposed to be avoided for season eight:

“We have a very strict social-media ban this year,” Clarke reveals, “because people need to stop spoiling it for everyone. It’s really frustrating.”

If keeping the scripts under lock and key and restricting the cast’s social media usage wasn’t enough, Clarke also claims that showunners Benioff and Weiss have “written a number of different endings.” According to her, “none of the cast know what the actual ending is. If there’s ever a leak of any kind, don’t believe it because it’s probably not true.”

This past September, HBO’s programming president Casey Bloys said this would happen. And yet again we advise to take it with a grain of salt. Though a few key yet inexpensive alternative scenes could easily be filmed (let’s say, a final scene with different character combinations, some of whom will in fact be dead), we were doubtful their efforts would go further than that, and we remain skeptical. As we argued, HBO simply can’t afford to film multiple finale sequences, let alone episodes, that will never air. So, for example, if we see an elaborate battle sequence being filmed, it’s fair to say it won’t be a ruse.

Then again, if these alternative endings aren’t supposed to go beyond the script stage — if they have simply written a number of versions of who will survive, reign and other such endgame scenarios but only one is to be produced, — it may be more than enough to prevent major script leaks. Season seven, sadly, was spoiled in its entirety this way. From that point of view, these different scripted endings may be a worthwhile endeavor.

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    1. This is a classic case of the Red Queen! Studios will come up with more and more ways to safeguard things, hackers will come up with more and more clever ways to find them and spoil them.

      (EDIT: I would add that Season 7 was not spoiled for me: I just avoided all of the spoilers; it’s really not that hard to do….)

      EDIT II: Oh, and of course…. hodor.

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    2. I don’t doubt that a few different endings could be written to help kibosh true script leaks. Filmed though, not gonna happen. Even just writing different endings would be difficult enough, they aren’t going to waste the time and money on filming.

      I imagine it would be hard for some of the actors to only see the scripts on set. A lot of people prepare for/memorize their parts in specific ways and patterns.

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    3. Sophie, Lena and Kit have all said they know how it ends and seemed pretty emotional about it. So if they’re gonna have Emilia say this stuff kind of public and have her say she doesn’t know the ending…. then they should at least make sure the rest of the cast is singing the same tune.

      They probably did up the security this year and might have even written a couple of fake endings. But I don’t believe for a second that any fake endings will be filmed or that the cast doesn’t know the real ending.

      I also think they wouldn’t exactly tell us how the security has been upped. I find it hard to believe the scripts can’t be accessed by actors offset.

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    4. I don’t know, what would be so difficult about filming three or four alternative final scenes? For example – and I doubt “who gets the Iron Throne” will matter at the end –

      • Version #1
      Jon: “Daeny, you were born to rule the Seven Kingdoms.”
      Daeny: “I know.”

      Version #2
      Jon: “I’m the heir to the Iron Throne. I didn’t ask for it, I don’t really want it. But I’m accepting it because I think I’ll do the best job.”
      Daeny: “You do know you’re sleeping on the sofa tonight, right?”

      Version #3
      Jon: “I am Aegon Targaryen. The Iron Throne is mine by right.”
      Daeny: “I am Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, rightful heir to the Iron Throne, Khaleesi of the Great…”
      Sandor: “For f*ck’s sake, would you shut your hole!”

      Sorry about that…

      The point I was trying to make is that filming different versions of a few final, critical scenes involving just 3 or 4 main actors wouldn’t be cost-prohibitive.

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    5. Ten Bears,

      Jon will be doesnt want the Throne ..He cares to fight the WW only and to keep safe the North from its enemies..He will give it to her and their son….without second question..He is not that selfish….+ i dont think Jon will known about his parentage until the very very ending or maybe he never learn it and dies in the end..That will be pretty bittersweet and ironic ending for his character.

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    6. Artemisia: He is not that selfish…

      “Selfish” is not the right word here. The question will be, does Jon view it as his duty to assume the Iron Throne? Whether he wants it or not will not be a key issue unless Jon uses “I want it” as a reason to say “no” as he did for Stannis’ offer. And if Jon does view it as his duty, then the selfish choice would be to say “no” for some reason: Jon abandoning a duty to which he was borne would be viewed in the same way that Edward the 8th’s abdication was viewed as a selfish and irresponsible act.

      I do find it odd that despite all of the emphasis by the characters on how these things are duties, not privileges (save by Cersei!), so many viewers & readers look at the Iron Throne entirely in the same way kids view toys on their wish list to Santa! The only person who wants it for its own sake is Cersei: everyone else has viewed it as duty. That’s the way aristocracy worked: it might seem odd to us now, but people have not always held our notions of “deserving” or “selfish.”

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    7. Considering Daenerys obsession with the rights and privledges as a royal doesn’t it then suggest she would bend the knee to Jon being his claim is stronger. She is a pincess of House Targaryen, he is a king. Or pride before a fall? (again)

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    8. Wimsey:
      That’s the way aristocracy worked: it might seem odd to us now, but people have not always held our notions of “deserving” or “selfish.”

      The monarch assumes a type of stewardship of the cosmic order, don’t they? When Macbeth steals the throne and murders the king and heirs to fulfill the witches prophecy, nature itself goes out of whack. The monarch represents divine order on earth and you’re kinda stuck with the individual, good or bad because your not allowed to interfere with the set divine order.

      In asoiaf the natural order (the seasons, etc) is pear shaped because of something in the past. Restoring a semblance of order will take more than “breaking the wheel” as Dany, defines it. Breaking the wheel has to mean more, and define more IMO.
      Anyways, great insight Wimsey.

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    9. Why would it be too expensive to film multiple endings? Some other movies did that too. They only have to film different death scenes and or crowning scenes with Jon and Dany. Have different people sit on a throne or get a crown does only take a few minutes. And have Jon and/or Dany fall down by a sword or arrow isn’t that difficul either. I do think if one of them dies, the other will be there to see it, so they can just switch positions. They don’t need to film it more elaborate than that. Cloths, make-up, … are not important for scenes that will not be used.

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    10. Adaephon Ben Delat: Anyways, great insight Wimsey.

      Awe, my blushes… Martin has commented on this, too, particularly when trying to draw distinctions between Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings. How the characters believes it works and how it really works are not the same in his work, much as in the real world.

      But the other thing that we need to take into account is the size of the steps. Daenerys might talk of “breaking the wheel”: but she’s probably thinking something comparable to (say) Magna Carta, not the French or American Revolutions! It is too easy for us to look at something like Magna Carta and think “well, did that really change anything?” After all, instead of all power concentrated in the monarch, all the power was concentrated in the a very small number of people. Daenerys might have no more in mind that, say, a House of Commons serving in some sort of advisory role: and to us, that looks condescending and selfishly hoarding power. To that world, it would probably look like (say) giving women and blacks the right to vote looks to the Roy Moores of the world! 😀

      (And, yes, I do kick dead horses! :-P)

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    11. Chilli: Why would it be too expensive to film multiple endings? Some other movies did that too.

      It really would not be that difficult. However, what they really need is some good luck in that they need the “real” shots to be done to their satisfaction quickly, so that they can devote equally little time to the alternate endings. Otherwise, if there is one ending that they shoot and reshoot, whereas all of the others end in one take, then it would be kind of a tip-off…. (Post-shooting production obviously would focus entirely on the real ending.)

      So, they really cannot afford to have a director who insists on shooting and re-shooting until Harrington’s blink is perfect or Dinklage’s smirk is exactly timed or Clarke’s aghast stare is horrified enough or whatever.

      That stated, they keep saying “the ending.” My bet is that they really mean “the climax,” which really is the ending of the story and the plotlines. However, the actual “ending” of the series will be some denouement, i.e., akin to “19 years later” or “The Havens” or “Ewoks Dancing.” (And hopefully more like two of those than the third!) It’s the climax on which we’ve all been placing bets for the last 20+ years!

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    12. It might be possible there are multiple endings only in writing of course but there is no way Emilia doesn’t know the ending, the other cast members admitted they know how much it ends. I think Emilia just said that so she isn’t asked about the ending and doesn’t accidentally give anything away, she isn’t as good as the other cast members at bullshitting so it’s safer if she pretends she doesn’t know. She also said “don’t believe any leaks” so it sounds like HBO got in her ear.

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    13. Hmm. It’s possible it could work, but then if scripts do leak and we start getting filming shots (which we inevitably will) there’s always the chance that you could compare them and make conclusions.

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    14. Wimsey,

      And not only that, if this ‘political earthquake’ involved a seismic shift to the politics of the 1800s from the politics of the 1300s, it would just look contrived and completely unrealistic.

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    15. Violator,

      I would caveat that with ” to much if not most of the audience” at the end! Given what we know about HBO subscriber demographics, I would expect most of that portion of the audience to agree with you and me. However, there are people out there who believe that the American Revolution introduce the world to representative government and democracy! Still, I expect that most of those people are watching Fox News when Game of Thrones is on…. 😀

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    16. Wimsey: I do find it odd that despite all of the emphasis by the characters on how these things are duties, not privileges (save by Cersei!), so many viewers & readers look at the Iron Throne entirely in the same way kids view toys on their wish list to Santa

      I may be completely wrong here but could that be because we live in a post-Freudian world ?

      There is little to no doubt in my mind that, as you very rightly state, most of the characters believe they are motivated by a sense of duty. However, their belief, as sincerely held as it may be, is not necessarily true. It may be a narrative they constructed to hide, primarily to themselves, the real nature of their desire.

      A prime example of this would be Stannis. He was unquestionably convinced he was driven by a sense of duty, “forced” by the universe to become king in order to save humankind. Yet, any person with even a passing understanding of psychoanalytical concepts would look at him and say “my dude (yep, let’s call Stannis “my dude” just to see how he would react to such impropriety), you are just taking your revenge on your brothers ! In textbooks, they use your picture to illustrate what middle child syndrom is”. And I doubt it would be an incorrect assessment.
      Stannis believed in the Azor Ahai narrative because he wanted to believe in it. Needed to believe in it, even. Because it offered him the opportunity to shine, at last. To be chosen first, for once. After decades of being stuck between two charismatic, handsome, affable, magnetic brothers. Decades of being given the leftovers. Decades of being ignored, sidelined and derided. Decades of making do in the dark and damp of Dragonstone when Robert lived it large in sunny King’s Landing and Renly enjoyed all the perks of Storm’s End.
      When a stunning and exotic woman showed up on his doorsteps and told him he was the messiah, Stannis must have done a backflip (internally, of course).

      To a degree, the same logic applies to Daenerys, Jon and Cersei who, like Stannis, have alwasy felt neglected, victimised, overshadowed by someone else (Viserys, Robb and Jaime)… More often than not, duty is a word used to frame one’s personal ambition in a socially acceptable way. What if Cersei were just more “honest” than the others ? More self-aware ?

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    17. All the leaks from Season 7 didn’t seem to harm the ratings or the popularity of the series. I am one who doesn’t mind spoilers. After all, having read the books I had a sense of what might happen, and reading the leaks was not problematic for me. We can see Shakespeare done a dozen different ways, and we know how it ends but it’s never “spoiled” and that’s how I felt with GoT. In the end, nothing compares with actually seeing it. For example, reading a leak that says Melisandre brings Jon back from the dead, doesn’t begin to spoil the effect of actually seeing the entire sequece play out from the moment we see his bloody corpse lying in the snow and the howling of the wolves, to Melisandre washing his body, cutting his hair, etc in the rituals chanting etc. Reading that Dany and Drogon and the Dothraki attack the Loot train and the Lannister Army is nothing compared to watching the action. So spoilers are not a big deal for me. And honestly the spoilers from last year only seemed to make people look forward to it even more. If you don’t want to be spoiled you can certainly avoid it but I’m one who things people make far too much of it.

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    18. Fellterland,

      ohhh so he will step down for Gendry! maybe is why they kept him around and made him part of jon’s pack also after their conversation about how their fathers worked well together.

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    19. Wimsey: “Selfish” is not the right word here.The question will be, does Jon view it as his duty to assume the Iron Throne?Whether he wants it or not will not be a key issue unless Jon uses “I want it” as a reason to say “no” as he did for Stannis’ offer.And if Jon does view it as his duty, then the selfish choice would be to say “no” for some reason: Jon abandoning a duty to which he was borne would be viewed in the same way that Edward the 8th’s abdication was viewed as a selfish and irresponsible act.

      I do find it odd that despite all of the emphasis by the characters on how these things are duties, not privileges (save by Cersei!), so many viewers & readers look at the Iron Throne entirely in the same way kids view toys on their wish list to Santa!The only person who wants it for its own sake is Cersei: everyone else has viewed it as duty. That’s the way aristocracy worked: it might seem odd to us now, but people have not always held our notions of “deserving” or “selfish.”

      You might right..but i dont see Jon to want to sit on a Throne that had kills every Kings/Queens they had sit there..He probably might to melt down the Throne ..for more Valyrian Steel forged ..the swords in the Throne they will be useful in this war..And even and if he be King ..he might offer to Danny to be his Queen ..She will stay pregnant for sure in S8..And Jon will need to marry her for the child to be legimate in the Throne …Then she will have the Throne via her husband and via her child ..Also she like Jon is not that selfish as every Danny hater thinks ..She decided to rule Meeren ..for to learn how to rule and for to do her duty to the Meerenese citizens..She now wants to rule Westeros..and she might do that via a marriage with Aegon Targaryen[aka Jon Snow]..I think the love/relationship with Jon and the upcoming baby..will make her more softer..and she/Jon they will think the future of their child in the throne first place ..not themselves

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    20. Roz’s Ghost,

      Not everyone is like that. I like reading books where I don’t know the end yet. When books are written very well, I like to reread them. But I like to be surprised the first time.

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    21. ACME: More often than not, duty is a word used to frame one’s personal ambition in a socially acceptable way. What if Cersei were just more “honest” than the others ? More self-aware ?

      You make some good points. I certainly agree with your assessment of
      Stannis having middle kid syndrome. However I don’t think it’s as simple as Cersei is simply more “self-aware”. I would argue their PoV reveals that Dany and Jon are both self-aware of their ambitions – but instead of reveling in them as Cersei would (and does), they resist.

      Jon knows he wants Winterfell… it truly is in his heart of hearts what he has dreamed of. But he believes that accepting would be wrong, so he refuses. It would potentially hurt others – particularly his own brothers and sisters. I think, however, that Jon might accept to be King of the 7k more readily, assuming there’s no one else for the job by the time such a choice presents itself. He has no baggage for that position – with Winterfell, taking his father’s seat as a bastard will always feel wrong, somehow, even if the North supports him.

      And Dany knows she wants to take Westeros, get vengeance for her family, and finally have a home, the thing she has always dreamt of. Yet repeatedly she waits. She finds injustices where she is that need remedying. People who she can help and therefore she is morally obligated to help. Because she has a caring heart, a righteous fury towards those who would harm others for their own selfish gain. She doesn’t rule Mereen because she craves power (she fuckin hates ruling Mereen) but because she thinks she must to prevent the return of slavery. And in Westeros she struggles with, but ultimately refuses to seize what is hers because she refuses to harm innocent life just to take the throne. Instead she again turns to a true evil and will fight it first, before giving in to her own desires.

      In many ways I think Dany and Jon are both secretly grateful that such an evil exists to fight. It quiets their internal conflict. Gives them something less fraught to fight over – more clean.

      Cersei doesn’t give a fuck about such considerations. She will take what she wants and believe she deserves (power) without a second thought, now that her children are dead. Maybe she’s less of a hypocrite but i’d rather have a leader that at least makes *some attempt* to do the right thing instead of the selfish one, than a leader who honestly revels in selfishness.

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    22. Roz’s Ghost: In the end, nothing compares with actually seeing it.

      In my view, and that of other spoilerphobes, nothing compares with seeing it for the first time, with no idea what will happen. The level of emotion is so much higher than if I do know.

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    23. QueenOfThrones: I would argue their PoV reveals that Dany and Jon are both self-aware of their ambitions – but instead of reveling in them as Cersei would (and does), they resist.

      You are entirely correct about Jon and Daenerys resisting. They certainly try to. But how long does their resistance last ?

      Jon resisted Stannis’s offer to make him a legitimate Stark yet, when the Northern lords celebrated his (and his alone) defeat of Ramsay by gift-wrapping the whole North and the crown that goes with it (a headgear only ever worn by legitimate Starks born of Stark men) for him, he accepted them both. Even though a legitimate Stark born of a Stark man, a person Jon himself had privately credited for the victory against Bolton, was sitting just next to him…

      Now, I feel I must make clear that I do not blame Jon one bit for taking the position Lyanna bestowed upon him. I believe I understand why he thinks he did it and why he really did it (^^) and both are perfectly fine, if not as selfless as one might idealise.
      And it is precisely why it makes me cringe whenever Jon pulls the “reluctant leader” card. The White Wolf is not, has never been and will never be weak-willed or weak-minded. He is strong, intelligent, stubborn even (at times). He is more than capable of overruling or disobeying people when he feels like it. Thus, had he truly wanted nothing to do with the crown, he would have said so when it was given to him. He did not. Because he desired it. And now he must take responsibility for it instead of hiding behind a pile of “I only accepted it because you left me no choice” bovine excrement.

      Similarly, you are utterly right to point out Daenerys did resist the temptation to fly to Westeros the moment her dragons were big and intimidating enough to get the job done. And she did spent the intervening years dedicating herself to a superbly worthy cause in Essos. However, we cannot ignore the fact that her determination to rule in the Slavers’ Bay, in spite of her natural hatred for the job, was partly (if not solely) due to her desire to hone her queenly skills before she re-conquered Westeros. She used Essos as a training ground to prepare herself for the “real deal”. Which, I have to confess, always bothered me. The former slaves she freed and who worship the ground she walks on call her “mother” when, for all intents and purposes, she positioned herself merely as their baby-sitter. She has always known she would not stick around forever; her people did not.
      As for her return to Westeros, you are once again completely right to point out that she waited and stopped herself from simply invading like she could have. Nevertheless, the moment her frustration peaked and Olenna whispered in her ear the very words she was so desperate to hear, all bets were off. She attacked, unleashed her full power onto people who had every right not to trust her or desire her rule and… Burn, baby burn. Those were not the actions of someone driven by an irresistible sense of duty.

      In many ways I think Dany and Jon are both secretly grateful that such an evil exists to fight.It quiets their internal conflict.Gives them something less fraught to fight over – more clean.

      Nail hit squarely on the head, I believe. And very beautifully put !

      Maybe she’s less of a hypocrite but i’d rather have a leader that at least makes *some attempt* to do the right thing instead of the selfish one, than a leader who honestly revels in selfishness.

      That is entirely fair. I, for one, would take an efficient ruler over any other type. But I have yet to determine whether Cersei is efficient or not. Her defensive strategy against Daenerys in regards to the Reach was a thing of beauty and showed real political acumen. So did her negociation with the Iron Bank. Conversely, her decision to invest all her money into the Golden Company instead of using it to buy food to replace the ressources Daenerys roasted was short-sighted.

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    24. Who should we believe. Somebody like Emilia who work on the set or the ones that speculate here that it’s to expensive. I’m going with Emilia, she’s the one on set not us.

      And expensive? Lots of low budget shows had multiple ending scenes. Lost season 4 ending for example. Season 1 of got they added some extra scenes like the famous cercei and Robert scene about marriage. It was cheap to film. The ending will probably be cheap in filming. It’s not a battle the last scene but probably only needed cast members. Probably a scene in the throne room or something.

      And if she doesn’t know the ending but some does. Does it mean that she won’t survive? Or maybe they know there ending. Or some scenes in the final.

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    25. And about that it’s not realistic to begin the show a la 1300 politics and ending it with 1800. Remember one thing. The reason that it took 500 years to change the system was because of the church. They delayed a lot in that time. Guess what in the show crrcei took care of them. We can assume if the church didn’t have the power in that time that we would be much farther ahead in that time

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    26. ACME: However, their belief, as sincerely held as it may be, is not necessarily true. It may be a narrative they constructed to hide, primarily to themselves, the real nature of their desire.

      A prime example of this would be Stannis. …. In textbooks, they use your picture to illustrate what middle child syndrom is”. And I doubt it would be an incorrect assessment.

      I think that this sword could cut both ways. Were you to get a proper Tory from 200 years ago and explain someone like Stannis as “middle-child syndrome,” said Tory would insist that we were mistaking senses of duty, honor and family for this “syndrome” thingy. After all, shouldn’t the second son of a family have most of these traits if he were really a good person? Of course, Stannis adds some additional wrinkles: he seems to have simultaneously craved Robert’s and Renly’s ability to be “loved” while at the same time being incapable of feeling the emotion himself. That points to some low-level sociopathy, which is further corroborated by Stannis’ apparent lack of any real empathy for other people. He was not a total sociopath: but, then, current thought is that sociopathy is not a simple “Boolean” condition.

      Of course, all of this might be reminiscent of an amusing if somewhat gratuitous scene in the books, where Tyrion and some boaters are discussing the cause of grayscale. The superstitious boaters believe it to be a curse, whereas the learned Tyrion points out that it’s caused by humours: which we now consider to have been a superstition! 😀 Mayhaps our modern notions are Tyrion’s humours…. 😉

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    27. Kevin1989: We can assume if the church didn’t have the power in that time that we would be much farther ahead in that time

      If this were true, the China or Japan would have gotten much further ahead during that time than they did. However, in those places, aristocracies used other religions or crutches other than religion to justify their ruling and as arguments against anything resembling republicanism. We see something similar in Westeros: the Church holds little (if any) sway in the North or (it seems) in Dorne, yet those places are no closer to republicanism than is south Westeros.

      European aristocrats used Christianity to justify their positions, but they would have used something else in its absence. That stated, apologists for Christianity frequently claim that modern concepts of democracy evolving in Christian countries somehow vindicates Christianity. Of course, they leave out the fact that the ascendant organized Christian churches fought it tooth and nail, and that the real progress in the 17th-19th centuries (in North America and in Europe) was driven by Deists rather than by Christians.

      At any rate, any effect of removing the Church of the Seven would be generations in coming. The Church will certainly regenerate in that time: it existed before their temple in Kings Landing and still exists throughout Westeros and in areas of Essos where Andals are common.

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    28. As has been noted, there are multiple scripts for the ending but thats probably as far as it goes, which is enough to deter most leak attempts.

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    29. Gigi: Sophie, Lena and Kit have all said they know how it ends and seemed pretty emotional about it.

      That kind of presumes that the scripts they got and read through were not the bogus endings…

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    30. ACME: The former slaves [Daenerys] freed and who worship the ground she walks on call her “mother” when, for all intents and purposes, she positioned herself merely as their baby-sitter. She has always known she would not stick around forever; her people did not.

      But they are NOT “children.” They’re full fledged adults. What Daenerys did for them was free them, try to establish a peace and freer order for them, and then left them to handle their lives LIKE adults. And even actual children are expected to grow up. I can’t hold this against her.

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    31. Wimsey,

      True, I don’t think it will end in a perfect democracy, GRRM is too much a history freak to do that (Maybe the show will but we can asume they listened to GRRM with that). But we can asume something like this: There’s a queen or king (dany Jon) who can only change laws with a vote. Every kingdom has a warden who can choose the outcome of that vote. In totally 8 votes each, and they need at least 5. Every kingdom has their own way of living, and choosing their warden (just like now), the north will probably be more democratic than for instance the riverlands).

      But the question is, can they explain this in a good way in the show, in the books you can go in details, for a show it’s much more easy to say. Here you have democratic system where the people can vote.

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    32. Wimsey: I think that this sword could cut both ways.Were you to get a proper Tory from 200 years ago and explain someone like Stannis as “middle-child syndrome,” said Tory would insist that we were mistaking senses of duty, honor and family for this “syndrome” thingy.After all, shouldn’t the second son of a family have most of these traits if he were really a good person?

      Absolutely. And the time-traveller to retort : “if those traits are merely indicative of a ‘good person’, how come they are so uniquely prevalent in middle children, in contrast with elder or younger ones ? Does being a middle child make one a ‘good person’ ?” 😀
      This is where observation and comparison can come in handy, I guess.

      If the people who are motivated by a sense of (self-appointed) duty cannot be observed to behave in a way that is in any way “better” than those who act out of personal caprice, if they do not benefit the people they rule with less deaths, more prosperity, less damage or more peace than their avowedly selfish counterparts, then perhaps the more morally flattering narrative of duty should be questioned.

      If both Cersei and Daenerys can burn down a religious edifice and roast alive all the political figures inside it because said figures captured them, humiliated them and wanted to execute them, does it matter, fundamentally, if one does so out of self-acknowledged revenge and the other out of a sense of personal manifest destiny, of duty to the world ?
      After all, the ruler’s intentions and emotions are of little import to his/her subjects. Whether s/he is a “good” person trying their best to fulfil their duty but failing or a “bad” one having a laugh, it is irrelevant to a people who shares no intimacy with the ruler. The only things that will leave an impact are policies and deeds, not motivations and wishes.

      If neither praying nor balancing humours cures grayscale, maybe both methods are one and the same. 😉

      zandru: But they are NOT “children.” They’re full fledged adults. (…) And even actual children are expected to grow up. I can’t hold this against her.

      Daenerys expected people who, for centuries, had suffered not only the personal but also structural effects of slavery to “grow up” and reinvent a State within a couple of years ? Without any institutional foundation to build upon ? Alongside their former owners ? That is quite the expectation !

      Furthermore, Daenerys, though she most certainly did not create it, validated the “mother” narrative. She could have protested, refused to be carried aloft like a goddess. She, like Jon, is no pushover when she means it. But she accepted to bask in the glory of “Mhysa” like Jon acquiesced to the White Wolf/KitN crown. By doing so, she agreed to live up to the standards this exceptional position entails. She signed up to mother these people. Her people.
      Therefore, Daenerys is no more allowed, ethically speaking, to run away from that responsibility than Jon is to deal the “reluctant leader” card from the bottom of the deck. Since she always knew she was going to leave anyway, she should have informed her subjects of that fact. She did not.

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    33. ACME: Absolutely. And the time-traveller to retort : “if those traits are merely indicative of a ‘good person’, how come they are so uniquely prevalent in middle children, in contrast with elder or younger ones ? Does being a middle child make one a ‘good person’ ?”
      This is where observation and comparison can come in handy, I guess.

      If the people who are motivated by a sense of (self-appointed) duty cannot be observed to behave in a way that is in any way “better” than those who act out of personal caprice, if they do not benefit the people they rule with less deaths, more prosperity, less damage or more peace than their avowedly selfish counterparts, then perhaps the more morally flattering narrative of duty should be questioned.

      If both Cersei and Daenerys can burn down a religious edifice and roast alive all the political figures inside it because said figures captured them, humiliated them and wanted to execute them, does it matter, fundamentally, if one does so out of self-acknowledged revenge and the other out of a sense of personal manifest destiny, of duty to the world ?
      After all, the ruler’s intentions and emotions are of little import to his/her subjects. Whether s/he is a “good” person trying their best to fulfil their duty but failing or a “bad” one having a laugh, it is irrelevant to a people who shares no intimacy with the ruler. The only things that will leave an impact are policies and deeds, not motivations and wishes.

      If neither praying nor balancing humours cures grayscale, maybe both methods are one and the same.

      I consider what Tyrion said to Cersei when it comes to the difference between Cersei and Dany:

      “She knows herself. She chose an adviser who would check her worst impulses–that’s the difference between you.”

      Daenerys expected people who, for centuries, had suffered not only the personal but also structural effects of slavery to “grow up” and reinvent a State withina couple of years ? Without any institutional foundation to build upon ? Alongside their former owners ? That is quite the expectation !

      Furthermore, Daenerys, though she most certainly did not create it, validated the “mother” narrative. She could have protested, refused to be carried aloft like a goddess. She, like Jon, is no pushover when she means it. But she accepted to bask in the glory of “Mhysa” like Jon acquiesced to the White Wolf/KitN crown. By doing so, she agreed to live up to the standards this exceptional position entails. She signed up to mother these people. Her people.
      Therefore, Daenerys is no more allowed, ethically speaking, to run away from that responsibility than Jon is to deal the “reluctant leader” card from the bottom of the deck. Since she always knew she was going to leave anyway, she should have informed her subjects of that fact. She did not.

      It’s safe to infer from Tyrion’s speech to the remaining master (S6,Ep9) that ‘bold notions of returning the slave cities to their former glory,’ have been scrubbed.

      The Son’s of the Harpy have been eliminated; they preyed upon masters and former slaves alike.

      The Second Sons have been left behind to ensure a peaceful transition of power and we know that the red priests/priestesses are preaching Dany’s gospel.

      I believe all this is enough simply because we have only a finite amount of time to resolve this story.

      The books have the luxury of delving into the complexities you describe but unless the books are completed, they become irrelevant…at least to me.

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    34. Erica: “She knows herself. She chose an adviser who would check her worst impulses–that’s the difference between you.”

      You are utterly right to point to that statement as possible evidence of a dissimilarity between the two women.

      However, I suppose I cannot be entirely swayed by it considering it was delivered after we saw Daenerys ignore Tyrion’s advice twice in a row, both times with fairly deadly or disastrous results for the people she intends to rule.
      The first time, she decided to attack and burn bits of the Reach (including most of its food !), made its nobles kneel to her and roasted the only two who refused* (“breaker of chains”-worthy, that wasn’t); the second, she went on a dangerous mission (with no heir presumptive in place so had she died, whom would her troops have followed ?) to save thebloke she fancied and lost one of her dragons in the process, thereby gift-wrapping a weapon of mass destruction to the Night’s King.

      * On a sidenote, I now realise that the alternative strategy Tyrion offered, namely imprisoning the Tarlys to encourage them to “reconsider” their opposition, was Cersei’s approach to the Ned problem in season 1. She never wanted the Stark partriarch to be executed; she intended for him to recant his opposition and go to the Wall. So, without anyone checking her worst impulses for her, Season 1 Cersei proved herself to be more “moderate” than Season 7 Daenerys who, on this specific occasion, behaved like everyone’s other favourite blond inbred monarch : Joffrey ! To my highly subjective self, it looks like a troubling tableau if there ever was one…

      The Second Sons have been left behind to ensure a peaceful transition of power and we know that the red priests/priestesses are preaching Dany’s gospel.

      I do accept that the writers only have a limited amount of time to tell their stories and must, on occasion, use “shorthand” : they give us, the audience, the key elements of the narration and let us extrapolate without actually showing the events unfold on screen.

      That being said, I cannot, for the life of me, find a way to arrange the key elements of the Meereen storyline in a way that leads to a positive outcome. As far as I can remember, no corrective redistribution of wealth was ever put in place in Meereen to cancel out the economic by-products of centuries of oppression. So the former slavers are not only bitter but also still structurally rich while the former slaves are still structurally poor. And it so happens that the Second Sons traditionally fight for whoever pays them the most and that their leader is the man Daenerys unceremoniously dumped…

      I wish I could believe in a bright future for Meereen. I really do. Unfortunately, to achieve that, I fear I would have to suspend my disbelief so high it might die of oxygen deprivation. 😛
      No matter how hard I try to twist it, the situation in the newly-named Bay of Dragons looks bad to me. Terrible even. Had Daenerys left the Unsullied behind instead of Daario’s mercenaries, I would be able to hope for the Unsullied, as former slaves themselves, would have been emotionally invested in the defense of their fellow victims. But the Second Sons do not give much of a shite about this sort of things.

      Now, if the writers choose to confirm that Meereen is doing fine and remaining slavery-free, I will of course accept it as canon but I will file that under the letter “B” for “Bloody miracle” ^^ for, in any semi-realistic world, Meereen would descend back into chaos and systemic abuse within six months of Daenerys’s departure and the whole bay would quickly follow, rebranding be damned.

      Perhaps I am missing something though…

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    35. Totally agree with you – I loved the scene where the ships sail off for Westerous, but in the back of my mind I couldn’t help but think, so much for freedom. There needed something in place, and instead they left a vacuum,

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    36. ACME,

      I agree on everything you wrote about Meereen and the Bay of Dragons, but when it comes to Westeros, some of your facts are simply wrong.

      First of all, why do you blame Dany for burning bits of the Reach (including most of its food)? When did she burned any bit of the Reach? The Loot Train Attack happened on the Blackwater Rush right outside King’s Landing, and that’s the Crownlands, not the Reach. As for the food, it was no longer the food of the Reach: it was the food of the Lannister army taken from the smallfolk of the Reach by no-one other but the Tarlys (father & son). Therefore, the blame for the potential famine in the Reach should be put on them and now Dany is the only hope for the local smallfolk, because she can be legitly expected to take measures to feed the country, whereas Cersei and her team have already demonstrated their determination to go on full Holodomor. And that puts Dany’s actions at the Blackwater Rush into a slightly different perspective.

      On the other hand, I do agree that burning the Tarlies was a stupid mistake. Dany should at least tried to trade them for Yara and/or Ellaria and Tyenne. In general, it’s very strange that Dany hasn’t been shown to care about her allies, but I blame the writing failures rather than the character. After all, Dany was shown to care about Jon and his team.

      And this brings me to the second point of my counter-arguemens. If I get you right, you think that leaving Jon and co. to die and be wightified would have been the right choice? Really??? Even from the most cynically-practical point of view, losing everyone who know at least something about the ultimate enemy on the eve of the war would have been a catastrophy. And in general, why do you still view Tyrion like a beacon of wisdom after all the mistakes he made? Even if his initial plan had worked, Cersei would have never surrendered KL – she whould have starved it to death and blown the remains with wild fire, which would have provoked much more collateral damage that a straightforward attack. And when it comes to Dany’s worst impulses, Tyrion rather provokes, than checks them (despite of good intentions). So, I just don’t get it why should anyone take his highly biased judgements as a word of truth: last season he was wrong about everything.

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    37. ACME: She could have protested, refused to be carried aloft like a goddess

      Well, not really: there were lots and lots of them, and once they picked her up and started walking her around, there was not much that she could do about it. I once had the misfortune of seeing a young woman transported like that in a mosh-pit: and although she was trying to stop it (the poor lady was terrified of heights, I think), she couldn’t.

      Moreover, this was a case of getting caught up in the moment. Real people do that. This was the medieval version of the big “pile up” after a sports team wins a huge game. The athletes often admit to feeling kind of foolish about how they behaved (i.e., like 5 year olds), but at the time, there is just no thought to it! Performers do the same thing: for example, musicians often later shake their heads about stage antics, but point out that they just got caught up in the moment! A great case of that is an old concert film of U2 back from the mid 1980’s. Bono & the Edge basically are putting Daenerys to shame there, and the band members often have expressed the wish that the film would just disappear, as they find it embarrassing now. But at the time, they were into it!

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    38. ACME,

      Following up on your 12/19/17, 6:12 am observations about checking Dany’s impulses, and her “Kneel or Fry” edict:

      I had been thinking about that line from S7e7 too: If Tyrion is unable to “check” Daeny’s worst impulses, will the world think she’s really that much different from Cersei? (See excerpts from S7e5, below).
      Some thoughts and questions….

      • By using dragonfire to summarily execute her enemies, does Daeny lose the moral high ground to the queen who used wildfire to summarily execute her enemies?
      • Tyrion gave Daeny excellent political advice when he counseled against immolation of Tarly father & son. She ignored it.
      • Tyrion and Varys expressed frustration that they can’t get her to listen to logic, and has yielded to her “impulses.” (See excerpts from S7e5, below). Will one or both of these advisors start second-guessing their faith in Daeny, especially now that a more circumspect and conciliatory leader has emerged (i.e., Jon)? Further, would the revelation that Jon Snow is really Aegon Targaryen (as Varys described one quality of the ideal ruler in S5e1, someone with “the right family name”) give them pause?
      • Someone else tried that “Bend the knee and fight for me, or burn and die” ultimatum. How did that work out for Stannis?
      Jon was not at all pleased with that ultimatum, or its outcome. I doubt Samwell was either. (And despite orders, Jon couldn’t bring himself to execute a captured prisoner, i.e., Ygritte.)
      I do not think burning people alive will sit well with Sam (or Gilly). I am not sure they know about Shireen’s death-by-bonfire; when they do, I am sure they’ll be horrified. When they learn about Dickon’s death-by-dragonfire, won’t they react the same way? Might they be reluctant to climb aboard the Breaker of Chains hype train?
      • Arguably, executing Randyll was justiable: He peremptorily rejected Tyrion’s suggestion that he be sent to the Night’s Watch. He refused Daeny’s offer to join her army. Tyrion was correct that Randyll did betray House Tyrell, and was now supporting the “queen” who had murdered (the rightful) Queen Margery. Randyll’s insistence that he owed his allegiance to Queen Cersei was pretty flimsy.
      As Tyrion reminded the defiant Randyll: “My sister, she wasn’t your queen until recently though, was she, until she murdered your rightful queen and destroyed House Tyrell for all time. So it appears your allegiances are somewhat flexible.”
      • Samwell might not be too heartbroken that his father chose death over bending the knee or taking the black. After all, Randyll was an abusive father who threatened to kill Sam if he didn’t renounce his birthright and join the Night’s Watch.
      However (and please excuse the pun), burning Dickon was a dick move on Daeny’s part. I’m not so sure Samwell will react too kindly to that, and Jon might feel a bit conflicted if his bff Sam is antagonistic towards his new squeeze.
      • On top of that, for whatever reason Sam is convinced that Jon is ”the one to lead the fight against the Dead. I know he is. But he can’t do it alone, so I’ve come here to help him.” (Sam to Bran, S7e7). If Sam intuitively – or from his pilfered books and scrolls – believes that Daeny is not the right leader, learning that she unnecessarily barbecued his brother certainly won’t help.
      • It seems that in this fictional world, executing highborn POWs was a no-no. They were traded or used to secure peace as hostages (Jaime), wards (eg, Theon), or assets for marriage alliances (Sansa); prized as valuable commodities bought and sold for ransom (e.g., Arya); imprisoned indefinitely (eg Edmure; two Lannister boys, until wrongfully killed by Karstark). Executing them was seen as stupid and counterproductive (eg, Tywin recognizing Joffrey screwed up royally; Tyrion excoriating Joffrey).
      • Impulsively beheading or burning lords and heirs – to “send a message” or for other reasons – has never turned out well, has it? The Mad King kicked off a sh*tstorm leading to the downfall of House Targaryen by roasting Lord Stark and his son; Joffrey scuttled any chance for a quick and peaceful resolution of the Stark-Lannister feud by beheading Ned.
      Why should Dany be any different?
      • When Daeny rejected Tyrion’s advice and barbecued both Tarleys, my immediate reaction was that this precipitous decision would come back to bite her in the ass. I still think it will. Somehow.

      Any thoughts?

      _________________________
      S7e5, Dany to captured Lannister soldiers:

      “I offer you a choice. Bend the knee and join me. Together we will leave the world a better place than we found it, or refuse and die.”

      ………
      S7e5, Tyrion and Dany re: Tarley

      Tyrion: Perhaps he could take the black, Your Grace. Whatever else he is, he is a true soldier. He would be invaluable at the Wall.

      Randyll: You cannot send me to the Wall. You are not my queen.

      Dickon: You will have to kill me too

      ***

      Dickon: I’m Dickon Tarley, son of Randyll Tarley.
      ***

      Tyrion: You are the future of your house. This war has already wiped one great house from the world. Don’t let it happen again. Bend the knee.

      Dickon: I will not.

      Tyrion (quietly to Daeny): Your Grace, nothing strips bold notions from a man’s head like a few weeks in a dark cell.

      Daenerys: I meant what I said. I’m not here to put men in chains. If that becomes an option many will take it. I gave them a choice. They made it.

      Tyrion: Your Grace, if you begin beheading entire families —

      Daenerys: I’m not beheading anyone.
      (Looks over to Drogon, who’s warming up)

      Tyrion: Your Grace —

      Daenerys: Lord Randyll Tarley, Dickon Tarley, I, Daenerys of House Targaryen, First of my name, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons, sentence you to die.
      …………………..

      (S7e5: Dragonstone; Varys and Tyrion)

      Tyrion: All rulers demand that people bend the knee. It’s why they’re rulers. She gave Tarley a choice. A man who had taken up arms against her. What else could she do?

      Varys: Not burn him alive alongside his son.

      Tyrion: I am her hand, not her head. I can’t make her decisions for her.

      Varys: That’s what I used to tell myself about her father. I found the traitors but I wasn’t the one burning them alive. I was only a purveyor of information.
      It’s what I told myself when I watched them beg for mercy, “I’m not the one doing it.” As the pitch of their screams rose higher, “I’m not the one doing it.” When their hair caught fire and the smell of the burning flesh filled the Thone Room, “I’m not the one doing it.”

      Tyrion: Daenerys is not her father.

      Varys: And she never will be… with the right counsel. You need to find a way to make her listen.

      ____________

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    39. ash,
      Those were my feelings as well. When music swelled and the ships were seen sailing towards Westeros, I was torn between “yeah !” and “what the f*ck ?!?”

      Inga: The Loot Train Attack happened on the Blackwater Rush right outside King’s Landing, and that’s the Crownlands, not the Reach. As for the food, it was no longer the food of the Reach: it was the food of the Lannister army taken from the smallfolk of the Reach by no-one other but the Tarlys (father & son).

      You are completely right, the loot train attack took place outside of King’s Landing. Because of the presence of the Reach’s troops, I got confused and misremembered. My apologies.

      That being said, I do stand by my statement in regards to the food reserves. My understanding of the deal Cersei made with the nobles of the Reach was that they were to bring all the region’s food to King’s Landing, as a show of good faith and submission, for it to be redistributed later, little by little. There is objectively no reason why the Reach’s lords would have agreed to a treaty that would see them (and their people) starve for the Lannisters’ sake. Surely, they cannot be that daft !
      But now, the food is destroyed so no one will benefit from it… And neither the Lannisters nor the Tarlys did it.

      Dany is the only hope for the local smallfolk, because she can be legitly expected to take measures to feed the country,

      I have to admit I have no idea what those measures could be.
      Daenerys is militarily rich but cash and food poor, as far as we know : she did not seem to bring much food with her from Meereen and does not appear to have the financial means to import any from Essos. She probably planned for the Reach to feed her troops once they would land in Westeros but that is no longer a possibility…
      So where can she find the food to solve the smallfolk’s problems ? Which of the regions currently under her control is supposed to shoulder the needs of everyone else ? Dorne’s agriculture is limited by its climate and the North has enough problems trying to feed the people who already live there. That only leaves the Vale for now… And, if Lord Royce is representative of his region, the Vale does not want to obey a Targaryen !

      In general, it’s very strange that Dany hasn’t been shown to care about her allies, but I blame the writing failures rather than the character. After all, Dany was shown to care about Jon and his team.

      If I may be a Debbie Downer for a minute, the writing is the characters. Whether we approve of it or not, whether it fits our head canon or not, what we see is what we get. There is no way around it, I am afraid.

      Furthermore, I cannot quite see why Daenerys should care for her Westerosi allies. She has a very complicated history with Westeros. All the people who agreed to support her “homecoming” (*cough* invasion *cough*) were ok with Robert Baratheon’s rule for seventeen years and only supported her to stick it to Cersei. Daenerys was using them, they were using her. There was no great friendship involved.
      As for her mercy towards Jon, I can only assume that a) she felt slightly sheepish given what her father had done to the Starks, and b) she was mollified by Jon’s pretty face… It would not be the first time she gave more leeway to someone she thought was attractive (*cough* Daario *cough*) 😉

      If I get you right, you think that leaving Jon and co. to die and be wightified would have been the right choice? Really??? Even from the most cynically-practical point of view, losing everyone who know at least something about the ultimate enemy on the eve of the war would have been a catastrophy.

      By the time Jon decided to go north of the Wall, he had already told Daenerys everything he knew about the White Walkers namely that they can be killed by dragonglass, valyrian steel and fire. Any extra information we and Daenerys will get about the enemy will come from both Sam and Bran.

      Furthermore, I do no necessarily disapprove of her going to Jon’s rescue but I sure as hell disapprove of the way she did it. At the time of her departure, she knew the mission was extremely dangerous yet she refused, in spite of Tyrion’s pleading, to name a successor ! What would have happened if she had died north of the Wall ? Whom would the Dothraki and the Unsullied have obeyed ? Tyrion ? He is merely the Hand of the Queen, not the heir; he has no right and no legitimacy to take over.
      So, had Daenerys died, the Dothraki might have reverted back to their pillaging-and-raping agenda (they only gave it up because they fear/worship their queen), thereby victimising further an already distressed population. As for the Unsullied, only the gods know what they would have chosen to do.

      And in general, why do you still view Tyrion like a beacon of wisdom after all the mistakes he made?

      I do not view Tyrion as a beacon of anything at all, to be honest. I was merely responding to Erica‘s comment, quoting Tyrion, in regards to the difference between Daenerys and Cersei.
      Tyrion argued that the Mother of Dragons was morally superior to his sister because she was willing to listen to moderating influences; I argue that Daenerys’s behaviour proves that point to be flimsy, at best.

      Tyrion has often been wrong, that is unquestionably true, but the one thing that makes him a great advisor is his willingness to debate. He is someone who can be argued with to find a compromise. I have yet to see such a thing happen between him and Daenerys. Either she does everything he tells her to without question or she rebels and flies off the handle. Are those the only two options we can expect from the Targaryen monarch ? Obedience or tantrums ?

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    40. Wimsey: Well, not really: there were lots and lots of them, and once they picked her up and started walking her around, there was not much that she could do about it.

      I have no doubt she could not have stopped it but she could have protested. That, to me, is not the face of someone being carried against their will; it is the face of someone lapping it up.
      And, I probably should reiterate here, I do not blame her for it ! Not one bit.

      My favourite Daenerys moment from season 7 was the speech she made when she first met Jon, during which she described all the horrors she had to go through and how she survived them thanks to self-belief. It was a moving and perfect reminder of how Daenerys became who and what she is today. I would not dream of begrudging someone like her, who has suffered and lost so much for so long, the right to enjoy her U2 moment(s) 😛

      My point is that she then had to own it, in full. She chose to validate the Mhysa narrative, she chose to bask in her people’s continued adoration, she chose to attach it to herself, she chose to claim the moral, religious even, dimension and superiority it granted her. Time and time again. Day after day. Even though she always knew, in the back of her mind, that she would not be able to stay in the Bay, fated as she believed herself to be to return to Westeros sooner rather than later.
      That, to me, feels like Martin Luther King Jr turning to his fellow activists in the middle of a march and going “Well folks, that was lovely but now I have to go back home, as I always planned to… What do you mean, ‘what about the dream ?’ ? What is that ‘dream’ you’re talking about ? I am out. Good luck !” And then, MLK Jr would take his dragons and armies with him, just for an extra kick in the nuts ! ^^

      Ten Bears: By using dragonfire to summarily execute her enemies, does Daeny lose the moral high ground to the queen who used wildfire to summarily execute her enemies?

      My entirely subjective short answer : yes.
      My entirely subjective long answer : yeeeeeeeeeees ! ^^

      Tyrion and Varys expressed frustration that they can’t get her to listen to logic, and has yielded to her “impulses.” Will one or both of these advisors start second-guessing their faith in Daeny, especially now that a more circumspect and conciliatory leader has emerged (i.e., Jon)?

      See answer above 😛

      Tyrion was correct that Randyll did betray House Tyrell, and was now supporting the “queen” who had murdered (the rightful) Queen Margery.

      May I point out, out of pure bad faith, that Tyrion was a tiny wee bit dishonest there ? Margaery was never the “rightful” queen because she got her title from her husband Tommen who was not the “rightful” anything, born as he was of the incestuous and adulterous relationship between Cersei and Jaime. Tyrion knows that perfectly well so him challenging Tarly on his allegiance to Margaery as queen was, for all its eloquence, legally flimsy.
      As for Tarly betraying Lady Olenna, one could easily make the case that Olenna betrayed her vassals first by choosing to align with a Targaryen who was bringing known rapists and pillagers to Westeros without consulting them.

      Samwell might not be too heartbroken that his father chose death over bending the knee or taking the black. After all, Randyll was an abusive father who threatened to kill Sam if he didn’t renounce his birthright and join the Night’s Watch

      Children can love even the most terrible of fathers (cf. Tyrion’s inability to forgive himself for having killed his own dad, in spite of who he was, in spite of what he did to him)

      However (and please excuse the pun), burning Dickon was a dick move on Daeny’s part. I’m not so sure Samwell will react too kindly to that, and Jon might feel a bit conflicted if his bff Sam is antagonistic towards his new squeeze

      Two words : Olly, Ygritte.

      Why should Dany be any different?

      Because she has lovely hair ?

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    41. The producers surely included the Tarly execution scene for a reason. It was completely superfluous otherwise.

      – They showed Tyrion distressed by the situation for a reason.
      – They showed Tyrion and Varys worrying about it later for a reason.
      – They had Tyrion bring it up again in the following episode and Dany dismiss his concerns for a reason.
      – They have kept Jon and Sam in the dark about what happened for a reason.
      – They had Sam save Jorah’s life and Dickon save Jaime’s life for a reason.

      And finally, they shot the scene the way they did for a reason.

      Dany was cold, uncompromising and hypocritical for a reason. Echoes of Stannis loomed large over the scene.

      The captured soldiers being shepherded towards her by her mounted lieutenants mimicked the Night King’s army of converts; and also contrasted with the Season 3 finale, where the liberated people of Yunkai independently flocked towards her in gratitude and worship and she walked among them, whereas these soldiers are specifically terrified into submitting to her against their will as she overlooks them.

      Just a couple of episodes earlier, Jaime said in defence of Cersei, “After we’ve won and there’s no-one left to oppose us. When people are living peacefully in the world she built. Do you really think they’ll wring their hands over the way she built it?”

      Who else is constantly going on about a queen who will “build a better world”? Ah yes, Tyrion. And then a couple of episodes later he is faced with the same conundrum Jaime faces, in contemplating the morality and the methods used to build that world.

      For some reason some people refuse to acknowledge that they appeared to be telegraphing throughout this scene, in every way they could, but particularly through Tyrion’s reaction, that you should be questioning your perception of Dany and her conquest.

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    42. ACME,

      Regarding food reserves, IMO you should rewatch The Spoils of War, as well as The Lion and the Rose. During Joffrey’s wedding Cersei insisted on feeding remains of the feast to the dogs, instead of giving them to the poor. And in gerneral Cersei proved to be capable of starving people purely out of spite. Intimidation is her way of ascerting power even when it comes to Jaime. And sure, there was no agreement about giving back the food to the Reach in small portions: why would otherwise Bronn be so disgusted with the task to collect the harvest? The Tarlies could have counted on getting some food for the army, but I wouldn’t even bet on that: IMO Cersei would have rather starved them to death knowing that they hated her and hired more sellswords, if she could.

      As for Dany solving the famine problem, I don’t know about practicalities: she might get a loan from the Iron Bank or get something from the Bau of Dragons (I guess we’ll see something next season). But even if we don’t, Dany and Jon can be at least expected to look for solutions, whereas Cersei was adamant about not giving food to the smallfolk since S2.

      Now, Dany saving Jon. Yes, his pretty face and other admirable qualities played a role, but the same can be said about Jon: had there been a Then instead of the pretty Ygritte, he would have chopped off the head of his captive without thinking twice. Moreover, Dany’s problem with the Tarlies mirrored Jon’s problem with Alliser Thorne and Olly and othe NW mutinees, and neither of them solved this problem of dealing with stuborn antagonists in a satisfying way (I guess there is no satisfying solution even in a fiction).

      When it comes to Dany’s attitude to her Westerosi allies, indeed she seems surprisingly indifferent but it’s not quite clear wheather the writers intended to show her that way or her inaction was just a plothole. Taking into account that the writting of the last season had its flaws, I lean towards the later, but we’ll see next season.

      As for Dany not naming a heir, there was simply no-one to name. Had she named Tyrion, no-one would have followed him (except Varys). In case of Dany’s death, the Unsullied would have sailed back to the Bay of Dragons, the Dothraki would have split into khalasars and fought between themselves. Cersei could have hired some of them, others might have sailed back to Essos, etc. Anyway, Tyrion and Varys would have lost the most. Therefore, there was quite a bit of selfishenss in Tyrion’s attempt to hold Dany from going on a resque mission and she felt that.

      Moreover, they were at odds since the very beginning of Ep2 and simply because Tyrion and Varys were starting to treat her as a puppet. They were manipulative, flattering and insincere and that continued. Dany trusted them but she felt frustrated even before Tyrion screwed up with his clever plans: just pay attention how she pronounces “He is my hand” when she talks with Jon in Queens Justice. In short, Tyrion’s inability to make Dany listen is very much his fault: he just has this bad habit of manipulation and she caught him lying and he screwed with other things and the Tarlies paid for his mistakes, though I don’t justify Dany

      One way or another, Jon is a much better person to check Dany’s impulses, simply because he is sincere and because he cares of her as a person. Meanwhile, Tyrion and Varys pursue their own agenda which may be good for the realm, but in which Dany is just a tool and no wonder that such attitude irritates her.

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    43. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Sure, the Tarlies were burned for a reason, but for what reason? There migh be several.

      Reason 1: D&D wanted to show Dany as Westeros saw her – had she been all too perfect, there wouldn’t be a reason not to go with her against Cersei (and that was necessary to create S8 and raise the stakes).

      Reason 2: Dany needs a reason not to trust Sam’s words about Jon’s true status (and here is where Jorah will probably come into play wouching for Sam).

      Reason 3: Dany simply needs some shades of grey (it’s a pitty, D&D haven’t given any of them to Jon and hardly will).

      However, I don’t believe that this is foreshadowing Dany becomming some sorth of a tyrant: rather it was the lowest point before the character growth which began the same episode and should continue the next season with some downs and ups.

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    44. Inga,

      I didn’t say it foreshadowed her becoming a tyrant. Although, admittedly, I haven’t yet ruled that out entirely.

      But building parallels between her and Cersei, Stannis and even the Night King isn’t just about shades of grey or trying to justify the Westerosi’s distrust and cynicism toward her. It’s surely meant to cast doubt on whether the viewer should consider her the right person to rule after all.

      Perhaps Jon’s lack of grey characterisation/morality is for a reason too – e.g. to distinguish him from the other contenders for the throne.

      As for Sam, if he and Jorah’s relationship was simply about Jorah vouching for Sam, then there would have been no need to introduce Daenerys burning Dickon into the equation. Randyll, perhaps. But Dickon was completely unnecessary unless it’s supposed to cast Dany in a poor light from Sam’s and the viewers’ perspective. The focus is surely on Dany’s credibility and trustworthiness, not Sam’s.

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    45. Ten Bears: By using dragonfire to summarily execute her enemies, does Daeny lose the moral high ground to the queen who used wildfire to summarily execute her enemies?•

      No. Daenerys used her dragons to execute two individuals who were given a choice of surrender or die. Cersei used wildfire in what was essentially an act of state-sponsored terrorism that targeted not just the individuals she wanted to assassinate, but hundreds of innocent bystanders. The word that will get around is that Daenerys spared those that surrendered, whereas Cersei killed indiscriminately.

      As Tyrion warns Daenerys, using the dragons to burn Kings Landing would be very close to the same thing as what Cersei did. But even that is not quite true: sieges of cities always produce collateral damage: for example, flaming pitch cast over walls has the same local effect; it’s just much less spectacular!

      The key thing to keep in mind, which is still true today, but which was particularly true before WWII, is that there is a huge difference between killing armed and uniformed opponents, and killing civilians. Executing opponents after battle often was not a big deal: the question was, were they more valuable as hostages for ransom, political converts or examples? However, even killing baggage handlers was considered dishonorable and even criminal by many cultures. Here is the big thing: how you killed them was often not that important unless there was a social distinction: for example, sometimes hanging was considered “lower class” whereas beheading was “upper class.” My bet is that incineration by dragon was considered to trump even beheading: I mean, what a way to go!

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    46. Wimsey,
      I may be mistaken here but, removing the Tarlys from the equation, wasn’t Cersei’s explosion of the Faith entirely similar to Daenerys’s burning of the Khals ?
      Both queens burnt down a religious/judidiciary edifice and the political/religious figures inside it in order to escape their judgment. The only objective difference was that Cersei was not in the Sept herself but, had she been fire resistant, I am certain she would have gladly been present to watch her enemies die.

      Inga: And sure, there was no agreement about giving back the food to the Reach in small portions: why would otherwise Bronn be so disgusted with the task to collect the harvest?

      I have no problem accepting the possibility that Cersei ultimately intended to hog all the food and not redistribute it outside of King’s Landing. However, the point you had made earlier was that the Tarlys and the other nobles of the Reach were to blame if a famine were to break out in their region because they had agreed to give away all their food to Cersei; I argued that they must have accepted to deliver the food believing (rightly or wrongly) they would get their fair share back when need be.

      Now you are arguing that the Tarlys and their fellow noblemen agreed to a) take up arms against Olenna and b) surrender all their food knowing they would never see it back. And they agreed to this deal because… Why ? Why would they have agreed to such a deal ? How idiotic are the Reach’s nobles supposed to be that they would rebel against their Warden and engineer their own people’s starvation for no reward whatsoever, be it real or merely promised ?
      Randyll was prejudiced, archaic and proud but he was not stupid.

      But even if we don’t, Dany and Jon can be at least expected to look for solutions, whereas Cersei was adamant about not giving food to the smallfolk since S2.

      When Westerosi start starving, they will not care whether it is because their “well-intentioned” ruler wishes to but cannot help them or because their “bad-intentioned” ruler is having a laugh at their expense. When their children start wasting away and dying, all the hand-wringing and “I wish I could do more” will make little difference to them, I am afraid.
      Policies, sadly, are not presents : intentions do not matter to people, what is inside the box does. ^^

      Dany’s problem with the Tarlies mirrored Jon’s problem with Alliser Thorne and Olly and othe NW mutinees, and neither of them solved this problem of dealing with stuborn antagonists in a satisfying way (I guess there is no satisfying solution even in a fiction).

      Indeed, you are right; there may not be any truly satisfying solution to such a problem.
      However, I would point out that the mutineers had sworn fealty to Jon, directly. Some may have done it with rancor (ie. Alliser Thorne) but they all did it. The nobles of the Reach, conversely, never promised anything to Daenerys. They were not part of the negociation between her government and their region; they did not get a vote. Lady Olenna decided, out of bitterness and a desire for revenge, to join Daenerys and her vassals were just dragged into it.
      The Reach’s noblemen could not mutiny against Daenerys because they never swore allegiance to her in the first place.

      As for Dany not naming a heir, there was simply no-one to name.

      Isn’t that a problem then ? The first and foremost duty of a ruler is to ensure the perennity of the State and their rule. Without an established succession, there is no such perennity. Therefore, it is (and has been since day one) Daenerys’s job to find someone as her heir and to legitime that heir to her troops, be they Dothraki, Unsullied or other. Failing to do that is failing to be a ruler.
      Even the most egocentric, self-centered of monarchs never omitted such a basic duty. Even Louis “I am the State (not a real quote ^^)” XIV knew it. Seven hells, even Cersei is aware of it !

      Anyway, Tyrion and Varys would have lost the most.

      I, for one, believe Westeros and its people would have lost out the most, with several hords of Dothraki roaming about and using the country as a battlefield for their internal conflicts.

      Moreover, they were at odds since the very beginning of Ep2 and simply because Tyrion and Varys were starting to treat her as a puppet.

      I may be biased but I feel like they treated her exactly like what she was, namely someone who had little to no idea where she was landing and who had, with all the best intentions in the world, messed up at least twice before by following her instincts (Yunkai and Astapor).
      Daenerys knows nothing of Westeros or its people(s). Until she met Tyrion, she genuinely believed that Westerosi would welcome her Targaryen restoration with open arms and tears of joy in their eyes…

      Furthermore, if Daenerys is so naturally irritated by attempts at manipulation via flattery, I struggle to understand why she fell for Olenna’s grandmotherly schtick. For, let’s face it, Olenna played Daenerys like a fiddle !
      After the loss of her family, the Queen of Thorns stopped giving a damn about what would happen to her, the Reach, Westeros and the world at large. From that point on, she had only one goal : hurting and devastating Cersei until her last breath, no matter the cost. She went full Gilda on the Lioness (“I hate you so much that I would destroy myself to take you down with me”). So she whispered in Daenerys’s ear to ditch “smart men”‘s advice of moderation/patience and to “be a dragon”, hoping the young woman would unleash her fire onto the Lannisters and not giving a hoot about the consequences, be theyr human or political.
      And Daenerys fell for it. Hook, line and sinker.

      Maybe being used as a tool by someone with an agenda is not that problematic to the Mother of Dragons as long as, in the process, she gets to do what comes instinctively to her, namely burn baby burn…

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    47. ACME,

      Ten Bears: By using dragonfire to summarily execute her enemies, does Daeny lose the moral high ground to the queen who used wildfire to summarily execute her enemies?

      My entirely subjective short answer : yes.
      My entirely subjective long answer : yeeeeeeeeeees ! ^^

      There we have it once again, an attempted moral equivalence between Cersei’s terrorist bombing of the Sept, which murdered hundreds or thousands of innocent civilians, with Daenerys executing two POWs. Just wanted to emphasize this for all the people who claim that no one actually equates Dany with Cersei in such a way.

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    48. ACME,

      “I may be mistaken here but, removing the Tarlys from the equation, wasn’t Cersei’s explosion of the Faith entirely similar to Daenerys’s burning of the Khals ?
      Both queens burnt down a religious/judidiciary edifice and the political/religious figures inside it in order to escape their judgment. The only objective difference was that Cersei was not in the Sept herself but, had she been fire resistant, I am certain she would have gladly been present to watch her enemies die.”

      _________________

      Good spot! I had never considered this. You are right in every respect. Both Cersei and Daeny burned down the temples of their oppressors. And but for the fact that Dany had on a dirty gown, she too did a “walk of shame” while being abused.

      Now you’ve got me thinking they’re so very much alike. Tyrion told Cersei they were different in that Dany has advisors to check her worst impulses – but those very advisors are bemoaning the fact that Dany won’t heed their counsel.

      There’s another parallel…but nah, I’d better not get into tinfoil stuff this late at night.

      Anyway, thanks for the real interesting observations!

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    49. vosh,

      Hold on. No attempted “moral equivalence.” I posed a question. That’s all.

      I don’t think Cersei’s bombing of the Sept “murdered hundreds or thousands of innocent civilians”, but whatever the number, there are – as ACME pointed out – similarities to Daeny’s firebombing of the Dothraki temple.

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    50. Ten Bears,

      Hold on. No attempted “moral equivalence.” I posed a question. That’s all.

      I didn’t say you did. I quoted your question and ACME’s answer, though you’ve now agreed with ACME’s moral equivalence between Cersei’s terrorist attack on the Sept and Dany killing the khals.

      I don’t think Cersei’s bombing of the Sept “murdered hundreds or thousands of innocent civilians”

      We were never told the exact number but it was very clearly at least in the hundreds.

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    51. ACME,

      For, let’s face it, Olenna played Daenerys like a fiddle !
      After the loss of her family, the Queen of Thorns stopped giving a damn about what would happen to her, the Reach, Westeros and the world at large. From that point on, she had only one goal : hurting and devastating Cersei until her last breath, no matter the cost. She went full Gilda on the Lioness (“I hate you so much that I would destroy myself to take you down with me”). So she whispered in Daenerys’s ear to ditch “smart men”‘s advice of moderation/patience and to “be a dragon”, hoping the young woman would unleash her fire onto the Lannisters and not giving a hoot about the consequences, be theyr human or political.
      And Daenerys fell for it. Hook, line and sinker.

      Nope, in fact she refused Olenna’s advice, went with Tyrion’s plan and even after it failed she still didn’t attack King’s Landing but rather only enemy soldiers who’d just invaded Highgarden and pillaged the Reach. Then, despite having Cersei totally at her mercy, she again followed Tyrion’s plan, totally against what Olenna had advised.

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    52. Ten Bears:
      vosh,

      Hold on. No attempted “moral equivalence.” I posed a question. That’s all.

      I don’t think Cersei’s bombing of the Sept “murdered hundreds or thousands of innocent civilians”, but whatever the number, there are – as ACME pointed out – similarities to Daeny’s firebombing of the Dothraki temple.

      Dany killed the rapist Khals who were threatening to take turns raping her. Cersei murdered people like Margaery, Loras, Mace and countless innocents. The Wildfire killed anyone within a 100 meters of the Sept.

      So what’s the similarities here? That Dany is a terrorist mad queen like Cersei?

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    53. It’s hilarious how Tyrion of all people keeps getting held up as some moral yard stick that Dany should follow. This is the guy who used wildfire against Stannis men and burned them to death including Davos’ son.

      Tyrion was this season’s least valuable player. Dany would have done better if she had stopped listening to him. A straight off attack on KL would surely have had civilian causalities, but she would have rid Westeros of the Lannisters forever and ended the game of thrones. There would no backstopping plots which will only make things harder for Jon and Dany down the line. With KL resolved, they could turn their focus north without the Cersei bother.

      Tyrion’s plan ended up in Dany losing her allies and his stupid wight plan resulted in Dany losing a dragon for nothing. He asks Jon to lie to Cersei and then thinks that Cersei will be true to her word. What an utter moron. Either he is an idiot, or he is secretly conspiring with Cersei against Dany and does not his family to lose.

      It would have been better for Dany had she never made Tyrion her hand. The only good thing he did this season was vouch for Jon Snow.

      Oh, and just to add about the food. If you watch the loot train attack , you will notice that Dany was not deliberately burning the food caravans. The Lannister soldiers were lined up in front of the caravans and the Dothraki were nearly upon them. The only way Dany could clear a path for the Dothraki without burning them was to burn the Lannister soldiers at the back instead of the front and that meant burning the caravans. It was a battle strategy that lead to the loss of the food, no doubt. But I don’t think she had much of a choice at that point.

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    54. SerNoName,

      Completely agreed. Also very telling how Saint Tyrion gets a total pass in this fandom for plotting to besiege King’s Landing. That’s an attack too, just mainly on civilians, whereas Dany wanted only a precision attack on the Red Keep.

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    55. vosh:
      SerNoName,

      Completely agreed. Also very telling how Saint Tyrion gets a total pass in this fandom for plotting to besiege King’s Landing. That’s an attack too, just mainly on civilians, whereas Dany wanted only a precision attack on the Red Keep.

      Pretty much. There are going to be civilian causalities in any type of warfare. As there was in the war of the 5 kings in which Robb participated. As Dany points out thousands died when the Starks took back Winterfell from the Boltons. And all this wailing and gnashing of teeth because the traitorous, backstabbing Tarlys got executed for their treason? Again, hilarious.

      I notice that this strict moral standard is only applied to Dany to portray her as mad and cruel.

      Here’s Sansa smiling as Ramsay gets eaten alive by hungry dogs! But that’s justice. Here’s Jon hanging a 10 yr old child for mutiny! But that’s justice.
      Here’s Arya killing all the Frey men and baking them into pies! YAY! Justice!
      Here’s Sansa wanting to punish and take away the homes and lands of little children despite their fathers already being executed for treason! But that’s justice.

      Here’s Dany executing the Tarlys for treason! OMG, she’s so cruel and without mercy! Here is Dany burning down some Khals threatening to gang rape her. This is equivalent to Cersei firebombing the sept because they are both ‘religious institutions’. Therefore she’s mad and cruel like Cersei!!

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    56. ACME,

      “Tyrion has often been wrong, that is unquestionably true, but the one thing that makes him a great advisor is his willingness to debate. He is someone who can be argued with to find a compromise. I have yet to see such a thing happen between him and Daenerys. Either she does everything he tells her to without question or she rebels and flies off the handle. Are those the only two options we can expect from the Targaryen monarch ? Obedience or tantrums ?”
      —————-
      You’ve written some really good, incisive stuff. I’m still catching up on the discussion thread here, so for now I just wanted to add a few thoughts about Tyrion’s role as advisor:

      • In Tyrion’s defense, (I thought) he was retained as a political advisor, not a military strategist. Other than coming up with the Blackwater wildfire ghost ship idea, he’s had no military experience. It’s no wonder Jaime outmaneuvered him: Jaime learned from his own battlefield experience (eg, in offering up Casterly Rock as a decoy target while taking his main army to Highgarden, he used the same tactic Robb had used on him).

      I was a bit surprised that for all his intellgence, Tyrion would be placed in the position of supreme commander of the Alliance forces. After all, his qualifications amount to “I drink and I know things.” . Sure, with Barristan dead and Jorah in the hospital, Daeny was without her two best, most experienced military men. Yet, why would Tyrion be expected to successfully plan and execute a massive invasion?

      As I recall, when the Masters were bombarding Mereen (before Dany’s return at the end of the episode), Grey Worm had to overrule Tyrion, insisting (correctly) that their best defensive position was to remain hunkered down in the pyramid.

      It’s kind of hard to fault Tyrion if his “clever plans” – his military plans – didn’t succeed. He’s a politician, not a general. While his brother was learning how to be a soldier, and put in charge of armies, Tyrion was learning industrial plumbing, and put in charge of Casterly Rock’s sewage system.

      Early on, when they first met. Tyrion had explained to Dany that war is different from politics. (I forget his exact words.) He may suck at war. However, when it has come to political matters, his advice has usually been on the money. As he told her, he has knowledge and experience dealing with the people she hopes to rule; she has none. So, it is kind of strange that Dany – without discussion or debate – would ignore his political advice when that is why she retained him.

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    57. I do believe a few different endings may have been scripted but fully agree that they are unlikely to be shot.

      I wonder at which point they will film the ending because at that point the chances of leaks will increase. Given that we are three months in right now though and so far only one leak article on Watchers (which I have avoided) I remain optimistic I can watch the final season as an unsullied.

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    58. vosh,

      You know what? I capitulate. All war is lunacy. All war is immoral. All war is senseless. Comparing numbers of casualties, or distinguishing civilians killed from soldiers killed to measure the propriety of war, leads to fallacies like Tywin’s justification for the Red Wedding (S3e10):

      Tyrion: I’m all for cheating. This is war. But to slaughter them at a wedding…

      Tywin: Explain to me why it is more noble to kill 10,000 men in battle than a dozen at dinner.

      By the same logic, perhaps Dany should have just nuked the Red Keep right away: Maybe a few hundred civilian casualties, but Cersei’s vanquished and the war’s over before it started.
      Roasting thousands of soldiers on a battlefield isn’t any more “civilized” than killing thousands of civilians. After all, as demonstrated by the Lannister soldiers Arya encountered in S7e1, they were just sons, brothers, and husbands – boys called away “to fight in someone else’s war.”

      [ to be cont. Keyboard feeezing]

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    59. vosh,

      [cont. from above]

      To their families, they’re not just expendable numbers.

      Tyrion’s plan to besiege KL might appear to be more “humane” in theory, but in reality people would die just the same, only from starvation and disease. As Bronn explained to Tyrion during preparations for Stannis’s expected siege of KL (S2e8):

      ”Have you ever been in a city under siege? Maybe this part’s not in your books. See, it’s not the fighting that kills most people. It’s the starving. Food’s worth more than gold. Noble ladies sell their diamonds for a sack of potatoes. Things get bad enough, the poor start eating each other….”

      Comparing body counts from the Sept explosion, Field of Fire 2.0, Khal bonfire, or civilian deaths – whether by starvation, dragonfire, wildfire, or otherwise – doesn’t make a particular method of mass killing more palatable than the other, does it?

      Unless you surgically target and destroy your nemesis, aren’t any other deaths, i.e., “collateral damage”, equally immoral no matter the rectitude of the combatants’ causes?

      There’s only one leader who’s put people’s lives ahead of a perceived entitlement to rule. And it aint Cersei or Daenerys.

      Anyway, enough pontificating on my part. Good night all. 💤💤

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    60. Ten Bears,

      Not distinguishing between killing civilians and soldiers is what terrorists do. You’re morally equating killing enemy soldiers in war, or military leaders holding a woman captive and threatening to rape and kill her, with bombing masses of innocent people in and around a church.

      Thankfully, and to the annoyance of much of this fandom that’s been trying to twist her into a “Mad Queen,” Dany actually is far better than that, and has sacrificed and risked a lot not only to avoid killing innocents, but to save them from tyrants like Cersei. Even Jon, knowing very little about her, realized immediately that Dany was obviously better than Cersei.

      Unless you surgically target and destroy your nemesis, aren’t any other deaths, i.e., “collateral damage”, equally immoral no matter the rectitude of the combatants’ causes?

      Surgically targeting only her legitimate enemies is exactly what Dany did when she killed the khals, yet you and ACME still say it was morally equivalent to Cersei bombing the Sept.

      There’s only one leader who’s put people’s lives ahead of a perceived entitlement to rule. And it aint Cersei or Daenerys.

      If that were true, Dany would’ve left Slaver’s Bay when the Yunkai slave masters offered her a massive amount of gold and all the ships she’d require to get to Westeros. If it were true, Dany would’ve taken the advice of Olenna, Yara and Elaria, gone straight to King’s Landing and conquered it the day she got there. If it were true, she never would’ve risked her life and her children’s lives to save Jon and his crew.

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    61. Just a brief comment regarding parallels between Dany and Cersei: indeed, there are many parallels and even similarities. However, there are fundamental differences, too.
      No matter what, Cersei wouldn’t rush to anyones aid even without having to risk anything. And no matter what, Dany wouldn’t look with disgust at Jon, even if he loses all of his limbs. In short, Dany is capable of loving, Cersei isn’t and has never been. It’s just as simple as that.

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    62. Inga:
      Just a brief comment regarding parallels between Dany and Cersei: indeed, there are many parallels and even similarities.

      I think there are more parallels and similarities between Sansa and Cersei than Dany and Cersei. Jon even points out that Sansa seems to be admiring Cersei. They both wish to be in positions of power but are restricted by society and men. They both try to gain power through manipulation and deceit. They are both selfish and care more about themselves than their family.

      Sansa actively lies to Jon and withholds information. Arya rightfully points out that Sansa desires to rule instead of Jon. She was more angry at Jon bending the knee than being thankful that they were getting allies to fight the WW. She was thinking of deposing Jon, getting rid of Arya and making herself queen before she figured out LF was up to no good. It looks like she realized what she was doing before she crossed a line and became Cersei 2.0. We will have to see if that holds next season.

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    63. vosh: That’s an attack too, just mainly on civilians, whereas Dany wanted only a precision attack on the Red Keep.

      No such thing, as “Saint Tyrion” pointed out in S7E2.

      “If we turn the dragons loose, tens of thousands will die in the firestorms”

      And Dany concurred. On more than one occasion.

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    64. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      No such thing, as “Saint Tyrion” pointed out in S7E2.

      “If we turn the dragons loose, tens of thousands will die in the firestorms”

      And Dany concurred. On more than one occasion.

      Completely false. Tyrion never said that in reference to a precision attack on the Red Keep. He said it directly in response to Yara advising a “hard” attack on the city in general. Here’s her full quote: “We have an army, a fleet, and three dragons. We should hit King’s Landing now. Hard. With everything we have.”

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    65. vosh,

      So when Dany later declares that she will go and attack the Red Keep and Tyrion says “We’ve discussed this…”, which sees her relent, he was talking about a different conversation, was he?

      No. It’s there in plain English for you to hear. “If we turn the dragons loose, tens of thousands will die in the firestorms”

      All this “precision attack” nonsense is a figment of the imagination of certain viewers.

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    66. ACME: I may be mistaken here but, removing the Tarlys from the equation, wasn’t Cersei’s explosion of the Faith entirely similar to Daenerys’s burning of the Khals ?
      Both queens burnt down a religious/judidiciary edifice and the political/religious figures inside it in order to escape their judgment. The only objective difference was that Cersei was not in the Sept herself but, had she been fire resistant, I am certain she would have gladly been present to watch her enemies die.

      It’s worth remembering that the Faith were militant, oppressive, power-hungry, bigoted, murderous and so on. Not unlike the Khals.

      Cersei obviously didn’t kill them because of all that and she killed potentially thousands of innocent people in the process.

      But there’s no point pretending that Daenerys killed the Khals purely out of benevolence either. The Khals stood in her way, so they had to die.

      The parallel is more obvious than some people like to admit.

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    67. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      It’s a fact that Tyrion said that specifically and only in reply to Yara’s call for a “hard” attack on the city in general with “everything we have.” And obviously restricting the dragons to a specific target (which we know Dany can easily do, as seen in Battle of the Bastards) like the Red Keep would not be “turning them loose.” To assume it would kill “tens of thousands” would be ludicrous, especially since not even Cersei blowing up huge caches of wildfire in the middle of the city did that. But obviously Tyrion was talking about what would happen if the dragons were turned loose on the city, not made to focus fire on an isolated part of it on a big hill next to the sea.

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    68. SerNoName: I notice that this strict moral standard is only applied to Dany to portray her as mad and cruel.

      I’ve found it’s more the case that certain people refuse to accept the same moral standards being applied to Dany that are applied to everybody else, even despite her own insistence that she intends to be a better, fairer ruler than those that went before.

      People are supposed to worry whether Arya has crossed the line when she slaughters an entire room of people. People are supposed to question Sansa’s motives/reasoning re. the Umbers and Karstarks. Jon clearly expresses the toll that dispensing justice took on him.

      Yet we’re not allowed to question Dany’s actions towards the Tarlys without being accused of picking on her? That’s silly.

      All the detail, characterisation and drama that they clearly included in the scene for a reason is worth analysing, even if some people don’t like the potential conclusions it throws up.

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    69. Artemisia:
      Ten Bears,

      Jon will be doesnt want the Throne ..He cares to fight the WW only and to keep safe the North from its enemies..He will give it to her and their son….without second question..He is not that selfish….+ i dont think Jon will known about his parentage until the very very ending or maybe he never learn it and dies in the end..That will be pretty bittersweet and ironicending for his character.

      Whilst Jon does not lust after power unlike Cersei and Dany he does his duty and I really do not see him declining the Iron Throne once his parentage comes to light. He may though marry Dany and make her Queen beside him if they have a kid because he will not want to father a bastard.

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    70. Gin Drinker:
      Considering Daenerys obsession with the rights and privledges as a royal doesn’t it then suggest she would bend the knee to Jon being his claim is stronger. She is a pincess of House Targaryen, he is a king. Or pride before a fall? (again)

      Dany lusts after power so finding out she is not the heir is going to seriously mess with her mind and logically should cause some serious tension at least for a while until the White Walkers mean they have to put it to one side.

      At this stage I am sort of expecting one of Jon or Dany to die before the end and the other to end up on the throne but wouldn’t rule out them marrying either.

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    71. Inga,

      I think you’re right about the food taken from the smallfolk of the Reach by the Lannisters/Tarleys. It was likely destined for their army:

      Jaime to Cersei (S7e1): “Winter is here. We can’t win a war if we can’t feed our men and our horses. The Tyrells have the grain, the Tyrells have the livestock.”

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    72. Erica,

      ”The Second Sons have been left behind to ensure a peaceful transition of power and we know that the red priests/priestesses are preaching Dany’s gospel.”
      ——————-

      The Red Priestess who preached that nonbelievers would be “purified” by the thousands? What could possibly go wrong? 😁

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    73. vosh,

      Sorry, but you’re deliberately ignoring what actually occurred in the show to suit your own conclusions.

      Give me one quote that justifies this concept of a “precision attack” on the Red Keep in which innocents won’t die?

      It doesn’t exist.

      You’ve admitted now that you’re basing this idea on what happened in the Battle of the Bastards episode rather than on anything that was said or shown in Season 7 when they actually faced the problem of whether or not to attack King’s Landing.

      Tyrion advised her against attacking King’s Landing. She agreed that she didn’t want to be “queen of the ashes”.

      Tyrion justified his approach to Daenerys’ supporters partly on the basis that setting the dragons loose would kill thousands. Daenerys again states that she is not there to be “queen of the ashes”.

      Daenerys later declares she’s going to attack the Red Keep and Tyrion again dissuades her on the basis of earlier discussions about the consequences and implications.

      Jorah later restates the problem with the dragons at the Dragonpit: “Dragons don’t understand the difference between what is theirs and what isn’t. Land, livestock, children. Letting them roam free around the city was a problem.”

      You can complain about the inconsistency in the writing from one season to the next (I’d certainly agree with that), but you can’t simply decide upon your own vision of this “precision attack” when it contradicts with what the characters have said and how they’ve behaved when actually faced with the problem on-screen.

      And the Red Keep can clearly host thousands. Back in Season 1 Jaime stated that 500 men were present in the Great Hall when Rickard and Brandon Stark were murdered.

      Plus, Dany and Tyrion have no way of knowing who Cersei is hosting in the Red Keep. During the Blackwater the women and children were invited to shelter in the Red Keep. Is that who Dany was meant to aim her “precision attack” at?

      And that’s before we even get onto the fact that Tyrion and Dany both know that the streets of King’s Landing are potentially still sitting on top of caches of wildfire.

      This “precision attack” concept is fiction, I’m afraid, until it actually happens or somebody actually confirms it on-screen.

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    74. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Give me one quote that justifies this concept of a “precision attack” on the Red Keep in which innocents won’t die?

      I never said innocents wouldn’t die. You completely made that up, just as you falsely claimed that Tyrion’s “If we turn the dragons loose, tens of thousands will die in the firestorms” was stated in response to a proposed attack on the Red Keep, when in fact it was said directly and only in response to Yara advising an attack on the city in general. Even after that fact was repeatedly pointed out to you, you’ve just continued reiterating your disproven claim.

      Also false is your continued denial that Dany can have her dragons carry out precision attacks. It’s canon that she already did so in Meereen with targets far, far smaller than the Red Keep, and we also saw in Spoils of War how well she maneuvered Drogon to hit specific targets and avoid friendly fire. Then again in Beyond the Wall her dragons showed good targeting. So pointing to whatever Jorah said about dragons from hundreds of years ago is irrelevant and grasping at straws to distract from the fact that we’ve seen with our own eyes how well Dany can control what her dragons target. Of course there would still be innocents killed in an attack on the Red Keep. By “precision attack,” I was simply pointing to the fact that Dany only spoke of targeting the Red Keep, not that it would magically only kill her enemies.

      There’s a lot of other stuff to address from your post, but since you continue to deny and misrepresent such obvious facts about the show, and then falsely accuse me of acting in bad faith, I’ll find a better use of the time I would’ve further spent trying to have a good faith discussion with you.

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    75. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Speaking frankly, I have a little doubt on whether Tyrion cares about the “innocent civilians” or rather about his own family, primarily Jaime (though Cersei, too). In 707 he said it straight that he never wanted to destroy House Lannister and admitted that he talked Dany out of bringing them fire and blood. So, that’s how it was: Tyrion’s desire to save his brother and sister from otherwise inevitable death led to half-measures and half-measures led to death or capture of Dany’s – and Tyrion’s – allies. He sacrificed own people to protect those who were dear to him personally using his position and influence, and let’s be frank – that wasn’t a fair game.
      Moreover, Tyrion was doomed to lose even, in case his initial plan had worked and the siege of KL were laid with the Dornish and Tyrell armies helmed by Randyl Tarly. Cersei would have starved every single citizen of KL to death – I bet she wouldn’t have allowed the civilians to leave the city, she would have blown the remains with wildfire, and died sitting on the Iron Throne. Basically, she is the same type of person as Alliser Thorn, Randyl Tarly, or Stannis: her choices may be wrong and/or stupid but she is brave enough to go to the end; death is the only way to stop her. And Tyrion completely fails to acknowlege that which causes one mistake after another. And those mistakes claim lives. We haven’t seen the Tyrell soldiers being slaughtered, we haven’t seen the farmers of the Reach being robbed of their last harvest, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen – had we seen all that on screen we would have cheered seeing every single Lannister or Tarly soldier being burned. Anyway, the rule “better them than us” apply in every war, and Tyrion broke that rule being cought in the conflict of interests.

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    76. Ten Bears: Sorry. I must be dense. I’m not sure how this relates to Sam and Dany.

      You are not dense at all ! It is entirely my fault, I should have been clearer.
      The parallel I intended to draw attention to was as follows : Ygritte killed Olly’s father like Daenerys killed Samwell’s; Olly adored Jon as much as Sam does; Jon fell in love first with Ygritte, now with Daenerys and made a deal with their respective peoples.
      We know how the Olly-Jon-Ygritte situation ended; we now have to wait for the resolution of the redux.

      In Tyrion’s defense, (I thought) he was retained as a political advisor, not a military strategist.

      That is undeniably true !
      On top of that, let us not be coy about Tyrion : the man is greatly intelligent, of that there is no doubt, but he also has quite the ego on him… He is so used to being the smartest person in the room that he is liable, at times, to forget others have a brain as well. So, it is not rare for him to underestimate his opponents, especially when said opponents are his sister ^^

      Daeny dumped Daario and left him in charge of Mereen. What could possibly go wrong? 🤣

      Nothing ! How dare you doubt it ? I find your lack of faith disturbing ! 😉

      vosh: Nope, in fact she refused Olenna’s advice,

      OLENNA : He’s a clever man, your Hand. I’ve known a great many clever men. I’ve outlived them all. Do you know why? I ignored them. The lords of Westeros are sheep. Are you a sheep? No. You’re a dragon. Be a dragon. (Stormborn – 7.2)

      DAENERYS: Enough with the clever plans. (The Spoils of War – 7.4)

      I confess I struggle to see how much clearer the writers could have made it… Should Daenerys have outright said “and now, I am going to do exactly what Lady Olenna advised me to” for it to be taken into account ?

      Furthermore, we cannot ignore Jon’s warning that, if Daenerys does not take extreme care with how she uses her force (aka the dragons), she will be nothing but “more of the same”. And then, merely two episodes after we saw Cersei murder a mother-daughter duo, Daenerys proceeds to kill a father-son binome.

      Not distinguishing between killing civilians and soldiers is what terrorists do.

      No.
      There is no internationally set definition of “terrorism” but, if there were one, the targetting of civilians would most certainly not be a terrorist prerogative. Unless you believe all the inhabitants of Nagazaki and Hiroshima bombed by the US Army were secretly soldiers…

      You’re morally equating killing enemy soldiers in war, or military leaders holding a woman captive and threatening to rape and kill her, with bombing masses of innocent people in and around a church.

      Said “woman” was a military, political and religious leader. According to the khals’ law, she was an enemy, a traitor.
      Now, do not get me wrong, the khals were monsters of prejudice and violence. But then, as Ramsay’s 20th Good Man brilliantly reminded us :

      Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: It’s worth remembering that the Faith were militant, oppressive, power-hungry, bigoted, murderous and so on. Not unlike the Khals.

      Even Jon, knowing very little about her, realized immediately that Dany was obviously better than Cersei.

      When Jon first met Daenerys, he had only encountered Cersei once, seeing her and never talking to her. All he knew about the Lannister queen were rumours, mostly spread by people who hate her (for all I know, Jon may believe, like Arya, that Cersei orchestrated Ned’s death). Furthermore, as you very rightly point out, Jon does not know that much about Daenerys either. Does he know about the burning of the khals ? About the crucified slavers ?
      So, if he indeed “realised immediately that Daenerys is obviously better” , I feel compelled to wonder what facts led him to that conclusion.

      Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: The parallel is more obvious than some people like to admit.

      It most certainly seems like it…

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    77. SerNoName: Dany killed the rapist Khals who were threatening to take turns raping her. Cersei murdered people like Margaery, Loras, Mace and countless innocents. The Wildfire killed anyone within a 100 meters of the Sept.

      The khals humilated, tried and planned to (it was more than a mere threat) rape Daenerys; the Faith famished, mentally tortured and sexually abused Cersei (yes, I do consider the Walk of Atonement to be sexual abuse). Both the khals and the Faith claimed their actions to be “justice” since both Cersei and Daenerys had, indeed, broken their society’s laws (Daenerys did not join hte Dosh Kaleen after her husband’s death; Cersei did commit incest and kill her husband).
      Both Daenerys and Cersei used the means they had at their disposal to behead the social, religious and political structure that threatened them. Both did target the edifice where they were to be sentenced and the people who intended to sentence them. It just so happens that wildfire is messier than regular fire and that the Sept of Baelor was in the middle of a highly populated area, wheares the Dothraki temple was fairly isolated.

      I think there are more parallels and similarities between Sansa and Cersei than Dany and Cersei.

      There are thematic parallels between all the “queens”, broadly speaking : Cersei, Olenna, Daenerys, Margaery, Catelyn, Sansa, Ellaria, etc.
      “So many men have tried to kill me. I don’t remember all of their names. I have been sold like a brood mare. I have been chained and betrayed, raped and defiled. Do you know what kept me standing through all those years in exile? Faith. Not in any gods. Not in myths and legends. In myself.” That bit of Daenerys’s speech could have been spoken by Cersei or Sansa (or Missandei or Gilly…) and no one would have found it weird or out of place.

      They both wish to be in positions of power but are restricted by society and men.

      As opposed to Daenerys who abhors power, wishes she had less and was cheered on her way to queenship by the matriarchical society of Essos ?

      They both try to gain power through manipulation and deceit.

      Manipulation and deceit are not Cersei’s favourite weapons. Whenever she can, she chooses violence.

      She was more angry at Jon bending the knee than being thankful that they were getting allies to fight the WW.

      Sansa was angry at, once more, being ignored by Jon. Once again, he made a crucial decision without consulting her (that being said, on this one he did not even consult Davos, his unofficial hand, so I guess Sansa should not feel singled out !) and she was left to deal with the consequences, namely the Northern lords’ reaction.

      She was thinking of deposing Jon,

      She was planning for his succession which, given that he had agreed to put himself at the mercy of Targaryen (like Rickard and Brandon) and then went on a suicide mission north of the Wall, was entirely justified. Why is planning for the future of the State viewed as treasonous ? First Tyrion, now Sansa…
      Had she wanted to depose Jon, she could have done so the very moment Lord Glover and Lord Royce publicly declared they wished they had chosen her as their ruler. The lords were dangling the crown in front of her face and she did not take it.
      Does Sansa want power ? You bet she does. An awful lot !
      Is she willing to steal it from Jon ? We have seen no evidence of that.
      Was she tempted to do it ? My guess is yes, but she still did not do it.

      getting rid of Arya

      Yet, she made no move against Arya. None at all. After Littlefinger’ advised her to keep Brienne close as a defense against Arya’s possible assassination attempt, Sansa sent the Maid of Tarth away…

      Inga: In short, Dany is capable of loving, Cersei isn’t and has never been. It’s just as simple as that.

      You may very well be completely right but I cannot help but ask : what does it change ? What difference does it make if Daenerys is a “good” person and Cersei a “bad” one ? Do “good” people make good rulers ? Not according to George RR Martin : “My reading of history has shown me that simply ‘being a good man’ is not enough. That there are many kings who are good men and yet bad kings. And even good kings sometimes make disasterous decisions. So government is complex, politics is complex.”
      And Maester Aemon goes even one step further : “Many good men have been bad kings, Maester Aemon used to say, and some bad men have been good kings.” ^^

      ETA My previous post is awaiting moderation so FYI there is a “part one” to all this 😛

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    78. ACME,

      Well, although a good heart alone is not enough, good people certainly make better rulers than bad ones. Good people may provoke a crysis by showing too much kindness to bad ones and letting them do what they want, but it’s the bad ones who do a real damage. And I totally disagree with the belief that a bad man can make a good ruler. Sure, sometimes nations develop sort of the Stockholm syndrom and start worship their tormenters as efficient managers, especially after the eneration of eye-witnesses pass. But such self-delusion shouldn’t be confused for a fact. All the best rulers in the real history were also more or less good people. And Dany is not that good anyway: she has a tender heart but she is also ruthless and uncompromising and – worst of all – unbalanced. If she finds this balance or rather if someome succeeds in helping her to, she will make a rather good ruler, if not – she will inevitably turn into a tyrinat with good intentions.

      As for Ollena, I don’t agree that she played Dany – I would have adviced her the same. War is war, not a PR campaign, and you can’t replace a war with a PR campaign, like Tyrion tried. This always leads to prety dire consequences, especially in the real world, and I am happy that GoT at least made an attempt to address this problem.

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    79. vosh,

      You suggested that Tyrion’s plan to besiege the city was an attack mainly on civilians, “whereas Dany wanted only a precision attack on the Red Keep”. Whereas you now accept that this so-called “precision attack” would also cost mainly innocent lives? So…

      Anyway, the only way you can claim that Tyrion’s assertion that thousands would die if the dragons attacked King’s Landing / Red Keep was only in response to Yara’s suggestion of a “hard” attack on the city is if you deliberately ignore his earlier and later conversations with Daenerys.

      Or are each of Tyrion’s conversations self-contained and unique interactions?

      He advised Dany against immediately attacking King’s Landing. He elaborated on the reasoning when Yara also suggested attacking King’s Landing immediately. And he later dissuaded Dany from attacking the Red Keep on the basis that they had already discussed the potential ramifications.

      This vision of a “precision attack” is a product of your imagination, I’m afraid, based on what you consider canon having seen it in an earlier episode. But this mooted “precision attack” on the Red Keep is not canon unless it happens or is directly referenced.

      In the meantime, we have to base our assessment of the characters’ options and the potential consequences on what they actually said and how they behaved on the show. And there was no clear distinction made between the consequences of Daenerys’ desired attack on the Red Keep or any other attack on King’s Landing involving the dragons.

      Jon even says moments after she suggests attacking the Red Keep, “But if you use them to melt castles and burn cities, you’re not different”.

      “And” burn cities. Not “or”.

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    80. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Well, I guess Jon relied on Tyrion’s assessment: he didn’t know KL, he didn’t know the dragons, so it was impossible for him to evaluate the situation on his own. And it’s a tricky thing: one can say that when Jon was attacking Winterfell some innocent civillians could have been killed as well – after all, there should have been some women and children in the castle, right?. But Jon stormed the gate as soon as he could without even thinking about a potential collateral damage and he won. And I bet that Winterfell is now much better under the Starks than it was under the Boltons.

      Same can be said about the Casterly Rock – in the show it was just a castle, but there should have been some “innocent civillians” there, right? Nevertheless, Tyrion didn’t bother about collateral damage, when he send the Unsullied to take it.

      So, I can’t really see why the strategy applied to Winterfell or Casterly Rock couldn’t be applied to the Red Keep. Sure, Cersei had to be kept on the IT for the sake of drama, but that aside Tyrion could and probably had other motives to hold Dany back from engaging into actack on KL: first of all, he wanted to save his brother’s and sister’s lives – save the House, as we heard from his own mouth in 707, secondly, he was afraid of Dany being killed before nakimng him her heir. And that makes all those talks about saving “innocent civillians” just bla-bla-bla for the sake of achieving other goals. Just get me right: I am not saying that Tyrion doesn’t care of innocent civillians, I am just doubthing whether those “innocent civillians” are his primary concern, especially in the contect of the fact that he showed so little concern about other innocent civillians facing the threat of the army of the dead.

      I’m probably becomming Tyrion’s hater, but the more I think about his action and councils last season, the more concern I have.

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    81. Inga,

      Well, the difference is that the dragons are indiscriminate. If they torch the Red Keep then everybody within it, be they enemy combatant or civilian, dies.

      If Jon had been using siege weapons on Winterfell or the Unsullied on Casterly Rock then, yes, there’s the potential for civilian casualties. But they would presumably try to minimise such casualties where possible.

      And the liberating Stark/Vale army would obviously not put Northern civilians to the sword during or after the siege.

      And in the case of Casterly Rock, Tyrion was able to avoid collateral damage by infiltrating the castle and opening the gates. The Unsullied would not be expected to kill any civilians themselves.

      When Daenerys was deciding whether to buy the Unsullied to fight for her, Jorah specifically touted the fact that the Unsullied would not rape, pillage or sack cities and would kill only those that Daenerys ordered them to.

      The same can obviously not be said about the dragons. They cannot be expected to discriminate between friend and foe or constrain their dragonfire (and the resulting fires) to a particularly narrow focus. Use the dragons on strongholds or populated areas and there is going to be collateral damage undoubtedly.

      I think there’s some uncertainty over Tyrion’s exact motives. But I think when it comes to preventing unnecessary carnage and encouraging Daenerys to live up to her own professed ideals there’s no reason to doubt his intentions.

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    82. vosh,

      (From your reply to R’s 20th GM):

      ”…There’s a lot of other stuff to address from your post, but since you continue to deny and misrepresent such obvious facts about the show, and then falsely accuse me of acting in bad faith, I’ll find a better use of the time I would’ve further spent trying to have a good faith discussion with you.”
      ______________

      Oh no! I don’t think anyone was intending to accuse anyone of acting in bad faith or deliberately misrepresent anything. You had a lively debate going on, which I found thought-provoking. I hope you won’t refrain from continuing the discussion because of a few disagreements over details. I was enjoying reading what you were writing, even if I disagreed with it, and in some cases, when it caused me to reassess my initial convictions and realize that sometimes there are no “right” answers to messy ethical questions.
      That is good. Isn’t it?

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    83. Ten Bears,

      Thanks, I’m glad someone got something good out of it, but that person has made it abundantly clear that any further effort to communicate with him will just lead to more and more misrepresentations of my own words and basic facts about the show.

      ACME,

      It couldn’t be any clearer that she didn’t do what Olenna advised her to do, which was to invade King’s Landing. Of course Olenna was an influence (no one has said or suggested otherwise) on Dany’s decision to attack Cersei’s army well outside the city, but that is a far cry from invading the city, so your claim that Dany fell for Olenna’s advice “hook, line and sinker” is clearly wrong. Even after Tyrion’s abysmal failure, Dany agreed to follow an even worse plan of his (probably the worst plan in the entire series), the polar opposite of what Olenna had wanted.

      Furthermore, we cannot ignore Jon’s warning that, if Daenerys does not take extreme care with how she uses her force (aka the dragons), she will be nothing but “more of the same”. And then, merely two episodes after we saw Cersei murder a mother-daughter duo, Daenerys proceeds to kill a father-son binome.

      No, Jon said she’d be “more of the same” if she used her dragons to “melt castles and burn cities,” which she never did.

      if he indeed “realised immediately that Daenerys is obviously better” , I feel compelled to wonder what facts led him to that conclusion.

      Not “if” — he said outright that he did, and clearly stated his reasoning in their first meeting:

      Davos: “You could storm King’s Landing tomorrow and the city would fall. Hell, we almost took it and we didn’t even have dragons.”

      Jon: “But you haven’t stormed King’s Landing. Why not? The only reason I can see is you don’t want to kill thousands of innocent people. It’s the fastest way to win the war but you won’t do it. Which means at the very least you’re better than Cersei.”

      Jon knows enough about Cersei to know that if she’d had Dany’s weapons at her disposal she wouldn’t have hesitated to use them out of any concern for innocents. We saw a little example of that with the pleasure she took in watching her bombing of the Sept despite the fact that masses of innocent people were being incinerated. And while you’ve doubled and tripled down on morally equating that bombing with Dany killing the khals, Jon would understand there’s a gigantic moral difference between those actions.

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    84. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      vosh,

      So when Dany later declares that she will go and attack the Red Keep and Tyrion says “We’ve discussed this…”, which sees her relent, he was talking about a different conversation, was he?

      He was concerned about her safety there. He clearly says that he is worried that even one arrow could fell her and they would lose their leader which leads to Dany asking what sort of leader she would be if she does not fight like her men.

      So Tyrion’s objection to Dany’s attack on the Red Keep was not about civilian casualties, but about Dany’s safety.

      Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: I’ve found it’s more the case that certain people refuse to accept the same moral standardsbeing applied to Dany that are applied to everybody else, even despite her own insistence that she intends to be a better, fairer ruler than those that went before.

      Yet we’re not allowed to question Dany’s actions towards the Tarlys without being accused of picking on her? That’s silly.

      Has anyone called Sansa mad or cruel for wanting to punish children for the sins of their fathers? Has anyone called Jon mad or cruel for executing a child for mutiny?

      It’s only Arya and Dany that are stuck with labels of insanity – Arya is a psychopath (Liam Cunningham keeps calling her a serial killer) and Dany is seen as mad, cruel and merciless whose impulses needs to be controlled because she dared to execute traitors who refused to bend the knee.

      Why is Sansa not labelled a psychopathic, merciless killer for smiling while watching a man getting eaten alive by hungry dogs? Ah, but that is justice! But so is Dany executing the Tarlys who died within seconds of being burned by Dragonfire. The Tarlys suffered a less painful death than either Ramsay getting eaten by dogs or Olly getting hanged. So yes, I find this selective judgement of Dany to be double standard.

      It’s a noticeable trend that the female characters that wield power and violence are often questioned in their decisions and deemed too cruel.

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    85. ACME:
      Both Daenerys and Cersei used the means they had at their disposal to behead the social, religious and political structure that threatened them. Both did target the edifice where they were to be sentenced and the people who intended to sentence them. It just so happens that wildfire is messier than regular fire and that the Sept of Baelor was in the middle of a highly populated area, wheares the Dothraki temple was fairly isolated.

      I see. So that fact that, Cersei did not care that she slaughtered hundred of innocent civilians and the Tyrell family while taking down this religious institution does not matter to you at all? Dany and Cersei are just equivalent full stop?!! There’s no point in arguing with ridiculous BS like this. Dany haters are going to hate.

      ACME:
      Manipulation and deceit are not Cersei’s favourite weapons. Whenever she can, she chooses violence.

      Cersei has been able to survive so long because of her manipulation. Sometimes she succeeds (Ned, Jaime, Sansa, Lancel) and sometimes she fails (The Tyrells). She resorts to violence when she can’t manipulate anymore – blowing up the sept.

      ACME:
      Sansa was angry at, once more, being ignored by Jon. Once again, he made a crucial decision without consulting her (that being said, on this one he did not even consult Davos, his unofficial hand, so I guess Sansa should not feel singled out !) and she was left to deal with the consequences, namely the Northern lords’ reaction.

      Why should Jon consult Sansa of all people? He is the King in the North. He has seen the WW. Sansa has been giving him wrong advice from the very beginning – she wanted to go to the Karstarks for help in season – she mocks Ser Davos, she rudely dismisses Brienne and sends her away when she warns her against LF. She was telling LF everything – Its from Sansa that LF knew about the letter that he used to manipulate Arya. She told him not to go south. Sansa is a fool.

      Jon left her in charge of the North and all she did was grumble about managing the Northern Lords. If she can’t even do that, then what is her point?

      ACME: She was planning for his succession which, given that he had agreed to put himself at the mercy of Targaryen (like Rickard and Brandon) and then went on a suicide mission north of the Wall, was entirely justified. Why is planning for the future of the State viewed as treasonous ? First Tyrion, now Sansa…

      No she was not preparing for his succession. She was actively thinking of deposing him and making herself queen because he bend the knee. It was only Arya being there that stopped her, because Arya would object. That’s why she was contemplating getting rid of Arya.

      ACME:
      Had she wanted to depose Jon, she could have done so the very moment Lord Glover and Lord Royce publicly declared they wished they had chosen her as their ruler. The lords were dangling the crown in front of her face and she did not take it.
      Does Sansa want power ? You bet she does. An awful lot !
      Is she willing to steal it from Jon ? We have seen no evidence of that.
      Was she tempted to do it ? My guess is yes, but she still did not do it.

      Yes, she was tempted to consider it then. The script makes that clear. And Sansa does not fully support Jon, only telling that ‘ Jon is doing what Jon thinks is best’ instead of throwing her support wholeheartedly behind him. She is being duplicitous here and Arya can see that she is tempted and confronts her about it. And the only lords who want to crown her are Glover and Royce – who Arya sees LF whispering to earlier. I am not sure Lyanna Mormont and the others are going to be all that pleased at Sansa accepting. That would be treason.

      ACME:
      Yet, she made no move against Arya. None at all. After Littlefinger’ advised her to keep Brienne close as a defense against Arya’s possible assassination attempt, Sansa sent the Maid of Tarth away…

      She did not get a chance to make a move because LF made the mistake of suggesting that Arya wanted to be lady of WF. And Sansa finally realized that LF was manipulating her. Sansa send Brienne away to isolate Arya – that was outlined in the script. Sansa is jealous of Brienne’s developing relationship with Arya and LF uses this jealousy to get Sansa to send Brienne away.

      So in effect Sansa was a fool who desired power and nearly killed her sister last season so that she could be queen. That’s Cersei lite right there. Sansa was ruthless enough to give up on Rickon as dead and focus on getting Winterfell back. Just like Cersei gave up on Tommen. Sansa mainly cares about herself – that’s why she kept LF around despite knowing his numerous crimes – because he looked out for her. Just like Cersei only thinks of herself. Sansa is still being petty about who gets to rule WF when an army of the dead is marching on the North

      Dany on the other hand halted her campaign to get the IT – something she was wanted for 7 seasons and focused North as soon as she evidence of the WW

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    86. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Avoiding unnecessary carnage is plausible, but UNNECESSARY is a key word. In case of dealing with Cersei in KL carnage is necessary and inevtable and attemts to prevent that lead to more carnage. The only alterative of carnage would be sending some FL assassin to take out Cersei.

      As for the dragons, it might be a continuity error or something more complex, but it Astapor dragons proved perfectly capable of distingushind a friend form a foe, same as in Meereen. And in Valyria dragons lived in an urban environment, so… I can agree that unleashing them on the Red Keep would have caused a collateral damage, but in Winterfell arrows could have caused it too, although on a smaller scale. Therefore, I don’t see any fundamental difference. If Dany intended to avoid collateral damage and keep her hands cleen, she should have went to Dosh Khaleen in S1.

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    87. Gwidhiel,
      That is lovely of you to say, thanks 😉

      Inga:
      Well, although a good heart alone is not enough, good people certainly make better rulers than bad ones.

      I truly wish I could agree but I cannot.

      Louis XIV (cruel and paranoid megalomaniac), George Washington (slave-owning “freedom” fighter), Catherine the Great (self-aggrandising despot), Henry VIII (living, breathing Blue Beard)… None of them could be qualified as a “good” person, by my standards, yet they were all formidable and talented rulers.
      Conversely, Louis XVI (enlightened and shy young man), Henry II of England (well-meaning though a touch shallow), George IV (by all acounts, a charming bloke in spite of his awful relations with his family), Charles IX of France (amiable and full of hope)… They are all people I would gladly share a drink or two with. Neither bloodthirsty nor appaling, they were, for all intents and purposes, good people. But they were pretty awful monarchs.

      Now, of course, this does not mean that lamentable human beings make better rulers than their kinder counterparts. It simply signifies that there is no absolute rule : “bad” people can become good or bad rulers, depending on context and their other characteristics; and “good” people as well.
      Even in the world of Game of Thrones, the “crapshoot” rule applies : Ned, Robb, Tommen, Stannis, Daenerys (in Astapor and Yunkai) = “good” people, dreadful rulers; Robert, Joffrey, Aerys = horrible men, horrible rulers; Tywin, Olenna = terrible people, quite good rulers; Jon Arryn, Doran = fairly decent guys, pretty gifted rulers.

      This lack of consistency is probably due to the fact that being good is not a factor in government for, as Tyrion (in Machiavellian mode) once pointed out, a good ruler is the “right kind of terrible” and what makes terrible “right” is not kindness or charity. It is efficiency and results.
      A crisis is a crisis; whether it was brought forth by a well-meaning person overreacting or failing to act or by a devious one entertaining him/herself, the result is the same : a crisis.

      And I totally disagree with the belief that a bad man can make a good ruler. Sure, sometimes nations develop sort of the Stockholm syndrom and start worship theirtormenters as efficient managers

      There is little left to governing if we remove managing from the equation, I am afraid. And bad people can be excellent managers. Ruling is, after all, a job. A job like any other job. With specific duties, skills and prerogatives. No one, I believe, would say that “bad” people cannot be brilliant accountants, superb surgeons or great artists. We know for a fact they can. Why would the job of ruler be any different ?

      As for Ollena, I don’t agree that she played Dany – I would have adviced her the same.

      Olenna lied to Daenerys and she lied to her with a specific purpose in mind, namely to unleash her onto Westeros, consequences be damned.

      For yes, Olenna did lie; when she said she had always ignored the advice of “clever men”, it was in blatant contradiction with pretty much everything we have seen her do on the show. After all, on Game of Thrones, Olenna only was a game-changer three times : when she blocked Littlefinger’s move to extract Sansa from King’s Landing the first time he tried, when she killed Joffrey and when she joigned forces with Daenerys. Now, each and every single time, she did so on the advice of a clever man : first Varys, then Littlefinger and finally Varys again. Therefore, when she told Daenerys she had succeeded by always ignoring the strategies of the clever men she had survived, she was manifestly fibbing.
      And fibbing with a goal in mind because, during the small council meeting, she realised that Tyrion was the moderating influence in Daenerys’s government, the one trying to keep the number of deaths to the strictest minimum (efficient killings instead of a bloodbath), so she gave her little grandmotherly speech to discredit him in the Mother of Dragons’s eyes. And it eventually worked.

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    88. vosh: It couldn’t be any clearer that she didn’t do what Olenna advised her to do, which was to invade King’s Landing.

      Olenna advised Daenerys to ignore Tyrion (the only moderate voice in her government at the time… The Queen of Thorns did not know Jon would eventually show up) and “be a dragon”. She did not specify when, where or how. And Daenerys ended up doing just that ; she dismissed Tyrion’s advice and pulled out the dragons and the Dothraki against a vastly outnumbered and unprepared army.

      Dany agreed to follow an even worse plan of his (probably the worst plan in the entire series), the polar opposite of what Olenna had wanted.

      The be-all-and-end-all of Olenna’s want was for Cersei to hurt. Attacking Casterly Rock, Tywin’s beloved home, would have qualified if Cersei and Jaime had not proven themselves less sentimental than Tyrion gave them credit for. Tyrion always underestimates his siblings…

      No, Jon said she’d be “more of the same” if she used her dragons to “melt castles and burn cities,” which she never did.

      I have to confess I am confused here. The scope of Jon’s speech to Daenerys is definitely broad : “I never thought that dragons would exist again. No one did. The people who follow you know that you made something impossible happen. Maybe that helps them believe that you can make other impossible things happen. Build a world that’s different from the shit one they’ve always known. But if you use them to melt castles and burn cities, you’re not different. You’re just more of the same.”
      He is telling Daenerys that she can either be different from everyone else or “more of the same”, either a symbol of hope against impossible odds or just another run-of-the-mill monarch who conquers and kills people who do not bow in time, like Cersei. And Daenerys then proceeds to do the exact same thing the Lioness just did, namely kill a parent-child duo. Both unbeknownst to Jon.

      Jon: “But you haven’t stormed King’s Landing. Why not? The only reason I can see is you don’t want to kill thousands of innocent people. It’s the fastest way to win the war but you won’t do it. Which means at the very least you’re better than Cersei.”

      I do not deny Jon’s reasoning; I question its validity ^^

      Jon was not present during the small council meeting between Daenerys and her advisors in the previous, nor was he present during her rule in Yunkai, Astapor or Meereen. For all he actually knows, Daenerys could have wanted to unleash fire and blood onto the city but was physically prevented to do by her advisors. Jon’s reasoning is faulty because he starts with the end result and infers that it must have been Daenerys’s intent all along, thereby ignoring any form of process or negociation. By the same token, he would have to infer that, because Cersei granted Olenna a peaceful death, the Lioness was forgiving and kind to the woman who murdered her son. However, we know that it is blatantly untrue since a) she did not know Olenna had killed Joffrey and b) she wanted the Queen of Thorns to suffer but was dissuaded by Jaime. Intentions and end results are two very different things.

      Furthermore, we cannot ignore that Jon did not visit Daenerys with socialisation on his mind. He came with a specific purpose : he wants to get her to grant him access to the Dragonstone obsidian reserve and, if at all possible, convince her to engage her dragons in the fight against the White Walkers. And it so happens that he has very little to offer in exchange : the only bargaining chip he has is the North’s submission and he is reluctant to use it, for good reasons. So he is hardly going to show up on her doorstep and shout “yo b*tch, my people thinks you are a bloodthirsty tyrant and I agree with them… Still, can you give me all your dragonglass and endanger your three kids for me and my peeps ?”. Even if he thought every single word of it (which he does not and nor should he).
      I have, on occasion, decried Jon’s political acumen or lack thereof but he is not an idiot. He knows he has to be extremely diplomatic with Daenerys, even butter her up so to speak. A little flattery goes a long way, especially when asking for a huge favour (cf. Davos propping up the heck out of Lyanna Mormont when he convinced her to put her men’s lives on the line) ^^

      Jon knows enough about Cersei to know that if she’d had Dany’s weapons at her disposal she wouldn’t have hesitated to use them out of any concern for innocents.

      We, the audience, know how Cersei is but Jon does not. He knows close to nothing of her.

      And while you’ve doubled and tripled down on morally equating that bombing with Dany killing the khals, Jon would understand there’s a gigantic moral difference between those actions.

      And I shall quadruple down then ^^

      You stated yourself that, were Daenerys to attack the Red Keep (and just the Red Keep, not the whole of King’s Landing), she would end up killing hundreds of innocents who just happen to live there. Yet, you appear in favour of such a strategy, calling it a “precision attack”. If, therefore, a “precision attack” can eliminate hundreds, thousands even, of innocent lives as collateral damage, why does Cersei’s attack on the Sept not qualify as such ?

      Both in 6.04 and 6.10, a woman destroyed a temple and burnt alive the leaders of the social, religious and political organisation that captured, condemned and intended to execute her, as per the laws of their land. Both were, as per your definition of moral acceptability in the context of warfare, “precision attacks”, the number of deaths imputable solely to external circumstances (the Sept was in the middle of a highly populated area, the Dothraki temple was isolated).

      SerNoName: Has anyone called Sansa mad or cruel for wanting to punish children for the sins of their fathers?

      I have not called her that for the Umber and Karstark situation because she did not want to hurt them as people but I have called her immensely problematic and worrying for the way she killed Ramsay. Do I qualify ?

      Has anyone called Jon mad or cruel for executing a child for mutiny?

      By Westerosi standards, Olly was not a child. He was older than Sansa and Lysa were when they first got married. Possibly as old as Jon was when he joined the Night’s Watch. And he, like the other mutineers, swore fealty to Jon directly, unlike the Tarlys who owed nothing to Daenerys.

      It’s only Arya and Dany that are stuck with labels of insanity – Arya is a psychopath (Liam Cunningham keeps calling her a serial killer) and Dany is seen as mad, cruel and merciless whose impulses needs to be controlled because she dared to execute traitors who refused to bend the knee.

      Cersei is called insane too. The label of insanity/psychopathy has also been attached to Joffrey, Ramsay, Stannis (at times), Robert Baratheon (by some, self included), Tywin, etc.
      And you might have missed all the cheers that echoed in the forums when Arya turnt two human beings into pâté. ^^

      Why is Sansa not labelled a psychopathic, merciless killer for smiling while watching a man getting eaten alive by hungry dogs?

      Possibly because it was the first time we ever saw her do such a thing ? It was monstrous and gruesome but not part of a pattern yet (and still).
      Actions do not exist in a vaccuum : when someone does something awful once, people call it awful and wait for what comes next; when someone does something awful for the nth time, that is when questions start being asked and worries being expressed.
      Repetition is key : once is an incident, twice a coincidence, three times is a pattern.

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    89. SerNoName: He was concerned about her safety there. He clearly says that he is worried that even one arrow could fell her and they would lose their leader which leads to Dany asking what sort of leader she would be if she does not fight like her men.

      So Tyrion’s objection to Dany’s attack on the Red Keep was not about civilian casualties, but about Dany’s safety.

      No, that’s not true.

      She suggests flying to the Red Keep.

      He says, “We’ve discussed this…”.

      Then it’s Daenerys who mentions risking her life.

      But, you’re right, Daenerys risking her life would have been among Tyrion’s concerns since they had discussed that earlier, along with the potential consequences of using the dragons on King’s Landing.

      The Tarlys suffered a less painful death than either Ramsay getting eaten by dogs or Olly getting hanged. So yes, I find this selective judgement of Dany to be double standard.

      Oh, wow, that’s rich. It’s a sure sign of lost objectivity and double standards when people actually start trying to claim that BURNING PEOPLE ALIVE is a more humane death than hanging or being eaten alive.

      Go back and watch that scene and you’ll clearly hear the Tarlys’ cries and see them thrashing about in the flames.

      Frankly, your comments are prime examples of the desperation not to hold Daenerys to the same moral standards, to the point where you’re actually defending burning people alive as a method of execution.

      ACME has kindly explained why people aren’t rushing to call Jon, Sansa and co mad or cruel.

      But for the record, I don’t believe anybody mentioned Daenerys being mad or cruel. It was you who brought that up.

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    90. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,
      I’ll just jump in and say if a choice was offered between being burned at the stake Shireen style or burned by dragon like the Tarly men, I’d say everyone would choose dragon. It’s must faster, when one takes the full, sustained blast (not just being set on fire by passing flames). Or… one could have Theon try some more beheadings…

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    91. ACME,

      Olenna advised Daenerys to ignore Tyrion (the only moderate voice in her government at the time… The Queen of Thorns did not know Jon would eventually show up) and “be a dragon”. She did not specify when, where or how.

      It didn’t need to be spelled out like that. She’d already made it extremely obvious to Dany that she wanted her to invade King’s Landing, but your continued denial of this just has us going in circles, so I’ll stop repeating myself.

      As for your interpretation of the Jon quote you posted, I refer to my previous reply about that.

      Regarding your insinuation that Jon wasn’t sincere when he said Dany is better than Cersei, if anyone really believes that I have no interest in trying to talk them out of it. Likewise for all the people morally equating Cersei’s terrorist bombing of the Sept with Dany killing the khals. I just wanted to highlight how people really do seriously make that argument, but to me it is beneath debate.

      You stated yourself that, were Daenerys to attack the Red Keep (and just the Red Keep, not the whole of King’s Landing), she would end up killing hundreds of innocents who just happen to live there. Yet, you appear in favour of such a strategy

      No, I said some innocents would die, not hundreds, and I never supported the strategy, so your subsequent claim that it fit my “definition of moral acceptability in the context of warfare” is also false. What I said is that Tyrion’s plan to besiege the city would’ve been an attack mainly on civilians, whereas Dany had only wanted to target the Red Keep.

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    92. ACME,

      I guess our standards of good rulers (and bad people) differ quite considerably. I wouldn’t count Louis XIV or Catherine the Great as a particularly good rulers or as bad persons: Louis XIV was profligate, but not cruel, and Catherine the Great had a rather good heart and, despite of being ruthless, she wasn’t cruel. As for Henry VIII, he was bad as a person, but I haven’t heard of any major achievements of him as a ruler either. And as for George Washington, being slave-owner doesn’t make someone a bad person, etc.

      And I don’t consider Tywin a good ruler or efficient manager either: finis coronat opus and being shot by own son in the privy is not how a truly efficient manager should go.

      As for Ollena, we can agree to disagree but IMO she said the same what Tyrion said: that a ruler must be terrible in the right way. Which way is right is a good question withough no simple answer, but anyway I don’t see how telling the obvious can be interpreted as playing someone and Daenerys Stormborn in particular.

      And who are those allegedly innocent civilians in the Red Keep? Cersei’s handmade? Her other loyal servans? I bet that everyone who disliked Cersei and were alive have already fled from the Red Keep and KL, because the Frankenmountan has been lurking around for two seasons now. Therefore, I can only repeat that the attempt to save those allegedly innocent civilliand led to the deaths of loyal allies and I think that failing allies is immoral.

      And one last thing concerning the alleged parallel between Dany byrning Dosh Khaleen and Cersei burning the Sept. Dany was in conflict with the Dothraki, because she didn’t join the Dosh Khaleen – yes, but that was a local social norm. Cersei was in conflict with the Faith, because she broke a universal social norm: she killed her husband and committed adultry, which isn’t a good thing either. Therefore, again there was a fundamental difference between Dany and Cersei, and you can’t deny it.

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    93. Inga,

      “Cersei was in conflict with the Faith, because she broke a universal social norm: she killed her husband and committed adultry, which isn’t a good thing either. ”

      ————————
      I felt she was in conflict because the High Hypocrite was trying to grab power and neutralize rivals.

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    94. ACME,

      “And you might have missed all the cheers that echoed in the forums when Arya turnt two human beings into pâté.”
      ………………….

      I’m still cheering. Bon Appetit!

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    95. SerNoName,

      “No she was not preparing for his succession. She was actively thinking of deposing him and making herself queen because he bend the knee. It was only Arya being there that stopped her, because Arya would object. That’s why she was contemplating getting rid of Arya.”
      —————-
      Wait. When was this? Once Jon “bent the knee”, he couldn’t be “deposed” as king. By then, he’d accepted the Warden of the North appointment.

      Maybe I’ve got the chronology screwed up. I thought by the time Sansa got the ravengram about the knee-bending, she had already been daydreaming about being QitN. Candidly, I have not rewatched those WF scenes. Have not wanted to.

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    96. Ten Bears,

      I don’t think the High Sparrow was a hypocrite. He wanted power – yes, but for the sake of making the world a better place, just like Daenerys.

      And I’m not sure Sansa was daydreaming about being QITN. She had to consider posibble scenarios and one of them was Jon not comming back – in such case she would have taken the leadership. But deposing Jon was too complicated and not worth the effort and, though Sansa really disagreed with his decisions, she wasn’t even sure, whether she wanted it or not. IMO, rather not, than yes, because Sansa has always preferred a more passive position and liked comfort and that was incompatible with ruling in the time of war. So, it was something like “I’ll think about it tomorrow”. Had she really went any further with those thoughts, it wouldn’t have been so easy for her to depose her only ally Littlefinger.

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    97. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: No, that’s not true.

      She suggests flying to the Red Keep.

      He says, “We’ve discussed this…”.

      Then it’s Daenerys who mentions risking her life.

      And from Dany’s response it should be obvious that what they have discussed was Dany risking her life:

      Dany: I am going to fly to the red keep and attack
      Tyrion: We have discussed this
      Dany: What kind of Queen am i if I am not willing to risk my life to fight them?
      Tyrion: A smart one

      It’s clear here that Tyrion’s objection was Dany’s safety and he has brought up how dangerous it is for Dany earlier as well.

      It’s you who wants to make it about Tyrion objecting about civilian casualties when his plan of a siege and starving the KL population would result in more civilian deaths.

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    98. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:

      Oh, wow, that’s rich. It’s a sure sign of lost objectivity and double standards when people actually start trying to claim that BURNING PEOPLE ALIVE is a more humane death than hanging or being eaten alive.

      Go back and watch that scene and you’ll clearly hear the Tarlys’ cries and see them thrashing about in the flames.

      I would suggest that YOU go back and watch that scene again. The Tarlys became ashes in seconds. They were hit by direct dragon fire. There’s a difference in getting hit by dragon fire where you are gone in seconds as opposed to what happened to Mance and Shireen who were slowly roasted.

      Tarlys die in seconds
      Ramsay dies slowly, screaming getting eaten alive by dogs while Sansa watches smiling
      Olly’s neck did not break – he suffocated to death – we saw the bulging eyes and swollen face of a child

      But of course, Dany gets the most criticism and hate for executing them for treason after they refused to bend the knee. Typical.

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    99. vosh: Regarding your insinuation that Jon wasn’t sincere when he said Dany is better than Cersei, if anyone really believes that I have no interest in trying to talk them out of it.

      I insinuated nothing; I stated. Without any ambiguity whatsoever.

      Jon came to Daenerys with a big request and very little to “pay” for it. Jon is advised by Davos who, on multiple occasions, has demonstrated his understanding and knowledge of diplomacy, including the need to “grease the wheels” with a little bit of flattery. Putting the two together is hardly cognitively revolutionary. Or insulting.

      Likewise for all the people morally equating Cersei’s terrorist bombing of the Sept with Dany killing the khals.

      The only difference you have, so far, established between the two is that you call one “terrorist” and the other “killing”. The word “terrorist” is demonstrably not, in and of itself, an argument. Especially not given that you have yet to provide a definition of the term “terrorism”.

      I just wanted to highlight how people really do seriously make that argument, but to me it is beneath debate.

      To whom did you wish to highlight this ? The people who were, entirely openly and consciously, arguing that point ? That may seem somewhat unnecessary but ok ! ^^

      No, I said some innocents would die, not hundreds,

      How many people do you believe live in the Red Keep ? Between the guards, the chambermaids, the cooks, the gardeners, the floor map painters, the Little Birds who enter and exit freely, etc. The retinue is easily in the hundreds. If the Red Keep burns, they all die.
      And that is without taking into account the fact that King’s Landing is a glorified powder keg thanks to the endless underground tunnels full of wildfire. One spark in the wrong place and a whole neighbourhood goes kaboom.

      I never supported the strategy, so your subsequent claim that it fit my “definition of moral acceptability in the context of warfare” is also false. What I said is that Tyrion’s plan to besiege the city would’ve been an attack mainly on civilians, whereas Dany had only wanted to target the Red Keep.

      You stated that an attack of the Red Keep was Daenerys’s idea and that Daenerys herself is morally sound; I inferred you therefore considered her strategy to be morally sound. Are you actually saying that burning the Red Keep, the move Daenerys argued for, is not morally acceptable ? And if so, how can Daenerys herself be morally sound if the tactics she argues for are not ?

      Inga: I wouldn’t count Louis XIV or Catherine the Great as a particularly good rulers or asbad persons: Louis XIV was profligate, but not cruel, and Catherine the Great had a rather good heart and, despite of being ruthless, she wasn’t cruel.

      Nicolas Fouquet, Peter III and Pugachev might disagree, I believe. ^^

      As for Henry VIII, he was bad as a person, but I haven’t heard of any major achievements of him as a ruler either.

      The creation of the Church of England, an institution that has legitimised the British monarchy virtually uninterruptedly to this day, could qualify as something of an achievement.

      I guess our standards of good rulers (and bad people) differ quite considerably. (…) And as for George Washington, beingslave-owner doesn’t make someone a bad person, etc.

      You are right, we are not going to see eye-to-eye on that one.

      And I don’t consider Tywin a good ruler or efficient manager either: finis coronat opus and being shot by own son in the privy is not how a truly efficient manager should go.

      If death truly is the achievement of life, then I suppose Robb and Catelyn were terrible people given how they ended up. And what to say of Jon, stabbed in a courtyard by a boy who had once worshipped him ? And Ned, beheaded under the cheers of the crowd ?
      Death is just that, death. Some great people get pathetic demises, some lamentable people get spectacular finales. There is no rhyme or reason to it.

      As for Ollena, we can agree to disagree but IMO she said the same what Tyrion said: that a ruler must be terrible in the right way. Which way is right is a good question withough no simple answer, but anyway I don’t see how telling the obvious can be interpreted as playing someone and Daenerys Stormborn in particular.

      Olenna highlighted the need for ruthlessness (which is indisputable) but emphasised no “right” way to use it. Because she did not care whether Daenerys did right or wrong as long as she damaged Cersei. This is where the manipulation lies; manipulation is not about lying, it is simply about leading someone to serve your interests without them knowing you are doing it. Olenna had an agenda and hid it behind the thoroughly insincere pretence of woman-to-woman solidarity. And it worked.

      And who are those allegedly innocent civilians in the Red Keep? Cersei’s handmade? Her other loyal servans?

      People who need to get paid. Servants are rarely servants out of loyalty or political support. Most do it for the same reason most people do most jobs : money.

      I bet that everyone who disliked Cersei and were alive have already fled from the Red Keep and KL, because the Frankenmountan has been lurking around for two seasons now.

      We have seen no evidence of that, I think. King’s Landing appears just as populated now as it ever has.

      Dany was in conflict with the Dothraki, because she didn’t join the Dosh Khaleen – yes, but that was a local social norm. Cersei was in conflict with the Faith, because she broke a universal social norm: she killed her husband and committed adultry, which isn’t a good thing either. Therefore, again there was a fundamental difference between Dany and Cersei, and you can’t deny it.

      I can and will ^^

      The anti-adultery norm is not universal at all because the norm of marriage itself is not universal; furthermore, in Westeros, it is only enforced on women, not men ( bit like the Dosh Kaleen standard…) After all, everyone knew that Robert continuously cheated on Cersei and no one had a problem with it.
      On a more conceptual level, I am intrigued : what does the scope of a law have to do with its validity ? If a law is popular in many places, does it make it right ? I cannot get behind this idea for prejudices and stupidity travel just as fast and just as far as enlightenement and justice. The whole of Europe (of the world even) agreed for centuries that women were not equal to men. Does this universal support mean the idea was actually right ?

      So the laws Cersei violated are no more universal than the one Daenerys broke and, even if they were, it would not prove anything for universality does not equal validity.

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    100. Ten Bears: Was Olly executed for mutiny, or murder?

      While I would assume the Night’s Watch is not big on brothers murdering other brothers under any circumstance, I think that killing one’s Lord Commander is special. So mutiny (ie treason) it was.

      PS Bon appétit to you 😉

      SerNoName: I see. So that fact that,Cersei did not care that she slaughtered hundred of innocent civilians and the Tyrell family while taking down this religious institutiondoes not matter to you at all?

      No, it does not. As I have repeatedly stated. What matters to me are deeds, not the intentions behind them, because this is how policies work and policies are what rulers are judged on. When somebody’s decision causes the deaths of hundreds of innocent people, it does not matter, on a political level, whether they take said decision with a smile on their face or tears in their eyes for the end result is the same.

      For a reason I cannot quite fathom, this conversation is slowly devolving into a personality contest between Cersei and Daenerys, as if such a thing was even a matter of debate. Of course, Daenerys is a better person than Cersei. But that it is not the bone of contention, I am afraid. The bone of contention is which of them is the better ruler, the safer ruler. And, on this topic, the discrepancies are much fewer and further in between.

      Dany and Cersei are just equivalent full stop?!! There’s no point in arguing with ridiculous BS like this. Dany haters are going to hate.

      I strongly disagree. What makes arguing impossible, or so it seems, is this last word : “hate”. No one here has been even remotely hateful towards Daenerys. Critical, sure, but never hateful. Those are two extremely distinct things and should be viewed as such.

      Cersei has been able to survive so long because of her manipulation. Sometimes she succeeds (Ned, Jaime, Sansa, Lancel) and sometimes she fails (The Tyrells). She resorts to violence when she can’t manipulate anymore – blowing up the sept.

      It is the other way around, me thinks : she manipulates when she cannot choose violence.
      That is why she manipulated Tyrion and the others at the Dragonpit : she was outnumbered and outweaponed thus she lied to buy herself some time to get bigger numbers and more weapons. So she could choose violence once again later!

      She did not manipulate Ned, she openly threatened him and imprisoned him at the first opportunity (Littlefinger is the one who manipulated Ned); she never manipulated Jaime, she always told him straight-up what she wanted and expected; she did not manipulate Sansa, she told her to write the letter so Robb woud stop his rebellion and Ned would not be executed (Cersei really did not want Ned executed); she did not manipulate Lancel, she told him to poison the King pretty frontally; she did not manipulate the Tyrells, she had them imprisoned by the Faith (and again, all the manipulating was on Littlefinger’s part).

      Cersei is far from unintelligent but she lacks the patience and sense of delayed gratification necessary for manipulation. There is rarely any “long con” with her; what you see is what you get 95% of the time.

      Why should Jon consult Sansa of all people?

      Because she is the one who has to deal with the Northern lords’ reaction and sell his policies to them ?

      Jon knew, before he left, that his decision to meet with the Targaryen queen was not a popular one amongst the lords just as he knew that they were pretty gung ho on their independence. When he left, he put Sansa in charge of the North, making her his representative, his spokesperson to the nobility.
      It so happens that representatives, in order to do their job correctly, need to be kept informed of what is going on, what is about to go on and why; otherwise, they have no idea what they are supposed to represent… Davos made the same reproach to Jon after the latter announced to Cersei he had bent the knee to Daenerys (to Seaworth’s surprise and dismay : “I wish you hadn’t done that”). And it was not the first time that Jon pretty much sprang an already-made decision on the very people who are supposed to help him make and sell his decisions !
      No efficient government is a one-(wo)man show.

      No she was not preparing for his succession. She was actively thinking of deposing him and making herself queen because he bend the knee.

      Sansa learnt of Jon bending the knee in the final episode, didn’t she ? And, if he had already bent the knee, how could she depose him ? He had already deposed himself, so to speak.
      Before that, she was preparing for his succession (with herself as the heir, of course, since Bran outright refused any role in government). Jon had gone to meet a Targaryen ! The last time Starks did that, they did not come back. Better be prepared !

      It was only Arya being there that stopped her, because Arya would object. That’s why she was contemplating getting rid of Arya.

      We see no evidence that she contemplated getting rid of Arya.
      Quite frankly, even if there had been a Northern coup and Arya had objected, it would have had no political incidence whatsoever; the line of succession goes Jon, Bran (who already has abdicated any role in Northern politics, after Sansa offered him back his place as Lord of Winterfell), Sansa and then Arya. Therefore, the objection of the last in line would have carried zero weight in the eyes of the Northern lords, the only people habilitated to validate a claim.

      Sansa was panicked at the idea of the letter leaking because the Northern lords had already started giving up on Jon after he left the North; if the letter had come out and they had given up on her too, then they would all have left Winterfell and gone back home. After all, the Northern lords are weather vanes and they will only stick around as long as they are pleased with the person in charge. Had they lost faith in both Jon and Sansa, the Starks would have been left to fend for themselves with just the Freefolks as supports.

      Yes, she was tempted to consider it then. The script makes that clear.And Sansa does not fully support Jon, only telling that ‘ Jon is doing what Jon thinks is best’ instead of throwing her support wholeheartedly behind him.

      I have no problem with her being tempted. That is fine by me !
      But what would throwing her full support wholeheartedly behind him have meant ? Selling the hell out of his decisions even when she did not know or understand what those were ? When she had no idea how his negociations with the Targaryen queen were even going ?
      Adocating for something without knowing what it is : I am afraid it is the description of a cult, not of a government.

      And the only lords who want to crown her are Glover and Royce

      No one in the room protested against their statement. If anything, there was a low rumble of “yes” after Lord Glover said they should have chosen Sansa to rule them. And Lord Royce had the most powerful army in the North at the time.

      who Arya sees LF whispering to earlier.

      Didn’t that happen afterwards ? Littlefinger sought out the two lords after they had already said they wished Sansa were in charge.

      I am not sure Lyanna Mormont and the others are going to be all that pleased at Sansa accepting. That would be treason.

      Weren’t Lyanna Mormont and the others supposed to be in the room when Lords Glover and Royce made their statements at the assembly ? Lyanna Mormont was never shown to miss a single one of those meetings.

      So in effect Sansa was a fool who desired power and nearly killed her sister last season so that she could be queen.

      I feel I have to ask again : when did Sansa “nearly kill” Arya ? When did she try anything against her ? When did she put together any plan to have her eliminated ? Just Brienne not being around does not make Arya more vulnerable, especially not after the younger Stark sister demonstrated she was capable of defeating as good a fighter as Brienne. So when did that dastardly near assassination, or even threat of an assassination, occur ?

      Sansa was ruthless enough to give up on Rickon as dead and focus on getting Winterfell back.

      Accepting that someone is as good as dead is the same as giving up on them ? Pragmatism is a moral and emotional failure ? That is highly debatable.

      However, it is an interesting statement because I feel that it is, in fine, a unifying thread for many points made during fan conversations : blind faith.
      Sansa and the Northern lords should have faith in Jon, even though they have neither idea nor proof of what he is doing; Sansa should have had faith Jon could save Rickon, even though she knew it was not possible; she should have had faith that he would come back from Dragonstone even though he was effectively taken hostage by a Targaryen; we, the viewers, should have faith that Daenerys is always going to do the right thing even if what we see her actually do is at times problematic; etc.
      This idea that rulers should be believed in is, once again, out of place in my opinion for rulers are not gurus and governments are not cults. And a good thing it is too because when the two get mixed up, it often leads to this !

      Dany on the other hand halted her campaign to get the IT – something she was wanted for 7 seasons and focused North as soon as she evidence of the WW

      Daenerys kept on asking Jon to bend the knee to her (something entirely political) for a long while after she was told of the White Walkers and their threat repeatedly. The Mother of Dragons only abandoned the political route once she saw the creatures for herself, honestly admitting : “you ought to see it to know”. She did not act on blind faith ! + 1 for Daenerys !

      Neither the Northern lords, nor Sansa (nor most people in Westeros) have seen any of those creatures but you expect them to be more trustworthy (more faithful ?) than Daenerys was herself. That is a tall order.

      But of course, Dany gets the most criticism and hate for executing them for treason after they refused to bend the knee. Typical.

      The execution of the Tarlys did not happen in a vaccuum; it happened after Daenerys had slavers crucified, after she fed men to her dragons, after she burnt the khals alive, etc. Each individual instance may feel “justified” but, taken as a whole, they become a pattern. A pattern one may find worrying.
      No such pattern exists (so far) for either Jon or Sansa.

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    101. ACME,

      ***
      “The execution of the Tarlys did not happen in a vacuum; it happened after Daenerys had slavers crucified, after she fed men to her dragons, after she burnt the khals alive, etc. Each individual instance may feel “justified” but, taken as a whole, they become a pattern. A pattern one may find worrying…”

      ____________
      Intesting.
      One other thing: whether justified or not, Daenerys’s greatest hits provided Cersei with ammunition for a campaign-style speech to unify the southen lords behind her and against “the Mad King’s daughter” and the foreign savages she had brought with her.

      Even without mentioning the Khal roast, Cersei made good use of the “pattern” you outlined,
      in her Daeny-bashing speech to Randyll Tarley and the other assembled lords in S7e2:

      “If the Mad King’s daughter takes the Iron Throne, she will destroy the Realm as we know it. Some of you are bannermen of House Tyrell. But House Tyrell is in open rebellion against the Crown. With their help the Mad King’s daughter has ferried an army of savages to our shores. Mindless Unsullied soldiers who will destroy your castles and your holdfasts. Dothraki heathens who will burn your villages to the ground, rape and enslave your women, and butcher your children without a second thought. This is how Olenna Tyrell rewards centuries of service and loyalty.

      You all remember the Mad King. You remember the horrors he inflicted upon his people. His daughter is no different. In Essos her brutality is already legendary. She crucified hundreds of noblemen in Slaver’s Bay. And when she grew bored of that, she fed them to her dragons.

      It is my solemn duty to protect the people, and I will but I need your help, My Lords. We must stand together, all of us, if we hope to stop her.”

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    102. ACME:
      Accepting that someone is as good as dead is the same as giving up on them ? Pragmatism is a moral and emotional failure ? That is highly debatable.

      However, it is an interesting statement because I feel that it is, in fine, a unifying thread for many points made during fan conversations : blind faith.
      Sansa and the Northern lords should have faith in Jon, even though they have neither idea nor proof of what he is doing; Sansa should have had faith Jon could save Rickon, even though she knew it was not possible; she should have had faith that he would come back from Dragonstone even though he was effectively taken hostage by a Targaryen; we, the viewers, should have faith that Daenerys is always going to do the right thing even if what we see her actually do is at times problematic; etc.
      This idea that rulers should be believed in is, once again, out of place in my opinion for rulers are not gurus and governments are not cults. And a good thing it is too because when the two get mixed up, it often leads to this !

      ACME, I’ve so enjoyed reading your articulate, patiently well-reasoned, evidence-backed contributions to this discussion. Again, agree with all you’ve said, particularly this ^^.

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    103. ACME,

      How many people do you believe live in the Red Keep ? Between the guards, the chambermaids, the cooks, the gardeners, the floor map painters, the Little Birds who enter and exit freely, etc. The retinue is easily in the hundreds. If the Red Keep burns, they all die.

      Your assumption that they would all die shows once again how extremely uncharitable you’re being to Dany. For one, she may well have chosen to only strike the tower Cersei is sleeping in and then pulled back to show restraint and encourage people to desert or surrender. She never went into any detail about how much of the Red Keep she wanted to attack, but naturally you assume the worst. And sure, any fire would spread but there’s no basis for assuming that it would burn the entire Red Keep down or that no civilian inside would’ve been able to escape, especially since there are so many secret passages leading out of it.

      Also, the guards in the Red Keep aren’t civilians but swords who’ve signed up to fight for Cersei, and I’ve seen no proof anywhere that hundreds of civilians live in the Red Keep.

      As for the wildfire, that’s one reason why — contrary to your false claim — I never supported using dragonfire on any part of King’s Landing, but at no point was wildfire even mentioned by anyone in Dany’s camp in season 7, even though it would’ve been the most obvious and important factor to consider. For whatever reason, they seem to be operating under the belief that Cersei used all the remaining wildfire she had in her bombing of the Sept. Dany has never been told that there’s still wildfire in the city, and if Tyrion actually believes otherwise it would make his plan to besiege the city even far more inhumane, as it would give Cersei much more time to set it off and disperse it throughout the city to maximize death and destruction. Whereas Dany could’ve killed her in a surprise nighttime attack before she was prepared to set off any wildfire.

      You stated that an attack of the Red Keep was Daenerys’s idea and that Daenerys herself is morally sound; I inferred you therefore considered her strategy to be morally sound. Are you actually saying that burning the Red Keep, the move Daenerys argued for, is not morally acceptable ? And if so, how can Daenerys herself be morally sound if the tactics she argues for are not ?

      I never said that she is morally sound, though I certainly believe she’s a good person relative to her time and place. Also, someone can easily be morally sound without making the right decision every single time. In this case, we’re not even talking about a decision of hers, just an idea she briefly proposed and quickly relented on.

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    104. Ten Bears,

      Daario’s a mercenary, but he’s straightforward and, from what we’ve seen, not driven by greed for either money or power. As naïve as this might sound, I actually haven’t lost hope for Meereen. Unlikelier candidates have ultimately proven themselves as sound rulers.

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    105. SerNoName,

      You really should get over this bizarre victimhood narrative you have going for a fictional TV character.

      The fact that you’re actually trying to argue that executing somebody by burning them alive is more humane than having them hanged or them being eaten alive just goes to show how unreasonably defensive you’ve become over criticism of a fictional character.

      Do you expect me to go back and count how many seconds the Tarlys were heard/seen screaming and thrashing in the fire compared to how long Ramsay was heard screaming or the dying mutineers were thrashing around?

      Are we going to have to debate whether having your entire body engulfed in flames is more or less painful than being mauled by dogs or choking to death on the end of a rope?

      Don’t you see how silly that is?

      Or you could simply accept that people are allowed to criticise Daenerys for burning men alive, debate her reasoning and morality in doing so, and make comparisons to characters you obviously don’t want her to be compared to (e.g. Cersei, Stannis, etc) without being accused of unfairly holding her to a higher moral standard or giving the character “hate”.

      Although, considering that one of the character’s defining characteristics is her self-professed desire to be a better and fairer ruler than those she intends to replace, I’m not exactly sure what the problem with holding her to a higher moral standard would be anyway. Or are we not even supposed to judge the character by their own words/standards?

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    106. SerNoName,

      So Tyrion didn’t “clearly say that he is worried that even one arrow could fell her and they would lose their leader” during that exchange, as you claimed earlier?

      Daenerys simply assumes that he’s talking about her safety and none of the further ramifications that they discussed earlier, ie. “queen of the ashes” and so on?

      Interesting.

      Could you give me your authoritative estimates of how many people would starve to death in a siege before Cersei surrendered or the people of King’s Landing revolted compared to how many would die in torching an entire castle, plus any potential further collateral damage or wildfire explosions?

      You seem incredibly certain that a siege would result in more death and misery than a direct assault using the dragons, despite the characters on the show apparently concluding otherwise.

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    107. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      Well, it’s a common sense, I guess. The Leningrade Blocade claimed 1/5 to 1/4 of the civillian population, therefore a rought estimate for KL would be 200 thousand at least. Besides that, after losing the Reach, Dany had no provision for her army. The Dothraki would have had no other chance to survive than to pillage the Crownlands; therefore, add a potential famine in the Crowlands. Moreover, despite of any pillaging, Dany’s army would have had to starve anyway while camping on an open field. That would have led to severe losses and a potential mutinee. In short, after losing the Reach, Tyrion’s plan would have been a straight path to a very painful defeat. It could have worked only in case of not losing the Reach and only at the cost of some 200-250 mainly civillian lives (soldiers are fed even during most dire sieges). And anry revolt would have been out of question, because when civillians starve – I mean, starve for real, not just experience a shortage of food – they become extremely passive and obedient.

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    108. ACME,

      1) Adultry is a sin not because marriage is a norm, but becauses keeping promises and staying true to one’s word is a norm. Sure, people breach it regularly for all kinds of reasons; nevertheless, it’s still one of the most fundamental norms of human coexixtence.

      2) People who need to get paid are not innocent: they make a choice. It may not be an easy choice but nethertheless one has to face consequences.

      3) Death may not be an achievement of life, but memory/legacy is. Tywin’s legacy is wrecked lives of all three of his children and a near extinxtion of his house. Both of his sons have already rebelled against his teachings, Cersei will continue to follow them to the end but that will be her undoing.

      4) As for Dany, she was terrible in the right way when dealing with the Dothraki; in Meereen she had ups and downs, and in Westeros she simply allowed Randyl Tarly to beat her in the field of the alleged moral superiority, which was stupid, because she could have prevailed simply by choosing other words and primarily by not giving him a choice: he was a traitor whose treason led to the death of his liege lady and sufferings and deaths of her loyal subject.

      5) And as for the Church of England, no pun intended, but there was no need to legitimise English monarchy – it was pretty legitimate under the Catholich Church. Sure, there were some positive effects in breaking from Rome (mainly, related to redistribution of resources), but even with that in mind, Henry VIII can’t be even compared to Albert of Prussia who really used protestantims to solve fundamental problems and give a new impetus to his state.

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    109. Inga,

      Well, with all due respect, what you’ve written is just complete guesswork since we have no way of predicting how long the siege would last or how it would play out.

      The example you’ve chosen for your estimate just happens to be one of the most devastating and uncompromising sieges in history, so your own estimate is an extreme rather than mere common sense.

      And that’s the point I’m making. Trying to deflect criticism of Dany’s proposals to attack the Red Keep by condemning Tyrion’s plan for a siege is pointless since we have no way of accurately comparing the likely consequences and death tolls.

      All we know for certain is that, when faced with the problem themselves the characters chose a siege as the apparent lesser of two evils for various reasons.

      Also, we have no idea what the situation is regarding Dany feeding her armies. You’re assuming that she was relying on The Reach to supply them but the producers appeared to completely overlook that particular issue. As far as I remember anyway.

      The Dothraki and their horses somehow managed to stay fed off-screen through Episodes 1 to 7, which apparently covered a period lasting many weeks or even months.

      As did the dragons, despite being based on a barren island.

      And the Unsullied apparently managed to trek across the breadth of Westeros after abandoning Casterly Rock without any mention of how they fed themselves.

      So it’s fair to say that the issue of how Dany would feed her forces during a siege is not something we can accurately predict.

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    110. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,

      In Ep 4, Dany explicitly mentioned that she had no food for her army. Therefore, I assume that, althought she brought some resources from Essos, she was relying on the Reach in the long run.

      As for the example I have chosen for my estimates, IMO it’s applicabe exactly because of the type of a ruler Cersei is: she doesn’t care about anyone or anything exept of her goal of stayting in power and she is determined to fight to the last. Neither Tyrion, nor anyone else took into account the factor of her personality. Sorry for being repetitive, but can you imagine Cersei surrendering? I can’t, and that means that a straightforward storm of KL couldn’t have been avoided anyway.

      Meanwhile, counting on revolt in a besieged city was too optimistic: Davos tried to instigate a revolt againt Joffrey in S2, but it didn’t work, because, despite of hating Joffrey and the Lannisters, the folk was too affraid of Stannis. Last season the situation was similar: the folk was far from fond of Cersei, but saw Dany as a far greater threat, and Tyrion was not even making arrangements for instigating any revolt in KL.

      Therefore, once again: Tyrion’s plan was risky in the beginning and became doomed by midseason. And the fact that the characters chose a siege as the apparent lesser of two evils doesn’t mean that their choice was correct: GoT charracters are known for making mistakes and overlooking crucial factors, especially underestimating their actual and potential enemies, therefore it’s always ambiguous which of the evils ir or was lesser and we have a room to speculate ad infinitum.

      As I see things, Dany’s ultimate choice to attack the Lannister/Tarly army on it’s way back from the Reach was the best available choice in the given situation: she won the victory that broke Jaime – the commander of the enemy’s forces. Had Cersei be a different, more normal person, they would have already been discussing terms of surrender.

      Dany only screwed with Tarlies, but, although that will backfire, it will backfire primarily through Sam and maybe Jon, and therefore it will be a different story about an unexpected side effect. But I don’t think that Tarlies’ demise will play any role in Dany’s interactions with the Lannisters.

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    111. Ten Bears: One other thing: whether justified or not, Daenerys’s greatest hits provided Cersei with ammunition for a campaign-style speech to unify the southen lords behind her and against “the Mad King’s daughter” and the foreign savages she had brought with her. Even without mentioning the Khal roast, Cersei made good use of the “pattern” you outlined,

      In-bloody-deed ! ^^

      Daenerys is in dire need of a PR campaign for, from the average Westerosi’s perspective, her army looks like the ultimate monster mash :
      – Daenerys : last representative of a family famous for their propensity for insanity and daughter of a man infamous for his cruelty;
      – Dothraki = known rapists, pillagers and enslavers;
      – Unsullied = reputedly hive-minded, relentless killers;
      – dragons = capricious weapons of mass destruction;
      – Tyrion = alleged regicide and nepoticide, confirmed patricide;
      – Varys = spider extraordinaire;
      – Sands = treasonous bastards and murderers of young girls;
      – Ironborn = rapists and former enslavers of the Riverlands (+ Theon, the traitor)…

      We can all debate endlessly about the fact that the Dothraki and the Ironborn pinky-swore they would not rape anymore or that the Unsullied are now free men or that Daenerys is keen not to reproduce her father’s mistakes or whatever else but the core of the problem remains : Westerosi are unaware of all those footnotes.
      Cersei may look dangerous to her fellow countrymen but, compared with what they know of Daenerys, she can appear to be the lesser of two evils. All the more so after the Fields of Fire 2.0 and the execution of two well-respected, highly regarded nobles. Daenerys, by choosing to attack and punish Westerosi in the way she did, basically proved Cersei’s speech right and is now, from a reputational standpoint, on her way to be viewed as the very “Queen of the Ashes” she was so keen not to be identified as.

      Gwidhiel: ACME, I’ve so enjoyed reading your articulate, patiently well-reasoned, evidence-backed contributions to this discussion. Again, agree with all you’ve said, particularly this ^^.

      That is extremely nice of you to say so, cheers to you ! 😉

      Faith is such a terrible basis for governance !
      I feel there is no better proof of it than Missandei. After all she is, by far, one of the most intelligent, poised and reasonable characters around. Seven hells, she would make an excellent ruler in her own right !
      However, when it comes to Daenerys, she is a “believer”, a “disciple” and it prevents her from seeing (obvious) problems her intelligence should allow her to spot. Like the fact that Daenerys’s “breaker of chains” narrative simply does not work/apply in Westeros and that the Mother of Dragons’s small council should find another one asap.

      Wolfish: Daario’s a mercenary, but he’s straightforward and, from what we’ve seen, not driven by greed for either money or power. As naïve as this might sound, I actually haven’t lost hope for Meereen. Unlikelier candidates have ultimately proven themselves as sound rulers.

      I agree wholeheartedly with your last sentence. But Daario is quite narcissistic. And Daenerys crushed his ego by dumping him so all bets are off for, to misquote the great Billy C, hell has no fury like a man scorned !

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    112. Inga: 1) Adultry is a sin not because marriage is a norm, but becauses keeping promises and staying true to one’s word is a norm.

      If that were true, male adultery would always have been as severely condemned as its female counterpart. Which has demonstrably not been the case, be it in the real world or in Westeros.
      Adultery is considered a sin because it helps contain and redistribute wealth and ressources among a small group of individuals (thanks to inheritance laws based on legitimacy); and female adultery is more brutally punished because it ensures control over female sexuality and enforces patrilinear transmission.

      2) People who need to get paid are not innocent: they make a choice. It may not be an easy choice but nethertheless one has to face consequences.

      I do apologise for the repetition but that contradicts the very point of the scene between Arya and the Lannister troops, the latter of who are clearly shown as “victims”, mere pawns in a game they never understand nor validate. People who need to get paid rarely have a choice as to who pays them. Refusing a paycheck out of disdain for the payer is a luxury most people cannot afford.

      3) Death may not be an achievement of life, but memory/legacy is. Tywin’s legacy is wrecked lives of all three of his children and a near extinxtion of his house. Both of his sons have already rebelled against his teachings, Cersei will continue to follow them to the end but that will be her undoing.

      According to Lord Glover, Robb’s legacy is as follows : “And where was King Robb when the Ironborn attacked this castle? When they threw my wife and children in prison and brutalized and killed our subjects? Taking up with a foreign whore. Getting himself and those who followed him killed. I served House Stark once, but House Stark is dead”
      Lord Glover is not a traitor, he is not a monster. He is a weather vane, a man who, as Davos predicted, wants to side with a “winner” to minimise his chances of getting killed for no reason. He is like everyone else. Like all the other Northern lords who refused Jon and Sansa’s call; like Lyanna Mormont who, for all her jingoistic horse manure about “blah blah Stark blah blah The North”, had no time for the Starks until Davos told her ice zombies were going to eat her cute frowny face if the Direwolves did not come back in power.
      That apathy, that fear, that resentment… That is Robb’s legacy. Good men can have terrible legacies, bad ones can have extraordinary ones… There is no more rhyme or reason to it than there is to death.

      he (Randyll Tarly) was a traitor whose treason led to the death of his liege lady and sufferings and deaths of her loyal subject.

      By executing him and doing so in the way she did, Daenerys refused to acknowledge the painfully obvious, namely that given what the Westerosi lords know of her (Targaryen + Dothraki + Unsullied + Ironborn + Sands + Imp + Spider = stuff of Westerosi nightmares), they had every reason to oppose her invasion and to consider that Olenna had betrayed them first when she decided to support it.
      A striking lack of self-awareness is never a sound basis for the right kind of terrible.

      Dany only screwed with Tarlies, but, although that will backfire, it will backfire primarily through Sam and maybe Jon, and therefore it will be a different story about an unexpected side effect.

      What of the Northern lords who have, unbeknownst to them, become her subjects ? Will they be pleased not only to have not only lost their independence but also to have lost it to a ruler who burns alive father-son duos, like her own father used to ? Considering that most of them are old enough to have taken part in Robert’s Rebellion, I am going to venture a guess and say no.

      vosh: Your assumption that they would all die shows once again how extremely uncharitable you’re being to Dany. For one, she may well have chosen to only strike the tower Cersei is sleeping in and then pulled back to show restraint and encourage people to desert or surrender. She never went into any detail about how much of the Red Keep she wanted to attack, but naturally you assume the worst.

      I assume what can reasonably be assumed, given the circumstances.
      Neither Daenerys nor Tyrion nor anyone else for that matter can be certain of where Cersei sleeps; for all they know, she might sleep sitting on the Iron Throne (it wouldn’t be out of character for her). Without any genuine way of pinpointing where Cersei is at any given time, how can a “precision attack” target her specifically ?
      Furthermore, fire usually spreads. Therefore, the notion that a dragon attack on the Red Keep could be guaranteed to be contained to certain zones of the compound is so optimistic it borders on wishful thinking. So is the idea that people will have the time and know-how to flee out of the castle using secret passages many of them may not even be aware of.

      Also, the guards in the Red Keep aren’t civilians but swords who’ve signed up to fight for Cersei, and I’ve seen no proof anywhere that hundreds of civilians live in the Red Keep.

      Guards are like soldiers, they fight for whoever lords over the land they were born in. That was the whole point of the scene between Arya and the Lannister troops.
      As for the number of civilians inhabiting the Red Keep, we have seen the size of the castle; a household of that dimension cannot be kept clean and running with just a handful of servants.

      As for the wildfire, that’s one reason why — contrary to your false claim — I never supported using dragonfire on any part of King’s Landing, but at no point was wildfire even mentioned by anyone in Dany’s camp in season 7, even though it would’ve been the most obvious and important factor to consider.

      Virtually all the people present at Daenerys’s small council meeting know of the wildfire. Tyrion once caught a glimpse of how much of it there was in the tunnels and Varys served Aerys, who was responsible for the manufacturing of most of it. Even Daenerys was told of her father’s plan to blow up the entire city with the fluorescent green napalm.
      They cannot possibly believe that all of it was used up for just the Sept. So it appears to me that they did not even mention the wildfire because they all already knew of it. Its presence was baked into their arguments (hence, I believe, Daenerys’s attempt to circumvent it by mentioning the Red Keep as the sole possible target).

      Whereas Dany could’ve killed her in a surprise nighttime attack before she was prepared to set off any wildfire.

      Who is to say that Cersei does not keep some wildfire in the Red Keep ? She may have “redecorated”. Again, for all Daenerys’s advisors know, Cersei might sleep on entire kegs of the stuff.

      Also, someone can easily be morally sound without making the right decision every single time.

      That is indeed an excellent point ! Even the best of the best can have occasional misshaps and misjudgments.
      So we should examine Daenerys’s proposal in context of all the other strategies she has supported or implemented over the years which include, but are not limited to, the crucifixion of the slavers, the feeding of living people to her dragons, the immolation of the khals, etc.

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    113. ACME,

      Neither Daenerys nor Tyrion nor anyone else for that matter can be certain of where Cersei sleeps

      I never said they could be certain. I only spoke of the possibility that Dany could’ve chosen the correct tower to target, and she had Tyrion and Varys to help her in that. We even saw in episode 3 that Cersei slept in a tower with a window nearby.

      the notion that a dragon attack on the Red Keep could be guaranteed to be contained to certain zones of the compound is so optimistic it borders on wishful thinking.

      I never made any such.guarantee, not remotely, so you’re yet again addressing a strawman of your own making. You assumed that any dragon attack on the Red Keep would kill every single civilian inside, so I pointed out how incredibly unreasonable that assumption was, saying that Dany could’ve chosen to attack only a small portion of it and that while any fire would spread, there’s no guarantee that it would’ve spread even close to as much as you’ve assumed.

      it borders on wishful thinking. So is the idea that people will have the time and know-how to flee out of the castle using secret passages many of them may not even be aware of.

      I only said that it’s possible that one or more of them would have escaped, and you say that borders on wishful thinking. You assumed all of the “little birds” inside would’ve died even though they do know about the secret passages. It’s literally their job to know.

      Guards are like soldiers, they fight for whoever lords over the land they were born in. That was the whole point of the scene between Arya and the Lannister troops.

      So are you now saying that the soldiers fighting for Cersei are also civilians?

      The guards are like soldiers, yes, because they are not civilians. Not saying they deserve to die but it’s paramount in war to distinguish between targeting or endangering soldiers and civilians. That line has been frequently blurred throughout this thread, with people such as yourself seriously arguing that Dany killing her captors before they could rape and murder her was morally equivalent to Cersei’s terrorist bombing that, yes, killed her captors but also hundreds/thousands of civilians.

      As for the number of civilians inhabiting the Red Keep, we have seen the size of the castle; a household of that dimension cannot be kept clean and running with just a handful of servants.

      Agreed, but there’s a huge difference between “a handful” and the “hundreds” you’ve claimed live there. And working there and living there are two different things.

      Virtually all the people present at Daenerys’s small council meeting know of the wildfire. Tyrion once caught a glimpse of how much of it there was in the tunnels and Varys served Aerys, who was responsible for the manufacturing of most of it. Even Daenerys was told of her father’s plan to blow up the entire city with the fluorescent green napalm.

      Of course and I never said otherwise about any of that. I said Dany has never been told that wildfire is still in the city, that none of them even mentioned it in season 7 and that they all acted like it wasn’t a factor.

      They cannot possibly believe that all of it was used up for just the Sept. So it appears to me that they did not even mention the wildfire because they all already knew of it. Its presence was baked into their arguments (hence, I believe, Daenerys’s attempt to circumvent it by mentioning the Red Keep as the sole possible target).

      Then why did Tyrion only say that “tens of thousands” would “die in the firestorms” if the dragons were turned loose on a city of one million? If he still believed there’s wildfire in the city, wouldn’t he estimate or at least warn of a much higher death count?

      Also, the wildfire hadn’t just been used for the bombing of the Sept but also the Battle of the Blackwater. But I’m not saying it makes sense for Tyrion to believe that it’s all gone, or even that he does. I’m saying we never got a clear answer.

      Who is to say that Cersei does not keep some wildfire in the Red Keep ?

      Not me, and that’s again why I didn’t support attacking it with dragonfire, but Tyrion never cited that as a reason even though it would’ve been the most obvious one, and he still plotted to besiege the city even though that would’ve severely pressured and taunted Cersei into using any and all wildfire she had, while also giving her ample time to seed it throughout the city.

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    114. ACME,

      Well, regarding adultry, there are several things. It’s true, that the attitude towards adultry involves many considerations, not only the fundamental cocept of a broken promise. It’s also true, that adultry is often tolerated – not only male but also female one.

      As for Dany, she is what she is – a dragon, and we as viewers made a deal to rute for her as one of the protagonists of the story. If burning innocent people bothered anyone so much, Dany should have been condamned back in S1, when she burned Mirri maz Duur – someone who had every reason to kill Khal Drogo. In general, I guess we can agree that Dany was a very contraversial character from the beginning: she did many bad things but she did some good things, too, and that makes at least some of us wish her win against Cersei who haven’t done anything good and never cared about doing anything good in seven seasons event at a cost of some relatively innocent lives.

      Sure, the actual or even potential amount of the collateral damage is a tricky question. That’s why we scrutinize battle plans, etc. And there are no easy answers, which is why GoT is such a great show. However, some of your equalisations go beyond reasonable. Dany and Cersei may be similar in many ways, but they are not equal, and all the similarities you highligh also highlight differences between them.

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    115. vosh: I only spoke of the possibility that Dany could’ve chosen the correct tower to target, and she had Tyrion and Varys to help her in that. We even saw in episode 3 that Cersei slept in a tower with a window nearby.

      We, the audience, know where Cersei sleeps. Tyrion and Varys have no idea; they have not set foot in the Red Keep in about three years and, for all they know, Cersei may use a different room every night.

      I never made any such.guarantee, not remotely, so you’re yet again addressing a strawman of your own making. You assumed that any dragon attack on the Red Keep would kill every single civilian inside, so I pointed out how incredibly unreasonable that assumption was

      This is the Red Keep; this is the fire power of just one of Daenerys’s dragons. Assuming the worst is not only reasonable, it is logical I am afraid.

      I only said that it’s possible that one or more of them would have escaped, and you say that borders on wishful thinking. You assumed all of the “little birds” inside would’ve died even though they do know about the secret passages.

      I assume that, when people are on fire or when buildings are falling apart around them, they do not have either the time or the cognitive ability to think. They panic. So even the Little Birds who do know where the secret passages are (the rest of the household may not) might be unable to escape the blast.

      So are you now saying that the soldiers fighting for Cersei are also civilians?

      No, I am saying most of them are, broadly speaking, innocent.

      people such as yourself seriously arguing that Dany killing her captors before they could rape and murder her was morally equivalent to Cersei’s terrorist bombing that, yes, killed her captors but also hundreds/thousands of civilians.

      Again, I feel compelled to ask for your definition of the word terrorism.

      Agreed, but there’s a huge difference between “a handful” and the “hundreds” you’ve claimed live there. And working there and living there are two different things.

      Apologies for the reiteration but this is the Red Keep. A castle of this size, with that many buildings and rooms, cannot be kept in order without a retinue in the hundreds, possibly a thousand.
      As for the difference between working and living there, it is not a factor given that most members of a household live where they work which is why all castles have servants’ quarters.

      Then why did Tyrion only say that “tens of thousands” would “die in the firestorms” if the dragons were turned loose on a city of one million? If he still believed there’s wildfire in the city, wouldn’t he estimate or at least warn of a much higher death count?

      Quite frankly, I have no idea why Tyrion gave such a senselessly low estimate.
      Even without taking the wildfire into account, letting three dragons loose in a city as crowded as King’s Landing would not cause tens of thousands of deaths; it would be closer to a hundred of thousands.

      Not me, and that’s again why I didn’t support attacking it with dragonfire, but Tyrion never cited that as a reason even though it would’ve been the most obvious one, and he still plotted to besiege the city

      I do not wish to defend Tyrion’s plan because, honestly, it was far from brilliant. However, I will highlight the fact that what Daenerys knows of wildfire should have prevented her from even thinking of using fire to attack any part of King’s Landing : she knows that wildfire is a manufactured substance (there is no limit to how much of it there can be at any given time since more can always be created) and she knows that Cersei used it very efficiently against her enemies. Daenerys is intelligent; she should be able to put two and two together on her own and not need Tyrion to talk her out of obviously (and literally) explosive plans.
      I am all for rulers consulting and using their advisors at every turn but I also favour rulers who can see what is right in front of their nose without assistance.

      Inga: If burning innocent people bothered anyone so much, Dany should have been condamned back in S1, when she burned Mirri maz Duur – someone who had every reason to kill Khal Drogo.

      The Mirri Maz Duur scenario is somewhat more complex. While I entirely agree with you that she had every reason and, in my opinion, every right to kill Khal Drogo (*cough* I was happy he died *cough*), Daenerys’s decision to kill her was openly irrational. She was motivated by grief and heartbreak. In this regard, it is quite identical to Catelyn’s killing of Joyeuse Frey : poor Joyeuse, the unsung victim of the Red Wedding, was a complete innocent whom the Stark matriarch sacrificed out of utter desperation and monstrous pain.
      Both the killings of Mirri Maz Duur and of Joyeuse, as unjust and disgusting as they were, were the deeds of lost, grief-stricken women on the verge of death themselves (Daenerys intended to die on the pyre, Catelyn knew she would not get out of the hall alive). We, the viewers, can if not forgive, at least understand and empathise.

      Conversely, the execution of the Tarlys was not emotional. It was “rational”, insofar as it was not motivated by passion, cruel and stupidly unnecessary. Or unnecessarily stupid. Which, for a ruler, is worrying.

      In general, I guess we can agree that Dany was a very contraversial character from the beginning: she did many bad things but she did some good things, too

      I have yet to see anyone denying the good Daenerys both did and attempted to do. That is not the bone of contention. The question is centered around the cost-benefit analysis. Daenerys is a hyper-interventionist and her historical counterparts tend to have extremely sketchy track records, regardless of their very noble intentions. What is the price of that “good” Daenerys chases ? What are its consequences, its long-term effects and its methods ? What are we willing to accept just because it is done in the name of the (alleged) “greater good” ?
      If many of her deeds cannot be distinguished, neither in process nor in impact, from those of less altruistically-minded people, what is the point ? Good intentions are not an alibi.

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    116. ACME,

      We, the audience, know where Cersei sleeps. Tyrion and Varys have no idea; they have not set foot in the Red Keep in about three years and, for all they know, Cersei may use a different room every night.

      All of that is beside the point, which is that Dany could’ve struck based on their best guess (and since we saw Cersei near windows and under open roofs throughout season 7, we know that they could’ve guessed correctly). Of course that takes us back to your absurd assumption that even such a relatively small strike would’ve burned all of the Red Keep anyway to the extent of killing every innocent person inside, but even Cersei lighting up a massive amount of wildfire in the middle of the city didn’t cause fire to spread anywhere near that much. The surrounding buildings were almost certainly far more combustible than the Red Keep, a massive complex of stone buildings and stone walls riddled throughout those buildings. Yes, dragonfire can melt stone, but so can wildfire, and it’s incredibly difficult to extinguish.

      This is the Red Keep; this is the fire power of just one of Daenerys’s dragons. Assuming the worst is not only reasonable, it is logical I am afraid.

      Everything Drogon is burning there probably wouldn’t have even amounted to 0.1% the size of the Red Keep. We also saw him limit his firing range with great precision when he burned the Tarlys in between nearby rows of soldiers.

      I assume that, when people are on fire or when buildings are falling apart around them, they do not have either the time or the cognitive ability to think. They panic. So even the Little Birds who do know where the secret passages are (the rest of the household may not) might be unable to escape the blast.

      “Might,” sure, that word applies even if there was only a 1% chance, but it’s a far cry from your earlier assumption. It’s also far from guaranteed that everyone in that situation would panic and lose the ability to think.

      As for your assertions that hundreds of civilians live in the Red Keep, and that every single person working there also sleeps there (even though it had become the most obvious target for a dragon attack), all I’ve said is I’ve seen no proof, but for the sake of argument let’s assume you’re right. It doesn’t change or conflict with any of my statements or positions.

      Again, I feel compelled to ask for your definition of the word terrorism.

      She had a church blown up for political gain, and it was extremely foreseeable that the bombing would kill hundreds and very possibly thousands of innocent people. If that’s really not terrorism to you, I’d rather not discuss it with you any further.

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